50 Things About Me
  1. If the choice is mine, the toppings will be just pepperoni and ham.
  2. I take a lot of abuse for liking Bon Jovi.
  3. I played “Spinning Wheel” on the piano for my junior high choir.
  4. Of all the places I’ve lived, I liked Lake Havasu City, Ariz., the best. I love the desert.
  5. I’m sorry, but I just don’t “get” jazz. I’ve tried.
  6. “Breakfast Club” is my all-time favorite movie.
  7. I used to play competitive table tennis, and even won a tournament (a lower level). But my little brother Rick is a much better player, and has a bunch of trophies to prove it. This bothers me.
  8. I’ve had Meniere’s Disease since 2004, vertigo-inducing ailment which can be triggered by salt and caffeine. I used to stop at Starbucks every morning, but not anymore.
  9. Pam and I dated for five years before getting married in 1989.
  10. I’m the oldest of three brothers. We enjoy being together.
  11. Turning 30 and 40 didn’t bother me, but there was something about 50.
  12. I devour every book by Lee Child. Jack Reacher rules!
  13. I really really like my Dodge Durango.
  14. I’ve been using Macs since 1988, and I’m (rightfully) snobbish about it.
  15. I was captain of my high school tennis team, and MVP of my college team my senior year. But I wasn’t all that good.
  16. My favorite rule for writing is, “Know the rules so you can violate them wisely.”
  17. I’m concerned about global warming. It’s the real deal, no matter what they tell you on FoxNews.
  18. I collect bayonets and pocketknives.
  19. Although I grew up playing hymns, playing in my church’s worship band taught me that, in my soul, I’m a rock & roll keyboard player.
  20. I like the fact that Indiana finally went to Daylight Savings Time. The extra daylight at the end of the day is nice.
  21. Whoever invented the “no call” list deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom, or something like that.
  22. Pam and I don’t fight.
  23. In high school and during breaks from college, I worked in a grocery store. We sacked groceries faster than you’ve ever seen them sacked. I still prefer sacking my own groceries, because I can get out of the store faster.
  24. The only states I’ve not visited are: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Hawaii.
  25. I think the New Yorker, every week, puts out the best long-form reporting on the planet.
  26. Sometime during the past few years, I crossed an age barrier where I now have practically no interest in computer or video games.
  27. I know enough Spanish to get by.
  28. I drive 25 minutes to get to work.
  29. I like nearly everything by Sheryl Crow. Saw her in concert some years ago.
  30. The Minnesota Vikings were the first NFL team I became attached to as a kid, and I’ve never abandoned them…though they disappoint me regularly. But living in Indiana–hey, you gotta be a Colts fan.
  31. I’ve never been in a fight in my life.
  32. It irritates me when people surf the web on their laptops during meetings, instead of giving the discussion their full attention.
  33. I’m not good with numbers or money, which is why it’s a good thing I married an accountant.
  34. Guilty pleasures: “Pretty Woman” (movie), Applebees Fudge Blondie (dessert), Guns ‘N Roses (music), The Walking Dead (TV).
  35. My heroes have always been missionaries.
  36. My parents may be the most talented pastoral couple I know. Between them, they have an amazing skillset and impressive experience doing a lot of different things. Yeah, I’m disgustingly proud.
  37. I was a Republican for most of my life, but now I don’t swear allegiance to any party.
  38. Pam and I have the same taste in movies–basically, flix where stuff blows up and people die.
  39. I’ve always been a dog person, but cats, being low-maintenance, fit our lifestyle. And I do love our cats.
  40. I’ve had alcohol three times in my life. First, in sixth grade, a friend gave me some cherry which he said was Kool-Aid; I had just one sip. Then I had some spiked punch at a wedding; I was too dumb to know what the big railroad spokes laying beside the punch bowl meant. Finally, a few years back I had real wine for communion at a Vineyard church. That alcohol-drenched dessert I had in Italy should probably count for something, too.
  41. For my entire adult life, I’ve subscribed to both Time and Newsweek.
  42. I’ve read the complete Hobbit and Lord of the Rings three times, the first time in 7th grade.
  43. In writing classes, I was always the teacher’s pet.
  44. I can’t stand listening to partisan pundits who have no objectivity and feel that selling their agenda is more important than conveying truth to their listeners. I’m talking about Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Keith Olberman, Sean Hannity, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Ed Schultz, among others.
  45. My favorite place: sitting atop a corner turret of an old stone fort atop a pointy hill in Masaya, Nicaragua, and surveying the expansive surrounding valleys, with four or five volcanoes in the distance.
  46. I’ve been an iPhone user since 2009.
  47. Of the Christian books I’ve read, “Decision Making and the Will of God,” by Garry Friesen, has had the most practical influence on my life.
  48. My favorite restaurant in Fort Wayne is Red River Steakhouse, at the Marriot. Same for Pam, which is convenient.
  49. I never get tired of the old Rolling Stones classics, like “Honky Tonk Woman,” “Brown Sugar,” “It’s Only Rock & Roll,” “Jumping Jack Flash,” and “Start Me Up.”
  50. Pam and I spent our 10th anniversary in Florence, Italy, and our 20th in Mackinac City, Mich. Kind of a downgrade, don’t you think?

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