Back in 2004 I met some people who ended up having a profound influence on my life. My young self, a geeky socially deprived kid who looked at the world through rose colored glasses, was still living in some obscure dream world. The people I met challenged me in ways I have never been challenged before. To an extent they were dicks towards me, at one time or another, but their actions made me who I am today.
I will fully admit I am not the most motivated person in the world. But I am also far from the laziest person in the world. That being said, when I work on projects, my goal is not really to make it pretty - I am no artist. My goal is to make it work for what I need, at the lowest reasonable cost. So when it came to wiring my old van up with emergency lights for preforming volunteer emergency response duties, much of my interior wiring was scratch built, and not very well hidden. Wires were exposed in plain view, and lights were mounted with cable ties. But for me, it worked, and gave me the flexibility I wanted for what I did. By no means was my work in order to impress anyone or show off, or pretend to be a 'official' vehicle install. It was for practical purposes of being seen at night on the highway while I assisted someone, or worked an accident scene.
Well that one day, a photo was taken of my install. That photo landed me a famed spot on a ham radio website which made fun of crazy hams. This was 2004 when this photo was taken. Needless to say I began to see my old methods of going out of my way to help someone, and needing to invest money in emergency lighting, being a tad silly. I gradually moved away from that, and it wasn't until 2009 when I got the volunteer bug again, by joining a local volunteer firehall. I quickly discovered that volunteer firehalls are filled with politics and drama, and I have no use for that, so I wasn't unhappy when they removed me from the roster after I decided not to show up a few times.
My install in my Jeep for the firehall was also done on the cheap, as I wasn't employed at the time. I scraped up as many parts as I could from my small collection of used parts, and purchased the rest with the very limited funds I had available. That being said, being that at the time I didn't have a garage to work in, and was forced to work out on the road with no access to power for power tools, I did as good of a job as I really could. I mounted switches nicely in a trim panel, and hid all the wires below trim in the front of the Jeep. The only real exposed wiring is a bank of relays in the rear cargo area on the side panel. This was done for servicing and I had planned on installing a cover over top of them, but found that I really don't need to as they are out of the way enough. All my lights are screwed into the vehicle and hard wired. Nothing temporary. So I figure I did well.
But apparently this wasn't good enough for my one friend Alex and his friend. As the last time they visited they made several condescending comments about my install (which I do not use anymore, as I have no need to volunteer). This apparently reopened the old topic about my van, and those photos have resurfaced making fun of me. Apparently I am the running joke up there in the wanna-be circles of some whacker groups up in Ontario and elsewhere. Well, guess what guys. Unlike many of you, I own my own house. This is something which requires extra responsibility and takes priority over needless spending. My idea of fun is no longer sitting in donut shops waiting for a good fire call - such as would be your idea of fun. No, my idea of fun is going out to eat a nice fancy dinner, and spending some quality time with the wife. Or relaxing in the back yard, enjoying the sun, or even gardening. Or doing one of the many hobbies I have.
So I am sorry if I don't shell out thousands of dollars for top of the line professional equipment for my jeep, which I will never use. And I am sorry if I have exposed relays. Yes, I suppose that makes my install shit. But it works, and if I ever break down, I know I can count on my lights to function. But otherwise, I really don't care. My jeep is a tool. It gets me to and from work, and from point A to point B. It is 14 years old, with 176k miles on it. Its getting up there in age, but it can still haul motorcycles around, and gardening supplies. But I guess in some way this is flawed. I should put money into it and make it pretty like a official police vehicle or something according to these clowns and others like them.
Another is a person who showed me many new life experiences that, prior to meeting him, I had little exposure to.
He was also socially challenged, and eventually choose to move into the same town I lived in. This turned us from acquaintances to best friends for a little while. We would often hang out, and made extensive trips to Algonquin and other Central Ontario locations with our jeeps. Together we had many very cool experiences. However he is a very picky person, and he seemed to have opinions about my girlfriend. He kept on encouraging me to keep looking, and not to settle down quite yet. He himself has issues with girls, and is likely to remain a bachelor for the rest of his life. His requirements for a suitable female specimen are of supermodel quality, and must be near perfect in every regard. Problem is, he is far from it. While his ego is fairly high, he believes he is the shit. But he has his issues.
I know he was pissed off about me running off to the States and marrying my wife. And ever since, he has kept his distance from me. Well buddy, sorry that you don't approve of the woman I love, but ya know what. Fuck you. This is my life, and I choose to live it the way I wish to live it. Sure she may not be great looking and of super model quality like the fantasy women you plan on one day marrying, but her and I have been through a lot, and guess what, we are still together.
I am just ranting, mainly because I have worked a shit ton of overtime this week, and am very tired. But also because I am fed up of having to impress people or meet other peoples expectations or standards. I do not consider a person a friend, if they judge you by anything other then yourself as a person, and that alone. Your talents, your partner, your house, your car, your job... aren't anything to base a friendship on. These are all hollow and meaningless things in the world of friendship. A true friend will not care about any of that.
True friends are hard to find, and they get harder to find as one ages. We do not gain friends as we age, rather we loose friends. We all mature and go in our own directions, and that is fine. That is natural.
I remember one of those friends I mentioned above used to swear to me that anyone who lived south of Toronto and especially down near Niagara Falls, and even more so across the border in Buffalo is a moron, and very socially inept. Well, I must say, I have found more true friends here then I ever did in Toronto. Perhaps because Toronto's culture is very stuck up. They all think their the best, and its not about enjoying life, and more so about what you have and what you do there, which is a status symbol. Here in Buffalo, things are rough all over. A majority of people are on welfare, but the ones who are working are either in minimum wage type jobs, or blue collar workers. Here you base friendship on people you actually trust and who generally like you for you.
I am happy to say that I finally have the courage to move on with my life. Those people I knew in Toronto... I am a different person now. I have no interest in really associating with them anymore if they wish to judge me this way. It seems they are of a similar mindset towards me; unless their making fun of me, or using me for a shipping drop point, they have no interest in really associating with me, or valuing me for who I am. But I think I am at the point in my life where I am just going to say 'fuck it' and remove those who would be involved in making fun of me from my life. Those people likely know who they are, and if they read my blog (which I doubt they do) they will understand why I no longer communicate with them.
I just kinda needed to get that off my chest, it has been bugging me for a while now.