8 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Earl Moore has tagged me to supply Eight Things Previously Unknown. They ended up being a bit wordier than expected so apologies there, but let’s get down to it:

1. I eat a bowl of cereal almost every night before bed. I’ve done this since I was probably 5 years old. Special K – lightly sugared, is my absolute favourite.

2. Out of high school, I applied for Architecture at 3 schools. One of them accepted me, but at that time they were not fully accredited with the Ontario Architect’s Association (they are now). I declined and went into engineering in Ottawa instead. The rest is (a lower paying) history. πŸ™‚

3. I worked for my father’s company in plumbing and pipe-fitting work for years. My first duties were answering phones, filing, and accounting/payroll ledger work starting at the tender age of 13. I moved on to actual construction work at 16. From the start I learned that an honest day’s work is something to value. Since then I’ve always respected hard honest work much more than easy money. Spoiled son of the boss, I was not. My dad wouldn’t have put up with that crap.

4. I have an older brother (2 years older). We got along well (and still do) but in a lot of ways we’re as different as the day is long. He’s a licensed plumber and moved out west to Edmonton several years ago. We speak about twice a year on the phone. He’s a man of few words, always has been. But still we get along remarkably well. We accepted our differences long long ago.

5. My father was born in northern Italy, my Mom in Manitoba. I only ever had an Italian set of grandparents since my Mom was basically abandoned as a young teen by her family. And although some of her family is still alive, I’ve never met them and never care to. I think my Dad, Mom and brother went out to visit them before I was born, and we’ve never ever been back since – I guess that tells you how well it went. πŸ˜‰ Do I feel at a loss? No. Not at all. My mom has always been remarkably strong and self-sufficient. I love that. I can’t speak much Italian and my Nonno and Nonna couldn’t speak much English, so I never really had the typical grandparent-grandchild relationship that most others did.

6. At age 9 I was at a week long summer hockey camp. On a dare, I picked up a pay phone, dialed zero and said ‘There’s a bomb here..’ and quickly hung up. I almost soiled myself 15 minutes later when police and fire trucks arrived to evacuate the community centre. I was never caught, and I never made another crank call again. Boy, you can be remarkably stupid at nine years of age.

7. After graduating from university, my first engineering job involved being a technical specialist for a startup company developing a new extruded concrete building product. The money was great and I had my own big office. I thought I had it made. After 4 months it turned out that the owners were trying to take the company public and were swindling shareholders in the process. It all ended for me during a shareholders meeting at a downtown hotel. I sat in the audience and was called out by the owner to tell everyone when the product testing certification was finally going to be completed. He expected me to say one month. I told the truth and said six months. I was let go shortly after. I was glad I left. The owner ended up in big trouble with the securities commission and was even sentenced to some jail time. Talk about a rude introduction into the engineering world.

8. I did all kinds of semi-embarrassing things as a kid. I learned to knit at age 5, took tap dancing lessons around age 7, accordion around age 7 or 8 too. I learned to do laundry well before 8 years of age and could cook a decent supper shortly thereafter. At around 7 years old, using one of my mother’s cookbooks as a guide, I made and baked an apple pie from scratch while she napped (Mom was a shift-working emergency nurse). She told me the kitchen was an absolute disaster area but the pie tasted great. As a result of this type of upbringing, one of the things I always encourage of our daughter is self-reliance. Don’t wait to be taught something if you can learn it yourself.

Now to tag 5 others to share their own 8 unknown things. Feel free to ignore if you’re not into meme’s or if you’ve done it already:

Perwari Naan

Donncha O Caoimh

David Airey

Will Simpson

Rich Burridge

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3 Responses to “8 Things You Didn’t Know About Me”

  1. David Airey :: Creative Design :: Says:

    Thanks for the tag, Richard.

    I’ve previously written about this meme and have linked to my ‘8 facts’ article.

    We have older brothers in common, and mine’s two years older too.

  2. earl Says:

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for participating…

    Don’t feel bad about semi-embarrasing number 8. I also learned to knit, do laundry and cook as a young child…

    but about that accordion! πŸ˜‰

  3. Donncha Says:

    Tap dancing eh? πŸ™‚

    I’ve been tagged with this meme already, but I answered the 5 things one before and really, you don’t want to know another 3 things!

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