Here it is three o’clock in the afternoon, and I’m just getting around to blogging. Shocking.

I woke up to a request for changes in one of my articles on influential men — it was from last night, but I had left the computer around 10:00 so I didn’t see it in time. I also had a request-for-interview from a Hungarian fellow who needs half a dozen tech articles done, so I was typing till the last minute and then zoomed over to church.

Where I had to play bells. I am still horrible at this. When we started rehearsing today’s piece three weeks ago I explained frankly but pleasantly that I couldn’t learn a piece this hard in three weeks. I was the only one who said so, though actually a lot of people were still messing up pretty badly today. I was the only one upset about it, though.

The director assured me that no one would notice. I begged to differ.

“You think they’re all deaf?” I said.

“Nope,” he said. He’s kind of like Mark Twain, or at least like Mark Twain impersonators. I want you to have a clear mental image of this. “They just don’t notice.”

I didn’t want to be rude. I wanted to say that perhaps this was what he told himself to make himself feel better. As you can see, my two goals didn’t mesh. I compromised with “What evidence do you have for this?”

“People come up and say how much they liked it.” He seem to feel that this clinched it.

“They’re being kind,” I suggested.

Yes, well, it was horrible. I lost my place repeatedly. The woman next to me did, too, and it was probably my fault. I need to quit the bells.

I came home after that (um… yes, there were other events during the morning, but they didn’t make as much of an impression on me) and did an interview with another Influential Man.

The editor asked for a snappy introduction saying what all these influential guys had in common.

“They’re all Republicans” didn’t seem like a good answer. I had to think and go back and look, actually. They were mostly pretty interesting to talk to. A couple were charming. A few seemed very smart and deep. One or two seemed a bit dim, frankly. Some were golfers or hunters in their spare time, but two were musicians. Most were rich — either for sure because they showed up on the “richest families” listing or I’m guessing that Senior Vice Presidents of investment companies get paid well — but there was also a policeman in the group, and a guy who heads up a nonprofit working with inner-city youth. There were different ages and religions; I don’t know about ethnic backgrounds, since I’ve mostly just talked with them on the phone, but their names suggested various different heritages. They had majors in school ranging from biochemistry to P.E.

But, when I reviewed those I’ve spoken with so far, it seemed to me that all of them said stuff about “giving back to the community” and about service. All of them expressed gratitude a lot. All of them worked hard and put a lot of energy into a lot of different things. Overachievers, all of them. They tended to win prizes and work for organizations. The leadership awards came up over and over.

#2 son has that kind of resume, actually — as much as anyone does at 18. He always says that he gets the leadership awards because he wasn’t good enough to get the real scholarships. He’s at a school that turned up on about a third of the bios. He’s thankful for his opportunities and volunteers in order to “give back.” If he ends up on the “40 Under 40” list, I’ll know that he’s headed for “influential man” status.

#1 son plans to live in his basement.