Census Survey -- 04/01/00

This is supposed to be Census Day. That is, today is the day to which the census question apply. Who was living at this address on April 1, 2000. I'm going to have to go through some accumulated mail because I do not recall having seen that questionnaire. I remember getting a notice that I would soon be receiving a census questionnaire but I don't remember actually receiving one. Must be in one of the plastic bins on the desk in the den; that's where mail that is neither a bill nor a personal letter ends up until somebody has time to deal with it.

(Note to readers from other countries: the Constitution of the U.S. mandates that a census be conducted every ten years so that the number of members in the House of Representatives can be set for each state. It has picked up a few extraneous questions over the years, things that some clump of bureaucrats think need to be counted.)

The census is of interest to those of us in the computer industry. Herman Hollerith devised a method of tabulating using punched cards that was used to count the 1890 census. Later, in the 1920's, the company he had founded was among those merged to form International Business Machines.

There are many surveys floating around the Internet. Last weekend I answered one that Meghan had posted on her site. There were a few questions I left out because it was just too long. Anyway, a copy of my response follows. (If you'd like to answer some - or all - of these questions, why don't you go to her discussion forum and supply your responses. She enjoys having people respond to her forum.)

Describe your living arrangement.
  Live with my wife and two teenage children in a house
What's your favorite TV show?
  The Sopranos
What's on your mousepad?
  My mouse, of course... Well, the one I'm using tonight has a picture of Homer Simpson asleep in his chair in the nuclear power plant while melt-down alarms are flashing
What's the first thing that you think of when you wake up in the morning?
  I am up for a while before I do any thinking... stumble downstairs on autopilot, feed the cat (who is insisting at this point that he has been starving for days), start the coffee brewing and drink a big glass of orange juice. About then I start to wake up enough to think. Lately I have taken to checking email while waiting for the coffee to brew, then I bring my wife a cup of coffee and wake her up.
Rollercoasters - Scary or exciting?
  I avoid them, although in younger days I used ot love amusement rides. About a dozen years ago I had somekind of an inner ear infection that knocked my balance totally off... I spent several hours lying on the floor praying that the room would stop spinning and ever since that experience I am afraid of doing something that will upset my inner ears... carousels have been about the wildest ride I've done... except two or three years ago we went to Six Flags New Jersey and my son talked me into going on some mine ride (basically a small roller coaster making very tight turns in the dark inside a "mountain") and I survived it... however, there are no roller coasters in Rhode Island.
How many rings before you answer the phone?
  We have caller id and an answering machine. If I don't see a phone number I recognize on the caller id, I don't answer, just let the machine answer. (I hate telemarketing calls.)
Future daughter's name? Future son's name?
  My oldest (who is 31 years old) is named Adam. My younger two will turn 18 and 15 in May. I had a vascectomy and thus do not expect any future kids. I can't list their names because the younger two have asked that I don't use their real names in my online journal.
Favorite foods?
  I like many kinds of foods (I'd even say I like food too well)... Chinese (Cantonese and Sezchuan), Indian/Pakistani, Thai, Italian are among the various ethnic foods I enjoy. Fish and chips. American food. Stop! I'm making myself hungry.
Chocolate or vanilla?
  Pralines and cream, cookie dough, oh please stop the torture!
Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
Are thunderstorms cool or scary?
  Both. They are really cool and awesome to watch but they can also really fry you.
What kind of car was your first car?
  A 1958 Volkswagen beetle
Favorite alcoholic drink?
  A good beer (usually Killian's, but sometimes Bass Ale or Guinness)... A decent wine (usually drink white zinfandel but I enjoy many different wines)... very rarely drink hard liquor -- maybe a gin and tonic at a big party like a wedding reception -- although years ago I used to enjoy sipping Wild Turkey
What's your sign, baby?
Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
  Yes, of course I do. I also enjoy broccoli both cooked (steamed) and raw.
If you could have any job you wanted, what would you be?
  I really enjoy the job I have now. If I were to move on it would probably be to become a system architect, designing software systems and applications. Or, if this is to be really wild, could I please be a best-selling novelist... or perhaps a top motion picture director?
If you could dye your hair any colour, what would you dye it to?
  I would leave it just the way it is, don't even have any wish to hide the gray. Of course I seem to be alone in this concept. My wife dies her hair. My daughter dies her hair. My son has just bleached his hair for the second Saturday in a row (last week he then dyed it blue; I've no idea what color he will dye it tomorrow. And my eldest has been shaving his head for the past decade but there were times in college when he dyed it various shades of green or purple.
Have you ever been in love?
  Yes... and I am now.
What's on your walls?
  That depends on which room... the walls of our den (which is the room for which I assumed decorating control) are covered with pictures -- some original paintings, some photographs, framed museum posters, and a large number of reproductions of paintings that I've bought in various museum shops in Washington, Boston, London, Vienna, etc. At least thirty pictures; I like walls that are covered with pictures.
Is the glass half empty of half full?
  Half full
What's your favorite drink?
Favorite movies? Favorite books?
  I'm going to skip these; it would just take too long.
Lefty, righty, or ambidexterous?
Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?
What's under your bed?
  A spare mattress (twin size). Shoes. Maybe a book or two. And during thunderstorms, our cat likes to hide under there.
What's your favourite number?
Favorite sport to watch?
  I very rarely watch sports on television; when I do it's usually a running event, either track and field or coverage of a marathon. In person? Other than sports where one of my kids is participating? Probably minor league baseball.

Speak Freely Webring March Collaboration - The question was: where do you go on the web when you aren't reading journals? My response was to provide my collection of useful links. Feel free to check them out.

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