SpotLight on Whitecree
Whitecree started folding 7/26/05
Lets meet Whitecree...............
Where do you call home these days?
I live in a teeny tiny little 1st nations village of Kitamaat, population maybe 1K. The name Kitamaat means something like people or land of snow. Historically, the name truly fit. My wife was a teenager here in the 70s when there was something like 24 feet of snow fell in about 3 days. At that, the Elders of the time called that a medium snow fall. The last few winters, though, the worst we saw was 4 feet overnight.
The Village is located outside of the town of Kitimat. Note the difference in spelling. The town fathers spelled it differently because - well - they're stupid. We have most of the usual services available, although it can be tricky getting in to see a dentist. But nobody really wants to see a dentist, so this likely doesn't matter that much. The selection of various goods isn't all that great, but we have a WallyWorld about a 45 minute drive further up the road. A real treat, no?
I have 3 grown kids, 1 grandson, 1 dog, 3 cats, and a pond full of goldfish and koi. My eldest son is a teacher at the local community school, 2nd son works security at the hospital and one of the docks, daughter - the youngest - works at driving her dad nuts. Grandson works at keeping a smile on his grand-dad's face.
The dog is named Taz, as in Tazmanian Devil (from bugs bunny, anybody remember him?) Oddly enough, the dog's personality isn't at all like the Taz on Saturday morning cartoons. He's a husky/Shepard/wolf cross and poppa to most of the current generation of dogs here on the Rez. So laid back that if a burglar came calling, the dog would not only hold the door open for the thief, but gently remind the burglar of the whereabouts of the safe, the firearms rack, and my personal stash.
Cats are named Misty, Kitty, and Da-oon. I've absolutely forbidden anybody to try to name the fish.
See why I dislike cameras (Whitecree himself)
My wife and our grandson
Kitty what a name for a cat (the Shop Safety Boss)
Old Momma cat
My ferocious guard dog
Backdoor view. There isn't another housing development over the hill.
Just miles and miles of trees.
I walk down to the bay - about two blocks - and what do I see ...
What got you started in folding?
Why do I fold? When I started - and I don't mean to come off sounding holier-than-thou - it just seemed the thing to do that any thinking, responsible adult would do. There is some cancer in my family - several uncles/aunts/cousins have all died of it, and that may have motivated me to some extent, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. Since then, I've found out I have that age-old triple threat of type 2 diabetes. All you couch potatoes, take heed!
Where are you employed?
I am sort of semi-retired at the moment. Or under-employed, or part-time fresh-air inspector or however else you'd like to think of it. Until a year or two ago, I drove a cab part-time for about 60 hours per week. Full time hours can run as much as twice that. Wanna bitch about your 9 to 5 grind?
Driving cab sort of got under my skin at a young age. I drove taxi for almost 30 years in one town or another. I've had other jobs - often at the same time as cab driving - but always found the driving to be most interesting. Hmmm, maybe temper that thought with the Chinese "blessing" of 'may you live in interesting times'.
In my 30 years behind the wheel, I was almost robbed 3 times, almost beat senseless a dozen or more times, almost killed one way or another at least 6 other times. I also don't win much of anything on lotteries, but it seems to balance out so I'm not going to complain.
During that time, I really wish I'd had a video camera handy. The things that some people get up to in your back seat. My favorite incident(s) of recent years involved a couple of gals I call the Slurpy Sisters. I won;t go into any detail as I think the powers-that-be want to keep their family rating, but suffice to say they'd both jump in the back seat with their current boyfriend(s), and before the cab had gone more than a block, I'd hear zzzzzzzzip! and then the sounds of a somebody working on an extra-large milkshake with a partially blocked straw.
It's also too bad a fella couldn't legitimately keep the things he finds. Oh, the unmarked coin & cash was mine, obviously, but I also found over the years (and in various towns) everything from apples to rotten fish, sacks of cash to sawed off shotguns, condoms of suspicious powder, junkies' "works" as well as - in the last decade or so - various and sundry computer parts.
The sack of cash, by the way, turned out to be counterfeit. About $200,000 in fifties about the time Canuckastan changed the look of the fifty. Cops grilled me for a couple of hours over that, which seemed unfair. I didn't print the silly stuff or try to spend it. I just found it. Sheesh! This was fairly early in my cab driving career. In the years to follow, any time I found something like that, I'd bag it, write a short note, then leave it anonymously on the doorstep of the local cop shop, or maybe on the hood of a cruiser parked at the local dunkin' donut. I really don't mind helping 'the boys' out where I can, but when they start eating into my earning time - well, the heck with it.
Every now and again, while driving a cab, you get to do something good that makes up for all the bad. A decade or so ago when I was newly come to the current burg I live in, I was working the graveyard shift. A woman calls in about 4:am, and frantically screams she needs a taxi RIGHT NOW!!! Normally, I ignore callers like that and take my time getting there. The normal "emergency" most callers have is they ran out of smokes or booze and need to get to their supplier. But, as luck would have it, I had just dropped my last passenger off maybe 2 blocks away, so I picked her up almost RIGHT NOW!!! As soon as she got in the cab, I saw why she was frantic. She was carrying her maybe 6 month old baby, and the baby was just as blue as the sky. I blew every stop sign and took most corners on 2 wheels getting her to the emergency.
Once inside, the woman had to get past the nazi-esque night nurse who was refusing to call a doctor in, no matter what. I could see through the glass doors the woman was having a hard time with the old battle-axe, so I went in to offer my services. I wound up calling my own doctor since I didn't know which one was on call that night. He grumped and growled and swore he'd do something rather terrible to me if this was a joke of some sort, but he came on in, and pretty quickly at that. He took one look at the baby - who I don't think had taken a single breath in several minutes and roused half the medical staff in nothing flat. The baby lived, the mother was happy, the old battle-axe of a nurse vanished - I mean, really vanished. Never saw her in town again - and all was a happy ending. Pity I forgot to turn the meter on.
A body doesn't live on computers and folding alone. No, really. He doesn't.
I'm serious, there are other things in life.
Gawd-dammit, I mean it! Will you stop giggling at me?
What other hobbies or interests do you pursue when not folding?
As some or most of you may know, I like to carve wood. I carve - mostly - in what is known as west coast (1st nations) style. I got started on that through drawing and painting the same thing shortly after I married my wife, who is a member of a 1st nation in north-coastal BC. She was doodling a picture of her clan emblem - a Killer Whale (I've since learned a gentler name for these awesome critters, Blackfish) and I said that it looked easy. My wife finds it hard not to challenge me when I stick my foot in my mouth, so she said I should try it. Y'know, it really isn't as easy as it looks. It's also addictive. That was back in about 1979-80. Then in 1993, I helped an octogenarian Clan Chief build a 42 foot dugout canoe so the local youth could paddle 130 miles to Bella Bella to take part in Qatwas (got wahs). This was a revival of an old custom whereby many small communities would all gather every few years to trade, feast, and have the youngsters meet each other. Ever hear of Rendezvous? Same idea.
Anyway, working on the canoe got me started on carving, first a paddle, then a bailer, a spoon, masks, bowls, placks, small model canoes, ceremonial gear and on and on.
Raven Plack Stained
- Almost identical design to the other Raven Plack, but stained instead.
- Many carvers like to carve bird feathers, so I carved a bird in
A raven to be exact.
- A raven plack, painted and ready to go. Raven's are a recurring theme with me.
Thunderbird and Blackfish
- Thunderbirds eat blackfish. They carried immense lightening snakes with which to stun the whale, then descend to eat.
Thunder was caused whenever the T-bird beat his wings together, and I already mentioned where lightening came from.
- I also get whimsical with my carvings. Go ahead, toss a snowball...
- The on that didn't get away. Ask any fisherman, they always have a story about the big one that got away. Well. I know of a couple of guys who wish the big one had
got away. Ask me nice someday, I might tell you the story.
- During the winter ceremonies of yesteryear, one of the more important dances was a Raven Dance. Here's the dancer just ready to begin.
- A Bukwis or wild man mask. Another long story.
How did you learn about computers?
I first learned what a computer was through reading science fiction. An old Tom Swift novel where he spoke of a computing machine. upon reflection, I believe he was talking about nothing more than a common calculator. Keep in mind, though, that the story was written at a time when many people still used a slide rule for heavy duty computational needs.
Then I saw a movie called Colossus: The Forbin Project, where some people build a computer to run their defense systems, it links up with a Russian version of same, the two computers unite to rule the world. Sort of like a more pleasant version of Skynet from the Terminator movies. That did it. I was hooked. Reading about the realities such as ENIAC and their ilk did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm..
What hardware are you currently running?
My current system is getting rather long in the tooth, but it still serves my needs. I have a Soyo (grrr) Dragon plus mobo running a Celeron 2 GHZ, 3x256 MB ram, dialup ( ) firewire, ATI Radeon 9200 8x AGP, Pioneer 16x DVD(+/-)/CD combo writer, 2 Maxtor DD, 40GB I use for system stuff, 80GB for storage. I also have a Plextor MX402U video capture gadget, and rigged up an old phonograph and amplifier to play and capture old LPs onto CD. This all takes place in an old Seanix mini-case.
Number 1 is how it normally looks - yes, with a sidecover off. I'm always fiddling around.
Number 2, 3 and 4 - How it looks now. I just put a P4 2.4 in to replace the Cel 2.0, then added a dashboard that gives me a pair of USB2 ports and a microphone/headset plug. Unfortunately, there isn't a header off my mobo to accept this, and the sound is built in. Oh well, at least I got a couple more USB plugs (6 so far, maybe more to come).
Do you build your own computers today?
I built this current machine myself, taking the stock Seanix (2nd hand) and replacing everything over a year's time. The only thing left original is the floppy and some of the screws.
Do you overclock any machines?
I don't bother with overclocking. Maybe with my next build - some sort of AMD dual core setup - I'll look into it a bit, but I figure computer machinery is like most other kinds of machinery. Sure, you can push it harder and harder, but most machinery works best - and longest - at about 75-90% of maximum.
What are the main things you use your computers for today?
I use my system for just about everything a computer can be used for.
- gaming (of course!)
- photo editing
- video editing
- writing/printing letters/forms
- watching movies (sometimes)
- listening to tunes (sometimes)
- messing about with new designs for carving
- prison cell for small kittens (don't ask)
What Broadband provider do you use - are you happy with their service?
Now, here's a funny thing. In this list of questions gsmitheman provides as a guideline to help get all this down, he asks "what broadband do I use?"
Heh, what's that? In my immediate area, there ain't no such thing. At least, as of right now. There is supposedly a glassline being run over from the node in town, but I'm betting IF it ever gets here, by the time all is said and done, it won't be much faster than my current dialup speeds of 36 - 50 KBS. I have considered a dedicated satellite setup, but it costs an arm and a leg to buy the equipment, and you have to lock into a 3 year contract for I think it is $60 a month. Now, just how badly does Whitecree want broadband?
What do you like most about Folding and the MaximumPC forum?
I came to the MPC forums after lurking a great deal when MPC was primarily hosted elsewhere. I liked the idea that a long-time in existence computer magazine had a forum, but I didn't care for a lot of what I was seeing, so I'd pick through the various sub-forums looking for info, and just ignored everything else. When MPC built their own forum site, I lurked for a few months longer, waiting to see if any of the major bozos would show up. So far, not so bad.
I started folding about this time, something I'd considered for some time, and got to thinking that if some of the "elite" that hung around on MPC were folding, maybe it was time to get going. So, in a way, MPC convinced me to fold.
What are your future folding plans?
I'll keep folding and encouraging others to download the software to fold. Where ever possible, I'll build it into any system I revamp or build, and explain the whys and wherefores at the same time. I figure that if we (the world) managed to untangle the human genome - in part because of volunteer efforts such as folding is - then just maybe, someday, we'll be able to lick some of these ridiculous diseases we are prone to.
Whitecree thanks for a great SpotLight.
You are a great writer, carver and an expert at enjoying life.
Thanks for letting us take a good look at that life in progress.
Thanks very much for folding with us also.
Please scratch Taz's head for me and tell him I was asking about him.