Sunday Q&A with Clint Shoemake

Clint Shoemake had a random urge to stop on his way home from work last month and climb Hermiston Butte.

Welcome to the East Oregonian's Sunday Q&A. Each week, we profile a resident of our region of Eastern Oregon.

Our aim is to help our readers connect with others in this part of the world we call home.

Some questions are lighthearted, some are serious - and hopefully, all are entertaining.

Enjoy.

What do your friends call you? Usually just Clint. Unless I'm in trouble, then my wife uses my middle name.

How old are you? 27

Where do you live? On the far east side of Hermiston

What high school did you attend? Riverside High School in Boardman

Your high school mascot? The Pirates

Who is the historical figure you most admire? I find it difficult to admire any historical figures without personally knowing them and who they really were. Using the term "admire" loosely, I have a lot of respect for most everyone who has stood up for their rights or made a positive impact on the world.

The living person you most admire? Again, I have much respect for a number of living persons, but I truly admire my parents. They deserve both respect and admiration for the people they are and the way they raised my brother and me.

What do you do? I work full time as a Data Analyst at the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and run Portal Web Designs, a home-based web design business, in my spare time.

What's the best thing about your work? I believe anyone who has ever worked in any capacity at the Umatilla Army Depot should feel proud for the role they have played in making history. From the construction crews in the '40s to today's operators, every employee has ultimately had a vital part in the eventual destruction of all the chemical weapons. As for me personally, I also enjoy the excellent wages and four-day work week.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Being 27 years old, I don't have a lot of landmark accomplishments I can recall offhand. I would have to say what makes me most proud is that I feel like my life is headed in the right general direction. My grandmother, who was my best friend, passed away during a difficult time in my life, and I wish she were around today to see how everything turned out. I know she would adore my wife and be proud of the man I have become.

What is the most difficult challenge in your life these days? I share the same challenge that most everybody does these days: the state of the economy. It didn't bother me much at first because it didn't really seem to be affecting anything outside of my 401k. Now with credit card companies raising my interest rates "just to keep up with the economy," I'm feeling the crunch too.

What do you like to do in your free time? Whenever possible, I enjoy just being at home with my wife and animals. We currently have four horses, four cats, three dogs, two rabbits, a miniature horse, a mini-donkey, a pygmy goat, a parrot and a salt water aquarium. Needless to say, they can take up a lot of time but also provide hours of entertainment. I also enjoy playing the drums.

What type of electronic equipment do you carry around with you? Just an ankle bracelet. OK, mainly just my cell phone. I do try to keep my camera nearby though, because you never know when the perfect shot will arise.

If you had to live in another country for a year, where would you go? I'd like to visit, but really don't have much interest in living in another country for a year. If I was forced to choose, I'd probably keep it close and simple and go to Canada. I could get used to a life of beer and back bacon.

If you could change one thing in your community, what would that be? I just want to see continued growth in the community. Hermiston is a great place to live and I'd like to see new businesses and industries keep popping up in the area. I think this is even more important as the Chemical Depot nears closure.

How many hours do you sleep on average? On work nights, I'm lucky to get 7 hours. I more than make up for it on the weekends though. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? I had the breakfast of champions: a Monster energy drink and a hot dog from my buddy Madu. Somewhere in the distance I can hear Richard Simmons screaming.

Your favorite beverage? I've got to go with the Monster energy drinks. If I had any athletic ability, this is where I would shamelessly ask for a sponsorship. I also enjoy a cold beer on a hot day with my family and friends.

Read any good books lately? The last book I read is titled "Redemption" and is a collection of testimonies from people in the community of Hermiston. You would be amazed at the troubles people right here in our neighborhoods have faced and have been able to overcome through God.

Your most prized possession? I try not to value any of my possessions too much. Really, they can all be replaced. However, for the sake of giving a straight answer, I'd have to say my home and property. I really value the time, effort and money I've put into developing them, and look forward to continually working on an ideal place to raise a family.

What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you? That's a difficult question to answer. I can think of a lot of funny stories offhand, but most of them involved some beverages and would never make it past the editors. Ask me some other time.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? I don't know that I really have a guilty pleasure. I guess if I had to think of the one thing that would cause my friends to say, "WHAT?!" it would be that I really enjoy the TV show "Ellen".

What's the one question we didn't ask that you'd like to answer? Yeah, it's got a Hemi.

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