View Full Version : Interview with "dmp"

01-10-2008, 10:07 AM
Darin has been with us for many years now, and quite a few as staff/admin. If I recall correctly, we first started to know one another better when he assisted with one of the older boards header images. He's quite talented not only with the camera but also with Photoshop (a few times the bastard put my head on ladies images!). He takes a lot of heat on the board as the one making a majority of decisions but this comes with the territory. I have full trust in him and he receives 100% support from me. We don't always agree on decisions and sometimes I override them, but he always takes it in stride. He's a great team player and the rest of our team looks to him for his leadership and guidance on many topics. He is also just as important to this board as a participant. He's very forthcoming about himself and doesn't hide anything. He tells it as he sees it. He participates in just about every aspect of the community, from politics and religion to photography and humor.

Where did you grow up? Have you always lived in the Seattle area?

I grew up (ages 5-19) just south of Seattle, in a town called Renton. From ages 0-5 I lived in Redmond, WA, near Henderson KY (which is near Evansville, IN), Spokane WA, then Kent, WA.

Can you share with the rest of the board a little more about your military experience?

I joined the Army when I was 19 years old, in March of 1992 – about 9 months after graduation from High School. My Military Occupation was to serve as a STINGER missile team member. After June-July in Oklahoma, I spent 8 “glorious” weeks in El Paso, TX. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fryer! My first duty station was a little Air Defense Battalion outside of Mainz, Germany – a city called “Wackernheim.” To this day, the BEST rahmschnitzel mit pommes I’ve had is at the Wackernheimer Hof.

After a couple years lugging missiles around, I moved up to work in the Headquarters of 1st Armored Division (Old Ironsides), in Bad Kruetznach.

Upon completion of my initial 3-year Active duty commitment I joined the Washington Army National Guard, again, as a STINGER Team member. Two years later, I went back to Active Duty, but re-classified into “Administration”. This was to be a 4-year enlistment. After 1 year at Camp Carroll, Korea, I moved here to Fort Lewis, WA where I worked in the Headquarters of I Corps. July of 2000 I was separated from service due to a medical condition. While a soldier I was awarded two Army Commendation Medals, and Four Army Achievement medals, as well as Good Conduct (a gimme, really), Nat’l Defense Service Medal, and a few ribbons: Overseas service (x2), Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development, Korean Service (pending retroactive application for the award), and…hrm…something else I think. I was fortunate enough to attend the Combat Lifesaver Course, Hazardous Material Handlers course, and the Small Arms Maintenance course. I held various levels of weapons qualification at any given time, and the Driver’s Badge (wheel).

Currently I work for Dept of the Army in a civilian capacity, as a strategic planner.

Many of us have had the privilege of seeing pictures of your family. You have a beautiful wife, and equally beautiful children. How did you meet your wife, and what did such a beautiful woman see in you? LOL

When I was sixteen I started dating a girl named Jenni. Jenni’s best friend was named Amy. Eventually, Amy started dating my best friend at the time, Randy. Okay…There were times when the four of us would double-date. A few times I’d pick Amy up at her place, and had met Amy’s little sister, Mary. I think she was about 11 years old at the time.
Fast forward 6 years and I had just finished my first term in the Army and was visiting my brother – who incidentally ended up married to Amy – for a nephew’s birthday. In walked a sharp-looking young lady.
“Who’s that?” I asked my brother.
“That’s Mary!” he said.
“whoa. She’s grown-up!”

50 weeks later, she and I were married – about 2 months after her 18th birthday. Three years later, we had our daughter, and a couple years after that, our son. 

Whatever she ‘saw’ in me, she certainly no longer ‘sees’ it. hehe.

You're an avid car person. What do you drive now? What was your favorite car you have owned? If you could own any car, what would you choose? If I recall correctly, a few years ago you had posted some pictures of a bike that you owned, do you still own any motorcycles?

I like cars. I’m a dreamer, but not consumed by my dreams. Currently I drive a 2004 Mazda RX8. I’ve been hoping to replace it, actually, but a couple of things stop that hope: 1- Money. My car’s paid off. I like not having a car payment. 2 – Fun to drive. I haven’t been in a 4-seater car with the kind of reflexes my RX8 has, within the ‘Less than $35K” price range.

My favourite car I’ve owned? Hrm…If you mean ‘owned’ as in ’pwn3d’ – I pwn3d a few Subarus, one Escort Cosworth, and a 911 or two from time to time on the track (or other places ;) ;) ). But – if you mean the OTHER kind of “owned”, I’d say it was my 1993 Miata Limited Edition. For those who really enjoy driving, they should get into an older, lighter, slower miata for awhile. A set of sticky tires and good brake pads makes for a VERY VERY Fun car. It was so slow in a straight line (only 100 horsepower to the rear wheels) I could floor it just about everywhere and rarely break any speed limits!  I can remember the feeling – the physical sensation – of stress slipping away when I dropped the top. Rain or Shine. I miss that car. I cried a little when it drove away to it’s new owner. :-/

If I could have ANY car? Bugatti Veyron – hands down. 1001hp, 253mph Top speed. Handling and looks. Doesn’t get much better than that. Course…at $1.3 million per, I’ll never have one.

I sold the bike going on maybe 2 years ago- I crashed it pretty good (on video no less!), then lost my edge. It became a $6000 paperweight in my garage. I hope to buy another bike someday. It was a 2004 Kawasaki ZX6R 636cc. Very very quick bike.

It's quite obvious that you have conservative principles. Which of these are most important to you?

I honestly don’t know. I don’t know what my principles ARE – but I do know when I’m seeing something which sets off one of my ‘alarms’. I fall in line with conservatives because to me, those folk make the most sense. Ideas promoting strong, traditional families as the ideal, fiscal responsibility, social freedom, religious tolerance – things like that tend to speak my language.

Coming from a military perspective, do you agree with the actions in Iraq? What areas do you think could have been improved, or still can?

Broad question. I generally agree with letting Generals fight wars – NOT politicians. Arm-Chair ‘Generalling” bothers the hell out of me. Because of my experience and my current job I get to see 1, 2, and 3-star General officers at work. I see the amazing ability it takes to reach those levels. I trust the Army mostly promotes those men and women because of their ability to lead and manage war-fights. When I see a General say “We need to do (x) in Iraq” I tend to give their opinion a lot of consideration. Even retired Generals who have spoken out against the War – their words carry a lot of weight and should rarely be dismissed.

As far as improving things in Iraq? I dunno man. I’m nearly convinced nothing will improve, measurably, until we a) Kill everyone there who wants to kill “Freedom”. b) help the Iraqi military and police forces accept a higher standard of conduct, integrity, security, and professionalism. I’ve spoken with colleagues at work about their dealing with Iraqi security forces – the US Forces provide massive amounts of technical and tactical equipment to aide in security and communication. The trouble is getting them to USE it.

I’m getting close to the point where I think we should tell them something like “Okay…we’ll be over there, floating in the ocean if you need a cruise missile or twenty…but the rest is up to you.”

If you were a General in charge, what would you recommend going forth being the best course of action towards Iran?

I would do what I think all Generals do – I’d task my staff to develop contingency plans for a broad range of conflict with Iran. I’d have my Colonels tell their Majors to come up with a few scenarios both covert and ‘daylight’ fights or strikes based on how Iran acts.
See – what a lot of folk don’t get is how this works. Generals tend to only ask questions and make decision. The real planning happens down at the major/colonel level. The General mostly just approves what somebody else thought up.

Hillary or Obama, who ultimately wins? And the GOP is a bit muddled right now, who do you see being leader of the pack a month from now?

Ugh. Nauseating thought – that either could be leader of the free world. I’m not nauseated because they are female and (half?)Black, respectively, I’m nauseated because they both have ideas which are BAD for our nation. To answer your question though – I think Obama. He’s easier to look at. Sounds weird, but I think people want leader with charisma – Obama has that. His wife, though, she’d be a HORRIBLE first-lady. Very little ‘class’, imo.

Re: GOP – I think McCain has a puncher’s chance, but Romney seems MOST presidential to me. I think Huckabee seems soft – where Romney or Guliani have a feeling of authority about them. I’d vote for either over Huckabee.

Like myself, you believe marriage should remain between one man and one woman. Can you give us a brief argument against same sex marriage?

I don’t know about brief…but here goes:

Marriage – the primary purpose, in my mind – is to establish a Family. Father, Mother, and Children. There exists no better structure for a family than I just described. That is the ideal. Often, one of the parents goes missing from the equation. It sucks but it’s life. Ideals though – Ideally, the child gets the proper influence of a Male/Father figure and Female/Mother figure. Both are required for the best-most-well-rounded kid. Single parents do a heck of a job, that’s for sure. Some marriage won’t result in offspring. Okay. Fine. Still – reproducing healthy kids remains the primary purpose. Also, even without children, promoting a monogamous relationship between a man and woman helps society by reducing disease, and emotional stress.

Okay – on to homos and marriage.

Those who practice homosexuality are asking for special permissions to marry anyone they choose – that would afford them rights not granted to heterosexuals. We have laws to protect our society and encourage marriage (tax laws, and other benefits). Some homosexuals demand the law be changed to reflect their particular inclination. I’m not much on slippery-slope arguments, but it fits here – allowing individuals to enter privileged arrangements like marriage opens Pandora’s box to any sort of “Marriages”. Just don’t like it. Right now, there’s a case in my state where Employer Health benefits are extended to employees same-sex “partners” – BUT NOT employees other-sex partners. I don’t see pro-homo groups supporting the person who filed suit. What happened to ‘fairness’? Homosexual groups don’t want fairness – they want more-than acceptance; many won’t stop until their habits are celebrated and rewarded. Homosexuality is an activity – not a biological condition. Mostly.

You seem to have a lot of knowledge about religion, Christianity/Catholicism in particular. How did you learn so much? Was it from strictly reading the bible? Did you attend a Catholic school growing up?

I grew up attending Assembly Of God churches. They were Pentecostal and emotional. That’s not to say I didn’t learn intellectually about God – but it’s to say a lot of things I thought were true about God and how He works don’t pass muster to me now. For example, I was ‘instructed’ on how to speak in tongues. In fact, it was MORE important to speak in tongues than it was to be ‘filled with the holy spirit’ as the bible speaks of. Without ‘tongues’ one was NOT ‘full of the spirit’. It’s weird to me now – even seeing that crap in print.

I feel pretty ignorant in terms of specifics of what words the bible actually uses – however I think I’m well-versed on “What the bible is trying to say.”

Most of my Education about who God is has come from personal experience and attending “Knowing the Doctrine of the Bible” class, during a semester at Northwest College. I attended public schools - my knowledge is the direct result of the Renton School District – for better or (likely) worse.

I know what it's like to make hard decisions on the board, and the falling out that comes along with the territory. I'm going to give you a little idea of comments I've read/heard about you since you've been an administrator, and I'm curious what your thoughts are, and what you would say to those who disagree with your decisions. Some have called you: power hungry, pig headed, fascist, asshole, full of yourself & a few other unsavory names! LOL I've been there and been called many myself, and some even worse! So what are your thoughts on being perceived this way as a result of the way you handle being an administrator? What faults do you see yourself as having while running the board, and are there any places you feel you could improve?

Man – I take all those things with boulders of salt. I’ve been ‘on the other end’ of what I thought was an asshole Admin/Moderator. It sucks but it is what it is. It’s very strange sometimes – I get lots of compliments from people when I act on their complaints – yet get cussed out by the person who is the subject of the complaint. I suppose I’d just have people try to understand I ‘never’ act ‘just because’ somebody complained – but where there is a complaint I try and validate a problem before taking any action. As far as ‘power hungry’ or ‘asshole’ etc – (shrug). Okay. I can’t change some people’s minds unless I was to bow to their every whim. Every call I make I make trying to do the right thing for the board. As far as I know, most folk have no issues with how I try and administer the board – some folk (gasp!) even seem to appreciate my style.

Faults – Do you have a character limit? This may stretch into a couple replies.

I don’t often read entire posts. I read the first few words or lines and form an opinion of what was typed. I’ve had my foot-in-my mouth MANY times doing that. I’ve issued more than a few apologies I could have avoided had I actually read what they wrote.
I’m moody. Sometimes I’m in a very care-free and ‘soft’ mood. I see stuff and just laugh it off. Other times, when I’m bitchy I don’t tolerate even minor ‘infractions.’ I need to more-consistently ban/not-ban.

Sometimes I can be a big-headed asshole – but I’m never ‘full of myself’.

And for the record – PLEASE….EVERYONE…stop with replying 3 times in 2 minutes…use the ‘quote’ and ‘edit’ features to their potential! Help keep the board organized!

You were in Washington DC not too long ago and had an opportunity to have dinner and drinks with OCA. Is he as much of a bastard in real life as he likes to be on here? How much ogling did you catch him doing with your wife? Please tell me you didn't leave him alone with her for any extended periods of time! (Just messin, Mike, my bet is that you were a complete gentleman and fully respectful, even if your eyes did wander a little!)

Honestly, I really enjoyed dinner with Mike. I really REALLY like him. I ‘do’ wish he’d calm-the-hell-down online sometimes…but everyone has their moments. Mike was engaging and funny and witty, and above all – VERY nice. When Mike laughed, his “eyes” smiled too, if you know what I mean. Polite and junk, too. I didn’t notice him ogling once, really. Maybe mary just isn’t his type?

Another member of staff, Jon, is a friend of yours. How do you two know one another? And you're also pretty close with Jeff. Did you and Jeff meet at Ft. Lewis?

I met Jon years ago – during a Miata get-together. I and others were staging for a group drive and Jon stopped by for a few minutes. I was instantly intimidated – I think he looked like a stock broker. He had been wiring up a stand-alone Engine Control system on his Miata, so people were under the hood. They were talking all technical and crap; so I just nodded and played along.

Some time later, he asked me to help him with a few photos, as he’d seen some I’d done, and liked them. From there, we just started chatting more and more – about cars and photography, and even about spiritual and ‘deep’ things. Yeah, yeah, the fact his wife is hot helps. But beyond Jon being an attractive guy, and his wife being cute-as-a-button, Jon is the kind of guy I’d seriously hope my Daughter marries. Hell, if Mary ever left me to run-away with Jon, I’d have to say “Hrm…aight. I can see that.”

He’s a man of principle. He and his wife are both “Good People”

I don’t remember why I invited him to USMB, initially – but he stuck around.

Jeff – I first met when he was on Active Duty Army. He was a tall, bald Captain. Looked to be about 18 years old. He worked in the Directorate, so I’d pass him in the halls. Eventually, he stopped his Active Duty service, and became a Civilian like me. Now, he was a tall, bald, bearded dude. He recognized me; I didn’t recall he was “That tall captain who used to work there.” We were at a Christmas party or another group event, while at the same table. We talked a lot – about work, our faith, and junk. From there we started chatting more – I’d stop by his office just to b.s, and him to mine. I always felt a little intimidated around Jeff too, because he’s tall – AND brilliant. Never in a bad way, I strived to do things he’d say ‘Cool!’ about. He invited me to USMB a few years ago – you all can blame HIM.  He was a large motivating factor in me going back to school – He and Jon, really. Jeff welcomed my family into him home on more than one occasion and his LOVELY wife Angela were open and honest and ‘Good People’ to me and my family from day one. He’s another guy who, in my view, is above reproach, character-wise.

Solid, good men – both of them.

As you know, my Steelers lost in the opening round of the playoffs. Now I'm hoping that everyone elses favorite teams lose too so that they can feel my pain. So I'll be rooting for the Packers this weekend and sticking needles in the Hasselbeck voodoo doll. What do you have to say about that? (sorry, I haven't forgotten when you put up the Broncos avatar after they beat the Steelers! LOL)

Blah – I was sad to see the Stealers (sic) lose, too. I’d have LOVED a re-match of SB 40 where the hawks let one get away. Plus, I really like Roethlissbooger (sic).

Re: Seahawks – I dunno man. I think they have all the chance they need to beat the Packers Saturday – it boils down to “if they execute.” I don’t believe the Packers have faced a defense like Seattle’s, nor has the Packer’s D faced 4 WR as solid as the 4 the Hawks use.

If there was one thing you could change about the overall feel/look of the board, what would it be?

Auto-Merge double-post. I know we talked about it – and there are some challenges….but it’s a fantastic feature which really helps the look of ‘maturity’ of the board – looks ‘more-established’ in some way…but I’m nuts…so….yeah.