Monday, January 19, 2009

25 things (it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood)

To keep things succinct, let's just say that the first 14 items in this post came from three previous posts. But now that FriendFeed has upped the ante and people are posting 25 things about themselves, it looks like the 14 items that I had previously posted were insufficient. So I've taken those 14 items and added 11 more. This allows me to compete with the other 25 things crowd, such as the Bohemian Sparkly Penguin, alphaxion, pea, Helen Sventitsky, and probably everybody else on FriendFeed. Yes, I'm getting to this late. No, I'm not trendy.

Incidentally, I have made minor edits to the original fourteen points (wow, sounds Wilsonian), including combining items 2 and 6 from the first post. And to get the links that I originally embedded in the first 14 items, you have to go back to the original posts; I was too lazy to reproduce them here.

  1. About twenty years before I became "Ontario Emperor," I was hobnobbing with Presidents. Sort of. I didn't tell the whole story when I referenced this back in 2006, so I'll tell it now. During the 1977 Virginia governor's race, the Republican candidate got some heavy hitters at one of his campaign rallies. Not only did he get Bob Dole, U.S. Senator and former Vice Presidential candidate, but he also got former President Gerald Ford. I got a chance to shake Ford's hand that day (left hand, if I remember correctly). Hey, how many Presidents have YOU met?

  2. I was probably using the Internet before Al Gore was. As I've mentioned in a couple of MySpace posts, I had access to Usenet while at Reed College. Reed was one of the pioneers on the Usenet network (scroll down to the summer 1980 map in this article), and Professor Richard Crandall included Pascal and UNIX use in his labs for freshman Physics. I didn't really do a lot of physics work on that DEC PDP-11/70, but I acquired some experience that has stood me in good stead to the present day. And it's been more useful to me than Professor Nicholas Wheeler's lectures on the 17th dimension. While on Usenet, one of my favorite Usenet groups was alt.non.sequitur. A sample post is here (my contribution is at the bottom of the post; true to alt.non.sequitur, it is not a sign). I eventually left Usenet after an unfortunate pizza delivery accident, and have never returned. Paddy O'Furniture is probably sad about my departure.

  3. Let's continue with an explanation of the "audio artist" phrase that I've thrown around here and there. When I started as "Ontario Emperor," I used the name to post various synthetica songs on the web - originally MIDI songs generated on the Mac, then mp3 songs generated on the Mac (and released on CDs via the old, then MIDI songs generated in Windows after I moved away from the Macintosh platform. Since changed formats in December 2003, the only mp3 of mine that remains online is the song "Non Sequitur 15," available here. This song holds the dubious distinction of being the only Ontario Emperor song that is not an instrumental. MIDIs, by the way, can be found here, although since MIDI is (like HTML) dependent upon the presenting device, the MIDIs that were composed on the Macintosh don't sound that good on Windows. (Frankly, the MIDIs composed on Windows may not sound that good on Windows, but that's another matter entirely.)

  4. As my old biography indicates, I have been published in the dinosaur traditional media. This occurred when I wrote something or another to Inland Valley Daily Bulletin columnist David Allen, who proceeded to publish it in his September 13, 1998 column. I'm vague about what was published because I have since forgotten what wise words I provided, the article is no longer available online, and I haven't taken the time to go to the library and look it up in the archives. I'm sure it was fascinating, however.

  5. Ditto with my call to Poorman's "Anti-Radio" show that was referenced in my old biography; can't remember what I said. Jim "Poorman" Trenton originally came to fame by writing "poorman" restaurant reviews. He eventually became a deejay at KROQ, most famous for his participation in the "Loveline" program. He parted with KROQ, not on friendly terms, and has drifted from radio station to radio station since. In 1999 he was championing the idea of a radio show for unsigned bands; the only song that I remember from that show was the classic "I Gotta Poo." He's still around somewhere on local radio or TV, but I'm not sure where.

  6. You may know that mrontemp is not my original blog, and that I've created a number of other blogs since October 2003, most notably the Ontario Empoblog. But did you know that I was a contributor to a blog that was reading through the New Testament? The blog was called Word Search, and although the blog itself no longer survives, the posts are still available as part of A Human Bean's blog. Although the identities of the individual post writers are no longer preserved (we'd rotate amongst ourselves), I found a post that was obviously written by me (it links to a bad joke in one of my old blogs).

  7. I am an actor who regularly appears on stage, performing for thousands. It's true. There is a southern California performing arts organization called Children's Theatre Experience, and after my daughter had performed in several shows with the Claremont group, she let me know that they needed adult men for their production of "Fiddler on the Roof." Apparently a lot of kids approached their fathers, because several of us formally joined the cast at that point. In addition to appearing in "Fiddler on the Roof," I have also appeared in "Big River", "The Music Man", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", and other productions. Our performances are at the Bridges Auditorium in Claremont, California, which does hold well over 2,000 people and has played host to a number of more prominent people than myself.

  8. I have found that once I am at an area, I am just very very happy to stay there and not move at all. I moved into my current home in 1997 and have no desire to leave, but if I do, and I end up in Olten, Switzerland, I'll probably never want to leave there until I have to move and end up in Barrow, Alaska, and I'll never want to leave - I'll just buy bright lights in the winter.

  9. We didn't get our Christmas tree up until mid-December, and wouldn't have done it except for my daughter who just started dragging it out.

  10. Some of you may already know that my employer is selling my division to another company. The potential sale was announced in October, but hasn't happened yet.

  11. I did not attend my usual church right before Christmas. It was still a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod church, but it was a different congregation, a different pastor, and a different type of sermon. I missed my regular pastor, who always makes a great point of having us look at the Bible reading during the sermon itself. This pastor showed a video, and while Charlie Brown is meaningful, it wasn't the same.

  12. Despite my pseudonym, I have not been to Canada in a few years. Previously I would make fairly frequent business trips to Canada - mostly to Ottawa, but I have also been to Toronto, Montreal, and Orillia. Having not been there in a while, Tim Horton's actually sounds like an exotic place. You may laugh now.

  13. My home computer disk was over 90% full, but we've worked on reducing it.

  14. I've mentioned that I didn't avail myself of the chance to see Depeche Mode (and OMD) at the Rose Bowl, but I also missed a chance to see Jonathan Richman, even though I could have seen him for free by taking a thirty-second walk. This is again a Reed College story, but it's outside of the classroom or the lab. Every year Reed closes its spring semester with a Renaissance Fayre which has hardly anything to do with the Renaissance, but it does emphasize the "Fayre" part. One year Jonathan Richman was scheduled to play at the event. This was years after his ground-breaking work, and occurred at about the time he was singing about being a little airplane, but it was certainly a show worth seeing. Unfortunately, there was a Ferris wheel at this Ren Fayre, and after going around the wheel one time...the operator decided to send us around a second time. After that experience I wasn't up to doing anything, so I missed my chance to see Richman.

  15. So how did I get to Reed College? In first class! For some unfathomable reason, when I flew out to Reed College for a campus visit, they flew me out first class. The plane was pretty much a local, because after Minneapolis it stopped in three different cities in Montana (this was the only time I ever visited Bozeman, whose airport is even smaller than the 1980s-era Ontario, California airport).

  16. While that was my most interesting westbound trip, my most interesting eastbound trip was made by train in May of 1980. I left Portland and took the train to Chicago, where I visited my childhood home during a brief layover (I would not return to my boyhood home until the summer of 2008), then took the train from Chicago back to my home, arriving on Saturday. The next day Mt. St. Helens blew up.

  17. I previously mentioned my early involvement in UNIX, but I was a little confused about who did what in the UNIX arena. I was first exposed to the operating system before the AT&T breakup, so the phrase "UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories" was embedded in my brain. However, the ramifications of this didn't penetrate said brain. A few years later, I was at some trade show looking at some UNIX material, and an AT&T salesman walked up. In his salesman-y way, he said something like "I'm from the company that brought you UNIX." A little confused on the concept, and thinking of the PDP-11/70 hardware, I replied, "DEC?"

  18. I mentioned this in a comment to a Queen of Spain blog post, but if I say it again here I'll be one step closer to my 25 items total. My cluelessness about things goes way back. In elementary school, we were given an assignment to interview someone. I (and another girl in my class) hit upon the idea of interviewing President Richard Nixon, who lived a few miles away from us at the time in a white house in the city. I think we seriously believed that the President would sit down and talk to us, but all we got is an official letter of regret from the White House.

  19. My greatest regret in life is that I didn't go to the Depeche Mode/OMD concert at the Rose Bowl (the "101" concert).

  20. I was an active BBS'er in the early 1990s, visiting several Inland Empire blogs such as Deep Thought in Mt. Baldy (the first BBS I ever joined) and the Grotto in Rancho Cucamonga. I've lost touch with Starfish who ran the Grotto, but her daughter is now a webmaster for the union in which her stepfather (Bloose) works. See these posts from 2007 and 2008 for related information.

  21. I have attended United Methodist and Lutheran churches during my adult life, but for a couple of years in college I attended a Pentecostal church known as World Outreach and/or Gospel Outreach. The senior pastoral family, Scott & Ellie Snedeker, had their roots in the Lighthouse Ranch, and have apparently since left Portland and gone to Eureka. The most famous member of the church was former Guatemalan President Efrain Rios Montt, who was either a hero or villain depending upon how you looked at him.

  22. I'm running out of ideas, so I'll close with my attendance at games from the four major American sports. Unless there's a Cubs game in my early childhood that I don't remember, the first major league baseball game that I attended was a Washington Senators game. Frank Howard didn't get a hit.

  23. Not too long after that, I attended a Baltimore Bullets game in Cold Feet House.

  24. It took me a while to make it to a National Hockey League game. In fact, I didn't go to one until 2004, and that was primarily because we were hosting a Finnish exchange student who really liked hockey. The L.A. Kings lost the game.

  25. Which brings me to the NFL. I have never seen a National League Football game live. Of course, I have two excuses: (1) when I was growing up, Redskins games were always sellouts, and (2) the closest NFL team to me is the San Diego Chargers.
Well, there's 25 items (unless I counted wrong). I just hope that nobody comes up with a 50 items meme.

P.S. I'd tell you the story behind the title, but that story really doesn't have to do with me.

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