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November 30, 2021, 06:55:55 PM
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Author Topic: Alex's even longer post thread.  (Read 62796 times)
Alex
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« Reply #345 on: June 20, 2021, 03:04:48 AM »

Today in the UK is Father's Day. Kristi and Ash have bought me a load of stuff, most of which Kristi has already given me as she gets over-excited about giving presents and can't wait to give them. Yesterday I got a couple of books. One was by Heinz Guderian (pretty much the father of modern tank warfare, he was a major proponent of the whole Blitzkrieg idea (although the German's did not call it that. Certainly not initially, I believe that term actually came from an American journalist). I had expected an ex-army officer I know to possibly recognise the name, but I was surprised when I mentioned in Warcraft that she'd gotten me it and quite a few people had heard of him. You are pretty much talking about a guy who should be as famous  (or infamous?) as Rommel.

Of course, it should never be forgotten that these people were, regardless of what they may have achieved, on the wrong side. It is one thing to acknowledge what they did do and to study it from a historical perspective. It is quite another to glorify them. Studying history is something of a waste of time if you cannot put things into historical perspective.

Anyway, the second book was a coffee table on the history of tanks. Kristi mistook my surprise at her getting me these for disappointment which couldn't be further from the truth. It is surprising to me though that this is the first time this book has been translated into English. Guderian was an acknowledged master of tank warfare and was a popular lecturer on the subject post-war. His work should be required reading for military students in the same way that The Art of War (pfft, Sun Tzu, more like Captain Bloody Obvious) is.

Anyway, I started reading it last night, interrupting the other books I am reading partly because well I wanted to, and partly because I wanted to reassure Kristi that I was indeed happy with her present.

Heading out today for a car boot sale (if you don't get them in the US, think of a yard sale, only for lots of people rather than just one household selling stuff). Not expecting to find anything, but you never know.
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Alex
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« Reply #346 on: June 30, 2021, 05:37:56 PM »

More free money came my way this week and we are expecting more by the end of next month. The money I got was specifically given for me to spend, but I've shared it with Kristi. Used some of it to get D&D stuff, order a new laptop as well as some WW2 things and some model paints.

Something had happened that really p**sed me off in my WoW guild. I made it clear to the other officers that if this situation happened again, I'd quit the guild. None of them replied to my post in the officer forum about it and a few weeks later a similar thing happened, so I said "f**k this." and quit. This seems to have come as something of a surprise to them. Since then I've had a lot of people from the guild ask me to come back. I've made myself available to help out if people are stuck. Anyway, tonight Kristi told them I was missing the guild (ok so that is true), that I wished I hadn't left the way I had and so on. I'd to message one of the other officers and say what she has said was wrong and that I'd do the exact same thing if put the same situation again.

If I did feel like going back, her doing that has just hardened my heart against it. She made it sound as if I was making a crawling apology instead of how I am really feeling

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Alex
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« Reply #347 on: July 04, 2021, 04:08:39 PM »

Lots more guild drama kicked off since I last posted. Despite my attempts to leave the game and not be involved in what was going on it seems it was not to be. My old GM seems to really hate me for leaving. Not entirely sure why, but then again her mental health hasn't been great and that might be part of it.

Waiting on my new laptop arriving. Shame my old one is completely kaput or I'd have sent it to Trevor just as a backup since his computers seem to burn out on a regular basis.
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Trevor
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« Reply #348 on: July 05, 2021, 06:30:56 AM »

Waiting on my new laptop arriving. Shame my old one is completely kaput or I'd have sent it to Trevor just as a backup since his computers seem to burn out on a regular basis.

Aww, thanks.

Henry Cavill and Tom Cruise borrowed my last one to use in Mission Impossible: Fallout and we all know what that PC was used for  Buggedout Wink
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Alex
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« Reply #349 on: July 05, 2021, 01:46:15 PM »

Waiting on my new laptop arriving. Shame my old one is completely kaput or I'd have sent it to Trevor just as a backup since his computers seem to burn out on a regular basis.

Aww, thanks.

Henry Cavill and Tom Cruise borrowed my last one to use in Mission Impossible: Fallout and we all know what that PC was used for  Buggedout Wink

Lol I haven't actually watched that one.

Been watching a lot of the SCP videos that they've been putting out. For anyone unfamiliar with SCP, it's a bit like the Twilight Zone, or maybe the Friday the Thirteenth TV series might be more accurate.

Yesterday marked my 20th year in uniform, and I have the option of leaving in two years, or staying on for an additional two beyond that. My heart says leave, but my head says its a well paying, reasonably secure job. Still, the exit process is currently a year-long process so I have just under 12 months to consider my options before I would pull the plug. Leaving any earlier would mean I didn't get my pension right away. That would very much defeat the whole purpose of me joining up. I'd had enough action and adventure before I ever signed up. Medals seem a poor reward for risking one's life (nearly died, going to have life-long trauma? Here have a lump of tin with a nice ribbon. Then again, some countries hand out such things for so much less). Serving queen and country? Hah, try checking out how any government in the world treats its service personal when the chips are down. Sadly if you aren't using them then you can be sure they are using you. My favourite (not exactly the right term), is what happened to the sailors who had fought at the Battle of Trafalgar, but if you check your history, you'll find many such shameful betrayals of a nations servicemen and women.

Mind you, such treatment is hardly limited to those in uniform. Maybe I am biased, but it does seem like a greater sin though when it is conducted against those who serve.

Speaking of medals, the entire NHS has been awarded the George Cross it was announced today. Guessing everyone who works for it and who has in the 70 odd years since it was decided that hey providing health care for all would be a good idea isn't going to be given their own gong (those bits of metal 'ain't free after all). Hopefully, they'll all get something out of it.

Working my way very slowly down a bottle of Apple flavoured Jack Daniels. Tastes nice. It doesn't have the bite to it that I like as a good drink burns its way down your throat, but its still good.




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« Reply #350 on: July 06, 2021, 07:06:47 AM »

Waiting on my new laptop arriving. Shame my old one is completely kaput or I'd have sent it to Trevor just as a backup since his computers seem to burn out on a regular basis.

Aww, thanks.

Henry Cavill and Tom Cruise borrowed my last one to use in Mission Impossible: Fallout and we all know what that PC was used for  Buggedout Wink

Lol I haven't actually watched that one.


Henry Cavill clonks a bad guy on the head with my PC:  TeddyR TeddyR
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Alex
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« Reply #351 on: July 07, 2021, 11:53:49 AM »

Still finding that the more time I have, the less I am able to do with it. Writing has ground to a complete halt. Luckily my D&D group does a lot of roleplaying and doesn't go very quickly through what I've got written down (plus I've been doing some stuff off the cuff).

I've been having a small problem with flies in one room of the house. It isn't one with food in or anything I would have thought would attract such insects (indeed it is the laundry room). Possibly they are coming in through a vent or something, but every time I've gone in the room I've found between 2 to 4 such creatures and quite large specimens at that.

I really hate flies. Over the past three days I've killed I would guess 20 to 30 of them. Going to drag out the washing machine and tumble drier and see if there is something behind them that is bringing them in. Until then I have a spray that will deal with them.

Honestly, pretty much any living thing that annoys me has wings (seagulls, pigeons, moths, flies, crane flies, and wasps). The frequency of encountering them does seem to have dropped off today so I am hoping either I've killed them off or whatever was bringing them in is gone.

Some football game is on tonight. The news is filled with it (that's proper football by the way, where you use your feet to kick the ball, the clue is in the name there). Trying to find out what else is happening in the world as football of any type really doesn't interest me. After two hours of getting nothing but it, I am giving up on trying to hear about anything going on anywhere else in the world.



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But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
Alex
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« Reply #352 on: July 14, 2021, 05:52:59 AM »

So at the weekend, Kristi decided to pop down with Ash to visit my mum and sister. As I was expected a package to be delivered Thursday and couldn't be sure I wouldn't get called into work so she was going to have to come home on Wednesday. It was to be delivered by FedEx which is a company I've never dealt with before, but yesterday (Tuesday), I got another email from them telling me that my parcel would be delivered today (Thursday 15th).

Ok, so that is a bit of a mixed message there. Wasn't quite sure if it was going to pitch up yesterday or tomorrow. It ended up arriving just after 17:00 yesterday (box wasn't in the best of conditions, being half-open but as far as I can tell all the contents were inside). Anyway, I phoned Kristi to let her know that there was no need for her to rush back home and she could stay away for another few days if she wanted.

I am not sure if this is the normal level of service people expect from FedEx or not, but they wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to shipping stuff to people. Not my last choice either (MyHermes seems to have a very bad rep and my experience of them consists of a man turning up at the door around 7 in the morning with a whole load of packages stuffed haphazardly into the back of a car and being handed a very beaten up looking box, so currently they would be my last choice of shipper).

Anyway, I have my Kickstarter (it is for building up dungeons in D&D), consisting of lots of tiles, walls and bits to scatter around your dungeon. This was their second edition of bits and I've also backed the third edition (which is a town and sewer set), but due to space considerations, I think I may have to drop out of backing any future projects of theirs sadly. It is good quality stuff, not easily broken. With it, I am now going to look at starting a round table group for roleplaying games again. I've painted up a lot of figures for use in a game over lockdown and I might as well use them.
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But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
Alex
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« Reply #353 on: July 16, 2021, 03:49:27 AM »

Got woken up by Ash climbing into our bed about 1 this morning. Got woken up again at 4ish when he started throwing up. He hasn't really stopped since then and that is just how the rest of the morning went. He has certain situations he prefers to go to either me or Kristi for. If he is a little bit upset, then it is Kristi he will go to. If he is in pain then its me who gets him, so he was coming to me for lots of hugs today. When I picked him up and help him, he threw up all over my freshly ironed uniform and then went to sleep while I was holding him.

Not much else I could do but stand there and hold him really at that point.

Anyway, after that, I carried him upstairs and put him in mine and Kristi's bed to sleep. He got up once to go to the toilet and be sick again and then went back to bed for more sleep. He doesn't seem to be able to keep anything down for more than a few minutes. On the journey home yesterday the air con on the train failed for the last 45-minute stretch and on a hot day, those places become a hotbox. Kristi made sure he had plenty to drink, but it still isn't fun being somewhere that overheated. I am figuring him not being well is connected to that.
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Alex
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« Reply #354 on: July 20, 2021, 04:11:18 AM »

So yesterday I paid off my credit card. It's the first time since I got married that I've been completely debt-free. It gives us an extra £700 a month to spend on whatever we want. All through my life I'd always been careful not to get into debt, but that also meant I didn't show up on credit checks so I figured when I got married I'd have to take out some just in case I went to buy a house or finance a car or whatever.

Feels good though.

Ash seemed to recover quickly from his stomach bug. By the afternoon he was back to running about and being his usual self. He won a raffle for a kids climbing frame/slide which is now built up in the backyard. By next year he'll be too big for it, but I am sure he'll love playing on it over the summer. I've taken to sitting in the dining room to work, where I can watch him through the glass doors while he runs about and plays.

Next month he starts playschool (or kindergarten if you are in the states I believe). Who said he could grow up so fast? I remember putting him in his cot for the first time and both me and Kristi thinking it looked way too big for him, so we put his baby box* inside and laid him down inside that in the cot, or when I put him in his buggy for the first time and he seemed too tiny and lost.

We still have a buggy for him, but I couldn't tell you the last time we actually used it. He loves to walk and run too much.

All that has me thinking about when I first held him as he was struggling to open his eyes (so yeah, he got to see me before he got to see his mum which is a shame, but Kristi was still on the operating table being sewn back up).

Really, it is the simple things that make life worth living.

Managed to sort out a round the table D&D group, and as an added bonus someone else is going to DM it. Thinking about a cross classed rogue/wizard which is something I've never played before.

There is a bank holiday at the end of next month and a museum in Edinburgh is doing an exhibition of Ray Harryhausen's work so we are going to travel down to see it. Originally we'd been going to see it as part of a trip to the Edinburgh military tattoo, but that has been cancelled again this year, so this is our new plan. Carrying on the money for the tickets to put towards going next year and we have some friends from the US who want to come join us there, so we are going to buy them tickets too. Going by the lengths of previous pandemics, we should be coming out of this one by then.

Let's just hope nothing else comes along in the meantime eh?

*Based on a Scandinavian project (Finland I think started it), the Scottish government gives every new parent the option of receiving a pretty large box filled with assorted supplies appropriate for a new child, clothes, nappies, thermometer, toys and so forth. The bottom of the box is lined with a mattress and it can also be used as a baby bed. The countries that do this have a lower rate of infant cot death, although studies have yet to prove or disprove a link between the two despite some rather lurid headlines.
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But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
Alex
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« Reply #355 on: July 22, 2021, 03:23:19 AM »

Yesterday we got a bonus day off work. They were putting on an airshow and everyone got the day off work so we could watch it.

Fair enough, but I've seen dozens of those things and we used the day to go out elsewhere instead.

We decided to jump a train to Inverness. When we left the house it was cloudy and rain threatened but we gambled on the day clearing up and left the house in shorts and tee-shirts. Called that one right though, by the time we got to our destination it was all glorious sunshine. I figured either I was going to be buying sunscreen or new outfits when we got off the train.

Did an open-top bus tour around the city which if I am entirely honest about I was disappointed in. They missed out a lot of the history (ie made no mention of the biggest things in the cities history, preferring a somewhat more twee summary of when a few locations were built). I've done a few other tours with the same company in other cities and this one is my least favourite, but on the other hand, Kristi enjoyed it and Ash, well he just loved being in the open-top bus. They do run two different tours, the red bus one (which we did), and a blue bus one. I wonder if the blue one deals more with the aftermath of the

Picked up a copy of a board game I've wanted to play for several years (Carcassone) and took Ash to the local big toy shop (Smyths). He had absolutely no interest in any of the toys though, preferring to make his own amusement by sprinting off any time he managed to slip out of daddy's hand and judging from the big smile on his face had a great time making daddy chase after him. We ate out and had a meal that was passable (I had a Chicken Tikka Massala, which Ash decided the rice from looked better than his pizza (fair shout, it looked like a frozen pizza that had been cooked in a microwave), so he ate that part of my dinner.

We decided to get some professional photos done of Ash. Spent over £100 getting them and to my mind there weren't enough pictures for what we paid, but I've never done this before and don't know what the going rates are. Anyway, they were some really cute pictures and that is what matters. It's what we will look back on and remember in years to come. I'll put up some of the shots later.

It was around 18:00 before we got back so it was a long day out. Gave Ash a quick shower and a snack before putting him to bed. It was nice that he was tired out enough by the day that he just went straight to sleep and didn't get up until half six this morning (even if Kristi would have liked a longer lie in lol).

This was a good day. We should all remember days like this and always hold them dear.
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Alex
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« Reply #356 on: July 27, 2021, 04:14:06 AM »

A study has arisen that says civilisation as we know it is headed for a collapse (either by 2040, or in the 2040s, I can't remember the exact date). It listed the various societal traits, combined them with the predicted increasing demands on the planet earth's natural resources, and said this is the point where it all becomes unsustainable. By itself, there isn't anything new or unique there. We've had a lot of similar reports over the years. So why mention this one? Well, it was written in 1972 and while I haven't read the study myself apparently the predictions it has made about what would be happening over time have come true. It offers hope and says that if we change now, then we can do it in a relatively painless way and save the world. Since nothing was done we are now at the stage where making such changes would be ruinously expensive and even then might be too late.

The actual reason I mention this is because whenever I see a devastating flood, a drought, or whatever people seem to be asking "Why didn't science predict this and warn us?" Well, they've been warning you for at least half a century. They just weren't listened to, like Cassandra warning of a dire future but doomed never to be believed until it was too late.

Oh well, better get watching plenty of bad movies while they can still make them then. I wonder what countries will be strong enough to survive such a fall and lead the rebuilding. Civilisations have risen and fallen throughout history, but that has been a localised thing. I find it difficult to grasp the concept of a global meltdown where everything falls down. Then again, if I break it down into smaller chunks, countries being battered by increasingly extreme weather events, food, and freshwater become more limited... it becomes easier to understand. Is it inevitable? Honestly, that is an answer I don't have. Climate science has never been an area I've studied as much as other subjects. I'll do what I normally do and follow the science on the subject rather than believe people who think watching a YouTube video counts as research or that their gut feeling somehow trumps 20 years of education and experience. Not that the experts always get things right, but if we listen to the Karens (and whatever the hell the male equivalent is) I am pretty damn sure we are f**ked.

The newspapers here are predicting shortages in the shops due to the numbers of people having to isolate and brexit. The trouble is that as soon as you start making headlines like that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People will rush out and panic buy which then causes shortages (much like the whole toilet paper issue at the start of the pandemic. I mean WTF, out of everything you could panic buy toilet roll became the item of choice?

Maybe the collapse of civilisation would be a good thing. Perhaps next time we can have a system without those people?
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« Reply #357 on: July 27, 2021, 07:52:09 AM »

This is the article you're referencing: https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3xw3x/new-research-vindicates-1972-mit-prediction-that-society-will-collapse-soon

It may be a little alarmist. From reading it, it sounds more like its predicting an end to the massive economic expansion the world has experienced for centuries than a societal collapse. Of course an economic "collapse" could and probably would have cascading secondary consequences that might be called "societal collapse," but a model would have trouble specifying what they might be.
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« Reply #358 on: July 27, 2021, 10:44:46 AM »

Yeah...economic collapse is how Hitler came into power.
He convinced folks he was the only one who could fix it.
Sound familiar?
 It's also how Roosevelt became President 4 times. Because he had actual plans for how the  government can do what it's here for. Work for it's tax money.
It could go either way, I reckon.
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Alex
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« Reply #359 on: July 28, 2021, 03:27:13 AM »

I find it odd how this many people actually want that kind of collapse to happen, well that isn't the part about it I find odd. It is that the people who want it to happen are the ones in the worst position to actually deal with (or in some cases just survive) it. For anyone interested in the background behind the various types of collapses, the Wikipedia article on them isn't a bad primer.

Had a nice thunderstorm last night just as I went to bed. Listened to the rain pouring down for a while before drifting off into sleep. The rain is continuing this morning. The cooling effect on the air is a most welcome thing.

Pretty sure I am going to get soaked through walking home though.
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