Lemme give you a sampling, a smattering if you will, of all that is Tommy Taylor.
My dad is a ham radio operator and has been since before he was 15. I will always remember taking road trips as a child with a huge antenna attached onto the Pooper Trooper and him talking to people over the airwaves. He'd repeat "Alpha Alpha Six Bravo Radio" or "November Seven Tango Mexico" over and over and over until someone answered. He also knows Morse Code and can communicate with people via beeps. He's even built several Morse Code keyers from Altoid Tins. How? I dunno.
He builds other things, too. From postal stamp holders to restoring entire cabins, he can build just about anything if you give him a picture. These are the bookcases he built in our house in California 15 or so years ago. They are made out of beautiful mahogany. Apparently the people who live in the house now have painted them white. Blasphemy!
These are the bookcases he built in our current home.
He built this canoe which is just too beautiful to ride so now it's proudly displayed in our house.Over the past six years he has been restoring an old cabin. Almost every weekend he drives two hours away to Lake Wenatchee to keep working on it. He turned this nook:
into a beautiful kitchen. All of the woodworking he did himself.And this disgusting mess (no offense Dald):
into a comfy cozy attic:And this hole in the wall:into a super slick bathroom:
He's Tom the Tool Man Taylor! There are dozens of other pictures of projects he's made through the years, but those will have to wait.
My dad rides his bike to work every single day, rain or shine. Or snow. Living in Washington, that pretty much means riding in the rain every day. But he'll do anything to avoid driving in traffic. Plus, it's good for his heart since Google has an open candy bar too tempting to resist... This is an elevation chart of his trip to and from work:His commute to work is 24.1 miles round trip with 1,838' of climbing - 723' on the way to work and 1,115' on the way home. This chart shows the elevation of his daily route. The start and end points are the house. The low dip in the exact middle is his office.
He likes riding his bike in general and has been on many an adventure.
My dad can fix anything. More than once I've had to send him a power cord that an animal has chewed through and he fixes it right up and sends it back to me.
My dad reads. He says of this hobby: "I've read or listened to over 832 books over the past sixteen years. It might appear that I've read a lot of books and that I'm a total bookworm, but that's not the case at all. In fact, I really don't spend a lot of time reading. I read a couple of pages of a book immediately before I fall asleep each night. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I'll read to put myself asleep again. I rarely read when I can be doing something else. But when I'm in a situation where I can't do anything, I'll read rather than just sit there. Obviously, I'll read on an airplane and while waiting at a doctor's office. But I'll also take a book on a scout backpacking trip and read while the scouts are putting their stuff away. Throughout the week, all of the little opportunities to read add up. At the end of 2004 I discovered the library's almost unlimited cache of electronic audio books. I can download these books to an iPod or other audio device and listen to them riding to work. If a new audio book doesn't grab my attention within a single commute trip, I'll give up on it and move on to a new audio book. I can listen to a book or two a week during my bike commute. It makes an enjoyable experience even more enjoyable. Typically, there's a pile of a ten 'must read next' books on the desk next to my bed." This is true. I took this picture of his massive "to read"pile back in July 2008.
My dad is a space junkie. He likes space books, specifically, historical books on NASA's Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. He says, "I have always been interested in space and building things. What could be more interesting than building a homemade telescope or two?" Sure, why not? So here he is with the telescope he built. (PS - in the picture above you can see the telescope covered with a drape in the corner of the room.) He started grinding the 10" pyrex mirror for this telescope at the Chabot Observatory in Oakland, CA in 1992. The grinding and polishing took about 4 months. He completed the rest of the telescope in early 1993. The main body of the telescope is a seven foot piece of 12" aluminum irrigation tubing. The rotating base and mount of the telescope is made of maple. The rings on the side of the box holding the telescope tube slide smoothly on teflon pads. He took this picture of the moon himself using his telescope.
My dad loves Superman. I got him the movies on DVD a couple Christmases ago.And I made him a Superman ceramic box while I was student teaching for another Christmas present.
My dad goes goes goes goes and then when he sits down, he falls asleep.
My dad likes dark chocolate and jelly beans.
My dad would rather be hiking in the middle of nowhere with nobody within 10 miles than go shopping downtown surrounded by people. But he's a good shmoozer.
My dad likes to experience new things. Like when Allie and I wanted to wake up early and go shopping on Black Friday last year, something my dad had never done before, he decided he wanted to come and ended up buying a tv.
I'll end with my most favorite picture of my Dald, proof that he is a hard worker and can do anything:
Love you Dald!