March 31, 2004

*You Asked, Wind Rider Answers

Wind Rider has answered your questions.

Bill and gerbils, need I say more?

Click it.

You blog under a pseudonym. Why?

I didn't start out to do so on purpose. The 'handle' is the same one that I've used since my earliest forays onto the Internet, so it just seemed useful. As I am still on Active Duty with the military, I opted to take my lead from other milbloggers, many that make of use pseudonyms. It isn't really a very deep cover, as there are a number of bloggers out there that know my actual name, and quite a few folks at work know that I blog. I've considered switching to using my name after I retire (which will be very soon), however I think that people would probably go "who?" even more so than now. Or they might wonder "is he related to that guy Reynolds links to all the time?". Ah, no.

Are you single?

Currently, yes.


Hey! Military here! Don't ask! Well, ok, yes, hetero. Although sometimes I wonder about that whole 'lesbian trapped in a man's body' concept sometimes.


Yep. Fairly hard headed about it too. When I was stationed overseas, the US Military TV stations didn't show commercials, per se, they were more like public service announcements. Seems that every time a 'you need to quit smoking' spot would come on, my reaction was to light one up, even if I just finished one. I've never visited New York, and Nurse Bloomberg isn't doing too much to really entice me, either.

Have you been invited over to Bill’s house since the hostile blog takeover?

Nah, but that isn't unusual - he only extends the invite when he's running low on booze, cause he knows I'll drop by the class 6 store (on-base liquor store) before I come by.

Speaking of Bill’s house, why don’t we ever hear about him coming to your house?

Strictly out of fear for the Gerbils' safety. They were inherited from Anna (my daughter), but I've sort of become attached to them. They haven't responded too well to the attempts to teach them to do differential calculus in return for sunflower seed treats, but that's ok.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

If I have to pick just one - Blade Runner, the original release cut.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Been listening to mostly classical lately, but I appreciate jazz, alternative, and a very very few selected country tunes. I appreciate music that actually reflects creativity, talent, and skill - I've found examples of this, that suite my tastes, in a lot of different styles. The only three categories that I dismiss right out of hand are rap/hiphop (please don't waste any of my time trying to explain a difference that I don't consider exists), salsa (tinny horn work, ugh), and Chinese Opera (random sharp noises without any discernable pattern).

Do you dance? In public?

I try to spare everyone from that spectacle to the greatest extent possible. On rare occasions, usually involving vast amounts of alcohol, it has happened. An ugly, ugly thing. Slow dancing doesn't count.

Coke or Pepsi?

RC Cola. But Pepsi if that's not an option, and coffee isn't available.

Vodka or tequila?

Tanqueray or Rum. The only time I like tequila is for a 'Prairie Fire'. It's a shot of tequila with a dash of Tabasco, and a dash of Worcestershire. Very handy after drinking a lot of beer, to cleanse the palate. Gets rid of that pasty, filmy, fuzzy thing. But since I don't drink a lot of beer, it's been a while.

As I understand it, you do something vaguely connected to airplanes. What is it you do exactly?

I used to sit in the back without a window and let the pilots try to scare the crap out of me. Not many of them were very good at it, but when they were good, whoo boy. I was on flight status for a little over 20 years, but for the past few years I've been flying a desk. On paper, the specialty code is 'Linguist'.

Why did you join the Air Force?

Aviation. I joined the Civil Air Patrol as a Cadet as soon as I was old enough, basically about the concept of flight. Along the way, I was also in Explorer Scouts, because there was a group being sponsored by the Air Wing of the County Sheriff's department, and it was a chance to fly rotor wing. I joined the Air Force even after not making getting into a track to be a pilot, because of the flight thing. Although the job I signed up for wasn't an obvious path to an Airborne position, the opportunity presented itself, and I gladly said 'hell yeah'. Oh, and btw, unlike Blackfive, when I say 'Airborne' that refers strictly to a flying position. I have never, ever come up with a reason to depart a perfectly functioning aircraft in flight. Besides, at 35,000 feet, it's frikkin cold out there!

What's your rank in the Air Force, and have you ever pulled a practical joke on a higher ranking officer?

I'm a Master Sergeant, and are you kidding? Most have been situational, and sometimes they've backfired. The worst consequence, however, was that I ended up in a Santa Suit at a Christmas party. One of my favorite 'official' photos is a Squadron Picture from Panama, which depicts myself and another guy holding up large orange coolers, with the columns of water coming out of them mere inches from drenching our unit commander.

Have you ever had a solo blog?

Nope, pretty much done the group thing. I did set up A Stop On the Railroad, with the concept being to compile tips, tricks and resources for people considering leaving blogsplat for an MT setup. A few people seemed to find it useful, but after the basics were on it, I didn't really have a burning desire to keep adding to it, or take it in a different direction.

Who are the writers at Silent Running? How did you find each other?

Silent Running was set up by Murray Hill, of Upper Hutt New Zealand in response to his brother being forced to shut down his personal blog due to a situation with his employer. I stumbled across the situation and was energized about this 'quashing of free speech and denial of first amendment right to free speech'. Then Murray and his brother explained to me that New Zealand and Australia don't have a 'first amendment', but by then, it was too late. Murray had put out the invite for collaborators for the effort, and in addition to me, we were joined by Alisa, Mike Hackmeister, Dave Bisman, and a bit later by Captain Scarlet. We all found each other via the wonders of the Internet, and the Blogosphere.

How did you end up at Amish Tech Support?

Actually, I started out at ATS, in a way. Although Laurence vehemently denies any and all credit (probably because he knows blood and DNA testing would be inconclusive), his was the first blog I ever stumbled across. Actually I stumbled across his stories from when he worked at the TV station, then stumbled into this...other...part of his website. I started commenting at LGF, then SR happened, and the rest is history. Laurence actually surprised the crap out of me when he extended the invite -

Why don’t you post more often at ATS?

Intimidation factor. I look at the stuff Laurence turns out, which is concise, sharp, and funny as hell. Most of my stuff doesn't rise to that level, IMHO.

During the hurricane aftermath, you managed to keep posting. Do you think you might be an addict?

Connectivity addict for sure. It was more about solving the technical problem than a feeling that I 'had' to blog. Damned Hurricane had knocked me off the net. Pissed me off.

Describe for us a perfect weekend for Wind Rider.

Hasn't happened yet. I'll let ya know. Most of the ones lately aren't really in contention.

Posted by Jennifer at March 31, 2004 12:00 PM


Wonderful questions Jen. And that perfume you wore to the interview...oh, to die for.

Posted by: Wind Rider at March 31, 2004 12:35 PM

Very informative. But I thought since we hung out, I knew everything about you. You held so much back I feel like I don't even know you.

I'm very hurt!

Posted by: Bill at March 31, 2004 12:55 PM

Now that I think about it, whenever we hang out, I'm completely shitfaced. I'm sure you told me all that stuff but I forgot it. That, or I wasn't paying attention in the first place.

Probably the latter.

Posted by: Bill at March 31, 2004 12:57 PM

Hell, every time I start to bring this crap up you'd exclaim you needed another drink or another cigarette, or something and run off...sort of like middle-aged ADD.

I'm I the only one noticing that the comments about gerbils and being a cheap booze hound just simply failed to register?

Posted by: Wind Rider at March 31, 2004 01:00 PM

With Bill nothing surprises us any more. Hell cheap booze and gerbils is probably a step up for him.

Posted by: Pete at March 31, 2004 04:25 PM

Paul asks some follow up questions, and I supply answers, over at BI.

Posted by: Wind Rider at March 31, 2004 04:51 PM

I knew you were a cunning linguist, I just knew it.

Posted by: Simon at March 31, 2004 08:11 PM

If you manage to get your gerbils to understand differential calc, let me know. I've got some hamsters that can manage trig and basic algebra, but calculus just does their fuzzy little heads in.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 31, 2004 10:08 PM

*sigh* Another hott guy to add to my growing stalkee list.

And the funny part? My husband would probably approve -- since HE also is a 21+ year veteran of the Air Force. Esprit de corps and all that.

"Linguist," hey? *snort* I'll bet if WR is that close to retirement, it's more like "USA Today Monitor."


Good job, Jen! As always. Thanks!

Posted by: emma at April 1, 2004 07:24 PM

No one ever interviews me... unless you count questions like "where were you on the evening of the 17th" and stuff like that.

BAH humbug!

Posted by: Murray at April 2, 2004 05:08 AM

I look like a major-league bastard for cutting him loose now, don't I?

Posted by: Laurence Simon at April 5, 2004 03:41 PM

I thought that was part of your charm?

Posted by: Jennifer at April 5, 2004 03:45 PM

What's that?

Posted by: Laurence Simon at April 5, 2004 10:46 PM