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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
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Greg Collins

18 September 2011

Had a fairly uneventful weekend... largely overcast with temps in the 60's, which is a big change. Will probably heat back up prior to going cold for the winter. Had a couple of aftershocks (when will this end?). The rest of the chimney went with the one this morning- glad I wasn't standing under it! Anyway, had some time to pluck on the 12 string and shoot a bunch of images for a couple of galleries- my USSR and Mongolian galleries to be precise. These are still works in progress, although the Mongolian is just about finished (at least for now). Hope to begin the Bulgarian gallery soon.

Back to work tomorrow- not looking forward to it at all. Many changes; and most, I fear, will not work out at all. And a whole lot of work will go down the tubes before management comes to the realization that most criminals just don't care to "go straight". Most really do have contempt for society and the laws enacted... OK, I'll get off the "soapbox" now. Still, it is a paycheck and these are some rough times (worst I've seen, and I've been around since 1954). More later...

Greg Collins

12 September 2011

Ha! Completed mowing today (it takes me longer than most because of my skin is beyond white- almost ghostly- I cannot tan at all, so I have to wait for overcast or near sundown), managed to get a haircut (I seem to grow hair thicker and faster in my old age- weird), and photographed my USSR "Capture of..." medals for the gallery. Will work on those tonight and, hopefully post later or tomorrow. Finished the PMR gallery as I had planned and have been furiously working on the USSR gallery (have a look). I'm enjoying it all but it does take time, the one commodity I find I have decidedly less of these days (and the one you don't get back and cannot replace).

Another weirdness about me (for anyone who cares); I'm a news junkie. If I watch nothing else on T.V., I will watch the news (I'm probably far more boring than I think I am). Anyway, the primary news shows I watch are, in order:

-RT (formerly Russia Today)

-France 24

-Al Jazeera

Occasionally, I'll watch DW (Deutsche Welle), EuroNews (from Spain) and NHK (Japan), but I watch the top three I listed at least twice a day. So I guess other than working for a paycheck, being a husband and caring for animals, my life boils down to: politics, collecting, making music, watching the news, art/photography and watching movies/series. Hmmmm, actually not bad in the scheme of things.

More later...

Greg Collins

9 September 2011

Well, I did it again... got up at 0330, went through my normal routine (the stars of which are coffee and cigarettes- a fifth food group in my home), got to work by 0520, only to find out I asked for and was given the weekend off some months ago. Senility has set-in FIRMLY, I'm afraid. Anyway, turned on my heel and went back home (short drive, at least). Embarrassing, but happy to be off.

Used some of the time to continue the re-working of my PMR gallery, which I hope to have completed by tomorrow, and to begin my Mongolian gallery (5 images, so far- have a look). It seems all my galleries with the exception of the Czechoslovakian and the CPRF galleries are works in progress. But, hey, I'm not going anywhere (at least I'm not planning to) so we keep photographing and posting. So far I've posted, maybe, 4-5% of what's lying around.

Oh yeah, it's become a jungle here with all the rain of late. Gotta hop on the mower at some point tomorrow and cut the acre we live on; used to do it with a push mower, but my wife wanted to keep me around a few more years ;-).

Greg Collins

7 September 2011

After an earthquake and a near brush with a hurricane within a couple days of each other, the mail seems to be catching up... at least for now (heard that they are having incredible cash flow issues on the news last night). Anyway, got a few new items to add. A couple of documents from a friend stationed in the Republic of Georgia including a Georgia SSR Volunteer Police (Drushzinik) badge and doc- the badge is very Georgian in design (had not seen one before) and the doc still contains the bearer's photo. Also received a couple of early Hungarian items I won at our favorite (!?) auction site; a 1949 Excellent Worker badge- predates the Rakosi seal, and a 1952 Sztahanovista badge with miniature. Both of these are numbered and very well worth what I won them for. Will post to the respective galleries soon.

The remnants of Hurricane Lee turned north the other day and is making my area of Virginia a bog (whoa, another aftershock just hit). Am a bit concerned with the approach of Katia; really hope she turns north while well off the coast. Everything is so soaked that any rain she might bring will cause massive flooding and trees will just fall over. Won't be pretty. Weather has really been "dicey" this year...

Well, I'll begin this 2-days-off period by going to Wally World and commiserating with the great unwashed (here, that's pretty literal)- need food; fridge nearly empty. Take care.

Greg Collins

4 September 2011

Basically a slow Sunday... managed to get a few things done around the house and get my uniform ready for work tomorrow (yes, most folks have the day off). Did manage to finish- at least to date- my Czechoslovakian gallery (have a look) and also added some images to my Hungarian gallery (look there, as well). The PMR (Pridnestrovie) gallery is up-to-date although there are a few items (documents) coming in the mail. I need to get back to work on my USSR gallery, as well as begin the Mongolian and Bulgarian galleries AND the DDR gallery, which will be HUGE.

Work is going to be a drag tomorrow. 12 hours of the usual needy women plus visitation (it's a holiday, after all), staff shortages (ongoing), getting the trash off the compound, getting offender workers paid, and the usual lock-ups, fights, medical runs, etc... all the fun you can possibly have between 0545 and 1815. Oh well, it's a paycheck.

Hope everyone has a great Labour Day (I still celebrate mine on May 1st).

Greg Collins

3 September 2011

Well, as promised, I've begun my new Czechoslovakian gallery. The medal I received yesterday, "For Merit in the Peoples' Militia", began the new gallery. Will add more over the next day or two- I really don't have many Czech pieces.

Thanks for the comments on my first entry. For IrishGunner (I am, by the way, also Irish; Hiberno-Norse- fair haired, family from West Cork, all of that), Beirut is kind of a sore spot with me as it led to the end of my stay in the Navy- which I still miss on many levels. In a nut shell, I was off the USS New Jersey and at the wrong place at the wrong time, boom, heart stopped twice, 3 day MEDEVAC to Naples, during my stay there the barracks went up (boom, again, but I wasn't there for that one- lost a shipmate, though), transferred to Bethesda, about six to nine months in-patient, moved to Special Services in Anacostia and out-patient status, hearing judged my complete recovery would take too long, out of the Navy with a one-time disability severance check and two and a half years outpatient at the Washington VA Hospital. To that point, I had survived being shot at at all sorts of exotic locations: the Philippines (New Peoples' Army reconnaissance, primarily), Nicaragua, El Salvador (what a mess!), Panama and Grenada.

Back to working with images...

Greg Collins

2 September 2011

This is my very first attempt at blogging, so bear with me until I get used to it. Some of you have already heard of me through my posts or the logo design, and I have met several of you through direct messaging. What I'm going to attempt to do here is give a bit of insight as to who I am now, have been in the past, what motivates/disgusts me and how this is all woven into my collecting habits. Please do not share what you see/read with Mental Health professionals as I would rather not take that kind of a vacation.

I was born in the '50's and am a child of the '60's; heavily influenced by the "British Invasion". Have been a musician since I was 7- guitar and cittern. Radically political since I became a "card carrying" member of a decidedly red political party in 1972 (yep, still a member). Joined the Navy anyway- they didn't buy my political affiliation and gave me a secret clearance (I look like a Conservative Republican, I'm told). Stayed with that until my luck ran out in Beirut, 1983. Went back to college and got a degree in Commercial Art/Photography and worked in that field until 1999 when, through a list of sordid mishaps and bad luck, I began work with the State (Virginia) and am currently a Sergeant in a maximum security prison for... women.

I left Virginia the first time in 1959; swore I'd never come back to live. After circumnavigating the globe around 5 times, I returned to Virginia, to live, in 1988. Bad decision. But, you are where you are, so here I am in the middle of nowhere in the "rocker" between Charlottesville and Richmond, in a very old, decrepit house with my wife, my dog, a huge bunch of cats that passing cars continue to "drop off", a red-tailed hawk, a peregrine falcon, several possums, black snakes and copperheads and whatever else wanders onto my 8.95 acres- and no, I don't hunt, so I wind up feeding them.

Now that everyone has some idea of where I'm coming from, I'll be making entries from time to time to keep all up to speed. I will post new acquisitions in my galleries, saving this area for those side images that give an insight into the where, when or how. So, until the next entry, take care...

Oooops, it's still the 2nd and I have a little more to write, so I've chosen to edit this and add more. Got a new piece today... the mail has slowed a bit since last week when I was "preparing for a hurricane and got an earthquake"- actually got both, the earthquake being quite unusual for this area (especially a 5.8)- lost my chimney completely due to the initial and following aftershocks which continue. The hurricane was pretty much a non-event where I am; some rain and a little wind. Never lost power... when we lose power we lose everything; water, toilet, phone. Not good. Anyway, I digress... the piece I received is a "Merits of the People's Militia" medal (Czechoslovakia) with ribbon bar in a padded, light blue case. A very nice piece from a dealer in Israel at an outstanding price. I always enjoy doing business with this gentleman. Tomorrow I hope to photograph it and begin my Czechoslovakian gallery- I have managed to collect several pieces geared around, for the most part, organizations of the internal ministry.

Hmmmm, brings me to a last bit- "what do I collect?". I collect orders, medals, badges and documents from the Communist era of the USSR, Mongolia, the DDR (a lot of this appears on Megan's site), Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. I also have a small collection of Cuban badges, a few Mao buttons, some items from Poland and some from Czechoslovakia. I have a pretty good collection of Communist Party of the Russian Federation medals (in the Gallery section- have a look), a nearly complete collection from the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Pridnestrovie) also in the Gallery section and a few Umalatova medals (who doesn't). Oh yeah, I've also got a pretty good collection of Sons of Confederate Veterans and Military Order of the Stars and Bars items that were given to me over the years. I think I mentioned it all.

This is the final entry today, I promise.

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