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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
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16 February 2012

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Greg Collins

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It's be awhile since I last wrote... a fair amount of things going on in both my personal and paycheck lives- to quote David Bowie, "ch, ch, ch, changes..."; some changes- ok, some changes- not so ok and, to be frank, some changes I'm having a very difficult time supporting (most of those dealing with the paycheck life). But I won't bore all of you with the details; it has, after all, nothing to do with collecting.

Though I haven't written, I have steadily posted images to my galleries. A great deal of the items have been items already in the collections but there have been a few new items... I recently had the good fortune of acquiring a couple of fairly rare RPR (Romanian) pieces: a very early, numbered Border Guard badge and an early, numbered Honoured Radioman badge. Also picked up a couple of Soviet long service medals for the KGB (the variants with the Roman numerals on the front)- I also have a 20 year Georgian MOOP medal on the way. And, as usual, I was able to score a few more PMR (Transnistrian) awards. I believe my collection in this realm might be the most complete anywhere; don't know for sure, though.

Having a little challenge with the CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) end of things. I look at what's offered on Molotuk, ru. but, as I live in the States, I can't deal there. Been trying to talk some of my dealers in that neighborhood into getting the items I want but, because they are relatively inexpensive, I don't think they want to be bothered with them. The thing is, I collect items that appeal to me... if they are valuable, great! If not, they still appeal to me and have a place in the collection. I'm really not motivated by the value so much as the enjoyment of what I (we) do. Maybe that's why I'm not a seller, per se.

Looking down the barrel at 58... it will be here on the 28th. Hmmmmm, never thought I'd make it this far. Almost didn't (Beirut '83). For those who haven't made it that far yet, I have one thing to say (and remember this), "Getting old ain't for sissies!!!". You have got to be nail-chewing tough to take the ass whippin' old age deals out; almost on a daily basis. And friends, this is the absolute truth. When you look in the mirror to shave in the morning and you see your Grandfather looking back at you, and you remember all those things he told you which you wrote off as some old geezer's crap well, friends, the chickens have come home to roost! Payback is indeed what they say it is...

OK, I'm done ranting at that which cannot be changed. Will write more later...

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Getting old ain't that bad at the moment, just had my first son (born 9 days ago) at the age of 52, just rocking him to sleep right now as I'm writing this.

Enjoying feeding him and changing his nappies (except for when you think you've cleaned him up and about to put on the clean nappy ..................... and he pee's all over me! BOY! for a little fella, he can't half get some power behind it :) )

Ah well, off to put him down for a few hours and catch some sleep myself :)

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Your first at 52!!! Congratulations!

I chose the early route... my granddaughter just graduated high school. I cannot imagine doing what you are doing now at our ages (although, if my granddaughter provides a little one any time soon, I guess I'll probably get the chance). The great thing about being a grandparent, over a parent, is that you can spoil them rotten and then give them back. Sort of a benevolent revenge thing...

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And I am somewhere in between... at 52 my daughter is 15 :)

But the hair is grey... we have 3 Megans in my church, and so when more than one of us is around in the same meeting, I refer to myself as 'the grey Megan' given that the other two are college students. The other folks try to be more polite, but get tangled up, so I shall probably get my way in the end...

The trick is to enjoy life, enjoy the folks around you, enjoy whatever it is you are doing.

I too need some improvement in the paycheck area, like I would like a job. Unemployment sucks, and job-hunting is a frustrating exercise in futility and wastes a heck of a lot of time.

Everything else is wonderful!

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Am fortunate in the hair department... our Hiberno-Norse (West Cork) male roots bequeathed this mix of multiple shades going from blond to red to light brown to darker brown. As we age, the grey begins at the chin (prior to the greying, it was red) and goes upwards until it covers just north of the ears. The result is that greying on the sides that everyone seems to think looks "distinguished". This is how we depart the mortal coil- my Grandfather was 83 when he bowed out and that was what his hair looked like, and it is the way mine is now.

With regard to the paycheck thing; like everything else you do in life, a series of decisions, whether good or bad, brought you to where you are. At one point in my life (1999), I saw that the agency (advertising) where I was employed was just not going to last. The owner had made some unthinking and disastrous mistakes and put the business into real trouble. We could no longer trust the solvency of the organization- our paychecks began to bounce. I was talked into a State job which borrowed on a part of my military experience- I went to work in the prison system (womens maximum security, to be exact). I did this only as a "stop-gap" measure- until I could reinsert myself into the creative end of advertising. Well, frankly, I got lazy, did not keep abreast of changes in the field, blah, blah, blah, and 13 years later, here I remain. It is not a job I recommend- we have even surpassed dentists (formally at the top of the list) for suicides. On the other hand, and for some strange reason, I seem to be good at it (?) and it IS a paycheck, just not a very pleasant way of making a living. And I'm surrounded by those who are, basically, functionally illiterate. Frustrating.

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