On behalf of the lovely ladies over yonder.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A house near the water with a library on the second floor and large windows overlooking an enormous lawn leading down to the water’s edge. Dogs chasing each other hither and yon. Contentment.
What is your greatest fear?
That ignorance and apathy will ultimately prevail.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
History geekery compels me to say Nathanael Greene of Revolutionary War fame. The dude was a self-taught soldier who financed the feeding and care of his men through the sale of his own property and inheritance. He became second only to Washington in his ability to win battles despite overwhelming odds, largely by out-thinking his adversaries. My self-identification resides in the fact that he wasn’t the smartest or most talented guy and certainly lacked the pedigree of his counterparts, but he excelled through tenacity and a willingness and ability to learn very hard lessons and apply them.
Which living person do you most admire?
Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., head of the National Institutes of Health. He’s an obscenely smart dude who’s also politically savvy enough to keep funding for scientific research from being raped into oblivion by a congress of individuals primarily intent on pandering to special interests.
What trait do you deplore most in yourself?
My proverbial glass is perpetually half empty.
What is the trait you deplore most in others?
An aversion bordering on outright disdain for the act of critical thinking, which results in a willingness to let others think on their behalf and to believe whatever’s easiest and loudest.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I have a 42” LCD that I rarely use, because I gave up cable in order to write some very involved science baloney last year. I may get cable again pretty soon, but in the meantime it’s primary role is a respectable answer to guys who ask how big my TV is.
On what occasion do you lie
In situations where feelings can be destroyed beyond repair.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I’m profoundly comfortable in my own skin. I think the hair is getting a little thin in back, which, y’know, happens sometimes. I primarily see it as an opportunity to shave it all off and start running triathalons, though, so fuck you, hair. You’re not the boss of me.
When and where were you happiest?
Studying abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland, in the spring of 1997. For five months I golfed on the oldest courses in the world nearly every day and drank the best beer I’d ever had in my life every night with some of the greatest people I’ve ever known.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I still retain enough traces of perfectionism to keep me from starting certain things that need done because I’m afraid I’ll never be able to do them well enough.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it’d be?
A dog. If our soul is sent down here to learn and grow over the course of whatever ‘time’ is defined as, I’d like to think that I might be due for the opportunity to reach dog levels of hysterical happiness for awhile. A dog’s life isn’t always a picnic, but when it is, man…it’s a great picnic.
What is your most treasured possession?
My class ring from VMI. It’s symbolic. And enormous.
What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?
The loss of hope that tends to accompany depression in its more severe forms.
Who are your heroes in real life
Doctors Without Borders.
What is it you most dislike?
Passive aggression and/or manipulation through fear. Both the coward’s method of choice.
How would you like to die?
Saving someone else.
What is your motto?
“We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again.” – Nathanael Greene
Sir @ April 15, 2011