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2009 Begins with 99 Things

   January 1st, 2009 Brian Herzog

Route 99 signI rarely me-too these sorts of thing, but since I also don't do new year's resolutions*, I thought this might be a good first post for 2009:


Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - plain font

1. Started your own blog.
I've been doing this for about two years, but my first website dates to about 1996.

2. Slept under the stars.

3. Played in a band.
But only sort of. I was an official member of the imaginary band No Rhythm No Talent in college, but I did also learn enough bass guitar to actually play in front of people. Twice.

4. Visited Hawaii.

5. Watched a meteor shower.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
I do give money, but I'm not too keen on the "more than you can afford" part - that sounds counter-productive.

7. Been to Disneyland/world.
My family took a vacation every summer together while I was growing up, and one year we went to Disney World in Florida. The things I remember most are the Hall of Presidents, Space Mountain, and the fountains where tubes of water jumped from one hole to another.

8. Climbed a mountain.
The tallest mountain I've hiked is Mount Katahdin. I started up Mount Washington once, but too late in the day to make the summit. Probably the highest I've ever been hiking up Bear Creek Canyon to the falls, above Telluride, CO.

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo.
Never in public.

11. Bungee jumped.
I've had the opportunity, but this is one of those things that would be fun to do, but not fun enough to seek out and pay for.

12. Visited Paris.
I'd like to go to a lot of places in Europe, and Paris is somewhere on that list.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
Both the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Erie, and Lake Erie was far more dramatic.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
I'm going to avoid the whole art v. craft discussion, and just lay claim to recently teaching myself how to cane chairs.

15. Adopted a child.

16. Had food poisoning.
Courtesy of myself, I might add.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
Kind of like Paris and bungee jumping - I'd do it if I had the opportunity, but I'm not sure how short the line would have to be.

18. Grown your own vegetables.
I'd love to be self-sufficient, but have never had much success with agriculture.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
See #12

20. Slept on an overnight train.
When I was in Great Britain, I took a sleeper from Inverness to London. It was one of the most enjoyable uncomfortable nights of my life.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.
Also when I was in Great Britain, except I was in Ireland at the time.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
That's the best time, as George Carlin says.

24. Built a snow fort.
Many times - luckily for my brothers and me, there were a couple other kids on our street, and we all liked playing outside.

25. Held a lamb.
I've never held a newborn lamb, but I have sheared a sheep. Does that count?

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a marathon.
While growing up, running was always punishment in the sports I played. The longest race I've run is a 5K, and I came in fourth to last - but I wasn't in the least bit tired, so that's good.

28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
This is higher on my list than Paris.

29. Seen a total eclipse.
I know I've seen partial eclipses, but I'm not sure about a total.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
Oddly, more sunrises than sunsets.

31. Hit a home run.

32. Been on a cruise.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
Growing up in Northern Ohio, Niagara Falls was within easy driving distance, and my family went their many times. Also, I really like the show Wonderfalls.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.

35. Seen an Amish community.
Again, growing up in Northern Ohio affords a person many diverse opportunities.

36. Taught yourself a new language.

37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
It comes and goes.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
I'll do this on the same trip as #28.

39. Gone rock climbing.
Indoor and outdoor.

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
See #38.

41. Sung Karaoke.
No way.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

47. Had your portrait painted.
But I have had my caricature drawn, and it's still hanging in my parents' basement.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
See #12

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
Although not nearly enough.

55. Been in a movie.
I've been in both movies and television.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China.

57. Started a business.
I often think this would be a good idea, partly just to have a cool office space somewhere, but realistically probably not.

58. Taken a martial arts class.

59. Visited Russia.

60. Served at a soup kitchen.
My grandmother used to volunteer in a soup kitchen, and sometimes I'd go with her.

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
No, but I have bought many.

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood.
I've also fainted after giving blood - I had forgotten to eat that day. Last time I made that mistake.

65. Gone sky diving.
I'm more interested in this than bungee jumping.

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.

67. Bounced a check.

68. Flown in a helicopter.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
Luckily I come from a family of collectors, so I get to play with some of my favorite childhood toys with my nieces and nephews.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
I think all Americans should visit Washington, D.C. at least once.

71. Eaten Caviar.

72. Pieced a quilt.

73. Stood in Times Square.

74. Toured the Everglades.
I planned on doing this when I was in FL in 9/08, but unfortunately, a couple hurricanes were there at the same time and I had to change my plans.

75. Been fired from a job.
Not really, but I have had a mutually-agreed parting.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.

77. Broken a bone.
I have both had broken bones, and broken the bones of others.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
Yes, and without wearing a helmet.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
I know I've been italicizing all the travel items on this list, but this one is high on my list of places to see.

80. Published a book.

81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
I still have an album of these things in my parents' house.

85. Read the entire Bible.
Not all in one go, but growing up in Catholic school meant lots of reading.

86. Visited the White House.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
I have if fish count, and I think they do.

88. Had chickenpox.

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury.
This is something I have never been called to do - perhaps because I move around so much. I think it'd be interesting, and I don't understand why so many people try to avoid it.

91. Met someone famous.

92. Joined a book club.
I suppose it's odd that, being a librarian, I've never done this. But I'm okay with it.

93. Lost a loved one.
Grandparents and great-grandparents.

94. Had a baby.
I'm still not sure about this one.

95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.

97. Been involved in a law suit.
Well, I was threatened with a lawsuit, but it never materialized.

98. Owned a cell phone.
This is one of my tech-nos.

99. Been stung by a bee.

For anyone who actually made it this far, there you go - happy new year.

*I don't make New Year's resolutions, but if I did, my resolution for 2009 would be to not go to movie theaters that don't pop their own popcorn.

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My Tech-NO List

   March 4th, 2008 Brian Herzog

Royal Quiet De Luxe TypewriterI normally don't participate in memes. However, I am me-too'ing Jessamyn's tech-NOs post because I like the idea behind it.

A lot of librarians (and regular people) I know are hesitant to try new tech/web things because there is just so much out there and they feel they have to know about everything before they can try anything. That is absolutely not true.

Even though some people think of me as high-techy because I have a website and use flickr and bloglines, there is a lot I don't know about (and a lot I don't care about). My advice is to use tech tools to augment your life/work style, not change it; pick what you like and play with it, and ignore everything else.

So, to show off my low-tech side, here's my list of tech-NOs:

  • I do not have a microwave.
  • I don't use IM, except at work. And even there I'm more likely to phone or email than IM
  • I do not have a cell phone. I have one telephone, and it has a curly cord that plugs into the wall. I do not want a cell phone, and, in general, cell phones irritate me. Also, I have the same answering machine I've used since college, and it records to an analog cassette tape. I do not have caller id, call waiting, or anything like that
  • I do not have an iPod or other mp3 player. Why? I've never needed one. When I'm in the car I listen to the radio, CDs or tapes; when I go for a walk or hike or exercise, I think about whatever is on my mind
  • I do not have cable or satellite television. I have a television with an antennae*, and a VCR and DVD player, and I use it mostly for watching movies
  • My clocks have hands. I don't like digital clocks, so all the clocks in my house (except for the one built into the stove) are analog. I wake up to an alarm clock with two metal bells on top (I also have a bird clock*)
  • I do not have an ATV, snowmobile, or jetski. Instead, I have a mountain bike, cross-country skis*, a kayak, and hiking boots. I don't like exchanging effort for pollution (although I do have power tools)
  • I use an old-fashion twirly lawnmower. You know the kind I mean. It's fun
  • I really don't play video games. Sure, I play minesweeper and hearts, but not World of Warcraft, Second Life (I know, it's not a "game"), Guitar Hero, or any of the others. I'm interested in the phenomena of multi-user interactions in worlds like these, but I have no inclination to play them
  • I do not care about twitter. I just don't
  • I write letters in addition to emailing. I have an antique Royal typewriter* that I love using, and I fear the day the ribbon runs out
  • I do not use GPS. I like maps
  • I do not use air conditioning. I like open windows and fans
  • I have one credit card and I pay all my bills by mailing a check. I also enjoy going to the post office

I'm sure there's more, but that's good for now.

*In typing up this list, I realized that all of the *'d things were given to me by my younger brother. Thanks, Mike. And I still don't want a cell phone.

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