7 Random & Weird Facts About Me: Another Quick Meme

This one I discovered at Jim “Suldog” Sullivan’s blog, who left the meme open for whoever wants to do it. I guess I can no longer say I don’t usually do memes, because I’ve kinda been doing them.

Here’s how this one works (Da Rulez):

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog; some random, some weird.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on each of their blogs.

First, a self-serving promotion: I’ll be giving away several free copies of my new novel at the end of September. Preview it over at AbesTurn.com, and if you think you’d like to read it, pre-register for the giveaway now, before you forget.

Also, I know I’m a little late posting the snippet I promised last Friday. I’ll post the snippet this weekend.

7 Random & Weird Facts About Me

  1. My wedding anniversary falls on September 11. Yes, that’s right. The twin towers fell on my wedding anniversary. Does that depress me? Hell, no! September 11 was my anniversary first, and I have dibs. It was my anniversary years before it was 9/11, and it will continue to be my anniversary, celebrated annually, years after 9/11 has been relegated to a paragraph in high-school history textbooks.

  2. Aside from computer programming and writing, my passions also include playing music. I was playing music before I was programming a computer or writing. I got my first computer when I turned 14, a Sinclaire ZX81, with about 1/1000th the CPU and 1-millionth the RAM of the laptop I’m using right now. And I was dreaming up stories to write when I was 9, but I really didn’t write anything worth sharing until high school (and predictably, it was poetry). But I was playing guitar at the age of 13, piano years before that, and playing organ and singing in church back when I was 7. Today, decades later, I still play keys and guitar, and I sing in church frequently, and I can even play drums well enough to fake it. But mostly, I play bass regularly in my local church and in my synagogue. Speaking of which…

  3. My family is both Christian and Jewish. That’s a long story, but despite preconceived notions, it’s not unheard of. What it means is that I make dinner early Friday, and we light the Shabbat candles and say a couple blessings before we eat. I take all of Friday night and Saturday off from work, because after all, it’s the Sabbath. Saturday morning, I wake up, get dressed, and clip on my yarmulke, and we all jump in the car and drive to synagogue. (And I actually do know enough Hebrew to make sense of the service.) Then Sunday morning, we get in the car again and drive to church.

    ברוך אתה יהוה אלהינו מלך העולם אשר נתן לנו הדבר החי במשיח יהשעה אמן

    (To complicate matters further, I also am agnostic, meaning that I don’t believe one can really prove that God exists, at least not to a scientific certainty. And that doesn’t bother me in the least.)

  4. Not only do I know a little classical Hebrew, I also know a bit of Koine Greek. This comes from the fact that I grew up a pastor’s kid. My father, now retired from the ministry (and whose memoirs should be in print within a couple months), has always passionately loved the biblical languages. And he taught me as soon as I expressed an interest. I retained very little of my knowledge of the languages from that time when I was a kid, but enough to get me started as an adult. Now, I know Hebrew and Greek at least well enough to get myself into trouble.

  5. I am primarily an autodidact. That’s a fancy way of saying that I like to teach myself, rather than to learn from someone else. In fact, it’s almost impossible for anyone to teach me anything. I did mostly excel in high school, when I wasn’t blowing off homework or dozing through classes. But I only made it through 2 years of college before I started getting F‘s, and I dropped out. Looking back, I can think of only a small handful of people who I can say taught me much of anything. And any skills I’ve actually made money off of, such as computer programming or writing, I’ve acquired mostly by reading, by experimenting, by observing. This all puts me in the company of other self-taught people, such as Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Andrew Carnegie, Walter Cronkite, Arthur C. Clarke, Edgar Allen Poe, and Samuel Clemens.

  6. My favorite novel of all time is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein. You may have noticed me quoting it from time to time. My copy of the book is frayed and dog-eared, but not quite falling apart yet. Whenever I want to experience great writing, I go back to it and read it again. They say Heinlein’s characterizations were weak, and I guess they were. But I still always feel like crying when Prof dies at the end, and the story always leaves me feeling as if this clearly fictional world that could never exist were actually real. That’s a big reason why this is my favorite novel of all time. Plus, I like to say TANSTAAFL!

  7. I’m the eldest of three brothers, but so far we have only daughters. Don’t get me wrong. We love our daughters, and we would not exchange them for sons, even if we could. But does that mean the family name ends with us? Well, there’s probably one last chance, if my youngest brother, who is getting married next year, eventually has a son. (But no pressure.)

Like Jim, I’m leaving the meme open for whoever wants to participate. However, I also tag the following bloggers. (Whether they do the meme, we’ll see.)

Anyone else who wants to do the meme, please do, leave a comment, link to your post.