What’s Your Dream Job?

September 2, 2011

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When I was in high school, we filled out questionnaires to gauge our interests.  When the results came back, we were given handouts about which careers would be a good fit.

Most people received info on a few careers.  Two of us received the entire handout, with information on dozens of different careers.  The computers had choked on our answers and couldn’t really determine where we fit.  Even at this early stage, The Man was learning not to pigeonhole the Kos.

I ended up working in IT.  It’s an interesting job on most days, a good company to work for, and my co-workers are great.  Often, though, I wonder what it would have been like to end up in a different job.  Here’s my list of dream jobs.

1.  Baseball player.  I’m 36, so the window is really closing on this.  Lack of talent could also be a roadblock.

1B.  Baseball General Manager.  If I can’t play the game, why not control the game?  The general manager is in charge of nearly every aspect of team operations, from the annual draft to trades.

2.  Writer – As the Beatles would say, I want to be a paperback writer.  I’ve had an interest in writing since elementary school.  In recent years, I’ve been working harder toward this goal.  It would be great if I can eventually become a full-time writer, but barring that, it’s a fun part-time gig.

3.  Paleontologist – You didn’t see that one coming, did you?  I’ve had a deep interest in dinosaurs since the day I was first made aware of them.  I’m sure that a large part of the allure is that fact that this is an almost entirely theoretical field.  The fossil record can provide a lot of clues, but you can’t directly observe dinosaurs.  (Or can you?  maybe a trip to Costa Rica would do the trick?)

4.  FBI Agent – At one point, I went as far as contacting them regarding a position in the computer crimes division.  By the time I heard back from them, life circumstances had changed and the window had pretty much closed.  Computer crimes would be an interesting gig, but so would forensic science.  Although I don’t watch the fictionalized shows like CSI, I’m a big fan of The Forensic Files.

5.  Lawyer – If you’ve been a long time reader, you’ve probably seen me swerve into legal topics from time to time.  I’ve always found the law interesting.  I’d be interested in a lot of different areas, but I think I’d end up as a defense lawyer (with only innocent people for clients, of course).

6.  Professional student – If money was no option, I’d pursue a few degrees (or maybe just attend a few hundred random classes).  I have a very broad set of interests, and could easily fill the rest of my life learning new things (and reading contemporary fiction in my down time).

Now it’s your turn.  If you could change jobs, what would you be?

One Man’s Dream

June 25, 2010

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The fisherman cast his line into the water and grabbed a cold beverage from the cooler.  He cracked open the beer and  took a sip.  Truly, there was nothing in this world that was better than fishing from the river bank on a lazy summer day.

“Hey, Slugger, look alive.”

Slugger McCoy shook himself away from his day dream.  He was the designated hitter in this game, and his mind tended to wander between at bats.  He really wished that he could play in the field and be more involved in the action.  Even better, he wished he was fishing from a river bank on a lazy summer day.

A few minutes later, McCoy was taking a practice swing and stepped into the batter’s box.  A fastball came flying toward him at 95 miles per hour.  Slugger took a mighty swing at the pitch.  The bat made solid contact with the ball, propelling the white sphere into the center field bleachers.  Slugger pumped his fist as he rounded first base.  When he reached home plate, he was buried under a pile of humanity, as his teammates congratulated him and celebrated the team’s first title in thirty years.

“Paging Dr.  McCoy.  Dr. J.B. McCoy, please call extension 182.”

Dr. J.B. McCoy shook himself awake from a cat nap in the doctor’s lounge.  He had just finished a marathon surgery and the page likely meant that he would be heading back into the OR and picking up the scalpel again.  McCoy enjoyed his job – the money was good, and knew that his work had saved the lives of countless patients over the years.  He was at the pinnacle of his profession.  Still, every now and then, he wished he could have been a bit better baseball player and been able to play in the major leagues.

When McCoy answered the page, he found out that he was needed for an emergency surgery.  There was no time to waste – he needed to report to the OR on the double.  “I can sleep when I’m dead,” he muttered.  McCoy quickly finished his coffee and headed toward the operating room to save another life.

Jack McCoy felt a tug on the line and was now completely awake.  He’d only had a couple of nibbles all day, but this one seemed like the real deal.  He and the fish renewed the timeless battle between fish and angler.  Over the years, Jack McCoy had quite often been on the winning side of the battle – but many other times had seen the fish escape to live another day.  This time, McCoy emerged as the victor, reeling in a five pound bass.

McCoy was enjoying his retirement – spending many lazy summer days fishing from the riverbank.  Still, he couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if he had followed his dream and gone to medical school instead of following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and becoming the third generation owner of the local hardware store.

If I Had a Million Dollars, I’d Be Rich

March 24, 2010

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If I had a million dollars, I’d be rich.

Well, that’s what Barenaked Ladies would have you believe. In actuality, a million bucks doesn’t stretch as far as it once did.

If you were indeed rich, how would you spend the money?

First, I’ll set down a few rules.

First, let’s assume that you have already donated a sizeable chunk to charities and taken care of your family.

Second, let’s make these without any thought as to what your spouse or kids would think of the decision.

Yes, this is a nice, breezy little “we can always dream” article.

Where to Live

I’d definitely want two homes. I’d want a summer home in the Florida Keys. I like the laid back atmosphere in the Keys, love being surrounded by water (which is odd, considering that I can’t swim), and most importantly, I intensely dislike cold weather. Lay under a palm tree reading a book and listening to Jimmy Buffett. Yeah, that’s the life.

Summers would be spent in the mountains of Colorado. Sadly, I’ve only been to the mountains once, but I absolutely love them. I’d spend lots of time hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and shooting the wildlife and scenery with my digital camera.

Oh, and Colorado has one distinct advantage over other locations – it also happens to be the home of my favorite baseball team. I’d plunk down the cash for season tickets right behind home plate. None of those fancy skyboxes for me – I want to be able to hear that batter arguing with the umpire.

The House

There is one aspect to my dream home that has never wavered over the years – the presence of a large library. When I say large, I mean something that would rival the libraries in some small towns. Not only do I love to read, but I’d happily lend tomes to visitors. The library would have a media center with a couple of high end Power Macs.

I’d definitely want to grounds to be landscaped with synthetic turf in order to minimize the maintenance. They make some very realistic synthetic turfs these days. Grass is overrated.

The rest of the details are relatively unimportant.

The Cars

Lamborgini? Porsche? Mercedes Benz? Nah, just keep a Ford Taurus in the garage and I’ll be happy. My first car was a Taurus (had 96,000 miles when I bought it), as is every car I have bought since.

Could I spend lots more on a fancier car? Sure. But I see a car as a way to get from point A to point B. If I’m going to waste a lot of money, it’s certain not going to be on a luxury car.


What would I do with my spare time? Well, as mentioned above, I would read, hike, watch baseball, and listen to Jimmy Buffett. But I’d do other things, too, right?

I’d definitely try to make the cut for Jeopardy. I don’t watch a lot of TV – and even fewer game shows – but Jeopardy has been a longtime favorite of mine. I wouldn’t necessarily have to win – competing would be enough fun.

On there is one other thing. I want to go into space. Not just as a tourist, mind you. I want to take a space walk – tethered to civilization by just a thing line. I can only imagine the thrill this must give astronauts. The only downside is that I’m not much of a handyman, and most spacewalks involve fixing some sort of equipment.

Maybe I could hold the ladder for the other guy.

What would you do if YOU were suddenly rich?