Things to do on Earth

Like the Boston list (which is hereby incorporated), except on a larger scale. I’m just listing specifics, excluding obvious generic things like world travel and debauchery. This is for my own reference, as it cheers me up to read a list of specific things I’d still like to do in life. I also think it’s probably more interesting and enlightening than a bio. Suggestions welcome.

  1. Raise a child and develop a close relationship with them. Working on it.
  2. Ride across the country on the old Transcontinental Railroad route. During period of maintenance, Amtrak will occasionally reroute the California Zephyr over the original northern route through Wyoming. It’s apparently an inspiring trip both in terms of the nature, and in seeing what was accomplished by men with picks and shovels. Remember to bring along a copy of Nothing Like it in the World, by Stephen Ambrose. Done.
  3. Learn group theory. God liked it enough to base physics on it; maybe I should learn it. Still working on this.
  4. Fly a small airplane across the country. No better way to see the country than from 3000 feet above the ground. So far I’ve only done half.
  5. Take a ship across the Atlantic. Preferably a real boat, like a freighter. (You can rent out empty space on container ships these days, as automation has rendered much of the originally intended crew unnecessary.) Once in my life I’d like to see what it’s like to be out in the middle of the ocean, days away from land.
  6. See the Panama Canal. Preferably by going through it.
  7. Ride a motorcycle or bike across the country. Take the southern route. I think my wife will nix this one.
  8. Buy a telescope and learn some astronomy. I’m intentionally saving this for when my kid(s) leave and I need a hobby.
  9. Finish my commercial/instrument rating. Nothing has ever made me feel as much a part of the earth as leaving it in a small airplane. Also saving, most likely, for the empty nest. (Assuming America’s lawyers and politicians haven’t completely killed the idea of normal people flying small airplanes by then.)
  10. Learn how to brew beer. Another good one for later in life, though I can’t believe I haven’t already done this one. Right up my alley for so many reasons.
  11. Start a company. A tough one. Need not have more than one employee, though.
  12. Visit the Deep South. While it still has a distinct culture. Eat at mom and pop BBQ shacks in the middle of nowhere. Best combined with #6.
  13. Surf. At least try it once.
  14. Learn how to maintain a car. I’m talking stuff like replacing brakes, not just oil changes. Also another one I can’t believe I haven’t gotten into already, though that’s mostly because I don’t have a garage. An important skill to have in Great Depression II, and probably as much fun as it would be lucrative.
  15. Write music. These days, digital audio workstation software puts an entire recording studio in your hands. If you like music, for $200 (and a laptop) you can have access to professional quality music production facilities. Another hobby to have as I get older. Working on it…
  16. Visit Taktshang. Stay there long enough to relax and stop being such an jerk.

4 responses to “Things to do on Earth”

  1. Your No. 7 reminds me of my personal plan for my forthcoming senescence, which is to become interested in, then obsessed by, first-person shooter games. I think they will start to interest me sometime after I turn 70 as my joints become more rigid.

    • Andy: Very wise move. It’s important to hold some things in reserve so that one continually has novelty in life. I’ve also a list of illegal things I plan to phase in, but I felt I should leave them out of this list. However, your comment reminded me that I need to add PlayStation X running Call of Duty Y to the list of wonderful things to look forward to later in life.

  2. Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT get into the gaming scene as an able bodied youth. It’s great fun, but it’s a total waste of supple muscles, well lubed joints, and senses that can faithfully represent the outside world inside your head. You only get those things for a brief moment in youth. You’ll regret not using them.

    Besides, just imagine how good the games are going to be in the 2040s. You’ll just plug into the matrix and forget all about your saggy, brittle body and dulled senses. And you won’t already be bored of all the good games.

    • You know, you make a very good point. I was kind of shying away from gaming already, because I can see myself getting way too addicted to it, but you clinched it for me. Definitely going to save that for my retirement, right before [redacted in anticipation of security clearance background check] and after astronomy. I think I need to add a crucial element to this list: a schedule.

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