1) The Big Lebowski, directed by the Coen Brothers
2) School of Rock, starring Jack Black
3) The Front Page, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau
4) Dr Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick
5) Dial M for Murder, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Top Five Musical Artists:
1) The Mars Volta
2) Red Hot Chili Peppers
3) Michael Jackson
4) Pink Floyd
Top Five Television Shows:
1) The Simpsons
2) Arrested Development
3) Modern Family
4) Star Trek: The Next Generation
5) The Tick (2001 live action series)
Top Five Hobbies:
1) composing music
2) reading (fiction, politics, philosophy)
5) making ‘top five’ lists
Sam has a recording studio in his house, but he does not have a facebook account.
Sam is of no relation to Don Otten, the NBA record-holder for most personal fouls
in a single game.
Sam started losing his hair as a junior in high school.
Sam has directed a mini-movie parody of “The Matrix” and a collection of music videos
under his production company Fibre Studios.
Sam happens to know that in Perry, MI, there is a Perry Masonic temple.
Sam is a Barnes & Noble member.
Sam feels that gift shops in the state of Minnesota should sell little six ounce
cans of pop and call them “Minni-sodas”. Sam's wife feels that gift shops in Minneapolis,
MN, should sell "Minni-apples."
Sam played the part of Sky Masterson in Rudyard High’s 2001 production of Guys &
Sam has memorized all the U.S. presidential election winners and challengers for
the past 126 years.
Sam was a co-founder of the Hack Clubs at Rudyard High School and Muskegon High School.
Sam’s favorite fast-food restaurant is Taco Bell, and his favorite restaurant overall
is Taco Bell.
Sam enjoys living in Michigan because, though the winter’s are somewhat cold, he
is free from the threat of hurricane, volcano, earthquake, flood, mudslide, tidal
wave, and scorpion bite. (In the Upper Peninsula, there are not even tornadoes.)
Sam thinks that “Londonderry Air” is a funny name for a song.
“Sam” was the most common dog name in 2004.
Sam and his friend Dale Bergman have given over 100 musical performances in various
Sam’s name was published in the Dec 2007, Oct 2008, and Dec 2008 issues of Mathematics
Magazine because he solved some of their proposed problems.
Sam is right-handed, as is 85% of the general population.
Sam feels that the Mars, Inc. candy company should produce and distribute bags of
lemon drops called “Lemon-M’s.”
Sam received a fortune cookie that said, “If you promise someone something, keep
Sam spoke at the January 2008 and the December 2010 MSU Board of Trustees meetings
in support of the Graduate Employees Union during their contract negotiations.
Sam's Erdos number is 5.
Sam finds it troubling that near Grand Rapids there is a chain of funeral homes whose
signs read “Cook Funeral Home: Family Serving Family”.
Sam's previous car traveled over 200,000 miles. His current car has traveled over
290,000 miles (even though he takes the bus to work).
Sam composed a piece of choral music that enjoyed its world premiere in the Upper
Peninsula, May 2008. Here is a scanned copy of the score.
Sam’s wife shares a birthday with HAL 9000.
Sam's nextdoor teaching partner in East Grand Rapids was Mr Streeter. His nextdoor
teaching partner in Muskegon was Ms Strasser.
Sam believes that though, through, bough, rough, and trough should all rhyme.
Sam released an album of original music entitled The Illustrated Man, which is a
soundtrack to the book of the same name by Ray Bradbury. (Ray referred to the album
as "wonderful" and a "delight" to listen to.)
Sam was featured in Fall 2010 on the Grand Valley State University website as a "success
story." He was also featured on the cover of the State News in April 2011.