Progress Report on Digitizing my Media

I may be more excited about this than I need to be, but here goes…



As of last night, I’ve completed the second phase of my “thin out the recording gear” project. I’ve digitized almost all of my CDs. I am getting rid of 224 that are going to go to my mom’s for next summer’s garage sale season. If I get $2 each, that’s a nice return – even at 50c I’ll be happy.

I am keeping 57, which is a 4-to-1 ration. I’m quite proud of that. OK, to be completely honest, there are more, but I didn’t count CDs by friends (Hali Hammer, Katie Geddes, Mark Brokaw, Dave Elder, or any CD on which I played).

Most of what I kept will be pretty obvious to people who know me:

  • Beatles, all
  • Bruce Cockburn, all
  • George Harrison, all
  • Neil Young, all
  • Leon Russell, all (!)
  • favorites by Dylan, Chet Atkins, Dire Straits, Sly and the Family Stone, Paul Simon, etc.

This probably explains why I had no idea who Dave Grohl was. (Background: I took a Facebook Quiz “Which Rock Star Are You?”. I expected to come up with Paul Simon or some such, and I got Dave Grohl. I now know who he is and I am very happy with the result.)

Last week, I finished digitizing ALL of my open reel tapes. They date back to the early 70s – tapes of me, Tom, Paul, Elise, Henry, Frank, and others playing our little hearts out – to a 3 hour jam at our “Leaving Detroit” party (March, 1981) – with some really good but unknown musicians – to the Cy Udall’s United Way Benefit with Frank Udall, Joe Ortega, John Groh, Paul Overgaard(?) and possibly others I’ve forgotten (my apologies). I’m going to post some of those songs online just because I think this kind of thing is important.

I’ll be saying goodbye to my old TEAC stereo reel-to-reel once I go through the basement and make SURE there are no tapes down there I missed. Another era passes.

Next on my list is to go through the VHS library. Some will be copied to CD, some will be digitized, and some (hopefully, quite a few) will be thrown out. I have hours and hours of Cheers and M*A*S*H, plus about 30 Bogart movies I captured from TV. (Background: I’d embarked on a project once to collect all of his movies, but have since decided to settle for Treasure of the Sierra Madrea, Casablanca, and a few more, including a little-known favorite Conflict.)

I feel somewhat confident I will be able to get rid of quite a lot of them. It’s still not easy but it’s getting easier. Little by little…


Getting ready for 2015 – part 1: reviewing last year

For the last 3 years now, I’ve been spending a few weeks in December reviewing my goals for the last year and setting goals for the next. It’s a long and sometimes frustrating process as I see all the things I wanted to get to but didn’t. But it’s also exciting and encouraging when I see how much I actually did get done.

The process keeps evolving and, I hope, getting better.

Two years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to assign levels of importance to my goals: 1/2/3 (High, Medium, Low). That turned out to be a great idea. For the last 2 years, I’ve managed to finish nearly all of my #1 goals, even if many of the 2s and 3s suffered.  A tally of “20 out of 50 finished” looks a lot different from “9 out of 10 #1 priority goals finished, 11 out of 40 2s and 3s”.

2014 turned out pretty much the same: 9 of 10 #1s finished. Yay!

One more thing I realized this year is that something very big is missing: new projects that came up during the year! Just off the top of my head, I can think of a handful of successful things I’ve done (the Improv class at the Orlando ADDA conference, the benefit concert for Clawson UMC, road trip with Lisa, playing music for EMU’s Performance Hour, the meetings with Joanne, selling t-shirts in Orlando, being included in the ADHD “tips” book, getting back into poetry) that don’t show up on the list.

The point of all of this is to share a few thoughts with ADHD friends:

– we all underestimate our accomplishments, it seems built into us to focus on what we didn’t finish, not what we did finish

– let your goal-setting and time-management tools evolve, use them while they work, then switch them up when you need to – always keeping the parts that did work (I’ve heard this mentioned in several podcasts this year. We will almost inevitably get tired of the current system and move on to the next. That isn’t a fail! It’s just how we work.)

– don’t be afraid to let go of goals. The one #1 item I didn’t finish last year was consciously dropped because I realized I wasn’t willing to do the work. That isn’t a fail – that’s a success.

I’m looking forward to posting part 2 of this series, which will be about setting goals for next year. Unless I change my mind between now and then.