Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Things you've done, things you haven't

Via GrrlScientist comes this list of 100 things to experience. A Meme I Can Live With.

Things I've done are in green.
Things I'd like to do are in red.
Things in black - No or Meh!

  1. Started my own blog - Er, yeah.
  2. Slept under the stars - Often, but under canvas a lot more.
  3. Played in a band - Played bass guitar for many years and, with what I earned playing each week, could have been considered semi-pro at one time. I always kept the day job though and think of myself completely as an amateur musician. These days I just jam around with friends in ABandinurHead and make ghostly appearances on YouTube.
  4. Visited Hawaii - The volcanoes must be stunning, not to say the wildlife and culture.
  5. Watched a meteor shower - Often. The Perseids in particular. Mainly because of the warm August evenings but also because it's easy to remember when to look. The maximum is always on or about the Glorious 12th, the start of the grouse shooting season. Who could forget?
  6. Given more than I can afford to charity - No, but have been subtly conned into giving more than I intended, sometimes.
  7. Been to Disneyland/world - Been to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
  8. Climbed a mountain - Helvellyn. That's about as high as I've ever been.
  9. Held a praying mantis - Held stick insects too, are they the atheists?
  10. Sung a solo - Honky Tonk Women, in a band many years ago.
  11. Bungee jumped - No, but swung on a rope hung from a tree branch above a stream.
  12. Visited Paris - I have stayed in a Hilton hotel though.
  13. Watched lightning at sea - Seen it from land out at sea, but never from a boat. However I'd want the lightning experience, not the storm.
  14. Taught myself an art from scratch - Playing bass guitar, computer programming. Not very good at either but I never had any formal teaching.
  15. Adopted a child - Currently adopting two stray cats and a mate who needed a place to stay after a fallout with his missis, 10 years ago. I should turn this one green.
  16. Had food poisoning - never seriously, but yes.
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - I'll bet it's quite a view from the top.
  18. Grown my own vegetables - Lots and lots, and some fruit too. And many flowers.
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - I'm told it's overrated but I would like to see for myself.
  20. Slept on an overnight train - couldn't sleep.
  21. Had a pillow fight- You think you must have done but I can't remember.
  22. Hitchhiked - More than once, with just a backpack and a thumb.
  23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill - <cough>never</cough>
  24. Built a snow fort - When I was very young though. There seemed to be better snow in those days. Built a small igloo too, and many snowmen.
  25. Held a lamb - Briefly as a kid. Somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales. Years later I was in the pub when the landlord introduced the mixed grill he had won in a card game. "You can't bring that lamb in this pub" I quipped, "It's baa'd... been gamboling".
  26. Gone skinny dipping - Yes, but... we didn't quite make it to the water. A good thing really as I can't swim. I have however waded naked to considerable extent, up to the waist at least.
  27. Run a Marathon - Snickers.
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - Romantic, but isn't it a bit unsanitary?.
  29. Seen a total eclipse - 1999, South West UK. My late father saw the 1927 eclipse in northern England where everyone gathered atop a local hill. His comment, when he once told me the tale, is timeless. "As it got dark" he said "all the birds stopped singing, and all the evangelists started". In 1999 I asked if he wanted to go see this eclipse, then a 20 mile car drive to where it would be total. "Nah!" he said "I've seen one". Wonderful; thanks dad.
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - Often, and sometimes seen both on the same day.
  31. Hit a home run - A six at cricket must count.
  32. Been on a cruise - Depends where, but maybe sometime.
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - Don't know the lady.
  34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors - I live there, it's called The Earth. Oh what a dull name.
  35. Seen an Amish community - Saw a very devout community one time, on the west coast of Scotland near Oban. Seal Island? Very strange.
  36. Taught myself a new language - Pascal
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - Maybe not really, but close. I am reminded of the words of Mr Micawber "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery".
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - The place where Galileo's balls dropped, so 'tis said.
  39. Gone rock climbing - Too scared of rock falling.
  40. Seen Michelangelo's David - No, but I have seen an unfinished piece by Michelangelo in Milan, Italy. I saw the clear emergence of structure from the stone and such detail as there was, was unexpected. Fully formed legs, arms and hands; like the block itself was coming to life.
  41. Sung karaoke - But you don't want to hear it.
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt - I'd love to go to Yellowstone. After all, I worked for years on an algae originally collected from the hot springs there.
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - If we ease the definition to 'paid for some guy's takeaway because he was struggling' then yes.
  44. Visited Africa - Almost did at one time, don't want to nowadays.
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight - Slept on a beach by moonlight soon after.
  46. Been transported in an ambulance - Only to go with a family member, never as a patient.
  47. Had my portrait painted - Why? I'm hardly photogenic.
  48. Gone deep sea fishing - Just to see what's out there.
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - It must be spectacular after it's restoration.
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - Been up Blackpool Tower.
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - Can't swim. Long story involving a perforated ear drum.
  52. Kissed in the rain - Ever been to Glastonbury Festival? I have.
  53. Played in the mud - As above
  54. Gone to a drive-in theater - Erm, went to a walk-in one in 1993. Because of the damp weather we equipped ourselves with groundsheets and plastic and blankets and we sat in the rain in a field to watch Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country. That must have been love. See Glastonbury festival above.
  55. Been in a movie - Produced/directed a science video once.
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China - Seen it from space!
  57. Started a business - Only funny business.
  58. Taken a martial arts class - Karate in my late teens.
  59. Visited Russia - There's a lot of it to visit.
  60. Served at a soup kitchen - Done lots for charity but not this yet.
  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - ?
  62. Gone whale watching - I'd love to.
  63. Got flowers for no reason - Received, no. Bought or picked myself to give away on a whim, yes.
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - Can't because of a childhood ailment, my fear of needles.
  65. Gone sky diving - Too much like falling.
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - Been to Butlin's.
  67. Bounced a check - you bet.
  68. Flown in a helicopter - Could be a thrill.
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - A telescope my sister gave me when I was 8yo or so.
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - Been at Stonehenge for midsummer sunrise.
  71. Eaten caviar - And was underimpressed.
  72. Pieced a quilt - A bit crafty for me.
  73. Stood in Times Square - Stood in Trafalgar Square.
  74. Toured the Everglades - Great for wildlife but I guess many of them bite.
  75. Been fired from a job - Maybe not :)
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - Too ceremonial for my taste.
  77. Broken a bone - Wrist and finger. Separate childhood accidents.
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - Pillion passenger yes. And once rode 'chair' on a grasstrack racing motorbike-and-sidecar, where you have to distribute your weight by leaning in and out or the whole lot tips over, great fun.
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - With a good guide.
  80. Published a book - Written a thesis.
  81. Visited the Vatican - A historical tour without the mumbo jumbo could be interesting.
  82. Bought a brand new car - Never, and no longer drive.
  83. Walked in Jerusalem - I would like to see peace in those lands so it becomes realistic. I would just like to see the archaeology properly studied.
  84. Had my picture in the newspaper - Last time was in 2000 when I was involved in setting up a local website, sadly now defunct. May have been in a fuzzy pics with the band for charity concerts. Have been on TV too for various reasons.
  85. Read the entire Bible - Probably, but not all in one sequential way. A couple of chapters at a time, dipping here and there, so there could still be some dusty corners unexplored; unlikely though given over 40 years of opportunity. Among others, I have also read the Book of Mormon, the Koran, the Tibetan book of the Dead, the Tao Te Ching, parts of the Bhagavad Gita, the Book of Thoth and others by Aleister Crowley, the Teachings of Don Juan etc by Carlos Castaneda, All and Everything by G. I. Gurdjieff, and Sun Tzu's the Art of War. Only Sun Tzu makes sense, I recommend it as a riveting read for a 6th century BCE text.
  86. Visited the White House -Nor the Palace of Westminster.
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - Trout, many times.
  88. Had chickenpox - Itch.
  89. Saved someone's life - Who knows?
  90. Sat on a jury - Unlikely, with my record.
  91. Met someone famous - Do Fred Hoyle and Max Perutz count? No? Maybe not, but I have heard them both speak and I was in the same room! Ok then I admit it, I once shook hands with Terry Wogan. Also, once stood next to David Ike at a bar but simply could not think of a way to start a conversation without cracking up.
  92. Joined a book club - And it took a year to get out of the contract.
  93. Lost a loved one - 'Nuff said.
  94. Had a baby - Tried hard.
  95. Seen the Alamo in person - I've seen the Alhambra though.
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - Can't swim.
  97. Been involved in a law suit - Never had reason to be.
  98. Owned a cell phone - No thank you.
  99. Been stung by a bee - And a wasp and many other biting things. Once I found a sheep tick crawling up my leg!
  100. Ridden an elephant - You've met my ex-wife I see.

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