1. [IMG]
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  2. Not as large but yeah
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  3. Can you imagine a Cowboy's offensive with Dak and Romo? Looks like Jerry is going to hang on to him to finish out his contract that ends with the 2019 season.
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  4. long post so...

    TL;DR: I was becoming obsessed with money and was missing what really matters to me in life. An extended vacation (only one week though) to a 2nd/3rd world country opened my eyes to who I want the man in the mirror to become

    to start this post a little backstory: My wife is from Nicaragua and moved to the US permanently at 16/17 ..She was held back a year in high school to learn the language and graduated with her diploma at 19. Started freshman year in community college at 19 and graduated with an engineering degree from a state school at 25. I grew up in a poor black family...both of my parents were in the military. We were stationed overseas most of my childhood. When I was 13/14 I got kicked outta the house and have been on my own ever since (didnt talk to my parents for almost a decade or so). Graduated highschool at 18..went to college...dropped out for family reasons my senior year...went back 2 yrs later to finish but had to change majors...graduated with an engineering degree at 26 and went to WORK.

    (sidenote: my wife was born in the US...her parents did the whole visit/have a kid to get them paperwork & citizenship/return home thing and wait for it to pay off -- they did it for 4 of their 5 children actually ...it took them 5 years to get residency status and 13 years to get citizenship -- they did it the LEGAL way and so are single issue voters --HISPANICS FOR TRUMP lol). It's a HORRIB LE retirement plan but that is actually the most common one in the world (it's actually another discussion entirely about why 3rd world countries have such huge families...but as living conditions improve, population rates slow down and level off )

    ...so anyway, my inlaws are both in their early to mid 70s...and dont have $75 (of their own cash/money -- but they do own a house in Nicaragua probably worth $15K or less in materials) to their name because "the kids will take care of me if" type of deal

    its been no secret that I we have been financially successful as of late...actually the past 5-ish years or so since graduating college BUT it has actually been accelerating (which it's weird that I can go on a trip halfway around the world...spend thousands on plane tickets, thousands on gifts, hundreds on accomodations & food & activities...be generous -- and my our net worth actually increased this month)

    the problem is that I was becoming someone who was only concerned about $$$$ and was looking at people as numbers and statistics...i know i said somewhere on this forum before that I am losing my ability to relate with people around money because money is a concern, but it is not an issue anymore (at 31 our networth is higher than most all of my peers I can actually account for 92% of every penny Ive made since 2012)
    so getting back to this trip...The parents live with a child in the US for 6-7 months, then go back to Nicaragua in the winter for the remainder. This trip was a surpise visit/reunion of all the siblings with the parents in their home country and was exactly what my soul needed. Parents, cousins ,aunts/uncles had
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  5. no clue we were all coming. So it was a lot of fun to hop out of the cab and ring the doorbell and watch the expressions

    I didnt think I was so pro-"Murica" but apparently I am/was...my thoughts were "AmericaNs are amazing because they did this and did this and did this"....when in actuality, "AMERICA is amazing because it created the opportunity that allowed people to do this and do this and do this"...if the situations were reversed...the results would be reversed. I have actually travelled overseas extensively (but almost exclusively Europe [Germany, Italy, France, Czechloslavakia when it was still one republic, Turkey, UK, Spain and more -- so it's different than Central or South America)...this was my first trip to 2nd/3rd world where I stayed for an extended period of time (we took two cruises through the Bahamas and Dominican Republic) It always surprises/saddens me to see stray and kept animals that are soooo skinny. And that is the real blessing of the US, the abundance.

    anyway...sidetracking again

    some of the discussions that I had with my [wife's] family there...and then discussions at night with my wife just kind of opened my eyes to the world.

    there were simple things like weather...talking weather (when we left NC it was 20F and freezing rain on the drive to the airport...when we arrived in Nicaragua it was 92F and raining) explaining freezing rain to someone who has never seen/experienced snow or cold weather...in broken spanish is interesting to say the least (which is another thought about how language works -- basically, I DONT have to be fluent in a language, YOU do...I rely on your fluency to interpret my thoughts -- its weird)

    Talking with a guy who was like..."If you're American, how many guns have you seen? shot? owned? don't you have a problem with people shooting eachother in the streets" In America...there exist something like 1-2 guns per person in circulation...in Nicaragua its something like 0.007% own guns...I told him the better comparison would be to just compare my STATE to his COUNTRY (NC is 53K sq. mi. with 10M pop., Nic is 50K sq. mi with 6M pop)...NC is closer to 30% gun ownership.

    In answer: hundreds // a dozen or so // 4 total, owned 2, sold those and own 2 more right now// I dont think so...Their mind was blown. Then we kinda laughed about murder rates being higher in Nicaragua than the US. Low gun ownership doesnt save them from monsters. In Nicaragua, you are actually least likely to die from a gun shot...but you are most likely to be killed by a machete. I said, if they wanted to fix it they should outlaw machetes because if it saves even 1 life, its worth it. They didnt really get the point/reference so I had to explain it -- machetes dont drive the killings, its all about people. Same with guns. Also, EVERY house, building public or private has security bars and barbed wire fences...because apparently people break in and steal. It doesnt stop stealing in the US, but I promise it is a HUGE deterrent that you dont know what is coming back at you on the other side of that fence, door, window
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  6. another topic of interest was food. before leaving I made a list of fruits and foods that I wanted to try. Things that I couldnt get in the states or things that would be crazy expensive to get in the states. Personally...I wanted to try iguana and snake. The typical American response was "OMG they eat that?! Eww, how poor are they?"...Talking to the Nica people...their response was "OMG you want to eat that?! Eww, only poor people/ farmers eat that!" My first [guilty] THOUGHT was with 50% of people living below the poverty level and the average income being something like $3/day, you ARE poor people...the exchange rate is almost $1 USD to $30 cordobas...so multiplying your money by 30x is always fun. The other fun part was...at a little petting zoo type thing, they were joking about the animals there "have you ever eaten:

    alligator? Yep in New Orleans -- it was tasty

    Turtle?: yep -- as soup in New Orleans -- it was only ok

    deer?: of course -- i dont like deer steaks but I like deer sausage

    "OMG AMERICANS EAT DEER?!!?!?" That really caught me off guard. So then I explained about hunting season and hunting licenses and bag limits and car damage and gardens...they were blown away

    ALSO MY TAL BREATHREN...let me tell you -- snake was FUCKING DELICIOUS...It is easily a #2 on my all time favorite meals. It was tender and juicy and rich and flaked like a good salmon. Nothing can beat a delicious cut of beef but WOW. Also, Iguana was surprisingly good. It was like a lighter version of pork but had a chicken after taste. I started calling Iguana, "Chicken of the Tree". Seriously though, 7/7 would eat both again, so Petsmart WATCH OUT! I was trying to buy gifts for coworkers (4/5 are coffee addicts & 1/5 is a peanut butter addict -- he literally eats it out of a jar with a spoon...but is about 6' tall and 130 lbs) but I couldnt find peanut butter. Apparently peanut butter and jelly isn't a thing there because it is too expensive. My wife said she never tried it until she was 22/23 or so because she had it in college and remembers the roomate that gave it to her
    One thing that I found particularly strange and "heartbreaking"...my wife and her siblings talked about growing up in the family house (which was honestly less than 1000 sq ft for a family of 7 (2 parents + 5 kids)...3 bedrooms (parents / boys / girls), one bath, painted cinderblock walls, concrete floors, no yard/grass, sheet metal roof...type of deal...anyway, we went on this vacation and did a lot of tourist-y stuff. Site seeing and restaurants and day trips. I thought it was strange the people that came along. The first day, we invited the brother (he couldnt make it) so his wife and kids went -- fine. The wife invited her brother...who invited his girlfriend...who invited her friend...who invited her sister. The last 3-4 seems strange to me. The second day...we invited 3 cousins...who invited their (other side of their family) cousin and her kid...and the kids friend. Again the last 3-4. The third day it was cousins...aunts...and some other people (i never heard how they were related). We paid for everything (the money wasn't the issue, but the people being invited and the people accepting the invitation seemed weird to me). After talking with my wife and her siblings about, "have you ever done any of this before? "They were like "well no not really, growing up, we didnt have a car, we didnt have money, and the buses didnt travel that far, but we did borrow ____'s car and visited our uncle the next city over once". Basically, she spent almost 20 years of her life in a 5-6 block radius. That just boggles my mind! Its
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  7. the equivalent of living on a small college campus for 20 years. I know people that have lived in the same city their whole life...but even a city is multiple times bigger than a few blocks. After realizing that, I felt, "ABSOLUTELY invite whoever you want on this trip because honestly, they may never experience something like that again, and really, wtf is another $10 or $20 to me?" The costs were not inhibitive in the least...the first day we paid for 11 people to go ziplining through the rainforest canopy. Total cost? about $140...and my ticket was actually $30 because I had to pay the "Foreigner tourism tax" (can't claim to be a local when you dont speak the language and what not) We bought dinner that night for 13 and it was $100. We did a boat tour for like 15 people for $50...and all sorts of other things. Because I have no reference with the money (cordobas looks like monopoly money because its so small and so colorful) it meant absolutely nothing to me...even at the markets...the vendor says "thats 30c ($1)" and my inlaws are like "NO...its only worth 20c ($0.60)!" I paid the $30c because in the US it would be 150c ($5).

    Also, my wife and I bought $1000USD worth of toys (barbies and batman/superman/legos/ and 1 spiderman (to give to a nephew who is obsessed) and she bought her family these Bath and Bodyworks packages...I personally HATE christmas...but it turns out I hate the materialistic christmas bullshit that we do in the US. When I see/hear these spoiled children get gifts and are so ungrateful, I bristle...to watch these little children get gifts that they will likely cherish for a few months/years warmed my heart -- its hard to describe, but I will gladly do it again

    Anyway...my big revelation was my view of people has changed. I still believe that all people are scum...BUT most dont intentinally set out to harm you, people just make the best decision FOR THEMSELVES with the information available to them at the time. Regardless of how much money someone has people are people are people. I talked to my BLM friend right before I left for the trip and talked to him again after the trip. And I am pretty disgusted with his outlook. The black man cant get ahead because of the system. The poor cant get ahead because of the system. But really, that is probably true anywhere except the modern western world (but I will speak of America because I know it best). Americans are not special. The Nicas love their family fiercely, husbands love their wives, mothers love their children. They work hard. They take pride in their homes (even though by US standards, some A LOT of them live in shanty towns). They are all trying to make a better world for the next generation. Even in the abject poverty, children play, families laugh and smile. I apparently had this notion that people are poor because they are not trying enough or not doing something right. The thing that really cemented it to me was I had this thought of," I dont want my co workers to see this or take a picture of that because what will they think about how some of my family lives." Then I thought, "WHY NOT?, it's reality"...so when they saw some of the pictures of buildings, streets, etc...they gave the typical affluent response/judgement of "Oh wow, didnt know people lived like that -or- I could never do that -or- I could never eat that etc"...TBH it really irked me. So I pushed the issue and manipulated the conversation til I got the youngest little SJW snowflake to say/imply essentially, she has soooo much more money than the Nicas and money means shes a good person (my view before this trip was similar in that money means I was special and that I was doing big things in life and that having a lot of money meant I had a lot of value -- basically it was my scorecard and I was going for the record ). I ended it by saying to them
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  8. (ages 26 - 32), "You know, I have more money than you plus you plus you and you combined -- I must be a better person than all of you put together"... I alienated (4 of) them for a while because I explained to them that it is a different people, with different values, and different culture. They are concerned with their next meal, not the latest smartphone (though not entirely true because my inlaws were amazed to see and touch my Galaxy S4, my wife's S5 and my SIL's S6 Edge in person). But in under a week 3 of them have come back around to say "You know you were right"...but Im still waiting on the hard right wing guy who talks about putting landmines along the southern border to stop illegal immigration and kicking in the doors of the middle east one by one to wipe out terrorism once and for all because its the only way..geezus i hate that guy and will be glad come jan 7th when hes on his next project!

    2017 will be my year because I am going to learn Spanish (Ive been married for 5 years and havent put in much effort with that at all)...I am going into beast mode financially (money equals freedom...but it also means having the ability to help others...PLUS with the opportunities afforded me in this country, I shouldnt squander them -- I feel I finally understand the video of Bill Gates drinking the water from the sewage treatment/energy generation plant)...I think I'm going to find/join a GOOD charity for children in poverty (that doesnt have 90% administrative costs type of thing -- I actually used to volunteer at a childrens center, but it made me so sad and so angry -- the kids couldnt read couldnt do math...but MAN could they dance ...and the little 13 and 14 year old girls always flirted and made me soooo fucking uncomfortable but the older women running the place said something along the lines of "Oh, well they just want positive male attention" -- WTF? so eventually I stopped going -- I'm sure they are all locked up, dead, or pregnant by now)...and I think its time to start making some babies with the boss. Understanding who I want to be is the first time that I truly feel like an adult. Also, the plan is to go back in 2018 because the grandmother is supposed to be celebrating her 100th (I dont think she will make it, but I am going regardless)

    so so so much more in that trip...but I've written enough and will be surprised if you all read it all
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  9. I read the first 2 of 5 of your long post there and will continue to read cause it is interesting. I've did a bit of traveling myself (mentioned it before) I'm pretty sure I don't make as much as you do but I make a decent mid-level salary (not satisfied with that). Also **In a shounen voice to inspiring the protagonist** Killa-san use your wealth to uplift your nakama and less fortunate people around you, especially in the poverty areas where you grew up, then you will feel fulfilled and happy. Also, prayer always helps, I know ol skool but still.

    The only South American country I've been to was Costa Rica, met a beautiful girl there and I would love to see her again but with my financial commitments now I can't travel as much. I guess you can count Mexico too cause I spent the day there when I crossed over from San Diego. I heard good things about Nicaragua, if I get the opportunity I'll definitely check it out. If your spouse has sister (American Engineers) who are single halla at a Canadian Engineering brotha ;). It's always good to travel it gives your another perspective in life, spending a month in Japan (3 weeks hoping from city to city) and then a week on a Marine base to visit family was the best decisions of my life.
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  10. haha

    actually...on the moms side...the cousins all look like feet, have bingo wings and are not really that ambitious (they all still live with mom (our aunt) in grandmas house with no plans for moving out soon (except for the one that I didn't meet -- but in pictures shes the most attractive, but does the whole sharpie eyebrows thing)

    on the dad's side...they all look like models (real talk - waif thin with large chests and nice hips)

    you take cousin Marcela (architect) or cousin Lilliam (civil engineer) or cousin Azaria (student -- chemical engineering...seriously, she looks like Selena Gomez but she has a nasty mole in her cleavage) and add about 15 lbs -- gorgeous

    really the country was filled in gorgeous women...that was gonna be my next thread ...making a scale of 1-10 for female attractiveness because that country had me thinking WHOA :eek:

    also, Costa Rica is Central America or North America...it shares a border with Nicaragua
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  11. Look at charity watch and charity navigator. You can see how charities spend their donations and decide from there.
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  12. Hmmmm hook me up with Marcela.. no Lilliam ah damn if they both find it doesn't matter who :)

    I'm currently on 5 of 5 of your post. Good for you for having that discussion with your co-workers and owning them. I can some what related my family is from the sunny island of Jamaica and when I was in Costa Rica I seen many similarities so I assume it would be the same for Nicaragua. When I was in CR I went to the Talamanca native region on a little excursion. They showed me various plants they use for healing (like the real shit pharma companies either water down or take credit for and mark up the price for something that existed for the very purpose for use to use for free). A also seen an Iguana farm, those fuckers get HUGE! The guy explained that the population went down a couple decades ago and the Gov put a program to boost the population back up because the Talamanca people hunt and eat them. I wish I had the chance to try it but I'm glad you mentioned it. I also want to try snake too one of these days. I also got to make chocolate from the coco seeds. It is amazing at the process of it. When you just crack open the plant you can suck the seeds and the fruit is so good. Then you take the seeds and heat them under the fire and then grind them with a stone and then strain them as well. Put some of that 100% pure coco on a banana and that is your breakfast right there. Also had some hot coco too.

    It would be very good to know whatever charity I send my money to or volunteer for that I know how much of the money is going to admin fees. Not the kind of Hilary Clinton foundation to Haiti type shit.

    That uncomfortable feeling you felt towards the 14 year old just means deep down inside in your primal instincts you wanted her :troll

    I was about to ask if you had any kids yet with your wife. 5 years in already and you have money, go for it! Good luck on the Spanish by the way. I've been trying for years to really get into Spanish, Fench (Canada is bi-lingual country) and Japanese (duh). I think I would have more success if I paid money and went into a class and spoke the language with people on a daily basis then self teaching.
  13. Holy shit an actual life story. =o
  14. Long post is long.
  15. Yeah I read part of that long post, I was interested in the earning lots of money part, then started to get lost at the guns are great part.

    I believe I read 6 people died from guns in Japan last year, 40,000 died in America, I'm thinking the strict gun laws had something to do with that.

    Also just saw that ridiculous advertisement with DM in the kids mouths, what an amusing thing to have been a part of.
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  16. 6 to 40,000 omfg lol
  17. Yeah I read the same article.


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  18. In the US, not sure about other countries though, suicides by gun are also included in gun deaths. So the figure is much higher than say, if you looked into gun homicides.
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  19. I appreciate the link! That is a lot of souls that die by the gun.

    Good point
  20. The better argument would be to compare between states..

    Japan is an entirely different people and culture

    Im sure there are ton of countries with higher gun deaths per capita

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