Cris, it's no secret that you are a great animal lover and that's the understatement of the year, but when did this happen? From an early age? What was your first pet that you remember?
It's been as long as I can remember! My first pets were a dog named Blackie and a cat named Snowball (how original!) plus dozens of other critters like crickets, toads and snakes. I have been fascinated by animals forever.CellarDoor
How did you get involved with raising goats? Could you tell us a bit about their personalities (or goat-alities)?
I've always liked goats, and when we moved to the country I could have them! Sadly, I am temporarily goatless as we try to sell our house in CA so we can move to our property in WA.
Goats have amazing personalities. They are very smart. They will do anything for food and are quite adept at getting to it (they are surprisingly fussy eaters, though!) They are very social and affectionate and love to be scratched. They are quite clever at knowing when you are thinking bad goaty thoughts (like "It's time for a hoof trim") and running away!Bruyere
If you had to choose a creature about which you're not terribly fond, what would it be?
Black widow spiders. We have lots of them in San Diego and they turn up in places where you don't expect them and scare your pants off. Behind the toaster, under the trash can, in the rim of the cat box…brr.gtho4
Have you always lived in San Diego?
No. I was born in Portland, Oregon- so the Pacific Northwest is really my true home. My parents moved to Warren, Michigan (near Detroit) when I was very small. I lived in Michigan until I was 9, when we moved to San Diego. I have lived here since then. Not much longer, though- as soon as we sell this house it's off to Washington! I don't really like San Diego- too politically conservative, too crowded, and too hot.Pagiedamon
Tell us a little about your "real life". Are you married? Children?
I have been married for 9 years to Mike; an old college friend. No kids- just two dogs, three cats and two chinchillas! I work as an IT assistant for a local private school with 4 campuses.gtho4
You became an editor in April 2000 ... did you think you'd still be here, more than 10 years later?
No! I don't think it ever crossed my mind. It's just become part of my life.salami_swami
Cris, you alone edit three entire categories: animals, brain teasers, and sci/tech. Which is your favorite? Why?
I like them all. I learn the most from the Sci-Tech quizzes, I am always interested in puzzles I have not seen before, and sometimes someone presents an animal fact that I didn't already know :>)CellarDoor
As the sole editor in three categories for a decade, how do you stay on top of everything and keep your editorial duties from being too wearing?
It's tough sometimes; I have to set aside time and frankly I don't do as much as I used to. I used to edit every day; now it's usually twice a week.gtho4
Is there one quiz you've edited that still stands out?
Hmmm. Nansen's "Quiz About This Quiz" (http://www.funtrivia.com/trivia-quiz/BrainTeasers/Quiz-About-This-Quiz-70608.html
) was unique at the time and is still enjoyed by players. There are lots of other quizzes I have really enjoyed editing- for some reason that one has stuck in my brain the longest.salami_swami
Has there ever been an author that was especially pleasant to work with?
Many. If I start naming names I will make someone feel bad because I left him or her out! I especially enjoy dealing with quizmakers who show an obvious love of learning.salami_swami
What are your thoughts about crossword editing?
I don't do it any more; it's one thing I've given up! It was never my favorite thing to do, as regular puzzles were a bit dull- I did enjoy some of the clever ones we got in Brain Teasers,Bruyere
One of my first memories of you is when you politely told me that my correction note for Dalmatian was incorrectly spelled. I remember you saying that it was like Dalmatia the country. I realized that I'd been singing the Dalmatian sensation and spelling it like the latter because of the Disney flick! How important do you think spelling is these days? Is it bound to become a losing battle? PS, I'm glad you thought I knew where Dalmatia was!
I think spelling is still important. I don't think it's a losing battle. Clarity of communication will always be important, and spelling is part of that.Pagiedamon
You have several quizzes on evolution. Is this a topic you often debate with others in real life?
Boy, do I ever! It is a topic I am extremely passionate about.
(mounting soapbox.) Evolution happens. and this is indisputable. The average person doesn't really realize exactly what evolution is- it's defined as a change in gene frequency in a population over time. That is all evolution is. We see it constantly- new dog breeds, drug-resistant bacteria- that's evolution. The theory of evolution is the best explanation we can give for how and why evolution happens. It has just as much if not more support than any other scientific theory that everyone accepts- the theory of gravity, for example, or germ theory. There is no controversy in the scientific community over evolution. (dismounts soapbox.)salami_swami
What is your favorite thing to do when you're not on FunTrivia?
I have many hobbies. I love spending time with my dogs, surfing the Net, woodworking, sewing, and biking, as just a few. My latest hobby is restoring old Roomba robotic vacuums. I have eight right now, all running. I am keeping my house, my office, and one of my sister's houses nice and clean. :>)Bruyere
I seem to recall you play bridge. Is this true? What do you enjoy in that game?
I play very little bridge, but my husband is a Silver Life Master and a Tournament Director for the American Contract Bridge League, so some of it has rubbed off. It's a very intellectual game; it's like playing chess where you cannot see all the pieces. I appreciate that.Pagiedamon
Your profile page says that you're a "Frankoma pottery collector". Do you still collect? How extensive is your collection?
I do, though not too much right now as we prepare to move and my collection is boxed away! Last time I inventoried it, my collection was well over 100 pieces and I have added some since then. I particularly enjoy the Frankoma pumas. I also have a nearly complete set of Lazybones dinnerware in Brown Satin.CellarDoor
You work in education, which has been the subject of much debate and tinkering over the last ten years. What changes have you seen since you started this career? What changes would you like to see?
Most of my educational career has been in private schools- I have worked for the same private school for 22 years. So I have been somewhat insulated from some of the ravages that have decimated so much of public education. However, my other three sisters are all public school teachers, so I hear a lot! None of it has been good- ballooning class sizes, decreasing budgets, lack of parental support… It's also ridiculous that people who have as much education as public school teachers get paid so little. My husband, who has a BA in computer science, gets paid about as much as all three of my sisters put together- and two of my sisters have master's degrees. That's just brutally unfair.gtho4
Was this your chosen profession when you finished school?
Nope! I wanted to be a vet or a doctor. I did think for a while about going on to law school.gtho4
How far did you get in the spelling bee comp, all those years ago? lol
It was 1976. Third round- long known to National Spelling Bee aficionados as the "lawnmower round." . I was done in by "aporia"- defined as "a philosophical puzzle or state of puzzlement, and, in rhetoric, a rhetorically useful expression of doubt." I spelled it "aphoria."Pagiedamon
What are three things FT regulars would be surprised to know about you?
Hmmm. I don't know how much is actually all that surprising, since if someone plays my quizzes they can probably figure out that I am an animal nut who loves word games and has many hobbies. So what are some surprising things that you would you not learn from my quizzes?
- Over the last year and a half or so, I've resumed a hobby I loved in college- cycling. I am not a speedy cyclist by any means, but I'm riding 5 days or so a week and I've participated in a couple non-competitive 25-mile fundraising events with more on my calendar.
- In my spare time, I toy with the idea of writing a novel about a wolf biologist who is also a werewolf and on the staff of a school for young werewolves.
- I hunt and eat wild mushrooms and haven't died yet. :>)Thanks to all who took part.