Wednesday, August 30, 2006


There are two prevelant objects in Quebec that really defy logic. The logic being that the summer and warm weather are in short supply. The first object is swimming pools. If you fly over Montreal you can see that there are swimming pools in about half of the backyards. For me, it doesn't make sense because you can really only use them three months out of the year if that.

The other prevelant object is motorcycles. It seems a natural progression from the massive number of bicycles, but given the cost difference, I'm surprised you would invest in something that can used during less that half of the year. The upside is that it is cool enough for you to dress properly with the helmet, leather jacket, and pants (or chaps). But still it seems odd.

One interesting thing about motorcycles here is that as opposed to the crotch rockets that are popular in Chicago, the more traditional types are what is popular here. Both the laid back Harley type bikes and the more traditional types.

And another thing that really caught my attention is the number of women who ride them. If my observations are correct, the number of female riders almost matches the male riders. And that ratio applys to both traditional bikes and the Harley type. I find my reaction interesting because for some reason seeing a woman on a motorcycle seems to give them an aire of empowerment. I'm not sure if that is (and I hope it is not) a superficial impression, but that empowerment is very attractive and sexy.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Railway Exchange Building

Formerly known as the Santa Fe Building. Also seen at the Daily Dose of Architecture. Taken in Chicago, June 2006.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's a Pump.

I came across this article on the CNN website.

A man was travelling to Iran with his mother. He was stopped at the security checkpoint after security guards found an object that resembled a grenade. Not wanting his mother to learn of the object he had brought in his carry-on, he whispered to the security guard "It's a pump." The guard mistakenly heard "It's a bomb." He is now facing disorderly conduct.

The object he had brought with him was a penis pump that he desperately did not want his mother to learn about. Despite his reluctance to reveal it to his mother he feels it is not an unusual object to own. "It's normal. Half of America they use it."

Friday, August 25, 2006

One and Three-Quarter Score

That's my age today as of early this morning. For those unfamiliar with the Gettysburg Address (the only place I've seen the word), a score is twenty. For those bad at math, I'm 35. This shot was a handheld self portrait back when I was half my current age.
So what does this mean. Well for me, not much. I guess I'm jumping to the next age demographic like I did five years ago. But aging has not been something I fear, at least not yet.

One reason may be because wisdom is always something I have aspired for. Money and fame have never been goals of mine, though it's not like I would turn them away if they presented themselves. When I say wisdom I don't necessarily mean intelligence or book smarts. But knowledge gained through experience or observation. Since you naturally gain experience over the years, age has been generally tied to wisdom. So that is why age has not frightened me. In essense I like the idea of becoming that eccentric wise old man with the wigged out hair. Imagine the professor from Back to the Future.

Does some of the other aspects of aging scare me? Regarding the prospect of reduced mobility or even reduced athletic, well, I see it as being able to spend more time on other things that interest me. When that day comes, everywhere will likely be accessible by wheelchairs anyhow. Chronic pain would be difficult to take, but would be livable as long as it is not severe. I could say that impaired senses does worry me. Although my eyes are very bad, I can see better than more people with my contacts. Losing that or my hearing would start to give me a sense of helplessness. And of course a dramatic loss of memory would be quite a blow to my psyche since I hold memory in high regard.

So maybe it is because I haven't noticed any change in my senses, any chronic pain, or any major loss of mobility other than wear and tear that I don't yet fear aging. That day may come, but so far not at this milestone.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Rockstar: Supernova

We have been following two shows this summer. The first is Treasure Hunters which concluded Monday night. I wasn't a big surprise that the Genius' won, though Air Force was probably the favorite.

The second show we have been following is Rockstar: Supernova. We had seen the last couple episodes of Rockstar: INXS, but didn't really intend to follow this one since it's the summer. We happened to see the third episode one night and got hooked. We have a thing for reality shows so that kinda makes sense.

So what is it about the show. I guess there are two elements that draw us to the show. One is the competition. Not just to see who comes out on top, but to see if the person you think should be picked is chosen. The other element is the performances. Both seeing and enjoying some great rock songs being played along with critiqueing each singers performance. Again comparing your views with that of the judges.

There is another aspect that makes it different. This is a show to determine who fronts this new band. It more of an audition and an interview than an American Idol or Star Academy popularity contest. I find that very intriguing since the last show was finding a suitable replacement for Michael Hutchence.

As far as the cast of the show. Dave Navarro I could take or leave. I'm a fan of Jane's Addiction and like his work. But he's a bit on the obnoxious side. It's not enough for me to add him to an "On Notice" list, but he has potential. Gilby Clarke seems like a very cool guy. I like his commentary even though I'm not a GNR fan. Tommy Lee even seems pretty cool. I always thought of him as a obnoxious jerk, but here he seems very personable. Jason Newsted is the one that has really surprised me. You see, all the people I grew up with who listened to Metallica were stoners and headbangers who were never the articulate types. That stereotype has lasted with me to this day. So to see the bassist of the band being so professional and so articulate really catches me off guard. Lastly, Brooke Burke does a good job as presenter and eye candy.

As for the contestants. The only surprise that I have seen so far is that Zarya lasted so long. It may have been her lisp, but it never seemed to me she was a good singer. I figured they kept her on since she put on quite a show. Of the departed, I would say that Josh is most likely to have some success. His sound is flavor of the month, but he does a good job with it. I don't think it would be a surprise if Patrice is voted of next. She's good, but something seems off. And she has a funny smile for the camera. Toby and Ryan will probably be the next two sent off. Both are good singers but don't seem entirely comfortable on stage. Ryan may stick around more because of his singing. Storm is good both vocally and on stage, but she seems just a bit over the top on stage. Although Lucas seems to be a favorite, his voice lacks something for me and his stage presence is lacking a bit. I really like Magni, but my question is whether this is the look the band would be comfortable with. Dahlila has a classic rock voice, but could they be successful with a woman fronting the band.

I find it fun to watch since nobody has jumped out as THE person. Not that the makers of the show would let that happen. I really think it will be between Lucas, Magni, and Dahlila. It will be interesting to see which image and voice they choose.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Great Flood of 1993

In August 1993, I attended my first class of Architectural Design Studio in grad school. It was the class where we would determine which professor we would have for the semester. It was also a chance to see our friends if we had not seen them already and to meet people entering the program. It was there that I met my wife who was there on an exchange from France. But I digress.

It was announced that all of the design studios would be going to help do damage assessment for the cities (Hardin, Kampsville, Grafton, and Alton, IL) hit by what is know as the Great Flood of 1993 along the Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri rivers. The assessment would be followed by a design project to rebuild the damaged areas of the cities.

Our studio worked at Hardin, IL. Although the waters had receded considerable, the waters were still high and trapped in places where the levees broke. The pictures show two such areas. The other side of the flood plain is three miles away. There were still places where roads were blocked and debris was still prevelent. It had been less than a month since the height of the flooding and the watermark was evident thoughout the city on homes and signs. There was also a network of sandbag walls between the houses showing the lines of defense against the rising waters. I believe the townspeople continued to build the walls, but were forced to progressively retreated from wall to wall as the barriers were toppled. The levee break on the other side of the river is what saved the remainder of the town.
Our job was fairly simple. We were to enter the house and determine at what height the water levels had reached. In some homes this was fairly simple with a light or dark brown line on the walls. In others the line had to be taken from lines on the windows since the walls were covered in black and green mold. We were not there to determine the livability of the house or whether it could remain standing. From my understanding, the watermark elevation would tell the government how much aid each house would receive.

The loss of possessions was amazing. People did not have the time or the means to remove their things. Property is relatively very cheap in the flood plain, but that lower price comes with risk. As with Katrina, people judge that risk by the previous largest event. "We were OK after the last one, so we will be OK for future events." But this was the biggest event in the history of the area. The water had risen 17 feet above flood stage and four feet higher than the previous record in 1973. The water level had reached about five feet above the first floor in most of the places that I remembered. There was not much that could be salvaged from that.
As far as our project, each student concentrated on parts of the cohesive whole. The studio split into two groups. The pie-in-the-sky group and the realistic group. We were part of the pie-in-the-sky group. The bulk of the area that had been flooded would be raised to above flood stage and be redeveloped. My wife created a marina while I created a waterfront recreation/commercial strip with a patchwork of steps down to the water. Each step could mark the river levels at different times. And depending on the river level, a different pattern and waters edge would be visible. Other projects included a community center, a boat launch, an observation tower, and community housing. Although they liked the ideas, the city did not have the means to carry out large projects like this especially after the flood. Even for the realist group.

I returned the following summer to visit a friend who lived nearby. It was a strange scene. Life had returned to normal. The flooded fields had returned bright green with vegetation. But out in those fields were farmhouses you could see straight through. Abandoned. In the city, there were also empty houses and abandoned lots. Right next to homes where people had cleaned up and returned to normal.

It's an experience to see these things firsthand. We saw only the aftermath, but it still gave a sense of place and we met and talked to the people who lived through it. It also has helped me understand what people are going through in events like Katrina.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Only ten more years until retirement.

Here's a picture taken by him.

FYI, both pictures were taken over thirty years ago.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Oh Crap!

Ile Bonaventure, Quebec, July 2004.

The smell was almost too much to take. Plus there were more biting flies than I had ever seen in one place. Given that, the sight was amazing. Birds stretching out in every direction with a constant chorus of squawking.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pay It Forward

One weekend earlier this summer I needed to mow our fairly small lawn. I went out to the shed and didn't see the lawn mower. I did a cursory poking around, then asked my wife if she had done something with it. She had not, so I looked more in depth figuring it got buried under all the stuff we have been throwing in there since last summer. The shed is not big, but was in need of some organizing. I still couldn't find it, so I asked our neighbor with whom we share the mower. He had not seen it either.

In disbelief I slowly came to the realization that it must have been stolen. I really could not believe it. We're in the burbs and I have slowly relaxed my urban high-security ways. Plus this mower was a year or two younger than myself and on average took three pulls to get started with a puff of blue smoke. We inherited it from the previous owner and we shared it with the neighbor since we both have fairly small lawns. It served it's purpose and had only cost sixty bucks when it was bought refurbished a couple years back. Not really something high on a thief's 'must have' list.

I poked around some more in the shed worried something more valuable had been taken, but nothing else was missing. All could figure was that some teenager took it to make a go-cart or some other small motorized vehicle. After thinking about it some more, I did remember that the door of the shed had been left wide-open earlier in the week. Well, that's one way to learn a lesson. Thankfully it was not something more expensive.

While we were trying to determine what had happened we had also talked to the retired couple across the street from us. They were also surprised at the theft and generously offered use of their electric and push-mowers. I had remembered they had the push mower, but I hadn't seen them use it in a while. Their next-door neighbor is in her eighties and now has a service take care of the yardwork. She saw that they were using the push-mower and 'took pity' on them by giving them her old electric mower. I think at one point I mentioned how it would be fun to try their push mower since I had never had one before. I grew up on gas and electric mowers. They said they had no use for it anymore so we could have it.

I was/am ecstatic. Over the years I have gotten more and more interested in reducing how much I/we tax the environment. When we moved it, I saw how small the lawn was and really wanted get a push mower. I didn't mind the old gas mower, but I did look forward to having a push mower one day. That day has come.

It's an older model as you can see from this picture. (Blogger won't let me attach it to the post. I'll try again later.) I find it funny that it has "American" blazen across the front of it considering I'm the only one that I know of in the neighborhood. As far as mode of operation, I make twice as many passes as with the gas mower. And you can't let it go more than a week without a trim whereas you could go a week and a half or two weeks without cutting the grass with the gas mower. It also doesn't get the edges so you have to come back with a hand trimmer. It can also get bound up on twigs. But I still really enjoy it. I like the extra exercise and the fact that I can cut the lawn any time of day and any day of the week.

I also like that fuzzy green feeling I get from it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Fitting Introduction

My first trip to Montreal, Quebec City, and the province of Quebec was in December 1993. During the trip I met my future in-laws for the first time and learned how to downhill ski. The most appropriate aspect of the trip was that the temperature was minus 40 during our stay. When we visited Quebec city, we spent much of it running between tourist shops in order not to get too cold.

Any trip to Montreal is incomplete without a visit to the Belvedere overlooking the city. What is normally a short uphill stroll turned into a slippery bone-chilling brisk walk. The fingers of our friend Valerie even froze to her metal camera while taking a picture of the panorama above. The above shot shows how her breath crystalized on her hair during the short walk. Click on the photo for a closer look.

Thank goodness that I now have proper clothing and footwear to endure winters here.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Tuesday in September

I was running late for work as was par for the course at that time. It was hot and I was sweating with the bright sun blasting through the El train windows. The train was packed. I was forced to stand, basically hovering over this woman wearing a Walkman in a single seat near the window. We were approaching the Armitage station as she talked to someone on her cellphone. She was talking louder than normal and I took it as she was doing it on purpose to get attention. After she was finished, she turned to those of us standing up and said a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. Still believing she was looking for attention, I completely ignored her. People are always trying to get noticed in the crowded city, so it becomes force of habit to ignore attention-getters.

Where I worked at the time, I was among a group of people who kept up with the latest happenings via the internet. One of us always following the latest news events or sports scores. So when I got in I immediately asked what was this thing about the plane. I figured it was just some errant Cessna. They told me it was two commercial jets and one flew into each tower.

By then someone had dragged out a TV from somewhere and was watching it all live. I went over and saw the replays of what had happened. But there was this odd ambiance in the office. We were an office of close to a hundred at the time, but only about ten people stayed glued to the TV. Only half of the others like myself checked in from time to time to see what was the latest news. The others just kept on working.

My father called up and asked if we thought the buildings would remain standing. You see, the company where I worked designs the structures for skyscrapers. The branch office that I worked at has worked on many tall buildings in Chicago while the head office in New York office works on some of the world's tallests. Only having a few years experience, I asked around. Nobody thought they would come down. They had survived the initial impact. That was quite impressive in itself. We figured the fire would be put out.

So I wandered back to the TV. One guy says to me very emotionlessly, "One of them came down." WHAT!?! You have got to be kidding! Being so early in my career, the thought never entered my mind of a building coming down. I have seen first hand buildings being demolished with explosives, but still. The building didn't come down in Oklahoma City. I even saw the wreckage of Miller Park crane accident up close. Where the strongest and largest steel members around were twisted and deformed like rope. But still, I could not believe this. So I stayed and watched the second one come down, still in disbelief.

But now what. Two other planes had crashed and there were rumors that there were still a couple planes unaccounted for. We were a couple blocks away from the Sears Tower. If the building fell, it would probably not hit us. But what if the plane missed and hit us? Offices downtown were letting out for the day and people were flooding the streets to get home. Again, the aire in our office was odd. There was no official notice that the office was closing. Word of mouth got around that they said you could go if you like. So many just kept on working. Finally it was both that rumor about the unaccounted for plane and that my wife had left work that I decided to go.

I got outside and the masses were gone. The streets were eerily deserted with just a few stragglers like myself. I was even able to get a seat on the El. And of course the sound of planes passing overhead was missing.

At home, my wife and I watched the coverage into the night. We just could not stop watching. I could still not believe the buildings had come down. I wanted to see the footage over and over to figure out what happened. I wanted to hear the stories of those that experienced it. Is this a one time event or the start of something? I wanted to any information they could offer. I guess I was trying to understand it like everyone else.

It has become the "Where were you when you heard Kennedy was shot?" of our time. There are and will be so many other accounts like this. I figured this is my space and there is a different perspective being in the construction industry.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Old Town, October 1991.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Night on Earth

Here are a bunch of tidbits I have come across in the past while. One tragic, one thought provoking, and one naughty. The combination recalls the movie Night on Earth by Jim Jarmusch about five cab rides around the world. One of my top ten favorite movies.

I hate how this word is thrown around sometimes, but this one warrants it's use. A husband kisses his family goodbye and goes off to work. The wife with their two kids and her mother leave to drive her mother home in Ohio. Along the way they are halted due to construction. A truck then plows into them at over 45mph killing them instantly, puncturing their gas tank, and creating an enormous fire. I can't help but think of what the husband/father is going through. It reminds me of a similar incident a few years back on Notre Dame in Montreal. A young family hit a patch of black ice sliding into an oncoming bus. What made it even more heart wrenching was that the bus driver got out and held the hands of the father and the daughter as they passed away. Just thinking about it chokes me up.

I know it's the hot topic nowadays, but this series of articles in the Chicago Tribune looks to be very well done. I have only read some of it, but hope to read the rest soon. If you don't have the time, I suggest printing it all out to read it later. Not environmentally friendly, but convenient. Free registration may be required.

Anyone who has been poking around Flickr long enough has come across Rebekka. So far as I have seen, she is far and away the most popular Flickrite out there. Her photos are a bit narcissistic and exhibitionistic, but are artistic and extremely well done while trying out many different techniques. Some of her more popular photos are those with multiple images of herself interacting with herself. Check out this image to see what I mean. She's a single mother of two in art school who says she's just playing around with photography. Well the news lately is that Toyota has hired her to shoot and be in their commercials. The Nipplegate word comes from Flickrite Solera who is defending women who choose to take pictures of themselves artistically nude and posting them. It has sparked quite a debate. In my opinion, if I take a step back, it seems weird how we as a society have deemed certain parts of the anatomy taboo when that are a natural part of who we are.

There are some other noteworthy Flickrites that I'd like to point out. There is DJames who is currently posting pictures of his trip to Chicago. He says he only had about 6 hours to take all the shots in this set. Pretty darn efficient. There is Hugo who has an excellent set of Parisian photos. I really like the style. A couple notable portrait photographers are Jonathan in Montreal and the duo isto-ica from Toronto. I'd love to have my picture taken by them. And lastly, two people that I have actually met. Captain Andre from Metroblogging Montreal and Eric from YULblog. Both take great pictures of Montreal and elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


A photo of the train we used to take to Paris from Versailles. Feb 1992

My sister at Pere Lachaise Cemetary in Paris. Dec 1991.

Click on the images to see a larger view.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


During my teenage years, I frequented a juice bar (dance bar for underage kids) in an up and coming area. During my father's college years less than two decades earlier it was the ghetto. Since that time the artists and gays had moved in. And now the yuppies were beginning to populate the area due to it's proximity to downtown. The area was in transition. There was an energy on the street with that mix of artists, gays, and young professionals.

But I, like everyone else, hated the yuppies. In my mind, they were the rich suburban kids who came into town to goof off able to break the rules and pay to get out of it. And later the college kids who came to get wasted without respect for the city dwellers or their environment. They were now those same kids who had their own money (credit) to buy BMW's and were forcing long-time residents out of their neighborhoods. Self-absorbed and brash.

After high school I was able to go away to university. The school had an extensive Greek(fraternity/sorority) system. So much so that you were in the minority if you did not go. Again at the time I viewed them as either the evil frat house in Animal house, or a frat house trying to act like it was the Animal house. Either way, they seemed to me to be locales fostering the group mentality. Join the club and be like all the other members. Many with a price tag (literally) to enter. Grooming grounds for yuppies. I despised them.

There were some changes during those six years. People are less and less black and white. Although almost all of my friends were "independants", I knew many people who had chosen to be part of the Greeks system. I even went out with a couple. For the most part, they were like everyone else except they had their house functions to attend. Also during this time, I became interesting in many "college" things. The pagentry of some traditions. Music that was mainstream, yet still given terms like alternative or independant. I got a shoulder bag instead of a backpack.

After college, I joined the work world. To some extent it seemed all of us embarking on our careers we were all at the same level. Some may have come from more prestigeous schools, but we were all still newbies. All those previous concerns held less importance. OK, Freddy may not have a student loan, or Helen may have a slightly higher position, but we were still just starting off. If anything, it was our profession against all those higher paying ones.

It was a fun and interesting time. I was finally making a full-time salary instead of that of a part-time student. And I was now an adult in the city where I grew up. It opened up a new dimension. New freedoms to do what you want when you want as long as you have the money, you don't get arrested, and you don't get fired. Similar to college except now you have money and you have your nights and weekends free. We would go out drinking sometimes getting a little out of hand. We bought many of the cool new things (computer, cell phones, bikes). We got a place in that neighborhood that I was so fond of as a teenager. We weren't rich, but we could be a bit self-indulgent.

I came to a bit of a revelation on our past trip back home. Had I become the thing that I despised? Were we yuppies? Young... Check. Urban... Check. Professional... (sorta) Check. OK, by definition yes. But by the popularly held (hated) characteristics of yuppies it gets really hazy. It has been odd to read rants on yuppie lifestyles. They go into the characteristics of yuppiedom and I catch myself thinking: "Wait a second, I have (had) some of those things or did those things. I don't hold the same convictions as the yuppies the person is ranting about, but maybe I'm not that much different than the despised yuppies." In many ways, we were yuppies, but in many ways we were not.

And so here I am. As with many things in life, I find myself sympathetic to both sides. I completely agree with those that hate the negative things that yuppies do as a group or individuals. Yet I know them as real people and know that the majority of them are good-hearted people who are either living an honest life or caught up in a reality that others may not understand.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Brushed Sky

It's been a while since I posted a Montreal pic. I guess I'm still caught up sharing Paris pics or Chicago ones from the vacation. The previous sunsets are here (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5). No post processing has been done on this. It's fresh out of the camera. Click on the photo to see a larger view in Flickr.

During the construction holiday, I found two three-ring binders of negatives that I have been saving. Looks like it is everything that I took between '85 and '95 including the study abroad. So I can stop scanning little 3 1/2" x 5"'s. I haven't had time to scan a few to see about the quality. I'm worried that there may be permanent dust or scratches. Anyhow, I'll keep posting the best photos here from time to time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Have You Ever... in Canada?

Rachel has pointed out that the 150 points on the Have You list have a bit of an American slant (it's 6 out of 150, but still). So how about if we compile a list for Canada exclusively. Let start out with a goal of 50 points or maybe there is another number that would be more symbolic. Maybe at least two for each province or territory, two for each big city, and the remaining will be general. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions.

If this works, we could try one for Quebec later. I am also starting the ball rolling for Montréal on Metroblogging Montréal. Heck, we could try Chicago also, but my readership is largely in Montreal.

Have You Ever...?

Jumping off the same cliff as blork and Rachel, I've given in and completed this meme that I saw a while back. Though I didn't get as many as each of them.

How it works is you answer the question "Have you ever..?" followed by the points below.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins (Got there too late.)
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree (literally)
10. Bungee jumped (not yet. Once I do that I can add 'crap my pants' to the list too.)
11. Visited Paris (lived near there actually)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise (Biked all night actually)
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (It was closed and in the process of leaning)
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower (I'd like to do this more often)
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse (I'm assuming other competitive sports count)
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse (Spring '94)
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run (Even an inside-the-park'r)
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (Alcohol can do that)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (Missing 8, only been to two provinces. Missed NB by a couple hundred feet.)
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends (Present tense also)
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving (Not yet)
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan (If we ever get enough moohla)
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving (Snorkeling, yes)
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business (Does making and selling your own t-shirts count)
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (If memory serves)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice (Saved the money for an engagement ring)
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason (As in bought and given?)
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas (not yet)
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone (Does travelling the Paris métro during the 1995 bombings count?)
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children. (Present tense)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (Not really)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (Ran it actually, out and back)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray (Tampa Zoo)
110. Broken someone’s heart (Not proud of)
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced (Maybe one day my ear lobes will hang that low)
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (Does a BB gun count?)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (Those crazy French)
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (After being awake for 70)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states (16 ain't bad)
124. Visited all 7 continents (Just two)
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school (not yet, I may have to)
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes (Bitter tomatoes in marinara sauce didn't do it for me)
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read (not yet)
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Same as Blork: Do fish count?)
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair (Don't have to)
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head (After enough of them leave voluntarily)
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone’s life

I'll gladly elaborate on any of these if anyone cares to hear one in particular. The four I'd really like to do (again) are: see more meteor showers, learn how to fly a plane, visit Japan, and return to Paris.