Seven Fun Facts – Blog Hop

My friend Ben Willoughby tagged in my this blog tour. While I’ve done a number of these, I decided to challenge myself to dig a bit deeper this time. Here’s the outline of the post:

This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side to ourselves. We’ve been challenged by another author/ blogger (somewhat like the ‘ice bucket’ challenge) to list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s/blogger’s persona we all like to project. But we want to show that behind every story is a story, our story, my story, and like everyone else I have dreams, hobbies, problems and goals. This blog hop is a way to share some of them with you, my readers.

The rules are that I share 7 Lovely Facts about myself, and links to at least 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. If I’ve nominated your blog (see names below) please don’t feel any obligation to join in but, if you do, please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you…share facts about yourself and nominate 15 blogs (or as many as you can).

So in no particular order:

1. We almost moved to Jersey Island, UK

Jen and I worked at Microsoft and were asked to take on a special project for one of the Canadian banks, on one of the channel islands in the UK, called Jersey. Think of Jersey Milk or Jersey cows, that’s where it comes from.

We were there for 2 months and came back, for what was supposed to be our “sell the house, put everything we want to keep in storage, and then move to that 5 mile x 7 mile island for at least a year” when the contractual pieces fell apart.

It’s a good thing though, in 52 days there, I’d gained 15 pounds. The food was SOO GOOD, think British service w/French and Italian (for some reason) cuisine. This is also where I learned to LOVE tea, after drinking it for years.

2. I love acting

I’ve been told many times over that I should have been a comedian, or become an actor. In grade 11, I was in a production of Hamlet with a teacher who used to be a professional director. I played Horatio. I closed the show with intensity, I was told.

Between my many voices some of you have experienced, and my ability to get into character, I would love to do it, but it’s not in the cards for me at the moment. I do take this and distill it into my writing though, in case that wasn’t obvious.

3. I often feel like a little kid

For some reason, I regularly am able to make myself feel like a little kid. My clothes feel a bit baggy, my mind feels clear of adult thoughts, and I wonder around, looking at the world in a different state of things. I used this in the flashback chapter of Book 2, The Road from Augusto.

4. I had a startup in University

My Startup’s name was Mages/2 and these are the two variants of the logo we had:






It was an IBM OS/2 operating system based video games company. I had a partner in Hawaii and another in Italy. We worked on a pinball game that actually got IBM’s attention, and had some folks from the Italian team flown up to Milan to show it off. I ended up being pulled on to something else, none of these went anywhere. Oh the heady days of 1995.

5. I was a huge Weird Al fan

As a kid, I loved the twisted lyrics. I got Weird Al’s first album and played it until you couldn’t read the sides of the tape anymore. I had another comedy tape made by a friend with songs like Dead Puppies Aren’t Much Fun and what not.

I really came to enjoy changing lyrics myself, and on occasion, doing it in real-time (much to the irritation of my younger brother). In his opinion, I should not have been translating Metallica songs to being about Quebec independence or sell my little ponies. His loss was my gain.

I haven’t bought his last album or two, but it’s more about not having time to appreciate them.

6. Nervous about public speaking, I did a speaking tour for Microsoft

In 2003, I got myself involved with a cross-Canada academic speaking tour as co-key speaker. Through 7 cities, and over 6 days, I spoke for several hours to hundreds of people (max was Toronto with about 1100 people) about various technical topics.

My co-key speaker was a well known woman in the technical field, who was a technical advisor to Microsoft and had many books out. If you needed to know anything about how to do something in C++, she was the one to ask.

7. Compared to Robin Williams meets Tony Robbins meets Prince?

Over the years I have been compared to Robin Williams with my quick witted humour, my ability to go way-way-way out there and bring it all back in for a good, solid joke. I’ve also been told I’m a “Tony Robbins” personality, inspiring people and I see it sometimes, when I’m talking to a team I’m leading and picking their spirits up and filling them with the energy to do the impossible. I don’t think that those who’ve come to know me are much surprised, but Prince?

Yes, well, with me standing in at 6’2″ and Prince being 5’2″, I can see the similarity. It comes down to “the intense look” and “ethnicity.” When I lived in Silicon Valley, there was a woman at the local grocery store’s meat counter who always remarked on this. Every time. I mean, if I was returning to the meat counter because I’d forgotten to pick something up, and had only been there 15 minutes ago, she’d remark on it.

Who’s up next?

Abrea, Niko, Mia and Luther, I tag you guys. If you post, I’ll link this post to your blog’s post. If not, no harm, no foul.



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