Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tagged Again

... and this time I'll finish it :)

Suzer tagged me with a 6 random things about me thingy doohickey (as opposed to a regular hickey!). 

But first, let me put up a birdie pic for those of you needing your daily (HA) fix:

See? They really do hang out in trees after all.

On with the show: 6 random things about me!

          1) I spent a lot of summer weekends in Seward, Alaska. Why was I there? Sailing! My parents had a sailboat and I also crewed on some of the race boats (I was a great foredeck dude). I also windsurfed in Turnagain Arm. I used to play with a dingy (AMF Force 5, basically a copy of the Laser) and always wanted to take it down to Seward. One year when I came back from college for the summer (to work) I found out my parents sold the dingy. Shit!

I haven't sailed at all down here in Oz and have only been out on the water twice (inflatable kayak). This obviously does not include me lounging around in our pool :)

          2) I used to bowl. Tenpin US bowling. My first 200+ was scored when I was 13. At age of 14 I had beat my dad's high score of 254 (I had a 255). At age 16 I bowled 22 strikes in a row (turkey in the tenth frame of game one, 12 more for a perfect 300, and 7 to start the third game); I do remember that monday night quite well as the bowling alley was jam packed, and a large crowd had stopped bowling 10 lanes on either side to watch. The next day I rolled a 299 (solid 8 pin left on last ball --the shot was too perfect!). The next day in league I only averaged 185... shit. Used to use a Columbia Yellow Dot Bleeder (this was before the era of urethane lanes and balls).

754 was my best 3 game set; 1423 was my best 6 game set.

I used to ride my bike (old schwinn ten-speed) to the bowling alley while carrying my bowling bag with 2 balls, shoes, towels, etc. My bike handling skills got pretty good.

7 years ago I went bowling for the first time in seven years. Shot in the 140's. Sigh.

I don't have any of my old bowling trophies.

         3) Rubik's Cube. Best time was 1 min 25 sec. I never cheated by reading books to get the algorithms for it; used only the ones I reasoned out myself. In Physics class in high school I'd do the homework assignment in class and then play with the ole cube for the next 30 mins while the teach lectured about how to do the assignment (he and I got along great). I did pay attention in calculus in high school cus that stuff is just so darned fascinating.

When the 4 layered Rubik's Revenge came out, I figured it out quite quickly. Just adapted my own algorithms to it. Got to where I could do it 4 mins 15 secs. Got bored so I started solving the four layered one with various designs --really cool looking ones too. Got bored with that, so I started to do the last 20 or so moves with my eyes closed. Then moved up to the last 40 moves; then did the last forty moves behind my back. This was a GREAT party trick at college! Imagine, 10 drunk college blokes (me too) betting me shots of Everclear whether or not I could do it. I never lost, but after a while took pity on their inebriated slobbering selves and took a shot if I took too long to solve it behind my back.

I had fun in college.

          4) I never, ever, ever envisioned myself leaving Alaska. The Interior, specifically. Well, except to go down to the Kenai for some sailing. That is, until, I met The Most Wonderful Woman In The Entire World. She even tried to go through an early part of a Fairbanks winter. -25 was not her cup of tea, so what would she do when it started to get cold? Needless to say, we decided it'd be easier for me to get used to an Aussie summer than for her to get used to a Fairbanks winter. We were right! I've also turned into a bit of a wuss these last 8 years down here. Hell, I don't even jump in the pool if the water temp is below 65 F (90 F is niceer) and I think I may even have to change out of shorts and sandals this winter. Can you imagine me in a cabin in the Goldstream Valley in the winter with no running water, no gas heat, and this weird crystallized water all over the ground? No, me neither.

          5) Another thing I learned in college was how to shoot pool. I got very good. There were only 2 guys in Fairbanks that could beat me regularly in 8 ball, and no one that could regularly beat me in straight pool (14-1 continuous). I dislike 9 ball as I feel it's a "bangers" game. I also love snooker and billiards. Snooker will teach you about position (leave) and billiards will teach you about any kind of spin you can think of. Combine them both into my favorite game of straight pool. My pool cue is a McDermott. It's not one of the custom made ones, but it is custom balanced to 19 3/4 ounces. It's fairly plain compared to all these new "over the top" ones. As much as I would have liked a Meucci, this one fits me to a T. It was pretty pricey 22 years ago, don't even want to think how much it'd cost nowadays. Dang, need to go find that sucker and fondle it :)

EDIT: My best run at straight pool was 52 balls in a row and my pool cue is worth more than one of my bikes (I have nice bikes).

A friend of mine in one of the pool leagues in Fairbanks wanted me to join his team and travel to the US National 8-Ball Championships in Las Vegas. I turned him down... Which brings me to the next random thing about me;

         6) I fence. All 3 weapons. I'm very good. I taught at a Uni Phys Ed Dept for 6 years. Won a State Championship in Epee. Our Epee team from Alaska got 8th nationally when I traveled with them. High-speed chess is what I liken it to. My early training was in foil and sabre, but I like epee the best: no weird rules, target is the entire body (head to foot) and whoever hits first gets the point. Gotta love it! I've beaten a former US Olympian (he's the nicest guy in the world) and trained a few JO's. One of the fencers from Anchorage always called me "Sir", even when I wasn't Directing (Refereeing) a bout. I finally asked him why and he said it's a sign of respect from him to me --this from a guy who had won many sabre titles and competed on the US National circuit. 

My strength in fencing? I'm athletic, I think, I analyze, and I figure a way through a defense or offense; all done in fractions of seconds. Yep: high speed chess with no board and no constraints on moves :)

There! Six random things about me! And I'll have you know I had to really dig deep into the ole memory well for them! Well hell! You asked! I'm done bragging now... I shall now take my old, fat, lazy body off into a corner and go contemplate dinner for tomorrow night while feeding the birds. 

Speaking of which, would you believe me if I told you I actually planned this next pic? No, I wouldn't believe me either, especially as I know I'm lying:

That's the shadow of a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo about to land on a cross beam of my balcony of which I'm standing under whilst clicking the little button on the camera that makes the shutter go click.


Mon said...

uhhh, my best bowling score was 169. Yea, that was video bowling. I think my real best score was like a 110. you are like a bowling and rubiks prodigy or something!!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Mon: Practice, practice, practice and then when you are sick of it then practice some more! That goes for bowling, pool, fencing, sailing, rubik's cubing, cycling, skiing, running, computer programing, forex trading, or ANYTHING you want to get really good at. Something tells me you and your BF are getting really good at something in particular :)

Suzer said...

well you and I have one thing in common--neither of us ever thought we would move to Oz;) thanks for accepting the tag!

(who can't wait to see some snow on her next trip home!)

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Suzer: Hell, until I met my wife I'd never even known anyone from Oz, let alone thought about moving here. Snow... I'm thinking Taz :) Oh, I would've liked to join y'all for pool and beers last month, but my BIL was out for a conference so me and the wife were taking care of MIL.