Personal and Fun Stuff

While I have been told more than a few times that I was the most serious person that someone knew, I actually believe that life is way too short to be serious all the time. Shocking, isn’t it??

So here’s a list of the things that I find fun and interesting:

1. USC Trojan Football
These guys were so bad when my wife and I attended there it was unreal (we were there during the Todd Marinovich freakshow). But since 2001 we have had a blast being fans. We fly the USC flag every football Saturday, and a lot of the fun though has been from being in Big Ten country and living between a rabid Michigan fan and a Notre Dame alum and tormenting them both mercilessly. We particularly enjoyed attending the “Bush Push” USC – Notre Dame game in 2005 when USC won on the last play of the game after trailing the entire way. You could have heard a pin drop in the stadium when Lienart scored.

2. Single Malt Scotch
I have to thank my brother-in-law Bruce for this one. Probably 20 years ago he was given a bottle of Macallan as a gift, and being a Chivas fan he didn’t like it and gave the bottle to me. I was hooked instantly and have been drinking it ever since.

3. Cigars
This is a passion of mine, and a very nice complement to my scotch. But also a good all around diversion for golfing, cutting the grass, or cutting down a Christmas tree. I especially like the fact that to truly enjoy them you have to slow down and take the time to smoke them. I’ve been smoking them regularly since grad school. For my money nothing beats a Cuban Monte Cristo #2 and a glass of Port.

4. Newport Beach
Heaven on earth. My wife and I have been going to the same hotel about every other year since 1997, and there is nowhere else on the planet that I’d like to be, especially when the snow is flying and the temperature goes into the single digits here. We took the kids for the first time this last fall, and they had a blast. My dream retirement plan is a house on the beach just down a little from the end of the bike path.

5. Starbucks Coffee
This one is a no brainer. My wife and I were hooked starting back in 2002 when they opened one a block from the train station in Burlingame where we were living. I realized this was an addiction when my buddy Pete pointed out a couple of months ago when I saw him that it was the first time that he could remember seeing me without a cup of coffee.

6. Bugs Bunny and Monty Python
Without a doubt the best humor ever written on the planet. Of course you realize this means war!

7. The Dune series by Herbert and the Jack Ryan series by Clancy
The first Dune book is quite frankly the best book I have ever read. I was overjoyed when the author’s notes for the end of the series were found after his death, and the ending with the final Kwisatz Haderach was both shocking and yet made complete sense. I think Clancy’s slow motion description of the nuclear bomb detonation in the Sum of All Fears is some of best and most riveting writing ever.

8. Casablanca and Citizen Kane Rick Blaine is the coolest character ever. Hearst was themost tragic, and Wells’ portrayal was mesmerizing.

And a few things most people don’t know about me:

  1. I was a blackjack dealer at Harvey’s Resort Hotel and Casino in Lake Tahoe in the 80’s.
  2. I ran for the California State House of Representatives in 1990.
  3. I got thrown out of the University of Michigan undergraduate engineering program.
  4. I met my wife in the MBA program at USC. We were engaged in six weeks and married a year later.
  5. I collect unique and sometimes expensive pens but my favorite is a plain Bic crystal pen like the one I used in elementary school.
  6. Except that I use a fountain pen during the month of December.
  7. My favorite pencil is a unique Rotring mechanical pencil that is no longer made.
  8. I collect watches but I don’t wear one.
  9. My sister and I know every line from the John Hughes movie Weird Science. Just let me know if you’re going to float an air biscuit.
  10. I hate wearing long pants.
  11. Oh yeah – and I’m a huge (closet) Shania Twain fan. She’d be almost perfect if she wasn’t a Canadians fan.

(And the answer to your question from #1 is – stay on 12. But don’t tell anyone I told you.)