Wednesday, March 14, 2007

5 questions

I'm not one to post memes and so on - tagging someone else feels pushy. However when Amber wrote this it felt like a fun enough game to play.

This is voluntary; you're selecting yourself to be bugged, which is fine with me.
  • Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
  • I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better. If I already know you well, expect the questions may be a little more intimate!
  • You WILL update your journal/bloggy thing/whatever with the answers to the questions.
  • You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
  • When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
My answers to Amber's questions

1. Who are you, anyway? How'd you find my blog?

I'm not really sure how I found our blog - I think it was a link from Joseph G. at

I'm me - just a guy from Wisconsin. I've got probably the most boring life possible. Work, home, walk the dog, rassle with the kids. If I'd seen this twenty years ago as a callow youth I'd gag but .. it's about the nicest possible life I could have.

Aubrey deGrey is a fellow who is working on radical life extension. When asked what he'd do if he could live two, three or four-hundred years he replied along the lines of 'Do what I do now. Drink a pint in the evening, walk with my wife, enjoy life. I like this life - I'd like more of it' which seems like a fine thing to me.

2. So, about LiftPort... are you really going to build a freakin' space elevator??

The Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, yes.

Hey, someone is going to do it - why not us?

3. For that matter, what made you decide that you wanted to be involved in building a space elevator?

I was bored one day and decided ... 'why not'?

But, no. And yes. I was working for a really large telecom in Dallas (no, not that one) and realized that I really really didn't like working for really large companies that were (if you will) making widgets. Anyone can make widgets.

Plus the telco was clearly about to downsize the division I worked for. The best time to find a job is when you've got one.

So I looked around for companies that were a) in Dallas and b) doing unique stuff and changing the world.

LiftPort wasn't on my short list, of course; they didn't exist at the time. But while I was researching my short list and networking I ran across the precursor organization to LiftPort, sent them my resume in a 'what-the-hell' email. Later the next year when LiftPort did form, Michael Laine called me up and said "I can't pay you, but the job will be fun; want to sign up?" Clearly Michael is one persuasive son-of-a-gun.

And here I am.

Oh my shortlist? I had five companies on it. Four of them are extinct. I networked well enough that my resume landed in a hiring manager's hands for one (just before it went under), I discovered a guy who knew the founder of another who said he'd be happy to introduce me .. the week AFTER they closed their door. I interviewed at a third but they wanted someone with more expertise than I have at programming. They're still in business. Networking pays off, and the bleeding edge bleeds hard, baby.

4. Why do you sign all your blog posts "Respectfully submitted"?

Respectfully Submitted is what Marines sign in log books a the end of the duty period when they are duty NCO for the barracks, battalion, armory guard and so on.

It's a touchstone to something I used to do and who I used to be.

5. What's your caffeinated beverage of choice?

Coffee, black, little sugar.
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