So I was surfing the ether earlier today and ended up over at Cog’s place, you know, because I don’t have anything better to do. His latest is a nifty write-up about The Great Interview Experiment. Check it out. Basically, you post a comment and the person who posted just before you did is your interviewer. The next person to post is your interviewee. I signed up and shortly thereafter got a nice list of questions from Peeved Michelle. Looks like Cog’s interview is taking a couple days, whereas mine took precisely one email exchange. He must be slow. Here goes.
1. Why did you start this blog and is the reason different from what keeps you blogging today?
I started the blog with grand intentions. Novelettes, sappy stories about the girls and how I applied what I learned to some other aspect of my life, technical how-to documentation about bike repair and photography, etc. But all that takes effort, so it’s pretty much a semi-daily core dump at this point.
2. I noticed that in your cycling logs, that your daily rides show some variation – 1.7 miles one day, 5.4 miles another day. Why do your rides vary so drastically? Where do you go?
Low mileage rides are to somewhere specific, like our oldest daughter’s school or the grocery store. Anything over 3 miles tends to be a ride I’ve set aside some time for. 5 or 6 miles rides are loops, usually, around the neighborhood, to the park, and exploring streets I’ve not ridden before. Anything over 10 is a “long” ride for me. These are usually reserved for the weekends when the weather is nice. I’ll try to get out of town and take in some scenery.
3. How long have you been a stay-at-home dad? (SAHD in message board speak. I’m a WOHM.) What did you do before that? How long do you plan to stay home? What does your wife do? Is it unfair that I count all those as one question?
I’ve been a SAHD for about a year. (“Mr. Mom” does not offend me, and I use it in conversation frequently.) Prior to that, in reverse chronological order – technical support for a gigantic, impersonal corporation; I sold shoes for an internet retailer; I was a carpenter; a PDQ delivery driver for an auto parts distributor; a sign maker; a sailor; and my first real job ever was loading boats onto trucks. My wife, Christie, got an education, does something I don’t understand with Oracle and databases, and generally pulls down a lot more than I ever will. And no, your question is not unfair. 🙂
4. I looked at the map on your About page. You have been to a lot of states! What is your favorite travel experience in one of those states?
Not sure that this is my favorite, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable.
Back in the summer of ’94 I was riding my motorcycle from San Antonio, Texas to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri via Piggott, Arkansas. About 12 miles west of Hope (boyhood home of President William JeffersonClinton!), and on a Saturday evening about 6pm, in the pouring rain, I threw the master link on my chain. A very nice gentleman stopped and gave me a ride into town. After determining that the nearest bike shop was 45 miles away, about to close, and didn’t have the part I needed anyway, I got a hotel room and called a towing company to pick my bike up off the freeway. Then I called my Grandfather to let him know I’d be late and my Dad answered the phone! Dad arrived in Grandpa’s pickup 6 hours later. We drove back to Piggott after sleeping in until the hotel kicked us out. Dad went home to Ft. Leonard Wood later that day and I stayed overnight to visit a local bike shop. They had the part and I was on the road within an hour. So I spent about $50 each on a hotel room and a tow, quite a bit more to put gas in my Grandfather’s pickup from Piggott to Hope and back, plus meals for me and my Dad. And I lost a day and a half. The part I needed? One dollar.
5. Which state do you want to go to the most that you haven’t already visited? Why?
Alaska. I have wanderlust. Bad. And Alaska is pretty much it for anything even remotely resembling a frontier. I’d like to spend about a year there taking pictures.
6. Where do you live? Is it where you grew up or someplace else? If it is someplace else, how does it compare to where you grew up? (If you would rather not reveal that, you can answer the following question instead. Have you ever tried green onion dip? I read that you are a fan of the French onion.)
I live near Harrisburg, PA. We live here because my wife’s family is nearby. Most of my family is from the mid west, and I grew up there more often than not. Dad was a soldier, so we moved a lot, and I can’t really say where I’m from. It’s more a state of mind, as opposed to a physical location. Other than a few little differences, like the impossible chain of red tape just to get a PA driver’s license, people are pretty much the same here as they are everywhere else. And for a “blue state”, PA is rather restrictive. MO (a nasty red state) was much more liberal. I had to go only to the supermarket for groceries, beer and liquor. Here, it’s the supermarket for groceries, the beer distributor for beer, and the state store for wine. My debit card gets a workout.
7. What is the single best piece of advice you have to give a new parent?
Get fixed, like, now. Seriously, don’t sweat it. I spent a lot of time worrying about how I would handle this or that. It turns out that shit happens and you just deal with it because you have to. You’ll be an expert within the week.
8. A few of your posts and your blog tagline allude to photography but your blog seems to be much more about cycling. How much is photography a part of your life?
Photography has been a big part of my life for quite a few years, but it has taken a back seat to cycling lately. I tend to focus on one dead horse at a time. I’ll get bored with writing about the bikes sooner or later.
9. If you carried around a bag with $10,000 worth of photography equipment in it, would you remind everyone how much the contents are worth so often that your sister-in-law swears she will punch you in the face the next time you do it? (Sorry, maybe a little bit of my own life sneaking in there…)
Ha, ha! No. I’d be afraid that someone might steal it. My camera bag currently has about $5,000 worth in it. At least, the stuff cost that much back in 1984. I paid well under a grand for it a few months ago. One of the benefits of digital photography is that the film cameras I love are dirt cheap.
10. What is your biggest peeve?
Repetitive noise – That rattle in the trunk, the 37th verse of “Ring Around the Rosie”, rap music. Being a Dad, I’ve learned that I can tune it out for a while. But it’s kinda like a mental credit card. And the interest is a bitch.
Thanks for reading my drivel. Much appreciated.
Thanks again, Michelle. And I will try the green onion dip. Sounds yummy.