Pipe Dreams

So I went with Randy , my brother in law, to visit a guy who has rumored to poses a treasure of old timey pipes circa 1900, and some even older than that. Naturally I was geeking out. This was the same guy that Randy bought my current pipe from [featured in the picture on the right]. Needless to say I had visions of sugar plums dancing in my head the entire night.

When I get to the guy’s place, I recognize him immediately. I had worked with him at Apple. His name was Andy. Great guy. We get to his, “man cave” which in the truest sense of the word is a man cave. It is a shed about twenty feet by fifteen feet that looks like it hasn’t moved for 300 years. Decomposing in front of my eyes, I enter the shed to see shelves, a workstation with tools everywhere, and a table saw. The place is covered in spider webs and history. I love it. Later I find out that Andy has not one but TWO sharpening stones outside the man cave. I’m talking about the ones that you spin in a circle by peddling it. He was sharpening his machete right in front of me. I love this man. haha.

So he brings out the goods. Two boxes of pipes. One box is about two feet by one foot…a fairly deep box. The other is about a couple inches deep and 9 inches long…a smaller box. He open the boxes and I glaze over. I’m talking about some of the coolest, unique, knarley pipes you’ve ever seen. He was sitting on a gold mine.

He told us about the history behind the pipes and how his Great Grandfather was a Slumlord in the area and one day a store owner came up to him to tell him that he didn’t have the money he owed. The store owner told Andy’s Great Grandfather that he’d have the money in month, and he would put his store up as collateral if he didn’t come through. The man died one week later. Andy’s great grandfather inherited a Pipe Shop that day. He ran the shop successfully for a while until he couldn’t do it anymore, and the entire inventory was boxed up and stored away.

Andy’s Grandfather gave him the boxes because they were taking up space and he didn’t know what to do with them. By this time in the story, Andy had brought out 5 boxes of varying depths, and proceeds to tell us that there was a flood about a couple years back, and Andy lost 75% of the pipes! He then continues to tell us that there are EIGHT MORE BOXES in the basement!! I’m flipping out right about now.

I bought four pipes, all new and dating before 1910, for less than 50 bucks. The entire trip was a blast and I can’t wait to go back to check out the rest. I need a limit on the money I’m allowed to bring to Andy’s place, ha.

IT’S OVER 1,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today this blog surpassed 1,000 views for the month of March. To give you some perspective, the most views this site has ever gotten was 16 months ago, when the site received 457 views in November 2010. This site got that many views in one week (March 4-10). 1,000 views is nearly 1/4th of ALL the views this blog has gotten…ever. So when I saw that the month of March would receive over 1,000 views, I was kinda blown away. I could NOT have gotten this much traffic without you reading. Thank you for finding the inner workings of my mind enjoyable, fun, and for some reason, worth reading. I don’t do it for the views, but since I do it for the love of writing, audience is to be expected. I just wanted to let you all know how crazy you’ve been this month. My thanks deserves a regrettable late night picture from my webcam. It’s the least I could do.

Creepy Smile...
Creepy Smile...

I used to listen to music on the Radio….

So I’ve been noticing a funny trend in my radio listening experience over the past few years.

When I was little, the radio was my gateway to music. My parents always had a Christian station on the radio because that is friendly to the ears of a child and because that is the faith environment that I grew up in. Needless to say, I heard my fair share of Christian hymns, pop, and rock form those stations and became pretty well versed in it.

Skip to College. This is what I would like to call my “Education in Secular Music 101.” Now, I don’t want you to think that I hadn’t heard ANY secular music when I was growing up. My mom loved The Beatles, Barry Manilow, and my Dad loved Chicago, Eric Clapton, and The Eagles. It’s not like I was sheltered in my home of DC Talk and Third Day for hours on end. But still, Christian music was the majority of the music I listened to. So in college, my good friend Dan Prins opened my eyes to the world of Classic Rock. I was in love. This music was raw, expressive, and dangerous. I loved it. Bands like Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, and Boston became dormroom common names by the end of the first semester. Dan also introduced me to folk music, blues, and guitar magicians. As a result, I listened to ALL the Classic Rock stations in the Grand Rapids area while in the car.

Fast forward to more present times. I still like listening to Christian radio, because it feels like home, and the artists aren’t telling me to have sex in every other song. (I had a pop radio phase and that got old pretty fast.) But, I would also frequent other stations for different music, like Classic Rock and even the Classical Music stations when I need a peaceful melody to grace my ears. But this is where it starts to get interesting….

Within the past two years, I have been listening to more and more National Public Radio, or NPR. Being a graduate student, it is hard to find time to read a paper, or watch news on the TV anymore. The interest has waned and fizzed out. In the past two years, I have SERIOUSLY enjoyed the amount of knowledge and general, international interest that I have gained from a very popular, but seriously underrated radion station. Sure they sometimes feature pieces that I could care less about, but those are few and far between.

NPR features stories about stuff that you have never even heard about, or before cared about. Their motto is, “NPR, Where you learn something new everyday.” And seriously, they don’t disappoint. I’m sure my college self over 6 years ago would be looking at me like I have sold out and lost my mind. Like I had grown up and forgot about the wild and crazy times of CLASSSSIC ROCKKK!!!!!! [I’m picturing Jack Black from School of Rock for some reason] Hahaha, well, no. I haven’t forgotten, and it is still very much apart of me to this day. And yet, NPR has enriched me in countless ways in the past few years.

I can’t tell you about how many international and domestic issues that I have been made aware of and have researched on account of reports heard on NPR. They talk about books, music, science, politics, world issues, controversial issues, religion, biology, astronomy, theater, food, home & life…seriously, you name it. At night they feature World Cafe, a place where unknown musicians have a spotlight to feature their music to a larger audience. I am more connected to what is going on than I have been in many many years. And still….I can’t help but laugh when I look at my “listening to radio timeline,” where I’ve been and where I am today.

I urge you to check it out for more than three days to see what I am raving about. If anything, you will learn three days of new things that you never thought you’d hear about. And for that, you are doing your brain a service.

Dreamer’s plea

Sitting, nerve endings spark, light triggers warmth, which triggers thoughts of you. Moments seem to slow in my mind while they carry on faster in-front of me. Subtle flashes in the black clouds, a breeze permeates into my face. cool, thin, calm, slowly erasing the day. Beauty is not found, it is in plain sight. Colorblindness causes the body to move faster, miss more, feel less. The absence of worry is the presence of appreciation. Pause. Breathe. See. Live. Let these be your heartbeat. Pause. Breathe. See. Live. Pause. Breathe. See. Live. Pause. Breathe. See. Live….

The Gears Grind Once More

So, today is the first day back at the internship since my break last Saturday. I have to admit, it feels a little bit odd. I’m gonna have to get used to not having a lot of time to get my assignments done again. (that sentence was horrible) Life seemed so much simpler when I had: me, my papers, and my sleep. There wasn’t a care in the world, except avoiding distractions and grabbing a bit every once and a while.

I think that over the past 8 or 9 days that I have been away from classes and the internship, I have managed to create and utilize a few different time management techniques that will help me to get to May 6th unscathed. Juggling the many tasks of my life is once again the main show in this one man circus and it should get interesting.

Last night I picked up my mom from Midway at around 11pm. It is good to see her again. Also, it is good to have some noise in the house, even if it is footsteps on the hardwood floor downstairs. Like I said before, I enjoyed my time alone and I really did learn a lot. Everything has its seasons. I would not have liked to stay alone in the house any longer than I needed to, and vacations away from home tend to be just the right amount of time. We all know that it will end, and something else will begin. That is the fun, and the excitement of life as we know it.

Now, I am off to turn in some survey’s to my university and then head off to the internship, Revived, Rejuvenated, and Ready to tackle the Monday that awaits me. It’s a new day, but it feels like a new month. Maybe that has something to do with this warm breeze!