The trickle-down effect through MSDN bloggers has finally made its way to me, and I've been tagged by Josh Ledgard in the 5 things you may not know about me "thread". Here it goes:

  1. This one might be obvious, but I'm a complete gadget junkie. Even Microsofties are amazed when they come into my (not very nice) apartment and see the electronics laying around. (My girlfriend says it's too much, but can it ever really be?) I have 6 MP3 players (Zune, Gigabeat S, iRiver T10, Zen Sleek, iPod Photo, and a first-generation Mac iPod), a Media Center PC hooked up to my HDTV, an Xbox 360, Gamecube, original Xbox, an Intel iMac (Mac OS X/Windows XP), XM2Go receiver, an electric Yamaha piano (connected by USB to my iMac), cassette tape deck and 5 disc CD player (not hooked up), and a coffee maker that grinds its own beans. Oh yea…and a completely sweet Samsung Blackjack in my pocket. J (No VCR though…)
  2. I love music, and have been in several theater performances throughout my life, including two shows here with the Microsoft Theater Troupe. I can sing and play piano—but don't ask me to dance. J (I was recently told that I was the second best guy dancing in a room. There was only one other guy.) Along this thread, I also learned how to play the saxophone when I was a senior in high school in about 4 weeks. This was so I could go on the band's trip to Disney World that Spring Break.
  3. I worked at a grocery store (Buehler's Fresher Foods in Medina, Ohio) for nearly four years during high school and college as a bagger, and actually enjoyed the job. I loved talking to people all day—the customers, the cashiers, the other baggers. I was "promoted" after one year to work as "lead" bagger (for $5.75/hour!), and enjoyed the authority. I never called off work or showed up more than five minutes late, but I did get in trouble for talking back to customers that were nasty. Buehler's really should pay its baggers much more than they do (the $5.25 I started at was ridiculous for the work we did), but the store was dedicated to being the nicest, cleanest store in town that treated customers like gold. I learned a lot about how to run a business just from watching how that store fought off the bigger grocery stores with ease.
  4. I was the computer kid in elementary school, and got the task of booting up and logging into the four classroom computers we had every morning. I single-handedly took down the entire Novell network when I booted up all four computers on the same boot disk one morning (which gave all four computers the same hard-coded computer name.) Even the Novell people couldn't figure out what happened.
  5. In college, my senior project was to use a programming language called "csound" to create a "virtual orchestra". We then used the synthetic instruments to recreate songs and play them back. Unfortunately, the instruments sounded (predictably) like a very, very cheap Sanyo synthesizer. Don't believe me? Here's our attempt at the Zelda theme with our virtual orchestra (http://vorlon.case.edu/~etp5/csound/Zelda.mp3). Yep. It was bad. That's not the funny part though. The funny part is that my partner Evan and I won 3rd place in the competition and won $100 for our efforts. We never received the check.