Thursday, February 19, 2009

Inside The Blogger's Studio

First off, I'd like to apologize for my extended absence. There's been an awful lot going on and quite frankly, I just haven't felt much like writing anything. In the past, when I've done stuff when I wasn't particularly inspired, I've been much less than satisfied with the results. Thanks to those of you who have left comments on my last entry wondering where I was.

Having said that, it occurs to me that the lovely and vivacious Fiona tagged me with yet another meme about 2 1/2 weeks ago. That seems to be sort of a built-in way to get back in the saddle, a metaphor which I'm sure she will appreciate.

The rules are that I'm supposed to tell you 10 honest things about myself and then tag 10 other people to do the same. While I'm not particularly predisposed to tag other folks, I'll do what I can. This becomes especially difficult when I realize that Fiona reads most of the same blogs that I do. I'm displaying the award anyway, since I can't display just half of it.

Never the less, we press on:

1) I find it very difficult to list 10 things about myself that I haven't already said in this space. That's what a blog is all about, right? You talk about yourself as if you're being interviewed by James Lipton and anyone might care.

2) As a result of either my advancing age or the length of my relationship, my wife tells me that I often repeat stories that I've already told her multiple times. Despite the fact that I don't recall relating these stories, she's always able to finish them for me so I know she must be right.

3) In 1975, I was the #2 ranked epee fencer in the southeastern United States. It's the most athletic thing I've ever done, and I continue to embrace it despite the fact that the accomplishment itself is older than most of you reading this.

4) I occasionally have these little bouts of OCD. I have a 3-CD player, and whenever I play just one CD, it has to go in slot #1 despite the fact that it would play equally well in any of them. I have about 700 CDs. They are arranged in alphabetical order by artist, and I can't stand knowing that one or more of them is out of order. And, as Lilu once posted, if I see a microwave that's not running but is still showing seconds, I simply have to reset it.

5) I also occasionally have bouts with (idiot) savantism (savantry? savantatiousness?). In a previous position, we had a project that was dubbed "902". When I asked about the name, I was told that it was supposed to be such a lightning-fast communication method, that it was named for twice the temperature at which paper burned (remember the novel "Fahrenheit 451"?). The person giving the explanation couldn't let it rest there, and also went on to say, "It's also the smallest prime number that..." at which point I interrupted him to say that 451 was not prime and that its factors were 41 and 11. I spent the next hour or so wondering how I knew that in less than a second.

6) Possibly related to the previous item, I find that I often play math games in my head. As I've mentioned, my wife and I are loyal viewers of "The Biggest Loser". At the end of each show, they weigh the contestants to see how much weight they've lost this week, which they express as a percentage. I find that I cannot resist trying to calculate the percentage in my head, at least in the ballpark, before they tell us what it is.

7) As a result of either my advancing age or the length of my relationship, my wife tells me that I often repeat stories that I've already told her multiple times. Despite the fact that I don't recall relating these stories, she's always able to finish them for me so I know she must be right.

8) I tried to learn to speak Cherokee. I had tapes and books. What I found was that, unlike the Spanish which I studied and the Latin and French I had been exposed to, Cherokee has no relationship to English whatsoever, and the language reflects an entirely different way of even thinking than I'm used to. I still remember a few words, but the difference in the sentence structures and verb conjugations, not to mention the fact that I had no one to practice with, pretty much killed that project.

9) My first car was a 1964 Chevy II. It had no power steering, power brakes, air conditioner or even a radio. My brother and I pulled out the front seat, drilled two holes in the floorboard, and mounted an 8-track player under the seat. This meant that when you looked in my car there was no visible means of producing sound, and yet there were 2 Jensen 6x9 speakers behind the back seat. We also hooked it up directly to the battery so that it would play when the car wasn't running. The result was that I could take a date to a secluded spot, park the car, and with just a slight motion of my heel pop in a tape and have Marvin Gaye suddenly start playing seemingly out of nowhere. It was magic.

10) As a former chemistry major, I know what paranitrobenzeneazoresorcinol is, and I aced the chemistry test which included requiring me to spell it correctly.

And I'm sorry, but since I haven't posted in so long, and since I really don't think I could handle much in the way of rejection right now, I just don't feel that I can tag 10 other people. If they had blogs, I might tag Oscar Wilde, Red Skelton, Harpo Marx, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, George Burns, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin and Tommy Chong, but I'm not sure they'd appreciate it either.


urban bohemian said...

#5 disturbs me. Had they ever *seen* paper burning? It's hardly fast. So the communication method is twice as fast as smoldering paper... Wow.

Also, I find that for some reason, products of eleven and any 2-digit number are the second easiest behind those of ten or two for me to sort out. It's the adding trick.

#9... you da man.

Gilahi said...

Hey UB - #5 - Maybe I didn't phrase that well. It was supposed to be fast enough to make paper obsolete, or set it afire, or something. So maybe I'm not a savant. That doesn't make a call on the "idiot" part, though.

#9 - Funny thing, nostalgia. I hated that scrapheap when I was driving, and now I'd sorta like to have it back.

Mike said...

Another thing about getting older is your memory fades and you find yourself repeating things. Does that happen to you?

And as far as 4, 5 and 6 go, have you ever taken the geek test?



Gilahi said...

Mike - Well, I scored well below 32 on the test, which seems to be the magic number. I do sometimes repeat things, but it's usually when I'm very tired and the subject matter is not very important. I simply don't remember whether I said it or just intended to. Despite my description above and the fact that I work in computerland, I've never really considered myself a "geek". Interesting test, though.

LiLu said...

Welcome back, dear. You were missed.

And re: that microwave thing? The CD rom thingy was open at this computer when I sat down.

It took me, oh, POINT TWO SECOND to shut it. Shiver.

fiona said...

Good to have you back darlin!
Ive always wanted to fence! Maybe you could teach me!

Gilahi said...

LiLu - Thanks. I've actually gotten up in restaurants to go straighten a crooked picture on the wall. You?

Fiona - Thanks again! Fencing's great fun and excellent exercise. It's rather expensive to start up, but after the initial investment it's not too bad. Check around. Odds are that there are fencing clubs in your area or adult classes at a local college.

Bilbo said...

Welcome back! Yep, I hear you on #'s 2 and 7...

I used to be a fencer, too, but I kept getting tangled up in the chicken wire and having to start over.

Gilahi said...

Bilbo - Thanks. When people used to ask me what kind of fencing I did, I'd stick my finger up my nose and say "picket".

Sean said...

Welcome back! I'm glad that I'm not alone on #4 (the microwave part). I hate seeing seconds still showing!

Gilahi said...

Sean - Thanks! This is starting to make me wonder at what point OCD is no longer considered a "disorder". Seems that everybody does it.

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