View Full Version : Curiosity Killed BigJohn

2007-07-23, 14:55
Hey y’all, a bit of curiosity has taken over and I’m also hoping to get a better feel of who I’m talking to…what do you guys do for a living and how does it relate to hiking?

I’m a historian by training.:alberteinThere is no direct link to hiking but whenever I go someplace new I try to learn a little bit about the history of the areas I’m walking in…

Is your work related to your interest in hiking at all, or is there some experience from your work that you bring to the wilderness??

2007-07-23, 15:23
Now my first reaction was "why the @#$% would I want to tie my work to hiking?" I spent a full summer in the woods as a ranger, and didn't go back for years - it was like work!

But now, I'm a desk jockey (government auditor). I have always felt - and I know not all take this position - that I didn't want to mix my fun with my work. I think it would stink to have to get up and go hiking/fishing/golfing everday, and have to be good enough at it to make a good living.

I think you should enjoy your work, love your play, and be challenged by both.

I have a great job, and I look forward to going to work everyday, but always look forward to the weekend even more, and plan to keep it that way.

And lucky for me, my work takes me around the country, so wherever I have an assignment, I can usually work in a day or two hiking (and I do like to get at least a passing familiarity with the local history - and the local pub). That's as close as I get to mixing the two.

2007-07-23, 17:51
I am an engineer, so of course I am always looking for new opportunties to find a practical application for all my scientific knowledge and theories. If I am ever successful, I'll be sure and let you all know. ;)

2007-07-23, 18:06
Computer programmer and network/user support.

And after a long week of same the LAST thing I want to do is mess with technology!

So backpacking becomes my release to the primitive.

Well OK there is a LITTLE bit of overlap. I'll use my computer knowledge to download maps/waypoints into my GPS. But for the most part my favorite Out of Office Reply is "I will be out of the office until xx. If you need me you can try me on my cell however for most of the week I will be 'off the grid' deep in the backcountry. For assistance please call Y."

2007-07-24, 01:09
After the military I was a cook for many years, then I managed a bar/restaurant/motel for a few years, the business sold, I quit.
Started a business selling satellite dishes (big ones) sold it.
Then I got work doing fiber optic installation, and later became a warehouse manager for the company I was working for. After 2 years I got homesick and tired of the people I was working with, I quit and came home.
Started a new business selling small satellite dishes, solar powered remote control stock gates, metal detectors, ammonia refrigerators, and whatever else I felt like. Had problems with the person that I had brought in to run the sales (embezzlement) sold the leftover stock and shut down the business.

I've also been a fork lift operator, bouncer, bartender, maintenance man, cashier, manager of a convenience store, moving van driver, landscape worker, licensed road guard, owner of a day care, fire fighter/support crew(forest), vcr repair person, and a few other things in between (most of these lasted a year or less - though a couple of them lasted 2 years).

After I shut down my business I sold my house, quit working, moved in with my parents for what I thought was going to be a short breather. It has become much longer, as I'm needed here.
I have less free time now than when I was working.
I used to take a month or more off every summer to go hiking and camping - for the last 2 years I haven't been able to. But I fully intend to return to that schedule.

2007-07-24, 06:57
I've been in the army for 21 years now. 4 1/2 years of that in the Wa Army National Guard. I'm a tank commander and Master Gunner.

Currently stationed in Afghanistan having loads of fun. :bootyshak

I hate "backpacking" in the army. I just dont see the sense in walking around when they have all those trucks and helos. "Why walk when I can ride" is the mantra of tankers everywhere.

2007-07-24, 12:45
When I lived in the city, I was a DJ and did graphics design. Allowed me to work 2-3 days a week and spend the rest of my time doing personal projects. My last two years in the city, that switched to camping and hiking four days a week.

Last year, I walked out of SF to go on a long walk working on farms. 300 miles in, one of the ranches I was visiting offered us an unattached 44 acre parcel they had bought as a development buffer in return for me staying and taking care of their ranch when they retired. The ranch is a 168 acre nature preserve, and the 44 acre parcel is backed up against a 300,000 acre timber preserve (tree farm). I do everything from garden work to trail maintenance.

I was in the army for five years, and loved army hiking. Got my 12 mile time down to 1:50, and did a number of endurance races and forced march challenges. My opinion was, why stay with the unit and get slotted for details if I could throw on a ruck with a puffed up sleeping bag in it and go "training". Worked every time, I'd get back and they would ask me where I went, and I would point at the farthest visible physical feature, and point at that. Truth was, half the time I would walk a mile in the woods and sleep under a tree, the other half, the pack would be full load and I'd have actually reached the hill or mountain.

john pickett
2007-07-24, 18:37
I'm a clinical perfusionist. I operate the heart-lung bypass pump used in open-heart surgery to keep the patient alive while his/her heart is stopped. Very high tech and VERY, VERY high stress. Hunting, fishing, camping and hiking keep my blood pressure down and me sane.
John Pickett

2007-07-24, 19:46
I work for a mechanical contractor. Cert. Plumber, A/C tech. and some add-on tickets in HVAC design, and water filtration. Been working full time in trades and attending school full time since 2000. Currently on my last major course for Natural Gas Tech.

Hiking and especially bushwacking / practicing primitive skills lets me unwind and get away from all things hi-tech. I enjoy the personal triumphs of starting a fire on the bow drill, or fire plough or making a crude piece of furniture from sticks and withies. Admittedly I am a hi-tech gear buff... but I do draw a personal line at PDA's, GPS, or phones. It is nice to leave a certain level of technology behind... even if only for a weekend.

2007-07-25, 01:23
Employee of a State Law Enforcement Agency. Non-commissioned. I am our State liason to a Federal Law Enforcement Agency. I sit at a computer all day and hate it. Past Reserve Law Enforcement Officer, commisioned. I used to own my own construction company-10 years. Hey turk, I used to install, design, and finally sell HVAC. Still got some thread cutting oil "black" in my skin, and some metal slivers in there too!

Most importantly, I am a husband and father. I have been an active hunter fisherman my entire life. These pursuits have caused me to become an experienced outdoorsman. Braggin time: I know automotive repair extremely well, weapons, self defense, first aid, woodsman skills, cooking, lecture on communication skills, confrontation skills, team building. I am associated with our Psych support network for mass disaster, for this state, or for national deployment. I feel very self sufficient in the out of doors. I cook, I clean, I sew. I am the guy you want around when things go bad. I am arrogant, I am a wiseass and jokester.

Kiwi Dad
2007-07-25, 08:33
I'm basically an electrician. Electrical foreman in an Australian goldmine. Worked in metaliferous mines for the 16 years I've been in Oz. Started my apprenticeship in the Royal New Zealand Navy then went to the electrical outside world before Oz. Been a salesman, motorcycle courier, barman when I travelled the world for a few years and have owned a dance studio (ballroom, latin etc, that's a real different story!). Discovered hunting when I was unofficially adopted by maori (native New Zealander) and hiking when I joined the navy (expeditions) but found the packs real heavy. The internet was my lifeline back to hiking - lots lighter and have found new techniques, the best being ditching the tent and going hammocking. ......Brett

2007-07-25, 09:47
Work = pilot. For years I gazed down on forests and thought about hiking through them at a slower pace to enjoy the diminishing wilderness. The navigation challenge in deep woods also attracted me. Born & raised in NYC, I got my first taste of the wilds though a friend of mine whose family had a cabin on a lake in the Adirondacks. I spent a few weekends a year there and loved it.

Years (and 2 careers) later, my wife & I bought some forest in the Adirondacks, and I enjoy roaming my own woods now and watching the wildlife. It's a great break from the faster pace at work.

Most of my hiking experience came as a necessity of mountaineering, but lately I've been reading up on the AT and Pacific Crest trail and thinking more about hiking than climbing. The pack is lighter, the pace slower, and there's usually no required target to complete each day.

2007-07-25, 12:02
Iceman - you told me that you sold Avon products door-to-door!!!

2007-07-25, 23:42
I was just trying to cozy up with you....figured you would want some makeup for the dress and pumps you wore last time we went out...:dancing:

Man, isn't that a scary thought,............. me selling avon...:ahhhhh:

2007-07-26, 01:35
I thought Iceman was a Mary Kay seller.
.....But maybe that's just because he's so fond of the color pink.

2007-07-26, 10:08
LOL... you guys.

I'm formerly a bookkeeper, now a stay at home wife and mom. I've also worked in rental property management before. I think I'd rather stick with what I do now if I get the choice. ;)

2007-07-26, 10:14
Bookkeeper is a really cool word.
B oo kk ee per

That reminds me of something:
What comes next in this sequence?

O TT FF SS ...

2007-07-26, 23:49


2007-07-27, 00:00
You got it.

2007-07-27, 00:58
Interesting. I just noticed there are the same number of letters and the double letters are in the same places. If it wasn't for that 3rd E in BOOKKEEPER and the 3rd T in OTTFFSSENT you could map the letters somehow. Cool. Perhaps there is still a way.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
15 20 20 06 06 19 19 05 14 20
13-15-15 05 05-04-04 11 04-15 = M L L E E W W K D L = :ahhhhh:
02 05 05 11 11 15 15 16 18 05

BOOKKEEPER = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2007-07-27, 01:28
JAK you have way too much time on your hands... :laugh:

2007-07-29, 02:42
:smokin: Jack of all trades trying to find a way to make a !@#$ load of money doing nothing! So far havent found a way to do it with out busting my @SS! So I make peanuts working for the multi billion dollar company that can't afford to give decent health care to its employees and allows everyone in america to !@#$ on them just so they can take care of the customer! Wouldn't want to have scrupples or anyhing like that just gotta get the sale and show increases.:stupido:

If you haven't guessed I work for walmart and I work in the sporting goods department of one of the stores that still sells guns and not one piece of useful hiking gear it's all crap!

I have done almost every thing before working here construction, concrete mason, appliance deliver, cable installation, wharehouse management, mechanic, production work production supervisor, deliver newspapers, lumber jack, metal fabrication and almost anything else that someone could know how to do and not exactly be an expert! I am mortified that I wasn't smart enough to do something else that I at least remotely like because I hate my Job! Unfortunately I make just enought to know that I can't leave and start making close to the same doing something else! I have never worked any where before with such a f!@#$%d up health plan in my life. For a 1/3 of your take home pay you can go to the doctor with a $3000 deductable every year. Woo hoo I can have health insurance or pay my rent what a company?

Oh yeah and I get to deal with freaking idiots every day! :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:
"Do You work here?"
"No I just come here every day and stand in the isle wearing Blue and kaki and open the boxes in my hand with this 'safety cutter' because I F!@#ing enjoy it and have absolutely nothing else to do in my life! How 'bout you?":thefinger
"Do you know where this is?"
"Yeah right next to you on the second shelf."
" I can't find it could you show me?":mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
"Sure just a sec, just let me show you this clearance baseball bat first you f!@#ing idiot!":viking: :secruity: :stickyman

Yeah I have issues can you tell?:stupid:

That's okay they give me the keys to all the guns! (insert evil laugh here)

I don't know how it is where you all live? But for some unknown reason when your in a hurry trying to get something done during the day in the Walmart here some a hole has to need something. Then when your trying to get from point A to point B with one of those shiny silver carts some moronic old lady quickly pushes her cart out in to the isle in front of you and comes to a dead stop so you cant get around her.

IRRITATING INCONSIDERATE !@@##$$%^^&*&*(*(!@@###'s!!!!:motz: :motz: :motz:

My answer is a Paint ball gun.:angel: Every time that little old lady does that you just pull it up and shoot em in the head with it. Same deal with the person that takes stuff off the shelf and doesnt put it back. How about the one who opens the package pulls the item all out and then purchases the one behind it in the unopened package. :tomato: :tomato: :beer:

Just think about the next time your standing in the isle looking at an item and then put it down or on the wrong hook as soon as your fingers leave the package.....WHAAAMMM! paint ball to the back of the head from nowhere. Bet if it was an automatic system no one would ever do it again.:tomato: :tomato:

All you need is a little disclaimer sign at the entrance way!:withstupi

2007-07-29, 05:51
If I'm ever in Vermont you can bet I ain't going to WalMart!:afraid:

2007-07-29, 09:46
LMAO. That was great. Thanks for sharing the Pure Mahem.

I have never seen such graphic venting. :adore: ... :albertein

Also a great response by the Bear.

2007-07-29, 09:51
Well at lest you know your s--. My wall mart guy at sports and camping knows northing ask him something not know. two mouths or so the whole town was a black out for a week bad storm .At wall mart a guy was looking for pp Coleman fuel ask the dump guy said got nun sold out. So as he was leaving i told him go over to the hardware dept. get some bez omatic. same as Coleman had lots where in hell do they get this guys must be collage ones just know all in books. :afraid: :afraid:

2007-07-29, 09:51
PureMahem, so basically you don't like working there? Not sure I understand......

Sometimes I don't like working where I do either, but I never have the urge to "cap" everyone around me...

Maybe you should change your name to PureEvil?

Hey serioulsy, with your varied skills, you should maybe re-think moving around from different jobs, and pick one of them to become the expert on. A few friends of mine with similar skills have had better success when they focused on one, learned everything, and became the "go to guy" on the topic. Union or not, an expert on any of your skillsets will bring you way better money!

2007-07-31, 19:55
I work for a major chemical company in production. What that means is I am the one operating all the tanks and columns that you can see as you pass a refinery or chemical plant. Been here for 29 years and in the business for 31 years.

Pure Mahem,
I hate to inform you but it has been my experience that most large corporations are basically the same. That is the bottom line is profit and one of the ways to increase profit is to keep salaries low. The big difference is that I do not have to deal with the public, but when it comes to rules and regulations, especially government regulations, this business is a night mare. Every time someone gets hurt or there is a spill, fire, etc. out comes a new procedure which is supposed to prevent it from happening again. It is a necessary evil due to the hazards involved with the nature of our business. But, due to the nature of our business, it is why we make the $$$ that we do which is why I will put up with a little BS.

Bottom line: If it is that bad, and the $$$ are not there, go somewhere else.

2007-08-01, 10:51
I was a computer guru through the big WWW boom. When that busted in 2002, I became a professional whip maker. It's nice, because I work at home and can go out on the trails when the weather is nice, rather than just on weekends.

2007-08-01, 17:19
If I'm ever in Vermont you can bet I ain't going to WalMart!:afraid:

I never go there, myself: too many nut cases roaming the aisles with their blue vests and those crazy eyes and paint ball pistols.:ahhhhh:

2007-08-02, 01:25
If you haven't guessed I work for walmart and I work in the sporting goods department of one of the stores that still sells guns and not one piece of useful hiking gear it's all crap!

Working in a retail job sucks. Kinda like working in a restaurant job, which I did when I was younger. Long hours (or not long enough to avoid OT pay), low pay, little or no benefits, high stress, and mgt who would bleed their employees and sell the blood if they thought it would increase their profit margins.

I worked for a pizza chain once where a regional director would reprimand and ultimately demote a store manager who bought any necessary store supplies out of the store funds, even toilet paper and dish soap. Managers had to buy such items out of their own paychecks. Of course this regional director was worshipped at the corporate level because his numbers were better than anyone else. For years he was untouchable. Eventually high turnover brought attention to him and he was fired. This is just ONE story. I have MANY more.

I am SOOOO glad to be out of those industries. I share your bitterness.

Pure_Mayhem, you list a pretty impressive skill set and list of experiences. You are worth far more than Wally World can offer you. There are thousands of companies that pay much more, offer real benefits packages, and treat you like a human being. Go for it! Shitty jobs drain your self worth and make you scared to change. It took me a long time to get up the nerve to send out resumes and interview. Eventually I found the courage to do so and the job I ultimately found pays 6x as much and has been so wonderful I have been there 17 years.

Oh yeah and stay away from retail and food service industries.