I received an email from an old friend of this group who told me some
were inquiring my well being.
I am doing well. In fact, I have never been better. As some of you
know I build a wonderful shop about 4 years ago. I did some very cool
projects and it was a blast to go there each day and do some
woodworking. About a year and a half ago I was sitting in my office
opening mail and I came to my workmans comp bill.... It was for
About the same amount I was hoping to profit on the stairway I had
going in the shop for the last 4 months. That is as long as I had no
set-backs. It was at that moment I thought, why am I doing this? I had
worked 70-90 hour weeks for years only to realize that I give most of
what I make to others and only get the left overs. Don't get me wrong,
I did ok, but considering what I charged for what I did and to see
what I got in the end.........?
I was 52 and started to think of the many things I still wanted to do
in life. I was getting to the end I my biggest project I had ever done
and decided then, it would be my last hurrah. So I started making
arrangements to get out of the woodworking world and start doing the
things I really wanted to do. I was able to get out of my building
before the economy went south which proved to be good timing. I kept
most of my tools and set-up in a smaller shop with my son Tim who had
just got done with 10 years in the Air Force. It is close to the
airport where I have a 27 year relationship with Gulfstream Aerospace
doing corporate jet furniture. I kept two of my best guys and told
them I would not work more than 40 hours a week. I am actually down to
about 35/hrs a week and will be down to 0/hrs a week in another year.
Sometimes I actually feel guilty..... We have work in place until the
end of 2011 so I know they will be fine and if I feel like getting
dirty I can always stop in and help.
I have always been interested in children's charity work and searched
out who was doing what, looking for an organization I could get
involved with. I found operation kids.... http://www.operationkids.com
I looked into how to get involved and ran onto people from Xango. I
got very involved with them and now have a great relationship with the
founders and my group. I am doing an incredible amount of traveling
and it's been great working with them. I have a passport now and will
be doing more international travel next year and the years to come. I
like doing that very much.
I also had been doing audio recording for years and decided to add
video production to my studio. I put a 20' green screen in my studio
and got set-up with HD equipment. I am having more fun with that than
I ever had with just audio. I wanted to expand with that so I called
the brother of a friend on mine out in Hollywood to pick his brain.
Our phone call led to my flying out to California a week later to his
home in Hollywood Hills. Wow! ......You know how sometimes you meet
someone and the relationship really clicks? Well it did with us. He is
a multi Emmy award winner and was looking to do other things than just
television. That first visit has turned into a partnership that is
growing into a large venture. (never under-estimate the power of a
I also got involved with a new youth church in my area that is
starting up. In fact tomorrow, we are going through an Imax theater
that closed in town and it looks like we are going to get into that
building for a song. Talk about toys....it has a 100' diagonal screen,
a 15/70 projector, a data projector, and a sound system that is out of
this world.....(50 subs alone). So that should fill my audio/video
My Mother past away 2 months ago so that was tough. I have my Dad to
watch after now and enjoy his last days as my greatest teacher.
I read the post about me and got a few chuckles.....I want to say I am
doing just fine and have never been happier. I can't wait for each
day, and to see what new roads are available to travel down. I loved
woodworking but had other skills I never had the time to pursue. I am
spending more time with my family that I had often neglected with my
work. I am doing things I love and what more could a man want?
If any of you ever want to chat feel free to email me.
Tom, I've never communicated with you before, but reading this makes me
very happy for you. I feel like we are kindred spirits, as I've been
involved with audio and video production as well as woodworking for most
of my adult life.
Blessing to you in your new ventures.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
After building 4000 loudspeaker boxes for various market segments, my
underlying desire is to build a speaker system which will rival the
Dynaudio Consequence. Linear, high power handling and bloody gorgeous
to look at. (There was a motive behind my investment in a CNC)
I never did much on the video side, from a technical perspective at
least, but find it fascinating. Especially the stuff that gamers are
Video ... ugh! :)
Although I engineered audio for a number of music video projects and live
music TV shows, including one live HBO special and a couple of film festival
winners, audio was always treated like a red haired stepchild by the video
folks and I *always* had to fight tooth and nail for the audio side of
It could be that I'm color blind and could never understand why they took so
damn much time registering their cameras/equipment ... but, this from the
guy whose console monitor once had the R wire broken and never noticed it
until it was pointed out to him :)
Video ... ugh! ... just think of it as radio with pictures! :)
I ended up in a video production class at a local college. (I needed the
credits) I had background in audio, both as a techie and as an engineer,
specializing in voice only productions. My ears weren't good enough for
This was back in the day when everything was done with a cord. It turns out
that the audio expertise of this studio was so bad, it was amazing that any
sound ended up on the videos at all. They expected me to run around and plug
in mike cords.
I figured out very quickly that most of the mike cords were defective. I
brought my electronics tookbox to school. The did not have a multimeter in
the studio or any basic tools. How expensive is a basic multimeter? It
turns out that somebody made up these mike cord who did not know how to
solder! How hard is it to solder?
I got in a big fight with the guy who ran the studio.
I went over his head and brought some of the defective mike cords to the
depatment head. I told them I would fix everything, but I needed them to buy
a few basic parts. They gave me the money and I repaired the mike cords. I
then started troubleshooting everything else in that studio. Over 75% of the
audio capacity was non functional. I repaired everything from mixers to the
The guy in charge of the studio wanted to flunk me because I "disrupted" the
studio. But he got drowned out by everybody who who appreciated the new
found audio recording capability, including my teacher. I spent about 4
weeks doing basic repairs for my classwork.
I then went on to teach a basic audio recording class for video students.
Some teachers at the college got jealous and closed that down. I know what
you mean. Us audio guys just get no respect! We are the Rodney Dangerfields
of any kind of video production.
Eventually, I ended up rewiring two different studios on campus. The
teachers were so thrilled to have somebody around that knew what they were
doing. They got me the money, I bought the materials, parts, etc and went to
work. They even gave a helper. I got a bunch of "special project credits".
I just wrote up a paper on how I did the installation.
I never forgot the time I had to teach a bunch of stoned musician how to
solder. A hot soldering iron became a weapon of sorts with these guys.
Good to hear that, Tom As I said earlier ... genius needs a challenge! :)
Although I still own a commercial recording studio and did a good bit of
video production also, I no longer have any thing to do with the day-to-day
operation and went in the exact opposite direction. :)
Break a leg!
email@example.com wrote,on my timestamp of 8/12/2008 11:19 AM:
> major snip...
Sorry to hear about your Mum, Tom.
Enjoy your Dad's company. I know I miss
both my parents more than anything else in
the world, so I can fully understand: my Dad
passed away 4 years ago and Mum last year.
I still have not fully recovered.
Indeed: what more could a man want?
I've got some family involved with Xango as well, although
it's completely foreign to me. Hope you get out of it what
you set out to do. Ah well: knowing you, I know you will!
Wonder if the old web site would be available through
the wayback machine? I sure could do with looking at
it again: it was a constant source of inspiration.
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