OT: My YouTube Interview...

wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
edited January 2013 in The Commons
Post edited by wancow on

Comments

  • patience55patience55 Posts: 6,206
    edited December 1969

    Good interview, you did bring up some good points. Thanks for sharing.

  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 1,264
    edited December 1969

    Wow, sorry to hear that you are homeless, man, that is terrible and you seem so positive in the interview. I really hope you find work soon and are able to get back on your feet. I was out of work for 3 weeks a few years ago and i couldn't focus on anything other than getting rehired and back on my feet. Any time I spent away from that on hobbies or fun just made me feel incredibly guilty that i hadn't found a job yet. I was getting unemployment, but it just made me feel like such a burden on society more than anything, last thing i wanted was to be sponging off the tax payers.

    Best of luck man!!

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    I did find work. I had a $12 an hour job as a driver for ten months and learned very quickly that I'd need to make $18 to get a place. At that point, I had to think about setting up for the long haul, which, thankfully, I did. Thanks for your thoughts :)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,794
    edited December 1969

    Been there myself and dragged myself out of the gutter but it took a while and I will never go back and I have to agree never give to anyone who asks for money. I have helped others out before when they have asked for money and I said no but I will take them to a place where I would pay for a meal, all but one accepted, the one who declined probably needed a fix of something stronger. ;)

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    If you take nothing else from that interview, that's the one thing that is the most important, IMHO. Never give money to anyone flying a sign. Ever!

  • Herald of FireHerald of Fire Posts: 3,384
    edited December 1969

    Well, you've destroyed a lot of my misconceptions about the homeless. It's also interesting to put a face to the name. You seem surprisingly cheerful and optimistic, it's good to know you're looking ahead. I am curious though. You said in the interview you have your own computer. I assume it's a laptop, but where do you get it charged?
    ...also watching that made me want to donate a Daz gift voucher. Is that strange?

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    I told you that Livermore is probably paradise when it comes to being homeless, and that largely has to do with the Public Library, which has longer hours than any other library I'm aware of in the SF Bay Area. It's not just free wifi, I can also plug in for power... and, it has a coffee shop right in the building which opens during the week at 7am... I'm a little lucky in that the folks that run the coffee shop are 1: very very sweet people and 2: like me for some reason I can't fathom... I occupy a seat next to the window and do my thing sipping coffee and helping out sometimes when the owner has a catering job... Oh, and yes, it is a laptop. I have an i5 equipped ASUS. My most valuable possession is a Trek bicycle upon which I have bags mounted front and back. Everything I own is on it save what's in my satchel (which is where I keep my laptop). My main challenge is finding cover for my bike in the rain. Leaving it out in the rain is never an option.

    Oh, and do not feel sorry for me. I'm doing just fine. I simply want people to know that living in this fashion is not the death sentence people make it out to be. The "hopeless homeless" get no sympathy at all from me. And people who whine about it, IMHO, are people who truly believe the world owes them a living.

    In Livermore we are very, very lucky for a variety of reasons. 1. The Churches are 100% of the support given to the homeless. When it rains or gets below 40 degrees, the churches host the Livermore Homeless Refuge, and that's where we sleep on those nights. 2. The Government is too lazy and greedy to do anything (they get Federal Money for the Homeless which they summarily spend on other things. I'm actually thankful for this, because they stay out of the way of those who actually make a difference). 3. The Chief of Police, Steve Sweeney is a great guy and very pragmatic, I see him almost daily, and he understands reality, and 4. We have this library.

    If you truly want to give help to the homeless you can do one of two things: find a church organization that his actually doing something and ask what they need. Or look to volunteer... stay overnight pulling a watch at a shelter or whatever. Two things the homeless use a lot of: Socks and Underwear. Lightly used sleeping bags or conforters are often in short supply.

    I don't think I said it during the interview, but I think the most important thing I've learned over the past three years is the meaning and value of this ancient Japanese phrase:

    Less is More.

  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 1,264
    edited December 1969

    wancow said:

    In Livermore we are very, very lucky for a variety of reasons. 1. The Churches are 100% of the support given to the homeless. When it rains or gets below 40 degrees, the churches host the Livermore Homeless Refuge, and that's where we sleep on those nights. 2. The Government is too lazy and greedy to do anything (they get Federal Money for the Homeless which they summarily spend on other things. I'm actually thankful for this, because they stay out of the way of those who actually make a difference). 3. The Chief of Police, Steve Sweeney is a great guy and very pragmatic, I see him almost daily, and he understands reality, and 4. We have this library..

    Interesting, I am seeing this differently now. For me being homeless is not something to be happy, content or ok with. I have worked in helping the homeless in Austin, food kitchens, donations, etc, and always with the mindset that these people have no options other than to rely on the generosity of others. Most of the others that worked with me there had the same mindset.
    Not getting into politics, but the govt isn't there to support you, but then again, that is the problem, to many think it is.
    I will have to rethink my charitable donations and work after this.

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969


    Not getting into politics, but the govt isn't there to support you, but then again, that is the problem, to many think it is.

    This point cannot be made often enough. :)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,794
    edited December 1969

    A lesson everyone should learn young....and I will stop there before geting on my soapbox and launching in to a rant..

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    Hey... I mentioned my friend Gary in that interview... you have not lived until you've experienced a Gary rant! That guy has an eloquence all his own and I wish I could record him going off, it's a thing to hear! I love a good rant!

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,794
    edited December 1969

    I have my moments when I let loose but I try to be pretty chilled these days...not worth the health risks like high blood pressure...man I have had a banging headache all day with the day I have had and I am still laughing.

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    Glad to hear your still laughing :) Sorry bout the headache... when I get those, they put me down and I'm unable to function. :(

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    Now this is horrific. Two of the volunteers at the Refuge last night were Linda and Harry. This morning their daughter Chris was found dead of an overdose at Vineyard Christian Fellowship, where, insidentally, I was interviewed! The refuge was at that same church the last three weeks, but not last night...

    Wow...

    http://livermore.patch.com/articles/police-investigating-death-at-church-parking-lot

  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 1,395
    edited December 1969

    Ouch--- I'm sorry about this loss, friend. You're absolutely right about the need for the churches to reach out and the government to get out: most of the Social Welfare programs that the government (at all levels) involves itself in are things churches should be doing instead, and would by and large do better than the government ever could. To paraphrase the gospels: "Give to Caesar the work that is Caesar's, and to God the work that is God's", and all of us will be better off for it.

  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 19,877
    edited December 1969

    Please resist the temptation to turn this into a political discussion. Thankyou

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 2012

    There's this outfit called Abode which is a government funded group. They do run the Hope van, which shows up once a week at Vineyard Christian Fellowship (so long as it's not a holiday) and set you up with appointments to the county hospital if they think you need one. You can tell that they're government funded because they're shut down on holidays. Anyway, one of the things they do mostly is take people from the inner city, clean them up, and rent them rooms (with tax dollars) here in Livermore, where they continue to sell and or use drugs or whatever else it is they do. Abode does talk a good game, but don't do much for anyone out here, but they sure like to add to our population... negatively. Last year their rep showed up at a city conference and ranted about how "Housing must be FIRST"... Same with Self Esteme... one must be housed and have great esteme in one's own eyes...

    Anyway, the outfit is mostly worthless. The hope van is nice, but if it didn't exist, Cornerstone, Cedar Grove or some other church would fill that void pretty quickly like they do for six days of the week when the hope van doesn't show up...

    The main participants at the homeless refuge are Bob and Donna McKenzie. He's a stoic Irish American and she's this tiny woman of Italian stock with this whole Sofia Loren thing going on.... they're 78 years old, both of them. If the homeless refuge were a govt. operation those two would not be involved, and it would be pretty wretched for not having them.

    If it's government run or funded, it's probably not working very well... That's not political, that's simple reality.

    As far as Chris' death, I didn't know her hardly at all. But Linda and Harry have been volunteers for years, so I know them quite well. That they were volunteering last night was... well, that had to be pretty cruel to find out after...

    Post edited by wancow on
  • patience55patience55 Posts: 6,206
    edited December 1969

    wancow said:
    ... edit ...

    As far as Chris' death, I didn't know her hardly at all. But Linda and Harry have been volunteers for years, so I know them quite well. That they were volunteering last night was... well, that had to be pretty cruel to find out after...

    That would be devastating. Our condolences to all.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,794
    edited December 1969

    wancow said:
    Glad to hear your still laughing :) Sorry bout the headache... when I get those, they put me down and I'm unable to function. :(
    I am stubborn. :)

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 2012

    In any event, thanks to all of you who saw it and thanks to everyone who posted such kind remarks... Me, I look at it with morbid fascination at the notion that anyone can sit for 40 minutes and listen to my squeeky voice as long as Jim Schnitter did that evening... ugh!

    I suppose I should try to do a Genesis self portrait and do an animation based on that video... it would be creepy weird, but creepy weird things have been done in 3D Before...

    Post edited by wancow on
  • ZamuelNowZamuelNow Posts: 615
    edited December 1969

    Won't get into a political rant but I will note that it's disappointing that the government sometimes gets in its own way when it comes to helping people. Really useful programs tend to be out there but both red tape or even simple location issues can be a problem.

    As far as the main topic, misconceptions are a funny thing. My whole life my family has been hovering between low income and lower middle income, including living in public housing/"the projects" before. But I've pretty much always been nerdy, despite the stereotypes of poor black kids. People tend to be pretty shocked when they got used to my personality then find out where I've lived. Perhaps a more recent situation was relaying how on a nicer side of town I got a "grab child and quickly cross the street" which they didn't even think was possible for someone to have that sort of reaction to me. So while not outright homeless, I can understand some of the issues you may have had to deal with.

    It's nice to hear about a church on the news that's positive since the media tends to only showcase either the nutcases or the hypocritical mega-conglomerates. Also nice to hear you've got a nice library. While I'm on the other side of the country, the library system in this city as a whole has always been a bit of a safe haven. There were even a few years where we actually won awards for being up to date on computer labs.

    I'll probably start to trail off into tangent from here so I'll just wish you luck on continuing to survive out there.

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    I hear you, Zamuel. Before I get into this, I have to say that Livermore cops by and large are a decent bunch of guys. They've always treated me very well. One day, however, there was a situation at Vineyard Christian Fellowship (same place that was in the news) where the cops had to be called on a couple of meth addled ruffians (meth does something to people's brains... part of me thinks they aught to just be put down en-masse)... anyway, somehow, my friend Gary, who I've already mentioned, got caught up in this, and was handcuffed, on the ground face down. He did nothing at all, he was just there. Yes, he's black. He does not do the Fulsom Prison Shuffle with his pants on the ground, and, frankly, I've never thought of him as black simply because he's just one of those guys who seems, for lack of a better term: raceless. I only thought of him as a great orator with an unhealthy obsession with the Dallas Cowboys. His nickname is Cowboy Gary. I'm pretty sure that how I think of him is common amoung those who know him. Yet he gets cuffed and frisked and caught up in the mix, frankly, because he's black. I wouldn't be making excuses for him at all if he dressed like a gangster. Those guys buy whatever's coming to them, IMHO. Not Gary... a bunch of us have spoken with Steve Sweeney about it, asking for a formal apology to Gary, and that's the only black mark on the Chief's record so far as I know, because nothing ever came of that.

  • frank0314frank0314 Posts: 8,782
    edited December 2012

    We have already asked that the conversation stray from religion and/or politics. If the topic continues we will have no other option but to lock the thread.

    Post edited by frank0314 on
  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 2012

    Frank0314 said:
    We have already asked that the conversation stray from religion and/or politics. If the topic continues we will have no other option but to lock the thread.

    What are you talking about? Who's going into religion and politics? Would you mind being a little more specific? I don't see one political or religious thought in this entire conversation.

    Post edited by wancow on
  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    Jim Schnitter finally posted the whole thing... I forgot what I said at the end, was just cringing at the last thing I quipped there... :(

    Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF3hEOxWrWE
    Part 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIARc1BU344
    Part 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8cnPovY3cQ
    Part 4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI1GtLMLpWg

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