About basil

Oh, let’s be SERIOUS.  If you’ve gotten this far, it’s probably because you already know me because I know you because I posted something semi-smart-alecky either to FaceBook or to your blog.

Okay.  We’ll go through the motions anyway.

I’m Daniel.  Most of my life I’ve been addressed as Dan, but there are a few relatives or close family friends of parent-age (it used to be only a couple of ninety-year-old aunts) who still retain the slightly-discomfiting right to call me “Danny”.  It’s not a big deal, just a “wow-they’ve-known-me-a-LONG-time-if-they’re-calling-me-THAT” thing.

I’m a consulting engineer who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago.  It’s a very good living, and it’s a career-path that chose me in 2003, and it very much caters to my short attention-span for work.  Six months here or two years there on a job is plenty of time to get in, help, get out, and watch the client beg no no no don’t go oh God we still need you … all right, that last part is a bit of an exaggeration, but actually not much.  My three brothers are also engineers of one sort or another, and our work ethic came from our dad who taught us all to be (a) self-reliant, (b) maddeningly comprehensive, and (c) pretty humble.  That combination is apparently so rare that we four have compared notes over the years and have all caught each other telling some version of the same story when we get together:  tough assignments seem to come to us, the boss likes to lay ‘turkeys like THIS one’ on us because we do a quiet competent job, and why can’t any of the other people working here ever manage that?  (My good friends with whom I do consulting-work have the same problem with many clients.  We remind one another that when you’re an employee, “employer/coworker shortcomings” are the same as “aggravation”.  When you’re a consultant, “client shortcomings” are “income opportunities”.)

“basil” is the name of my midlife-crisis:  a 2007 BritishRacingGreen MINI Cooper S.  There are days that I love this car more than life itself.  That’s a little messed-up, but also far more benign to the people around you than the typical midlife-crisis if you want to minimize the effects of your bad behavior on them.  (Yeah.  You know where I’m going with this.)

You probably already know some of my hobbies since you got here via FaceBook one way or another, but:  good food, really good wines, interesting restaurants, great movies, my car-buddies all over the country now, and travel.  Those last two are the big ones.  I REALLY want to see Barbados someday, so ask.

Speaking of travel:  the photo at the top of the blog is of Badlands NP in South Dakota, taken in May2009 … a terrific five-day drive.

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