8 things you don’t know about me

Fri, Feb 29, 2008


My friend Dawn asked to know more about me recently, so I thought I’d share with you. For many, I’m just the simple guy. But, oh, I’m more complex than that. See for yourself:

  1. I grew up on 30 acres an hour north of San Francisco. We had no animals, but we had plenty of fruit trees, a barn, a tire swing, and lots of land to play around on.
  2. A donkey man lived on our property for almost a year. John Stiles was wandering the country with his two wagons (he slept in one) and a plethora of animals* when we offered him a place for the winter. It ended up being a nine month gig, and he built a third wagon during that time.
  3. I once looked up gullible in the dictionary to prove a friend it was there. That is not a proud moment.
  4. Five of my eight things, in pictures

  5. In college I started a radio station. As ever, it’s barely hanging on, but it’s still around. Like many things I’ve had a hand in starting, I did it because I wanted to participate, but there was nothing like it.
  6. I ran a BBS in high school. This is where I earn my geek cred. I built myself a second computer, got an inbound-only phone line, and invited people to connect their computer to mine. I even wrote games for users to play and had a short-lived, but profitable, software company. The name of the BBS? Fallen Chaos, after misheard lyrics (“crawling chaos”) from a Metallica song.
  7. I’ve never seen The Wizard of Oz. No, I have nothing against it, and one of these days it’s going to happen. The time just hasn’t been right yet. Don’t rush me.
  8. There is a street named after my family in Windsor, CA. I was the fifth generation to live in the formerly tiny farming town. This year is the 100th anniversary of the DuVander Ranch (now mostly a Raley’s shopping center). When they created the new downtown a few years ago, they honored our family with a few hundred feet of blacktop. Bonus trivia: DuVander Lane is situated in what used to be the field where I first met the Donkey Man.
  9. I have been in three bands, and each played a version of Sloop John B. I sang in all of them, played guitar in the first two, and switched to bass for the third. I even have a few MP3s hanging about here and there. The names: A.J. (Adam and Josh), The Rash, and trailBOSS.

Your turn: what don’t I know about you?

* Yes, El Guapo, I know what a plethora is. His animals, as I recall: Two mules, 18 donkeys (plus two born while he was with us, minus the two who died from bee stings), three goats, about a dozen chickens, and three or four doves.

10 Comments For This Post

  1. Dawn Says:

    Awesome. I love learning new random things about people I already thought I “knew” 🙂

  2. Todd Says:

    Interesting, intriguing, even a little odd. Totally enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Bubna Says:

    oh, c’mon. i knew that. well, i knew some of that… ok, you’re right, i only knew like 2.33 of those things.

    now, here’s 8 things you don’t know about me:

    1) what i’m wearing right now
    2) what i had for breakfast
    3) what number i’m thinking of right now
    4) my maternal grandmother’s maiden name
    5) what i want to be when i grow up
    6) my favorite of the 31 flavors
    7) my debit card pin number
    8) the number of elementary schools i went to

    Actually, come to think of it, i’m not sure anyone knows #8 for sure. but i have a pretty good estimate.

  4. Jaered Says:

    the picture with the donkey man is priceless. It’s exactly how I imagined him before I saw the picture. Beware of your roadkill.

  5. Tom Watson Says:

    The Wire! It’s shocking the thing is still around, but I’m glad it is. I love these things. I might have to do another one my new site.

  6. Heumann Says:

    I knew all of those but #7, but I guess I’ve been around you for a while. I *hadn’t* see a picture of the donkey man before, and I think I expected him to be a little more rotund.

    Something you may not know about me: I was sick last week, and willed myself well enough to play frisbee by 3:30pm.

  7. Courtney Says:


  8. Bob & Susan Says:

    John Stiles… he came thru here some years back. We have wondered about him since then.
    We caught up to him all over southern Oregon. Can you tell us anything about him now? We thought a great deal of John and his traveling troupe!

    Bob & Susan Sep 6 2008

  9. Dan Says:

    I found your blog while searching for John Stiles. I traveled with him in S. Oregon from Wilderville to Jacksonville, then later camped with him when he was in the Williams, OR area. I was about the same age as you are in the picture. Thanks for posting the pic!

  10. Marsha Diane Arnold Says:

    I have lost track of my friend, John Stiles. I became friends with John when he was in Sonoma County. I even wrote a column about him. Later I met up with him in Arizona and we corresponded for several years. Do you know where he is now? I’d be grateful for any information. I think it has been two years since I heard from him.

Leave a Reply