Sunday, April 12, 2009

10 things about me

Since today is Easter Sunday and I can be pretty sure no one in the western hemisphere will be reading this blog today, I thought maybe it's as good a day as any to write a near-content-free "off topic" blog. So, 10 things about me. Here goes:

1. I grew up in Los Angeles.
Things I remember from childhood: The ground shudders very slightly whenever a nuclear bomb goes off at the nearby Nevada test site (250 miles away). I also remember sonic booms happening practically daily. (Edwards AFB was 112 miles distant. The X-planes flew almost every day.) I once saw telephone lines whirl like jump-ropes during an earthquake. This was a long time ago. Think Jailhouse Rock.

2. Aviation has been a big part of my life.
I've been a pilot (ASMEL/Instrument) for a long time and made a living writing about it for many years. I've lost around 30% of the hearing in one ear due to so much time spent in noisy cockpits.

3. I have degrees in biology and microbiology that I've never used.
University of California, Irvine (B.S.), U.C. Davis (M.A.)

4. Money means little to me.
Which is why I have none.

5. I started a monthly publication in 1979 that is still in publication today.
Through that desktop publishing business and one other, I learned a lot about direct marketing (I've designed, written, produced, and tracked direct mail campaigns encompassing millions of pieces of "junk mail." That all stopped when the Internet came along, of course.) Thanks to DTP, I have been able to spend most of my career self-employed.

6. The most fun thing I've ever done as a big-company employee was serve on Novell's Inventions Committee.
I got to examine, and vote on, patent proposals submitted from Novell engineers (and some non-engineers) all over the world. The other committee members, mostly Distinguished Engineers, were a joy to work with. I learned a lot about software patents and how they figure into corporate strategy. I also picked up a lot of technology knowledge.

7. I'm a slow reader.
In short bursts, I can go as slow as 30 words per minute.

8. I'm a coffee slut.
I'll drink any coffee of any kind, anywhere, any time; the blacker the better.

9. I'm mildly agoraphobic and like to lock myself in hotel rooms.
It takes incredible energy for me to feel like coming out of a hotel room once I'm in it. Unless, of course, coffee is involved.

10. My secret passion is pastel portraiture.

I don't want anyone to feel obligated to do the "10 Things" thing if they don't want to, but if I could nominate (tag) people whom I'd like to see do this, it would be the wonderful people on my Blogroll. Especially Irina, Jon, Julian, Lee, and Pie. Anyone care to step forward? You're it.