Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ten Things About Me Which May or May Not Be Interesting


I was tagged by Charmaine to do this.  I take no responsibility as to whether any of them are "interesting" or not.

1.  I have a pathological fear of needles, as a result of having had the entire series of 14 rabies shots at the age of 3, including those in the stomach.

2.  Although I've only done it a couple of times and those were 40 years ago, I absolutely love flying in a glider; the serenity and quiet (except for air rushing around the cockpit) have to be experienced to be believed.

3.  Aside from a 3-day cruise to the Bahamas with my family many decades ago, my only trip outside the U. S. was to Edmonton, Alberta, in 2005.  I fell in love with the landscape of the prairies which I found totally awe-inspiring -- there's so much sky. Of course, that was late summer, and the weather was beautiful; I can't even begin to imagine what winter there is like.  I do hope to go back eventually.  In the summer.

4.  Back in the  70s, I was a member of a 4-person improvisational comedy group.  We created and performed our own material for a number of years semi-professionally.  The situation was a remarkable one:  the four of us fit together and worked together perfectly.  If one of us got an idea, we could take off and riff on it for hours at a time, each of us contributing pretty much equally.  It was the most wonderfully and profoundly creative experience of my life.  

5 & 6.  I am strongly left-dominant; I'm lefthanded, my left eye is my stronger, my left leg slightly longer than my right.  I also cannot remember peoples' names.  The first truly thorough scientific study of lefthandedness which was performed about 25 years ago found that the single strongest correlated characteristic among lefthanded people is difficulty with remembering names.  That's my excuse; I'm sticking to it.

7.  For 3 1/2 years, my African Gray parrot and I walked every day the weather was decent about 2 to 3 miles along our local Riverwalk.  He became fairly well-known as a result, and appeared in both the local newspaper and on one of the local tv newscasts.  Probably our most interesting experience was once when we ran into the members of a local camera club who were helping a number of mentally challenged individuals learn to take photographs; they asked if they could photograph him, and we spent over half an hour with them taking every imaginable kind of picture of him.  They very obviously enjoyed the experience a great deal; so did the bird, because he's a lil' ego-glutton who loves attention.

8.  My undergraduate collegiate career was rather checkered; I was, at various times, a pre-ministerial student, a physics major, and an English major.  After dawdling about for some time, at my parents' insistence I finally graduated,  with a degree in English but minors in physics and math.  I was only one course short of having another minor in history.  

9.  I was born and raised in the hills of Tennessee.  That officially makes me a hillbilly.  However, since I was fortunate enough to receive an education, I have been formally promoted to the status of a Mountain William.  

10.  I am considering the possibility of greeting my arrival at the age of 65 later this year by going skydiving for the first time.  I'll let you know how that one works out.

The End




10 Comments:

Blogger Mary Paddock said...

Howard,

I never would have pegged you as a reformed hillbilly.

I too am very left-handed and have a great deal of trouble remembering people's names (a big disadvantage when you work with kids who expect you to remember them). I always suspected it was related to brain dominance since I make a concerted effort to learn names and forget them anyway.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

Yes, it can be very frustrating. I was once introducing the cast of a play I was in to the audience and forgot the name of one of the actors, someone I'd worked with for almost 2 years. Another time, I actually forgot my wife's name. It's odd that it's only names, but that's how it works, apparently.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Charmaine said...

Hillbillie? Physics? Parrot?

You are a complex man.

What are your thoughts on the Super String Theory?

6:01 PM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

Which one? There are at least 5.

Actually, the math of the various string theories is far, far beyond my highly limited abilities. I have only a fractional and purely verbal understanding of string theories in general, but some of the ideas that arise from them are interestingly suggestive of a universe far more complex than we've previously thought. Given some of the complexities that are arising independently from observational astronomy (dark matter, dark energy, accelerating expansion of the universe suggesting a 5th force) and that string theories seem to provide the possibility of explanations for some of these phenomena, I'd like to think string theories could represent the next stage in our developing understanding of the universe, if the necessary mathematical tools can be devised that will allow string theories to be put on a rigorous mathematical basis, just as Newton's and Einstein's theories were in the past.

Well, you asked.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Mary Paddock said...

Forgets his wife's name, but can explain string theory at length. Somehow it makes perfect sense.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

I only forgot it once. And I haven't forgotten it at all since we got divorced.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Simplicity said...

I have a fear of needles WITHOUT having gone through that awful series of shots! Yikes!!!

I loved living in Alberta. In spite of incredible darkness in the winter, I still enjoyed living there during that time. There's something different about that province! I lived in Fort McMurray and I had the incredible privilege of seeing the rare red Aurora Borealis!

You are definitely not a hillbilly...it's obvious, without clarification, that you are very educated!

8:39 PM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

You lived much farther north than I had time to visit (only got a few miles north of Morinville); I'd imagine that you really did have some great views of the aurora up that way.

As a result of my trip there, I've developed a real interest in Canadian poetry and have read a great deal of it over the past 3 1/2 years since I've gotten back. There are some very fine poets at work up there.

I'd love to go back up there to see some other parts of Canada eventually.

9:24 PM  
Blogger vmh said...

I fell in love with the landscape of the prairies which I found totally awe-inspiring -- there's so much sky.

We've lived in a prairie state for almost 8 years now, and I'm still not used to the sky. It's unworldly. Plus the sunsets, made better because of the sky.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Frank Wilson said...

I'll skip the skydiving (I love to fly, but am not jumping from a plane unless I have to), but you are absolutely right about flying in a glider. Utterly wonderful.

2:04 PM  

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