It may interest you to know there are real Memory Lanes in the bedroom communities of every American state. Look them up on Google Maps (I stopped searching after finding dozens.) Must be fun to be one of those residents and see the look on someone’s face when you give them your address. No, I don’t know anyone who lives on Memory Lane, but me, I kind of do; one with no stripes or sidewalks. Mine is paved with sixty years of material, some of it worth a visit; other items best left alone. All of this “Dave” stuff is somewhere between my ears and today it’s time for a big – okay, little – reveal.
59.99589. If you’re reading this post the day it was published, I’ve just revealed my age to ridiculous exactness. The 0.99589 amounts to 363 out of the past 365 days. You could say I’m still in my late fifties (very late, Dave), but more accurately you’ll say I’m either sixty on the dot or a mere forty-eight hours removed from it. Do I feel old now? Of course not! Er, until I calculate my age in months. I’ve spent 720 of those bad boys. For Pete’s sake, what have I been doing all my life?
Well, let me answer that question. In fact, let’s make it a game because then you get to play too. Think about the last sixty years (or in your case, however many decades you’ve been around). Now let’s create a list – off the top of our graying heads – of up to ten significant world events in the timeframe of our years. No, no, no; not the events you learned in the history books, but the ones with lasting, maybe even personal impact. Here are mine, in no particular order:
- 9/11 (2001)
- COVID-19 (2020-???)
- San Francisco Bay Area earthquake (1989)
- Space Shuttle Challenger (1986)
- America’s war in Afghanistan (2001-2021)
- Apollo rockets (1961-1972)
- Colorado’s Black Forest wildfire (2013)
I don’t have enough time to explain my choices (after all, I only have forty-eight hours until I”m a “sexy-genarian”) but trust me; these seven came to mind in a heartbeat. Now arrange them in chronological order to paint an interesting picture. My childhood was inspired by Apollo rocket launches (courtesy of black-and-white TV’s); my young adult years by two disasters – the Challenger explosion and the devastating earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area; and my adult years by big-bad-ticket items like terrorism, war, wildfire, and a global pandemic. Sadly, not one of these events makes anyone’s “good list” (am I a product of headline news or what?). But that’s not to say my sixty years have been altogether bad. Quite the contrary.
Now, here’s where the game gets more interesting. Make a similar list as above, but include up to ten significant events of a personal nature. These are the formative moments, where you’re not the same person after they happened as you were before. Leave off relationships (including marriage) and having kids, because most of us have or will have those in common. Let’s see now. My eyes are closed, I’m in a thoughtful trance, and I’m typing, all at the same time (a man of many talents, no?) Okay, pencils down. Here’s my “formative” list, also in no particular order:
- Corrective eye surgery (1977)
- I-survived-but-the-car-didn’t rollover (1984)
- Immersive year of studies in Rome, Italy (1982-83)
- Traded California’s coast for Colorado’s Rockies (1993)
- First job <McDonald’s> (1975)
- All things Boy Scouts (1973-1978)
- Architecture career ends, tech career begins (1993)
- All things basketball (1974-1979)
Again, I’d love to wax on about my choices but I’d turn 61 before I’d be done typing. Instead, sort my formatives from earliest to most recent. Notice anything? All happened between the ages of 10 and 30. My “clay was molded’ in a mere one-third of my lifetime. Not really true, of course. Ages 1-10 – none of us remember much of those. But now I hear you saying, “So Dave, what have you been doing for the last thirty years?” Well, you know the answer already The same thing as most every other red-blooded American male. Raising a family. Making a living. Loving my wife. Loving my life.
I predict my sixties will be my greatest decade; just you wait and see. I’ll witness another significant world event or two (maybe even a “good one”!) I’ll break my thirty-year run of nothing and come up with at least one more formative experience. I’ll write another 520 blog posts (and you’ll block a chunk of your calendar to read them). But let’s be real; this is just musings about my sixties. I’m only in my fifties. My account still shows a credit of forty-eight hours.
Lego Grand Piano – Update #2
The concert is underway! (read about my hesitant warm-up in the post Let’s Make Music!). Bag #2 – of 21 bags of pieces – started out innocently enough, with big pieces and easy assembly. My maestro-confidence overfloweth.
Suddenly things got v-e-r-y complicated in Mr. Instruction Manual. Tiny, tiny pieces! Mechanical components! Cables! Batteries! Here’s last week’s build, and then below, this week’s additions for comparison. Enlarge the second photo for a better look at the colorful, scary-looking “spindle”, running top left to bottom right. I have no idea what it’s for but it connects to the gray/white motor (at least I think it’s a motor) just behind it. I count forty-five little Legos on the spindle, each required to be positioned exactly as you see them. Almost walked off the stage when I was done with that step.
Running build time: 2.5 hours. Musical accompaniment: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” (three times through!) Leftover pieces: 5 (Conductor’s note: Last week I only had 1 leftover piece. 5 = concern. I need to double-check this week’s work before moving forward. Safe to say you can’t go back and “repair” after the fact).