RW143 - Dread

This week, Dan and John talk about:

Bonus-content for Patreon supporters:

The show title refers to the dread John would feel when he told a girl that he liked her.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

Religions trying to convert people (RW143)

Dan is curious if Mormons are a denomination of religion with the goals to convert people. His friend Dave is a Jehovah's Witness and it is very much a part of their daily MO to witness to people as often as possible. He never witnessed to Dan because Dan is Jewish they can't convert him. He said that if the JW ever come to his door, he could just tell them he is Jewish and they will leave. John’s understanding is that within the Abrahamic religions only the Jews are against conversion.

If you wanted to marry a nice shiksa girl as a Jewish man you would have to convert her and usually when you ask the rabbi about it they would tell you ”No!” Then you are supposed to come back two more times because you are supposed to ask three times ”Please let me convert!” - ”Nope!” They will give you a million reasons why you shouldn't and they will send you on your way. If you come back a third time and ask a third time, then at that point they are like ”Okay, fine! Suddenly you want to be Jewish? All right, you can be Jewish!” and then they circumcise you right there on the spot with a garden tool or whatever they have got handy.

It is written right into the founding texts of the Christian and Islamic traditions that part of your job is to go out, spread the word and get people to join you in your holy matrimony. Buddhism is pretty open to people joining Buddhism. Hinduism is a little bit more like ”Meh, not really…” You don't see a lot of Hindus out converting people to Hinduism. The Jews are the only ones who say ”No! Stay away! Get out!”

The Mormons are famous for sending teenagers or young children out to go on a mission, go to far flung places, and convert people to Mormonism by going door to door. In the 20th century Mormonism was the fastest growing religion for a while, but if you count growth as a component of widespread birth, Islam is growing faster than any other religion because more and more people are being born into the universe.

John doesn’t think that Ken is interested in John becoming a Mormon because the die is somewhat cast in terms of whether or not John would be willing to adopt an entirely new belief system. Ken is very generous and he has a wonderful basement guest room. John will have to find a place to live for some indeterminate amount of time, but if he was out of the house for a week and they sold it, he could move back until the closing date, so he could live there for a whole another month and still have one toe in the door of his own home. None of this is fun!

Dan never had to stay out of his own house, but he went through real estate transactions way too many times and nothing about them is fun. John was hoping that as soon as he came out the other side of this and was in a new house somewhere, he would just live there for a while and not have to think about any of this anymore. The next time he will move after that he will be moving into a sailboat or a GMC RV.

The risk of moving to prison (RW143)

God forbid that John will be moving into prison. Hopefully he can continue to stay out of prison, but it is never guaranteed. Right now he is not doing anything that would land him there, but he is very impulsive. He wonders about percentage of people who are in prison and who 24 hours before they did the thing that landed them in prison, no one in their world including themselves would have ever imagined they would be in prison.

They were just doing their thing, everybody said ”They are great!” and then something happened, an unusual event in their lives, a weird moment, and the next thing they knew they were in prison. Maybe somebody at an airport said: ”Hey, would you watch my bag for a second?” and then all of a sudden they were swarmed by FEDs. Or somebody said ”Look, you can get in on this really good deal and buy this really great stock and all you have to do is this one slightly questionable thing that is surely fine!” The next thing they know they are surrounded by federal agents. It happens!

John could do so many things to end up in prison! He might get caught up in something. He does a lot of driving around at night in the dark down dirt roads and he might have a No Country for Old Men moment where he will find a drug deal gone wrong. He would get drawn into that scenario pretty fast and things could spiral out of control. Getting a bag of money that has been left under a tree can get you on a slippery slope because then you have the bag of money and then somebody will come out and shoot at you and you shoot at them and all of a sudden you shot somebody.

Then you will have to cover that up and then you are part of a cover up and then you have to shoot a third person and pretty soon you are just out there standing in the middle of the road, guns blazing, and ”How did I get here? How did I end up being in a showdown with a bunch of lawmen?” John Rambo never meant any harm, he was just passing through town. John doesn’t like to think about it! His intention is not to go to prison, but life is fairly unpredictable, it sure is. Now John is in a situation where he has no home and he is worried about being put in prison.

Dan's habit of speeding, how to end up in prison (RW143)

The way that Dan could have ended up in prison would be speeding, but he doesn’t speed anymore. In the old days he used to have a real problem with that and he continued to have a problem with it until he bought a truck. The truck changed him and changed everything about him. He stopped speeding, he started enjoying the day more, looking around more, and have the windows open more. Now he doesn’t speed anymore. It was a major upgrade in Dan’s quality of life and he doesn’t get angry at people on the road very much anymore.

You would think that when the judge sentenced Dan to driving school that he would have learned his lesson, and he did. He stopped speeding aggressively when he was 21 years old, but he didn't really come to terms with it until when he became a parent because now people were counting on him and he didn’t want to take any risks anymore. Dan doesn’t think he will be interesting enough for prison, but that is what a lot of white collar criminals think. He will end up in one of those tennis court prisons, but he would rather be in the kind of prison that is basically like a country club where you can't leave. If he was going to commit a crime he would want it to be as white collar of a crime as possible because then he would definitely wind up in one of those kinds of prisons.

Dan would not do a violent crime, except they have these great ”Stand your ground!” laws in Texas and Dan could imagine that if somebody tried to break into his house at night and would threaten his family, he would defend himself and his family with deadly force and somehow in one of those bizarre cases the person who is breaking into the house somehow sues the homeowner of the house they were breaking into for an injury that they sustained during the break-in.

Dan would wind up in prison because of some technicality or something. That is Dan’s biggest fear about that! There have been cases where someone breaks in and the homeowner stabs them or shoots them or something and then they sue the homeowner for injury and neglect and that person winds up going to prison. Dan just told Merlin that he bought a sword which makes that scenario more likely than ever.

Neighborhoods in Seattle (RW143)

A mutual friend of Dan and John was Internet-creeping on John, looking around his neighborhood virtually on Google Maps and he was thrilled to see that in the Google maps John’s big 4x4 was parked out front and his RV was parked around the side. Dan noticed that you could look into the truck and see all the stuff that John had sitting on the dashboard. Dan explored John’s entire neighborhood up and down and it looked very much like East Side Austin to him. He had expected it would be more forest, like John living deep in a forest for some reason, with forest roads and hills and a meadow off to the side, but it looks like a regular neighborhood.

Traditionally there were seven hills in Seattle, just like Rome, and in a weird way Seattle neighborhoods were all confined by geography. There is water on all sides, the town is built on a very narrow isthmus and these giant hills are bisected by waterways. The nice thing about cities that are built on the flat is that neighborhoods trend into other neighborhoods, but in Seattle you are either on the top of this hill, you are on one of four sides of that hill, you are at the bottom of that hill, or you are at the beginning of the next hill. John’s house is on top of a hill and every direction you go from there is down, which is implied in being on top of a hill. His neighborhood is not proximate to anything. Other hills have communities on the top of them and communities at the bottom of them, but John’s hill doesn't really have a community.

Until you have lived in Seattle for a while it is easy to get confused about where you are, not because it is a big grid that stretches out forever, but because there is not much connective tissue between the neighborhoods. If you are on Queen Anne Hill and you want to get to Capitol Hill you can stand at the top of Queen Anne Hill, look over and see Capitol Hill and vice versa, but there are only two roads in the whole city to go from one to the other. You could go down to Mercer and go up the other side or you go to Denny and go up the other side.

Those are two giant hills and major neighborhoods, but there is stuff in the way. There is a big lake in the way and there are crazy little bottlenecks. What ends up happening is that if you live on Capitol Hill, which John did for years, it is really hard to get to Queen Anne and there is no reason to go there, so you just never do it. John probably went to Queen Anne three times in 15 years. Why would he go over there? It is all the way over there!

As the crow flies it is about a mile away, but energetically or in a mental geography of Seattle, Queen Anne is an island that John would go around to get to other places. There are people who have lived in Seattle their whole lives and everything they do revolves around Queen Anne Hill, it is their whole universe. John knows those people and sees them Downtown. He didn't have a car for the first 10 years he lived in Seattle, he didn't need one, and it wasn't until he got a car that he even would have considered going to Queen Anne. Even then it felt like ”Why am I over here?” Even now when he is up there he will think ”I'm not from here and they are going to get me, these Queen Anne people with their Queen Anne values!"


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