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25 May 2013 Ft. Lee Military Show

Earlier today (5-25-13) I attended the Ft. Lee Military Show for the first time. I had a blast… great show, wonderful location; altogether a very worthy effort by the organizers. I’ll certainly go again next year, and I’ll probably have a table of my own then as well. I primarily went to hook up with two good friends, Kevin Born (one of the show’s organizers- thanks Kevin!) and Ralph Pickard (author of “Stasi Decorations and Memorabilia, Volumes 1 and 2”), as it has been a couple of years sinc

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

30 March 2013

I attended a funeral yesterday for my cousin, Elwood Leroy Collins, who died on the 24th. Born in 1925, he was the son of my Grandfather’s brother and, though somewhat distant in relationship, he appeared in more than a couple of “scenes” in my life whenever I returned to this part of Virginia. Family reunions, Sunday dinners or, simply, running into him during local travels- it was always great to see him as he brought a sense of humour to nearly every occasion. No doubt it would have been pres

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

23 December 2012

As I wrote in yesterday's blog, I have thought about sharing a few "sea stories" with you. Don't expect great revelations here; just a few that I can't seem to get out of my head, no matter how hard I try. They are personal in nature and may give insight as to why I am somewhat "twisted". Communication, I have painfully learned, is the cornerstone of a lasting marriage. All to often we fall prey to our own baser instincts and concentrate on the physical, only to "pay big time" at a later date.

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

22 December 2012

Well, the 21st has come and gone and we're still here... not sure if that's a plus or minus but, hey, it IS. So, on we go until the next projected apocalypse. Nothing much happening here except it is getting colder. I apologize to those living in the colder climes- Canada and Russia come to mind- but we're just not as used to it here and it does get "raw" at times. Anyway, I'm taking advantage of the indoor time to continue cataloging the collection. This has become something of a daunting tas

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

24 September 2012

I have been absent from the blogging scene of late… I could list all kinds of excuses but, as most of them revolve around being 58- and a lot of you are in the same shoes- you can fill-in the blanks. For those who have not reached this point in your “development”, I admonish you to enjoy the youth you currently enjoy as it truly is fleeting. For those who have passed me and are looking at 58 in the rear-view, please resist the temptation of telling me what comes next as I just LOVE these surpris

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

28 June 2012

Haven't written in a while; otherwise occupied lately. Anyway, I have a few days off which, when added to the days I'd normally be off comes to a total of seven days, thought I'd drop a few lines to let everyone know (A) I'm still sucking air and am warm and upright, and (B) what I'm up to as far as collecting goes. I've been concentrating on my primary interest lately, which is state security/internal ministry/border troops/fire brigades, and my focus, at least at present, is directed toward

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

Victory Day 2012

In about 20 minutes it will be May 9th in Moscow and Victory Day will be underway. The annual parade should step-off at 1000. A change from last year's attempt at the utility uniform will be the return to the dress uniform (why they changed that last year I will never know). Hopefully the parade, in it's entirety, will be broadcast (perhaps by RT) and, again hopefully, someone will make a dvd of it that will be available for purchase by those of us who live in the more remote areas (hint). Asi

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

May Day 2012

Happy May Day to all! Not a big holiday here in the US (although it did start here) except for the "faithful" (hard core Reds). Did catch the Moscow goings-on via RT earlier today- they covered events all over the world. Good to see the Moscow parades, although I wish they still went through Red Square. Noticed that even the oligarchs participated in the parade (Medvedev)- hmmmmm. Also good to see the general strike called by the Occupy movement- still strong. All together much more going on thi

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

15 April 2012

Hmmmm... Spring has, apparently, "sprung" here in beautiful metropolitan Ferncliff, Virginia where our one traffic light continues to blink red one way and yellow in the other direction. The horses are snorting (probably because of all the pollen), the cows are lowing and the "little birdies machen melodies"- much to the amusement of my cats. The possum (or possums- not sure I'm always looking at the same one) has come out of that weird partial hibernation and has joined the cats for meals. My s

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

13 March 2012

I'm in kind of a "bitchy" mood today; on the two days I've had off, I had to go to meetings at the joint on both days. These people have meetings to decide when to have more meetings!!! Nothing is ever accomplished during said meetings except to expose how education deprived the speakers are. In the 8 years I spent in the Navy, we trotted all over the Far East, Central America, shot through the Panama Canal, went through Grenada, blasted the crap out of Beirut- all without meetings. Amazing! OK,

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

28 February 2012

Well, as of 1338 (Eastern Standard Time) today, I became 58 years old. I was taking a nap at that moment, so I didn't notice any great change. In essence, a non-event. But, to be honest, I have been, lately, mulling over the passage of time and what I've seen during my half-century plus on the blue marble. If nothing else, it's been an interesting ride. At the risk of boring the readership, I provide the following highlights: -I've been to all 50 states in the USA and 27 countries; during all

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

16 February 2012

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 grea

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

17 December 2011

Well, Father Frost's visit is on the horizon and the daily stampede at the local Wally World is now in full swing. The one good thing about the winter stampede versus the summer stampede is that people tend to wear more clothing during the winter stampede, thus saving the ocular nerves from the shock of 230+ pounds squeezed into "Daisy Dukes" and tube tops, as is the usual fair during the warmer weather here. Whew! I either need to quit going there altogether or move closer to the nearest colleg

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

9 December 2011

Been awhile since I posted to this blog; haven't had alot to say, really. With the end of autumn and the coming of winter we're often plagued with grey days- lots of cold rain and mud. A sort of yearly depression sets in which evaporates around April. The only feeling I remember that approximates this is the feeling we got when we were at sea for long periods; up early to work at least 8-10 hours, in the sack for a couple hours, up for 4 hours of watch, back in the sack for a couple of hours, th

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

16 November 2011

Added a few more pieces to the collection today... three medals to the PMR collection which I've already posted and one more veteran's medal (80 Years VDV) which I have yet to post. Two of the three PMR entries are Black Sea Cossack awards, one of which is quite rare in it's configuration. Have a look... Congratulations to all the Photo Contest winners. I really enjoyed all the submissions I saw, both winning and non-winning... nice work! Was somewhat disappointed that no Soviet or Soviet bloc

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

2 November 2011

A reprieve from the cold for a few days... temps soared into the 60's and, as I am off, got alot of work done around the house today. More tomorrow prior to returning to the grind on Friday (yes, I am on shift this weekend). This evening I got a chance to scan some DDR documents for the MfS (Stasi) sports organization, Dynamo and will couple these scans with their badges and add to my DDR collection tomorrow at some point. Two of the documents contain actual signatures (not stamps) of Erich Miel

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

29 October 2011

I have just submitted what may be my final entry into the contest and, as I poured over the work of the last couple of days, I can really see the "commercial" in the Commercial Art/Photography degree... overworked, clean, "just so". The artwork I do is basically the same. It's all good, and I'm glad I know how to do it, but there are times I wish that my art was more relaxed, "free-er" and with more expression. Seems I'm a good technician but I wonder about "artist"... but, hey, I am what I am (

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

28 October 2011

Off this weekend after two hellish days which culminated in very nearly a fight (yes, the physical kind) between myself and another supervisor in front of both officers and offenders- not good. I believe I may have some anger management issues; of course, it could be that I've come to the realization that I do, indeed, have an expiration date and no longer wish to waste the time I have left on bull sh*t, regardless from whom it may come. Oh well, three days to cool off. Put a few new entries i

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

20 October 2011

Well, I'm sitting here bemoaning the fact that my vacation has come to an end; at 0545 tomorrow I will return to the title "Sergeant" and attend morning muster at the "joint". I have enjoyed being called "Mr. Collins" and/or "Greg" these past eleven days. Did run into an ex-convict while shopping locally, but for the life of me I cannot remember her name. I guess when you deal with 1200+ on more or less a daily basis this is bound to happen. Wished her well; hope I don't have occasion to "welcom

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

14 October 2011

Still on vacation :-)!!! Got a few things done today around the house (it's been quite wet lately which has severely inhibited outside work). Also (dammit, dammit) went out and bought a new cell phone to replace the one I LOST within a 20 yard area- inside the house- I absolutely can not find the damned thing. I HATE getting old and senile :-( ! Can't see anymore; can't hear anymore and wet weather really settles on my joints. CRAP! OK, I'm ranting again... On the up side, I found a new dvd I h

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

10 October 2011

Finally, at long last, thought it would never come... I'm on vacation! Yep, 11 days of paid unemployment. Began with, what else, some photos to update a gallery- the DDR gallery to be precise. Came up with an idea of "ganging" series medals, much as I did with a few of the Hungarian medals a little while ago. A bit easier on the photographer (me) and, I feel, more interesting than if you had to look at a separate image for each. Take a look. Thinking of knocking the Stasi shield collection down

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

6 October 2011

Another 2 days off is coming to an end as I have to work the weekend this week- the schedule we work gives us every other weekend off. But if I can make it through the weekend, I have the next eleven days off!!! Woopie! The benefits of having to keep your vacation time accrued within established limits. Too much time on the books. Nothing much happening here... have had more photo opportunity regarding the galleries I'm maintaining. I've added quite a bit to the Bulgarian gallery (have a look)

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

1 October 2011

The weather has turned a bit cooler over a relatively short time (90's to 60's), and I'm beginning to get that sinking feeling that goes along with winter. Crap! As I have not relocated to sunnier climes, I have only myself to blame. On the work front, the audit we were going through is now over and yes, we've been accredited yet again. Whew! Like a weight has been lifted. Our warden has moved on to much greener pastures (a promotion $$$), and we are now left wondering who's next... I have now

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

27 September 2011

It is dismal here for about the fourth day in a row... wet, dank and nasty. The sun has deserted us and I have a great crop of mushrooms- not the good kind (damn it)- growing on my lawn. It is difficult to get out and photograph more awards as I use the reflected sunlight for fill (my main light being the on-camera flash), so I'm concentrating on processing the images I already have and planning the next batch. Most of my active collecting has been, well, over for a while now. The images I'm a

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

21 September 2011

My first of two days off after two fairly hellish days at "the pen". Imagine being surrounded by 1200+ very needy persons of the female persuasion, the median age being around 26-32 and the median weight being around 150-190. Not a pretty picture. Oh yeah, and we all know from biology class that men are "xy" chromosome and women are "xx" chromosome... well let me tell you that there are many, MANY variations between these two "poles". Whew! But, enough of that. The main images in my USSR gall

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

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