Friday, October 22, 2010

I Need Friends Friday: Steven Miller, aka "Dad"

Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.

Today's INFF guest has some pretty amazing kids. Just sayin'. Those kids owe their amazingness to their rather spectacular parents. Our guest attended all of my hours-long dance recitals, never missed any of my plays or piano concerts and he has--get this folks--read every single one of my sappy, kissy romance novels, not because he is into sappy, kissy romances, but because he is one heck of a dad!!!

Yup. Today's INFF guest is my papa.

SME: Welcome to INFF, Dad.

Dad: Thanks.

SME: I'm asking all my pre-Thanksgiving guests to pick sides in the great Pie War I'm having on INFF. So... Pumpkin Pie or Apple?

Dad: Definitely Pumpkin. It is my birthday pie you know.

SME: How do you like your pie? a la mode? whipped cream? straight up?

Dad: I am torn between whipped cream and straight up as both are very acceptable. Probably the whipped cream, I do have a sweet tooth. For other times of the year I like sugar free Razzleberry. I justify having it a la mode because of the sugar free pie.

SME: And therein lies further proof that I am your daughter. Sweet Tooth Justification could have been my middle name if I'd had one.

You grew up in Portland, OR. Was there a favorite place there in Oregon you liked to go growing up? A hang out or a vacation spot you really liked?

Dad: We went to the beach at Tillamook and spent Labor Day weekend there each year. It always involved getting into the ocean (60 degree water), playing on the beach, watching nature movies with the camp ranger and a trip (or two) to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I went for the ice cream, the others went for the intellectual enrichment and the cheese curds. Ice cream is so much superior to curd!

SME: Who needs intellectual enrichment when there's ice cream? Did any of your vacations not involve cheese?

Dad: We also went camping near Mount Hood. The adventure included sleeping in a tent (trying to stay dry), building fires (to get dry) and fishing.

SME: You've lived in sunny Arizona for a couple decades now. Honestly, do you ever miss the constant rain of Oregon?

Dad: It has actually been 26 years 5 months and a handful of days since I moved with three of the children from Oregon, but who’s counting. I have yet to miss the rain. Oregon is a beautiful place, everything is green most of the time. However, the 300+ days of drizzle is a high price to pay for green.
P.S. Mom and Liz came a month later. Liz delayed her birth so they wouldn't have to make the drive…. Sorry, another story for another time.

SME: Liz always did have a mind of her own.

Now... I always ask, What's your favorite continent?

Dad: After North America (home sweet home), I must say my favorite continent would have to be, without any doubt or hesitation…… umm….. the winner is AUSTRALIA. While the reason may be obvious to you, it is because I spent two years there and fell in love with the people, the warm and dry climate, beautiful beaches, and all the oddities of Queensland. Maybe it was just because I fit in so well with the citizens of the motherland’s penal colony. I look forward to go back someday.

SME: I have a game for us to play! As you know, a couple weeks ago your lovely granddaughter loudly and authoritatively declared you are "the boss" of civil engineering, seeing as how that's your profession. So, our game is entitled "I'm the Boss of That!"

I'll give you three multiple-choice questions about Civil Engineering. Pick the right answers and you'll be the INFF champion!

Question #1: Civil Engineering is believed to have emerged as a profession….

A- between 4000 and 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

B- as soon as engineers quit being mean to each other and decided to be more civil

C- when you invented it, because you're "the boss of that"

Dad: Okay, here’s the deal…..Engineering has been an aspect of life since the beginning of human existence. Many have emphatically stated that I am as old as dirt and as stubborn as a rock. That being said, the answer could truly have been C. But because I am "the boss of that" and inquiring minds are waiting breathlessly to know, A is the correct answer.
We must note here, however, that Civil Engineering is not the oldest engineering profession, the oldest being military engineer. I think I can remember when we split off from them, and then again, maybe not.

SME: That answer, which was, of course, correct, pretty much guarantees you'll be able to answer the next one.
 I have obviously underestimated the vastness of you engineering knowledge.
Question #2: When was the term "civil engineering" first coined?

A-when civil engineering was first invented

B-in the 18th century as a way of differentiating between engineering done in the civilian sector as opposed to the military sector

C-when you first coined it, because you're "the boss of that"

Dad: Oh you have been reading Wikipedia, haven’t you?

SME: Who? Me? Read Wikipedia while putting together goofy quizzes???

Dad: While my ego leads me to choose answer C yet again, I must confess that it was my great, great, great grandfather who first differentiated between military and civil sector engineering…… NOT. The answer is of course, B. That’s my two cents (drum, drum, drum, symbol in the background) for what it’s worth.

SME: Wow. Correct again. I thought for sure I'd fool you with C. Ah well...
Question #3: Which of the following is not a sub-discipline of civil engineering?

A-Water Resources


C-Anything you say isn't a sub-discipline of civil engineering, because you're "the boss of that"

Dad: I am assuming that we are talking about the traditional sub-disciplines here. Actually this time I will choose the correct answer to be C. I am the final answer as to what is civil and what is not, because, as my very astute granddaughter has so correctly proclaimed, I am “the boss of that"!!!!!!

SME: Yes you are! You are the INFF Champion AND The Boss of Civil Engineering!
As always, I have rendered a shockingly
good likeness of my INFF guest, done in stick-figure.

*the sounds of a masterpiece in the making*

Dad: I especially like the eyes.

SME: The eyes are pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself.

Dad: I am so impressed that you are able to create such a exact replica of me. Perhaps that diet and exercise program I have been contemplating is not so necessary after all. I might even be able to have a double dose of whipped cream on my pumpkin pie this year.

SME: I vote for the extra whipped cream. I plan to take an extra dollop or two myself.
So, final question... Give me the top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done.

Dad: Reason #5 – I must shamefully admit, it is the only one I have ever done.
#4 – I was able to admit my true age, old as dirt.
#3 – I no longer need to be envious of all those who have already been one of your Friday Friends!
#2 – Now the whole world knows that my granddaughter has proclaimed me to be the “boss of that”.
#1 – I have been able to spend some precious and fun moments with the greatest 19th Century, Regency Romance novel author ever!!!!!

SME: Thanks, Dad, for being my INFF guest!

Dad: Thanks so much for thinking of me. It was a blast!!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

PS!!! Leave a comment and you'll be entered in October's Fabulous Giveaway!

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Swicks said...

i'm all about making an entrance! ... also, i didn't want to slow the car ride down, you know i have a small bladder! ok verging on inappropriate, dad i especially love that your hair has no pigment! HAHAHAHA

mormonhermitmom said...

Cool! I've actually been to Tillamook. Although I must say it's a toss-up between the ice cream and the squeaky cheese

Annette Lyon said...

Gotta love anyone related to Sarah. (THAT'S where you get your humor from.)

Have to admit that I snickered over YOU using Wikipedia. *hee hee*

Sarah M Eden said...

Wikipedia works for INFF quizzes. For actual research... absolutely not!!


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