Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Things About Me

This is cross-posted from Facebook.

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people [in the right hand corner of the app] then click publish.)

1. I keep a toy hobby horse in my car, named Bucephalas, named after the horse of Alexander the Great. It was awarded to me for playing the role of Gareth Beaumains, a character based off Arthurian myths in an online roleplaying game.

2. My name is mentioned as an inventor on six U.S. patent awards. #6,721,793 (2004), #6,728,773 (2004), #6,885,999 (2005), #6,959,289 (2005), #7,031,943 (2006), #7,426,495 (2008). However, after filing these patents, I transferred positions within Cisco and then was laid off in 2001 before they could be further developed or turned into industry standards.

3. During my undergraduate stint at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, an article featuring me appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. It was about the growing ubiquity of computers on college campuses. My mother was quoted as saying, "Kids today take to computers like ducks to water!"

4. I just bought energy saver light bulbs for my apartment.

5. The hat I often wear, with the Eye of Horus embroidered on it, was gotten in 2006 at the public performance in San Francisco for the Martin Luther King, Jr. day festivities, following the Freedom Train ride up from Palo Alto.

6. Kathy is the most common name of women I have been romantically involved with. There have been five so far.

7. There are seven completely full bookshelves in my living room, two more in my room and the hall, and two new ones that I got last year that I need to shuffle books into.

8. I privately commemorate, when I am mindful, 11:11 am to recall Armistice Day of 1918, and 11:11 pm to pray for peace in our future.

9. My favorite constellation is Orion.

10. I own a kalimba. I got it at a Renaissance Faire in Califormia one summer along with an audio tape of African music. The best I can play on it is the theme of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, 4th Movement.

11. Beside my softball glove on the shelf is an Incredible Patent Picker Move Maker Machine from the 1974 Parker Brothers boardgame The Inventors.

12. I own a complete modern English edition of the 1086 Domesday Survey conducted by King William. I once wished to use it as the basis of an Arthurian roleplaying game.

13. When I dropped out of my Aikido and Kendo dojo, I left all my bokken there as a gift for others to enjoy. My teacher, a sufi, warned us all, years before 9/11, that there were terrorist training camps across the world which would one day attack the U.S. He said his training was preparing us for that day.

14. Other than a bent and bruised pinky or toe as a kid, which I never had x-rayed to be sure, I have never broken a bone in my body.

15. My favorite bakery in the world is Lord's Bakery on Nostrand Avenue at the diagonal junction with Flatbush Avenue, in Brooklyn. I always try to get a chocolate chip cookie there when I go back to New York City. The service is often brusque, but the buttery taste of a good fresh cookie is worth it! Even though it is on Nostrand, I call the place "Lord's of Flatbush."

16. My first job in California was at ComputerWare, doing technical support on the Macintosh. The year was 1989. It was my first taste of Silicon Valley California culture. Odwalla juices and warm hugs replaced Manhattan's caffeine and suits-and-ties. I really liked the difference.

17. I write poetry for women I have never met, often inspired just by seeing their profiles on online dating sites or interacting with them via Internet roleplaying games.

18. I own a pair of Roman caligae (sandals). The longest I ever walked in them was a weeklong hike along Hadrian's Wall from Newcastle to Carlisle in England, in 2006. My feet were blistered for a month.

19. I keep a jar of the fortunes I get from fortune cookies on my shelf.

20. While I have been a millionaire in the past, since I lost my fortune I feel like I am a nicer guy. I was a bad stress case. I dropped 50 lbs too. Had I continued on living the way I had before the NASDAQ downturn, I could have been dead of a heart attack by now. So in a way, I believe losing all the money helped save my life and returned me to being more "myself" again. If I ever get that sort of riches again in my life, I'll keep it all in perspective.

21. I often keep a passport-sized copy of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution in my back pocket. I also keep a copy of a world atlas in my laptop bag.

22. Years ago I came to realize my mind spawns more creative, humanitarian and technical projects I would like to accomplish in my life than I will ever get done at the present rate. Even so, I've founded a few companies, worked with some nascent non-profits, and still gamely want to do more if given half a chance.

23. We kept a parakeet (actually a budgie) when I was growing up, named Petey. I always treated "Petey" as the budgie's name, whereas mine was "Pete" or "Peter." Even now when people call me "Petey," I want to reply with a chirp and squawk.

24. I loved the first, original three Star Wars movies. I cannot stand the recent ones.

25. Oregano is my favorite spice to add to food. I especially like it on tortellini.

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