Live from Facebook: 25 Random Things about Devin

Over on my Facebook profile, I got tagged by about five people with this whole “25 Things About Me” meme. I finally decided to respond. Am I glad I did — I’ve been having a great amount of fun with the ensuing comment thread. In fact, it’s so much fun, I figured I’d repost it here. (If you read this and my Facebook profile, you’ve already seen this; feel free to skip it.)

  1. When I was a child, I once typed out over 3/4 of my favorite book so I could have my own copy to read. I couldn’t afford to buy one at the time.
  2. I learned to read when I was four; we moved to a new house and couldn’t get TV reception, so my parents got rid of our TV. The next year, I figured out people got paid to write books. I’ve wanted to be a published writer ever since.
  3. I enjoy karate, now that I’m taking it. I know that martial arts the world over teach a variety of armed and unarmed techniques, but I’ve always secretly thought of the bo staff when I think of martial arts. Now that I get to work with the staff, I *feel* like a martial artist.
  4. I love peppermint ice cream, caramel, and Girl Scout thin mint cookies. However, my favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookies. My wife makes a killer variant: orange chocolate chip cookies. YUM!
  5. I’m a sucker for all things feline, except for some pure-bred Persians and Siamese that are too stupid to breathe. When I was a kid, I got to play with a white tiger cub; white tigers are my favorite cat. I like some breeds of dogs, but not the small yappy ones.
  6. I think that forgiveness isn’t a “get out of jail free card.” It’s a process designed to help victims divest themselves of the continuing karmic damage they inflict upon themselves and let go of any claims of vengeance or retaliation. True forgiveness does not absolve the offender of consequences, but it does open the door to mercy and breaks the cycle of anger and revenge.
  7. I hated high school. I’d home schooled for five years, then moved to a new town and started public high school. So much wasted time and energy, especially on social hierarchy games! I wonder if I would feel the same if I’d been one of the popular kids…but we’ll never know.
  8. After my son was born and my daughter was a toddler, we found out that my family has a history of autism. If you ever wondered why I was so weird, you can thank Asperger’s Syndrome. However, that only gets 65% of the blame; the rest is all me.
  9. My first trip outside North America was a speaking gig at a roadshow in Lisbon, Portugal. I’ve always wanted to visit Portugal; they were the home of some of history’s greatest navigators and explorers.
  10. I have discovered that I enjoy speaking in public; the bigger audience, the better. However, I typically dread question and answer sessions, even though I’ve been told I do them well.
  11. The first time I saw Steph I knew I would marry her, even before we were introduced. The universe gave an audible and tactile “click” that was impossible for me to miss! This is why I was able to not get all nervous around her.
  12. As I have gotten older, I have become more concerned with uncovering the structures and principles that events work on, and less concerned with arguing the particular details of a given situation. Getting axle-wrapped about details is a great way to keep anything from being resolved. Boring!
  13. My favorite food? The Cheescake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken. Screw dessert — I gorge myself on the chicken. Yum! If we’re talking homemade, then it’s the pizza that my wife makes, based on a modification of my mother’s recipe.
  14. When format allows, I always leave blank lines between paragraphs. I also insist on serial commas in lists unless the style guide says otherwise. (Real writers can do whatever the style guide says, or rewrite to avoid the points they disagree with.) The sentence “I’d like to thank my parents, God and Ayn Rand” gives me all the justification I need.
  15. My daily work involves Microsoft Windows and Exchange, and I’ve just been recognized for my third year as a Microsoft Exchange MVP. If you’d told me ten years ago I’d not still be working with Unix, Sendmail, and Postfix, I’d have laughed at you.
  16. I don’t like kids, mainly because I hated being one. Adults always talked down to me and condescended in other ways. As a result, I try to never talk down to kids myself. I find they are better listeners than most adults and respond well to more advanced instructions that most adults would believe.
  17. Before the Internet got popular, I used to run an electronic BBS. I had no games and the only files I had for download were basic utilities; I specialized in message forums no one else in my area would touch. My BBS was always busy, and over 80% of my callers came from out of state.
  18. To me, the difference between a “friend” and an “acquaintance” is how much work is put into the relationship. You can’t really be a friend if both sides don’t work to make it happen.
  19. I’ve been sporting a shaved head since college, when my best friend’s dad talked me into it. Although I occasionally grow my hair out, I’m resigned to shaving my head for the rest of my life. Nothing else really works well.
  20. I have a simple philosophy about shopping: do your research and buy an well-made item that will last (even if it’s expensive) instead of buying for price and having to replace it multiple times. Your time is worth more than your money.
  21. I can’t stand thrift stores, second-hand shopping, or even most garage sales. There’s a psychic residue to most of the items there that is very unpalatable. I’ve had to learn to let Steph do her bargain-hunting thing, but she knows how to find the good items.
  22. I was never a Cub Scout, but once I got into Boy Scouts, I was a den chief to both a Cub Scout den and a Webelos Scout den. My favorite part of Boy Scouts, though, was being on the ceremonial Native American dance team for our Order of the Arrow lodge.
  23. I’ve really enjoyed the Halo universe, both video games and novels. In fact, I’d like to build a set of Mjolnir armor, and one of my friends and I are planning to build a working Warthog. Geek!
  24. I often have insomnia. Part of it is that I resent the time I lose to sleep. It feels like dying a little bit, especially because it can be a struggle to wake up again in the morning.
  25. I want my wife to be a ninja. I mean, who wouldn’t

If you’re reading this for the first time, consider yourself tagged. Your turn! Post a link to your blog (or wherever you post your “25 Things” list) in the comments so I can go read it too.


  1. says

    Re: #15: While I’m not an Exchange MVP, I completely know what you mean. I started out with OpenVMS, moving to Solaris, Tru64, FreeBSD & Linux. Only for the last 5-6 years have I been in Microsoft land. I’d like to be an MVP one day too. :)