Seven Things

I’ve been really sluggish at blogging over my two week vacation, which is a marked change in behavior from years past; I’m usually jamming a whole lot on stuff during my two weeks away from work, but not this time. I gave myself a chance to spend time with friends and family for a change, and it’s been a good thing. I hope your holidays have been equally fun and memorable!

However, I do need to get out of this sluggishness. So, when I got a DM from the girl Riot over Twitter today letting me know of my taggedness in a meme, I decided to dust off the ol’ WordPress and get going again. Sure, it probably won’t be the most insightful post into social media or technology or Weather Channel music ever, but cut me some slack — I’m still on vacation. And besides, at least it’s not yet another Best of 2008 rehash. ;)

So, without further ado — seven things a majority of the Internets does not know about me. (I’m a pretty open book. If we’ve talked, even online, you likely know most of these things.)

Just the facts, ma’am…

  1. I’ve hit 81 mph on a radar gun before throwing a baseball. (Once.) My friend Greg and I went to a Charleston RiverDogs game a couple years ago and went to the inflatable radar game where they let you test your speed. Greg and I kept shelling out money, escalating our “arms race” of sorts. We gradually rose into the 60s, when he uncorked one at 71 mph. I was down to my final three pitches. First one came out at 55…and then the second one came out at 81. Greg was incredulous. Next pitch? 57. Greg (and the radar operator) chalked it up to a radar malfunction; I chalked it up to awesome and an awfully forgiving ulnar collateral ligament.
  2. I was one of the most pro-Internet Explorer people on the planet. Reason: I liked the “e” animation. I was a weird kid. In the fall of 1997, smack dab in the middle of 8th grade for me, Microsoft released a series of “T.G.I. Monday” commercials featuring “Heroes” by David Bowie. (Watch one of them.) I thought the commercials were awesome because they were Microsoft, but then they showed a sped-up rendering of the Internet Explorer “e” animation, and I was hooked. Hooked so much that when we got a computer — but before we got Internet — I would find the largest page in the HTML-based Sim City help, play a MIDI in the background to consume some CPU cycles, and obsessively hit refresh in IE 3.0 so I could see the “e” spin. I must reiterate — I was a weird kid. This translated to several years of unabashed IE usage, especially as I saw how CSS was taking hold. This ended in 2002 when Mozilla released the 1.0 version of their browser; at that point, IE 6 was a tired retread of IE 5, I was ready for a change (and a popup blocker!), and since upgrading to Windows 98, I hadn’t seen the spinning “e” in years. I’ve been using a Gecko-based browser ever since.
  3. I’m a sucker for instrumentals. Roughly 35-40% of my music is instrumental. Why? I like how instrumentals let me take charge and create without someone dictating their own ideas to me. I can make my own associations and let the music take me places well beyond the artist’s intent. Sure, I associate lyrics to portions of my life, too, but instrumentals give ultimate freedom. I am particularly interested in movie scores, regardless of their commercial availability.
  4. I was scared to talk in elementary school. Yes, I was a very quiet kid. (Nobody who follows me on Twitter would believe it.) Especially during the first few weeks of school, I was petrified to talk. See, I was a “goody-goody” and never wanted to run afoul of the rules (I did a couple times, and the resulting consequences straightened me right up). It took me a long time — we’re talking just within the last few years — for me to really find my voice and find it confidently. As a result, my view of public education has really changed.
  5. Every time I sing, I seem to add some weird faux-Boston accent. I’m well-known for my karaoke adventures — and for some reason, I always alter my voice when I’m out there belting out the classics like “The Final Countdown” or “Get The Funk Out.” I credit a lot of singing along to Extreme over the years — Gary Cherone’s accent is very pronounced. Before that, I tried to be Sammy Hagar — that worked as well as Cuil. One thing I’ve always been good at, though: Air guitar.
  6. I learned to drive on a 1988 Crown Victoria police car. I’ve always had an affinity for the Crown Victoria for some reason, and not in the install-37-inch-rims-and-large-stereo way. Perhaps it’s that feeling of everybody moving over for me, its ridiculously good handling (if you’ve driven a police Vic, you know what I’m talking about), or its power — but I’ve just always liked it. I think it’s just a good-looking car. It was fitting that I initially learned to drive on one (but I eventually took my test on a Ford Taurus).
  7. And finally, in anticlimactic fashion: I’m a smidge obsessive about gas mileage. I rarely run air conditioning (or heat!) in the car unless I need to defog. I don’t quite employ some of the more extreme hypermiling techniques, but I do reduce weight in the vehicle and keep things as tuned as possible. More than once have I gotten 37 mpg on the freeway coming back from Atlanta; my car’s rated at 33.

Tag, you’re it…

I’d like to know more from:

The rules of the road

  • Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged

Regular posting should resume in the next few days or so as I reestablish my routine. :)