Five things you may not know about me

I have been tagged by a friend at work, Jim Thomason (I had to go look up how to spell his last name since it probably gets misspelled as often as mine does) :) In case you have not seen the “five things” meme spreading across the blogosphere, here are the rules. You have to list five things about yourself that are not commonly know then tag five other people to encourage them to do the same.

Here are my five things.

1. I am ambidextrous and dyslexic – For most ambidextrous people that means they can use both hands for writing and everything else that most people can only do with their right hand. For me ambidexterity means that neither hand works quite right.

Closely related to this is the fact that I cannot tell left from right and really struggle with east and west. The funny thing is I can look at a map and then find my way to anywhere and as I am driving I can see myself on the map. I can point people in the right direction and am always aware of which way is north, but if you ask me whether to go east or west I really have to think about it.

I think this is a big reason I have gotten along with computers so well, you can’t type backwards and if you copy and paste or use formula’s you will not get numbers transposed. When I am talking to the computer I do not have to say anything. It just gets it.

Actually now that I think about it, the only times I have trouble with dyslexia are when I am talking or listening. As long as the thought does not have to pass through the auditory side of my brain it will not get mixed up. Which makes a great transition to the second thing you may not know about me….

2. I love speaking in public – I always have a hard time getting started even in a one-on-one conversation. But, if I can get the opportunity to speak in front of a crowd or if I am asked a question, I actually enjoy talking, and I am not nervous. I guess I took the old admonition “be slow to speak” a bit too far.

I have been in several plays and taught Sunday School, Children’s Church, and several classes on computers. I thoroughly enjoy explaining complex topics and making them easier to understand. I have even been told that I am not a boring speaker.

This fact of the five is probably the biggest surprise to most of the people I work with and even my family, since I tend to be quite quiet especially in public. The funny thing is that being quiet is not part of my nature I had to learn to be quiet because I used to talk too much. Given the opportunity I could talk for hours on just about any subject. That is part of the reason I like blogging. I have finally found a way to share my ideas without having to wait for a break in the conversation. Now all I have to do is find time to type.

3. I am interested in everything – This one may not be a big surprise to many, but since it is a defining part of me and not immediately obvious, I think it is worth mentioning. I am not actually very intelligent. In other words I do not naturally learn quickly. I am, however, very knowledgeable. I know a lot about a lot of things and a little bit about almost everything. I am abnormally curious, and I absorb everything I see or hear. I cannot stop learning.

I have gone into a library many times when I had a bit of spare time, randomly picked a shelf and started reading. I have yet to find a topic that was not interesting. I have even gone through all of major heading of the Dewey Decimal System trying to find topics I have not read about. I have read sequentially through several volumes in a set of encyclopedias we had when I was young and have read through a good bit of the dictionary.

Don’t get me wrong there is still a lot that I do not know, but of all the topics or areas of knowledge that I am aware of, there is none that I am not genuinely interested in learning more about.

4. I actually have a sense of humor – If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I love sarcasm. If I have ever complimented you on anything you have experienced my sarcasm. :) But, part of the fun of sarcasm, and also it’s biggest downside, is that many people just don’t get it. I have gotten myself into a lot of trouble before by saying something sarcastically and someone actually took my advice and wiped out their hard drive or something along that line. Which is why many people assume I wouldn’t catch a joke if it hit me in the face. My favorite form of humor is invisible to most people.

I can tell a joke with a straight face, which is how you are supposed to do it. There is nothing worse than being the only one laughing at your joke. But, again, the down-side here is that if you do not tell some people that you are joking they will totally miss the punch line. I also enjoy to pretending that I do not get a bad or obvious joke. It really messes with people’s heads. The best part is when they finally realize, that I did get the joke and that they have just really over explained themselves. Unfortunately, not everyone gets this. So, sometimes I leave someone thinking that I am really blond. But, it is still a bunch of fun.

Let’s see, a learning disorder, enjoyment of public speaking, a general lack of intelligence, and a sense of humor that no one thinks is funny. So far I sound like a republican except for the fact that I am willing to admit my faults. Oops……… (awkward silence)

And now for the one you have all been waiting for…. (because it is the last one and then this boring ramble will finally be over) The real me. My secret interest that makes me different from everyone else.

5. I am fascinated with communication – While I am interested in millions of topics, the part of each topic that gets most of my attention is different forms of communication. I have a friend who is into football and I have been learning a lot about football lately, things like the different sets of rules, various strategies, etc. But what I have been the most curious about is the meaning of the jersey numbers, the referee’s hand signals, the terms used, and anything else having to do with communication.

I have always been interested in other languages, Heraldry, vexillology, regalia, sign-language and marketing. Even most of my interest in computers has been related to making computer’s easier to use (communication between humans and computers). I am very interested in user interfaces, natural language processing, XML, artificial intelligence, ontology, semantics, phonetics, and well, language in general. And did you know that communication is an integral part of economics? At some point I am going to have to write a book on the similarities between currency and language.

It is interesting that it is often your weaknesses that define your interests and drive you on toward greatness in some area that you would not have otherwise been interested in, but that you are uniquely gifted with the ability to do well in. My interest in communication is no exception. For example, my dyslexia, even though it is aural instead of visual, has led to a dream of creating an alphabet where every letter is symmetrical. My weaknesses have allowed me to see the world from a unique perspective and given me dreams that no one else would dare to dream and over the next 120 years I am going to achieve these goals.

Well there are my five what are yours?

I am going to tag my wife, Tabetha Gedeon. Have you read her blog yet? It is the best on the net. Of course, I am biased, but still…. Next I tag Laurie Roe, the last lady at Thomas Nelson Publishers (as far as I know) to post to a blog. She has since left and started her own company, and the male-dominated conversation has been getting a little dry. If there are any ladies still blogging at TNI, I would love to here from you. Consider yourselves tagged. Third, is another friend at TNI, Thom, who moved from New England about a year ago. I guess we switched places. Fourth, my Dad never ceases to amaze me with all the things I never knew about him. I am looking forward to his post. And fifth, I tag Walter Hall. You could easily list 500 things. :) Will you give us five?

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