A belated "five things"…

I thought I’d done this when Bill was kind enough to tag me, but I just found this post tucked away in my “drafts” folder… I know this is well beyond the life of the original meme, but I went through the trouble of writing it, so here are five things you probably don’t know about me:

  • I wrote my senior thesis in college on the role of etiquette in Tom Sawyer and Little Women. (I actually double majored in college and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in American Studies and Computer Science. This may have been the first BS awarded in American Studies at Yale.)
  • My wife and I have a long-standing tradition of reading together out loud at night before we head off to sleep. We started with a number of children’s classics that I had never read as a kid (The Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh) and have since skipped back and forth through a number of different genres. Barnes and Noble’s classics series has been great for this, as we’ve tried out The Count of Monte Cristo, King Solomon’s Mines, several E. Nesbit books and are now starting in to Dracula. When the kids get a little older, we’ll start with them, too, although not with Dracula, of course…
  • I suck at math. Well, I was good enough at faking it to get through multi-variable calculus, but that doesn’t mean that I actually understood any of it. I actually took the GREs twice because I did so much worse on the math section than I did on the verbal and logic sections that I figured that I must have accidentally missed a bubble or something and started answering in the wrong rows. Turns out I didn’t. Second math score was worse than the first.
  • Growing up in the fairly urban, fairly liberal area that is the Research Triangle in North Carolina, there are many ways in which I don’t think I can truly claim to be a Southerner. However, one part of me that will always be Southern is my palate. I constantly mourn the fact that I cannot find any of the following anywhere near Seattle: Chick-Fil-A, Cheerwine, hushpuppies, Brunswick stew, proper cornbread, sliced NC-style BBQ (the kind they make at Bullock’s), creamed corn, Calabash-style seafood, sweetened ice tea or fried okra. Thankfully, we now have Krispy Kreme, red velvet cake is catching on, and I have to say that the Kingfish Cafe’s fried chicken and greens are pretty good.
  • I took piano for nearly seven years and managed to get worse over time, not better. One of the most mortifying moments in my life was when my family was between houses and my mom took me to her friend Mary Lou Williams‘s house to practice. (Mary Lou Williams was artist-in-residence at Duke University at the time, where my mom worked and had become friends with her.) Suffice it to say, if Mary had anything to say about my pathetic use of her piano, I mercifully don’t remember it. (I’m sure she was completely gracious as she always was.)

I think this meme is so dead, there’s no point in tagging anyone. Besides, who’s left that hasn’t done it?

I’m back, and some links…

Well, I have to say that in some ways it’s great to be back at work, and in some ways, not so much. Everything’s going great at home, and now it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Two links for people who might have missed them (but I doubt many people did):

More as I dig through my email!

For Jim Gray, wherever we may find him…

Being on parental leave and not that up-to-date on the world, I wasn’t aware of the disappearance of Jim Gray until this morning, when I opened my New York Times and saw a familiar face, much to my surprise. (The last and only other time that happened, someone who was in my class in college had won a Pulitzer.) I don’t really know Jim well, but have crossed paths with him more than a few times in the past several years. The latest was my trip to Japan for the launch of VS 2005 and SQL Server 2005, where I did the VS keynote and Jim did the SQL Server keynote. For someone who has done so much amazing work in the computing field, I found Jim to be an amazingly down-to-earth, gracious and friendly guy. I’m not at all surprised by the outpouring of concern and effort on the part of the computing industry to help find him.

I can only hope that he will be found alive and well. My thoughts are with him and his family.