February 16, 2005

*Pool of Thought Interview

It's the Pool of Thought Interview!

In the extended...

How would you describe your blog to someone unfamiliar with the concept?

I'd describe 'Pool of Thought' as a public repository of private musings.
I originally set it up because I had become very frustrated trying to add
my voice to existing forums such as the BBC's "talking point" site, or the
letters to the editor section of my local paper. Once in awhile I score a
hit with these forums, which is gratifying, but often I find myself
exceeding the submission requirements of my local paper. Also, the
greatest benefit of blogging is that you are your own editor. Nobody is
going to tell you that can't put something up, because it's your space,
and you don't have to worry about running out of room, or offending the

You don't post very frequently--is this due to being busy, or are you
shooting for quality over quantity?

I hate to say it, but I've been so damned busy as of late, I've not had
the time to devote to the blog like I'd like. At any given moment, I
generally can think of half a dozen subjects on which I'd like to blog,
but finding the time to blog is another matter entirely. So, lately
anyway, I try to make my posts as meaty as possible, focusing on subjects
upon which I feel I absolutely MUST say something. Hopefully in the not
too distant future I'll be able to cram more blogging in. But for now,
the demands of career, school, and domestic life, dominate my days.

When was your daughter born?

Olivia was born on October 11, 2003.

You look about 12 in the older picture you have on your blog. How old
were you then?

He he he he! Yeah, I was pretty young when my wife and I got married. 12
is not far off from the reality. I was all of 19 years old, and young in
mind as well as body, if you know what I mean. I like to think I've grown
up a little since then. I'm 30 going on 16 now. Ha ha ha!

And is there a story behind that picture?

Kind of. My wife and I got married in December of 1993. At the time, she
and I were thrilled, but my parents hated the idea. So while she and I
are smiling, out in front of the Salt Lake LDS Temple, we have other
photos of my parents glowering, just a few feet away. Needless to say,
almost 12 years later, my parents think me getting married to Annie was a
Good Thing. But Lord, at that time and in that place, they were convinced
it would be a disaster!

How long have you been working part-time for the Army?

I joined up in November of 2002, and did my first weekend drill that same
month. All totalled, I've put in two years and four months for the Army
Reserve, but as far as actual days in uniform go, at last count, I've
spent 214 days working for the United States government. Not too shabby
for a citizen-soldier.

What degree are you working towards?

Computer information systems. Or something along those lines. At least
for the day job. At night I still harbor dreams of making it as a
novelist or freelance writer of some kind. Which is probably par for the
course with most bloggers. We're all frustrated writers of one sort or

Let's talk politics...you voted for Perot, Clinton, and Gore
pre-September 11. Now you're a Bush man. Do you agree with his
entire agenda?

No, I don't. I did not come quickly to the Bush camp. And there is a lot
that Bush does, or has not done, with which I disagree. But overall, I
support Bush because Bush got it right after 9/11. Bush took the fight to
the enemy, and he continues to take the fight to the enemy. Who is the
enemy? Militant Islamists and their terrorist fellow travelers. The war
with militant Islam is, to my mind, the defining concern of my generation.
Whatever problems I have with Bush, I stand behind him because he refuses
to capitulate or bargain with the Islamists. All other concerns,
including the budget deficit, are secondary.

Any idea why Vanilla Dr Pepper is using a Muppets song in their

They are? I had no idea. I don't watch much commercial TV, and if I do,
I'm always muting out the commercials or changing the channel. Off the
hip, I'd say Dr. Pepper is just doing what has been done for at least 15
years now: ride the nostalgia wagon for all it's worth. Advertisers don't
have many original ideas anymore. Easier to dredge up something from a
decade or two in the past, and hope that enough fond memories get sparked
to make people show up at the cash register.

Back to politics...who would be your dream Republican candidate for
the presidency in 2008?

Hmmm... Tough call. I'm somewhat intruiged by the idea of Mitt Romney
running, though I doubt he'd get enough Republican support to make it
stick. Sometimes I think Condi Rice should run. That would drive the
Democrats and the Left absolutely batty. On the one hand they'd feel
compelled to support Condi based on gender and ethnic considerations. On
the other hand they'd be loathe to support Condi because of her politics
and her Bush connections. Do you remember that old Star Trek episode
where Kirk makes the male android's hair fizz and smoke? That's what I
see happening to the Left if Condi runs.

And who would be an actually viable candidate for each party?

Too early to say. Really. We've got a ton of ground to cover before
2008, and there is a lot that will happen before this country is ready
again to decide who sits in the Oval Office. I do know that if the
Democrats try to run on an Anyone-But-The-Republicans platform, they are
doomed. One of the big reasons the Dems lost me, besides being
perpetually on the wrong side of the fight against Islamism, is because
they kept defining themselves in the negative. It wasn't about what or
who they were for, it was about who and what they were AGAINST. The Dems
truly have become the party of reaction. They can't seem to define
themselves as being FOR things as much as they are AGAINST them. That's a
bad way to run a party. Especially one that is now clearly in the
minority with the electorate, and trying to find a way to reach out to the

Who is your favorite historical figure?

Wow, there are so many! Impossible to say, for all time, who is my
favorite. I do know that Lincoln has been on my mind since 9/11/2001. As
much as the man has been deified and lionized by today's America, back in
his day, he was a much-loathed and much-villified president. Prior to the
November 2004 election I got a tongue-in-cheek letter published in the
Seattle P-I wherein I reminded the voters that the country has seen far
worse than Bush. I used Lincoln as an example, what with his illegal
warmongering for the abstract concept of union, followed by his
flip-flopping on the moral basis for the war ("union" becomes
"emancipation") and topped off with his criminal suspension of basic
citizens' rights, such as habeus corpus. Clearly, Lincoln did far worse
and in a much shorter time than Bush, and yet who can deny that America is
better off because of Lincoln? I suspect it will be the same with Bush,
in the fullness of time. And everyone who now hates Bush, who rails on
and on about how he has been the worst President ever, will wind up
looking extremely silly.

Please shed some light on the governor's race in your state, because I
really wasn't paying much attention.

The Washington State governor's election has been a joke. Period. The
guys at Sound Politics have covered it all, in spades.
Suffice to say that Christine Gregoire is operating a sham administration,
and if she somehow manages to stay one step ahead of the effort to force a
revote, she'll get ONE, and exactly ONE, term in office. People are
ticked off. Not the core Democrats, mind you. They're pleased as punch
that they got to have their "revenge" for the 2000 Presidential election.
But everyone else in the state, everyone who does NOT live in King County,
is warming up for a mighty fine ass-whooping at the ballot box next time
Gregoire is on the ticket. I honestly think the Republicans could run a
plate of turnips as their candidate, and Gregoire would still lose. Too
many non-Seattle Washingtonians feel too ripped off. Seriously. Myself
among them.

Back to the Muppets...who is your favorite Muppet?

I have to go with Kermit. Without a doubt. Now that my daughter is
watching Sesame Street, I'm pissed that Kermit isn't making more
appearances. But I suppose even muppets get old and need to cut back on
their busy schedules?

What do you do with your free time?

Free time? What's that?! (ha ha ha ha) No, really, if I get a spare
moment, beyond parenthood and spousal considerations, I am a big time Star
Trek geek. I've got a huge Star Trek site up that I am always fiddling
with. It's at (this site) and is pretty
self-explanatory. I used to do video games when I was younger, too,
though I get almost no time for that anymore. Though, someone close to me
did get me the Tron 2.0 video game, and that's been very engrossing, or at
least it was, back during Christmas, when I had some time off. I'm a huge
fan of the movie, and the new game really does the old classic flick a lot
of justice.

What kind of music do you enjoy?

Easy. I strongly dislike country, and I strongly dislike rap/hip-hop.
Everything else? I enjoy to some degree. My pet genre is probably
electronica. I've hosted several electronica radio shows on public radio
over the years. Most recently I did Electric Nightfall at KSER in
Everett, Washington. I had to quit when I
went to Basic Training with the Army in 2003, and have not had the time to
get back into it since. Now that my wife and I are down in Tacoma I
suppose I will try and snoop out the radio life down there? I've also
toyed with just doing an all-web streaming broadcast. That would save a
lot of time and trouble. But would anyone listen?

Who is your favorite writer of the non-blogging kind?

Chris Bunch & Allan Cole. They are a duo that did the STEN series (now in
reprint!) and who also did A RECKONING FOR KINGS. (see below) I'd also
have to mention Larry Niven, who has won both the Hugo and Nebula awards
for his excellent science fiction.

What is the best book you've ever read?

As far as novels go, A RECKONING FOR KINGS by Bunch & Cole. It was
nominated for a Pulitzer in the 1980's when it came out. It's perhaps the
single greatest Vietnam war novel I have ever read, and I have read a
number of Vietnam war novels. Bunch & Cole write with an addicting style
and, where Vietnam was concerned, a level of palpable authenticity that is
impossible to deny. If I ever hit it big as a novelist, I am sure I will
owe a lot to Cole & Bunch, whose style inspires and excites me to this
day. Ditto for Niven.

What/where do you want to be in ten years?

Owning a home, for one thing. Making six figures, for another. I want to
be finished with my Gottdamned motherloving college education, too. With
a little luck, I'll have published a novel or three. But that's probably
asking for too much?

Posted by Jennifer at February 16, 2005 07:00 AM