Your life goals, current

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Vance
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Your life goals, current

Post by Vance » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:02 am

Okay, I'm closing down Outer Heaven and moving back to Florida. This is the smart thing to do since the wholesale district's clientelle of insane cheapskates has wandered over here, chased off the white people, and I'm losing two grand a month.

My best friend back in Tampa passed away a little over a month ago. I had this insane belief that if I stayed out here, he had to stay alive. This more or less directly attacks my god complex. In the aftermath, a bunch of us who haven't seen each other in 12 years reunited, and a friend offered me a job with Bright House. Three bedroom houses in the suburb I grew up in are now renting for a grand a month. I saw a four bedroom house with a pool for $1,500 a month.

I mean hell, the crazy stinking nerd who lives in an office on this block is now threatening to "smash your head", so... screw this place.

I have a few goals. I want to start a mutt rescue, hosting, retraining, and adopting out one dog from the city pound at a time. I want to do this because I had to give up by coyote-dog, Erasmus, and even though he's in a nice home, I feel awful. So I want to save otherwise doomed dogs from getting put down, and hopefully eventually find one that can replace that hole in my heart.

When I first moved to LA, I volunteered at a bike shop that hosted free monthly workshops for kids who needed a bike. We'd take in scrap bike parts, teach the kids how to build them and repair them, and the reward would be the bikes they built. I'd like to do that out of my garage once a month. Give something nice to the neighborhood. It really comes back at you in the form of a nicer neighborhood and everybody feeling like they owe you something. Okay, so that was a bit dark, but that's just who I am.

Now... SHOWROOM. I want a spare room for an office/showroom for arcade units and pachinko machines. The pachinko is a bit of an off-there thing, since I need to import at least a dozen at a time direct from Japan and it costs a fair bit. But I have the contacts, and I sometimes get incredible arcade machine steals like an original Simpsons cabinet for $100. In the meantime, I want to scour flea markets and trade shows for older stuff people might sell off for a buck or two and stick it on the old store website. A big problem with game retail online is that it's such a crowded market, and the thought occurs that I always find sites because they have old and esoteric stuff. Maybe that will allow me to continue the business in a more profitable form! I already have a ton of stock.

So that's me.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:52 pm

I'm really sorry things didn't work out for you. I hope that you find happiness with whatever you end up doing. I just woke up so my thoughts aren't too clear, I hope that makes sense.
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Post by Mobius » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:40 pm

You run your own business - I think that's fantastic. It's unfortunate it didn't work out and will have to close, but you took that chance, and that's a good thing. In fact, running my own business is one of my own life goals!

Right now, I just started a new job. I moved away from five years of customer support/systems analysis/systems engineering into a pure development role. So goal #1 is to get good at this job and improve as a developer/programmer. (And maybe a 3DO-based project could help there??)

Beyond that, I need to finish my Master's degree. I took time off to change jobs and that set me back six months. But hopefully, a year from now, I will be on the verge of graduation.

Then, I want to look at the possibility of turning the capstone project I'm considering for my degree into a published work and/or a business opportunity. I have a pie-in-the-sky idea for how to use genetic information to improve healthcare, but I need to figure out if it's feasible in practical terms.

Then I want to get a pilot's license.

So yeah, the next year or two should be pretty busy...

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Post by BryWI » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:55 pm

Vance, It sounds like you have much better opportunities in FL than CA. The way you put it, it sounds like the most logical thing to do.


On my side of things, I am trying to get back to the point of making more money in a month than what I spend. I'm starting to get there but I'll see what January brings. I'm really trying to not have to cancel a bunch of things other than what I have already canceled to save money. I still have plenty of money behind me just in case. But after not working the summer, I'd like to see the bank account stop dropping.

It's not really goal, It's something I NEED to do lol.

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Post by Trev » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:55 pm

My immediate goal is to have a smooth move within the next 5 months or so.

My wife & I are moving back to CT to be closer to my family and help out w/my disabled brother. So far so good ... credit was good enough to get a loan, offer is out on the place we are looking at (and seems promising) wife has a transfer lined up, and I am about 80% sure I'll have a job in place which will allow me to basically set my own hours and (almost) work for myself, all while having some good perks. I may also be able to resume taking classes which I suspended (academic leave)

Nothing is set in stone though, so who knows. I will be anxious this winter for sure. Playing 3DO should help me escape reality for a bit though and stay sane. :wink:
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Post by 3DOKid » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:52 pm

Vance, matey, I sort of understand. When my sister 'popped her clogs' i waded in and looked at everyone like they were f**kin; ass'oles. She wasn't dead, she was lost, or confused, or some mistake. Everyone was to relax, and I'll fix it, because you know, i fix everything -- just everyone else was too fuc*in' stupid to fix it -- and so, like everything, I'd grit my teeth, brandish my superior intellect and the problem would go away. Like it always does - you soldier through. Watashi-wa kami des - right? Except I could not fix it. It was unfix-able. That was the worst lesson i ever learned. The worst thing is that people, people who are big and occupy a pride of place of place in your mind, are nobody. And releasing, nothing matters, and they just vanish and the stupid world, stupidly carries on. And it's wrong, but it's too big to fix. I really did not handle death well.

Despite appearances, I've always been optimistic. Next year, I'm going to be rich. Proper rich. I've done okay up to now. Without even trying i got a big house, a super-car, money, but next year... oh man, I'm cleaning up. After this, I'm done for, so it has to work. I'll take the cash, invest, make a living that way, but I want to teach grannies to hack, I want to write a hacker thriller book, I want to be a big goldfish in a tiny f**kin' bowl, a bowl I build. I love computers, really love them, I love technology and I want to re-live the excitement of that.

Sod-it, I'm moving to Panama, I don't know, but next year changes everything.

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Post by Vance » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:02 am

I'm not upset about closing the store, people. More in a bit

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Post by Vance » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:46 am

Okay, switched to the PS3. Much better typing than the PSP.

Okay, this neighborhood is quite frankly screwed. Not only have all my affluent shoppers left, we've been besieged by people who get genuinely mad at me that I sell things at list price. Hi there people, I make EIGHT BUCKS OFF A SIXTY DOLLAR GAME. One woman came in smelling of "I work at a battery factory" and couldn't identify what she needed. She just said "PSP..." and then made hand gestures that to some people means "vagina". So I pointed her to the wall. "Are they you-said?" "No, they're new." Her voice suggested I was torturing her. "Oh no, I need you-said." "We... don't have any" The last line was a lie, but I knew if I showed her I'd just end up with upset attempts at bartering.

One guy wanted to trade in some games for two PS1 games that totaled $40. The value of his games at retail? $40. Trade value? $23, being generous. He went outside and started yelling that he wanted to drop kick me to his friend, thinking I couldn't hear. I can always hear. It is the domain of fools to think their voice doesn't carry the way it does.

Then there's the crazies. Some crackhead hobo always sucked up to me for a "blessing", then yelled at me when I wouldn't give it. For two years, until the threats came. Then one day, he tried to mug me. In front of my employee. Who is an amateur boxer. Once we peeled him off the floor, he threw rocks through my window on two different occasions.

Then there's Crazy Stinking Nerd. Brace yourself, here comes the language. Crazy Stinking Nerd lives in an office on the same block as my shop, quite illegally and quite without a shower. Last year he just kind of smelled and was really OCD, but then again quite a lot of my customers are OCD. He tried bartering on some instructional C64 manuals and that was the last he ever bought. Well... I should start a new post, because what follows is epic.

Last month he barges into my store, about thirty seconds after I first smelled him. He is a rank person. Birds would be dropping from the sky if the soupy smog hadn't already done the trick. I mean this BO stayed ten minutes after he left and the Lysol just gave up after starting on a full can. He stood before me, stinkning, and started ranting that the boba shop next door was now a crime scene and maybe my store was too, but I should stay away from the boba shop, and Brian Kito (de facto community head of Little Tokyo and head of the safety assocataion) wasn't doing his job and the police would be after him as well and on and on and fucking on.

I said "Thank you for telling me this" because his pupils were the size of pinheads and I didn't know if his smell would attack me if I just ordered him out. I take a little field trip over to Brian's office...

Our buddy the Nerd has been going nuts for the past six months. Pacing up and down his third of the block for four hours at a time, grimacing and glaring at the ground. Apparently the finishing touch is when he found out a previous tenant was making snuff films in the back of what is now the boba shop and demanded Brian do something about it. Problem is, the crimes happened eight years ago and the Korean who did it fled to Japan, a place not known for terribly caring about sex crimes. Brian basically runs the neighborhood watch. He explained there was nothing he could do, so Nerd starts ranting that he (Nerd) CAN. And he basically runs the police! And and and...

So I'm outside with Brian one night as Crazy Stinking Nerd is doing his ritual pacing. The next night I'm walking along with Turtle and Nerd confronts me.

"I saw you talking to Brian and you need to know he's full of shit, he's going to be arreste..."

"Okay, I'm going to tell you this because you actually bought something from me. You're pacing up and down this block for hours at a time, you stink, and you live in an office."

"I don't..."

"You're losing it. Get a hotel room, get a shower, a shave, if you're on something get off it, and for fuck's sake..."

"Well... I'm FBI. I outrank the LAPD!"

"No you're not. Like I was saying..."

"Well FUCK YOU TWICE FOR NOT BELIEVING ME."

Good, clean fun! He's confronted me a few times since then,cursing me out and calling my food "fag". I'm not making this up. But a couple of nights ago, I get the big prize. I'm walking back to my shop and I'm passing him as he stands there on the sidewalk. He yells "What, you're just gonna walk by like you don't fucking know me!?"

Because good things happen whenever I talk to this guy. I just kept walking and held a defiant middle finger over my head. He screamed another "FUCK YOU" like he loves to do, startling the people waiting to eat at Daikokuya. I did a half-turn, still walking, and called out "You're insane!" in a cheery manner. Screams that he'd smash my head open followed me back to the shop. He started pacing right then and there.

I will be pretty happy to close this shop.

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Post by BryWI » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:57 pm

Big Trouble in Little China.

Image

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:22 pm

OMG Vance! When I was reading that I was going to quote and comment but after that last part...

Had I known your posts were going to be like this I would have granted you your own section. These truly are entertaining, I'm just sad they come at your expense.

On another note do you think Crazy Stinking Nerd is the reason all the good people stopped going there to shop?
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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:25 pm

I know I shouldn't enjoy - but wow. Is there anyway we can get a picture of Crazy Stink Nerd? I have got to see this guy.

Vance, you do seem to be facing challenges above and beyond the usual retail outlet. Still, you should be blogging this stuff, or writing a book or something -- because it's awesome. I'm sorry mate. It just is.

You could write: The Idiots Guide to Hardcore retail.

You do understand right, that when you go back to Florida (as King wasn't it?) and you open another store, nearer to where humans habitat, it's going to be boring.

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Post by Vance » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:56 pm

The highlight of my original 2004 shop in Florida, by Vance Hill:

I get a call! "Do you have playstation 1s?" asks the female drawl."

"Yep, we got a stack of them. $20 each, comes with all the hookups and one controller."

"Okay, I'll be down for one in a few hours."

My buddy from the sandwich shop comes down on break and we hook up one of my used PS1s to test every single port. As we do, the redneck couple comes in. I explain we were just testing their model and it's working great. I do the sale with one game, the cheapest in the shop. Spec Ops, I think. As they're leaving, the woman asks if it's defective, can they return it. Hello? I was just using it. I took the system back and wrote down the serial number, hoping they'd get the point.

The next day I get an angry call. "IT DIDN'T WORK. I'M BRINGING IT BACK FOR A REFUND!" I go huh, and immediately call my buddy and security. They show up fast and bring the lady's huge dad, who stands in the doorway and glares at me the whole time. I take a look at it and say "Yep, the spindle's broken. Probably this mod chip that lets you use a swap disc. Those keep the motor running constantly and lead to a lot of burnouts. Also the serial numbers don't match. This ain't the one I sold you."

Oh, the yelling. Oh, the screaming. Oh the lack of challenging the plain facts as I reiterated them, plus my witness. And her dad joined in. I finally had enough of it. I had security ready to take them outside, but the adrenaline was going so hard I did something pretty stupid. I grabbed the PS1 and said "Here, this is how sure I am that this is not the one I sold you." I walked to the front door and flung it so hard it went sailing into the opposite wall of the mall walkway.

Up yours, customer.

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Post by BryWI » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:13 pm

The scammers will always scam. That habit never dies.

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Post by 3DOKid » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:40 am

Vance wrote:The highlight of my original 2004 shop in Florida, by Vance Hill:

I get a call! "Do you have playstation 1s?" asks the female drawl."

"Yep, we got a stack of them. $20 each, comes with all the hookups and one controller."

"Okay, I'll be down for one in a few hours."

My buddy from the sandwich shop comes down on break and we hook up one of my used PS1s to test every single port. As we do, the redneck couple comes in. I explain we were just testing their model and it's working great. I do the sale with one game, the cheapest in the shop. Spec Ops, I think. As they're leaving, the woman asks if it's defective, can they return it. Hello? I was just using it. I took the system back and wrote down the serial number, hoping they'd get the point.

The next day I get an angry call. "IT DIDN'T WORK. I'M BRINGING IT BACK FOR A REFUND!" I go huh, and immediately call my buddy and security. They show up fast and bring the lady's huge dad, who stands in the doorway and glares at me the whole time. I take a look at it and say "Yep, the spindle's broken. Probably this mod chip that lets you use a swap disc. Those keep the motor running constantly and lead to a lot of burnouts. Also the serial numbers don't match. This ain't the one I sold you."

Oh, the yelling. Oh, the screaming. Oh the lack of challenging the plain facts as I reiterated them, plus my witness. And her dad joined in. I finally had enough of it. I had security ready to take them outside, but the adrenaline was going so hard I did something pretty stupid. I grabbed the PS1 and said "Here, this is how sure I am that this is not the one I sold you." I walked to the front door and flung it so hard it went sailing into the opposite wall of the mall walkway.

Up yours, customer.
That's a lot of acting for $20. Nice work on the throw, I could have used that amount of gumption recently in a Hotel in London.

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