Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where were you born ?
A: I'm a native Texan.

Q: Where have you lived ?
A: I went to high school in Texas (La Porte) and in Connecticut (Enfield). After that spent a short time in Arkansas (but is it ever short enough?) before moving to Oregon. Did some time in an academic penitentiary (and wrote a thesis on on the purification of an enzyme called monodehydroascorbate reductase). Worked for the Corporate man for 20 years then moved to Missouri and finally back to Texas.

Q: Any comments on your status?
A: I'm married, have three rambunctious kids and had a great dog for twelve years.

Q: Favorite Movies?
A: I watched a lot of them back in the PMAK (pre married and kids) days. In no order, I would say, To Catch a Thief (CG is cool!), The Princess Bride, Fifth Element (its just fun), State and Main (Mamet rocks), Sixteen Candles, Goldeneye. Say Anything, Tapeheads (I've seen this a lot), Mallrats (same here), The Right Stuff (astronauts are cool), War Games (love Sheedy!) and Tin Cup (and hell yes, I would go for it in two).

Q: Got any quirks ?
A: Of course not... except a minor case of OCD, which I think causes me to like to collect things.

Q: What do you collect?
A: Well, I would say that in our possession or storage, we enough putters, cookie jars, books, monopoly games, star trek action figures and art to consider it beyond just clutter.

Q: What kind of stuff do you like to buy?
A: I am on a quality kick for the most part. I use to buy whatever was cheapest -- and do sometimes -- but I appreciate the good things now that I can occasionally afford them (doesn't everyone?).  Mizuno golf clubs.  Hugo Boss makes great suits.   Ecco shoes (except for golf, where it is Footjoy or Nike).  Canon cameras.  All-Clad pans.  Henckels knifes.  Polo shirts.  Titleist golf balls (the NXTs, not the ProV1s).  Samsung kitchen appliances.  Etc.  Unfortunately, I can't always afford what I want. Current object of affection: An Infiniti M45 -- that is just a beautiful car.

Q: You make it tough on folks for Christmas I guess?
A: Well, only because of expectations, over hype on commercialism, etc.  It is not about what to get me.  I'm easy.  I can buy what I want and normally do.  Everyone needs to remember, it is not about the gift but the thought (crap, I'm so trite...). For others, I buy stuff throughout the year when I see something that reminds me of them or something cool is on sale so when Christmas comes around, I'm done (usually around Halloween, actually). MA and I have a similar non-proliferation agreement on the holiday.  Those feeling the need to inbound us with stuff should think creatively.  I mean, a cookie jar, a monopoly game, a DVD, a puzzle, a book, an ornament, etc... These are simple, generally inexpensive, and always welcome, especially if they are a little quirky or tie into another interest of mine.  I'm just thinking back to a couple of years ago... the present I remember most?  An "albino bowler" action figure.  Probably cost $5 but it was unique and it reminded me I miss bowling and hanging out with friends.  Mastercard could use that for a "priceless" commercial.  When in doubt wonder up and down the aisle of an antique mall.  In addition to just being fun to do, it is a great place for ideas.

Q: Mac or PC
A: I've been a Mac guys since they came out. After all, I did go to the same school Steve Jobs did. Of course, I stayed there longer. That said, I was assimilated for many years but recently went back to a Mac for work...it is frustrating trying to remember all of the differences. And Applications? Why isn't Microsoft Word the same on both? It should be... If I had more money, I would go Mac at home.  Apple, for all their issues, make really really beautiful things.

Q: Boxers or briefs?
A: Since I am not running for office (they couldn't handle the truth!), I got to go with briefs. I mean, what is the point with boxers?  Those boxer-briefs are okay.

Q: What's playing on your ipod?
A: I don't know.  We have an ipod though.  Somewhere.  I'm not a big music person.  I couldn't say the last album I bought.  Might have been years ago.  I'm a pretty mellow listener.  I don't do hard rock, metal, rap, punk, country or western.  No polka either.  Just give me a little Amy Grant (who I love), some Barry or some non-disco tune from the 80s. 

Q: Given you have self diagnosed OCD, any special fears ?
A: I don't think so.  Just the normal ones: fire, death, Pelosi, snakes, plane crashes, being homeless, etc.

Q: What don't people know about you?
A: A lot actually since I tend to be an extreme introvert at times.   I guess the biggest misconception people have had about me during my life is that I'm emotionally void.  It is not that... I just tend not to share those things.  I tend to be private about certain things... but not necessary the typical things.  For example, religious worship.  For me, that is not about going to church.  I also do not take work personally.  I do what I have to do though the older I get, the more I tend to develop those 'soft skills' that everyone talks about... until there is some sort of deadline.

Q: What do you do for a living now?
A: Well, currently I am working as a solution architect.  Basically, repackaging and selling IT services to businesses.  I'm good at problem solving but as an insanely introverted person, selling is not something I ever thought I would do.  Fortunately, I am really the collateral guy and not the one in a suit meeting with people.  In the past, I have done a variety computer-industry related things from being a desktop technician, a business analyst, a technical architect, a project manager and a management drone before I moved into this role.

Q: Do you like Sports?
A: Many of them. I like to play golf, basketball (shocking given my size) and bowl. I use to play tennis. Would like to again, but this rotator cuff might not allow that. I watch golf on TV. I occasionally watch football (pro, not collage). Pro basketball use to interest me back in the Celtic's glory days with Bird and McHale. I have a strong dislike of Baseball and Boxing. Most Olympic sports fall flat for me too (sorry Nastia - the gold medalist that lives down the road). I respect the ability, just don't get too excited over them. I do like watching bobsledding and the ski jump. I wish the luge was head first.

Q: If you had to do it over again...
A: Well, I am glad that I didn't pursue Medical School.  I'd like the money but I know I would be like "House" and we all know that in today's PC world, that would mean I'd be unemployed.  I wasted a good chunk of my 30s and that kind of bothers me.  I worked hard for little money, no appreciation, and really not building on the future.  I do like to write and still one day, want to write that novel.  Just not sure what it is about or when I would find the time to focus on it.  I've written a couple of screenplays, but those were to learn the process, more than anything.  I like photography, or as my friend says, 'taking snapshots'.  I really don't have that critical eye.  I do reasonably well with candids.  I guess at this point, I can't look back and wonder 'what if' but have to look forward.  I've got a pile of work ahead of me with these kids.

Q: What about all of this web stuff
A: It really started when I got married and we needed to communicate with a lot of people in remote locations. I just kept it up. I do have a strong desire to document my world though. I think more for the kids than anything. There is not a lot of history detailed in my life and even less in the generation before that, so now that we have the tools, I am taking advantage of it. Plus, I know three or four people who read it and they seem to like it. I blog a little too but that is more to channel either my creative side or my frustration. More of the latter recently.

Q: You obviously are not on a diet.  What's up with that?
A: Yeah, I noticed that too. It is really a protective gelatinous exoskeleton, not just flab. Actually, I should loose a few pounds but that is a lifestyle thing and easier said than done when you don't have complete control over your world. Plus, I like to eat. I like to drink too but I did give that up for a couple of months. I don't like to exercise.

Q: What kind of foods are on the menu?
A: Back in the day when I was out looking for women, I did a decent job in the kitchen.  Since then, just got a little lazy.  Like most, I grill a lot of things.  I started out a NY Strip guy, then moved to tenderloin then to the rib eye as meat of choice but recently, I have become addicted to the Tri-tip.  Sausage is always a winner too. Tuna on toast is nice.  Chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes never gets turned down.  BBQ, of course (I have a traeger I use)  and, a good chili dog?  Now, you are talking.   I use to make a signature turkey enchilada dish.  MA has a signature chicken fajita dish.  She can't make meatloaf to save her life but then again, I can't bake diddly. I suppose we mesh well.

Q: What kind of stuff makes you mad?
A: The biased liberal press. Stupid people who believe them (or other sound bytes). Terrorists. Extremists like Pelosi, Reid and Limbaugh. Cowards – like most in congress – that play the game and hide when it comes to standing up to their principals. People who drive recklessly on the highway. Radar gun cops. Bad sports officiating. Insurance companies. The ACLU. Celebrities that mouth off, unaware of how fortunate they are. Workers going through the motions. Greed. Those who play the victim or race card as a means to an end. Welfare recipients (or others) that have no intention of being accountable in improving their lives. Those that call me Mike. People who create really stupid commercials or reality TV. Myself when I forget to appreciate others. Oh, it is a long list.

Q: That is a long list.  What makes you happy ?
A: Indeed but being a product of this country, I think we tend to focus on what is wrong versus right. That is too bad. I wish I did not do it. Anyway, Patriots make me happy. People who ask to be accountable for their actions. Volunteers. Hard workers and those that take pride in what they do. True friends. Dogs. My kids drawing pictures for me. Naps. Someone doing something nice, just because.  Finding money in pant pockets. Having the time to do what I want to do. People who live by example (like Ed Begley, Jr. and John Kasich) instead of being preachy. Great sales. Free shipping. That song “walking on sunshine”. Really cold Molson Golden after cutting the grass. Lots of stuff.  There is a lot of good out there if we are open to it.

Q: What about friends ?
A: Oh yeah, of course.  I've been blessed by having a few special people in my life.  I've made a collage of them.  Weird is that they have spanned most of my life.  Some in it for a very short time, some for decades.  All have influenced me in a positive way, somehow.  Sadly, I probably never expressed it to them.