I'm tagged, ssssooooo, 5 things about me
By John Clingan-Oracle on Jan 25, 2007
I've was tagged by Charles quite a while ago and am just getting around to it. Is there a time limit to these things? Am I already doomed to a life of bad luck? Regardless, here goes
- I was a foster child and grew up in Markham, IL, a southern suburb of Chicago. Unlike many foster children that move from home to home, I got lucky with 15 years in one place with a wonderful family. It was the best thing for all involved at the time. I still talk to my paternal father quite regularly and we enjoy a wonderful relationship. Although I was bummed he missed the Bears win the NFC championship game. DA BEARS are in the SuperBowl!.
- I was a mid-long distance runner in high school and college. Actually, I ran everything from the 4x200m relay up to a 1/2 marathon. My PRs are a 23.? 200m, 49.9 400m, 1:56 800m, 3:59 1500m, 15:40 5K, 34:11 10K. I am most proud of a 77:21 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles) I ran in high school, and that was the day after running a 15:41 3 miler. Solid times for the distances, but not great. I don't talk much about my running past. Mostly because I've lost my mojo. Ever since I tore my ACL in college jumping a bush on an easy run, I haven't been the same. Is there a "5 most stupid things" list? I was going to run a 5k last year, but my knee blew up like a balloon. Me-thinks my running days are over. With a torn ACL, I can probably take up Yoga because I'm sure I can wrap that knee around the back of my head. One of these days on one of our business trips, I'll have to join Scott for a run, although I may have to hit the stationary bike with Scott on the treadmill.
- I was a chess nerd in high school. Yeah, you know, the kind of kid others make fun of. Why do you think I could run??? Since the Chess "season" overlapped the track season by a few weeks, one of my track coaches constantly joked about using "weighted" pieces to keep me in shape. I was part of a team that placed 3rd in the state (Illinois). I played eighth (lowest) board. I'm sure I'll get whipped badly by Charles. For my fellow chess geeks, I played about an 1800 USCF rated strength at my peak, which lasted about 1 game. Right now I literally couldn't break into 4 digits. My most memorable chess moment was playing a game during the intermission of a demolition derby (without a board, that is). I was playing our "board 1" (best player) who was a candidate master with a USCF rating of 2060. Of course he won, but I did get good attack going with the Benko Gambit before I was beaten to a pulp. I do like to play occasionally, and have always wanted to collect chess sets. Yes, I'm still a nerd.
- I play guitar, and have played since the 7th grade. I use the word "play" very loosely. I am most definitely not as accomplished as Tom, especially when it comes to singing. My voice can peel the soap scum off the shower door. I was in a junior-high garage band, and subsequently in a high-school garage band. Neither made it out of the garage. I loved heavy metal. With my long (but not glamor rock) hair and Iron Maiden T-Shirts, I
think I intimidated the other chess players in high school my junior/senior years. For you Sun folks,
I was like an Eddie Bontado to the other chess nerds. Today, I don't listen to metal much, but I do love to pop in an occasional Ronny James Dio and/or Yngwie Malmsteen in between geek podcasts. Jaime understands. My problem playing guitar is that I never stick with it for more than 6 months at a time. I am now picking up piano since my 7 year old daughter is taking lessons. I can proudly say that we have both mastered "The Singing Donkey".
- I dated my wife 8 years before getting married. I think she sensed "geek". Much of the 8 years was spent driving 6 hours each way every other weekend to see her. Gargantuan phone bills. Worth every hour, mile and penny. It took me 8 years to wear her down and for her to realize that geeks aren't all that bad. We have now been married 12.006447 Klingon years as of yesterday. Um, that's 9 Human years. No, I'm not really \*THAT\* much of a geek