What About Bob?

Growing up, the most common response when people learned that my name was Bob was, “Do you spell it backwards.” Then they would laughed like it was the first time I’d ever been asked.

Then that movie came out, and now people say, “So, what about Bob?”

So, what about Bob…

I am a Jesus follower | Married to Elizabeth
I am a 🌱church planter @ The Table | Community Builder | Pastor | Writer
I am Red Sox obsessed (although that has been waning lately…thanks to Chaim Bloom.)
I Read & Write | I Play Board Games | I Am Learning Improv
I was a lifelong NYer until I moved to Dublin’s northside over a decade ago.


StrengthsFinders – Strategic, Maximizer, Learner, Responsibility, Self-Assurance

Enneagram – 1

My main writing space is: A Journey in Liminal Space

100 relatively interesting facts

I began jotting these down a few years ago. Eventually, this list should get to 100…or it may go a few more, recognising that not everything here is all that interesting.

  1. I was born in Dunkirk, NY & grew up about 12 miles away in Brocton, NY.
  2. Growing up in Brocton, the world’s strongest man, Don Rienhoudt also lived there.
  3. Marmaduke creator Brad Anderson, was also from my hometown.
  4. I once appeared in the “Dog-Gone Funny” section, talking about my dog Linus.
  5. George Pullman was the 3rd famous person from my town. I learned that Pullman was not nice in one of my college business classes.
  6. When I was 10, I fired the person hired to watch my brother and me while my parents worked full-time over the summer. She actually left. And my parents took me up on my idea that I be in charge of my brother (7) and myself from then on. (That went about as well as you’d imagine).
  7. I got to meet Barbara Mandrell when I was a kid. I went on her tour bus & got her autograph & a tour of the bus. But since this was before she was famous, I threw her autograph away.
  8. When I moved to Ithaca in 1994, I thought I would be there for 5 years…we were there for 18. We moved there 2 months before our eldest daughter was born and left the month she graduated from high school.
  9. I always thought I’d end up in Boston or Philadelphia.
  10. In college, an accounting professor asked if I would consider going into accounting. I said no. No regret.
  11. In college, an economics professor asked if I would consider going into economics. I said no. I had no concept of what that would look like. I wish I had spoken more with him.
  12. In college, an English professor suggested I consider going into sports journalism. I said no. I was too insecure and too close to graduation. I wish I would have followed up with him.
  13. I do not know any languages other than English…& don’t have a great desire to learn one.
  14. I played the trombone in high school (poorly).
  15. When I arrived at the meeting where we chose our instruments, I said I wanted to play the drums. But my parents said they would be too loud.
  16. My wife plays violin, guitar, & viola. (well)
  17. I went to SUNY Oswego for my freshman year of school…I should have gone to class more & the Woodshed & Ferris Wheel less.
  18. My parents still live in the same house they did when I was 4. I’ve moved 19 times since they moved last.
  19. My high school graduating class had 59 people.
  20. I hated middle school & high school.
  21. I had bad acne in middle school & high school.
  22. I loved college.
  23. I was at the Roland Hooks game. And unlike most Bills fans, we didn’t leave the stadium before the end of the game.
  24. My father-in-law called me Rob.
  25. My wife’s first boyfriend was named Rob.
  26. I got to sit in the Green Monster seats @ Fenway Park the year the Red Sox won their first world series in 86 years.
  27. I also went to the World Series Parade…we drove 5 hours there, stood in the rain for 3 hours, watched 20 minutes of the parade & drove back 5 hours.
  28. My favourite baseball player of all time is Dwight Evans.
  29. My favourite basketball players were Dr J & Bobby Jones.
  30. My favourite hockey player of all time was Gilbert Perrault.
  31. People used to tell me I look like Jay Leno…it is part of the reason I always have facial hair.
  32. I had jaw surgery a few months before we moved to Ireland. I don’t look like Leno anymore, but I kept the beard.
  33. When I was a kid, people used to tell me I looked like Fred Savage from the Wonder Years.
  34. In 2023, I was told I look like the guy who played the Joker (Joaquin Phoenix). Although I don’t know if they meant with or without the make-up.
  35. I know a bunch of people who know Phil Keaggy, but I’ve never met him…I’d like to.
  36. Since moving to Dublin, I know a bunch of people who know or are related to the members of U2. I haven’t met them either.
  37. I once ate more than 80 chicken wings at one sitting at the Ground Round in Tonawanda.
  38. I used to weigh over 250 pounds.
  39. I like watching movies…
  40. I like to read too.
  41. I’m glad my daughters played ice hockey because I hate watching soccer.
  42. I am an INTJ.
  43. On the Enneagram, I am a 1.
  44. When we were kids, my brother & I had a dog. I bought his half for $4. (I still don’t know how my parents allowed that.)
  45. I saved our associate pastor James from drowning when we were in Ithaca.
  46. I once dove into the shallow end of a pool & hit my head on the bottom.
  47. That still makes me cringe.
  48. When I was in 3rd grade, a lunch lady pushed me against the table & cracked my sternum. She didn’t get in trouble.
  49. I have played on 2 teams as a kid where I wore a different uniform than the rest of the team (although once there were 2 of us in the odd uniforms).
  50. I am fidgety.
  51. I am not good with cars or puttering around the house…I’m much more confident with gadgets & computers.
  52. I really like coffee. Sometimes if I’m watching tv or a movie & someone is drinking coffee, I’ll think, “I can’t wait until tomorrow morning when I can have some coffee.”
  53. Three months after we started the Ithaca Vineyard, I had 5 inches of my colon removed. (But you probably really don’t want to know that.)
  54. I still have titanium staples in me.
  55. And a plate in my head. (Thanks to the jaw surgery)
  56. I had to wear braces on my legs when I was an infant to straighten them out.
  57. I had tubes in my ears as a kid because I was about 1/2 deaf.
  58. My youngest daughter had them in her ears, too, although they call them grommets in Ireland.
  59. I have excellent hearing now…in fact, I could hear the mosquito ringtone with my left ear until a couple of years ago.
  60. I get irritated with people who “speak for all evangelical Christians.”
  61. I get frustrated when people in Ireland talk about “typical Americans”.
  62. I hate mowing my lawn (garden) or any other form of yard work.
  63. I was in my room, doing my homework and listening to Foreigner’s Head Games on my 8-track player when I heard about President Reagan being shot.
  64. One of the biggest regrets of my life is the tux I wore for my junior prom. I wish I could blame it on drugs or something.
  65. I think every follower of Christ should go on at least one cross-cultural service trip…it will change how you see the world.
  66. Mac over PC…(not even close)
  67. Picard over Kirk…(a little closer, but not much).
  68. Star Trek over Star Wars.
  69. I like the DH rule. Why would anyone want to watch pitchers bat?
  70. I would like to get a lot better at photography.
  71. It is annoying when people say, “Bob? Do you spell it backwards?” & they think it is funny.
  72. I named my first kid Hannah. And she does not spell it backwards, either.
  73. I saw Liz for the first time in a Sunday School class at the Fredonia Assembly of God. We didn’t actually meet until several weeks later at a campus fellowship (Chi Alpha).
  74. We started dating about 3 years later. Two months before, I moved 5 hours away to Albany, NY.
  75. When I was in college, I joined Amnesty International so I could get a free t-shirt.
  76. I think about things a lot.
  77. I wore braces on my teeth in my teens and 40s.
  78. I never went out for baseball in high school because I was afraid of getting cut. So I played tennis instead.
  79. I didn’t go out for little league because my parents said I had to choose between camping or baseball.
  80. I played one year of Babe Ruth but got blackballed the second year because my dad wouldn’t sign a petition opposing austerity at our school.
  81. I do not miss my home town.
  82. The tennis team is the only sport I have joined & then quit in the middle of.
  83. According to the most recent Strengthfinders assessment, my top 5 strengths are
    1. Strategic,
    2. Maximizer,
    3. Responsibility,
    4. Learner,
    5. Self-Assurance (I have also had Futuristic, Acheiver, and Deliberative show up at various times).
  84. My favourite all-time movies include Confession of a Dangerous Mind, Fight Club, the first Matrix movie, Calvary, & O Brother Where Art Thou.
  85. My favourite musicians are Bruce Cockburn, The Mountain Goats, & Joe Jackson.
  86. My favourite period of music is the 90s when Alternative and Grunge were big.
  87. I have dual citizenship.
  88. We had a cat named Bob. I didn’t name him