25 Things

From the popular Facebook lists:

1. I am the only correct-handed person in a  family of lefties.  They tried to break me, but I wasn’t receptive.  I believe this is why my handwriting is equally illegible with either hand.

2. I’m fairly active on social networks despite the fact that I can’t stand them.  I think I’m too old for them or something, because I always have a hard time understanding how they work or what I’m supposed to do with them.

3. I blog every weekday about random topics, but my audience is basically my wife.  I think of my blog entries as things I felt like blasting out to the world but were too long to fit on Twitter. Topics may include TV shows, movies, podcasts, books, dogs, food, grappling, technology, big business, and random thoughts.

4. Like Sir Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, and Albert Einstein, I am an INTP (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving). I am pensive and analytical. “A major concern for INTPs is the haunting sense of impending failure.” If they mean doom, then yes.

5. To many people I’m the guy you call before you buy a computer, cell phone, or other electronic gadget.  Odds are I already have one.  I also get the call when it stops working.  Odds are I’ve taken it apart. It frustrates Chrissy to no end that electronics often start working when I simply pick them up and do exactly what she was doing.  For example, she might press the power button the TV remote several times and nothing will happen.  I pick it up and press the same button and the TV turns on.  This happens a lot.  I recently just poked something she was having trouble with and it started working. Hilarious.

6.  I listen to 18 podcasts (most are weekly shows) on topics including technology, astronomy, general sciences, critical thinking, science fiction, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, open source software, computer security, politics, math, and general rantings.

7. On average I would say I listen to two audiobooks per week.  Mostly science fiction, although I branch out into just about anything. I binged on fantasy a while back and I’m currently taking a break from that genre.

8. Neal Stephenson, Roger Zelazny, Robert Jordan, and Hermann Hess are a few of my favorite authors.  Thankfully, one of them is still alive. Siddhartha is my favorite book.

9. I describe myself as an atheist, an agnostic, or a non-theist, depending on the audience.  To most atheists these all mean the same thing, but some people are thrown off by dictionary definitions. People think atheists are people who believe there is no god.  That is a tiny, radical minority. Atheists are people who lack a belief in a god.  There’s a difference – think about it. You can think of this way – I believe it is about equally likely that 1)there is no god, 2)there is a god, exactly as described in the bible, or 3)there is a god, who lives in my #2 pencil and didn’t exist until I created him in my thoughts, yet he is the creator of the universe.

10. I study large businesses, particularly the American mega-corporations, because it entertains me. I like understanding who owns what (for example, Dairy Queen and Geico have the same parent company.) I blogged about this one and plan on turning it into a regular feature.

11. I hunt, but I do not fish. This is at least partially due to the fact that I do not own any fishing equipment. One of my life goals is to reach the point where at least 75% of the food I eat was either grown in my (currently non-existent) garden or hunted by me.  I am a long way off from that goal right now.  One day I will take Acie hunting.

12.  My favorite submission is the omaplatta. Double arms under is my go-to guard pass. Scissor sweep is my favorite sweep.  I pull guard. My game is simple.

13. I once considered going to culinary school, but ultimately decided on gunsmithing school instead.  I graduated from the Colorado School of Trades (gunsmithing), but I am not currently a practicing gunsmith.  It’s hard to say if I ever will be, but I don’t regret going at all.  I learned so much about so many things in gunsmithing school. I’d do it all over again.  There’s a lot more to this story, and it’s a blog entry still in the draft stage.

14. I got married on the beach in Sannibel, Florida with a grand total of 3 people in attendance.

15. As a teenager I attended a 7 day Civil Air Patrol Encampment, designed to simulate one week of Air Force Boot Camp. This was a very important event in my life, as it helped me determine that I would not be joining the military (a startling revelation at the time). Although I could hack the physical routine, I quickly tired of people telling me what to do.

16. Some interesting places I’ve been – the top of the World Trade Center in NYC, the Seattle Space Needle, an aircraft carrier, a nuclear sub, a Navy refueling ship, a Sloop-of-War (The USS Constellation), the 2002 Daytona 500, and the 39th, 40th, and 41st Rolex 24 at Daytona. I’ve attended countless concerts, but my favorite was B.B King at the Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, VA.

17. Chrissy took me to see the New York Rangers play the New York Islanders from a Suite in the Madison Square Garden. During that game we saw Wayne Gretzky break the all time professional hockey scoring record.

18. Some other interesting things I’ve done – I took a helicopter to a glacier in Alaska and walked on it, I went salmon fishing and whale watching in Alaska, and I took the controls of a Cessna flying over the Great Dismal Swamp for a while.

19. I love phones, but I hate talking on the phone. I’m particularly interested in advanced call routing and interactive voice response systems.  While I don’t want to talk on the phone myself, I like making them work for other people. My interest in phones probably goes back to about 1984 or 1985, when I first saw 2600 magazine and began learning about phone phreaking (hacking phone networks). I still read 2600.

20. I seek a deeper understanding of the hows and whys of the universe, which is why I study physics.

21. I’m a libertarian, and I tend to vote Libertarian. I believe people should basically be able to do what they want, so long as their actions don’t prevent anyone else from enjoying the same freedom. I’m against income tax. I’m for the smallest possible government. I think when introducing a new law Congressmen should be required to explain how the Constitution grants them the authority to make that law.

22. I’ve had one cat or another (as many as 4 at once) for over 20 years.  Do not have 4 cats at once.

23. I have two Rhodesian Ridgebacks. In a blog entry I once said, “I believe my dogs should be able to run free, and your children should have leashes.” I stand by that.

24. I am a member of the NRA and the Arbor Day Foundation. I plant trees, and shoot them.

25. One day I would like to have a boat and a tiger.

3 thoughts on “25 Things”

  1. Hi there, I’m looking into training for a career in gunsmithing and I’m trying to decide on a school. Would you mind telling me about your experience at the Colorado School of Trades? What made you decide to go with that school?

  2. I did some research online, talked to people from the school, and spoke with people who graduated. Everything I could find pointed me in that direction. There are only a handful of gunsmithing schools to choose from. I think there are 2 in Colorado, one in PA, maybe one in TX, and I think 2 in CA. As near as I could tell the Colorado School of Trades was supposed to have the most complete program.

    The most successful students are the ones who come in with a TON of knowledge and ability already. If you are just starting cold with no experience in the industry at all, don’t expect to leave the school ready to go into business. In fact, what you should expect is a very low paying job working for a gunsmith who may not even be aware there’s a such thing as gunsmithing school. The best gunsmiths are the guys who have just been doing it forever. There’s too much to learn about the history, mechanics, art, science, etc in gunsmithing to be taught in 14 months.

    What you learn at the school will give you a good baseline to grow from. From there you’ll have to put in a lot of work on your own to make yourself a gunsmith.

  3. The impression I’ve been getting of the Colorado School of Trades is that it’s outdated.

    I haven’t worked with any of the equipment in a machine shop before. I’ve done basic woodworking, nothing as complex as finishing or engraving.

    As far as 14 months not being enough to teach you all you ought to know, that only makes sense. I am very disappointed to hear that a 21,000 dollar investment only lands you a low paying job, however. Of course a graduate isn’t going to have the money or know-how to start up their own shop, but I had hoped to land a job with one of the larger manufacturers in the country after graduation.

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