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  1. For those that have not done the raids, you should join us on Tuesday nights (if you are a PS4 player), or keep an eye out for the posts for people playing on the XBone. (I've done both the Vault and Crota on XBone in the last 4 weeks.) If it weren't for the likes of Phoenix, S1th, Azz, Archie, etc, I wouldn't have run them either. If you are worried about "not being good enough" then when you see a raid, ask if it is open for newbies. Everyone I have played with has seemed more than happy to have new people run with them. (On both platforms.) I personally LOVE taking people through that have never done it before. It takes a bit longer because you have to explain everything, but it is always fun to hear the new guy get totally excited when the final boss is down. (I was the "new guy" taking Oryx down last night, it was great!!) Also, if you are an introvert like me, most of the Dads I have played with have been really cool. Some of the Dads I have played with have even gotten me out of my shell and gotten me to sing along with music playing in the background. (Then, they promptly asked me to stop because their ears were bleeding... My siblings got the singing talent.. I got the computer nerd talents. ;) BTW - Pumpkins are NICE! I carved one last night, but it is the "typical" pumpkin.. Not very exciting.
  2. fba

    The Hams Among Us

    bigfabdaddy - Those (like Phoenix) on the forum that know me best know I freak out about the government spying on everything I do. Living in Utah, so close to the new spy center probably doesn't help. (Based on your Ookla Speedtest you live in VA, so you probably share some of those feelings. ;) I would LOVE it if the government would butt out of peoples lives, and take steps to protect our privacy. Unfortunately, to do that we (the US) would have to stop messing with other countries and actually deal with our own issues here at home. (Not gonna happen!) So, I end up having debates in my head about how easy I want to make it for the government to know stuff about me. And, I often dig around to see what they know. Since you can't actually go look at their records, I used sites like Spokeo and others that gather information on people, and I use that to try to figure out what they know about me. I also Google search myself from time to time and see what pops up. And, the few times I answer surveys that get personal, I usually lie on at least half the questions. (I make more than a million a year if you are one company asking me something, but I make $0 a year if you are a different company. ;) Unfortunately, we have to live in the world that exists. I'm not saying don't try to protect your privacy! I'd be the LAST one to say that. But, if there is a hobby that is interesting to you, then jump on it! The information that you have to cough up to get your license is the same information the government already has on you, if you pay taxes. The main issue I had is that anyone can look up my license and get my home address. But, I could have gotten a PO box to avoid that. (Anyone can get your address anyway, getting your license just makes it a tad easier.) For my part, I got my license because I love all things tech, I have a real curiosity about wireless/RF things, and because in an emergency having a good radio could be really useful. (We are overdue for a huge earthquake here in Utah. If it happens, all "normal" methods of communication will go down quickly and easily. But, it is hard for an earthquake to fully take down a radio connection. It might take the repeaters, but I can still get a signal out on simplex and have some chance of someone hearing me. ;) Anyway, now that I have my license, I am looking for fun stuff to do. I was in Denver last week and talked to a friend here in SLC over IRPL between a repeater here and one in Denver. (Yeah, a cell phone would have been easier, but what fun is THAT!?) While I was there I hit Ham Radio Outlet and spent too much money. I picked up an ID-51A Plus, some antennas, and various bits of cable. I plan to set up a small antenna outside the window of my office and at least listen while I work. (I work from home, so it is easy to get away with putting gear like that up.. Might be a bit harder if you work in an office building.) I'm also looking forward to messing with some data over HAM radios, and possibly even try my hand at building a radio, since I like to tinker with electronics too. For the other HAMs on here, what things do you find fun with your radio? I'm also looking at joining some clubs. Do you guys find those to be useful? Or mostly a waste of money? (The money seems okay with me since most of the clubs around here support repeaters, so I figure joining the club is a way for me to help pay for the resources I am going to use.)
  3. I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to throw in my own $0.02. If you happen to be religious, talk to the clergy at your church. I believe most religions have programs to help out people that are struggling. I also want to echo what everyone else has said, but also to add one more thing. There is *NO* shame in what has happened to you! And there is *NO* shame in asking for help every now and then. If you live in the US, the people you hear everyone talk about with hate are the ones that just sponge off the system their entire lives. But, I doubt any of those people would have any issue with you getting some help when you are down on your luck. (And if they do, then they are straight up assholes and you should walk away from them.) I understand the family stuff. But, at some level, your family is supposed to be there to support you, just like you have supported them. I remember the first time I was laid off, I called my Mom and told her the news. That was a difficult call to make because my Dad had never been laid off in his life. But, the world is different now. It happens to ALL of us at some point. (If it doesn't, then you are crazy lucky and should head to Vegas!) I remember clearly, when I told her, her reaction was "What are you going to do NOW?!!" My response was straight to the point. "Well Mom, I think that is obvious. I'm going to find a new job." So, start getting unemployment. Then, do everything you need to do to keep the unemployment AND THEN SOME. I was required to apply for two jobs a week. I usually applied for more than 2 jobs a DAY. But, by far, the best way to find, and get a job is to know someone. If you are in the type of work that has clubs or professional associations, track them down, join them, go to the meetings, and go out of your way to talk to everyone you can at those meetings. Listen to what people are saying, and start to home in on the ones that are doing jobs that you might enjoy. Once you are more comfortable with those people, ask them if they know of any jobs. Then, even when you do find a job, put some effort in to keeping those relationships going. This is probably also a bit of a strange suggestion, but if you didn't like the work you were doing, maybe it is time to change careers. Life is *SO* much better if you are doing something that is interesting and fun. When I turned 16 I worked at grocery stores and retail, and hated it. After being grumpy about it for a few weeks, my Dad asked me why I didn't go work at a computer store. (I've been a computer nerd my whole life.) I told him nobody would hire a 16 year old for a job like that! He told me to go offer to work for free with the deal that in a month or two, if they were happy with my work they would start to pay me. Making that offer got me in the door, but they ended up paying me from the get-go. Since then, my career has largely been dictated by what I find interesting and enjoyable to do. Yeah, any job will suck some times, but overall I have been pretty happy with the work I have done. If you don't have the skills for what you want to do, then now is a good time to get them. Borrow stuff and money from people to get some experience, and start hunting for an entry level job while you are on the hunt for "anything that will pay the bills". ("Anything that will pay the bills" is a bit of a trap. It may pay the bills, but if you hate it, it will be hard.) One last suggestion, see if the area you live in has any sort of help for finding jobs. My sister used to work at the Department of Workforce Services here in Utah. They ALWAYS had jobs for people, and they usually offered training to help people get those jobs. It would probably be worth your time to look in to what is available to you. Okay, one more last suggestion. It is always easier to get a job when you have one. Driving pizzas may suck, but it will give you some income, and will probably make it easier to get a new job. It will also let you meet new people, which can lead to a new job. I've had some crazy situations where people that live on the other side of the world have helped me get jobs the next state over. You never know who will help you get your next job, so use everyone you can!! Hang in there!! Things will get better!
  4. Hang in there man!! I'm an expert both a feeling numb and depressed, and finding out that people that you believed you had a good relationship with aren't who you thought they were! Those times SUCK HARD. But, there is a silver lining. You will start to see who your REAL friends are. I know being manly and all means that admitting that you love your guy friends isn't cool, but I never had a man card to start with, so I can say the following. You have friends out there that *DO* love you (not in any inappropriate way.. well.. probably not.. ). Hang out with those friends as much as you can. Invite them over often to do things that you enjoy doing with them. It will help you feel better about things! As far as the relatives that are showing their true colors. You are doing the right thing by not being worried about what they think. Always remember that it is easy to judge other people, but the ones doing the judging have their own issues (and those issues may be FAR darker than anything you have!).
  5. Hey King, Let me first say that I can attest to your patience, and I completely respect you for it!! From my experiences playing Destiny with you, I believe that you are a wonderful person. Also, the fact that you are on here asking about this proves that you love your kids, and you are a good Dad. I've had problems with my in-laws since shortly after I got married. When my daughter was born, my wife had MASSIVE post-partum depression. (To the point she was hospitalized off and on for over 6 months while I played "single Dad". What is crazy is I had never even HELD a baby before my daughter was born! So it was a bit of a shock to the system.) In the middle of that huge mess, my mother-in-law decides to drop the bomb on me that they don't have enough money for retirement and will probably want to move in with us within the next 10-15 years. Within the week, I found myself talking with the psychologist working with my wife. We were supposed to be talking about my wife, but I ended up having a multi-hour session with her about the in-laws instead. I guess the point of the above bit was that in-laws can easily be a problem for anyone. (Before getting married, I thought my in-laws were awesome. But, this isn't about me... I'll save my rant for a more appropriate time.) I was talking to my Mom years ago, and she mentioned all of the people that lived around them whose kids had moved back in with their parents due to the economic problems. My Mom commented that she thought it was a horrible idea, and that if myself or any of my siblings asked to move back in for any extended period of time, she would do EVERYTHING in her power to keep us from doing it. The reason was that when my siblings and I got married, we each became the head of a household. And you can't have two heads of the household in the same house, or you will have problems. From that perspective, I would say that my advice would be that it is time to move out. Taking care of your parents (or in-laws) is a noble thing to do, but you have to keep your own sanity and future in mind. From your account of things, there are a few other things that *REALLY* bother me. I would lose my mind if my parents or in-laws were to undermine my parental authority. As a parent, your first responsibility is to do everything in your power to raise your kids to be good people. I'm sure we would all have a heck of a "good" time arguing the best way to raise kids, but that is really beside the point. You and your wife have to decide what is right for you kids. And having a supposedly "responsible" adult telling them to run away is *NEVER* acceptable! I understand not trying to make waves, but I would have absolutely called my father-in-law on his behavior at that point, and I would have given him a verbal dressing down so extreme that the kids may well have run from the room crying. But, it would have been PERFECTLY CLEAR who the parent was when I was done! (And, since my in-laws don't live with me I would be sending them home to think about the damage they just did to my kids and my relationship with my in-laws.) Growing up, I was a nerdy kid. I knew in the long run it would pay off for me (which it has), but when I was young, I suffered a lot of teasing and harassment that has left some pretty deep scars on my psyche. The only respite I ever really had was the adults around me that seemed to be more understanding. (As I got older, I realized that adults can suck just as much as kids. Sometimes worse. But, it helped me survive at the time.) I honestly believe that the abuse that I suffered from my peers (and in some cases "trusted adults" like teachers) is the reason I suffer from anxiety, depression, and a complete inability to feel secure in much of anything. To be clear, I don't blame my parents for this, they did what they could. But, having been through it, you can bet your bum that I am going to be extra protective of my daughter. It is the responsibility of every parent to protect their kids from people that are bad for them. From what you have said, your father-in-law is bad for them. And having him question your parenting skills openly, in front of your children is all the proof you really need. (If he has an issue with the way you parent, he should take it up with you IN PRIVATE after the incident that he disapproved of. Doing it in front of your kids is just asking for them to start to disrespect you. And raising kids is hard enough without other adults making it harder!) However, what the others have said is right on the money as well. You shouldn't do this yourself. If you do, it is too easy for the in-laws to view you as a troublemaker and just being difficult. BUT, if you wife is right there with you saying the same thing, then it becomes a lot harder to ignore what you are saying. (They may not listen to you, but when their own child says it, it is harder to ignore.) I understand that you would like to resolve this without a huge emotional mess happening, but it sounds like that isn't going to be very easily done. In fairness, I don't know the man, but it sounds like your father-in-law is the stereo-typical "hot head", "cock-sure", "alpha-male-wanna-be" type. And dealing with that type of person is always hard. (I used to have a neighbor like that. I tended to avoid dealing with him when possible. He was a great guy when he wasn't upset, but you just didn't want to be around him when he was upset!) So, I would brace yourself for dealing with this. If I were in your situation, I think the first thing I would do is talk to my wife about it. And do that somewhere private that nobody that knows you guys can overhear. I would also be as diplomatic as possible when I talk to her. I'd try to avoid directly calling your father-in-law a total dick, even if he is. He is her father after all, and that means that you have to get through a natural tendency to "defend your own". I would probably start the discussion with her by saying something like, "I have this problem, and I need your help to decide if my point of view is out of whack, or, if it isn't, how to deal with it." It will drive you crazy, but if you talk to her as though the problem is you, and not your father-in-law it will keep her from throwing up her defenses, and make it easier for her to see things your way. (After all, you are asking her to help fix you, and we all like to "fix" the ones we love, right? I would go on by saying something like, "There was an incident the other day. From my point of view, this is what happened..." then tell her what you saw. When you get to the point that your father-in-law enters the picture, phrase it along the lines of "... At this point, your Dad came in and made this comment <fill in the comments>. I guess there must be something that I missed that would cause him to come to a different conclusion than I did. Is there anything you can see with how I was trying to handle the situation that was wrong?" At this point, you have not blamed your father-in-law for doing anything wrong. You are asking what *YOU* did wrong. It is now on her to explain to you what *YOU* did wrong. And if she can't do that, then it is obvious that your father-in-law is wrong in how he handled it. From there, it is best to continue to ask questions about what YOU did wrong, even though you believe you handled it correctly. By not blaming him, your wife will have to come to her own conclusion about who was right and wrong. As the discussion goes along, you can start to ask questions about how she wants to have the children raised, and if she feels that the current environment is a good one for the kids. If she comes to the conclusion that it isn't, then you can start to discuss how to handle it. That may mean that she goes and talks to her Dad about things, and lays down the law about how he should react in situations like that in the future. (And, how he should *NEVER* suggest to any child something that could endanger them!!!!!!!) At this point, you might be thinking, "Yeah, but this method seems kinda manipulative." My answer to that is, "YOUR DAMN RIGHT IT IS!!!" But, I don't think it is manipulative in a bad way. It is basically keeping your wife's natural instincts to defend her family down while you explain your side of the story to her. If her defenses are down, she is more likely to listen to what you have to say. And, by phrasing things as though you are the one that is the problem, it will allow her to feel comfortable telling you where she thinks you screwed up, or maybe give you little tricks to dealing with her Dad. It will also help you feel out what her views on parenting are. However, the difficult thing about this method is you have to be in a frame of mind that you are ready for her to tell you everything that she thinks you did wrong. And, you need to accept that without getting upset. You will also owe it to her to think through anything she says and provide her with a response at some point. (When I get hit with something unexpected in these types of conversation, I usually respond that I was unaware that was a problem, and I would think about what she said. Then, at some point in the future I will bring it up and tell her what I am going to try to do to "fix myself". That builds trust because she will see that you REALLY DID think about it (because you brought it back up a day or so later and told her what conclusion you had come to). Even if you disagree with her, and tell her that, it will still build trust because you spent some time thinking about it. It didn't degenerate in to a shouting match. (Those never help!) All of that said, you need to ask yourself if the situation is bad enough that you believe it has the potential to negatively impact the development of your children. If this is a rare occurrence, you might be able to sit your father-in-law down (along with your wife being on your side) and explain to him that you need to be the parent and he needs to stay out of it when the kids are around. Let him know that you are open to discussing things he disapproves of, but only after the fact, away from the kids, and when he is *REALLY* open to a discussion, and he isn't going to try to force his will on you. Basically, he needs to be open minded about your views on the right way to raise your kids. If he can't do that, then it is probably time to move. It may leave him in a financial mess, but that really isn't your problem. YOUR problem is to make sure your kids don't suffer from being confused about who is in charge and what is right. I think the thing you will have to worry about if you choose to move out is the reaction of the others that are trying to help your father-in-law out. If you decide to move, you may need to sit them all down (with your wife at your side) and explain that you are moving out because you don't believe the environment is right for your kids. If they are parents too, then hopefully they will understand. If you have the financial ability, you might offer to continue to kick in some money each month as a token gesture to avoid additional burden on them. (If you can't afford it, then don't bring it up.. Just let the financial issues be unspoken.) I wish you the best of luck! This is a difficult situation to be in. (Dealing with in-laws is always "interesting", and I have come to the conclusion that we inevitably marry someone with parents that are on the opposite end of the book from our own... But, just like the issues with screwing the toothpaste cap on, that we get to deal with when we first get married, we eventually have to sort these things out with our in-laws. Not that it gets any easier...) P.S. I am not a shrink (but I have seen many for a LOOONG time now). Some of these methods I have outlined above are things that shrinks have suggested for dealing with my own problems. But, YMMV.
  6. Good luck you guys! I'd be all over this if my light level was high enough.. But, I'll probably be grinding tonight in an effort to join you guys in the future! (Beat Oryx last night for the first time on PS4, looking forward to doing it on XBone now too! ;)
  7. fba

    The Hams Among Us

    I don't post much on here, but got my Technician class license a few weeks ago. (I originally studied right out of High School, about 20ish years ago. But, I didn't have time to learn CW, so I put it away "until I had time".) For anyone else that might be thinking of getting a license, it really isn't too hard anymore, and doesn't cost that much. (The test is $14.) Check out https://hamstudy.org/for the sample tests (that use the real test pool questions). Also, there is a link on that site for classes that can help you pass the test. If you happen to be in Utah, there is a monthly free class where they take you through all 450 questions in the test pool, and then offer the test at the end of the class. (The one I attended pushed the hamstudy.org site. I guess it was developed by a fellow Utahan.) As far as expense, it seems to depend on what you want to do. I tend to jump in to new hobbies with both feet, and spend WAY too much money, so I decided to start small. I grabbed a Baofeng UV-88 (I think that was the model. It wasn't the more popular UV-5R.) and an Anytone INSTIG-8R. The Baofeng was ~$30, and the Anytone ~$70. Using repeaters it will allow you to get your feet wet, and from the little I have dug around, will generally let you dabble in most aspects of HAM-dom. (Some of the more experienced guys may disagree.. If they do, listen to them. ;) Unfortunately, I have not had much time to dedicate to playing around with the radio, but I figure over the next 10 years, I should be able to find things to mess around with. As I have been getting in to circuit level electronics lately too, I have been thinking about trying my hand at building a TNC using one of the inexpensive MCUs out there. One of the things that I am curious about, that maybe some of you more experienced guys can talk about, is data over the radio. However, some of the legalese associated with the license makes it unclear to me if what I want to do is legal, or if it is legal, but I need to fill out paperwork and maybe get additional callsigns for it. I'd like to be able to have a radio at my house that I could connect to from various locations in the back-country and send some data to it. Places where I might be able to hit a repeater, but can't get cell service (or, can get cell service, but no data service). So, the first thing I am trying to figure out is if I can legally run a radio station from my house when I am not there. From studying for my test, it seems that I can't. However, then I see stuff on the Internet about people using PSK31 to send e-mail and images remotely, which would seem to indicate that there is a way to do it (legally). Anyone have any pointers? Thanks! KG7WIA
  8. Sorry.. A bit slow to update the list, but I added you guys! Thanks for helping us out again! It was fun last week, and should be fun this week too! I'll make sure we aren't in a strike this week when 8pm rolls around. I'll also see if Diddy can reach out to anyone else that he plays with. For my part, I have a friend that is getting an XBone pretty soon, and has been playing Destiny on the 360. So, we might have another person join us when we do these. I'd *LOVE* to do King's Fall next week, but I think Diddy and I will need a week or two to get our light level up. So, if you guys like doing a weekly raid, lets talk tonight about what we want to do next week. (Or, if you wanna wait until we get our light up, that is cool too.) The PS4 group I play with on Tuesday nights made it to Oryx last night, but we didn't manage to beat him. But, we are getting close! (I think we were all getting too tired and sloppy. ;) BTW - King, happy belated Thanksgiving! (I think I saw a comment from you that you live in Canada. My company has a large customer in Canada that we are working with, so I was informed on Monday that they had the day off. ;)
  9. Looking to run the Crota raid on normal this Wednesday! Like last week, this will be a learning/fun run with at least one player that has never run it before, so please sign up if you want to learn how to do the Crota raid, and have the patience to go easy on newbies! (The group last week was excellent! We had a good time and got it done!) List for Wednesday : 1. Forbonic Acid (Titan 40) 2. DiddyRunDaCity (Hunter 40) - Never run Crota before. 3. KingDumbarse 4. rc_pilot 5. 6. Depending on if we cheese it, or not, you will want a good sniper rifle, and a good rocket launcher. (Something that tracks is always nice! And, the Gjallerhorn is still considered "good" for this raid! (But, if you don't have one, you are still welcome!) I am pretty horrible with the sword, so hopefully we can get someone that is good at it. If not, it may take a bit longer than "normal" as we figure out who has the magic fingers for taking down Crota.
  10. Hey guys! Just wanted to say thanks for the VoG run last night! As we were heading to the Tower at the end my connection dropped again. *sigh* I'm just glad it only dropped me a couple times at the beginning and then let us get through it before it dropped me again! But, it was fun, and I learned some new stuff too! (Which is always cool!) I plan to post the Crota run on Monday, but it will be at the same time on Wednesday. Diddy and I have a standing game on Wednesday nights. I'm going to also try to get my light level up so that maybe you guys can teach me a thing or two about King's Fall. P.S. Watch out for that S1th guy.. He tries to get you to join the dark side using cookies! (But, I have heard they are good cookies.)
  11. I'm okay with an LFGer as long as they know that this is a "fun run" where we are trying to give some new people an opportunity to experience the raid. This will probably mean a fair number of wipes as they learn the mechanics and make all of the silly mistakes that I did the first few times I ran the vault. (Who am I kidding.. Silly mistakes that I *STILL* sometimes make!) I just don't want an LFGer to end up rage quitting on us, or ripping in to anyone that is just trying to have some fun and learn something new. (So, probably no squeakers.) My experience with LFG has been a bit mixed, which is one of the main reasons I came here looking for players instead of there. I can't think of any Dads that I have played with that I wouldn't be happy to play with again. (Though some Dads might ask me to limit my singing if LittleAngel is playing music in the background... Lookin' at you Azzkikr! ;) That said, some extra firepower is always welcome. So, if we don't get anyone in time, someone should post to an LFG group. (I don't have an account. I have just been in groups that have used LFG before.)
  12. Welcome rc_pilot! It looks like we have 4 now, hopefully we can get 2 more before tonight. However, I'm game to try to 4 man it if you guys are. I think we should be able to get in the vault, and down to the Templar with 4 people. Beating the oracles could be a little tough, but I think we could do it if we all communicate well. However, I think beating Atheon (the final boss) might be kinda tough with 4. But, I am willing to take a crack at it! When I have run with the PS4 "Dads", they usually suggest bringing a good sniper rifle with you. For the final boss, you probably don't want to use a rocket launcher as it causes him to move, so a good sniper rifle and/or a heavy machine gun is a good choice. I like to bring my 4th Horseman to handle the Praetorians at the beginning, and to take out near-by oracles quickly. In the end, I really want everyone to have fun and hopefully learn a little about the mechanics of the vault! It is a *FUN* raid! Hopefully between KingDumbarse and myself we can explain the mechanics well and we can make it pretty far through the raid. (Or, make it all the way through if things go well!) FWIW - I am planning on doing Crota on normal next Wednesday at the same time. So if you have not had a chance to do that one, you would be welcome to join us! (Feel free to add me as a friend on XBL. I'm always looking for other people to play with. I'm not sure if my XB live ID is "Florbonic_Acid" or "Florbonic Acid", but it seems to be a unique username, so I shouldn't be too hard to find. ;)
  13. According to the time zone converter, yes. It should be 10pm eastern. I'll add you to the list!
  14. I'm a regular on the PS 4 raids, but I also play on the XBone with a coworker. My coworker has never done a raid in Destiny, so I'd like to give him a change to experience them. So, I am looking for 4 more people that would want to run the Vault on normal tomorrow night. Looking for folks that just want to have a good time, and won't be too upset if we wipe a bunch. Let me know if you want to join! I hope to meet some other Dads to play with on the XBone as well. I've found some pretty cool people on the PS4. So I am hopeful to meet some equally cool people on XBone! Current list : 1 - Florbonic_Acid - Titan 40 2 - DiddyRunDaCity - Hunter 40 - (And a n00b!) 3 - KingDumbarse 4 - rc_pilot 5 - 6 - Gjallerhorn not required!
  15. Little late to the party, but trust me.. I'm bringing up the rear for light. :-( I've spread my attention to too many of my characters and on both platforms. So I am in the mid 280s. (Hey everyone! Enjoy dragging my sorry butt through this raid!) I'm going to try to get that a little higher before we start, but I don't know how much higher I'll be able to get. :-/ At any rate, it should be fun. ;)
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