Monday, January 15, 2007

You've been tagged

Five things you never knew about me

Here are the rules - you get tagged by a colleague/friend/complete stranger, you have to blog five things that people don't know about you and then pick five more people that should do the same.

By my calculations the entire blogosphere should be tagged by February 3rd - I guess it's all part of being Person of the Year.

Ishai Sagi was so kind as to tag me, so here you go:

5. I'm not Canadian. I reckon more people ask me if I am Canadian than any other nationality. I've never even been to Canada (eh?). In fact I'm Irish. I'll admit that my accent isn't a very strong Irish accent. Some people have suggested that the Irish accent has had a strong influence on forming the American accent. Personally I think it's because I watched too much Sesame Street as a kid. So my theory is that people hear me talk and think "hmm, not quite American, he must be one of those Canadians (eh?).

4. I was going to be an RPG programmer for Microsoft. We are not talking about Role Playing Games, this is the Report Program Generator language. I interviewed for a consulting firm doing work at Microsoft in Dublin. Our university was one of the few places that taught RPG and Microsoft were running their manufacturing on an IBM AS/400 at the time (there's one thing you didn't know about Microsoft). In the end, they gave me a job working on VB and SQL projects instead.

3. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81. I think I was 10 at the time. I remember trying to grasp concepts such as for loops and If/Else statements. I still remember the so-called "touch-sensitive" keys and the fact that you would have to wait about 10 seconds for the screen to refresh every time you pressed a key. After all, it did only have 1 KB of memory.

2. I failed Irish in school. Shameful really. The Irish language is compulsory in school up to your final exams at 18. I was shockingly bad at it. I found it impossible to spell, and the grammar just threw me completely. My poor Irish teacher put in so much effort to helping me, but he got so little out of it. The scary thing is that you need Irish to get into a lot of university courses. Thankfully, the one I wanted didn't require it. I didn't even bother studying the night before my final exam. I worked on my maths study instead (god knows I needed it).

When it came time to do the exam paper, I wrote a letter in English to the examiner, letting him know that he could go off and make himself a nice cup of tea, that I was not going to force my shocking spelling skills on him. When I got my final grades, I wasn't too surprised to discover I failed. My parents weren't that happy and they suggested that I have my paper re-checked. I declined. So now I'm not eligible to apply for any government job in Ireland, which hasn't proved to be a big drawback since I've moved to Sydney.

1. I've had Blues Harmonica lessons - note the distinction between "I've had lessons" and "I can play". I've always been a fan of the Blues, so when I saw some lessons advertised, I signed up with another friend. We gave each other Blues names - he's Magic Eight-Ball Delahunty, I'm Bleeding Gums Wilson. Despite these great names, I have yet to reach a level of proficiency where I'd feel comfortable quitting my day job and make a living busking on the streets.

My turn to tag - not that there are many people left: