You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Profile for SpangoTheWonderBadger:
Profile Info:

What's to know?
I'm a SysAdmin that can usually be found with my family hiking up Welsh mountains or in the sea surfing. Well, more like splashing around like an idiot, it seems that after having a break for 2 years my ability to surf has diminished somewhat. Oh well...
Of course we have cats.

Recent front page messages:


none

Best answers to questions:

» The most childish thing you've done as an adult

Jousting with a curtain pole in B&Q
My wife's voice 10 metres behind me "Oh, FFS! How old are you?!"
"Cadzooks, woman! Hush! Merrily I twat thine peasants!"

I mean, B&Q on a Sunday, what else would you do?

Couldn't quite do the clippity-cloppity sound of hooves, too busy poking chavs with a curtain pole.
(Thu 17th Sep 2009, 15:16, More)

» Dad stories

Ta Daaa!!!
Bored already? Skip to the The Main Story then, I honestly don't mind.

Background:
The wife and I decided some years ago that we didn't want to do the baby thing but still wanted a family, so we decided to adopt. The whole process is a bit of a nightmare is actively designed to put you off (men are considered kiddie-fiddlers until they can prove otherwise) and it can take some time.
So after 18 months of Interesting Times we get to meet the two boys (Bert & Ernie, ages 5 and 3) and they move in, it sounds simple but trust me it is not. That was a year ago and it's been interesting... We always knew it would be as adoptive kids usually come bundled with a whole heap of software problems.

One of weird things about adopting is that you don't really know much about the kids before they come to you, no idea about what they've done, no clue about their favourite films etc. So it can be a bit of a muddle as you work out what works and what doesn't. You sometimes assume things about their experiences and now and again you get caught out, for instance when my wife and I took them to a fireworks night. Bert the eldest thought it was the best thing in the world, he'd never seen fireworks before. At the time he was 5 years old.
5 years old and had never seen fireworks, FFS.

Okay, onto the daft bit.
The Main Story:
So we went to Bristol recently, parked the car in a multi-story, down the stairs, look around, food, look at boats, had a nice day etc.
Time to go back to the car.
Get in lift, off we go, then get out. And Ernie (the youngest) stops.
Me: What's up, kiddo?
Ernie: ..... (looking around)
It's different.
Me: Eh?
Ernie: It's different Dad! It's magic!!! (lot's of smiling)
Me to the wife: Eh?
Wife: He's never been in a lift before...
Me: Ohhhhh....

The little fella now thinks lifts are the best, bless him.

There's still a little magic in the world, it also helps to have a kiddie to point it out to you when you start to forget.
(Thu 25th Nov 2010, 12:54, More)

» War

Military Wayne Sleep
Short version:- Boom! I’m okay.
Long Version
It was Christmas, New Year 1995/96 and I found myself, along with my fellows in Radio Troop (Royal Signals), in Sarajevo. It was a ceasefire apparantely but the noise ,and various bits and pieces in the air, seemed to suggest otherwise.

Our initial place of stay had been Zetra Stadium , it had originally been the Ice rink that Torvill and Dean had got their gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, but now it was a bit broken and burnt. It was to be only temporary as a site had been selected as the IFOR Headquarters and the new place would need tidying up, and a certain level of infrastructure implemented.
We needed space to put our radio masts so we would have an Antenna field. Thankfully just outside of Hotel Terme there was a house/office which had a largish piece of grass where we could start planting all our masts and bits of radio kit. here) It was going to be a busy little place as there needed to be half a dozen masts going up, plus the RLC chaps wanted to get in on the act and put up razor wire and other local defence stuff.

Now, in order to put up a telescopic mast you first have to put down and secure the base plate, then hammer in 3 steel stakes around the base plate (distance of around 3-4 metres) to secure the lines onto before the mast is put upright.
Me and my mate Dave were beavering away on ours and I was trying to hammer in one of the steel stakes, it really did not want to go in the ground, whilst Dave was having far more success with his.
This is the bit I remember quite clearly. I was getting narked off with the stake when I turned to Dave and said “Dave, wouldn’t it be funny if I was trying to hammer this fucking thing through a landmine! Ha Ha Ha!”

BOOM!!!

Not me. I looked up to see one of the RLC chaps hop, stagger and then fall over not 20 metres away from us. A small amount of smoke was rising nearby from the ground. Two things happened at once, suddenly half a dozen chaps rushed to the casualty and started first-aid, and Dave and I turned our heads to each other (but kept our feet very still) and said “Fuuuuuccckkkkkk……”

Now, we were only 6-7 metres from the concrete road which doesn’t seem far but now it does. Our Det Commander casually saunters over the road towards us and stops himself before stepping on the grass “Oi! Dave! Spango! You’re on a minefield. Now you’ve got 2 choices, you can either use your knives (we weren’t issued bayonets) and probe yourself out for the rest of the night (Frankie Howard OOOoooo!) or you can just leg it!”
Dave, who I should mention is over 6 foot and has got long legs, turned to me with a smile and said “Spango, did I mention I used to do triple jump at school? Cheerio, Mucka!” And off he goes triple jumping his way out of the minefield and onto the concrete.

Leaving me.
I’m short, I have short legs and I’m Welsh (does this make any difference? You decide). I might as well just roll my way out of the minefield. My Det Commander sees my indecision “Maybe you should use your knife, Spango…”. Bugger that, I think, I’m outta here. So I went for it, I tried to take long strides and think high thoughts and finally (it seemed like a long time) I found myself on the concrete.

I’d like to think that as I skipped my way over the minefield that I had all the grace (and especially height off the ground and length of stride) of a military Wayne Sleep. But I don’t think that image does either of us any favours.

Footnote: The chap that triggered the mine got lucky, I’d stepped on a PMA3 but the thing misfired. He lost a bit of his foot and had blast damage up the front of him. Luckily his rifle had been slung across his chest as it took most of the blast heading towards his face. His rifle had to be binned.
(Thu 31st May 2012, 16:28, More)

» Little Moments of Joy

Warning! May contain children! Warning!
Roasted peas.

Background:
The wife and I decided some years ago that we didn't want to do the baby thing but still wanted a family, so we decided to adopt. The whole process is a bit of a nightmare is actively designed to put you off (men are considered kiddie-fiddlers until they can prove otherwise) and it can take some time.
So after 18 months of Interesting Times we get to meet the two boys (Bert & Ernie, ages 5 and 3) and they move in, it sounds simple but trust me it is not. That was a year ago and it's been interesting... We always knew it would be as adoptive kids usually come bundled with a whole heap of software problems.

One of weird things about adopting is that you don't really know much about the kids before they come to you, no idea about what they've done, no clue about their favourite films etc. So it can be a bit of a muddle as you work out what works and what doesn't. You sometimes assume things about their experiences and now and again you get caught out, for instance when my wife and I took them to a fireworks night. Bert the eldest thought it was the best thing in the world, he'd never seen fireworks before. At the time he was 5 years old.
5 years old and had never seen fireworks, FFS.

Okay, onto the daft bit.
The Main Story:
So we went to Bristol recently, parked the car in a multi-story, down the stairs, look around, food, look at boats, had a nice day etc.
Time to go back to the car.
Get in lift, off we go, then get out. And Ernie (the youngest) stops.
Me: What's up, kiddo?
Ernie: ..... (looking around)
It's different.
Me: Eh?
Ernie: It's different Dad! It's magic!!! (lot's of smiling)
Me to the wife: Eh?
Wife: He's never been in a lift before...
Me: Ohhhhh....

The little fella now thinks lifts are the best, bless him.
Note. This story is from a few years ago and he now doesn't think lifts are magical but he does take every opportunity to go in one.
(Tue 28th Jan 2014, 16:32, More)

» Relief

Christmas 1995
Not much of a writer. It's long and probably boring.

A time that should have been spent with family, some friends and defintely beer, but no.
He instead found himself in a very cold Sarajevo, it least it was going to be a white Christmas but peace seemed to be an alien concept to the locals who instead prefered to demonstrate thier version of 'Merry Christmas' with the clack-clack of an AK-47. Noisy things. It wasn't really their fault, after fighting for 4 years they'd got into the swing of things and maybe seemed a little reluctant to stop.

Guard duty at Zetra Stadium was a usually quiet affair as those on the outside, far beyond the sight of those in the Stadium, went about their business of settling scores or whatever business required a 7.62mm round. The Stadium had been a jewel of the city, famous for being party to Torvill & Dean’s Boléro and subsequent gold medal, it now lay in ruins, its roof black and twisted from the fire that had raged after the rain of mortar fire, its insides ravaged and devoid of the city’s Olympic spirit. The Stadium once again played host to people from many nations but they were not here to watch skaters dance. These dressed in fatigues and carried their own guns and looked out and readied themselves to play peacemakers to battle weary people.

The sangar was a hodgepodge collection of debris and sandbags and gave no relief from the cold, but that wasn’t its job. He stood in the cold, layered in as many clothes he could put on but he was still cold. Outside the Stadium, but inside the thin but so important fence, soldiers scurried around carrying out their never endings jobs as fast as possible. It doesn’t pay for a soldier to sit around, he is soon found a task that will turn out to be unpleasant and time consuming . His rifle is cold too, but it doesn’t complain, unlike him.

The Rules of Engagement here are strict but straight forward. NATO has decided to play by a different set of rules from the UN and all know it. The ordinary people beyond the fence go about their business. Are they going to work? Perhaps to find a loved one? Maybe to bury one? They stay clear of the fence, it’s not wise to bring the attention of the new soldiers from the Stadium, they are different from those in the blue helmets. One group, however, is different, their body language marks them as confident and sure of themselves, but they seem only young, maybe only fifteen. Why are they coming to the fence? Don’t they know the rules?! We’re different, we don’t wear blue helmets. He becomes agitated, not panic mind, he’s a soldier after all. What should he do? Tell someone? Leave the sangar? What? But he knows. They don’t leave, one leans on the fence looking in, no, don’t do that! Go away! But it’s time. His heart thumps, he shakes as he brings the rifle’s working parts to the rear and let fly forward as he releases the cold metal. Move on! Move on! You are a child, he doesn’t want to do this. Now the safety is off and he looks down the sight, he is sweating in the freezing cold, his hands clammy against the cold plastic of the rifle. Go, please go. He doesn’t want to do this. Now there is panic, the boy doesn’t move and then.... calm.....

It’s time, it was always going to be this way. Everything up to this point has merely been the foreplay. It’s time. Calm. The soldier stares down the sight, it’s only a hundred metres. Calm. Finger on the trigger. Breath, do it on the in-breath now, just like on the ranges. One breath, in.....

The boy takes one last look at the soldiers behind their fence and swiftly turns on the spot before moving to catch up with his friends. Away they go to who knows where.
(Fri 21st Dec 2012, 15:46, More)
[read all their answers]