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Old 06-11-2019, 10:17 AM
Dinsdale is offline
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Do you excel at anything?


I'm not suggesting things you are pretty good at, but things you are REALLY good at - better than most people who do that thing.

For example, I've been a pretty good golfer at times throughout my life, but I've only been below a 10-handicap for brief periods. While that is very good compared to most recreational golfers, it really isn't all that good. The difference between a 10 handicap and scratch - or even below 5 - is amazing.

I play upright bass, and can definitely hold my own in some pretty high-level jams. But I'm very aware of my significant limitations.

My limitations result from both limited skill AND limited willingness to put in the needed practice.

Just about the only thing I would say I am REALLY good at is spelling.

Serious and non responses appreciated.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:20 AM
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Yes; I do.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:21 AM
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1. Software development. Although that was mainly in the earlier era when memory was measured in Ks.

2. Driving my wife crazy. Just ask her, she'll confirm.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:21 AM
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Lots of people can write, very few get paid to do it. I'm one of those few.

Among the ranks of professional writers, however, I'm low-rent hack, churning out content for an E-list website at a few bucks per post. I'll never win a Pulitzer, but it pays the bills.

I always thought I was exceptionally good at trivia, but for the fact that I get my butt handed to me at actual trivia contests (like that barroom trivia game). Again, compared to the Average Joe, I'm exceptionally good at trivia. Compared to people who are good at trivia, I suck ass.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:43 AM
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I have an impressive talent for pissing off people on the Internet.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:21 AM
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"I just thought you'd like to know I can read. You got anything needs readin' I can do it."
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
I have an impressive talent for pissing off people on the Internet.
If I put the effort in I'm sure I could excel at that. It's only an occasional effort on my part now.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:36 AM
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Is obesity a thing?
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:56 AM
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Memory. I remember most everything. I did nothing to develop this talent, I was born this way.

A childhood of physical abuse gave me an enormous talent for living with pain. So much it will probably kill me some day. I fell pain, but it does not bother me.

I can also be unncotiable to the point where I am practically invisible. Until people (don't )see it, they do not believe it.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:05 PM
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I'm fast and accurate at taking Gregg shorthand, and earned the best grade in my shorthand class. The shorthand course was beginning to be phased out of the business department at my college even when I went there, so I was probably among the last wave of students who learned it.

I still use it every day at my job, too. I don't know how I'd function without it.

Last edited by teela brown; 06-11-2019 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:10 PM
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I'm the second-best programmer I know, and based on that and other factors I think I'm easily in the upper tenth of programmers overall. I outproduce my co-workers in various ways without hardly trying.

I'm probably not exceptional in any other way.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:11 PM
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Trivia. Besides being on Jeopardy, which I got on the first time I took the test which I found easy, I've won all sorts of stuff in trivia contests at restaurants and on ships.

I was also pretty good at hacking my way through impossible programming tasks, like converting the Zurich Pascal compiler to a compiler for the language I designed.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:13 PM
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Reading, spelling, and being on time. You know, stuff nobody really cares about.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:23 PM
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Oh yeah! I have "being super-annoying about time". I'm the dude who when you ask the time will give it to you down to the second.

I am beloved for it.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:58 PM
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I'm an excellent motorcyclist. 180,000+ miles, no crashes, despite regularly riding in a sporting fashion (sporting != reckless). As with the OP, my survival/success has depended on understanding my limitations, and scrupulously staying on this side of the boundary.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:08 PM
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I’m pretty damn knowledgeable about travel. Unfortunately, it’s not really a way to get paid these days. Still, just yesterday I helped my ex bf’s sister save a lot of money by advising her not to convert dollars to Yen at the airport but to use a debit card to withdraw Yen in Japan.

My job has a lot of downtime so I usually spend it on travel forums, I’m always thinking about my next trip.
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2019, 01:10 PM
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I'm a very good writer. Journalism mostly. I've had hundreds of thousands - millions? - of words published in various newspapers, magazines and websites.

But what I'm best at - truly great - is public speaking. I know how to engage and audience, get them participating and communicate my message to them, whether it's technical or non.

I just booked a short speaking tour, as a matter of fact.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:53 PM
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Piano, maybe also some sports.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:54 PM
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I seem to be "good" at nearly everything I try to do, but I don't know that I really excel at any. Probably because I'm not really a specialist as far as career or hobbies are concerned.

I am pretty good at trivia type stuff though- I was on my university's quiz bowl team for three years straight- so one of four for what's now the nation's second-largest school.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:14 PM
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Several folk mentioned trivia. I have somewhat of a reputation of knowing at least a little about a lot of things. You know - the lake that is miles wide but inches deep? I remember one time in college, some folk asked me to be on their college bowl team. I was useless as tits on a bull.
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  #21  
Old 06-11-2019, 03:36 PM
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I can do math in my head quickly and accurately. Something like 12 percent of 850, or 27 times 41.

There are certainly people who are much better at this kind of thing than I am, but I am better than the average Joe.
  #22  
Old 06-11-2019, 03:41 PM
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Getting ticked off quickly with my family.

Being misunderstood
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  #23  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:09 PM
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Balancing sticks.

When I was a kid, I was supposed to sweep our long driveway. But I was really lazy, so I learned to balance the broom on my hand.

These days, I can balance brooms on my feet, hands, elbows, chin, nose, and forehead. I can toss a balanced broom in the air and catch it, still balanced, on the other hand. I can move it from finger to finger, or to and from my face.

If a stick is shorter, about the length of a baseball bat, I can balance it, toss it in the air so it flips, and catch it balanced on the other end. If it's a tree branch with a curve to it, I can make it start spinning atop my hand.

It is the single most useless talent I have, and I'm better at it than just about anyone who doesn't work in the circus.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 06-11-2019 at 04:09 PM.
  #24  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:14 PM
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I'm pretty good at math. Well over 100 published papers and an Erdos number of 2.
  #25  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:18 PM
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I'm pretty good at trivia myself. When I'm there, my pub trivia team tends to win. When I'm not, they tend to lose. I guess you could say I excel.
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  #26  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:27 PM
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I'm good at a number of things, but I don't know if I excel at them. Because that would require me to know how I rank compared to other people who are good at those things. And I just don't know that.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:29 PM
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Playing my baritone ukulele. I have my own style and it's quite technical. Sort of a niche skill, though.
  #28  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:52 PM
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Pinball and Pac Man. Back in the arcade days crowds would gather 'round to watch me play.

I think that's about it.

Oh wait, one more. Decades ago I was a supermarket cashier. This was back before scanners, when you had to enter each price manually. I was a wiz. Some regulars told me they always came to my line because they knew it would move the fastest. Others stared in disbelief at my flying fingers, sometimes demanding to see the receipt before paying.


mmm
  #29  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:55 PM
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Do you excel at anything?


Modesty.
  #30  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:04 PM
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Memory. I'm the go-to for the family for darned near any question. It's kind of sad now in later years, because I remember original scenes and stories, and now the older folks report differently. Oh well.

I can 10-key sightless from either hand, either Qwerty or the reverse phone-style.
  #31  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:23 PM
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Professionally coding I guess. I have a lot of interests though and am fairly well read on a number of my hobbies. I have a lot of experience driving high horsepower performance cars too.
  #32  
Old 06-11-2019, 06:42 PM
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I am (or was, when I was working) exceptional at personnel management. I'm also very good at selling myself, and as a result of that, very good at selling things or ideas to others. The study of human behavior has always fascinated me.
  #33  
Old 06-11-2019, 07:47 PM
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Mediocrity?
  #34  
Old 06-11-2019, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Just about the only thing I would say I am REALLY good at is spelling.
That's fortunate, because I excel at being an annoying grammar Nazi -- in the broadest meaning of the term. I'll criticize anything -- grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, word choice, whatever, and I do it for free, whether the victim likes it or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Yes; I do.
A semicolon? Really? Surely you meant "Yes, I do"!
  #35  
Old 06-11-2019, 08:34 PM
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I'm bad, bad, bad at everything except one thing. I can clean a goddamn closet like nobody else. Organize like no ones business. I'm kinda anal about closets and drawers.
Invite me over, I will change your life.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:52 PM
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Compared to "most" people?

I'm much better at singing, writing, using big words, working with animals, organizing just about anything, editing, drawing, and designing or arranging things which require artistry. I am also a big fat know-it-all with an opinion about everything, usually a sour one. I bow to no one in the pessimism department.

On the other hand, except for those things I'm pretty awful at everything else.

Oh, I forgot, I'm also really bendy.

Last edited by Ulfreida; 06-11-2019 at 08:53 PM. Reason: forgot bendiness
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:58 PM
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Lethargy and Procrastination.

Although I sure the ones who truly excel at these either don't care enough to respond or just haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:50 PM
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Photoshop, particularly image manipulation. Flipping a bic pen from a table and landing it flat exactly where it started. Estimating the overall time a bunch of things will take. Procrastinating down to the wire without consequence using that skill.
  #39  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:12 PM
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Nah.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:27 PM
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I can recall faces and names from long ago. I guess I’m a super-recognizer.

And Machine Elf, I’ll claim that one, too — excellent motorcyclist. Over 200,000 miles without accident, and I’ve ridden through some really bad weather; heavy rains, snow, etc. Live to Ride, Ride to Live, as they say.
  #41  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
That's fortunate, because I excel at being an annoying grammar Nazi -- in the broadest meaning of the term. I'll criticize anything -- grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, word choice, whatever, and I do it for free, whether the victim likes it or not.


A semicolon? Really? Surely you meant "Yes, I do"!
Iíll take issue with your use of that particular N-word. Can you use a different word? Those Ns committed some very atrocious acts in WWII. Surely thereís a better descriptor.
  #42  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:49 PM
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1. Bonding with cats.
2. Drinking large volumes of coffee.
3. Assembling things like Ikea furniture.
  #43  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:54 AM
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I'm super good at HTML. In fact I have had above-average HTML table writing skills for most of the past 20 years. Writing a clean HTML table can be very complicated, but I can write complicated table layouts in nothing but Notepad.

Of course, that table skill is completely useless now. And my HTML skills aren't needed as much as CSS skills, which I have but my CSS is just pedestrian.

But damn, I am good at HTML. You need some HTML? I'm your girl.
  #44  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
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Iíll take issue with your use of that particular N-word. Can you use a different word? Those Ns committed some very atrocious acts in WWII. Surely thereís a better descriptor.
There are certainly other descriptors -- grammar police, grammar nerd, grammar nitpicker -- but I'm not sure that they're "better".

Let's not hijack a lighthearted thread over this, but my view is that this doesn't glorify Nazism in any way, and in fact does the opposite -- it implies the kind of mindless fanaticism that we associate with that regime, but reapplied to a trivial context, which is what makes it funny. Keep in mind that there have been all kinds of comedic sketches riffing on Nazis that seemed to cause no particular offense -- two that come to mind are the Broadway play and movie The Producers with the Springtime for Hitler meme, and the Fawlty Towers episode with the German guests, plus John Cleese's recurring goosestep act.

We have actual issues in the world today that may be forebodings of the same kind of fascist ideology as arose in 1930s Germany, and in my view, that's what we should be worrying about, and not about making fun of them, as if the mere mention of the word somehow risks bringing it back to life. /<end hijack>
  #45  
Old 06-12-2019, 01:48 AM
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"Excel" is a pretty strong term, but I was local dart champ several seasons in a row.
  #46  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:16 AM
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Hello!

Yes, I guess I do excel in writing - this is what I do for living as a matter of fact. But I do believe that each one of use has their own strengths making them excel in their own ways.
  #47  
Old 06-12-2019, 05:17 AM
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My COBOL skills are still very sharp. I broke into programming when it was still common to write in house software. I write a few programs in my current job and use COBOL because it's so much quicker for me to use.

I still get calls from Headhunters wanting someone to support a 30 to 40 year old legacy system written in COBOL. Their staff retired and they can't find younger guys with COBOL experience.

The pay is tempting. But many of these jobs are temporary until they can scrap the legacy system.

I'm not willing to relocate for work knowing it might only last a couple years.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-12-2019 at 05:22 AM.
  #48  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrendajo View Post
Playing my baritone ukulele.
I tried bari uke for a while, looking for a more portable alternative to my bass. Didn't really click, tho. Now I'm all about clawhammer banjo!

I'm pretty good at my job. I guess you could say I excel at it. A good aprt of that, tho, is picking a career that really suits my innate skills - culling important info out of large masses of material, organizing and applying that information, and making decisions quickly. Many people in my same position fall short at 1 or more of those.
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  #49  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:38 AM
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Writing college recommendation letters. I write a short novel's worth a year (about 40 recs), and I get emails from admissions people telling me that they stand out and help tremendously in letting them understand a student. They are all different and none is about resume stuff. I call it my "Speaker for the Dead" role.

Certain specific aspects of teaching. I know lots of teachers that are more talented than me in all sorts of ways, but there are some things I feel like I do better than almost anyone.
  #50  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:49 AM
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I'm good at trivia, but that's just because of my memory. Once something gets into my brain, it never leaves and I can recall it instantaneously. Makes me good at simple math and spelling, too.

I get things done. If I say I'm going to do something, consider it done.

And I'm one of those super always on time people. Part of my New England background.
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