Friday, June 7, 2013

Oh Baby You Know What I Like

You gotta know what you like. Otherwise, when people say, “What would you like?” you won’t have an answer.

I like cars with V-8’s and four (five, six)-on-the-floor, although, these days, I just like to listen to the sound of the “twice pipes.” My speeding days are over. I like music: folk and blues and rock ‘n’ roll. I like to play it loud. Some say that I must be partially deaf, but I just respond, “What did you say?”

I like motorcycles, Harleys and Hondas, and especially Triumphs. I like the Sporster and the old Honda 750-four, but give me a Bonny or a TR any day …

I like mountains and oceans and trees and grass. I like Montana and Colorado and Oregon too … (see reference to “oceans.”) I like Yellowstone Park and Rocky Mountain Park and City Park.

I like family. I like two parent families because I think that works best, but I love single parents for what they do. It isn’t just twice as hard to be a single parent, it’s more like an exponential thing making it four times as hard. Parenting is like tag-team wrestling. When the Gorgeous Destroyer has you in a head-lock, you gotta like tagging your partner to jump in the ring and give you a break.

I like people who are black or white, yellow or brown, purple or green. It never seemed to me that the color of someone’s skin mattered a bit. I judge on what people know, or say, or — what I like best — what they do.

I like education and knowledge. I like math and physics. I like engineering and poetry and history. I like classical music and symphonies and operas, and I like good manners and good grammar. I like colleges and universities yet a good public school is more important than either of those. I like professors and scientists and doctors and lawyers … alright, maybe not lawyers so much. I do like the law … in the law is justice. We need more justice.

I like moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas too. I like kids and grandkids and cousins and nephews and nieces and children in general, including my own. I like brothers and sisters … I have one of each.

My dad used to say he had three kids, one of each kind.

I like family, but my definition includes anyone with a close relationship, and I’ve got quite a few brothers and sisters from another mother, not to mention supplemental grandkids. (Want to be one of my grandkids? There's an application you have to fill out.) I liked my grandma (she’s gone now). Her place was always safe when a young boy needed to escape the tyranny of his parents and just get some loving hugs no matter what he’d done wrong. (And, trust me, I did plenty wrong.) Linda liked her grandma too. We're so much alike. I like that.

I like high technology and the toys that use it from iPods to iPhones to iPads to Macs of all kinds. I like Windows … just not as much as Macs. I like IBM. I think they invented about 80% of what we call computers, and they’re still at it. I don’t like HP as much as I used to and Dell is a sometimes yeah, sometimes meh relationship with me.

I like Sony, at least I used to, but I will never buy one of their computers again. (Steve Jobs liked Sony too.) I like ASUS and Lenovo, they seem to be the new innovators. I like Apple, but not their prices. I like their quality, but there are some things I don't like. I liked Steve Jobs, but not all his decisions. Still, I like him a lot more than Steve Balmer. I like some things about Bill Gates, but he really is a nerd. I like Steve Wozniak, and I used to think he was the genius and Jobs a hanger on. Now I appreciate much more what Jobs did. I miss him. We are all going to miss him. Like I said, I like Apple, and Steve is (was) Apple. More so than any other industry leader I can think of.

I don’t like 3D movies and really prefer a good old black and white drama with noir lighting and a real plot and acting. Don’t like musicals, although I like a good stage show with songs. I like keyboards and guitars and drums, but horns and flutes and bagpipes are good too.

I liked to work at IBM and I liked all the different things I got to do. Thirty-three special years that I often roll over in my mind just because I like to remember those good times. Especially, I like the people I worked with. They were very, very special. I liked that.

I like Toyotas and Chevys, but I drive a Ford and a Miata (plus a couple of Toyotas). I haven’t had a Chevy in a long, long time. I like hamburgers and hot dogs and some vegetables, but not spinach. I like the Beatles and the Who, but the Beach Boys are rad too. I like 60’s music, but not much on the TV. I prefer radio and books and I like libraries. I like highways and I like to travel and eating out is always fun.

I like the US of A. I think we're the original beacon of freedom and what's not to like about freedom. We've done a pretty good job of that for nearly 250 years — not a perfect job, but a good job. Some decades we've done better than others. We've made mistakes, but I like that we've corrected a lot of them … not all of them, but we are a work in progress. I like progress.

I like many other countries, especially those that are our friends. I’ll name some I like, but some will be left out. These are the countries that really like us … so naturally I like them back. That includes Canada and Great Britain as well as Australia and France. I also like South Korea and Israel. Although they were our greatest enemies less than a century ago, Japan and Germany are now great friends. I like all the Scandinavian countries and a few more in Europe and Asia.

I like physics and philosophy as well as engineering and — especially — electronics and computers. I like speaking and lecturing and teaching and writing and programming. I like sharing what I know and even some things I don’t know.

I like a job well done and natural wood … especially maple and cherry … they don’t need to be stained … I like their natural color. I like handy-men and -women and tradesmen who are craftsmen. I like work well done and projects that are started … and finished.

I like art and video and photography and recording: both music and video — and I like to know how and why, but really appreciate those that don’t have to be taught, they just know. I like poetry and prose and long stories don’t bother me … I don’t have “short attention span disease.” I like good plots and interesting characters and love science fiction as much as science.

I like programming and software testing and like Pascal more than C++ and AIX more than Linux. I like structured programming and functional programming rather than OO, but that’s just a show of my age and generation. I liked PC Magazine at one time, but now I don’t. I also like Byte and Dr. Dobb’s Journal, but … again … that was a time long, long ago.

I love fine architecture and comfortable furniture. I like Frank Lloyd Wright, but I also like Leoh Ming Pei and Buckminster Fuller. I like flowery Hawaiian shirts and blue jeans with “sneakers.” I don’t like to wear a tie or a hat, but I think men and women should know how to dress classy if the situation merits.

I like fine food and junk food and good food and fried food. I like coke and lemonade and green tea … hot. I like chicken and liver and even chicken livers, but not that fond of steak. I love barbecue and Mexican food and Italian food and Chinese food, but not so much Indian food or sushi.

I like sub sandwiches and chips or fish and chips, only then they’re really fries. I like Richard Feynman and Leonard Susskind and Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer. I like history and science and the history of science. Biology … not so much.

I love dogs and cats, but mostly big dogs … not TOO big … Labradors and Dalmatians and the like. Cats are OK, but I don’t think they think much of me. Fish and birds are not my choice as pets and the strange exotic animals should not be in a house. Squirrels are OK, except the ones that chew my soaker hoses, and I like deer and antelope and moose and elk. I never hunted and I don’t like to fish, but I like to be outdoors and see things.

I like to walk, and — when I was younger — I liked to run. I also like to sit and drive and just sit. My favorite furniture is a chair, although a table is a close second. Bed is a necessity, but I like to be up early to greet the sunrise. I used to like to stay up late, but these days I prefer an early-to-bed regime. I like three squares a day and maybe a little snack to end the day. I like apples more than oranges and don’t like grapefruits at all. I like green grapes and green olives. Black olives are OK, but no purple grapes please. I like white wines and pilsner beers. I’ve been known to participate in hard drink, but these days cocoa is about my speed. (Still a good whiskey does clear one’s throat.)

I like friends: good friends, best friends, friends in need, and friends indeed. I like old friends and new friends and friends I’ve never met, but we share something in common. I don’t like to write letters, but post a lot on Facebook. I’m on Twitter, but I find it quite lame — same for most of the other social media. I like to blog and post pictures and music, but I don’t have the time to maintain some kind of social presence and self-promotion beyond that. I’m entrepreneurial, but not a salesman. I’m an engineer and a teacher, so I speak the truth, at least as I understand it.

I like the military and those that served. Remember, soldiers don’t start wars, they just finish them. There are some bad apples everywhere, but don’t blame soldiers and sailors for war … blame the politicians and business people that profit from war. I don’t mind if you’re a peacenik or anti-war of anti-imperialism or even anti-military. You have the right to think and say all those things … a freedom earned for you by the blood of your countrymen and women who did serve and many who lost much including their lives. I like the army and air force and the marines, but especially the navy. I like enlisted men and women and a few officers.

I like business because that is jobs and homes and food on the table. I like schools and teachers and teacher's assistants and even a few principles because they are filling minds and feeding the spirit. I don’t like the high cost of education or the way colleges graduate students deep in debt. I like doctors and nurses and all those in health care, but that’s another source of indebtedness. I like credit cards, but not credit. I like employees that produce some real product or service, but don’t like those getting rich just betting on the system.

I like small businesses because they work so hard, and I like giant corporations because they can do things on a scale that would otherwise be impossible. I don't like chain stores that much, but I do like good ideas, and these days all good ideas are franchised. I don't like that, but it may be the only thing that works. At least I doubt I'm going to change it so I might as well get used to it … sort of a numb version of "like." I like to buy local and recycle and reuse. I like to volunteer and I like those that volunteer. I like to give a hand up instead of a hand out, but sometimes people just need a hand.

I love Christ and the Bible, but don’t think much of religion. I like democracy, but don’t think much of politicians. I like those that serve in the domestic army of police, fire, and meter readers, but I don’t like government jobs that are not deserved, over-paid, and only political rewards. I like government of the people, by the people, and for the people; but I don't like government that takes away freedom, or privacy, or farms out prisons to the private sector. I like the constitution and the declaration of independence, but I don't like bills in congress too long for anyone to read or laws that include stuff I don't like along with stuff everyone likes just to get the bad stuff in. I really don't like that.

I like those that speak out against injustice, but prefer those that do something about it because talk is actually very cheap … except to the men and women who paid for that freedom of speech. I don’t like guns, but I'm not trying to take them away from anybody, and I think the gun debate is silly, pointless, and just a red herring. The problem with gun violence is the "violence" part. I hate drugs that destroy lives, but think the war on drugs may have cost more lives than the consumption. I don't really care who other people marry, I like the person I married. I like people that commit. I like 50th wedding anniversaries and 90th birthdays. I like Christmas and Fourth of July. Thanksgiving is pretty good … too.

I don't like celebrities that seem famous only for being famous, but I like the great movie stars that actually can act. Most seem to have come from a by-gone era, but there are a few around today that can act when the special effects fail. I like people with opinions, but I don't like if the opinions just came from the television. I don't like fox news or msnbc because neither seems like news but more like something George Orwell warned us about. I don't like people who don't know history or people that can't tell a rumor from a fact or repeat things they heard because they like the sound when it comes out. I don't like people who don't like people and I prefer an honest disagreement over glittering generalities and people that just say what they think we want to hear.

I don't like government snooping, but I like foiling terrorists plots. I don't like airport security but I like secure air travel. I don't like cops having guns, but the bad guys have got them, so it seems necessary. I especially don't want teachers to have guns, but I suppose hunters would have a tough time without them. Owning guns is the not the problem. Our society and culture is the problem. I don't like simple answers because they are rarely true. I don't like unintended consequences or laws that congress exempts themselves from. I like single-payer health care, but the most important part is that people get care. I don't want nanny government telling me what size soda I can drink, but I don't like a nation of fat people who are killing themselves with diabetes and high blood pressure. I like city life more than rural life, yet I like to spend time in a cabin in the woods. I like wireless networks, but don't like everyone looking at their smartphone when they should be talking, or walking, or driving.

I like adoption. I especially don't like abortions, but I don't like political slogans like "pro-life" or "pro-choice" or "anti-choice" either. Life is never as simple as the slogan. It's about more than phrases and words. (See earlier reference to George Orwell.) But then I don't like to get into arguments that are not changing any minds. I don't want government in the bedroom and I like regulations based on science and not on political donations and lobbyists perks. I like food labeling and food inspections and health codes and balanced budgets. You get what you pay for, and — most times — I don't like that we're not willing to pay. I don't like that we have the best congress that money can buy. I like taxes — they pay for government services. I don't like our overcomplicated and skewed tax system.

I like birth control and I don't like over population and — although I might not like it — I support abortions under certain circumstances. I don't like to be lumped with the right-wing or the left-wing, the republicans or the democrats, or any other group that I might agree with on certain issues. My identity is not with the group just because I agree with them on one point. I don't like labels and I like to think for myself, although I like thoughtful input and argument and discussion. I don't like it when people call each other names or assume a particular label is a complete explanation of a persons beliefs and opinions.

We don't all have R's or D's or L's or C's next to our names, and most people have nuanced opinions rather than bumper sticker slogans. I like being what Colorado calls a "registered independent." I like the sound of that. I like people to try a little harder to understand the other side. I like the saying, "Walk a mile in their moccasins." I also like what my dad used to say, "All Indians walk in single file. At least the only one I ever saw did." Think about it for a while … it works on so many levels. My dad was pretty smart. (I like that I got that from him. That and humility.)

I love this information age and Wikipedia and YouTube, but find all the 30 second videos on Keek to be worse than the vacation slideshows of the past. At least I can ignore them. I don’t like hip-hop music and the culture of gangsterism or the use of performance enhancing drugs by athletes. I like football, but not so much basketball and hockey (too fast) or baseball (too slow). I like Mile High Stadium and Coors Field and I like Red Rocks and Fiddler’s Green. I like Fillmore Auditorium and the Boulder Theater (and Bluebird and Ogden Theaters).

I like grace and forgiveness, and faith, hope, and charity while we’re at it. I like humility and don’t like pride and arrogance … although I have plenty of the latter. I also like “mdashes” and “ellipsis,” but that is obvious to any of my readers. (I don't like people who put too many dots in an ellipsis, but then I already said I like good grammar … and good taste.)

I really, really, really like my Linda. She is a gift to me that I don’t deserve, but I like it!

I like to write and I like to have readers.

So, what do you like?

What's that baby

But, but, but, oh honey

But, oh baby you know what I like

The “Big Bopper,” Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. , was an American disc jockey, singer, and songwriter whose big voice and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his recording of "Chantilly Lace."

On February 3, 1959, a day that has become known as The Day the Music Died (from Don McLean's song "American Pie"), Richardson was killed in a plane crash in Iowa, along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.


  1. The clerk turned to me and said in a bored voice, "What would you like?"

    The place was busy, but he had asked. So, I gathered my thoughts and responded. The line behind me got very restless, so I tried to talk faster.

    Thirty minutes later I had finished my reply. Apparently I'm not allowed back in that store, ever again.

    Just in case you're interested. Here's what I told him.

    Don't take any of this too serious. It's not like I'm running for political office or anything. I'm just a retired fuzzball with too much time on his hands and access to the world wide web. Just be glad I don't have my own TV show.

    Then again, considering some who do have their own TV show, we could do worse.

  2. You have a GREAT sense of humor. This was fun And, now we all know what You like!!!! Pat