Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…

List of Dreams


I read a book once where the protagonist made a list, at a young age, of certain pleasures that he wanted to save – read King Lear, visit the Bahamas, eat a durian – until he was 40. He didn’t want to use up all the good stuff too early, I suppose.

Here are some things that I have wanted to do before I die.

  • Join the Navy (check)
  • Live in Australia (had a job offer once. turned it down.)
  • Play Clair de Lune on piano (almost)
  • Backpack around the world (check)
  • Live on a boat (not yet. haven’t given up on this one. The navy doesn’t count.)
  • Go to Tahiti (check)
  • Leave the Navy (check)
  • Learn to speak French (got pretty good once – in Tahiti. forgot most of it now.)
  • Live in a big city (London — check. New York — check. I’d like to do that again someday.)
  • Learn to surf (check. wasn’t very good at it though)
  • Start my own company (tried. failed)
  • Live way out in the countryside (fail. not sure I’d enjoy it anyway now)
  • Learn to speak Georgian (fail. I have no idea why I wanted to learn Georgian.)
  • Live in France (I have had two job offers and turned them down. Epic fail.)
  • Dive with one and a half somersaults (check)
  • Design an application that makes money (check)
  • Smoke opium (this is my end of life plan in case I need to relieve the horrible pain)
  • Learn to speak Indonesian (got pretty good once. forgot all of it.)
  • Get a degree (I’ll get back to this one day)
  • Own a convertible (check. miss it terribly. need another one.)
  • Design an application that people want to use (check)
  • Draw a portrait (check. forgot how.)
  • Sleep on a beach (check)
  • Score a goal from a bicycle kick (fail)
  • Take my wife to the places I travelled in my youth (not yet)
  • Enjoy a beer with my son (not yet)
  • Draw a nude (check. forgot how now.)
  • Play Marsha’s Mood on piano (2022 update—almost!)
  • Get married on a beach (check)
  • Go back and walk through the streets where I grew up (check)
  • Brew beer (check)
  • Live in the Caribbean (fail)
  • Take a life drawing class (fail)
  • Design an application to recreate physics experiments (not yet)
  • Live by the beach (Lived in sight of the English Channel twice, Hudson River once and Bristol Harbour.)
  • Live in a little village (fail)
  • Sing Heartbreak Hotel on stage (check)
  • Learn to make tapas (working on it)
  • Run a training company on a boat in the Caribbean (I still dream)
  • Swim on the Great Barrier Reef (check)
  • Decorate my study with drawings of my heroes (fail – never had a study)
  • Model for a life drawing class (fail)
  • 360 on a snowboard (check)
  • Frequent a pub where everybody knows my name (2023 update — Yes!)
  • Dance with my daughter (not yet)
  • Dive into the ocean from a very high place (check. almost killed myself)
  • Play guitar (working on it)
  • Own a country pub by a river (fail)
  • Get air in the halfpipe (check)
  • Visit a nudist club (check)
  • Take my kids to celebrate Christmas with family in England (before they are too old to appreciate it [too late? – ed])
  • Score from a free kick bent around a wall (still time)
  • Decorate my study in a 1930s colonial style (fail – never had a study)
  • Own a hamster (check)
  • Sail around the Greek islands (soon, i hope)
  • Go to Cambridge (fail)
  • Visit Tuscany (not yet)
  • Backside 180 mute (check)
  • Ride a horse into the ocean (check)
  • Write a book (fail. there are too many books in the world already)

Some things that I have tried to avoid:

  • Run a marathon (check)
  • Go to Chicago (close call – changed planes in the airport once)
  • Live in suburbia (epic fail)
  • Own a lot of stuff (fail) (2023 update — we got rid of all our stuff when we left California. Only have books now)

Some things that I have started that I’d like to finish one day:

  • Program: Emulate a Zilog Z80 (so close)
  • Essay : Why I am Ceremonial Deist (couple more drafts to go)
  • Program: Evolution simulator (this will get me my Nobel)
  • Portrait: Wife (will have to re-learn to draw it’s been so long)
  • Article: Software Design is a Waste of Time (seemed like a good idea when I started it)
  • Web site : www.ceremonialdeists.com (to host essays by famous ceremonial deists)
  • Game: Massively-multiplayer online puzzle solving game (didn’t get very far with that)
  • Poem : Return to Wonderland (doubt I’ll ever get return to that)
  • Program: Play & recommend music from Rhapsody on my SqueezeBox (Making good progress. Just needs a physics engine.)
  • Web site: www.tremblr.com (Step 3: profit)
  • Game: A Question of Speed (the oldest unfinished item on my list)
  • Program : Physics Experiment Simulator (just started!)
  • Game: Diplomacy over IM (it works. just need to finish the UI) (2021 update — I started over! Finished!)
  • Blog: Tales of a Submariner (not even sure what it was about now) (2023 update — Finished!)
  • Blog: New wordpress theme (haven’t actually started yet. have to finish this post first.) (2023 update — finished!)

Some things that I really need to do soon:

  • Fix the waste disposal (DONE!)
  • Make Jazz a real pendulum drawing table (DONE!)
  • Buy some blinds for my room
  • Book trip to Barbados
  • Synchronize Jazz’s Sansa (DONE!)
  • File expenses (DONE!)
  • Renovate bathroom (DONE!)
  • Replace garden fence (DONE!