Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who am I..

To start this off I felt I should explain the type of person I am. It will make a lot more sense to those who read what I write.

I am 40 years old with 3 teenage children and have been married to my wonderful wife Karen for nearly 20 years. My oldest son is in the Marine Corps. My middle daughter is at Wisconsin Lutheran High School and my youngest son is at St. Marcus Lutheran School. We live in Milwaukee, WI. My family has had a habit of moving a lot. We have lived in 11 homes in 19 years not counting two short term relocation apartments upon some big moves across the country. I think we are settled for a little while at least until the last two kids are out of the house. We have lived in the Madison, WI area, the Dallas, TX area, the Boston area, and now back to Milwaukee.

I am a computer geek at an insurance company by day. I enjoy working on technology for WELS organizations at night in my basement. My interests are in road biking, snowboarding, music, technology, and multimedia.

I am a very sarcastic individual. Probably too sarcastic. My children have fallen in my footsteps and probably get themselves in trouble because of it. I don't take much of anything personally. Probably another negative as sometimes people want me to take things more seriously. It doesn't help if I snicker at people who are full of themselves. It takes a lot to get me upset. I have a good sense of humor. When I worry about something it is short-lived and I either absent-mindedly forget about it or just move on because I just can't find too much in life to get all worked up about anymore.

I am verbose. I tend to think out loud even when I write until I can say something just the way I meant it with the right emphasis and intentions. So I tend to say the same thing over again or 3 times until I feel I've said it the right way.

In one way I operate on the high level. I care more about someone's intentions more than the action. For instance I don't care that my daughter stomps out of the room when she doesn't get her way, I'm more interested in what makes a person flee conflict in a dramatic way and what was the triggering event that caused the specific reaction.

I like people from diverse points of view not so much for their points of view but more from the perspective of what is the background of this person that makes them person they are today. I tend not to care what you believe but that you can defend what you believe. I love debate and consider it a grand sport. My wife or daughter say "we're in a fight" I say we are engaged in a debate. I never fight. A debate is never personal. Fights are personal and a disagreement on a point of view is not a personal thing..its just that the the other person's viewpoint is wrong ;-) Actually I rather like it when someone can prove me wrong on a point. I respect someone who goes to the work of defending themselves with facts and reason. I tend not to respect those who basically can only support their beliefs with a "just because!" or say "..I just can't find the words to explain it..."

So in my verbosity I then also like the details and background of everything because it explains where people are coming from. I like to research things for myself and rarely take the word of others. Your credentials mean little to me. I write long emails, i leave long voice mails and I even text long messages on my phone. I don't like frequent iterative conversations. I try to give you everything up front and hopefully it will be enough information that you do not need to ask me any further questions. This drives a lot of people nuts. My children will delete my long voice mails before it is complete and find that the very information they were looking for was at the end of the message they deleted. I do however get a perverse pleasure when answering a question when i can say..."did you read/listen to the message I sent you?"

If I have a theme its on personal responsibility, independence and self confidence. These are how I try to raise my children and my basic expectations out of others. I will take the blame when I fail. Sometimes I'll take the blame even when I didn't fail because taking blame is easy and usually allows all involved to move past something and work on fixing things. I push my kids on independence just as my parents pushed me. I think this fosters a good self-esteem as one's independence grows. It is a risky approach and I am surrounded by many risk averse people. Yet I would cry if I trapped my children in the shell of over-protected parenting, the stereotypical suburban point of view where one wraps their children in the shell of safety protecting them from every physical, emotional, and mental harm that might exist in the world. I see some of these kids and am saddened to see them when the true crap of the world hits them eventually and they have no way to deal with it because they were never exposed to it. I've actually seen the phenomenon proven out so many times its scary and sad. It is why I spend my time on helping my kids learn to make the right decisions while exposed to the crap of the world at early ages. It does tend to mean that there are more "learning situations" when a wrong decision is made but the learning from the mistakes is the most valuable learning tool there is.

Well that will have to do for now. I'm pretty sure I'll break out a few of those topics into seperate blogs soon.

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