100 silly facts about ME



Although I don’t watch television, I’ve been watching the episodes of The Goldbergs online because it’s absolutely hilarious and I relate to a lot of the stuff in it from my own childhood experiences. The final episode of season 1 was this week, and it starts off by talking about how the father never bragged about past events (no matter how cool), and would occasionally say something that totally made you think you knew nothing about him ;-)

I’m definitely guilty of that too, so it inspired me to do this fun post. Enjoy!

Without further ado…..here are 100 fun facts about me:

  1. I had an old “brick” cell phone when I was a teenager that only cost me the $12/month network fee. All my airtime was free because I would call in fake accidents and slowdowns to CHYM FM (they gave you 100 free minutes on the Bell network if you called in an accident/slowdown).

  2. I married the girl I had a crush on in high school. Before we were engaged, we camped in a tent and had a farting contest, which she won.

  3. I’m naturally gifted at the game of golf - I don’t practice at all, but can kick your ass.

  4. I had a paper route when I was a kid (a free newspaper called The Pennysaver), but instead of delivering them, I dumped them in an overgrown field each week, and spent any money I made on pop, chips, and arcade games. It took them over a year to figure it out, at which point I politely resigned.

  5. I started going to university when I was still in high school as part of an Advanced Placement program - I spent most of my time doing programming and financial research for the University of Waterloo School of Accounting and explored the rest of the university in my spare time.

  6. I totalled my dad’s minivan in an accident. Upon finding out, his first words were “But I had a case of beer in the back!”

  7. The coffee table in my rec room is an old IBM 3380 hard drive that used to be in the famous “Red Room” at the University of Waterloo.

  8. I helped write a professor’s textbook for Nuclear Chemistry while I was still a Science undergrad. I was also the Teaching Assistant (TA) for his Nuclear Chemistry course.

  9. I was the web master for the University of Waterloo Faculty of Science for 8 months.

  10. I raised my daughter full time from the age of 5 as a single dad. When my daughter was visiting her mom on weekends, I would attend online grad school (Nova Southeastern), as well as work on big programming/IT jobs with the University of Western Ontario and the University of Waterloo, KW Oktoberfest, and the Waterloo Region District School Board. No rest for me was a good thing.

  11. I almost hit a bear that ran across the road in front of my car when driving in Algonquin park near dusk.

  12. My favorite arcade game when I was a kid was Missile Command. Today, I actually own a full-sized Missile Command arcade machine in my basement.

  13. I’m the first person to get 99,999,999 (the highest score) on the arcade game RAIDEN.

  14. I really like calculus. In first year university, after my prof told me that she has never handed out a higher calculus grade in her years of teaching, I considering switching to the Faculty of Math but decided against it.

  15. I have a UNIX tattoo, and my license plate is UNIXGURU. My favorite types of UNIX are SGI IRIX and Mac OSX.

  16. I played a TON of Atari 2600 games when I was a kid. My favorite games were Berzerk and Yars Revenge. When the Nintendo NES came out, the Atari was forgotten, and I spent my time completing all of the Super Mario and Zelda games. I still have an original NES in my living room connected to my TV.

  17. My parents bought me a Cabbage Patch Doll when I was a kid. Shortly after, I gave it to my sister.

  18. I’m very good at drawing. I won several drawing contests growing up, which scored me several prizes including a neon orange skateboard, a Sony Walkman, and a CD player. I was the first person I knew who actually had a CD player (this was 1985 and they were stupidly expensive), and the first CD I bought was the first Weird Al album.

  19. I got to meet several famous people over the years, including Glenn T. Seaborg, Douglas Adams, Gary Gygax, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, Nolan Bushnell, Whit Diffie, Geddy Lee, Sarah McLaughlan, Robert Bateman, and Jean Chretien.

  20. I used to go to live tapings of “The Royal Canadian Air Farce” and “The Red Green Show” in Toronto. I also appeared as a lodge member in one of the episodes of “The Red Green Show” wearing a comically tight fishing vest.

  21. My father was a foreman at J.M.Schneiders. As a result, I grew up on meat! Our house was famous at Halloween because we’d hand out Schneiders Pepperettes.

  22. I wrote a device driver and SATCOM control program for a solid state CPU board destined for use in a moon rover.

  23. I wrote the payroll system for the University of Waterloo in DBASE IV in the early 1990s.

  24. My high school was so sick of my hacking into their ICON and DOS computer labs that they put me in their enrichment program and threw me a ton of cool opportunities.

  25. On Canada’s 125th Anniversary in 1992, I was one of the top 125 students that the Canadian government flew out to Calgary as part of an enrichment event called FutureTech.

  26. I once scored a programming job only because I liked Hawaiian Pizza (they program as a group, and don’t like to order something different for new team members).

  27. I can get over 1,000.000 points on the arcade game Galaga on any difficulty level. I play Galaga many times per week still today.

  28. I’ve written over 20 textbooks on various computer science topics for different publishers including Wiley, Cengage, Course Technology, Novell Press, and Thompson-Delmar. My first book was written entirely at Starbucks in the Kitchener Chapters bookstore.

  29. I designed and executed an eBook pilot program in our college. It failed miserably.

  30. My daughter and I had a membership to the Ontario Science Centre for almost a decade. After that, my college sponsored the world’s largest video game exhibition there (Game On 2.0) and I got to design our part of the exhibition and spend the entire 6 months doing talks and other events.

  31. The only alcoholic drink that I really like is Guinness.

  32. I published a mobile app that allows you to track bullshit words that you hear in meetings (action item, synergy, customer centric, etc.) and compare the total bullshit for your meeting to past meetings. It is crazy popular.

  33. Compaq once drop-shipped over $300,000 worth of DEC Alpha computers to my campus for me to do research on. I still have one of them.

  34. I helped design and implement one of the largest parallel computing clusters in Canada by coding the MPICH implementation.

  35. Because I could run very fast, my high school gym teacher begged me to join football. I declined, but instead took up shot put. I scored first in my region and third in Ontario for shot put during my Gr.11 year.

  36. I used to do a LOT of fishing when I was a teenager. I haven’t fished since.

  37. I taught piano lessons at a local piano studio for three years starting when I was 15 years old.

  38. I’ve played the piano since I was 6 years old, and have also dabbled in other instruments including the double bass, violin, organ, accordion and bagpipes.

  39. I once hiked for 8 hours in the rain in Algonquin Park with my daughter.

  40. I once went on vacation (cottaging in Muskoka) with my daughter and my grandmother (4 generations apart). We had a blast!

  41. I read a lot of MAD Magazine growing up. I’ve also read a lot of science fiction and fantasy books growing up, as well as a TON of books on rocks. I like rocks.

  42. I was heavily into synthesizers and MIDI sequencers growing up.

  43. I was heavily into R/C cars, boats and planes growing up.

  44. I played on a baseball team briefly growing up. The house I live in today backs onto the field that I used to play baseball in.

  45. I got into a school fight in Gr.8 and broke another kids nose. I still feel bad about that. But not as bad as the kid who I accidentally hit in the balls with a baseball when he pitched me a low shot. They had to take him to the hospital. I wonder if he can have kids…..

  46. My first “real” job was at KFC when I was 14 years old. I got the job without an interview because my grandfather knew the owner.

  47. I once owned a massive Hammond B organ with full pedal board. I still miss that organ.

  48. I prefer to use Macintosh computers compared to other types of computers.

  49. I had an 8mm camera and projector when I was a kid, and I took lots of videos. I don’t know if those videos still exist today….

  50. I once converted a gramophone from manual wind-up to automated electric.

  51. I was once offered an incredibly lucrative job in the middle east training people on Linux for a large gas company. The only catch was that I’d have to be smuggled in through Germany, there were no indoor toilettes, and I’d be close to a war zone. I turned it down ;-)

  52. I once carried a table home on my head in the rain.

  53. I worked on a project for the Tandem Accelerator Superconducting Cyclotron (TASCC) at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). Say that 5 times really fast. I later taught UNIX and programming courses at AECL through our corporate training division periodically for 6 years.

  54. I’ve written over 100 different certification exams for IT and computer programming over the past 15 years. I hate writing them today…..

  55. I once threw my back out playing Angry Birds.

  56. I have a very large vintage computer collection in my basement.

  57. I once worked for Microsoft doing Motorola 68000 Assembly programming. It was a direct result of walking into a skunkworks lab at the University of Waterloo that was outfitted with Sharp X68000 computers, and joining their team that was developing code for CAPCOM for use in the Street Fighter II series of arcade games.

  58. I have a plethora of video game themed art around my house.

  59. When my daughter and I went to Disney World, we saw the aftermath of a shooting at the bus stop in Downtown Disney. I got in trouble from the Deputy Sheriff of Orange County for taking a picture.

  60. I have 15 different arcade machines in my house. I prefer to play arcade games to most games that are popular today. And I know how to repair them too (including the circuit boards).

  61. I used to rollerblade all over Waterloo when I was a student. I even used to push my daughter’s stroller around on rollerblades (really fast, because she liked the thrill).

  62. I used to have a rock tumbler that I used on every kind of weird rock I could find.

  63. My favourite colour is green.

  64. My favourite musical is Les Miserables. I know every song in that musical off by heart, and played the piano for it in my high school band.

  65. I hate 99% of all country music.

  66. I once fixed my own refrigerator by taking it apart and using information that I learned on the Internet.

  67. My daughter and I saw Tron Legacy on the first day wearing matching Tron hoodies from the Disney Store.

  68. I made a replica “The Internet” box from the BBC sitcom “The IT Crowd” - it has a functional blinking light too!

  69. I was in the Chess Club in high school until I pissed off the club leader by beating him.

  70. I learned to play the double bass after we found a 60-year-old bass in the south tower at my high school alongside a lot of science stuff from the turn of the century (it was a very old high school).

  71. I won two sub eating contests at my high school….by a long shot!

  72. I once pulled a prank in my high school library by modifying the autoexec.bat on the DOS computers they used to load a different nude fat lady on each machine the next time they were booted up. I was never caught, but I’m sure they knew who did it.

  73. My friend Matt once gave me a blow-up doll for my birthday.

  74. I have a 7-foot Pacific Sailfish (a.k.a Marlin) mounted in my rec room.

  75. I hosted the first Linux Expo in Canada. It was small, and hosted at our Kitchener campus, but we had a great turnout and some great speakers. This was before the dotcom boom, around the time that people were starting to realize that Linux was cool.

  76. I’m an incredibly organized person, and I worry about the stupidest things…..just like my grandfather! My middle name is also my grandfathers first name.

  77. I still get emotional when I hear the song at the end of the movie “The Secret of Nimh”

  78. I’ve read the book “And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street” by Dr. Seuss so many times to my daughter when she was little, that I have the whole book memorized.

  79. I love Astronomy. I once had an expensive Cassegrain telescope that I modified to slew on the azimuth.

  80. I once sang for both the Governor General of Canada and Prime Minister of Canada as part of my middle school choir.

  81. I’m very good at playing Backgammon (my parents always played it on the front porch when I was growing up).

  82. I’ve won a ton of awards over the years, including the OACC Excellence in Teaching award, which goes to the best college teacher in Ontario!

  83. I once ate a Godfather’s burger at Mel’s Diner just to get the t-shirt. It was 9 patties covered in bacon, cheese, and a ton of other stuff on an oversized bun. I will never do that again.

  84. I have three binary clocks in my house (two of them are very large), as well as a binary watch.

  85. The official job description document for my job in Human Resources includes the core requirement “Fluent in both English and Klingon” (don’t ask why ;-)

  86. My 3 favourite authors are Douglas Adams, Neil Stephenson, and Kurt Vonnegut.

  87. I’m incredibly cheap. If I don’t need it, I don’t buy it. Except for anything nerdy - I’ll drop money on nerdy crap like no other….

  88. I won the wood working and drafting award in Gr.8. I was upset because I actually wanted to win the music award.

  89. The first program I wrote was a simple BASIC program on my Commodore computer that counted to 1 Googol (the largest named number).

  90. I keep an original blueprint of the MIPS R10000 CPU architecture on the wall next to my desk to remind me that simple solutions are often the most elegant and powerful.

  91. I saw The Barenaked Ladies perform live….before they were famous.

  92. My favourite smell in the morning is coffee.

  93. The song “Little Red Corvette” by Prince always reminds me of my father.

  94. At their request, when the JAVA programming language came out, I ran a course for faculty in the Department of Science at the University of Waterloo to teach everyone how to use it.

  95. I can’t dance. I even suck at slow dancing.

  96. My first crush was when I was 7 years old. Her name was Jessica Carpenter and we listened to Raffi songs together. I guess we’ll always have that…..

  97. I once put match heads into the tobacco my dad used to make his homemade cigarettes as a prank. He singed his eyebrows when he lit the cigarette, and was incredibly pissed off.

  98. I can crochet. I still wear a scarf that I crocheted myself.

  99. I hate ketchup on everything except for hot dogs.

  100. I’m of the belief that McDonald’s french fries can cure any illness.