About as off-topic as it gets...

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About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby crfriend » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:02 am

... or is it?

Here's an interesting video I stumbled across whilst doing some research on what may be some systemic woes in a new Boeing aircraft. It's about a Canadian astronaut who is recalling, with the help of photographs, key moments that helped shape his life. I bring it up because if we're healthy and intelligent, we all have dreams and desires. His was to fly -- and walk -- in space. Now that's heady stuff. But is it really more heady than more mundane dreams?

By the time I was in late single-digits of age I knew I wanted to work with computers -- and I was thwarted at every turn. Guidance-counsellors and "the more sane" actively discouraged any such thoughts; my father and grandparents tolerated my desire (and fostered my experiments with digital logic) but weren't really "on side"; the killing blow almost came with the results of my "standardised tests" where I aced the language component and foundered badly on the maths part. The decision was that I'd be an English major, completely scuppering a career in technology. The dream stuck, though, and I stuck to it: I flatly said "No" to what might have been an Ivy League "education". I back-doored the process, convinced the adults to spend a small portion of what had been set aside for my betterment to put me though vocational school in computers, with the promise that if it didn't work out I'd reconsider language. (I suspect, but cannot prove, that a couple of my teachers were complicit in my parents' acquiescence.) Nine months later I was out of the gate and I've never looked back.

What's this got to do with astronauts and alternative sartorial styles? Not all that much, really, at first blush. But it is an indication that we really should chase our dreams as best as we're able. Whether that dream is flying into space, getting to play with some really interesting and magnificent hardware, or being able to indulge a passion for aesthetics, the dream is worthy -- worthy of being pursued. Like the chap in the video, I cannot imagine my life having gone any other way and me being happy with it. Chase the dream. It might surprise you someday.
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby kingfish » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:22 am

It may be off topic, but it's holding a personal sense of poignancy for me.

Wonderful catch!
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby beachlion » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:32 am

For me it was not much of a dream but following the footsteps of my father and grandfather. During my childhood I already showed my technical side so it was more to find out in which direction I would go. If I had something like a dream, it was aircraft engineering. I did a study in that direction but higher education and a career in that field was quite limited in the Netherlands. So I went in the direction of a more general form of engineering, mechanical engineering. I was the first in the family to earn a degree for that level of study and could have the title "Ing" in front of my name.
I never regretted my choice of education. I also enjoyed my jobs, even when I hit a few bumps in the road. Not a single day I had to drag myself to my work. It was very fulfilling. My speciality was finding a solution when somebody else screwed up. My ability of thinking outside the box was a big help. It still works.
All progress takes place outside the comfort zone - M J Bobak
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby Kirbstone » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:19 am

Fabulous video and a really fulfilled guy.

My Dad was a single-handed country general practitioner Medic. When he wanted to go playing golf or to the horse races he always had to arrange a locum or stand-in to cover for him. Ditto for holidays.
When my eldest brother finished school he announced to Dad that he would like to do Medicine, whereupon Dad immediately asked him if he would like to have his weekends free to do what he liked. Jim said 'Of course I would' and Dad immediately told him 'Do Dentistry!' As a boy I overheard that conversation.

So Jim became the first of three dentists in my family. When my turn came I wanted to do architecture or engineering, but my stumbling block there was too low a Maths grade in my 'Leaving Cert'. I had all the necessary subjects to do Medicine however, which then included Latin, so I signed up. I never practiced Medicine and after an obligatory 6-month hospital internship I switched to Dentistry, encouraged by both my elder brothers. They've both long since retired and here I find myself at almost 77 years old still chipping away at 'The Face' and loving it.

Family and 'Dynasty' are large factors nowadays in my life's fulfillment.

Tom
Carpe Diem......Seize the Day !
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby skirtedbrit » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:28 am

Yes, yes, yes. I can identify strongly with both the video and Carls piece. Although I have never been as driven to one career path I have explored all sorts of wonderous things from flying to mountaineering to music.
In the 50,s and 60,s there was a kids comic called 'The Eagle' which was so inspirational. I found it to be intellectually stimulating on all sorts of levels from 'Dan Dare, Pilot of the future' to science topics to music to comedy. Two things stand out, one was a feature in an annual called 'Build your own aeroplane' (I was 7!) featuring the construction of a wood and fabric single seat aircraft called the Rollason Turbulent and although not a pilot I have loved aircraft and flying ever since. There are a number of these planes still flying. The other piece that fired my imagination was a piece in black and white sketches about the life of the composer Frederick Delius and , again, this fired a lifelong love of his music and his life. So much so that I have been a member of the Delius society for several years, have read extensively on his life, his association with Grieg and have even been to his summer lodge in Norway. I even bought the relevant Eagle annual off Ebay!
About the same age I was given a school atlas and became fascinated with Norway, again leading to a life long love of the country. Living in the English countryside I have always wanted to see what was in the other side of the hill and this has lead to a lifetime of mountaineering and hillwalking.

So, simple stimulations in childhood have led to a richness of personal achievements with more to look forward to. Whether you follow one path or many your dreams can be realised. My childhood was extremely difficult with all sorts of problems but here I am at 70 having climbed all over Britain, Ireland, the Alps and Scandinavia. I have flown several types of gliders, an 80 year old Tiger moth, a microlight and a Spitfire. Music, especially classical music still transports me to other worlds. Is'nt it amazing what a few simple things in childhood can make your entire life so amazing?
Wish I had discovered skirts and dresses at the same age!!!
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby moonshadow » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:05 am

I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up as a child, and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. I have to admit, I never would have imagined myself laying under chicken fryers changing gas valves or ripping apart 2HP garbage disposers... :lol:

My most long term, and probably biggest interest would probably have to be philosophy, unfortunately in this age of cell phones, texting, modern devices, etc... it's difficult to find a willing ear. Most people just ignore me when I get on one of my spiritual tangents.

So, I think when I grow up, I might try being a street preacher. A dress/skirt wearing street preacher. Of course it won't pay much, probably not anything, so I'll have to find a way to eat. Still working that out.

Ya'll think I'm joking... but I'm not... :mrgreen:

Jenn and I are going to sell everything we own, buy us a van, give the rest to charity, travel from town to town, preach love, and try to encourage people to smash their television sets, and hopefully put a little gas money in the hat.

The ultimate goal... to travel to the southwestern desert and attempt to get abducted by extra terrestrials. Singing and chanting and carrying on.
"Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness."
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby pelmut » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:45 pm

moonshadow wrote:... I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

I feel the same - and I'm well beyond retirement age.
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby crfriend » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:57 pm

One thing still sticks in my mind about that video -- the assertion that the guitar is still on ISS and is still in use because many astro/cosmo-nauts are musical. This is affirming of my suspicion the musicality is a trait enjoyed by the very intelligent. It's also not the first case. Astronaut Ron McNair, who perished when Challenger was destroyed on ascent was said to be carrying a saxophone with him to play whilst in space. Also, tapes and CDs abound as "personal cargo" of assorted space voyagers, and even NASA has a long history of using music at certain points in a flight (and I have no reason to believe that the Soviets and, later, Russians don't as well).

On thing, though, that would not be practical in space would be a skirt. :(
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby Kilted Musician » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:34 am

moonshadow wrote:I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up...

I'm not enjoying my second childhood. I never gave up on my first! :)

--Rick
Don't be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same as everyone else...
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby Gusto10 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:07 am

crfriend wrote:... or is it?

Here's an interesting video I stumbled across whilst doing some research on what may be some systemic woes in a new Boeing aircraft. It's about a Canadian astronaut who is recalling, with the help of photographs, key moments that helped shape his life. I bring it up because if we're healthy and intelligent, we all have dreams and desires. His was to fly -- and walk -- in space. Now that's heady stuff. But is it really more heady than more mundane dreams?

By the time I was in late single-digits of age I knew I wanted to work with computers -- and I was thwarted at every turn. Guidance-counsellors and "the more sane" actively discouraged any such thoughts; my father and grandparents tolerated my desire (and fostered my experiments with digital logic) but weren't really "on side"; the killing blow almost came with the results of my "standardised tests" where I aced the language component and foundered badly on the maths part. The decision was that I'd be an English major, completely scuppering a career in technology. The dream stuck, though, and I stuck to it: I flatly said "No" to what might have been an Ivy League "education". I back-doored the process, convinced the adults to spend a small portion of what had been set aside for my betterment to put me though vocational school in computers, with the promise that if it didn't work out I'd reconsider language. (I suspect, but cannot prove, that a couple of my teachers were complicit in my parents' acquiescence.) Nine months later I was out of the gate and I've never looked back.

What's this got to do with astronauts and alternative sartorial styles? Not all that much, really, at first blush. But it is an indication that we really should chase our dreams as best as we're able. Whether that dream is flying into space, getting to play with some really interesting and magnificent hardware, or being able to indulge a passion for aesthetics, the dream is worthy -- worthy of being pursued. Like the chap in the video, I cannot imagine my life having gone any other way and me being happy with it. Chase the dream. It might surprise you someday.



Considering the way you handle the English language, one might say that if you would have pursued a career in languages, it might have been a waste of time and money. :D
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby Gusto10 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:10 am

crfriend wrote:One thing still sticks in my mind about that video -- the assertion that the guitar is still on ISS and is still in use because many astro/cosmo-nauts are musical. This is affirming of my suspicion the musicality is a trait enjoyed by the very intelligent. It's also not the first case. Astronaut Ron McNair, who perished when Challenger was destroyed on ascent was said to be carrying a saxophone with him to play whilst in space. Also, tapes and CDs abound as "personal cargo" of assorted space voyagers, and even NASA has a long history of using music at certain points in a flight (and I have no reason to believe that the Soviets and, later, Russians don't as well).

On thing, though, that would not be practical in space would be a skirt. :(

I believe that research indicated that mathematicians and composers have a good feeling for the others metier.
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Re: About as off-topic as it gets...

Postby Gusto10 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:14 am

beachlion wrote: I was the first in the family to earn a degree for that level of study and could have the title "Ing" in front of my names.


Ah this reminds me of an old joke which is no longer political correct, but people who left the Netherlands were allowed to put the Ing behind their name. it would men "In Nederland geweest" (have been in the Netherlands). Maybe, Beachlion, you may put it now before and after your name :-)
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