Random Remembrances

Thoughts

This is a blatant rip off of a page my good friend Rich has on his site where he lists various experiences in his life that have stuck in his memory and helped shape what he is today.  Reading his list made me realize how strange it is when you look back at the things that you remember and why.  So here goes:

  • My first memory doesn’t occur until kindergarten.  We make construction paper mailboxes for Valentine’s Day.  Where did the first 5 years go?

  • I walk the sidewalk between the house and the barn looking for ants to drop in spider webs so I can watch the spider kill the ant.  I found this to be a lot of fun…….. for some reason  

  • I feel tremendous pride as I sit down in my high tech, rear steering, “Green Machine”.  Races down the driveway were a regular activity.  

  • I hit the monster of all wiffle ball homeruns playing with my brother.  Hitting the barn above the eave roof was a homerun.  This shot had the perfect spin on it where it carried over the barn and into the woods.  I don’t think we ever found the ball but I didn’t care.  

  • I am convinced that “Hot Wheels” cars are definitely faster than “Matchbox”.  They won every head to head race I had.

  • We set up a mini baseball field in the pasture above the house.  We had the bases all laid out but we later found out that we were running up what would be later known as the “third base line”

  • I get into my first non-family “fight” playing football against some older kids. I was making this one kid mad cause I was better than him.  He challenged me, I wrestled him to the ground had him pinned with his arm behind his back.  I said I’d let him up and we could just let it go.  We stood up and he hit me in the face.  I was so mad all I could do was cry and go home.

  • I fill up my brother’s boots with mud from the creek across the street, when I am accused of doing it, I deny it for some reason.

  • I learn early on that bad behavior is met with physical punishment.  Pepper on the tongue, eating soap and head in the toilet bowl are three that come to mind.

  • We invent the game of 1 on 1 football.  The rules are very simple, you throw the ball to the other guy and then try to tackle him before he gets across your goal line.  This game also required an adeptness at avoiding ditches, stone sidewalks and dog crap.

  • I spend EVERY Saturday morning from 7am to 12am watching cartoons. They seemed so much better back then.

  • My sister just learned how to write her name, she did so in a very distinct style that was easy for me to forge.  I wrote her name on a wall and she took the fall.

  • My Mom thinks it would be a good idea to get my brother and I Socker-Boppers (2 big blow up boxing gloves that look like you have marshmallows for hands)  I proceed to hit Todd so hard that mine pops and sends him airborne.

  • I get a bow and arrow for Christmas.  I get it taken away from me after I sent a “warning shot” within 10 feet of my brother

  • Todd learns to fight back.  During a painting project that my Dad assigned Todd and I to complete, I painted Todd’s hand with the brush.  He retaliates by painting my eyes shut.

  • I stick up for Todd for the first time.  During a football game my friend Pete cheap shots him.  I get mad and make Pete go home.

  • I join the Saturday morning bowling leagues at Colonial Hills.  After I would bowl in the mornings I would do miniature bowling on the top of our bumper pool table with the pool balls and shampoo jars as pins.  It seemed like fun at the time.

  • My dad is mad about a hand held electric grass trimmer he bought from Sears.  It isn’t working correctly.  He smashes the trimmer into the sidewalk and it explodes into dozens of pieces.  He vows to never shop at Sears again.  

  • My dad vows to never go to a bank that has the infamous “teller rope system”  He doesn’t like the idea of being guided like a rat in the maze. I remember wondering what bank he was going to go to now?

  • One of our mean roosters attacked my sister.  My dad chases the rooster and beats it to death with a shovel.  I am scared of my dad.

  • There is a tremendous thunder and lightning storm going on, pouring down rain,  and it is nighttime yet my dad is out there on the tractor mowing the grass with the lights on.  He enjoyed the challenge.

  • My brother and my friends play another game called “King of the Hill”  The object is to throw everyone else off the hill into the ditch below.  If you get thrown down you are no longer King.  Sometimes my dad would play, he enjoyed throwing us into the ditch.  

  • For a challenge I want to see if I can ride my bike down the hill to our house and into the driveway without using any brakes.  After a terrifying crash into a tree I figured out that you couldn’t.

  • My brother and I entertain ourselves in our barn by jumping into the stall filled with hay below.  It was filled with bugs, rats and was incredibly dirty.  We didn’t notice.

  • Every summer I had incredible anticipation about our family vacation to the beach.  I would sit and draw pictures of our Peugeot station wagon loaded up with our stuff and imagine how great it was going to be driving down there.  However, after vacation was over, I was deeply depressed for days. 

  • We always used to go on the water slides at the beach.  After we came back I would spend weeks trying to figure out how to build one out of some sheets of plastic and a hose. 

  • I ride my bike everywhere, no mountain was too high, no distance was too far, my bike took me everywhere.

  • I get freaked at a weird piece of art that my uncle gave my mom.  It looks like a big furry head with the face turned sideways.  I could swear that it looked like it moved when I looked at it so I never looked at it again unless it was broad daylight.

  • We came home from somewhere and I found our one dog strangled to death.  He jumped up and got tangled in his chain.  It was gruesome.

  • My grandfather fell over with a heart attack at a Phillies baseball game with my brother and my dad.  He died several months later.  I think I saw him once before he died.  I didn’t want to have anything to do with him. (we were never close in the first place) Dying scares me and seeing it first hand was terrible.

  • After my parents divorced my dad tried giving us gifts from his new girlfriend.  We opened them up, they were pretty cool from what I remember.  When my mom found out they were from her she pulled up next to my dad at an intersection and threw them in the street.  I remember the sad look on my dad’s face as he picked up the discarded gifts from the street.

  • I play for my first organized baseball team. 10, 11 and 12 year olds for Brecknock. I could throw hard so I pitched.

  • My dad’s first apartment was some dive in Reading. We would stay there on the weekends.  It was one of the gloomiest times I can remember.  I used to spit from his apartment and watch it fall to the lobby below for entertainment.

  • I go to Junior High and start wearing open flannel shirts with a t-shirt underneath, everyday.  I comb my hair all the time.  I am very self conscious.

  • My dad starts playing rugby, we go to post game parties that include big sloppy guys drinking themselves stupid, acting vulgar and in one case walking around naked. Somewhere around this time I vow not to drink because I didn’t like what it did to people, my dad especially.

  • The first family vacation I can remember at the beach, I remember sitting on the porch and asking my mom about dying and why it happens.  I remember thinking how people born that day had much longer to live than I did since I was already 7 or 8.  I still do this…

  • I am introduced to the world of electronic entertainment when my mom buys me a Mattel handheld LED football game.  I played until my thumbs were swollen.  

  • After the divorce I remember spending winters watching TV smacked up against a kerosene heater.  Whatever part of you was against the heater was burning hot, everything else was frigid.

  • It is Christmas Eve and all of my relatives on my Mom’s side are over for dinner.  The house is warm.  Everyone is healthy, happy and laughing.  The perfect holiday.  Some of my happiest days ever were Christmas Eve’s.  The anticipation of Christmas was at it’s climax but the depression of it being over had not set in. Christmas itself always seemed anti-climatic.

  • We are in vacation in Cape Cod. I had saved allowances for months to have spending money on vacation to use on stuff like comic books or games.  For some reason I bought Todd a baseball glove with all my money instead.

  • Our house often smelled of perm solution from my mom doing people’s hair to earn extra money to pay the bills

  • My mom gives me a perm, all of the pro baseball players had them so I figured I might as well look the part.  She gave Todd two perms. I looked ridiculous.

  • I spend a huge amount of my time hanging out and playing with my cousin Steve as a child, I haven’t spoken to him in 10 years? Why? I don’t know….

  • I save up 70 or 80 dollars for our vacation at the beach to be used exclusively for playing video games at the arcade.  At 25 cents a play surely this would last forever.  I run out of money and wind up stealing money from my Mom’s wallet to get my “fix”  I later admit it to her and recognize I had a problem.  The admission saves me from punishment.

  • After I got a chocolate shake from Hardee’s I thought I would be cool and dump it in a public mailbox .  I would shoot myself if I saw me doing that now.

  • I have a huge interest in girls but for some reason none of them come over and ask me out.

  • I start taking baseball more seriously, that is my career plan.  It paid well, it was something I was good at and you get to sign autographs and be on TV.  I have no back up plan.

  • I meet my baseball coach and some other players at the local athletic association at 6 am in the morning before school to throw during the off-season.  I study books on pitching, I start working out on my own for the first time. My coach really thought I had potential.

  • I fall on ice and smash my throwing elbow.  I am never the same.

  • I get suspended from school for a week and am threatened with expulsion and/or mental examination because of a prank we did to the librarian.  I never even had detention before.  I found out that getting in trouble makes you popular.

  • I look forward to huge rewards for my graduation from high school.  My Dad gives me a set of used wire wheel covers in a burlap bag.  I’m incredibly disappointed but put them on the Buick anyway and try to keep them clean.

  • I had my first real girlfriend. She was crazy.  I left college for her. I couldn’t wait to get away from her a couple years later.

  • In my first year of driving I run my dad’s VW bus head on into a tree. We lose our cat that was with us out the popped out windshield.  Later that year I hydroplane on 2 bald tires that I installed for burnouts.  I wreck 4 cars including my own. I drove like an idiot.

  • I drop out of 2 different colleges after incredibly brief stints.  My dad does not talk to me for 6 months. I decide I would rather start making money doing some sort of hands on work and college was a waste of money. It just wasn’t the thing for me.

  • I arrive at a moment where I realize it wasn’t nice to constantly tease and harass my brother. I stop doing it. 

  • I work at a supermarket and find a 16 year old girl that later became my first wife.  My next 8 years are spent on an emotional roller coaster that thankfully ends with divorce after 3 years of marriage.

  • In High School, I get official letters from the Blue Jays and Pirates about tryouts for their minor league organizations. I ignore them because I am so in love with my girlfriend.

  • I play in a company football game at Thanksgiving.  I fall down trying to play defense.  Another guys kicks me in the head with his football cleats, driving me face first into the muddy, cold dirt.  I get up and finish the game even though I am sure I had a concussion.

  • I get drunk for the first time at my cousin Steve’s wedding. I am 24 years old at the time and was recently married to my first wife. I feel bad about breaking my promise to myself to never drink but I just felt the need.

  • My comfort blanket that my Mom made for me as a child is still in my possession.

  • While loading up a truck for Goodwill from a room literally filled with garbage bags of unwanted items and clothing, an old lady that worked there said to me, “You’ll make a good husband, you are a hard worker”

  • Before I dropped out of college I met with an English professor I had.  I told him I felt like I wanted to do physical stuff, fix things and that I didn’t think I needed college to do that. He said “Why not do both”?

  • My baseball coach keeps giving me hell cause he says I am lackadaisical in my execution on a throw to third base.  He angers me so the next time I almost break the third baseman’s hand by throwing it so hard.  He used anger to motivate me to perform better from that point on.

  • I have my best baseball season during my summer as a 15 year old.  We lose the championship game at Municipal stadium.  I also got to pitch at the all-star game.  It was great.

  • My grandfather on my mom’s side goes from a happy go lucky guy with a smile always on his face to an old dying man who can’t remember who I am in the space of 2 years. I go to visit him and just cry, he cries too.

  • I spend an entire weekend doing nothing but trying to finish Bionic Commando. I feel guilty but proud of my accomplishment at the same time.

  • I buy my dad gifts from Sears regularly for the holidays.  He accepts them without making a fuss.

  • One of my best friends from school kills himself. Being friends meant I used to bust his ass all the time about being fat and generally giving him a hard time.  At his funeral I hoped he knew I was only kidding because I never got to tell him. I think about him often.

  • I was working on gluing the top together for my wood shop project.  I showed it to my teacher.  He said it wasn’t done right and smashed it to the ground.  It broke right on the seam where the glue was so I guess he knew what he was talking about.

  • I get my first computers, a TI 99/4A and a Coleco Adam.  My Mom spends a ton of money to get me these things.  The Coleco is a piece of junk that breaks in a few months. I still thought it was the coolest thing around.  Saving programs to a cassette tape was a challenge. Anyone remember Buck Rogers?

  • My dad and my stepmom go away for a weekend and leave me in charge of their house and animals.  I come back from somewhere and find their one dog had knocked over and eaten almost an entire bottle of it’s epilepsy medicine.  I take the dog to the vet to try to save it.  It never wakes up. 

  • I write a letter to the scout that scouted me 6 years earlier and ask him if it is too late to still be considered for pro-baseball.  He said it’s not.  I try to start throwing again and immediately feel the pain from 4 years prior.  I give up my dream of baseball.

  • I play baseball for 8-9 years. I don’t remember my Mom ever seeing me play.

  • My Mom has a bunch of boyfriends after her divorce, some long term some not.  None of them work out.

  • I sell a car to the a guy that used to be vice-principal of my high school.  He pays full price plus the addendum sticker.  The dealership and I make tremendous money on the deal.  I feel very guilty.

  • Everyday I come home from work smelling like meat.  My boots have permanent pieces of meat goo stuck to them. It is gross.

  • During my stint of selling cars I work with some of the most interesting people.  Unfortunately within 14 months almost all of them have moved on to other places. (including myself)

  • I prepare for my next cold call to sell a business phone book advertising.  I spend a half hour researching their field of business, preparing my answers to their possible objections and planning three different advertising plans.  I make the call and they hang up on me at “I’m from the Donnelly Directory….”

  • After leaving college I pick up work helping a firewood cutter.  I get paid $10 a cord.  He says on average you could do 4 cords on a good day.  I never worked so hard for 40 bucks in my life.

  • I get up at 5:30 am to get to the gym by 6 am.  I go to work at Goodwill by 7:30 to pick up people’s unwanted crap all day.  I drive to Allentown 3 nights a week to go to computer tech school and get home around 11:30. I do this for a year.

  • I give my brother my old Chevelle instead of making him pay me for it. I feel guilty about all the years of abusing him. It’s the least I can do.

  • I take my Firebird to the dragstrip and run 16 odd second quarter mile at 87 mph.  It was really fun. 

  • I drive my 69 Firebird Convertible home in a snowstorm.  It gets stuck on the smallest of grades.  I sell it that spring.  How I miss it……

  • My mom gives me her Chevrolet Citation after I wreck the car she gave me previously, a 69 Buick Special Deluxe.  I enjoy doing tremendous smoke churning burnouts  to impress my friends.  I still didn’t learn my lesson I guess.

  • My brother gets the rear quarter panel of his car shot up while raiding someone’s house.  I think to myself that Todd is having a more exciting adolescence than I did.

  • I bowl a 267 game.  I am at the pinnacle of my bowling career.

  • Pete and I play 36 holes of golf at Manor golf course.  The second 18 in a driving rainstorm.  We walked all 36. I think I scored better the 2nd time around.

  • I recently started playing volleyball and was at my first tournament at the beach.  It was cold enough that I played in socks and sweats.  I heard some guy on the other team mutter in my direction , “That guy “thinks” he is a hitter” I hated him ever since.

  • I am pitching against Anteitam.  I am in the zone.  I can put the ball anywhere I want, as hard as I want, anytime I want.  It feels awesome. I strike out batters easily and smile as I see the frustration  come across their face.

  • I am playing co-ed doubles in 55 degrees, 30 mph winds and driving rain at the beach.  We win the tournament.  

  • It’s 10PM and we are about to win a tournament where we had 110 teams in our division.  It feels fantastic but I am so tired my celebration is little more than a weak raising of the hands.  I shoulda done a cartwheel or something.

  • I land normally playing indoor 6’s but feel a burn down my right knee. The pain never goes away. Getting old sucks.

  • I kick a 45 yard field goal in between matches at a volleyball tournament.  I am damn proud even though no one else seemed to care.

  • I spend months trying to be able to dunk a basketball on a regulation rim.  I only have a handful of successful dunks out of hundreds of attempts.

  • During warmups at Flying Hills I bounce several warm up hits out of the court on one bounce. I’m very proud.  I never do it again.

  • I am pitching in an adult men’s league, it is so hot on the dirt mound that it is tough to breath.  I am getting shelled, my shoulder hurts, I take myself out and quit the team.

  • I meet my second wife at O’Kelleys.  I ask her to lift her shirt and show me her chest.  We get married a few years later.

  • I am incredibly ill.  We just received nearly 3 feet of snow and I am too weak to shovel it.  Alison goes out and works on it for hours.

  • I get so drunk on our honeymoon that I sit with my head down on a table for 3 hours and throw up on myself as 2 kind hearts drug me out under each arm.

  • I get to see the Baumgardner bird house for the first time.  I think exotic birds are cool.  I shortly go out and buy a cockatiel. It hates me.  These things live 20 years…..

  • I decide that my divorce was a good reason to move away.  I finally do 5 years later.

  • Alison teams up with me to play 2 on 2 Warcraft against another team on the internet.  I go on the offensive to try to protect her while she built up defense. I don’t remember if we won or lost.

  • I get my first computer job making 16k a year.  I almost electrocute myself pulling out a light fixture that my spiteful boss wanted removed when we changed offices. I still thought this was a lot better than driving a truck.

  • I spend countless hours playing Madden football with my buddy Troy.  I used to beat him all the time. Then he got better. We had a lot in common, liked drinking, videogames and were both in bad relationships.

  • We have our Christmas party at O’Kelley’s, at the end of the evening there is a table full of empty beer glasses and I’m tired from playing countless games of John Elway football, air hockey and pool.  It is the happiest I ever was to be at a job.  It was pure fun.  I became much more entertaining when I drank.  

  • I run into the guy that slept with my ex-wife at a bar.  I shove him, unleash a verbal barrage but never throw that punch that I yearned to do so badly. Noone I ever knew deserved a punch in the face more than this guy. I proceed to beat myself up about not doing it for years afterward.

  • My ex-mother-in-law tried to give me sexual advice.  It was one of the most awkward moments of my life.

  • I collect all the name plates of people that left the company.  I miss them and wish things could stay the same. I still have them.

  • I set up a BBS (Bulletin Board System) and eventually have 4 phone lines running into my house.  I discover online chatting, messaging and get hooked.  I like the idea of providing a service that people used and appreciated. I meet a lot of geeks.

  • I become friends with 2 guys that have been friends of each other their entire lives.  They are unlike any friends I had before.  They are both in my wedding.

  • Alison and I practice bumping the volleyball in our bowling alley sized backyard.  The goal was to get 20 successful bumps back and forth.

  • I decide to get “big”  I take creatine and increase my strength to levels I never expected.  I stop taking it and get weak again.

  • I work in a place where a typical day of work consisted of playing games, dodging flying food, and surfing the web for illegal software.  It’s fun for awhile, grows old after that.

  • We move back into my mom’s house.  We have so much stuff that all the floor space is filled with boxes stacked 6 feet high.  Most of it we don’t need. We keep it anyway.

  • It’s Christmas Day. We go to the beach.

  • My dad drives the moving truck 1200 miles and helps me unload in south florida august heat.  He has done many similar things for me over the years.

  • My sister lives in South Korea for several months.  It was supposed to be a great time with a chance to make good money.  It turned out to be neither.

  • I am walking down the aisle of the local grocery store and realize that I am isolated from everyone and everything I have known for 30 years.  I feel lonely.

  • Somewhere I start caring a lot more about what other people are doing wrong.  I am sick of people that are rude, have no common sense or don’t give a damn. It makes life more frustrating.  I write letters to the editor of the paper.

  • My soon to be ex-wife and I get drunk and openly discuss how our relationship sucks and how it was going to end.  It was one of the few honest conversations we ever had.

  • I am working out at the gym with my new girlfriend (Alison) shortly after I split up with my first wife.  My ex-Mother-in-law and ex-sister-in-law come up to talk to me because they heard that I had talked to my ex-brother-in-law about how my ex-sister-in-law was a slut and had cheated on him. (sisters are really alike) They came up to give their side of the story. Alison jumped in and yelled at them to leave me alone and that they were no longer part of my life.  They scurried away like dogs with their tails between their legs.  It was nice to have someone stick up for you that way. 

  • I finally sell my car that I have owned for 8 years, the longest I ever owned a car by far, to a nice couple from Nicaragua.  I find out that they totaled it 2 weeks later.  I mourn for my car.

  • I decide to not bother to tie down a pond kit we bought.  As I am driving down the road it flies out into the opposing lane of traffic in front of an oncoming truck.  It slams on it’s brakes and narrowly avoids getting rear ended.  I realize that in a slightly different circumstance my laziness could have resulted in killing somebody. I feel lucky that day.

  • I have recently accomplished most of the goals I have had set for 5 years or so, I have most everything I could want but I feel somehow lost.  I don’t know what my next goal will be.

  • I get my first job where I have an office with a door.  I can never close the door, lest people think you are doing something you shouldn’t be and I never get to talk to most people because they are in offices too.  I liked cubicles better.

  • I wake up at 5am and look for a good poem for my brother’s wedding.  I rehearse my speech repeatedly.  I only got about 75% of it correct during the reception but I got applause anyway.  In my brother’s speech for my wedding he wished for my wedding day to be the worst day of the rest of our lives. (Think about it)

  • I’m watching NFL Sunday ticket on my DBS satellite system in BOSE surround sound through my Tivo digital recorder that gets it’s updates over the internet via my digital cable modem through my prewired CAT5 wiring. I am at the pinnacle of techno geekiness. How in the world did I manage before all of this “stuff”?
  • I take out my RC plane that I have crashed multiple times due to ignoring adverse flying conditions. There are storm clouds all around but at that precise moment the wind didn’t feel bad. I decide to fly and wind up nose diving the plane into the neighbor’s roof after storm gusts came blowing in. I am frustrated with my inability to be patient. 
  • New Years Day. A beautiful day to take my 71 Buick out for a quick spin.  A half mile down the road, there is smoke from behind the dash. 15 minutes later all that is left of my car is a burned up wreck. I’ll never forget that moment where I realized I couldn’t put the fire out and had to watch it burn.
  • We adopt a puppy, against my better judgment.  I haven’t had a dog my entire adult life and I understand why now. Dogs are a lot of work, much more than the 2 cats, 2 birds and fish in the pond we already have.  However, she is very cute.
  • After writing a letter to the editor, I have a news lady come out to my house to interview me for part of a spot they are running on the 11 oclock news.  I comb my hair, put on a clean shirt and try to not come off as an idiot on the camera.  They played one sentence of the interview.
  • I get clear invisalign braces. For the past 30 years I have been very self conscious of my crooked teeth. I remember laying in bed and pushing on them really hard trying to move them into place as a child. It’s about time.
  • I replace my burned Buick with an 88 Vette. It has a laundry list of problems but it looks good.  I always wanted a Vette.  I feel guilty about having it though.
  • I’m riding to the NFC championship game on a deluxe bus with 2 tv’s, more food and alcohol that is humanly possible to consume and a bus full of crazed Eagles fan.  It couldn’t get much better…. well I guess the Eagles could have won, that may have been a little better.
  • Late January and I make a snowy drive to the top of the Pagoda that over looks berks county. It looks how I remember, it’s cold, very windy and there isn’t another person around.  I think how amazing it is that I will be back in 70 degree weather in a matter of hours.  It always amazes me.
  • I walk around my dad’s place and take pictures.  I may never see it again, he is moving to New Mexico. It’s been in our family for 30+ years. It doesn’t seem possible that anyone else could own it.
  • My neighbor whom we originally befriended when we moved in, called me up screaming and cursing at me because I called and left a message a month earlier about his wife letting their dog run down the middle of the road.  He ends the conversation by challenging my to take “my skinny ass” down there.  Unexpectedly for him, I did just that as my anger was overriding any sense of reason.  We screamed at each other for a few minutes and he backed down.  I need more of that, it was therapeutic.

  • The Vette I bought is nothing but a colossal headache.  I realize that I lack the time, patience, tools and money to support a project car anymore.  It’s up for sale only 6 months after buying it.

  • I make more money than I figured I would ever need 15 years ago and still can’t seem to get ahead.  Either inflation has been really high or I just spend too much.
  • I spend the majority of my weekends doing indoor and outdoor, house related projects.  The idea of having a single family home with lots of land doesn’t sound as attractive as it did 3 years ago.
  • I buy a super, new Cub Cadet tractor while Alison is away.  I bring it home myself in the truck.  I pull up the driveway and attach the ramps to the tailgate to back the tractor down.  As I was doing this, I thought to myself , “Self, it may be a bad idea to do this with the back of the truck facing slightly downhill”  I ignore the thought and proceed to back the tractor off, have the ramps slip and then have the tractor, with me on it, fall off the back of the truck, rear end first.  After I hit the cement and manage to push the unit off me, the first thing I do is to look around to make sure nobody saw me.  Later I realize I was lucky to avoid serious injury.  I wonder why I don’t listen to myself.
  • I actually talk to Alison about how frustrated I get about my issues with speaking at times.  I misspeak, mumble and get tongue tied far too often, a trait that my one grandmother also seemed to have.  I never admitted it to anyone before.  The admission makes me feel a bit better but I still talk with a marble mouth more than I can stand. It makes me not want to talk.

  • For nearly a decade I time races for the local running club, requiring countless hours and early mornings.  I eventually tire of conflict with one individual and leave.  That individual is still there. My life feels so much better afterward.
  • After buying a two wheeled Segway Minipro and loving it, I bought an electric unicycle for Cindy, figuring she would naturally excel at it.  She falls on the first day, hurting herself and declares herself done.  I had no choice but to force myself to learn how to ride, else I would be wasting $600.  That choice has lead down an unanticipated path.
  • I begin a YouTube channel.  I tell my mom that if she clicks on the ads that are displayed it results in generating ad revenue.  She does it so much that Google bans my account.
  • I start a second YouTube channel which grows to 10,000 subscribers with over 5 million total views.  I find I am much more comfortable talking to a camera than actual human beings.
  • I become known worldwide, twice. The first time for my hundreds of calisthenics videos along with my association with the Bar-barians.  The second time for my love of electric unicycles and the videos related to it.
  • I split from my second wife.  We made a mutual agreement on how we would handle things. The split was amicable, we used to still hang out and eat pizza on Friday nights.  When I started dating more, she hired a lawyer and our agreement was no longer mutual.
  • I look forward to online dating as the ultimate way to meet people and start relationships.  I discover a lot of people lie about/misrepresent themselves.  Out of 13 first dates there were only three or four second dates.
  • I go on a date with a 26 year old that didn’t know what the word “latter” meant. It made me reevaluate the acceptable age range I would consider dating from that point forward.
  • Even though I am in my early 40s I feel like I am in the best shape of my life.  I look with disdain at others in my age group that make excuses to not exercise as it comes easily for me.  In subsequent years I learn it doesn’t always come easily.
  • I run three half marathons.  The mental endurance I learned to complete two hour runs is something unique and long lasting.
  • I start selling 3D printed electric unicycle stands on a whim.  I now have a room with 10 3D printers in it.  I realize that I have a tendency to really embrace my hobbies.
  • Cindy and I hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back in one day.  It is one of the most grueling physical experiences of my life.  Even at the end Cindy was still upbeat while I was telling her to stop talking.
  • Nicki passed away after being forced to endure constant misery at the vet for weeks in the hope of some sort of miraculous turn around.  It broke my heart.
  • At a board meeting for the running club one of the members said something that agitated me so much that I started screaming in such a way that others in attendance thought I was on the verge of physically harming the man.  Ironically many in attendance saw that as a positive trait of mine that was talked about for years afterward.  The reality is out of all the people I served on the board with, the guy I yelled at may also be the one I liked the most afterward.
  • Against my initial desire, Cindy and I adopt Elsa who was cowering under a table at Rural King with an animal shelter rep.  In very little time we develop a bond unlike any other pet I have owned.
  • Cindy and I build a chicken coop and run to house our chickens.  The teamwork and determination we have when working together results in great things.
  • I buy a 2005 Chevy SSR shortly before separating from my second wife.  I think of it as the ultimate cool vehicle that set me into the next stage of my life.  Three years later it would be sitting in my garage for months at a time, unused.  I sold it soon after, with no desire to own any future mid-life crisis hobby vehicles.
  • After just casually throwing around the idea of a solar system for the house, less than two weeks later I signed a contract to have a huge 48 panel system installed.  I made a similar fast decision buying my Tesla.  I have a clear and potentially dangerous ability to impulse buy, even huge ticket items.
  • I start doing live stream broadcasts, emulating others I had admired over the years.  Being able to talk off the cuff about various subjects is something I do better in this format than in conventional two way conversations.
  • Baby DJ is born.  At first I wasn’t even comfortable holding him.  18 months later he runs to me with outstretched arms to pick him up, which I do happily and joyfully each and every time.  My feelings about him confirm for me that if circumstances wound up differently, I would have made a decent father.
  • I start being more willing to pay people to do large tasks that I could do myself.  Time is becoming more valuable than money.
  • I start playing a MMORPG game, World of Warcraft in early 2005.  I still play it today, 16 years later.
  • After separating from my second wife, who had been a vegetarian for years I decide to give up beef, pork , and poultry after a visit to our local county fair in 2012.  For some reason that particular interaction with the farm animals, which I have done many years previously, flipped a switch in my head.  I decided I no longer wanted to be a fulcrum for their inhumane treatment and slaughter.
  • Cindy has her first experience with real snow during a northern winter road trip.  Seeing her child-like appreciation and excitement for the cold weather result warmed my heart.
  • After gyms closed for covid 19 I worked out in a parking garage for four months. During that time I severely injured my right shoulder and left knee.  I’m officially old.
  • I fly up to Pennsylvania for my 50th birthday which was supposed to just be dinner with family.  Instead I walk into a room filled with friends and former co-workers, many of which I had not seen for over 15 years.  The most surprising of all was Cindy who as far as I knew was back in Florida taking care of the animals.  It was one of the very few times of my life I actually experienced tears of joy.
  • I manage to do 30 pull ups in one set.  I never do it again.
  • I experience the power of category 3 force hurricane winds twice.  The sound and devastation associated with it is something you can never forget.
  • I ride my electric unicycle to and from work, a round trip of approximately 50 miles.  It takes roughly 90 minutes to do it, each way.
  • After a coyote jumps the four foot fence and kills one of our hens we install a four foot extension to create a penitentiary style barrier that is jump proof.
  • The death of my mom at 67 years old shakes my reality and lifelong hang ups about death.  I briefly look into options for speaking to the dead to judge their merit and provide an opportunity to change my atheist core. Nothing comes of it.
  • I look at this list and I wonder if most of the entries have already been written or if there are many more to come.  I fear the former is true.