Me (EF): What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Graham (GZ): I worked in a weld shop four years in a row starting when I was 16. My weld bay partner and best friend at work was an ex-retiree named Butch. I learned a lot doing hard manual labor with those old men.
(EF): What’s your favorite thing to cook?
(GZ): I’m going to say beer even though brewing isn’t exactly cooking. For actual cooking I’d say my favorite thing is jambalaya. I can make it a million different ways and it still tastes great every time.
(EF): What’s your favorite activity?
(GZ):Probably brewing beer, although I’ve slowed down recently in anticipation of my move at the end of the month. Right now I have a hard cider fermenting and about 250 additional bottles of beer bottle fermenting or ready to drink. It’s a hobby that takes up a lot of space.
(EF): If you could be a super hero, what power would you have?
(GZ):I always wanted to be Doc Savage. His powers were having friends that could get stuff done and being the world’s best scientist and martial artist. I recommend picking up some of the old Doc Savage paperbacks if you’re into dude stuff/fantasy/action.
(EF): Where is the coolest place you’ve ever been?
(GZ):I got to hang out with the 1999-2000 Iowa State men’s basketball team in a very private setting in the basketball offices for an hour before their awards banquet while they got sized for their Big 12 championship rings. I was 14 years old and those guys were my heroes.
(EF):If you won the lottery, what would you buy?
(GZ): I’d buy a small town bar and reassemble it exactly how it was inside my house (I’d also buy a house I guess). But that’s more of a retirement goal: If I won the lottery tomorrow I’d buy a condo and invest the rest of the money.
(EF): Where will you be in 10 years?
(GZ): That’s a hard question. This mild winter has convinced me that it’s at least ok to consider sticking around Minnesota. I wouldn’t have been able to do another winter like last year.
(EF): What was your last splurge on?
(GZ): I bought plane tickets to go skiing in Utah.
(EF): What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
(GZ): My class rank in high school was 34th out of 72 students.
(EF): What are things we can do on a daily basis to live a good life?
(GZ): Eat way more vegetables than you want to. You’ll feel great. I also have a theory that every trendy diet, be it low-carb or high-protein or whatever, only works because it tricks you into eating correct portions of vegetables.
(EF): Do you have someone you look to for inspiration in your life?
(GZ): My Grandpa is always someone I think back to for inspiration. He always had a correct way to do things, and that was something I always admired. I think he would be proud of me becoming an engineer. He just might tell me to work a lot harder, so that’s something I try to do.
(EF): What activity makes you most happy?
(GZ):Being with friends makes me the happiest. My best friends all live out of state now so I try to make the time to travel to them whenever possible. It’s certainly worth the effort.
(EF): Who’s the funniest person in the world?
(GZ): The funniest person in the world has to be Harley Morenstein, or “Sauce Boss”. His YouTube show Epic Meal Time has to be the funniest weekly show to ever come from the internet. The fact that he consistently puts out a show every week makes it even better. I respect that kind of dedication.
(EF): Who do you admire most in the area of music?
(GZ): I admire Kanye West. The guy is extremely intelligent and any idiot thing he does is a calculated part of his act. He writes his own headline.
(EF): In the area of sports?
(GZ):Joe Mauer. He’s such the anti-star, shy and terrible at public speaking, but he’s still got the entire state of Minnesota in love with him.
(EF): In the area of design?
(GZ): Apple. I like how every now and then they decide to show an entire industry how to properly make a cellphone or music player or portable laptop. I can’t say I own a lot of their products but I appreciate the trickle down effect their good design has on the rest of the industry. I still say that if the iPhone never came out we’d just now be getting touch screens from the Apple competitors.
(EF): What would your last meal be?
(GZ): Buffalo chicken sandwich. Keep it simple.
(EF): Where do you want to be right now?
(GZ): I want to be right here in the moment. I have a lot of vacations and achievements to look forward to but I’m happy here
(EF): What would you tell the 18 year old you?
(GZ): The 18 year old me made some pretty good decisions. I guess the only things I would tell him would be to join a couple clubs freshman year at college and to never date a close friend.
(EF): If you could give me advice, what would it be?
(GZ): Always have an escape plan.