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Lounge Lizards / Misfits / Free Thinkers / Bohemians & the Forgotten :: Young at Heart Only

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Uncle Willie, Jul 5, 2017.

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  1. Uncle Willie

    Uncle Willie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I don't know if any of you remember Von Vape .. he and I maintained some communication (birds of a feather) .. at any rate, here is a photo of his, which amazed me with the "folded rock" formation .. mainly, though, on a hot day, this looks so cool and refreshing .. taken in France ::
    upload_2017-7-10_10-5-28.png
     
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  2. Sir Kadly

    Sir Kadly Tootle Wompin' Squonkaholic Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2015
    Indiana
    Excellent post Willie. I've always enjoyed your stories and you have a way with words.

    The hope thing? Yeah, not always easy. My whole world has been falling apart around me the last couple of months, and it seems like things are going to get worse before they get better. So holding on to hope is not easy at all. But I'm trying.

    Thank you for starting this thread, I hope to continue to be able to drop by and find some words of wisdom and inspiration here.
     
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  3. Uncle Willie

    Uncle Willie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Well, I'm glad you dropped by .. and I appreciate the kind words .. my life is no different than any other .. the one thing I know is, and sometimes it's tough to do, especially for me, is lean on a degree of mental support when needed .. it becomes doubly tough when whatever it is stays trapped inside .. Hang in There ..
     
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  4. Sir Kadly

    Sir Kadly Tootle Wompin' Squonkaholic Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2015
    Indiana
    So, now that I have caught up I'll comply with the request for my backstory, though I don't have much of a story.
    Where to start? Highest SAT scores of my high school class, National Merit Scholar, accepted into Brown (only Ivy League school I applied to) and chose to attend University of Chicago. Which is considered by some to be worthy of the Ivy League moniker itself, by the way. So why am i telling you all of this? Not to brag about how smart I am, but rather to illustrate how stupid I have been.
    The very end of my senior year of high school, I started dating the woman who would become my first wife. She nearly broke up with me over the summer, but I convinced her (using a combination of charm and tears) to stick around. Fast forward to Christmas, 1990. Just started my second year at U of C that fall. I proposed. She accepted. We celebrated. Yes kids, it only takes one time. Oh, and by the way, I had already decided I really didn't like U of C (which shouldn't have been a surprise, I picked it not because it was where I wanted to go, but because it was where my Dad thought I should go) so had already decided to drop out, and take classes at the more local Indiana University extension campus.
    So, I threw away a non-transferable scholarship, and what is arguably one of the best educations in the country, for "love." I then dropped out of IUSB after only one semester, got a job, and married my girlfriend out of "honor" since I figured we should be married before the baby arrived.
    1996, two kids, 5 years, no spark, she asks for a divorce. Remember I said I can be stupid? Well, between looking for stress relief, and wanting to tick her off, I picked up the one habit I knew she hated. Yes, I started smoking at the young age of 25, just to aggravate my soon to be ex wife...:rolleyes:
    A few months later, started dating a woman I knew from high school. The relationship was, in all honesty, mostly about the physical rather than emotional side of things. Plenty of warnings that it was a bad relationship, but nevertheless, proposed to her in '97, married her in '98.
    The marriage lasted 18 years, but the relationship didn't really make it to 5. We just stayed married because, I guess, we were afraid to move on, or afraid to be the one to give up, or who knows what we were afraid of. After telling her for nearly every day of our marriage that I would quit smoking, and after failing multiple times, including with some of the gas station cigalikes, I found out out the better options available, and discovered ECF, in the fall of 2015. Though I am actually still a dual user, I have cut my smoking tremendously.

    And I'll ask everyone to withhold judgement on the final part of my story. But after being here a a few months, some conversations with another ECFer caused me to finally evaluate the state of my marriage. So wife number 2 and I agreed a little over a year ago that it really hadn't been a marriage for years, and we separated, and I discovered my best friend, my soul mate, and possibly the true love of my life here on ECF.

    In the last couple of months life has thrown me some serious curveballs, right when everything seemed to be going right and I was truly happy for the first time in years. I may lose everything, but she has stood by and supported me when many wouldn't have. My issues (and distance) have made it difficult to maintain a relationship, but the depth of our friendship is such that I know we will always have that.
     
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  5. yiddleboge6

    yiddleboge6 ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 25, 2012
    PA
    Don't really need anything that high tech as I discovered one summer... Big yard, enclosed with a high stone wall and I was going to get the "ultimate" tan...;) Grabbed a blanket, pillow and radio and headed out to my back yard. spread the blanket out, turned on the music, took off my bikini top, laid down and opened my eyes to see...:eek: Dude sitting on the top of a telephone pole grinning down at me....:lol:
     
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  6. Uncle Willie

    Uncle Willie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Yeah, you gotta watch out for those Linemen .. ;)
     
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  7. DavidOck

    DavidOck ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Yeah, they can be re-volting.
     
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  8. yiddleboge6

    yiddleboge6 ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 25, 2012
    PA
    Ah...but some of them are quite charming...;) Randall liked to swing the ladies around the dance floor and I would have loved the chance to dance with him...
     
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  9. Uncle Willie

    Uncle Willie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I'll take a minute on this .. although, I will reserve my commentary regarding my various Wife stories for another time .. ;)

    First, having met that Special Someone thru some billion to one fortuitous happenstance is truly, I think, one of the miracles of the Modern Age .. so, congratulations on that, you are, in fact, winning .. somewhat of the same way I felt about ECF friends, in general, when I began my Journey on the Forum .. and, one of the reasons it was difficult to walk away and move on .. and, obviously, still is .. :)

    From the early 1990's to the mid 2000's, my business ventures could do no wrong .. I was doing very well financially, I was staying busy, I could afford pretty much any indulgence I wanted, etc .. and, although I did sock away some money, I also freely spent ..

    Along came "The Great Recession" .. and the beginning of a four fold gut punch .. beginning with, my Concert Sound business .. suddenly, all clients decided to attempt to cut their cost to the bone, and there were a few other outfits that, just to keep going, would agree to do the work on the cheap, barely covering expenses, and sometimes not even that .. my system was leased, which is the best way to go with equipment of that type, tax purposes, etc .. I struggled along trying to keep my crew working until about 2011-12 when I threw the towel in, made a deal with the Lease Company, sold the rig for the best I could get and signed a note for the difference ..

    Along about that same time, the software and hardware needed to do a good recording was pretty much readily available at low prices off the shelf, and a newer generation was taking full advantage of it .. soon, my work in the studio began to dry up as well .. I sadly, packed it up and closed down in 2014/15 (indulged my ego by making a slide show at the time, some may remember) .. I waited too long, the place was bleeding money, it was just so hard to let go ..

    When peoples money gets tight, half the Country is in foreclosure, stock market tanks, unemployment spikes, etc .. even those that are still OK financially get conservative .. well, needless to say, starting in about 2007, my instrument repair / build / restore work got thin .. while it did not go away, it got tough ..

    I kept going thru dipping into what money I had saved up and I still had a good consulting job that paid OK with a man I had known for many, many years .. then, suddenly, Jack died .. and his no-account daughter, who had been married to my best friend for many years, took over the Company and proceeded to liquidate it since she had no interest in keeping her Dad's legacy going .. (this is the same woman that left my friend Eric, divorcing him not long after he got a terminal cancer diagnosis, which is a whole 'nother story) ..

    During and through it all, I will freely admit there were times I thought quite seriously of just giving up, throwing in the towel and making a clean exit .. I don't have many blood relatives left .. it would not have mattered much, you know, just one less Human ..

    It was during those Dark Days I stumbled upon ECF .. and, I tell you, I know back then I made some posts that really, really unloaded some baggage, I just did not have anyone else to turn to and the Gang back then accepted me and helped me so much, I can't say enough .. in fact, I think something just got in my eye just now ..

    At any rate, while I know, and I guess now, have come to accept that things will never roll like they used to, I crawled out of that hole .. my DR, who I have known for many years, during that period in my life, asked me about my mental state at every checkup .. I once told him, as I looked down on the floor, "I just don't know if I have it in me anymore to start over again .."

    Well, I never filed Bankruptcy, I kept at it no matter how thin it got, and I moved on with Life as best I could .. that does not make me special in any way, it's just another story to tell, that all of us have .. and, lastly, through it all, I did not become bitter (well, most days anyway) .. I do not consider Life unfair in any way, and I still don't fear the Reaper .. we just all have to do the best we can with the cards that get dealt ..
     
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  10. DavidOck

    DavidOck ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Having worked with linemen for nearly a quarter century, those like Randall are few and far between.

    Which is a decent enough segue into a brief bio... :)

    Stealing from Steve Martin, I was born at a very early age. In St. Louis, before they ever dreamed of the Arch. Dad was career, starting in the Navy in WWII (Atlantic first, the Pacific for the close), shipped over to the Coast Guard shortly before Korea broke out. So his duty stations took us all over the continental US and Alaska while I was growing up. While being a "service brat" is wonderful for exposing one to a lot of varying lifestyles, broadening one's horizons and philosophy, and developing self-reliance, it's not conducive to establishing "roots." Like most of life, a mixed bag.

    Folks left me at the end of my freshman college year.

    No, really, they did!! :lol:

    Dad got transferred, and I was tired of changing schools every 2 years, didn't want to do that with college. And so was on my own if I didn't want to change schools.

    Got my degree (Theater Arts), got married, got divorced 7 years later (no kids, and was actually an amicable event since we both knew it was over), got together with my present wife (will hit 43 years next month :w00t: ) and her 4 kids. They ranged from 2 to 12 when I came on the scene, all hard working honest adults now.

    Worked in many SoCal shipyards, electrician. Moved north in '79, Seattle shipyards for 8 years, then jumped on a possible job as a hydroelectric project electrician. Passed the exam, aced the interview, got the job. 24 years there, took the project from 1912 tech to computerized remote controls. When I retired, there were still 2 of us who could turn off all the computers and still start the generators and get them connected to the line. Yes, we DID leave manuals in place, just in case ;)

    Had been a RYO smoker for several years to keep costs down when I stumbled on vaping. Did some looking around on line for basic info, including here, although I didn't actually join until some months later. Went down to one of the then two local shops, discussed things, walked out with a couple 650 eGos and some CE4s and extra heads - heck I was thinking "backup" before I knew anything!! - , and a couple tobacco flavors in 18. Dual used for a week until I could get back down to the shop, got some 24, and it was like a switch was flipped. Haven't smoked since. (Although I did eventually drop back to 18, where I still vape.)

    Of course, the gear has changed since then, and I'm even more self-reliant. Pretty much all KF2s, diy juice, replaceable battery regulated mods, and a few mechs for true vapeaggedon. (Kicks and fuses on hand for those!)

    Spent some time as a wedding photographer, helped in paying for college. Burned out on that. Sometimes there's just no way you can make the new Mr. & Mrs. look like who they think they are, as opposed to who they really are. :shock: But have stayed an avid "amateur" photog since. And once digital got past 2 megapixels, I've not missed my darkroom!
     
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  11. DavidOck

    DavidOck ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    And don't beat ourselves up for prior "bad" decisions. Did I make mistakes raising my kids? Sure. But every step of the way, we made the best choices we could in the circumstances of the time and with the info we had at the time. In retrospect - with new info and conveniently forgetting the whole circumstances of life then - of course there are things that would have been different.

    But all we can do at any time is try to make the best choices for then with we info we have then.
     
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  12. Uncle Willie

    Uncle Willie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    It's funny you should mention that .. for a good part of my life, I would long for my own Darkroom .. circumstances, timing, space, procrastination, etc, always seemed to get in the way .. along came Digital and voilà .. :)
     
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  13. yiddleboge6

    yiddleboge6 ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 25, 2012
    PA
    Are there any places still out there that will print pictures from old negatives? In all of the old stuff I'm going through, I found an envelope stuffed full of large negatives, as big as a printed pic would be, not those little strips. They're in good condition and I recognize one as my Mom and Dad when they were in high school. I'm going to just hand them off to my daughter, but it would be nice if I could point her to where to take them.....
     
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  14. DavidOck

    DavidOck ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Just google up something like "photo processing lab" for your area. Yep, lots still out there.

    While I spent many happy hours in my darkroom inhaling wonderful chemical fumes and waving my hands under the enlarger to dodge and burn, and was making a little $$ at it, I much prefer today's "digital darkroom" where I don't have to work blind (yeah, red light ok for B&W, but total black for color) and can inhale my favorite juice instead of fixer!
     
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  15. Uncle Willie

    Uncle Willie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Based on your description, I would add to what David said and Google "Large Format Photo Processing", since it would seem you may have 8x10 or 4x5 negatives ..

    About The Darkroom photo lab - film processing photo lab started in 1976
     
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  16. yiddleboge6

    yiddleboge6 ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 25, 2012
    PA
    Thanks to both of you...:) Yep, large format is most likely needed. I know they're black and white, but look like the large format transparencies I used to need for submitting to publications.
     
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  17. DavidOck

    DavidOck ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Could be from 120/220 film. Hasselblad negs are square, 60x60 mm. I used (still have) a Mamiya RB67 which kept a rectangular 60x70 mm. Either is close to the old 3" square prints. But yes, "large"r than 35mm :)
     
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  18. Oomee

    Oomee Super Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 6, 2013
    UK
    Still have my fathers camera...
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. MikeE3

    MikeE3 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 23, 2011
    Skippack, PA
    This was my first camera. A couple buddies and I had some good times making our own movies. The tricky part was the sound track. We dub onto a reel-to-reel tape voice and/or music. Then presenting the feature film we'd have to carefully start the movie projector and tape deck to keep the vid and music in sync for watching.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Uncle Willie

    Uncle Willie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    For the last couple of months, I've been reading up on the August eclipse off and on .. in particular, the "Zone" of full eclipse ..

    [​IMG]

    It's drawn my interest since just South of St Louis proper and into Southern Illinois, the narrow band of "Totality" exists .. I still don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing .. here's why ::

    Many of the prognosticators are predicting a fairly massive influx of folks, many by car, in addition to folks from other countries, etc .. it's being hyped up by some of the Media as quite the celestial event, and, rightfully so .. many, many municipalities are planning on Eclipse Events and what not, one example being Carbondale, IL .. now, Carbondale is home to Southern Illinois University, which, by eclipse time in August, will pretty much be chock full of students ..

    Carbondale Eclipse - Total Solar Eclipse 2017 in Carbondale, IL

    Now, that's just one town out of the hundreds that will likely attempt to capitalize on this .. while I have not done any research on Lodging, people tell me that Hotel rooms within the "Zone" are pretty well dried up and people have homes listed for rent on AirBNB and other sites at $2500 a night with a 3 night minimum ..

    The festivities continue with "Moonstock", an outdoor music fest that will feature Ozzy Osbourne at the exact time of the Eclipse, breaking into "Bark at the Moon" .. (no Black Sabbath) ..

    Solar Eclipse | Illinois | Moonstock Music Festival 2017

    And, these tidbits are just the tip of the tidbit Iceberg ..

    I had planned on going into the "Zone", but I just don't know .. this may be shaping up to be some sheer pandemonium .. the stage just seems like it's being set .. in addition, I read (again, by a Prognosticator), that due to a large portion of the USA being within an easy drive of the "Zone", and many not being able to afford lodging or even get it if they could, these people are likely to drive in on the day of the event, thus possibly causing gridlock on some Interstate roadways as many will likely just pull over to the side when the thing starts, if they can't do it any other way ..

    I'm sure this is shaping up just as much in other parts of the Country .. and while I can't blame cities and towns attempting to cash in on it, I just don't know if I'm going to risk heading out into the unknown .. it can be a Crazy World these days ..

    It's too bad I don't live in the "Zone", because the one thing I do know is, if I could collect $2500 a night / 3 night minimum at $7500 clams, I'd be all in .. ;) .. and you never know, it could rain .. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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