1) I was born in Evansville, Indiana. I consider it a good place to be FROM. I joke that my parents found the hole in the fence when I was young enough to not have been tainted by being born there.
2) I have lived in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Washington state, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Wisconsin.
3) My accent is a strange mix of Wisconsin and Southern.
4) I have lived in St. Louis, Missouri 4 different times in my life, 78-84, 94, 96, and 2001-02. When people ask me where I am from I usually say St. Louis, though I have actually spent more time in Wisconsin than any other state.
5) Despite the harsh winters and short summers, Wisconsin is by far my favorite place to live. I will live the rest of my life, die, and be buried here. I cannot pinpoint exactly what I love about Wisconsin, it is likely a combination of friendly people, low crime, great schools, 4 seasons, and many other little things that just add up. I feel more at home here than anywhere else.
6) I have owned about 10 different motorcycles in my life, but probably rode them less than 5,000 miles total. My daughter Delaney says I only like motorcycles that are broken. There is a lot of truth to that. I enjoy working on them as much, maybe more, than actually riding them.
7) I have been a licensed pilot since 1988, and earned an instrument rating in 2006. I started flying aerobatics last summer.
8) I have started building 5 different airplanes, but sold them all before completing them.
9) I hate the prefixes “ex-” and “step-“. I prefer to call Janelle my first wife, not ex-wife. Halle is my daughter, not my step-daughter. I firmly believe that once you are family you are always family. I encourage my family to continue their relationship with Janelle, and vice-versa. This has mostly worked out just fine.
10) My parents divorced after 37 years of marriage. They are both much happier now and we are all very happy for them.
11) I drink very little, usually only on New Years Eve. I probably don’t drink a 6 pack the rest of the year combined.
12) When I was young I wanted to be a police officer. This lasted all through high school, I was in the Charlotte Police Explorers for many years. I still often think that I should have done that instead of getting into programming. Usually only during periods of unemployment 🙂
13) My Grandpa Bill was and always will be my hero. My dad is a very close second.
14) My dad and I are very close now, but we had a pretty rough relationship when I was a kid and teenager.
15) After high school I lived with a very rough group of friends. We (myself included) had some pretty nasty drug habits. Most of them are now dead or in prison. In the end, this experience somehow made me a better person.
16) I enjoy home remodeling, even though I often get very frustrated and cuss a lot when working on projects.
17) I only buy cars from GM, Ford or Chrysler. I will never buy a foreign car, even if they are made here. However, I have owned a couple of Porsche’s just because I love them.
18) I prefer pickup trucks to just about everything else, except Mustangs and Corvettes.
19) I do not, and will not, shop at Walmart. I think they are an evil company and refuse to give them any of my business. My wife disagrees.
20) I am a recovering Republican. I voted for Obama this past year, the first time I ever voted for a democrat. I still think Reagan is the best president we ever had.
21) I am a perfectionist in almost everything I do. This often gets me into trouble. I just believe there is a right way and a wrong way to do something and cannot stand mediocrity.
22) I think Windows Vista is a steaming turd, but love the beta of Windows 7. Go figure.
23) I will not buy or use technology that uses DRM (Digital Rights Management). If a CD, game or music download has DRM, I skip it. If I buy something I expect it will always work and don’t like to be bothered or harassed by my music player, DVD player, or computer.
24) I am agnostic, not an atheist. I simply do not know if God exists, and quite frankly, neither do you. But that is why they call it faith, right? So I am lacking faith, but not morals or scruples.
25) I am married to my very best friend in the whole world. I consider myself a very lucky man. I have a nice home, a lovely wife, and 3 great daughters. Everyone is healthy and happy. I consider it my greatest life goal to make sure I take care of them. A great man once said that life is not about what you take out of it, it is about what you leave behind.
26) I am not rich, and have never been rich. But I have been poor. Trust me, being middle-class is just fine.
27) My favorite motorcycle is the Harley-Davidson Softail FX-STD, though I have never owned one. My favorite of the ones I have owned is the Suzuki VS1400 Intruder. I wish I had never sold it.
28) My all time favorite car is the Ferrari 308 GTSI. I of course have never owned one, nor driven one.
29) My granddad served under General Patton in World War 2 as a tank driver. He did not talk to anyone much about his experiences during the war until a few years before his death. He told me a lot one night while we were watching the move “Patton”. Pretty horrible stuff. My dad remembers him waking up screaming in the night when he was a child. He told me that night that he had killed many German soldiers, but the only thing that haunted him all those years was having to shoot a young boy that was going to blow up his tank. He never shook that memory.
30) My Grandpa Bill was the finest man that I ever knew. He was the son of an alcoholic father and both of his parents died when he was very young. He was raised by friends of the family. Despite this beginning, he grew up to be a man that did not drink or smoke, worked very hard for very little money, and raised 2 kids and supported my grandma when she went through some tough mental issues. He never faltered or failed and was always smiling and happy, at least on the outside. He taught me how to drive, play poker, cuss, and shoot a gun. He loaned me money for my first car and my pilot training, and would not allow me to pay him back even though I tried. He was the best grandpa a bunch of us kids could ask for and we all miss him dearly.
31) My dad is also a hell of a good man. I did not understand it when I was a kid why he worked so hard and so long. It seemed like he wasn’t around that much, but in reality he was. He had to work very hard to provide the kind of life he wanted for his family, and I had a very good life growing up. I can see this now, though I did not see it then. I understand now what I didn’t back then.
32) I think King Kong is the best movie “monster” ever created, but Godzilla is a very close second.
33) My favorite author is Dan Brown, and favorite book is “Angels and Demons”. I cannot wait for the movie, May 15th at a theater near you!
34) Other than computer programming books, I read very little, and almost never for pure enjoyment.
35) I think True Blood is the best TV show ever made. Californication is also good, and I love “My Name is Earl”.
36) I wish Hollywood would ma
ke more G-rated movies. I also wish Missy and I had more time to see R rated ones.
37) I have never seen Star Wars beginning to end, and have never watched a complete episode of Star Trek, much to the dismay of my computer programming friends.
38) I am a master of C, C++ and C#. I also know PHP, Perl, and x86 assembly language. I can program in Visual Basic too, but usually don’t admit to it. I consider it a beginners language, and have little (professional) respect for people who making a living out of it. At some point you have to take off the training wheels, even if you fall flat on your face a few times.
39) I hate creating web sites/pages. I can do it, and can do it well, but I hate it, truly despise it.
40) I write too much, like 40+ answers to 25 Random Things About Me 🙂