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I Am Clever


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...

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Sunday, Week 12 - What Cadets/Military Has Taught Me
I'm getting there! Only five six more entries after this, and I'll be caught up. Easier said than done, though.

23. To use gloves instead of putting my hands in my pockets

If there was one thing that you took away from being onboard a ship as a cadet, it was that having your hands in your pockets was about the Absolute Worst Thing You Could Do. AndI don't say that lightly - it was stressed so much that I still have compulsions to take my hands out of my pockets when in civilian attire, away from cadets.

The theory here is: if you're onboard a ship, and it suddenly pitches to one side or another (or if you strike something unexpectedly), if your hands are in your pockets, they're not going to do you much good as you fall. Thud goes your body as you hit the deck/the bulkhead (wall) with your hands stuck in your pockets, Ouch goes your mouth as you proceed to bruise everywhere, and Hahahahahaha goes the medical staff when you tell them about it afterward.

Moral: Don't let the medical staff laugh at you - use gloves to keep your hands warm instead. Also, if you're on duty, you should be working, not lounging around with your pocket-covered idle hands. Professionalism!

24. To be protective of my belongings

HMCS Quadra has a very important motto; see below.

No, not that one.

No... still not right...

Ah, yes. There we go. As usual, no context will be given for the crop of the original photo.

Yes, it may not be the official motto, but Lock It Or Lose It is very important to remember whenever you go there. When you're bunking in a big open space with 40-50 other people, with just a swinging door separating your wing from the next, and a short walk separating those two wings from the others (they're called H-blocks for a reason):

See? H blocks! Four separate wings, forming the two vertical lines of the H, with storage/maintenance stuff in the middle(? I really have no idea). And yes, building Q46 really does look like that. We call it the Swastika Block for a reason.

There are no locked doors to the blocks, and the only thing prohibiting you from going into other blocks is males aren't allowed into females', and vice versa. Hence, a lot of stuff has the tendency to go missing.

I learned very quickly to be super incredibly insanely paranoid about my belongings, few as they were. Just going over to iron my things? Lock my locker/duffel. Going to the bathroom? Lock my locker/duffel. Locker/duffel out of my sight for even a moment's time? LOCK THOSE THINGS OR YOU'LL HAVE EVERYONE STEAL FROM YOU. And it worked - I've only had a couple of things stolen from me (I can actually count them on one hand), and thankfully those were cheap things I didn't care a lot about.

I mean, it's been better as an officer, as I've had awesome roommates, and nobody locks anything except for on Alumni Day (apparently Alumni officers like to try and go into their old rooms, which makes no sense, as there's nothing distinguishing between them), but as a cadet...all bets are off. You had to assume everyone was out to get you, otherwise you were likely to have your things go missing.

Alright! Moving on!

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Yes to gloves! I think I've told you before that my grandfather was a Naval officer - so was his father before him. The old bloke (I never met him, sadly) was a surgeon, and used to tell endless tales of the number of times he was called on deck whilst on Arctic patrol to de-stick somebody from the railings! (I'm sure you know this, but just in case - bare skin sticks like mad to cold metal). Wear gloves. It saves the surgeon a lot of work!

(Once he got himself stuck to the railings whilst trying to de-stick somebody else. This is what is known professionally as bloody embarrassing). :)

Ouch! Getting your hands stuck to the metal railings sounds like it would be all kinds of painful. We don't have that kind of threat down here, thankfully (we're lucky to get anything colder than rain in the winter; in that way, I've been told that [the south-western part of] BC does live up to its namesake :P), but just falling onto/into something would be bad enough - all hard edges and angles everywhere on ships.

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