Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 things

There's a chain letter going around on facebook. Normally, I don't participate in these, but this one is different. It's a chain letter that helps you get to know something about your friends. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the lists that my friends have put up. When I got tagged I enjoyed the process of writing my own. I look forward to responses on this.

Here it is:

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.

1. I have been reading other people's lists of 25 things, and anxiously waiting for someone to tag me. Nothing happened for a while. Then all of the sudden I got tagged 3x in one day. And now I'm struggling with it. Not for lack of being able to think of 25 things, but for trying to figure out which 25 things out of the gazillions.

2. I seem to be able to fool people into thinking that I'm smarter than I actually am. I have a pretty good shtick. But people who are actually smart recognize this when they get to know me. If you haven't figured out my shtick yet, it doesn't mean you're not smart. You just don't know me very well. I once interviewed with google. They gave me a couple of phone interviews. They didn't invite me for an on-site interview. They could tell.

3. I really like economics. No, really I do. I could talk about economics in just about any situation. If you're talking to me and I don't bring up something from economics, it's probably because I'm biting my tongue.

4. I am *extremely* skeptical of government's ability to do anything except make things worse. It doesn't matter if it's the red leaders or the blue leaders.

5. I love watching just about any competitive event. Usually sports. One of my favorites is a winter olympics event: curling.

6. Duh... di, da, da, da... Go Pack Go!

7. I dream of writing a book. I feel like I have something to express. But I don't have a lot of confidence that it'd be good enough to be worth the effort.

8. I think that God likes emergent phenomena ( and that this is what he means when he says that his ways are not like ours. Examples of emergence: Evolution, free markets (see #3), language, ant colonies, and cities.

9. Every so often, I find myself awake in the middle of the night absolutely convinced that this is the night I'm going to have a heart attack and die. Last time that happened, I got out of bed to make sure my friend had copy of my password file so that he could help my wife get access to all of our online bank accounts.

10. I am a gadget guy. I love technology. I'm willing to spend 5x hours solving a problem with technology, that I could solve by hand in 1x. Of course, the second time the problem comes up, it'll only take me 0.0001x.

11. I went to a small, all boys Catholic seminary for high school. I went because I wanted to get away from being the nerdy unpopular kid. Even though I said I was considering it, I never ever thought I'd be a priest. As a result, it took me a while to get my bearings in college. The campus had 45,000 students, and half of them were women. In college I called myself an agnostic, but it was much closer to being an atheist. I did this in part for the convenience of being around more than 22,000 women.

12. My mom is a naturalized American from the Philippines. My dad's side of the family is all German. As a consequence I don't really look like either. But I seem to confuse a lot of Hispanics. Complete strangers will walk up to me and start speaking Spanish. I don't speak Spanish. It happened all the time when I lived in Houston. But it happened in my current hometown just last week, too.

13. I am a reformed spendthrift. When I met my wife, I was in debt up to my ears. It didn't take long for me to figure out that if I didn't fix that, I had no chance with her. Since then I have become a budget Nazi, frequently eliciting my wife to say, "What have I done?"

14. My wife is the best thing that ever happened to me. She turned around my spending and was critically instrumental in leading me (back) to Christ.

15. I'm a slob. My wife is trying to help me change this. She's stubborn, but I think she's going to lose this battle.

16. I run my own email server using free anti-spam software that I helped write.

17. I think the smartest thing that anyone can say is, “I don't know.” I don't say it enough. Instead I pretend to know in hopes that people will think I'm smarter than I am.

18. I like listening to podcasts. My favorites: This American Life and Econtalk.

19. I have over 800 skydives. It was cheaper than flight lessons. But once I got into it, I thought it was better than flying an airplane. One of my favorite quips was: if riding in an airplane is flying, then riding in a boat is swimming. If you want to experience the element, you gotta get out of the vehicle. I haven't jumped since my oldest was born.

20. I hope to bump into my girlfriend from college so that I can apologize...

21. I am a very happy person. In fact, I'm one of the happiest people I know.

22. My biggest sin: Pride. I'm trying to combat it by saying, "...but I could be wrong". Someday I hope to also believe it.

23. I love to debate. But only with civil debaters. I'd hate to debate myself.

24. My favorite part of the day: getting in my pajamas. Mind you, I don't go to bed. I'm a night person. But when I get to get into my PJ's it feels like the working part of the day is done.

25. I'm wordy. Can you tell?