(Editor’s Note: Writer, BEST guest blog contributor, and stroke survivor Isaac Peterson shares how he spends his free time before and after his brain injury, with his love of trivia being a special and favorite activity. Check it out below! KT)

If your traumatic brain injury is severe enough, and if you’re like me, you suddenly find yourself with lots of time on your hands.

Since bright lights are pretty much unbearable, I find myself staying indoors more, so as to avoid the torture of intense bright sunlight. And the same with loud noise and large crowds.

I did manage to survive and enjoy a concert recently where there were all three, but I couldn’t do that all the time like I did in college.

Other than that, I spend a lot of time indoors. It would be easy to just lay around doing nothing and staring at the ceiling, feeling sorry for myself, but there are a few things I do that take up my time and make me glad I have all that time to myself. 

Every day I do a lot of reading. There is always a book I’m working on, but I spend more time web surfing. The way I’m wired, whenever I find myself saying things like, I wonder or what if, well, I just have to get on the internet and find out the answer.

And like everybody else, there are websites and places on the web I visit every day, and often, several times a day.

I love spending all day reading comic books; I always have since I was a young boy. I don’t do it any more, though; my approximately two thousand comic books are still in Minnesota, and I’m in Washington now, and with prices the way they are now, they’re out of my price range.

And of course there’s my writing, although I really don’t spend all that much time doing it.

But one thing I’m really into is trivia, and always have been.

You really don’t want to be playing Trivial Pursuit against me.

I know lots of absolutely useless facts. If a degree in the trivia field had been available where I went to college, I would have majored in it.

I subscribe to a few websites that send me trivia questions every day. One that I signed up for years ago, Trivia Question Of The Day, is one I still subscribe to. Some of their questions are really hard.

I don’t know whether you enjoy trivia, but here are some real trivial bits of information for you to try on.

  • Before Grover Cleveland became President Cleveland, he served as a county sheriff as well as its executioner.

  • The word Eskimo means eaters of raw flesh. 

  • Fifteen percent of women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day. 

  • Because of the altitude of La Paz, Bolivia, the air is so thin it is practically immune to fires. 

  • Frank Mars named a candy bar Snickers after one of his horses. The name for Baby Ruth candy bars isn’t a play on the name Babe Ruth, the famous home run hitter: it was reportedly named after Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth. 

  • Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream by taking a $5 correspondence course offered by Penn State. 

  • Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham when he was challenged to write a book using no more than 50 different words.

  • Thurl Ravennscroft was the voice of Tony The Tiger and was the voice who sang You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch. 

  • The Vatican Bank has ATMs that let users make transactions in Latin. 

  • Judge Judy makes about $45 million dollars a year. 

  • Elephants can’t jump. 

  • M&Ms use the first letter of the last names of their creators, Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie. 

  • Mr. Rogers was a ordained Presbyterian minister. 

  • Aristotle was a stutterer. 

Was that trivial enough for you? Although I said I’m good at trivia, I didn’t know some of those until I saw them in trivia quizzes, pretty much the only times you will need to know this kind of stuff or for bar bets.

So, what do you like to do with your time? 

Isaac Peterson performing. (courtesy photo).

Isaac Peterson grew up on an Air Force base near  Cheyenne, Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, he embarked on a career as an award-winning investigative journalist and as a semi-professional musician in the Twin Cities, the place he called home on and off for 35 years. He also doesn’t mind it at all if someone offers to pick up his restaurant tab. Peterson also welcomes reader comments. Email him at isaac3rd@gmail.com.

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