Stranger 020


What’s your full name?

Alan Michael Shields

Were you named after anyone?


What’s your average day like?

Most days I get up around 6AM or 6:30AM and take care of our daughter while my wife gets ready for work.  When she is ready, she takes over getting our daughter ready for daycare and I get dressed for work and do my quiet time.

I usually get started working between 8:00AM and 9:00AM.  (Unless I’m taking the kiddo to school, then it’s more like 10AM or so.) I work out of my garage, so I’m home most of the day building unless I’m out installing. One of us picks our daughter up around 4:00PM and then we start getting dinner ready around 6:00PM.

After dinner we play with Shelly until her bedtime. After she goes down (around 8:30PM) we either relax and watch some TV, or more likely, we both work some more until we go to bed which for me is usually 12:30AM to 1:30AM. Rinse and repeat.

How far away do you live from where you were born?

We live in Austin, TX and I was born in the DFW area, so about three and a half hours.

What do you consider to be your “home”?

These days I feel most comfortable in my garage. I spend most of my days in there building cabinets or other various woodworking projects, so I really feel at home out there.

What’s your favorite way to spend the holidays?

I love going to my parent’s house for the holidays. It’s not the house I grew up in, but it still feels nice to be at mom and dads just relaxing and eating too many treats. It has the same feel as when I was growing up.

What items do you always take with you when you leave the house?

Keys, wallet, phone, pocket knife.

When you look in the mirror, what do you notice first about your appearance?

My eyes. Only because that’s where I tend to look first.

If you could change something about your appearance, what would it be?

I have a slightly crooked smile. Not sure why, and it’s not that noticeable, but I see it and it bothers me because I am a very symmetrical person. I don’t like things being uneven.

What do you first notice in strangers?

Their eyes. Probably for the same reason I notice my eyes first in the mirror. I feel like you can tell a lot about people from their eyes. Not just character traits, but how they are feeling at that moment. Eyes don’t lie.

What do think those that know you say about you?

Oh lord, I don’t know. Probably that I make too many awkward jokes.

What would you hope they would say?

I would hope people say that they really enjoy spending time with me. I worry sometimes that I tend to wear on people. It would make me happy to know that I don’t, and that people like being around me. I have friends that I just love hanging out with regardless of what we’re doing, and I hope I am that person to somebody.

What is your proudest moment? Biggest victory?

Quitting smoking after a pack a day for about 10 years.

What is your biggest regret? Biggest failure?

Well, although it would probably have a ripple effect that might land me somewhere else than where my life is right now, I wish I had gone to college somewhere else right out of high school. I stayed in my hometown and went to the junior college for a year because of my job and my girlfriend. Then she moved away and I left that job and transferred to the University of North Texas.

I love UNT, but I passed on my chance to have that stereotypical college freshman experience meeting new people and developing friendships outside of my high school friends. Also, I love football and wish I had gone somewhere that has a more entertaining athletics program and a larger fan base.  Having said that, GO MEAN GREEN!!

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

I am not very disciplined.  I wish I was.

What makes life worth living?

Loving God and loving people. There is enough negative in the world, so it makes love feel all the more important.

What is the one rule you try to live by? Do you feel successful at following it?

Same as the previous answer and I would have to say, sometimes. It is really hard to love someone when they hurt you or even just annoy you. I can be pretty cynical, so I find myself failing regularly. But every day I try to start my day off by praying that I would be better at it today than I was yesterday. That’s the goal.


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