Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I "Mustache" You a Question

My friend over at Axel over at IronRogue nominated me for another one of these pay-it-forward blogging projects.  This one is called "I mustache you a question," and it's not super-different than the Liebster Award, but I liked the questions better this time.

I have a mustache, but it doesn't look as good as this.
These questions all come in fours.  

Are you ready?  Here we go...

Four names that people call me.
 1. Danny.  I went by “Danny” until I got to high school when I changed it to “Dan”.  We moved from North Carolina to San Diego between 8th and 9th grade, or I’m not sure the switch would’ve stuck.  Regardless, my wife calls me “Danny”, and when she was alive, my mother did, too.
2. Danno E. Danno.  My buddy Mike used to call me that when we were lieutenants living together in Savanah, and it is by far my favorite nickname.  I still use a part of that nickname, DannoE, as a screen name on Internet forums.
3. Daddy.  That’s my kids.
4. Lieutenant Dan.  I get this from guys who’ve never served but who know I have.  It drives me crazy because I left the Army as a Captain, which is not some exalted rank, but it beats the Hell out of being a lieutenant.
Four jobs I’ve had.
1. Lifeguard/swimming instructor.  Truth is, I’ve never had a crappy job.  I got my first job at sixteen, and it was as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at the pool where my swim team practiced.  It paid twice minimum wage.
2. Tank Platoon Leader.  “Best job I ever had.”
3. Logistics Consultant.  I taught basic leadership techniques to new management employees at a catalogue company.  It was a terrific gig, but it involved a lot of traveling.
4.  Overhead Construction Supervisor.  We set utility poles, installed transformers, ran wire, and generally kept the lights on all over the Bronx and southern Westchester County.
Four movies I’ve watched more than once.
1. Star Wars.
2. Highlander.  The seminal movie in the lore of 90s-era West Pointers.
3. The Dark Knight.  It’s always on TV, and I always watch at least part of it whenever I see it.
4. The Long Grey Line.  Another seminal West Point movie.  I showed it to my kids a couple of years ago, but they didn’t bond with it the way I did.  I should probably try again, though, now that they’ve actually been to the Academy a couple of times.
Four books I recommend.
1. Altered Carbon.  Richard K. Morgan’s sci fi noir detective story is my go-to recommendation for people looking for something to read.
2. Falkenberg’s Legion.  Finished Starship Troopers?  Make Falkenberg’s Legion your next stop.  Jerry Pournelle wrote this book in the late 80s, and it perfectly captures the spirit of the failing Cold War dichotomy and the chaos that would result in its aftermath.  Almost all of Pournelle’s predictions are wrong in a direct sense, and yet, the world he describes is the world that we live in.  It goes to show that people are people, and that nothing ever changes.
3. An Army at Dawn.  Rick Atkinson won the Pulitzer Prize for this account of the invasion of North Africa in 1942-43.  I liked it because it shows how the so-called Greatest Generation stumbled but persevered.  It gives me hope that we can as well.
4. So Far From God.  Ambassador John S.D. Eisenhower’s account of the Mexican-American War is a must read for Civil War buffs.  It’s a wide-angle look at the war, but it’s at its best when it follows the heroes or the Civil War as junior officers on their first campaign overseas.
Four places I’ve lived.
There are many, many more places than four.
1. Fallbrook, California.  Home of my first high school, back when my dad commanded First Recon Battalion at Camp Pendleton.  We were only there two years, but they were years of conquest and glory.  Dad was in the prime of his career, and I hit the big time as an age group swimmer, all against the backdrop of sunny San Diego county.  It was heady stuff.
2. Richmond Hill, Georgia.  Halfway between Savannah and Fort Stewart, home of the 3rd Infantry Division, Richmond Hill is where I bought my first house, got married the first time, and had many of my favorite adventures.  Misty and I wanted different things in life, but we were happy for a season, and I don’t regret a minute of it.
3. Munson, Republic of Korea.  Home of Camp Garryowen, at the time a male-only post located about 10 km south of the DMZ.  I might’ve liked Korea if we’d been someplace a little more metropolitan, but Munson is a rice-farming backwater without a lot to recommend it.  I decided to leave the Army rather than try to rotate home and get in the command queue all over again.
4. Hoboken, New Jersey.  I met my wife at the Hoboken Running Club and used to while away my evenings at the nameless pub on the corner of Tenth and Willow.
Four places I’ve been.
1. Seoul, South Korea.  Visiting Seoul convinced me that I might enjoy living in New York City.  That proved to be correct.
2. Acadia National Park, Maine.  I love Acadia.  We go every summer, and it’s my favorite place on Earth.
3. Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.  I went as a cadet to visit the battles of D-Day, and it was outstanding.  Assaulting that beach must have been some nightmare.  Looking at it now is awe-inspiring, as is visiting the graveyard that sits above it.  The whole trip was great.  My favorite parts were the nights.  I spent several evenings sitting in a little café sipping wine with my friend Jen, and one night Colonel Kingseed took us out to a Vietnamese place and talked a little about his experiences in the war.  I’ll never forget that.  I treasure those memories.
4. Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.  My father is buried there.  We took the kids to see him a couple of years ago and have been talking about going back.

Four places I would rather be right now.
We've stayed in this cabin twice up in Maine.
1. Green Lake, Maine.  That’s where we stay when we go to Acadia.  We rent a little cabin on the lake without TV or phone service.  No one’s ever missed either.
2. Grilling in my backyard.  I usually do our Thanksgiving turkey on the grill with the help of some stout India Pale Ale.  I’ve been looking forward to this year’s edition for several weeks.
3. In the weight room.  I’m back in the gym, trying to work more resistance training into my workout routine.  It always seems to dominate my thinking whenever I start lifting again.
4. On my couch.  I’m a homebody, I admit it.  I like kicking back, drinking beer, and watching football.  Simple pleasures are the best.
Four things I do not eat.
1. Beets.
2. Asparagus.
3. Anything with corn syrup.
4. Whipped cream.
Four of my favorite foods.
1. Mashed potatoes.
2. Grilled chicken.
3. Blackened fish.  My dad used to do mahi mahi blackened on an iron skillet on the grill, and it was amazing.
4. Crawfish.
Four TV shows I watch.
I like all the teenybopper shows on the CW.
1. Arrow.
2. The Originals.  It’s so much better than The Vampire Diaries.  Really, these shows have nothing in common at all.
3. Scorpion.  They always say it’s based on a real guy’s life, but how much?  I should look that up.
4. Elementary.  I love Sherlock Holmes.  The BBC version is better, of course, but Elementary gets produced on a more regular schedule, and it’s not bad.
Four things I am looking forward to in the next year.
1. Triathlon season.  I took last year off from racing.  I’m really looking forward to getting back to it.
2. My class’s 20th reunion at West Point.  It’s the weekend Army plays Bucknell.
3. Army’s game against Rutgers at Yankee Stadium.  This year’s game was a blast, and one of my buddies says he’s gonna come up next year.  Should be a riot.
4. My daughter Emma getting her braces off.  She just got them put on, and she’s miserable.  I hate it.
Four things I am always saying.
My valiant steed, kicking
back on the train.
1. “You’re gonna kill somebody!”  Said to oblivious drivers in Manhattan whenever they almost run me over.  I make a point to yell it if they have the car window down.
2. “What’s wrong with these people?”  Said to my wife about strangers who do crazy things, often while driving.
3. “Awesome!”  Everything is awesome.
4. “Monkies!”  Sally and I yell this at opposing field goal kickers whenever the game is on the line late.  It works more often than you’d think.
Tag four people to pay it forward.
1. Alan Evans.  Creator of Rival Angels and artist/designer for the cover to Sneakatara Boatman and the Priest of Loki.
2. Ben Rollman.  Ben has two blogs.  Life in Austin is an excellent example of a "slice of life" style blog similar to this one.  Robot Portraits is a blog about, well, robot portraits.  It's fascinating.

3.  Charles Atkins.  Creator of Dyvers Campaign, one of my favorite gaming blogs.

4.  Brandes Stoddard.  Creator of my other favorite gaming blog, Harbinger-of-Doom.

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