THE DIARY OF A GEEK IN OXFORDSHIRE


Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eight Random Things That I Am...

Chris Hambly started it, and as this meme lumbered on, I was tagged, unsurprisingly, by loudmouthman.

So - after much soul-searching, redrafts and puzzling, here are my own Eight Random Things About Me.

1. I Am A Military Genius
I served in the Armed Forces for seven years - started in the Royal Marines, then transferred into the Royal Navy, where I served as a Radio Operator on a Polaris submarine. My claim to fame, my moment of military brilliance, came at the start of an exercise, while we were waiting for the tug bringing senior officers on board the sub.

I dropped a 'Man Overboard' smoke flare.

To be precise, I dropped it in the Control Room of the submarine, where it subsequently went off filling said Control Room with thick purple smoke. This thick purple smoke caused the unconsciousness of my Commanding Officer, who was in the Control Room at the time. It also caused the scrambling of a rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose.

I was Not Popular.

2. I Am Brave in the Face of True Terror
OK, I admit it. I'm terrified of flying insects. This mostly applies to wasps, bees, and other nasty, stingy buzzy things - but if a butterfly gets too close it's taking a pretty major chance!

The worst thing about this was while I was married - I don't believe in transferrring my fears onto others, so was trying to tell my step-kids there was nothing to worry about...all while desperately trying not to run away screaming like a girl.

3. I Am A Broken Man
I've broken my nose a grand total of nine times.

I've also broken 4 ribs, every one of my fingers and toes at least once, both wrists, dislocated my right hip and compressed one vertebra (leaving me unabe to walk or feel my legs for a day).

In fact, when I was doing judo at National level, I once ended up in the same Casualty ward four times in eight weeks - once for my nose, once for torn ligaments in my right wrist, then a broken right wrist - and three weeks later, when I wasn't supposed to be training - a broken left wrist too...

4. I Am A Late-Entry Geek
Though I was first 'outed' as a Geek about eight years ago by Loudmouthman - he pointed out that doing my own OS installs and upgrading my mobile phone every six months was not normal behaviour - I've only been a professional Geek for 15 months.

Prior to that, for the previous ten years I'd been in Sales & Marketing, spending the last five years of that in IT Sales, where I discovered where all the people who are too dishonest to be Estate Agents end up!

After finally realising that I really, REALLY hated selling stuff and that I'd prefer to be fixing it, I took a first-line Helldesk role. Five months later I was promoted to the second line, and I'm happy there (normally), dealing with Cisco, Checkpoint and Stonegate firewalls and networking kit. I love my job.


5. I Am Nick Hornby
Yeah, right. I'd like his talent and his money, please.

I just love to write. I've written marketing blurbs, slogans, fiction, rants, political commentary and even the odd eulogy. Some of it even gets quite positive responses.

I used to find that I could only really write when I was depressed and angsty - and truth be told, some of my best work still comes out when I'm angry and let the venom flow - but these days I also write for pleasure because I'm in a good mood. And if it's not as good - tough, I'm not writing it for you, I'm writing it for me.

6. I Am Nick Robinson
Again - maybe not but I'd like his site traffic.

I've been into politics, and observing politics, since I was 8 years old.

My earliest memory of politics changing lives was the 1979 General Election. My parents let me stay up to watch the first counts come in - and as the excitement built and we started to see the upcoming landslide victory for the Conservatives, I saw how much that change meant to my parents.

Since then, like most people my political stance has varied with age, but these days I believe not in a particular party, but simply the need for conviction politics - people entering Parliament not for the expenses and the easy life, but out of a desire to do some form of GOOD in this country.

I used to blog exclusively - and pretty obsessively - about politics and the iniquities of our current Governments both here and in the US. These days I just watch the news, and only post when Gerry's finally had enough of me ranting at the TV.

7. I Am Fatal1ty
NOT.

I'm resoundingly crap at video games. I love them - but I'm rubbish.

When I played Halo deathmatch with Loudmouthman, the most frequent sound was 'Bam! Headshot!' - and my most frequent action was waiting to respawn.

And when I tried to play Americas Army online - I couldn't differentiate between my team-mates and the enemy - and shot more of my colleagues than the opposition. Once again, I was Not Popular.

8. I Am A Happy Man
There's little to add to that, really.

I am finally lucky enough to do a job that I love, and I wake up most mornings looking forward to my day.

I have a wonderful partner, who has done wonders to increase my confidence and my social circle - and who even understands, tolerates and supports my constant geekiness.

I have fantastic friends who've stuck by me through some very tough times, and have always been there for me.

I have a beautiful son who I adore, and I love spending time with him, though it's never enough.

I have a wonderful - if somewhat eccentric - family, who are friends as well as being parents and siblings.

So all that considered, I reckon I'm pretty fortunate - and I frequently have to pinch myself to make sure it's not all just a dream, and happening to someone else.

So - there you go, Eight Random Things about me.

Thanks for reading.

3 comments:

Chris Hambly said...

Pretty neat, we have two things in common.

1. I too was in the RN, keeping helicopters flying and landing on the back of crazy ships.

2. I have broken a ton of bones through playing rugby.

Sadly, or actually happily, I've been a geek since about 94... (gasssssp, I know).

Good tag this eh?

Nik ( loudmouthman ) Butler said...

A great and fabulous read and yet I now have more information to be brought to bear in public speaking opportunities concerning you in the future. Excellent work.

Thanks

Nik

Vics said...

#8 did it - I now want to be you.