Twenty-five Things About Me

by Jim Glass first posted to Facebook on Wednesday, September 16, 2009. It’s based on the Facebook chain letter craze that’s been written about in Time Magazine and the New York Times.

1. My father is totally tone deaf. But he luvs music and has been known to sing ‘O Sole Mio’ at the top of his lungs. From an auspicious start as a bass drum player in an elementary band, mom became a constant participant in many, many church choirs.

2. I am passionate about a lot of things and recently have returned to performance music after a 27 year hiatus. My wife joined me and also at my request we learned to play each other’s instruments. I believe that the vast population of baby boomers retiring in the coming years mean that we will have a lot of people who want to relive their glory days in hobbies and activities the did in school. And that doesn’t include tackle football.

   Again, thinking about land development.

3. My father was a Presbyterian minister and my mom, an English major, had a number of manager jobs including a stint as a director of a Child Care facility. Her fav type of question was, “I don’t know, can you?” when I didn’t use ‘may I’.

4. I met my wife in high school. She was 15 and I was 17. She sat in front of me in band and the band parties were held at her parent’s (a doctor and nurse) house. Our first date was at the band roller skating party.

   Suzy at the Prom

5. My two kids are polar opposites. A girl and a boy, one is successful at anything attempted and the other not so much. Both are/were musicians in school. One almost majored in music education.

   Aaron, Suzy, and Josie (83)

6. I’ve always worked. My first full-time job was in 7th grade and I’ve never not had a job. Every job was an improvement over the former. I’m now in the enviable position of doing what I luv for a company I really respect.

7. I stole a candy bar at a grocery store when I was 12. The store manager stopped me but didn’t appear to find the candy which was up my sleeve. I thought I would die and I’ve never had the urge to steal again. I often wonder what would have happened if I’d been caught and my parents told.

8. Leadership positions started early in my life. 20 years in the military honed these skills. 8 years as a manager at Microsoft further refined my skills. And recently I have returned to an individual contributor role where I manage teams virtually.

9. I took computer classes in college. I luv the science, but waiting for my deck of cards, one card for each statement, to get through the computer just to find that I’d mistyped a word took so long that I dropped out of the program after my first class.

10. I bought my first personal computer in ’81. It was a TI 99 which was a model that was being discontinued. I automated my weekly reports as a 2 lieutenant, which saved me from hand-typing (I typed 90 wpm at the time) reports that had to be letter perfect on a antique typewriter. I estimated I saved 5 to 10 hours a week and used the time to be with my platoon. I was the only officer in the Regiment doing this at that time.

11. I spent two tours of duty in Germany and my wife was with me. We traveled extensively and during the second tour I learned to ski in the Alps. I also learned to that no two schnitzels are alike and that I like German bier and Austrian rum.

12. My Bengal cat is named Thelonious aka Theo. He wrestles with our two German Sheppard dawgs and usually wins. He luvs to walk on the piano keys.

   Lucky Theo. ;o)

13. I use the nickname JaAG at work and in my bands because there are too many Jim’s on this blue marble. It is short for James A. Glass where Ja is the James part.

14. Years ago when I created my online persona I couldn’t get Gandalf at most sites, so I created Gandalfe using the Olde English spelling. ;o) Now when I go to new sites, Gandalfe is not usually available. Same is true with JaAG.

15. I was the chief admin on Sax on the Web (SOTW), the largest international Sax hobby forum ever, for a number of years. I left to help start up the Woodwind Forum with two other ex-Admins from SOTW. Both were/are labor of luvs with no compensation provided.

16. My wife is wicked smart. For example, if I’m trying to fix the alarm system, testing wires and connections, she can come up behind me and point to the fried circuit board that I hadn’t noticed. WTF! And she’ll notice a cat is in trouble from across the room and I’m like, “Why didn’t I see that?”

17. Where I am an artist, designing, painting, drawing, and writing my wife is a craftsman who can build furniture, sew wedding dresses, and run the band music libraries. Between the two of us, we get a lot of things accomplished. For example, she will ask me to pick colors, patterns, and art for a quilt that she wouldn’t do if I didn’t help her with these things.

18. My acquaintances rank in order of; family, music friends, work friends, and all others. The top three categories of people tend to get immediate attention. All others might not even have enough priority to get me to pick up a call. There is just too many things I want to do that I don’t waste time on people and programs I’m not invested in. I sometimes feel guilty about this.

19. We live well. Suzy sez I the luckiest guy in the world, skirting problems seemingly at abandon. I believe people make their own luck. But my Presbyterian ethic makes me feel guilty about the nice houses, beautiful music instruments and fancy cars we own. I try not to dwell on that, but in weak moments I struggle with this guilt. And I see people who are smarter or more talented than me who struggle to stay employed and housed. I don’t really get it.

20. I am an cautious optimist, left-leaning liberal, and smiling buffoon. People have asked me why I’m always happy. I think it’s a genetic thang. The question “Jim, why are you always smiling?” pisses me off.

21. My current team at work is lead by a master of non-conventional thinking. It is small, adroit, diverse, and fascinating. The reach this small team has is impressive by anyone’s standards. And for the most part we fly under the radar. Any attempts to promote what we do to other teams that are much larger is usually met by resistance. If this manager ever retired, I think I’d do the same.

22. I’d rather work than go on vacation. My work defines me. This was even more true for my father who retired from Microsoft at the age of 73. His prior jobs included working for the State Auditor Office in Iowa and working in executive positions at Sears, Pepsi, and Silor. I don’t care what anyone thinks of my work fetish, it works for me. So where many of my peers are anxious to retire, I’m not even thinking about it yet. And I can often be found at 9:30 at night working through my work in box.

23. I married a rich person. I recommend this to all my acquaintances. 🙂

24. I’m in three bands, a community concert band, a big band, and my own jazz xTet. My wife is in all of these bands too. Band night, where practice with two of the bands take up 3 hours, is the highlight of my week.

   Dissonance at Ballard Locks ’07

25. I dreaded doing one of these lists for weeks. But I loved reading many of my family and friends ‘top 25’ that I decided to give it a try. My sentences tend to be overly complex structures and not good reads. I blame that on my extensive years of writing military reports and technical documentation. I have actually worked very hard to simplify and tighten up my prose.


  •   Allie Nash Proff Yay! This was fun to read. And you even included pics! ~ February 5, 2009 at 9:42am
  •   Jim Glass You are so nice. I’ve checked and corrected spelling and some grammar stuff. I drafted this in a long meeting. 🙂 ~ February 5, 2009 at 10:09am
  •   Ed Svoboda Wonderful list. ~ February 5, 2009 at 11:54am
  •   Jim Glass Your $5 is in the mail Ed. 😉 ~ February 5, 2009 at 12:53pm
  •   Wendy Nievaard Glass Then the true overachiever came out of you.. I have to admit, the pictures are a nice touch!! ~ February 5, 2009 at 2:59pm
  •   Maddie Roberts This was really fun, dude. I miss you! When do us little Roberts kids get to see you Glass clan? ~ February 5, 2009 at 5:47pm
  •   Deb Glass Morseth Jim, this is really nice. Your comments on smiling made me realize maybe it is genetic. Everyone tells me they love my smile, that I am always smiling. We are very blessed and we appreciate it. I get lots of hugs because of my smile:-) Love you, Sis ~ February 5, 2009 at 7:41pm ·
  •   Paul A. Schafer A happy & thoughtful list, Jim! And yes, it was cool to include photos (an example of the non-conventional thinking you mentioned)! I wouldn’t call you a left-leaning liberal, though — remember when you gave me a copy of Mother Jones because it was too far left?! (Maybe you’ve changed since then …) I’d call you a left-leaning moderate. Anyway, nice working with you all those years ago. ~ February 6, 2009 at 9:20am ·
  •  Jim Glass Left-leaning moderate? That’s the nicest thing you ever said to me. Luv your profile pic, so sixties. 🙂 ~ February 6, 2009 at 10:17am
  •   Vanessa Armstrong I don’t agree with #25… I think this was a very good read! (I love reading everyone’s top 25 too 🙂 ~ February 6, 2009 at 1:11pm
  •   Bertie Dugger Glass ‎+I loved it. It is very well thought out. Most of it I knew, but there were a couple of things I did not know. I always like to hear what my children (grown though they be) think about things. Hugs from Mom. ~
    February 6, 2009 at 5:10pm ·
  •   Jim Glass Aaaaah mommmmmm. 🙂 ~ February 6, 2009 at 5:15pm
  •   Elaine Horgos I enjoyed reading this 🙂 ! February 7, 2009 at 10:28am ·
  •   Melissa Travers I had a similar experience as #7.! Did not know your Dad was a softie also. Great pictures!  ~ February 8, 2009 at 8:37pm ·
  •   Lisa Carr Cagle Thanks for sharing. I would be interested to hear more about what you did in the military. ~ February 10, 2009 at 3:00pm
  •    Jim Glass Lisa, I could tell you then I’d have to …  ~ May 15, 2009 at 1:21pm ·
  •   Lori Whippler Hollasch Wow, thanks for sharing this. Your life sounds wonderful! And I agree that we make our own luck — with your attitude, you deserve all the happiness that you have! ~ July 15, 2009 at 10:10am

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5 Responses to Twenty-five Things About Me

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Enjoyed reading more about you, and love the musical note background! That’s great that you are making music again!

  2. Gandalfe says:

    Jacqueline, you have a nice blog site too (I think I posted that in the comments there somewhere). Did you ever notice that so many comments in the about section of some really popular blogs are no longer active? It would seem that most people find writing a blog more work than they first imagined.

  3. John Reneski says:

    Enjoyed reading your 25 things. While I am still in a renaissance mode reinventing and experimenting with new areas of interest the old ones are never far from sight. My friend Jim Samuel a financial planner and 60’s rock and roller has financed is re-emergence into the smooth jazz scene to see if he still had the juice to be a musician. So far the Ride had been very good for him and Act II seems to be doing well!

    • Gandalfe says:

      Thank you John. My act two has overlapped my act one by ten years, so far. My Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra has become very good and I really look forward to playing with that group. I did chose to make it a Washington non-profit in adult education. While there is no money in it, playing with this group is very healthy for me.

  4. gintongpinaydutch says:

    “The question “Jim, why are you always smiling?” pisses me off.”
    Hahaha, I enjoyed reading about you. Your blog is an inspiration. Thanks!

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