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Lately I’ve been having lots of Bucket List dive adventures. (According to my oncology team, there’s not a whole lot of time left in my bucket, so I’ve been jumping on as many planes and boats as possible under doctor’s orders to make the most of whatever time is mine left to spend.) In the last month and a half, I’ve been 1500 kms past Cairns to the outer Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea with a small group of dive buddies to play with reef sharks, giant potato cod, olive sea snakes and more. Last week I spent four days on Stradbroke Island with Spunky Abe filming the majestic manta rays. And earlier this week I returned from a solo three day cage diving expedition with one of the biggest critters on most divers’ Bucket Lists, the Great White sharks of Australia’s Neptune Islands.
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Many times people ask me about my name. I have to admit, I have a unique name. But there are many others with really unique names out there, and I kind of see them simply as part of the “Brothers in Chars”. I’m sure you know at least a couple. As a kid it was a curse as it quickly pointed me out and being shy as a kid, that is probably the worst thing a parent could bestow. It could be relentless. As an adult I’ve grown to love it but still I am always curious to see what someone will say to me next as my ID would meet their gaze. On resumes it can set you up as kind of a super hero you have to live up to: “Well who do we have here..hmmm Stooorrrmmmy Strong. Are you a Strong Storm? I bet you get this a lot but…” Some people make it obvious they love or hate me based on my name alone on first encounter. To me this is funny, because no matter what transpires I’m leaving the checkout counter and my name is going with me with another tally to the list. There’s probably a study on this and if there isn’t there should be because I’m sure it’s fascinating stuff. Something more scientific than just names L thru Z being the last letters in the alphabet and all that… So I guess in a way probably like many of my Brothers in Chars experiences, I present to you: Things said to me in stores when presenting my cc or ID:
Were you born on a stormy day?
Were your parents hippies?
Did your parents hate you? (to self: before i was born? yes more than once)
Your parents must love you!
Wow what a cool name!
Is Stormy your real name?
Does your temper match your name?
I know a Stormy!
Isn’t Stormy a girls name?
My dog/cat/horse/pet gerbil’s uncle’s cousin is named Stormy (giving look that surely I cannot be human to be named Stormy)
Sings to me the tune of “Stormy Weather”
Sings to me the tune of “Oh Stormy, bring back that…”
I hate you.
I hate your name.
I love your name.
Are you a super hero?
Thats just your stage name right?
I heard a couple tried to name a baby in the hospital Tuna Fish and nurses refused.
And this is just off the top of my head, for my own FAQ that is many years overdue.
So if you got this far, by far the most popular is “Is that your real name?” To all the Rainys, Cloudys, Thunders, Storms, Golden, etc out there… I salute you comrades.
Full Disclosure: My Dad is a retired commercial fisherman, I was named after a fisherman whose nickname was “Stormy”. Runner ups were Sterling and Banjo…#dodgedabullet