Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wherein I Get Tagged

The Sphinxy one tagged me, and since I was casting around for my next post I thought: Why not? It’s “Six Random Things About Me.” Or maybe it’s “eight.” I’m not sure but I’ll go for six, because there surely aren’t eight things that folks don’t know about me. First, here are the rules. Let’s see how many of them I manage to follow.

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I played football from 7th through 12th grade. I loved it, even though I almost always played on losing teams. At that time, Charleston was the smallest school in our district and we seldom had more than 20 kids out for football, not even enough to field two full squads. Most of the other schools had at least forty kids out, and some had seventy to eighty. We lost a lot, but we played hard. I played halfback on offense and either cornerback or safety on defense. I played a lot more defense than offense. In my junior and senior years our whole defensive backfield made all district.

2. I grew up in the country where hunting and fishing expanded our larder. That means I’ve had guns most of my life. I got my first pistol, a .22, at about fifteen. By the time I was 18 I had a shotgun (12 gauge) and a couple of rifles, a Remington 30.06 and a Browning Lever action .22. I sold the shotgun and the Remington when we needed money early in my first marriage, but I still have the Browning. I now have three pistols, a Colt Trooper .357, a Sig 228 9mm, and a Uberti single action .357. I know there are “gun nuts” out there, but most people I know who own guns are responsible and careful with them. I don’t understand sometimes the vehement resistance I see in folks to gun ownership. A gun is a tool, albeit a dangerous one that you should always exercise caution around. I do a fair amount of shooting at the range and enjoy it. I never pick up a gun without making sure it’s unloaded. I practice so that I know how to shoot and I keep my weapons clean. I’ve taught my son how to shoot and how to load and unload guns so that he understands and respects them. Respect is the key, it seems to me, not fear.

3. I may be an adult but I still love naps. Lana says my superhero name is “The Napping Avenger.” In a perfect world I’d have a siesta every day. I find them both pleasant and very energizing. I get a lot more work done on days that I nap than on those I don’t.

4. I begin every rest period by telling a story to myself. I’ll create a scenario, such as being transported to an alternate earth where none of the great SF, Fantasy, and Horror novels have been written, and then I’ll spin out a story of what I might do in that world over the course of dozen nights or so. I switch up stories all the time, although I often go back and retell stories with variations. It’s just how I get off to sleep.

5. My favorite games growing up were war games, and I played very elaborate ones all by myself. (I lived six miles away from the nearest kid my age.) I created one game where I used seeds from various trees as soldiers. Walnuts, Chinaberries, Acorns, yellow berries, hickory nuts, and others. Each type of seed represented a different race of beings (a precursor to the Talera stories perhaps). The acorns were tribal, with each oak tree producing it’s own tribe. We had two chinaberry trees in our back yard and the chinaberries became my favorite group. I developed a two party political system for them, a religion in which the Emperor was worshipped as a god, and a military that included an army, navy, air force, and mercenary forces. There were numerous tales of heroism that I came up with for the Chinaberries. Some day I’ll have to tell you about the “Lost legion.”

6. Next to war games, my favorite games growing up involved football. I created my own football “league” of teams using empty shotgun shells for the players. Each year after dove season, where a lot of folks would hunt on our land, I’d go and gather up all the empty shells and then the existing teams would hold a “draft.” I had an elaborate set of rules for how the pieces played, and I used a large rectangular piece of Formica as the “field.” My four teams were the Mongols, the Saxons, the Knights, and the Marauders.

And now I break the rules. I’m not going to tag anyone, but anyone who wants to take part please feel free to do so.



ivan said...

Interesting guy.

I can see the attraction for Lana.

As for memes, I have lost my techie and am too retarded to figure out how to link people as well.
I find memes are time killers.
...So little time!
I could already have written a lead for a freelance article in those minutes.
...My White Rabbit gig.

Chris Eldin said...

I love a good nap. I agree that it's rejuvenating.

Travis Cody said...

Damn. We have a lot in common.

I played football from pee-wees to 12th grade. I lost a lot too. I played some offense - mostly wide out - but I didn't like it as much as defense, where I played mostly safety.

And I played war games too, although there was usually a gang of guys...and one or two girls. Girls were good at tactics.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, I seldom do memes because I'm usually too busy. But on occassion I like to cut lose.

ChrisEldin, indeed.

Travis, I liked playing defense because I liked hitting other folks better than getting hit.

SQT said...

OMG! I do the same thing when I nap (or go to bed at night). I find it such a relaxing way to drift off because I can take my mind off of whatever drama might be going on around me.

I agree with you on the guns too. I'm not a gun nut but I think it's better to know how to use them and be respectful of what they can do. I find that the people who are the most afraid of them have never handled one.

eric1313 said...

The 'Lost Legion' story must be told one day. That sounds just plain epic.

We used to have some pretty brutal wars as kids too. The GI Joe guys always had to battle the "giant" WWF wrestler toys, had to stay ever vigilant, or the Macho Man might get away with Barbi in tow.

As for guns, a gun society is a polite society. I've never fired a gun in my life (besides BB guns), but I don;t begrudge others the right. Oddly enough, I have a Silver Bullet NRA Keychain. I wish it said "from my cold dead hands" instead of just having Heston's signature on the side of it.

Miles McClagan said...

The only ever time I played American football in the back yard on last years Superbowl day (Monday in Tasmania) my first throw was absolutely perfect, a brilliant Tom Brady Spiral, and everyone said, wow, you a natural, do it I lined up again and muffed it...

Thats one thing about me, no good under pressure...

JR's Thumbprints said...

In the not too distant future I predict the Detroit Lions will be holding public tryouts. I'll bet your chances of making the team are good. As long as your not a kicker, that is.

the walking man said...

I never knew the beloved beauty of a nap until I went to college. They wouldn't let me major in it though it was my degree of choice.

Guns...too damn many of them HERE, in the hands of them who have no respect for life, cops included.

Miladysa said...

Interesting meme Charles.

"“The Napping Avenger." I like it! :D

I agree with Eric, that story must be told some day!

Paul R. McNamee said...

Naps are good. Sometimes, if I can even get 5 or 10 minutes it's equivalent to a cup of coffee.

War games! Do you mean like Avalon Hill and SPI? My older brother was very into them. I was somewhat into them. I still think my favorite was "Wooden Ships & Iron Men". It was a great Age of Sail game where players both wrote down their moves and then executed simultaneously. That way you could actually have ships collide and tangle their rigging, etc.

laughingwolf said...

love naps, guns and other weapons, new worlds... stories!

neat stuff you relayed, look forward to the lost legion....

Heff said...

Thanks for not tagging. Really.

Anonymous said...

I used to play war games with my M&M's. I would divide them up by their different colors and make armies out of them. The brown M&M's were the most plentiful, so the other colors would band together to fight the brown M&M's.

The Napping Avenger; that's a good one.

With guns people concentrate on the bad incidents and think, that is the norm, so they get upset. That's what we do with a lot of things.

Charles Gramlich said...

SQT, Cool. I've never heard of anyone else who did the story thing at night.

Eric1313, I used to have a "Cold dead hands" bumper sticker but I never put it on my car. Somewhere along the line I lost it. Too bad. I do have a t-shirt that reads, "Always outnumbered, never outgunned."

Miles, I always quit if I have a perfect play first time out. There's nowhere to go but down.

JR, weird, I was just thinking about trying out for football at age 50 last night. Then I rememembered what it was like getting hit at 18.

Mark, I think that's the problem. The people who misuse guns were never raised by adults to respect them. And they are so easy to get.

Miladysa, I should write that story up using humans.

Paul, I never ended up playing any kind of organized wargames, because there wasn't anyone else around with the same interests I had. I would have probably loved them though.

Laughingwolf, glad you enjoyed.

Heff, I'm just a really good guy that way. I'm underappreciated really.

Jack, I never thought of M&M wars. I'm sure I would have fought them if I had.

Merisi said...

Isn't it ironic that so many parents nowadays feel that their children need to be entertained instead of letting them play?

Steve Malley said...

I don't have a firearms license here in NZ, but I do have my Advanced Napping Certificate... :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Merisi, yes it is. I'm so grateful I grew up before every second of a kid's life was scheduled and planned. It's really regimenting.

Steve Malley, that's the more important skill.

Lana Gramlich said...

So what you're saying is that the quarterback for the Mongols was really out of the shotgun. ;)

writtenwyrdd said...

Always fascinating to hear about your inner life, charles. I used to tell myself stories as I went to sleep. These days I fall asleep watching tv! So boring, I know.

BernardL said...

Well done list, and nothing wrong with a good nap. :)

G. B. Miller said...

I do stealth napping at work.

Being the state government employeee that I am, I need all the rest breaks I can get.

Enjoyable piece, it's always nice to find out a little something about a blogger.

Barbara Martin said...

Naps are good and healthy, they help to re-energize. Whenever I sit in my recliner I end up dozing for 30 to 60 minutes without meaning to. Perhaps its because I go there to relax and read a book, and then I only mean to close my eyes to rest them a wee bit...and the next thing I know I've slept away a part of an hour or more.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

We have a lot in common - I too was brough up around guns with the countryside providing much bounty - I'm very much into preservation these days and have an affinity with open spaces. I also have your super powers - I too nap for an hour every day.

Stacia said...

I can't nap--it's hard enough for me to fall asleep at night!--but I too grew up around guns. My Grandpa hunted; my parents had several guns, including a little .22, a (I think) 9mm, and a double-barreled shotgun which my Mom used to sleep with when my Dad was out of town.

What always strikes me in thinking of it now is that my brother and I never touched those guns. Never. We knew where they were, and if we wanted to see them we were allowed to look at them and hold them; we were taught loading and unloading as well. But we knew what they were, that they were not toys, they were real, and people could be really hurt.

Hubs and I have talked about whether we want to buy one when we get back to the States. We're leaning toward yes, but we'll have to see.

Oh, and when my Grandpa died my Mom inherited all his guns, including his .44 Magnum. It has an 8 3/4 inch barrel--it's HUGE and heavy. I love it. :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, you're a witty one you are ;)

Writtenwyrd, I have a very difficult to impossible time falling asleep with the TV on.

Bernardl, naps are an underappreciated creative energizer.

Georgie B, I've been known to close my door and grab 40 winks at work myself. I don't generally sleep that comfortably though.

Barbara Martin, sleep is like eating. After all who eats only "one" meal a day.

Archavist, I don't hunt anymore either. I'd much rather see living animals in the wild. But I still enjoy target shooting.

December/Stacia, my brother has a Smith & Wesson 44 mag with an 8 inch barrel. It's a beautiful gun and shoots wonderfully. But it's a big mother.

Maalie said...

AQh, what would we do without naps (or "40 winks" as we say over here)!

j said...

The cone thingy's from Magnolia trees made the best grenades because there were no stickers. And Polk Salad berries (i think that was polk salad) made a dark purple liquid when mixed with water that was a very threatening poison for the enemy.

Bit of a tomboy as a kid :)

And my kids have shot guns. We are of the "responsible" nature with our gun ownership.

Michelle's Spell said...

This is all very cool! I agree with you about guns -- and furthermore, they equalize things between people with more physical strength and those without. I always liked the slogan -- God didn't create men and women equal but Smith and Wesson does.

Aine said...

Naps rock! I discovered that during pregnancy-- LOL.

Your story-creating method of drifting off to sleep is great! I do a version of that myself. Not quite as detailed as yours though. And mine often involve characters from a favorite book or movie (I guess it's a form of fanfiction...)

Charles Gramlich said...

Maalie, I think I've only seen 40 winks in literature. But I do know the meaning, if not the origin. By whaterver name they are great.

Jennifer, we used to around fourth of July stick firecrackers through persimmons and throw those. Made a nice and nasty mess.

Michele, I've heard a very similar quote: God made men, but Colonel Colt made 'em equal. Kind of sexist but they came up with it back in the old west days.

Aine, I do introduce myself into book or movie plots at times as well.

Shauna Roberts said...

I enjoyed reading your eight things. I'm going to try your storytelling hint for getting to sleep. I tend to have trouble going to sleep because I can't stop working out plot problems in my WIP.

Your seed people sound adorable, even if all they did was have wars.

Spy Scribbler said...

That's interesting, Charles. You know, there's worlds of research, lately, about the power of naps. It helps you remember tons more, study better, be more creative.

I don't know why I don't take more naps. I mean, I'm pretty useless around nap time, anyway, so why not go to sleep and wake up rejuvenated?

Sidney said...

Man, I'm coming to you the next time I need gun info for a story. I always thought Sig Saur was a cool name for a gun.

Rick said...

Damn this was a cool idea post. I hope if Stewart does it the authorities aren't monitoring his post.

Just kidding.


He's reformed now.

I think.

Charles Gramlich said...

Shauna, well, it was a violent seed world in those days. lol.

Spyscribbler, I like to think I was ahead of the curve with the research on naps. Thanks for visiting.

Sidney, I like my Sig but I kind of wish I had a Glock too. Maybe someday.

Rick, a reformed Stewart? Who are you trying to kid, man?

Vesper said...

I'm the Super-napping-girl, but unfortunately only on Saturdays and Sundays!

I love your list, Charles! Really, very interesting, guns included. :-)

I also used to imagine very elaborate stories when I was a child - I made my own paper figurines and could play for hours, lost in these worlds...

Charles Gramlich said...

Vesper, you need to expand your napping world. Naps aren't just for weekends anymore.!

Anonymous said...

These are pretty wild Charles. I too had a rather elaborate football league as a kid using those little plastic NFL helmets you get out of the vending machines at the grocery store. I am a statistics junkie, always have been.

The Trailer Of Love

writtenwyrdd said...

.44 mag with 8" barrell kicks like a mule! I've shot one. The ex had to shoot at a dog one day that was attacking me (we were in the woods, hunting) and that .44 made my ears ring when I was about ten yards away!

Mary Witzl said...

Guns scare me silly and I'm all for gun control, but I can see your point. And anyone who hunts to eat has my total respect; that is a lot more honest than those of us who expect our meat to come killed and packaged.

The joy of football, on the other hand, will always elude me. But then I've never had the build -- or more importantly, the mind -- for it. Football takes the sort of brains I never have had...

eric1313 said...

Bring us a Thanksgiving post! Even if it's a Turkey, I doubt we care!


Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Napping Avenger! Ha ha! Lana is so funny!

Scott said...


I liked your info! I also sometimes make up stories in my head in order to drift off to sleep...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I don't own any guns as of rifht now...I grew up in the country, and we had guns, and I liked firing them, but I haven't picked up any for myself so far. I do own just about every imaginable edged/pointed weapon, though.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Nice to see you with a meme posted, Charles. Consider it the fluffy balance to your horror posts :)

Have a great Thanksgiving!

X. Dell said...

Let's see: football, war games and naps. You sound like an all-American type to me.

Happy Thanksgiving, Doc.

Merisi said...

Happy Thanksgiving,
Gramlich family! :-)

I bet you shot your own wild turkey,
didn't you? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Great point on #2.

Charles Gramlich said...

Wil, I was a weird little kid. And not much has changed.

Writtenwyrd, I shot my guns too often as a youngster without hearing protection. It really will ring your ears.

Mary Witzl, I feel the same way about hunting. Although I almost never hunt anymore, I know that my food doesn't come bloodless.

Eric1313, working on just that.

Ello, she sure thinks she is. ;)

Scott, you no doubt have heard the warning about folks who bring a knife to a gun fight? lol.

L.A. Mitchell, one cannot live by horror all the time. ;)

X-dell. Now that you put it that way I sound like Presidential mateiral.

Merisi, I probably will have a shot of "Wild Turkey" before the day is over, indeed. lol.

Jason, thankee.

Vesper said...

Naps aren't just for weekends anymore!

I have to find a way to nap at work... Hmmmm...

Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Happy Thanksgiving to you and lovely Lana -- I hope you both have an excellent day!

Anndi said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your lovely bride.

Barrie said...

You're an interesting lad. ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Vesper, it'll be well worth the effort.

Michelle, and to you.

Anndi, thanks, and to you.

Barrie, it's been a long time since anyone called me lad. Thanks.

Chris Benjamin said...

number 4 is amazing - no wonder you're so prolific!

X. Dell said...

Actually, you could work that Southern strategy.

Erik Donald France said...

Aha, all good stuff.

And you probably wouldn't have guessed right off that I played as linebacker and quick guard on a small h.s. football team, too, and have also had weapons all my life.

This should go back to the "stereotype breakers."

Memes are definitely good catalysts upon occassion.

Happy TG!

Charles Gramlich said...

Benjibopper, a lot of ideas have come from those nighttime thoughts. A lot of stories that end up getting told in print later.

X-Dell, I'm not as able to do the aww shucks thing as Carter and Clinton but maybe I could practice.

Erik, I am a bit surprised by your weapons. I can see football, though.

MarmiteToasty said...

You doodles and your naps lol....... Pssst dont tell anyone but I would LOVE to be able to nap during the day...... not that I would even if I wasnt working fulltime cos, us Brits think its sort of a waste of time and think of all the things that can get done in that napping time..... :)

jebus I so need a nap now and its only 11.31am... :)

Great interesting facts about you....


Charles Gramlich said...

Marmitetoasty, naps increase productivity. I'm sure of it.