After seeing all the introductions people have been posting, I realized not many in IRON know much about me. I thought about posting this in the Share About Yourself thread, but this would be way too long so I created my own thread.
I was born and raised in New York state, and it has been my home ever since. I am 25 years old and have lived in mostly one part of the state. I am a high school and college graduate. I have an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and I also got to intern at a local Police Department. I would sit with Dispatch and would occasionally get to operate the radio or enter information into databases. Another aspect of the internship was going on ride alongs with patrolling officers. I got to learn a lot about the field with what I witnessed in person and the reports I would read. My original career goal was to join the field of Law Enforcement or Corrections. While still in college I was working at Walmart as cashier, I then switched jobs to working in food distribution for a popular North East grocery chain. I won't give the name but we are within the top 125 privately owned companies in the US. After I graduated college I chose to keep my current job and make it my career. The pay is on par with law enforcement, it offered good benefits, I was able to quickly accrue seniority, and hold a high level of job security. I like the work I do and one of the best perks is working 4 days on, 3 days off (10 hour shifts), as it frees up an extra day off for me to get other work done, or spend time relaxing. My only real dislike of the job is in regards to some of the people that get hired. I believe my company recently entered into some work release program with jails/prisons, considering about 60% of the people we now hire are ex cons or former gang members. I have no problems with giving someone a second chance in life, but you can't expect to succeed in a professional environment if you bring your former thug life baggage/attitude with you. Our turnover rate is through the roof and the majority of new hires quit or are fired within 3-6 months. Its now considered quite a big deal in the company when a part time employee actually sticks around long enough to acquire a full time position. As for some side jobs, I do lawn care in spring through fall (mowing, gardening, leaf blowing etc...) And I occasionally sell firearm parts as I have established a small clientele.
My wife and I have been married for 4 years now. We first met as teenagers hanging out with our respective friends, although we didn't start dating until 2009. We married after a few years and eventually bought a house. While a homeowners work is never done, we have been able to accomplish the majority of our house projects/renovations. What I love best about our relationship is our honesty, care for one another, our faith, and the morals we both mutually share. No children as of yet but we do plan to have children in the somewhat near future.
Some of my hobbies include computers, reading, learning about history, science fiction, firearms training, board games, wargamming, video games, music, and traveling.
I know how to build computers and I replace parts whenever I have to. And I will likely have the same computer case for the next 10 years! I often help people with tech problems or will fix something for them. I typically get offered money for doing so but I refuse to take it. If tech companies wouldn't load tablets and PCs with memory hogging bloatware (this is why I never buy a pre built PC, I always build it myself) then people wouldn't have a slow computer that needs fixing. Or if *insert popular software company* would auto update drivers people wouldn't experience random errors. Contrary to popular belief, most computer issues are software related and can be solved/fixed within 10-15 minutes. No need to bring it to a tech shop and get charged $50. Unless of course you have hardware failure which requires replacing physical components.
I am a history buff and I enjoy watching documentaries, reading history books, and books on strategy. The Art of War by Sun Tzu and The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli are two of my favorite books. I also read military manuals/publications and will practice their training methods.
Some of the science fiction I enjoy is Star Trek, Star Wars, as well as 'classic' science fiction from the 1950s-1960s. To me, older science fiction has a certain charm to it and brings about a nostalgic feel. It is also cool to look back and see the writer/author's vision for the future of tomorrow (which would now equal current day or our near future).
As a teenager I used to play airsoft on a regular basis and while I wasn't in a team, we had a good group of dedicated players. Before it was torn down, my friends and I would practice in an old abandoned home that existed in the middle of overgrown, forgotten field near some power lines and a hiking trail. We would practice mostly close quarters techniques. Room clearings, movement down hallways, door breaches, movement up/down stairs, climbing through windows, maneuvering with covering fire, and a couple other tactics. While I always enjoyed firearms, playing airsoft helped spark my interest in firearms tactics/training. The day I turned 18 I went out and purchased a pre ban Norinco SKS rifle in good condition. Obama was set to take office within several weeks and I wanted to own a rifle before it became more difficult to do so, and more expensive. That $400 SKS I purchased peaked at a local price of around $700 within a couple years, so I was glad to have purchased it when I did. While I often don't have the time to train as much as I would like (house renovations take up the majority of my free time), I do go target shooting on a regular basis. Now that it is winter, I plan to train at my one friend's indoor range. His range is open 24/7 so you can go and practice whenever you want. I also plan on doing some winter survival training this year and reevaluate my BOB (bug out bag) and winter kit I keep in my vehicle at all times. Never know when you might end up broken down and stranded on the side of the road.
My wife and I enjoy having our friends over to play board games. The most popular board game in our group is Clue. We have a couple versions of Clue (the Harry Potter version is incredibly unique and entertaining). While not played often, some of my personal all time favorites include Axis and Allies (board game + miniatures game) and Settlers of Catan.
The two genres of video games I most enjoy are strategy/simulation and RPGs. I like a good story and problem solving. One of my all time favorite strategy games is the DOS Steel Panthers series. A turn based strategy game set in World War 2, it was the most realistic game I had ever played at the time. It balanced fun and historical accuracy quite well. The modern RTS Wargame series is probably the closest comparison to a successor for Steel Panthers. Although several modernized Windows versions of Steel Panthers do exist (World At War, WINSPWW2, and WINSPMBT).
I listen to almost all genres of music except for pop, modern rap, and death metal. When I listen to music, I actually like to hear the lyrics in a song. And as for pop, its just too girly for me. Other than that I regularly listen to a wide variety of music. My music collection is approximately 2 TB. Mostly its in 320 kbps, with a few FLAC files, vinyl rips, and some songs are in 128 kbps. I can hear the slight difference between 320 kbps and the superior FLAC quality, but it is barely noticeable so I often stick with the smaller file size of 320. I only keep my favorite albums in FLAC.
For traveling I enjoy visiting the NYS Adirondack park (largest publicly protected park in the US), Vermont, and Maine (York Beach, Kittery, and Kennybunk). I also have been to Florida twice. Went to Disney World both times and also saw Sea World. One cool thing is during our most recent Disney Trip, while my wife and were walking around Epcot, we were approached and asked if we would like to participate in a test screening for an upcoming pilot episode in regards to a new TV show. After asking a few questions we said yes and they brought us, and several others into a back room with a camera set up to record our reactions. While I cannot discuss what we saw or our thoughts on the pilot (we both signed a Non Disclosure Agreement) it was a unique experience to take part in. We were told once the show airs we would then be allowed to talk about it. But it has yet to air so I won't give its name nor any details.
As for the Cybernations part of my life, I created a nation in 2007. I joined CSN on the Maroon sphere and stayed there for a couple years. I had been playing another game called City Empires with the alliance VOC (modeled after the Dutch East India Company), once City Empires began its decline we moved the VOC over to Cybernations. The VOC had its moment of glory when during one of the global wars we took on an alliance about 3-4 times our size and won. The majority of their high tier sat in PM and hugged their pixels. We had help from allies but we made a huge contribution to that part of the war front. If memory serves correctly, that alliance was ICE. Our activity eventually started to decline and we tossed around some ideas to reinvigorate ourselves and attract more interest. One thing I did was create and run a RP based on the actual East India Company. Set in a fictional area of the pacific ocean, the players managed their own ship, and set sail throughout the map to engage in combat, glory, and assisting (or lack of helping) their friends, all while taking part in the story and their own personal roleplaying. We had some great times and while the RP itself was successful the measures to revive participation in the long run failed. Once 2012 came we decided it was our best interest to merge with an ally. It was a tossup between TOP and IRON, and we almost went with TOP. But given their declining activity, the VOC government decided it best to merge into IRON. A fun trivia fact for older CN players is the CN player, Franklin, was the one who created the VOC in both City Empires, and Cybernations and was responsible for its first several years. I think Franklin was originally a member of ODN and he was quite active in the world community. He loved playing the role as diplomat and statesmen. Myself, Rhizoctonia, Yehom, and xsysstar (for those who remember him) were all former VOC members/Government.
Well that is all for me. If you have any questions feel free to ask them!