Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?
This year has been one of massive changes–beginning with my Popie and my Big Mama passing on the same day just after New Year’s. There’s been quite a bit of controversy in my family in recent years, and this is the sort of thing that has caused it to really come to a head. I shan’t go into details, but suffice to say that being physically removed from the rest of the family is a nice position in which to be at this point. On top of this, my Granny suffered a stroke just after Thanksgiving last year, and having these happen in relatively quick succession has had a large impact on my life in general. I’ve taken a vow to stop procrastinating and wishing I could do certain things. I’m at a point in my life where I’m not waiting for things to happen anymore, and I am actively pursuing them. As such, I have made strides to improve my production work and monetize as much as I am able to as quickly as I am able.
To wit, this year I have enjoyed the opportunity to produce content in conjunction with element14 and Newark electronics, appearing on The Ben Heck Show, and ultimately becoming a host on the newly rebranded element14 Presents channel now that Ben has left the show. I have made many new friends through this endeavour and am well on the way to full-time creative entrepreneurship. I have reduced my hours at Bird Barrier in order to focus more on my sidelines, and I am transitioning into the lifestyle that I have always wanted to enjoy. There’s still much work to do, but I am on the right path!
As part of his exeunt from The Ben Heck Show and the transition to element14 Presents, Ben did a series of interviews with each of the new hosts. In this quick chat, we talk about retro tech, circuit bending, and why Dr. Strangelove is the best film ever made.
I’ve been invited to create content for element14, the community marketing arm of electronics distributor Newark as their long-time “face”, Mr. Benjamin Heckendorn is retiring from his eponymous electronics hacking show. I, along with several other very talented creators, will be producing content under the element14 Presents banner on occasion starting next month!
In addition to my contributions to the new show, I will be producing some behind-the-scenes and other derivative content in addition to my regular production content here and on YouTube, so expect to see more things posted more regularly on all my outlets!
I don’t think we give that gift anymore (the gift of silence). I’m very concerned that our society is much more interested in information than wonder. In noise, rather than silence…how do we encourage reflection? Oh my, this is a noisy world.
What can one say about such an influential musician that hasn’t been said many times before? Petty (with and without The Heartbreakers) was not only a brilliant musician and songwriter, but he was transcendental in that he had staying power through 3 generations of fans–tragically passing after completing an extensive 40th anniversary tour. I first really got into Tom Petty in middle school with the laid back grooves of “Last Dance With Mary Jane” and “Free Fallin'” serving as the downtempo segments for the soundtrack to a rather tumultuous time in any kid’s life. Uncle Teej gave me their greatest hits album for Christmas one year, to the chagrin of my dad who scoffed at my listening to “druggie music”. Petty’s music had soul–something I didn’t hear often in popular music of the day–and it made a fitting foil to my musical staples like TMBG, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Chumbawamba (Yeah, I actually know and like more than one Chumbawamba song!).
Like Petty, I found the South too confined–too small for my ambitions, and I moved west. Thirty-seven years after Petty left Gainesville, Florida for Los Angeles, I was crossing the continent with several of Petty’s tracks (“Runnin’ Down a Dream” frequently turned up) offering portions of yet another soundtrack for a transitional period in my life.
Here I am again, thinking of changes to come in my life and career, and I’m brought again to Tom Petty. I look at all the nonsense going on in the world and all the difficulties (great and small) that we all face every day, and there’s one voice ringing clear and true–with all of America’s purple mountains’ majesty and amber waves of grain behind it–reminding me to not back down. Thanks, Tom.
As in years past, we are offering you a Special Bonus Question in which you get to predict what you think will happen in the coming year–not just to you, but to the world around you. For this year’s version of the Special Bonus Question, we have teamed up with SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs to give you the opportunity to answer the question as pithily as you like.
When September 2018 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?
This year has really been one of personal revolution. Barbie finished school and started a new enterprise. At the same time, I began to see my “side hustles” as more than just a hobby. This year’s answers have been focused on my new business and entrepreneurship opportunities and next year will hopefully rekindle the hope and optimism that I have in my ability to grow a successful enterprise doing what I enjoy. Next year, I hope to see the pain of working for someone else fade away and the joy of working solely for myself come into focus and I hope that these year’s answers will stand as a testament of my thoughts and feelings going into what I anticipate to be a successful new venture!