10) I was born on a military base even though my parents were civilians. The hospital at Moore Army Airfield in Ayer, Massachusetts was the closest one to our little town in 1959, so I was literally "Ayer-born."
9) I had never been on an airplane until I flew to Oklahoma in 1982 to go to air traffic control school.
8) I truly admire people who have the ability to stay grounded after achieving success. Likewise, I can't stand those people who seem to think they're better than everyone else just because they make more money or are more gifted in some way than most people.
7) I'm a sucker for sob stories. Movies, books, real life, it doesn't matter. If it's a tear-jerker of a story, I'm probably going to cry. I hate that about myself but there's nothing I can do about it. I especially can't take people crying in front of me. Jeez, what a wuss.
6) My father and grandfather both died of prostate cancer at exactly the same age, so I already have a pretty good idea when I'll be exiting this mortal coil.
5) I'm continually amazed at the number and quality of authors who, like me, are struggling to break through and get not just published but recognized for their ability. There's a lot of talent out there creating outstanding material in a lot of different genres.
4) Writing for me is like some sort of addiction. If I go too long without doing it, say more than about a day, I start to feel edgy and uncomfortable and begin to get grouchy. Er. Than usual.
3) I once made the front page of MSN.com with a Top Ten List I did for my Foxsports blog about my favorite things in sports. They ran it with a photograph connected to each item. It was an unbelievable rush to know that literally hundreds of thousands of people were enjoying my work.
On a related note, I couldn't believe how many people seemed truly pissed off about the items on my list. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but a lot of people took it personally that I included an item about golf, say, rather than about their favorite sport. Sorry folks, I just don't get synchronized swimming. But, hey, to each his own.
2) Most of the people I work with in my Evil Day Job had a passion for aviation their entire lives, but I never really did. To me, the career I've spent virtually my entire adult life doing was never really much more than a way to make a decent living and support my family. That said, there is no better feeling than getting off Boston's Final Vector position after working an hour-and-a-half of busy traffic and knowing you did a kick-ass job and actually made a difference.
Aside from actually working position, though, the bureaucracy and red tape that I see every day in the federal government is staggering.
1) My wife and I have been married for over 25 years now. She was just barely 19 and I was almost 24 when we got married and I know a lot of people figured it would never last. We've had the last laugh, though. Hah.