November 19, 2008

Tagged By Sydney

I was tagged yesterday by fellow blogger and friend, Sydney (A New Yorker in Houston), to give some personal information about myself. I told her it wouldn’t make for sparkling reading but since she shared some things about her life, I feel compelled to share some fluff about moi.

Back in the seventies I was a tennis playing fool and for a few years was a linesman for the Louisville Tennis Classic which was held every hot steamy August. I got to meet Ilie Năstase, Jimmy Connors, Vitas Gerulaitis, Guillermo Vilas, and Authur Ashe. One day Authur Ashe was waiting for his practice partner. I asked if he wanted to hit a few while he was waiting. He agreed, so we knocked the ball around for about twenty minutes. He wasn’t a half bad player. I still play on occasion. My best shot is the slice backhand which confounds the average player. My drop shot has aged nicely.

I had a mild heart attack back in February ’05 and had a couple of stents place in my ticker which has since re-occluded. I take a hand full of pills every day. Heart bypass surgery might be in my future, hopefully the very distant future. My father survived a heart attack running down a drop shot.

The hardest thing I’ve ever done was earn my Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification. Through blood, sweat, and tears I got ’er done. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I attend, am Deacon and Stewardship Chairman of Simpsonville Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This is one of the friendliest churches in Kentucky, or at least this is what we hear from visitors. I still have an occasional adult beverage and have been known to cuss like a sailor.

One of my biggest passions is music. When I was a little kid, I used to listen to my parents classical music albums on their big honking stereo console. Remember those? They were so big they looked like a sideboard that might have belonged to Cornelius Vanderbilt. I listened to music that was encoded onto wax platters where the sounds were picked up on a needled tone arm which glided across the platter. No ones or zeroes were involved. The crackle and pop sounds gave me the warm fuzzies. I was introduced to jazz by a roomie of mine at U of K, who played drums in the UK jazz band. Joe Ringold was his name and he had four orange crates of nothing but jazz.

I used to be a hippie. Peace man. I have no tattoos.

My older sister, Janet, passed away in June of ’07 after a long battle with melanoma. She was fifty-three years old, which is my present age. At her visitation, it was like all the ghosts of the past were there. It’s too bad that the only time you see friends you haven’t seen in forever is at a funeral visitation. Ever since her death I think more about the shortness of life and reminisce about the past. I figure I’ll snap out of it any day now.

My field is Information Systems and I work for Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC). KHESLC is a quasi-governmental state organization, whatever that means. Our Vice President can’t explain it either. I work in the Network Services Branch. When ask what I did for a living, I told my cardiologist that I was a network analyst. He asked if that involved watching a lot of TV. I thought he was trying to be funny but he was dead serious.


  1. Well, nice damn job there! (that was my chance to swear since we both talked about it!)

    I loved learning all these things... hope it was just as interesting to scour yourself and write about them. There is a story in each of the seven, waiting to be expanded!

    I can't believe you got to hit a ball around for that long with one of the great players of tennis.

    I would love to see a pic from the hippie days. Though I can totally picture the 4 orange crates of records!

    I can totally imagine how hard it was to become certified in Microsoft. As an added bonus, I think you may have made enough new syntax connections to never do a crossword puzzle to stave off alzheimers with that one.

    What does a deacon do at your church?

  2. When I played with Arthur Ashe, all I could think of was 'OMG, I can't believe I'm playing tennis with Arthur Ashe.' I must have netted 80 percent of the balls I hit.

    Ah my hippie dippy days, picture this; Shoulder length hair parted in the middle, bell bottom jeans, tie dyed t-shirt, earth shoes, and a beard. I celebrated my individuality by looking like most everyone else did back then. Today, the beard is the only thing I have left.

    The main Deacon duty is serving communion during worship service. Most all protestant faiths use grape juice and crackers to represent the blood and body of Christ. Catholics use real wine which is blessed by the priest and the body is wafers which is eaten after intinction. We have good friends who are Catholic and one day they told me in detail the ritual of the wine. After the wine is blessed it must all be drank because it is holy after being blessed. After the communion someone fills the chalice with water, and then drinks the water. I found it very interesting.

  3. Loved hearing the rest. I can see your hippie self now> had a pair of navy leather earth shoes to go with my catholic uniform (the same one I get handed by Peter Wolf in that video now that I think about it, lol -- and I'm waering it as I pass the note with lips on it to my firend which he intercepts).

    I think it's very cool that you're a Deacon, among other things...

  4. You played with Arthur Ashe!! Wow. You must be gooood. :)

  5. Hippy Dazes! Oh, I was in the San Francisco area circa 64-67. Kinda boring, nothing was happening except ... EVERYTHING!