Six Different Ways To Ask A Question

Thanks to Charles from Six Different Ways for this round of Blogger Insider questions. Excellent job, and I hope he enjoys the questions I sent as much I enjoyed these.


OK, since you’ve opened the Pandora’s box of political opinions already on your site:
What do you think about what’s happening in Palestine and what should the US reaction be? (This may be moot by next week, but . . .)

This one is difficult for me to answer. I don’t know all the history, but I doubt anything we do will fix the problems. We can’t isolate the Palistinians any more than they are. We can’t tell the Israelis not to try to do what they think they need to do to stop the suicide bombers and try to stop the violence without looking like hypocrites. We can’t say to Israel, “We need your help to stop terrorism against our country and you need to support whatever we want to do, but you can’t do what you think is right to protect your citizens.” Do I think Israel’s going about it the wrong way? Yes. Do I have an alternative that would work any better? No, I don’t. I don’t think we’re going to come up with one either. I think the situation is untenable and unresolvable by a third party. From where I sit, across the ocean and with no real perspective other than worried American citizen, I have no idea what our response should be, and that scares me.

You praised the show Once and Again, and now I heard it’s being cancelled. That happens to things I like ALL the time. If I like a TV programme, it’s the kiss of death for it. Does that happen to you a lot?
Thanks for breaking the news to me. I hadn’t heard that. It happens to me all the time. It’s made me very careful about which shows I invest my time in. I thought Once and Again would be one they’d stick with. It’s won Emmy’s and is just a quality show. Like Sports Night before it, the networks can’t seem to handle intelligent shows that don’t stoop to the lowest common denominator. I’ve been forced to run to HBO for intelligent shows like Six Feet Under. The networks keep crying and renting their clothes over the fact that they’re losing audience to cable and have been for years. The answer’s pretty simple. For the most part, network fare is formulaic crap. They’ve focus-grouped all creativity and originality out of shows, and it’s depressing. I don’t think it’s that interesting shows aren’t conceived or that the people creating shows for the networks aren’t talented. I think it’s mostly that the networks won’t take a risk on a show like The Sopranos (which was originally made as a pilot for Fox). Ok, I need to backtrack a little. There are some original shows on the networks, they’re just a rare exception to the rule. I think Greg the Bunny on Fox has potential. I still love The Simpsons and King of the Hill, but they cancelled Family Guy. They cancelled Sports Night and kept Two Guys and a Girl on for two more seasons. Ok, enough on this one. Next question!

So your a dad – favourite thing about that?
Watching him grow and develop. I remember when he was born, he looked like a tiny boxer who’d gone twelve rounds with a cement mixer. His poor little head was all smooshed and his eyes were swollen. Then, when he was a couple months old and we could leave him on a blanket on the floor and he’d be right there half and hour later, gurgling away. At eight or nine months when he started pulling himself up on stuff, we were amazed. After that, “mommy” and “daddy” and now he’s a little person who talks and has opinions about things. It’s amazing.

I get NextDraft also. Do you get any other email newsletters you’d recommend?
I subscribe to a couple listservs, but I haven’t had good luck with newsletters other than NextDraft. I’m open to suggestions though.

Do you think there’s a real future for Mozilla?
I do. It may not take off as a stand-alone browser in Windows, but I think it’s perfect for linux users, and even Mac users who get tired of Internet Explorer’s quirks on that platform (although, 5.1 for OS X is nice). I think its real future is in what AOL’s doing with it – embedding it in another application. It’s perfect for that, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gecko powering all kinds of things in the near future, from settop boxes to cell phones. It’s portable, open-source, relatively small (the rendering engine, not Mozilla the client) and not reliant on a specific operating system. Oh, and did I mention it’s standards-compliant? As AOL moves forward with embedding it in its client, I think you’ll see that alone impact the browser marketshare of IE greatly.

If you have an extra $20 – and it had to be spent solely on something for YOU – what would you buy?
One of the David Byrne albums I don’t have. I came around to him fairly recently, and I can’t get enough.

Be honest: Oreos. Ultra-odd sugary substance first, or accept the sandwiched cookie as offered by the manufacturer?
If ice-cold milk is available, then it’s dip and chew. If not, then it’s disassemble, eat sugary filling and then eat the cookie pieces. It’s like three desserts in one!

What is one of your favourite books and movies and why?

The last great book I read was The Code Book by Simon Singh. It provided not only a technical history of cryptography, but took me into the battle between code makers and code breakers. It’s a fascinating read, even if you’re not into cryptography, the history and Mr. Singh’s writing style make it one of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read.

Was your site design influenced by Zeldman, or is the orange and graphic style just a coincidence?

Actually, it was the spaceman image that made me pick orange. I realized that the orange was really close to Zeldman’s so I changed it. Then, I realized I changed it TO Zeldman’s shade and promptly changed it back. It’s either one or two websafe colors off of Jeff’s. And now that you mention it, I’ve started playing with other background colors in Photoshop and have found some interesting possibilities. Check back later for a new look.

People may knock AOL, but I’ve heard they’re great to work for. Would you agree?

It’s challenging. There are some things I don’t like about it, but overall it is a great place to work. The scope of the projects I work on is insane, and that provides not only a lot of fun in building them, but a lot of pride when they go out the door and I can say it gets X million hits a day and made X millions of dollars last year. Now, if only I could get a profit-sharing deal on those projects, then it would be a great place to work.

How did you all decide on the name Max?

I’ve always loved Where the Wild Things Are, and the name Max. So, when we found out we were having a boy, we tried to come up with a bunch of different names, but kept coming back to Max. It definitely fits him.

Where would you like to travel that you’ve never been?

Any little seaside town on the Mediterranean with a beach, pleasant locals and good food. I was going to say the Cote d’Azur, but then I started thinking about Greece and well, why narrow it down when I don’t have to? I don’t even know why I want to go there. Everything I’ve seen or read about either place makes it sound very peaceful and relaxing, and I could do with some of both.

Describe the moment you realized you were in love with your wife.

About two weeks after we started dating, I went on a trip with some friends to Carlsbad Caverns that I had planned before I even asked Jen out for the first time. I had a great time, but everytime we did something cool, I remember wishing that Jen was there and thinking about her constantly.

You’ve invited me over for dinner. Thanks! What are we having?

Because you made me think about when Jen and I were dating before we got married, I’d have say I’d serve what I made her for our first date: creamy cajun chicken. It was my favorite dish at this place in Tucson called The Good Earth It was a nice creamy alfredo sauce with just enough cajun spice to make your mouth tingle without making your eyes water. It had bite-sized chunks of tender chicken and homemade whole wheat fettucini. Of course, I didn’t make the fettucini for our date, but it was still great. To go along with it, I’d have to try to recreate the chocolate cake my mom made for my birthday this year (without the coffee.. I think she used hot chocolate to replace it).

They’re going to make a movie of your life. Who would play you?

An excellent question, and I would say John Candy circa Stripes would be a good fit for the physical side of things. He’s about the right size and complextion (round and pale). If he could play slightly geeky with a touch of art snob he’d have me down pat.

I’m thinking you probably don’t smoke or drink anything with caffeine. So, Do you have any mild addictions that you indulge?

Well, as a slightly lapsed Mormon and a geek, I have a wicked caffeine addiction. I also have a mild addiction to swearing and watching R-rated movies. I don’t drink alchohol or smoke and have never taken illegal drugs, although there was that wicked contact high… I think, like most Christians who deny themselves some of the “normal” addictions, I’ve fallen into one of the worst – gluttony. I’m a big boy, and love my food. I’ve been trying to lose weight, but dammit if food isn’t the biggest monkey on my back.

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