Answers to what should be your FAQs:

When Emilie and I had twins I was asked to answer a few questions, presumably to evaluate my fitness as a parent....

Tell us your life story in a few sentences. How did you meet your wife?

I have had the good fortune of being able to pursue and enjoy a scientific career in the earth sciences. Being interested in nature and physics and in personal challenges, I have for many years now been an active researcher and educator. Armed with an Oceanography degree and an interest in seismology, I have been able to combine work, adventure and pleasure in ways that are still meaningful and exciting to me.

Fittingly, Emilie and I met while deploying an ocean bottom seismometer in the North Atlantic during the stormy month of October. I freed her hand before her fingers were severed by a snagged line. During those moments we each saw something being revealed.

To be honest, I saw it in her sometime before that!

What are your personal interests?

Almost anything, as long as it does not involve a TV and what it advocates. Right now, with our family being young, my interests careen from being silly with my kids, to spending time with Emilie, to fixing up our home, to keeping my mind and body challenged and fit. I am very much looking forward to when our family can go on adventures further afield than the playground! Emilie and I both like to travel and to see the world through our children's eyes will add a new dimension.

What are your personal philosophies about life and/or fatherhood?

Live it actively and be there, respectively.

What's your all-time favorite movie and/or book?

If I can narrow the question by considering books that have become movies, then B. Traven's Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Including the quote on the frontispiece about the treasure we search for.

If you had 24 hours RIGHT NOW to spend by yourself, what would you do?

Go hiking with Emilie in the Dolomites.

What is your most vivid memory of your wife’s pregnancy/birth?

The most vivid memory is not of the twins birth (John and Sofie) but
our first child, Ebba. The alien appearance of her head, shaped
unlike a human's head and akin to missile. A sign of things to come.

In the case of John and Sofie, what was truly impressive was Emilie's
determination and strength. Both were formidable and still inspire

Describe your twins. How have they changed your life?

John is very handsome; they say he looks like me.

Sofie is very naughty; they say she acts like me.

With the addition of John and Sofie, we became outnumbered. Everything is a 3-on-2 or 3-on-1 fastbreak. When calamity breaks out, it becomes triage. Both can be funny and have made us move on from doting to gentle containment. When that doesn't work, I get out the duct tape.

If you could instill just one quality in your children for life, what would it be?

To think and act independently of others.

Have you ever written a play?

Funny you should ask. For Gene Humphery's 50th birthday I parodied Taming of the Shrew. If you know Gene, then you will thoruoghly enjoy Taming of the Motley Crew


Toomey's Site

DEPARTMENT OF Geological Sciences, University of Oregon