There was a quiz over at Contains Moderate Peril, which was grabbed from Ace Asunder, where it had been borrowed from RNG, who got it originally from Vamp It Up Manchester, which probably makes it more of a UK thing, but it had a few questions I though might lead to amusing anecdotes about which to write, so I figured I would swipe it next.
Now that we have established the lineage of the quiz, let’s jump straight into the questions.
Driven or been driven at 100 mph/160 kmh?
Yes. While the speed limits on US highways top out at about 70 MPH most places, there are plenty of long runs of road where you can get up to speed. Also, cars tend to have the most ridiculously optimistic speedometers. My Toyota speedometer measures out to 160 MPH, a speed it could only attain if you pushed it out of an airplane.
I think the first time I hit that speed was shortly after I got my drivers license. My grandmother would let me use her car, a 1970 Buick Electra 225 with the 455 CID engine. (7.5L for those who measure in that way.) It was a mighty motor, with more torque than a sane man ever needs, and I once laid a 70 foot long patch of smoking rubber on the pavement in front of a friends house.
One evening I got onto highway 85 and nobody was on the road, so I decided to see if I could peg the speedometer, because I was a 16 year old boy in command of two tons of iron with a powerful engine. I was well past 100 MPH by the time I passed Fremont Blvd and let off the gas to let it wind down so I could take the exit to highway 280 and fill up the gas tank. I think I blew through almost a quarter tank getting that brick up to speed. Gas was $1.29 a gallon at the time, which seemed expensive at the time.
Learned a possibly deadly skill?
I spent summers on my grandparents farm where I learned several skills that might fall into that category, the most obvious being how to handle and shoot firearms. It is just a thing in the country. At eight years old I was judged worthy of being sat with a bolt action .22 rifle and a baby food jar full of bird shot to pick off the starlings that would peck at the figs on the big tree my grandfather had planted. I was paid 25 cents a head. I also learned how to handle poison gas bombs for the ground squirrels and traps and a few other things. I was, however, not allowed to get within six feet of the table saw in the barn because that was dangerous.
Ridden in a helicopter? Gone zip lining? Been Bungie Jumping?
I am going to lump these three together because they are all negative answers.
Been to an NFL game or Ice Hockey?
I have lived within reasonable driving distance of two NFL teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, all of my life and I have never been to an NFL game. (The Raiders are leaving for Las Vegas though, so my opportunities will soon be reduced by 50%.) NFL teams only play 8 home games a year, the stadiums are huge and crowded, the tickets are expensive, and I am not a fan.
I have been to many NHL games. We have a professional team in San Jose, the Sharks, though I even went to a California Seals game back in the day. I have also been to major league baseball, NBA basketball, and MLS soccer games as we have teams in the SF Bay Area close by. Just never an NFL game.
Watched Dr Who?
PBS during my childhood seemed to entirely consist of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, nature documentaries, pledge drives, and television from the UK, including Doctor Who. I watched a lot of Tom Baker episodes and some of the Peter Davidson episodes. If you ask me who my doctor is, the answer will always be Tom Baker. If Gandalf were a time lord, he would be the Tom Baker version of the doctor.
Been to Canada?
I’ve been close enough to see Canada, but I have never actually been into Canada. I’ve been to Minnesota, and that’s about the same, right?
Disneyland is an hour flight away. You can hardly avoid it. I have been a bunch of times, twice for company events where we left in the morning, flew down for the day, and got back home that nights. I am also just old enough to have gone as a kid when they still had tickets, so saw the “E Ticket” of legend. That said, I am not a big fan and it is hugely expensive these days. My daughter complains that we never go, but she has been to Hawaii more times than most people ever will.
I have also been to Disney World in Florida once and on a Disney cruise. That mouse is everywhere.
Visited an actual castle?
That depends on what you call a castle I suppose. I’ve been on forts and fortifications and in a palace or two. But not a medieval castle, that being what I imagine the question is getting at, as that wasn’t really a thing where I live. I did find an arrow head once though.
Vegas is a 90 minute flight away and the location where many conventions and events take place. I have been many times. (I’ve posted here about going to EVE Vegas at least five times.) It is bright and shiny and colorful with some good places to eat. But if you don’t really drink or gamble it can lose its edge pretty fast. Also, the dirty, seedy underbelly of the whole thing is pretty visible if you start looking for it. I enjoy the first day I go and am generally ready to leave by the end of the second.
The hardest thing for me about Vegas is that they allow smoking everywhere. I’m from California where smoking in public is only allowed in very specific pariah zones.
Eaten alone at a restaurant?
I am not sure why this is even a question. Yes. Many times. I see people do it all the time, though I am not one of those people who sets up a nest with a good book in a corner booth, but if I was alone and needed to eat I wouldn’t think twice about eating alone in a restaurant. This must be one of those English things where they are always looking for something else about which to feel embarrassed.
Played an instrument?
I took trumpet lessons in school in 4th grade. I wasn’t any good and didn’t have any passion for it. I am pretty sure I just wanted to get out of class for an hour one day a week.
Ridden a motorcycle?
Yes, in the form of a dirt bike out on the farm mentioned above. It was fun then, but I have no desire to ride one now. I’ve seen what happens when cars and motorcycles collide. If there was a question about seeing a dead body, my answer would involve a motorcycle accident I witnessed.
Ridden a horse?
Again, on the farm. My grandparents didn’t have horses, but the neighboring farm did, so I got to ride a bit back then. It wasn’t a big deal to me. A dirt bike is more exciting to a young male I suppose.
I have been skiing. My stepmother liked to ski and so we went once or twice a year when I was a kid. It was a very yuppie sport, expensive and inconvenient, and while I enjoyed it some at the time, when it came to the point that I had to pay in order to participate I stopped completely.
Gone to a festival?
Yes. Maybe. I am divining what these means from context, which is a multi-day musical event. But I’ve only gone for one of the days, so does that count?
Driven a stick shift?
My first three cars were manual transmission. By the time I got to the fourth car I was commuting daily across the valley in stop and go traffic and got tired of “rowing the boat” constantly, so went for automatic transmissions after that. But hell, even F1 cars have paddle shifters now, which is something you add to an automatic transmission.
Ridden in a police car?
I have been frisked up against a police car, but never invited inside. I have ridden in a fire engine though. When the SFFD took over administration of Treasure Island in SF Bay and friend of my aunt’s drove us around the island in one of the fire trucks. It was loud, even without the siren going.
Driven a boat?
A few times. No particular stories to go with this though. We live near the ocean and a huge bay and a freshwater delta and a series of lakes and reservoirs, so the opportunities are at hand. Going water skiing in the delta was a thing when I was a kid.
No. I poison snails I see, but don’t see the need to consume them. I have plenty of more palatable food at hand.
Been on a cruise?
My step-mother again, she loves cruises and goes on a few a year. Her and my father have brought the whole family along a few times. As a floating hotel that brings you to the next destination while you sleep they are fine I suppose. The food aspect is overrated to my mind.
The best cruise was probably on the Freedom of the Seas, which was the largest cruise ship in the world when we went. That ship had a lot of space and things to do. I enjoyed just being at sea on that one. The Disney cruise was good too, all the more so if you have kids. The rest have been on Carnival ships, which are okay but not as much fun. I’d go again, but I am not interested enough to plan it myself and I’d rather go sit on the beach in Hawaii or by the pool somewhere, it being cheaper, more relaxing, and less crowded.
Been on TV?
In a couple of crowd scenes on the news. Nothing that would have had my presence noted.
Been in a paper/book/magazine?
I was quoted once in the local paper when asked some questions by a cub reporter who then printed what they felt I should have said rather than what I actually said, much to my annoyance. The problem with the news is that every story I have been personally involved with has had significant material errors and the reporting team doesn’t really seem to care. If the news has a bad reputation these days, it is in part their own fault.
I live in California. You cannot drive two miles without passing a sushi place. I am a peasant and like things like California Roll and the Shrimp Tempura Roll, but I’ll eat sashimi. Raw fish, fine. Snails, no.
Seen a UFO?
Literally, I have seen many things flying I couldn’t identify. Flying saucers or space aliens from other planets however, no.
Rescued an animal?
Out on the farm, depending on how you want to count rescue. There were a whole series of dogs who showed up in various states of repair, hung around for the summer, and disappeared of their own accord. A few cats too.
Met someone rather famous?
I like the modifier “rather” in this question. It is a very English affectation, like you might not be expect to have brushed up against real fame, just some lesser degree of it.
We occasionally talk about famous people at family events and I always find it amusing who focuses on what sort of fame. It seems to be divided up between sports stars, musicians, movie and television stars, and then there I am talking about tech luminaries. So when it is my turn I always bring up that I have met and conversed with Steve Wozniak a few times. But if you need somebody in one of the other categories, I got to talk with Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead a few times as he was something of a Macintosh enthusiast back in the late 80s/early 90s.