Welcome one and all to this very special answers-edition of my blog, where I try to answer all the questions posed to me during Ask Me Anything Sunday (and Monday).  Read on for the questions and answers, below:


What is the answer to life? from Budd

If the Answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42, then the Answer to Life is 42/3 = 14 (assuming Everything, The Universe, and Life are all equally weighted).


If Santa could bring you any present you wanted but it would only happen once in your lifetime, what would it be? from Sean & Stefan

How about 10 million dollars?  That'd last me a while! :-)  I'd also be happy with an official Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.


Do you ever get really really angry? If so, how do you deal with it? from Little Odd Me

Excellent question, and one that requires a lot of thought on my part to answer.  I very rarely get angry, and it's once in a blue moon that I get really really angry.  It's NEVER directed at my kids, and even if I am angry or fed up with them, I make it clear that I'm not angry at them specifically, but at their actions at the moment.  The few times in my life that I've been really REALLY angry are usually directed at people who have tried to harm to me or my family.  The few times I've felt that kind of white-hot heat I've been too angry to lash out in anger (either physically or verbally), so luckily I've never had any major issues with anger.  I know SOMEWHERE in my head that things will be better if I wait until I can think clearly, and somehow restrain myself until I can act after thinking.  The times I'm actually more dangerous are when I'm only slightly angry – my voice gets a little louder and there's a chance I'll say something that, in cooler times, I would phrase more tactfully.  I've been working hardest on these times, lately, to make sure that anything I say to others (either on the phone, in emails, or in person) is something I'd want someone to say to me in the same tone of voice and phrasing – if it isn't, I try to bite it back, as much as it might gall me to do so.


What is the best present you've ever received? (and why) from LeendaDLL

I'm not a big gift person, either giving or receiving.  Although I can think back to various gifts I've received, I'm not sure any stand out as a clear favorite as "best" present I've ever received.  However, any present where the giver has spent time, energy, or thought on me immediately makes me feel good.  The cost of the gift is not important, nor its usefulness.  My wife has bought me some wonderful gifts over the years, including some really cool coffee mugs, a Garmin Forerunner (GPS running watch), and a very special framed photo of my kids.  All of these are special to me in their own ways, and I treasure them all.


If you could take back something about what we do at christmas time what would it be? from Faye

Since I'm Jewish and don't really celebrate Christmas or any of the things it stands for, I don't really have anything to say here about what I wish we could "take back" specifically about Christmas-time celebrations.  However, I'm of the opinion that trying to fight against how people celebrate a holiday is about as worthwhile as trying to keep water from flowing downhill.  The important thing is to personally celebrate holidays with the traditions and values that you hold dear to you personally, and let all else do what they wish.  Get people that feel the same way you do to celebrate with you, and just leave the folks that don't out of it.  Less stress for everyone, and more happiness – which is all this world
needs.


What is your favorite memory? from LeendaDLL

It's very hard to call out any one memory as standing a head above the rest.  There are certain memories from my wedding that seem to fit the bill (like the special dance we performed that we had choreographed with an instructor after taking ballroom dancing lessons), and then there are times the experiences I'm growing through with my daughters that seem to take precedence (reading books with my daughters sitting on my lap, watching them learn and grow into little people of their own, etc).  I remember my childhood and many times I spent with my family very fondly (such as our cross-country road trips and family get-togethers).  I try to reminisce on the best of these here on this blog occasionally.  I hate to say "I love them all", but it's true, so I will.


What is the one childhood memory (ages 1 – 14) that is the most prominent in your mind? from Sean & Stefan

As per the last question, there's not one that is most prominent.  However, I'll list a couple that definitely stand out over those years:

  • Age 14 – Being a freshman in high school and yet being best friends with some Seniors because I lettered on the Varsity teams for Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track.
  • Age 13 – Living in California, running Cross Country and Track in an organized sport format for the first time ever
  • Age 12 – Breaking my leg while playing baseball, having to play the violin in the orchestra from the 2nd story balcony while I had my leg in a cast up to my hip
  • Age 11 – Getting in trouble at middle school for playing poker at lunchtime
  • Age 9 – The girl who beat me by a shoe
  • Age 7 – My neighbor made me cry when she found out my 2nd grade teacher was going to be Mrs. Fowler – she told me that she was a mean old lady and punished kids who gave the wrong answers in class.  Turns out she was wrong on all counts.
  • Age 6 – Playing "doctor" with a girl at her house in her bedroom – nearly getting caught by her mother when she came to check on us, but managed to finish getting dressed in her closet before her mother noticed.
  • Age 5 – Playing the "Donkey Kong" video game in the lobby of my kindergarten building FOR FREE.  I could make it all the way through the first level and usually through the second, but always had trouble after that.

Of course, there are many many many other memories that stand out, this is just a small selection of the ones that came to mind when typing this answer.


And now for some questions from my Vox neighbors who wished to remain anonymous in their question-asking:

Boxers or briefs?

How about option C?  Boxer-briefs, anyone?



What is your favorite trait about yourself?  Your least favorite?

My most favorite is probably my insatiable curiosity and drive to learn.  It definitely keeps my life interesting and always gives me something new to look forward to.  As for least favorite trait – I think sometimes I can be a little too cold and rational, and not empathetic enough for the people I'm trying to relate to.  I'm working on this, but it's hard to find a good balance – I like my rationality and impartiality in many cases, but I have to work on determining WHEN to have it and when not to have it to better manage how I deal with others.


What's the biggest secret you've ever had?

If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret, now, would it?  Nice try, though.


What is your favorite sport?

Favorite to participate in – either running or soccer.  Favorite spectator sport? People watching, soccer, or baseball.  Runners-up: Gymnastics, diving, and martial-arts.


How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?

The world may never know.  Alternate answer: 3.


There are two train stations: A and B, 240 miles apart. First train leaves A and travels towards B at 50 miles per hour. At the same instant, second train leaves B and travels towards A at 10 miles per hour.  There is a fly sitting on the train 1. The moment the train leaves, the fly takes off and flies towards train 2 at 25 miles per hour. As soon as the fly reaches train 2, it makes a U-turn and flies back towards train 1. It reaches train 1, makes a U-turn, and flies towards train 2, etc. etc., until the trains collide and the fly gets squashed.  What's the total distance the fly has traveled?

Ok, smartass – now I know why you wanted this question to be anonymous!  Assuming you are actually putting the two trains on the same track on a head-on collision, and the fly makes an instantaneous U-turn when it bounces between the two trains, it'll fly for 4 hours * 25 miles per hour = 100 miles.  Ask me something more personal, next time, will you?  I promise we'll both enjoy the answer more!


[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #28/30]

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