- John Middleton's
Wish I could afford to do more...but, don't
iPod Video 30gig with a Logitech mm50 Portable Speaker System, 5,500+ songs
available any time and any place. This system is small enough to take with
us on vacation and it has a rechargeable battery which comes in handy.
Seems funny to put music as the title when I can't play any
instruments. But, I love music and my taste is very eclectic! When I was a
kid I wanted to be a DJ. I got my first 45 RPM record in 1959. I won it at
a street dance in Houston, TX. It was Santo and Johnny's Sleep Walk.
I listened to top-40 radio and watched Hit Parade with Snooky Lanson every
Friday night. When I moved to Jacksonville I started collecting 45s. By
the time I went into the Army I had 2,000 45s and a few albums (long since
sold.) Last year I got a USB Turntable for my birthday and dug out my old
vinyl that was collected after I returned from Vietnam. I've been ripping
vinyl to mp3s using Audacity and I'm very pleased with the results. My 30gig iPod is almost full, only a small part of it is from the vinyl in case you
were wondering. The boxes of Vinyl had been packed away for years. I found
albums from the likes of Gino Vanelli, Tower of Power, Enoch Light and his
orchestra, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Paul Simon, The O'Jays and
Chaka Khan that I'd totally forgotten about.
I started riding motorcycles when I was 18. I sadly gave it up 2 years ago.
But, the desire is still there. My first bike was a 1964 Honda 50 Super Sport. I
had that bike for 45 days and put over 3,000 miles on it. We realized that
I was wearing it out and that it was not really big enough for the highway
ride in to Jacksonville every day. So, I traded it in and bought a Honda
250 Dream Touring. I had that bike for a year and really loved it. It
would easily run 70 MPH on the highway with two people. Back then nobody
wore helmets, but I did wear a pair of goggles to keep the bugs and trash
out of my eyes. A year after I bought that bike I joined the Army and the
bike basically rotted while I was in Japan for three years. While in Japan
I had a few bikes and even bought a Honda 600cc sports car. My last bike
was the one on the trailer. It was a 1997 Honda Gold Wing 1520cc. It was a
nice bike, but was bad at slow speed turns. On one trip Linda and I road
the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway to include the small section
called Skyline Drive.
To the left is one of my nicest finds. It is a 1797 British Two Pence
or Cartwheel. I picked it up in England while on a business trip. I paid
about the equivalent of $45 US. Note that King George III is on the
coin, does he sound familiar?
I started collecting coins when I was in Japan in the Army. I was moved
off of the payroll desk into disbursing where I handled money all day. In
the down times I started going through the change in my drawer and got the
bug. I met a fellow soldier name Jerry Wojatas (sp?) who had been
collecting for a while. He introduced me to Japanese coins and to a
private dealer out of Tokyo. I ended up building two complete Japanese
type sets starting with their first minted coins starting in the 1860's
(Meiji period). My biggest
problem was that I could not specialize. When I left Japan I shipped my
collection back to NC for my Mother to put in a safe deposit box. When the
coins showed up, the FBI follow and carefully inspected each one. Scared
my Mom and step-dad to death. The agents said nice collection and left.
All that stuff was sold years ago.
Finding ET or SETI@Home
I started building my own computers in the 386 days. I had always
tinkered with them and found that I was happier building one than buying
it. In early 2000 I found out about SETI and joined a TeAm. It was amazing how
competitive it got with races, etc. Well, I started buying parts and built cheap systems
that were overclocked and dedicated to running SETI. At the end of the
project for SETI I, I was in 201st place out of millions worldwide.
Considering I was doing it with my own resources and not using corporate
resources made it a huge accomplishment. I also met a lot of very nice
people along the way. The site above is my corporate apartment in
Travel and Photography
I love to travel! I could do a whole web site just on my travels. So,
instead here is a link to our
2007 trip to Alaska
on Flikr.com. Linda bought me a Sony Alpha 100 DSLR camera the Christmas before
our trip. I am really pleased with the great job it does. And it has really
come in handy for baby pics since then. I recently picked up a 50mm f1.4
lens for natural light baby pics. When I first got into photography that
lens was the standard on any Japanese made SLR camera and that was at the
$100 price point. Now the lens alone cost over 3 times that.
Some of our favorite U.S. vacations have been to National Parks:
Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Zion, Grand Canyon (both rims) and Mesa Verde.
Some favorite foreign spots would be a little more difficult. But, let me
try: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Scottish countryside (around Balmoral,
Aberdeen), Cotswolds and Vancouver Island/Victoria. I did a lot of
traveling while in the Army that didn't include Linda. I was fortunate
enough to have lived in Japan for 3 years, Germany for 3.5 years, Belgium
for 3 months and a 10 month tour in Vietnam. While in those places I
traveled a lot, both alone and with my first wife.
Pages last updated 5/1/09