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Hey guys, i just got a phone call from a friend telling me that his friend had been killed in a range accident at my old shooting range...the "shooter" was not following normal safety protocols, and no range officer was present to correct the behavior. so guys, this is me reminding you to follow the proper safety regs, as well as to be aware of your surroundings at the range. remember that your safety is in your hands, and if you see someone being unsafe, it is your responsibility to alert the range officer...even if you have to leave the range to do so.
EDIT: and just on general principal, don't confront someone yourself if they are holding a firearm. no matter how nicely and politely you go about it.
PREWORD: the first few paragraphs, are somewhat depressing, but i explain them in such detail, because i want to illustrate the low to truly put in perspective the high points of this little story. feel free to skip ahead. EDIT: this is a story about rebirth and happiness.
a year ago today i was on the fast track to a "stable" life. i had my own pool cleaning company with equipment and transportation(all owned, no depts) a 20+ clients and growing, a place with a roommate who at the time seemed like a good guy, and was beginning to pay back some debts from previous years. but as we all know life likes to kick you pretty hard from time to time. this came in the worst possible form, and as you can probably guess this is where our story begins.
One morning in march, i woke up, did my morning routine, and stepped out side to see that my truck was not where i rememberer parking it. not normally a big deal as i frequently let my roommate take my truck to get something at night depending on parking situations. i searched the street and it was nowhere to be found. now im worried, so i wake up my roommate. the conversation went something like this;
Me: "bro! where did you park my truck last night?"
roommate: what are you talking about?
Me: my trucks not out front, please tell me you took it and its parked down the street or something."
roommate: dude, i didnt take your truck.
Me: fuck i think my truck was stolen.
so being the level headed guy that i am, i looked online and found the NON emergency police number, and reported my truck stolen. i got a call back an hour later saying it was impounded for unknown reasons. after nearly three hours of talking to 6 different people, i find out it is due to unpaid parking tickets. heres the kicker, they werent mine, they were from the previous owner. so now they want me to pay the city of riverside $1,283 and some change (for the parking tickets that i was not legally resposible for according to california vehicle code) before they will release the vehicle from impound. impound fees the day that my truck was impounded were 400 something, and increasing everyday by $60. not having $1283 plus impound fees just laying around, i could not get my truck out immediately, and everyday that went by, i saw my chances of ever getting it back rapidly slipping away. since my equipment was in the truck, and i therefore could not do my job, i had to call me clients and explain the situation. some of them understood, some were irritated, but since i had not collected payments for that month, nobody gave me too much trouble(some even offered to pay me for the part of the month that i was performing my service.)
summing up the next few months, i could not get my truck back, though every effort was made over the next month and half. i did whatever sidework i could find to pay bills while applying to anything in range of public transit(which sucks in riverside.) eventually, i had to tell my roommate that i would be moving out, and doing some work on an old acquaintance's ranch in exchange for room and board. as i was transporting my cat to the ranch, he called the landlord and had me barred from the appartment, claiming that i had not been paying the rent, and that he had been paying my half. this was resolved rather quickly between me and the landlord(when i explained to her that she was unlawfully barring me from my place of residence and my belongings), but gave this conniving son of a bitch of a roommate plenty of time to either sell or store all of my belongings, including the nearly $4000 worth of automotive tools and equipment i had accumulated over several years.
so after a short stay at the aforementioned "ranch," i moved to BFE texas to work for my stepdad for a spell, which has turned into a spell and a half. so ive been doing general construction since about late june/early july. my goal was to make enough to buy a car or truck, drive back to california, and start my life over(again) in a month or two. as you probably guessed this didnt happen. due to various lulls in work, i was still chasing that dream in september, and rapidly spiraling into a depression.
one rather drunk night in september, i was thinking about how much fun i used to have on WoW, when it occured to me that what i needed was some social interaction, and WoW was as good a source as i was likely to find. so i hopped back on, and played a night or 2 with my sister, and then i played for a couple hours with my brother(some of you may know him as @swirly.)
@swirly invited me to this awesome guild he was in, stating that,
"its always good to be in a guild, there are so many benefits that a guild can provide, even if you want to play solo."
im paraphrasing but that was the gist. i joined the guild and then(Oh no!) my brother dropped off the face of the world(of warcraft.) left to my own devices i started branching out to other guildies. Hey! these guys are pretty cool! i think it was @celsh who invited me to mumble, and that got me even more involved with some more icrontians. after several mumble sessions with some people who i kept mixing up(@mikquatro, @ryder, @thrax, @primesuspect, @myrmidon) a sweet, somewhat feminine(jk @primesuspect) voice told me i should join the icrontic forums. i of course told him i would, but it took me a week or so to actually do it. once i did, i didnt really do anything except look around, as i was shy, and didnt know that the forum etiquette was basicly "E.L.E."
after talking to the now familiar voice of brian, i started actually posting, and as some of you might have noted, there has been no shutting me up. my debut conversation was a thread entitled Lets Talk Cars. i was amazed at the respose i got. a lot of pictures, and then we devolved into a truly open forum on, what else, cars! excited over this recent success, i started posting on any thread i felt i had something to say(and some that i did not) eventually leading up to one really amazing thing about icrontic...Its not just a forum for words on a screen, but for FRIENDS and everything that that word means!
I was struggling with WoW, mainly because i wanted to raid with my new found friends, and my laptop was just not able to handle it. so i decided to ask a question of the same friends, Bottom of the Barrel Gaming Laptop? essentially asking what i needed to look for. but you can skim the thread if you want more details. ultimately it was decided that i needed to build a tower, and since i couldnt justify even the small cost that was laid out to me, i had a couple people volunteer spare parts toward my build if i could get the rest. which i did, and they REALLY did, and our build was complete, and i could really participate in raids with the amazing Icrontians whos company i have come to enjoy so much. thank you guys for showing me The Spirit of Icrontic
Moving forward a short time to the release of WoD, we all provided moral support for the terrible scourge that reached our release day party! whether remotely or at ICHQ, every Icrontic WoW player was put through the hell that was SERVER BAD HORRIBLE QUEING WAITING CRYING TIME! ok not the most creative but...anyways, some struggled through it, most moved past it, and still a few more would rejoin the group in a week or two.
As for me i hopped on a couple hours at a time for a couple weeks immediately following launch weekend, but due to various distractions with work, and a tooth and nail argument with my ISP, i have not been on WoW or mumble for some time. (miss you guys!)
Now, i am looking at [Going Back to School at 25](Going Back to School at 25 "Going Back to School at 25") with so much support from all of you! every morning i wake up and think how can i make Icrontic proud, and that motivates me. I love you guys! awesomesauce, lulz, helpful, and just genuine thanks for being such awesome people! and breathing new life into me.
special thanks, in no particular order, to:
@mikquattro, @Ryder, @thrax, @cannonfodder, @celsh, @primesuspect, @myrmidon, @pirateninja, @linc @tushon, @cliff_forster, @straight_man, @MrTRiot, @drasnor, @Karma, @Midga, @doabarrellroll...
And if i have left anyone out, im sorry, the list goes on and on.
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