Seven Layers of Me

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(updated 01-30-08 @ 2009 hours)
Dad Stuff "tagged me" with the "Seven Layers of Me" meme. The rules for the Seven Layers of Me meme state that I am to link the person who tagged me, post my seven tales of wonder about myself that are either interesting, weird or true, then tag seven other blogs to do the same.
If you don't know what a "meme" is, check out THIS LINK.
(And don't feel to bad - it was not until recently that I knew what one was
First of all, there is very little about my life that is actually "interesting". Weird on the other-hand.... That's another story. If you find it "interesting", then it is probably not "true", but if you find it "weird" - then it is most likely "true".

I am supposed to "tag" seven other bloggers for this meme. Well, this (for me) this post was not easy. I put a lot of effort into it (probably more than I needed to). So, I am not going to "tag" anyone to do it. What I will do is create a list of bloggers that I think would have "7 interesting layers". If you find yourselves on the list, do not consider yourself "tagged" - rather, consider writing it. I found it to be quite interesting!

Heck... I am not sure howm many (if any) of these people are regular "readers" here on FOF... So - let me again stress... If you are on the list, I dont want you to feel any pressure, but I'd be interested in reading posts with "7 layers" of info about...

The King of Clubs - because he's one of the neatest people I know!
JDZ Photography - because his hiatus after NaBloPoMo is WAY over!
Krystal the Pistol - because she is... well... she lives a... BECAUSE SHE IS KRYSTAL! (Need I say more?)
The Etheral Garage - because he reminds me a lot of The King of Clubs! (and that is a good thing!)
Electric Lazy Land - because he is a great commenter on Etheral Garage!
It's Not About the Badge - a newer (to me) blog that seems to have a lot going on.
and V-Hold - a blog I have recently discovered - and have been enjoying reading

I would have listed At Home Daddy, but he already did this one, as well as A Family Runs Through It.-- I did not need to include
Samok Daddy - he was already "tagged" by DadStuff.

There are quite a few bloggers out there I would also enjoy - so just because your name does not appear above, don't feel like you can not run with it on your own! (I'm quite sure a few of the blogs listed above will not be doing it - wink!)

So, without further ado - here are "Seven things about me that are either interesting, weird, or true".

#1 - I never really planned to be a "Father of Five".

I would never have guessed that I would be the father of five children. I (we) did not plan to have five children. I assumed when "Number Three" came along - that he was it, and I would grow up "daughter-less". "Number Four" really surprised me - and when I found out "it" was a "she", I could not have been happier! "Number Five" shocked, and truly scared me, but as my wife has often said (beat into my head over and over), God only gives you what you can handle, so trust God that this is what was meant for us. So, after much (unnecessary) stress on my part, some prayerful reflection, and a lot of faith, we welcomed "Number Five" into this world, and I got another daughter.

That was over three years ago now, and regardless of how "stressful" it has gotten, and how (at times) I wonder how different things in my life would be with fewer "dependents" - I WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING! Each of my kids are so special and unique in their own way... I cannot even begin to imagine a day of my life without all five of them!!

So, I made the decision to "embrace" and "celebrate" being the Father of Five instead of hiding, or being embarrassed by it... After all - not many could be or would be a "FOF"!

#2 - I can not get enough "talk radio". Addicted you might even call it.
(Note: I tried to keep this a BRIEF overview - I could go on ad-nausium - but I'll do my best to save you from all the gory details)

Some time during my first year of marriage (in perhaps a vain attempt to appear to be a responsible husband and father), I started listening to talk radio. In all honesty, I do not actually recall how or why I started listening, but it all started with the "Afternoon Saloon" hosted by the Late, Great Don Vogel - AKA "The Round Mound of Sound". One of Don's young interns was a then yet unknown fella named Tommy "T.D." Mischke. Later, after Don's death, Young T.D. Mischke started his own show. As I grew into T.D.'s unique sense of humor, I found that I could not get enough of him. I used to set up tape recorders when I could not listen, and play back the show later (or as much of the show as I could fit on one side of a C-90 cassette tape). If I had to look back and find a beginning to my love for talk radio - after thinking about it a bit more I put most responsiblity on Don Vogel & T.D. Mischke.

As my job and schedule changed, I was introduced to Joe Soucheray, and the world of Garage Logic. I spent many years enjoying The Mayor, and his sidekick "The Rookie".

By this point I could hardly get enough AM1500. Just some of the AM1500 shows that have come and since gone, but some of the shows that I truly had a love affair with / for include Jessie Ventura, Barbara "Babbs" Carlson, and of course... who could have listened to late night talk radio in the 1990's without having listened to Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell.

It was the 90's and radio "shock jock" Howard Stern was in his prime. He had a short stint on local radio - but he sort of fizzled out here in Minnesota. I filled that gap with the local talent of Tom Bernard, and the KQRS morning show.

Don't forget the always gut busting duo of Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Pinsky from Loveline. I spent many years driving home with Adam and Dr. Drew - and truly felt I learned quite a bit from them. I have nearly a year of shows that I have not listened to, and WFMP (also referred to as FM107) - I really enjoyed Ian (and Marjory) Punnet (whom I recognized from Coast to Coast AM) in the morning, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Kevyn Burger, and Lori & Julia. The real (original) pull for WFMP (which is also known as a "woman oriented talk radio station" (which I disagree with - or perhaps I am more feminine than I realize)) was Ian Punnet followed by Dr. Laura. When Dr. Laura left - It just did not feel the same.

Then, the draw of satellite radio got to be just too great, and (being the geek that I am) I waded in the waters with the purchase of a low cost receiver for XM Satellite Radio (for use on a "trial basis"). I've been HOOKED ever since! The "libertarian" in me (See #5) enjoys the adult content, and "free speech" of the talk radio stations (I started listening to Opie & Anthony, but I quickly discovered and have been addicted to the Ron & Fez show - (Which I have talked about quite a bit), not to mention the unending choices of music that it provides.

Don't get me wrong. I still listen to and enjoy many of the local radio personalities listed above... It's just that XM is my first option when Radio time comes around. And usually I can find something to listen to on XM!

Enough about my (unhealthy) love affair with talk radio.

#3 - I believe that I suffer with some "Social Anxiety Disorder" issues.

As I grew up - I spent many years (over seven) working in a small neighborhood hardware store ("Coast to Coast" HARDWARE - not to be confused with Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell!). Doing so, I became very comfortable dealing with people. As a teenager - I loved spending time at my Church's Youth Group, heck... I could not wait to get there and see all my friends. My junior and senior years in high school were what I refer to as "Social Hour". I looked forward to college, and meeting new people - met a great group of friends (many whom I stll remain in contact with), and we would go out dancing, drinking, and having a good time!

Somewhere between then and now - something changed. While I do enjoy new and adventurous activities - then tend to be more "solo" in nature (or "family-oriented"). I have become very uncomfortable in social settings. While I still can "fake it" - I struggle (significantly) to do so. I am very comfortable around the group of people I have become familiar with - it's just new or strange settings, and new people that tend to set this off.

#4 - I maintain a breeding Colony of Neolamprologus multifasciatus.

Nelolamprologus Multifasciatus?? No, please don't say Gesundheit - I did not sneeze. You must be asking what the heck Nelolamprologus Multifasciatus are (also known as "Multis" in certain circles). Well, Multis are small (one of the smallest known) members of the species of fish known as African Cichlids. They originate from Lake Tanganyika in central Africa - and are among a group of cichlids that are known as "Shell Dwellers". Shell Dwellers are fish that use abandoned Neothauma snail shells for breeding and shelter.

Now - for all you aquaria-techies out there... Here is the low-down... so keep it on the down-low.

I have maintained a breeding colony of Multis since 2003. I keep them in a 30 gal glass aquarium with custom built solid oak base and hood. I utilize the stock 20w flourescent tube lighting, and have added a supplemental 20w stock flourescent tube (robbed from an older aquarium we no longer have). For a while I ran a blue cold cathode tube to simulate "moon light" (which was really cool at night!)

My substrate is Aragonite sand (which is said to raise the pH of the water - but since we have VERY hard water anyway - it not necessary). Changing the Aragonite back to "nautural" sand is on my "to-do list", and will put the Multis back to a more "natural" surrounding.

For decoration (as well as shelter) the tank is decorated with Texas Holey Rock (honeycomb limestone), green turbo snail shells (I don't have access to genuine Neothauma shells), and a Hagen Rock background.

The tank is heated with a 150w fully submersible Ebo-Jager heater. The tank is triple filtered. The primary filtration is a Eheim 2213, with a Marineland HOB (hang on back) Bio-wheel filter, and finally a PowerSweep 212 power head with bio-filtration intake.

I used to be an active member of Cichlid-Fourms - and still have a tank page up there, if you are intrested.

(CLICK HERE - and you will be whisked away to my aquarium... (Sort of... The interior looks much different now then it did back then....) But you can see the custom built oak canopy - and get a little idea on what it looks like.)

#5 - I consider my political ideology "Libertarian"

I have been a third party voter since Dean Barkley ran for US Senate back in 1992. Yes... I am also one of the many Minnesotans that voted Jesse Ventura into the Governor's office. He was not perfect, but no one is... I'm proud to say I voted for him, and I'd vote Ventura again. (I really connected with him when he was the morning talk show host on AM1500 - See #2)

If you have made it this far, without being board to death...

I challenge any and all of you to take The World's Smallest Political Quiz. I'd really be interested in hearing where you score. Leave me a comment - and let me know.

In this day and age, the two-party politics are outdated. People associate themselves with the donkey or the elephant, the blue or the red. Pro-life or pro-choice... There is no easy answer - and limiting my choice to two people is rediculious. We have more options for sizes of soda or french-fries from your favorite fast food establishment.

I do not fully subscribe to the Libertarian ideology. We do need order, we do need laws, we do need to protect and help the most vulnerable of our society... But I do believe in the free market (which is different from NAFTA), and that the market should dictate (as opposed to the government dictating) how a person lives their lives, or how a business is run. We need some basic guidelines - but sometimes it get's out of hand.

I could go on and on about this - because I think I confuse some people when I say Libertarian. Just know this. I have some conservative views, some liberal views, and in between - I have quite a few libertarian views.

Hey.. How much more can any third party candidate muck things up than the two major parties have thus far???

#6 - I LOVE visiting old cemeteries.

I can not remember a time that I did not enjoy spending time in cemeteries - particularly old ones. The earliest memories I have of spending time in cemeteries was with my grandmothers. We would visit old family cemeteries, and then venture out beyond our relatives, trying to find unique headstones, or unique "circumstances" (the very young, the very old, or perhaps notation on headstones such as "taken from us by tuberculosis").

I used to (prior to marriage and children) try exercising my limited photography skills - and photographing old cemeteries in black and white.

Although I have not been there in years, I used to (as a teenager) visit my Mémère and Pépère's grave. I would clean it up - trim the overgrowing grass around the headstone, hang a wind chime in the tree next to their grave. (Something that my Mémère and I used to talk about.)

Even now, in the spring - just to get out for some fresh air - I'll take the kids and we will walk around the local cemeteries in our hometown.

I'll post a surprise followup post regarding #6... It should prove to be quite enjoyable for my "regulars".

(And... Saving the best for last... )
#7 - I have experienced true and unconditional love in my life.

Yes, my parents love me, as I love my children unconditionally. But I have been lucky enough have found a woman who is truly my perfect match. There is not a day that goes by without me thinking to myself how much I love her, and how truly blessed and appreciative I am to have had God put us together.

My wife is so very beautiful - both inside and out. She has so many wonderful qualities - I wouldn't know exactly where to begin - nor would I be doing her justice by trying. She is both my friend and my wife. I love spending time with her (even when what I am doing with her is something that I am "less than thrilled" to be doing (aka. "Shopping")).

Being a "Father of Five", I would be remiss without having mentioned something about her roll as a Mother. Again, my words would not serve her justice. I will simply say that I struck the jackpot when it came to a wife with mothering skills!

Her family has treated me with love and respect from day one. They have become as much my family as my "blood" relatives are!

Now, don't get me wrong here. She is not perfect, as I am not perfect (believe it or not...). I accept her for who she is (including her flaws), and she accepts me with all my flaws (why, I'll never totally understand). Sure - we argue. But we argue respectfully. Yes, at times we disagree, but do so respectfully. Whatever obstacle life has thrown us, we have always been able to work through together to find the solution.

We have seen some pretty significant "challenges" in the past five or so years. Her strength and fortitude through this "challenge" has been nothing more than amazing! She is truly an inspiration to me!

The emotion(s) I feel for my wife, and I feel back in return is what I can only describe as unconditional love. It is simply amazing. I feel badly for people who have never experienced this level of connection and love in their lives.

As I look forward to growing old with my wonderful wife, continuing to watch as our children grow, and eventually experiencing the joys of being grandparents, I continue to be thankful for having her as my wife. I thank God for delivering such a truly beautiful (inside and outside) woman to me. She has been, and continues to be a heavenly gift to me.

(Oh, wonderful wife of mine (who does not like to be mentioned too much on the blog) - I know you read my blog when I am not home... I cannot thank you enough for being who you are - nor can I tell you enough how much I love you, and how much you mean to me! This is something I am happy to share with the rest of the world, and will never tire of saying. Darling - I love you so very much!)


  1. Thank you - Thank you - Thank you .....
    I've been stressing about this since my hubby listed me as one to do this "meme" thing.
    I'm stuck with only 3 things so now I won't feel bad to just post those three (maybe tomorrow) and do a "stay tuned". I'm going to copy you - hope that's ok?
    Also, I found your list to be very interesting.
    #1 had me in tears - I (we) wanted a large family but due to many complications we were told by doctors that we couldn't have any more children after two. We've been blessed with two of the most wonderful children. I too wouldn't change a thing! I am happy for you and your wife to have been blessed with a family of five! Five is great. I'm one of five in my family!

    #3 - interesting. I have found as I'm approaching 40 I am very careful and cautious in new situations. So in a sense, I could relate to you with your social anxiety with new people/situations. I too, just want to embrace these upcoming years with my family.

    Great start on the list and I look forward to reading the rest.
    Thank you!

  2. Oh, Delightful-D - please copy away... If it was not for my "stay tuned", "more to follow", and "as evening approached" (Ask Bill about that one) - My posts would be even fewer and further between....

    Bill, am I right here???

    Like I was saying - Stay tuned because, as evening approached.....

  3. Oh, and one other thing Delightful-D...

    As you may have read in FOF - my sister was in town for a wedding... My sister from Dallas who had to put her cat down, and that you left such a nice message for.

    She was very moved by your message, and that you would take the time to send your wishes to her through FOF...

    She told me she tried finding an email for you on Life is Good, but could not. (I told her that was not unusual...) So she asked me to pass along her Thank you. She was really moved that someone would take the time to reach out to her like you did!

  4. I'm still pushing to have "as evening approached" to be on your tombstone!


    No matted how long it takes you, you are still a very talented writer, so keep up the good work, and as always, I wait to read them!

  5. Bill, you are too kind!

    Glad to see you are still "checkin' in"!

  6. I can't believe there is someone else to gets a kick out of cemeteries. I too like reading the headstones and finding history on them.
    I guess I could have used that for my sixth one, since I needed an extra.
    Can't wait for the seventh.

  7. I hope I didn't start the cemetary thing with the comment about your tombstone....

  8. Oh goodness no Bill..

    I had 1-5 written, and the subject for #6 right off the bat...

    I'm a little stumped for #7, but I'll find something!

  9. I have spent many an hour (or two) in and out of old cemetaries waiting for hubby to find one of his 'family' graves. Fortunately they are just small ones. I did enjoy them all the first time around but after two or three visits - presumably incase someone new 'popped' up it wears a bit thin. Maybe it's another one of those 'Man' things?

    Bet you wife was blubbering when she read your comment at the bottom - I would be if mine said such lovely things in public.


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