bolson: (Default)
1. How do you feel about travel? Like it, love it, hate it? Wish you did more or less or neither? Do you have wanderlust? Are you a homebody?
Hate it. Getting there is none of the fun. There are a few places I would like to be sometimes (mostly cons and other like-minded-people gatherings) but if I have to go far away that significantly decreases my chances of going. Air travel sucks. Trains are horribly slow. Busses are kinda sketchy (though I hear there are good ones between here and NYC, if I ever want to go there).

2. What's the furthest you've ever been from home (whatever that means to you) in terms of physical distance? How about culturally?
Physically, I've been a continental-united-states-width away. Visiting Boston while I lived in Santa Barbara, CA.
Culturally, I haven't been outside the US since I was very young, so aside from occasional chinatowns I'll have to count visiting Texas as my biggest cultural shift.

3. Are there places you'd like to go but haven't? What's appealing about them?
I want to visit Japan. I've long wanted to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August for their bombing commemoration ceremonies so that I can see the other side of the town history I grew up with in Los Alamos, NM.

4. Are there places you return to? Are there places you return to because you want to?
There used to be hikes I would do regularly or camps I would go to annually, but I don't think I have these things now.
Oh, but now I do have CMU's Spring Carnival. I've been back to that for the last 4 years, and I'm planning it again this April.

5. Travel is often associated with things like self-discovery and identity formation. Does it work this way for you? Why or why not?
It depends on what's on the other end. Hmm, I'm looking at 'travel' in all these cases as a means to getting to someplace interesting to be in or experience. I've never done 'the great american roadtrip' to just go and see things. I never had anyone to go with or a right time to go. Maybe a little part of me feels I'm missing out on this and rationalizing missing it by deciding I wouldn't like it anyhow. All that annoying driving and paying for gas and motels and tourist traps. Bah, Humbug!
bolson: (Default)
From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:
1. What is the most expensive thing you own?
My place of residence. I have sunk $bignum into it in the process of paying for $biggernum over the course of many years.

After that, my newest computer is probably worth over $1000. No car, which I bet is #1 or #2 for a lot of people.

2. What is the most precious thing you own? Why?
Possibly my mother's quilts. (See #4 below because I answered it first.)

I have a big box of stuff labeled 'sentimental crap' which has been input-only for over a decade now. I should sort through it some time and see how much I still care about, and at least get a trip down memory lane out of it.

3. What is the most important thing you own? Why?
I'm gonna go with condo again. My financial situation would be pretty screwed if that wound up going badly.

After that, computers, for play and communication and harkish tinkering.

4. What is the most irreplaceable thing you own? Why?
My mother's quilts. I have two. One she made for my grandma's wall and one she made for my bed. The one for the bed is so nice I never actually have it out on my bed because I want it to stay pristine.

Alternately, several gigabytes of data. Pictures and code I've written. If I lost the originals and the backups I'd be very sad.

5. What is the most useful thing you own? Why?
iPhone? I certainly use it a lot.
Shoes? I use those a lot too.
bolson: (Default)
From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. List 5 things which are basic common knowledge in your culture, which people outside are unfamiliar with. This is not about obscurity, but something everyday to you, that others go "bzuh?" at.
At first I thought I had nothing to offer about straight-white-male-american culture, but then I thought: Geek Culture!
0b000 Counting begins at the zeroeth thing.
0b001 Numbers in hex and binary.
0b010 date ; unzip ; strip ; touch ; grep ; finger ; mount ; fsck ; more ; yes ; umount ; sleep ; sudo make me a sandwich
0b011 slashdot is full of trolls and script kiddies
0b100 being multi-lingual in C, C++, Java, Python, perl, and probably other more obscure languages

2. What was the last book you read that was written by a person who is a different race than you? Do you seek out books written by people of other races? Why? Why not?
"Peace is Every Step" by Thich Naht Hanh (Vietnamese)
I don't seek out books by people of other races just for that sake. I don't really do cultural tourism. I seek out books that are entertaining to me or have something to say that I want to read.

3. What did you eat at dinner last night? Would you call it ethnic food? Why?
Pizza. No. I think that counts as an american staple now.

4. Has your gender presentation changed over the last 5 years? Has this change/lack of change been a deliberate choice on your part?
Nope. I'm a regular geek guy with long hair and have been for 10+ years.

5. Do you discuss race and racism in your livejournal/blog or in person? Why have you made that choice?
Normally no. I rarely experience it directly, so I don't have experiences to write about. I have other favorite political issues to pontificate and theorize on.

6. Bonus question. Were you aware of International Blog Against Racism Week? Did you choose to participate in it? Why or why not?
I was not aware of it until this questionnaire came up. I didn't mean to participate in it, but I just happened to make a couple posts.
bolson: (Default)
From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. Do you like to cook? If so, what?
Yes. Omelets and stir-frys mostly. Unless 'cook' is extended to 'bake' in which case cookies and brownies win.

2. If you do like to cook, have you always or when did you start? If you don't like to cook, have you tried it without success or simply never gotten into it, or ...?
I started cooking in college. I had the good luck of getting a dorm that was all tiny apartments with kitchens. Lots of experimenting at that time, and I got pretty good at pancakes.

3. What's the most ambitious-for-you dish you've ever prepared? How'd it come out?
Recently I've done a couple times something with two skillets going. One with just portabella mushrooms saute-ing by themselves, and one with the rest of the stuff. That's about as fancy as I get. Nothing with huge amounts of prep work, not more complex than marinading something (start early, let sit, forget about it until time to cook).

4. Have there been fears, hesitations, or items of squeamishness you've struggled with in cooking?
I was nervous the first time I cooked chicken because I wanted to make sure it was thoroughly cooked and no one got sick from it.

5. If you could learn to prepare one food perfectly the way you like it every time, what would it be?
Hmmm, already have that for pancakes. Most other things are kinda good enough and I want to get the most bang for my wish-granting-buck. I've never made Flan, that could be fun. Maybe one of my favorite Indian dishes that I haven't quite figured out like saag paneer or even just a good curried tofu. Mmm, yup, that's the food to lust for.
bolson: (Default)
From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. What do/don't you eat?
I don't eat mammals. I do eat fish and birds. Otherwise I eat what I like and don't eat what I don't like (no food allergies).

2. Why do you make the food choices you do?
I've cut out mammals (beef, pork, etc.) due to environmental and health reasons. Those are the most polluting and most resource intensive meats to produce. Also I think they tend to be less healthy to eat.

3. Are you happy with your relationship to food?
No, I eat too much. Too much in general, and too much low nutrient high calorie tasty junk.

4. What are your favorite comfort foods?
Chips and salsa. Pizza.

5. Are there any foods you want to try but haven't had a chance, yet?
Can't think of anything. Have any suggestions?
bolson: (Default)
From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:
1. Would you describe yourself as a patient person?
Yes. Or at least I'm definitely better at calmly waiting for things than some people I know.
2. When you are impatiently waiting for something positive (anticipation) or negative (dread) whose arrival you can't control, how do you manage those feelings?
Find something else to do while waiting. Bonus points if it is something that helps prepare for the arrival of expected thing.
3. What about when you have some influence on the arrival/timing of the awaited event?
If that influence means nagging people, I wouldn't do that too much.
4. Have your impatience-managing techniques or approaches changed over time? How?
I may be worse about impatience when I'm feeling older and crankier and thinking that dammit my time is worth more than this.
5. Have other people been helpful in learning different ways of handling this sort of thing?
I've probably been the more patient person most of the time. Hmm, maybe there have been selective issues where I've needed reminders to calm down and wait patiently. It might have worked, or I might have just been moody the whole time.
bolson: (Default)
From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. Do you (or if you have them, did you) want children?

Yes, someday. If today I met the woman of my dreams, future mother of my children, I could see having kids 2-5 years from out.

2. In reference to 1: why or why not?

Instinct to procreate? It’s a pretty strong feeling. Just feels right.

3. How sure are you of that choice? Why or why not?

Pretty sure, occasional doubts. But right now if I imagine myself 50 years from now without having had kids I imagine feeling incomplete for not having done that.

4. Could you be persuaded otherwise (e.g., if your partner(s) felt differently)? Why or why not?

Maybe. If I found the woman of my dreams with the one flaw that she didn’t want kids I might go along with that. If she’s poly maybe I’d have kids with someone else.

5. Has anyone ever tried to persuade you otherwise? If so, tell us a bit about it.

No, it hasn’t really come up.
bolson: (Default)
From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. Which fictional characters do you resemble physically?

One of the random Large Men of the Rohirrim in Return of the King. I just need more practice sword/ake/pike wielding - while on a horse. And growing out a big red beard would help the image too.


2. Which fictional characters do you resemble, personality-wise? Why?

I'm guessing the classic nerds of fiction like the Sneakers and Dr Noonian Soong (note the lj name), but I'm not sure if that's accurate or just stereotyping.


3. Which fictional characters would you like to resemble physically?

Anyone in better shape with stunning physique will do. Uh, Chuck Norris? Then I can bust out in my gaijin-fu.


4. Which fictional characters would you like to resemble, personality-wise? Why?

In thinking about this I kept mixing up "personality" with "mental abilities of" and wanting to pick the smartest one I could think of. If I were to pick someone the 'why' would be because I want to have more of some personality trait the character is well known for. Sometimes I've wanted G'Kar's fortitude and strength of will.


5. If there were a fictional character based on you, how would they be drawn or described? What would their role be in the work of fiction -- hero? sidekick? deus ex machina? What special characteristics would they have?

I prefer "assistant hero" to "sidekick". I'm imagining a drawing sorta like the Hunter S Thomson character in Doonesbury, only a little rounder and more like me. I'd be the guy back in the van, hacking the security, providing the intel, making the gadgets, and so on. I would however get my own fight scene when one of the goons (just one) found the van. While not as strong or as graceful as the lead hero who'd be in the middle of stealthing around and subduing enemies with a single blow, I would eventually have just enough half-forgotten karate skill to eek out a clumsy survival victory, finally clubbing the goon in the head with a piece of tech.

Alternately, I'd be the President of the United States.

Oh, Office Space was a comic book, right? I could totally be in that.

bolson: (Default)
From the [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5:

1. How wiped are you right now? Why?
Pretty much wiped. Slow day at work; wimping out on going out dancing tonight. Mostly from lots of activities that were part of a 56 hour vacation-date. That was some intensely social time. It's alone time now.
2. What was the last thing you wiped (as in cleaning)?
Kitchen counter and dishes, from detritus of aforementioned activities.
3. What was the last thing you wiped (as in media)?
Reformatted a HD at work today.
4. When was the last time you wiped out?
On my bicycle a couple years ago, left a nasty bruise and a week of minor limping.
5. If you could magically wipe something out, what would it be?
"The National Debt" was the first thing that came to mind. Second was "The Republican Party's Bank Account". Oh, I suppose "world hunger" should be on the list somewhere.

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