Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

12/14/2006

My Five Things

Filed under: — stan @ 8:52 pm

OK. Since Gilby tagged me, here are five things about me that might not be generally known:

1. I know how to do plumbing and electrical work. My father had been setting up his own chemical company when he was poisoned by methyl iodide in 1974. I had to learn to do this while he couldn’t work. And to this day, I’m not afraid to sweat-solder pipes and pull wires through walls and such.

2. I have very good lab technique. My father was a chemist (see #1 above), so I never wanted to be a chemist myself. But I took a course in it just because I was curious to be able to understand what he was talking about. One day I goofed and went to lab when I was dressed up in a white shirt, tie, and suit jacket. I made it through the three-hour lab without spilling anything. My TA was so impressed that he said he would give me extra points if I could do that every week for the rest of the semester. So I did. I never spilled anything on my clothes. But one night I forgot to change before going to dinner and I got spaghetti sauce on my white shirt.

3. In the late ’80s I worked for a time as an aerobics instructor. Back in 1983, some guys I knew used to talk about the girls they would see going into the aerobics class at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. I thought it was kind of sleazy to be just standing outside and ogling the girls. So I signed up for the class. Besides, I figured I’d get a better view from inside. And it turned out to be a lot of fun. So when they offered a ‘how to be an instructor’ class, I took it. I ended up doing it for three years at the Westchester YMCA in Los Angeles.

4. I took a course at UCLA Extension once called “Performing Stand-Up Comedy”. It was largely an exercise just to overcome my innate fear of public speaking. I never would have been able to do this if I hadn’t done the aerobics thing (see #3 above). And it was an interesting adventure. I’ve used what I learned there to help whenever I have to speak to groups in meetings at work and such. Also, the class mid-term exam was at the Laugh Factory and the final was at the Comedy Store. So I have actually performed at both those places.

5. I like country music. When I was a bike racer in the late ’70s, the car we had at the time had just an AM radio, and a poor one at that. About the only station that worked well on it was WHN in New York, which was the country station. And I grew to like it. But the experience of actually living in Texas soured me on it. I haven’t been able to stand to listen to country music since 1991, and I’m a bit sad about that.

As for who to tag with this, I guess I’m just a poor meme-transmitter. I can’t think of anyone I want to tag. Good thing it’s not a chain letter.

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