Posted by: wryman | April 12, 2008

Interview with the Best Man

As we move closer to the wedding, I am going to try and get interviews with members of the wedding party.

This is the first such interview.  It is with my friend Michael O’Laughlin.  As his first answer tells us, we met while working together in the Commercial Credit Department at AnchorBank.  Eventually, he moved into the cubicle next to mine.  Our days were filled with attempts at improving the financial analysis we performed and fantastic queries into many quadrants of existence of life.  Wikipedia became one of our favorite resources for “answers” to those queries.  We still have never discovered why pickles are so commonly served with anything that is lunch, but we do know a great bit more about its usage.

After I left AnchorBank, he followed and went to work on the other side of town.  Last fall, he moved with his wife, Nati, to Houston and now works doing analysis on pension funds.  Some of his recent side projects have included the creation of a Ryan Kelley tracking fund (as of the last update, my name was outperforming the S&P 500 for the year … as if that’s any surprise) and joining into The Bet.  Another mutual friend, Matt, and I have an ongoing bet on the Cubs-Brewers and Bears-Packers.  Being in Houston, he cannot really join in on the football portion of the bet.  But, he did pick up the Astros for the baseball portion.  We made a scoring matrix and are currently tracking which fan will be the big winner at the end of the season.  The funny thing is, he is not even a baseball fan.

Without any further ado, the interview:

Tell us, how did you meet Ryan?

AnchorBank, I came into commercial credit and started with the more menial parts of the job but quickly identified Ryan as the guy doing the more interesting and higher-level work (as high level as it got in CCR). I made a point to visit with Ryan, learn from him and eventually took on a complementary role. We made a pretty good team up until he left for Monona State Bank.

Jessika, she’s a nice girl?

Are you kidding, she must be a true saint to marry Ryan.

Currently, where are you in life?

Hopefully less than half-way through.

How’s the weather in Houston?

A heck of a lot better than Madison….until this summer rolls around.  Today (4/11/08), upper 70s with light rain which ends a week of mid-80s and partly cloudy weather. I’ll tell you at the end of the year if the harsh summers of Houston or the harsh winters of Madison are preferable.

Are you glad you missed the past winter in Madison?


What do you miss most about Madison?

Short commute to work, Madison friends, attractions of the surrounding area, the lakes, the arboretum, passing the hospital Leo was born in, The Orpheum, being on the state HMO through Nati’s work instead of this damn PPO with the 20% coinsurance, the college-town feel downtown without actually being in a true college town, not seeing half a dozen state troopers in speed traps on my way to work and Bunky’s Café, the only real reason to ever venture into Madison’s east-side.

Are you a Taurus?

No, I’m more of a Pontiac G6, which is what I drive. I love that car.

Tell us the truth, “Cubs Rule, Astros Drool?”

I’m not sure the Cubs have much rule-making authority although a number of Astros players probably do drool when they wait to long to spit their chaw.

If soccer were never invented, would we have football?

Yes, but people would still wonder why it’s called football when it is clearly played primarily with the hands.

“Strategery” or “Truthiness?”

One should always use a little truthiness with one’s strategery.

If you were a pickle, would you be kosher?

Are you asking if I’m circumcised?!?  If I existed as a vegetable, I would like to be clean enough for a rabbi’s blessing.

If you were a salmon, would you swim upstream or would you not follow the crowd?

I would swim up my own stream.

As a married man, what do you think the keys are to living long and prospering? What if you were a Vulcan?

I’m not sure what the keys are but they sure aren’t on my keychain! And if I were a Vulcan, I’m not sure living long and prospering would be worth restricting mating activity to every 7 years.

As a married man, your mindset is your key. The focus of your life, its context, is your family. Don’t stress out about things you can’t control, keep things in perspective, find joy in the little things of life. The biggest thing that will shorten your life is stress. As for prosperity, foster ambitions for worthwhile goals that maintain the balance you want in your life, live within your means, realize that the best things in life aren’t things at all and I think you can then find prosperity (not just financial prosperity).

If I were a Vulcan, I guess I would feel mental rigor, physical fitness and self-discipline leads to both longevity and prosperity. And remember Spock’s credo from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan…”The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or of the one.”

Na nu na nu?

For the most part, I do not care for Robin Williams as an actor with the exception of The Fisher King and Cadillac Man…and maybe Awakenings.

As a father, what issues do you think “rule the day?”

As a father, the issue of every day….does that diaper need to be changed or can it hold a little more?


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