Whether you call it a tall order or big shoes to fill, I know following an industry icon like Jason Knott as CE Pro’s editor-in-chief is a daunting task. For starters, Jason is 6-feet tall and wears size 10 shoes, while I stand just 5-foot-5¾ and fit in size 8½ footwear.
Besides that, Jason is a dog owner and I’m a cat person — my two female felines often spend time as my home office mates. Jason is a child of the 1970s and knows far more than most about the decade’s movies, music and sports; I can say the same but for the 1980s as a proud Gen Xer.
A lifelong Californian, Jason made a big move from the West Coast to Massachusetts so he could take the CE Pro job. A lifelong New Englander, I left for North Carolina seven years back, and became a remote employee.
Jason is a natural athlete who can go long stretches between golf outings and still break 90; even during my heyday of playing 2-3 rounds per week I struggled to shoot below 100.
Of course, we share plenty in common, too, which is why I consider him a good friend and very complementary co-worker, and I’m sad to see him leave. Professionally, though, I could not be happier that he accepted D-Tools’ “Godfather” type of offer.
With that said, here’s some brief details about me; we’ll be back to industry-related content next month.
It’s usually Jason who brings this up in group settings, but 20 years ago I fulfilled a dream by appearing on Jeopardy! — though I failed to reach Final because I was $2,200 in the hole. Still, it was an amazing trip in which I was accompanied by my dad, who in 1969 was on the original Jeopardy! hosted by Art Fleming (he finished third too but earned $700 and an Encyclopedia International set).
We went to Del Mar race track, my first game at Dodger Stadium (Sharon Stone threw out the first pitch) and Getty Museum. And in fact, the contestant who won my game went on to win three more plus that season’s Tournament of Champions.
I consider myself an audiophile and my journey started in 1987 when I spent some Bar Mitzvah gift money on a Marantz AV receiver, cassette deck and loudspeakers, and Toshiba CD player. A decade later, things kicked into high gear when I was introduced to what a pristine sounding Phish bootleg sounded like and became a huge tape trader.
That was part of my true entrée into the Vermont quartet’s live music prowess thanks to my neighbor, Chad Fagin, when we were both living at home in Western Mass. Chad — who also wound up in our industry and recently joined Phoenix Marketing Group as the rep firm’s Southeast general manager — upgraded me to a Sony AVR and taught me about Paradigm speakers, Nakamichi tape decks, DAT recordings and more.
I added vinyl playback (before used record prices skyrocketed) and high-res downloads to my collection, and still own thousands of CDs, LPs and FLAC files; I reluctantly tossed away 600+ tapes before moving to N.C.
Other passions include sports cards, road trips, and visiting state highpoints and national parks. My summer plans include all of the above.
My favorite songs are the Allman Brothers’ “Blue Sky” and “Jessica”; favorite films, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Back to the Future; and favorite shows, Cheers and the first 13 seasons of The Simpsons.
I’ll leave you with one life lesson, from Cliff Clavin in Cheers’ finale: “If you’re not wearing comfortable shoes, life is just chaos.” That especially goes for tradeshows, so I’ll see you in Denver at CEDIA Expo in my size 8½ Skechers.
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