August 23, 1998: That 70s Show at Erin’s House

Fox has been advertising a new sitcom about the 1970s called That 70s Show that is set to air tonight. Eric Millen, Mark Price and I have all been talking about the show and looking forward to seeing it for quite a while now. This is the only television show for many years that has been interesting enough for us to actually care about it.

Since it is a big deal, having a new and exciting show to see, we made plans with my friend Erin Ryan to all go to her house tonight to watch the show. It’s like a big movie night or something.

The four of us watched the show and were all totally hooked. For those of us born at just the time that this show is supposed to be taking place makes the show seem quite magical. It really did a great job of capturing the look and feel on the late 1970s. Those days in the late 70s are a swirling mist to me. I was born in early 1976 and I have a lot of memories from around 1978-1980 and I can still picture how everything looked. All of the browns and oranges and everything was stripped and polka dots. Wood panel wainscots were ubiquitous, cassettes and long play vinyl records ruled, televisions were tiny and generally black and white, cars were huge and gas was cheap. No one had computers then. I wouldn’t see my first computer until the summer of 1980.

Eric, Mark and I would wind up watching most of the first two seasons of That Seventies Show together. It was a regular event after that point. It remained throughout the first five years of its run to be one of the only, if not the only, television show that I watched with any regularity.

October 26, 1995: Pizza Hut

After deciding to drop of GMI Engineering and Management Institute (later to become Kettering University) in order to pursue a degree in Classical Guitar and Trombone Performance I needed to find work as I would no longer be working as an engineer with Ben-Mer Manufacturing up in Rochester. This is probably best as they were crooks there anyway and completely incompetent. I wasn’t learning anything and getting no where. It was a really crappy and stressful place to work.

So, Josh had worked at Pizza Hut in Geneseo for a while and had recently moved on to a store up in Rochester and he put in a good word for me – hopefully that isn’t why I got the job. So I took a job at Pizza Hut in Geneseo as a pizza maker. Not very exciting nor did it pay very well but it fit my schedule and allowed me to go to college while I worked.

Over time I would become the team lead, one of only three dough masters, one of the top two pizza makers and even try my hand at waiting tables while at Pizza Hut which I left for a while, came back to for a short time and then finally left completely in 1997.

The last job that I would do there before leaving was to play classical guitar in the restaurant for tips but the waitresses complained to the manager that I was making far more money than them and I was told that making the customers happy just wasn’t appreciated. It was neat while it lasted and I was making over $20 an hour in tips which was great compared to normal Pizza Hut pay.

Overall the PH experience was valuable only in learning how awful jobs can be. Most jobs at this level are. I had my first real experience with a sexist boss and experienced the glass ceiling first hand. Sexual discrimination against the male staff was so drastic that they didn’t even attempt to hide it. We were told by Wendy, the store manager, that only women could be waitresses and only waitresses could become managers since no one could be a manager without having done all the different jobs. So barred men from waiting tables as a means to barring them from any and all promotions. I only made team lead because the area manager over Wendy promoted me when Wendy wasn’t around.

It was neat working in the busiest Pizza Hut in upstate New York for a while. It was a good experience, but the best part was getting to leave when I finally did.

October 23, 1995: Finishing My Color Printing Course

Today was the final day of my “Color Printing Course” that I have been taking at Kodak in Rochester. This, as I recall, was the final photography class that I took at Kodak. I took several over the years including classes on composition and darkroom techniques. I have been a member of the Kodak Camera Club (the KCC) for some time at this point and use the darkroom facilities which are open to members up at the Theater on the Ridge inside of Kodak Park in Greece, New York located at the corner of Ridge Road and Lake Avenue.

Now that I have completed this class I now carry a card which authorizes me to use Kodak’s commercial color developing machines. This will make it vastly easier for me to do color darkroom work. Color is much more time consuming and difficult than black and white and lends itself far less to manual intervention. Now I can do the base darkroom work and then use the high quality processing machines just like professionals use.

It is really great that I am able to take classes on photography via the Kodak Camera Club as they are considered the best place to take classes – even better than the school which specialize in photography. The dark room facilities here are the best in the world. It is a very impressive experience to come here for all of my photography work.

Sonic Brass’ First Official Performance

Today was the first official performance of Sonic Brass under that name. We previously performed on July 4th just one month ago at LaGrange Baptist Church for a Independance Day celebration. At that time we decided to organize into an official brass ensemble that would tour churches in the area performing brass music. We kick off our “Tour 1993” by returning to LaGrange Baptist.

June 30, 1992: The End of the Last Vacation

Left Littletown, New Hampshire and drove the remaining distance back home to Peoria, New York today.  This was to be a momentous day in my personal history, and my parents’ as well, I suppose.  This was the final day, of the final vacation that we would ever really take as a family.  At least in the traditional sense of me being a child and vacationing with my parents.  In a year I would be working all summer and unable to take time off to get away other than to look at colleges and far too busy with social commitments to leave for an extended period of time.  And the summer after that I would end up leaving for university in Michigan almost immediately after high school graduation.  So this was it, the last hurrah.  The final big trip that we would have together in this way.

In total it was 2,682 miles on this trip.  The longest that I will have drive and/or ridden on a road trip for more than a decade.  (I won’t surpass this in a single trip until my honeymoon in 2004, returning to many of the same locations.)

 

[Written: 23 Feb 2016]