June 2008 - Posts
It's my third consecutive Monday off, and I promise, I will back away from the computer and go do something fun. But first I wanted to tell you about the Fishers Freedom Festival.
For the past 20 years, this annual event has been held to celebrate Independence. Face-painted kids throw water balloons at each other, local bands play under tents, Mom & Pop vendors scatter about selling their crafts, dogs compete in frisbee catching competitions, and a parade marches by with talents ranging from the local Taekwondo class to the High School Dance Club. The weekend is topped off with Sunday fireworks, which, although nothing spectacular, are quite entertaining.
The year I was born, the number of Fisher's residents barely surpassed 600. Growing up, I knew it as the neighboring area of
corn fields with a four-way stop sign and a McDonald's off the
interstate. 20 years ago, the year the festival was founded, I graduated high school. At that time, this entire town would not have filled up my high school of 2500 students.
The population of Fishers is now approaching 70,000. If you happened though here 20 years ago and returned today, it would be unrecognizable. But the one constant is the festival-- the annual reminder that despite tremendous growth, there is still a bit of small town in all of us.
One of the highlights of this year's Pilgrimage was the unexpected arrival of eight or so crate-sized boxes of vintage vinyl from Artto, a most generous forum member (thank you jamesV for delivery). We had a blast going through the albums, pointing to ones we may have had in our younger days, or just giggling at the goofy cover art and long forgotten artists.
This could not have come at a better time for me, since my recent turntable acquisition had left me on a quest for vinyl. Poke fun if you must, but I took home no less than five Olivia Newton-John albums, several in the Show Tune genre, a couple of '80s movie soundtracks, and the creme de la creme of campy cult classics: Grease 2. Yes, I admit back in the day I wanted nothing more than to be Michelle Pfeiffer, looking for a cool rider. But give me a break. I was 12.
Keith is shown here with possibly the most fascinating of the bunch, as far as artwork goes. If you ever happen upon this classic Elton John album, I encourage you to take some time to study the...interesting...things happening on the cover. Safe to say Dr. Freud would find it endlessly fascinating.
I'm not sure where the term "terrible twos'" came from. Steven was an absolute angel right up until about mid-way into his threes. Now that he's two months away from his fours, we are in a full-blown attitude meltdown. Who is this kid? I haven't received any concerning reports from daycare, or even grandma, so it appears he's found my buttons and mine alone. And he pushes them often. With glee. He's discovered the power of saying the word "no," the adrenaline high of standing on chairs in restaurants, the pure joy of throwing (anything), and the freedom that is derived from pretending to be deaf.
Imagine my surprise, and envy, to spend time with four-year-old Mia, the adorable daughter of forum member Travis (travis-g) and Melody, who made the trek from Kentucky to join us at this year's Pilgrimage. Mia was not only perfectly behaved, but perfectly behaved around 70 or so complete adult strangers with not another child in sight, discussing not Disney Princesses, nor Polly Pockets, nor Dora the Explorer, but AUDIO! Compelling stuff for a preschooler, let me tell you. Kudos to you, mom and dad.
Steven would've been crawling under tables trying to pull down linens after about 10 minutes.
For the past four years, part of my job duties has been helping to plan the what-has-become-annual Klipsch Pilgrimage for our forum members. This year, however, was the first time I had a chance to spend the entire day with the Pilgrims.
Now some of you may ask yourselves, "Why would a Klipsch employee voluntarily give up their Saturday to spend 13 hours talking about Klipsch products and fielding a endless stream of geeked-out audio questions?" Well, I'll tell you:
Because it's fun.
When people find out I work at Klipsch, it elicits one of three responses:
- Ooo, your speakers ROCK!!
- I think my dad/grandpa/brother/uncle/husband has some of those.
The pilgrims fall into the first category (except some of the wives/girlfriends/children who bravely tag along fall into category 2...but typically are converted to 1s by the end of the weekend). Their enthusiasm for what we do is contagious, and the fact they travel from all over the country -- and some from out of the country -- to see us speaks volumes about their passion for our products. It truly is the utmost form of flattery from a professional standpoint.
But the best part of the event is the camaraderie, and the easy way these kind folks laugh and make you instantly feel like you're a part of a family. So my thanks goes out to you guys, for making the Pilgrimage a success year after year, for adding new converts to the fold, and for putting up with us through thunderstorms, lost name badges, and non-functioning microphones. You ROCK!
Photo courtesy of Seadog and Colterphoto1
Before I talk about Saturday's Pilgrimage, I want to take a moment for the Georges... Not only did we lose one controversial funny-man over the weekend, but last Friday also marked the last day at Klipsch for another, as he embarks to pursue an exciting career opportunity. As my cube-neighbor and long time friend, George (photo center) will be missed profoundly. His creative talents will be hard to replace, but even more difficult will be replacing his humor. I think the resume for his replacement should include: Propensity to contort face weirdly.
I have another Monday off, so it seems appropriate that I share a picture from home. If you'd like to see a gaggle of pics from the weekend's Klipsch event, you can find them here (with more to come). I will blog-feature some of the more interesting ones, with perhaps a story or two, later in the week.
This was taken Friday when Steven got it into his mind to "help" me with the dishes. If helping is defined as playing in the water for 15 minutes with one bowl, then he's got it down pat.
This weekend is the annual Klipsch Pilgrimage. I won't ramble on about what this event is all about because you can read the excellent summary article in our newscenter, but I will say the weekend is a great opportunity to not only learn about this company, but also to meet some very interesting folks who can easily be counted on as life-long friends.
Hanging in the engineering lab is this huge map, with push-pins indicating the home towns of our Pilgrims. We are looking forward to seeing you all.
This whimsical umbrella is tucked away next to our receiving dock down in the engineering center. It makes me smile because I assume it would be used by Charlie, our facilities coordinator, who is widely regarded to be the grumpiest man in the building. Self-proclaimed. I think this umbrella proves otherwise, and his carefully-crafted image has been shattered.
A few weeks ago, I showed you the wrath of mother nature in the form of a downed tree. The tree is now gone and will be put to good use next winter as quality firewood, but left behind is this lovely wrought iron sculpture. I think we should auction it off at this year's Pilgrimage.
This monstrous insect
is clinging to our over-hang ceiling outside. I'd guess it at about 4
inches long with a 6 inch wing span. It's been there for hours.
do you suppose they do all that time, think about where to take their
next vacation? Worry about the kids? Plot revenge against
grasshoppers? Maybe he's just enjoying the music from our CA-800Ts.
Well, it's that time of year again. June at Klipsch is "you-better-use-your-remaining-vacation-days-or-you-will-lose-them" month...being the thrifty person I am, I'll be taking the next few Mondays off. I consider it a reward for never actually going anywhere.
As I sit at home updating my recently recovered computer, I've found myself browsing through some old photos. This one of a 6-month-old Steven was scanned from a print photo taken with a camera that you load film into. You know. The cylinder thing with the tab sticking out from it that you pull. Then when you can't click the camera anymore, you take it somewhere to get developed. And you won't know what your pictures look like until you get them back. You know. F-I-L-M.
Looking at this picture makes me almost want to do the whole baby-thing all over again. But then I recall the sleepless nights, constant spit up, arc of pee at every diaper change, sore back, sore feet, swollen joints...oh, and that pesky labor thing, and the appeal of this sweet picture just isn't enough.
My utmost respect goes out to all women who brave it more than once. And the men who endure them.
I received this unique box of chocolates yesterday, with three layers of yummy goodness. The cool packaging can definitely be re-used to store fun trinkets, and also includes a handy mirror...just in case I need to see myself stuff my face. Which I don't.
Thank you whole-heartedly to my chocolate-giving friend. Who are among the best kinds of friends.
This handsome face belongs to one of my personal favorite co-workers, Mr. Jim Hunter. Spending his early life and career in West Virginia and Ohio, Hunter eventually relocated to Hope, Arkansas after being hired by PWK himself 30 years ago... or roughly since I've been able to write the alphabet in cursive letters, to give you some perspective.
It is widely known that Jim is the ultimate authority on our company's past, proprietor of our archive room and best source of Klipsch engineering knowledge. But what many do not know is that he is also an avid gardener, particularly of all things spicy, potato gun enthusiast, and antique collector. I am told when he relocated to Indianapolis, he needed no less than 24 trips with a 26 foot trailer + one tandem-trailer moving van to move his home belongings and 7 outbuildings of storage.
If he ever has a garage sale, I am so there.
This not at all staged, completely candid moment between J.J. and George occurred downstairs in our cafe just after lunch today. Our pompadour-wearing punk-rock chef may look a little scary, but in reality he is extremely friendly, never short on jokes, and keeps us fed and happy with some of the finest cuisine our little cafe has ever offered.
His band, JJ Pearson, can be seen in numerous locations around Indianapolis and soon all over the world. I'd give you the link to their MySpace page, but better judgment has prevented me from it. Suffice it to say the punk rock genre is not for everyone; Google at your own risk.
This morning was a very strange weather-morning. When I left my house it was raining buckets (as if we needed that), but as I made my way to work, the sky took a sudden turn to bright blue. Of course, a huge rainbow was left in the wake of the storm, and me without my camera.
Luckily, a forward-thinking co-worker thought to snap some pics for me, but as I resized them for web-friendly viewing, the rainbow become faded somewhat. In adjusting the pic to bring out it's colors, I accidently turned it into the photo below. I liked the creepiness of it so much, I decided to keep it. I'm weird like that. What can you expect from a life-long Stephen King fan.
But back to the actual rainbow, seeing them once or twice a year never fails to conjure up the obvious "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." But I bet you've never heard it like this.
I love the internet.
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