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#958194 - Sun Dec 30 2012 07:43 AM Interview with ClaraSue
Pagiedamon Offline
Moderator

Registered: Sun Jun 15 2008
Posts: 2541
Loc: North Carolina USA
ren33
Dear Clara Sue, of course the first question is about the origin of your name; I think it has to do with a certain much loved canine?


ClaraSue is the name of my 13 year old dog, a Shar-Pei/Pit Bull mix. I found her walking in the road in a very rural area in the snow and ice when she was about 6-8 weeks old. She was such a little cutie and I had to rescue her. We did check with the few houses that were in the vicinity and she didn't belong to any of them so she became an immediate part of the family. I guess you could say that I'm not very original when choosing a name, but when I found FT, I honestly couldn't think of anything to call myself and I wasn't planning on staying all these years. Now I couldn't imagine any other name.

dg_dave
I know you have a fondness for dogs. What are your favorite breeds, and why?


Dogs are my favorite animals; they have so much love in their hearts, are totally dedicated to their family and forgiving of all our shortcomings. I had two beautiful Doberman Pinschers for many years and they were my favorite breed at the time. Then along came ClaraSue and I fell in love with the American Pit Bull breed. I know they have a bad rap and are banned in many countries, but they can be such wonderful, loving companions. Dogs are not 'born' bad, people make them bad. Then we adopted Alex, a Bichon/Poodle mix. He's got such a funny personality that I decided I wanted more like him. Can you see a pattern here? Actually, I really don't have a favorite breed but I am partial to the larger size dog. I'm afraid if I had a Toy Breed, I'd step on it and hurt it.

Pagiedamon
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Married or single? Children?


I have been married to a wonderful man for 13 years this December 31 (2012). We decided to get married on New Year's Eve during the Y2K scare. I thought we'd be married on New Year's Day the year 2000, but he thought Dec. 31, 1999 would be best because he could use me as a tax write-off. laugh Even though we joke about that now, he really is a romantic at heart and I couldn't be happier. He is my second husband and the best one so far. grin They say it's better the second time around and I totally agree. I never had children myself, but I do have two beautiful step-children (boy and a girl) who are both in college now. We couldn't be more proud of them.

ren33
You have had a fascinating job. Tell all.


I've had two major jobs in my lifetime. For years, I was a certified instructor with the state police teaching emergency management and leadership skills to mostly firefighters and police officers around the state. I traveled mostly in-state, but there were times I travelled across country teaching. Now my husband and I are truck drivers who travel all over the United States. We own our truck and trailer and are leased with a company that contracts with the military which is what we mostly transport. Our truck is not the average truck you see on the roads. We have a custom built rig that is set up like a motorhome and is quite large. It has a shower, bathroom, oven, stovetop, flat screen TV with in-motion satellite, full size bed, and dinette. I have everything I need for life on the road with the exception of a washer and dryer, which I could have had, but I opted for more closet space instead. laugh We haul a lot of oversized equipment such as military tanks and other vehicles. I know truck drivers have a bad reputation which is why I usually don't tell people what I do for a living. We don't look like the stereotypical truck driver so when I meet new people, they are usually shocked when I mention what we do. People have the image of a person who has no education and driving a truck is all they know how to do. You'd be surprised at the type of people hauling our country's goods. There are retired military, retired police officers, former teachers, former nurses, etc. (and I'm just naming careers that friends have had before deciding to drive).

dg_dave
How long have you been doing your job and what got you started?


We have been driving for almost 14 years. My husband was in business management and decided he wanted to travel and see the country. When I met him and we started dating, he was attending truck driving school and asked me to join him as a team driver. I was as high as I could go in the Department without become a Bureau Chief. I really didn't want to deal with office politics, so I had the choice of seeing him once a month or so, or join him on the road. Since I was in love and wanted to be with him, I chose life on the road. I think I made the correct decision.

sue943
Do you have a favourite anecdote in regards to your travelling with your job?


It's fun sometimes to see the reactions of people we pass on the road when they look up and see a woman driving this huge truck towing a huge load. Older woman and little children are usually the ones that give me a double take. It makes me feel good when I get a thumbs up.
We see so much of the country and try to tour unfamiliar areas when we have down time. We have seen Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, Key West, the Great Lakes and all points in between. Since our truck is like a recreational vehicle (RV), we will stay at an RV park and rent a car or motorcycle and travel the smaller roads that we wouldn't normally go on. We have met numerous wonderful and nice people and have made friends all over the country. I guess you could say my favorite part of the job was finding ClaraSue and Alex. Clara was picked up in New Mexico and Alex was adopted while we were in Louisiana.

ren33 and dg_dave
Tell us about where you live. How do you like the part of Arizona you live in? Doesn't it get hot in the summertime there?


I live in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona located in the southern part of the state. As the crow flies, I am approximately 80 miles from the border of Mexico. I was born and raised in New Mexico so I'm used to the desert heat. I jokingly tell people that I'm a desert rat and I love it. Oh boy, it gets hot here. But you know the phrase "but it's a dry heat"? Well, it is and it DOES make a difference compared to areas where it is hot and humid, at least to me. I've been to the Deep South of the United States in the heat of summer where the temperature is 95 degrees and the humidity levels are 50-60 percent and I much prefer 110 degree temperature with humidity of 25-30 percent. Last summer on one particular day it was 116 degrees and just stepping outside made you feel tired and wilted. The next day the temperature was 106 and while working in the front yard my neighbor came over. We were talking about the weather and I mentioned that it sure felt cool outside after the previous day's heat. Then we started to laugh and mentioned how crazy it sounded that 106 degrees felt "cool". Only in the desert... grin . Arizona is a beautiful state and I truly enjoy it here.

dg_dave and sue943
If you had adequate funding and could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?


A few years back, my sister and I took a trip to Curacao during the middle of January. The weather was perfect and the area was so beautiful that I could easily have stayed there forever. I would like to be somewhere where the weather is warm year-round (I really don't do cold and snow very well), where there is blue water, white sandy beaches and plenty of areas to ride our motorcycles.

sue943
If you could choose just one place to visit in the world, where would that be and why?


When I was in grade and middle school, every time we had to do a book report I always chose the state of Montana or Australia as my subjects. At the time I had never been to Montana but during the last few years we have spent a lot of time there. It is such a raw and wild, not to mention beautiful, countryside that I can see why I was fascinated with it. Now, since I haven't been to Australia yet, that's the place I want to go. Every time I see Copago's pictures in the Photo -a-Day threads, it renews my fascination.

ren33
You are now a longstanding and well loved member of our little community. How did you come to find FunTrivia, and what makes you stay?


First off, thank you!
I used to go to the local pub/bar to play trivia when I was single. After I married and we were on the road all the time, I really missed it. One day I was looking at a magazine at the doctor's office (I think it was "GQ" magazine) and saw a mention about this little website called FunTrivia. I checked it out and became hooked immediately. At the time, I spent most of my time on the Ask Fun Trivia side but when I found the Forums, I realized this was 'home'. What makes me stay are the friendly people here. I'm not much for playing the daily or hourly games, but I do take quizzes from time to time. I have entertained the idea of writing a quiz someday, but just haven't had the time. I may not often post in the forums, but there is rarely a day goes by without my checking in and seeing what everybody else has to say. Besides my immediate family and dogs, FT is the most constant thing in my life. I sometimes have a limited attention span so there are times I'm amazed I have stayed here this long. However, I can't imagine not being here; you might as well just cut off my left arm. laugh

Copago
I always love your photos in the Photo threads. Do you have a particular favourite photo or a favourite subject to photograph?


I have a few black and white photos that I have taken that I have had printed, framed, and hung on my wall in my home. My favorite subject, however, is sunset and sunrise. I get to see a variety of different landscapes in our travels and each area of the country has its own unique kind of sunset. Areas where there is high humidity, the colors are softer than dry areas where the colors are highly defined and crisp, if that makes sense. All are beautiful.

Pagiedamon
I've heard that you enjoy antique shopping (as do I!). What are some of your favorite finds?


I could, and do, spend hours at a time in antique shops. It's one of my very favorite pastimes. Just this past summer I found an original drawing from the late 1800's of a church and countryside that has become a favorite. When I shop, I don't have a particular item or subject matter in mind. If I see something I like, that's what I get. My grandmother was a collector and when she died, I inherited a lot of her antiques ranging from dishes to books to dolls.

Copago
Could you tell us who your favourite author is and favourite book?


My favorite book is "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I received a copy as a gift when I was a teen and it's been in my library ever since. Another is "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. I don't know if I really have a favorite author; there are so many that I enjoy, picking one is hard to do.

Copago
Do you have a Kindle (or similar) or is old fashioned paper what you prefer?


I finally broke down and bought a Kindle a few months ago and I'm glad I did. It's so much easier to take with us when we're traveling than filling the truck up with books. It's been fun having a library right at my fingertips that I can take with me everywhere I go.

Copago
2013! Any predictions?


I wish I could say I'm going to win the lottery and finally take that visit to Australia or retire to Curacao, but I CAN predict that I'll still be here at FunTrivia.



Thanks to all of the participants.
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#958203 - Sun Dec 30 2012 08:50 AM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Pagiedamon]
bloodandsand Offline
Participant

Registered: Sun Apr 08 2012
Posts: 44
Loc: Greater Manchester England UK
That was a super interview, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I am an avid "looker" at the photography threads and have always loved your photographs, ClaraSue; your interview has now answered the question that has always been in my mind - how do you manage to post so many photographs from so many places in the USA!

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#958218 - Sun Dec 30 2012 09:56 AM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: bloodandsand]
sue943 Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 35765
Loc: Jersey Channel Islands        
Great interview, most enlightening.
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Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

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#958219 - Sun Dec 30 2012 10:22 AM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: sue943]
ren33 Online   content
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11407
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
Nice one ClaraSue! I really feel I know you better. What a unique lifestyle, I really enjoyed the read!
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Wandering aimlessly through FT since 1999.

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#958235 - Sun Dec 30 2012 12:42 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: ren33]
stuthehistoryguy Offline
Prolific

Registered: Fri Aug 20 2004
Posts: 1302
Loc: Omaha Nebraska USA      
Great interview! Thank you for opening your home to the "original" Clara Sue. My little guy was found under similar circumstances when he was a puppy frown
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Stu
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#958260 - Sun Dec 30 2012 03:16 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: stuthehistoryguy]
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14163
Loc: Australia
Great interview!

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#958265 - Sun Dec 30 2012 03:28 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: stuthehistoryguy]
ClaraSue Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Sun May 18 2003
Posts: 7837
Loc: Arizona USA
Thank you all. This wasn't near as scary as I thought it would be. laugh

Stu, I see so many stray dogs around the country and it breaks my heart that I can't stop and pick up every one. I keep extra dog food and paper bowls in the truck and when I see one when we're stopped, I will usually set out some food and water. I have such an active imagination, sometimes I think maybe they're just like the dogs in The Incredible Journey and they're trying to get home and just need some sustenance to keep them going. When we retire, I plan on adopting many more.
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May the tail of the elephant never have to swat the flies from your face.

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#958300 - Sun Dec 30 2012 06:18 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: ClaraSue]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1641
Loc: Essex UK
ClaraSue, great interview and wonderful to know a bit more about you.

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#958339 - Mon Dec 31 2012 12:54 AM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Christinap]
Gatsby722 Offline
Pure Diamond

Registered: Fri May 18 2001
Posts: 123698
Loc: Canton Ohio USA              
You've always been one of the kindest and most down-to-Earth folks around here, ClaraSue. It was a pleasure reading this interview smile!
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#958390 - Mon Dec 31 2012 06:56 AM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Gatsby722]
MadMartha Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 13796
Loc: Georgia USA
I enjoyed your interview very much ClaraSue and will now check the photography thread more often to see your photos! Thanks. smile
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Thought for life: Be nice to all you meet on your way up, for you might meet them again on your way down!

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#958449 - Mon Dec 31 2012 01:57 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: MadMartha]
Tekka Offline
Explorer

Registered: Fri Sep 07 2012
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
BC Canada
What an interesting life you have ClaraSue. I enjoyed getting to know you and I also enjoy your photos - thanks.

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#958708 - Tue Jan 01 2013 01:33 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Pagiedamon]
salami_swami Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8240
Loc: Colorado USA
Nice interview ClaraSue. I enjoyed learning about you, since I really haven't gotten a chance to.

And you mentions my favorite breeds too. I do not like unfamiliar pit bulls of strangers, but if treated well, they are the best dogs of all. And bichon frises are my other favorite. smile

And your job sounds awesome! Sounds like a lot of fun traveling, and getting paid every now again is simply bonus points. :P
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#958826 - Wed Jan 02 2013 05:31 AM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Pagiedamon]
Lones78 Online   FT-cool
Prolific

Registered: Mon Apr 27 2009
Posts: 1408
Loc: Forrestfield Western Australia
Thanks ClaraSue.
I completely understand the difference between a humid heat and a dry heat. Thank goodness we have a dry heat here in Perth (Aus) - I have been further North several times during summer and found a cooler temp and high humidity way more draining than a hotter temp and lower humidity. If I ever get to the US over a summer time, I'll be sure to stay at a latitude similar to you smile
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#959481 - Sat Jan 05 2013 11:59 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Lones78]
dg_dave Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 19809
Loc: Dallas TX USA                 
Double posting


Edited by dg_dave (Mon Jan 07 2013 06:36 AM)
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The way to get things done is NOT to mind who gets the credit for doing them. --Benjamin Jowett
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
The day we lose our will to fight is the day we lose our freedom.

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#959482 - Sat Jan 05 2013 11:59 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Lones78]
dg_dave Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 19809
Loc: Dallas TX USA                 
Originally Posted By: Lones78
If I ever get to the US over a summer time, I'll be sure to stay at a latitude similar to you smile


I'd be cautious of that. It's not the latitude that's the problem; it's the longitude.

All latitudes taken from wikipedia.

Dallas, TX: 32°46'58"N
Savannah, GA: 32°04'52"N
Jackson, MS: 32°17'56"N
Auburn, AL: 32°35'52"N
Macon, GA: 32°50'05"N
Hobbs, NM: 32°42'44"N
Tucson, AZ: 32°13'18"N

All seven of these cities are between 32°N and 33°N, but I'd rather live in Dallas, Tucson, or Hobbs on this list. Phoenix is further north than Dallas, and north of 33°N, yet Phoenix sees higher air temperatures than Dallas. It has never hit 114°F in Dallas, yet Phoenix has seen 120°F plenty of times.

A couple of summers ago, the temperature here was 107°F, and 94°F in Kansas City, which is considerably further north. The heat index here was 108°F, and 117°F in Kansas City!


Edited by dg_dave (Sun Jan 06 2013 12:00 AM)
Edit Reason: fix minutes/seconds
_________________________
The way to get things done is NOT to mind who gets the credit for doing them. --Benjamin Jowett
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
The day we lose our will to fight is the day we lose our freedom.

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#959578 - Sun Jan 06 2013 08:59 PM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Pagiedamon]
Lones78 Online   FT-cool
Prolific

Registered: Mon Apr 27 2009
Posts: 1408
Loc: Forrestfield Western Australia
That's what happens when I post when half asleep smile
Thanks for picking that up, dg_dave smile
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#961384 - Wed Jan 16 2013 11:36 AM Re: Interview with ClaraSue [Re: Pagiedamon]
Jazmee27 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
Terrific interview. Thanks.
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(3) I must remain true to myself.

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