Games, Life, Oil, TZM

Annnnnd I’m Back!

Well, I’m back from work!

Have been for a few days now and I didn’t get to accomplish ANYTHING that I wanted to while I was away. This was, by far, the most difficult job(s) we have been on; at least since I started working with my boss. It wasn’t difficult work, nothing really is out here, it was just a lot of work. I feel for my boss, he had several nights with little to no sleep, some consecutively! So much went wrong out there; leaks everywhere, missing parts from important equipment, broken equipment. The mud was ridiculously intense as well, even though it only lasted for a day or so after it rained.

We were on one job with another crew for a week then ended up moving to another location for two weeks, just my boss and I. Both jobs were literally in the middle of nowhere; the closest towns were about an hour and forty-five minutes away and there was no data or cellular service on either location. The last week we were out there we got satellite Internet but, it was a bit late at that point. It was all-in-all a very different experience on the job than any other I’ve been on in the North or East.

WS LogoIn the time that I’ve been back, however, I have gotten a lot of gaming in already and a couple really decent (and one extremely aggravating) conversations! I played a game of Infinity with a ‘pro’ player (someone who knows how to play) and got stomped within three turns but, I learned a lot so, I’m looking forward to getting another game in. I also got in a good number of games of Weiss Schwarz and learned a lot of that game as well. The amount of intricate strategies in the game are enormous and it’s probably one of the more complex CCGs I’ve ever played.

I’ve stayed true to my goal of making every conversation relevant and that’s been a lot of fun but, let me just talk about one I had recently that was very irritating. It was with a semi-friend of mine who I’ve gotten into it with before but, not near as bad as the other day. I’ve never given much credence to the idea that younger people think they know everything but, this guy is the epitome of just that. It started with a simple conversation about him reviewing anime (he’s a reviewer for video games and anime, pop-culture) and how it’s difficult because he has certain biases towards specific anime and he wants to remain bias free in his writing. We ended up getting into media as a whole and that’s where things started taking a deep dive into the negative. I was explaining to him that there are organizations and movements out there that are trying to help shape things to come in a more promising light but, he didn’t want to hear any of it because of MY bias towards the organizations I had mentioned. He said he doesn’t want to know anything about it from me and that he’d rather hear about it from someone who doesn’t know about it. Someone who reads about it openly and then tells him about it without bias; someone who isn’t a part.

TVP LogoI can appreciate the idea to an extent but, as I’ve seen time and time again, this leads to   more ignorance than anything else. How many web pages are dedicated to The Zeitgeist Movement being some conspiratorial organization or The Venus Project being a terrorist group, even having been investigated by the FBI? TZM Logo 2You never see official literature being cited on any of these sites; only extremists that have nothing to do with either organization projecting their own ideas upon the groups. These are people that read a bit of documentation, twisted it, and decided to make up the rest. The media is guilty of this as well, asking the same old entrapping questions that aren’t answerable to create an ‘Ah ha!’ moment. They don’t care about education, only a spotlight.

I don’t want these kind of people in my life and I’m working on figuring out the best way to let this guy know that I really don’t want to hang out with him any more. I don’t want the negativity around me, the complacency, or the ignorance.

Life

Apparent Mini-Vacation

So, I definitely didn’t think I’d be off work for this long. I was trying to wait for the next job to start up before I made my next post but, I’m getting anxious so, here I am. Anxious for a lot of things really but, the next job to start up is pretty much the top thing on my mind at the moment. And only because Winter is coming and I don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere in a sexy little sports car while it’s cold and snowy. I need to get a truck ASAP and, although I’m getting paid VERY well out here, I need the next job to kick in (and end) before I can afford the down payment. That’s stressing me out a bit but, that’s it; everything else has been flippin’ fantastic. The other projects I’m working on: the website for the Zeitgeist Ambassador (a TZM sail boat), a new newsletter for Ninja Division (the company that publishes Relic Knights…), a Vassal module for Relic Knights (a new game I’ve been obsessing over lately), and I think that’s about it.

So then, what’ve I been up to?

The day after I got off the previous job (Clearfork-Pullen) I hit the bank to grab a new checking and savings account down here and immediately ordered the game that I had been wanting for months; Relic Knights. When it came in I dove in straight away; filing, gluing, reading. I went to Reaper Miniatures headquarters here in TX for some modeling advice and was very ill impressed. Specifically, I went there for an open paint/painting clinic with their own artists and what I got was something less than stellar; a few cranky employees and a clique of people who had no interest in helping out a newbliet like myself. Needless to say, I haven’t been back and probably won’t bother in the future. I figured things out for myself though, and have been going to a local game shop called SciFi Factory pretty much every day just to keep myself out of the house. The minis are now painted up completely and since, I’ve managed to get in about eight games; not bad for a game that no one plays around here but me and that I’ve only had a couple weeks! I absolutely love it and I’ll be doing a review in another post.

I finished the Through The Breach Fated Almanac and wasn’t too thrilled about it. I’ll write up a full review on it in another post.

I went to WaCon, a small convention in Waco, TX and had a good time. I pretty much just taught people how to play Krosmaster Arena through the entire convention; I’m used to it. I did bring Relic Knights but, sadly, the miniatures area was fairly lackluster. Only a small handful of Warhammer 40K players and the guy running it, hated the game so, I don’t image many people in the miniature room had much fun. I managed to get in a game of Duel of Ages II but other than that, the main productivity of the convention was in socializing. I’m not good at meeting people, down right terrible at it actually but, I grew closer to the guys down here that my brother hangs out with and that, as an outcome, is better than anything else I could have asked for over the weekend.

A few of you have been wanting to take a look at some of the photos I’ve taken while out on the job site so, I manage to put a little photo album together on Photobucket to share. I think it’d be fun to keep a photo journal of all the locations I work so, without further adieu, Clearfork-Pullen.

That’s it for now, peeps.

Life, Personal

Chapter _ Part 2

Read part one here

I’ve been quite thoroughly into activism in a number of forms over the past 6 years or so now; marching on behalf of cleaning up the environment, better support for our public educators, ending the reign of terror the US seems to bring across the world. I’ve given lectures, been interviewed, have interviewed; I’ve canvassed neighbourhoods, collected donations (with Greenpeace), I spoke at Occupy Chicago, I’ve lead ‘teach-ins’, and sat with hundreds as the rich elite threw dollar bills from atop their glass framed building tops.

One of the topics often brought up has to do with Oil; peek oil, fracking, political pay-offs, ground water pollution, theft of nations, the raping of the land, the list goes on. The topic is huge and has sparked protest across the globe and I’ve had the honour of being a part of several of these events over the past few years. One of the things you notice, however, when surrounding yourself with protest circles the education on the subject tends to fall short at times. As an example, you could ask a rather large handful of a protest group what fracking is and you’ll get varying answers that typically tend to stay around the same talking points but, when you take the conversation further it quickly gets lost. I’ve been on the receiving end of this and it’s utterly embarrassing!

I’ve had these conversations with my brother in the past and, for him, it always comes down to the fact that he has a family that he needs to take care of (at this point is should be noted that my brother, Andrew, has worked in the oil industry for several years now, including a stint at Halliburton). Who can argue with that? We all have loved ones that need support and if your world view goes even slightly beyond the tip of your own nose, like mine does, you notice that ‘loved ones’ goes much farther than your own ‘flesh and blood’.

I, on the other hand, don’t have family to take care of (outside of brothers, parents, a sister) so, the monetary focus for me has been towards that world view directly. I’ve spent every bit of what I’ve earned over the past few years on living frugally with a focus on marketing for the activist campaigns I’ve been a part of. Banners, posters, fliers, digital media, lecture spaces, tabling events, every bit of my funds have been funnelled into my standing up for this cause or that and, let me tell you, it’s been a struggle. Pushing your activism beyond relying on others for the literature you’re handing out takes a decent chunk of change and, this next chapter here will easily help with that.

I bring all this up because this transition stems from both my quest for knowledge and my fight for everything that’s good in this world. I’m getting first hand experience with the oil industry from the ground up and improving my mechanical skills (of which I had very little) in spades. I’m also, for a change, making a more expendable income that will help my future endeavours in activism. I won’t have to be so reserved when it comes to the design materials I use in my posters and banners and I’ll be able to schedule events without being concerned with whether or not I’ll have the funds needed.

Every bit of this chapter has been completely positive and, I’m not so sure I could say I’ve ever been happier. The future is bright and I’m nearing light speed.

Life, Personal

Chapter _ Part 1

This particular ‘new chapter’ really all started when one of my very best friends moved away.

Derrick, whom I’m going to be speaking of in a past tense, was such a cool god damn guy. We hung out pretty much every other day and explored each other’s interests quite extensively; we were both very open to learning new things and realize that this is how people grow. We played board games, fought with fake knives, played boccie, rode bikes, had long ass movie marathons, played the music game (idea for another post), we did everything; it was like being in middle school and having sleep overs with your friends.

He moved to Oregon nearly two years ago now without a very sound method of communication so, although he’s still around, it’s just not the same. We’ve tossed a few emails back and forth but, that’s about the extent of it. He’s missed terribly by a number of our mutual friends but, he seems to have made a home for himself out there so, as long as he’s doing well, that’s awesome by me! This, however, left me with really just my one friend, Q.

Q has been my best friend for years now and we met in such odd circumstances. I don’t recall the story exactly but, I came up to IL to visit some friends one year (maybe 2004?) and when my buddy Joe couldn’t give me a ride back to the airport (I was living in GA at the time), he set me up with this guy Q. I met him at the mall and we chit chatted on the way to the airport and that was about the extent of it until years later. In 2006, I think, I moved back to IL from GA and immediately was looking for friends, of course. Joe, my friend since 4th grade, had moved up to Chicago but, he got me back in touch with Q and, we’ve been best friends since. We’ve shared a lot together and, we’ve lost a lot together as well. Let me tell you, if there is any single person anyone in the world could trust on, if you’re talking about one of the nicest people ever, who would sacrifice himself for you…it’s Q.

That being said, we are different people in a lot of ways. We never hung out the way Derrick and I had and, Q is the type of friend that no matter how much time has gone by, how much distance has been put between, he’s always going to be there. So, I always felt like he didn’t count when it came to me making the big decision that would lead me to where I am now. He has an awesome, just awesome, circle of friends up there that I’m just not too much a part of (and it’s not something I’m upset about in the least bit either!), plus a new girlfriend who is pretty great as well.

So, after a few phone conversations with my brother, a number of terrible realizations on my part, I decided to up and try out a new career path. One that would lead me to the middle of no-where Texas, on a pad of gravel, living with one of the coolest damn coworkers someone could ask for; Oilfield Flowback.


I’m going to challenge myself to make at least one post here per day; I certainly have the time to. Also, this blog will, more than likely, be going through several changes over the first few weeks as I get used to WordPress and get things organized the way I like.

Welcome aboard!