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March 8, 2006

One-Quarter Million Additional Page Views in Previous Six Months


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Today's song is Catch Us If You Can by The Dave Clark Five, released in 1965.

In the last six months and three days, an additional quarter-million page views accumulated for this site. The pace has increased in the last month or so and I appreciate the increased readership. I attribute it to the honest content found here. People want to hear truth in their leisure time, they hear enough BS during their working hours. I sum up that philosophy with respect to my site this way:

"I believe in sharing my life experiences, especially the common paths we all walk. I believe that the best stories are the ones that we lived ourselves and we should be eager to tell them to others. The more deep and complex the emotions experienced, the better the storytelling of the lessons learned and passed along."

The featured image shown above is the Starlight Theater situated in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. I took that picture when I was visiting Balboa Park recently on other matters. I think lots of stories have been told there.

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Speaking of stories in my life, here is an important one about a rite of passage. Forty years ago this month I was learning how to drive and awaiting my upcoming sixteenth birthday so I could obtain my motorcycle driver's license.

Mark Anderson, a neighbor across the street from me, was allowing me to drive his Honda 50cc motorcycle (such small engines were still classified as motorcycles then) for practice--alone! It was an illegal activity which made it even more exciting and thrilling for me to be learning that way. It was a time when skirting the law was considered the in-thing for a male teenager to do. I had lots of practice skirting the law on the south side of Chicago for several years previously.

In any case, Mark taught me how to drive that Honda in ways it really wasn't designed to be driven, but those lessons came in handy when I was on the road by myself just a short time later. Mark also helped "tutor" me in driving his brother's White Volkswagen Beetle. Teaching me how to hot-rod around corners and alleys using those examples of "down-shifting" was a favorite pastime for us. I appreciate the time and energy Mark gave to me back then, assisting in molding me during some of my formative years.

My oldest brother, Charlie (now deceased), was at this time also teaching me how to drive his brand-new, manual-shift 1965 Ford Mustang. He sure had a lot of patience with me. I initially had a lot of trouble learning how to use a clutch in a powerful V-8 engine equipped car. If I wasn't killing the engine by popping-the clutch without giving it enough gas, I was popping the clutch with giving it too much gas! I have to admit, the latter was more fun when it happened! Charlie didn't appreciate the skills I was learning under Mark's guidance. Sometimes it was hard for me to remember their individual teaching styles when learning under their auspices. ;-)

Between Charlie's and Mark's lessons I learned to drive "safely" in Chicago. The Rules Of The Road book only seemed important then to enable me to pass the driving test, but didn't seem to hold my youngster interest for very long once I got my licenses.

I ended up taking my auto driver's exam in August of 1966 with neither of those cars. I used my other brother's 1963 Ford Fairlane convertible for that event. That car was very long as I recall. Had it been a little longer I might have used it to obtain a trucking license to drive semi's too. Nonetheless, I was able to perfectly parallel-park and do the mandatory three-point turn without problems in it.

I passed the driving test the first time around for both the motorcycle test in April and later in August for a car. In looking back in my first year of driving I think I was lucky. It took a few close calls with death while driving with either type vehicle to start me on the right path. At some point before I was married, I learned to obey the rules and eliminated my more risky driving habits. I now have driven for 36 years without a moving violation. I guess in some ways I'm still lucky. :-)

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On Monday night Sherry, DJ, and I went to dinner at Fresco Trattoria & Bar located in Carlsbad, California, near the Pacific Ocean. If you like Italian restaurants and you're passing through the Carlsbad area, make a reservation and enjoy a special evening there.

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My friend, Jeff Rutan, has a web page where he is soliciting comments on his new rendering designs using LightWave. Stop by and take a look at his progress.

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AOL introduced its Open AIM Strategy on Monday. Hopefully one day all Internet users will be able to use their own favorite Instant Messenger (IM) software to communicate with each other easily. Of course if we all had access to high-speed Internet wireless no matter where we were at a given moment, we could use phone-like computer devices to IM with others cheaply and easily. At least in the meantime, AOL is allowing others a way to openly connect with their previously proprietary system. That's a good step in the right direction.

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I appreciate all who visit the pages of Time Out Of Mind; you help make it the success it is.

Don


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