My How We Change.

How we change.

I shared this with those that I usually have to review my writing. They said I should not share this as it seemed very personal.  They said it seemed like it was something somebody would not share. After a short rumination, I decided to share this, writing.

It amazes me where I am today.  Things change, and sometimes so mildly or slowly that we do not notice, but over time becomes a significant change.  Continuous improvement is predicated upon this idea.  I am sure there are good and bad associated.  However, it reminds me of a movie, Jeremiah Johnson.  Especially the Jeremiah and Bearclaw’s last meeting, it is the realization that you have focused on some things over the years, and have forgotten other things that might also be important, or at least interesting.

Before smartphones.

I have always enjoyed listening to and playing music.  In my youth, I sang and played bass (and recently with COVID and work from home restarted).  I have gotten distracted over the years. Engrossed with making a living and providing for my family.  Ensuring our future and making sure I did not become obsolete.  When I was younger, my friends (the drummer and guitar player with whom I played) would drive to the big city, which was Fayetteville North Carolina sometimes, and sometimes the big, big city, and that would be Raleigh.

We would find a payphone, and search through the phone book to find the addresses of the local music stores and then use a paper map to drive to the stores.  For the most part, I grew up in Anderson Creek area of North Carolina.  I say for the most part because I am the son of a Special Forces dad and we moved around quite a bit when I was young.  At the time Anderson Creek was a trailer part.  It was surrounded by mostly farmland, tobacco, and soybeans, and not a golf course.  We would visit music stores to play those instruments that we knew we could not afford, and maybe never would.

Mitch’s Tavern, 30 years later is still around.

My kid now goes to North Carolina State University.  One trip up to visit and take them to lunch, we drive past Mitch’s Tavern, and I have a flash of the olden days.  When I was in my 20s, I worked Fast Food in Raleigh North Carolina.  My friends would come up and we would hang out in town.  I thought I recalled going to Mitch’s Tavern with the drummer and my friend Chuck, we graduated high school together.  I was recently chatting with the drummer; we are working to get the band back together.  I told the drummer my kid is at NC State.  He started talking about what I thought might just be a jumbled memory when we drove past Mitches Tavern.

Did that really happen?

The three of us, went to Mitch’s Tavern, maybe to eat, and more likely tip a pint or so.  There was background music playing.  After a time, I went to the bartender and asked if they would play the cassette I had.  It was the Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 1964-1971.  I have been a fan of the Rolling Stones for decades now and for years then.  This is true even though our little musical group back in the day. We played metal and hard rock. Not the genres associated with the Rolling Stones and therefore we played none of their music.  The manager or bartender said certainly, or something akin to that.  I brought the tape, and they played it. And the patrons at the bar began to singing along!  So fun and cool!

A great Rolling Stones album from the olden days.

Ah, the olden days.  Besides playing in this trio, a larger group would gather sometimes gather around a fire.  Eddie would play acoustic guitar and some of us would sing.  We all enjoyed music, in the ’70s and ’80s.  There was some great music, and one of the reasons that motivated me to take up engineering was to make effects pedals.

I had largely forgotten this event Mitches Tavern event. I have worked to provide for my family and have forgotten those days of less responsibility.  It seems I have changed greatly over the years.  I had realized, some time ago, that working with my friends would have perhaps been preferable to my choice.  I am working to fix this.  When you work for a living, have a family, and other responsibilities, life can take a back seat.  As I write this, Norm McDonald has passed away.  Another comic was asked, why did you include other comics in your movies, and the response (I think it was Rob Schneider) or something similar, this is the way we can hang out together.

It is not over until it is over.

I know it is late in the game. My career has spanned a few decades already, I work to provide value to others and that includes my friends.  I actively work to build things of use with those I have worked with before and have developed a friendship.  These friends are not always people that I have personally met but have been talking with for years, an example is Steven Lauck, we have never met, but have had many conversations that have led to some interesting collaborations.  Another is Fred Starkey, we have not worked within the same company for nearly 20 years, recently we put together a software testing certification class.  I have recently written a book with my brother, Shawn Quigley all of this is part of this idea.

I wrote this book with my brother.

Now, one might think I am complaining, I am not.  Perhaps I am looking to work with people that think as I think, that do not contest what I believe.  That is likewise not true.  My friends are not my friends because they are me, or think like me.  I value their opinion, they are smart, I respect their character and work ethic. Amongst ourselves, we can say things that are not taken personally. We can work hard and play and clown around without thinking the environment is toxic or are not safe.  We can say the things we believe without the wrong sort of ridicule, perhaps some self-deprecation.  There will likely be some self-deprecation from time to time, and a little mild mocking in jest.  Nothing but a touch of levity with those who know you absolutely mean them no harm.

It has always been difficult for me to leave the companies at which I have worked, having developed friendships at each of those companies, even when I am at the company for a short for 3 to 5 years (wow, that sounds like a prison sentence).  This is true even in those few instances when my relationship with the company might be strained or outright sour, it is tough to leave these friends.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could work with a team of friends, we can play and work at the same time? Perhaps this is what work-life balance means.

Post by Jon Quigley