On one of those serious blogs, Pete Leeson gives props to Ed Stringham. I never went to school with Ed, and we were the same age, so our relationship was different from the one Leeson describes.
Even so, just as Ed encouraged Leeson to write his first journal article, so too did Ed push me to do things for the first time. But they all involved alcohol.
On a related note, it seems that part of the professional success of the GMU crowd is their mafia-like support for each other. Perhaps if Gene and I started complimenting each other all the time, I would be in a tenure track spot, and he wouldn't be teaching a weird class.
So let me list all the things I like about Gene.