I got blog tagged by Mike Herrick. (For those of you new to this if we get tagged we have to post five things most people wouldn’t know about us and then tag five new folks who have to do the same.)
Of course it’s a little like a chain letter but it adds some fun since we are creating some new information here and it can be interesting.
So here goes…
1. At 16 I tried to get a job at every fast food joint and department store and was turned down without so much as an interview. After giving up I started playing a game in a computer store and seeing my interest they hired me to do odd jobs like empty trash, pull weeds and so forth. A year later I was building and programming the first mainstream microcomputers. So from complete failure my 27 year (and counting) career in technology was born.
2. In my first days of showing up at Carnegie Mellon University I got hired to work with professors like John McDermott, Lanny Forgy, Allen Newell and many others. This had a more formative effect on me than all the classes I rarely attended. I’ll never forget my job interview with John McDermott: “Are you familiar with the LISP language?” No. “Are you familiar with BLISS or C?” No. “Are you familiar with production system languages?” No. “Okay well you are hired to recode routines used to implement the OPS production system from LISP to BLISS. Here they are. Let me know when you are finished and ready for your next assignment.”
3. I’m an existentialist. Don’t know what it means but neither does anyone else. So I enjoy Camus, Sartre, The Talking Heads, Nabokov, Kafka and all the rest. At the same time I believe in Universal Law from the teachings of Arnold Patent and Zen from the teachings of Charlotte Joko Beck.
4. I have a barn with a woodshop. It’s a very relaxing place. I’m into furniture design and construction, architecture, woodworking and doing work outside like clearing, dry-stacked stone walls, and just being out on the land. I have 10,000 bd/ft of rough lumber there begging for more time in the shop.
5. I hate the phone. I’m not sure why but I just do. Even when I am initiating the call I generally don’t like it. I prefer face to face meetings or even IM to the phone. I think I’m souring on email these days as well. There were jobs I had where being on the phone would have been normal but I almost always found a way to do it as well or even better by not having to use the phone. I think it’s strange but find there is little I can do about it.