Yet another five for fightin’

ted | junk | Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

From Miz Icyhot:

1) How does Chicago differ from the American south? What differences do you like? What differences annoy you?

People in the Midwest are genuinely friendly, not the superficial xenophobic faux-nicety that Southerners typically exhibit. We actually get all four seasons here, roughly with the official calendar start of each season, which is cool. We’re on the edge of a whole lot of fresh water, something on the order of 12 cubic miles of it. That takes a while to get used to when you grew up with well water. You can also go swimming in it in the summer and not have to deal with all that salt or angry things trying to eat you.

There’s so much good food here. For reals. Plus when the corn comes in it’s so ridiculously cheap and tasty and holy fuck I would stab somebody for a couple ears of fresh silver queen sweet corn grilled in the husk and served with salt and lime. Daaaamn. So yeah, we grow a lot of good food, which is awesome when it comes in because it’s so fresh and cheap and delicious. Unfortunately it also means during the long dark winters that all the fruits & veggies come from Chile (ew) or California (ewwwww) and they’re expensive as hell.

People tend to celebrate the summers, and there’s so much to do during the warm months it’s very hard to get in everything that you want to. It almost makes up for the 4 months out of the year where staying outside for any length of time could very well kill you. Fortunately it also kills a whole lot of insects so we ain’t have to deal with as much of that up here. The land here is flat and fertile, quite a bit of a change from the rolling hills and red clay I grew up with.

All in all, I like it here a whole lot. Ask me which one I liked better when it’s -10F (-24C) with a 30mph wind or when it’s 104F (40C) here and I’d easily tell you that I never experienced temperature extremes like that in my native South. But I wouldn’t go back. I like it here too much.

2) What is your favorite kind of sammich?

For a while I was eating a lot of Nutella & banana sammiches. I enjoy a fried egg sammich once in a while, even on an english muffin for breakfast. Hell, I even made myself a peanut butter & bacon sammich one night. But all in all my favorite sammich has been and will always be a chunky peanut butter and cheap grape jelly on wheat bread.

3) What are the top three things on your Amazon Recommends list?

The Cardigans – Grand Turismo (CD, already own it)
The Evil Dead DVD (already own it)
Day of the Dead DVD (conspicuously absent from my movie collection)

4) Who would win in a cage match between Ann Coulter and Camille Paglia?

The cage, hopefully. Those two need to taste the justice dealt by galvanized steel.

5) What drew you to engineering and it is all it was promised to be?

As a kid, I always enjoyed taking stuff apart. Whenever a toy broke, I’d always rush to grab a screwdriver and get it down to bits and pieces. After a couple years of doing this and more than a few interesting toys that we broken on “accident”, I started to figure out how all these little bits worked together. After a couple more years I even figured out how to put them back together.

I also spent a lot of time hanging around while my dad worked on cars. Normal stuff, like changing oil & sparkplugs. Oh hey, engines! Carburators! Transmissions! Holy crap this stuff is complex… ok, slow down. Figure out what little subsystems do and how those subsystems connect to others which connect to other systems which make an engine.

I guess I always just found it interesting to figure out how stuff works and to take stuff apart and put it back together with your own hands.

Is it everything it promised to be? Well, yeah, I guess. You get out of it what you put into it. I’ve got the knowledge and skills to be able to design something, generate machine-shop ready CAD drawings and then to go out and run a mill, lathe & welder to make it. Having the education is great but without the hands-on skills to be able to do things would only make you a desk jockey.

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