1. If you could only listen to 5 musicians for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Well, I have already ranted on not liking The Doors and I guess Ryan Adams is off the list now. So let’s see. Springsteen, The Beatles, The Rollingstones, Tom Petty, and Perry Como (Just the Christmas stuff)
2. If you could only read 5 books for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Moby-Dick, Huckleberry Finn, Fire In August, The Book of Lists, Cryptonomicon
3. If you could only have 5 childhood memories to recall for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Hanging out in Grandpa Nall’s shed out back. Riding around in Dad’s Jeep hunting on Great Divide. Christmas Eve while a high school freshman (I think that was the year.) Doing one of the college radio morning shows, and my first promotion in the army
4. If you could only eat 5 things for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Avocados, Romaine lettuce, raspberries, my homemade seitan loaf thingy I have created, and pistachios
5. If you could only have five words to describe the world today what would they be?
Preening president protesting processes perhaps purposely
1. What should a new national anthem be?
“Send in the Clowns” by Judy Collins perhaps?
2. Do you have a personal anthem that should be played when entering the room?
“Growing Up” by Springsteen.
3. How about in your past, what would be your anthem for the college years?
“The Road To Nowhere” by Talking Heads.
4. What about your parents. Do they have a national anthem?
My dad’s anthem would have been Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood”
My mothers’ is probably a Christian hymn of some sort, anything except “Amazing Grace” she doesn’t like that song. Let’s go with “Onward Christian Soldiers.”
5. If Earth were to have a global anthem, what should it be?
“Space Oddity” by David Bowie
1. Following the logic of Peter Parker getting bitten by a radioactive spider and becoming Spiderman, what’s the best radioactive animal to get bitten by?
Well, let’s see. We have Antman, Spiderman, Black Panther, and I am sure a host of others. How about being bitten by a radioactive wasp and have the powers to fly as quickly as those pesky pests do and give a sting as your power (Is this the basic premise of The Green Hornet? If so, can I have Bruce Lee as my faithful sidekick to help kick ass?)
2. Blade Runner(1982) takes place in 2019. What technologies from today would seem like science fiction to people from the year 1982?
First, I must say, one of my favorite films. That said, let’s postulate, what do we have now that would wow? Probably the ubiquitous cell phone/smartphone. That’s some pretty advanced technology right there.
3. You have unlimited funds and are tasked with reducing crime. You can’t spend any money on the police. What do you spend it on?
Universal basic income. Everyone gets $20,000 grand a year and they can supplement that with whatever job they want/need. Economic issues are the cause of most crime.
Sociology folks. Look it up.
4. Other than your usual clothes, what’s something you feel naked outside your house without?
A wristwatch. It may be a generational thing but for most of adult life I have worn a watch and it is weird when don’t have one.
5. What’s the one job that robots must not be allowed to take over?
Bread baking. When done by machines, it sucks, but when homemade, it is divine.
The Consumer Electronics Show starts next week. In that light:
1. What is an electronic gadget/technology that you can’t live without?
Probably my smartphone, with my kindle as a close second.
2. What is an electronic gadget/technology that you can do without?
Radar detector beat speed traps – no need for one. I rarely speed and rarely, rarely get pulled over. I don’t need this gadget and for those of you who know me, passing on a gadget is a big deal.
3. What is your favorite gadget
Our apartment is now in mourning over the death of our coffee air roaster. After nearly decades of use – the Fresh Roast 2 is no longer made and we are desperately searching for a replacement, which, as I understand it is on back order.
4. What needs to be invented but hasn’t
Any of the excellent technologies portrayed in the Jetsons. (Flying cars, robot maids, auto grooming/dressing station. Also, I wouldn’t mind a Star Trek transporter.
5. When did you get your first cell phone?
1999 – a Qualcomm from Sprint. And one day, I left it on the bus. Sad. Then months later I got a job at Nextel and they provided a free phone and service. In fact it wasn’t until 2016 that I had to actually pay for cellular service. Those were the days.
1. Do you enjoy receiving books as holiday or birthday gifts?
Yes, I do. And I am that guy who gives books for presents. I think my favorite books that I have gotten were pop-up books left under the tree at Christmas.
2. What book are you reading (or, what is the last book you read)?
I am currently rereading “Pastoralia” by George Saunders from 1998. It is a novella and short story collection.
3. Are you enjoying (or, did you enjoy) that book? Why or why not?
I loved this book the first time around and even digging it more on this go round. It has a tone and a sparseness of language that is beguiling. And its message told in a sag, sarcastic voice – channeling a feeling of anger and losslessness told by worlds populated by the underserved and underappreciated. It is as topical today as it was 20 years ago. And despite all that, it is really funny. Saunders has become one of my favorite authors. I put in the class of Vonnegut – he creates this alternate reality and uses the space and characters to talk about today’s issues in totally imagined settings. His voice is focused and intentional and yet fresh and somewhat raw.
4. About how many books do you read in an average year?
Probably 25 or so. I am a voracious reader and also devour online news and magazines as well as whatever is stacked up on my Kindle.
5. What are some of the books on your to-read pile (or list)?
“Accidentally Like A Martyr” by James Campion (a biography of Warren Zevon) and Cibola Burn by James Corey (part of The Expanse series) – as well as a few crappy sci-fi books for mindless reading.
1. What’s the weirdest place you have ever slept?
I’ve slept in a snow cave while a young teenager in Boy Scouts. I’ve also gotten lost in Stuttgart on a bit of a beer-soaked binge and road a train going the wrong way so at the end of the line I got off the train and slept under a bench in a park. Not my proudest moment but I was a young GI having a night on the town.
2. What’s the worst place you ever slept?
An army barracks that is just like you see in the movies – a big huge room of bunk beds and 30 folks all sleeping at the same time. Not a comfy sleep.
3. What/where is the best night sleep you have ever had?
Clean sheet night in my big old bed. It’s quite comfy but I think I may have far too many pillows.
4. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
I’m a morning person. I tend to fade quite early and am known to be in bed by 9:30 or 10 pm.
5. What is one little noise that will always wake you up?
I have a lot of grey noise in my room – a humidifier and an air purifier so I don’t hear lots of things (I have slept through fire alarms.) But in my apartment building, I wake up to footsteps in the wee hours of the night from upstairs. But I usually quickly go back to sleep.
1. What is your favorite food?
Pizza. But I am trying to ratchet down the carbs due to blood sugar concerns. So I am working on a less” carby” dough. For great, amazing and easy homemade pizza, get Jim Lahey’s book “My Pizza” He has this thing figured out – better than anything you will have delivered.
2. What is your favorite food preparation method?
Basted eggs. Take two eggs, crack them open in a non-stick frying pan warm.and the pan with some olive oil. (For the fry and the flavor. ) put about a tablespoon of water in a lid for the pan and toss the water into the pan and cover. The eggs will be done in about 90 seconds and the whites will be light and plumpy and the yolks will be perfect.
3. What is your favorite cuisine or style of cooking?
Cuisine – probably Tex-Mex. Ole. Viva. Tacos.
4. Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they?
Carbs, sugar and I am a vegetarian (really more of a flexa-tarian (I eat cheese, eggs, fish but no “meats” ), so there is that.
5. If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why?
Fresh roasted, purchased from a roadside stand, Hatch or Pueblo green chilis – mmm. (Put them in the skillet with the eggs detailed above and you have a yummy spicy breakfast.)
1. What mildly annoying curse do you wish you could curse people with?
Those that don’t use their blinkers in traffic lose their right foot and the ability to push down the gas pedal.
2. It’s almost 2020, what futurist thing did you seriously think we’d have by now?
Clean, cheap nuclear power. Growing up in the 1970s, the idea of clean nuclear energy was part of the promise. Why can’t we solve the scourge of nuclear waste in order to make this feasible? I read an article a number of years ago that nuclear waste was posited to be a solution for fuel for battery cells in electronic devices such as electric cars, with a battery that could hold a charge for months. But “Big Battery” and “Big Oil,” I think shut the whole thing down. (Plus this scheme didn’t seem to be safe in the case of a battery-related accident – tons of nuclear waste leaks on the highway. Alas . . . )
3. It is the year 1800. What would have killed you by now (that actually happened in your life)?
Definitely my heart attack. No way could they have solved it with an angioplasty and stent as they can easily do these days.
4. What was the name of the smelly kid in class?
Dwayne M. Jeebus did he smell and sometimes my mother would pick him up and give him a ride home from school as they lived down the block and sitting in the back seat with him was a odorific challenge.
5. What’s the worst snack food you’ve ever seen in a store?
Most of the recreations from any of the state fair food booths – frozen fried Snicker bars and things of that ilk.
1. What was that cool thing/brand that everyone wanted when you were growing up, but now you’d get laughed at for having? Canned tamales. Everyone, simply everyone was eating them as a child but no, alas, I am the only one.
2. What website do you no longer go to, but was once a favorite? Talking Points Memo. I read it a lot during the early days of the Bush administration but I have wandered off and now simply play in traffic.
3. What food did you love as a child but hate it now?
Farm fresh cream (the consistency of really thick yogurt) ladled over Cap’n Crunch cereal. I don’t think that sweet rich concoction could ever be eaten today without putting me in a cardiac/diabetic stroke.
4. What’s a scam that people throw money at without knowing it’s stupid?
Where to start – megachurches, psychics, MAGA.
5. Pigs have sprouted wings and can now fly. How does this affect life as we know it?
A flying pig would change the food-esphere as we know it – Pigs would be revered and bacon and ribs, pork roast would be mere whims of the past, spoken about it in whispers.