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Blog Entries posted by TacHel

  1. TacHel
    Hello all,

    Sorry for my sporadic drop ins of the past few weeks. My wife took a nose dive 2 weeks ago and fractured her femur requiring emergency surgery and insertion of multiple stainless steel screws. I've spent the last 14 days in hospital whenever not at work. She's at home now but requires rest for the next 6 weeks prior to reevaluation of her case... It'll either be physio, or another surgery. Bottom line is she'll require my constant help for weeks to come limiting my time on line.

  2. TacHel
    I found this great dealer of Belgian Orders and medals... He has some items I really want but charges a fortune to ship overseas stating the Belgian postal system is untrustworthy for such international parcels...


    He wants 125 EURO to send me 80 EURO's worth of medals and refuses to use the normal post even if insured and registered. People like this drive me cuckoo!!
  3. TacHel
    I could just sh*t... Right in the middle of a research project...

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz -Screen goes weird- CLICK * SNAP -whisp of smoke- -burning smell- -scanner goes bye bye-...

    Guess this is as good enough of an excuse as I'll ever have to see if those "Epsonites" were truthful!

    More to follow...
  4. TacHel
    XMas shopping is easy between the wife and I... We set a budget then she buys what she wants for herself and I buy what I want for myself, we thank each other and are never dissapointed with our gifts! Works like a charm!

    This year, (like previous years ), I decided to blow my entire budget on more Russian medals, especially on a few high end bravery and valour awards. My Moscow contact acquired them and I sent him the money via Western Union, am now anxiously awaiting their arrival! Then, 2 evenings ago... Browsing the web, I came accross an incredible deal. A French 5th republic "Commander of the Legion of Honour" at an incredibly reasonable price!! Less than 1/2 of the lowest price I had ever before seen. I could barely believe my eyes so I asked a buddy in France to have a look at it (in person). His reply, filled with curses for not having found it before me confirmed its impeccable state. But... My XMas budget is already gone and this puppy is still $300...

    My wife saw the preplexed and pained look on my face staring at this beauty on my computer screen... She said, "WTH, go for it"... "But buy me something nice!".

    So it's also on its way from Europe, but now I have to go XMas shopping... YUCK!

    Waddya all think? Good trade off? And yes, my wife does have a sister but she's short, fat, married and quite the penny pincher so .
  5. TacHel
    I did it again... SIGH...

    Bought over a dozen Russian medals... Then bought 1/2 a dozen Belgian medals (and Orders)... Then bought 1/2 a dozen German medals... All within a 48 hour period...

    I MUST learn to control myself.

    Seems items I am missing (needing ) all suddenly and simultaneously appear! The wife will F-R-E-A-K if I can't intercept my VISA bill next week...
  6. TacHel
    One particular question has been nagging at me for years now, I would really appreciate input from as many of you as possible. Please answer honestly without fear of insult (because it's my particular field of interest).

    I am a member of multiple militaria and phaleristics forums worldwide, one common point among all of these is the apparent lack of interest in anything and everything to do with modern day Russia. Tsarist and Soviet ODMs are still hot, but as soon as the wall came crashing down, so did the interest in what came next... I for one was drawn like a magnet to this completely new and unexplored field of collecting but seem to be a member of a minuscule group...

    So here's my question:

  7. TacHel
    The Soviet Union is gone, it's been gone for 20 years now. The Russian Federation's ODM system was quickly reworked, minor changes here and there have improved it over the years, then in 2010 came the major amendment that completely severed all ties to the old Soviet ODMs.

    I started looking into modern Russian awards just over 5 years ago and was astounded at how little data was available in the West, so I turned my attention to the East joining multiple Russian phaleristics forums. What I found was the merest trace of any serious research or correlation of data. I found most Russian collectors had no notion of the terms we use in the West, namely "official" and "unofficial". Their collecting interests are centered around themes, naval, air, space etc. They will collect anything and everything even remotely associated to their chosen theme with little if any care whether the piece is official or a mere souvenir made for the collector market. At the risk of sounding a bit condescending (and it isn't my intention), most are "amassers" vice collectors IMHO. To each is own I guess...

    You can well imagine my surprise and frustration when I discovered I had accumulated more info than they collectively had! I went there seeking assistance and guidance, exactly the opposite happened! I showed up with ODMs they had never seen or heard of, I showed up with ministerial orders officializing awards they didn't believe were real or even knew existed, I proved many of there prized collectables were nothing more than mere baubles. I ended up educating most of them on there own ODM system!! To this very day I'm often their source of official decrees and orders on ODMs! I'm still at a loss to explain that...

    Shocking and frustrating...

    I decided to put together Wikipedia pages to catalog everything and share the research in order to promote interest in modern Russian ODMs. My pages contained 10 times what the Russian Wikipedia pages had. Within a year, most Russian Wiki pages were linked to mine! When requesting info on Russian forums, I was directed to my own research on Wiki!! Frustrating as H... What did this tell me? I was it. If anybody else had researched modern Russian ODMs in depth, he sure was keeping it a secret!

    Then the realities of Wikipedia set in... Morons changing stuff at will, skewing the data, changing translations according to their personnal interpretations, no respect whatsoever for other peoples' research... It got to be too much for me and I abandonned Wiki utterly disgusted with the entire experience. In retrospect, that's what Wiki is, I should've never gone there in the first place and should've made my own web pages but was too eager to share the data and believed Wiki the best place for that. I should've found a publisher and written a book! But I never seemed to have acquired enough data, there was always something new popping up on a weekly if not daily basis! Only just very recently have I had the feeling at having reached a point where a book might be warranted, having reached the 95+% mark of what's out there.

    When I say the 95+% mark, I'm talking about 500+ "official" awards from the State, ministries, departments, federal agencies... I've wanted to make a multilingual web site (English, French, German, Russian) for a while now containing everything I had amassed on the subject, then thought how great all of this would look in a book (in all 4 languages). But I simply do not have the time...

    Oh well... Maybe one day.
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