Random Topic Generator

While “Random Topic Generator” may sound like the name of an ’80s new wave cover band (dibs on that name, by the way) it is actually an internet tool used by writers, essayists, and, yes, bloggers who are hard up for a topic and facing a deadline. Like, say, me on a Monday. Today, for example. The idea is that you can click through numerous suggestions for topics until you find one that interests you. The wheels start turning up there in your brain box and soon you’re off to the races. Writing wise, I mean, not like actually going to the races. Although it’s fine if you do I guess, who am I to judge? Just don’t get stuck talking to a guy selling Tootsie-Fruitsy ice cream.

Anyway, my wife suggested using one of these generator sites today and I decided to do so, but in a slightly different way. The generator I found phrases each idea as a question, so I am going to answer them off the top of my head. This will be completely random. I have not prepared any answers in advance of looking at them now as I type. This should be a fun exercise, and maybe you’ll learn something about your ol’ pal Dave as a bonus. Maybe not. Let’s find out.

1. What kind of interior do you like a restaurant to have?
-Clean. With tables. I prefer dimly lit rooms, with exposed brick or lots of wood, without a lot of crazy crap on the walls. Unless it’s a restaurant/bar, then go nuts.

2. Is it better to live where there are four seasons, or where one season takes up most of the year?
-I’ve actually thought about this idea a lot. I’m not a real big fan of weather in general, especially cold and snow. However, growing up in the Midwest, I am used to having all four seasons and I think going through the miserable bits of Fall and Winter makes me appreciate the warmer stuff more. So as much as I don’t want to admit it, I would miss the seasons if I moved to a warmer climate. Therefore I must concede that all four is better. Grudgingly.

3. Does fashion help society in any way?
-I mean, in the broader sense of connecting to one another, or feeling part of a larger group then sure, I suppose it does. Ultimately, though, it’s fairly irrelevant.

4. What was the worst book you had to read for school?
-Okay, cue the hate from my literary friends but it’s actually a tie between “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, and “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. I know both are classics and I won’t dare to question their merit, but both books bored me to tears. To be fair though, perhaps some of my distaste for those particular books may have been because I was forced to read them. I have considered going back and reading them on my own to see if my opinion would change, but I’m in no hurry to do so.

5. Do you like spicy food? Why or why not? What’s the spiciest thing you have ever eaten?
-I do like spicy food. Apart from the fact that peppers are good for you, the right amount of spice can compliment the natural flavor of the dish, and open up flavor in a way that can be joyful and sometimes unexpected. Too much spice though, can be a bad thing if it’s so thick that the dish loses all flavor. It may be impressive to eat something that hot, but that doesn’t make it good.

I’m not entirely sure what the spiciest thing I ever ate was, though there are a few hot wings that come to mind and some hot candies. I used to make a chili with multiple peppers (including habanero) that got nicknamed “killer, death, Nazi chili” for good reason. So maybe that. It was still tasty though.

6. What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
-Get into bed. Duh.

7. How often do you binge watch shows?
-Depends on your definition of “binge” I suppose. I seldom watch a full season of anything in a row (though it does happen from time to time), but I will watch a few episodes of a show and come back to it in a few weeks. As much as I love my streaming services, there’s way too much choice out there and I wind up watching several shows concurrently. So I do watch my fair share of television, but I’m not sure how much I binge.

8. What is your favorite holiday?
-Christmas. We’ve been through this. Do you even read my blog?

9. If you had a theme song, what song would it be, and why?
-Oh, man. This is just not fair. For a music geek, this is an impossible question, and I would constantly want to change it anyway. So I just can’t answer this one, man. However, if anyone wants to write me a theme song, I’m open to it.

10. What does your own personal Hell look like?
-I don’t know, but the soundtrack is “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison on repeat.

11. What do you think about game shows? Do you have a favorite one?
-I love game shows! Now those I can binge. I’m not sure I have a favorite. There are very few I don’t like!

12. What book has had the biggest effect on the modern world?
-Interesting question. My gut reaction is to say “The Bible” since it has had such an effect for so long, and, at least in the Western world, has at least somewhat shaped most of our thinking about the way our society is run. Although, it seems as though the modern world is getting further away from “the good book”, even as politicians, alternative news networks, and fringe organizations hold it high and claim to be following its teachings while twisting the meanings to suit whatever agenda currently serves them the best. Sadly, the answer to this question now is probably something like “The Art Of War” by Sun Tzu, or at the very least, “Who Moved My Cheese?”.

13. Does the government have a place in regulating food? To what extent should the government be regulating food?
-I’m afraid I don’t understand the issue here. Maybe because I don’t work in the food industry? I believe in governmental safety standards for food, even though I’m sure they are not perfect (nor could they possibly be), but there needs to be some sort of standard that food manufacturers, farmers and distributors should be required to meet. There should also be a limit as to what chemicals can be used in food manufacturing, prep, storing and preserving. But as far as what people should eat and how, I think that should be left up to the individual.

It seems to me, though, that that is mostly how things presently work. Again, I don’t work in the industry, nor do I have any major specific dietary needs, so perhaps I’m just the wrong person to ask.

14. Do you prefer to go off the beaten path when you travel?
-Mmm, I guess not, but I’m not opposed to the idea. I certainly don’t want to risk being hopelessly lost or in an overly dangerous situation. However, a last minute change of plans, or winging it to explore an area that wasn’t initially part of the trip can be quite rewarding.

15. Will technology save the human race or destroy it?
-Dude, there is absolutely going to be a robot uprising one day. The AI will decide it doesn’t need us, and that’s that. Roombas are the robots’ first step. We must destroy them all.

16. What is the best advice you have received to date?
-Whenever this topic comes up, I think of something my father said to me when I was a young boy. “Quit pickin’ at it, you’ll only make it worse!”.

The other thing I think about is a shorter and simpler saying. “Above all-Integrity”. This is how I have tried to live. Keeping your integrity is highly important, and it is something that implies to every aspect of life. All relationships, be they business, family, friendships, romantic, whatever the case may be, must be built on honesty, trust, and integrity. Decisions must also be made in a way that keeps integrity intact.

Keeping integrity does not mean that you don’t compromise. It does not mean that you don’t sacrifice for others. It also doesn’t mean that you are always right, or that you don’t mess it up now and again. It’s what allows us to own up to our mistakes and apologize when needed. It’s about staying true to who you are. Integrity is shaped by our environment, our parents, teachers, mentors, our faith, and those who are closest to us. Integrity allows us to change our minds, and to grow as a person. None of us are the same at thirty as we are when we are a teenager, or twenty, or fifty, or eighty, or any age of life. Yet we can always stay true to our beliefs, our commitments, our loved ones, and ourselves.

I have seen this demonstrated by many in my own life, from my father and other family members, to close friends, and even in historical figures and celebrities I admire (though that last list is a tad short). It’s not always an easy thing to do, and on occasion integrity may fall-unwillingly or not. But if we do our best to keep it intact, we will all be better off. It’s a goal I have set for myself and try to keep as much as possible. I am not perfect, far from it. Sometimes I fail. Yet continue to work at it, and live life with this goal in mind. It is among the best advice I have received, and the best that I can give.

Okay, that will wrap us up, I think. I got a little rant-y there in places, but you all should be used to that by now. Thanks for reading. See you next week.

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