June 27, 2005

Inquiring Minds...Want Answers (Part IV)

Ahh, yes. There are still many more questions requiring many more answers. Hopefully this satisfies your curiosity for a Monday morning. Don't worry, I'm still plowing through them...

Indigo asked...did you ever finish your landscaping?

Indeed, I did. For the most part. The front yard now has significantly less grass that can die and a much smaller amount of square footage for weeds. There are still other things I'd like to do but I only see a limited number of things happening over the few remaining pre-baby weeks. After the baby comes, who knows what'll happen. I doubt the yard will be a priority.

Ironic1 asked...What program do you use to edit your photos and create your little photo 'collages'?

I'm a Photoshop user. Its a fantastic piece of software and despite using it for several years, I have the feeling I've only scratched the surface of what it can actually do. Thanks to a very kind reader for hooking me up with the very latest version. You know who you are!

Etherian inquired...Your brief bio says you wannabe a rock star. What's your instrument and how close have you gotten to this goal?

My instrument of choice is the guitar. Although I also play bass and piano. I own three electric guitars, my favorite of which is my 1968 Fender Stratocaster. I've got a bass and piano as well. Oh, and an acoustic guitar. How close have I gotten? Not very. But that's okay. I have fun with it and that's what counts. If I turned it into a job I think I'd just get disillusioned and start hating it. I've been in bands, played for people, recorded a bit but never really moved beyond that. Plus I think being a rockstar is a little overrated. I'm much more comfortable traveling around in Zippy The Jetta Wagon than some ratty tour bus. I love my wife and don't need groupies. And I don't need a bunch of screaming fans to feel good - my audience usually consists of my cats and I'm okay with that.

Beautiful Face inquired...how do you find the time?

Be kind of cool if I could cop to something like my name is Zoltar from the planet Feeblix where my race manufacturers time like your Keebler elves make cookies but, alas, that isn't the case at all. I'm bound by the same short 24-hours in a day by which you, and Keiffer Southerland, are constrained. Somehow it all works out. Admittedly, I haven't had as much time in the past couple of months to visit everyone's blogs as often as I'd like. And I feel bad about that. You keep coming by so I guess you're not too offended.

Alison wanted to know...what's your favorite food?

Um, Alison. That's hard. I like anything Italian. And most anything with sugar. I have a passion for ice cream - I bow down to the gods Ben and Jerry. The only thing I don't eat is meat. And that's really just a personal decision.

Nina wanted to know...if you were stranded on a desert Island, and only had one thing with you besides a person, what would that one thing be?

I'm going to have to go with a set of encyclopedias. Is that lame? Everything I want to say actually requires something else. My iPod would run out of juice. A flare gun wouldn't be all that entertaining. And a regular book would most likely become very boring after several reads. So, yeah, encyclopedias. How lame.

Mary Jo put me on the spot with...I know your a reader, but do you have a favorite book?

That's tough. There are several books that have stayed with me and remained important to me for a long time. The first is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Say what you want about science fiction but this is an excellent book. Similarly, I have a special place for The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. If I could pick one book to recommend to everyone, it would be that one. Of course, there's The Bridge by Iain Banks which was truly mind-blowing. Some recent reads - like Zafon's Shadow of the Wind and Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - will probably make the list. But its too early to tell.

Jen asked, in reference to an earlier post...I want to know why the FBI taught you to fire a gun.

Okay, I have to be a little delicate here. Let's say, hypothetically, some crazed nut started threatening members of your family. Members with marginally important jobs. To make it more interesting, let's say that this person made those threats against your entire family. The only thing to do, of course, is to take measures to protect yourself. Like hiring a security team with bodyguards. Like waiting 50 feet away while these kind soles swept your car before each start. Like learning evasive driving tactics. Like posting men with shotguns in the woods outside your house. Like learning how to shoot anything that might do you harm. Like having this go on for a year.

It sounds worse than it was. It was scary, sure. But the people were nice and I'm pretty positive I've never been safer in my life. As for the asshat making the threats? They caught him after a year. The FBI never exactly felt like telling us what they'd done with him either. We didn't push too hard to find out.

GranolaSpice pondered...Are you going to try the breast milk?

Huh. Hadn't really thought that one through. Interesting. Well, I don't have any real issue with it. That's somewhat dependent on Beth's willingness to share. Or, rather, the Bean's. It's a little weird though...thinking about it...and while its completely natural for the Bean, it seems a little different from my perspective, since I'm 32. So, all that said, I guess you can just say that the jury's still out.

Boitchick pondered...Do you pay any attention to local artists, including local bands?
I'd love to issue an emphatic yes. But I can't. I'm sure there are some great local bands (and you could argue that Foo Fighters and Dave Matthews Bands are local, along with quite a few more) but I don't honestly pay that much attention. Thing is, there isn't generally enough emphasis on local music scenes anywhere in the country. That's starting to change but it has a long way to go. When I was in a band, the only way to get the word out was to play a show or record a demo. And you couldn't burn CDs. At least now, with the ease of the Internet, there's more exposure. I am lucky enough to live very close to a music school. Students and alumni play local bookstores and restaurants and they're usually quite good.

Sashinka asked...I really want to know if y'all volunteer anywhere?? If not, what charities get your hard earned $$?

I was very active for ten years in local homelessness causes. I worked at a local shelter, started a homelessness education program targeting local senior citizens and elementary school kids. The curriculum was eventually adopted by a local school district. I even did a live television show (and man, was that an anxiety-ridden experience) and won a fancy award in the state. Sadly, I haven't had much involvement since, well, life started to break out everywhere. Beth and I do donate money however. The Red Cross gets some cash, as do various other foundations and charities. We usually send a couple checks a year to NPR and PBS too. When I'm feeling particularly inspired, I'll send a few bucks to the Democratic National Committee. Lot of good it did us last year.

SpaceCase wanted to know...You were a haberdasher? Really? What was that like?

It sucked! I got a gig with a local, independent hat maker when I was still living in Texas. Cowboy hats, fancy hats, top hats...they made them all. While it sounds interesting, the job was terrible. I was generally either fitting hats or making them. Making them was the more interesting of the two tasks but the store was in a very old, wood-framed warehouse in downtown Houston. With no air conditioning outside the actual "showroom." And remember, please, that you shape hats with steam. So, it was a little warm. When I wasn't doing that, I was fitting hats and gee, there sure isn't anything like measuring men's sweaty heads.

Amy wanted a lot of info. She started with...What is your favorite color?

Green. That's kinda rare isn't it? Usually people say blue or red. Me? I'm a green person. Its not easy being green.

What made you start a blog?

No clue. As I mentioned in an earlier phase of question-answering, I just liked the idea of sharing something of myself with the world. I mean, unless you're an artist or designer or something, how often do you really get to work your personality into something? This seemed like a good opportunity. I thought I'd last a week, two tops. Luckily, I was wrong.

How many bad pictures do you take before you get a good one?

A lot. But I'm overly critical. Some days I can use pretty much whatever I snap. But most days, I've got to keep snapping. Luckily, a lot can be done with Photoshop.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck had no teeth?

Supposing a lack of woodchuck dentures, none. A woodchuck with no teeth is a sorry-ass woodchuck indeed.

Yet a different yet no less captivating Amy asked...how tall are you?

I'm an average 5'8". I'm no Towering Cactus.

Then she wanted to know...and what did you first notice about Mrs. Cactus?

Her smile. And the fact that she was dating another guy. The first thing I liked very much. The second? Not so much.

Rosemarie asked several questions as well, starting off with...Coke or Pepsi?

Coke. Although I'm not opposed to Pepsi. I just tend to end up with Coke.

What do you think of singer/musican Ani DiFranco?

I love Ani. Beth and I have seen her several times when she hits the DC area. She always puts on an awesome show. While I'd much rather see her live, I do own all her stuff...except her latest one. Hmmm...I'll be hitting iTunes shorly.

If you had to predict at this moment, which candidates do you think will headline the 2008 Presidential Election?

I'm just guessing here. I think we'll see Biden - frankly I like the guy and think he'd be fantastic. I hope we see McCain. I know, I know - I'm a hardcore, bleeding-heart liberal Democrat but at least McCain seems honest and real. He might actually rise above politics and level with us. I don't believe we'll see too many hold-overs from the 2004 race. I doubt Kerry will try again. I think Dean shot his wad. Edwards would be a long-shot. I also doubt we'll see Hillary or Cheney.

What are you most looking forward to about being a dad? What are you most anxious about?

Its uncharted territory so, again, I'm guessing. I'm looking forward to the kid. Just having her and holding her and bringing her home and starting life with her. Have you ever been on, say, a car dealer's lot and saw The Car? The one you just had to own? Its like that only about a billion times as strong. Of course, I'm anxious about being a good father - can you believe the moment I typed that, I stepped on a cat? I mean, she was lying under my chair and I put my foot down and it clipped her butt. See why I'm worried about being a good father? Of course, I doubt the kid will be sleeping under my chair.

Do you think you are as honest and forthcoming as you can be in your blog knowing your wife reads it?

Yeah, I think so. Sure, there are some things I'm not going to discuss for many reasons - because they're ultimately very private or because they in some way impact my wife. Rarely does it come up but I have, from time to time, had to really think about what I'm saying. But that doesn't mean I'm less-than-honest here.

Wavy Brains wanted to know...I've noticed that you and Ms. Fish always respond to posts--even short little one liner comments. I'm wondering if this was conscious choice on your part or just evolved over time??

I can't speak for Beth, but I started responding to comments individually from day one and I've been doing it ever since. Only on rare occasions won't you get an answer from me. If you've called me a dumb-ass for instance. And even then I'm inclned to discuss my dumb-assness with you. My theory is this - I'm sharing a part of me with you and you've taken the time to stop by, read what I have to say and tell me what you think. That's extremely kind of you and I should take the time to acknowledge that.

My buddy Autumn shook me down for some answers starting with..What has been your most embarassing blogging experience?

Come on! I embarrass myself on a fairly regular basis. I'm the guy who posts pictures of myself wearing bizarre headgear. I post stories about how I embarrass myself at work and in public. I admit to singing songs about cheese (cheddar, in partucular) and being discovered singing said songs by my wife. I don't think I'm going to cop to anymore than what I've let you see :-)

What's your favorite coffee?

The black kind. I'll drink just about any coffee exept the really bad shit in my office. I think its really used brake fluid or something. Right now I'm hooked on the Senseo pot thingies that fuel the coffee-maker my wife bought for me for father's day.

And most important, what is the cutest thing about Beth?

Better question - what's not the cutest thing about Beth? I could just run down the list but that might bore you. She's the cutest person on the planet, and especially cute carrying our child, what with the glow and all. I hope our child gets her cuteness genes.

Posted by Chris at June 27, 2005 08:32 AM

Psycho killer trying to hurt you? Wow. I gotta wonder what you could have done that would deserve seomthing like that. Maybe he didn't like your shoes or something. Glad the FBI was willing to help you out. Although, that sounds like a big investment in manpower for one person. I didn't think the FBI was that generous. Unless there's more to this. And what job did you have at the time?

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at June 27, 2005 10:00 AM

And to think, I thought I wouldn't learn anything today!

Posted by: Jeff A at June 27, 2005 10:04 AM

This may make you rethink your desert island dilemma. I saw in a recent issue of Wired magazine that there is a solar recharger for the iPod. Check it out here http://ipodlounge.com/index.php/reviews/comments/better-energy-systems-solio-solar-powered-charger-ipod/

Posted by: Mike at June 27, 2005 10:24 AM

hey... my favorite color is green as well!

Posted by: jodi at June 27, 2005 10:42 AM

I wish you would write more about becoming a dad. I know my part of it, but my usually pretty mellow partner has begun freaking out and I dont know how to make him feel better. What makes you feel better? What makes you less anxious? What has anyone said to make you less anxious? nyway, even if you can't answer the questions, know that as always, i love your blog. Amuses me every day. Even the haikus.

Posted by: That Girl at June 27, 2005 11:10 AM

The brake fluid in your office is probably just Folgers. "The best part of waking up" my ass.

Posted by: bmh at June 27, 2005 12:01 PM

You're not going to give me anything juicer then what I've already seen huh? :) That's fair enough I suppose.

I too want McCain. I cried the first time he dropped out, yes, I broke down in tears of dissappointment when a Republican dropped out of the race. Little did I know how much Iwould cry over it again later.

Posted by: Autumn at June 27, 2005 01:10 PM

I'm another liberal who likes McCain (from what little I've seen of him, anyway.) See, some of us ARE willing to cross that aisle. :) I may not agree with everything he says, but he at least seems to put some thought into his reasoning and give intelligent answers.

Good answers, by the way.
Good answers by

Posted by: Spring at June 27, 2005 02:04 PM

On the local music front, may I suggest the Pat McGee Band based out of VA?

They are one of my personal favorites and have even heard a single or two on the radio out here in the Midwest...though not very often.

If you haven't done so, you can hit their Web site at www.patmcgeeband.com. And no...I'm not in the band or part of their management...just a long time fan.

Posted by: JP at June 27, 2005 03:15 PM

Wow... your own private stalker *shudders*. All this is fascinating, but when do we get to ask questions of your ultra secret superhero persona, Bobo the Haiku Bobsledder?

Posted by: etherian at June 27, 2005 03:33 PM

Well..we'll take this for now. And you're right...the yard could easily not be a priority...it never is for me.

Posted by: Mona at June 27, 2005 04:47 PM

I can't tell you how " A woodchuck with no teeth is a sorry-ass woodchuck indeed." made me chuckle...al day!!!

Posted by: Amy at June 27, 2005 05:23 PM

And I STILL don't know where you were born! :D

Posted by: Stacey at June 27, 2005 07:51 PM

we're thinking of paving our yard.

just an idea I thought I'd throw out there at ya...


Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at June 27, 2005 08:57 PM

:) You and I are the same height, we are indeed twins separated at birth... OK hey, don't mention I'm older than you, I already have a complex, OK?! lol ;)

Posted by: amy at June 28, 2005 09:24 PM

In your free time, take a look at some information dedicated to loan loan http://www.always-credit.com/loan.html http://www.always-credit.com/loan.html credit cards credit cards http://www.always-credit.com/credit-cards.html http://www.always-credit.com/credit-cards.html compare mortgage rates compare mortgage rates http://www.always-credit.com/compare-mortgage-rates.html http://www.always-credit.com/compare-mortgage-rates.html car loan calculator car loan calculator http://www.always-credit.com/car-loan-calculator.html http://www.always-credit.com/car-loan-calculator.html business loans business loans http://www.always-credit.com/business-loans.html http://www.always-credit.com/business-loans.html mortgage mortgage http://www.always-credit.com/mortgage.html http://www.always-credit.com/mortgage.html payday loan payday loan http://www.always-credit.com/payday-loan.html http://www.always-credit.com/payday-loan.html free copy of credit report free copy of credit report http://www.always-credit.com/free-copy-of-credit-report.html http://www.always-credit.com/free-copy-of-credit-report.html loans loans http://www.always-credit.com/loans.html http://www.always-credit.com/loans.html direct loans direct loans http://www.always-credit.com/direct-loans.html http://www.always-credit.com/direct-loans.html ...

Posted by: home loans at July 8, 2005 01:24 PM

Take your time to visit the sites dedicated to texas hold em texas hold em http://www.poker-places-4u.net/texas-hold-em.html http://www.poker-places-4u.net/texas-hold-em.html - Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

Posted by: empire poker at July 8, 2005 09:39 PM

You are invited to check some helpful info in the field of poker games poker games http://www.poker-24x7.com/poker-games.html http://www.poker-24x7.com/poker-games.html texas holdem texas holdem http://www.poker-24x7.com/texas-holdem.html http://www.poker-24x7.com/texas-holdem.html ...

Posted by: texas hold em at July 9, 2005 05:55 AM

You are invited to take a look at some helpful info about blackjack blackjack http://www.westvalleyhigh.us/blackjack.html http://www.westvalleyhigh.us/blackjack.html .

Posted by: free slots at July 10, 2005 05:49 PM

Probably tapioca action straight party poker string coup tap hand.

Posted by: party poker bonus at July 14, 2005 06:52 AM

Tomorow over pot bankroll picture empire poker line buster kings puppy.

Posted by: empire poker at July 16, 2005 03:08 AM

As empire poker!

Posted by: empire poker site at July 16, 2005 06:26 AM