The Turntable – Part 1

I am a baby boomer. I grew up in tough times. The 60s were unlike any decade known to man. The Vietnam War, riots, assassinations, hippies, protests, Woodstock, The Beatles, Dylan, drugs, love-ins, and so much more. As turbulent as these times were, one thing was for sure… a lot of great music came out of this era. Fantastic music.

Music became my life at a young age partly because so many other things were bad. I felt lost in high school. I matured much later than most of my classmates (physically and mentally). I still looked like a little kid while the guys were growing facial hair and the girls were growing breasts. Even though I had a few close friends, I didn’t really date much nor did I have any true direction in life. A lot of music and a little bit of weed got me through.

I have vivid memories of sitting on my bed, listening to The White Album on vinyl, staring at and playing with the cover as well as all of the contents. The cracks, pops and hisses were just right. I had a little Zenith “all in one” turntable and speaker system that I had received as a gift for my Bar Mitzvah. It was cheap but I loved it.

When I got my drivers license I would take off on road trips to every record store I could possibly get to. The semi annual EJ Korvettes “all label sale” was the time I seriously added to my collection. I remember buying up so many albums during these sales – I think they were three or four bucks each! “For The Record” at The Reisterstown Road Plaza, Luskins on the big hill, The Music Machine in Pikesville, Record and Tape Traders, Chicks Legendary Records in Mt. Washington… these were my favorite record shops back in my high school days.

That Bar Mitzvah Zenith stereo actually took me through college. At least the first two years when I went to a small school (Randolph-Macon) in Ashland, Virginia. I left R-MC on bad terms after getting caught hitting a full professor with a water balloon thrown from the second floor of Moreland Hall. So I came back home to Maryland and entered UMBC. When I finally saved a little money from being home, I upgraded to a Technics turntable, a Harmon Kardon receiver and Avid speakers. Life was still not great for me but the music sounded better!

I spent decades buying albums. The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Jethro Tull, Sparks, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Elton John, The Who. I probably had at least four copies of The Beatles White Album. It was my life. It would not have been unusual for me to stare at a single album cover, inside and out, for hours and hours. That showed one of two things: that I had nothing else going on in my life or that I was stoned! Maybe a combination.

Then of course came cassettes, eight track tape and reel to reel. I am not going to talk much about them because a decade or so later this incredible new thing called the CD came out. Digital format was here. Radio stations bragged when they played a song on CD. I was intrigued. We were told that the CD would take over vinyl. CDs would take over the world. I spent my time at The Record Theatre, a huge warehouse type store that opened on Liberty Road just below the Beltway. They sold all the CDs you’d ever want. Yes, it was like a gigantic theatre filled with music! I made weekly trips there as I was replacing most of my favorite albums to CD. They sounded so “perfect.” Almost too perfect. And for a couple of decades that’s what we all listened to.

Enter mp3s and the iPod. I loved it. Thousands of songs at my fingertips. I could take this thing anywhere I went and was able to listen to music on the go. If someone back in college told me this would be possible one day, to have an entire record collection in a pocket device, I would have driven them right to the mental hospital.

Things got even better once music streaming started. Apple Music and Spotify entered my life. I no longer needed to “own” any physical albums or CDs. Everything was online for about ten bucks a month. Attention spans became short when millions of songs were at my fingertips. I mean I could basically listen to ANY song on demand, whenever I wanted to from a little device called an iPhone that I carried everywhere, including the bathroom.

But over the years, even with this great quality and millions of songs available to me, I felt as if something was missing.

My last turntable bit the dust somewhere around the year 2000. I donated it to some lucky individual. Close to twenty years later I started wondering what it would be like to play my vinyl again. I missed the few Bob Dylan albums I had on vinyl. And my Beatles. And Tull. I have most of them stored in a dusty back room of my office back in Maryland. As you know, I am in Utah now.

But two weeks ago something weird happened. I was driving down 900 S in Salt Lake City on my way to The Vertical Diner for some brunch. I passed a place called Randy’s Records. Big sign out front saying “Vinyl Records Since 1976.” I have passed this place a million times. But this time something just drew me in.

Randy’s Records is a fairly small store chock full of vinyl LPs and hipsters. Guys with flannel shirts and beards who likely only know about LP record albums from their parents and grandparents. Kids who now think vinyl is different and cool. I started looking around at all of the records. Many were new and a few were used. I started browsing the shelves. I felt the albums. The smell of the vinyl and the record jackets brought back memories of my past. When I saw The Beatles, Led Zepplin, Wings, Jethro Tull albums, I knew I was onto something. Ziggy Stardust was staring back at me begging me to touch him. John Lennon was asking me to give peace a chance. I actually started reading the cover of Thick as a Brick just as if it was the newspaper from 1972.

Then I saw a sign that said that they sell turntables. Right there I was done. I placed my Southwest Visa card on the counter and asked the guy to please bring me out the Bluetooth Audio-technica turntable for $139. Oh, and please add in the double rock opera album Tommy by The Who for $35. Ziggy Stardust can wait until next time.

I ate a fast brunch. Afterwards I high tailed it back home, ripped the turntable out of the box and had it all set up without reading any directions. I put Tommy on the turntable and something happened. The music came alive. I could not stop staring at the large disc going round and round as the sound was emanating from my Bluetooth powered speakers in the kitchen.

“Tommy Can You Hear Me?”

A single tear dripped down from my left eye.

“Tommy Can You Hear Me?”

I was literally re-living my youth. As good or as bad as it was. -DMM

Going Viral

I used to dream of something of mine going viral. A video I posted to Facebook or YouTube. A clever tweet. A cool pic on Instagram. Actually, dream may not be the best word. Obsess would be more accurate.

To date, nothing of mine has even come close to going viral.

And that’s ok.

I sit back and think, what would have actually changed in my life if a video had gone viral? Probably nothing. It would have been a short, quick high and that’s it.

Even worse, if something went viral, I would likely be searching for that next “high,” and if it did not come, I would sink really low. That sounds more like a virus, right?

These days what I care about is the quality of my life. I am happy. I am healthy. I have enough money to pay my bills and put some food on the table.

I am on Facebook less and less every day. And my life feels better and better. It’s amazing how much time is now freed up for me to do what I want.

At 63, I play a lot more than I work. Much more. I ski several times per week in the winter. I get out and hike or run when I am not skiing. I spend time with the people who I love – those who are important to me.

When the weather warms up I’ll be driving Sarani (our little RV) around and exploring more of this country with my wife and our cat.

I think I can say my life has become “viral.” Not because I have a million followers. I don’t! It’s viral because I am doing exactly what I want as well as helping other people. If I change ONE LIFE from this article, my job is done. Two would be even better!

So here is my advice. Get out and play. Do what you love. Make some money but you don’t have to overdo it. Make only what you really need.

Life is short my friends. Give. Giving is powerful. Sometimes even do it anonymously. Help others. If you live way below your means and you save, invest and give, you will ultimately be wealthy in so many ways.

Now THAT’S viral! -DMM

Six Ways to Be Constantly Improving

A few years ago I decided to do stand-up comedy at a local comedy club. I sat down and carefully wrote a really funny five minute set.

I went on stage. I performed. I sucked.

I mean I REALLY sucked. If the audience could have thrown stuff at me, I think they would have. But I was OK. I went back and did it again. And again!

Then there was the time I remember doing pull-ups on a New York subway. Pull-ups are difficult, especially with a backpack on. I could only do three or four really good pull-ups. People watched. Some people thought it was cool. Others were calling me names. Most ignored me in the end!

Sometimes depending on my mood, I will make conversation with a perfect stranger.

I keep attempting to go a little further outside of my comfort zone. Every day I try to do what I call a “dare of the day.” Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. If they don’t work, I am fine.

How about you? Do you frequently step outside of your comfort zone? Or do you always stay “safe?”

From now on try saying the opinion that is your truth. Don’t worry or care if people will hate it. Be you.

Get scared! At least a little.

Say “yes” to a talk if you are afraid of public speaking.

Contact the person you lost touch with.

Ask out your secret crush. (Unless you are married!)

Do some pull-ups or push-ups in a public place! Or a yoga pose!

Or how about THIS: next time you buy a coffee, ask for 10% off. Don’t give a reason. Just look the clerk in the eyes, ask and wait for the response.

Think of some other small ways to push the boundaries of comfort! Tell me. Give me some “dares of the day.” Maybe I’ll publish them! If they are great, maybe I’ll try them!

This, plus what’s in the image below, is how I improve myself every day.

I feel very blessed to be who I am. It’s hard work to step out of your comfort zone. It’s painful. It’s suffering. But it’s worth it. Trust me, it’s worth it. -DMM

 

We’re All on the Same Team!

How often do you encounter a jerk in a restaurant? On a plane? On the road? They’re all over!

You know exactly what I mean. Someone who is rude, talking way too loud, being an a-hole, disrespectful, or just generally rubbing you the wrong way.

Let’s face it. It happens. Maybe it happens more to me because I am so sensitive. I suck up energy from others, whether it’s good or bad. I really believe I am an empath. Look that up if you do not know what it is. But I digress.

A powerful thought hit me a while back, which got me thinking more about this topic. I realized that in case of any emergency, whether it would be something that happened to me personally, someone else, or a general disaster that affected many people, most of us would come to the aid of our fellow human beings.

For example, if I had a stroke in a restaurant (God-forbid), that loudmouth at the next table may very well be medically trained to help me. And if he was not medically trained, at the very least he would be likely to call 911 or assist in some way until the EMTs showed up.

The guy who used to piss me off leaning his chair back into my lap on the plane would likely help his fellow passengers if there were some type of emergency that took place. He could be a great guy but maybe he just likes to lean back!

And I know for sure if there were some type of natural or unnatural disaster (flood, fire, attack, etc.) we would ALL help each other out any way we could.

Now I have learned to be much more tolerant towards other people. Sure, it’s pretty annoying when the woman at the next table in the Thai restaurant has such a loud piercing voice that I can’t even hear my own wife speaking (thus we have to resort to texting), but she would probably be there to help Yoko (my wife) if she was choking on some food. (This just happened last night but thankfully Yoko was not choking!)

So let’s keep one thing in mind. Sure, we may get distracted with annoying people, or at least people who we feel are annoying, but in the end, we are all on the same team. When we remember this, it puts a whole new perspective on how we feel about our fellow human beings. -DMM

Don’t Outsource Your Happiness

I hate thinking about stocks. I used to outsource my happiness to the moves of the stock market. When the market was up, I was on a high. When it skyrocketed, it was a tremendous high. But when it was down, I was miserable. It was like a very powerful drug. Sometimes in the same day I would be up and down and up and down.

It actually got so bad, I decided this past fall (when the market started to tumble) that enough is enough. I knew in my heart that it makes no difference what the market does on a daily, monthly, or even yearly basis if I am in it for the long haul.

And I am.

So a few months ago I made a deal with myself that I would not check anything until the year ended. And I have stuck to this pretty well. Now I will likely check my investments on a quarterly basis at most. As long as I have my regular cash flow to live on, it makes no difference what the market is doing! This will give me tremendous peace of mind. I am actually feeling a LOT better already!

Is there anything that changes YOUR mood easily? I am betting there is. Here are a few possibilities (tell me if you relate to any of them): An argument with someone, your weight, your car breaking down, the news, politics, a coworker, Facebook, Instagram, debt, the weather, a memory, your hair. I am sure there are tons more.

My suggestion is to be in control of your happiness. We cannot control many of the things above, but try your absolute BEST not to let these outside interferences affect your actual happiness. I removed the stock market from my daily routine. It has seriously helped me. What will YOU remove? -DMM

Blog – Welcome!

WELCOME!

DARE TO CHANGE?

Hello, I am Dr. David Madow! I am a “plant based” athlete, author, podcaster, professional speaker and lifestyle coach!  I have been helping countless people just like you change the direction in which their lives were headed.

If you are in a rut and are looking for change, you have come to the right place. I will help you work through lifestyle issues that you have been struggling with.

Stick with me here if you want to be…

  • Happier
  • At peace with yourself
  • More confident
  • Less anxious
  • Less stressed
  • Stronger
  • Thinner
  • Healthier
  • More spiritual

If you do not like the way you look or feel, if you are in a dead-end relationship, a job that you do not love, or if your life consists of looking forward to weekends, happy hours and vacations, then you are in the right place!

I can help you achieve practically anything you want in life. Your dreams can and will come true. I promise!

How do I know?

Because I have experienced everything in life from the very bottom to the tippity top.

I have been poor and I have been wealthy.

I have been sick and I have been in great health.

I have been through career changes. I was bullied in school. I was uncomfortable in social situations. I have been depressed. I ate and gained weight to lessen pain. I had feelings of being worthless. I had severe family issues. You name it and chances are I have experienced it. I have been through so much crap in my life, I could write another book. And I may do that one day!

But for now, there is something better! I have developed this site for YOU!

Because here’s the good news.

I figured out how to get all of the bad stuff out of my life!

Every single bit of it!