Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

Monique tagged me with a meme. I can only assume that the consequences will be bloody and dire if I don’t participate (think Reservoir Dogs meets The Ring).

So, here they are: Five Things You Don’t Know About Me:

1. My PIN

2. My gym locker combination

3. My ... what’s that? Not interesting enough?  OK, let me start again.

1. As a child, I played D&D, and then AD&D. I was not the first one at my elementary school (a school for the gifted, i.e. dork daycare) to play, but I was the first to play ridiculously, and I was the first to have a 456th level paladin.  You see, if you kill a certain Norse God, you get a LOT of experience points. No one had thought of fighting a God before, and no one had bribed the Dungeon Master to win.  So suddenly I had a character that has about 438 more levels than anyone else.

Arms races being what they are, there was soon a whole bunch of characters that were 457th level, 458th level, etc. running around.  Then shortly thereafter, everyone switched to Runequest or something and my character got stuck leading the donkey.  But for a while, I was top (D&D) man on campus. And I learned the important lesson that you can be best if you can be first.

2. My absolute favorite thing about my garage, is that I have a tennis ball hung from a rope above my windshield that tells me exactly when I have pulled in far enough.  This reminds me of my grandfather’s garage, and the times I spent in there playing with water pistols and helping him to drive his riding lawnmower.

3. I objected to using my social security number as my driver’s license number when I got my driver’s license in Kalispel, Montana when I was 16.  I was the first in that office’s history, and perhaps one of the only people in Montana ever to object.  The woman behind the counter said she’d never had anyone object before, and she had to look up how to deal with it.  My Dad thought I was odd.

I ended up getting a number that was some standard code based on my birthdate, the issuing office and the day I got the license.  The number was still totally guess-able, but I struck a blow for information privacy back in 1988.  Of course, my student ID at USC was my SSN, because they wouldn’t make an exception for me.

(Footnote: These days, they still “let” you (encourage you, actually) to use your SSN as your driver’s license, but you have to check a box on the application that expressly allows this use—and you now HAVE to provide a SSN at the time of application so they can “make sure you’re not a deadbeat dad.”)

4. I don’t have a non-wife best friend right now.  I wish I did.

5. Something that a few people know but you’ll probably still get a kick out of: In college, I once reported to the police that my car had been stolen.

A few days later, a friend called and asked me if my car was license plate “ABC 123” or what ever.  I said, “Yes, why, did you find where the thieves left it?”

She said, “Yes, they left it parked on campus in the lot near where you work.” Apparently, I’d forgotten that I’d driven it to campus that weekend instead of walking.  And then I’d walked home.

When I drove to the police station to rescind my report I joked with the officer that things like that must happen a lot. He said, “No, they don’t,” and stared at me without smiling as I filled out the rest of the forms.

Five people get tagged: 5gncdn, Boris, Matt, Gillian and my sister, Virginia, who can use the comments or start her own blog.


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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