Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ask Me Anything! (an extremely belated conclusion)

I swear that I must have the most polite readers of anyone in all of Blogistan, because I solicited questions for a round of Ask Me Anything! way back in February, and then I only answered a little more than half of them; and still, no one has said to me anything along the lines of "Hey, turkey, howzabout answering those questions!" You all knew I'd get round to it sometime, after all. And here I am, because in these parts, it's all about you!

:: From Roger: What 2006 death affected you most deeply?

Well, we're now sufficiently far into 2007 that I don't remember who all died in 2006! So it's off to Wikipedia, which helpfully lists deaths by year (I assume that I can trust Wikipedia on the subject of someone being dead, right?). Here are a few names that leap out: Jack Williamson, Ed Bradley, Buck O'Neil, Tetsuro Tamba, Malcolm Arnold, Ann Richards, Maynard Ferguson, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Mako, Jim Baen, Gyorgi Ligeti, Timothy Hildebrandt, Leslie Alcock, Lloyd Bentsen, William Sloane Coffin, Stanislaw Lem, Buck Owens, Kirby Puckett, Octavia Butler, Dennis Weaver, Robert E. Rich Sr., Phil Brown, Coretta Scott King. (That's a partial list, of course. If I didn't list someone, that doesn't mean that I don't care that they died!)

:: From Traci: How much snow have you gotten this winter?

Now that winter's over and the ever-present spectre of April snowfall seems to have finally moved on, it seems that we can fill in the blanks on snowfall 2006-2007. According to the Buffalo News from this past Sunday, Buffalo had received 89 inches of snow this season to date; and remember, around 30 of that came in a single instance: the "surprise storm" of October. Had that storm not transpired, this would have been one of the mildest winters, in terms of snowfall, that anyone could remember.

By comparison, as of that same date Rochester had recorded 106.9 inches (almost exactly a foot-and-a-half more than Buffalo), and Syracuse had recorded 140.2 inches (over four feet more than Buffalo).

:: From Jason: Who said, "I'd rather read the worst book ever written than watch the best movie ever made?"

I had to resort to Google for this one, and now that I know it, I'm surprised that I didn't recognize the quote. Bummer. I'll leave this one unanswered for those of you who want to Google it yourselves.

:: From Simon: From your ROWR feature (and going back to when it went under a different name I can't recall right now), can you cull your top five?

Top five? Wow, that's tough. Hmmmmm....I guess I'd go with Gillian Anderson, Sela Ward, Kate Winslett, Sophie Marceau, and from the "Retro" selections, Audrey Hepburn.

:: From Charlie: If you could become (in a poof-your-wish-is-granted sort of instantaneous fashion) the most talented person in the world at any one thing, what thing would you choose?

This is a tricky question, I must admit: it's tempting to say "Writing" or whatever other passions I have, but if I became spontaneously talented as such, I'd lose out on the whole "thrill of discovery" that comes with exploring a new hobby or vocation, and the lessons learned via experience. So I wouldn't want to spontaneously become the next Gene Wolfe or Guy Gavriel Kay.

However, as a kid I was always terrible at any game or sporting activity that involved throwing. I had a poor arm combined with miserable aim. So I'd like to be able to throw something and always be able to hit my target. How would this be useful? Heck, I don't know. But it would be cool.

And maybe speed-reading, although I'm not sure that if I had the best reading speed on Earth, that in the course of reading War and Peace in an hour I'd miss some pretty important stuff.

:: From Mrs. Mind-Muffins:

What's the best advice you ever received? Did you follow it?

Not so much advice per se, but as the doctors were breaking to us the likely severity of Little Quinn's medical problems (about a month after his birth), one of them kept saying over and over again, "No one is giving up on him."


What would like to be doing n your life five years from now?

Writing, reading, carpentry, a little gardening, listening to music, cooking, eating pizza and chicken wings, talking Star Wars with friends, basking in the afterglow of the Sabres winning the Cup and the Bills winning the Super Bowl, enjoying apple pie (and the occasional coconut cream), walking with The Wife and the Daughter, watching as Buffalo's population begins climbing again, looking pretty damned prescient when overalls come back in fashion (but screw fasion, anyway). Living.

And with that, I think I'm done. Thanks to all who participated, and next time, I'll actually get the answering done in timely fashion!

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