Sunday, September 29, 2013

Goals # 2541: Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

A few weeks ago I had the chance to go to Cleveland, Ohio for a work conference. Visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was on my bucket list so I knew I was in luck. What made it even better was that I was there with my friend David who LOVES rock and roll.

As luck would have it, the opening social of the conference was held right there in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It couldn’t have been any better. Not only was I going to the hall of fame, but it wasn’t going to cost me anything, there was a ton of great food and drinks and there was plenty of great music.

It was an amazing place. The building reminded me very much of the glass pyramid found at the Louvre in France. So beautiful! One of the first things that caught my attention was that this place must really be light and airy in the day time, even though I was there in the dark of night.
Each floor has displays and information kiosks. Of course while we were there it will full of people and tables of food and drinks. The basement floor was where all the really cool stuff was. One display after another of musicians and groups that made the 1970s one of the best decade ever in the world of music. 

As I went from display to display, it dawned on me how tragic the lives of so many of these super stars turned out to be. Many died such sad and tragic deaths. Some committed suicide, while others died penniless and broken. Drugs and other addictions destroyed the lives of so many of these remarkable artists. Far too many faded away into oblivion with few people today even knowing who they were. 

At one time in their lives these great rock stars were on top of the world. Millions of people were worshiping them and their music. Now, with few exceptions, they are gone; leaving stories of tragedy as evidence of their lives. How fickle and fleeting fame can be. They give up everything for fame only to be tossed aside and forgotten once their promoters and agents found someone with a new fresh sound. It’s sad; so very very sad. 

But to me, I will always love these artists. I still have thousands of their songs in my media library. Somehow, the music of the 70s will always be a part of my life and a part of our cultural heritage. I believe that the music of the 70’s did more to change the world music culture than the music of any other decade, and I had the chance to be in the very shrine to that music. So awesome!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Goal #1976: Be Able to Die with Some Scars on my Body With Some Cool Stories Behind Them

I have met so many people with scars on their body and have wanted to ask them the story behind the scar(s). Of course, I had enough tact not to do that, at least until I got to know them well enough so as not to offend them. But it is always fascinating to hear the stories behind how a person gets a specific scar. I remember meeting a man in the Philippine Islands who showed me 9 bullet hole scars across his arms, chest, neck, and stomach, each scar the size of a quarter. What a remarkable story he had to tell.

Below I have listed the scars I have on my body and how they go there.
  • A scar on my chest below my left breast. (That story is going to have to wait for another time.)
  • Way too many facial scars (from teenage acne and having a hair spray can in a fire pit blow up in my face.
  • A big scar on my left knee from a serious leg infection that almost ended up with the loss of my leg.
  • Various scares on my head from blows to the head.
  • Many scars on my hands and arms, some from fights with my brother.
  • Hernia scars from a double hernia operation.
  • One at the base of my back from a surgery to repair a herniated disc I damaged during a climb in the mountains.
  • Several scars on my legs from really stupid childhood pranks and dares that went bad.
Just enough scares to add some interests in my life without being so badly scared to feel like a side show freak.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Goal #1141: Work on a Farm for the Summer

My summer of farm work came in college when I got an internship managing 80 acres of fruit orchards in Hood River, Oregon. The farm was at the base of Mt. Hood, a dormant volcano in the Hood River Valley.

I was hired by a young 28 year old guy named Mike who had a full time job selling chemical sprays to all the other farmers in the valley. Mike hired me, sight unseen to do pretty much everything necessary to run the orchard. We met each morning to go over what needed to be done and then met again at night to review the day.

That summer I worked harder than I had ever worked before. I learned how to use machinery I'd never used before, manage my time and resources, manage a crew of field workers, improvise and work hard. I’d got up at 6am every morning and usually didn’t come in until it was dark. On Saturdays I worked until about 5 pm, after which I had the rest of the day off to shop and do my laundry. Forget movies or other social activities. That stuff didn't exist that summer. Fortunately, my boss was a Mormon so I had Sundays off. 

I can't believe all the things I learned during that summer working on a farm. Sometimes Mike would ask me if I knew how to do this or that and I’d smile and tell him that I did. Then, after Mike left, I’d try and figure it out on my own. If I couldn’t figure it out then I’d stop on the way out to the orchards and talk to one of the Japanese fruit growers and have him explain how to do whatever it was Mike asked me to do.   

I had some pretty sweet perks doing this internship. Mike made sure that all of my tuition for the coming year was paid for. He also gave me a good salary, 100% of which ended up in savings (because I never had time to spend it.) To show his appreciation for the work i was doing he gave me a week off right after the cherry harvest and paid for me to fly home and ask my girl friend to marry me.This internship was  definitely a sweet arrangement. I cannot say that enough.

I earned a 4.0 GPA that summer. I then went and changed my major to something completely different. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the work, because I did. I loved it. But it taught me that unless I had a LOT of money or I could inherit some land, I would most likely have to work for some corporate grower like Dole or Sunkist, and I didn't want to do that. It also taught me that there were simply too many things that were beyond my control (market trends, weather, etc.). I knew myself well enough to know that I need to have more control over my career than what running an orchard could offer me. 

That was a great summer. I'm sold on the value of internships. It showed me early in my college life that I needed to change course. It saves me thousands of dollars and extra years in college. If you get a chance to do an internship, DO IT!