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Author Topic: What do you know?
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 11:27      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another thread resulted in some responses that got me thinkin' (usually a dangerous thing, but not so much in this case). What is everyone around here good at? What subjects do you consider yourself an expert at (or reasonably knowledgable about)?

Due to my job for the last decade or so, my best area of expertise is with predictive maintenance technologies (primarily vibration analysis). I've also picked up a fair bit of networking and PC troubleshooting experience.

Prior to this, I worked for Softkey/The Learning Company (I left before Mattel bought them and everything really went to pieces) doing phone support for such wonderful programs as "Instant Astrologer", "Calendar Creator", "Bodyworks" (which, in version 5.0 included a video, with closeups, of a live childbirth... boy parents were thrilled with that), and "Oregon Trail" (probably one of the best programs we had). This gave me quite a range of PC troubleshooting skills as well as some Mac troubleshooting skills.

I also worked in a manufacturing plant making car windshields for 3.5 years and know more than anyone should know about automotive glass.

A stint working at a video game arcade gave me some basic electrical troubleshooting skills (and duct tape repair skills thanks to the lack of any real budget for repairing the games).

Finally, I was a CompSci major in college and, technically, know how to write programs. I determined early on that I didn't want to actually do that for a living, however, so a lot of that knowledge is dusty and half forgotten at this point.

So... your turn. What do you know and (if you care enough to share) how did you come about knowing it?

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 11:52      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oddly enough I know a bit of a lot of things. I am an expert generalist.

Let's avoid the teen years which was mostly food service work. But I am a master with a heat lamp.

Though a bit rusty, I am a trained steel worker/welder.

I have wrenched on cars since I was pretty young.

I am also pretty decent at electrical and carpentry work. With a short stint mesing with hydraulics and RV service work.

Onto technology. I can pull cable, do hardware repairs and generally fsck up a lot of equipment. Server maintenance and configuration, Networking and such.

And I can make a martini that will take the hair off your face and make a mean teriyaki. Plus I can do windows.

Most everything I have learned I have learned by the seat of my pants on an as needed basis. "Maintain and design web pages? Sure let's try it."

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 12:17      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mostly stuff I couldn't make any money doing.
Trivia. If I got on Jeopardy I'd probably choke with the signaling button. [ohwell] Don't play me at Trivial Pursuit though.
I'd like to think I'm pretty good with Photoshop and Illustrator.
I can play music. Mostly my own though, because I'm not very good at being able to play others' songs. I play a variety of things- guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, but I play them all like the drums-every instrument is a percussion instrument to me. [Big Grin]

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 12:36      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like to think of myself as a Polymath, but really I know a little about lots of things and I'm not really an expert in anything [Frown]
Mind you, when I was involved in practical conservation work I was really good at that [Smile] - Woodland Management, fencing (wire and/or wood), footpath construction, hedgelaying etc. You know when you have built a good, taut, wire fence....the wind sings in the wires [Big Grin]

I used to be the cellarman in a real ale pub, so I learned a lot about looking after many barrels of fine beer [Applause] I don't know much about sport, or geography, or politics, but with a wide taste in music and being reasonally well-read I was a decent team-member when I played in a pub quiz league.

Still, you don't want to see my tiling or wallpapering [Razz]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 14:53      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was considered the "literature and fine arts" person on my quiz bowl team in high school. Well, that and general knowledge. I'm terrific with trivia.

I'm also an accomplished musician. Strings and keys are my thing.

Writing and editing are my strong points, as is public speaking.

I know a lot about medicine, diseases, and the human body.

I cook and bake extremely well.

I'm good at counted cross-stitch, but I work in spells, so I haven't much to show at the moment.

I'm not sure what else. What do YOU think are my strengths/knowledge base?

EDIT: I forgot one: I'm excellent at interior house painting, particularly faux finishing like sponge painting, etc. [Smile]

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 15:13      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmmm... basically anything 'technical'. You already know that I'm a pretty big programmer (even though I can rarely find the motivation to finish projects I start). Computer Hardware is easy for me.

I'm pretty good with basic electronics - at least the theory. I can also do most automotive repairs if I have to- just make sure I have a haine's manual on hand.

I think I could almost become a certified electrician, I've been fascinated with electricity and wires since I was old enough to talk, and since then my dad has shown me how to wire up basically anything that one could imagine.

I'm also really good with Unix/Linux, especially the latter. Unfortunately, there are a lot of technologies I haven't had the chance to play around with, so I feel I might be a little bit behind in some areas. But for the most part, you might be able to call me a linux guru.

I'm also teaching myself how to administer a web server, which means doing apache configuration and writing CGI programs (in python).

So I guess you could say I'm a through-and-through techie, and am not very artsy.

Oh, I'm also slowly working on getting my Ham Radio License (technician).

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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Demosthenes
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 15:49      Profile for Demosthenes     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Networking and network security. It comes from my latter days as a mischievous little system cracker; once you get good at sneaking in, you can get good at keeping people out.

I'm mean at calculus and algebra. I've got an eye for numerical patterns.

I can be at home working security in the dingiest, grittiest of biker bars. I know how to give off that bouncer look. Yes, you WILL give me your identification, you WILL leave when I ask you to, and that is your LAST drink this evening.

I can ride my bike indefinitely. Seriously, if I've got a job to do and it's got to be there NOW, I don't get tired or run out of breath.

I've got a good eye for photography and film direction. Unfortunately I don't have the money or the supplies to keep that hobby up.

I can make drinks with the best of 'em. Martinis? Shooters? What d'you want? I can make it. (My specialty? The Dead Nazi.)

Star Wars trivia. Too bad I can't make a living off that.

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supergoo

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 15:54      Profile for supergoo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've had this conversation with myself before. I've always had the nagging feeling that I'm okay at a lot of things but not really good at anything academic. I'm (mostly) a B student. I took AP Calculus and did well in it, but I am just as "good" as anyone who studies hard enough for that class--I have no innate mathematical ability, I haven't broken 100 on the AMC 12.

I am okay at Spanish. I know Spanish grammar very well, but I can't really hold a sensical conversation in Spanish. I could if I absolutely had to, but it would sound terrible.

Outside of school, there are a few things I consider myself to be good at. Tetris is one of them. For me, playing Tetris on the NES emulator on the computer is a form of meditation: I move the pieces in such a way that movement becomes reaction and not thought. The goal is not to "beat" anything, but to see how far you can go. Mistakes will be made, but they are often reversible. Skill is not so much your lack of mistakes, but how well you correct your mistakes. The main trick is to never panic.

I guess quiz bowl is sort of related to school, but it's another thing I consider myself to be good at. To play face-to-face with another panel of four is an adrenaline rush, a tense thrill comparable to...well, nothing that I can think of. When the moderator is reading the question, there just comes a certain point where you know, and the trick is to shorten the time lapse between knowing and buzzing. The perfect combination of certainty and speed is what differentiates a good player from a great one. The speed comes from practice, the certainty from studying.


[Geek]

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Y los sueños, sueños son.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 16:46      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm good at taking little pieces of information and getting some knowledge out of them. So good, actually, that sometimes my brain does it before I know what piece triggered the "information to knowlege" process, which can make it hard to explain how I got to the conclusion. That's also why I tend to replace "computer science" with "informatics" - this way, it is the techniques of information: from data to information, to knowlege, to understanding. I'm much better with that than getting to know the technical stuff. So count me in the "know a little about a lot of things" group.

Other than that, I sew and I can bake some great desserts.

Now, about Tetris (yes, I'm good at it, too: I once managed to keep a single game going for 45 minutes), my trick is to never change your mind. Better make a little mistake than get stuck in the middle because you didn't have time to move it to the other side.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 16:51      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting question. I've wondered that myself lately.

I am good at learning languages. I survived the Defense Language Institute Russian program. I haven't used it since leaving the army so I am rusty. I am teaching myself spanish and when I start school again I will take classes.

I am good at quilting and cross-stitching.

I am good at tasks that most people would find mind-numbing. Inventory,for example. Sorting through reports and summarizing so my (former)bosses wouldn't have to read the whole thing.

I am good at listening, and nagging.

I am also good for a laugh. Other than that I think I'm sucking wind. Oh well.

Posts: 765 | From: virginia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 16:56      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My only talent is busting ass. I'm really good at that. I'm also good at science. I've also been told I have a knack for seeing things differently. I can pick up patterns and make connections others don't, or I do it faster than most. Too bad these flashes of insight don't come on demand.

I used to be a damn solid EMT (my cert has lapsed). There are things about riding ambulances I miss. There are other things I don't. I did learn a lot about the fragility and nature of humans, and we really aren't that bad. We aren't angels, but we aren't devils either.

I can wash glassware. I can replace cedar shingles. I can do all sorts of yardwork, even though I hate it. I can sorta paint. I can fix a bike. I can teach aikido. I can teach chemistry. I can organize a karate tournament. I have no talent as a musician but I can have fun anyway. If I have to I can lead groups of people, but I'd rather not. I really suck at giving commands, but I have found that if I'm excruciatingly polite I can get people to obey me. I can tie-dye. I can draw. I can make pretty beaded necklaces. I'm shaping up to be a fairly decent crystallographer.

Oh yeah, and I can ride my bike through all kinds of weather. For whatever that's worth.

Just about the only thing in that mess that's useful and really going to bring home the bread is science though. But that's what I love so it really doesn't matter.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
alfrin
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 17:17      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Normally I'm modest, thought lately I've noticed a skill I seem to have mastered, getting people to like me. I have the scary ability to, in the cousre of a few conversations give people the feeling they know me and get people to like me (in both sense of the word. Some of you might note my posts about love trouble that seems to arrive with this power. Also I get peoople to be very friendly to me.)

I have super matrix worthy reflexes. I remember last year a 6th grader ran very quitely behind to scare me, she jumped out next to me and without thinking I smacked her right in the face. People in the halls, I subconsciously am able to move from anything that could swing/bang/hit/touch me. Friends think of me as really jumpy, some even try to test me to see if a true surprise. Let's just say they only try it once. Driving cars also comes easy to me because of this (though I'm not of age).

I'm pretty witty, I can think of a smart ass or relatively amuse comeback to any statement by any teacher on any subject (which gets me in trouble because I do this also without thinking)
Great at math, though I do most in my head, which teachers always assume as cheating, which annoys me, I hate showing my work.

I am quick to understand any subject. Within minutes I can understand the basics of anything you throw at me (and about a week to completely master it if it is complex).

Ok, excuse me while I go reduce my ego that brewed through this post.

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Art is Resistance / Resistance is Art

Posts: 813 | From: Nevada, USA | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 17:20      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My talent is unequivocally in computers. Hardware, software, whatever, I can't get enough of it.

Other things I'm good at are:

leading -- public speaking, organising, and being in control are things I'm good at.

teaching/explaining things -- I can generally teach anything that I know to anyone. I can reword and relate things so that they make sense, no matter who the audience.

That's about it -- not much.

I am really good at some other things that aren't really the kind of things you go into on a message board. [Wink]

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alfrin
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 17:36      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:

I am really good at some other things that aren't really the kind of things you go into on a message board. [Wink]

We're all friends here, you dont' have to be ashamed of knowing how to trim a poodle right.

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Art is Resistance / Resistance is Art

Posts: 813 | From: Nevada, USA | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Lenin
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 20:20      Profile for Lenin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Social engineering.

Network Security.

Computer architecture.

How to find the g-spot on any woman.

Posts: 10 | From: Virginia Beach, VA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 20:23      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Demosthenes:
I've got a good eye for photography and film direction. Unfortunately I don't have the money or the supplies to keep that hobby up.

Get a digicam, and you won't have to spend a crapload and a half on film and development. Don't geeksquad people get a hefty employee discount at Worst Buy? Bet you can score a Nikon D50 for way under half grand.
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fs

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 20:46      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mostly, I'm good at figuring things out. I wish that was a marketable skill. If I have a problem, I'm really good at inventorying the resources at my disposal, narrowing down potential causes, and identifying possible solutions. I'm also pretty good at locating the information that pertains to the problem, be it on the Internet, in someone's head, or buried in obscure manuals.

I'm good at ideas. with the right kind of sounding board and interaction, I can exhale ideas the way some people do carbon dioxide. Also not a marketable skill.

I'm good at reading books. And telling dumb jokes. And blow jobs.

I'm good at seeing all sides of the situation and being empathetic. That extends to make me a pretty decent social engineer, too.

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 20:53      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FireSnake:
And blow jobs.

Expect more PMs from strange men soon.... [Eek!]
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alfrin
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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 21:09      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
quote:
Originally posted by FireSnake:
And blow jobs.

Expect more PMs from strange men soon.... [Eek!]
Shhhh I was gunna surprise her.

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Art is Resistance / Resistance is Art

Posts: 813 | From: Nevada, USA | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ugurcan

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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 01:28      Profile for Ugurcan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm a CG geek, I know Photoshop and Flash inside out. I'm good at HTML and web stuff in both server and client side. I'm pretty good with hardware as well.

I'm good at printing and paperwork. Just gimme a piece of paper and glue then watch! I someties lost my self at the office store. This is my dream machine. [hearts]

I'm a need-no-manual. I can find my way on most gadget/software without reading a single line of user manual. [Big Grin]

I'm good with electronics and mechanics. Our daily business involves lots of hydraulics as well, but i really haven't got time to master that. I rarely find time to go downstairs to the workshop.

I'm a very very very good listener. People often call me for advice.

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"Constants aren't, Variables won't..."

Posts: 219 | From: Under a 110 ft satellite dish... | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 07:19      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by alfrin:
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:

I am really good at some other things that aren't really the kind of things you go into on a message board. [Wink]

We're all friends here, you dont' have to be ashamed of knowing how to trim a poodle right.
I suppose you're right.
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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 12:59      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FireSnake:
And blow jobs.

What the?! You gonna prove that? [Wink]

At least it could be construed as a marketable skill I guess [Big Grin]

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Ugh!

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 13:22      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Mostly, I'm good at figuring things out. I wish that was a marketable skill. If I have a problem, I'm really good at inventorying the resources at my disposal, narrowing down potential causes, and identifying possible solutions. I'm also pretty good at locating the information that pertains to the problem, be it on the Internet, in someone's head, or buried in obscure manuals.

Not marketable skills? If you pitched your skills to UK employers in this way, you would be offered plenty of good jobs, and good pay. [Smile]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

Posts: 2335 | From: Lancashire,UK | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 14:07      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FireSnake:

I'm good at ... blow jobs.

A very marketable skill [evil]

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Too Cool To Quit
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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 16:47      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Uhm... I'm a cunning linguist and a damn good diplomat. I can have pretty good conversation in several languages (English, Spanish, French(yeah... yeah... shut up) and Korean).

I'm good at solving people's problems. I'm good at making what seems like a completely fucking hopeless situation seem like it's going just fine and keep a person calm just long enough to actually figure out a way to make it really that way.

I can survive in rather extreme conditions.

I've been told I'm a kick ass guitarist, a decent singer, a good-enough-to-get-by pianist and a wicked drummer.

I've also been told I'm particularly good at... well... I'll save that for another day.

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged


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