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Author Topic: Alex's even longer post thread.  (Read 135896 times)
Alex
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« Reply #780 on: February 25, 2023, 06:38:22 PM »

Ash did not get a good night's sleep last night, which meant neither did myself or Kristi.

This morning we got up though, went out for a long walk and then popped into The 1629 for lunch. Had an acceptable Prawn Marie Rose panini and a nice hot chocolate. It was fun chasing Ash around the beach, running up and down the dunes as we ran after each other. Sometimes I really wish we'd met 10 years earlier and had a baby then. On the other land, life right now is good and I am happy.

Today was a good day.

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Alex
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« Reply #781 on: February 27, 2023, 09:49:59 AM »

We've known Ash has been fighting off a virus this past week, but last night it finally broke through. Poor thing had an earache and a sore stomach last night and just couldn't settle down to sleep until quite late. By the time we got him to sleep, we were both physically fine, but emotionally exhausted. I am sure other parents out there know exactly what I am talking about.

This morning about half five I heard him coughing, and then a minute later there was a sad little knock at our door and he came into our room telling us he didn't feel very well. Kristi took him downstairs to get some Calpol for him, while I did my getting ready for work stuff. By the time I was getting my shoes on, he came into the mancave to tell me he was going back to bed and gave me a little kiss and cuddle. Pretty sure he's passed his cold onto me with that though, as sweet as it was.

Anyway, Kristi messaged me to say that he had fallen back asleep, which is a rather rare occurrence, to say the least. Even as a newborn, he generally only woke up once in the middle of the night to get a feed and even then only for a few months before he was sleeping all the way through the night, from about 6 until 6.

Getting a last round of booster shots for various immunisations that aren't generally available to the wider public unless they need them. Doubtless Mark would freak out about me getting jabs and all the nanobots, trackers and whatnot that come along with such things. Willing to take my chances though.

Just got an email off our training coordinator. We are having one of our bi-annual briefing weeks down at Coningsby in June and he has booked me onto a load of courses. Boy, is he going to be disappointed.  BounceGiggle Come that week, I'll be sitting on a warm beach working on my suntan and drinking something 1) cold and 2) alcoholic. I'll think about all the guys hard at work though. I was looking at my records. Over the past 22 years, I have picked up close on 800 seperate qualifications ranging from being able to fit breathing masks to emergency battlefield repairs to get a jet up to fly one more mission (actually I really enjoyed that course, you got to improvise repairs and really use your ingenuity, instead of just "this system isn't working so go take box X out and put a new one in. If that doesn't fix it, change box y" and so forth).

I do miss getting to fix things with my hands. Mind you, I've spent longer away from doing that than I did do it. Again though, that was a deliberate choice. I wanted to work in as many different environments as possible and working on one sqn is pretty much the same as working on any other. My sqn was a fairly historic one. If you've heard of any RAF sqns, the chances are it is 617. As a WW2 buff, I like being able to say I was part of it even if it wasn't one of the more enjoyable parts of my career. Then again, I know a lot of people who did not like being on it. I get the impression that Matt had a much worse time of it than I did. I mean I at least managed to stick it out until it was time to get posted elsewhere rather than quitting completely.

Thump... thump... thump... thump... thump...

It just started up again. It is going to be a long week.

I'd like to be able to say I wish I had done more with my time in uniform. That I'd gone on more detachments (but they are a pain in the arse to be quite frank), that I'd taken up the free skiing trips (don't care about skiing, can take it or leave it), that I'd pushed for promotion and accepted it when it was offered (but I'd rather have time with my family and not work the stupid hours required of senior ranks), that I'd applied for my commission when they recommended me for officer training (I've very rarely met an officer I haven't thought was a total arsehole and paid way above their actual ability. I think I've met two male officers who I've had respect for, not sure on female ones but they do tend to be slightly better (whereas female NCO's have in general been a nightmare to deal with while male ones have by and large been great. I wonder why that is?). I've met a lot more officers who I've had nothing but utter contempt for and one that I suspect had I been in a war situation with, I'd have fragged without a second thought. Cowardice like his really should have seen him dishonourably discharged). I just can't really seem to bring myself to have regrets about what I could have, should have and didn't do.

A new chapter in my life is beckoning. I think it is about time I started to put down a new playlist for that. I know how it is going to start and end, I'll just have to look at the middle.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2023, 10:40:59 AM by Alex » Logged

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Alex
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« Reply #782 on: March 01, 2023, 06:27:07 AM »

Started playing a new campaign last night under Pathfinder 2 rules. It is a game I am pretty unfamiliar with rules-wise, so I came up with a character concept, rolled some dice and more or less let the GM assign things to whatever sounded like it fit my character.

Apparently, judging from last night, I have created a killing machine who just slices his way through everything we encounter using a pair of short swords. Playing him as a rather grim and gritty holy warrior who follows what seems to be a rather strange goddess. The GM described her as: "its an interesting one. it seems like protecting the weak is certainly an edict, but in a vindictive "f**k you" manner rather than the typical forgiveness or justice route. I am playing someone who isn't evil themselves, but who follows an evil god.

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Alex
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« Reply #783 on: March 05, 2023, 04:52:51 PM »

It seems that in any movie where a guy dies and his wife goes off on a cathartic trip with her best friend, it always turns out the friend was sleeping with the husband.

Yesterday was a full on day of Ash refusing to behave. It ranged from something as simple as when I told him to tidy up his toys lying on the floor and just giving me a cheeky grin then refusing to move (I tipped him off the couch much to his surprise), to just a full-on tantrum. When I was his age, acting like that would have earned me a smack on the butt, but since we aren't allowed to do that, I am forced into a choice between using methods that I am convinced do more long-term damage, psychologically speaking or let him act up. He spent a lot of time, sitting in his bedroom, not getting to play with his toys or watch trains.

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Alex
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« Reply #784 on: March 06, 2023, 04:03:36 AM »

In Friday nights game, the party began their exploration of the remote hunting lodge, after a night of strange events. Two of the party members woke up and couldn't find the rest of the party (they were having a share dream sort of thing). Sounds of children laughing and doors slamming shut unnerved them somewhat. I am taking a lot of inspiration (and some outright stealing) from The Haunting of Hill House (the original movie, not the god-awful remake). At the start of the adventure, there are no fights or physical danger, but as the adventure progresses through the days and nights, physical manifestations will start to occur.

Doing my 2nd last Monday in uniform. That is a good feeling. Pretty damn cold walking in this morning.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2023, 04:47:23 AM by Alex » Logged

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Alex
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« Reply #785 on: March 07, 2023, 04:46:27 PM »

Decided to ignore the cold I have and go into work since it didn't seem too bad. I got into work before anyone else (which is normal. Karl has flexible hours so he can drop his kids off at nursery, and Mark normally comes in slightly late). Anyway, I spun around 180 degrees in my chair to get something out of the drawer behind me, and had a major dizzy spell, almost falling out of my chair.

Decided to go home sick after all. What are they going to do, fire me?

I am off tomorrow for a housing brief, so Thursday before I am back in work. That leaves me 7 days in uniform.
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Alex
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« Reply #786 on: March 09, 2023, 06:46:30 AM »

So after some frustrating encounters in D&D, I made this big long post about how we needed to work more as a team, or we were going to end up having a TPK (Total Party Kill). Anyway, that was about a week ago. This week we were on a mission to infiltrate a dragon's lair, retrieve its eggs, and kill the dragon.

My assassin, Merriweather (as is her usual role), was scouting ahead of the group. The threats of stabbing him in the eyeballs seem to have worked on the heavily armoured paladin (who unknown to his companions has failed and become a blackguard. I only know this because he asked me how to change his levels over, but my character doesn't know it yet), and he is now hanging back, rather than trying to scout with me in his heavy, clanking armour and inability to see in the dark.

Ever seen a far-off light in the darkness? Yeah, you light a lamp or a torch and you can see for a few feet around you, but potentially you can be seen for miles away. If you want to scout ahead of the group underground, you need to be able to see in the dark. Anyway, that has nothing to do with this story really. I was slinking ahead and saw the dragon sitting on its treasure pile. Unnoticed, I slipped back to the group and started discussing with the others what buffs to use and what tactics we were going to go with, when the DM says "Ok folks, roll initiative (starting combat)." Matt (the clanky ex-paladin), had decided to wander down the corridor and fight the dragon. I quietly messaged the rest of the group that I was not going down the corridor and that as far as I was concerned Matt was on his own. The others decided to follow my lead and not just pull a Leroy Jenkins (if you don't know, google it).

Anyway, after a round of being torn to shreds by the dragons, Matt decided to run back up the corridor, where (and I am not sure if this was in character or in real life), I berated him for being an idiot. Luckily the dragon was too large to fit up that particular corridor, so we were able to heal up and prepare properly for the fight.

Eventually, we did defeat the dragon (although we didn't kill it, it surrendered and gave us some information in return for not killing it).
« Last Edit: March 09, 2023, 10:40:33 AM by Alex » Logged

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Alex
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« Reply #787 on: March 10, 2023, 06:51:30 AM »

My brain is screaming at me "Why are you leaving an easy job with good money???"

My heart replies "Because I have had enough. Besides, this was always the long-term plan. We've beat the system and we are going to enjoy the win."

5 days in uniform. 7 days in real-time, then 4 months of running around the house in my underwear while I figure out what to do once they stop paying me at the end of that.

It makes it harder that I am quite happy in the post I am currently in, but I remind myself that our sgt is about to leave and things are going to change. I'd rather leave while I have good memories. The first 7, 7 1/2 years I did, I absolutely loved this job then over the course of a few months it all changed and I spent the next 3 years hating it, before swinging around to an acceptable medium where I've been happy enough to keep doing it, but not to do anything extra if I didn't have to. I'd keep the oath I swore with whatever was asked and required, but my heart has rarely been in it since those first years.

I doubt they will ever see it, but here is a shout-out to the people I've served with in uniform who have inspired me and been positive examples of how to act in uniform. Johnny Pinkerton (Drill Instructor, RAF Halton), Charlie Neep (Chief Tech, RAF Cosford),  Scott Grieg (Cpl, Boz Bay), Mark Smith (Sgt, Boz Bay), 'Mad' Frank - (WO, Eng Wing) Albert - (Sgt, 617 sqn), John "Rollo" Rawlinson (Chief Tech, EOS), Terry Robertson (Chief Tech, Eng Records), Karl Dawson (Sgt, MSC). They really made me want to do my job well and showed me how to do it better. I hope I emulated their example and did the same for others.

Apologies to anyone I've forgotten about, although I think I've really got all of them. There is one officer I'd add to the list, but his name does escape me. I do recall he was the CO of training on the Airfield side of things at Cosford. The rest of the officer core I've encountered either fall into a grey area of having existed but not been either a good or bad person or were a***oles. Especially the coward who panicked and abandoned us.

Listening to music from 1984. Life was so much simpler back then. All we had to worry about was war with the Soviet Union.

On second thoughts, not much has changed there then.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2023, 08:10:18 AM by Alex » Logged

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Alex
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« Reply #788 on: March 14, 2023, 04:26:00 AM »

Trying to persuade Kristi that we should buy one particular building and convert it into a house. The trouble is that it would cost more to do the work I'd want done, than it would to buy the place. I'd want to convert it to two floors for a start. The lower half could be a huge living room/dining room open area. I'd put in a jacuzzi made to look like one of the baptismal pools the Baptists have.

This is the one I've been looking at: https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/45566407/?search_identifier=90afe3cbcc9dfc5ea0dc3db73b299660

Hmm. I wonder if they have an option to convert into such a thing in their churches. You know, so the priest can kick back and relax with some communion wine in between services? If not, they should do.

Anyway, I'd then have bedrooms upstairs and put in a bathroom somewhere. Maybe two because everyone needs two toilets as a minimum.

Backed a Kickstarter last year for some D&D terrain. Well that isn't quite true. I backed a Kickstarter last year for a stretch goal. It just happened to be a project for some D&D terrain. Anyway the package turned up on Friday and now I have a monster known as a Tarrasque. Not sure if I'll ever get it on a tabletop. S'big.



That model beside it is a 28mm scale knight for a size comparrison, maybe 2 inches tall for people who still use the old measurements. Going to take me a bit of time to paint that bad boy.
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Alex
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« Reply #789 on: March 15, 2023, 03:52:31 AM »

I've narrowed down the houses I'd be interested in buying down to a list of 9. Sticking to a budget of around £200,000ish (although there is a 16-bedroom house going for 3/4 of a million...).

Sadly this does not include the old church (which I still say would be the coolest of the available properties). I was sitting in the office yesterday and it was just me and my one up boss. He turned around and asked me if I'd consider rescinding my PVR and remaining in the job. He then told me I'd be stupid to remain, but he'd really like it if I did.

Three more days in uniform including today.

I've been comparing photos on me with ones of Ash at the same age. I'll put a few of them up below.

Suspect this was taken at Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow.


Baby Ash hanging out with me in the man cave.


Me and baby Ash at Bovington.


Pretty sure this would have been at a campsite near Blackpool. That car in the background is the first one I remember my dad having. I wonder why having wooden bits on cars didn't really survive the 70s?


I think he looks more like my little brother than me, but then my little brother's kid really takes after me.

Cleared out my desk drawers. Lots of paperwork all just shredded and binned. Guides on how to do all my various jobs, notes on planning staff rides, all unceremoniously dumped in the bin. Felt good to see it all go. I've kept my paperwork on my qualifications. All the rest of the stuff, well it didn't mean that much to me even when it had some degree of importance to me.

Is this the point where I say things like "I only have 3 days left to retirement. I'm too old for this crap."?

To be fair I started saying that during basic training when some young physical training instructor (PTI), would walk up to the course and say "With a jump FEET TOGETHER!". That left me with a deep and abiding dislike of PTI's. I remember when I'd to go back to the training base years later on another course and some little army prick walked up to us and said that. We had an old grizzled chief tech with us who promptly told him to "f**k off with that s**t." The army cpl looked taken aback, but seemed to quickly conclude he must have misheard what was said. He then told us we'd be going out for a long-distance run, and the same chief told him "Get a f**king ball. We are going to play football. That is what we'll be doing every session, none of this running about bollocks."

The PTI tried stuttering about how all the football pitches were all booked, but the chief was having none of it and we didn't do any fitness other than playing football the entire 6 weeks we were down there.

I now have 3 A4 folders filled with all the qualifications I've picked up over the past 22 years. Many of them are just repeated annual competencies which I'll go through and remove, but wow have I done a lot of courses over my career. In basic, I remember making a mistake and the cpl marking our work told me "Making mistakes is human. It happens. But you are going to be fixing aircraft and have to be better than human. You need to be superhuman." Always stuck with me that. Right now though all I want is Friday to come and go so it is all over and done with.

If any of you happen to be in Scotland, around lunchtime, we'll be going for some drinks down at the Windswept Taproom. Feel free to join me. Might even buy you a drink.  Cheers

Right now I just want it to be Friday and for everything to be all over and done with though.

Tomorrow will really be my last full day in uniform (unless something happens Friday). We rarely work the whole day and get a nice early start to the weekend (I'll miss that back in civvy street).
« Last Edit: March 15, 2023, 10:10:20 AM by Alex » Logged

But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
Alex
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« Reply #790 on: March 16, 2023, 05:34:22 AM »

Assuming nothing big kicks off tomorrow, today is my last full day in uniform. I am already bored and want to go home.

Browsing through lots of job positions. There seems to be hundreds of them for one of the areas I am working in, although I am not going to submit my application quite yet. Legally I can't start a new job until the 13th of April, but I can only start getting paid from the 7th of June and I don't fancy working for free.

Kristi is unsettled about everything. A lot more than I am. She isn't sleeping well. Concerns about the future, which is understandable. There is more of a safety net in the UK, than the US (although I am hoping to avoid using that).

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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #791 on: March 16, 2023, 08:19:02 AM »

You made it! The proverbial rest of your life lies before you. Congratulations and best of luck. Thank you for helping keep the world safer.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
Alex
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« Reply #792 on: March 16, 2023, 01:11:26 PM »

Got to 1/4 past four and my boss said, pack up, go home and I'll see you for drinks tomorrow. I walked home, for the very last time in uniform. I did get a slight lump in my throat as I went, passing by the buildings I have lived and worked in for the past twenty years and one month. As I passed through the main gates I removed my rank tabs. When I got to the outer gates, off came the Berret (always hating wearing that to be honest). Got home, hugged Kristi and came upstairs to put on some music. Things hit me a little a that point and I hugged Kristi again. Then I went on a walk to the shop. I felt I was entitled to a few beers tonight, even if I am going to be drinking tomorrow. Picked up Kristi a bottle of Baileys too and got Ash some (non-alcoholic) treats too.

Effectively I am now a civilian, even if I am not properly one until July 4th.

Goodbye guys, not going to need you again.  Thumbup

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Alex
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« Reply #793 on: March 18, 2023, 01:18:52 AM »

Had 6 beers on Thursday night. While when I was younger, that would barely have been me getting started, it is a long time since I've drank that much. Didn't feel more than buzzed though. Got up Friday morning and took Ash to nursery, then after a long walk with Kristi I headed off to the tap room for a few beers with Mark & Emma before we went down to the Smugglers for a meal and more drinks. They presented me with a barrel of rum and a D&D-themed decanter and glasses which rather surprised me. Mark insisted on paying for all my drinks. Even though I'd had more tto drink than him, he was pretty drunk quite quickly. I

Made me feel slightly bad about not really liking most of them.

Anyway, we'd only booked a babysitter until 21:30, so we left about 21:00 to give us plenty of time to walk home. After everyone had left, Karl did tell me I was a dick for leaving him alone with Mark. Goodbyes were said, hands were shaken and all that jazz and much good luck was wished for the future. It wasn't until we left though that I started really feeling free. Kristi couldn't sleep, so we made love instead. She said she was still wide awake after we finished so I held her in my arms while she read her Kindle. For all of about 5 minutes before she fell asleep. The trouble is I now have sexergies and can't sleep. I always feel energized afterwards. Maybe there is something to the whole ying/yang thing after all?

Rev, where are your watch parties when I am wide awake at 5 in the morning? Ok, well it is 6 now, but it was 5 when I got out of bed for a shower.

So here I am in my underwear and a teeshirt, cold feet, listening to Kate Bush and wondering if it is too early to go have a rum.

Hey, for once the rum isn't gone!

Think I have decided what job I am going to go for. It's one that has tried to recruit me before and given my particular skills, it is an easy win. The money is less than I am currently on, but so is the responsibility. The shift pattern might take some getting used to though. It is doing something I have been thinking about for a while now and Kristi agrees with me that it would be a good one to go for. Going to keep quiet on what the job actually is though for reasons.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 10:16:43 AM by Alex » Logged

But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
Alex
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« Reply #794 on: March 21, 2023, 03:51:57 PM »

Spent four days drinking at a steady pace. Not enough to be constantly drunk, but I was feeling good and celebratory the entire time. Used my new decanter, although I've not opened the barrel of rum they gave me yet. Took my uniform in today. When they saw how much I had loaded into the car, they gave me a wheelbarrow to load it all into. Anyway, I took it all in and all they asked was if my bump cap was in there. I guess I could have kept a lot more stuff if I'd wanted. Didn't really want to though.

Spoke to my potential new boss today, and make the first tentative bits of the application process for a possible new job. Not going to say what I am going for quite yet, until I know for sure I am going to go through the whole process. They do seem quite keen to get me to sign on though.
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