She just canna tek it capn, we don't have the pooer

LAN party goodness - The left side ended up with no powerâ??A while ago I used to run LAN parties (I mentioned my general geekiness before right?), they started off with about 9 people taking over my house for the weekend, and ended up with some decent numbers and some excellent prize giveaways. It was fun, bloody hard work, but fun.

So anyway, we were running our 7th, LAN in an old building where power requirements were quite….tight shall we say.

We setup the LAN, everyone started arriving and setting up, the games had commenced and fun was being had by all. We even had Lindsay and her friend doing a cafe type thing in the Kitchen just off the main room.
I think it was the next morning where we experienced our first power outage. Bang, the whole room tripped out and we had essentially melted the main distribution board. We managed to limp back into life, but only with half of the LAN running. Now with tournaments to run, beers to be drunk and various other distractions, I didn’t need 50% of the attendees bored out of their minds.

We phoned around for a generator, a friend of a friend apparently had one that could power half the world if necessary. Unfortunately, the friend of a friend had decided to take his entirely family on holiday to have fun in the sun. Selfish Bastard.

With that down, another friend mentioned that he had a small generator that could probably power 5 or 6 PCs. We jumped at the chance, and the “smoking room”, quickly became the power core. It also became ridiculously loud and with a distinct smell of petrol. All was well, if you class well as having 5 PCs fading in and out like something out of Star Trek when some alien ship/being starts to drain the power.

In fear for their PCs, the attendees decided to switch off…probably a good call.

At this point, with stress levels at an all time high for me and Lee (more stories about Lee later), we were probably minutes away from people starting to leave…when this happened:

Scene Right: Entrance: Lindsay approaches stressed Lee and Dave across the room, she is carrying something.

Close up: Dave/Lee: They acknowledge Lindsay but do not see what is being carried – They appear distracted

Close up: Lindsay: (In a cheerful tone) “You will figure it out guys, here – Have a coffee”

Close up: Lindsays hands: Lindsay proffers not one but two cups, there appears to be a milky brown liquid inside and possibly smoke coming from them.

Pull back: All 3: Dave and Lee gratefully accept steaming hot coffee, each take a sip and place their cups on the table in front of them

Close up: Dave: “Thanks, I really need this”

Close up: Lee: “Me too, thanks Linds”

Close up: Dave: “How the hell are we going to do this?”

Close up: Lee: “No fucking idea mate, but we better think fast”

Pull back: All 3: Dave picks up coffee for another drink – Dave: “Nice coffee Linds, thanks again”

Close up: Lee: “Yeah, it’s good – Where did you get it from?”

I think you can all see where this fine script is heading…

Pull back: All 3: Lindsay: “From the kitchen, why? Do you want another one”

It was at this point that Lee and I made a mad dash to the kitchen to discover that it remained blissfully unaffected by the power issues we were having…Lee told me afterwards that commercial kitchens have to run off of their own, high capacity, ring main and distribution due to the requirements of some commercial kitchen appliances.

After beating him repeatedly about the head for not telling me that in the first place, we hastily looped some power through into the kitchen and the party was in full swing once more.

We. Are. Idiots

Honesty is the best policy

A few years ago, the elder of my two younger brothers got married.

It was a fantastic day and everything that it should have been for the married couple.   Everything went superbly from the “Mad Professor” organist to me spinning my Nan around in her wheelchair because “she would love to dance with everyone, but can’t these days”*

My youngest brother gave the speech, and quite frankly blew everyone away.   Who  knew he could be so eloquent and funny….clearly he has my share.    I was trying to take photographs of the speeches, so I  can’t remember the entire speech, but the  opening was fantastic.

“Being asked to be best man is kind of like being asked to have sex with the queen…. It’s a great honour, but nobody really wants to do it”

I don’t know if that had been done before, but a lot of  photos came  out blurry just after that :-D  

Now, as has already been mentioned, my dad was in the RAF, so as such we led a pretty fantastic life.   I wouldn’t say that we were spoilt, but we certainly weren’t left wanting for anything.   Living in the security of the British Armed Forces, you have experiences that a lot of people may never get the opportunity to have.   You tend to have a very dry and sarcastic sense of humour.   You also get used to certain things.

One of those things is (in my case) RAF bars.   RAF bars (to the uninitiated) run at cost for the most part, and tend to be staffed by service personnel as part of their job.   Let me give you an example; A single shot of Smirnoff Vodka in a normal UK bar would set you back around ?2.00, in an RAF bar you would be expecting to pay around ?0.60

 To my family and I, this is perfectly normal.   To people that are close enough to my family and I to be invited to bases regularly, this is normal.   To most of the guests of my brothers wedding, most of whom have never been to an RAF base…let alone a bar, this is not normal at all.

 I recall buying a round of drinks for 10 people and getting change from a tenner…yes folks, it is THAT good.   I recommend applying to your nearest RAF recruitment center :-D

Now, to the title of the post.   After this happend the first time, I actually stayed at the bar so that I could watch the reactions of people when asked for payment.  

It was very easy to classify family and regular visitors, their behaviour is thus:

  1. Order
  2. Pay
  3. Thank barman/woman/person <— damn political correctness
  4. Make the statement “And one for yourself” to the barthingy <— this is how they earn a bit extra
  5. Take drinks
  6. Leave

It was also quite easy to classify those that have been to an RAF bar or two in their time:

  1. Order
  2. Pay
  3. Thank barthingy and laugh about how cheap it is
  4. Make  hysterical comment about how you  would never leave etc etc  
  5. Wait for polite laugh of embarassment from barthingy to confirm that you are indeed a comedy genius
  6. Take drinks
  7. Leave

It was also easy to spot those that were in an RAF bar for the very first time… However, they fell into two distinct categories:

Category 1 behaviour:

  1. Order
  2. Ask for price
  3. Show moderate disbelief and ask for price again
  4. Confirm that barthingy hasn’t forgotten to add the <insert multiple beverage here> to the bill
  5. Ask for price again
  6. Pay
  7. Thank barthingy and laugh about how cheap it is
  8. Take drinks
  9. Leave

Category 2 behaviour:

  1. Order
  2. Ask for price
  3. Raise eyebrows for a split nanosecond and fumble in wallet/purse for money quick
  4. Practically throw money at barthingy
  5. Whilst waiting for change, beckon friends to sprint over and get all the drinks
  6. Take change
  7. Smile to self and skulk away before someone notices that a ?30 round just cost you ?5

It was category 2 that kept me at the bar for the better part of an hour, that and the ?0.50 cost of the ApfelKorn :-D.   I guess what I found the most funny about this was that, their behaviour was repeated every time they came to the bar.   Although they would try and send someone else each time, I assume that this was just in case the barthingy realised that they had made a mistake and came after them.

What is the point of this?   None really, although observing this behaviour gave me an evil thought.   It may also have been the Apfelkorn, I can never be sure…

I waited a little longer until I saw a category 2 male heading to the toilets and followed.   When he was on his way back, I took him to one side and told him that the barmaid had been sent home (true, she had been working 8 hours and someone else came in to take over).   Apparently the till was around ?90 lighter than it should have been.   I also may have mentioned that, as the barmaid is a member of the RAF, she would not get fired, but she would be arrested by the Military Police on grounds of theft.   I couldn’t quite commit to, but recognise the possibility that, I may have also said that it is likely she would be courtmarshalled.   I also seem to recall a voice, not too dissimilar to mine, mentioning that this particular barmaid had already been questioned before about undercharging and possible theft, which is why it was so serious now.

My explanation for not turning him in, my dad was in the RAF and had vouched for every person on the base for the wedding, even if he didn’t know them, and he could get in trouble for this.

I told him that if I happened to “find” the missing money, I could claim that she had dropped it whilst counting the till (quite impressed he bought that tbh)…I said that people would believe me because of my dad, but that we only had about 15 minutes before the MPs arrived.

I waited for him to round up the money from his cohorts and told him I would go and “find it”**


People can be idiots

* How I didn’t make her throw up is beyond me…she always loved having fun  – RIP Nan, I am always thinking about you…

** I did give it back later. No honestly..I really did