Member Spotlight #18: Ask Alex Strife anything

The Man

Great Old One
AKA
Aaron
#1
This is a new thing we're doing where we give a specific member a thread for a week in which they can share whatever information they want about themselves, then answer whatever questions the public asks them. It's sort of an expansion on the "Let's get to know each other" thread by, well, giving one member the spotlight. More information on the concept can be found here.

This week's participant is [member=578]Alex Strife[/member], who has elected to share the following information:
Hi everyone! I'm Alex Strife, 26 years old, and here's a bit of information about me:

Family: Parents and a younger brother who can be an ass sometimes and quite good some other times.

Sexuality: Straight

Employment: Oh dear. I teach English to some kids and I write for a website as I try to make my way into the motorsport journalism industry.

Metaphysical views: Agnostic. I have no idea whether any religion is actually right or not. Respect everyone is what I feel I should do on this part of life. I have to admit that death being final (if it truly is) sounds really scary to me. I know I shouldn't be, for I won't feel anything if I'm dead. But somehow it is.

Political alignment: I do not like labels but I believe what matters is that the most people can be happy, so politics should try to ensure that, as much as possible. Idealistic, yes, I know.

Goals in life: To put it simply, be happy. Of course, the difficult part is seeing what would take me there. I wonder, right? I believe being able to spend my life with my girlfriend and doing things that I like is the way to go. Quite simple, in theory. But what I like is motorsport, to such a degree that I would want to work inside it, which means travelling a lot, etc. We will see how it goes.

Miscellaneous:
- I studied to become a teacher after dropping out of my previous degree on my second year. I had been studying to become a translator but a lot of things happened and despite my good grades, I just stopped. My mother had always said I should study journalism. In the end I never did and I admit now that she was probably right, as that's where my life seems to be taking me. She always finds it funny that I realised after such a long time.
- I am in a relationship with a Singaporean girl whom I first met ten years ago playing online. We kept contact for a while and then I only exchanged messages once or twice a year with her sister, who also played online with us and whom I was closer to. Last year said sister told me that this girl (whom I only knew from online) was coming to Spain for work and that she would be happy if I could be there to help her if she needed it. I acted as a guide for her to find out about Barcelona and after keeping A LOT of contact for a year, we are now together.
- I like motorsports and I have been to several countries for my work because of that.
- Even if it sounds strange for a Spanish guy, I don't particularly like football/soccer.
- I do not really drink alcohol. I do it mainly when celebrating something (champagne, very little) or to try something new and see if I'll ever find some alcoholic beverage that I actually enjoy.
- I love chocolate in nearly any form. I also enjoy cream pastries and vanilla in almost any form, too. I have a sweet tooth and I love to eat good food.
- Even with that, I am on a weekday diet basis; I do diet from Monday to Friday and then eat whatever I want on Saturday and Sunday. It's meant to maintain my weight, not reduce it, since I already reduced it enough. But I actually still lose some hundreds of grams every week. I have started doing exercise now through cycling so there is a chance I -may- lose some more weight. Or not. We'll see.
- I like many different types of RPG's and while JRPG's are what I usually favour, I've played other types. Lufia is a great little game, a "puzzle-RPG", while Baldur's Gate + Icewind Dale franchises are just brilliant.
- Anime is something I also enjoy in many ways, with Evangelion and the Monogatari Series being my favourites.
- I actually read books as well...
- My mother used to be a gamer; she bought a NES console and that's how I started. Currently at home we have the following systems: NES, SNES, Megadrive, N64, PS1, PS2, PS3, Wii, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance SP, PSP, PSVita. I'm getting a PS4 for Christmas, I think...
- I'm really paranoid about giving a lot of information, being thorough, and trying to do this properly. But I'm probably forgetting interesting stuff (maybe). So ask anything you want!

I've written too much so I'm going to stop here or I would not leave anything for you guys and girls to ask!! Looking forward to this.
Feel free to ask whatever you'd like. This thread will be up for approximately a week before we move onto our next participant. :monster:

As an aside, sorry for the huge delay with this entry. I didn't make the board a priority for awhile, for presumably obvious reasons.
 

Sprites

Waiting for something
AKA
Gemma, Gems
#3
Dammit Lic you stole my question!

Is there someone in Motorsport either journalist or sportsman that you really look up to/inspire to be like?

What do you do to let off steam, like when your brother pisses you off or something.

Would you love to travel all over the world at some point doing the journalism thing?


Favourite colour?

I have a sweet tooth too so cake is good :D but what's your favourite savoury dish or what do you love to cook?

Out of all the gaming systems you own which one or which game gives you the most FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS!!!!
 

The G'randiest' Daddy

Teh Bunneh of Doom
AKA
Darth
#5
Favourite non-FF game?

Favourite non-FF world to live in?

Also, views on Portugal? :monster: I'm half Portuguese (on my dad's side) and I sometimes jokingly bash on the Spanish because I know it's traditional and there is some bad history there, but I have never had a problem with any actual Spaniard that I met :D. You seem nice too :).
 
#6
Can you remember what first excited you about motorsports? Is there a good story behind that?
Actually, I am what my "racing mates" call a "purebreed". In Spain there used to be a not so big amount of people following motorsports and with the arrival of Fernando Alonso, many people started following it. A good part of the friends I have made through this are the same. But in my case, it comes from family. My father has been following F1 and motorsports since 1979/1980 and so I have liked that for as long as I can remember. There is probably not a good story behind that, but it is what it is. To make it a bit more interesting, I'll say I watched my first F1 race (that I recall) when I was 6 and I have been following the series since the age of 7. From then on, I started to add more and more disciplines of motorsport until reaching the point I have reached now, where I follow pretty much everything.

Is there someone in Motorsport either journalist or sportsman that you really look up to/inspire to be like?

What do you do to let off steam, like when your brother pisses you off or something.

Would you love to travel all over the world at some point doing the journalism thing?


Favourite colour?

I have a sweet tooth too so cake is good :D but what's your favourite savoury dish or what do you love to cook?

Out of all the gaming systems you own which one or which game gives you the most FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS!!!!
- Actually, this one is a really good question!! There are a number of people I admire for different reasons. I would like to say I will try to be brief but we all know it's not going to happen so... Let's see. I admire Michael Schumacher, for being what I believe is the ultimate racer; ruthless when in the track, a genuine good guy outside of it. A great racer should not just be a racer... which takes me to the other guy I admire; Gilles Villeneuve. He used to be a racer who drove with his heart, more than anything else. To the point of being almost too naive for F1. But he had an amazing raw talent. Such a shame that he died before achieving proper success. In terms of journalism, I have to say the great Murray Walker. He's over 90 and he still takes part on the occasional British GP commentary of the BBC. He's THE iconic voice of F1 and motorsport, too. And currently, I like a lot the style of Will Buxton. Both of them are Brits. I admire other people for many other reasons but that would probably be too long... these are the ones that are probably more remarkable!

- My brother can be an ass sometimes, which obviously annoys me. Because I just do what I want, whenever he annoys me, I'll voice my discontent in any way that happens to feel natural to me at the time. We have yelled at each other in the past because we're both too stubborn to let the other win when we feel we are right. Fortunately, now I'm too busy and we do not get to have time for such shenanigans. If it's about anything else, I try to either sleep it off or distract myself talking to my girlfriend. Sorry, I think I did not reply this too well...

- Travelling all over the world is something I would LOVE to do!! It's not looking so promising now because I'm getting older and if I do not get a proper breakthrough job, I will have to "settle" for teaching. Maybe in Spain, maybe in Singapore. Going back to the question, I would love to do that because I have always been interested in visiting places, seeing new cultures and new areas, learning from others... So it sounds like a win-win situation for me. Getting to do my dream job, visiting all those places that are so important for motorsports and enjoying the whole world! Couldn't get any better.

- I favour red (expected, if you watch my screen name here) but I also like green very much. Interestingly enough, they are complementary colours.

- I like eating, a lot!! So choosing a savoury dish is difficult, really. I really like Italian food, Japanese food, part of Chinese food and of course my beloved Catalan food. Lasagna, if done well, is actually absolutely delightful. But I feel I am missing a lot of dishes because I like a lot of types of food. As for my own cooking, I'm not very skilled and the amount of stuff I can cook is very limited. I did crepes in the past, though, and turned out to be nice. I have a sweet tooth, myself. I love all sorts of cakes, ice creams, pastries... Believe it or not, I am on a diet so from Monday to Friday I follow a very strict eating pattern. Working very well, so far.

- Hmmm... I have fond memories of so many systems!! I was going to say the original Playstation but while it gives me a lot of feels, probably the winner has to be the SNES. It was my first console when the cool kids were already thinking about getting the N64 but it gave me a lot of great times. It was gaming at its purest form. I played one of my favourite-est games ever, Lufia (which is actually Lufia 2 but we only got this one in Europe so they forgo the 2), and I used to play with my father and all. It has to be SNES!

Cuando vas hablar en Castellano? :monster:
¡Cuando quieras! Puedo hablar castellano en cualquier momento :P . Y como bonus... també puc parlar català :D . Algun dia en Skype... estoy ocupado pero ¡¡no me olvido!!

Favourite non-FF game?

Favourite non-FF world to live in?

Also, views on Portugal? :monster: I'm half Portuguese (on my dad's side) and I sometimes jokingly bash on the Spanish because I know it's traditional and there is some bad history there, but I have never had a problem with any actual Spaniard that I met :D. You seem nice too :).
- I have a few that I love and I will mention them later too but Lufia, Baldur's Gate + Icewind Dale, Gravity Rush, Ar Tonelico 2, and racing games!! :)

- Very good question!! I had to sit down (metaphorically, I was already sitting down) and think. I have always liked how Lufia's game land was just your run-of-the-mill medieval fantasy setting yet it worked so well in many levels. Baldur's Gate's and Icewind Dale's rendition of the D&D world is probably less pretty but equally enticing for its own reasons. I also really like Aria's (manga/anime) Neo-Venezia. It is basically a martian recreation of Venice and the series tries hard in portraying it as a laid back place where things go slowly and where you can just enjoy life through work and routine. Yes, it may sound boring. But it's not exactly that bad, huh? In fact, I would be lying if I said I do not have the dream of retiring to Venice!! I'm probably missing others that I like. Still, if I had to choose one... maybe Aria's Neo-Venezia. It gives this relaxing aura...

- Surprisingly enough, I have no specific views on Portugal!! Bear in mind that I am from the East of Spain, the region of Catalunya. So my views on Spain are probably different than the typical Spaniard, to begin with. However, I do have to say that Portugal is perceived to be a bit of a backwater neighbour. If you ask me, I consider it to be a slightly more picturesque version of Spain. I imagine half of the towns in Portugal to be like the old part of Lisbon... my parents went to Portugal before I was born and they said it was very nice. Either way, we are sharing the Iberian Peninsula so I consider Portugal to be the neighbor. However, because I am closer to France and I'm "facing Europe", sometimes it feels like Portugal is the only country that is actually "behind me" and goes often overlooked.
 
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Mage

Spores!
AKA
Mage
#7
Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button? :awesome:
If your life had led you down a different route (not journalism or teaching), what would you be doing? I know racing is the ideal, but what else have you considered?
What do you do for hobbies?
Favourite music?
 
#10
Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button? :awesome:
If your life had led you down a different route (not journalism or teaching), what would you be doing? I know racing is the ideal, but what else have you considered?
What do you do for hobbies?
Favourite music?
- I'm going to be boring and say Jenson Button. Boring, because everyone loves Lewis. He's got a lot more talent but brains, not so much. Button impresses me with how much he uses his head in many occasions... But let's face it, he's way better.

- It's a tough question as I had never really considered anything else. Maybe something related to languages. After all, I did start studying translation... So possible something related to that. Maybe translating videogames? It could be a cool job, hey!! If I was a better writer, I could consider writing something, too.

- My hobbies... well, I am the lucky (I guess) type of person whose main hobby is also part of his job... for the time being, at least. But apart from motorsports related stuff, I like anime, manga and videogames. Nothing too interesting, really. I like collecting racing car models (does that count as a hobby?). I like to read books, too, when the time allows for it.

- I am not the type of person who listens to a lot of music (mostly OST's, actually). But as far as voiced music goes, I like Akiko Shikata. Most people consider it to be rather strange and well, it is not the usual type of music you see around. But I quite like it.

fave candy bar ?
I am usually not the huge fan of candy bars and since I diet from Monday to Friday, on the weekends I focus on the things that I love so I end up not eating them too much. Then there is also the fact we do not have so many candy bars in Spain. Either way, it should be Kit Kat (is it considered as a candy bar?) or Mars. Probably. :)

Favourite nut and/or legume?
Does peanut count for both? :awesome: . I'll say potato for legume. As for nut... Macadamia nuts are nice!!
 
#11
Does peanut count for both? :awesome:
NO!

@Thread:

What genre of books do you like to read?

What's your opinion of the Spanish government?

What are your thoughts on each of the political parties involved in your government?

What is the future of racing cars?

Has racing performance actually improved with technology over the last couple of decades?
 
#12
How did you get to be so good at English, and when did you realize you could make a job out of it?

What are your three favourite places to go on holiday in Spain? (I love Spain, by the way)

Who is your favourite character from Spanish history?
 

Octo

KULT OF KERMITU
AKA
Octo, Octorawk, Clarky Cat, Kissmammal2000
#13
Tell us more about your special lady (or whatever you feel comfortable telling :) )
 
#14
NO!

@Thread:

What genre of books do you like to read?

What's your opinion of the Spanish government?

What are your thoughts on each of the political parties involved in your government?

What is the future of racing cars?

Has racing performance actually improved with technology over the last couple of decades?
- I tend to like Fantasy or Sci-fi. Usually leaning a bit more towards the first of the two. Of course, I also like to read informative books and biographies when the character is interesting!

- The current Spanish government is shit, in my opinion. I can elaborate but... better not to do it. The bottom line is half of the government is abusing their power position to make money in an illegal way, exploting the system and having the smallest punishment you could believe. Doing this when people are suffering on the streets and some of them even not having places to live... not pretty. I'm not big on politics but I do know when some things are not right. And our current government is not right. It's not like what we used to have was good either, but this is worse. (Not to speak of their latest: "Not allowing Catalan people to vote for their future is a triumph of democracy". Uh... so people not voting is good for democracy? Right.

- It would be a bit long for me to give a proper opinion on all the parties that are represented but... just speaking generally; PP is the right-wing party. Although they call themselves centre-right, they are actually quite right wing. Not extreme, but quite right wing. Companies before citizens, etc. If it was just economical systems, I may accept their ideals, but when they start reducing freedom of people because they think they know better, it pisses me off. PSOE is the worker people party, supposedly left-wing but it's currently more of a centre-left. Which means they are actually pretty conservative, considering their origins. Catalunya has their own parties, too. But it's a bit of a special case since in the end, many people vote those who may defend our rights within Spain, more than anything else. So the whole right vs left wing parties loses a bit of meaning, here.

- Future of racing cars? It's difficult to say. Logically speaking, hybrid cars should be the future. Since 2012, hybrid cars have been racing (and winning) in Endurance competitions and although many people don't know, F1 cars are currently hybrid cars!!! They have electric motors that help move the car. The thing is the systems are more complex than the ones we see on street cars as the energy recovery motor powers the electric components... etc. It's still a hybrid car. Then, there is this Formula E thing where completely electric cars race. It's supposed to be the Electric F1. But the cars are seriously slow (one reason is they try to keep components low price) so in terms of racing, it makes little sense. And this week, F1 is struggling with two out of eleven teams not making it to the next race. So they are a bit in dire straits. They have to reinvent themselves a little bit while keeping their origins and identity if they want to continue to be successful. So in a way, this is anybody's guess. Although you were asking about the cars and not the competitions, right? So yeah, I would say hybrid cars for the time being. Electric cars are too far away, I feel.

- Efficiency has improved over the last couple of decades. Possibly, the most technologically advanced cars happened a little over twenty years ago. But all the technology got banned because they argued it reduced the importance of the driver and at the end of the day people want to watch drivers race, not just machines. Things like active suspension (each wheel adapting intelligently to the bumps on the road), traction control (controlling how the car's wheels spin to maximise power to wheel with as little loss as possible) and such things were actually more advanced in terms of technology. Nowadays (or rather, from 2010 to 2013), designers just used smart and creative ways to use the wind (aerodynamics) to improve the performance of the cars. While they were more effective AND faster than those from twenty years ago, they were actually not more technologically advanced. In fact, the fastest F1 cars ever are probably from 2003/2004/2005.

How did you get to be so good at English, and when did you realize you could make a job out of it?

What are your three favourite places to go on holiday in Spain? (I love Spain, by the way)

Who is your favourite character from Spanish history?
- Hey, thank you for the compliment!! :) ^_^ . Actually, I've always liked doing English so before I noticed, I was already able to communicate with people over the Internet. Soon I was playing online (and meeting my current girlfriend!) and using English with her and other people. That was great to improve, as well as reading a lot, etc. I thought I could make a job out of it by the time I was 15, 16. But I thought I might end up translating stuff, not teaching people!

- Three favourite places to go on holiday... Should specify whether it's Winter or Summer holiday! But I'll say Costa Brava (north-eastern coast), Barcelona (because c'mon, it's so nice for a foreigner!) and Andorra, which is technically not Spain but we treat it as such. If I have to give a replacement for Barcelona because it does not apply to me, then I will say the Pyrenees in general. And although I have not been there, I have heard that the Basque Country is actually lovely. Glad that you love the place!!

- Hmm... I do not think I have a favourite character in Spanish history... Our history is filled with despotic kings who oppressed some parts of the population, a lot of dumb politics and bad decisions. Maybe if I had to choose, I would say Charles V, who was actually Charles I for the Spanish Empire. He's the guy who held the biggest amount of land for Spain. And in a way, that's rather badass, isn't it?


Tell us more about your special lady (or whatever you feel comfortable telling :) )
Well, what would you like to know? She's from Singapore, a bit older than I am and she works in the perfume industry. She's a practical person but at the same time she lets herself enjoy her own feelings. She sees life in the same way I do in many ways and we work well as a team, which is very good. She likes laughing a lot and I find it easy to make her laugh, which in turn makes things go smoothly because we enjoy time together. Of course, long-distance relationships are never going to be easy but I truly feel this is on the right path. Somehow.
 

Airling

Ninja-Fairy-Jedi-Princess
#15
Was it nice having a gamer mom? I mean like, we used to be restricted quite a bit for gaming time. Was that different for you?

Do you have pets, and if not, why?

Are you allergic to anything?
 

Mage

Spores!
AKA
Mage
#17
Alex Strife said:
- I'm going to be boring and say Jenson Button. Boring, because everyone loves Lewis. He's got a lot more talent but brains, not so much. Button impresses me with how much he uses his head in many occasions... But let's face it, he's way better.
I approve of this answer immensely. I firmly believe Button has the greater talent but Hamilton is more prepared to take risks. A acquaintance of the ex used to race against Hamilton in F3000 way back when, he wasn't particularly liked apparently. A combination of ego and his dad seemed to be the cause.
 
#19
Was it nice having a gamer mom? I mean like, we used to be restricted quite a bit for gaming time. Was that different for you?

Do you have pets, and if not, why?

Are you allergic to anything?
- It was actually nice enough. In fact, when I was little, apparently I hated videogames because her gaming time meant less time to spend playing with me, haha!! (No, she did not neglect me, seriously). She actually stopped playing because she felt she was getting too much into it. She has recently started playing mobile games but never really went back to consoles or even handhelds. As for restricting... I was not really restricted. She nagged a bit about not spending too much time but as I kept my grades at a good level and socialized with some friends enough, she could not really complain. She allowed me to play as much as I felt I had... generally speaking, at least.

- We have a West Highland Terrier. The cutest little white thing, named Shumi (from "Schumi", from Schumacher, the F1 driver). He's very nice, obedient and has never given us any trouble. Let it continue to be like that!!

- Not that I know... Let it continue to be like that, too.


Favourite animal: real and mythological/fantastical?
- Hmmm... I like wolves, dolphins and horses. Mythological/fantastical, I would need to think a lot more as there are so many options. Can I say Chocobo? Either way, probably Dragon, in some of its various looks/representations.

I approve of this answer immensely. I firmly believe Button has the greater talent but Hamilton is more prepared to take risks. A acquaintance of the ex used to race against Hamilton in F3000 way back when, he wasn't particularly liked apparently. A combination of ego and his dad seemed to be the cause.
- Actually, I have been wanting to ask you this for a while. You mentioned it before but Hamilton has never been in F3000!! F3000 used to be the one just below F1 and by the time Hamilton got there in 2006, the name had been changed to GP2 and the cars were completely different. If you could give me (private) the name of the acquaintance, I could actually find out very easily and quickly where is it that they raced together. I have a lot of information even on national series. And yes, he wasn't liked because: He had a huge amount of support from McLaren (F1 team), which meant he could focus on racing where other drivers actually suffer to find the budget for the next race. He also had quite the ego. His dad was not a very good influence. But then again, dads rarely are. One good friend of mine, manager of a couple of Spanish drivers who got to F1 always says that the best driver would be an orphan with a lot of money in his account so that he can actually follow his advice and take risks to get to F1. Personally, I liked Hamilton in the lower series because he was bold, spectacular and showed talent, guts and determination. I also liked him during the first few races in F1 because he was new, exciting, and because he was pissing Alonso off (I dislike the guy). Then he opened his mouth in the typical Hamilton way and I never liked him as much since. He has had some good moments, to be honest. He says whatever he thinks and of course this means sometimes he's going to be candid in a great way. But half of the time, he says the wrong things.

Captain of your own ship/airship/space ship. What do you name her?
- I actually gave this more thought than I should have... It would be Mestral or Mistral (North-Western wind, two ways of writing the same).
 
#21
i heard that spain is becoming mostly vegan is that true ? I forgot where I heard this , it was in an article weeks ago xmx
Never heard this myself... and judging from the amount of people I know vs amount of vegans, I doubt it is the case. I know one vegetarian girl (who actually tries very hard to make all the food very appealing to show that being vegetarian does not necessarily reduce variety) and one vegan guy and that's it. The guy is worse because he basically talks as if he's better than you because you're not vegan. Speaking of which, this is a trend that actually bothers me. It's a personal choice. Do not condemn what I do if you want to win me to your cause, because by doing that you're only solidifying my feelings.

Also, it does not make a lot of sense for most of Spain to me vegan, considering that there is a shitload of products that are extremely typical that have animal origin. Spanish ham, seafood on some seaside areas, paella (which uses seafood), various types of dried meat, some sausage types... etc. So for most of the country to become vegan, they should basically forgo a lot of what they see as "identity food". And let me tell you that Spaniards are very fond of their identity. And as a final thought, Spanish guys have sometimes this tendency to go all "macho" and they would reply that a guy who does not eat meat is a pansy or something along those lines. Not that I think this, but I have seen a lot of Spain and sometimes it makes you wonder if they truly are citizens of a developed country in the 21st century...
 
#24
Is Spain like Resident Evil 4? :monster:

No!!! :lol: You can't imagine how funny it is to play that game and see some of the good things mixed with the huge misses the game has. Things like the proper police uniforms and cars mixed with South American Spanish audio (despite the fact the game is happening in Spain). And don't get me started on how the in-game uses our old currency and not Euros. :faint:
 
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