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  #51  
Old 06-12-2019, 09:12 AM
Dale Sams is offline
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Is this a "Cower mortals!" thread? Or just "Flinch mortals"?

Regardless, in my prime I was a semi-pro level goalkeeper outdoors, and pro level indoors. My TOS Star Trek knowledge is extensive.
  #52  
Old 06-12-2019, 10:14 AM
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I don't know if it rises to the level of excel by the OP's standard, since there are plenty of people on iRacing who are better than me, but I am by far the best of anyone I know at simulator-type driving games. To the point that real-life friends don't want to play against me, since either they have no hope of catching me or it's super obvious that I'm holding back ("Hey, I know you're lifting on the straightaways! I can hear your engine, you know!").
  #53  
Old 06-12-2019, 10:55 AM
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Why, no. Nothing at all.
  #54  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:47 AM
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I excelled at chess (I recently retired.)

My highest ELO rating (back in the day) was 2390, which put me in the top 5,000 world-wide.
I've played in the UK chess championship a dozen times - always scoring over 50%.

I've taught chess professionally (as they say about writing - 'you're a writer when someone else says you are') and had a chess column in a national newspaper.

There you go!
  #55  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:24 PM
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Directions. I may have never been to your town before, but I can find the back way to get to where you want. Hell, I once left Athens GA, boarded a flight at Hartsfield (ATL), landed at Hartford (CT), rented a car, drove it to Troy NY, and found our temporary warehouse... and I didn't even have the address. I just drove into Troy, said "I think it'll be over there", drove "over there", and I saw the signs.

Last night I went on a date and she was impressed that I didn't need the GPS to get out of her neighborhood... or to get her back to her house.

Listening and talking: I excel if I'm on an "agenda" (business lunch, etc) but am also pretty good at "go-with-the-flow" convos (dates, meet and greets, stuff like that).

(However, what I'm not good at are situations where I have to yell to make myself heard. Just won't do that.)

Reading body language: You all are open books, I'm just sayin'. The way you are holding your chin, the roll of your shoulders as you walk, where you cast your eyes, what are your hands doing, how your feet are pointed, interruptions in your voice and motions... I capture all that shit and get it. Nervous? I can tell. Just had a mind-blowing thought? I caught it too by the intake of your breath, how you stopped a motion, by how your eyes widened. Bored? Yeah, sorry, you're not hiding that shit from me.

(That last one I'm really surprised as to how many people are bad... or claim to be bad... at reading body language. To me, it's just instinctual - my siblings would ask me if Dad was in a good mood (meaning "will he give me <X> if I ask?", because that's how kids are) and then act accordingly. "He didn't read his newspaper when he came in, didn't say "hi", and went directly down to the basement to bang his tools around, so I'm guessing no. Don't ask.")

Last edited by JohnT; 06-12-2019 at 12:24 PM.
  #56  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:29 PM
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Research in my area of Computer Science. Lots of papers, recognition, etc.

Over 100k Google hits for my most famous thing, with the top hit being a Wikipedia page with my name in the title.

Once at a conference there were 3 different presenters who referenced "FtG's <thing>". Each was citing a different result I came up with. The audience was expected to know the basics of each of the 3 results.
  #57  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:46 PM
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I would guess that a lot of regulars here are well above average at trivia. Me too. A few weeks ago a group of us adults were sitting around and there were trivia cards on the table, from some offbeat games. My wife looked though them and was complaining about how bizarre they were, reading one in a completely incredulous voice, she started saying "This company, originally called Unadulterated Products..." with a strong what-the-hell flourish on that last part, and right then I blurted out "Snapple!" We don't play trivia games.

I'm well above average at shooting pool. I'm not professional level but can beat almost everyone who actually plays pool regularly.
  #58  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:54 PM
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I would guess that a lot of regulars here are well above average at trivia.
Yes, I'm the greatest at trivia among the people I know IRL. I wouldn't say it in this crowd though.
  #59  
Old 06-12-2019, 01:31 PM
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I have an excellent musical 'ear', and can tell if my guitar is off even a fraction or when a musician hits a note that's not in key. In grade school, the teacher would have me sing the starting note for songs, as I had perfect pitch. I've had natural rhythm ability since I was a small child, and have been fascinated by percussion all my life.
  #60  
Old 06-12-2019, 01:42 PM
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I can look at a pot or pan of left-over food and determine very precisely what sized container is needed to store it for future use. As in full to the top of the storage container without overflowing. Also, fitting the maximum amount of luggage and/or cargo into a car/truck/trailer and having it fit "just right".
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  #61  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:19 PM
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Not sure if this is a skill, but it is something I excel at: I'm the person who always gets asked for directions.

It's not that I always know how to get somewhere - far from it - but I am the person who always gets asked. And very often this happens on holiday, when I'm asked by other tourists - I'm not sure if this is because I somehow look like an expert traveller or because I get mistaken for a local. A few recent ones I remember - because my language skills were just about good enough for me to feel like a smartass - being asked where le quartier rouge was in Amsterdam; and Wo is der Hafen? in Paphos (one of several different inquiries, all from Germans). All answered in the language of the inquirer (hah!). Just a couple of examples, but it happens all the time.

j
  #62  
Old 06-12-2019, 04:37 PM
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I pick up on any kind of art in no time flat. When I take a class in any art technique, all I hear is "Oh, you've done this before." And I'm always way ahead of the other students.

And music. I can learn any instrument easily, and can sing quite well (basso) and sight read music easily. I can also dance very well... at least I could when I was healthier physically.

In college, I excelled in math, philosophy and psych.
  #63  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:01 PM
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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.
You are my kind of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
...Reading body language: You all are open books, I'm just sayin'. The way you are holding your chin, the roll of your shoulders as you walk, where you cast your eyes, what are your hands doing, how your feet are pointed, interruptions in your voice and motions... I capture all that shit and get it. Nervous? I can tell. Just had a mind-blowing thought? I caught it too by the intake of your breath, how you stopped a motion, by how your eyes widened. Bored? Yeah, sorry, you're not hiding that shit from me.
Not that I doubt you, but how can you be so sure you are always right?

I mean, my feet may be pointed that way because I am overdue for a toenail clipping. Maybe my shoulders roll when I walk because, well, my shoulders roll when I walk.


mmm
  #64  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:39 PM
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If I do say so myselk, I am a fine baker. It is, after all, my profession, what I have worked at for thirty years, and was trained for.

I also crochet, both yarn and thread. I have done a couple tablecloths that won prizes.
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  #65  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:57 PM
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Reading, spelling, and being on time. You know, stuff nobody really cares about.
Swoon!
  #66  
Old 06-12-2019, 09:00 PM
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I excel at making people feel uncomfortable.
  #67  
Old 06-12-2019, 09:20 PM
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I make awesome fruit pies and other desserts, and am a decent home cook.
I have an avocation that I am told I excel at, but don't want to go into detail here. (no, it's not sexual, just competitive )
I excel at process detail and gap analysis, which is important in my job.
  #68  
Old 06-13-2019, 06:44 AM
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Computer programming and related tasks. (I was called "the best microprogrammer in Silicon Valley.") My boss knew I had zero formal training in electronics but asked me to also design digital circuits so I "wouldn't get bored." Later, the best circuit designer I ever met called me the best circuit designer he'd ever met.

Software/firmware coding and digital circuit design. That's about it. If it weren't for those talents I'd have ended up institutionalized one way or another.
  #69  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:40 PM
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Ooh, ooh, I thought of another one.

Parallel parking. I learned it out of necessity at the age of 16.

Some folks get wide-eyed when they see how easily I can glide into a tight space, like it's a magic trick or something.


mmm
  #70  
Old 06-14-2019, 11:32 AM
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You are my kind of people.



Not that I doubt you, but how can you be so sure you are always right?

I mean, my feet may be pointed that way because I am overdue for a toenail clipping. Maybe my shoulders roll when I walk because, well, my shoulders roll when I walk.


mmm
Sorry, missed this earlier!

Obviously, I can't be "always" certain I'm right, but the actions you describe don't occur in a vacuum. If you're holding your foot funny and you occasionally wince and your gait shows you favoring one side over the other... well, I might not pick up "EMERGENCY TOENAIL CLIPPING NEEDED!!!!!!", but I'll pick up that something is causing you physical discomfort. If, on the other hand, you're just holding your foot funny without any other cues, I likely wouldn't think a thing of it.
  #71  
Old 06-14-2019, 01:41 PM
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I excel at making people feel uncomfortable.
Yeah, but rolling across their toes is kinda cheating.

I excel at making other people feel good about their trivia knowledge.

I am so good at telling yarns people almost never know if I'm preaching gospel or having them on. It's gotten to the point where there's usually someone hitting the Googles when I launch into an explanation of something obscure. Not long ago my audience was certain they'd caught me when I started talking about the loris. People were starting to giggle because I got dead serious and dug deeper into the mechanism of the critter's venom production. Then someone looked up from their phone and muttered, "No way...he's being serious." Total rush.

I excel at Excel, at least in any office environment I've worked in.

Lastly, I'm better than most people at handling & raising cats.
  #72  
Old 06-14-2019, 02:36 PM
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Writing - but since I am too chicken to publish yet, you will have to take my word for it.

Reading and Remembering - If it is interesting to me, I can both speed read and remember what I have read. Handy, but I wish it worked for topics I don't find interesting

Public Speaking - I am good at this, as well as convincing-bordering-on-manipulating...to the point that some people have suggested I should start my own cult. I am far too ethical for that garbage.
  #73  
Old 06-14-2019, 05:45 PM
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Yes. If there's one thing I've figured out over the years, it's that you can excel at just about anything if you stick with it long enough. I'm considered an expert in my professional field (doesn't matter what it is), but it's obvious that I just became one by doing it for a longer period of time than most people. One day you just sort of realize that you're better than 99% of people at what you do.
  #74  
Old 06-14-2019, 05:51 PM
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I've made it to the top reaches of my profession/industry, so Ill count that.

I used to have amazing face/name recall - if wed had a workplace conversation ten years ago Id have remembered your first name and the general topic, and sometimes some personal info. As Ive hit my 50s, however, that skill has been dropping off.
  #75  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:42 PM
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Yeah, but rolling across their toes is kinda cheating.
But that's just the thing: all I need in order to instill the fear of the Rolling Foot Smasher into a person is to be within, oh say, 25 feet of them. I could be on the opposite side of the hallway and a person walking in the opposite direction that far away will make sudden, over-the-top, herky jerky jump moves as if if it wasnt for their vigilant gymnastics I would just plow head-on straight into them. No actual contact of foot with wheel required.

How dare you accuse me of cheating?!

Last edited by Ambivalid; 06-14-2019 at 06:43 PM.
  #76  
Old 06-14-2019, 08:41 PM
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Song parodies. They roll right out of my brain. I was especially pleased with Everybody Must Get Groped.
  #77  
Old 06-14-2019, 08:47 PM
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Seeing the good in even the most pain in the butt kids, and helping them see it as well.
  #78  
Old 06-14-2019, 11:58 PM
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In high school long ago, my fastest timing in typing class was 122 words per minute.
  #79  
Old 06-15-2019, 12:30 AM
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Yes. If there's one thing I've figured out over the years, it's that you can excel at just about anything if you stick with it long enough.
Not necessary true.

I was really into golf for a few years, including going once a week and taking lessons. I got much better than I started, but never broke 100. I’m just a terrible athlete. I enjoyed going with my friends who were shooting in the 90s but lacked the coordination to be competitive.
  #80  
Old 06-15-2019, 05:39 AM
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Referencing an older, similar thread. I am (or at least was) unusually good at spatial awareness and moving/driving large machines.

The following are things I've done as a job:

-I can reverse (back in) tractor trailers and other trucks with uncanny accuracy. One job involved taking trucks from their drivers (they weren't allowed to park them) and packing them 20 at a time so close you could not walk between them.

-I can sort and shoehorn lots of airplanes into a hangar with a tug. I "memorize" the shape and size of the space and push the plane into it without needing to check again. It's kind of like a giant puzzle. I did this on a night shift by myself (no observers) for over a year.

-I can operate a large crane (35 ton) on a floating vessel, and place loads on other vessels (also bobbing on the waves) with uncanny accuracy. I've even placed loads on vessels while underway (moving past us, it was necessary in a few odd situations). I also operated a crane holding equipment for divers 5-600 feet below. I had to position the loads watching a closed circuit camera and compensate for waves as the divers worked.

-I "drove" a large semi-submersible vessel for a few years (it crawled along the seabed using a spiderweb of cables anchored to the seafloor). I occasionally had to snuggle up close to oil rigs without bumping them. I would frequently get calls from the divers to "move starboard 8 inches". The vessel was 650 feet long and 45,000 tons, so accurate placement was very difficult.

-I've mentioned here before, I'm a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor, and although not as difficult as the items above, this does require some spatial skills.

Non-work:
-I can tow double-trailer setups and back the entire thing into any spot you choose (truck, camper and boat). I've had many combinations of these and have done this for years on family trips. These are ~70 foot long, 12-wheeled rigs, not something small.
  #81  
Old 06-15-2019, 09:33 AM
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The Excel question in GQ reminds me I used to excel at Excel. Back in the 90s I had a job which involved a lot of spreadsheet work, and I knew every short cut, keyboard command and whatnot. There were complex calculators which had required two to three days labor and I wrote macros to automate it all. Got it down to about 30 minutes.

Fun stuff.

Now I rarely use it and it’s all forgotten.
  #82  
Old 06-15-2019, 12:05 PM
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Doing things one handed, or doing things with my arm. Since my left hand is not very good, I've learned arms and elbows can do a lot more than people use them for. I'm very fast at work because I hold the bag open with my bad left hand, scanning and bagging the items in one motion with my right hand. When people tell me "You're really fast," I say "I bet you don't know my secret" and explain my left hand injury.

I've gotten a lot of dropped jaws on that!
  #83  
Old 06-15-2019, 01:11 PM
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I'm told by many I'm able to do amazing spot-on imitations of others, often after only having heard once: The speech patterns, cadences, inflections, vocal tones ( high to deep, whiny to gravelly ). Some have said I'm so good they wonder if I imitate them to others.

I tell them it's in their interests to be on good terms with me.
  #84  
Old 06-15-2019, 04:34 PM
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I guess I'll be the first to volunteer a big dumb meathead thing: powerlifting.

If you want something extremely heavy moved for one rep, I'm your man.

I'm good enough for my weight class to be regionally competitive - to put that into perspective, in my medium sized gym, the only person on the leaderboard who competes with me for the #1 spot in absolute amount of weight moved is 4-5 weight classes above me, i.e. 80-100lbs heavier in bodyweight.

There's just something about it - when I'm going for a max either in the gym or in competition, there's just this ineffable feeling of "I was *born* to do this" as I'm psyching myself up for the lift.

Picking up something extremely heavy and putting it down again seems like a pretty pointless thing to be proud of, but I'll take what I can get at this point.
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