BlogTag: FiveThings

Woot! I’ve been tagged! Look-at-me — I’m a statistic in an internet based meme! It looks to have started here.

Stuff you may not know about me. Hrm.

0. Brevity is not my strong point. But you knew that if you are a regular reader of this weblog (as if!).

1. I write this weblog for two reasons. The first is, as the title implies, as a sort of diary of the bits of my life that I want to be able to easily find later (thanks to Google!). The second is to share my experiences, thoughts, and point of view with an express purpose of learning from others. It is why the comments are unmoderated beyond spam elimination; the dialog that ensues is very valuable to me (be it educational, humorous, or ridiculous). I’m a technorati junkie. Even the advertising on this site is useful beyond the meager income it generates; seeing how the revenue changes based on what I’m posting gives me a little bit of insight into the nature of the internet. Though, really, it still depresses me a bit that my post about Paris Hilton’s little security breach is the most $/day I have ever earned.

Yet, as gregarious and wide ranging as this weblog is, there is a slew of my personal life that is verboten.

Oh, and the only reason why I haven’t been posting a lot of code related stuff recently is because I’m working on really cool things that I can’t talk about until we put the next great cat in a box and ship it.

And I really don’t have a problem with that. As an Apple blogger, I respect the policies set forth by the company and, even, agree with them though it prevents me from openly commenting on a number of things.


2. “I ride tandem with the random / things don’t run the way I planned them.”. Words I live by. Stuff happens to and around me. Random stuff. Maybe no more or less than anyone else, but I try to pay attention and get in the middle of things. Sometimes happy, sometimes tragic. At this point, I find the randomness normal but others tell me it is extraordinary. To me, it is just life and life is pretty damned entertaining, interesting, and worth living. Can’t wait to see live whatever happens next!

3. I buy lottery tickets every now and then. I get the math. Totally. But sometimes, you just have to pick up all five dice and try to throw a natural yahtzee to win the game!

4. I have had a lot of near misses. See #2 (and #3, for that matter). Stuff just seems to happen around me and I generally manage to land on my feet. I have been within 100 feet of lightning strikes 5 times, I have seen 4 tornados in person, I have been in about a dozen car accidents, a handful of nasty bike accidents (stitches, etc), broken my arm and ankle, had stitches on my knee and hand (twice, iirc), torn up my ankles badly enough to require crutches several times, have watched a lamp randomly explode in flames in our house, have very nearly blinded myself with hot solder twice, have been in two major floods, been in swarms of locusts (twice — midwest — hard to call it a plague, though I bet the farmers would have disagreed), lost a family house to a hurricane (Ivan), been attacked by poisonous snakes twice (dog saved me once, I jumped in time the other), been stung by a jellyfish badly enough to end up in the emergency room, etc…

And, yes, now that we live in the bay area, we do have earthquake insurance. All things considered, it just seems prudent.

5. My very very first paid job was at the age of 3 or 4. I took cuttings from my dad’s jade plant and raised flats of little jade plants that I sold to local shops. For all I know, my dad slipped ’em the money to give to me. I have no idea how much I made.

The first computer job I ever had was a one time consulting gig at the age of 14. I had to rescue data from corrupted floppies. In the basement of a sorority during fall rush. While the pledges practiced their cheers in front of me. Easy job, but I kinda drug out the process a bit. They paid me $50 for what would have been a 15 minute job. I took an hour. Still not a bad $$/hour rate for a 14 year old in the mid-80’s! Definitely left an impression: “A job can be directly or indirectly enjoyable. It doesn’t have to seem like work.”

My first salaried job was building TI 99/4a cassette interface cables for $1.25/each. I could do 3 to 5 an hour, depending on focus and a bit of luck. It was all under the table and not long lived, but very educational working in a mom and pop electronics shop.

My first legitimate, tax paying, salaried position was in a grocery story at the age of 16. I was the bag boy, stock boy, clean up on aisle 5 boy, and occasional cashier. Was there exactly three months before I gave my two weeks notice. That the manager was surprised that I would give two weeks notice instead of just not showing up was an eye opener. The whole experience made me realize that the average employee in such a job was generally a nice enough person while also being a complete slacker buffoon out to take advantage of whatever situation they were in, but not bright enough to actually pull anything off.

After that, I became a professional soccer referee. It was an easy job. And lucrative. I would make up to $75/game when doing college level tournaments. Not bad for a 17 year old. I was making more money in a few hours a week than my store clerk, near minimum wage paid peers, were making in a month. An eye opener; jobs can be both enjoyable and lucrative, if you just acquire a little bit of relatively uncommon knowledge.

And then it was on to computer related jobs. Many of them. Spent the first five years bouncing between positions to learn. And learn I did. I also learned that it is a complete pain in the ass to have to file taxes in 5 states for a single year.

Now the hard part…. who shall I tag? Sometimes you gotta roll the dice (and sometimes they need help — seriously — I can’t imagine most of these people making it to this part of this post of this weblog…):

Jonathan Schwartz

James Duncan Davidson

The Macalope

Wil Shipley

And the really long shot (I have 5 degrees of separation or less for the above — and basically infinite for this one):

Marc Cuban



3 Responses to “BlogTag: FiveThings”

  1. house of warwick » Blog Archive » BlogTag: FiveThings by Bill says:

    […] bbum’s weblog-o-mat: “I have had a lot of near misses. See #2 (and #3, for that matter). Stuff just seems to happen around me and I generally manage to land on my feet. I have been within 100 feet of lightning strikes 5 times, I have seen 4 tornados in person, I have been in about a dozen car accidents, a handful of nasty bike accidents (stitches, etc), broken my arm and ankle, had stitches on my knee and hand (twice, iirc), torn up my ankles badly enough to require crutches several times, have watched a lamp randomly explode in flames in our house, have very nearly blinded myself with hot solder twice, have been in two major floods, been in swarms of locusts (twice — midwest — hard to call it a plague, though I bet the farmers would have disagreed), lost a family house to a hurricane (Ivan), been attacked by poisonous snakes twice (dog saved me once, I jumped in time the other), been stung by a jellyfish badly enough to end up in the emergency room, etc…” […]

  2. James Duncan Davidson says:

    Tagged: Five Things

    I’ve been watching the “Five Things” social worm go through the blogosphere and wondering when it’d strike me. I guess that would be today as I’ve been tagged by bbum. Coming up with five things about me that you might

  3. The Macalope » Blog Archive » They still do Friday fives? says:

    […] At any rate, Bill Bumgarner has tagged the Macalope (apparently a week ago) with the “Five things you don’t know about me” thing. […]

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