Damn. Okay, two things: One is the makeup of my family. I have two older brothers who are 19 months apart, the oldest is 8 years older than me, and they were a significant influence on me. They bullied me a lot when I was younger (because they were high all the time) but now it's generally understood that I got the benefit of my parents mistakes with them. I have a sister who's about a year younger than me. My parents adopted her since they only had boys. She's from Korea and is developmentally disabled, and lives in a group home in Oklahoma (where my dad and oldest brother are.) She's the happiest she's ever been as far as I can tell. My parents were married until my mom died 8 years ago from lung cancer (lifelong 2-pack/day smoker). My dad lives in an apartment about half a mile from my oldest brother. Oh yeah, my oldest brother converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints about 20 years ago, is on his second marriage (sequentially, not in parallel), and has 2 kids from his first marriage, 2 stepkids, and 1 kid from his present marriage. My older brother currently lives in Ithaca and is a Ph.D. physicist, which means he's unemployed at the moment.
That's a big thing. The second is that I moved 3 times growing up, and again before I started college. Living in different places, losing and gaining friendships, learning about finding a house, seeing different parts of the country, these all gave me lots of perspective.
2. Why should I have a family? Or shouldn't I?
You're asking the wrong person. We only decided to start a family relatively recently. But you should have one if you think you'll be a good parent and that you can help create a child who will be even better than you. You shoudn't be one if you hate kids, think the world's got enough people, or won't be able to give the family the time and attention it would deserve.
3. If you had money (say $30,000) to invest right now, what technology would you invest in?
I would buy stocks in all the companies whose technology I use on a day-to-day basis. So , Novell, Microsoft, HP, Red Hat, Cisco.
4. If money was no object, what city/town would you buy a house in tomorrow?
Just a few days ago, driving home from work, I decided to meander through Madison. There's a part of down out the rear gate of campus, usually called "the Hill" in town, although I think the geographic confines of that are extended to suit the interests of realtors. Anyway, in the best parts of that are little meandering roads, with nice, stately homes built in the 1910s and 1920s, lots of stone and brick, slate roofs. All of them are in perfect condition. None of them were on sale, but if they were would probably be in the 1.5-2.5 million range. I'd live there. That's assuming I'd still be working at Drew.
5. What is your biggest hope for you kids? Your biggest fear?
Whoa. No one's said anything about kids. Anyway, my biggest hope for my kid is that they live in a world that's better than the one we currently live in, that the world somehow works through their petty issues of war, religious strife, economic inequality, and lack of environmental stewardship, and is peaceful, fair and clean. My fear is that greed, vengenace, gluttony, and false pride not only prevent that from happening, but make things a lot worse.
5a. In five sentences or less, what are your spiritual beliefs at this moment?
This is cheating but I'll let it slide. Five sentences? Here goes: I'm a practicing lapsed Catholic. I believe in a higher power, a metaphysical creator of, well, creation. I believe that all the world's religions, faiths, and belief systems are culturally specific manifestations of some universal truth, and the only fair way to be is to allow people to practice their belief without foisting it onto other cultures. I believe there's an afterlife whether it's a physical plane or the persistence of the last thought before death. I believe that the personal search for spiritual truth is one of the few things actually worth doing, and you can't be scared of where it may lead you if you're being open and honest with yourself, and that everyone will end up in a different place, which is why it's convenient there's so many things to choose from, going back to my earlier point about manifestations of a fundamental truth.