35 Questions with Traveling_Vike
I hope I'm not being presumptuous by posting this up myself, but I figure by now you should know I'm here to stay, so here you go!
PP.O name: Traveling_Vike
Real name: Brian Davidson
Age: 46 as of 4/28/2010
Current City: Indianapolis, IN
Hometown: Toledo, OH
Occupation: Currently unemployed, but formerly CS/Tech Support Call Center
I will warn you right now, this is going to be long. I tend to ramble on, as some of you I'm sure have already noticed.
1) How did you choose your screen name?
Simple enough... I am one of those people who can't seem to stay in any one place for more than a few years. I end up moving around, sometimes halfway across the country, just for a change of scenery. That has slowed a bit in more recent times, though.
Given the places that some of the PP.O folks have been to that far outshine mine, I may have to consider changing my handle.
2) Could you tell us a little about where you grew up and about your family?
I was born in Toledo, OH, but moved when I was only 2, so I really don't remember anything from that time. My earliest memories are of Nursery School in Southfield, MI, back when it was still a pretty nice area. We then moved to South Bend, IN when I was in 4th grade. That was the longest period in one place so far in my life, 6 years. During
the middle of 9th grade, just when I'd made it to the top level at my Middle School, we went and moved again, this time out to the East Coast and Northford, CT, where I became a puny freshman in High School.
That was a rough transition, going from a class of about 1400 in a Middle School with two full concert bands, a marching band, an orchestra, and a jazz ensemble, to a class of 230 in a High School that barely supported its music program at all. Also, my class progression got messed up since the move was mid-year. My science classes ended up all being off by a year because they stuck my in Earth Science as a Freshman, and I didn't get Bio until Sophomore
Family... My Mom and Dad are divorced but amicably so. I have one sister, Sharon, 3 1/2 years younger, whom I absolutely adore. I was lucky enough to have all four grandparents around until I was 16, and still have one grandfather living today, although his health is failing.
And we've always had dogs, as far back as I can recall, although I don't have anoy of my own right now, since my place won't allow them.
3) What type of student were you in High School? Did you play in any sports or were you involved with any school clubs and such?
I was a honor student, although missing high honors by just a smidge, mostly due to my problems with history. My school taught by a rigid memorization method which just didn't sit well with me, so I kind of rebelled a bit against it.
I won an award for four-year math excellence, and another for the Creative Learning program (our name back then for the G & T)(I got credit for teaching grade school kids how to play Dungeons and Dragons!), and was named Class Brain in our yearbook, despite graduating only 14th out of 230 in my class.
I mentioned music earlier... I played trombone in band, and sat second chair for four years. I also play piano, and did so in the pit orchestra my Junior year for a production of the musical "Shrew." As a senior, I was dragged kicking and screaming into Chorus, because we were woeflly short on male voices. The guys were outnumbered about 8 to 1, which in the end turned out to be not such a bad thing at all, at least for me. Anyway, I ended up loving it, joined the Madrigals
group, went to Connecticut All-State Chorus as a Bass (a Baritone but they don't use that classification), and was selected as one of four to sing the National Anthem at our Senior Class Awards.
As for athletics... not so much. I was definitely a nerd. I flirted with wrestling as a Freshman, but gave it up. I did act as equipment manager for our football team for three years. This was fun at home games, as I would be constantly running back and forth from the sidelines to the stands to grab my trombone and play with the band. I actually earned some points with the team for this, as one of our theme songs was "Gonna Fly Now" from "Rocky", and the melody happens to be a solo for Second Trombone, which was me. We won a Class S (small) State Championship my Junior Year.
4) What did you do after High School?
College. I was accepted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, but only made it through a year there before my parents decided it was time to end things and got divorced. I was forced to drop out after one more semester, as I could not get financial aid (thank you, Mr. Reagan) because my folks made too much money. Aside from the fact that all of it was tied up in the courts.
So I went to work that summer after returning home to CT.
5) What was your first job?
Aside from the standard mowing lawns, shoveling snow and babysitting, my first REAL job was as an usher at a large premiere movie house in Orange, CT. I later moved to concessions and was cross-training in prep for Manager Trainee. I got burned out after four years, and moved on.
That theater was cool, though. We got lots of celebrity visits during matinees, including Jennifer Bealls, Jodi Foster, and many pro wrestlers. We also hosted the world premiere of "Amadeus," with many celebs in attendance, most notably Tom Hulce and Milos Forman, along with locals Paul Newman and wife Joanne Woodward.
6) When did you decide to be such a dedicated fan of the Minnesota Vikings?
I think it was seventh grade, when a bunch of guys were taunting about their favorite NFL teams. I had never really though about it before, but when they collared me and basically forced me to choose, I went with the team that wore my favorite color, purple. I didn't really become "dedicated," though, until 1993. Some linebacker named Jack something-or-other caught my eye :dry: and I decided to start watching more closely. Been hooked ever since, and never wavered.
7) Could you tell us one of your favorite memories that has to do with the Vikings or one of its past or present players, coaches, etc.
I've never met any of them in person. My best memories were probably any time we beat the Cowboys ( just can't stand them or their band-wagonny fans), and any time we beat the Bears. See, unlike many, I never really considered the Packers to be the REAL division foe. Chicago is and always will be my greatest rival.
8) How did you come to find PP.O and what attracted you most to the site?
Like many, a google search for Vikings info, specifically a
non-network-or-newsrag source. Most of the sponsored forums are crap; I wanted a real, dedicated and knowldgeable group of fans who treated each other and visitors with respect. After about two weeks of lurking, I decided that I had found my new Vikings home.
9) What other sports teams do you follow?
None as avidly as the VIkes, but I do keep an eye on some teams. In the NFL, the Chiefs, Cardinals and Colts. NBA, the Suns and the Pacers. MLB... well, nobody in particular right now. Please don't hate me, you Minnesotans, but I grew up loving the Tigers. It was a local thing, really. The Toledo Mudhens were at the time, their AAA farm club. I do also still follow the 'Hens a bit, which irritates my Indianapolis friends to no end, as the Indy Indians are their biggest rival.
10) When you are not on PPO what could you likely be found doing with your spare time?
Right now, looking for work. I don't really have much spare time, given my situation, but I do have a group of friends who get together on Tuesday and Friday nights at a local game store to play board and card games. I'm also a member of the local Science Fiction and Fantasy club, the Circle of Janus, and we put on an annual convention called InConJunction over July 4th weekend. We're gearing up for it now, so I will be quite busy with that over the next three weeks. This year will be our 30th anniversary! I've been involved since 1997.
If anyone is going to be in the Indy area over that weekend, stop by and ask for me! http://www.inconjunction.org for more info.
11) Do you say a special prayer before Vikings games?
Before a national broadcast, I will always pray that the Vikings don't totally embarrass themselves, as they have been prone to do over the years. Other than that, no.
12) Where do you watch away Vikings games?
If I have cable active, home. If not, a local sports bar. Being in Indy, we get a few more Viking games than many other cities, especially divisional games.
13) What is your worst fear?
Being a disappointment to my family and friends. I live with it constantly, as expectations were always very high for me.
14) What type of hobbies do you enjoy?
I read a lot, mostly SF and Fantasy, but also mysteries and the occasional mythological text. I love to listen to music when I can, and to sing when I can get away with it. Gaming, writing, and spirited debate cover most of the rest of it.
15) What is your favorite food?
Oh, so many choices... my favorite entree is probably prime rib, although roast turkey is a close second. Sides, home fried potatoes. Dessert, a true New York style cheesecake, plain. Overall, though, a properly made French Onion soup rocks my world.
16) Where are some of the places you have been, and where are some of your favorites.
Despite my handle, I've only been out of the USA twice. Once to Canada: as a young child, my mother and grandmother took my sister and me on a driving tour around Lake Superior. I don't remember a lot except for how beautiful it was. Once to Mexico: a day trip across the border while I was living in Mesa, AZ.
Some of my favorite vacation visits:
1. Mount Rushmore - we were on a cross country drive to visit my Aunt in Colorado and stopped by here. It impressed the hell out of me at age 14.
2. Stone Mountain in Georgia - amazing light show.
3. Washington, DC - wish we could have stayed longer and seen more, but we were driving through on our way to Disney World the year Space Mountain opened, two weeks after we were there. Bummer.
4. Silverlode, Colorado - my Aunt Carol's home. She is a former ski instructor, turned lodge manager, and now runs property for the Hunt family. (That's Hunt as in Lamar. His sister.) I remember it was early spring, and the light sparkling off of the frozen trickles spilling down the mountainside as we drove by. Simply gorgeous.
17) What is one thing you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet in your lifetime?
I have three, actually. First is to see a home Vikings game live. Second is to find the right woman, marry, settle down and have kids. Third is to take an extended cruise of the North Atlantic, including Greenland, Iceland, Great Britain, and Scandinavia.
18) If you could live anywhere where would it be?
You know, I can't really answer that. Every place has its pros and cons. I suppose as long as I have good friends around me, anyplace would work.
19) Do you believe the Vikings will have their big day someday? When they do win the Super Bowl, what will be the first thing you think you will do?
I do. Every year.
I think I would probably scream very loudly and maybe cry. Afterward, in public, I would wear my garb, but try to pretend nothing unusual had happened, because that would definitely annoy my rival friends more than anything I could actually say to them about it.
20) Up to this date, what is one of your favorite PPO memories?
I've only been a member for a little over a month, so there haven't been a lot of strong events to memorialize yet, but I have enjoyed both the banter and the serious discussions so far. One highlight was Zeus's revival of the "greatest moments in PP.O history" thread on my behalf. And the Yell is always fun, at least when there are a few people on it.
21) Any bad habits?
I used to procrastinate a lot, but I don't have time for that right now, so I've put it off until later.
22) Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
No. I was raised Jewish, and it is against that religion. It is considered a desecration of the flesh, and thus of the temple of God.
Even if I didn't believe that (and I am not particularly religious), I probably still wouldn't, though. I don't feel the need to express my individuality in such a permanent fashion. I think my personality speaks for itself.
23) What type of music do you like?
Many kinds. I'm primarily a classic rock guy, running the gamut from late 50's to 90's. I also enjoy show tunes, jazz, classical/baroque, swing/big band, movie soundtracks and martial music.
I can listen to almost anything, at least for a little while. The only things I will reach to change after more than a few minutes are country, rap and hip-hop.
24) If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
1. Greater understanding and tolerance between peoples, both
individually and as nations or creeds.
2. The ability to properly repay all of the wonderful things my friends and family have done for me throughout my life.
3. A bunch of great seats for me and my friends at the first Viking Super Bowl victory!
25) Name 1 thing not many people know about you.
My mother was one of the last few people to see Jimmy Hoffa alive and well. She was at lunch from her factory job in Toledo when he stopped in at the diner where she and her co-workers were eating. He vanished later that day.
26) If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I'd have to specify two different scenarios here, as it would depend greatly on whether or not anyone else had any superpowers as well.
If no, and I was the only one, then I'd choose the ability to stop or drastically slow down time. Reference the novel and movie, "The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything," by John D. MacDonald.
If yes, then I'd want the ability to negate others' powers at will. I'm just evil that way. :woohoo:
27) If given a complete freedom to start afresh, what profession would you choose and why?
They are a dying breed these days, but I would love to be a real radio DJ, choosing my own tunes and patter.
28) What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
Physically craziest? White-water rafting. Intellectually craziest? Moving to Arizona simply because I had a couple of on-line friends who lived there, and I needed a change of scenery.
29) Which is the funniest prank played on you or played by you?
I'm not really into pranks, per se, although I am pretty mischievous at times. I suppose the funniest thing that was ever done to me would be at Halloween one year back in the mid-90's. A friend convinced me to let her make costumes for both of us. She was Han Solo, and I was Chewbacca (I'm 6'2", so I can pull it off nearly enough). So we went out around town in Broad Ripple, the artsy uptown part of Indianapolis, and she said she wanted to take me to this bar she knew, where they would love my get-up. I agreed, although I'm not really much of a bar person. Turned out, it was a lesbian bar. Interestingly enough, the ladies there pretty much went crazy over the Chewie suit. I was highly embarrassed at first, but eventually I was able to cut loose and enjoy it for what it was.
30) If you were stranded on a lonely beach, what are the five things that you would want to survive?
First off, me. I'd definitely want to survive.
Oh, all right, seriously then.
1. A laptop computer with satellite uplink.
2. Unlimited power for said device.
3. A large crate of non-perishable foods in great variety.
4. A set of top quality hand tools and fasteners.
5. At least two other people with me. Good company can make up for a lot of lack.
31) If you could have dinner with any three people from any time, fictional or non-fictional, who would they be and why?
There are so many...
1. Asia Carrera, former adult film star and member of Mensa. I think she'd be a blast to talk with.
2. Benjamin Franklin. If I could actually get him to pay any attention to me, with Asia at the table.
3. Yoda. 'nuff said.
32) What's the worst lie you ever told? Did you get caught?
I once lied to my family about getting my driver's license, insurance, and other paperwork straightened out. And yes, I got caught... by the cops. That ended up costing me over $1500, and much worse, the trust of several people I love very much.
33) How do you deal with someone you don't like?
I get along with lots of people, so it isn't all that often that I run into someone that I genuinely dislike. When it happens, I try to avoid them as much as possible. If forced to interact, I'll be calm and polite, but try to get away as soon as I can.
34) What is your favorite movie and why?
Again, there are so many... I guess that, overall, I'd have to go with "1776." It's an absolute masterwork of filmmaking, with brilliant performances by an amazing cast, plenty of humor, wonderful songs, and significant historical relevance.
Some runners up would include: "The Princess Bride," "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," "The Last Starfighter," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "The January Man."
35) Which is your most cherished childhood memory?
Hmmm... entirely selfish, but I'd say the time in 9th grade when the school let me bring my Apple II+ into the classroom and show my classmates how much better it was than the crappy TRS-80's the school had.
So there you go. That's me in a nutshell. Which is appropriate, me being the nut that I am.
Re:35 Questions with Traveling_Vike
Great read. Good to get to know you better.
Very happy to have you here as a member of PP.O.
Re:35 Questions with Traveling_Vike
Nice read, best of luck with getting a job BTW.
Re:35 Questions with Traveling_Vike
Nice read, SKOL. We need to do some more of these!
Re: 35 Questions with Traveling_Vike
Though you're still roaming, you'll always have a home here at PP.O.