Wil over at LifeAfterDx has “tagged” me!
The deal is that after reading five random facts from many other folks around the “blogosphere” (which have all been very interesting reads by the way), I, being tagged, am to post five random facts about myself.
After feeling very good about being worthy of a “tag” from the most popular guy around, sharing his every detail about being one of the very first people actually using the Guardian Continuous Glucose Sensor, I started to think about what the heck I would say about myself. Man, I have to admit, I’m pretty darn boring! It’s pretty hard to come up with five different things that people might find interesting enough to read about!
Random Fact #1: I once owned and ran a small flower shop selling roses that came directly from Ecuador. Now, I need to start this off with a little background. I am, by nature, a computer guy. I started working with computers while in high school, and have made a career out of it one way or another since then. I’ve spent time as a computer operator in what’s called “Mid-Range Operations”. That is basically where everything that is too small to be considered a MainFrame computer gets put, and let me tell you – there were some interesting systems there. I have done Automated Voice Response – you know when you call your bank and get automated information? Yep, I programmed that type of stuff. Went back and spent more time in the Mid-Range Operations area, went and did network support and UNIX System Administration for a moderate sized ISP, spent time working at the Federal Reserve Bank doing telephone support for banks using the FRB’s systems to do their banking, and am now doing phone support for the consumer computer side of a medical device company.
How in the heck did opening a rose shop fall into that mix?!
My mom & dad have lived in the same house in South Minneapolis since I was very young. They spent much of their free time doing gardening, and let me tell you, their yard is the most beautiful place in the world, complete with pond and all. My dad was recently notified that their garden had won first prize for one of the categories in the Minneapolis Blooms Award. I think it is a wonderful tribute to my mom who passed away in April of this year. They both love many kinds of plants and flowers, but my dad has an incredible amount of rose plants. I don’t remember exactly how many different kinds, but I remember thinking “how can there be room for all those different types of roses!?”. All of this in a modest inner city plot of South Minneapolis. So – I’ve had an appreciation for the beauty of roses since I was young.
I got laid off from my computer admin job at the ISP, and just before getting laid off I met this very interesting guy from Ecuador whose family owned a rose farm. I would sit in this guys shop and watch person after person come in and throw money at him for these beautiful roses. My mom & dad really liked his roses too – and if they earned their approval, I figured they MUST be good! When I got laid off I started talking to this guy and decided I could make a run at it. I found some space and got all the stuff I needed and was off and running.
Boy, what an experience! It didn’t last long before I got burned out – working 7+ days a week and hustling to make ends meet. It wasn’t a great plan right from the get-go, but I almost made it. I had a pretty crummy landlord which made the situation downright unbearable and thankfully I was able to squirm my way out of the agreement. With lots of help from my parents and friends, I was able to get out of that and start to look for work that I was more comfortable with.
It was an experience I learned a lot from, and I am very thankful that I went through it. I have a lot of respect for people who run their own business. It’s so much tougher than you think it would be, but also very rewarding. I also learned that some people are downright crooked. I am, by instinct, a trusting person. It’s just my natural way to want to trust people. It’s unfortunate, but that way will get you messed up in this day & age. Pretty sad.
Random Fact #2: I love to listen to audiobooks. I am a faithful audible.com member and listen to AT LEAST 2 audiobooks per months. You would think that it would be pretty boring, someone reading a book to you. But, it’s actually very entertaining! These narrators are so incredibly talented – taking on the different characters and accents with such fluid transition that you often forget that it’s the same person!! I think it’s a lot like how people would listen to radio shows back before TV’s were around (although that was just a bit before my time). I can get so wrapped up in these “books” – it’s just great. I listen to them while I’m driving, while I’m walking, I’ve even listened to them while out on my kayak. I like to listen to thrillers and mysteries, cop stories and spy stories, scary stories and inspirational stories. I do like to read too, but it’s a bit harder to do while driving.
It all started when I was working at the Federal Reserve Bank. The building was right on the corner of downtown Minneapolis. Parking was $4 per day to park in a crappy dirt & gravel parking lot near the bank. After 4 PM I could move my vehicle down into the heated underground ramp. Now the building was built right off the parkway of the mighty Mississippi River. About one mile away, down the river parkway, I could park on the street with no worries about time limits or parking tickets. So, in addition to being “economical” and not paying that $4 per day, I thought of it to be a great way to get 2 miles of walking in every day. The fact that the scenery was really nice and peaceful was a plus. Even during the dead of winter, I kept on walking. It was such a great kick-start to my day, and 2 miles of walking every day is no small item! I would listen to music on a little MP3 player or my pocket pc. After a while, I got tired of the music I had and wanted something a little more engaging so I tried the audiobooks.
It took a bit of getting used to – you know when you listen to music, your brain can wander and be off thinking about other things. With these books, you have to pay a little attention, and it took a while for me to do that. But boy am I hooked. I look forward to times when I’m alone and have a chance to listen to my books. In fact, one time I was out running around with my kids, and we were on our way home later that night. I thought they were both sleeping, so I turned off the radio, popped in my little earpiece and turned on my book. After a couple of minutes my son, from right behind me, said “DAD! Do you hear those voices?!?!!”. I considered teasing him a little – “no son, are you hearing voices in your head?” – but he’s only 5 and probably wouldn’t catch the humor in it. So I turned off my book and we chatted the rest of the ride home.
Random Fact #3: I love watching cartoons with my kids. I’m pretty much a kid at heart, especially when hanging out with my kids (aren’t we all?). I swear, I could watch SpongeBob Squarepants all day and all night. I never get tired of it. Hats off to the creators of this show. There are of course others that I get into, and others that I can tolerate. There’s also always the old favorites like Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, and Scooby Doo.
Random Fact #4: I like to think that I’m a decent amateur photographer. Although with a digital camera (sorry Wil!), it’s more like “take a thousand pictures and at least ONE has to turn out Ok”. I get my camera skills from my mom. She was a great photographer. She took the best pictures of the kids. Here are a few pictures that I took while out kayaking.
Random Fact #5: I feel deep down in my heart that I have some major role to play in diabetes. I will affect people’s lives in a positive way that helps them deal with the daily trials and challenges of dealing with diabetes. I have no idea what exactly this means or how exactly to go about it, but it’s something I’m destined to do – I can feel it. When I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know.
Next to be tagged:
Violet from Pumplandia. Violet is a gal who used to attend a monthly pump support group I go to – she recently had a major life change and was relocated to Brooklyn, NY. I greatly enjoy her blog and am glad that things are going well for her in her new city.
Jay from CYBER-PANCREAS. I think Jay & I have a lot in common, and I appreciate his attack on the issues he (and I) deal with.
My scientific approach to see if either of these blog buddies had been “tagged” before was to check their blog for recent posts about it. If you have been tagged before, pardon the mistake, consider it a vote of appreciation, and perhaps pass the tag along anyways. Cheers!