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OMG! I didn't know that about you ...1903

Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Just for fun ... and maybe a little bit of promotion, too. Tell the group here something we didn't know about you.

I'll go first in the next thread.
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Here's something you might not know ...

During the Soviet Union era, when I was a visiting scholar at a university in southern Siberia (it really is cold there) I was snatched up by the KGB and taken away in the middle of the night to meet a witch.

It was at the tail end of the Soviet Era. There was a huge imminent void approaching and there was a powerful black magic movement. The KGB wanted to recruit me to side with a white magic witch to combat the black magic that was taking place. There was also a group that had created a gun that shot electro-magnetic waves at the same frequency that people think at. They were using the gun for mind control. On one side they wanted me to battle black magic and on the other side they wanted my help to fight mind control agents. I am 100% serious. If it weren't me there I wouldn't have believed it.

I offered to let them shoot me with the gun. I am not guilty of thinking too deeply anyway and I figured it couldn't cause too much harm... maybe even set me straight. Turns out, it was a pretty stupid thing for me to do ... go off with the KGB in the middle of the night. The department chair who was my sponsor was furious with me the following week. Yikes! I resolved that if I were asked to do it again, I'd go with them in a heartbeat. I would just be more scared the next time.
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Member Katie_Ellen private msg quote post Address this user
! What were the effects on you of that gun? What was your subject of scholarship that they wanted you to do that?

I read that during a campaign to abolish superstition and to break the power of traditional shamanic practice in the Soviet Union, they used to chuck shamen out of helicopters saying, think you can 'fly'? Go on then, fly!

Was the gun idea something like the idea behind the use of solfeggio harmonics?

I am not in Spain BTW. I was last week, now back home in the UK.
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

They never shot me with it. But they sent me a VCR (remember them?) to show me ppl who had been. They were kind of walking around with blank stares and awkward movements.

What's your OMG! I didn't know?
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Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
I once worked in the Middle East, which meant I worked in some of the most dangerous places around at the time.... In 96 I left my job in Saudi ... and was asked to enter Kuwait... now, I didn't have a visa and I didn't want my previous employer knowing were I was going... So...

I booked my flight from Bharain ... arrived at the check-in desk to be told I could not board as I didn't have a visa... I asked for a phone and called a friend... ten minutes later I was asked if I wanted to board the plane.

Arriving in Kuwait I was met off of the plane by some important official and escorted through customs and immigration... I was also issued with a visa... and here is my mistake... it was issued based on my previous travel so it was issued on my old companies Kuwaiti sponsor.

Anyway I entered Kuwait ... had a blast... and overstayed my visa ... mistake number two ...

Now as I had overstayed ... the visa sponsor was made aware of me ... he was a major influencer in Kuwait... so he asked the police to interview me and find out how I got a visa...

Now... the police aren't stupid, they knew I had contacts at the highest level ... however they asked me to visit them for a chat (mistake number 3) ... and I entered a police station ... was escorted through to what I can only described as an open plan office... with sofas and such like dotted between desks... I was asked if I wanted coffee and generally looked after ...

The police asked me how I got my visa ... I played dumb... something I am particularly skilled at, it seems. After about an hour of them being polite and me playing dumb they asked me to enter a different room.

Never fearing anything... i agreed and was pushed along the system to what must have been a high ranking detective or CIA type person ... anyway this person knew my contact personally... so ten minutes later I am out of there after being told to get these contacts to sort it out amongst themselves.

Th situation was... that both the person I knew and this other person who visa I had overstayed were both standing for parliament, and I had somehow become a pawn in a game.

Anyway this went on for a little while ... and just went I was going to get on a fancy yacht and leave the country that way ... I was issued a fine, which my contact paid... and allowed to leave the country.

There are lots of other stories... but not many people to get to hear than one ... influencer marketing in the nineties.
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

Influencer marketing in the 90s! Love it.
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Member Katie_Ellen private msg quote post Address this user
Here is an instance of non-influencer Marketing from 1985. Continuing a Marketing and publicity a young museum worker fresh out of Uni, peanuts salary, I went along with my curator (manager) to keep her company, going for a live radio interview with BBC3 at Pebble Mill (Big BBC TV and radio studios in Birmingham).

The interview was to promote an exhibition called 'Showing A Leg'. I had named it, I have a propensity for terrible puns, and it was an exhibition fascinating is THIS? Socks! Tights! Hosiery! For which the English city of Leicester is famous in the same way that Northampton is famous for shoe-making.

My manager was very nervous, she drove, we arrived late and when we got into the studio, she said she didn't want to do it and shoved me in, instead. No warning, no preparation. I was live on air.

God knows what nonsense I spouted but I was in there 30 minutes. I do know I remembered to tell them about our star exhibit. An ancient Egyptian SOCK. The Coptic Sock. It had separate toes for a sandal thong to go between and brown, red and green stripes, was knotted rather than knitted, technically, and dated about 300 AD.

And then, after all that, the museum never even recorded it. Typical of those days. Museums are much more publicity savvy these days. Good thing, too.
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

Wow! Being thrust upon stage, or in front of a camera.

But at least you didn't cower away.
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Member Katie_Ellen private msg quote post Address this user
A very tame choice of memory, compared with yours and Steve's, my goodness, but good training for other things, later.

This was the kind of sock. This one is Roman but very similar in appearance.

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Member jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
As mentioned before, I'd been involved with the SF Bay Area tango community after my stint in the Navy (which coincidentally I'd been in the Gulf - Dubai, Jebel Ali, etc. during the time @Steve mentions)

After a messy break up with a gal, she filed a restraining order. Okay, I thought, after all's said and done, I didn't want anything to do with her.

Well, she starts to show up at events where I helped to sponsor, and THEN calls the police waving the order.

Guess this the anti-version of influencer marketing!

Eventually, since I was friends with a lot of the other organizers, they got on to her game. She stopped showing up since her brand of ruckus wasn't welcomed any more!
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
It is amazing how serendipity comes into play where you would least expect it. Way back in the 70s I owned and operated a private investigation agency (I was also a licensed PI myself) and I was set up by local police (another story there) and charged with a serious felony. I was acquitted by superior court judge and jury in what was a precedent setting case with lots of publicity.

Several years later I rented office space, in another city, for an entirely different purpose, from the ex-wife of the lawyer who handled my criminal case and it was only after some conversation about other things that we realized the connection (we had never met before). We talked about what I was doing and I mentioned I was involved in some work involving a government project code-named TEMPEST.

Two nights later my landlady was a guest at a dinner party where the honored guest was the chief science adviser to the Prime Minister of Canada. He brought up the work he was doing on a project called TEMPEST. My landlady spoke up saying something like, "Oh, I know a guy who works with TEMPEST," which got me a request to meet Dr. Shepherd.

Shepherd introduced me to his company's president and he hired me to consult on a project they were developing for the government and business. During this time I was also working on counter-terrorism projects and Shepherd asked me to write a white paper on a complementary topic for the government minister in charge of Canada's foreign service "spy" agency -- not CSIS, the other one that has no name.

This ultimately led to an interview with that agency and a contract offer in June of 1990 to spend a year as a civilian adviser to Canadian embassy security, in Kuwait. I was to leave immediately as things were getting a little "rough" (as the man understated it).

My daughters were both in school. The older one had just been promoted from grade 7 directly to high school and would start in the fall in a foreign language immersion program in a language she did not speak. It seemed like a good time for dad to be around home. I declined the offer.

In August of that same year Saddam's tanks rolled into Kuwait. I keep a picture (from Time Magazine I think) to remind me how close I came to being available as a human shield.

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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

That's a sock?!
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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@Katie_Ellen I was born in Leicester. My parents worked in those hosiery factories before being brought to Australia by Kayser in the 70s.
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Member almcdermid private msg quote post Address this user
In either late 1977 or early 1978, I was visiting my then wife’s remote village in southern Luzon in the Philippines. One day we went to visit an even more remote farm, and had to walk through the forest to get there. At one point I needed to urinate and so slipped behind a tree to do so.

That night I was struck with extreme painful constipation. There was no doctor in her village, so a traditional healer was called. After examining me, he asked if we’d been in the forest, and upon hearing that we had, asked if I’d urinated on a tree. After admitting that I had, he that was the cause, that spirit that lived there, translated for me at the time as “fairy,” was retaliating. The condition lasted until we returned to Manila.

One could argue that it was simply a reaction to food, but I had by that time been living in the Philippines for over a year and was acclimated to the diet, even to the point of eating dishes foreigners typically avoid.
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Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
Here is another story... while flying to Beirut on a commercial airline... the flight was almost empty and everyone was happy... so we had a party on the plane... music, dancing, drinks... a party with the cabin crew joining in...

That evening in Beirut I was taking one of the air hostesses out... i went to pick her up... but not knowing the custom walked straight into it. I was there in a room full of men... her extended family... and everyone wanted to have a drink.of uzzo and a word before we went out... provided I got their approval I guess.

Anyway we did go out... but that was the most frightening first date I've ever been on.
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Member Katie_Ellen private msg quote post Address this user
Sorry, tree, of course I was referring to the bizarre and disagreeable experience of @almcdermid
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Member jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
@Steve - y, the traditional cultures tend to band together. Safety in numbers, I suppose.

Protect the women from the wolves. But it can definitely be intimidating. Yet, once you're "in" and receive the family's blessing, life is a lot easier in terms of getting past the moat.
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Member Summerbay private msg quote post Address this user
I lived at an 18th-century estate in the South of France, homeschooled my two children, and swam in the Mediterranean at the Côte Bleu (east of Côte D'Azure). We drove a Deux Chevaux Camionette (a.k.a. sewing machine on wheels) and explored Provence.

This is where we lived.

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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

How long did you live there?

Why did you change?
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Member Summerbay private msg quote post Address this user
We only lived there a few months. We had the job of feeding the dogs (36 of them), mostly Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and making the place looked lived in while the American couple who owned the place were away. After we had been there a while, they had a change of plans and didn't need us any more so we came home to Canada.

We did contemplate living longer in Europe since my husband was born in Britain and could work in EU countries but decided that we preferred to finish raising our daughters in Canada instead.

It was a great experience—we lived in Switzerland for a few months and travelled to the UK as well. Both of our daughters went back the Europe and travelled or went to school. They felt at home in France after having lived there at seven and twelve.
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

What do your kids do now?
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Member Summerbay private msg quote post Address this user
My eldest daughter is in management at the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia. (She is not a nurse but has a Medical lab degree and a Masters in Journalism.)

My youngest is an artist and until she had her baby worked in the art department of Whole Foods. Now she is a stay at home mom to my only grandchild, a sweet wee girl who just turned two.
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