Never Asked Questions (NAQ)

Everyone has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, so I decided to have a Never Asked Questions (NAQ) page. Here is everything you didn’t want to know about me.

  1.  I’m allergic to chocolate. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think about it much. The biggest downside is I’ve discovered many dark beers have an element of chocolate, so I have to research the ingredients before downing a cold one. I discovered this after my wife and I visited a microbrewery and I gleefully consumed a dark beer and proceeded to feel sick for three days. Chocolate makes me feel ill, but doesn’t kill me. So don’t get any ideas.
  2.  I have a freakish ability to balance coins on my elbow and then snatch them with the hand that happens to be on the same arm as that elbow, before they hit the ground. I’d say I have cat-like reflexes, but I’ve never seen a cat attempt this trick.
  3.  I assisted in the hunt for the D.C. sniper(s) but the only crime I stopped during the assignment involved two teenagers being intimate. I got a certificate for my participation, but my interrupting the sex act wasn’t mentioned.
  4.  I once accidentally gave George H.W. Bush the “guy nod”.
  5.  Gerald Ford once spoke to me in a bath robe. I mean he was wearing the robe. It would have been totally awkward if I would have been.
  6.  I have an irrational dislike of Bette Midler.
  7.  When I was in elementary school, I dug up a worm and entered him into a worm race sponsored by the local library. My worm (George) came in last place. However, I won a free book. I still have the book and have read it to my daughter. Thanks, George.
  8.  When I was a kid, I aspired to be a starting pitcher in the major leagues. It hasn’t happened. Yet.
  9.  I’ve run 10 or 11 half marathons and a slew of shorter races. I was told if I ran a full marathon, I’d be hooked and run a bunch more. I ran a full marathon. I’m not doing that again.
  10.   I have tattoos.
  11.  When I was with the Secret Service, a supervisor once pulled strings to get me on a protective mission to Poland because he knew my in-laws lived there. Once I arrived, I was taken to my Polish law enforcement counterparts and asked to translate. Which was surprising to me, since I don’t speak Polish. Apparently, the supervisor had “pulled some strings” by telling someone I would be an asset because of my outstanding linguistic skills.
  12.  I currently work at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) on the Georgia coast.
  13.  I first saw Bon Jovi in concert in 1986. They were the opening act for RATT. I think their stage decoration was a plastic banner.
  14.  Growing up, I I feared I would never live anywhere but my hometown of Huntington, WV. I’ve been fortunate enough to go on to live in State College, PA, Richmond, VA, Sterling, VA, Gainesville, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Savannah, GA.
  15.  I love hard rock and heavy metal music. My favorite bands include Clutch, Chevele, Volbeat, Godsmack, Pop Evil, Highly Suspect, and Nothing More. When I write certain scenes in my novels, I can almost hear a soundtrack of sorts. Usually, the music I hear comes from hardcore bands like these. Or Wham!.
  16.  In 1996, I did an internship with the U.S. Marshals Service. I graduated college in 1997, but the U.S. Marshals Service wasn’t hiring at the time. I ended up being a police officer in Chesterfield County, Virginia, a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service, an Instructor and later a Training Specialist with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and… 21 years after that internship – I ended up working for a year in the Training Division of the U.S. Marshals Service. Life is weird.
  17. I absolutely cannot get through a Harry Potter book or movie. I have no idea why. The books don’t hold my interest and I fall asleep during the movies. I WANT to like them, because J.K. Rowling is an inspiration and is a riot on Twitter. UPDATE: I FINALLY made it through all the movies and now my daughter is into them. I think I get the appeal now. Unfortunately, J.K. Rowling kind of went crazy an transphobic on Twitter, so I take back that part of my statement.
  18. I almost always have two books going: 1 actual book on my bed stand and an audiobook loaded on my phone.
  19. Although I served in law enforcement, that profession is not in my family background. However, my grandfather served in the Army, my father in the Marine Corps, and my brother in the Army.
  20. Snickerdoodles are my favorite kind of cookie. My second favorite kind are snickerdoodles.
  21. Once I get an idea in my head, I can write extremely fast. I’ve been known to crank out a decent short story in a few hours. For whatever reason, I seem to be able to complete tasks with great speed when I put my mind to it. Which my wife keeps reminding me is odd, since I haven’t cleaned out the garage in eight months.
  22. I’m kind of a fitness freak. I typically hit the weights hard in the morning 4 days per week and use the rowing machine or run 2 days per week. I’m more aware of my diet than I every have been: My typical breakfast consists of cereal with soy milk, then I’ll have a protein shake after my A.M. workout. I  might have a handful of pumpkin seeds before lunch which will usually consists of a salad with lots of veggies and tofu or perhaps a veggie burger patty and lots of greens. Panera now has a few more vegetarian options, so that’s been a plus for me. Often, I’ll have an apple with soy butter in the afternoon to get some more fiber and protein and later a banana if I’m going to have a late dinner. Then, whatever seems sensible for dinner. At the time of this writing, I vary between 192 – 197 lbs, which is fine for my 6’0″ height. I’m firmly into my mid-forties now, so I’ve cut way down on alcohol, which is no fun but has helped keep me in shape.
  23. I practice Krav Maga which is a self-defense and fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli security forces. I integrate aspects of Krav (I just call it Krav in conversation, because it sounds cool) into a lot of my workouts. I’m a killing machine, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve murdered multiple heavy bags at the martial arts studio where I train.