Sunday, February 11, 2007

Joe Blog's Interview #75 The Absent Canadian

Name : Michael Helms (the absent.canadian)
Age : 31
Location : Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Vocation : Business Analyst
Philosophy : Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Sum up what your blog is about.
When I started my blog, it was intended to contrast my experiences as a Canadian living in North Carolina. Blogs almost always evolve with time, and I'd like to think my blog has become a meme for my various adventures in North Carolina ... not so much as a Canadian, but rather as a traveller and student of life.

Why are you doing your blog?
Blogging is the pamphleteering of the 21st century. I see it as one of the most dynamic and engaging ways to self-publish.

What’s the funniest entry on your blog?
There's been a few hilarious ones, but the best is probably my rant about Southerners driving in the snow. I wrote it about two years ago. (despite my Canadian upbringing, I will be the first one to stay home in a snowstorm now)

What is your writing style?
I'd like to think it's humorous and witty without being slapstick or obtuse. I try to stay away from "rants" and rambling nothings, but I'm sure I've had my share of both.

How much would you sell your blog for?
It's not for sale.

What do people commonly say about your site?
You know, I really don't know. I often wonder why people come back and read it regularly (and I do seem to have a loyal following of readers); I guess something about my writing resonates with them.

What would you be doing if you were not doing your blog?
I'd still be writing copiously ... and looking for other outlets, like writing circles and such.

Why should someone visit your site?
This goes back to the earlier question about what people say about my site. Honestly, I'm not exactly sure why someone should visit - other than to say that there's some good writing there that might bring a smile to peoples' faces. I'd like to think that I write about interesting things, and may even help people learn about things they didn't know a lot about. I guess that's the best I can hope for - that people learn something new from reading my blog.

What did you learn from your first love?
How to kiss, mostly. And that I don't like riding horseback. (I'm not trying to make some weird sexual reference, either. She was an avid rider, and took me out riding once or twice. I hated it)

Are there any blogs, you enjoy reading?
I keep my blogroll up-to-date, and regularly read all of them. Right now my favorite is probably Old Guy's Tree House

If you could invite anyone to a dinner party who would it be and why?
Ouch. If I'm limited to living people, it would be David Suzuki (Canadian environmentalist), Luigi Colani (German artist and designer) and Silver Donald Cameron (Canadian author). They are the first three that come to mind.

What's your dream in life?
To travel, to meet people, and to experience as many things as I possibly can.

What one website would you recommend and why?
Wikipedia. We don't think of encyclopedias as dynamic, organic entities, but that's exactly what Wikipedia is, and I think it's fantastic. Every kid should be required to create one thoughtful, well-referenced page on Wikipedia before graduating.

Tell us a random funny story that comes to mind.
In my first year at Trent University, a fire alarm caught me in the shower ... all I had with me was my towel and my soap-on-a-rope. I wasn't allowed to return to my room, and had to go outside wearing just that - a towel and my soap.

What advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago?
If you get the urge to do something, do it. The only things you'll regret are the things you don't try.

Any interesting travel stories?
Walking around the pyramids in Egypt. Getting lost in the streets of Amsterdam. Hiking around the ruins of Helmsley Castle in England. Driving to the Northwest Territories through the wastelands of Alberta. Stopping to look at the moose on my way to Timmins, Ontario. Riding through the countryside in Cuba on a rented World War 2-era motorcycle.

What’s the most incredible thing that ever happened to you?
That's easy. When I was 17 years old, I went for a motorcycle ride ... and ended up at Petroglyph Provincial Park near Peterborough, Ontario. The ancient rock carvings moved me - so much so that I decided to study anthropology in university. It was one of those pivotal moments in life that shaped almost everything in my adult life ... and I'm thankful for the experience.

Now it’s your turn! Ask me one question, anything you like.

Why me? I'm always curious to find out how people ended up at my site, and what compelled them to leave a comment. Do share!

Joe Blogs : Simply, it's interesting reading about people who have travelled, and you have a nice writing style and good humored posts :)

Your Site Address : Mike Helms