August 3, 2019


Truman strikes a post at nap time. Notice the side-eye toward the human that was taking his photo.

Actually, I’m concerned that Truman is bored living with us here in the Condo of Happiness. He has plenty of treats, scratching furniture, water, cleaning litter, and toys scattered about, but he occasionally races around and makes non-Earthly like noises sounding like he’s being strangled, and then he high tails it across any non-floor surface before running up the curtains.

He wasn’t fixed until a few days before we adopted him, so I sometimes wonder if he has some left over juice here six months later. Maybe he’s just super feisty.

Or else he’s bored.


I had the pleasure of listening to an aviation podcast earlier today after a wonderful breakfast with my fellow members of the flying club I belong to. The podcast is called Simple Flight, and is produced by a couple members of the club right from the clubhouse at KPWK. If you’re an AvGeek and enjoy podcasts, I highly recommend you adding it to your playlist for your listening pleasure.

In this latest podcast (09 Jul 19 episode), the guest was a man who has the goal of owning and flying a Phenom 300 business jet. He is working his way toward that goal, and it’s clear from the enthusiasm exhibited during this interview that he has a passion for aviation and I have no doubt that he will realize his dream.

As I was sitting in traffic on Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway, making my way home while listening to this podcast, I started daydreaming about my passions, and how I’m happiest when I’m focused on those passions. I enjoy many things, but I’m passionate about four things, and I have dreams that I’m still striving to realize in this second half of my life.

So what am I passionate about?

I say this is without hesitation, but my first and foremost passion, is my family and home. As my mother would say, “well duh, John”, the truth of the matter is, I feel fulfilled and happiest when I’m in our home space in a place that I love with the people I love. My love for my family is the driver for everything else, and this enables me to work hard, play harder, and discover the next big thing in my life.

My second passion is aviation. I live life without regret but honestly I wish I had become a pilot sooner in my life. Obviously things happen when and where they best should happen, and become a pilot five years ago was the right time and place, but sometimes I wonder where I’d be in the world today if I had found the confidence and resources to become a pilot earlier in life. Would I be flying for the airlines? Would I be flying cargo? Would Earl and I own an airplane together? My passion for aviation drives me to become a better pilot with every flight, and I honestly I’ve been too slow in getting the ratings I want. I need to ramp that up. Focus on the passion, not the distraction.

My third passion, and this is another thing I could talk non-stop about, is what I call “practical technology”. I am fascinated by how far technology has come along in my lifetime, but the truth of the matter is, not all of it is good. Practical Technology needs to continue to move ahead, but this extraneous stuff to me holds little interest for me. I definite practical technology as tech that makes a positive contribution to the world. Practical tech makes using technology easier for the user. A number of years ago an appliance company designed a washer that connected to the dryer so the dryer would know when the washer was finishing up its cycle and start warming up ahead of time. This is nifty and certainly possible, but is it practical? What’s it accomplishing? If you’re not standing right there when the washer completes, how is this going to help? It’s like this trend of having cars turn off and automatically start again when you step off the brake, all in the name of energy conservation. How much energy does it really conserve? How much does it screw up traffic patterns due to waiting for the car to restart when the light turns green? We have so much technology available to use that is not practical; I’d really like to see what I can do as a software engineer to bring technology back in the line of being practical again. I’m really interested in bringing more tech into aviation. I’m not a fan of remote controlled passenger aircraft, but I am a fan of succinctly informing the pilot with as much data as relevant to a situation.

My fourth passion is music. Great music, full of emotion and feeling, and performed in a genuine manner, makes my heart sing. So much new music today is created for the purpose of stardom and making money. This type of performance elicits no response in me. But powerful moments, where you can nearly wrap your arms around the joy the performer is feeling during their performance, will nearly bring me to tears. I care less about perfection and am always looking for the genuine. Seeking out performances of this nature will always make me happy, and my passion for finding this happiness always makes me smile.

There’s a lot of things one must do for the purpose of generating the opportunity to pursue their passions. This is the energy that all humans should be allowed to expend.

I’m certain the world would be a happier place if we all just allowed one another to be passionate.