Time constraints.

There is enough time, there is never enough time, there is too little time in a day – time.

 

Time; it ticks by no matter what – everyone has the same hours.

 

Some waste it, some manage it, some feel there is never enough.

 

Time ticks by; people demand your time. The family wants your time, your employer want your time, your partner and/or children want your time – you never have enough.

 

Games suck in hours on end – they are fun but tedious and time-consuming.

 

Time gets drained until it is time to sleep; even that feels as though it is not enough.

 

You spend it, you manage it – you will never save it, and you will never get more in a day without compromising other compartments.

 

Time – the race is on.

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Neglect.

The Canadian Forces were promised funding earlier this year by the current government, however what they did not tell the electorate is that the funding will mostly kick in around 2019 – after they have won a second election.

 

Therefore to simplify things soldiers, sailors, airmen are expected to do the usual – make do with less.

 

Disgraceful; any colour be it Conservative or Liberal all they are concerned with is winning the next election rather than governing. Now to be fair it is in their best interest to focus in on re-election; stable work schedule means stable income (Maker knows what politicians do for work if they are either not elected or re-elected).

 

Sometimes I feel sympathy for the leadership, other times my thoughts are with the military who are expected to soldier on without complaint – this is nothing new. During the latter years of the Cold War we saw Canada in West Germany under-equipped and ill-prepared to face Soviet and Soviet-backed forces should they decide to come knocking (thankfully they did not). While the pay, benefits, and rations are better than some allied nations, the feeling of neglect cannot be shaken as the troops continue to use aging equipment that are leftovers from the 80s.

 

However as a country most people surveyed (or at least those who bothered to reply to the survey) seem to care little of the armed forces. Recently people stated that the military was 14th on a list of priorities for Canada (or what they think to be priorities for the country) – most pressing was Health Care and pensions (and rightfully so). Yet neglect of the armed forces means that we are dependent on others for defense and we are unable to contribute more to the international community and thus attain more prestige and power.

 

Still, we are living in a time where threats come from non-state aggressors, and where funding for massive navies and air forces are not as needed as the army – perhaps it isn’t so much as how much more we need as where we need the most funds allocated. Yet my point still stands; rather than delivering a promise to fund, why not start down the road to fund now – a little increase here and there wouldn’t hurt and it would show the electorate that the government is serious about steadily boosting the military. The steady increase would mean that there is no risk of a sudden shock to the country’s finances, and we might even be able to find leftover funds to add to the pot for future projects outside military spending – sounds lovely does it not?

 

Ultimately I feel that this neglect of the military will continue; Canada has always neglected its armed forces so why stop this tradition of ours? Besides, ranking 14th in priorities for the electorate it seems those in uniform lack public support outside of well wishes and bumper stickers – make do with less, business as usual.

Going out feels like going to work…

I’ve often not thought of the feeling; whenever I dived into my car and drove off to meet a friend for dinner or an afternoon’s diversions I never thought of how much the act itself reminded me of work. The fixed timetable of meeting in a particular spot meant that the activity never felt relaxed – there were places to be, people to meet; much like work it seems.

 

Work is much the same in a way; you are expected at a location at a certain time, and time itself feels like it does not belong to you (in truth it does not for you are paid to work on someone’s behalf). Indeed while you are there willingly you often expend time in a fashion which feels mechanical; that it pulls you along even if you do not want to go forward, and the train just keeps going on and on without pause.

 

Meeting people for an evening out feels a lot like work today; suddenly I feel the pull of time, and it feels as though I am limited in my free time thanks to my constant: “hey, are you free this Saturday?” Indeed I sometimes wake up late on the day of the event only to realize that I have little time to spare for my own personal activities – the games have to wait, and sometimes even a quick shower has to wait; much to the disappointment of myself.

 

People often complain about not feeling rested come Monday morning; they drank and partied and when Sunday’s hours started to tick by they still vomited their own time out like it was worthless – I suppose what is beautiful very much depends on the eye of the beholder.

 

Going out feels like work – I think I will stay in most weekends henceforth. Time is finite and I want to spend it however I want; under my command, under my orders, and with no timetable say for meal times and sleep – rest and food are important.

Update 10 September 2017.

Hello folks;

 

Wondering where all the content has gone as of late? Worry not there is no pay wall or anything – I have a different full time job now so I seldom have time to write on this blog. I know Destiny 2 is out, and Uncharted Lost Legacy as well – I watched both cutscene movies in chunks and they were good.

 

Uncharted went full Tomb Raider, complete with sassy female protagonist and lots of shooting. Destiny 2 feels better than Destiny 1, but at the moment I’m more into games where I can see my characters, and thus a lot of first-person games are pushed aside in favour of titles like Gears of War, Witcher, and so on.

 

Yet to give an opinion on the story itself, it is a lot better than the first game and shows some improvement where they did the work to improve the experience. However there were bits of the story that felt forced, and I just didn’t feel engaged in the story as I did a title like – say – Final Fantasy 15.

 

Sadly with less time available after work means that the format of a page-long review of cutscene movies is starting to look like an endangered species. Time will tell if things change, or whether or not I can modify the format to keep the meat but reduce the fat so to speak.

 

Just thought you folks would like to know what has been happening these past couple of months – hopefully you’ll stick around and with luck I can revise the format of content delivery and we will be back on schedule; with that I thank you all for reading and I shall see you next time.

The Sellsword principle Ch. 2

South; “go south,” they said, “plenty of gold” they said – sure as sure they were screwing with us. The lads and I went south as planned and we lost ten of our own to just not wanting to fight so far south where it is ungodly hot – they just disappeared at night and took their gear with them (they should have at least had the decency to say goodbye – I’m not hiring those cunts again). Down to thirty we kept going until grass became sand and the sun was so hot I swear the armor felt less protective than naked skin and loin cloths (I still kept my jerkin on – getting slashed by a good cut means I’ll have no work afterwards).

 

Some lord calling himself: “the Magistrate” hired us to protect some wagons going to an army camp; and here I was thinking it was a war they were waging (though despite what I said earlier about gold being a lie, he paid a lot). Looking at the Magistrate’s troops all they cared about was drinking and whoring (some soldiers they turned out to be) – nevertheless we were paid to protect so protect we did. Some bandits decided to try their luck and I decided that their heads would fly farther if I cut faster – I lost that bet to me own lads and ended up emptying a purse because of it.

 

I mean sure I should appreciate the calm guard duties, but I wanted to fight! Here I was guarding who knows what in those wagons and some thirty of us marching alongside another twelve soldiers belonging to the city-lord which I felt were there for show – total overkill for a handful of wagons going to an army camp.

 

We reached the place and the supposed: “logistics officer” paid us with a chest. Afterwards he offered us more work fighting in a battle that was in a few days; I spoke to the lads and they said “sure” so I said sure.

 

When we went to “war” it was pitiful – the opposition were a bunch of farmers with pitchforks while our patron fielded enough infantry in heavy armour to make the earth sink a few inches. Those farmers stood no chance and by nightfall we didn’t even bother to look over the dead of the enemy for goods to take home (though the dead on our side were fair game – no one was going to look over corpses so a few helmets, swords, coin purses – the usual goodies).

 

Good thing we did; the officer decided that because the enemy was no threat that our pay could be less – rather than argue I took the small sack of coin and hurried off to the armoury. Now why would I do that? Simple, we Sellswords need to be paid, and if you don’t pay up, we’ll get paid via supplies – couple of swords, some more helmets, some armour, and of course a pile of food so we can save coin from having to purchase our own.

Hopefully the man didn’t notice – not like their war was going badly so I figured we take our share as: “the good lord’s soldiers” and be on our way.

Sand and cheap paymasters – think I’ll take the lads back up north; they pay better at least.

The Sellsword principle. Ch.1

Aye, I suppose you are asking why I am here again – another talk you suppose about the values of professional soldiers for hire? Sure, but I guess it was high time I did a bit of recalling of my adventures; perhaps one day people might recall the tales of the band of brothers who fought for lord after lord and made a hefty profit.

 

Earlier some nobleman came to me and the lads and offered up some gold for a campaign he was putting together; our band isn’t much, just some fifty lads who were good at killing but that didn’t matter to the fat plump lord so off we went into his army. When we got there the forces were a mess; half were farm boys who have no combat experience and were armed with makeshift spears, and the other half were knights who seem to be dressed for a tournament and not a battle – “oh dear,” I thought, “this will be another fight we cut our losses.”

 

Then a surprise came over the horizon – another company of sellswords popped up, this time with two hundred men. Now I must confess I’m not familiar with every sellsword band out there, but these lads seemed familiar – perhaps we fought against one another, perhaps we fought together side-by-side for glory and for the lord and all that nonsense.

 

Later that night we didn’t drink much – the two hundred seemed to be swallowing ale like it was going to be cut off and that was the last drink for the rest of time; stupid fools. Being hung over is one thing, being hung over and having to fight on a noisy battlefield is another. The lads and I we just ate our meals, cleaned our blades and went to sleep – we would need it come the morning.

 

Battle took place late in the afternoon the next day; something about a gentlemen’s fight and both sides had to be fed and rested. Whether it takes place early in the morning or at noon matters little – when the arrows start to fly and the steel starts to flash people will die and whoever has the best lads wins, no matter how many eggs and ale they stuffed down prior to the fight.

 

Battle turned south on his around two hours later; the two hundred ran for the woods though I think they had lost about half their number – must have been the ale, or the fact that they needed to piss and couldn’t do it mid-fight. The lord cursed as he rallied his infantry to make another stand against the rampaging opposition. Never knew a lord so fat to be so courageous – I almost felt sorry for the poor man. Fat lads feel the blades the most when they stab into you, and all that meat and ale doesn’t add to the armour when steel drives itself home. Still, despite that he fought on while we skirmished off to the side, cutting away at – what I presumed to be – some sort of elite guard. Lots of armour these boys had, shame we couldn’t salvage what was left after they had all died – too many dents, and we have no smith to fix them up so we had to leave them.

 

Fight ended near early eve, and surprise we actually won. Turns out after we had ended the elite guard-looking boys the knights that the other lord brought turned out to be sellswords as well – they ran after our lord rallied his own knights who were sitting off to the side like frightened little girls and smashed into what was left of the infantry before taking the head of his opponent and seizing the day.

 

That night we drank a little; ale was our own and we had already collected our coin. Nice heavy chest of gold for me and the remaining forty lads – we lost ten of our own sadly. Down the road I plan to recruit some more to bring us back to fifty but if we keep getting more and more contracts like these then we might end up with a hundred or so mouths to feed. Next up it’s off to the south – away from the cold of the north and perhaps another fight; I hear some free city down there is looking for help in a war they are waging with another city.

The Sell-sword principle.

Yes Sell Swords will leave you if you are losing a war and are about to march into certain defeat all to save face – anyone who isn’t blindly loyal might consider leaving you. However when it comes to war, have you ever known sell-swords to turn from a winning battle because they were just: “tired of fighting?”

 

The Sell-Sword principle; the idea that they are loyal to you – and yes they are paid – and they will never back-stab you but they will not follow you into death all because you are utterly incapable of seeing defeat when it sat in front of you and you kept on going. See sell-swords are only able to sell their swords if they are alive to apply their trade – dead men cannot collect coin.

 

Stannis Baratheon cursed when 500 sell-swords left him in the night on his march to Winterfell because they knew his campaign was a lost cause. Indeed he was mad to the point where he would march into certain defeat hoping to snatch victory – a foolish notion at best a death sentence at worst (and it was his end).

 

Same goes for professional armies: these soldiers are loyal to you but they are not blindly loyal to you. Soldiers are people and people just want to have a job and a happy life; forget death or glory and forget the flag, soldiers fight for home and hearth. The individual soldier’s motivation can differ from one man to another (or woman), and ultimately they are there to make a living (though it is a vocation rather than a job – the mindset is needed to do such work).

 

Sure nobles in ancient times scoffed at the idea of sell-swords, but have you ever known sell-swords to turn on their customers or fail to show up for work when asked to do so? These soldiers are professionals, and they cannot get work if they are incompetent; they also cannot get work if they are dead – war isn’t a profession that is forgiving of accidents.

 

Ultimately the point to all of this is a sell-sword mindset is one of self-preservation and professionalism; scoff at it all you like but being an unpaid levy/conscript who is blindly loyal is not the path to take – professional soldiers will not turn on you but they will not simply die for you either.