Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tagged to the 5th Power

My comrade in the Palm business - Alison at Astraware recently tagged me with a meme that has been going around in tech / geek circles to do some explaining about five things people may not know about me.

I think most people know I can be a dry wit, a smart aleck, my desire to be a professional prankster, dog lover, being overly Asian with a healthy appetite of gadgets and being serious about my family and faith... so I had to think hard about this meme... but like Curly of the Three Stooges, I was trying to think, but nothing was happening.

So here are my five:

(1) I was heavily addicted to professional wrestling ever since I was a young kid whose grandma watched it till she was ninety eight. Maybe it was the showmanship, the hype, the exaggeration, trash talking with body slams and flying leaps from the turnbuckles... and my favorite, the figure four leglock that would have some poor guy yelling "Uncle!" that hooked me till I was thirty years old.

In Nashville, I use to hurry down to Berry's Pawn Shop to get front row tickets to watch the locals that promoter Nick Gulas would promote every Friday night at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Tojo Yamamoto (I've eaten at his restaurant), Beautiful Bobby Eaton (I tossed a chair on him after it hit me on the shin), Dutch "The Flying Dutchman" Mantell, "Macho Man" Randy Savage (I had a crush on Miss Elizabeth), The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jackie Fargo (I voted for him as mayor - he had the strut down) and Jerry "The King" Lawler (whom I've pitched to do his fan club newsletter) and many others too numerous to mention. Somewhere in my pile of stuff, I have a picture of me with Andre The Giant. Watching guys body slam each other for two hours made me the mellow person I am today.

Soon, the wresting got too violent with the "Loser Leaves Town" matches - always 2 out of 3 with follow up grudge matches - OK, we really mean it this time - loser leaves town! Throwing salt in the eyes, chains in the tights, two by fours and worse, crouch kicking - all violations of Man Laws - was unacceptable. Plus the epithany - I never saw an ambulance parked outside - which revealed the truth that professional wrestling was fake.

(2) I can't type... whoever invented CRTL C and CRTL V and spell check is a pure genius. I get by at 8 words a minute with my left pointer finger and right pointer and middle finger, but even if I could type at 120 words a minute, my fingers couldn't keep up with my brain. I think faster than I can talk; my mind is always racing creatively.

(3) I don't live a life of regrets, but I often think if I had never ended up in the music business, I would be a vet doctor in the suburbs somewhere or a professional mascot. But then, I would never have met Mrs. WonderDawg 28 years ago either, so that's that. However, I'll probably be the old eccentric guy on the news ten years from now who has a ministry tooling around the USA in a big RV rescuing dogs. Most likely, I'll be like Rev. Will B. Dunn... who does have a ministry to animals...

(4) Speaking of the music business, I had the good fortune of working for WEA, the disribution arm for Warner Bros, Elektra and Atlantic labels back in the really good old days - 1976 to 1984 with retail and concert promotion four years prior. Vinyl was king, there were actually 12 to 15 good songs on a LP, the Sony Walkman and cassettes were invented and concert tickets were $6.50 tops. I was never big on tying my self esteem to some artist or their music, but grateful that Rod Stewart or Fleetwood Mac was putting some serious food on my table with a new baby and all at the commission rate of .00065 cents per LP sold. I always liked the aspect of telling people about great new music, like the time I took some new Irish band around Nashville to radio stations and record stores named U2 after their first album was released. Talk about no respect!

I was excited to always get autographs from artists for my newborn son Gary from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Todd Rundgren, Bonnie Raitt, Prince, U2, Alice Cooper, the Pretenders and many others, but my favorite autograph was from Larry Carlton (who played probably the best guitar solo ever in Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne") who signed his LP, "Gary, hope you enjoy this album when you're older!" Priceless.

(5) I had no higher ed-u-ka-shun other than "earn while you learn" and thirst for knowledge via books and mentors. I was glad to get out of high school in 1972 in the midst of busing and rezoning in Richmond, Virginia. What a mess that was to have friendships uprooted since elementary school because of some federal government emphasis on racial diversity rather than academic excellence. That was a wierd time warp where everybody was stressed out on whether they would be drafted and sent to Vietnam, the hippie movement and on and on. Bummer years!

Looking back, I wouldn't trade those years from the experiences and hard knocks endured as they've given me a measure of humbleness and compassion for young kids today. But, you couldn't give me a million dollars to live through those years again. Which probably explains why "The Wonder Years" makes me tear up... what a wuss I am!

Now that I feel better, I 'll tag some other tech / geek folks outside the Nashville area who haven't been tagged yet...
Julie at The-Gadgeteer
Kenny who founded PalmGear
Tunji the African Nerd
and Katherine spouse of a tech guy

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