v2. 11/17/99, V3. 1/1/01, v4 1/1/02, v6 12/31/04
Below is an abbreviated history of Mr. Till
As a personal monument to myself, I hope I only impose this level of detail
to those who genuinely give a shit. Writing this history has been enormously interesting for me personally, and even reading recent years is a sometimes frightening and sometimes impressive way to watch time race by like a bullet train. I expect this to only be interesting to myself (and it is). Its publicness only officiates the document for myself. (i.e., would I do this if the paper was merely tucked away in a personal journal?) This was first written in October of 1999 (hence a lack of detail for most of the earlier years). 2000 was added on 1/1/01. 2001 was added on 2002. 2003 in 2004, etc.
2020. Ug. Eww. Shit.
We persist. I uneventfully turn 50, Jen 49, Adie 15, Huck 12 and Vy 9. We’re somewhere in our third year at Kiln Point Drive.
Largely touted as the worst year in a generation and maybe a century, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting government reaction starts in March. The shut downs start around the world and all across the US to varying degrees. It starts with shutting down a litany of businesses (think restaurants, bars, movie theaters, my pool club, the neighborhood pool, retail stores, etc.,) and then ordering people not to leave their homes except to go to the doctors or the grocery store. This snowballs into all sorts of odd rules, like closing down the park next to our house and restricting beach access to only people who don’t sit down. Then to capacity limits. Then more of the wash hands, social distance and eventually near-universal mask orders where the world has to wear a surgeon’s mask on their face in public. It sparks wild distrust and fighting amongst people. The shut-downs and shelter-at-home orders prove disastrous for the well being of local business and everybody is laid off and is going out of business or getting government loans. When we had people over early on, we’d have them hide their cars.
Then around April a cop kills* a big drugged out black dude and the world goes NUTS. There’s protests and riots in most of the major US cities where they loot stores, burn businesses down and even kill people. This is followed by more lock-down orders and mask wearing and nobody knows if it’s bullshit or not (it is). By years end, nothing is better. Government continues to call for lock-downs, mask orders are in effect, and case/death counts just go up and up regardless.
The disease itself doesn’t affect that many people as far as I can tell. I meet almost no-one who has it. It hits about 1% of the population. Why are we doing this?
So, for the Tills, it means an awful lot of waiting around, tip toe-ing and not doing much.
That is, until our friends all move away around October. I still don’t get why they did it. Alicia I guess doesn’t like it here and hates neighborhoods and Heather wants hills in her yard. Levi and Isaac are cold reads on the whole thing, but I think they are happy to just get out of the Covid restriction or at least the soul sucking feeling it has left on everyone. Levi has to close his Charleston office down amidst the covid, lock-downs and his business being in retail. They move to rural-ish Tennessee where it is hotter in the summer, colder in the winter, 9 hours from a beach, near a so-what town full of poor southern people. The whole project sounds like shit to me, but worse, now we’re alone and every great moment of Morehouse friendship leaves, the parties, the picnics, the walks, the football games, the holidays, the playdates, the sleep overs —— done. Gone. Forever.
Hey, but at least they can be happy now (I think).
Going back to the beginning of the year, I swim outside at I’On club, which I join in January of 2020 and it’s one of my favorite places. It’s serenity and so much better than the smelly indoor city pools that shut down every five minutes or have perpetual old people classes. I return to Rivertowne pool when it opens (and when everything is allowed to stay open, all the shit was closed for six weeks in April/May).
Adie continues at Crown where she does very well. They send her home to school virtually, like the rest of the country, from March to May, so we pay tuition to do school on her computer. She has three close friends she sees frequently. For the year, including fall semester, she gets all As and is invited, or decides to, skip the 10th grade, thereby proving that the years she skipped homeschooling probably weren’t necessary.
Back in March, AB and I at SAM-Lab have to respond to our November 2019 meeting in New York where we are given a performance review and have to improve the business. Some of this already has put in place by hiring a new project manager and a QC person. We boldly make a plan to have our revenue grow by 38% and a plan to hire 11 (or maybe 9) more people. This all goes to shit once the pandemic reaction starts as our core client cancels all of the large scale in-person events that we used to make a lot of money on. Many of non-core clients, in panic, cut their budgets severely. The whole world starts working from home, which is fine with us (we’ve been doing it forever) but a lot of things stop/change.
SAM-LAB still does pretty well. We make it through the year without any layoffs or firings (in fact, nobody leaves the team) and without taking any government emergency loans. Our revenue closes up to $2.7 MM for the year, up from $2.45 MM the year before. Our core client gives us another performance review and we earn a great score, in fact, ranking us the highest/best vendor in the broader marketing category they have. Things look decent heading into 2021 for SAM-Lab. We hire a new designer in November. Up to 27 people at years end. Not too many new clients, something like 80% of our business resides in the core. Starting in September, I get super busy myself and have to work on the bench all the time and take like 10 hard phone calls per week, every week, until the end of the year.
I think I buy some gold.
Huck takes up skateboarding and goes to the public skateboard parks pretty often. He continues his video editing hobby/career, joining small pick-up video teams online. He gets his first two paid jobs in video editing. He seems to have lots of friends he talks to throughout the day.
Vy really, really gets into the musical Hamilton. She has her friend, Vienna, sleep over frequently until they move away at which point she begins Facetiming with her almost daily.
Jen continues to battle with her intestinal trouble. She is generally locked out of the world like everyone else. She gets a cello for her birthday and slowly begins to tinker with it.
We take one (1) trip the entire year, a rough trip to Maine to visit family in October. The trip itself is uneventful and/but the travel is rotten. It takes us like 24 hours to get home.
I begin doing a zoom call with Xavi and Chris every two weeks starting in like August or so. We continue to do them where we drink beer and chat for a few hours. It’s nice.
Basically, no movies come out with the shut-down. Hamilton is a big release. Frozen 2? Tenet. For TV, we watch Seinfeld as a family at night, maybe finishing up Parks and Recs early in the year, but sometimes BBQ, or the Mandalorian, maybe Bob’s Burgers sometime. Jen and I watch (?) Hannibal, Succession (I think), Shameless, The Queen’s Gambit, Little Fires Everywhere, the Haunting of Bly House. Maybe American Horror. We try out a lot that doesn’t stick. Afterlife was decent. Marienne. Living with yourself. Nurse Rachtet. Something like that.
The kids and I are still hot on the PS4. I think Bloodbourne takes us through the early year. It takes us over 150 tries to beat the main boss, Gerham. We then start Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, which is really good. We almost finish it before the end of the year (but we don’t). We also occasionally play mini-games since Vy doesn’t like AC:O. Huck plays Breadth of the Wild, Adie plays Detroit Become Human and Resident Evil 2 and Persona 5 (I think, maybe it was last year) and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Adie might have finished more. Huck too. Vy plays a lot of Animal Crossing.
I read a few books, including “the madness of crowds”, “the end is always near”, and “southern scribbling”. Maybe “anti-fragile” although it could’ve been the year before.
The Patriots go one-and-done in the January playoffs. Tom Brady leaves the team in March. The Patriots eventually sign Cam Newton and nobody else really and are a bad team. They go 6-9 as of this writing, with one more game of the season happening in January. No playoffs, first time in 11 years and the first time with a losing records since 2000.
Donald Trump loses the election to Joe Biden. I pay around $200,000 in taxes for 2019 (fed, state, property), most of which I pay in 2020. The government spends almost double what it takes in taxes. It’s giving money out to everybody.
Laura and Bob have their baby. That’s all for extended family (again, probably the lock-downs).
I think that's it, for better or worse.
Another year of not much going, just like last year and the year before, and it felt that way most of the time. Still, hard to complain as nothing is really going poorly. A guy can really chew up a day taking a walk, swimming, a nap and a few meals and some video games.
I turned 49, Jen 48, Adie 14, Huck 11 and Vy 8.
The biggest change we experienced was Adie going back to school in September at Crown Academy, a private alternative school. The workload is easy, but she goes four days per week. She made a few new friends, which was primarily the point. Overall she likes it and does well.
My company marches on in it's 15th year. Revenue grew 36% to over $2.3 MM, the team grew to 24 or 25 people (shedding some stinkers along the way). Most of our new business is expansion with the core account, but we probably do sign about 10 new smaller clients. I'm forced to travel for work twice, which hasn't happened in probably 10 years or more, once to San Francisco for a big RFP with the core account and a day trip to NYC for a status meeting. While in San Fran I stay with the Morehouses for a night, who are there all summer on a venture capital/incubator program for Isaac's newly made and funded company, Crash. We take a nice walk.
The Morehouse's summer away puts a dent in our entertaining, and we skip several key parties that have become tradition, include Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Thanksgiving is also not a big multi-family event and we Till's have to eat Goose all alone. We do have a few other get together/parties, with perhaps our Christmas party being the biggest. Jen throws a party for our old neighbors for reasons I still can't explain.
Huck builds a computer from parts that he ordered, using money he earned on a many-months long campaign to save money doing chores. He teaches (and continues to learn) how to use AfterEffects and is big into video editing, even gaining some 'free' work clients of sorts. He doesn't play any sports or takes any classes.
Vy just about learns to read with about 30 minutes or so of daily instruction from Jen. She attends an art class and does sewing class.
Adie continues piano class and sewing, getting quite good at both. She plays her first class recital. She takes up knitting and continues to bake.
I swim every day and often walk or bike.
We get a pool table and play frequently, several times per week. Huck and I continue to play ping pong frequently, have five-game series matches a couple times per week. Huck wins the vast majority of these and spends time each time practicing spin moves and the like.
Travel was typical/sparse with not much interest. In February we do our Maine winter trip, with hopes of snow (I think there was plenty, IIRC) and Huck and Vy build a fort (mostly Huck). In August we go to Maine for the usual summer trip I thought we went to Cambridge or maybe it is Boston to the MFA (I think that's it.) . In September I take a trip with X & C to Chicago for a few days of chatting. We travel to Massachusetts in December for Barb's surprise
Adie goes to a summer camp in Western SC in the mountains in August. She likes camp. We have a long drive there and the family hangs out in Asheville, NC for the better part of the week. We tour the town and see lots of hobos and hippies. We spend a night near Adie's camp and have a scary drive to see a waterfall.
I think Penny Handman dies this year after a battle with cancer. It may have been 2018. Cousin Nichole has her baby, cousin Laura becomes pregnant, and cousin Sarah continues with her two kids.
We play a lot of video games, starting the year with Spider-man (which we give up on), God of War III (good), and Bloodborne (great). Adie plays Nino Kuni two I think, Fire Emblem. We try to play Red Dead Redemption II, but only Adie finishes. The same goes for Horizon Zero Dawn (not sure if it was this year). Huck and Adie both play the Walking Dead series of games and watch the TV series as well. Vy and Huck start their own Minecraft server.
We still watch TV shows as a family before bed. This year it is a lot of The Office, Jeopardy sometimes, The Mandalorian, and Bob's Burgers. We catch Simpsons (although getting bad) and Modern Family when new ones arrive. Jen and I watch shows after dinner, including rewatching Curb your Enthusiasm, finishing Veep I think, some of Billions, Handmaid's Tale, Succession, Shameless, maybe more Barry? Maybe more Ozark? Ray Donovan. We watch the end of Game of Thrones. We try Preacher and some others that don't stick. Alex Trebeck announces that he has cancer.
We don't see many movies in the theatre. We see Avengers Endgame, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man 2, Star Wars Rise of Skywalker, Zombieland 2 and I think that's it. The girls see Little Women. At home, we catch IT, Us, Once upon a time..., The Professional, Joker, The Irishman, all three John Wick movies, Toy Story 4, Lego Movie 2, Long Shot, and certainly some others.
I read the book "The Market Loves You". I listen to the same podcasts for the most part.
Not too many trips to the beach or downtown, but there are some.
The Patriots win the super bowl over the Rams. The 2019 season is somewhat joyless even though they go 12-4.
No new art or music from me. :-(
Poker night continues until Isaac leaves in June, and then it is mostly done.
I think that's it.
Another year of not much, and it felt that way most of the time. Still, hard to complain as nothing is really going poorly. A guy can really chew up a day taking a walk, swimming, a nap and a few meals and some video games.
I turn 48, Jen 47, Adie 13, Huck 10, and Vy 7.
Jen and I celebrate our 20th anniversary. We went to dinner at Zero George in Charleston.
We move out of our Red Drum house in April to buy really nice, like million-dollar house on Kiln Point in roughly the same neighborhood. It’s bigger/nicer, more space, more outdoors, way more privacy and a better view, this time of the Wando river. There’s a dock next door. Moving was a bit of a deal but much easier than last time. We get a grand piano. Our Morehouse friends also move somewhere in the previous 4-6 months before hand.
My company turns 14 years old I think. We go from about $900K to around $1.5MM this year, with big growth in our main FB client. The team starts as eight and ends at a count of 21 and just about everyone is a pretty good worker. People are into the company and happy to see it grow.
Following up: the Crypto from last year hits $115K in portfolio value before diving down to $6K by end of the year.
I swim every day. Sometimes walk or bike depending on whether we are swimming outside or in.
Medically, I have eye surgery to remove cataracts which really helps (I could barely see clearly anymore, like looking through a blurry white haze - I’ll probably forget later). Jen has a long, recurring and painful intestinal condition. Vy breaks her arm falling in a play ground. We may actually have to use our bill share service.
Not much travel: we go to Rockport for a week with Jen’s parents and stay in Cambridge for a bit. We must go to Maine early in the year, because we went sledding there after it snowed here. We go to Savanah for a weekend, for a soccer game. Adie and Huck and I go see the Patriots play in Jacksonville, which sounds more fun that it was. It was hot, the Pats lost and I don’t particularly like football crowds it turns out. We spend a weekend in Georgia with the Blinks/Flanks. I do a trip with Xavi and Chris to Orlando. Jen travels solo to Maine.
We throw the usual key parties which are fun: Memorial Day (I think), Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas with good food and a great crowd. Lots of kids.
Poker night moves to my house in my game-room-esque basement.
Another sad year of creating no new art, music, blogs or podcasts. Oh, except I paint a nine foot wide tripdict of a Marsh scene that hangs in our new family room. Adie does some art.
For media we consume a plenty. The family watches the entirety of Friends, and Adie re-watches it many times a day. We watch Jacques Pepin as well, and some Jeopardy for our family daily TV show at night (we all lay in the bedroom, kids in beanbags and watch a show together. I can’t remember what we were watching before. Modern Family? Entering the new year we’re a bit stuck with Titans and documentaries.
Jen and I also watch a show in the evening: this year it was new seasons of Shameless, Billions, WestWorld, GoT (I think), Man on the high castle, Handmaid’s tale, Barry, Ray Donovan, Patrick Melrose, and GLOW. Jen watches period series that I can’t recall. Poledark? Taboo? Vikings?
And we see movies like, um, Avengers Infinity War, Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool 2, The Incredibles 2, Ant-man and the wasp, Solo, so a lot of super-heroes! Jen and I watched other movies on TV nothing too notable.
Video games: Adie, Suck and I (and often Vy) game together every night. This year it was Shadow of the Collusus, a little Last Guardian, God of War, Little Nightmares, replaying Super Mario brothers from the WII and Wii U, a bit of old mini-games and WII resort. Adie plays Nin Son And and Huck plays Ark and tons of Fortnight.
Other activities: Adie and I take a one-night cooking class. Adie continues sewing, art, piano. She begins voice lessons and Spanish and painting at the homeschool coop. Vy takes art. Huck plays soccer for the travel league and hates it. We make him play for the season anyways.
Podcasts are big: I like everyone discover Jordan Peterson. In the rotation are also Dan Carlin, Sam Harris, Rubin Report, some Joe Rogan, Peter Schiff, my friend Isaac’s podcasts, Tom Woods, Thadeus Russell, Michael Malice and Benjamin Walker.
Patriots go to the super bowl again but lose to the Eagles. Then they have a winning but funky season in the 2018 where they never have enough players or plays.
Again, not many trips to the beach or Charleston.
Oh, and we had snow for five days in January!
I was just rereading 2016 and I can't believe that stuff was already a year plus ago.
Our fourth great year in SC at Red Drum. Love our rental house and neighborhood. But we have some issues with the home and late in the year they rip out our duct work in the basement and we left without heat for three weeks of repairs. The owners hint that they might finally move in and the kids are eager to move. We begin THINKING about finding a new place, most likely buying a house.
I turn 47, Jen 46, Adie 12, Huck 9 and Vy 6.
It fucking SNOWS down here (this actually happens 2018 Jan 2nd, but I'll forget).
This was the year I watched television. I manage to work part time, but mostly swim, walk, nap and watch TV with Jen. No music, no painting, no writing, no blog, no podcasting*, nothing productive or creative.
* I do finish the "deschool yourself" series with Zak, Thadeus, TK, Dr. Gray, and Brett. And Rhonda Rousey's mother interviews me.
As for TV, we watch a lot of Shameless, Black Mirror, BloodLine, Billions, Game of Thrones, Curb your Enthusiasm, the new Twin Peaks and some others I must be forgetting. With the kids, we watch a steady rotation of Gilmore Girls, Modern Family, and Glee, with a couple other shows, maybe Ronja the Robber's daughter and Anne with an 'e' and other short kids series.
Despite the lack of having to work the bench, SAM-Lab grows in size with the hiring of AN, AU, EK, PC, and LB (with RM hired but not yet reporting). Our revenue climbs 88 percent to over $900K. We lean on our big clients such as FB and about 30 other companies. Things look good going forward.
On a whim I give a teenager $15K to invest in Crypto currency on my behalf. By year's end it's worth $85K.
The Moreshouse's had their baby around March or May or something. Lachland. The other Morehouses had their new baby too, Mave.
Not much in terms of travel or vacation. We spend a weekend in Hiltonhead and then a week in Rockport with the Rudolphs on the ocean and a week in Maine.
Adie gets a switch for her birthday. Huck gets a PS4 (from Adie!) for his christmas present. Adie and I play Zelda Breadth of the Wild for an hour nearly every day, except when we play Mario Oddessy. We start the game Horizon Zero Dawn.
I play poker with Isaac, Mitch, Austin, Mitchell, Tom and others at Cam's house.
Oh shit! The 2016 Patriots win the super bowl in the greatest game ever vs. the Falcons. The 2017 Patriots go 13-3 on their way to the playoffs.
We see a few movies, like Spiderman, Star Wars TLJ, um, Boss Baby maybe. Captain Underpants. Moana maybe. Thor Ragnarok. Logan, Blade Runner, Dunkirk, IT, planet of the apes, Okja, Lego Batman, The Beguiled, Beauty and the Beast, Trainspotting 2, Kong Skull Island.
No major medical procedures or issues. The doctor wants me to step up weight loss so I start swimming 30+ laps per day (no days off) and reduce carbs (yawn.)
Adie takes up sewing, more art and the piano. She's takes to piano and sewing quickly. Huck plays in the Cainhoy soccer league. Tries his hand at piano briefly. The kids start seeing a tutor/sitter of sorts.
We don't go to the beach very much.
I think that's about it. Nothing much happened.
I was just rereading 2015 and it doesn't seem like much happened in 2016. No one died at least.
Our third great year in SC at Red Drum. Love our rental house and neighborhood.
I turn 46, Jen 45, Adie 11, Huck 8 and Vy 5.
Third year homeschooling looks a lot like the first two. Lots of computers, minecraft, roblox. Vy gets her own Macbook. Kids play DS. Huck goes outside daily. Huck and later Vy join me on our daily walks. During the summer, Huck and I swim laps every day. As summer ended, I moved my swimming to an indoor pool this year to keep up the habit.
Kids get to black stripe on Tae Kwon Doe but quit shortly after they cancel the homeschool class. Adie continues to ride, Huck and she do a couple camps, Adie takes a drama class and maybe an art class. Vy does a ballet class of sorts. Huck goes to Huck Finn camp for a week.
We take a few easy vacations. First an over-rated Disney cruise that is expensive but enjoyable enough. Wouldn't do one again. We also go to Summer Bay with the Morehouse's which turns out to be an evacuation from Hurricane Matthew, which turns out to be not a big deal. We spend a few weeks up North in Maine, which partly includes my niece Nichole's wedding and a trip to story land. We have Thanksgiving at Middleton Place plantation, staying overnight. I take a solo trip to Xavi's house with Chris for some guy-time.
For visitors, Chris, Isabelle, and Linus come here for a week. Jen's parents come for 9 or so days. Kelly visits and Jen and her go to Charleston for the night.
Each of the kids has a birthday party of sort, with Huck getting a video truck. There's no shortage of consumerism here, although beyond a coo-coo clock, a soccer net, no real purchases are made. Still, the Amazon boxes stack up in the dozens/hundreds.
Even more than 2015, the neighborhood kid visits thins a bit, with Molly becoming more MIA than before.
SAM-Lab chugs on with us having another best-ever year in revenue, although I actually make less than previously. We hire a new guy, NO. The end of the year is busy with our new biggest client, FB, coming on strong. We respond to an RFP that could change the company, but end up losing the deal. My schedule remains fairly sane, but I do suffer through a handful of projects that screw up a lot of my summer. We sort of launch the new iPhone apps to total failure.
Besides a colonoscopy we remain relatively healthy. Jen does spend a day/night in the hospital with a kinked intestine. Our medical costs reach about $28K for the year.
My authorship slows tremendously. I complete probably 9 new podcasts and listenership goes up OK. I end up selling around 65 copies of my book Rise Above School. I paint for the first time in 8 years, producing a fairly amateur family portrait. Zak and I begin a podcast on Deschooling. I appear on the Singularity Bros podcast. I'm later brought up a few times after criticizing their thoughts on BIG.
Adie and I go see Alton Brown in Charleston. We also see a Legend of Zelda symphony performance. Mom, Adie and Vy see the Nutcracker.
Our relationship with the Morehouse's goes on. Heather gets pregnant with a boy (due in 2017). They also go to Ecuador for six weeks.
I don't read many books, maybe "End of Jobs", "Don't do stuff you hate" and some of "why haven't you read this book." Maybe Scott Adam's book "How to fail at everything". I wean off SSP and turn to more Tim Farriss, Sam Harriss, Singularity Bros, Theory of Everything, and Hardcore history. I quit donating to FDR, but start donating to some of the others listed.
We watch a lot of Simpsons and Victorious with the kids. Documentary Mondays is implemented. Jen and I watch Westworld, Veep, Black Mirror, Fleabag, and some others I'm forgetting. Mostly Netflix/HBO/Amazon stuff. Jen watches a ton of shows such as Walking Dead, Outlander and other ones.
We see a movie every month or so, like Rogue One, Dr. Strange, Captain America Civil War, life of pets, maybe the good dinosaur, zootopia, pete's dragon, dead pool and others.
Jen continue book club. I go to poker night at cams a handful of times.
We throw a couple of parties this year, mostly with the homeschooling families and Praxis crew as guests. We throw a kids-only color splash party. Some of the parties feature waterbaloons and modest fire works.
2015 marks our second full year in SC at 1516 Red Drum. We love it down here. It's 75 degrees as I type this working outside. It's December 30th.
I turn 45, Jen 44, Adie 10, Huck 7 and Vy 4.
Our second year homeschooling and my second year on an alternative work schedule. We look like crazy people with the absence of obligation we have. Every day is another warm day around the house with people doing what they want.
The kids play a lot on their computers. We also play Wii U (spittoon, Mario Maker, Yoshi Woolly world), Playstation 3 (minecraft, LittleBigPlanet, some Madden). Huck plays a lot of Terraria. Vy comes into her own playing minecraft and other video games.
Huck learns to read on his own. He plays Lacrosse and he's really good, once scoring five goals in a single game that his team only scored 7 total. He plays flag football as well. Throughout the summer we play catch nearly daily.
Later, we take Brutus the dog for a walk nightly.
Adie takes a weekly horseback riding lesson and attends horseback riding camp. Vy goes to ballet weekly. Adie and Huck get their red stripe belts in Tae Kwon Doe.
Jen is in a book club she sometimes attends.
Neighborhood kids/friends seem to slow down for no good reason. Adie and Vy still see Molly sometimes but she isn't available much. Huck plays with Mason, but he isn't available much.
Our friendship with the Morehouse families continues to grow and we see each other in some formation weekly.
We take a trip to Ashville NC with Chris, Isabelle and Linus in June (I think) where we visit the Biltmore estate.
We travel to Maine for two weeks in September and visit lakes and storyland (Roarasaurus), as well as the Rudolphs. We take another trip to see them for a week over Christmas.
I THINK we throw a neighborhood party in spring. It is poorly attended despite a lot of planning and purchasing.
In September, my dad dies at his retirement home. I call him on that day but he doesn't answer.
In April, I begin my blog/podcast fivehundredyears.org. I produce 7 original podcasts plus a series of written entries. I am interviewed on the SchoolSucksProject, peaceful anarchism podcast and the Chuck Morse Show. I eventually turn some of the posts into my first book, Rise Above School.
As a result of my appearance on SSP, The Mehay family reaches out to meet us. Fin and Huck begin teleconferencing daily.
We host thanksgiving and hold it outside. We also have little get togethers for Fourth of July, memorial day and new years eve. Our house is good for entertaining.
SAM-Lab has another record-breaking year in terms of revenue. The team remains the same as 2014 but JW goes full time and we briefly have an intern of sorts (Praxis). We sign a bunch of new clients and the client roster looks nothing like it did in years past. We ship roughly 350 invoices over the course of the year. Our video business does quite well.
We complete the develop of, but don't launch, two iphone apps that Naftali builds: Slide-lab and Bad Decisions.
I think I make it through the year without sustaining any major injuries. I do have psoriasis on my hands badly for the first part of the year. After the hands heal it moves to my face and I look like a zombie.
Starting in April I swim 1,000 yards nearly daily until the middle of October. And I walk for 45 minutes. After the pool closes, I begin a near daily regimen of push ups and resistance exercises.
Notable movies seen: Star Wars! Inside Out. Not much else. We watch "Man in the high tower" series and "motzart in the jungle". I'm forgetting something here. Cinderella must of been last year? Hotel Transylvania 2 is news?
Jen, though, watches Vikings and a bunch of period shows, rewatches Game of Thrones and could probably speak to the TV shows we've seen better than I can.
2014 Patriots beat the Seahawks in a stunning superbowl. The 2015 Patriots do well in the year, standing at 12-3 as I write this.
The Daily Paul finally closes down at year's end. I sign up for Liberty.me but don't use it much. I continue listening to School Sucks podcast, a few FDRs, and Isaac Morehouse's podcast.
I read the books "Think and grow rich", and "rich dad poor dad". I read "Freedom without permission" and start a handful of others. I feel like I read more.
2014 is essentially our first year in Mount Pleasant SC.
Adie is 8/9, Huck 5/6 (almost 7) and Vy is 2/3. Great friends.
Homeschooling/unschooling is a success. We can't imagine sending them back to school.
Work is fine. Despite losing some big accounts, we actually break the revenue record. Team is AB, JL, JW, and RJ, with a quarter year of AK.
Our new neighborhood is pretty good. We meet the majority of the street fairly quickly, including parties at the C's and K's and elsewhere. We even through a couple events ourselves, most notably a Halloween party with a giant cardboard maze I built.
We meet two other homeschool/libertarian families and quickly become good friends and visit with them often several times a month (in different configurations e.g., playdates, dinners, beach visits, etc.)
Huck plays Lacrosse, t-ball and football and has a great time with it (except t-ball, boring). Adie takes up horseback riding. The older kids do Tae Kwon Do and advance to green belts. TKD is better than Karate. Vy does dancing class.
We see Chris and Isabelle and Linus twice, once in Orlando and later for a memorial weekend visit in SC.
The Gravells visit us for roughly a week in the late spring, driving down in an RV.
I walk and swim frequently. The neighborhood has a nice public pool open from April-October.
I enter the 1500's of the FDR podcast series.
I break my sternum.
Jen is hospitalized for several days with a pinched intestine.
We go to the beach maybe 10 times in IOP.
We take a four week vacation up North per plan, although we actually cut a week out of it because it was too long. Went to AB's wedding in Newburyport, then to Maine, then to the Berkshires, then to Hampton beach and then back to Maine. What were we thinking?
We play and enjoy Zelda the Windwaker. We get some other games (MarioKart, Windwaker, Mario 3-D, NintendoLand, Dark Siders, Ray Man, Disney Infinity, Skylanders) , but the Wii U is less prominent now that the kids have their own computers. We play a little Madden with Huck.
Books include "How I became free in a an unfree world", "Better off Free", "Free to learn", some of Gatto's "Underground history", zero to one. I probably bought more than I read.
Notable movie theatre movies: X-Men DOFP, Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, Mr. Peebody, Her (at home), How to train your dragon 2.
Adie goes horseback riding for her birthday. We have a party with the MH's for Vy.
The 2013 Pat's lose AFC championship game to the Broncos. The 2014 Pats are a stunning 12-4 at the end of the year and seem capable of going all the way.
The Rudolph's move to Sullivan's Island in December for a four month stay.
My dad, after falling and laying stranded for 18 hours, enters an assisted living facility.
I'm talked into getting a dog, Brutus, who joins us late in December. He pisses and craps everywhere.
Vy turns 2, Adie turns 8 and Huck is 5 to begin the year. I turn 43. Jen 42.
The landmark event is my mother getting very sick around summer time and then passing away on October 28th or so. I fly to Michigan three times total where she is living. The first with the family where she insanely ignores us and then goes to the hospital in an abulance. The second time she goes to the hospital before I arrive on the next visit and I spend three days with her in the hospital where she is largely doped and manic. I say goodbye for the last time when I leave and about a day later she stops speaking. She dies about 10 days later.
My sister starts talking to me again around the hospital/funeral time. She had mysteriously stopped talking to me for about a year, apparently over some emails Jen sent her and a raft of other random complaints.
The night before she passes we get an offer on the Amesbury house, about $100K less than we paid. After two and half years on the market, we take the offer and begin a rapid rush to close, pack and move to Mount Pleasant, per the plan two years prior. This all goes down and I write this overlooking the salt marsh in our new home on Red Drum Rd in Mount Pleasant SC. It's nice!
My mother leaves us a little money, making the move quite a bit easier.
We get a couple of nice going away parties for the move. If you decide to move, don't tell people until you are doing it and make up a nice reason for doing it.
I absolutely feast on John Taylor Gatto's books and we decide to HOmeschool, which is to start in 2014. I hope that the end of 2013 is everybody's last day of school.
Adie does half a year of third grade and Huck a half year of Kindergarten.
Adie starts Horseback riding lessons. Huck plays flag football, which both he and the spectators (us) enjoy. I think they do an art camp.
Referralsoft is shut down around the first of the year or so after really never making any money. Time spent aside, I think I lose about $20K overall.
My company cooks along pretty well. We grow to a foursome again with the hiring of RJ. AG continues to dominate and AK turns out to be a real find. We close the year with an open rec to grow again. Revenues are flatish and I actually don't earn very much, but somehow cash flow stays positive and we're (espcially the team) pretty busy. The big account goes pretty quiet, but MM and CC expand and we get a rash of new clients, including the big box hardware store, the document software company, the security company, another medical company and a financial processing company. We launch a new website at years' end. One client forces me to have a meeting in downtown Amesbury.
The new Amesbury park is launched, it's pretty cool. A private group in town had been working on it for a while.
"Brine", a restaraunt in Newburyport, opens up and we go a few times. Not bad!
We attend Chris B and Isabelles wedding in the spring in Baltimore. I am the ceremony's fascilitor/MC and do well enough. We have a lot of fun but Adie is horribly sick the whole time and can't leave bed in the hotel room.
In the early part of the year, Huck and Adie and I both play Legend of Zelda Twighlight princess and Skyward Sword, both which are fabulous. Adie cries when Skyward ends. Great games. We get a handful of others (Akami, Pandoras tower) and nothing quite sticks like those two (maybe Huck's Madden). At years end we get a Wii U and start Zelda Wind Waker.
Vy sees a voice coach (debbie) for most of the year. Vy is very assertive, learns to talk and is usually pretty good.
A big pop up pool dominates the summer.
We become pretty good friends with our Amesbury neighbors, particularly after Huck becomes friends with two of the boys down the street. We do some social stuff and lots of drop-offs for play dates. The older girls down the street are over frequently.
Lou once again paints our house for many months over the summer.
Not much travel this year besides going to Maine to see Jen's parents. They do take possession of two goats we had bought them as presents. We go to florida in spring and stay on the gulf near my mom's house. We help her buy a wig and get her head shaved.
My mom visits in February where we have unseasonably warm weather. Huck drops a ring pop in a mud puddle.
With lots of driving between Maine and moving to SC, we listen to the first two Harry Potter books. And we listen to the "Fudge" Judy Bloom books.
I don't think I see any movies except at home, with maybe "Django Unchained" the only good one.
I read two John Gatto books, Llewlyn's "Teenage liberation guide", Ron Paul's "The School Revolution" and I don't think much else. Maybe "Tom Brady vs. The NFL". I do buy Molyneux's complete set but don't read any of them.
I enter the 800's of the Free Domanin Radio series.
We rearrange the bedrooms so that Huck gets the pink room and Adie the orange room (now all beige). They successfully transition out of our bed, maybe the year before. Vy sticks as a co-sleeper, likely into 2014 and beyond.
The 2012 Patriots once again do well but then lose the AFCC game to Baltimore. The 2013 Patriots are really exciting because everybody gets hurt, they have nobody to catch the ball and still win. Great TV.
Brent and Erica have thier baby in the spring. Sam and Meeta buy a house in Beverly but I only see Sam once I think. Dan R. moves to KC again maybe. Not much other news I think. Xavi starts dating Kristine I think.
Under the stress of my mom dying and moving, genetic ailments psoriasis and gout afflict me.
Adie gets a hamster for Christmas.
Kids saw Frozen, Monsters University, Dispable Me 2, Cloudy w/ meatballs 2,
My weight loss doesn't progress but I hold around 180, forcing me to buy new clothes my size. Or at least 1 or 2 pairs of pants. I easily walk for about 45-60 minutes daily (week days) for maybe six months out of the year. I had stopped swimming, just due to i dunno. We stop the soup and eat chicken breast with steamed vegatables instead.
Right at the end, in SC, Huck and Adie both learn to ride their bikes.
Other time benchmarks: 20 years since Screwtape; 20 years since moving to Boston; 20ish years of knowing Kevin B,; 16 years of knowing Chris and Xavi; 17 years of being with Jen; 15 years married, 13 years as a home owner (now renter); eight years as a parent.
Vy is 0/1, Adie is 6/7, and Huck is basically 3/4/5, but just about all 4. These kids are my best friends.
Huck turns four for real on Jan 4 but then has a mock birthday party in October (Halloween themed) since nobody shows up for parties in January.
Adie is in first grade and then second grade and does very well at Cashman school. Huck is enrolled three days a week at Windmill, his second year 'downstairs'. Vy learns to walk, is very physical, but barely talks.
The defining moment of the year may have been my Mother's cancer. She was misdiagnosed three times and then finally diagnosed with vulvar cancer towards the end of her months long stay in Newburyport. She has surgery and is pretty medicalized/cared for/healing for quite a while here as Jen's patient and then experiences a few months of chemo back in florida.
Katie gives birth to her first daughter, Natalie, in October.
My friend Dave moves to Lexington amid continuing troubles with his step son.
My job cooks along well, almost topping the highest revenue year and does make the most profitable year to date. Memorable projects include a large CRM account, the expansion of our marketing client, a paper on mining safety, and the beginning of blogging for an executive in charge of $14B in revenue. My top employee, AG, does very well. My employee NB is good but quits in October to be replaced by his girlfriend AK. We are selected to launch Liquid graphics which may be important, nothing, or destructive.
The other company is on the ropes (to be expand later). A third company, 210 Main income property, is sold three times and is hopefully going to close in Jan 2013.
We go to Florida (Orlando at Summers Bay resort) for a week, Disney for a day, and have a nice time in swimming pools. Huck basically learns to swim and Adie works on her doggy paddle. Vy does pretty well in water wings.
We play the Wii quite a bit with some of the better games being Wario Smooth Moves, Paper Mario, Super Mario Brothers Wii, and Luigi's Mansion. So/so games Kirby's Epic Yarn, Batman, Lego Star Wars, and Sonic colors are sometimes played. Big fun is playing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Huck accidentally deletes my Mario Galaxy account but recovers 30 stars on his own. To a some degree we also play the original Legend of Zelda
Bill and Barb put their house on the market and move to Maine in November, to a new somewhat smaller home next door to Cathy and Norm.
We see the films Hotel Transylvania, Brave, Secret Life of Ariety, Wreck it Ralph, The Lorax, and Madagascar III. I don't think any grown up films are watched, although it takes Jen and I basically a whole weekend and some online research to get through "The Dark Knight Rises". Avengers is released as well as the snorey Thor and Captain America movies.
I go swimming a lot during the early part of the year, often swimming at or near a mile three times a week. Both this and runs on the treadmill slow as work gets busy, but weight loss slowly continues.
Vy begins a weird habit of wanting to be alone and watch Sesame Street by herself in the orange room.
My mother attempts to buy a home in Michigan near Katie.
My dad begins wearing an Oxygen mask for daily use.
I'm down 45 pounds about, sometimes weighing in around 178-179 lbs, down from 225 around 2003. I begin or continue eating homemade soup instead of the canned gumbo. The soup is better, both in taste and calories. It mostly ground turkey with a tomatoe/beef broth and lots of vegetables.
I also get the vape.
The pats go 14-2 (in 2011) and eventually to the superbowl to be defeated by the New York Football Giants. I briefly think they win when I hear fireworks before I'm done watching the game. I don't remember how my fantasy football team does. I think I come in third (there's a trophy in the case for 2011), I'm in the playoffs this year as I write this on Dec 21, 2012
Dec 21, 2012 is the date of the Mayan end of the world prediction which people follow with a dull and unconvincing interest. A terrible shooting of Sandy Hook makes Facebook erupt for weeks.
Ron Paul has an exciting presidential campaign. I go to see him twice (maybe once in 2011) and get my photo with him. I attend a Republican caucus and we win! But then they cancel our delegates later.
I don't see much of anybody. Xavi comes for a day and we go to the state park.
I think I see Opeth again with Dave and Brent. Brent's wife, Erica, is pregnant, due in February 2013
Till family goes to Red Jacket, an indoor water park, in August. Vy can participate to a degree.
The house is STILL on the market. A few people look at it. We hire an ace realtor to take it on next year.
Adie has another pretty nice birthday party.
Books read: Human action stays on the bedside table and I begin "the Virtue of Selfishness" looking for a small book. I read Schiff's "The Real Crash" and ??. Maybe Sam Harris' Free Will but that may be the prior year. Do I read the Bill Belechick "War Room"? I don't think I read much given my addiction to FreeDomainRadio.
Nothing much happens to/with Jen. She's pretty busy raising the kids! She's got a little baby for Chrissakes!
No art or music is produced. Very little work is done on the book.
At some point, either this year or last, I begin listening to Stefan Molyneux's "Free Domain Radio" podcasts and get through the first 300+ and start thinking that anarchism is the way to go. I do a lot of mulling.
Nobody sustains any serious injuries and there's not that much illness either. Vy has the croup.
Verity "Vy" Till is born in May. Nicest baby ever, constantly smiling. Her delivery was a mess: a v-back that ended up with an acreta with emergency surgery, blood transfusions for mom, a second emergency surgery a week later, and then a baby fever after home which sent us back to the hospital. 17 nights in the hospital total. Grandma comes up to try to keep the children sane. I take a lot of time off work. Everybody eventually gets home happy and healthy. Vy closes out the year being able to sit up and play, probably a month or so short of crawling.
Somewhere very early in the year, perhaps even in December of 2010, we decide to move the family to Mount Pleasant South Carolina to avoid the cold. The decision is based on our relative mobility and finding what seems to be an acceptably rational city in the south. We visit twice (spring, fall) to look at neighborhoods and such and like it. The house goes on the market in April and receives exactly zero showings. After six months we go FSBO and still get no showings. This puts us staying in Amesbury for another cold winter.
We also travel to Captiva Island for a week in the sun and have a great time swimming in zero entry pools. We go to North Conway for Thanksgiving to swim at the Red Jacket. We spend a bit at York Beach ME. We go to Michigan for about a week to visit Grandpa and the Broskies in December.
Adie and Huck are great friends and great kids. At 5/6 and 3 they are a lot of fun. We play Wii almost every night starting in September, first playing nearly the entirety (in some ways of thinking) of Super Mario Galaxy II (which is great fun) and then moving to "Kirby", "Mario Cart", and towards the end of the year, "Super Smash Brothers". With not to much time every evening after work/before bed/in between meals, this little time is a lot of fun for us to connect.
Adie is in first grade and Huck in preschool three days per week.
The Winter/spring are absolutely nasty, with snow piling up so frequently that the backyard, sidewalks, etc. are completely covered. Turning a corner in the car is hard because the snow covers the view. I built a tunnel to get to the bus stop. It was TERRIBLE. Decent weather still wasn't hear until June or so. The following fall and winter, though, are unseasonably mild. We do get snow for halloween but none for christmas.
Adie is a magician for holloween, Huck is Mario. Adie plans the be-all of halloween parties for months, which we have dozens of people attend. It includes an elaborate haunted house in our carriage house.
I think I go to DC for Chris' birthday but this could've been in 2010.
The 2010 Pats enter January playoffs 14-2 and receive an embarrassing one-n'-done playoff loss by a Jets team that fields 12 cornerbacks. I come in third in my fantasy football league (battered whores of Amesbury). The 2011 Pats finish the season 13-3.
Jen and I get the flu around Thanksgiving which takes weeks to let up. Jen gets double pneumonia afterward. And she mysteriously sprains her foot at the same time with a visit by Connie.
I don't see friends Dave, Dan, or Brent frequently if more than once. I live far away and have three children. The Cancels move to the next town and acquire a new son. We sparingly see Dukas, Everests, and bus stop neighbors. I think Walter and Marcy have Louie this year. Nash finishes some house renovations I think. Dave and I go see "Opeth" in Worchester.
No art or music are created. An outline and abstract to aforementioned book is completed, but little else. 'Personal' time that isn't family-centric is limited to dailypaul visits, some iphone Scrabble (not sure when I got the iphone, but have it now), and Patriot games.
A kiddie-pool is a large feature of our summer, as it was the previous.
I have a record year of revenue for work but manage to achieve a lower paycheck. The company spends most of the year as a fivesome with two designers, one writer, and one tech (one who replaces the previous RS tech). Referralsoft is profitable (barely) for the first time ever. Major SAM-Lab work includes growth to new divisions of our main client, and also expands to a few other firms, most notably a Baltimore-based Insurance firm and a Baltimore based marketing agency. CC, Toni remain active clients. I'm afforded more vacation time and we handily make deadlines. My aggressive growth goals aren't achieved, but then my focus splinters/slows a bit, likely with the expansion of my family drawing interest. We pull back a little at the end of the year with the CLIENT getting a new CEO and shutting down billing. I regretfully take my first meeting in a few years.
Jess and Drew give birth to Emma and buy/build a house in Maine. Easter and Christmas at Nanny and Poppy's on the island (I think) Christmas eve at home with seafood tillberg.
Hero Ron Paul declares he's running for president and does pretty well so far. We send money. I get to meet him briefly at a speech/dinner we attend and then later see speak at a public event. Dailypaul.com is visited frequently. I think I read "liberty defined", make little progress on "human action", begin "Patriots Warroom", Rand Paul's "Tea Party goes…", Rothbard's "For a new liberty", and part of Bastiat's "The Law". Not much else as weekend naps (where I read) are less frequent and sometimes computer Scrabble is more interesting. Reading of "Reason" diminishes from 'read every word' as I've been doing for decade to slipping on current issues. There is something about the magazine that seems much more distant to the hot libertarianism that the Paul and Mises people are doing. Including Schiff and his radio show. I move retirement accounts to Schiff's firm and it doesn't do that well.
Watch a smudge of Celtics basketball. I think the Bruins won it all this year (can't remember).
At the same bowl of canned gumbo soup pretty every single work day of the year. :-| Same egg beater breakfast too.
Restaurants Crave and Wild Bytes open in Amesbury, Firehouse closes down. Cea and Enzo open in Newburyport. Sometimes we get to go.
Go to the movie theatre to see The Smurfs and maybe Gnomeo and Juliet and The Muppets and Rio and Rango and Puss in Boots and you can see where this is going.
The kids fall in love with Mizayaki's films "spirited away" and "howls moving castle". The former was watched years ago while a 1 year old Adie and mom were violently sick.
Adie and Huck have a joint birthday party in the summer at the NH childrens museum. Nobody is hurt.
Early in the year, I sponsor a night at the local soup kitchen as a birthday present to my father-in-law. Get to see lots of poor people and feed them beef.
I think that is it.
Perhaps I'll put carriage returns in this one to make it easier to read.
I turn 40 years old this year, and to save anyone the math, the year ends up with Jen at 39, Huck at 2.9 and Adie about 5 and a half. Huck and Adie are great friends and play with each other constantly. Adie begins kindergarten at the public school after attending pre-school in West Newbury. Huck continues on at daycare three days per week. Adie takes dance lessons and gynmastics. Adie performs in a crushingly long dance recital as one of the youngest there. Huck also does gymnastics and is fearless. We meet many of our neighbors through waiting for the bus. Huck really likes swords, guns, batman, spiderman, iron man, ben ten, and anything else that hurts people. Adie begins writing a bit and is terrified of just about everything. Jen gets preggers again, with all intent, with high hopes for next spring.
The winter is unseasonably mild. The summer comes on schedule and isn't particularly hot nor poor (per last year). Fall and winter comes on schedule without notice. Summer is the best, because the backyard becomes a big part of our home with its table and chairs and kiddie pool. The other three seasons push us inside into the 'smaller' house.
We go to Florida in February for my mother's 60th birthday where we throw a party mostly with her neighbors. My mother decides to spend the entire summer in Amesbury and rents an apartment from May-August. During this time we see her often and she spends a lot of time with her grandkids. Katie and Paul buy a new house.
The year can mostly be characterized with a lot of parenting and kids stuff on the weekend and an unusually busy workload. I have the boomiest business year of my career, but still manage to not work OT or weekends. I don't, however, get to take 10 weeks of vacation. More like 2-3 weeks I guess. My company grows to a degree, Mary works half the year, my ex-employee Amanda comes back first full time and then full time. I hire a new artist and writer, young guys who join at the end of the year. I also invest in ReferralSoft by hiring a full time manager in March. By November, we're breaking even through our reseller program. We march on, this being the 'start' of this business despite it being around for six years. Zero meetings, zero travel. I do have to work with all the new employees though in the carriage house. I struggle keeping up with assignments and am 'fired' by one new client (strategically, in some ways, I choose which client to let down to save the others).
We go to Storyland again. We go to York Maine for a bit. I could handle southern Maine Coast as a living place, perhaps if a generous amout of winter was spent away somewhere warm.
Tennis playing stalls as the demographic clone and I both get busy at work. I get an expensive stick all the same.
I have a nice open house for my 40th birthday, held in the late summer, with meatballs and Kentucky Fried Chicken. At 40, I can easily have 32 more years of working before qualifying for SS retirement, and could easily work another 45 given my occupation. I could, if inclined and stupid, spend 8-10 years of school and have a long lucrative career as an eye surgeon or gastrologist or something. Mind blowing. It is the first time I see 'neighbor' Brent in over a year. Dave, Roe's and a host of other people come. Meeta and Sam for instance, who we only see once or twice the entire year. Liz and Justin too. Banks comes with Indy, but leaves new baby Ruby at home (born this year). The list of other friend events in this realm are limited to, I think, one or two visits here Dave, one with dogs, another to meet Ruby, like a lunch thing, and that may just about be it. We live far away and have two kids.
Adie has a boffo birthday party, pool themed where we light up a few hoses for multiple kiddie pools, sprinkers, slip and slide, make your own sundae bar. Huck's birthday, by comparison, sucks it hard. We constantly mistake Huck for being older than he is, but he is only TWO. He develops an obsession with shopping for Ben 10 watches on Jen's iPad.
We buy an iPad and everyone thinks its cool. We play Mario Galaxy a bit on the wii, along with some of the sport games.
The Patriots lose out in the first round of the playoffs in Janurary to the Ravens. As of this writing, they are on track to finish 2010 14-2 or 13-3 perhaps. Rand Paul gets elected in KY. I spend a lot of time following Peter Schiff and his short, unsuccessful campaign.
I go to Walter's 40th birthday.
We get a new roof and a new bed. The roof is expensive. The bed doesn't seem so, but only compared to the roof. We're essentially done buying stuff, except, wait, we need a new fridge and a camera and a new dishwasher, some painting.
My dad falls and punctures a lung and goes to the hospital, which drives me to take an emergency trip to Michigan. My dad is an exemplary mood and we do stuff like see an art film and go to a museum. (???)
I produce not a single note of music or a single art image. Four years since I've picked up a paint brush. I do continue to update LEONSTEMPLE but the updates come slower and slower. Not completely my fault, its a museum and eventually finding stuff will slow. I don't really have an less appetite to do music, I have a list of ideas and am running potential melodies and themes through my head. I just don't have the discretionary time. I do the mental calculus on this, and I can't parent less (I don't, and don't think I will, regret the time spent playing Candyland and pushing kids on a swing), which means that I have to work less. I officially put 'time project' on my list of enduring life projects viz., I am going to figure out how to create more discretionary time. There's an obvious out by making less money, but that would contradict my money project, so I'm going to have to be more clever.
I don't excersize, but a little austerity with food nets me about 20 net lost pounds in the second half of the year. I'm weighing in a coggish 194 towards the end of the year. Xavi, who I see at Walter's party, has lost 65 pounds and is 155 lbs. And then later, with Kim, WTF?
We see the films (at the theatre) Avatar, Toy Story 3, Tangled, Jackass 3-d and I think that is it. We may have abandoned "How to tame a dragon...". I read Bryan Charles "There's a Path...", as well as I think (I did read, just not sure if it was this year or last) "American Empire", "Economics in One Lesson", Schiff's perfect "How an economy grows..", Hayek's "Road to Serfdom", Maybe even Schiff's "Crash Proof". I start an Austrian economics library of sorts. I get all of Irwin Schiff's books by donating to Peter's campaign. I abandon "Infinite Jest" about 300 pages in, mostly not interested, at this moment, in novels esp. those 1,000 pages long, and begin but don't finish (yet, but actively reading, page 400 of 1000) Mises giant "Human Action", and hero Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape". Jim Cherry sends me a pile of comic books out of nowhere.
Not about this shit above, but I'm considering writing a book of my own original content and intent.
Huck is almost 2 by years end and Adie is 4.5. Jen turns 38 and Jeff turns 39 by years end. Huck and Adie become fabulous friends. We watch a lot of Tom and Jerry on TV. They each get sick about 10 times, ending the year with pink eye. The brutal winter of 08-09 doesn't seem to end until mid-July, with one of the most fridgid/rainy summers of memory. We have our house painted blue (from yellow) by Uncle Lou and Schonn. It takes from Jun 10-Sept 11 and is a persistent force all year. Huck is tested for lead poisoning and comes up poisoned, causing a panic until a intra-vienous test comes out goodly. We lease 210 to a nice family who end up being good tenants all year. SAM-Lab has its fifth birthday in June, making its five years the longest job I've ever held. Revenues are flat from the previous year, but by all accounts, flat in this economy are an achievement. 2010 looks bright work-wise. My most notable assignments are the internal account G-e-n-o, the Eminence program, B-A-O, and the minnnne of the future (trying to keep things google-proof). Mary is a great employee for the entire year (her first complete). ReferralSoft is less spectacular as the mortgage industry hemmorages through a bad economy (all riding from crashes and government intervention in late 08). I successfully have zero meetings and zero trips outside the house for work. I put myself on payroll. I take 9-10 weeks of vacation, planned on seven weeks out of office, but end up with only six. A week in Florida is unexpectedly cold, clearing the family to go to Disney, Animal Kingdom, and Universal Studios, with frigid swims and a visit from Grandma. We go to Michigan for Katie and Paul's wedding (they get married BTW). We spend two weeks in Kennebunkport ME at the beach house with the Rudolphs and many guests. I meet Barbara Bush on the beach and talk to her for about 10 minutes where she explains how she cares for her dogs at night and compliments my children. We visit Vacation Villa in the Berkshires for a week with a short visit with Meeta and Sam. Sam starts is CIMCo company and gets a job as a financial director at a venture start up. We go to North Conway for almost a week off combined, with a visit by grandma and a trip to Storyland. Grandma also visits for Rick's 60th birthday, with a visit by his daughter/family/mother/sister, and visits for a week during Christmas. I release my eighth record, "The Brambles of Hell" which is the meanest, most crass piece of art I've created (maybe). It has songs as old as 1999 and was recorded mostly in 2006. A slow summer work season gives me the time to finish it. LeonsTemple creeps through it's third year. We, perhaps ill-advised, launch FMC.com with mixed results. Adie has her second year at Children's Castle, Huck starts going to 'school' at Rachels, relieving Peruvian nanny from her two days of child watching. I begin to play tennis with demographic clone David from down the street. We probably play a total of 50 games (games being what 6-10 of them create a set). I get a colonostopy. My fantasy football team, the Alibaster Prick of St. Tom, goes 6-8 and misses the playoffs. The Patriots finish 2008 season, led by Matt Cassel to 11-5 but miss the playoffs too (Miami wins the division by tie-breakers, which they squander in the first week). The 2009 Pats now sit at 9-5 with two games to play (this is written on Dec 27). I see the films "Inglorious Basterds", "Watchmen" and "Up" in the movie theatre, which are all superb. I re-read Watchmen. The PowWow grill announces that it is sold. Facebook is adopted by almost everybody. Red Thread clan launches Bodimojo. The Banks family announce that they will have a second child, a daughter due in April of 2010. My mother gets a temporary position as the Ethics director at her university. Katie's and dad's employment stay steady. Katie and Paul visit for Thanksgiving. I don't think Xavi and Kim visit all year, but maybe they did in the Spring. I think Beck makes one stop in Boston. The B-Side closes and Lord Hobo opens (I haven't gone yet). Dave becomes a beer enthusiast and begins/continues brewing in large quantities/high qualities. I re-read the book "End of Faith" (we were so scared of Muslims in 2002!), I read Darrin Doyles "Revenge of the Teachers Pet", Wallace's "A supposedly fun thing...", a biography on Ron Paul and Dr. Paul's "End the Fed" and "pillars of prosperity", and start "Walden Pond" and Wallace's "Infinite Jest (200 pages in). I think I'm forgetting something. I nap frequently with the family on weekends. Reason is still on my bedside. My entire political worldview switches from being libertarian for operational and ethical reasons to being libertarian for anti-corruption reasons. I become a Dr. Paul advocate, delighting that someone with my worldview attempts to apply it and educate the populace, and visit his site daily to watch whatever new video he has, even though he repeats the same four messages daily (fiat currency/fractional banking, ending corporatism, ending pre-emptive war, personal liberty). Obama takes over the whitehouse and Bush wars are extended/revived in Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, and sanctions are raised on Iran. I can safely define my world view and daily persona between playing with pre-schoolers and political/economic research. I don't finish a painting this year, and am forced to put the unfinished 'brambles' painting out in print (started in 2006). Chris Bryers releases "ghost stories". I think I go to Cambridge once to see a band, and I only see Brent/Erica a couple times despite their second year closeish byish. Bill and Barb spend their second year on the island, feuding with their insane neighbor. We throw a hotdog poolparty for the Nash/Banks/Oberlin/Roe circle of friends in the summer. We throw a baby shower for Drew and Jess, who are expecting their baby to born tomorrow (Monday, Dec 28). We throw a neighborhood cocktail party with our immediate neighbors and tenants. Adie and Huck get a keyboard, a glamour camper (Barbie), a basketball net, and a digital camera for Christmas. Meeta and Sam by new furniture after planning on doing so since 2005. I 'bail out' of Bank of America and begin banking locally at small bank. I see Stephen Lynch twice in New Hampshire. The Roe's have their third child, Linus. We visit Pete and Allie twice at their house, once at ours. Rollinghead has a very successful reunion show (I don't go). I think this is it. Despite a lot of activity, my time not earning money or sleeping is almost entirely spent fathering/parenting.
After many visits, Huxley Rudolph Till (Huck, Goo) is born on January 4th, 2008. Jen and I stay in the hospital for 11 days total on three trips in, battling a long infection that Jen has. Huck and I am sent home a little early. The Rudolph family and mine buy a rental property, 210 Main and spend much of the late summer/fall cleaning it up without renting it. Facebook mania starts amongst people above the age of 20. The Patriots suffer two crushing losses (maybe three if they miss the playoffs, I write this on Dec 24), with ending their historic 16-0 season 18-1, and then losing Brady for 2008. Leonstemple.com keeps on keeping on throughout the year. The sub-prime mortgage crisis occurs and Referralsoft sales slump with significant attrition among the base. I finally release the album "An Adulty Adipisci", capping half of the songs I had been working on since 2003. Through this Michelle Graf visits several times to record her tracks. A second album, only needing about 9 minutes of vocals recorded, is never finished by years end. My plan is to release 4 albums per decade, so I have the entirety of 2009 to poop it out. Nor is the painting I started in the year prior, but another painting for AAA cover is completed. I throw Dave Nash a rememberal bachelor party in Portland ME. Dave marries Linda after dating for 13 years. Walter and Marcy give birth to Augustus Blank, who later has heart surgery which he handles very well. Justin and Liz give birth to Hannah. Tim finally graduates. My CD Baby account exceeds $1,000 in sales after eight years. I play Fantasy Football as the "Rumbling Boil of Amesbury", coming in about 6th place. Dave comes in dead last again. Kevin and Kasemene give birth to Indigo Banks, only three weeks after Huck is born. Luke Donoho gets married and impregnates his wife, by rumor. Mike O'Donnel gets married. For SAM-Lab, I complete 103 assignments by Christmas time and elevate my network to include some very senior people in the American economy, but collections slump by about 30% from the prior year. I only attend ONE meeting outside of the house, a voluntary number in Woburn. Super-star employee Amanda leaves to attend grad school, and new super-star Mary is brought on. My sister meets and becomes engaged to Paul. I pause on my metaphysics reading to focus on more political reading (like many during the election year), becoming a certifiable Paulista, and reading Paul's book, Obama's book, Jesse Ventura's book, starting McCain's book, reading stuff from the Mises institute, as well as continuing with Reason and online research. Brent and Erica move to Boston to a small Fenway apartment. They had visited previously on a scouting mission. Xavi and Kim visit twice, and later make an offer to buy a house that falls through. We sell our Saab and lease a Honda Pilot. Jen's brother has cancer and then later chapter 11. Jen's sister gets divorced from her husband of 21 years, and then dates another fellow who drowns to death in a boating accident. Jen's eldest sister finally sells her condo. Jen's neice moves to Arizona (or Colorado?) and then back again. Jen's dad installs a fish pond. My high school class throws a 20th year reunion, which I decide not to attend. The family visits Storyland in ME. I don't beleive anything of note happens to Chris Beck, Sam, or Meeta. My mother works on and finishes her Ethics textbook. My dad gets a crippling DUI with a very strict sentence. Amesbury High wins the 'super-bowl'. Adie starts pre-school. Huck walks by age 10 months. Best new dish? Maybe a turkish kibby, maybe the corn-and-shrimp fritters? Maybe the beef braised in coffee wine and tomatoe tossed with penne? Everything is blending together these days.
Yup, more parenting and how. Adie goes from being a talkless walker to a talkless walker. She says "What are doing, daddy?" and "I love you" more than I can count. She gets her first haircut and a bunch of other stuff, including a smashing second birthday party. I knock up Mrs. sometime in early spring, and miss an expected delivery date for Jeff Jr. on Dec 27th. Now as I write, I'm mere hours away from having the boy born in 2007, and will surely miss the tax write off. We go to the hospital three times in false alarms. My business has grown, and this year saw me doubling an already decent paycheck. I hire two employees over the course of the year, one a disaster and one a godsend (one continues on to 2008). The whole thing is a pretty extensive, interesting, and sometimes-painful lesson. I still do things on my terms, my way, and my understanding of the commerce/money process increases significantly. I take the third annual polyscicon with Chris and Xavi, now in Minneapolis. Xavi scores a professorship and moves back to Milwaukee. Walter moves to Cleveland. Dave gets engaged to be married (or was that LAST year?). Dave moves out of his Brighton apartment of eight years and moves in with fiance Linda. Tim and Katherine actually get married in South Carolina (I go). Patriots suffer crushing loss to Indy in conference championship, but go 16-0 in 2007 season. I lose in my own playoff in Fantasy football (Brent wins). The ambitious painting started in 2006 makes good progress until March and then it is abandoned. The finished demo goes unfinished for the entire year, but is split into two projects with work done on each. Now four years in progress, I may have trouble getting my goal of four albums done per decade (although still could). Kevin gets his wife pregnant and he gets a new job at the Pheonix. Third stringer Luke gets engaged. Walter also impregnates his wife, as does Justin. I start hanging out with the Newburyport mothers' club's fathers. My in-laws sell their Rockport home and move to Amesbury, to the coolest house on the block. In December it snows more than it did all of last Winter. My mother visits four times, my dad once and my sister twice. My sister changes the name of her dog from "Katie" to "Sadie". We sell our second car, going down to one permamently. I launch Leonstemple.com in January and, together with help from Joby, keep it populated and active for the entire year. Dumbmail is closed down. Leapthought and Referralsoft continue on, keeping Mike partially employed the entire year. I see TOOL with Dave. The Professor starts dating Isabelle. We buy a load of shit, from portable electronics to furniture. We have the upstairs painted and reconfigured, not least of all a DIY removal of the upstairs kitchen. My sister willingly leaves her job in a spell of frustration. I take two business trips, one to Maryland (boo!) and one to Atlanta for a big IBM party thing (productive). The Ale House and the Phat Cat open in town (my little town, not Boston) and Skandia converts to the Mad River Grille. I buy a Belichick sweatshirt and wear it for no less then 60 days in a row. I read the book "Wicked" on Jen's recommendation, and probably more importantly, "Hold on to me tightly..." by Bryan Charles, and see about a 1,000 DVDs. Some of the shows on DVD watched include "Lost", "Desparate Housewives", "Boston Legal", "Battlestar Galactica", and "Rescue Me". I fear its already been a year since we were watching "Arrested Development" and "Undeclared" and "Deadwood". We watch short programs to deal with putting the child to bed and being early-to-bed late-to-rise family. This will probably be interesting to myself in 2020. Steve Lynch plays Berklee. Adie stops sleeping in her own bed in March (when we go to Florida in March). I play half of the game "Prince of Persia". The new Xbox and new Halo is released but I do not buy it. Chris Bryers releases "hazela and the black rabbit" of which I am the patron and it is released on the "leonstemple" label of sorts. 14 copies sell. I sell 1 copy of Overman, 5 copies of thing and nothing (counting online sales), 1 ECN, and 1 copy of Rockmen for eight CDs sold for the year. Could be worse (I decided to give the whole catalog away anyways). The albums go up on iTunes. I write the songs "Let's go fucking crazy" and "Appetite for destruction". Kathy and Norm STILL haven't sold their Rockport condo. Sam turns FORTY years old. I think Kevin did too.
As any parent will describe parenting, the most ordinary events seem extraordinary. For example, Adie was able to roll over and sit up in the beginning, went through crawling, walking, a first birthday, beginning to talk, understanding all sorts of concepts, and was sick no less than eight times. A constant joy, I can't imagine a life without her. A lot of my friends were married this year, including Xavi and Kim who had a fabu weekend-long wedding in Milwaukee we attended, Walter and Marcy, and Justin and Liz. I had my earningest year ever, continuing to work part time in my pajamas for most of it. In fact, there was not a single out-of-state business trip, and only about 10 out-of-the-house meetings all together. Clients IBM, RedThread, and SAP were the primary contributors. In Amesbury, where we live for the year, we buy a LOT of stuff (like TVs and furniture and backyard stuff and the like). We suffer through over $7,000 in car repair bills. I install a facet and a couple of (failed) heaters and consider giving up my handyman career. I finish a complete working demo of TASM Lab's seventh CD, 14 songs total, playing all the instruments including drums. Recorded it with the failed GLEECD studio. I visit Florida with the family to visit more family. I also go to Detroit for my Dad's 60th birthday. I play the game "Battlefront" but quit because its boring. I slowly do not finish reading "Until I find you" after a year sitting next to my bed. I do read, though, both of Sam Harris' anit-religion books and really dig them. Chris and Xavi and I conference for the second year in a row in DC to talk. With all the weddings, there are a lot of bachelor parties - one of which is an entire weekend in Montreal, complete with the insectarium (for Walters'), and one which is a wierd night in Revere (for Justin). Xavi doesn't really have one. I see the New Pornographers. I begin the ambitious painting for "The Attack Dogs of Compassion". Leapthought does nothing much, but Referralsoft picks up enough clients to breifly hire both my mom and Mike as employees. I get nothing done on a screenplay I started in 2005. The Patriots lose out in the second round of the playoffs for 2005, but go 12-4 in 2006. I'm still a big fan. Jen and I celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. We go out to dinner (wow, later, on a different day, we go see a movie, um, Jackass 2). I learn to not beat up garlic in the pan. I sort of maintain my 2005 weight loss, but don't do as well on the excercize program. Xavi gets a post at Cal Tech. Dave takes a new job in database something or other. Kevin leaves his job, but (and?) he wins another 48 Hour film project. Steve Lynch stars on Broadway and is nominated for a Tony award. I play fantasy football and come in second to last (Dave is last). Joel Johnson and his family visit from Sweden. Other visitors include the professsor, Xavi and Kim, Mom, dad, katherine. Sam and Meeta's house spends the entire year still for sale. The Halsey's have their baby, Arthur. Craig Verity moved to Portland (maybe in 2005?) and buys a drumset.
2005, as far as a list of personal events, will seem thin, but in fact there were several big things that can be described shortly. The first must be Adelaide Rudolph Till's birth on July 23rd, 2005. The second are the five months of living with and taking care of and enjoying and loving Adelaide that followed. In that time she went from a ham-like creature that liked to cry and poop, to a fairly articulate, handsy, smiley little baby person who cries and poops. But she also talks in her own language and plays peek-a-boo and likes ice water, drinking out of cups, and chewing on knuckles. She hates being on her stomach and fashionable restaurants. A distant third event was the previous seven months of Jen's pregnancy, which was a fairly breezy, easy pregnancy, and was overshadowed to the point of being a non-memory by Adie's arrival. The fourth was Jen's recovery from pregnancy, which was long and harrowing, with weeks of bed rest, multiple infections, visiting nurses, packing, and other horrors. The fifth was the purchase of our massive cool house in Amesbury and the subsequent move to the house in November. Amesbury is really far away, but I don't go anywhere. The sixth is the sale (pending early Jan 06) of 19 Lewis Ave, our first (and Adie's) real home. The seventh is the first full year of my company and corporate independence, which has changed from a wild experiment into a way of life. My clients include IBM, RedThread, BioProcessors, Coldwell Banker, Ogilvy, Darwin Partners, SuccessImage, and many pass-alongs through clients. Beyond having a baby, buying a house, and running my old business, I didn't do much else. On the business front, I strangley made less than I did in 2004. I launched LenderContact.com and Realtorcontact.com, verticalized versions of Referralsoft.com. Referralsoft and Leapthought continue on, scraping few funds. GleeCD is pathetically marketed, dropped from my focus after the baby, and results in no new business. Sam Patel acquires two jobs and starts CIMCo. Xavi and Chris and I summit in DC in March for fun in Baltimore. I see a hootenanny and 500Years is conceptualized. The Iraq war rages(?) on. New Orleans Katrina happens. Patriots win the Superbowl again. I become a rabid football fan and play fantasy football online. I sell 11 TASM Lab CDs, and continue to inch along the next record, finishing a demo of it in March, but making no real additional progress for the remainder of the year. I have a wholesale failure in keeping a 1-painting-per-year goal alive, and produce nothing in the entire year (after only sliding one in 2004 as a technicality). Xavi and Chris visit Boston. My mom visits four or five times, dad twice, Katherine twice. Xavi and Kim got engaged to be married. Donna Wilson stages a fake wedding or something. Walter gets engaged to be married. Kevin and Kasmene buy a condo. Chris and Elise also have a baby. Chris and Kelly's dog dies. Meeta gets a new job and her and Sam decide to move to Philly (but don't do it, yet). They put their house on the market the same week we put our condo on. I play the game "Beyond Good and Evil" which was really neat. "Revenge of the Sith" is released to my delight. My mom gets a full time job as a philosophy professor at St. Petes college. Toolmaster has a new daughter in May. Stephen Lynch sells out the Orpheum and tours through a couple times. Chris Bryer's sort of releases the excellent 'Birds'. Dave buys a snowboard and starts snowboarding and buys weights and starts wieghtlifting. Jen and I have been together for nine years. Happytill.com is launched, as well as 500years.org. Dumbmail does nothing (buy hey it was a great training ground for programming). I begin leasing my own dedicated web server. Dave's company S3 merges with Verndale Systems. Chris Beck gets a new job with the Department of Homeland Security as an auditor or something. Sam becomes an analyst. Xavi and I are still playing 'lord of the rings' on X-box. Early in the year, Xavi and Kim and Jen and I have a LOTR marathon in Milwaukee. I get a video camera. Kevin and I film "Triste de Canard" and I film a hackish video for "fuck fuck..." and a monkey puppet show. I go on stringent 105 day diet to successfully lose 25 pounds and lower my blood pressure. I begin excersising and maintain a regimine from February to October. I eat Egg Beaters for almost every day for the entire year. Kevin and Dave start (or continue?) the inexplicable Gooseneck game. Kevin begins getting his Masters. Kevin is a scream in the 48 hour film project (why is my bio mostly about Kevin?) Dave adopts a new dog, Ginger Bella Donna. Walter gets a dog too, called Petey or something. Liz and Justin get engaged. I guess I went to Florida, but travelled no where else. Drew and Jess buy a condo. Kathy and Norm start building a house. I don't think I read a single book. We upgraded to the Netflix 6 package. I get a Costco membership. I invent the dish chickapus.
The three largest events of this year are: my wife, Jennifer, is pregnant with our first child; I purposely quit my full-time adult job to pursue wealth and new business ventures on my own terms independently; I got an X-Box. Jen finds out she's preggers after 3-4 months of purposely trying in Oct/Nov timeframe. She has the flu for a month. I started the year continuing the Japanese leadership development project with EMC, Dr. Bander, and Decision Logic until June 1st. When the project ends, I quit my job to ensure that I stay at home and begin building my own equity. In my first six months on my own I earn the equivalent of the entire year as a real employee. Not bad. (So I gave myself a raise) This is the end of the 'escape plan' - mission accomplished. My new CONSULTING company is called the Strategy and Methods Lab, or SAM-Lab, and is named to sound like TASM Lab (originally considered TSAM Lab, still pronounced SAM-Lab, like TSunami). A tsunami hits central Asia and kills >100,000. At SAM-Lab, I work for Red Thread, HNW, IBM, BearingPoint, and Darwin Partners. Red Thread is founded. Through these companies, I work for Allstate, SAP, Coldwell Banker, BioProcessors, LaSalle, Fidelity, Oppenhiemer, Flynn Insurance (we launch Flynnins.com), and LDI. In general, I leave the home office only twice weekly, and traveled for business on two occasions (once to CT, once to NYC). I formulate and make it through the new plan, which I plan on being transitional (1/4 million in my pajamas plan, to be completed hopefully by 2006). I visit the Berkshires for a weekend to listen to the BSO at Tanglewood. I visit Spain and AFRICA - Morocco, which is easily the best tourism I've done. We upgrade Netflix to the 5 disc program (this is important). I see one of my now-favorite movies, American Splendor, many times. I create and launch REFERRALSOFT.com, an application for independent marketers to run referral campaigns. Its a massive piece of programming that I'm sure would easily cost a big company 6 figures to create. I start a partnership with Brad and Mike Roche to turn it into a tool for mortgage advisors. We improve it and launch it to the market, including attending a mortgage trade show in Detroit. Response is very positive, but sales are slow. Dave Nash and I record our first GleeCD demo with St. Mary's of Rockport and press the disc. It comes out wonderful and St. Mary's even sells more copies than people in their parish. Unfortunately, a second client remains unfound despite many marketing letters mailed. LeapThought crawls through its first real year, and gets the addition of LeapLines (a significant bullet-making tool, and a pretty hefty peice of content in itself) in hopes of driving traffic. I write some songs for TASM Lab #7 and get 1/2 way done recording a demo. Songs include "Bismuth Kisses", "Cool Water for Drinking", "Fate Steps Out of Her Well", "The Soused Romantics", "The Day I Woke Up Old", and "Army of Children". These are added to previously written or half written "Attach Dogs of Compassion", "The Whole Goddam World", and "The End of Unimportance". Dave gives me a hand-me-down classical guitar. I co-buy a portable recording studio with Dave. I continue to get REASON magazine, one of the best things I get to read. I discontinue all subs to Stuff and Maxim (let them run out) because they were balls ass funny three years ago and now are tired. I read the books Dune, America (the daily show parody), Adventures of Huck Finn, and Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I complete the games Halo and Halo II, and have interim progress with "Return of the King", "Knights of the Old Republic", and "Grand Theft Auto III". My sister gets an X-box too. And she buys a house. Sam spends another year unemployed. Dave buys a truck. The Patriots win the SuperBowl and have the longest winning streak of any NFL team ever. The Red Sox win the World Series. Its a good year for sports in Boston. George Bush is elected president, and some say its because they didn't want Boston to win anything else (already to much awesomeness). We visti Xavi and Kim in Milwaukee. Walter meets a nice girl and so does Tim. The Democratic National Convention is held here in Boston and Chris Beck takes me to a party were he introduces me to his boss the Californian congresswoman. Chris suggests that he might run for office. The big dig is almost done. Geoff and Molly Halsey visit from Portland OR. Jared moves to Seattle. Don't hear much from Michelle Graf. Brent releases "pipebomb full of nails" with Cosmonaut, and never I recieve it. Marian Dunshee gets married. Keven and Kasmene Banks get married (and we went to a bachelor party in Providence). We stage two LAN parties and they are too cool for school. My mother starts teaching philosophy at St. Petes college and gets a promotion at her day job. I buy a 2001 Saab 9-5. And a new bed. TASM Lab.com turns 5 years old. I start a painting in January, but don't finish it before the year is up. In fact, its still in pencil. I do complete the Jokers, as I was close at year end. I go to Detroit for Christmas. Citizens buys Charter One, and Fleet is acquired by BOA. My best golf score is a 102, 3 strokes better than the year before. I get brand new clubs and give the old ones to Walter. I start playing a little bit of tennis. I eat at (notably) Upstairs at the Pudding and Oleana. I go to the hospital because of a strange arm injury, likely related to epicondyle fracture incurred earlier, while playing golf. It plagues me for the remainder of the year. I brew my first batch of beer, Brown Bonobo. Dumbmail.com sits alone like a terd with few additions. No home improvements for the whole year. Lynch plays the Paradise and the Orpheum. Toolmaster's pregnant. TASM CD sales total $140 for the year. Screwtape goes to digital distribution, but the encoding is screwed up. No sales, although its not necessarily attributable to the encoding error. Al Wiseman has a baby, Sasha, whom I watch grow up online. I play Pente with Craig Verity, who is still in San Diego. Xavi plays golf for the first time in his life. An egg dipped sandwich is the only thing to really be added to the guest menu, and its not even that great. I do learn how to fry an egg. My cock grows 7 inches longer (not really).
This seems like a lot of stuff, but in many ways, I really really sat around on my ass this year. This is what happens when you remove the 60-hour-per-week bad habit called work.
I start the year recovering from the eponcondyle fracture. I play the video game "Guts Rage". Hero the Horse is sent to Virginia, as he is too dangerous for human company. There is one visit to Washington DC to see the professor. Xavi visits four times. One of my favorite things, Lord of the Rings, finishes up with the spectacular "Return of the King". The secret web project is launched and makes $900 in its first four months. Also launched is dumbmail.com and gleecd.com, along with the final plan for the community recording project. I learn PHP and MySQL which puts me developing software and web pages. TASMlab.com gets a makeover in its fourth or fifth year of operation. I build Chris Everestts Nordlundassociates.com site. The 'escape plan' is formuated, with three of ten businesses set in motion. The Hudson Debacle "Into The Monkey Oven" is released and not a single copy is sold. A power (power?) shift at H-N-W separates me from my pet project there, and working at home with a reduced workload for months. I paint my front porch. Kevin Banks launches Kevinbanks.com. Kevin gets engaged to be married. I quit H-N-W and begin working at a new firm doing workforce consulting - essentially looking to move US jobs to India, the only boom industry at the time. I still work at home for about 7 months out of the year. Best golf score for the summer: 105, 4 strokes better than 2002. I work designing work processes for a company that designs control systems for nuclear powerplants, and then later build competency models for a Japanese system integration firm. I visit Detroit and the Birkshires. We join Netflix. My last surviving grandparent dies. My dad and I visit Cooperstown NY and the baseball hall of fame (maybe this happened in 2004). The Benz is taken back to the dealership, and we buy a used Saab 9-5 Steve Lynch marries Erin Dwight and I attend their wedding. Lynch himself plays Boston three times to bigger sold out venues time after time. Jared Bryant moves from California to Kalamazoo. Saddam Hussien is captured. I meet Dan Roe of Desecrator who is now a Phd in abnormal psychology and teaches at Harvard. I re-record guitar and vocals for the "Overman Racecar" tape and rerelease it. One copy sells. Sam goes almost another year unemployed, but scores his CFA III. Mike Roche moves into his new studio building. Kim Oriel graduates with her masters and gets a job at a consulting firm. TASM online CD sales peaks at $500. I write only one complete new song (The Attack Dogs of Compassion). I nearly complete a new painting called "The Jokers". Two sculptures (of grotesques) are built for my mother and sister, but are destroyed in transit. I receive a paninni press for Christmas. A special Pork n' beans is probably the most successful new dish of the year.
This year was a little better than 2001, but not much. I was re-hired by HNW in the same position (still no raises). A website/product I dreamt up in April of 2001 finally goes live. The services business which I was the first member of in November 2000 is close to being profitable. I play the game Spiderman on my Dreamcast. I finish the painting "Into the Monkey Oven", a portrait of my wife, and a four piece painting of the Atlantic ocean for my family-in-law. I write just two songs: "Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck", and "Icecream". The Hudson Debacle plays TT the Bears, the 608 and the Skybar. I organize a failure of a show for CDBaby/musicthoughts list called "Tourbaby". "Out of the Blue" is evicted from thier space and move to Prospect street. My sister finds a new job with Charter One. Chris Beck is awarded a Congressional Science Fellowship and moves to DC. Xavier gets his PhD, gains a post-doc at U of Milwaukee to study Gravity waves and moves there. Hudson Debacle breaks up. The Hudson Debacle also records and comes close to releasing thier second record "Into the Monkey Oven". Jen sells Bonnie and buys Hero, a heroic thoroughbred right off the track. Craig Verity moves to San Diego. Sam Patel remains unemployed for the entire year. The economy stoops further than it has in years. The country is seemingly on the brink of war with Iraq and the end of civil liberties. The Patriots win the Superbowl. No travel, besides visiting my mother in FLA and work in NYC. After playing a record 16 rounds during the year, I shoot my best golf game of 109. I briefly get my own office at work, and then move in with Matt Warren. Dave Nash starts work back at SolidSense almost the same day that I return to work. I experience a epicondyle fracture from trying to mount a horse. I have to have elbow surgery where they put a bolt in my elbow, and wear a brace for weeks on end. I have a tooth extracted that same week. I build to small scultpures for my mother and sister. I paint for wee paintings for the Rudolphs. I learn how to make my own onion rings (and they ain't bad!).
Worst year ever, and not just for me. No raises anywhere. The Hudson Debacle cranks along well, with a few shows at the Sky Bar and the Milky Way and finishes recording our first, 14-song album. I lose my job as Vice President of Strategy at HNW., a company specializing in marketing to HNWi's, previously known as the HNW Digital, formerly known as Worth Interactive and worth.com. Travel to St. Louis and Naples Florida (but don't travel in general). The World Trade Center is destroyed in a purposeful terrorist attack, killing thousands. On the same day, Mo and me take a brief vacation to the Berkshires. Also on the same day, TASM Fellows/friends "the Thought Industry" releases thier sixth album "Shortwave on a Cold Day", which I design the cover art for. My mother moves to Florida to live by the ocean, she buys a condo and gets a new job at a FL-based NPO. Sharks attack Florida. Dave loses his job four days before Christmas. Kalamazoo hang-out and dive "Harvey's" closes. I finish four paintings, including "The Drinkers", "Rockmen to a Faraway Nowhere", and two smaller ones of a guitarist and cellist dressed as a frog and a duck (both are given as gifts to my mother and sister). I write a handful of songs "Lost in the Parking Lot", "The Fantastic Asshole (co-written with DA Nash)", "The Trick-Heart Assassin", "Crimes of the Dancefloor Make-out Artist (lyrics and vocal melody only, music by Xavi", "The Hospital in the Ocean", and "How to Fight a Girl". The Hudson Debacle moves from Chris' basement to the Allied Screw and Bolt company, to Xavi's basement. Buy a Sega Dreamcast and play the games "Draconus" and "Soul Reaver". Work as a contract employee for Fidelity Capital (Veritude) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. TASM Fellows Jared Bryant and Michelle Graf move to Boston. Jared quickly relocates to San Fransisco. Mike Roche purchases a retail location for Broadside Studios. I am a key organizer (although a 'key' organizer, the bulk of the project work is done by a diverse team) of a team of CD Baby artist in a charity music compilation for the 9/11 disaster, entitled "The World will Remember". This website is in its third year, and I change Internet providers. The US economy takes a dump. I sell my small stake in Acclaim entertainment at a 400% profit, but lose equally sized stakes in other securities. TASM Fellow Craig moves to and back from Arizona. Thoughtindustry.com is launched. KevinBanks.com is launched. Chris Beck gets a post-doc at NorthEastern University. Xavier Siemens completes a lecture tour of England. The Ted Williams (or thrid-harbor) tunnel opens to limited pedestrian traffic. I perfect a recipe for a damn fine gumbo.
Year of spending: I bought a drum set and starting learning how to play. Started new punk band with long time friends Dave, Chris and Xavi called The Hudson Debacle. Write six new songs: "Daddy Drinks because You Cry", "The Planet-Earth Ejector Seat", "The Model of My Affection", "The Little Boy Who Was Hit By Lightning While Playing Baseball When It Wasn't Even Raining", "Your Drunk Drunk Secretary", and "Stupid Yesterday". Seven years after moving to Boston, dragging my bass amp across the country in leiu of furniture or clothes, finally play at the Middle East rock club with (said) rock band. Make $10 from show. My wife, Jennifer, quits her salaried position and starts her own design firm. I begin to blur things that happen to me and events that happen to Jen, and think about things that happen to "us". First lurcrative batch of TeleTech stock options vest when the market was at its hottest. I bought a condo by the Atlantic Ocean, and subsequently move from Cambridge to Goofyville-by-the-Sea. Become a junior electrician, hobbyist wall-painter and expert wall reconstructionist in the process. I attend TASM Fellow Chris Bryers' wedding. My sister moves from Boston back to Detroit. TASM Fellow Craig Verity moves to Arizona. A black cloud hits Kalamazoo and TASM Fellows Craig, Brent, Jared, and Mike all split with thier long-term women. I bought a Horse. I buy my first car ever, a sweet 2001 Mercedes c-class. I bought my second car weeks later, a black 2001 VW Jetta that I actually get to drive. Sleet releases "The Volume Drops", which I help with the album cover. Bush is elected President. I design the cover for punk legends FEAR's new CD, "American Beer". I turn fucking 30. I appear on Ben Walker's radio show as a Karaoke activist. Pamet River collapses under its own weight and I help close down the company. I worked for Dow Dupont Elastomers, Digital Creators, Hibernet and even help sell (with a cast of thousands) the ka-billion dollar Ford deal at TeleTech. I follow my boss to Worth Interactive, a company focused on marketing for High Net Worth-focused financial services companies, where I work as Director of Strategy. Get a raise (sort of). Immeadiate, Pamet-like layoffs are timed with my arrival. I sell nothing in the two months I'm there, but gain advocacy within the company anyways. Jen and I have our second wedding anniversary (yet still haven't finished our wedding pictures yet). I begin my largest canvas ever (5x6 foot), entitled "The Drinkers" (when I was younger, I could paint 3 paintings a week. Now I am pressed to finish one per year and they take me hours and hours). I finish my second sculpture, "Blissful Native". I read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" (and "The Fountainhead"), which makes so much sense to me that I fundamently change my outlook on life and begin boring friends with evangelistic ravings. Jen begins fox hunting at the Myopia Hunt Club to supplement her polo itch. Chris Beck FINALLY gets his PhD. My sister begins working for NY Life, my mom's boyfriend Rick begins working at Home Depot. This website chugs along in its second year.
I finished my third CD, Penisgeek Chrestomathy. I finished my first full sized
sculpture, "the Surprised Slave". Painted cover to "Penisgeek". Finished painting "Shortwave on
a cold day" in a mad rush to make Thought Industry's album deadline.
I built my first fountain, which is no great shakes, but it works.
It spits water out of its nose and hands. At PricewaterhouseCoopers I worked in
Florida at Toyota for a few months. Worked briefly for Fleet Bank. "Phantom Menace" is released and like many goofballs, I skip work to go see it. Went to Disneyland. Visited Paris. See the Decendants and Helmet play live. I quit PricewaterhouseCoopers to work at a small marketing
firm on Newbury Street called Pamet River as a marketing strategist. Got a raise. This website is painstakingly created and launched. The old site is shut down. TASM Fellow Charles Bradford has a baby named Arlene. Close up 1999 with first TASM Lab live show at Harveys in Kzoo, opening up for Thought Industry. Wrote song "Whole Goddam World". When I was in high-school I would write 3 songs per week, now I count them by the year and they take me weeks to render. My sister begins working for Brown and Company, a discount stock brokerage owned by Schwab. Finally "arrive" for the first time.
Got married to Mo. Worked in New Jersey, Minnesota and Los Angeles for Prudential and Disney. Visited Venice and
Florence. Jen starts to play polo as a hobby. TASM Fellow Brent Oberlin gets married. TASM Fellow Chris Bryers moves to LA. Separated myself from Out of the Blue, although earily have to complete tax forms years later. Begin formally writing "Essential Cubicle Nosepicker".
I start painting in oils, which are far superior to other painting media, but didn't start until now because of misdirection by shoddy university painting instructors. Painted the picture "Circumcision in the Woods", "America is Love Spelled Backwords"(this painting is lost) and "Sleeping Mos". Left A.T. Kearny to work at Price Waterhouse, later to
become PricewaterhouseCoopers, as a management consultant. Got a raise. Worked in Los Angeles for Disney and Oregon for a consumer Pear mailer. Had year long art
show at the Manray in Cambridge. Visited London. My sister moved to Boston where she began work at a hospital restraining CRAZY PEOPLE.
Thought Industry releases "Black Umbrella". Moved from Inman/Central sq. area to a gorgeous one bedroom near Harvard Sq.
Met my future wife Jennifer, who is nicknamed mo. Briefly reside in ugliest house in Massachusetts. Moved from Central Sq. to Inman Sq. Wrote lyrics and melody
to "Dreams of Buried Children". Design CD cover for Amy Fairchild. Started junky art gallery
"out of the blue" with two other partners. (became craft store later on). Ten year anniversary of space
shuttle blowing up. TASM Fellow Craig Verity gets married. Thought Industry releases "Outerspace is just a martini away". Launch first version of the TASM Lab site, which only features "Thing and Nothing", in internet stone age.
Release 2nd CD, "Thing and Nothing". Painted pictures for Thing and Nothing covers. Moved from Allston
to Cambridge. TASM Fellows Genius Hired Guns release "Dutch Mafia", which seems wrong now since I remember them rehearsing for it in 1993.
Painted many pictures, including "Office Fight" 1 and 2 and "Development Lab". Left PTR to work at the consulting
division of EDS as a graphic artist, later to become A.T. Kearney. Got a raise. Bought a synthesizer and began long process of writing and recording "Thing & Nothing". Officially regroup under the name "TASM Lab", which is an acronym for Till Action Science Media Laboratory, and serves a general catch-all for whatever I choose to do artistically. It was started so that I could work with anyone, work remotely, and still maintain a branded entity. King Tammy release "Think of what you are eating and how it powers you" which features a parody of Screwtape's "Number 28". Taste garlic for the first time. TASM Fellow Charles Bradford gets married.
Get to play at the State Theatre, which is
a big whoop. Screwtape released CD, "Anthemunanthem". Screwtape began learning the song "The
Year the Clouds Hated the Ground". Screwtape broke up
for no real good reason. Painted "Magnet to his mother's love",
which later was on the rear cover of Twitch's CD, "Beaten Senseless and Giddy With Love", which is inexplicably written, recorded and released that year, as they also released thier disc "Homewrecker", then got signed to RCA on top of it all. Thought Industry releases "mods carve the pig". Graduate from college
with degree in watercolor painting and acting.
Moved from Kalamazoo to Boston (which ends up redirecting my life significantly) with friend D. Austin Nash. Quit Kinko's and begin
working at Personal Technology Research (PTR)
as a mailroom clerk. Got a raise.
Overman breaks up for no good reason. Start Screwtape with Colin Bradford. Paint all sorts of shit
that stinks. Everyone starts to go hoopy over Nirvana. Black Spring spearheads compact disc revolution by releasing "Girth". My mother takes me on a cruise to the Bahamas. Thought Industry releases "Songs for Insects". I quit the Velvet Touch and begin working the nite shift at Kinko's copies. Got a raise. Move for the hundreth time within Kalamazoo, last move going to the Grant St. house where I finally resolve much of my identity configuration that I started in 1984.
First Overman show is on New Year's Eve. Overman gets to open for "Nomeansno". Take job at the Velvet Touch, a small, discriminating
video and novelty store featuring adult themed merchandise. Become manager two weeks into the
job because porn boss rips off the store. Parents get divorced.
Quit Cry and started Overman. Played a gravedigger in a university production of "Hamlet". Met Brent, Chris, Chuck,
Dave, and nearly everyone else who would be in Pensigeek and T&N (except Michelle). Begin
radio show at college radio station. Play the exact same records every show for almost an entire
year because of disinterest in hearing new music. Work as a DJ at a roller-rink in Kalamazoo.
Specialize in the hokey pokey. Work as a telemarketer for two weeks. Buy a drum set for
shits and giggles and play in goofy band "the Four Horsemen", who only play two shows. One of which
I miss. Live in the dirtiest house in Kalamazoo. My entire monthly expenditure is significantly less than I pay for just monthly heating oil in 2001.
Met Craig Verity through a flyer. Started Cry and Common Ground. Wrote first version of "Everything
seems clear". Moved out of the dorms. I play a drunk old man in a university production of "Macbeth". Work at TGI Fridays and Punchinellos as a waiter. To my surprise,
I'm a terrible waiter.
Finished high school. In the last year, I never had more than 130 minutes of class
per day. I direct a terrible short play (with girlfriend Helga) about a comical thief. I play a Texas oil barron in a high school production of "42nd Street". It occurs to me now that I was a very middling actor, as I couldn't even score the lead in a high school play (which means I wouldn't score a lead in college among the bigger group, which meant I didn't have a prayer in the professional world). So as a dummy, I went to Western Michigan University to study ACTING and watercolor painting. Although it sounds like a recipe for financial failure, I now realize that college isn't for teaching kids anything, its just there to shake some of the idiot out of them. That said, I'm happy I enlisted for a "day camp" ciriculum, as it was enjoyable and had little bearing on what slavery-type job I would end up in. Stop two year
career as deli clerk at Krogers. In university productions, I play a gay tap dancing sailor in the musical "Anything Goes" and a podunk (sp?) hayseed in the "the Dark of the Moon".
Had unfortunate braces removed after a legacy of painful orthodontic appliances,
including 2 retainers, a cemented palate expander and a chin strap that was applied at the age of eight. I direct terrible short play (with girlfriend Kim) "Kiss me quick, I'm double parked". In a high school production I play a play director in a production of "Noises Off", and a singing knight in "Once Upon a Mattress". I score big lipsynching to such hits as "staying alive", "monster of the drive in" and "copacabana" at high school lip synching contests (sounds like a joke, but its the truth), and subject myself to contrived regional speaking contests called "forenzics" where I would travel to other schools and tell a bedtime story against other kids telling bedtime stories. If I won (by being a better bedtime story teller) I would get a ribbon. As I write this, I can beleive that its true and am beginning to doubt my memory because bedtime story contests sound absolutely fucking ridiculous.
Got drivers license. Started playing bass guitar. Played in junior rock band "The Blind Mice" with Chuck Wood, who would later
play in "Common Ground". Space shuttle blows up. Begin work at Krogers as a deli clerk. Get to see
the Psychedelic Furs in concert at Pine Knob. My sister is the first person in America to
get a Nintendo 8. I meet my good friend Al, as we were constantly casts as Bill and Ted-esque losers in different plays, such as "pointcounterpoint". Take Russian language in school for two years and manage to pass without
ever learning any Russian words. In high school productions, I play a singing gaybob in "My Fair Lady" and a deli clerk (oh the irony) in "Flowers for Algernon", a girl in "Midsummer Night's Dream" and something else in some play that I can't remember. Buy lots of Cure and Psychedelic Furs records.
Performed in the one-act play called "Baby", where I played a giant baby who told jokes. Gripping stuff. Got an electric guitar. Work
as a shoe clerk and check-out clerk at local Marshalls making $3.50 an hour. To fund my 2001
lifestyle, 15-year-old Jeff would have to work roughly 850 hours per week (or clone himself 21 times over). Sometimes I wish I had
a time machine so I could go back and buy little me what ever he wanted. I start wearing suit coats to school to look "punky" (like John Lyden in PIL, not John Rotten in Sex Pistols). Little do I know, is that I'll have to wear a suit coat for years and years after I get out of college just to look normal. In high school productions, I play a tough, wisecracking, kung-fu fighting cop in "The Murder of Cardinal Tosca" and a singing gaybob in "Guys and Dolls".
Van Halen releases last David Lee Roth record. Features most-excellent tracks "Jump", "Panama" and
"Hot for teacher". Began high school at Wylie Groves. Painted tennis shoes funny colors in beginning, futile attempts
to develop personal identity. Join Groves wrestling team for about a month before realizing that wrestling after
school "sucks". Buy a copy of Cheap Trick's "Live at Budokon".
Try to fall sick nearly everyday before school in attempts to stay home. Ends up every other kid is doing the same.
Bought first musical instrument, Casiotone MT-60. Promptly write first song with one of the versatile
drum beat presets. Build home-made ping ponging recording studio. Dad takes me to The Cars in concert. My favorite
band at the time and first live music experience. "Wang Chung" open the show, who kind of "suck wang", if
you get my meaning. I go to a school dance and have diareah so bad that my mother has to take me home.
Start swimming "Butterfly" stroke on the swim team. One of the few a can do two laps. Consistently
come in 5th and 6th in swim meets. (winner of the you're-a-sissy "pink" ribbons).Accidentally wet my pants
at a school trip to Chuckie Cheese while playing "Frogger".
I begin attending Berkshire middle school.
Draw first picture of bare breast. Swear that a bare breast will be in every future painting where it
can be grossly justified. Beginning of "fat" eighties, although at nine years old I realize little economic
benefit. Mt. St. Helens erupts.
Begin painting with canvas and acrylic. Become the best at Artwork that I can ever be and spend rest of my life trying to get better.
See Star Wars 11 times in the theatre. Event acts as one of the key shapers of my psyche. Even as I
close on thirty I can't help but stop and examine Darth Maul toys in the mall. Learn how to write in
cursive, which I never use again.
Begin wearing a chin strap to bed (see 1987) to correct an underbite, which I still have. The chin strap
is literally that, a strap that wraps around my head and pulls on my chin. In 1999 an oral surgeon
laughs at my chin strap saying "silly orthodontist, always trying to fix things without oral surgery".
I imagine the oral surgeon would have failed as well and had an equally potent propensity for
My family moves from Sterling Heights, MI to Beverly Hills, MI. Learn every mathematical
principal I will ever have to use as a business consultant and marketing strategist at Beverly Elementary.
Learn how to ride a bike.
My mother thinks I have anal worms. My dad cinches the conversation with a simple "he doesn't
have any worms, its just 'itchy butt'". The movie "Jaws" is released. Charlie Chaplin is knighted
by Queen Elizabeth. I'm caught on film shaking my sister violently.
Move from Detroit to Sterling Heights. Begin at a kindergarten where the teacher paddles the kids
with one of those pogo-ball paddles. Her name is Mrs. Yorbalinski and if she still walks the
earth she should be tracked down and put through the spanking machine. and I mean the big,
adult spanking machine. My sister is born on my birthday, exactly one minute later than my
time of birth. Grandma insists that I eat large disgusting lemon cookies throughout
Master basic motor skills, which prove to be useful still to this day. Have vivid memory of a balloon
flying into a purple room. Remember my grandmother's grape vines. Remember father's big blue car and
an uncles green Volkswagen.
Begin wearing "big boy" pants (no, not the white and red checkered ones). Vocabulary reaches into the hundreds
of words. Further experiment with motor control. TASM Fellow Chris Beck begins schooling, which takes him nearly 30 years to complete.
Get to eat some solid food, like Cheerios. Experience first birthday. My grandfather dies.
First Christmas and thanksgiving. Born in November. Probably conceived in February. Gestated between
2/70 and 11/70.
Comments from the world
Post a comment...
Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function mysql_connect() in /home/customer/www/tasmlab.com/public_html/includes/footer.txt:14
#0 /home/customer/www/tasmlab.com/public_html/special/history.htm(865): include()
thrown in /home/customer/www/tasmlab.com/public_html/includes/footer.txt on line 14