Born: Dec. 22, 1956, in Blakely, Pa.

Married to Kathy, a private person who brings home the bacon while I do public service and endless evening meetings. Children: Ethan, 8 going on 20.

College: George Mason University.

Pets: A fish named Blackie, to be joined by a dog promised to my son.

Celebrity I most resemble: Anyone who made it to the second round on "Average Joe," the TV reality show.

My most notable characteristic or personality trait: The ability to look at myself and others with a level of distance and humor.

I'd love to trade places for a day with: My son, to better understand his challenges.

Favorite quote: "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." -- Micah 6:8.

Best book I've ever read: "Cincinnatus: George Washington and the Enlightenment," by Garry Wills. We didn't get to where we are by accident.

Favorite TV show of all time: PBS series on the Civil War. If you can love a war, the Civil War has the most to offer.

Restaurant in my district where my constituents would most likely run into me: Costco's food court. Admit it, where else can you see such a cross section of people and their buying habits at a buck-fifty for a hot dog and a drink?

My favorite restaurant outside my district: Olive Garden. The Atkins guy died. Bring on the carbs and live!

Favorite birthday cake: My late grandmother's chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Car I drive: 1998 Chevy minivan with impersonal plates and bumper stickers du jour.

Best car I've ever had: 1973 Pontiac Grand Am -- bright yellow with 400 cubic inches of irrational exuberance.

Politician I most admire: State Sen. Linda T. "Toddy" Puller (D). Unyielding perseverance in the face of great personal and political challenges.

Person in history I would most like to meet: Saint Paul. A life fully lived.

Most important influence in my life: As a Marine Corps "brat," going to 10 schools in 12 years, I learned early on that you must make the most of whatever you do and wherever you call home. Happiness won't be found in the next person you meet or over the next hill if you carry the same old baggage with you.

Favorite place to vacation: Any of the Rocky Mountain states.

Most interesting place I ever visited: Eastern Europe when it was Eastern Europe. If you don't hug the flag after that, you never will.

Pet peeve: The phrase "Good enough for government work" makes my skin crawl. On my desk I have two signs from my years in the private sector: "Assume Nothing" and "Make It Happen."

Impression people have of me that I would most like to change: Well, in the words of Popeye, "I am what I am and that's all that I am." I'd rather explore than worry about other folks' impressions.

Impression people have of Fairfax County that I would most like to change: Being the region's 800-pound gorilla. Just because we don't have it or didn't think of it doesn't mean it's not a good idea. We could learn a lot from what Arlington has done well if they just wouldn't be so darned smug about it!

Best movie I've ever seen: "Blade Runner" -- like Raymond Chandler goes sci-fi. Favorite president: Teddy Roosevelt. Dared greatly and was not a timid soul. Yeah, he was a Republican. So what.