January 26, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Rondo alla Turca

On this and other sites, I've talked from time to time about my dreams, particularly those I've been lucky enough to realize. Earlier this month, I stood in the shadows of the Very Large Array. Two years ago, I swam in the clear waters of the Mediterranean. Back in 1995, I sat in the captain's chair on the "Star Trek" sound stage at Paramount Studios.

We all have dreams, big and small. It's part of what drives us to achieve goals. Sometimes we realize our dreams through hard work, sometimes through good luck. When I was a child, I fantasized about going on an African safari. At some point in my life, I probably would have worked hard to earn the money to do so, but when I was in the Navy, I was lucky enough to make a port call in Mombasa, Kenya. During that stopover, I spent two days chasing elephants, zebra, giraffe and other wild animals in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Of course, I have plenty of dreams I've not yet been lucky or productive enough to make reality. You're hearing one of them right now (unless you have your computer speakers turned off). It's Mozart's "Rondo alla Turca" (Turkish March) from Piano Sonata No. 11. From the moment I first heard this piece, I've wanted to learn it. Unfortunately, I don't know how to play the piano, so it's one of those dreams that will require lots of hard work to achieve. (Note: Netscape users might not hear the music playing in the background; here's a direct link to hear it.)

Another dream requiring lots of hard work—as well as more than a little luck—would be to climb Mount Everest. I have no illusions about the likelihood of this one coming to pass. I have no real mountain-climbing expertise, and I doubt I will have the disposable income necessary to mount such an expedition (or whether I'd want to spend it in that manner if I did). But the adrenaline rush of even contemplating such a feat thrills me enough to make me attempt other, more realistic adventures.

And then there's Antarctica. Whether it would require hard work, money or luck to set foot on this continent would likely depend on the circumstances. But there's something about the sheer wildness of Antarctica that has always appealed to me. Vast ice shelves, bays of indigo blue water, sunlight glittering like diamonds on every edge... I imagine it as the most otherworldly experience one can have without leaving the planet—other than scuba diving under the ice of Antarctica, something I would love to try if I ever make it to the southern end of the Earth.

I have many other dreams that require a mix of luck and hard work: publishing a science fiction novel, setting foot inside King Tut's tomb, witnessing the aurora borealis. I hope I'm as lucky seeing them come true as I have been with past dreams. Especially with the one that requires the most luck of all: sitting on the 50-yard-line in the Super Bowl, watching the San Diego Chargers win the Big Game!


Development note: I've noticed that this site doesn't look like it should in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time jury-rigging it to look right in a soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the cliché "This site best viewed with Internet Explorer."
Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daily Chuckle:

He who laughs last thinks slowest.

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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1/25: Back in Uniform
1/24: Hitting the Wall
1/23: It's a Small Web After All
1/22: War is Hell
Watching the Wheels
1/20: Bring on the Mayhem
1/19: Pigskin Ponderings
1/18: More Stupid Lawsuits
1/17: Finding My Passion
1/16: Gulf War Memories
1/15: Meet the New Boss
1/14: Man's Other Best Friend
1/13: Sea of Fire
1/12: Back to the Books
1/11: America's Finest Climate
1/10: Sunshine in a Bottle
1/9: What Would Jesus Drive?
1/8: Southwestern Sojourn
Wheel of Fortune
Class Warfare
1/5: Very Large Dream
The New Nuclear Age
Going Solo
New Year, Old Cave
1/1: All Things End

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