Five things you never knew about me.

Book of Joe tagged me with one of those question-answering memes and, while I generally ignore them…hey, it’s Joe. I also think I’ll enjoy this one. I’m supposed to list five things that you don’t know about me. What with my family and many close friends reading this, I’ll just go for what most of you don’t know about me.

  1. The Air Force was my planned career path, as my route into the space program. I even joined Civil Air Patrol. But the height limit for the shuttle is 6’4″, and once I hit 6’3″ with no sign of slowing down, I realized I’d need a new path in life. (I’m a shade over 6’4″ now.) I never did find that other path.
  2. I was the proud recipient of the first-ever e-mailed subpoena. But it was a Word file, so I couldn’t read it. This led to a heck of a legal case [1, 2, 3] that, with the backing of the ACLU, we (“The Peacefire Three”) ultimately won.
  3. Elementary and middle school were an absolute mystery to me. I had no idea of where I should be at any given time, how I could find out, or even what day of the week that it was or how to find that out. Once I was abruptly switched from one grade to another — like, first to fifth or something — and then switched back weeks or months later; explanation was neither granted nor did it occur to me to ask. You know the dream where you’re in school but you’re late to class and there’s a test and you didn’t study and didn’t bring your homework? Welcome to my childhood, right up to the sense of dreaming.
  4. My first car was the family’s old 1987 minivan that I inherited. It died before I could even fill up the gas tank. That was followed by a motorcycle, which proved to be a lot more fun.
  5. I became a licensed ham radio operator in middle school, but never once did anything with it. Not only could I not afford a rig, but I got internet access, and, really, I only wanted to become a ham to access the internet via packet radio. Being lousy at CW, I was lucky to get one of the first codeless licenses, Technician class, made available in 1991 just a few weeks before I took my test. (The FCC eliminated all CW requirements two weeks ago.) I was even a Harry Dannals (W2HD) fanboy — the former president of the ARRL, living right here in Charlottesville!

Breaking the chain, I’m tagging nobody with this, though I’d be happy to see some others pick this up and run with it.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

16 replies on “Five things you never knew about me.”

  1. but if I tell things, then people will know about them, and they won’t be things people don’t know about me, right?

    Let me take a different tack. Here are 5 things my students are surprised to find out about me, which they almost inevitably do when my wife makes her annual visit to my classes and tells them.

    1) I am softy. My biggest frustration is when I cannot get kids to try, so that as soon as they do I will give a lot of slack so that I don’t discourage and therefore lose them.

    2) I cry at movies – and no, not just at guy flicks (that in case you didn’t get it is a reference to Tom Hanks talking about Dirty Dozen in “Sleepless in Seattle.”)

    3) I am basically fairly shy. And I also lack social graces. So that even though I am an extravert, I have real problems in situations like parties (social, not political) because I have trouble finding balance: I either withdraw into a corner or dominate the room.

    Well, I am going to cheat. I think threes enough

  2. Hey Waldo,
    Was that ’87 minivan a Toyota? We had acquired ’87 Toyota minivan about 10 years ago. We ‘bought’ it off of a friend of ours for one dollar. It finally died in 2000 with 198,000 miles on it.

  3. 1.)happy to have god in my life. 2.)sorry for the mistakes i have made. 3.)I finally understand my mother and father. 4.)I hope, i can leave a better world for my childern. 5.)Never thought in a million years I would be a blogger.

  4. A fun and thought-provoking post, Waldo–thanks. I also really liked the photo of the ring around the moon.

    Happy New Year to you & yours!

  5. Did I misunderstand those newspaper references, or are you saying you were part of the court case that fought against people wanting to have their own internet filters that would keep people from seeing stuff like severed heads that they didn’t want to see?

  6. Did I misunderstand those newspaper references, or are you saying you were part of the court case that fought against people wanting to have their own internet filters that would keep people from seeing stuff like severed heads that they didn’t want to see?

    Yes, you very much misunderstand the case, Charles. We were fighting for the right to allow people to know precisely what was being blocked by the software. Parents, librarians and teachers deserve to know what’s being blocked so that they can choose the most effective filters, or choose not to use filters at all.

  7. I had no idea you wanted to join the Air Force. I knew you wanted to learn to fly, but the Air Force? I had no idea. I do remember wishing we had the money to send you and Jack to Space Camp.

    You were placed in a fourth-grade class while in the first grade because they had no idea what to do with a 6-year-old kid who could read at a fifth-grade level. They didn’t seem to care what I thought (that you should stay with your age group, with an enhanced curriculum) even though I’m the one who taught you to read. If I had it to do again, I’d home-school you and Jack.

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