The Winehiker’s “Top 100 Things About Me”

My life is rich, even if I'm not.

My life is rich, even if I’m not.

OK, so since I’ve been lately in the mode of offering “Top 100″ lists, I felt compelled – inspired! – to list one hundred things about myself, simply for your enjoyment. Contrary to popular local belief, nobody paid me to assemble the following list.

  1. I’m a knowledge base administrator in an IT web operations group. Believe it or not, it’s not nearly as dull as it sounds. I like doing it.
  2. I like people. Especially when they respect themselves.
  3. I sometimes get vertigo but I go to the edge of the precipice anyway.
  4. I’m a White Anglo-Sexy Protestant.
  5. I earned my B.S. degree in Systems Administration at a trade school in 1998.
  6. At one time, my hair reached the middle of my back.
  7. I am attracted to beauty. But brains are better.
  8. I was born in the Year of the Rooster. When I get up in the morning, I feel like crowing. Most mornings.
  9. “REI” really stands for Russ Equipment Incorporated.
  10. I love cathedrals. That is, if they’re redwood trees, canyons, and monoliths.
  11. I’m not married. Except to my mortgage.
  12. I was born in San Jose, California.
  13. I have a sister.
  14. I think wine ratings are merely a guideline; we can still make our own choices.
  15. I lived in Carson City, Nevada for two and a half years.
  16. I try to surround myself with people whose “cup is half full” or in some way challenge me to be better than I am.
  17. Even though they change, I remember faces from my past, and often the names that go with them. My mother marvels at that.
  18. I love my mother, and she lives nearby. But not too nearby.
  19. I watch Food Network.
  20. I haven’t been carded since I bought groceries in Napa one Spring morning in 1998. The cashier was, admittedly, extraordinarily kind. She had an impish smile, as I recall.
  21. I spent two weeks in Bangalore in 2004, followed by 10 days in Zurich. What was striking was their commonalities: cows and lager. I preferred the food in India and the hiking in Switzerland.
  22. I can’t have kids, but the reasons are mostly philosophical (i.e., I won’t). In my opinion, we’re already well past our ability to sustain our human species in a manner to which we’re accustomed, and I feel as if I’m in a crowded room yelling “Fire!” but nobody hears me, much less smells the smoke.
  23. I have a small garden. I grow tomatoes, peppers, and herbs for cooking.
  24. I’m a Libra. Does that make me well-balanced? I do believe in moderation and life balance, that’s for sure.
  25. As a kid, I risked getting shot with rock salt while invading fruit orchards in suburban Santa Clara in the ’60s.
  26. My favorite movie is Groundhog Day. I could watch that movie again and again.
  27. Everyone’s got to have something to believe in. As for me, I believe I’ll have another glass of wine.
  28. I have graying hair. But with proper maintenance, I can maintain that I’m “distinguished,” not “extinguished.”
  29. I don’t have a gym membership. I’d rather smell a meadow or a forest than a stale, socially-rigged environment.
  30. Someday I’ll move to Moab. Or Taos. Or Healdsburg.
  31. Red wine rocks. White wine does too. But I prefer red wine. Sometimes while sitting on big rocks.
  32. I make misteaks.
  33. I’ve done some stupid brainless things. Like the time I took a left turn on a red arrow when a highway patrolman was in the car behind me. I pulled over voluntarily, though, so he let me off the hook. Burned some karma points there.
  34. I’ve had both a seagull and a Great Horned Owl die in my arms. Not at the same time.
  35. I’ve learned that letting things slide is not a good way to deal with people. These days, I set the expectations up front. Magically, problems rarely develop.
  36. My father left me with at least one very good trait: I sail on an even keel. Which is to say: I maintain a pragmatic approach and don’t get too riled about things.
  37. I don’t watch reality shows. I prefer my own reality, thank you very much.
  38. I’ve been a graphic artist, a baseball umpire, a factory worker, a burger flipper, a janitor, a bill collector, and a technical writer. Not necessarily in that order.
  39. I love sushi.
  40. I don’t have any body piercings. But piercing looks from some women have nevertheless scarred me.
  41. I dated a model once. It lasted seven months. Probably because I’m such an infinitely patient so-and-so.
  42. I won first place in my 3rd grade spelling bee.
  43. Chocolate, always chocolate. Rich, velvety, sinful, delicious chocolate. Oh my.
  44. I tend to see, hear, and smell things before most other people do. This serves me well on the trails.
  45. I was once applauded for sternly lecturing an inconsiderate oaf who talked too much during a movie.
  46. I sometimes suffer from the paralysis of analysis. And sometimes I just dive right in.
  47. When somebody litters in public, and if I can do something about it, I often make them pick it up, lecture included. That’s fun when there’s a small crowd nearby.
  48. I love nuts. Brazils, cashews, pecans, peanuts, almonds, filberts, you name it.
  49. I have no idea what “Team Aniston” is.  OK, maybe I do, but it’s not clear to me why there’s a Team Aniston. Will somebody please refrain from explaining it to me?
  50. Being fair is right. Being right isn’t always fair.
  51. I may itch to speak my piece, but I’ve learned to listen first.
  52. When given a choice, I’m honored that someone was thoughtful enough to allow me to make that choice.
  53. Sometimes there’s no reputable wine being poured at open bar events. It’s times like those that I’ll order a Tanqueray martini, up.
  54. I think Viagra is a performance-enhancing drug. I’ve never taken it. And don’t you dare take away my medals, either!
  55. I love Audrey Hepburn movies.
  56. I subluxated my neck on a diving board in 1977. If that hadn’t happened, I never would have learned about yoga, nutrition, meditation, or chiropractic, and I never would have been a 200-mile-per-week cyclist.
  57. My favorite color is blue. But I drink red.
  58. I was a forestry student at Humboldt State University once. Just once was all I needed.
  59. My undergrad degree is in biology.
  60. I drive a 1999 Dodge Dakota pickup with a shell and bike rack. It’s outfitted for camping at a moment’s notice, and I’ve slept in it often (by choice).
  61. I’ve summited two fourteeners. I got about a thousand feet from summiting a third, my eponymous rock, Mt. Russell, but turned back due to weather and the ill affects of altitude. I’ll try again.
  62. The Golden Rule is all I’ve ever needed.
  63. I’ve never been diving in Belize. I’ve never been diving. I’ve been a water skier, kayaker, and river rafter! But I’m a self-confessed landlubber; I like breathing natural air. As natural as it can get, anyway.
  64. Vapid and misogynist lyrics suck.
  65. I love frisbee.
  66. I actually like a big plate of liver and onions. But, my reasons for eating it are not just about taste. Because I live at sea level, I find it to be rocket fuel for high-altitude hiking.
  67. I love jazz. Not the smooth kind, but the kind with edges.
  68. When I hear a train whistle blowing at night, my dreams soften and I’m suddenly transported to adventure.
  69. After I learned how to say “mommy” and “daddy”, the next words out of my mouth were “Willie Mays”.
  70. Kissing is good. I should do it more often.
  71. I’m not terribly loyal to brand names. I’m kind of iconoclastic that way. But I’ve hiked in Vasque boots for years, and I actually wrote the folks at Vasque once to say so.
  72. I once was a competitive springboard diver in high school. I wasn’t very good. (See No. 56).
  73. I still have all my vinyl – about 700 album’s worth.
  74. It’s not entertaining to me to see other people or societies denigrated for the sake of a laugh.
  75. I’ve played drums in a marching band and tympani, xylophone, and claves in orchestras, concerts, and musicals.
  76. Hypocrisy demonstrated by those who would purport to be model citizens merely puts me on a slow burn.
  77. I’ve climbed Half Dome in Yosemite three times. I won’t do it again.
  78. I once had surgery to repair a “left auricular lesion” – a cauliflower ear. No, I’ve never been a boxer. But sometimes I sleep so hard I hurt myself.
  79. Jealousy and vindictiveness are petty virtues; they rip the social fabric. I don’t operate on either principle.
  80. I’m the only person in my family who has never had to wear glasses or corrective lenses. I figure it’s inevitable, so I don’t dread it (too much).
  81. I shouldn’t always sing. But I do anyway.
  82. Bluegrass is happy music.
  83. I’d like to get married someday.
  84. I was a voracious reader in my youth. I devoured such classics as Ivanhoe, Tom Sawyer, Robinson Crusoe, and Hiawatha. Later, I feasted on Silent Spring, The Grapes Of Wrath, and The Monkey Wrench Gang. And a lot of Louis L’Amour, too.
  85. I think I could have a career as a rapper. Not!
  86. I wore braces for four and a half years and a retainer for another two and a half years.
  87. I keep a clean kitchen, for a guy.
  88. I count many people among my friends, and I enjoy getting together with them often. But I relish my downtime, too.
  89. Forsaking the pleasures of this life in favor of the next life opens one to hypocrisy and is irrelevant to much that is real and honest. I suppose I’m rather bohemian in that regard.
  90. I never fear when beer is near, and I don’t mind when wine is fine.
  91. Sometimes I procrastinate. Sometimes I’m a dynamo. It’s a matter of how often I meditate and do yoga, and how much sleep I get.
  92. I had 3 wisdom teeth pulled all on the same day; two were impacted and had to be drilled and segmented before being pulled. Then, looking like a chipmunk in Autumn, I went back to work.
  93. My middle name rhymes with “bent”.
  94. I like tall women. Come to think of it, I like short women.
  95. I once owned a 1965 Mustang. Aside from the fact that it was an alligator in my pocket, I loved that car.
  96. I’m trailer trash.
  97. I’ve never been to jail.
  98. A woman who will eat my cooking and chase me up a hill (hike or bike, doesn’t matter) is my kind of woman. If she can also cook and loves red wine, too, then so much the better.
  99. I have no regrets. Well, except for…nope, no regrets. Life is good.
  100. I wrote a list of 100 things about myself! And I could write more.



5 thoughts on “The Winehiker’s “Top 100 Things About Me”

  1. Pingback: Wonderful Wednesday Links | Winehiker Witiculture

  2. Indeed, we’ve been both blogging about Beaujolais Nouveaux although our points of view were a little bit different… Anyway, your blog is very rich of information and is becoming a reference for me! I guess I’m going to start hiking…

  3. Sand, the music of your words lingers sweetly in my ears!

    You might also want to read more about my approach to hiking, which you can find on my companion site,, which my blog supports. I organize guided hiking and wine tasting tours through this site, and I’ve got pages of resources there about wine, California grape-growing appellations, wilderness etiquette, and more. Take a look at the page about hiking levels, then enjoy a good hike!

    If you blog about your hike, let me know, and I’ll link to your post.

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