Paul Smith was born in Detroit. He attended the University of Michigan, and after a failed music career, enrolled in the law school at Wayne State University. Thereafter he served as a judicial clerk at the Michigan Supreme Court and later worked as an attorney practising appellate law. What he really likes is music - especially classic country. Paul blogs about music at Setting The Woods On Fire and Star Maker Machine.
Why do you blog? > I started in order to spread the word about great music but I've kept at it for the friends I've made as a result.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Don't blog just to fill space. Wait to be inspired.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Tom T. Hall, Ray Davies and Shel Silverstein.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Slaughterhouse Five - but I also love Cannery Row.
What is your favourite poem? > 'The Turtle' by Ogden Nash.
What is your favourite movie? > Lost in America.
What is your favourite song? > Jambalaya (On The Bayou).
Who is your favourite composer? > Brian Wilson.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the separation of church and state are all really good ideas.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > The best is yet to come, I hope. At least that's what Star Trek tells us.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > I've got three that work well together: Be true to yourself, enjoy the moment, and take some chances.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > No. Anything 'radically different' within the marriage sounds kind of scary to me.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > A sense of humour.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Obsequiousness.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To get elected - just kidding!
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > As far as I know, I am completely devoid of all prejudice.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Nothing enjoyed is a waste of time.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I would have paid more attention in college, read more books, and been less afraid of pretty girls.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Jimmy Stewart (assuming time travel were possible).
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Austin, Texas.
What is your most treasured possession? > My record collection.
What talent would you most like to have? > The ability to write great songs.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Journalist.
Which baseball team do you support? > The Detroit Tigers.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > I wish for my kids to grow up to have happy families.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I would find myself a place to live out in the woods by a nice quiet lake and go fishing.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Louis Armstrong, Hank Williams and Bob Dylan.
What animal would you most like to be? > Dolphin. Large brain. No responsibilities.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]