Who Dat?

Back in the 80s, long before the X-Games existed, Tom Haig traveled the world as an extreme athlete. He visited more than 50 countries as an international high diver, doing multiple somersault tricks from over 90 feet.

That life came crashing down one Sunday morning in 1996. While training on his mountain bike, he smashed into the grill of a truck and became paralyzed from the waist down. But less than a year later he completed a 100-mile ride on a hand-cycle and traveled by himself to Europe and the Middle East.

Since then he has continued to travel the world as a consultant, writer and video producer. He spent six months launching a Tibetan radio station in the Himalayas and shot documentary shorts on disability in Bangladesh, France, Albania, Ghana and most recently Nepal.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hey Joe

After suffering a piercing sinus headache on my flight back from KC; enduring a 2-hour delay getting out of PDX and losing my muffler on a 100% UNNECESSARY drive to Seattle to pick up my passport in person because they said my pictures were 1/8" too small AND I'm leaving for Turkey and London on Monday.... I was a bit peeved.

Ron and his babalicious wife, Holly, patched my wounds at the end of the drive and got me out the door yesterday morning in time to catch my meeting in downtown Seattle. I arrived at the passport office at 8:00 a.m. sharp and finally spoke to a human being. They said they didn't realize my urgency (I paid 'em and extra 75 bucks just so they WOULD realize my urgency!) and they would have my passport ready at 2:00 p.m. Four hours to kill in Seattle so I drifted over to the Hendrix museum and tried to unwind.

It's a fantastic guitar museum - everything from 1900 Hawaiian guitars to 1930's VOX amps to the newest carbon fiber stand-up bases. You can get an Ipod guide that has sound clips of most of the guitars as well as histories read by, in some cases, the original lithiers.

On the second floor they've got a sound lab with tons of instruments wired up and a bunch of sound booths where you can plug in and go nuts. Being as it was the Hendrix museum they actually had the forethought to include a left-handed strat which was plugged into a massive Marshall Stack with a pedal rack that could substitute for the control panel of the Starship Enterprise. You get ten minutes to do what you want, so I turn everything up to 11 and blast the shit out of a 10-minute earsplitting Hey Joe (btw - CGDAE - all day). My ears turned inside out and bled the few times I dared go up to the high E way the hell next to the pickup.

It was loud as shit and I'm jumping up and down in my chair just sending this thing into sonic orbit, when my ten minutes are up and the amps turn off. The silence hit me like a ton of bricks and I leaned back and laugh like the Reefer Madness guy. I lay the axe back in it's cradle and turn around to see four 8-year-old kids with their heads glued to the glass door, looking back at me like I was the heroin addict exhibit in a human zoo.

I made my move for the door and they scattered.

I'm now officially ready to go to Cappadoccia.

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