BklnScott, on Mar 25 2010, 04:50 AM, said:
Wow, you go from liberal mecca to liberal mecca, huh?
LOL, almost. As liberal as Seattle may be, it isn't as liberal as the Bay Area is. But they're doing their best to be competitive.
Fortunately (for me, anyway), I'm at least far enough from "liberal mecca" to where there are plenty of "middle of the road" folks, which I like and have an easier time relating to at least.
SparkyCola, on Mar 25 2010, 08:18 AM, said:
Would you ever show your art in the Art forum? I'd love to see it!
After moving over 800 miles, I'm still looking for all my socks, haha. Plenty of stuff that I am still going through. When I find some worth posting, sure. I'll put it up.
I would to see a lot more of the world, definitely. But given the current politcal and perhaps even social climates world-wide, I don't see it happening. I do love road-trips though. One day, I want to see Canada. I think that would be as far as i would go for now.
Could you expand on this more? I could see political climates putting a person off going to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia say, but not most countries (especially those outside the middle east). I would have thought though that not wanting to fly would be a big obstacle - though there's still South America to explore.
I've been told that there are still plenty of places out side of the middle east that consider Americans to be snobbish, or arrogant. Some might be, but it isn't the case as a stereotype as not all Americans are like that. Other reasons too, which may have some truths to them. Some. I think some American travelers who go to other countries kind of tick the natives off because they expect certain things from them. Some forget that they're in a foreign country, and should try to understand and respect the culture(s) there as guests and be at their best behavior. Those who don't try, tend to be the cause of some resentment from other people towards Americans. Not to mention, not everyone likes what America is doing in regards to politics, and may take it out on tourists because of it. I'm not sure of whether this is entirely true other than what I've heard from others. I don't think Hugo Chavez would like me too much, or North Korea. I wouldn't go to Mexico because of the problems they're facing right now, and the growing number of kidnapping Americans lately.
However, if I were to go someplace, I would love to go to Japan, Germany, UK, Greece, and Ireland. Yeah, I'd fly as it would be the best and fastest way to get there. Even if I don't like flying...
Do you speak any languages beside English?
I can speak German and Russian. I can't read or write them though. I used to when I was very young. My mom used to teach those languages when she taught High School.
What are your favourite things to do in your spare time?
I have spare time? It depends on my mood. Sometimes I like to go out for a walk if the weather is nice, other times play some XBOX 360, do some drawing, write short stories (which I'm never satisfied with), and even hang out at the mall. Yeah, I'm a mall rat. Hope that wasn't too boring. I intend to go back into martial arts though once I get more income coming, well, in
[to everyone]... Any chance we could go on a massive Ex Isle roadtrip through the US?
Only if we co-ordinate bathroom breaks, because I'm not stopping. Just kidding.
Cardie, on Mar 25 2010, 12:11 PM, said:
Driving to South America would be quite the road trip! (It's 6900 miles from Seattle to Rio, for instance.)
That would be one heck of a road trip. More like an adventure of a lifetime.
What housing related job were you in before, CJ.
Real Estate. I got in at the tail-end of the "golden days", when all you had to do was put a yard sign on the lawn, and people would bid, bid, bid. I miss those days. It's a great profession, but too many people distrust realtors these days which isn't fair. There are a lot of really good ones who won't mess you over just to get a sale. I've worked very hard to do the job, and invested a lot of money into it as well. So I really hate the idea of giving it up. I love the freedom it gives me, but I'm also sick of the long dry-spells of no sales.
Was there any specific event that triggered your interest in politics and in firearms or did you just grow into them over time?
Heh, there was a time when I really liked Bill Clinton and made fun of George H. W. Bush. And George "Dubb'ya" Bush drove me up the wall and down again. Oh, and Bob Dole. Man, I loved poking fun at Bob Dole. I even voted for Al Gore.
I got pulled into politics starting with when Bubba Clinton was impeached. But what really pulled me in all the way was the 2000 election and the whole "chad" ordeal. Who really won the election? Although that is water long since under the bridge now, back then, it made me realize that we should all be paying close attention to what's going on in our government and voting process. Events like 9/11 and the two wars we have going on have since kept me keeping a close eye on politics.
I always seem to get accused of being a Republican here, or as one who hates Democrats, but that really isn't the case. I was no fan of W when he was in office, and I am not much of a fan of Obama either. I don't allow party lines to influence me. There are moderate Democrats that are actually better than moderate Republicans, and vise-versa. I look at the person's record first and foremost. What has that person done as a politician, regardless of party. That say's a lot about that person. What he/she promises means very little. Compare what he/she claims to what he/she has actially done and stands for. I also look at what people that candidate surrounds him/herself with. That also says a lot about that person. I also look at body language, facial expressions, and how he/she answers questions. Party, race, color, gender matters nothing to me. What that person has done and will do does. I do find myself on the conservative side though because I do not believe in big government. You know the the expression, "you give them a finger, they'll take your whole arm". That's what big governments do. You give them a bit more power, and they will take it as far as they can. Usually too far, and too expensive. Texas is a great example of how to run a nation. They're not perfect, but their state system is a lot better IMHO than what we have now, and what we have had since 2000.
When I was in college, one of my jobs was a bank teller. We were robbed three times when I was there, and two were at gun point. Four guys in masks walked in, each with a semi-automatic rifle. They were yelling at us, pointing their guns right at us, and were in our faces so fast, it was frightening. We did what we were told to the letter, but we all thought we were going to die anyway. It's easily one of the most dreadful feelings one can have. All kinds of thoughts just come rushing through your head. We were powerless, and at the full mercy of those robbers. They were the ones who decided whether we live or die. I prayed that no one messed up to make any of them angry enough to shoot, and fortunately, no one did. Those guys meant business. They got in and out quick, but it felt like forever. And they got more than just what was at the teller line. We were able to hit the silent alarm as they walked in, and the police showed up in just under eight minutes. The four guys were out in under five.
Some time later, a man walked in, pointed a handgun at one of the other tellers demanding money. The teller actually got angry, and she started throwing sash at him, then threw her change and then the entire money till at him, yelling "You want my money?! Take it then, you ***********!" I guess this baffled him enough to where he put his pistol back in his pocket and walked out without taking a cent. Pretty intense when it happened because we were afraid of how the man would have reacted to her outburst and cash tossing.
About a year later I had a guy pull a gun on me on the road. Traffic was moving slow for some reason, and I was moving at the same pace as everyone else. Last time I checked, we can't move faster than the car in front of us without hitting them. Some guy behind me is on my tail, honking and weaving. Traffic is so bunched up, I could not change lanes to let him get in front of me. We got to a stop light, and he drove on the wrong side of the road wich was clear, and pulled up next to me. Rolled down his window, pulled out his gun, and was screaming at me for driving like a "retard". That I was going to slow. I told him I can't go faster than the cars in front of me, and he just went wild. He told me he better not see me again, threw his gun down on the passenger side floor, and sped away making a left turn when the light turned green. I kept calm just as I had been able to before. But that same dreadful feeling came back.
Some time after that, I was living at a house where instead of paying rent, I took care of the place while the home owners were away. The husband was a business man who traveled to Taiwan often as well as to various parts of the US. His wife liked to go with him, and their kids who are my age did not want to watch over the house. So it was a good deal for me at least. It was a cool single-level house, in a very nice neighborhood. Loved it there. One night, at around 4 am, I woke up due to a strange noise. I'm a deep sleeper, but when things are out of normal, I wake right up. I woke up, opened my eyes just a little bit, and what I saw scared the life out of me. There's a leg halfway inside my bedroom window. Some guy is trying to get in. I wanted to yell "get out!", but found that my voice had decided to not work for me then. A million things were going through my mind as that guy was struggling to fit though the window. I quietly reached for my bat, and when I had a firm grip on it, I sprang out from bed and just gave it my all at his leg and part of his butt. I don't know who was more scared then, me or him? He fell out, and ran off into the night. I called the police, and they did not show up. I called again, and the dispatcher told me they were going to get there when they have a chance. They never did come. I got to thinking, what if I called for help? And they didn't come? I could be dead? What if the guy had a gun? What if he got in despite what I did? This worried me a lot.
About a couple months later, again, sometime around 3 am, I woke up from hearing the front door being man-handled hard. I got up to look down the hall, and I could hear the door shaking. Then it stopped. I remember standing in the dark listening for sounds. THen I heard someone trying to pry one of the windows open. Then again, silence. Then another window, and again, silence. I call 911 again. As I'm on the line, the back door starts to rattle. Whoever was out there was clearly looking for a way in. I'm wigging out because the dispatcher is asking me things like "did he come in a car? If so, can you see what kind of car it is? Is he alone? Can you see and tell me what he looks like? How tall is he?", and so on and so forth. Meanwhile, he makes his rounds again. Then my cell phone dies and I lose connection with the dispatcher. She had gotten my address and other info I could giive (and I didn't bother to look to see what car he may have come in or get a good look at him as it was dark). Even seconds felt like forever. I've got nothing for protection. Again, I was at the mercy of another person. Not knowing what was going to happen, I decided if I was going to go out, at least I'd put up a fight. That's just how I felt then. I ran barefooted to the back door, switched on the light, and had my bat again in hand. I guess the light must have spooked him. That or be yelling at him to get out with a whole lot of profanity. Again, the police never showed up. And again, I got to thinking, what if he got in, and he was armed with even just a knife? What if I lost the fight? What if I had co-operated fully, and he decided to off me anyway? This really bothered me, as for most of my life, I never had to really think about this sort of stuff.
I'm not exactly sure how much later, but I ended up chatting with Shalamar about things. The subject came up, and she told me her own personal experiences, and how her gun save her life and a friends on more than one occasion. She had a permit to carry her piece, and frankly, I thought that was a bit much. But then again, if she hadn't had it with her, she and her friend would probably have been hurt real bad by some thug who wantedt o rob them as they were walking down a street. He was extremely aggressive, but once she displayed her weapon, he turned scared real fast, and she gained control of the situation without even firing a shot. If she had to, she would have though. She was one of the first people I had "met" that was open about discussing firearms, self protection, and about how to deal with tough situations. I hadn't considered owning a gun. What would I do with one? But she made sense. I asked questions, and she answered every one of them. She was by no means a "gun nut". Even through chat, she was able to convey that she had full self control over owning and using a gun. She was not the "trigger happy" gun owner that I have heard anti-gun people claim that all gun owners are. The more we talked, the more I got to thinking about it. I reflected a lot on my own experiences in being at the wrong end of the barrel. I decided that I shouldn't be afraid of weapons. Instead, I should at least understand them fully for myself. Shalamar had a lot of wisdom to share.
Along the way, I found gun owners to talk to. I even went to gun stores to talk to them as well. I spent a lot of free time learning about weapons, and talked to people, including some law enforcement officers and an army ranger that I worked with then about guns for home/self defense. They told me how to set up a layered defense, looking for dedendable areas, room clearing, and so forth. I also learned that no officer is required to go into your house to save you. More likely, they will wait it out outside. This usually makes the home owner/resident the hostage. I also found out that help will usually not arrive until after the crime has been committed. This happened when I worked at the bank. And in terms of where I used to live, sometimes help just doesn't come at all.
Before even purchasing a gun, I learned the rules of gun ownership and handling. And 99.999% of what you see from Hollywood, is completely wrong. I ended up taking the require coarse for a permit to own a firearm, and soon after purchased my first handgun. Man, there was a lot of paperwork. I didn't buy bullets for it for some time. Looking back, that was kinda dumb, but oh well. I made a friend who showed me how to take it apart and care for the thing. Over time, I became more and more comfortable with it. That is not to be mistaken for being careless. I mean practicing it at the range turned for feeling weird to actually enjoying it. It also kind of improved my vision as well. Granted, it is a huge responsibility, and it's not for everyone. But to me, it's worth it. If I need it and can get to it, then great. If I need and can't get to it, then I'll just have to pray I'll be alright in the end. Most of all, I'd rather own one and never have to use it, than not have one and need one to save my life.
After my dad passed away, I moved back in with my mom to help her out. One night, there were gunshots that were so loud, I thought it was from inside the house. I was so entangled in the bedsheets that I could not reach my piece that was in a drawer by my bed. If there was a person in the house, I was at their mercy then. The shots were from somewhere else close by. But I have since learned from that experience. And where I live now, there are a lot of meth-heads floating around. I live in a great neighborhood. And yet, a nearby store was robbed, not for money, but for OxyContin to make meth. So, crazy stuff can happen anywhere, no matter how safe of a neighborhood it is. What's real scary is those that use that drug usually become extremely violent and almost super-human when in rage.
Do I think everyone should guns? No way. But I do think that we have the right to protect ourselves any way we wish. Whether it be guns, knives, bats, tasers, security systems, etc. I think it should be a choice for an individual to decide, not a government or whatever. Some are simply not comfortable with them, and I respect that. I'm not comfortable riding motorcycles, so that's cool. And criminals will always find a way to get weapons. Either via Mexico, or from over-seas. They'll get them. Banning guns only denies law-abiding citizens from getting them, which defeats the purpose. The US is a vast, wide-open area. Even today there are drug bandits from Mexico hiding in our deserts. No one can keep track of them very well other than where they have been. Where I live, it is very rural. It isn't barbaric in any way to protect yourself if you can. Frankly, I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't even like the idea of hunting. To me, every creature with a spine has a soul. Dear, bears, rabbits, dogs, cats, etc. I can't tell you how long I mourned when my cat had to be put down. We held him as he put his little paw on my hand when the vet put him to sleep. He looked at us and his eyes gave the expression that he knew it was the end of the line for him. He had cancer. We had him for 25 years. Wow, this got to be rather lengthy, and I could go on too. But I don't want to bore anyone...
SparkyCola, on Mar 25 2010, 12:44 PM, said:
Driving to South America would be quite the road trip! (It's 6900 miles from Seattle to Rio, for instance.)
That would be Amazing
Take ages but imagine that! You're going through the US (you could go through the national parks region for added awesome), Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, and that's taking the most boring route
I have to agree, it would be amazing.
Just so that this post isn't 100% daydreaming... I'll put in a Sparky Classic:
How similar are you online compared with offline/real life?
I don't know, actually. I think I find it easier "talking" to people online, but have a harder time making myself clear. In real life, I can be pretty sarcastic and love to joke around. But online, it is hard I suppose for people to tell the difference and I get in trouble because people think I'm serious when I'm not. During SDCC meets, I'd say I've been pretty quiet in the crowd, but once I get more comfortable and I get to know people better, I loosten up. Sadly, I don't think I got quite that far with the exception of G and White Tiger. But White Tiger is a real approachable kind of guy, even if he can turn me into a human pretzel and kick my butt all over San Diego without breaking a sweat, lol. He's really cool. But, yeah, in real life, I'm not very political at all with other people or with friends usually. I'm easy to hang out with and a whole lot less combative than, say, on OT. I'm not big on pretending to be someone I'm not online. Some people like that though, as I've learned the hard way from playing XBOX Live by getting punked by some 12 year old thinking he is a bad-arse.
Bad Wolf, on Mar 25 2010, 07:34 PM, said:
CJ what are your views on spirituality.
*you knew it was coming*
This is a huge thing for me. I can't possibly answer it in couple paragraphs as I have a lot to say about spirituality and religion. The question is so broad, I could write an entire book on it, probably. Okay, maybe I could write a few pages worth on this thread. It would make it easier though, if you could be more specific, perhaps? If not, I'll do my best to anwer it as it is as best I can. But you'll be doing a lot of readin', just so you know.
Or I could just lie and say I don't believe in it, when we die, that's it, the end. But I wouldn't do that to you.