Answers to Random Questions: 01

As an exercise in transparency, I thought I'd share some insight into how I think and operate. It may sound like a job interview at times and that's because of where I found some of these questions. Please enjoy.

What's your expertise? What's your weakness?

The term is undesirable for many but I can't keep from describing myself as an expert "Swiss Army Knife." I pride myself with having a multitude of abilities and skills while being teachable in the areas I'm unfamiliar with.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

My attitude towards anything can be summed up as this: "It won't fail because of me." I believe that saying originated with NASA though I found it recently through Tom Sachs. Just one example of my dedication is through my use of the 1 Second Everyday iPhone app. I try to do something interesting enough to make a quick one second video snapshot and then mash them all together at the end of the year. Here's 2015 (with links to 2013 and 2014).

My weakness? Being concise. And while I'm constantly working on that, I make up for it with passion. I also suffer from a touch of imposter syndrome. One way I combat the feeling is by looking back at what I've accomplished. Especially looking at tasks or roles I previously labeled as impossible because they were unlike anything I've done before (leading weekly group activities, training volunteers, etc.).

What makes you tick?

I like a challenge and constantly working on making things better, no matter what it is. I'll go the extra mile because I set my own bar high. I don’t do well with monotonous tasks just for the sake of them but I do enjoy getting into the rhythm of a task with a decently paired soundtrack.

My professional resume may not be as full and polished as others so I created more of a "life resume" I call my Walter Mitty Resume. I feel it's a much better representation of me as a person.

Where do you consume content?

There's always the usual "checking the pulse" of people I know by surfing Facebook and Twitter for a few minutes, just to get a feel for things. I’ll frequently check out Reddit to see any big news things I’ve missed though I end up just saving funny stuff to share later. As far as podcasts go, I have a variety that I keep up with: Hello Internet, Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project, The Talk Show with John Gruber, The Tim Ferriss Show, G.O. Get Outside Podcast, and a good many others actually. I use the Overcast iPhone app to listen to my podcasts and I’m quite proud of my “smart speed” savings which is a little over 30 hours.

For blogs, I often will go just to certain sites when I need something. Wirecutter/Sweethome for reviews, The Verge for tech news, stuff like that. In my Feedly list, I’ll skim through blogs such as A Continuous Lean, Adventure Journal, Huckberry’s Journal, Seth Godin, Semi-Rad… I like more of the “adventure” (in any loose variation) flavor of posts.

Oh and I’ve actually been really enjoying BuzzFeed’s News app. It’s surprisingly well done and helps keep me updated on true current events (because I don't watch TV news very much). Digg also has a great selection of both “real news” and fun stuff and their copywriting is well done. When I can, I’ll check in on Their copywriting is impressively hilariously and they do it on a daily basis.

I also look forward to getting my email newsletter from The Hustle. Great updates on news I’m interested in (tech/business) and like the other examples, great copy.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

If I have to pick one found everywhere, it's going to be cookie dough. If I can find it, a new favorite has been the Double Dunker from Turkey Hill. But I also have deep rooted childhood memories of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae from Friendly’s. The absolute best of the best I've had? The classic hot fudge sundae from Ted Drew's. If you're in St. Louis and don't swing by Ted's, you've wasted your time.

Have a question you want answered? Let me know and I'll add it to the list.