I don't really want to perpetuate the 5 things meme, but DonXML asked nicely (and I'll take the opportunity to shamelessly plug some favorite people, products, and organizations):
- I came to the software industry rather late in life after a mis-spent youth in Political Science at the University of Michigan. I discovered that it was more fun writing the code than writing the dissertation, not to mention the fact that the job market for junior programmers was immensely larger and more lucrative than the market for assistant professors circa 1980. Furthermore, programming gave me the luxury of staying in Ann Arbor for 25 more years.
- My longest lasting hobby is playing the acoustic guitar. I learned much of what I know from Frank Salamone, who sadly is no longer able to play. I spent the accrued vacation pay from my last job on a Martin 000-28 when I started at Microsoft. The piece I most enjoy playing is Leo Kottke's The Fisherman. I try, with minimal success, to play various stuff by John Renbourn.
- My musical tastes run mostly toward the classical/traditional. A survey of the dying iPod (Apple seems to have rediscovered the virtues of Planned Obsolescence) doesn't show a whole lot of written after 1759 (when Handel died) and only a handful after 1827 (Beethoven). All time favorite recordings include Parkening Plays Bach, Trevor Pinnock's Goldberg-Variationen, and Derek Bell's Carolan's Receipt.
- My current favorite "leisure" activity is, as one of my kids puts it, getting torn up by nasty thorny things. I'd give it a more pretentious label, "natural area restoration", which around here involves a lot of struggle with Himalayan Blackberry on behalf of the Sammamish River Stewards. Back in Ann Arbor, is was a struggle with European Buckthorn on behalf of the Friends of Dicken Woods.
- Based on the countries I've actually visited, if I had my life to live over I might do it in either Norway or Australia.
Being paranoid of this kind of response, I won't inflict the meme on anyone else.