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Thread: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

  1. #41

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceCowboy View Post
    Was it a work trip? Thebes, Cairo and Alexandria have been in my list for a while, but I doubt Iīll be able to go there in the next couple of years.
    It was just a trip for fun. I was interning in Greece and round trip tickets were cheap, so booked a tour and flights for a pretty good price. Egypt was a place I had been very interested in going to for a while, and that was my best chance to go. Another bonus was how light I was able to pack.

  2. #42

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Just some talking about another trip I did a little over two years ago. Warning, the spoilers within the spoilers have lots of pictures.

    Spoiler:
    Many people get the opportunity to go to the zoo, which as a child can be a time of wonder. I remember going to the zoo a number of times being thrilled at the sight of animals from the Giraffes and Elephants to the smaller animals such as the Monkeys and Snakes. When you live in the suburbs in Texas there is very little to see in terms of wild life, where Squirrels and Deer are what you will see most, from the occasional Rabbit and Raccoon. So any time going to the zoo or aquarium was a welcome event to see stuff in person. However, after having a few chances to see actual wild life in South Africa, up front with nothing dividing me from the animal, there is definitely a certain respect and admiration lost from seeing an Animal in captivity.

    It was my second weekend in South Africa and after making a stop to go Bungee Jumping, we finally arrived at our destination, a game reserve that we would stay at for three days and two nights. Getting out of the van with the 4 other people I would be with, we took out bags and hoped into the back of the Land Rover and we were on our way into the heart of the game reserve. It was a warm sunny day in November as we slowly made our way down the winding roads, passing through the area that separated the reserve from the front area and road. We came upon a small gate with a sign overhead, which made me think of the entrance into Jurassic Park but less grand. After passing through the gate there was nothing but plains with the occasional tree, but from where we were at there was nothing to see.

    Spoiler:


    After a few minutes we finally came along antelope, grazing in the field as more of the plains stretched behind them with no end in sight. Antelope are by no means a magnificent animal to look at, but seeing them in their natural habitat and acting natural, there was a sense of wonder to that. The excitement increased in the group as we were told about all the game in the reserve, from the Giraffe and Elephants to the Lions and Warthogs. What truly made it interesting was that while we had free range of going through the reserve, so did the wild life, which meant there was no guarantee that we would see these animals on any given day. Despite that we were rearing to go and became more observant to spot the bigger animals, having a little competition to see who would spot one of the bigger game first.

    Spoiler:



    Minute by minute went by as we held our breath in anticipation, only breaking silence to make a comment or point out the occasional grazer. About 15 to 20 minutes in, I broke the silence as I pointed and said "look" softly. There was some trees clumped together and by it were some giraffes eating from the tops of the trees. Our driver took us to get a closer look, but not so close as to scare them off. It was in that moment that I became truly in awe of not just the Giraffe, but all the wild life of South Africa. There was no cage separating us, nothing between me and the Giraffe that protected either of us. That little fact excited me as I truly felt as if I was in the same vicinity of them, as if I was truly a part of the scene. This wasn't me looking at something from the outside, I was in this moment with them and we experienced everything together.

    Spoiler:




    This became even more apparent later into the weekend being close to Lions and Elephants, and even Rhinos. We were in a vehicle, but there were no doors and only a cover over us to protect the sunlight. With the lions there was nothing stopping them from getting to me if they decided to come after us. The guide insisted they saw as an conglomerate the size of the vehicle, but just the idea that nothing separated me from this 450 lb (200 kg) carnivore instilled a certain fear, a certain respect. Up close I really got an idea of the muscles these animals had, saw all the curves from the legs and other parts of the body, and seeing them move really gave off a sense of grace. I truly felt the sense that this was one of the top dogs in the food chain, and I not only saw the beauty in them but the respect that they command in the open where they are able to hunt. Likewise, when up close to the Elephants and Rhinos you get a true sense of size, and understand what they can be capable of.

    Spoiler:





    On our second day we came across the elephants grazing, only able to see part of one of their heads from beyond the tree. However, that was enough to truly show how massive they are up close, since the tree it was grazing at was only a few feet (a meter or so) away from where the vehicle was at. Despite being in the Land Rover, I knew that if the Elephant felt threatened or had any reason to do so, it could run us down and the vehicle would not protect us. At that moment they were docile, only concerned about eating, but who knows how they could react. I had no fear that they would do something to put me in danger, but once again it was the thought of being in the moment, knowing I wasn't an outsider to the moment, that I really respected this colossal animal. As with Rhinos, well I got a true sense of what a large animal charging at you feels like.

    Spoiler:




    Twice, once at night and then the final morning, we came across the two Rhinos of the reserve. Both times the male was on edge and at the sight of us it began to charge. The moment only lasted a few seconds, but the sight of this large animal, weighing a few tons (around 2000kg), coming towards us with all its force is not a moment in which you are excited about. The heart begins to race as you being to expect impact, the body tensing up at the thought of how much force will hit you and what will happen afterwards. Not knowing what to expect afterwards you take a quick last breath before it hits you. Thankfully both times we didn't get hit, but at night it was split seconds away from hitting us. If I hadn't learned that respect before, that moment instilled fear and respect for these animals. They are wild and unpredictable, and any confidence you have in you will go away at the sight of something like a Rhino coming at you.

    Spoiler:



    Of course it wasn't just the large animals that I came to respect, but even the small ones. Each one I came to respect as they played a role, and even if they seemed docile and cute were to be respected. This gave me a whole new perspective on looking at wild life, and would really heighten my experience when later I would go camping in the Bush, but that is a story for another time. As for other pictures of what I saw, you can look below to see some more pictures of wild life, and I hope that one day you may experience what I did.

    Spoiler:






  3. #43

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    That's freaking awesome, FT! Africa's not the highest on my list of wilderness places to go but I certainly want to see places like South Africa, the Sahel, and Victoria Falls. And you saw a secretary bird too?! Those things are crazy cool!

    You mentioned at the beginning that the experience of seeing wild animals greatly outclassed an zoo experience. Did the trip change your opinion of zoos as a whole, or on the keeping of animals in pens?

    If you get dunked on in the dream, you get dunked on in real life

  4. #44

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Man, I really wanna see a Sea Lion one of those days.
    Spoiler:
    Original Stories:
    Hybrid
    Four Swords

  5. #45

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwok View Post
    That's freaking awesome, FT! Africa's not the highest on my list of wilderness places to go but I certainly want to see places like South Africa, the Sahel, and Victoria Falls. And you saw a secretary bird too?! Those things are crazy cool!

    You mentioned at the beginning that the experience of seeing wild animals greatly outclassed an zoo experience. Did the trip change your opinion of zoos as a whole, or on the keeping of animals in pens?
    Secretary Birds are pretty awesome, and I got to see them multiple times throughout my trip. Personally I just don't find zoos or aquariums interesting any more. Having seen so much of the wilderness in person seeing the animals in captivity just doesn't bring the same thrill. Now as for my actually opinion on zoos and animals in captivity it's a bit of a complicated answer. Zoos do play an important role because it allows people who don't have the means to see many animals they may never have the chance to see in person. These experiences can allow people to get behind causes to help out the animals by donating or showing general support for different causes. Sure, seeing animals in the wild in person may be more powerful, but seeing animals in zoos will still at least have a bigger impact on people than pictures that they can see.

    The main problem comes down to each species of animal and that it can really cause discomfort to certain animals and they just don't behave normally. The biggest thing I learned is that Elephants in captivity have very different behaviors than those out in the open. They are animals that travel great distances each day, and what one of my guides told me was that even a 20k acre reserve would be enough for 5 to 7 elephants to live comfortably. When you have 4 or so elephants in a very small enclosed area they will have very different behaviors. In the end it comes down to if the zoos are doing their best to make sure their animals are as healthy and happy as possible. There's only so much space so we can't make anything perfect so hopefully the standards that are out there are good enough to make things manageable. It would be nice if certain animals were phased out for their own comfort sake, but I understand the money involved in doing such things is a lot, and as far as I know zoos aren't exactly rolling in cash.

    Quote Originally Posted by KageKageKing View Post
    Man, I really wanna see a Sea Lion one of those days.
    Spoiler:

  6. #46

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Zoos are also a form of species conservation. Like you have a male specimen and a female specime on hold in case it gets endangered.
    Spoiler:
    Original Stories:
    Hybrid
    Four Swords

  7. #47

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Ok, been wanting to vent about some of this stuff in the Politics thread, but with how charged that thread has been I've been avoiding posting this. It's gotten to the point that I need to let it off my chest in some way so I decided to post it here.

    Spoiler:
    It's been a bit strange for me, as leading up to the Inauguration of President Trump I wasn't feeling as stressed out as many others have been. A large part of it probably comes down to worst case scenario I probably won't be hit nearly as hard as other people will, but that still doesn't explain all of it. I listened quite a bit to what both candidates were doing and I hated what I was hearing what was coming out of Trump's mouth, and the fact that he got so far then ultimately ended up winning was something I never thought possible, even back when I was much more conservative leaning. Even though he had no chance to do anything yet him being elected sent a message out to everyone in the world, and not a good one for many places, and those that saw it good weren't places we wanted them to feel good about the results.

    Since the election I've waded through so much stuff and my mind has tried to piece together so many things. There is the fact that there was a huge difference in popular vote but Trump still won. There was the fact that many things happened last minute that may or may not have made a huge difference in peoples voting decision, things that are considered illegal. Fake news showed just how big it is and how many people are willing to believe the stories despite how stupid it should seem to the eye. Even bigger is that Trump having won continued to tweet and say all these things, or ignored certain things, that he made it impossible for me to give him any sort of chance and solidify the fact that he is incompetent for this position. Add on incompetence of positions he is filling and all this other stuff I should be worried about a lot of what may happen in the future. However, something else has stuck out more to me than all this from reading stories and comments either here or other places, from forums to facebook. Lack of trying to understand from both sides.

    On the Republican side, you have people who continue to call protestors and anyone who tries to argue why Trump is not fit for the presidency a cry baby, and that they should shut up and sit in the corner for the next 8 years like they had to. Protests in which they are trying to address their fears are nothing more than people being uninformed "libtards" who are special snowflakes and should just deal with it. Worst of all is that they will take a small percentage of people who riot and incite violence and lump the rest of the people who are trying to be peaceful. On the other side, you have people who are quick to judge all Trump voters for voting for him and assume the worst. You voted for Trump so you have to be a racist, sexist, whatever -ist and because of that you are ignorant and should go and learn more. In both cases you have people, which at this time for me seems like a lot of people, disregarding what may be legitimate complaints or a way to actually connect with people.

    I will fully admit I have been quite guilty of this, assuming the worst of people because they supported Trump and wondered why they decided to go that way. It frustrated me and all I wanted to do was scream at them for doing something that I considered so irresponsible. However recently I realized that I have been completely in the wrong mindset. Many people, including family members and friends voted Trump because of one reason or another. Many while admittedly I still scratch my head at aren't for the most hateful reasons, and even then they admitted that Trump was not someone they wanted in office but was their only choice. Now I have to wonder why.

    Lately comments and posts have said how they can feel proud of their country again, and that they feel hopeful about the future finally. They feel that someone competent is now in power after replacing someone who they considered inept ran the office for 8 years. Where I see nothing but hate and no good people for some reason see something different, and I just can't understand why, but there in lies what I think is the most important thing to do starting now, something that should have started before that may have helped avoid this all together.

    Both sides seem content at slinging mud at each other, ignoring the plight any other may have and out of frustration anything constructive is lost. People from all sides need to set down their pitchforks and calm down, and see just how toxic everything has become. From there, we need to start building bridges so we can make connections and after breaking down the wall have a peaceful conversation about the issues. Instead of shooting down someone for having a certain opinion or view, learn more about who they are and why they may have these views. If you learn about them and they learn about you they should be a bit more open to new ideas, much like how I became more open to other ideas when it came from people I knew very well and they were more than just the name with this opinion or view point. It can be hard to do when certain views and opinions can make your stomach turn, but it is something very necessary.

    I can't do much but I hope at least with some friends and maybe a few other people I can make some strides and at least making them a bit more open towards other ideas. I will try to see where they are coming from and from there try to get them to understand that people on the other side also have things they worry about and vote for reasons that aren't terrible like they think they are. Hopefully in turn others will do the same in which we can make things better. 4 years or 8 years of Trump, things won't get better by replacing leadership, we need to have people united and willing to have each others backs and willing to see the other side. If not then leadership will be the same thing with a different face.

    Lastly, I fully admit that perhaps these views may be a bit naÔve, as I still lack a great amount of knowledge of many things. That said, I still believe that if people can at least learn to be more amicable and not quick to shoot we could go a long ways. Hopefully everything I typed out made sense and didn't seem too incoherent.

  8. #48

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    So last time I talked about a trip I went into detail about one of the game reserves I got to spend time in. Well this time I'm gonna talk about the main reason I was in South Africa to begin with.

    Spoiler:
    After having done some research on various internships, I ended up applying for one in South Africa that did various things, one which was marine research on Sharks and Cetaceans (Whales and Dolphins). I decided to intern for November and December of 2014, which would minimize loss of work offshore, and there wouldn't be too many other people interning at the same time. The place I stayed at in South Africa was Mossel Bay, a small little town on the southern coast about 3-4 hours east of Cape Town. I arrived there on Halloween day, and left on the New Year. The place I stayed at was up on a hill that overlooked the town, with a nice view of the town. When I was there only 14 other interns were there for the various programs in November, and in December there was only 9 of us. In the summer they had over 50 interns, which was insane with the space they had to work with, and that meant people didn't get to do stuff everyday, which with the various internships I have helped out with it, organizations have a hard time planning certain aspects of what they want to do.
    Spoiler:



    So the main draw for most people was the Great White Shark conservation aspect of the program, which was their biggest part of the program. Essentially, the program wanted to get population numbers and try to identify as many individuals as possible. To do this we had to take pictures of their dorsal fins, and to do that we had to chum the water to attract the sharks. Chumming involves throwing frozen sardines in a large container of water, then smashing the sardines to mix their oil into the water. You then thrown the oily water into the ocean which should attract the sharks to your location. Now that's the first part of the job, as the second part is getting the shark to come up to the surface and expose its dorsal fin.

    Once a shark is around the boat another person would put a Tuna head at the end of the rope and throw the head into the water. What should happen is the shark would swim up towards the head and open it's jaw to try to eat the Tuna. At the last possible second you would yank the Tuna head away, and at the point the shark would dive back down, and for a brief moment the fin would be visible for the person on the camera to take pictures. While in theory it's simple, the behavior of the shrks and the conditions can easily complicate things. Sometimes sharks would dive down, then swim up quickly below the head to grab it. Even if successful in getting the head out of the way (If conditions were good you had a second at best to react), there was no way to get a picture of the fin. Weather conditions could make it where pictures didn't turn out well, so any markings on the dorsal fin were impossible to identify. Then if the current wasn't in your favor the chum wouldn't spread out, and you would have a hard time attracting sharks.

    Usually this was done in the morning, and we were on the boat for an hour to upwards of four hours depending on how long we could keep the Tuna heads, or any other factors that caused us to shorten it. It was always fun because you never knew what to expect, and my first time out I saw a female Great White that was 3.5 meters long (approx. 15 feet). Then there were times we saw a shark or two preying on a Sea Lion trying to get it, and one time we saw a shark successfully get one. For the big shark I only have a video, no pictures, and nothing on the predation. I do have a good picture of one shark though.
    Spoiler:



    One of the other big projects I helped with was tracking cetacean movement, more specifically dolphin movement along the coast. We would go to select locations with a Theodolite, a type of telescope which with the coordinates and height you could get the distance of the animal and their GPS coordinates. This wasn't quite as interesting, as you never got the best view of the animal but seeing a pod of 200 dolphins in the distance moving one direction was pretty cool. Then there was the day which we saw a Humpback and her calf swimming around, with the calf breaching the water quite a few times.
    Spoiler:



    The other constant activity was helping out at a small aquarium where someone would do some research on small sharks. Usually it would be helping out with cleaning, small maintenance, and any other things the owner needed help with. It was one large tank and two smaller ones, and over time the owner hoped to collect enough specimen for certain research projects he had in mind. There were a few times we went out fishing for tag and release, and we brought some fish for his collection. It was the most boring aspect of the internship (even more so then data entry), but it was a nice little place next to the ocean so whenever we finished we could relax by the water.

    A few other things came up suddenly that I helped out with in December. Near the town there was a little penguin rehabilitation center, and I spent a few days helping clean out the place and make it more pleasant for the penguins that were staying there. I also ended up helping with the terrestrial team a little, where one day we went bird watching, and another day went to a reserve to watch and record Giraffe behavior. The last thing I helped out with was some Sea Lion rescue. Near the end of December a storm came through and massive waves hit the Seal Isle. this cause around 200 Sea Lion pups to wash ashore around the area. On the first day after I helped move the Sea Lions from place to place until getting them into a temporary enclosure, at which that time we spent the afternoon making sure they were okay and nobody tried to come and harass them.

    The next day we took the surviving pups and with people volunteering their boats we put various pups in each boat, and people would get the pups into the water next to the island. I went in the last boat, which had about 10 people and 30 or so pups. The Sea Lions seemed to follow the rules of dogs, where the smaller ones usually acted more vicious while the bigger pups were more relaxed. We got the pups into the water with no problems for the most part, though we had one person decide to chuck one of them across the boat into the water (thankfully it didn't get hurt). Everything seemed like a job well done when I feel something bite me, as someone rushed next to me with a pup in hand to drop in the water. Thankfully I had layers on so skin wasn't penetrated, and I didn't have to get shots like someone else the day before did.
    Spoiler:




    All in all it was a fun trip, between the extra activities I did and everything the internship entailed. Besides the weekend excursion to the reserve, I took a trip to Cape Town, Caged Dived, and camped out in the bush for a week, all of those which will be stories for another time.

  9. #49

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Quote Originally Posted by The Franky Tank View Post
    Ok, been wanting to vent about some of this stuff in the Politics thread, but with how charged that thread has been I've been avoiding posting this. It's gotten to the point that I need to let it off my chest in some way so I decided to post it here.

    Spoiler:
    It's been a bit strange for me, as leading up to the Inauguration of President Trump I wasn't feeling as stressed out as many others have been. A large part of it probably comes down to worst case scenario I probably won't be hit nearly as hard as other people will, but that still doesn't explain all of it. I listened quite a bit to what both candidates were doing and I hated what I was hearing what was coming out of Trump's mouth, and the fact that he got so far then ultimately ended up winning was something I never thought possible, even back when I was much more conservative leaning. Even though he had no chance to do anything yet him being elected sent a message out to everyone in the world, and not a good one for many places, and those that saw it good weren't places we wanted them to feel good about the results.

    Since the election I've waded through so much stuff and my mind has tried to piece together so many things. There is the fact that there was a huge difference in popular vote but Trump still won. There was the fact that many things happened last minute that may or may not have made a huge difference in peoples voting decision, things that are considered illegal. Fake news showed just how big it is and how many people are willing to believe the stories despite how stupid it should seem to the eye. Even bigger is that Trump having won continued to tweet and say all these things, or ignored certain things, that he made it impossible for me to give him any sort of chance and solidify the fact that he is incompetent for this position. Add on incompetence of positions he is filling and all this other stuff I should be worried about a lot of what may happen in the future. However, something else has stuck out more to me than all this from reading stories and comments either here or other places, from forums to facebook. Lack of trying to understand from both sides.

    On the Republican side, you have people who continue to call protestors and anyone who tries to argue why Trump is not fit for the presidency a cry baby, and that they should shut up and sit in the corner for the next 8 years like they had to. Protests in which they are trying to address their fears are nothing more than people being uninformed "libtards" who are special snowflakes and should just deal with it. Worst of all is that they will take a small percentage of people who riot and incite violence and lump the rest of the people who are trying to be peaceful. On the other side, you have people who are quick to judge all Trump voters for voting for him and assume the worst. You voted for Trump so you have to be a racist, sexist, whatever -ist and because of that you are ignorant and should go and learn more. In both cases you have people, which at this time for me seems like a lot of people, disregarding what may be legitimate complaints or a way to actually connect with people.

    I will fully admit I have been quite guilty of this, assuming the worst of people because they supported Trump and wondered why they decided to go that way. It frustrated me and all I wanted to do was scream at them for doing something that I considered so irresponsible. However recently I realized that I have been completely in the wrong mindset. Many people, including family members and friends voted Trump because of one reason or another. Many while admittedly I still scratch my head at aren't for the most hateful reasons, and even then they admitted that Trump was not someone they wanted in office but was their only choice. Now I have to wonder why.

    Lately comments and posts have said how they can feel proud of their country again, and that they feel hopeful about the future finally. They feel that someone competent is now in power after replacing someone who they considered inept ran the office for 8 years. Where I see nothing but hate and no good people for some reason see something different, and I just can't understand why, but there in lies what I think is the most important thing to do starting now, something that should have started before that may have helped avoid this all together.

    Both sides seem content at slinging mud at each other, ignoring the plight any other may have and out of frustration anything constructive is lost. People from all sides need to set down their pitchforks and calm down, and see just how toxic everything has become. From there, we need to start building bridges so we can make connections and after breaking down the wall have a peaceful conversation about the issues. Instead of shooting down someone for having a certain opinion or view, learn more about who they are and why they may have these views. If you learn about them and they learn about you they should be a bit more open to new ideas, much like how I became more open to other ideas when it came from people I knew very well and they were more than just the name with this opinion or view point. It can be hard to do when certain views and opinions can make your stomach turn, but it is something very necessary.

    I can't do much but I hope at least with some friends and maybe a few other people I can make some strides and at least making them a bit more open towards other ideas. I will try to see where they are coming from and from there try to get them to understand that people on the other side also have things they worry about and vote for reasons that aren't terrible like they think they are. Hopefully in turn others will do the same in which we can make things better. 4 years or 8 years of Trump, things won't get better by replacing leadership, we need to have people united and willing to have each others backs and willing to see the other side. If not then leadership will be the same thing with a different face.

    Lastly, I fully admit that perhaps these views may be a bit naÔve, as I still lack a great amount of knowledge of many things. That said, I still believe that if people can at least learn to be more amicable and not quick to shoot we could go a long ways. Hopefully everything I typed out made sense and didn't seem too incoherent.
    I've always thought that US politics relied a lot in creating an "us vs them" environment, but I'm still surprised by the magnitude things seem to have reached during the last elections. The fact that it's pretty much a byparty system doesn't help things, since it doesn't allow a third choice, you end up having to "join" one of two sides that are the complete opposite. It's kind of bizarre looking at the entire thing from the outside, and I don't really know what to make of it.

    Try looking at the positives.
    People on the streets protesting isn't a bad thing (if the level of violence is minimal). It shows that people are willing to take a stance for their rights and actually go from words to actions.
    Even some of the Bernie related stuff showed that there might be room for a future third alternative. A lot of people seemed genuinely motivated by his campaign and viciously opposed (sometimes in excess) to the alternative. I want to believe that the huge knee-jerk reaction that followed his loss was a loud minority.
    It just needs to have some sort of follow up, which might be harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Franky Tank View Post
    ...[/SPOILER]
    Welp, now what I do sounds boring.

  10. #50

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Wasn't expecting a reply from such an old post, but I do have some things to say 4 months after said post.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceCowboy View Post
    I've always thought that US politics relied a lot in creating an "us vs them" environment, but I'm still surprised by the magnitude things seem to have reached during the last elections. The fact that it's pretty much a byparty system doesn't help things, since it doesn't allow a third choice, you end up having to "join" one of two sides that are the complete opposite. It's kind of bizarre looking at the entire thing from the outside, and I don't really know what to make of it.

    Try looking at the positives.
    People on the streets protesting isn't a bad thing (if the level of violence is minimal). It shows that people are willing to take a stance for their rights and actually go from words to actions.
    Even some of the Bernie related stuff showed that there might be room for a future third alternative. A lot of people seemed genuinely motivated by his campaign and viciously opposed (sometimes in excess) to the alternative. I want to believe that the huge knee-jerk reaction that followed his loss was a loud minority.
    It just needs to have some sort of follow up, which might be harder.
    I am all for people going out and protesting peacefully and non-violently. Heck, there was the Women's March and the March of Science which from what I gathered had a lot of people with no violence what so ever. Even for those I disagree with if they want to voice their concerns to get people talking then that is fine by me. Civil discussions are necessary and having a healthy debate is always a good thing. The problem is that despite protests, once it's all said and done everything falls on deaf ears.

    Keeping on with the protests stuff, people seem content with ignoring the good and actual plights, and instead go to the same point to discount all of that. They will point to the inauguration vandals, and despite it being a select number of people who did the wrong thing, others decide the actions of a select few undermine the voices of hundreds of thousands to millions. Like you pointed out, it's very much the us versus them mentality, and with that you don't want to give the other side any type of credibility. A number of issues are much more complex than many want to admit, and are quick to simplify issues into something bite sized, and anything outside that small understanding has to be wrong. All this adds to people taking what they want to try to verify their claims without trying to truly understand the actual issues. One example I can think of is something I saw on Facebook recently, where there was a image with text, implying that certain groups claiming to be discriminated against are acting like children. Then a comment adds that they cannot fathom how groups such as LGBT people can believe they have a harsh and unfair life when they live in the USA. That right there shows a lack of understanding of how certain groups have harder times getting certain things other people get easily.

    Despite being over 4 months into this presidency, I am still not sure what to make of the entire thing. Part of it comes from the fact that everyday there is something new to hear from the administration each day, or bar that something else big happened in the world. So much is going on it can be hard to stay focused on one subject. Though when I think about it, that is probably an excuse when there's a much bigger reason, and that's how only in the past year have I really started paying attention to US politics, and world news in general. As such, I am still very much ignorant on a plethora of topics, so it's up to me to actually become educated on such matters, and most of the time I only dig in a little bit. That goes to another reason why I don't generally post in the Politics and News thread, as my limited knowledge would just have my posts come across as ignorant. However, I am learning things every day, and while I may not be as well versed as some posters I am at least trying to better myself day by day.

    At this point, all I can do is try to remain open minded, and if the opportunity presents itself try to get people to try to open their mind up little by little. I'm not one to debate with people on topics, but I sometimes find that if they open up to you and you can show little to no judgement, they in turn will become more open to things you have to say. If that ever presents itself I just try to get them to be more open to what others have to say, and try to question why they believe in certain things they do in order to learn and grow. It may not be the most effective way to get things done, but for who I am that's what I feel is the best thing I can do.

    Welp, now what I do sounds boring.
    Out of curiosity, what do you do?

  11. #51

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Quote Originally Posted by The Franky Tank View Post
    Wasn't expecting a reply from such an old post, but I do have some things to say 4 months after said post.

    I am all for people going out and protesting peacefully and non-violently. Heck, there was the Women's March and the March of Science which from what I gathered had a lot of people with no violence what so ever. Even for those I disagree with if they want to voice their concerns to get people talking then that is fine by me. Civil discussions are necessary and having a healthy debate is always a good thing. The problem is that despite protests, once it's all said and done everything falls on deaf ears.

    Keeping on with the protests stuff, people seem content with ignoring the good and actual plights, and instead go to the same point to discount all of that. They will point to the inauguration vandals, and despite it being a select number of people who did the wrong thing, others decide the actions of a select few undermine the voices of hundreds of thousands to millions. Like you pointed out, it's very much the us versus them mentality, and with that you don't want to give the other side any type of credibility. A number of issues are much more complex than many want to admit, and are quick to simplify issues into something bite sized, and anything outside that small understanding has to be wrong. All this adds to people taking what they want to try to verify their claims without trying to truly understand the actual issues. One example I can think of is something I saw on Facebook recently, where there was a image with text, implying that certain groups claiming to be discriminated against are acting like children. Then a comment adds that they cannot fathom how groups such as LGBT people can believe they have a harsh and unfair life when they live in the USA. That right there shows a lack of understanding of how certain groups have harder times getting certain things other people get easily.
    That's the fragmentation aspect that's honestly mind boggling to me. The lack of empathy about trying to understand the position other's are in.
    Yes, people can get annoying sometimes with certain attitudes, but who exactly am I to tell them their strugle for a better position in life is worthless, petulant or "bratty".
    BLM is a perfect example. Yes, they get over the line a lot of times, but the problem is specific, exists, and should be taken care of. Solely talking about the destruction that sometimes occurs and ignoring the reason the march is there isn't solving the problem.


    Despite being over 4 months into this presidency, I am still not sure what to make of the entire thing. Part of it comes from the fact that everyday there is something new to hear from the administration each day, or bar that something else big happened in the world. So much is going on it can be hard to stay focused on one subject. Though when I think about it, that is probably an excuse when there's a much bigger reason, and that's how only in the past year have I really started paying attention to US politics, and world news in general. As such, I am still very much ignorant on a plethora of topics, so it's up to me to actually become educated on such matters, and most of the time I only dig in a little bit. That goes to another reason why I don't generally post in the Politics and News thread, as my limited knowledge would just have my posts come across as ignorant. However, I am learning things every day, and while I may not be as well versed as some posters I am at least trying to better myself day by day.
    I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity. Of course this is a lot easier from across the pond.
    One of the things I've always complained about the EU is that we're always reliant on someone else on a huge group of topics, always waiting for someone else to take the lead.
    I think Trump's election, Brexit, as well as the failed Turkey "coup" and Russia's interference on everything that moves served as a wake up call to a lot of people around here, and I believe we'll take a step further.
    The Paris Agreement might have been the pinacle of that. US had already screwed us with Kyoto, but with Paris people were just confident that they would keep their words and take the lead. Trump's announcement showed that the US right now is simply unreliable,and hopefully this is a feeling that will keep in our minds once he's gone.

    Out of curiosity, what do you do?
    Not sure how you say it in english.
    Junior Lawyer? Intern Lawyer? Baby Bloodsucking Vampire?

  12. #52

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    A lot of things have happened since the last time I posted here. Don't want to go too much into my life story, but my life has taken a huge turn, and the immediate future is going to be interesting. One thing is I have to move out of my Brothers place in December, and will be living in an apartment with my parents for an indeterminate amount of time. Long story short on that one, they needed a place to stay for some time while their house is getting repaired from Harvey, and with apartments filling up and other things, it was determined to be easier to move in with them then my brother and I stay there once they leave (my oldest brother also will be moving out). At this time, it will probably be a month in which 4 of us are cramped in a 2 bedroom apartment. The bigger thing for me is that I quit offshore work, and I am currently taking a class through a charity organization near me to become a sterile processing technician. Basically, I'm training to clean and sterilize surgical equipment in hospitals. Today was my third class of 14, which last class will be the last Saturday of January.

    Ever since the first class started, I feel like studying and learning have become more natural to me compared to before. Back in College, I could learn the info I needed, but I wasn't great at retaining it, and my motivation after my second year went down. It hit me that only recently have I really acquired a mindset of actually wanting to learn. Back in my college days and earlier, I memorized the information, but didn't really learn it. It was something to know to pass a test, only to be dropped out of my mind afterwards. This makes my grades in later years being lower make a lot more sense, because after a point you really do have to learn, and not just memorize. Stuff from earlier builds up and a lot of it will come together. All this had an effect on me when I was considering going for a Master's, which that lack of wanting to actually learn and get more than just the bare minimum bit me hard. I had no idea what I would want to do in the field, because my knowledge from the classed was mostly gone. While I did the internships and got some experience, I wasn't putting forth effort to put something in as well, and that meant not building a true passion for something.

    Now with this class, I want to learn the stuff. There is the fact that a lot that I learn will be pertinent to my job, but even that only does so much to get me motivated on anything. Each class, I am listening the entire time, taking in what I can. However, the bigger thing that has changed for me is how I'm more of an active student. Before, I would just sit there and listen, but never ask questions and any time a question was asked I would just let someone else answer. Now I ask questions, and answer questions that the instructor asks the class. Some things I have asked may lead the group to being able to volunteer at the instructors hospital to start getting hours we need to get fully certified. Outside of class, I actually make more of an effort to study and learn the information, and not just what we are supposed to know, but more than that. What initially seemed like a lot of information to absorb became something I could recall easily after a few days of multiple small sessions. I think it says a lot that when tests are multiple choice or choose an answer, I can 90% of the time give the answer in my head before even seeing the options. Heck, it was beneficial today, as doing the first section of the test, I was able to point out that a correct answer was missing.

    All this makes me wonder what my life would've been like if I had been more motivated for learning earlier in life. Would I have gone farther in Marine Biology and made more connections to secure a more stable job? What would my life in college have been like, and what else would've been different? Despite all that, I don't regret how everything happened, and everyone has their own way of growing and learning. Even if I didn't learn as much of my field as I could've, my studies, and certainly my work and travels afterwards have taught me, and the important thing is that I got the mindset of really wanting to learn, whether it's my job field, politics, religion, or stuff related to my hobbies. Does make me realize how mindset, among other things, can make it difficult for others to learn, which in turn can lead to other difficulties down the road. It's also made me more aware now how various choices in my life that seemed insignificant lead down to where I am now.

  13. #53
    Discovered Stowaway No swords style best style's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Weird question here, but would you be willing to elaborate about what caused your change in attitude toward learning? Was it that you were more engaged in the subject or something else? I'm asking because I'm currently in high school with a couple of years remaining and I just...don't care much about anything I'm learning, to be blunt. I mean, I don't even dislike the majority of my assignments/subjects, just indifferent to them. Like I'm only going through the motions. Almost like a machine with two slots: Insert work here, get out work with answers here. I'm actually kinda jealous of people who like (or at least engaged in) academic work lol, because I've never found any subject area that I really care about, so I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I don't know what job I want or even what college I want to go to yet. Some people are telling me that it's ok to not have a career goal yet, but I still feel like a fish that's getting pushed along with all the other fish in a narrow river, and once the river opens up into a larger body of water I'm not going to know what direction to swim in.

    Well, actually there is one class I am sort of engaged in, and that would be government, but that's mostly due to wanting to know more about modern politics, which we often talk about. I still feel like that doesn't translate into an occupation/goal, which is the main thing's that on my mind. I don't think I want to be a government teacher, and I'm nearly certain that I don't want to be a politician. Even my hobbies tend to be non-productive things, like reading or playing video games. I play soccer/football for fun sometimes, but I'm DEFINITELY not going to be a professional athlete. Oh, and I've started to draw and like it, but I'm light years away from even getting close to a professional level. Plus I don't know if I would like it as a full time job.

    Um...thanks for reading this. I haven't really brought this up with anyone I know irl, so I might have sort of started talking (typing?) to myself halfway through. I really should talk to somebody about what my place in the universe could be lol

  14. #54

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Quote Originally Posted by No swords style best style View Post
    Weird question here, but would you be willing to elaborate about what caused your change in attitude toward learning? Was it that you were more engaged in the subject or something else? I'm asking because I'm currently in high school with a couple of years remaining and I just...don't care much about anything I'm learning, to be blunt. I mean, I don't even dislike the majority of my assignments/subjects, just indifferent to them. Like I'm only going through the motions. Almost like a machine with two slots: Insert work here, get out work with answers here. I'm actually kinda jealous of people who like (or at least engaged in) academic work lol, because I've never found any subject area that I really care about, so I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I don't know what job I want or even what college I want to go to yet. Some people are telling me that it's ok to not have a career goal yet, but I still feel like a fish that's getting pushed along with all the other fish in a narrow river, and once the river opens up into a larger body of water I'm not going to know what direction to swim in.

    Well, actually there is one class I am sort of engaged in, and that would be government, but that's mostly due to wanting to know more about modern politics, which we often talk about. I still feel like that doesn't translate into an occupation/goal, which is the main thing's that on my mind. I don't think I want to be a government teacher, and I'm nearly certain that I don't want to be a politician. Even my hobbies tend to be non-productive things, like reading or playing video games. I play soccer/football for fun sometimes, but I'm DEFINITELY not going to be a professional athlete. Oh, and I've started to draw and like it, but I'm light years away from even getting close to a professional level. Plus I don't know if I would like it as a full time job.

    Um...thanks for reading this. I haven't really brought this up with anyone I know irl, so I might have sort of started talking (typing?) to myself halfway through. I really should talk to somebody about what my place in the universe could be lol
    Hey mate, I feel like I can jump in here because I'm frequently on the same wavelength as Franky Tank. And I can tell you that his newfound enthusiasm for studying basically comes down to maturity, real-world experience, and clearer career goals. Chances are, none of that is really within your control yet.

    You're not wrong that struggling to find a passion can leave you aimless as other people pass you by. Some people know what they want to do from a young age, and by focusing their energy on pursuing that goal they can get a ton more cool opportunities that the rest of us won't. And that sucks for normal people like me and you who aren't sure what they really want to do. That said, all the advice you've received that you don't need to make up your mind yet is also absolutely right. Entering college opens up countless new learning avenues that weren't available previously, and if you sample things that look cool with an open mind, you're more likely than not to find something you really do like.

    So don't worry about falling in love with a subject right now. Focus on things you like or feel pretty proficient at, and explore what aspects of those subjects might appeal to you. Government classes are perfectly feasible to turn into a career in political science, law, or even just activism. Just do your best to approach new subjects with enough enthusiasm to sincerely engage with them and you might find something you really like.

    Tl;dr: the feelings you have are normal and you shouldn't worry too much yet. Keep an eye out for things that interest you and explore them further. Don't worry about careers just yet.

    If you get dunked on in the dream, you get dunked on in real life

  15. #55

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Quote Originally Posted by No swords style best style View Post
    Weird question here, but would you be willing to elaborate about what caused your change in attitude toward learning? Was it that you were more engaged in the subject or something else? I'm asking because I'm currently in high school with a couple of years remaining and I just...don't care much about anything I'm learning, to be blunt. I mean, I don't even dislike the majority of my assignments/subjects, just indifferent to them. Like I'm only going through the motions. Almost like a machine with two slots: Insert work here, get out work with answers here. I'm actually kinda jealous of people who like (or at least engaged in) academic work lol, because I've never found any subject area that I really care about, so I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I don't know what job I want or even what college I want to go to yet. Some people are telling me that it's ok to not have a career goal yet, but I still feel like a fish that's getting pushed along with all the other fish in a narrow river, and once the river opens up into a larger body of water I'm not going to know what direction to swim in.

    Well, actually there is one class I am sort of engaged in, and that would be government, but that's mostly due to wanting to know more about modern politics, which we often talk about. I still feel like that doesn't translate into an occupation/goal, which is the main thing's that on my mind. I don't think I want to be a government teacher, and I'm nearly certain that I don't want to be a politician. Even my hobbies tend to be non-productive things, like reading or playing video games. I play soccer/football for fun sometimes, but I'm DEFINITELY not going to be a professional athlete. Oh, and I've started to draw and like it, but I'm light years away from even getting close to a professional level. Plus I don't know if I would like it as a full time job.

    Um...thanks for reading this. I haven't really brought this up with anyone I know irl, so I might have sort of started talking (typing?) to myself halfway through. I really should talk to somebody about what my place in the universe could be lol
    Jabberwok got the gist of it. For me it really does come down to real world experience which has caused me to grow in various ways (One of my first posts here talks about how my world views have seriously changed), and while I still don't have a complete career goal in mind, I know a bit more what interests me.

    As for elaborating, the main reasons I can attribute to is my time working offshore, and travelling the world. Offshore had me work and live with so many different kinds of people, and even though I was homophobic at the time, I was able to respect those who were comfortable letting it be known. So offshore work at least set in stone not judging people based on first impression or something you consider to be a negative, because they are more than just that one point that you may be focusing way too much on. Travelling allowed me to see different cultures and come to realize that while traditions may be different, everyone still has the same deep desires. Of course, it took me many trips, it was only during my last international trip where it all happened. Once you add both of those points together, and also add my time on this forum and seeing how much I really don't know, I just became interested in learning. Now I take time each week to learn about politics, and with this class, there is so much I never considered about the medical field that I find myself quite interested in what is being taught. I never really thought about the fact that surgical instruments needed to be sterilized to be reused, and then how in depth the process is.

    So yeah, it's something that just takes time, and it can be frustratingly long. I mentioned before, I think around the first time I really felt I had a view challenged to me accepting that I really have a lot to learn, that was at least a good 10 years. I just had to do things that interested me and branch out from there until all the right things happened to trigger a change.

  16. #56
    Discovered Stowaway No swords style best style's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwok View Post
    So don't worry about falling in love with a subject right now. Focus on things you like or feel pretty proficient at, and explore what aspects of those subjects might appeal to you. Government classes are perfectly feasible to turn into a career in political science, law, or even just activism. Just do your best to approach new subjects with enough enthusiasm to sincerely engage with them and you might find something you really like.

    Tl;dr: the feelings you have are normal and you shouldn't worry too much yet. Keep an eye out for things that interest you and explore them further. Don't worry about careers just yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Franky Tank View Post
    As for elaborating, the main reasons I can attribute to is my time working offshore, and travelling the world. Offshore had me work and live with so many different kinds of people, and even though I was homophobic at the time, I was able to respect those who were comfortable letting it be known. So offshore work at least set in stone not judging people based on first impression or something you consider to be a negative, because they are more than just that one point that you may be focusing way too much on. Travelling allowed me to see different cultures and come to realize that while traditions may be different, everyone still has the same deep desires. Of course, it took me many trips, it was only during my last international trip where it all happened. Once you add both of those points together, and also add my time on this forum and seeing how much I really don't know, I just became interested in learning. Now I take time each week to learn about politics, and with this class, there is so much I never considered about the medical field that I find myself quite interested in what is being taught. I never really thought about the fact that surgical instruments needed to be sterilized to be reused, and then how in depth the process is.

    So yeah, it's something that just takes time, and it can be frustratingly long.
    Alright, so it sounds like I should just continue what I'm doing for now until something eventually clicks. Thanks for the advice and reassurance guys, I guess I need to just...go with the flow, and not stress so much about having a plan for everything ahead.

  17. #57

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Iíve been thinking a lot this year about stories of games and other media that I really like. Mainly, what really gets me invested when everything is said and done, what makes me love something. There are a lot of elements that go into a story, but every time I go back my first thought always goes to the characters. The piece of fiction can have a good plot, or it could be looking at a certain subject in depth, but if there arenít characters that I am attached to, itís unlikely that I will get invested in anything going forward.

    I feel thatís why there are things that Iím just not attached to like others because of that. One major example that I can think of is Xenoblade Chronicles, which is a game with high critical acclaim. I finally got through playing the game last year, and I have very mixed feelings. That said, the thing that gets me every time I think about the game is how little I cared for most of the characters. Shulk was boring to me, and only Dunban and Rikki were ones I cared about. Some of the plot stuff I wasnít a fan of may have been less of a problem if I cared for the characters.

    A big question on my mind is what kind of characters do I like, which is actually impossible for me to give an exact answer. Every character has their traits and story, and depending on how it all works will I find out which ones I like and donít like. So, I thought perhaps my next bunch of posts here will be talking about some of my favorite characters. Iíll avoid spoilers, and maybe add a spoiler section if there are certain points that I really want to talk about. With that said, letís start with my favorite character.

    Estelle Bright (Trails in the Sky)

    Spoiler:

    Better put my sunglasses on, it's bright in here.


    Back in 2013, I decided to buy some PSP games since I hadnít used my system much, and Trails in the Sky was one of them. I booted up the game, and after starting the new game, the first character I see is her, though when she was younger. Itís a small intro scene before the opening animation,but in that short time I am already attached to this character, and she continues to grow on me.

    Estelleís character arc is actually quite simple, she just wants to become a great bracer to help those around her (Bracer is basically a person who helps citizens in various ways). She isnít defined by a great tragedy, and even though events may occur that are painful, she grows from it and in many cases, gets more determined.

    Her simple goal does help show growth over the course of the games. Estelle has a carefree attitude, and has a tendency to leap in before thinking. While that isnít necessarily a bad thing, itís shown quite early on her ignorance of things, and how her lack of awareness can lead to trouble. Over the course of her time as a main character, she does grow in a number of ways. In the first game, she learns a lot about her place in the world, as well what is going on in the world. She also learns to become more self-reliant,which pays off later on.

    One of her greatest strengths is her ability to see otherís feelings, and help them through it. There are a lot of characters in these games, a number she is quite close to, and she is able to see through them when they are feeling down. In those times, you really see her shine as she is able to talk them through their feelings and help sort them out. There is one particular moment in the 3rd game that really stands out, which gets me into tears every time I think about it.

    Estelle, to me, represents in certain ways what I want major characters to be like. Well defined character with growth over time. She always keeps to who she is, but there are changes over time that are noticeable and pays off in certain ways.

    Energetic personalities can sometimes be too much, and depending on execution can be annoying. However, her energetic personality works well with her character, and I rooted for her the entire way. When she was happy, I was happy, and when she was sad, I was sad. These games have agreat story, though it is definitely a slow boil. Estelle made it so I never found her games slow or boring, because even if it takes a long time for the major plot developments to happen, I was enjoying her story, and her growth over time.

    I would love to talk about other characters from the Trails in the Sky games, because there are so many good ones. Only problem is it might be harder to talk in depth about some of them because to really talk about my love of them, I would have to go into major spoilers. Estelle was easier to talk about without spoilers, even though going into them would allow me to show more of my appreciation. I might do a rundown of characters I love from the games, with short descriptions of what made them stand out insome way.

    My next character is one that surprised me, due to his explosive personality.

  18. #58
    Stranger in a Strange Land lr-hr-rh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings



    I didn't realise Estelle was your favourite character in fiction. Now I feel like a bit of a dick for being so dismissive of her in our previous conversation. My bad :/

  19. #59

    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Quote Originally Posted by lr-hr-rh View Post


    I didn't realise Estelle was your favourite character in fiction. Now I feel like a bit of a dick for being so dismissive of her in our previous conversation. My bad :/
    I am quite the petty person, and normally would scold you for such a terrible sin. However, there are ways to appease me, and the fact that you admitted to liking Kanji, and I remember you having a Makoto avatar earlier this year, I shall let it pass this time

    I will admit, I was disappointed when I found out that you didn't care for the series. The Sky trilogy is by far my favorite series of games, and as much as I love Persona 4 and 5, beats them both. There is that feeling you can get when you find out something you love doesn't translate to others, because you want others to enjoy it like you do. However, everyone has different tastes and opinions, so I just accept that and hope that someone else will come along and enjoy it. As far as Estelle, I looked at your post again, and there was one small part about her, which basically seemed to imply that you didn't see her as a character and at that time more as just some tropes she may represent. I think in a different wording it could come across as dickish, but as far as I can tell you were just pointing out what you didn't care for in the best way you could. So no problems on that account. It would be unfair of me to expect you to feel the same of the character you only spent 30 minutes with where I spent 3 games with, and with my various play throughs of each game (I've played the first one 4 times already, and the second one twice, and only one of the third), I easily put in a few 100 hours.

  20. #60
    Stranger in a Strange Land lr-hr-rh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Franky Tank's Ramblings

    Hahaha well I appreciate your understanding :P

    I'll admit I was pretty impatient with the series when I last tried it out, as I was trying to play through quiet a few JRPGs within a small period and hunting for something that immediately grabbed my attention. Obviously that's not the best way to get to grips with a game that takes a slower approach to building player investment :P. But given it seems to have resonated so strongly with you I'll probably put it on the list to give it another chance at some point. I had similar reservations with the early hours of Xenoblade X and only stuck with it due to Foolio's enthusiastic recommendation. A couple of hours later I was hooked and there was no looking back, so who knows :)

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