Sunday, March 04, 2007

100 Things

100 Things about Martin (for my birthday)

1. I'm 29 years old yesterday - which doesn't really seem that weird or significant
(This list was supposed to go up yesterday, oops I forgot)
2. All my birthdays after 21 have been pretty low-key - 18, 19, 20, and 21 all seemed pretty momentous, but since then the numbers haven't seemed particularly significant
3. I don't have an indoor voice. My normal speaking voice is both loud and penetrating - people in adjacent rooms can often hear me clearly
4. I think graduate students should get paid more, but I acknowledge this is a thorny issue that impacts graduate enrollment in complex ways
5. I feel like people who give me advice about money do not understand what it means to live on $12 000 / year in urban Canada
6. I get annoyed when people appear to completely forget what "inflation" means - $12 000 is not nearly what it was when you were my age
7. I wear disposable contact lenses, because I dislike wearing my glasses and I cannot afford laser surgery
8. Actually, I'm not convinced I want laser surgery for my eyes, even were I able to afford it
9. I procrastinate a huge amount. It's quite shocking, really
10. I no longer own a car, and I miss my van
11. I have had a valid driver's license since September of 1994, and I consider myself a good driver
12. I have never driven under the influence of alcohol or any other drug
13. I like beer
14. I also like wine
15. I like some mixed drinks, but find "neat" hard liquors very difficult to drink
16. In the morning, before anything else except my shower, I NEED to drink something cold and fruity. Orange juice works best
17. Orange pulp is gross; I try to drink only pulp-free orange juice. Fresh-squeezed holds no appeal for me
18. I drink my coffee undiluted: no cream, no sugar
19. I don't understand why people fail to consume an entire serving of a beverage - most drinks are too small for me, and I generally drink two or three at a time, alcoholic or not. This especially applies to fruit juice - I'll typically drink 500 mL in the morning with breakfast
20. I don't mind having my picture taken, but I seem to posses few pictures of myself
21. I am not an early-adopter of new technology, but I do like new technology
22. I wish I went to the gym more often
23. I am an atheist, and have always been one, from my earliest memories. I don't have a de-conversion experience
24. My earliest memories are from around my fifth birthday. I am doubtful of other people's claimed clear memories of toddlerhood
25. As a consequence, I often think when presented with a small child "she will remember none of what happens today, including me"
26. I try to smile at small children, nonetheless - I think seeing smiling, friendly adults improves child brain development
27. I recently learned to knit. I'm not very good at it, and I don't knit often enough
28. I don't want children. I plan on dying childless
29. Should I accidentally acquire one or more children (shit happens), I think I'd be a pretty good father - I'd just base everything on my own parents
30. I almost always wear a watch - a basic digital Timex. I don't understand people who don't know what time it is
31. I have recently purchased a basic account on Now I can procrastinate even more efficiently 32. I like cats, and wish I had a pet. But I don't think I can afford one right now, and I'm often away from home
33. I have mixed feelings towards dogs - they can be fun in small doses, but most are basically irritating
34. I have no difficulties sleeping in to unlimited hours in the afternoon. I don't understand at all people who say they will always wake up at some early hour, regardless of the time they went to sleep the night before
35. I don't think I read a great deal, but I realize I probably read more than the vast majority of people
36. Mostly I read science fiction
37. I also read quite a bit of non-fiction, primarily history and "popular" science
38. I can't afford to buy many books new, so I tend to go overboard at used book stores and (especially) charity book sales
39. My book collection is fairly extensive, but there are very few volumes newer than about 10 years on my shelves
40. I have oddly-shaped fingers - my smallest fingers ("pinky") do not run parallel when held together.
41. I'm left-handed. If you wonder what caused this, ask yourself what causes right-handedness. If you speculate about brain-damage, go fuck yourself, idiot
42. I eat a lot of pasta - it's cheap and easy, and makes great bachelor chow, so I probably eat pasta three or four times per week
43. Bachelor chow is good
44. I wish I understood more mathematics, especially calculus
45. I think smoking cigarettes makes a person look completely stupid. I don't understand people who think it looks somehow sexy
46. I like to take pictures, but my camera is film-based and hence this hobby is mildly expensive
47. I have taken some very good photos in the past, but the vast majority of my pictures are mediocre, at best
48. I cannot find the good pictures in my collection, for it is not organised at all
49. I'm generally pretty disorganised, except with things I use every day, like clothes. Those are not well-organised, but they're not chaotic, either
50. It took me a long time to think of 50 things about me
51. I find non-standard arrangments (apartments, appliances, devices, furniture, etc) annoying, not because I must learn to use some unfamiliar system, but because I have to remember to EXPLAIN it over and over again to any visitors
52. People telling me what I "should" do irritates me unreasonably. The same concept expressed using different words is less irritating
53. Laughter is an interrupted fear response. Thus, I think there is no thing that cannot be made funny, and that "inappropriate" is always a relative term
54. Pedantic Man resides in me. He rides forth on occassion when poor writing appears. I try to control him, as I know he irritates others
55. I should be working
56. My favourite number is 3, because it appears twice in my birthdate. It's been my favourite number since I realised this, when I was young
57. I chew on my fingernails, too often
58. I am one of the least-physically-flexible people I know. I cannot touch my toes with bending my knees - not even close
59. I consider myself to be unusually resistant to cold, but recent events in Onterrible have led me to question this belief
60. I don't have a sweet tooth, or a salt tooth, or any other weird chemical-craving
61. As a result, people will frequently buy food for me that I will not eat, or not eat for unreasonably long periods. Gift food often spoils
62. I think the entire bottled-water industry is a huge waste. Tap water is fine, folks
63. I frequently just space out. Passers-by often seem to mistake the neutral, default facial expression I assume in such times for deep sadness or grief. I don't know why
64. I don't like the taste of mint
65. I like some-what spicy food. Hotter than most people like it, not nearly as hot as the hard-core minority like it
66. I have met very few people who can mix drinks comptently. This may be an artifact of my avoidance of mixed-by-others drinks since some unfortunate parties early in my undergrad years
67. Base-10 numbering annoys me. We'd be much better off with base-8, base-12, or base-16
68. No aspect of the imperial system of measurements (inches, feet, miles, pounds, Fahrenheit, etc) is at all superior to the relevant equivalent in metric. Saying it "just makes sense" is not a valid argument, yanqui
69. Sixty-nine, dude!
70. I get annoyed when I see or hear people missuse metric terms. Force is not measured in kilograms!
71. I get annoyed when I see or hear people missuse semi-obscure plurals. Datum, data, genus, genera, etc.
72. I get annoyed when I see people missuse abbreviations like "e.g." and "i.e." and especially "etc"
73. Many of the items on this list describe things that annoy me, but I consider myself pretty laid-back most of the time
74. Haiku is a serious and subtle-rule-laden form of poetry. I find it highly amusing, however, especially when used 'improperly' on-line. Clever haikus make me giggle
75. I have an internet alter-ego named Pedantic Man. He rides out on his High Horse to express my unreasonable anger towards written grammatical and spelling mistakes
76. I used to handle highly radioactive material on a daily basis. I don't do that anymore, but not because I don't want to
77. I have run an estimated 3500 PCR reactions
78. There are a handful of television shows, mostly hour-long dramas, that I would like to watch on a regular basis
79. I cannot bench-press my own body mass, and I can do only a few chin-ups. I view these as very minor failings that I hope to correct
80. I often sleep with earplugs because of sensitivity to noise
81. I get grumpy if I don't have a shower in the morning (or right after I get up)

82. I should eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
83. I have cereal for breakfast almost every day - even on weekends when I'm not pressed for time
84. I prefer generic cereal over brand names, for taste reasons in addition to the price difference
85. I once suffered severe sunburn on my face. It hurt to open my mouth for about a week due to the skin damage around my lips. I do not recommend trying this
86. I have logged approximately 50 scuba dives, but I haven't been diving for several years
87. The deepest I have ever been diving is 115 feet
88. I breath heavily underwater, and I drain my air tank more quickly than most people
89. My M.Sc. thesis is exactly 50 pages, including copyright pages, table of contents, references and appendix
90. I currently own three computers, two of which I use on a regular basis. The third is a 486 laptop
91. I often wear two pairs of socks - a regular cotton or synthetic pair under a heavier pair of wool or wool-like-synthetic. For some reason, this behaviour confuses many people - what can I say, my feet often get cold
92. I almost always wear a belt - especially when camping or doing fieldwork, even if I'm wearing pants without belt-loops (like sweatpants), for it gives me a place to hang a Swiss-army knife and a flashlight. The sun is treacherous, it sets without warning
93. Among drinks, I do not like [booze]-and-coke, because I had an entertaining evening with Rum-and-coke many years ago
94. Marking essays, lab reports and exams makes my brain hurt
95. I play underwater hockey, the second-most-ridiculous sport I've played
96. I'd like to play innertube waterpolo, the most-ridiculous sport I've ever played
97. I do not currently own a VCR, but I do have a modest collection of tapes
98. Several years ago I drove across the entire width of Canada with a friend. It took us 25 days to drive 16400 Km, from Victoria BC to St. John's, NFLD
99. I'm a gamer. In the immortal words of a good friend of mine, said years ago: "Just because I'm a gamer doesn't mean I can't kick your ass!"
100. I did my undergraduate degree (B.Sc.) at UVic, the university of Victoria. I graduated in 2001.

OK, are you happy now, Steph? Enjoy!

This seems to circulate as a blog-meme, but I'm not going to 'tag' anyone else with this.


Carlo said...

Jebus McArthur! I didn't know t'was your birthday. Else I would've said something. Er...

Happy Birthday!

But, don't you have a GIRL staying with you over the weekend? If this is the case, then you are not procrastinating, you are being a idiot... Tell her I said that.

Mike said...

Reading that, it seemed like you were just getting warmed up. How about starting "4096 Things" for next year?

Happy Belated Birthday!

langmann said...

Happpy day.

Anything in an inner-tube is both fun and rediculous.

Brian said...

Happy belated birthday! I turned 24 last week and already I feel like an old man.

King Aardvark said...

Happy Bday dude. You'll feel older next year.

No making fun of innertube waterpolo. I was the civil dept team captain during 4th year.

And making only $12000? Yikes, you are underpaid. When I did my masters, I got almost twice that, if you include TA money.

How'd you like the -30 we had this week? Fun, eh?

TheBrummell said...

Money that actually enters my bank account comes to about $12000 per year. TAing replaces other income, it does not add to it.

The -30 was only simulated; I don't trust windchill calculations because they're based on a person and a situation rather removed from myself.

King Aardvark said...

Yeah, that sucks the big one when the TAing replaces pay. I, to my extreme fortune, got a decent scholarship, so my TA work was money in the bank. My brother is currently making even less than you doing mech eng grad work - definite poverty.

TheBrummell said...

My brother is currently making even less than you doing mech eng grad work - definite poverty.

Ouch! I'd heard that Arts grad students get the serious shaft, but not Engineering. Send him my sympathies.

Anonymous said...

Martin-- I stumbled on your blog while looking at Allie's. Many of the things on your list i didn't know about you- which i think is sad considering im your sister! But a few of the more obscure things I did know-- "Mr Pedantic man" - (I'm glad you finally found a name for that disorder- how many mistakes are in this message? Get over it - its just a blog comment...).

Hope you had a great birthday!