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#990426 - Sun Jun 23 2013 07:00 AM Interview with Cag1970
Pagiedamon Offline
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Registered: Sun Jun 15 2008
Posts: 2590
Loc: North Carolina USA
TAKROM
What do you like about where you live and would you like to someday live elsewhere?


There are so many things to like about Charlotte, North Carolina. For starters, we're less than three hours in driving time from the mountains, about four hours from the beaches, and within six hours of a number of other major cities, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Richmond, and Washington, DC. It's also a city with a little bit of everything - fine arts, major and minor-league professional sports, lots of shopping, and a theme park (Carowinds) that allows you to stand in both of the Carolinas at the same time!

If I were going to live anywhere else, it would be one of three places:

Atlanta, Georgia, because that city is so diverse and has a lot to offer.

Raleigh, the North Carolina capital and our second largest city, because I like the city and spent my time in college there.

Titusville, Florida, because it's close to the Kennedy Space Center. I have a running joke with my wife that I'd love to retire there and become a tour guide at the space center.


boxjaw
I know you live in NC. I love Charlotte Motor Speedway too. I need to know which other NASCAR track you think is unique and awesome to watch the drivers on?


I don't live too far from Charlotte Motor Speedway, so when we have the big races here - the Coca-Cola 600 in the spring and the Bank of America 500 in the fall - I try to stay away from the University City area. I don't watch many races on television, but when I do I prefer the bigger speedways like Daytona, Charlotte, and Talladega. Short tracks like Bristol and Martinsville require more technical precision, but to me that's more like driving home down the freeway. That's not fast enough for me.


boxjaw
Where in North America would you most like to vacation during spring? Outside of NC, of course.


There are a few cities I've wanted to visit, most notably San Francisco and Toronto. San Francisco is one of America's most picturesque cities, and I've always wanted to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. And I'd love to ride to the top of CN Tower and take in a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre (what we knew for many years as SkyDome).


lesley153
What do you look for in a wife?


First and foremost, I wanted a woman who did not need me to take care of her. I wanted a woman who could take care of herself. Some men are put off by that kind of independence, but to me that's a very sexy thing. I also wanted a woman who was interested in some of the same things I liked. That woman and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary this past April.


TAKROM
What do you do for work? If you could have the career of your dreams, what would it be?


For the last 15 years, I have worked as a business analyst for Wells Fargo and two of its predecessor companies, First Union and Wachovia. In my job, I work with business units throughout the company to design business forms - envelopes, statement papers, labels, and electronic forms in formats such as PDF and Word. I like my job, though there are days where it can be stressful. And it's not the job I dreamed of doing - though looking back on how my life has gone so far, it makes sense. It actually combines elements of my collegiate majors, civil engineering and communications, in a way I would've never expected.

One of my dream jobs is to be a radio play-by-play sportscaster. As opposed to TV, radio requires you to be more descriptive. The listener is relying on you to paint the picture of what's going on at the field or on the court. That takes skill and discipline, and I think it's something I would've been great at.

As to my other dream job...


lesley153
What did you want to be when you were ten?


An astronaut. In fact, I wanted to be the first black man to walk on the Moon. Unfortunately, because I don't have very good eyesight, I could never have become an astronaut-pilot. Back when I was growing up, you had to have 20/20 vision, uncorrected, to be a military fighter pilot and to be an astronaut-pilot you had to have 1,000 hours of flying time in high performance fixed-wing aircraft (jet fighters). And I have the wrong degree to be an astronaut-specialist. That requires at least a Bachelor of Science. My degree is a Bachelor of Arts.


Pagiedamon
Please tell us a little bit about your stints on "Jeopardy" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?". How did get on these shows? When? And what were the experiences like?


Getting onto both Jeopardy! and Millionaire both involve an audition process. The processes are somewhat similar, but there are some differences.

To get onto Jeopardy!, I took the 50-question screening test online early in 2009. Each question on the test was in a different category. A passing score is getting 35 of the 50 questions correct, though they never tell you how many questions you got right. After qualifying with that test, I had to do an in-person audition that April, which involved playing a mock game and doing a personal interview. Making it through those steps meant that I was a contestant-candidate for the show, and that they could call me up within 18 months of my qualification. They didn't wait that long. I was on the set in Los Angeles in late July, three months after I qualified.

To get onto Millionaire, I had to take a 30-question multiple-choice test, and I did that back in July, 2012. Again, each question on the test was in a different category, but unlike Jeopardy!, the folks from Millionaire never tell you what a passing score is. After the test, I had an interview with a producer and was put into their contestant pool for two years. They also called me up about two months after qualification, but I had a conflict and couldn't go to New York the first time they called me. After I got back from my trip to Las Vegas, they called me again. I went to New York that time, in November, 2012.

It was actually easier playing on Jeopardy! than it was Millionaire, and I'd go back on Jeopardy! if I had the chance. (I won't, but that's another story). On Jeopardy!, if you miss a question, it's not a big deal unless it's a Daily Double or Final Jeopardy! You just keep playing on. On Millionaire, of course, one wrong question and you're going home with the house minimum of US $1,000. Unfortunately, that's what happened to the woman who was on before me.

One other big difference between the two shows: we were not allowed to sit in the audience to watch our contestant classmates play Millionaire. On Jeopardy!, however, it was pretty much mandatory. I still keep in touch with several of my contestant classmates from both shows, and I had an absolute blast doing them.


boxjaw
The make-up powder. When you were on "Jeopardy". Come on Claxton...Did it really help?


Yes it does, especially in the age of high definition television! That makeup kept the lights from reflecting off my head, which was nearly bald when I was on the show, and helped keep the sweat down. And during the breaks on the show, the make-up people actually came out to do touch ups and bring water. That's probably about as close to the NASCAR driver experience as I will ever get!


TAKROM
You spend time on FunTrivia, and you have been on "Jeopardy" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" (well done!). Does your family share your love of trivia?


Not really - although several among us really enjoy watching game shows. My sister and I, for example, have played the Winner's Circle along with the contestants on the various versions of The Pyramid more times than I care to count. She really wants us to go on Family Feud. And Dad is still trying to convince me that I'd win big on Wheel of Fortune.


lesley153
What prompted your love of writing?


My sister got her degree in English at UNC-Charlotte, on her path to becoming an English teacher, and she helped me a lot with my writing during my younger days. (She, like me, ended up in banking.) And I have always been a voracious reader. So my path to writing has been naturally paved. Over the years, I've done different types of writing - radio and TV scripts for news, sports, and commercial advertising; op-ed; technical specifications for forms; and trivia quizzes, of course.


pollucci19
You have regularly entered NaNoWriMo (a writing challenge). Will you be having a go again this year? Have you ever had anything published?


I participated in seven consecutive NaNoWriMo events, from 2004 to 2010, and I'm happy to say that I hit the 50,000-word mark each time. I didn't participate in 2011 because I went to New York to tape Millionaire, and I didn't do it last year because I was on vacation and my wife, supportive though she is, wanted to spend time with me and not watch me clack away on the keyboard. The cool thing about NaNoWriMo, though, is that it has expanded. You no longer have to wait until November to do the novel-in-30-days challenge. You can do it any time you want.

Although I've never had any fiction published, I have had numerous op-ed columns published on the Web. And I wrote a brief travel piece a few years ago that earned me enough money to get a pair of astronomical binoculars.


pollucci19
You frequently produce quizzes about people who have passed on. Of those that have died in the past ten years, who do you feel has made the most significant impact or will be the one most sorely missed?


The death of Michael Jackson still resonates with me for many reasons. This was an entertainer who got into the business very young and who had tremendous staying power throughout his lifetime. His music transcended all sorts of barriers and touched people across the world.

Red Auerbach is also someone whose presence is sorely missed. Red, of course, was the architect of the great Boston Celtics dynasty in the NBA. Like the late Paul Brown, the man who coached the Cleveland Browns and founded the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL, Auerbach looked for the best talent regardless of the color of skin. That's a huge part of his legacy and one that is often overlooked.


pollucci19
I really enjoyed your quiz that paid tribute to the Space Shuttle Columbia project. I notice that you have written a number of other space related quizzes as well as some on types of aircraft. Have you ever harboured desires to (a) be a pilot and (b) travel into space?


If the folks at NASA told me that they wanted me on board the next Soyuz flight to the International Space Station, I'd be gone in a heartbeat!

I grew up in the flight path of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, so I learned at an early age how to tell a 727 fro a DC-9. My first airplane ride took place on a school field trip back in 1984. We went from Charlotte to Charleston, South Carolina – about a 35-minute trip. Even today, as most people are closing their eye and gripping their armrests during takeoff, I'm the one looking out the window in amazement and wonder. I do get my flying fix with the help of paper airplanes, balsa-wood gliders, and flight simulator games.


boxjaw
How long and costly will it be until man first puts his footprint on Mars?


It will cost trillions of dollars to get man to Mars. That includes developing the spacecraft to make the trip and the rocket boosters to launch them, time training the crews, and acquiring and developing the materiel to sustain them all once they get there. Unfortunately, it's trillion of dollars that we as a country do not have to spare right now. If we do go to Mars, I think it's going to have to be an international effort. No one country will be able to do it alone.


pollucci19
I know the answer to this one but I reckon you need to share ... Buffy or change the channel?


Now what did I do with that remote? Buffy has got to go!


pollucci19
Do you sing in the shower and, if so, what do you sing?


Not typically. But I do whistle in the shower periodically. And I practice doing voiceover narration every now and again.


lesley153
How did you learn to cook?


My first experiences in cooking came when I was a youngster. Typically, such was limited to frying bologna and making grilled-cheese sandwiches. When I dating the woman who is now my wife, I started becoming more comfortable in the kitchen. As it turns out, lasagna is one of her favorite dishes, so I turned to a dear friend of mine for advice on how to make it. Said friend gave me a nice recipe, and off I went!

Although my wife loves my lasagna – and you would, too, if we can ever get a Tardis up and running – she also loves my chili and my spaghetti. I find that cooking relaxes me, but because of my work schedule, I don't get to do it as often as I'd like.


pollucci19
Claxton, I'm usually interested in people that influence others. Who are the people that you would class as being your heroes, mentors and role models?


My parents and my siblings (two younger brothers and a sister who's the oldest of the brood) are at the top of this list. But beyond them, many of my role models are people who have in some shape or form fought for equality and equity in our world. That list includes Red Auerbach, Paul Brown, Happy Chandler, Dick Clark, Bessie Coleman, Benjamin O. Davis (Sr. and Jr.), Allan Freed, Chappie James, Robert Lawrence, Rosa Parks, Sally Ride, and Betty White.


Pagiedamon
Can you end this interview by sharing one of your favorite quotes with us?


"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
This is the last line spoken in the infamous "Turkey Drop" episode of the CBS-TV show WKRP in Cincinnati.



Thanks to all of our participants!


Edited by Pagiedamon (Sun Jun 23 2013 07:08 AM)
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#990428 - Sun Jun 23 2013 07:08 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
Pagiedamon Offline
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Registered: Sun Jun 15 2008
Posts: 2590
Loc: North Carolina USA
Great interview, Claxton! Thanks!
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#990435 - Sun Jun 23 2013 08:26 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8760
Loc: Colorado USA
I watched the Jeopardy episode with you, Claxton, but I did not know you were on Millionaire too! So exciting. laugh
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#990436 - Sun Jun 23 2013 08:45 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
cag1970 Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 05 2003
Posts: 79
Loc: Charlotte North Carolina USA
Thanks to you and everyone who took their time to put the interview together. I really enjoyed doing it!

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#990437 - Sun Jun 23 2013 08:47 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: salami_swami]
cag1970 Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 05 2003
Posts: 79
Loc: Charlotte North Carolina USA
Hi, salami_swami. I was on Millionaire in March, 2012, even though they taped the show in November, 2011. (I think I mis-stated the year in my interview). I had to wait a year after being on Jeopardy! to audition for Millionaire.

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#992811 - Sat Jun 29 2013 06:59 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
BxBarracuda Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 5117
Loc: Bronx
New York USA     
Cool interview.

Who is your favorite all time NASCAR driver(s), favorite current driver(s), what are you thoughs on Michael Waltrip and the many hats he wears in the industry and have the Busch brother finally seemed to have grown up this year?

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#992898 - Sat Jun 29 2013 10:45 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: cag1970]
lesley153 Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 734
Loc: Bedford England UK           
And I enjoyed reading it.
Must try and remember where I parked the Tardis. smile
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#993416 - Sun Jun 30 2013 07:23 PM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: BxBarracuda]
cag1970 Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 05 2003
Posts: 79
Loc: Charlotte North Carolina USA
Hi, BxBarracuda. My favorite current driver is Tony Stewart. I followed him when he drove for Joe Gibbs and I've always liked his style. He drives hard on the track, just like I drive on the highways of Charlotte, except I don't rub and grind with the traffic in my daily commute. I also like Mark Martin. He's like the Julio Franco of NASCAR.

Among the older drivers, I'm partial to Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough. I always enjoyed watching them race.

I'm afraid I don't know enough about Michael Waltrip to make any judgments on him.

And we'll just have to see about the Busch brothers. I have partiality toward Kyle only because he drives for Joe Gibbs. (In case you didn't know, I'm a Washington Redskins fan.)

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#993419 - Sun Jun 30 2013 09:34 PM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
MadMartha Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 13908
Loc: Georgia USA
Enjoyed reading your interview cag1970. Am surprised though that no one asked about your trivia name? I'm always interested in why names are chosen. I enjoy watching Millionaire and Jeopardy, and have been on Family Feud myself. It was fun! Thanks for taking time to let us know something about yourself!
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#994886 - Sat Jul 06 2013 06:08 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: MadMartha]
cag1970 Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 05 2003
Posts: 79
Loc: Charlotte North Carolina USA
Originally Posted By: MadMartha
Enjoyed reading your interview cag1970. Am surprised though that no one asked about your trivia name? I'm always interested in why names are chosen. I enjoy watching Millionaire and Jeopardy, and have been on Family Feud myself. It was fun! Thanks for taking time to let us know something about yourself!


Thank you, MadMartha. I'm glad you took time to find out about me. Since you ask the question - my trivia name is the combination of my initials and my birth year. Nothing exotic, really, but it is a good question to ask.

My sister has been wanting us to go on Family Feud for the longest! Would you be up to sharing more about your experience, especially which version of Feud you were on? I'd love to hear about it!

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#995858 - Wed Jul 10 2013 11:28 PM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
ClaraSue Offline
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Registered: Sun May 18 2003
Posts: 7837
Loc: Arizona USA
Wow! Great interview and I loved that line from WKRP! And I know exactly how you feel about Titusville, FL. My husband and I spent over a week there to watch a shuttle go up years ago and we fell in love with the place. I'd live there, too!

Oh, and I think Redskin fans are fantastic! (I'm one, too grin)
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#1007072 - Tue Aug 27 2013 06:59 PM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: cag1970]
cag1970 Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 05 2003
Posts: 79
Loc: Charlotte North Carolina USA
Originally Posted By: cag1970
Originally Posted By: MadMartha
Enjoyed reading your interview cag1970. Am surprised though that no one asked about your trivia name? I'm always interested in why names are chosen. I enjoy watching Millionaire and Jeopardy, and have been on Family Feud myself. It was fun! Thanks for taking time to let us know something about yourself!


Thank you, MadMartha. I'm glad you took time to find out about me. Since you ask the question - my trivia name is the combination of my initials and my birth year. Nothing exotic, really, but it is a good question to ask.

My sister has been wanting us to go on Family Feud for the longest! Would you be up to sharing more about your experience, especially which version of Feud you were on? I'd love to hear about it!


Thanks, ClaraSue! Sorry it took me a while to get back here, but I appreciate the sentiments. And now that football season is nearly upon us - Go Redskins!

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#1007073 - Tue Aug 27 2013 07:01 PM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: ClaraSue]
cag1970 Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 05 2003
Posts: 79
Loc: Charlotte North Carolina USA
Originally Posted By: ClaraSue
Wow! Great interview and I loved that line from WKRP! And I know exactly how you feel about Titusville, FL. My husband and I spent over a week there to watch a shuttle go up years ago and we fell in love with the place. I'd live there, too!

Oh, and I think Redskin fans are fantastic! (I'm one, too grin)


Thanks, ClaraSue! Sorry it took me a while to get back here, but I appreciate the sentiments. And now that football season is nearly upon us - Go Redskins!

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#1024272 - Wed Dec 04 2013 08:48 PM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
cubswin2323 Offline
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Registered: Sun Jan 31 2010
Posts: 931
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
You were on Jeopardy! AND Millionaire?! I need to talk to you more often! If you had a chance to go on the Jimmy Kimmel Era of Win Ben Stein's Money would you? My fave quiz show of all-time!
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#1024288 - Thu Dec 05 2013 04:45 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
MadMartha Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 13908
Loc: Georgia USA
Sorry cag1970 that I didn't get back to you about being on Family Feud - somehow just didn't see the follow-up. The program was being filmed in Atlanta, GA. My granddaughter requested the interview, which was conducted in Atlanta. We were somehow selected! It was actually fun!
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#1024523 - Fri Dec 06 2013 11:59 AM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
rossian Offline
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Great interview. Can I come over with Lesley in the Tardis? Your cooking sounds worth making the trip for.
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#1024936 - Mon Dec 09 2013 12:13 PM Re: Interview with Cag1970 [Re: Pagiedamon]
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8760
Loc: Colorado USA
Me too! Take me with you, Rossian, in your TARDIS. Will the Doctor be coming to dinner too?
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