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> Life's A Marathon, Not A Race
Ben Higgins
post Mar 6 2015, 10:55 AM
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I don't know about you but I've found that society has a massive hang up about achievement and 'sucess'. Society is obsessed by it, as if it's the one and only measure of a human being.

There's a massive expectation on people's shoulders to somehow be a master of their life and have it all sorted out and on track before they've reached their middle twenties. But that's more about adhering to the appearance of carving out a life that other people deem to be 'successful'. But whose idea of success is the right one ?

What is 'success' exactly ? How would you define it ? Is it notching up loads of lucrative business ventures and having everybody know your name ? The big house, the perfect family, the holidays ? To some, that may be success.

To the lonely farmer on the Scottish highlands, making a sustainable life in one of the most beautiful, uncluttered parts of the world, having a good lambing season and making a profit is probably a success. No matter that nobody knows of them and they won't be in the history books. Sure, everybody needs money and likes to make it but you know what I'm getting at. To one person, the money is the journey and the goal, to the other it's just a necessity.

Not everybody has to be an entrepreneur to feel like they're living a worthwhile and valued life. Some people may sacrifice decades in the dog eat dog pursuit of material acquisition and never fill that vacuum that they feel inside. Expensive toys can only keep you occupied for so long. No wonder so many of these 'celebs' are constantly craving attention and limelight by doing stupid things to get noticed or taking endless selfies. Inside, they are that damn lonely and insecure they NEED approval from others. I wouldn't swap my life for theirs, no matter how financially stable they may be.

My life is financially unstable. My plans are uncertain. I don't necessarily know what I'm going to do. When I was much younger I thought I had it all planned out but life teaches you different. However, I still wouldn't trade my life for theirs. I recently turned 30. Society would have me believe that I somehow haven't achieved the success I 'should have by now'. What a crock of horsesh*t. There's no guide book or map to follow. Life isn't like drawing 'dot to dot'. It's trial and error. You try things, they don't work so you try another thing. On and on it goes but at some point you've actually got to stand to one side and remember to actually enjoy yourself as well.

I mean, for those that are shamed or guilted into spending all of their waking time working and striving, when they do actually start enjoying themselves ?

Is it only when they reach a certain goal ? Is it once a week, for 30 minutes ? Is it always on a promise that never comes ?

If achievement is that important to you, remind yourself that achievements don't have to be determined by when you do them. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, often referred to as the world's 'Greatest Living Explorer' will, at the age of 71, be running in the Marathon Des Sables later this year, a 156 mile ultramarathon taking place in the Moroccan Sahara. Sure, he's got a list of achievements dating back decades but even if you were to take them away, would this latest venture be any less worthy ?

If there's a hobby you wished you'd taken up, there's still time. There is no race. There is no magic age number that says 'No' to you.

I'm interested in what sort of attitudes you experienced or still encounter now. Was there always a massive pressure to succeed in your life or those around you ? Is it right ? Does it make people feel they're not allowed to just enjoy their life because they're not striving enough ? As a society are we too obsessed with success ?

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Mar 6 2015, 10:56 AM


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SpaseMoonkey
post Mar 6 2015, 11:56 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Mar 6 2015, 04:55 AM) *
My life is financially unstable. My plans are uncertain. I don't necessarily know what I'm going to do. When I was much younger I thought I had it all planned out but life teaches you different. However, I still wouldn't trade my life for theirs. I recently turned 30. Society would have me believe that I somehow haven't achieved the success I 'should have by now'. What a crock of horsesh*t. There's no guide book or map to follow. Life isn't like drawing 'dot to dot'. It's trial and error. You try things, they don't work so you try another thing. On and on it goes but at some point you've actually got to stand to one side and remember to actually enjoy yourself as well.


That is me right there. In the eyes of others, most would make me feel like I've done nothing and gotten no where. To me I see it way differently. I'm turning 32 this year. I work enough hours to meet my needs and have a little bit extra for fun here and there. If something would break that's a whole other story. laugh.gif I did the whole society thing and went to college, I dropped out after a semester as it wasn't for me. Worked 2 jobs to pay that loan off, then got my current job. I've been there for almost 11 full years, I've worked up a few spots so I make better money. With that I cut out a bit earlier if I'm allowed to have more me time. So it worked out great on my end. Tho other would see that I lost 8-10 hours a pay as a bad thing. But I'm not greedy in the least, just take what I need.

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Mar 6 2015, 04:55 AM) *
I mean, for those that are shamed or guilted into spending all of their waking time working and striving, when they do actually start enjoying themselves ?

Is it only when they reach a certain goal ? Is it once a week, for 30 minutes ? Is it always on a promise that never comes ?

If achievement is that important to you, remind yourself that achievements don't have to be determined by when you do them. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, often referred to as the world's 'Greatest Living Explorer' will, at the age of 71, be running in the Marathon Des Sables later this year, a 156 mile ultramarathon taking place in the Moroccan Sahara. Sure, he's got a list of achievements dating back decades but even if you were to take them away, would this latest venture be any less worthy ?

If there's a hobby you wished you'd taken up, there's still time. There is no race. There is no magic age number that says 'No' to you.

I'm interested in what sort of attitudes you experienced or still encounter now. Was there always a massive pressure to succeed in your life or those around you ? Is it right ? Does it make people feel they're not allowed to just enjoy their life because they're not striving enough ? As a society are we too obsessed with success ?


I don't think anyone should be shamed or guilted into a single thing. Unless as state they enjoy it, because what would be the sense. How can one do something they take no pride in or enjoy?

The goals issue could be a thing such as. Out doing yourself, proving to yourself that you can accomplish anything that you out your mind to. That is actually how I work. I try and push myself everyday, I will actually slack a bit to give myself a challenge to complete my tasks. Then again I will just do more overall to help others jobs become easier for that day and be a team player.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, no matter what it has always sounded like he did it for himself. So it might be worth less to his surroundings but in his mind and soul he is still on top of "his" game.

Hobbies, I kinda dabble here and there. Like I enjoy practicing the guitar. I have a sketchbook for drawing, not great but I do enjoy doodling at times. I use to be huge into video games and lately that's died off and it's been more towards the guitar spending. SMH stupid GAS.

I think society is obsessed with success of money and power. When we really need to worry about what "we" enjoy in our lives the most. We live once, enjoy it to the fullest doing what we do the best. Most of all have fun.


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Ben Higgins
post Mar 6 2015, 02:26 PM
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QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Mar 6 2015, 10:56 AM) *
That is me right there. In the eyes of others, most would make me feel like I've done nothing and gotten no where. To me I see it way differently. I'm turning 32 this year. I work enough hours to meet my needs and have a little bit extra for fun here and there. If something would break that's a whole other story. laugh.gif I did the whole society thing and went to college, I dropped out after a semester as it wasn't for me. Worked 2 jobs to pay that loan off, then got my current job. I've been there for almost 11 full years, I've worked up a few spots so I make better money. With that I cut out a bit earlier if I'm allowed to have more me time. So it worked out great on my end. Tho other would see that I lost 8-10 hours a pay as a bad thing. But I'm not greedy in the least, just take what I need.



I don't think anyone should be shamed or guilted into a single thing. Unless as state they enjoy it, because what would be the sense. How can one do something they take no pride in or enjoy?

The goals issue could be a thing such as. Out doing yourself, proving to yourself that you can accomplish anything that you out your mind to. That is actually how I work. I try and push myself everyday, I will actually slack a bit to give myself a challenge to complete my tasks. Then again I will just do more overall to help others jobs become easier for that day and be a team player.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, no matter what it has always sounded like he did it for himself. So it might be worth less to his surroundings but in his mind and soul he is still on top of "his" game.

Hobbies, I kinda dabble here and there. Like I enjoy practicing the guitar. I have a sketchbook for drawing, not great but I do enjoy doodling at times. I use to be huge into video games and lately that's died off and it's been more towards the guitar spending. SMH stupid GAS.

I think society is obsessed with success of money and power. When we really need to worry about what "we" enjoy in our lives the most. We live once, enjoy it to the fullest doing what we do the best. Most of all have fun.


Dude, that's great stuff, I can't really add to that !!

QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Mar 6 2015, 10:56 AM) *
I think society is obsessed with success of money and power. When we really need to worry about what "we" enjoy in our lives the most. We live once, enjoy it to the fullest doing what we do the best. Most of all have fun.


Most definitely !


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Chris S.
post Mar 9 2015, 05:42 AM
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Id rather barely make enough to get by and love what I do than to have more money than I'd ever need and be miserable.

I just turned 22 - everyone I knew from high school will be getting their BA's. I graduated 2nd in my class, always got A's but decided to not go to college. I'm not going to spend money for a piece of paper that says I get to be miserable from 9-5 every day.

I was originally gonna go for mathematics and minor in physics - but it's not what I really wanted. I'm looking to get my CDL Class A license - drive trucks, enjoy the road, not deal with snooty people and their first world problems who feel like they are entitled to whatever they want (yeah I work in retail).

It sucks because I know that would make me happy but I have so many people telling me that I am too smart for that, or I wouldn't make enough money.

You only live once, you gotta do what you feel is right and not listen to the rest of the world I guess.


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Ben Higgins
post Mar 9 2015, 10:10 AM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Mar 9 2015, 04:42 AM) *
Id rather barely make enough to get by and love what I do than to have more money than I'd ever need and be miserable.

I just turned 22 - everyone I knew from high school will be getting their BA's. I graduated 2nd in my class, always got A's but decided to not go to college. I'm not going to spend money for a piece of paper that says I get to be miserable from 9-5 every day.

I was originally gonna go for mathematics and minor in physics - but it's not what I really wanted. I'm looking to get my CDL Class A license - drive trucks, enjoy the road, not deal with snooty people and their first world problems who feel like they are entitled to whatever they want (yeah I work in retail).

It sucks because I know that would make me happy but I have so many people telling me that I am too smart for that, or I wouldn't make enough money.

You only live once, you gotta do what you feel is right and not listen to the rest of the world I guess.


I admire you, mate. To come to that realisation so early in life is good.. follow what you believe and you can't really make a 'wrong' decision. Even if one chooses to do something and then later on decides it's not for them, they still did the right thing because they based their choices on what info they had and what they felt at that time.

I'd rather have a driving job than an academic job any day wink.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 10 2015, 04:20 AM
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Benster, you are loved and adored by folks who love music from all over planet earth. Not kidding at all. Your friends and fanbase that you have created through GMC and through your music are a huge bunch of folks. It's easy to not realize the impact one has on the people around. Take your video that now has billions of views about the 30 shredders. How many folks from all over planet earth feel connected to you through the music in that one clip? How many folks started playing guitar because of it started playing more often? Tons.

Just one example. I ran in to this a few years back before joining gmc when one of my youtube fans contacted and told me about talking to a street musician in Washington DC. The musician was quite good and playing his heart out on the streets of DC. A passerby stopped to talk guitar and the listener suggested the musician check out my video channel on youtube and the the guy responded that heh was already a subscriber. They got to talking about my vids and such. I was really touched by this story and it showed me how one can have a positive impact well beyond ones actual reach. For me, that kind of thing is what "sucess" is all about smile.gif

Like you my financial situation is nowhere near certain. Much like Jazz, I mostly improv my "work life" taking freelance as it comes and trying not to stress about it as long as I have time to play guitar smile.gif The life of a struggling musician/music teacher can be a solitary one for sure. Not having the predictable income required to support a family/own a home/etc. isn't for everyone. But like you I wouldn't trade it smile.gif

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Mar 10 2015, 04:22 AM


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Ben Higgins
post Mar 10 2015, 10:15 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 10 2015, 03:20 AM) *
Benster, you are loved and adored by folks who love music from all over planet earth. Not kidding at all. Your friends and fanbase that you have created through GMC and through your music are a huge bunch of folks. It's easy to not realize the impact one has on the people around. Take your video that now has billions of views about the 30 shredders. How many folks from all over planet earth feel connected to you through the music in that one clip? How many folks started playing guitar because of it started playing more often? Tons.

Just one example. I ran in to this a few years back before joining gmc when one of my youtube fans contacted and told me about talking to a street musician in Washington DC. The musician was quite good and playing his heart out on the streets of DC. A passerby stopped to talk guitar and the listener suggested the musician check out my video channel on youtube and the the guy responded that heh was already a subscriber. They got to talking about my vids and such. I was really touched by this story and it showed me how one can have a positive impact well beyond ones actual reach. For me, that kind of thing is what "sucess" is all about smile.gif

Like you my financial situation is nowhere near certain. Much like Jazz, I mostly improv my "work life" taking freelance as it comes and trying not to stress about it as long as I have time to play guitar smile.gif The life of a struggling musician/music teacher can be a solitary one for sure. Not having the predictable income required to support a family/own a home/etc. isn't for everyone. But like you I wouldn't trade it smile.gif


That's a great story about the guys in DC.. it's amazing that we can connect with people we've never met.

You da man, T.. you da man ! Here's a picture of a Pom smile.gif

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I like the thought of us living our life like jazz.... improvising our way through the changes and playing some dodgy outside notes along the way ! biggrin.gif


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Phil66
post Mar 15 2015, 10:08 PM
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Brilliant post Ben. Can't add to it. My life was pretty much mapped out as my Dad had his own business which I now run with him and two other partners. If you're interested the company history is here >> Company history In a way I wish he'd told me to go out into the world until I was 30 and then come into the business if I so wished. I was working there at 14 on Saturdays then full time straight out of school. I cleaned the toilets, made the tea and got more bollockings than anyone as he didn't want me to be seen a a typical "boss's son" and so made an example out of me on an hourly basis blink.gif .
At 49 there's not much I can do now, I enjoy life and love my wife, and am now enjoying the journey of guitar no mater how long the lessons take me to complete.
Cheers Ben, you're a top bloke cool.gif

Phil


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Opossum
post Mar 16 2015, 03:02 AM
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Found this in my fortune cookie a couple of weeks ago - Greatest fool of all is man who fools himself
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Ben Higgins
post Mar 16 2015, 10:09 AM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Mar 15 2015, 09:08 PM) *
Brilliant post Ben. Can't add to it. My life was pretty much mapped out as my Dad had his own business which I now run with him and two other partners. If you're interested the company history is here >> Company history In a way I wish he'd told me to go out into the world until I was 30 and then come into the business if I so wished. I was working there at 14 on Saturdays then full time straight out of school. I cleaned the toilets, made the tea and got more bollockings than anyone as he didn't want me to be seen a a typical "boss's son" and so made an example out of me on an hourly basis blink.gif .
At 49 there's not much I can do now, I enjoy life and love my wife, and am now enjoying the journey of guitar no mater how long the lessons take me to complete.
Cheers Ben, you're a top bloke cool.gif

Phil


You make racing pistons ? That's badass !

But a little disconcerting to know that your life was kind of pre arranged.. but I hope you've grown to enjoy it at least ?

Only 49, Phil.. only 49. There's a few decades yet.. more hobbies to discover, more places to visit ! smile.gif

QUOTE (Opossum @ Mar 16 2015, 02:02 AM) *
Found this in my fortune cookie a couple of weeks ago - Greatest fool of all is man who fools himself


That's very true and a great quote !

One of the toughest things in life to attain is self awareness. Can we be honest with ourselves, no matter how uncomfortable the truth ?


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Phil66
post Mar 17 2015, 08:48 PM
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Ben, when I said "At 49 there's not much I can do now" I meant, not much I can do about changing my life job wise as I am comitted. I do a fair bit of travelling, quite a few "microholidays" a year, we will drive out to somewhere nice like the Cotswolds on a Saturday morning, have lunch in a village, check into a hotel Premier Inn, Travel Lodge that kind of thing, have a walk, go for a meal with a nice bottle of wine and a few nightcaps in the bar, hic tongue.gif then on the following day find a nice village for a walk around and a coffee then a nice twisty drive home via the lanes biggrin.gif
Cheers
Phil


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Ben Higgins
post Mar 18 2015, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Mar 17 2015, 07:48 PM) *
Ben, when I said "At 49 there's not much I can do now" I meant, not much I can do about changing my life job wise as I am comitted. I do a fair bit of travelling, quite a few "microholidays" a year, we will drive out to somewhere nice like the Cotswolds on a Saturday morning, have lunch in a village, check into a hotel Premier Inn, Travel Lodge that kind of thing, have a walk, go for a meal with a nice bottle of wine and a few nightcaps in the bar, hic tongue.gif then on the following day find a nice village for a walk around and a coffee then a nice twisty drive home via the lanes biggrin.gif
Cheers
Phil


Well, you're enjoying life much more than I am, I have to say ! wink.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 18 2015, 03:24 PM
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Got me beat as well smile.gif Microholidays sound fun!! The last micro holiday I took was going to L..A. to see L..A. Guns at the ROXY. It was GREAT fun but not cheap. I funded it by selling some guitars that I'd gotten from endorsements. Seems lately, my money has gone for more boring stuff. Living life like playing jazz has it's ups and downs. The downs being skipping vacations and such when chord changes of life call for it. But as with any life, it's good to find joy in your circumstances no matter what they are and no matter who's playing lead and who's playing rythm. smile.gif

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Mar 18 2015, 04:42 AM) *
Well, you're enjoying life much more than I am, I have to say ! wink.gif



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Phil66
post Mar 18 2015, 10:06 PM
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Last micro holiday was one of the best/most successful I've ever had.
Last Friday I finished work at midday. Went home and got showered etc. Drove into the city of Birmingham with my good wife, checked into hotel just off the main entertainment area, went to a brilliant restaurant where I had one of the best steaks I've had anywhere, couple of beers and bottle of wine then went on the one of the best gigs I've ever been to. I saw Black Stone Cherry twice last year, first time in a very small venue then in the LG Arena which is huge and I really thought the band we were seeing on Friday night would struggle to top the brilliant BSC. The band, Thunder were IMMENSE, 25 years of gigging shone through and the crowd were electric. They were supported by Reef and Tax The Heat. Then back to the hotel, more beers and a bottle of wine and a good old chat with people that went to the gig. Following day late breakfast, full English of course wink.gif followed by a visit to the HUGE library of Birmingham HERE, went onto the 7th floor "secret" garden which is outside and gives amazing views of the city. Then coffees in the banking quarter (Brindley Place). Back home late afternoon and chilling. Sunday was Mother's Day so had my mom round for a roast dinner smile.gif


Todd, in case you don't know of Thunder and Reef some videos are below, I'm sure Ben knows of them. Sorry for hijacking your thread Ben unsure.gif







The tempo changes in this one so give it a full listen wink.gif




Great video


Enjoy

Phil

This post has been edited by Phil66: Mar 19 2015, 04:32 PM


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klasaine
post Mar 19 2015, 03:52 PM
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This is certainly related to the OP but really more of a personal reason/anecdote as to why [my] life isn't a race ...

I didn't enter into the societally defined 'normal life' until my mid 40s. Normal life (subjective of course) being the whole married/kid/house thing. Before that I can honestly say that as much as it truly could be - my life was wholly mine.
I definitely did not think I'd ever want to do any of the 'normal' stuff and believe me, if it wasn't for the particular players and fortuitous circumstances in my personal game of conformity - I would not be doing it. It all just sort of 'happened'. Organically. There is a bit of Siddhartha in the whole thing. Even if it's what you want - don't worry about it. Bide your time, go about your business, do other stuff. But be willing to to jump at an opportunity when you know it's right. Most of us have a better ability to survey the landscape when we're not racing towards things.

Anyway ... 'Live long and prosper'.

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Todd Simpson
post Mar 19 2015, 09:08 PM
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Thanks for the vids! My kind of band smile.gif Sounds like one hell of a micro holiday!!!! Gotta grab em anywhere you can get em!! PARTY ON!

Todd


QUOTE (Phil66 @ Mar 18 2015, 05:06 PM) *
Last micro holiday was one of the best/most successful I've ever had.
Last Friday I finished work at midday. Went home and got showered etc. Drove into the city of Birmingham with my good wife, che

Todd, in case you don't know of Thunder and Reef some videos are below, I'm sure Ben knows of them. Sorry for hijacking your thread Ben unsure.gif


Phil



I do hope to have the "Normal Life" one day smile.gif I would really like to own a car instead of lease, own a home instead of rent, not have to hustle non stop for freelance work, etc. Living life like a Jazz session certainly has it's charms smile.gif The freedom, the open path, etc. But I can certainly see the appeal of the "Other side" smile.gif

Todd

QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 19 2015, 10:52 AM) *
This is certainly related to the OP but really more of a personal reason/anecdote as to why [my] life isn't a race ...

I didn't enter into the societally defined 'normal life' until my mid 40s. Normal life (subjective of course) being the whole married/kid/house thing. Before that I can honestly say that as much as it truly could be - my life was wholly mine.
I definitely did not think I'd ever want to do any of the 'normal' stuff and believe me, if it wasn't for the particular players and fortuitous circumstances in my personal game of conformity - I would not be doing it. It all just sort of 'happened'. Organically. There is a bit of Siddhartha in the whole thing. Even if it's what you want - don't worry about it. Bide your time, go about your business, do other stuff. But be willing to to jump at an opportunity when you know it's right. Most of us have a better ability to survey the landscape when we're not racing towards things.

Anyway ... 'Live long and prosper'.



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Phil66
post Mar 19 2015, 09:29 PM
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Todd, you said "my type of band" there are actually two bandS in the videos. The last two are Reef rolleyes.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 21 2015, 12:56 AM
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My bad! Meant my type of BANDS smile.gif


QUOTE (Phil66 @ Mar 19 2015, 04:29 PM) *
Todd, you said "my type of band" there are actually two bandS in the videos. The last two are Reef rolleyes.gif



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Phil66
post Mar 21 2015, 08:36 AM
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Glad you like them. I wasn't picking you up on your grammar though, I just wanted to be sure you had seen both bands and not just viewed the first two or three wink.gif
Phil


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Ben Higgins
post Mar 23 2015, 02:41 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Mar 21 2015, 07:36 AM) *
Glad you like them. I wasn't picking you up on your grammar though, I just wanted to be sure you had seen both bands and not just viewed the first two or three wink.gif
Phil


Don't get Phil started on grammar !! biggrin.gif


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