Thursday, April 30, 2009

34 Random Facts About Me


Walter Payton is one of my heroes.  His number was 34 for the Chicago Bears.  Here are some things about me...

1. Met my wife on a blind date. She didn't want to go...and neither did I. Since that day we have spoken or been together everyday. She is one of the "only" darker haired Norwegian women in the World. 

2. I've walked across hot coals. A life changing experience and a great BBQ party trick.

3. I'm a positive, confident, outgoing person but I come across as rather serious, know-it-all, and quiet because I understand that I have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

4. I have never done any drug or smoked anything- ever. Never will. I took a class in understanding drugs in our culture. Drugs explains a lot of what I've seen in my career though.

5. As I said, I have never smoked anything and never will. Although, my dad smokes cigars so I suppose that I have second hand smoked a lot of cigars.

6. I'm not a big drinker. It's not really my bag. 

7. Still hold the 100 yard breaststroke record at my high school; 23 years and counting. 

8. I think my in-laws (and in-law relatives) are cool.

9. I am good at every sport I've done except for gymnastics - aka: "gym-spastics" - I can only do rings, yet, I've never had a problem with flip turns (forward or backwards).

10. I speak four languages and have conducted business meetings in three (English, duh; Spanish; French)...I speak Italian...poorly thus far.

11. I have worked on four continents. Australia, North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean), South America (Columbia), Europe (UK).

12. I love to research things I don't understand. Yes, I used to read the encyclopedia. Our world is fascinating and should be explored.

13. I believe that "bad" people or folks with ill intentions will "get theirs" eventually one way or another.

14. All animals and children flock to me. Anywhere I go. An old nun friend of mine tells me that "They can sense a good spirit." Who am I to argue?

15. I believe I saw an angel. Sounds crazy I understand, but in church one crowded day (I was going through a tough time in my life) an older lady kept knocking over the Bibles and I kept picking them up for her without complaint. At the end of the service she destroyed the Bibles and knocked over a few other things with her walker. I picked everything up. Before I could stand up she put her hand on my head and said, "God loves you." I looked the other way for a second and she was gone. Kinda cool, huh? So I got that goin' for me...which is nice.

16. I love the ocean. I'm a new man when I'm near the water, but the water just has a special something for me. I've been on eight cruises. I scuba. I can't get enough time in the ocean.  *I had a whale and her calf swim right past me in St. Thomas.  Imagine a city bus swimming past you. Awesome stuff.

17. I hate cold. Probably comes from a summer in HS when swimming at the Schaumburg Park District when the heater broke and the weather was cold. I can still feel how cold I was. Terrible cold. I would like to swim the English Channel but that cold...argh.

18. My family is from: Northern Italy - Turino/Martini region (mom's side). Dad's side - Czech Republic - there is a Hotel Mitera in Prague and Poland (grandma M). My grandparents were great, tough, loving people who taught me a great deal and I miss them all greatly.  I will travel to my grandparents hometowns sooner or later.

19. I hate posers, "moths", and selfish people. You have to like the reflection you see in the mirror first.

20. I have six NCAA Division I Varsity letters. Two in water polo (team was stopped to enforce Title IX). Four in Swimming. All conference swimming four times. I was a zombie in college due to athletics. NCAA Div. I was very tough.

21. I was the first person in my family to go to college. That should explain a lot about me.

22. I'm a bit like Forrest Gump. I've been in a lot of places where things have happened. I've met or know people who know people or are doing amazing things. From friends in MLB, NBA, and NFL, to doctors, to physicists...I probably know someone; or know someone who knows someone.

23. I like hanging out with my cousins, brother/sister-in-law. Casinos, comedy clubs, water skiing, and dinners, whatever - it never gets old.  Friends can come too.

24. I have friends all over the world. The sun never sets on my friendships. I have all sizes, shapes, creeds, etc. in my friends. I'm proud of that. We talk trash via the Internet - you know that thing that Al Gore invented. Its a fad, so don't get used to it.

25. I am a great cook and do most of the grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning in our house. Ask Lorrie! Best meal? Eating omelets, white pineapple and Kona coffee with my brother in Kona, Hawaii after workout while watching spinner dolphins catch their breakfast.

26. I leg pressed 685 lbs. five times when I weighed 160 lbs. in college. That lift put me on the "pound for pound strongest" list for a time at Missouri.

27. I wrote the Olympic Charter for the nation of St. Lucia for triathlon. I love the Olympics and their spirit. One day I hope to walk into an Olympic stadium...my best shot now is as an official.

28. I've played international water polo in a post-Olympic tournament (1988) with Team USA.

29. I can throw, eat, write with and basically do everything with both hands.

30. I am a patriot. I love the USA even when it isn't fashionable and have been nominated for a US Department of Defense Citizenship Award in 2004. The highest honor a civilian can get from the military.

31. I should have taken the US Naval Academy seriously when I considered it as a possibility for college.

32. I have worked in radio (WLUW, KCOQ), TV (KOMU) and newspaper (many). When I was a kid my dream job was to be the next Bob Collins on WGN.  If you've ever heard me announce at an event you know I'm built for announcing.  Mike Reilly I want your job.

33. I can talk, see, and be around blood and guts all day...just don't talk teeth. I have a great dentist and have paid for most of his beautiful home.

34. If it would pay the bills I would be a motivational speaker or personal trainer.

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