Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A few random things about ME

Even as fat as I have become, I can still touch my toes, then put my palms flat on the ground. When I didn't have the big'ol gut, I could do the backs of my wrists.

I collect guns, knives, swords, books, flashlights, tools, old computers, and watches. I used to collect coffee mugs, t-shirts, and walking sticks as well.

I have had arthritis in several joints since my early 20s, as the result of multiple severe injuries that have never healed properly.

I have approximately 20/50 vision, and have since I was 13 (I plan on getting laser surgery eventually). I can watch TV, watch movies, and drive without my glasses; though I generally prefer not to because I squint a lot otherwise.

I hate hats; but I wear them because they are both necessary, and practical. I have a half dozen ball caps, and a stockmans hat; which is quite useful actually.

Although I have more (not much, but a bit), the only pieces of jewelry I generally wear, are my wedding ring, and a watch. I don't like extraneous objects on my hands or wrists.

I also don't like my shirt cuffs on my hands or wrists; and I prefer to have my sleeves pushed up or rolled up.

These are long enforced habit from working around things that can snatch up, or light on fire, loose fabric, or loose jewelry.

I TRULY HATE loose threads; and to this day carry a zippo lighter with me, half for just the usefulness of a flame, but half just to handle loose threads.

I was a boy scout. In fact I had completed all my prerequisites and service project for eagle scout; but I left scouting because I had a religious fanatic for a scoutmaster, who made my life hell, because at the time I refused to attend church. I still regret doing that.

I have never lived in one house or apartment for more than three years in a row; and only once for more than three years total (I lived there twice, for three years each time, and three years in between).

I once lived in the house that Matthew McConaughey lived in while he was filming "Rein of Fire" in Ireland (Bray, co. Wicklow). I was the next tenant after him.

The first place I ever lived in Ireland was a 600 year old farmstead turned pub and boarding house, that had once belonged to my family (400 years ago). This was entirely by coincidence, and I only found out about it after doing a great deal of research on the area.

I lived in a geodesic dome for a year.

I'm allergic to onions; but my favorite cuisines are Italian, Mexican, and Thai (all heavy on the onions if for some reason you are not familiar).

The first actual book (not a picture book or the like) I can clearly remember reading is "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court"; but it was a "childrens classics" version. After that I read some other classics in their full and unabridged versions; but the first contemporary "adult" novel I read was Steven Kings "The Stand", when I was seven.

I met my best friend in the line to get into school, on the first day of second grade. He has been my best friend ever since. Although I now live 2700 miles away from where we grew up, he lives about 15 minutes away from me.

Some Favorites:

My favorite food is definitely pizza; though there is about a 50 way tie for second place.

My favorite color is Red; though I actually prefer black (which is technically an absence of color).

My favorite song is "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King; and has been since I first heard it, in 1982.

My favorite poem is "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening" by Robert Frost; and has been since I first heard it, also in 1982.

I lied; I actually have TWO favorite songs, and I honestly cannot pick between them. My OTHER favorite song is a neo-celtic folks song; "Wanderlust" by the band "Wyld Nept".

My favorite movie is, without question, "The Princess Bride". I saw it in theaters, and I've loved it ever since. NO other movie is even close; though again, there is about a 50 way tie for second place.

My favorite book... Gods man I don't think I can... There are so many, in so many different genres. I can tell you the book I've read the most is "Pawn of Prophecy" by David Eddings; which I read at least once a year, from when I first read it in 1986, until about 2000. I believe I've re-read the entire series once or twice since then.

I should note: I made a habit of re-reading every book in a series, whenever a new book would come out; so I've re-read every book in the Belgariad, the Mallorean, the Elenium, the Tamuli, The Wheel of Time, Mercedes Lackeys Urban Fantasy series (there are several connected ones), the Mitch Rapp series, the Jack Ryan series, The Corps, Badge of Honor, Brotherhood of Wars, and a bunch of other series; all at least ten times.

My favorite soft drink is actually iced tea with sugar and lemon; but I drink more water, and diet mountain dew; because I'm worried about diabetes (family history). Coffee is my favorite hot beverage, but tea, hot cider, and drinking chocolate, are not far behind.

My favorite coffee mug is 20oz, and made of alternating strips of curly maple, and padauk. Yes, the wood.

My favorite alcoholic beverage is a brown or red ale of some kind; with a strong but not too sweet malt, and medium bitterness.

My favorite hard alcohol is Irish whisky; but my favorite mixed drink is a simple double vodka tonic, tall, with double lime. I find it crisp and refreshing.

Don't ask me to name a bottle, or a vintage; but my favorite wine variety is probably a semillon or sauvignon blanc; or maybe a Pinot Grigio. I personally think that generally Washington and Oregon produce better examples than Bordeaux does (excepting the very best of them). I prefer my whites to be dry and crisp, but fruity; neither overly sweet, nor overly acidic.

I don't care for American chardonnays at all; given that they almost universally eschew any kind of delicacy in favor of massive tannin character (which for some reason vintners seem to believe makes them a "more sophisticated" wine). The French vintages are generally better in this regard; but you never know what way the australians, south africans, or chileans are going to swing. I find Australian and Chileans whites in general to be good, but not up to what I really want.

For reds, I like Pinot Noir (French, Italian, and Oregonian), and Syrah/Shiraz; but I'm not generally a big Cabernet Sauvignon fan, because I feel most vintners overoak their vintages. I generally prefer the shiraz of Australia (barossa valley wines like Penfolds and Wolf Blass especially), to most French Syrah vintages; but the French do better blends (usually with cab sauv - and I should say, I think the Australian blends are good too, just that the Burgundys are better).

My favorite ice cream is chocolate chip cookie dough; but it's not my favorite dessert.

My favorite dessert is creme brulee if it's absolutely perfect; but that's pretty hard to do, and bad creme brulee can be pretty bad. Otherwise I really love strawberry parfaits, apple crumbles and apple crisps, cheese cakes, anything to do with snickers bars or oreo cookies, blondies, brownies, and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

I'm not really a big cake fan (except for tres leches cake, which I love), because I don't much like most frosting; or really anything that's mostly sugar. I don't like fudge at all for example; or cotton candy, or rock candy.

My favorite place in the entire world, is the Winaukee peninsula, Moultonborough, New Hampshire; on lake Winnepesaukee. I spent summers (and the occasional, very harsh, winter even) there growing up.