Dating Bulgarian women

Bulgarian women have a strong personality and detest men who are weaklings. One of the best ways to get the attention of Bulgarian women to consider you for a relationship is by taking action. Stop wishing, start acting. Firstly show the Bulgarian lady that you like your interest through your conduct by picking an interest in her. Yet, Bulgarian “muffins” hide behind a perfectly performed “I don’t care” attitude. They’ll let you in their lives and hearts, but God forbid you break their trust. Women can be quite revengeful. You don’t want to cheat on a Bulgarian “muffin”. If you do, they’ll make your world miserable. Dating single Bulgarian women is definitely worth it. Meet beautiful ladies at Dating.com ™ and enjoy amazing time together. If you have some basic knowledge about this country and tons of Bulgarian women dating tips by your side, you can be a lucky foreigner having Bulgarian hottie as a girlfriend. Bulgarian women are very open-minded and the literacy level is high so you wouldn’t have a problem with hanging out and sharing knowledge. Bulgarian women are not afraid of showing their affection. If you want to find a loyal, loving, smart, interesting, and definitely gorgeous date, you should check out this article. Here, you will find everything a single man needs to learn about Bulgarian women, how to start dating them, why they become mail order brides, and why they are so ... Dating Tips To facilitate your communication with Bulgarian women and accelerate your result, you should follow some rules of communication on dating websites. We are specialists in this field and are ready to share tips with you on how to chat with girls in order to please them. Most beautiful Bulgarian women you can meet online are looking for a serious relationship. Some of them are looking for a foreign husband. All of them are looking for men on one specific dating site and it’s not the dating site that I expected… 5 Secrets for Meeting Beautiful Bulgarian Women . So, you want to meet hot Bulgarian girls…

The Root of all Darcey and Stacey's issues...

2020.09.20 21:54 itskady The Root of all Darcey and Stacey's issues...

So I've been watching 90 day since season one and have been watching Darcey since she first strutted her stuff down an Amsterdam airport escalator and recently I was rewatching some clips and just gathering info together and I really believe that most of Darcey and Stacey's (mainly Darcey) problems are rooted in the loss of their brother, Micheal.
Let me explain. Darcey's older brother died from a rare form of cancer when he was, I believe, 27 years old we know from what she and Stacey have said that Micheal was their "protector" and really the man of the house. When he died he left a vacancy there, especially in Darcey, and she is now forever searching for Micheal in these twenty-something-year-old foreign men.
Jesse was 24 when she met him and somewhere around 25-26 when they broke up. He is Dutch.
Tom was 38 when she dated him but would've been around 33-34 when she met him online. He was British and presented (terribly) a never gentlemanly posh attitude.
Georgi is 33 years old and Bulgarian. Also presenting his very douchey fake gentlemanly attitude.
So what is Darcey looking for in these men? What she found in Micheal, a protector, a gentlemen, someone who treated her like she had worth. Many people know the term daddy issues and the whole idea that women look for their father in the men they date Darcey has brother issues because her brother was a surrogate father. For example, if a father was a violent drunk throughout a daughter's childhood she'll gravitate toward men who are violent or addicts in an attempt to 'fix' them or to find some type of familiarity. Darcey's father was in China working most of her childhood so he was absent we know that her brother really stepped up and became that father figure to them now that he's gone she seems to resent her father and long for her brother attempting to find him in these younger men. At his grave, she and Stacey mention he was strong, loyal, and "a real man". Stacey says to the camera that she wants a man like Micheal for Darcey, the only thing they can discuss at his grave is his qualities and how they want that in a partner. (A bit odd to associate your brother with men you'd like to date)
You can tell from all of Darcey's scenes that she is looking for that fairy tale dream, a prince to come take her away and marry her and all her dreams will come true. She thinks that these foreign men will be able to offer her this, she believes these cultures have strong gentlemanly men who will protect her the way her brother did. She dates these younger men because they are all close to the age range Micheal was when he died. I really feel for Darcey and I can't even begin to imagine her pain or loss. In a way Darcey is still that little girl looking for someone to protect her, I can't help but wonder what or who Micheal protected them from?
I don't think Darcey will ever be able to have a successful relationship until she properly grieves for her brother and can move on with her life.
submitted by itskady to DarceyAndStaceyTLC [link] [comments]


2020.08.28 17:14 Caspian-sea FDS members – Start expecting accountability from others & respect from the *get-go*. Don’t make excuses for yourself anymore (and you’ll stop making excuses for others).

Dear ladies, I am sharing this with you since I’ve started gradually to get back into the dating scene now that things are less hectic/socially distanced, plus it’s the start of a beautiful weekend with endless possibilities. So here are some tips, from me to you, feel free to lend your opinions into the discussion as well!
** We’re still seeing too many women here who adopt a ‘helplessness’ about the bad things that happen to them in daily life, whether it be in a romantic context or whatever context. Well let’s stop this stagnant useless energy & start being proactive in bringing about the positive changes we always claim we want to see:
- Dilemma #1: You say to everyone here that you have been chatting with a new guy you met, he “seemed like a good/high value person”, then suddenly he does something unsavoury… and you say women are just ‘screwed either way’ / ‘there are no good men’ / ‘it’s hopeless they’re all the same in the end’. No – you need to *handle* it if the offense is something that’s not block-worthy, after all we cannot crumble under any little pressure and run to our forum to ask others for help, any time a guy got a bit stupid.
· Personal example: Had a good pre-date screening call with a man [I ALWAYS do video, to see/hear them properly & get a far better sense of their personalities], both sides left it off at him promising to suggest a day/time we should meet + planning where to go, of course. The next morning when he greeted me (as he always did from the get-go of us chatting), he told me he can’t wait to meet me & to “let him know when he can take me out, as well as where I want to go”. Obviously this isn’t what we agreed on, so I simply – answered back some time later in the day after I finished all my work/errands & told him it’s been agreed that he was in charge of that. That I am busy & can’t be expected to accommodate him on such short notice, since I wasn’t prepared to plan a date/lead on this. An apology & agreement that “yes we did both say that, true, sorry” followed. Why? Because you used logic & civility, while calling out a bad behaviour from the 1st day, THIS is what saves you & paves the way for good behaviour down the road. --> Small background profile of this person: Bulgarian boy in late 20’s who’s been naturalized into North America, educated, Christian religion, management field.
- Dilemma #2: You feel you are in a “hopeless” situation since all the men in your city/locale seem to be “low value” & stink, so you are always “stuck in a low standard environment”. Listen I believe your assessment of your surroundings is accurate, BUT wherever you may be, unless it truly is a backwater shut off hick-town (in which case, start planning your move NOW), you will undoubtedly have SOME communities or groups of people nearby/within your locale that are not totally terrible. Scout them out, try to meet them/get on their good side, and scope out the good men from there. My city is a cesspit of horrible individuals too, but there ARE always pockets of good people & stellar communities.
· Personal example: I pretty much *only* associate with settled immigrant men who come from other cultural backgrounds that are more wholesome & traditional, at this point. I refuse to even deal w/ the majority of guys who are native born/raised citizens of this trashy culture, since they are the most “difficult” & manipulative from the get-go (seen time & again, based on countless examples around me w/ other women too). You only deal with quality from the get-go, then you’re bound to run into less problems in the long run. If you expect dignity and respect & are civil & are firm from the get-go, then you’re bound not to deal with “ghosting”/”bread crumbing”/”game playing”, etc etc etc.
- Dilemma #3: You say there were “red flags”” in conversations with certain males, yet you kept continuing to talk to them, and then suddenly he got incredibly rude/audacious/disrespectful during some incident. Well – yeah what did you expect? When someone does little acts of nastiness/weirdness here & there, they are blatantly telling you that there is more to come + it will definitely not be limited to what you see at present time. It will only get worse, as the common saying goes, it doesn’t “get better”.
· Personal example: I have spoken to males who suggest we meet, barely after 5 minutes of chatting & suggest meetings that take place well into the night (there is NO justifiable reason to be meeting super late / after a time that all other normal people are at home resting for the night), meetings that are in super private places where you can’t exit right away if you choose to (one who had barely spoken to me suggested taking me sailing on his boat after a dinner date), meetings involving getting you drunk/out of your clothes such as taking you to a baclub or “beach” on the 1st date, etc. Block, delete, move on NOW.
- Dilemma #4: You say you’ve vetted / silently assessed a person’s character, all seems to be OK or in order, but then suddenly this male (who you barely know) is upset at you/”displeased” enough to not call you for another date, and you wonder what on earth you did “wrong”.
· Personal example: I was in the same dilemma very recently after yet another guy told me he felt ‘we have no chemistry’ just because I didn’t let him grope me/make out with me within the 1st date. Guess what? You did jack-all *nothing* wrong, and consider it either dodging a bullet with a manipulative predator, or him simply “not being into you” (and that’s totally fine)! Either way you are never responsible for someone being predatory or someone not finding you attractive, you just keep moving along & don’t give them a second thought.
- Dilemma #5: You are suspicious that someone is treating you *well*, you fear there is an “agenda”. Yes there are too many women here who are afraid that a man who treats her well / shows her his intentions from the get-go / pays for her on a date, is going to screw her over. Guess what, this one’s on you to make some self development changes, it’s not on him. I am not talking about “love bombing” or manipulative males, I am talking about perfectly normal men who are well-behaved & are INTO you, yet you have this mentality that “they’re all out to screw me anyway” which prevents you from enjoying yourself. Get out of this mind frame, NOW, and start understanding that it’s a BASIC standard to be treated nicely with respect & taken care of. You are too used to the poisonous attitudes of the men in your culture/locale/whatever the fuck, that you start looking for boogeymen where there are none.
· Personal example: Agreed to a dinner date yet on the day of, I was rushed + exhausted very early on from errands that were delayed (due to external circumstances), appointments that were not kept on time due to the other side being late, etc. I knew this was going to be a tough day full of improvisations, very exhausting, so I let the guy know *hours in advance* what was happening & that I preferred to go home to rest in the evening instead of dressing up & attending an hours-long dinner with a smile on my face. His response was that he fully understands the feeling, that he can pick me up for dinner over the weekend instead & that he couldn’t wait to meet me anyway. THIS is a kind person with a good heart, THIS is how you should be treated, and you should NOT be fearing your move every step of the way. Love is not walking on eggshells, dates should be relaxed & happy not tense or fearful, never forget this. --> Small background profile of this person: Ukrainian guy in his early 30’s who’s been naturalized in North America but is traditional, educated, Eastern Orthodox, architectural field.
Hope this little share has given some people food for thought & encouragement to be braver in bringing about the changes you want to see.
submitted by Caspian-sea to FemaleDatingStrategy [link] [comments]


2020.08.22 23:46 fcatthepanerabread A week in the life of your favorite firearm dealer 8/10/2020 PLUS ADDED PANDEMIC GUN SHOW COVERAGE!

Monday 8/10/2020 to Thursday 8/13/2020
I won't do the play by play. It's more fun to just amalgamate the highlight reel of the week.
I get call after call from people looking for 380 and 9mm ammo. One notable dialogue at 8PM
1: You have any 380 ammo?
Me: Yes, I have 7 boxes yet
1: How much?
Me: 20 to a box, 50 each
1: Great we can come pick it up now!
Me: It's 8PM and I've already left for the day. Come in tomorrow
1: But we need it now.
Me: I'm not heading back to work to sell a box of ammo.
1: Oh come on! I called you! You should be able to help me!
Me: I am, during normal business hours. But if you really want 2 boxes - $100 bill and I'll head back in.
1: ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS? YOU JUST TOLD ME IT WAS TWENTY!
Me: Twenty to a box, 50 bucks each box times two boxes
1: That's highway robbery! That's price gouging!
Me: Go look online. Nobody has any 380 ammo. And if they do it is $1 or $2 per round.
1: That's ridiculous! You're not the only guy in town that has 380 ammo!
(Editors note: She calls back the next day asking for 380 ammo. Apparently I am the only guy in town that has 380 ammo. I tell her there's a new policy. No ammo sales to people who have not bought firearms.)
One of my surgeon customers calls me telling me his lead nurse who hates guns wants to buy a gun. I tell them to come on down. Her whole family and the doc come in and I have this dialogue.
1: Can you suggest a gun for someone who hates guns?
Me: That's like a vegan walking into a steakhouse and saying "whats a good steak for a vegan?" - there's no real good way to do it and everything I can suggest you is sold out and then some.
1: Well what do you have here?
Me: That's a Glock 17, here take a look.
(Unload and show clear, hand her a Glock 17)
1: OH MY GOD THIS IS SO HEAVY!
Me: That's one of the lightest full size firearms ever made.
1: Do you have something with a safety? I love safeties. The more the better. If you have a gun with 150 safetys, that's something I would be interested in.
(I glare at the doc)
Me: I've only got three or four different model pistols left in stock. Here try out this springfield XD-S.....
1: I don't like this thing in the grip here the bump....
Me: You mean the grip safety?
1: yes
1: What happened to "I love safties the more the better"
(Doc nearly inhales his surgical mask from laughing)
She hates guns and wants to go rent a bunch of guns before buying any guns but I explain the problem is you can go rent something, fall in love with it and the dealer can't get one for a year. Case in point: Glock 19's, Sig 365's and Springfield Hellcats. She believes she is not ready to buy a gun until she rents one. I tell her go to a range and go rent one and find out what she likes.
She has just taken a "safety course" offered by the local girl and a gun chapter. The local girl and a gun chapter is run by a middle aged woman who has NRA instructor creds that is the WORST FIREARM INSTRUCTOR I HAVE EVER MET IN MY LIFE with the possible exception of James Yaeger. The last time I was at one of her events she was using the "mugger in a hoodie" paper targets and she instructed all the women to shoot him in the balls during one course of fire.
Now, I wasn't wearing my Caltech shirt that day but the fast math and trig is as follows.
Person shooting at a target 10 feet from the bench at a downward angle with a backstop of dirt 50 feet behind the bench...
I was trying to fix someone's gun before I could do anything. I am concentrated on fixing this pistol and the first volley of gunfire breaks my concentration. I then hear the sound of dozens of 9mm projectiles hitting the concrete and skipping off the property. I drop the pistol and shout at the top of my lungs a cease fire and evetyone looks at me funny
Me: KAREN! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?
1: Oh they're just girls, let them have their fun!
Me: ALL THE BULLETS ARE LEAVING THE PROPERTY!
1: What? No! How?
(I point at all the ricochet gouges on the concrete of the gun club)
1: Ohhhhhh
This woman is barely qualified to run a dairy queen much less instruct neophyte gun owners. Holy fucking shit. Why are people going to her? She's open, and she's a woman that has credentials that "can teach".
Yeah.
One day I head to lunch at the local pizza joint for lunch with Megan. Eddie makes a nice pizza and I sit down and have a pie. We rap about business as I eat my antipasato and wait for my freshly prepared clam pie to cool down a bit. It's not on the menu but he makes it special for us.
Me: hey eddie how's business?
ed: It's steady, lots of takeout.
Me: Its a tough economy I'd take it!
ed: Hey now!
Me: You doing okay?
ed: yeah I found that derringer I wanted at the last gun show!
Me: Oh really?
ed: Yeah! Someone ceracoted it tiffany blue and magenta
Me: Whoa whoa whoa! Please! I'm trying to eat here! Disgusting!
(Megan is drinking water and nearly does a spit take)
This is the world we're living in now.
Speaking of the new world... I wind up working a deal with a friend and we split 100k pcs of once fired lake city 5.56 brass. A local military contractor was doing some testing and they had a fucking ton of it and this is what was left. We got it for the cost of manpower to scrape it up and load it, clean it, tumble it and sort it and deprime and resize it.
My friend has two kids that are doing online learning with school, so he made them a deal. He cut the kiddos a deal to help him clean and resize and deprime the brass as labor.
We're into this stuff CHEAP. So we can sell it cheap or whatever the fuck we want in this market. I tell Ray I've got the perfect ad. We get some projectiles, some powder and primers and we run an ad. "5.56 ammo! $275/thousand! Some assembly required!" and Ray laughs his ass off.
The we got it was it was loaded into some wooden ammo crates that were left over at the contractors facility. They're heavy, not cost effective to ship and came with 5000 pcs of brass each. Ray gets an idea. He has discovered that if we portion it out and throw out or sell the wooden crates, we save a ton of money on shipping.
I wonder where he got this idea from. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nozIkRy0v-M
The kiddos load all the brass into USPS flat rate boxes in no time flat and we've got ourselves loaded ready to roll product that can ship immediately. His kids did the legwork in the loading on account of my bad back and I'm tasked with lining up buyers. No problem. I start working the local gun boards, my customers, myspace, etc. You know the usual spots.
This is where the wheels come off the wagon. I get a guy who comes right out the gate asking for 9k and then he blurts out "How much do you have, I'm interested in all of it"
Little hint for the readers. Anyone that says they're interested in everything you have are interested in nothing you have. They're blowing smoke 99% of the time and the 1% of the time that someone does buy everything you have, you're making a killing off them or they're making a killing off you. You know the old saying in poker - if you sit down at the table and you can't find the sucker in 5 minutes, you're the sucker? It's like that.
Anyhow, my ad reads as follows: $125/thousand 5.56 Brass Lake City cleaned, sorted, resized, trimmed and polished - DILLON 1050 READY!
The guy calling me wanting 9k then asked how much I had left - he lines up 9 of his friends and they want to take ALL of it and divvy it up. Pick up today or when the guys can get off of work and come get it, they're working back asswards logistics as to who's truck is going to haul all of it, who's loading it and unloading and they plan to show up at 630 tonight after work to come get it.
At 445 I get a message - hey can you send me a picture again one of my friends wants to check something and I send it over.
And that's when the entire deal falls apart because this butthead read 5.56 brass lake city NATO headstamp $125/thousand and thought he was getting loaded 5.56 NATO spec ammo for 12.5 cents a round in 2020, told all his friends about it and shot his mouth off like a damn fool. Now he has to explain to every single one of his friends that no you're not getting 10,000 rds of 5.56 NATO ammo for $1250. Wasting my fucking time. That was my Thursday. All these people begging for ammo are driving me nuts. Yes, I have 250,000 rds of ammo. No I am not going to bend over backwards and sell it to you cheap just to be a nice person/earn your business/because your sister gave me a handjob in high school. God damn.
Lady calls me looking for 380 ammo. She needs some for her CCW class that Karen is teaching and I tell her I have some left. She comes in and I tell her it's $50 a box. She leaves without buying anything.
There's other miscellany but you get the gist of it.
NOW here's the meat and potatoes you've wanted! The tale of the gun show!
Friday 8/14/2020
I take inventory. I'm down to about 500 guns in stock and I pack as much as I can and get it ready for the show. I've got some Sigs left, a handful of Glock and a mishmash of everything else. I head to bed early knowing full well the next show will be a total shitshow. I have not done a show in a big city for nearly six months. This will be epic or epic fail.
Saturday 8/15/2020
I pull chocks at 430AM, hit the flying J for diesel and pull into the local grocery store for a sandwich at 7AM right around the corner from the gun show. They fuck up my sandwich. Serves me right for buying morning of. Fuck me to tears. I start loading into the show and the entire front of the building is set up with crowd control barriers and it takes me an extra 40 minutes to thread the needle of my hand truck and loadout. I get the table setup as fast as I can and by 9AM the doors are open and we are off to the races. I will do hour blocks instead of my previous play by play for simplicity.
9AM: Right out the gate I have people asking me for Sig 365's. I have a used one with three mags and a holster I have tagged at $650. The guy asks me if I can do any better. I ask him if he's feeling lucky. I run the 4473 bet with him.
He fills out the form straight on the first shot, no corrections - and he gives me $650, he gets $50 back with his ID.
If there's a correction to be made, I keep half a yard. He says its a bet. He loses.
As I write that up at $650, I have another guy snag a regular 365 for $700. Both their background checks clear quickly.
The morning is not off to a bad start, I think to myself. I'm about to be proven wrong massively.
One of my old friends from high school asked me to liquidate some of his collection and I told him that I would selectively cherry pick some stuff and haul it to the show since I didn't want to commit large amounts of table space for other people's guns. He's got a super clean Century M70 underfolder. It's clean even by century standards but I don't want to buy that gun.
I have it out on the table and an old romanian guy starts checking it out.
1: What country is this from?
FC: I'm not a big AK guy, it's a century so I'm guessing maybe yugoslavia or maybe romania - I don't think that its a bulgarian one, but you're welcome to take a look
1: Does it say cugir?
FC: It does not
1: How do you know it does not say cugir?
FC: I can see the side of it it does not say that
1: Where does it not say?
FC: If you look at the side of the receiver, Century has shitty electropencil that is parkerized over that you can barely read
1: Do you have some oil I can put on there to rub on it so I can read it?
FC: Look, I'll read it. What do you want to know?
1: Does it say cugir?
FC: it does not.
1: What does it say?
FC: Century M70 AB2 7.62 x 39 Georgia Vermont
1: it does not say cugir? I am romanian if it says cugir is romanian
FC: It does not say that
1: Come on then make me a deal!
(1 taps the price tag marked at $850)
FC: It's the first 20 minutes of the show, I'm not making anything on the deal it's a favor for a friend of mine. I think that gun sells down here for top dollar.
1: I give you 600 cash
FC: Come see me at the end of the show maybe I'll be amenable to discounting but not this early
1: You know problem with topcover right?
(FC looks at topcover, it's slightly off from the hole and detent. Why? IT'S A CENTURY! WHAT DID YOU FUCKING EXPECT?!?! The care and attention to detail that only Jim Fuller from Rifle Dynamics or maybe a Bulgarian Arsenal offers? Fuck you.)
FC: This gun is gonna sell this weekend as is where is, even if you think it's not right.
1: Come on make me deal!
FC: I don't negotiate with terrorists or people spending under $10k. This ain't over $10k.
1: I have cash!
FC: Got $850? We'll write it up right now.
(1 walks away and comes back 3 minutes later)
1, while holding a wad of cash: Come on make me a deal!
FC: What's your offer?
1: I will go $700
FC: Come see me at the end of the show on Sunday and I'll see what I can do.
(1 gets yelled at by the county exhibition authority for not wearing a face mask correctly and he adamantly refuses to adjust his mask and starts a full blown screaming match with the poor county employee who VERY politely asked him to wear his face mask properly. As he is engaged in this animated debate, two individuals who I will call 2 and 3 show up. 2 and 3 want the underfolder AK. 2 and 3 are what we would call hip hop/droopy jean enthusiasts, their dialogue is presented word for word without adjustment. They were dropping the hard r, not me so please don't call me names for reporting the truth.)
2: ohhhhh snapppp this is what I came here lookin for!
3: damn nigga thats a straight up choppa right there you should buy that
1: HEY I WAS HERE FIRST I AM MAKING DEAL! BACK OFF!
FC: No, you walked away - these two gentlemen are here and now they're interested in that gun and I'm giving them my time.
1: BUT I WAS HERE FIRST HOLDING CASH!
2: back off nigga I'm here to check out stuff motherfucker i'm gonna mess you up
3: yeah man back the fuck off before my nigga messes you up god damn shieeeeeeit
1: I AM HERE! HOLDING CASH! YOU GOING TO DO BUSINESS WITH ME?
FC: You walked away. This is what happens when you walk away. It's their turn......
1: BUT I AM HERE WE ARE MAKING DEAL
(FC does an ACTUAL facepalm and presses his forehead and feels a headache beginning. A deep sigh)
FC: You two.....you're killing me here.
1: I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF MAKING DEAL AND YOU DON'T WANT TO DEAL!
FC: You want to see deal? I'll show you deal!
(FC grabs AK from the hip hop enthusiasts and looks right at them while holding an order pad in right hand and rifle in other)
FC: You got $750 cash?
2: nigga I got $750 cash right here (pulls out wad of 100's)
3: oh shit that guy gonna get fuckin SWOOPED
FC: You want me to write this up right now? $750 cash. And I'll throw in 4 mags (I pull out 4 mags loaded with x39 brown bear)
2: I GET THE MAGS AND THE AMMO FOR THAT PRICE? FUCK NIGGA YOU GOT A DEAL! (he counts out $800 in c-notes and drops his ID on the table)
FC: You got yourself a rifle.
(I look back at angry romanian)
FC: That's a deal. You passed. Move faster next time.
1: I AM STANDING HERE! HOLDING CASH!
(1 throws down a stack of cash on the table, some falls behind on my table. I pick it back up and place it on his stack)
FC: You dropped some back here, don't want you thinking I shorted you or stole your money. I've got to write up these gentlemen, we're here until 5 today if you need anything else
1: (shouts at me in angry romanian while gesticulating like George Costanza complaining to Elaine about taking credit for the big salad)
FC: I'm sorry about that guy, he's got some issues. That man needs therapy not another gun
2: all good nigga all good that mofo gonna get his ass beat someday
FC: Today I didn't even have to use my AK, I got to say it was a good day
3: sheeeeeit he knows ice cube! this nigga og!
FC: Catholic school for the win!
(we fist bump)
I piss off at least one person every show. Sometimes it's good to get it out of the way in the first hour, lets you concentrate on the bigger picture things.
Three down.
10AM: Guy points at a green Glock 43 and Glock 19 Gen 4 that I have. They're each tagged at $725. Cash comes out and I write up the sale. Three women in a row snag black Glock 43's from me at $700 each. We are cranking now!
Eight down before lunch. This is getting wild.
11AM: Colt Lightweight Commander - tagged at $1050. Sells for cash. Colt Combat Unit - tagged at $1450 Sells for cash. Glock 19 MOS Gen 4 - tagged at $825. Sells for cash. Two of them back to back. Gen 4 straight 19 tagged at 775 sells on Amex. Background checks begin to start bogging down.
Thirteen down before I can even touch my sammich.
12PM: I write up three ruger LCP's in a row at $300 each. I eat half my sandwich as I sell a Kel Tec Sub 2000 at $825. Springfield Hellcat tagged at $735 goes out on a mastercharge.
Eighteen before I'm done with lunch. Sheeeeit.
1PM: My old buddy Rusty Shackleford sends me some of his collection he does not want the hassle with selling. Three ugly as sin Glock 21's, three semi clean Glock 17's and two super like new 17's. 1PM is profitable as I manage to sell everything except for a 21 and 17. People are paying $650 for PD trade 21's and $700+ on trade in Glock 17's. Why? They're the only ones in the show. Not glocks in general, I mean 21's and 17's.
Twenty four down and I have yet to finish my sandwich.
2PM: I have an immigrant from another country come over and try to buy a gun. He's super patient waiting for me to finish with customers that DO NOT STOP. Springfield XD goes out at $600. That's 25. He hands me the clipboard and I immediately stop everything I'm doing and I look down at the form.
Not only has he forgotten 10A and 12.d.2 but he's put the city in the county box and answered the firearm is not for him and he's been convicted of misdemeanor DV. I sigh and hand the form back to him for corrections.
FC: Okay, what county are we in?
1: (names city)
FC: What COUNTY are we in?
1: oh! USA!
FC: What COUNTY is this city in?
1: (names city)
FC: We're in (names county)
1: Ohhhhh thats right
FC: Who's this gun for? You or someone else?
1: Me
FC: Is there any reason you've indicated you are NOT the actual purchaser?
1: Not good at reading the form I guess
FC: Strike out intiial and date the change
1: Okay
FC: Have you been convicted of a misdemanor crime of domestic violence?
1: No it was just a misdemeanor
FC: Is there a reason why you said "yes I have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?"
1: oh man I screwed that up
FC: Initial and date the change
(He fixes the front of the form and signs on 14 and dates on 15. I turn the page. He's written his passport number expiration date in the ID field and indicated that NICS has denied him)
FC: Is there any reason you wrote your passport expiration date and number here?
1: Well I'm supposed to do that, right?
(FC points to line that says SECTION B MUST BE COMPLETED BY SELLER)
1: Oh man
FC: Is there any reason you checked DENIED on the NICS result box?
1: did I do that?
(FC points to the box where he's put a big bold X under DENIED)
1: Was I not supposed to do that?
(FC hands him another form to complete)
3PM: It is now over an hour to get this 4473 done. His wife and child have to help him with the form. I finish my sammich as I look at the front of his form and it is still marked "firearm is being purchased for someone not me" and he has to correct it. I turn the page. The date is marked 9/8/2020.
FC: What day is today?
1: Saturday
FC: No I mean what day is today, what calendar day?
(1 pulls out his phone)
1: Oh. You want me to do another form?
FC: No, strike out using a single line. And using WORDS - write the date.
1: gotcha
(FC looks down at the form. the date is struck out using a single line. It now reads in words SATURDAY 9/8/2020)
FC: What day is it?
1: It's saturday.
FC: Saturday the.........
1: Fifteeenth?
FC: Then explain why this says 9/8/2020?
1: Oh man you want me to do another form?
FC: Just fill it out using WORDS AS THE DATE - MONTH/DAY/YEAR
1: okay I got you
(FC hands the form back for correction)
1: I got it now! Man was that hard!
(FC looks down at the form. SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8 2020)
FC: Take out your phone
(1 takes out his phone and presses the home button)
FC: Look at the date. What does it say and look at what you wrote.
1: Oh man
FC: Is it possible for us to get the correct date?
1: Yeah man I'm so sorry....
FC: Take out your phone and write out the date in letters and words EXACTLY AS YOUR PHONE DISPLAYS IT
1: Okay I can do that
(FC looks down at the form. 3:23 SATURDAY AUGUST 15. Fuck it, this is as good as it gets.)
FC: Close enough. Give me your ID.
(I write up my last Glock 19. It's tagged at $825. He pays cash without blinking.)
I mean, I've seen some shit but WOWWWW.
That's 26.
4PM: The rest of my glocks fly off the table. NIB Glock 36 - tagged at $725, gone. NIB Glock 30SF, tagged at $700, gone. NIB Glock 30, tagged at $700, gone. The only thing left on the table are 17 Gen 5 MOS's at $875 and 43X's at $775 and 44's at $400. That's 29 by 4PM. One guy does not have current ID so I have him go on the fish and game website on his phone and get a fishing license that gets me his up to date address. After 20 minutes he emails me a screencap and he's on his way home with his Glock 30.
5PM: Time to go home! I drop a stack of guns off at the local dealer for transfer on my way out the door and I make it home just before 7PM after stopping at the grocery to pick up dinner. I have a platter of fried chicken and mac and cheese. It is delicious. I get to bed early, tomorrow is going to be a long fucking day.
Sunday August 16th
737AM. I wake up and get my ass to my desk. I need to replenish some of the table. I grab stacks of more guns and get them loaded up and I swing by the grocery store deli on the way to the show. It's 8AM and they are out of bread. As in the bakery has not baked them any bread for sandwiches. For fucks sake. They make me a wrap instead. And they make it WRONG. I am not happy.
10AM: Get to the show and uncover my tables and get cranking. A millennial wants a Ruger LC380 and her fucking debit card does not work. This is why you bring cash to gun shows. It's fucking useless when technology fails AND YOU HAVE NO BACKUP. She transfers money from wells fargo to her boyfriends account at chase and he tries to use the ATM to get her cash. No dice. I swear to jebus, if you take debit cards away from this generation all of them will starve to death and die alone. Gun number 30 for the weekend is hard fought but it's done.
11AM: Crank off a Sig 1911 for a guy. He sends a stand in to pick it up for him since his son is exempt from waiting period but he isn't. It goes like this.
1: I'm gonna buy this gun instead
FC: why?
1: that's none of your business
FC: Yes it is. Purchase of firearm with intent to resell is unlawful
1: What I do with the gun after I get it, if I want to sell it to my dad is my business not yours
FC: No dice. Take a hike
Dad: Lets just do it his way, he wants to give it to the other dealer that's what we'll do. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
I write up 31 for the weekend. My jack sack is full of cash.
12PM: I got a guy come over, former law enforcement wanting to buy his kid a gun. He wants to do the paperwork and pay me and the gun is for his kid. I say if the gun is for the kid, he needs to do it. I shake off the forms and get the kid on the clipboard and everything goes smooth and I rack up a sale for a trade in FN FNS. That's 32.
1PM: Old school NYPD beat cop comes over wanting a deal on a springfield 1911 Long Beach Operator
1: They're 1911's! They're not popular anymore! Make me a deal!
FC: ANYTHING with a barrel and a trigger is popular right now. Best deal you're getting is on the tag, which is 1250 plus tax and call in that puts you right near 1350.
1: Come on, hook a brother up!
FC: That's the rate on everything, we're selling it out as fast as we can get it! Excuse me as I help these other people......
2PM: Lady comes by and says she wants a shield EZ. I ask her why. She says her man and her firearm instructor says she cant rack the slide. I pick up a Sig 220 off the table and tell her to show me. She racks the slide. I ask her how does it feel to rack a slide properly? She spends the rest of the day wondering why they lied to her. Another lady asks me for suggestions for a first gun. I ask her what she's shot before. Answer: Nothing. She cannot rent guns and try them out because every range is booked for firearm rentals for the next 2 months out. Yeah.........
Brooklyn 99 comes back over and taps on the LB operator
1: Come on man, hook a brother up!
FC: That's the price, the LB operators are a sexy gun and they're not coming out of the warehouse very often
1: Come on brother! I'm just looking for a deal! How about 1200 all in?
FC: Cash or card?
1: Card
FC: No dice.
1: Come on brother! (more pleading for a discount)
At this point the crowd at the table has heard this guy trying to get a discount for a few minutes and I've had enough.
FC: Let me ask you a question
1: Sure thing
FC: Do you have pictures of my nephews on your phone?
1: No
FC: Did you spend thanksgiving dinner at my house?
1: No
FC: Are you a named beneficiary on my will?
1: No
FC: Then guess what? You're not my brother. Hell, without your money you're not even my customer.
You could hear the snickers from the peanut gallery as I gave the guy a dressing down. I wasn't about to let him off the hook. I still had an out in the deck to play and I was going to use it.
FC: Now, if you want this gun - you want it at a discount, I respect that. Here's what I"ll do. You feeling lucky?
1: Always!
FC: Here's the clipboard. Give me a straight form, no strike outs, no errors, no mistakes, NOTHING that needs correction - I'll give it to you for 1200 on a card flat. I hand the pen back to you to fix something, I write it at 1400 all in. $200's the action, you in or you out?
1: getoutttahere
FC: I'm serious. You want the discount, get the form right and you got what you want. If there's even one error, I keep the two bills.
1: It's a bet! Lets go! I've done this hundreds of times without a problem!
I hand him the clipboard and he starts filling out the form. The peanut gallery is now fervently watching for the results as if it were not already a foregone conclusion. The fans had no idea but they were watching a fixed horse race. My dealer neighbor at the next table over chimes in.
Neighbor: hey, are you seriously taking action?
FC: ALWAYS!
Neighbor: What's the money?
FC: two bucks
Neighbor: High stakes!
FC: You haven't seen high stakes yet.
Neighbor: You're a character. I'm glad that romanian guy didn't get that rifle yesterday, he was such a pain in the ass. Like even I was annoyed by it and it wasn't even my stuff.
FC: I know, right? You snooze, you lose.
Neighbor: But really, can I get in on the 4473 bet?
FC: You can take the bookmaker out of the catholic school but.....
NYPD: I'm all done! Lets see my new $1200 gun!
(I pick up the forms and his ID and credit card and look at the forms. 12.d.2. is blank. I hand pen back to him and point at 12.d.2.)
FC: Forgot 12.d.2. That's $1400 on your Amex, sign here.
NYPD: MOTHERFUCKER THAT WASN'T ON THERE LAST TIME!
FC: When was the last time you filled out that form?
NYPD: 2012
FC: That's why. Here's your new gun, thank you for your action.
Neighbor: How often does that bet win?
FC: My house edge on that bet is 100%.
Neighbor: Shit. That's fucking hilarious. Now I know how you got that watch. I just picked up a 50th anniversary sub myself (he shows me his sub and we rap about horology for a bit.)
33 down.
3PM: ONE HOUR TO GO! I write up a shield 2.0 9mm for a lady and her hubs for $650. One lady gets unhinged when I tell her she's not going to get her gun today on account of background check volume. She starts terrorizing me with WHY CANT I GET MY GUN TODAY?!?!?!??!?! This isn't dealing with Al-Quaeda, this is Al-Karen. Last minute sale 10 minutes before the show closes cleans me out of Ruger LC9's tagged at $450. 35 down. One guy snags a Glock 43X from me for $775.
36 for the weekend makes me a happy boy. I look at all the sales in cash and credit cards and I've booked quite the fat stack of cash. I've done a month's worth of business in TWO DAYS.
4PM: Show is closed. I start packing up. The dealer across from me has Gen 5 Glock 34's tagged at $1000, 9mm at $575/thousand and 380 at $750/thousand. We rap about the state of the industry. It's just gonna get worse closer to the election. I pack up and get all my stuff loaded up.
530PM: Homeward bound........I wish I was........HOMEWARD BOUND..............
730PM: I get back to my desk and dump off a fucking STACK of 4473's. I make a bank drop for the cash and I unload and head back home. I'm starving, so I decide to have the deli re-make their culinary abortion of a wrap.
8PM: The deli is out of bread AGAIN. Are you fucking kidding me? The deli is out of bread at 8AM and 8PM? What is this bullshit..... the deli clerk takes an entire loaf of italian sandwich bread and uses it to make me a single sandwich. My colon is about to hate me. I'm waiting in line to have the cashier comp me as I see a big tall gun guy from the gun club walk in. I yell and wave since I'm wearing a mask and he comes over.
815PM: Tim O'Toole is a big giant irish gun nut criminal defense attorney that I know from the gun club. He is an aggressive and in your face about how wrong you are if you are wrong and at 6'6" he cuts an imposing presence on any courtroom he walks into. He's just bought a house in my neighborhood and we start chatting guns. He asks me if I have a Glock 17 Gen 3 9mm barrel for his latest build and I tell him that I've probably got 3 sitting on my desk. I jump on my phone and check pricing. Wholesale + $5 for him since he helps out a lot out at the gun club and he says it's a deal. He goes and gets groceries and I eat my meat tornado of a sandwich at home.
Monday August 17th
10AM: Tim comes by right on time for his barrel and asks what else I have. I have a Glock 43 come off layaway and go back into rotation and he snaps up that and a 43X and a whole litany of extra parts, glock 17 gen 3 firing pin, channel liner, trigger bars, extra mags, etc. My 1 item sale I set up in line at the grocery store is now a 15 item $2500 sale. And he wants even more stuff that I can't get! We rap about the best legal film ever made, My Cousin Vinny. He gets every judge to approve his demand to videotape depositions and witness statements. Why? "I shot the clerk" - you have to watch the movie to understand this reference. Every time a judge asks him why he wants it on tape he simply says "I shot the clerk" and since we are in the deep south and every judge that's been stuck in the Louisiana mud knows the film My Cousin Vinny, his motion is approved. I laughed my ass off. I told him I was very much looking forward to regaling the federal judge with some witty banter that went along the lines of "the two utes" and he laughed his ass off. I really wanted to pull that stunt.
11AM: Lady comes in to pick up a layway and she can't fill out the 4473 and wear a mask at the same time. She also cannot stop talking. She drives me nuts but I hold it together long enough to get her stuff worked up. She also asks me to get her a Glock 23 Gen 4. I tell her it won't be cheap and it's probably going to set her back $850 by the time I beat the bushes and line one up. She says no problem, Visa okay? Done. I get a Glock 23 Gen 4 off one of my dealer buddies in NC and get it squared away.
12PM: Lunctime. It's Salmon Hollandaise special at this new market just down the road from me and I stop in and say hi. It's like a small version of Eataly. I went to high school with the owners daughters and he's got 5 million bucks into this concept. Wine bar, cafe, grocery, NY bagels delivered daily, ramen bar, raw bar, restaurant, the whole 9 yards. Amazing. The fish is delish and on the way out I run into a guy I went to ELEMENTARY school with that's now the general manager. He offers me a job managing the seafood department and I am seriously considering it given how screwed up the gun market is.
1PM: Back at my desk, have eaten the salmon and the hollandaise has found a home in my thighs. I am fat and sassy. I sell the remaning 380 I have to a customer picking up a Sig P238 and she's super stoked to get a gun.
2PM: Random walk in. Local restaurant owner that I sold a Sig 227 to a few months ago wants me to put in an SRT kit. He's disassembled the entire frame and wants me to put it togther. I explain that an SRT install is normally 5 minutes. This is easily a 45 minute job to reassemble and that's IF he has all the parts. He says he has all the parts. I begin putting the gun back together. He does not have all the parts. He goes home and says he will look harder for the missing part.
3PM: I look online for the missing part. It's $5 and 4 weeks to ship and in stock at most vendors. This sucks. I call some favors and I know of one in the mid atlantic area I can get here in a week in case he can't find it. As I get off the phone he walks in with the missing part.
Just an FYI for the readers. In ten years, I have had "bag o gun" come through the door on three previous occasions.
First: Sig 229 from local PD. Chief took it apart, couldn't put it back together. Had no backup gun and had to go on duty in a few hours, I was asked to put it together.
Second: My buddy Bruce in PA. He detail stripped his 220 and got it wrong. I put it back together and sent it back to PA.
Third: Rusty and his 226. See above. He missed some parts. I put it back together and sent it back to Texas.
If anyone thinks they see a pattern here it's because there IS a pattern here.
I start work on the 227 and this thing is a bitch and a half. The ejector, which is a 25 cent stamped metal part is not to spec. Sig's QC sucks. Their 3mm hole PRECISELY stamped in one place isn't 3mm and isn't precise. The sear pin that has to go through the left side of the frame, through the ejector, through the left side of the sear, through the sear reset spring, through the other side of the sear, through the safety lever and through the right side of the frame is NOT COOOPERATING because the ejector is too tight. I have to beat on this thing with a drilling hammer to get it to go. 45 minutes of anger and frustration later, 227 is back in action with the garbage one piece E2 grips.
For this pain, I bill $100. He tells me he should have had me do it in the first place. I say he's right but it's a tough job doing Sig classic pistols right. They're a very challenging platform.
4PM: I ship off some more 5.56 brass and pay my buddy Ray. I head home.
5PM: Beef jerky time.
I hope you all enjoyed these stories. They have not been embellished because they need no embellishment. Stay tuned for my next story where I post about the state of the firearm industry!
God bless and have a wonderful Saturday.
PS - and this is how you do a "week in the life" thread, you fucking imposter. https://www.reddit.com/guns/comments/i759qj/a_week_in_the_life_of_your_favorite_firearm/
submitted by fcatthepanerabread to guns [link] [comments]


2020.08.14 01:50 HarvestMonth MY STORY - DAY 0 HERE WE GO!

Hello everyone! I posted some hours ago part of what I'm going to write now. But anyway, I just finished fapping (completely, not edging) and thus my brain has taken out, and I can write what I think.
I am currently 30 years old. I grew up with my mother and maternal grand parents. There was no presence of my father after I was 3. Genetically I inherited great intelligence from his side, but I also got a lot of sexual energy that had ruined him, his brother, and his father (my paternal grand father). They were/are big time womanizers that harmed a lot of women. Also, none of them reached the intellectual potential they had, all because of thinking about women and satisfying their great hunger. Spoilers: Never got satisfied. During my childhood I practiced karate and soccer (I was really good at the latter) during teenage years I started playing Magic: The Gathering and quickly became a really good player. I was also mature for my age, and wasn't ever interested in watching porn. My conscious fapping story starts at around 12 years ago. It all started while watching MTV videos (you know, back in the days of Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, etc) as also some anime girls lol. It continued during teenager years with different actresses mostly. I didn't see any mystery about it as back then I wasn't edging, I would just go straight into the thing. Still, I think fapping without porn is still very bad (as I suffered)
My relationship with girls around the time I was 14 was awkward. I'm good looking and had an incredible ability to make them laugh. During that year I moved along my mother to another city (as she had accepted a temporal job) That was the year of my sexual explosion (2004) I'm originally from a rainy city that could be considered of cold weather, and I had just moved to a place that is tropical all year long. For me it was amazing to see every single day of life girls wearing so little. (hint: this is a Latin American country) I met a girl that was at the time 17, while I was 14. I used to make her laugh immensely during our daily English lessons. I developed a huge crush on her. Like for real! When in love I'm really romantic and start writing poems, visualizing the girl and never fapping to her (as I feel I had profanated her lol) Despite being good at making her laugh, during the seven months I stayed in that city, I never confessed to her what my feelings were. I had fear of being rejected, and that our age disparity was an impossible obstacle. I came back to my hometown where I continued my practice of fapping during my free time (combined with playing videogames) but I still felt in love with this girl. Finally, around mid 2005 I told a friend of mine about the situation, he told me to call her and confess. Despite having never asked for her number, I had read it in the English institute 16 months before and remembered it during my dreams. I took the courage to call her by phone as it was back in the day. Told her about my feelings, and she told me she felt the same. We started speaking via MSN messenger and kept like this for more than a year (we lived in different cities) When she eventually was coming here in 2008, I no longer had any feelings and rejected her in that way of simply started talking completely devoid of any romantic essence. By then, I was in college and already liked a different girl (she was 22 while I was 19) Again, I never confessed what I felt nor approached directly. In this case I think it was ok to not have told her, as I don't think there was much chemistry anyway. During all that time I had continued by fapping practice to maxim pics, some music videos, etc.
I grew tired of living in my country, and of the college degree I had enrolled to, so decided to leave in 2010 to Europe. I'm a fan of central European cultures; their architecture, history, girls, etc. I lived in the beautiful city of Prague. During my first month some friends took me to a club while being drunk, and there somehow I ended up dancing and kiss with a theater actress during the whole night. Finally she told me what I wanted to do, I had no previous experience with such situations and told her "Whatever she wanted to do" she didn't like this answer and got angry. I tried to fix the thing quickly by telling her "let's go to your home" but it was already too late for that. I simply accompanied to her home and then left. She was 26, while I was 21. You can see I usually like girls older than me. My first answer was because I felt fear, and also because as crazy as it might sound, I had fallen in love with her profoundly that night. I didn't want to have a one night stand. I should have simply replied sincerely.
Even though I met here four more times, the whole vibe was different by then. She was simply being polite and helping me (being the foreigner newlycomer to Prague). I met other girls during that late 2010 and early 2011 but none of them woke in me the same thing. Only one that had already a bf .__. In the mean time, through a language exchange website I continued my practice of meeting with different girls of Europe and simply continued the pathetic fapping. Just when I had started my second semester of lessons in college and had met around a couple of new cute girls to share lessons with, I got kidney failure out of nowhere. Forcing me back to my country and start dialysis almost immediately. All my plans in Europe were destroyed all out of a sudden.
Between 2011 and 2019 I was on peritoneal dialysis. It wasn't as rough as it might sound as my body was wise and kept me in a good enough state to be able to enjoy different hobbies here in my city. However, meeting girls was extremely uncomfortable. During the past decade I met a really attractive Bulgarian girl here in my city, as also another from my country. I know feelings were mutual but I never dared telling them I was on dialysis, nor less trying a sexual relation. Naturally, they felt rejected and got angry with me. Also, during this decade I also developed the unhealthy habit of heading to the Russian facebook-like and meeting Russian women. I would usually contact new girls during their birthday. Through writing a poem for the occassion and wishing them the best. I have to say that Russian girls are extremely nice and I met really cool girls I still stay in touch with. Fapping during the 2010's for me would almost never include ejaculation, because somehow I developed a horrible pain if I did so (probably connected to my end stage kidney failure) Because my work was limited to part time at home, I didn't care about spending long hours of day or night speaking to new girls. It is sort of like the addiction some people have developed nowadays to swipe right/left on dating platforms. True, it had its positive aspects... like learning a lot of Russian thanks to google translate, getting to know a lot about Russia and other Russian-speaking countries, as also meeting really wonderful women from there. But it did consume a lot of my time.
After my transplant last October, I have felt much better. I no longer feel that ejaculation induced pain. I have started doing sport and exercise once again, and had plans to meet a girl of a real relationship this year. Either here in my city, or while travelling. Then, the virus arrived to my country and quarantine was imposed last March. It is now August and quarantine remains imposed. Meeting girls in person and travelling has become impossible for the moment. While I'm much more in form now and have gained muscle while working out her indoors, last week I fell into the habit of sending messages to random girls on that website. It is worth mentioning that I continued edging during all this time, just trying to not spend so much time on it. However, the arousal increases over times and impulses me towards old habits. I tried NOFAP many years ago while on dialysis. My libido was decreased because of the disease back then, and I was able to hold for around 4 months. Then I said to myself "why not try just once for the pleasure" and eventually began once again.

WHY DO I WANT TO CHANGE? -When the world returns to some sort of normality I want to have a normal relationship of falling in love. I'm afraid of hurting my girlfriend through falling into such old habits. I want a real and serious long time relationship. -It is a tremendous waste of time. Lust will never be satisfied. I will always want to meet more and more girls. Edging can make a day pass insanely quickly. Being unproductive, for something irrelevant that just provides temporal pleasure. -It is really boring being unable at some parts of the time to concentrate on something interesting, just because of being aroused. -It is horrible going to sleep at 2 am just because I felt so aroused like to delve online or speak via whatsapp at those times -I want to be a better human and have a better and cleaner Buddhist practice. I think that over time I have become more compassionate. But my overindulgence obstructs me from meditating.
MOST IMPORTANT REASON: I don't know if any of you guys is a MCU fan. But... do you remember the first Iron Man film? Tony was a womanizer and alcoholic. Then that doctor saved him in Afghanistan while sacrificing his life. Doctor's last words were "Don't waste your life Tony". Needless to say, Tony later sacrified his own life to destroy Thanos and save universe. I'm no Tony Stark... but I have my health back thanks to a guy that died and fate gave me his kidney. I want to be worthy of having received such enormous gift. I don't want a stupid appetite to rule my life. I don't know guys if you've heard that masturbation is linked to kidney failure. But in Traditional Chinese Medicine this is stated. I don't know if this is true or not, but I intend to protect my kidney responsibly.
It's cool if you want girls chasing you! But in my case I just want to be in love with my future girlfriend/wife, making her happy.

So.. there it is, this is DAY 0 Folks! some characteristics about me now. Will be cool to see if there's any change as days/weeks go by.
Height: 5,11 Weight 161 pounds Blood Pressure: 122/72 Heart Rate: 78 per minute
submitted by HarvestMonth to NoFap [link] [comments]


2020.08.08 17:59 newfriend999 Harry Potter Loves Christmas

[Hearing the Christmas carol] made Harry’s throat constrict, it reminded him so forcefully of Hogwarts, of Peeves bellowing rude versions of carols from inside suits of armour, of the Great Hall’s twelve Christmas trees, of Dumbledore wearing a bonnet he had won in a cracker, of Ron in a hand-knitted sweater… — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Christmas in the Harry Potter books means family and togetherness. Christmas also serves to introduce often-vital new aspects of magic.
The stage is set from the very first book: Harry’s 11th Christmas is the best Christmas day ever. Harry meets Dumbledore really for the first time for Christmas dinner. The headmaster has anonymously returned, in the guise of a present, Harry’s father’s invisibility cloak. (“Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough but your uncle wouldn’t allow it.”\)* Harry also reunites with his parents, kinda, in the Mirror of Erised. Family rules.
Hermione is not around for Harry’s first Christmas as a wizard. Skiing. And Ron isn’t around for Christmas in the final book. Sulking. Harry reunites with his parents, kinda, in the graveyard at Godric’s Hollow. He also discovers that James, Lily and baby-him are commemorated by way of a statue in the town centre. Hermione is his companion here – the first girl Harry takes to meet his parents is not future-wife Ginny, but any hint of romance is dashed when the pair are attacked by a snake disguised as an old lady. They Apparate away as the bells chime for Christmas Day, which Harry spends wandless recovering from snake bite. Meanwhile in Shell Cottage… Ron hears Hermione’s voice via the Deluminator and begins his return.

A Very Harry Christmas
In Book Two, the Trio stays at school for Christmas – with the plot goal to interview Malfoy, in disguise, about who's the heir of Slytherin. Hermione has a busy day gathering the necessities for their Polyjuice Potion transformation but ends up in the hospital wing half-configured as Millicent Bulstrode’s cat.
The next year Hermione earns Harry’s ire by getting his newly-arrived Firebolt confiscated. She reasons, and McGonagall agrees with her – and they are correct – that the broom was “probably sent to Harry by Sirius Black!” But it’s alright in the end. In Book Four, Hermione wins Christmas by actually having some chemistry with her date for the Yule Ball, Viktor Krum. Her tonsil tennis with the Bulgarian Bonbon is revealed two books later. This sets Ron on a collision course with Lavender Brown in an especially Christmassy sixth installment. Harry, not being able to go with Ginny, neglects to ask Hermione to Slughorn’s Christmas party. He takes Luna instead, but abandons her to satiate his obsession with Draco Malfoy. Actual Christmas Day is spent at the Burrow, where Harry's proximity to Ginny creates its own sweet tension. We see the Weasley women being not so nice to Fleur. Rufus Scrimgeous, Minister for Magic, drops by with Percy. But the house is not attacked by Death Eaters.
Book Five features a most unusual Christmas. Dumbledore’s Army have their own event in the Room of Requirement, decorated by Dobby for Harry’s maximum embarrassment. Nonetheless, he scores with Cho. Then Nagini attacks Arthur, which Harry experiences in Voldyvision. The Trio, plus Ginny and the Twins, are rerouted to Grimmauld Place. Arthur rallies and Harry visits St Mungo’s Hospital for the first time. Heartbreakingly, the state of Neville’s parents, tortured witless by Bellatrix and Co., is fully revealed.
More extraordinarily, Harry buys Hermione a present! This never happens. And yeah it’s a book. Ron gifts her perfume with an unusual fragrance, but the lad is learning. We also see the sweet side of Harry’s godfather, so happy to have a family of his choosing for the holidays:
[Sirius] worked tirelessly in the run-up to Christmas Day, cleaning and decorating with their help, so that by the time they all went to bed on Christmas Eve the house was barely recognizable. The tarnished chandeliers were no longer hung with cobwebs but with garlands of holly and gold and silver streamers; magical snow glittered in heaps over the threadbare carpets; a great Christmas tree, obtained by Mundungus and decorated with live fairies, blocked Sirius’s family tree from view; and even the stuffed elf heads on the hall wall wore Father Christmas hats and beards. –– Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter Loves Presents
Molly, from Book One, gives Harry presents for Christmas. He is marked, via knitwear, as a member of the Weasley tribe from the very beginning – by 19 Years Later he has married in. Which even for wizards must be legally binding, right? Molly’s gifts cements the idea that Christmas means family.
Christmas crackers for wizardfolk contain real presents, such as an admiral hat, a wizard chess set and live mice. It's as if Hogwarts itself must join the gift-giving.
Hagrid’s gift of a hand-whittled flute is just the ticket when it comes to pacifying three-headed dog Fluffy. Hermione, too, is a very attentive gift-giver. The broom maintenance kit in Book Three shows her thoughtfulness. Shame nobody remembers her birthday.
Sirius’s early presents speak to action and mischief: the Firebolt, the lockpicker. When Remus moves in, Sirius briefly turns conservative and treats Harry to a book, albeit a book of defensive spells in the year none were being taught (except by Harry). Sirius’s mirror, initially unwanted, proves its worth two books later.
Gifts reveal character. Those dastardly Dursleys weaponise gift-giving. Their presents to Harry deteriorate before finally tapering off entirely: their last is a single tissue. Kreacher picks up the Dursleys’ slack in Year Six and sends Harry a box of maggots. House-elf rival Dobby goes to the other extreme. Dobby’s outstanding gift to Harry is a Dobby-painted portrait of, yes, Harry. But those red and green Quidditch-themed socks are a merchandiser’s dream.

Cracker Joke
Why do wizards celebrate Christmas?
Because Jesus is magic.





\Said by Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi in the original Star Wars.*
submitted by newfriend999 to HarryPotterBooks [link] [comments]


2020.06.15 12:29 That_Economy [No due date] Help editing story

PART I
“Markov!” A voice bellows across the mess hall. I feel a smile playing on my lips as soon as I hear it. When I look up, Wendy is standing behind me, a scorn sitting on her weary features. I have to admit, she’s possibly my favourite guard.
“Pack your shit. Your bail was posted.”
Without a word, I stand and discard my tray. The shit they try to pass off as ‘food’ in prison is nothing more than chemical mush. The first thing I’m going to do when I get out is head to Kenny’s and grab stack of waffles piled higher than the ceiling. Hell, maybe even higher than Kenny is half the time.
As I stand, every single pair of eyes in the room turn to me. These women are all either arsonists, murderers, or mob bosses. Most of them are serving life sentences, so when I flip them off as I walk away, I feel a comfort in knowing I’ll never see their ugly-ass faces again.
My cell is fairly close to the mess-hall. The walls are decorated with post cards and pictures of beautiful people I told my cell mate were my friends. In reality, I have no idea who they are.
I find a plain black shoulder bag laid on the bed. It’s the bag I had on me when I was arrested. It’s weird to think that I haven’t seen it in eighteen months. Eighteen months in this hell-hole feels like an eternity.
There are two bunks, each pushed up against opposing walls, and each housing blankets made from such scratchy material, you’d think they made it that way on purpose.
As I begin to shove my random junk into the bag, I catch my cell mate Rosa eyeing me. We never really clicked. She’s been her at least ten years longer than me, and is at least twenty years older than me.
Pretty sure she’s got four life sentences for setting her house on fire with her children inside it. Maybe that’s why I never liked her.
“You getting out?” Rosa says finally, lifting her head from her novel for only the second time since I’ve known her. She’s always got her nose stuck in a book, and for whatever reason, it really annoys me.
I have a theory; that once you establish that you don’t like someone, everything they do annoys you. I guess that applies here. If my theory is correct, than I’m going to be constantly annoyed in the outside world.
“I’m so out of here.” I can’t contain my childish grin any longer. Although, one weird thought keeps replaying in my mind. My foster family is dead…so who paid for my bail?
“Hey, Pretty Girl.” Only one person calls me that, and her name is Jane. She’s taller than me, but not by much, which is quite sad, because I’m only 5’5. But even so, she knows how to intimate someone.
In my first few months, I went stir crazy. I bought a phone from Jane and promised her when I got out I would pay for her bail when I got out. I know when I made it that I wasn’t going to keep that promise. Besides, how did the wife of a mob boss get access to bail?
“I expect to be out of here within the week,” Jane says, twirling a shiv in her hand. ‘And remember what happens if you don’t hold up your end of the deal.”
“Yep…blah, blah, blah, threats, threats, threats…something about murdering my entire family? You should know that they’re already dead.” I don’t even take my eyes off the task at hand, shoving my shit into the bag.
When I’m done, I face her. She has short red hair and freckles, which make her look much younger than she actually is.
“You better take this seriously, Markov. You’re a rich bitch, now go act like one,” She snarls, baring her teeth and holding the hand with the shiv higher, to emphasise it.
I already know what’s going to happen, so might as well get it over and done with. As she continues to jabber on about who I owe her, I take the band off my wrist and tie my long, wavy brown hair into a messy bun. It’s not the best, but it will hold.
“I’m so terribly sorry, Jane. I really am. But I’m not paying your bail. Go cry like a fucking baby somewhere else,” I snap. My statement cuts her off mid-monologue, and earns a glare which would have most people backing down instantly.
It’s a good thing I’m not most people.
“Well then you know what that means…you don’t get out either. I get to kill you.”
“I’ve died before,’ I say nonchalantly. “Your problem here is getting me to stay dead.”
With a grunt, Jane swings. The shiv glides through the air with an alarming force. I don’t even have to move my feet. My upper body twists and the shiv misses my shoulder. She tries again, but with the same result.
“You going to throw a punch or dodge all day you little bitch,” She yells in my face. I raise my eyebrow as she does. I love fighting ignorant people. It just makes the win so much more satisfying.
She thrusts her weapon forward, and just as she hoped, I don’t dodge. Instead, my hand snakes around her wrist, stopping her motion mid-air, and knee her in the groin.
Jane stumbles back, groaning.
“You thought you could make me your bitch. But unlike all these weak-ass fakes I can’t be moulded. And I don’t play well with others.”
Just as I’m about to throw my fist in her face, my arm is pulled back. I’m ripped away. Jane’s second; Hailey, stalks into the cell followed up three lackeys. And I’m about to pull free when I realise who’s restraining me: Rosa. That bitch.
“You should choose your words more carefully. We’re not going to make you our bitch. We’re going to kill you,” Hailey spits. Their intimidation act is boring. I roll my eyes as the group crowds into the tiny space.
Before they can reach me, I elbow Rosa in the face with my free arm, forcing her to release her grip. But my freedom is short lived.
The lackeys whose names I never bothered to learn charge at me. Their force sends us all stumbling to the wall, and they grab a different limb to pin me there. But the idiots forget to pin my legs.
Jane brings her face just centimetres away from mine. Does this chick not know what personal space is? Apparently not.
She points the shiv at my neck with a wicked poison in her eyes.
“Has anyone ever told you how annoying you are?”
“Not to my face…but I know I’m annoying. Annoyingly good at everything.” As I say the last part, I lift my legs to Jane’s extended arm. The lackeys hold me up. Whomever is grasping my left shoulder has really sharp nails, and they dig into my skin as I use my feet to twist Jane’s arm.
I hear a satisfying pop and even more satisfying scream. The noise makes the lackeys loosen their grip ever so slightly, allowing me wiggle room, and after a moment of said wiggling, my freedom.
Each one tries to come at me, but I swivel my legs under them, leaving them all a panting mess on the floor.
The only one left is Rosa. After my display of dominance, I’m not sure why she hasn’t run away screaming. But then again, she never was that smart. This is the woman who left her kids in a burning house with their phones. Idiot.
Just for a bit of flair, I kick my legs up, grab her by the neck with my feet and drag her to the ground.
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten into a fight, and I’m a bit rusty. But nobody seems to be able to get a hit on me regardless.
Rosa coughs and stutters beneath my grip. I almost feel bad for her. Almost. So when she resists, I drag her back down and wrap my arms around her in a head-lock.
“Say hi to dad for me,” I whisper. Then I snap her neck.
This isn’t exactly how I wanted my last day to go. But honestly, this is just as perfect as I had envisioned. And above all else, I’m proud I only killed one person. I could have killed them all, but I used some new found restraint and spared their pathetic lives.
I’m pretty sure Hailey’s on death row, so she’ll die anyway but that’s beside the point. With one more cool smirk, I sling the bag over my shoulder and strut out of the cell.
It’s been a while since I’ve filled my lungs with fresh air. And after going through the release procedures, I can finally take a deep breath.
The birds sing a beautiful melody, and the wind welcomes me in a warm embrace. My mouth is suddenly dry. This is the taste of freedom. The taste that I have been deprived of for my entire life. It’s been sixteen months since my father made contact. So I’m free of him, and now I’m free of this shit-fest.
The moment my feet hit the pavement I break out into an ear to ear grin. I feel like a small child on Christmas receiving a puppy as a present. And this happiness better fucking last.
My eyes scan the parking lot and land on a sleek black convertible. I skip over, humming along with the birds as I go.
The car is empty. There’s a half-drunk coffee in the cup holders, and a packet of cigarettes on the dash. The car smells like nicotine, but beggars can’t be choosers. Well, this one can. But this is by far the best car here.
I slip in over the locked door. It’s been a while, but your girls still got it. I fumble with the wires under the steering wheel for a moment before the engine roars to life, making me chuckle.
The drives smoothly. The wind in my hair makes a warm sensation vibrate in my chest. And as I pull out onto the road, I flip off the prison one last time. I have no idea where I’m going. Perhaps Kenny’s? Or maybe to a bar.
I don’t have a house, and even so, there’s all this bullshit about home being a person not a place. I don’t believe it. Home is wherever the fuck I decide it is. So I guess I am driving home. I’m just not sure where that is yet.
Chapter Two: Isabel
“Yes!” I exclaim as the scrunched up piece pf paper rolls off the rim and into the trash. Oliver shakes his head next to me but a smile perches on his lips. We’ve been at the precinct for over an hour without so much as a single idea.
Most of the squad would be at home by now, and I can’t help but feel envious.
The precinct is old, there’s no question about it. The walls are nothing but rusty brick and the ground is made up of subway tiles. The usually busy and full of life building is eerily quiet, kind of like a ghost town.
We sit in the far corner where our desks are face to face. My partner’s desk is much more unorganised than mine, but aside from that, they are completely identical.
“What if the killer was already in the apartment?” Ollie fiddles with his pen as he asks this. He puts it down and retrieves a smoke from his pocket. He lights and I let out an exaggerated cough.
A cloud of nicotine puffs up, and the air in the room become thick and smells like the first walk through of the scene of an arsonist. I’m used to it, but that doesn’t mean I like it.
“Nobody when in or out of the apartment aside from the victim for four days. There’s no way. But what if it wasn’t the stab wound that killed him?” An idea sparks in my head. Once the ideas start coming, they don’t stop, and I’m on a roll.
“The security cameras go dark for two minutes. Of which, The vic is his apartment for 30 seconds. Witnesses claim they saw smoke when he opened his door to re-enter his apartment. But what if it wasn’t smoke?” I’m on the computer in a flash, pulling up the security footage from the night our victim was murdered.
“We can infer that in those 1 minute thirty seconds, the killer snuck in. What if the smoke was some form of airborne poison meant to slow down Johnson so that whatever is in the safe could be stolen. Has it been cracked open yet?”
“Nope. Still sealed shut. So you think the killer panicked, stabbed the guy and then left?”
I nod, then scroll between cameras. “This one is out, but then the camera less than twenty feet down the hall is fully operational and doesn’t see anyone walking past it the whole night!”
Ollie’s eyes light up as he too makes the connection. I feel myself smile. It’s been a while since I’ve solved a good case like this, but damn I’m good.
“There are three apartments in-between those two cameras. What if our killer lives in one of them?” I nod again, as my partner goes over to his own laptop and begins typing frantically.
“Whatcha’ got?”
“Mike Hiyden, Louisa Fent and Coal Fent, and Lilly Morrero. Mike reportedly moved out a week after the murder and was never heard from again, until a purchase was made by his credit card at a motel in Massachusetts.”
“He didn’t get very far? If I were him, I would have fled the country!”
“I’ll put out an ABP. You go home and get some rest…your field assessment is tomorrow, right?”
And just like that, my mood drops. I haven’t been out in the field since the incident…and it’s been nearly a year. I’ve already postponed the assessment three times, but my therapist keeps telling me that I can’t run from it forever.
My eyes spy the gun sitting in Ollie’s holster. It seems to taunt me. Screaming my name and making my knees shake violently.
“Are you ready?”
“Of course,” I say with a forced smile.
We close up for the night and go our separate ways. Brooklyn is cold at this time of night, but the city is never more alive than right now. Club goers cluster in the streets, drunkenly darting in front of cars and throwing up in bushes.
My crappy car can barely drive the speed limit, so it takes a lot longer than it should to reach my even crappier apartment.
It has an exposed brick wall, and is only one room, aside from the bathroom of course. The kitchen is as small as the bathroom, and the counters have something sticky on them which I could never get off.
But aside from that, my apartment is spotless. Everything has its place, and everything is neat and tidy. I place my shows on the rack as I enter. Just as I shimmy my coat off and am about to put my feet up for the night, a shrill vibration erupts from the kitchen.
I stumble over to find my phone screen alight, a picture of Ollie and a call button illuminating it.
“Talk to me,” I say. I idly walk back over to the bed and sit.
“We got a call from the upstate prison. One dead, one with a concussion and dislocated shoulder, four others with mild injuries.”
My eyebrows furrow. We don’t usually get called to do upstate cases. Although I have to admit, this one is intriguing.
“What does that have to do with us?”
“One of the injured is Hailey.”
My heart stops. I can’t even hear myself breathe. I haven’t heard from Hailey in years. My sister is notorious for making bad choices. She joined a gang, started doing drugs, and tried to choke out my brother.
I had to arrest my own sister. But that’s not even why she got convicted. After the most tedious and painful trial ever, she was acquitted. And then proceeded to start selling drugs, and killed a guy who didn’t pay her in time.
Now she’s serving a life sentence, only five years in.
“Belle?”
“Yeah, I’m here,” I whisper. I glance at the picture frame seated on my bedside table. The original photo is of the four of us, myself Hailey and our two brothers. But she’s been cropped out, and now it’s just the three of us.
It was always that way. When she got involved with the wrong people, she would disappear for weeks on end, then come back home and beg for money and a place to crash, then be gone a week later.
“Is she alive?”
“Yeah. And the warden already has a suspect in mind. So do you want it? I can tell them no if-”
“Text me the address,” I interrupt. My sister may not be a saint, but I will happily bring to justice the psychopath her hurt her.
“That means you’ll miss your field assessment. We have to be there tomorrow at two.”
“That’s fine.”
After I hang up, my head begins to ring. A siren wails and makes my thoughts mush together like dirt in the rain. My whole body becomes heavier and heavier with each step, but I drag myself to the bathroom anyway.
I glance up at the mirror. Staring back at me is not the girl who finished top of her class at the academy. She died the night Murphey did. The girl in the mirror is scared. She has bags under her eyes, and even worse, there’s nothing behind her once beautiful brown eyes.
I used to look at myself in the mirror and feel proud. Proud to be Latina, proud to be a homicide detective, and proud to be me. But now all I see is nothing.
The pill in my hand is heavier than petroleum truck. It weighs me down until I pop it in my mouth and throw my head back, dry swallowing it with one gulp.
When I look back in the mirror, the eyes staring back at me are still the same chocolate brown they’ve always been, and yet I cannot recognise them.
Chapter Three: Isabel
“I’m Detective Myers, this is Detective Perez. What have you got for us?” Oliver radiates confidence. He demands attention and dominance the moment we step into the crime scene.
“Finger prints on the body match those of her cell mate,” The warden says, following us inside.
I crouch by the body. She doesn’t look young, but she still looks like she had more life to live. With a gloved hand, I push the hair out of her face.
“Left eye shows bruising. Possibly caused by an elbow? Shows signs of struggle,” I tell them. Oliver listens intently to each word, but the Warden just runs his fingers through his goatee and stares off into the distance.
“What was the name of the cell mate?”
“Her name is Thea Markov. Bulgarian-American, about five foot five. When we picked her up, there was no trace of her on any system. No licence or identification of any kind,” The warden says.
This pikes my attention. “You can’t confirm her name is Thea Markov?” He just shakes his head. They continue talking amongst themselves as I scan the room. “Blood on the floor. The victim isn’t bleeding so can we talk to whoever’s blood this is?”
He nods again before leading us into the cafeteria. We’re making a bee-line for a table of four women.
I notice her hair first. My sister’s hair is cropped much shorter than it used to be. She sits in the centre of the group, her eyes not daring to give me a second glance.
“This is Detective Myers and Perez-”
“You’re the dick that arrested me three years ago!” The blonde exclaims, pointing an accusing finger at Ollie.
He shifts uncomfortably but his confidence doesn’t flinch. To the untrained eye, he would look un-wavered. But his fingers twitch at his side, and his blinking has become slower, alerting me to his uncertainty. Time to step in, is what these signs tell me.
“What can you tell us about the victim’s cell mate?” I ask. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice Hailey flinch. Wow. The mere sound of my voice makes her uncomfortable. I guess that just goes to show how much she hates me.
To this day, I have no clue what I did to piss her off.
“She attacked us out of nowhere! That bitch is psycho!” Cries the redhead. I observe her carefully as she shouts. Her eyes dart between us, and yet she never makes eye contact, and her head shakes as she speaks.
You learn how to tell if someone is lying during the first few months at the academy. And this woman just presented the big red flags.
“She had absolutely no motive? She just attacked you unprovoked?”
“Yes! What does it matter? Even if she had a motive, she’s still a killer!” The redhead is practically throwing red flags at me now. She’s right, motive or not, we’re dealing with a killer. But a motive would surely help us find her.
“What was she serving time for?”
“What else? Murder and a few counts of manslaughter. She’s so good, they couldn’t even confirm a bunch of others died at her hand. But we all know she did it,” Blondie wails, waving her hands around in the air to emphasise each word.
One of the uniformed officers says something low to Ollie. That usually means there’s no information. But as usual, I have to wait until it’s my time to know it.
“Are you saying she had training?” I ask. Hailey’s gaze shifts to me. I almost melt under her stare. I miss my big sister more than I care to admit. Her eyes are warm and familiar, and yet I find them repulsive.
The blonde nods robotically; “Definitely,” she says. But her bopping head is disturbed as the redhead elbows her in the side.
“Nobody really knows her deal. We only know she’s a rich bitch used to getting her way.”
I look over at my partner. He dismisses the officer with a scowl on his face. His lips purse together in a straight line and he crosses his arms, hanging his head down low. After six months being his partner, I’ve learned that this stance means he’s confused.
“The suspect was caught on camera stealing a car outside of the prison,” He tells me.
“So she didn’t know the camera was there. Maybe she wasn’t trained after all?”
“That’s just it. She looked right into the camera before perfectly hotwiring a car and leaving.”
She looked into the camera? That doesn’t make sense. This girl’s bail was literally just posted. So the first thing she does is kill her cell mate, and then steal a car.
“She either doesn’t care if she’s caught, or she wants us to find her.” Ollie’s assumptions are usually spot on, but I don’t think he’s right on this occasion.
“I don’t think so. She took on five murderers and knew how to hotwire. I think she knows just how good she is, and she’s getting cocky. Maybe we can use that to our advantage,” I say, running my hands through my loose hair.
Just as the redhead begins to say some more useless mumbo-jumbo, my phone rings. I press it to my ear without even reading the caller ID.
“Hello?”
“Hey baby…you didn’t call me this morning?”
I sigh and slap my forehead. I forgot to call Curt.
“I’m sorry. A case came up and it’s kind of controlling my brain at the moment,” I laugh.
Curt and I have been dating officially for three months. But we’ve been definitely more than friends for over nine. I met him during the agonising eight weeks I was in hospital. He was in for concussion and a fractured thumb during a fake fight gone wrong.
My boyfriend is a professional WWE fighter. That kind of stuff never really appealed to me before I met him. But he’s seriously one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.
“Maybe I can help get your mind off it. Dinner and a movie at my place?” Damn you Curt. He has to be so sweet, and make me feel even worse about blowing him off.
He can hear my sigh over the line, and responds with a soft chuckle.
“It’s fine, Izzy. Go make the world a better place…you can make my apartment a better place another time.” His voice is as soothing as a lullaby. I crave being around him, especially during times like this, when work becomes too much. But I have to work this case until it’s done.
“I’m sorry, Curt,” I mumble, praying he doesn’t ask me anything else, like how my field test went. Because the answer is; it didn’t. I managed to postpone it again; but at what cost?
“I said it’s fine…it really is, okay? Say hi to that partner for yours for me.” I can almost hear the smile in his voice as he says the last part. Oliver and Curt hit it off instantly when they met. Sometimes I think he asked to go to steady just to hang out with Ollie more.
“I will. Love you.”
“Love you too-” I hang up and shove the phone back into my pocket. Oliver is pre-occupied taking a statement from Hailey, so I wave over a uniformed officer instead.
“I need you to pull the number plate off the stolen vehicle and find out where it was last spotted.” The officer nods and heads off to do exactly what I told her to do.
I want to go over to Oliver so badly. My feet itch to just move forward. To just force myself to go say hello…say anything other than help. But I’m frozen in place. My legs are planted in the ground like a tree.
Thankfully, Ollie finishes up the statement and struts over to me, his bravado radiating off him.
“We should head back to the precinct and file the statements. Anything important?” He asks, gesturing to my just visible phone.
“Nah,” I say with a smile. “But he does say hello.”
“Curt?” He raises an eyebrow and together, we head towards the exit. “That son of a bitch hasn’t been answering my calls. If he wants to say hello, he can call me.” I sense a new found tension between them, but when I look up, Ollie is grinning ear to ear.
“He has a rehearsal for the big show. That man spends so much time at the gym he might as well move in.”
“I don’t disagree there.”
We drive in silence for about twenty minutes before my phone pings.
“We got a hit. Fulton street,” I say, scanning the text message for any other news. “It’s parked outside a burger joint named Kenny’s?”
Ollie snorts. “Our killer stopped for a double beef burger?” He asks, flipping on his blinker to change direction away from the sixty-third precinct.
“Everyone’s got to eat,” I say with a smirk.
A part of me is reluctant to go chasing after this mystery woman. I shouldn’t even be in the field, and yet here I am chasing down a suspect. This go very badly if she’s as dangerous as she’s being made out to be.
Chapter Four: Thea
The building in front of me looks older than man on a scooter beside it. I role my eyes at him as he smiles. Why do people like smiling at each other so much? Especially old people. Bleh.
The stone structure looks way too old to fit into this neighbourhood. It’s no more than three stories but looms over the apartment buildings next to it.
I push the doors open to find a stuffy lobby. The floor is musty yellow tiles, and the wallpaper is so ripped it makes me wonder why they even bother keeping it up.
The woman at the front desk flashes me her teeth, and I nearly growl back. What is it with the smiling?
“What can I do for ya, love?” She asks.
I glance her up and down, taking in her shoulder length hair and large glasses. She’s trying way too hard to be…whatever that is.
“I’m looking for Robert Kingston.”
The woman’s smile falters for a split second. I almost don’t notice it; but it’s definitely there.
“Sure hun. Just take a seat and he’ll be-” I don’t wait for her to finish. I know where his office is, I just needed to know if he was here. As I walk away, I hear her pick up the phone. A part of me in suspicious she hasn’t even tried to stop me, but I shrug it off and throw open the door to the bastard’s office…
Only to find it empty. There’s nothing in here except for old blinds, a few random chairs and torn carpet. This room which was once filled with so much life is just…dead.
The desk is gone, the old paintings have vanished, even Robert’s prized deer isn’t anywhere in sight.
“Sorry,” comes a mumble from behind me. A tall guy with sandy blonde hair brushes past me and grabs one of the chairs. I can smell the whiskey on him from here.
“You’re here for AA, aren’t you?”
“Well, I’m not here for an abortion…so congratulations. You should be a cop,” he says, laughing at his own joke. He slurs his words together so much that they barely sound like words.
“Who’s running the meeting?”
“Fuck if I know. I sleep through them.”
“You do know the idea of alcoholics anonymous is to stop being an alcoholic, right? To do that you actually need to pay attention.”
This ass-hole probably has better life then he thinks he does. So one shitty thing happens to him in his entire life and he decides to destroy himself.
“You do know that I don’t care, right?”
He doesn’t even look at me as he leaves the room. So with nothing else to do, I follow him. Either he doesn’t realise I’m following him, or just like he claimed, he doesn’t care. But he leads me into a room on the second floor with no windows, and no air conditioning. The room smells like sweaty teens who haven’t discovered deodorant yet all fell asleep in here and then never bothered to leave.
The room itself is large, with a stage on the far wall, and a circle of chairs in the centre. Every seat if full. The people here are all drunk, or even hung over. Except for one, who looks bored out of her brain.
Sandy haired dude sets his chair down next to her. He closes his eyes and folds his hands over his stomach, and within minutes is fast asleep.
Unware of what to do, I stand like a coward in the doorway. I was so certain that Robert would be here. He loved this place more than he loved his own kids. And that’s saying something. He literally killed the guy who broke his daughter’s heart. I wish my father loved me that much.
Actually, I don’t. If my father loved me that much, he would pretty much destroy the world just because he thought it would benefit me.
“Alright, folks. Welcome back.” A cheery woman erupts through the door behind me. She flashes me a huge smile –seriously? And takes the only spare seat in the circle. “And welcome to our new member. Would you like to introduce yourself?” She asks, glancing up at me.
Ha! She thinks I’m here to pour my heart out about random shit. Hate to disappoint you lady, but I’ve got better shit going on.
“No I would not,” I say, sarcasm dripping off each word. Then I spin on my heals and head downstairs.
Drifting voices greet me at the bottom.
“…Yes, I’m sure it was her.” Well shit. It better not be the cops. I left them a fun lead at Kenny’s. The car I stole wad ditched there last night to give them something to chase. Then I took a bus to Jersey. If they’ve found me already, then damn they’re good, I’ve got to give them some respect. Regardless, I really don’t want to deal with cops right now. But then I hear his voice as well.
“I’m going to kill that bitch.”
Robert.
I have to admit, I thought he’d be happier to see me. But then again, I nearly destroyed his entire operation.
One glance out the window tells me he’s not alone. Three identical cars are all parked out on the road, each one in a worse position then the next.
Before however many people he think would take to kill me round the corner, I push open the door to the first office I find.
There’s nobody inside, lucky for me. This office, however, is full of the most random shit. A signed bat hangs on the wall, and the desk is decorated with a million plants. I strut past them and crank open the window.
It makes a terrible squeaking noise as it goes. I really hope they didn’t hear it. Then I swing my leg over and take one last glance into the room.
Before I can get my whole body out the window, something on the desk catches my eye. The top draw has a lock on it.
That either means this person actually believes in patient discretion, or is dirty. In this joint, I guarantee it’s the latter.
The drawer doesn’t budge when I try to pull it open. But luckily, right next to the computer is a ruler. I take it a jam it into the top of the drawer. It moves awkwardly around for a moment, and I fear it may snap.
My fears are confirmed when it does, sending metal shards in all which direction.
I try again, this time pushing the ruler into the exact same spot, creating two layers for ruler, and even more space between the top of the cabinet and this bitch of a drawer. It makes a soft clicking sound and slides open.
“Fuck yes, Thea,” I say quietly to myself. Inside the drawer is a bunch of random papers, a key and a flip phone. I slip the key into the back pocket of my too tight jeans. I haven’t exactly been able to go clothes shopping yet, so the same clothes that I was arrested in all that time ago are all I’ve got at the moment.
The flip phone is sleek black, and surprisingly heavy in my palm. Just as I’m about to bag it and run, the stupid thing rings. Loudly.
Muffled voices overcome the noise, and I quickly silence it, shoving it in my pocket with the key. Then I push the desk up against the door. I have to bite my lip to keep from sighing as I expel any remaining strength I have. The desk fits perfectly under the handle.
On cue, the handle flips, but the door stays perfectly closed. I slip out of the open window. It’ll take whoever’s on the other side of the door a hit minute to knock it down, and give me enough time to get away.
My feet find the soft grass as my hands snap the window shut. Then an idea pops inside of my head. If they want me dead, why I don’t I fuck with them a little bit?
I race over to one of their cars, smashing my fist into the front window. Glass shatters everywhere. I wince. Blood is already seething from my knuckles but I don’t care.
This BMW is way too fancy for a social worker to own. I’m surprised more people don’t realise what kind of a person Robert. My hands find the wires under the steering wheel and yank. Rob will be extra pissed because he’s the one who taught me how to hot wire a car.
[not finished]
submitted by That_Economy to Proofreading [link] [comments]


2020.04.28 05:54 baronesslucy [RF] Don't worry about him

Back in 1982 a young man from a neighborhood community disappeared. None really cared because he had a reputation of getting into trouble, harassing and assaulting people. He also was known to assault police officers when arrested. So let's say when he disappeared not too many people in the area really cared. No one in his family even filed a missing persons report which was odd.
I wanted to go to college but my family didn't have the money. I got money to go to college in exchange for helping out someone who really wasn't college material but wanted to have the experience. Anelia Ivanov was the name of my room mate. Very nice, quiet, shy type of woman. I found out that most of the people in the dorm that I live in were from a neighboring country that had cut ties with Bulgaria back in the 1960's.. The name of the country was Varna which was a province of Bulgaria. The majority of people who lived there were Bulgarian and the main religion was Eastern Orthodox.
My father Andrey Petrov was from Varna, he came over in 1950, joined the US military, went to Korea for 3 years became a citizen. by 1954 he had gotten an honorable discharge, met my mom in Chicago. They married in 1955 and had 2 children. My sister was born in 1956 and I was born in 1962. In 1967 my father went out one day and never returned.
My mother who was a Swedish Lutheran converted to the Eastern Orthodox faith after marrying our father. The church we attended from time to time was the Varna Eastern Orthodox Church. Nearly all of the people who were members of the church were Bulgarian.
My sister looked like my blonde blued eye Swedish Lutheran mother and I looked like my dark haired brown eyed Bulgarian father. Part Swedish and part Bulgarian. My mother Christina named my sister Maud and I was named Svetlana. I was named after a much older sister of my father whom I've never met. She had died during World War II.
My mom made sure we had exposure to festival and events in both communities. We moved to Florida in 1969. As I said earlier we sometimes went to the Lutheran Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. My sister and I were baptized Eastern Orthodox.
August 1980 Orlando area Varna Eastern Orthodox College
When I moved into the dorm, I met Prince Antoni and his younger brother Prince Anzhelo. Both were very good-looking men. Their father King Andrian was the ruler of Varna.
They knew that my father was from Varna. When I seemed surprised they told me because I was rooming with their sister, they did research on me. They told me they knew more about my family than I did and laughed about it like it was a joke. I didn't doubt this.
Prince Anzhelo was a freshman just like I was his. His older brother Prince Antoni would be graduating from college in May.
I thought it was odd that Anelia wasn't a princess but I soon found out why. She was their half-sister and her mother was their father's mistress. She and her mother actually lived in Daytona Beach, which was about 30 miles away. Her mother Louann Hawkel roots went deep in the South.
I was somewhat surprised that the brothers tolerated her as usually in a case like this, they might be angry about it. I couldn't imagine most royals attending a college that their half-sister who was the result of an extra-martial affair attended. This royal family seemed to march to the beat of a different drum.
It wasn't long before Prince Anzhelo and I started dating. Anelia had a boyfriend, a nerdy type guy. Her brother liked him. Daniel, the boyfriend was sort of scared of them. Of course they made it clear to him that they would have to deal with them if he hurt her or made her cry. Daniel was always helping Prince Anzhelo out as he liked to party more than he liked to study.
His older brother was so serious about everything. Of course he was heir to the throne, so he had to be. I must say that he was impressed with me because I could speak Bulgarian, well the Varna Bulgarian which Bulgarian didn't consider to be the proper Bulgarian language. Basically it was the same, but with different slang, different meanings, kind of like the Queen's English and American English. I had learned how to speak Bulgarian at some classes at the church in Orlando. My mom insisted that Maud and I attend these classes. Maud could speak enough to get by.
In May of 1982 Anelia was taking some pictures of the Varna Eastern Orthodox church when some guy parked in front of the church was involved in some type of criminal activity. He saw Anelia and started yelling at her. She got scared and ran. Got back to the dorm but forgot to lock the door. This guy got in the courtyard and started screaming. I called the police and they came and arrested the guy.
Anelia was sobbing. I remember the knock on the door. I opened the door and Prince Antoni. He was furious. A female officer was in the room talking with us. About ten minutes had passed.
"What happened?"
"I was in front of the Varna church taking pictures and I saw some guy trying to sell marijuana and he thought I was taking pictures of him. He started yelling that he was going to kill me. I didn't look where i was going and almost got him by a car. I managed to get away but forgot to lock the door. he got into the courtyard....
"Where is this piece of garbage? Is he still here?"
"He's been taken to the Orange County Jail, Prince Antoni."
This seemed to calm the Prince down. Anzhelo told me his older brother sometimes had a short fuse and had a bad temper. I could see this. Prince Anzhelo rarely got mad about anything.
This man bonded out of jail but came back to the apartment complex. Made good on his promise. This was a big mistake as Prince Antoni had his security people ready. He had done research on the guy. Someone at the jail had tipped him off when the guy would be getting out. Prior to the guy coming, they were in the courtyard talking in Bulgarian about what they were going to do. I pretended to be napping as before they started talking, Anzhelo came into my room and I pretended to be asleep. I heard him say that I was asleep. Anelia was in a fitness class.
They talked for over an hour. I peered out the window. I saw Prince Antoni give his brother some money and told him to take me out for the evening. He told him to take me out to dinner immediately. It was a little early about 5:00 pm. Prince Antoni waved as we left. Also coming with us was Anelia and Daniel.
We all went out to dinner, a movie and then I went back to Prince Anzhelo's place which was nice. The Prince told me that the guy had bonded out of jail and had threatened to harm Anelia.
"She doesn't have to worry about him. He will never bother anyone again."
I nodded. This made me uneasy as I knew they wouldn't be telling him nicely to leave Anelia alone. They wouldn't be paying him off or telling him to go away. They were going to settle the score with him. Most likely he would never been seen again.
Prince Antoni had joked about his father making people disappear. It really wasn't funny but in order to be in his favor, you had to laugh like it was a joke. I knew it was no joke. He was dead serious and told Anelia so. She thought it was a joke. She couldn't imagine him doing something terrible to someone but I could.
I really didn't want to know what they did to this guy. Prince Anzhelo was never involved with this although I'm sure he knew what happened. I played dumb and acted indifferent but it bothered me a little.
"Dont' worry about this guy, Svetlana. He isn't going to hurt anyone again. Do you really think police are going to look for a guy who has assaulted them, threatened them or who is a thorn in their side? "
"Probably not." I said.
The police never came around and questioned no one. I was later told that the case had been closed. This is the type of power the King had. Very powerful.
I found out that my father was alive and well living in Varna. There had been an uprising in 1967 and he had come back to Varna and had was loyal to the King who took power after taking over the Province. He broke away from Bulgaria and had access to nuclear weapons which caused the Russian to back off. Varna was recognized as a country in 1970.
My mother couldn't understand when my dad left why the US military didn't want to give her military benefits. They wouldn't tell her and she wondered if Dad had left to go fight in Varna. The uprising of 1967 was a major concern for NATO. Finally after nearly a year my mother got the benefits.
It was not surprising when Prince Antoni told me this shortly before he graduated. He knew everything and I mean everything about me, my family and everything else it seemed.
The Bulgarian royal family didn't recognize them as being royals. Other royals didn't either. This family was about 15 times removed but there were distantly related to the Eastern European Royal households. The US sort of recognized them but were leary of Varna.
I went to Varna in 1984 during spring break and I saw my father. Maud came with me. My mother chose not to but she knew about it. He was quite ill from smoking too much over the years. My mother was angry with him. We just wanted answers and he answered our questions. I must say that both Maud and I were surprised when he showed us pictures. Some from the church had filed him in with what we were doing all those years.
I guess the real shocker was when he told us that the King made sure my mother got those benefits. My father was one of his security people and had saved his life on more than one occasion. I hate to say it but the King was a feared dictator. Whenever you have a dictator he's usually extreme left or right wing but this guy seemed to take ideology of each. Mixing of both. A example of this would be he believed that women should be traditional but also educated at the same time. His economics were similar to those in the US that were conservative but he believed that government could do this best. Allowed religion to practice but only on his terms or what he believed.
The Russians and Bulgarians never admitted that they were afraid of him but they were a little. The US was leary of him (He wasn't a communism nor was he Hitler) but you didn't want to tick him off.
Anyway, enough of that. My father died a couple of hours before we were to leave. We left a couple of days later. My father was given a state type funeral. We knew that people were watching us. The King talked about how wonderful he was. Loyal servant to the state of Varna.
Shortly after graduation Prince Anzehelo and I went our separate paths. He had hinted this to me throughout our relationship. I never developed deep feelings towards him but was careful not to reveal this. I told him I wouldn't be his mistress and he understood. He would find someone.
He married a woman who his father had picked out for him. A woman who was educated and suitable for bearing children. A virgin of course. The virgin part was more or less understood not actually written in stone.
I was given a parting gift which was a new home in Orlando. Life went on. The man was never spoke of again.
submitted by baronesslucy to shortstories [link] [comments]


2020.04.27 04:24 WilliamKallio [MODPOST] FY 1937-1938 Economic Roundup

Overview

 
As the world enters 1938, tensions are at an all time high and world war seems right around the corner. As nations recover from Black Monday, and the United States enters a second year of Civil War, markets have been changing rapidly. Although industry suffered massively in the beginning of the year, owing to investors being unconfident in the protection of their investments, the world has by and large seen growth.
 

The Report

 
Nation Overview
German Empire The German Empire has successfully responded to Black Monday. While there is a rise in homelessness as homeowners lose their mortages, for the most part Germans have been able to weather the storm. Farmers were particularly hard hit for most of the year, until aid was finally given to them, with some small farmers being run out of their property and forced into the cities. Investors and residents are, however, not investing into the economy as much as they should, due to the war in Sweden and the potential for Weltkrieg II. Most projections see Germany having a full recovery by 1939, with most of business already being recovered; small-time businesses and common citizens are still suffering, but the effects are already clearing up due to temporary jobs and a return to employment. Germany's military, however, has been able to maintain adequate readiness throughout due to the tensions in Europe.
Flanders-Wallonia Flanders-Wallonia is by far the worst hit of the Pakt by the poorly thought out Vökerbund. With food from Ukraine and White Ruthenia, combined with German goods, the people of Flanders-Wallonia were already suffering when the full effects of Black Monday showed themselves. Businesses and banks have collapsed as there was a bank run in the country, and due to the uncompetitiveness of most of the nation's industry, there wasn't any force that could prevent the collapse. Combined with political issues in the nation, Flanders-Wallonia is a hotbed of radical politics and anti-German sentiment. The military has been somewhat defunded due to the economic collapse, and as a result is not ready to handle any organized insurrection.
Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth As a contrast to the West Pakt, the Ostpakt is doing very well economically. Due to the agrarian basis of their economy, the PLC did not suffer nearly as much as the West from Black Monday and its aftershocks. The Vökerbund has actually had a net improvement for the PLC, as its agriculture further overtakes German and Benelux markets. Along with a temporary jobs program, state welfare, and the addition of Galicia and its resources, the PLC is set to recover its Black Monday losses and gain some for FY 1937. Economists warn, however, that oil should be not be depended on to entirely fund government programs.
United Baltic Duchy The UBD has seen gains as part of the up and coming Ostpakt. Although Black Monday affected them to a much greater extent than the PLC, the Baltics still have seen recovery, and the losses of Black Monday are set to be reversed by 1939. Due to lack of exceptional government intervention, the UBD has seen the smallest gains from the so-called Ostpakt Boom. Most German companies in the region are recovering, and the window to lessen dependence on Germany is quickly closing.
White Ruthenia As White Ruthenia expands its agricultural and mineral outputs, the nation is starting to see the fruits of its labor. Although mechanization is slow due to farmers having little want to change up their style of farming, resource exploitation is funding some industrial growth. German investments are small and few between due to Germany just starting to recover, but they do assist in building some heavy industry. The steel industry is set to massively expand as the Reichspakt's need for steel and other strategic resources massively expands. New England's assistance in oil shale development has additionally boosted investment in the potential oil industry in the nation.
Ukrainian Hetmanate Ukraine has seen an economic miracle. The golden boy of the Ostpakt, Ukraine has been able to become a parasite on the Bund, siphoning Pakt investments into its own economy. There has been a significant emphasis on agricultural and industrial expansion, which has paid off as Ukraine has become the bread basket and is continuing to grow as the second largest workshop in the Pakt. Ukraine's economy is the fastest growing in the entire Reichspakt, and it is seeing a large flow of goods and men as Eastern Europe begins to see Ukraine as the pinnacle of the region. German industrialists and economists have noted Ukraine's growth, and warn the German Empire about Ukraine's parasitic tendencies, and the very independent foreign policy it has seeked, with some warning that Ukraine may be an economic competitor to Germany in the near future.
German East Asia With Indochina gone, GEA has had a much easier time administering its realm. With the colonial government deciding on a hands-off approach, the native rulers have been gaining funding for their tribal governments, and the actual administration has become much more simplified. German is being taught in record numbers, with many natives learning the language. As Germany continues to expand its war industry, GEA has seen significant private investment in developing its rubber plantations, and the colony has managed to leverage its position to ensure stable economic development. Although nothing special, GEA has managed to become a net neutral colony, and will not be a massive drain on the German economy anymore.
Mittelafrika Mittelafrika has not seen significant change overall. The very nature of the colonial government ensures any large economic changes are slow moving and not of much use. The removal of Goering has seen significant upheaval as massive, endemic corruption has been exposed in all sectors and levels of Mittelafrika, with nothing done to end it. For all intents and purposes, Mittelafrika is a sinkhole for funding. Whatever money goes into the colony is never seen again, and no one can quite tell you where it ended up. Systemic human rights abuses have ensured that resources remain cheap and exportable to Germany, however. Unless significant reform and change is implemented, many will continue to see Mittelafrika as the dark heart of the German Empire, an awful pit that no one knows, and that doesn't really work.
Aquatorialafrika Aquatorialafrika is largely the same, though the promise of a railroad has seen the colony gain more investment than the rest. Many hope the railway will turn the colony into the transport hub of Mittelafrika, and there has been some decent investment along the stops.
German Kongo The Kongo is the worst example of Mittelafrika. Corrupt, evil, and basically unknown, the colony is somewhere no colonial admin wants to be posted. Anyone who tries to change this colony will be in for years of suffering for even minor gains. The dark heart has only gotten worse over the years.
Morocco Morocco has seen a steady economic year, with the effects of Black Monday coming as a minor shock that has been fixed by the influx of Spanish income fleeing the war. Unless some significant crisis completely obliterates France, or Morocco's economy is directly intervened in, the nation will likely continue to be stable. The influx of capital from Spain has also seen a boost in funding for the services economy.
Georgia Georgia has seen a drain of capital and men to Ukraine, while inversely receiving some refugees from Don Kuban and Russia. The nation has largely survived Black Monday, but growth rates have declined slightly. A national welfare system has been temporary implemented, based on the Pakt model.
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan has continued to boom. The amount of oil and capital already present in the nation has only expanded in the wake of war across the world. Azerbaijan has even created a proto sovereign wealth fund, with the goal being to create a modern tertiary education system to provide native engineers for the oil industry. Baku has also seen significant private investment, quickly becoming one of the best areas to live in the region.
Netherlands The Netherlands has seen itself saved from a complete economic collapse ala Flanders-Wallonia. Although the lose of Insulindia, and the political crisis, saw the economy enter a recession and significant loss of investor confidence, the provisional government has managed to save the heavy industry of the nation. The urban centers and banks have been saved, but the same cannot be said for the countryside. Farms across the Netherlands are facing bankruptcy and massive losses as the Bund sees Eastern Europe's food swamp Dutch markets. Farmers are declaring bankruptcy en masse, and many citizens are going to the cities for work, causing unemployment issues. Unless the Dutch take immediate action to protect their farms, they are likely to see their agricultural industry completely collapse.
Denmark Denmark has seen the same problem the rest of the Pakt has seen, the Ostpakt swamping its agricultural industry. Although its industrial investments are paying off, the damage done to Denmark's farmlands has seen massive unemployment in the countryside. Danish farmers were already being neglected by the Danish government, and the Bund finished them off. Denmark's agricultural sector is in free fall, and many Danish are moving to the cities to seek employment. Although the expanded maritime and industrial sectors are aiding in employment, they are being overwhelmed by the amounts of people leaving the countryside. Denmark is additionally facing an urban housing crisis due to the failures of the agricultural industry.
Iceland Iceland has seen some capital flight from the Nordic countries, as it is seen as a safe haven from the chaos in Scandinavia. Many families are only temporarily going to Iceland, but they have still caused the Icelandic government to implement a temporary jobs program. Iceland has consequently seen a boost in its infrastructure and utilities systems. The economy has seen an upswing as a result of all of this.
Iron Guard Romania The Romanians have seen a continuation of policy, with oil continuing to flow to Germany. The economy is steadily growing under fascist policies, but the significant investments in the military may undermine long term growth. Romania is facing stiffer competition from the other oil producers in the Pakt, however, and will need to diversify its economy to a much larger degree in order to ensure long term growth.
Serbia Serbia has seen significant growth in the wake of winning the war with Bulgaria. With the breakup of Austria, the Serbs have also seen an influx of refugees fleeing the former empire, though in small numbers. Serbia's economy has recovered tremendously from Black Monday and, if an agreement is hashed out with Illyria, is likely to continue to grow.
Commune of France Compared to its capitalist neighbors, the Commune has seen significant gains. As it prepares for war, the economy has seen full employment and mobilization. This, of course, at the cost of the civilian markets. As luxury goods are cast away and wartime measures are undertaken, France's civilians are once again living like they did in the Weltkrieg. Although the economy is chugging along fine, unless France finds many friendly markets when it demobilizes, all of this war industry and the significant amount of unemployed veterans will see the Commune enter a recession. Syndicalist economists have argued about the proper approaches to take, but an emphasis on ensuring housing and stable civilian jobs post-war should be two big ticket items. Due to the rationing, a small black market has appeared, but largely for staples like cigarettes, alcohol, and other addictive luxuries.
Socialist Republic of Italy The SRI has seen its economy become largely like France's, though with much less industrial support. With war occurring, the economy has become very much geared for war. Given the nation's status, however, corruption has been endemic in mobilization, and a large amount of money has been siphoned away into slush funds. This is not to say mobilization has failed, but it has suffered some pains. The Italian black market is proportionally bigger than France's, but still small. The SRI additionally faces the pressures of post-war planning, and orthodox Syndicalist economists argue trade unions should focus on sustainable expansion of wartime industry to allow for the civilian economy to return without much issue.
Union of Britain The Union of Britain has seen significant growth in light of favorable (if not quite as good as competitive, due to the concessions) trade deals with several nations around Asia. With investments in agriculture, light industry, and heavy industry, the UoB is the leader of the core 3I in growth. While still primarily focused on preparing the nation for war, Britain has also done it in a way that allows the nation sustainable pre-war and post-war growth. Innovations and the growth of connections throughout the nation have seen commerce expand out of the cities and into the countryside. The UoB has additionally seen an increase of women in the workplace, although this has sparked debate in the trade unions, as a reactionary movement seeks to have women continue to be "revolutionary mothers," rather than laborers. All of these investments and innovations have seen the incumbent government get a boost in approval, and has seen unemployment reach record low numbers for the Syndicalist government.
Dominion of Canada The Canadians have seen economic failure as a general strike has swept the nation. Already suffering from war, the Canadians are clearly not supportive of Canada's, and King Edward's, policies. The nation, already suffering from the Great Depression to a degree, has been economically paralyzed. Unless drastic, immediate action is taken, the entire Canadian and war effort will go into free fall. Although New Englander investment has helped to save the Maritimes, most of the nation is increasingly paralyzed, with shortages of every product except food. The further west one goes, the worse the problems get. Syndicalism and authoritarian autocracy have both seen large increased in public support, with Canada on the precipice of an economic disaster. Many suggest the Canadians immediately enter talks with the unions, or force people back to work. The military, likewise, has seen its supply lines disrupted and may have to withdraw back to Canada to keep stability.
French Republic The French have seen disaster after disaster. The government is barely maintaining order as the economy is all but collapsing outside of Algeria. Sub-Saharan Africa, already largely autonomous from the government in Algiers, has basically been left to its own devices in solving the endemic issues to the French nation. In Algiers, and Algeria, the natives have decidedly turned against the French, and as the ability of the government to maintain order or even ensure people are fed, is put into question, many are left fending for themselves. Although the military is still loyal, many natives are fleeing to their homelands, and it is expected the French government's days are numbered. Disloyalty in sub-Saharan Africa is at an all time high, and the French may well decide it's time to flee to greener pastures. The economy is effectively non-existent at this point, as the informal economy and local commerce has overtake any larger economic schemes. France is on the brink, and it will take a miracle to save her. The hope of a Napoleonic return to Paris is almost surely crushed for decades to come.
Dominion of India The Dominion of India has seen itself maintain a steady economic growth, while better than the Princes, it is still behind the Commune. Given the troubling situations from the homeland, the Dominion has seen itself grow more independent of British goods, and more focused on expanding its export markets. The government has decidedly focused on agricultural production and has managed to ensure food production is enough to meet demand and even have a bit left to export. The Dominion of India, however, is dreadfully unprepared for a protracted war, and will need to make large, systemic changes to bring it up to pace with its Syndicalist neighbors. Many Indian officials are also calling for a rapprochement with the Germans or some other source of support, as Canada is unlikely to be able to assist the Indians in any meaningful way.
West Indies Federation The WIF has done surprisingly well to date, with significant increases in human rights and standards of living (at least compared to the near chattel slavery conditions of before). The investments in education are starting to pay off as literacy is expected to massively increase over the next 20 years, though the French have started local boycotts of WIF schooling due to the French language not being mandatory to learn, but English being made the dominant language. Healthcare has also increased, but not to the level it needs to be at, as the WIF is a hotbed of horrible tropical diseases. With Canada's economic fall, the WIF has also seen New England quickly become one of its largest trading partner, with New England assisting in port development. Although a large amount of the UFC and New Englander profits go back to New England, the WIF is still seeing some income from the plantation system, and the UFC has reportedly been following the Moyne Report. Without Puerto Rico to occupy, the WIF has also seen a large expense go away, which can now be re-invested in education and healthcare. If New England continues to support the WIF, and the economy diversifies, the WIF is set to establish a functional economic system that assists in lifting its people out of poverty by the '50s or '60s.
Australasian Confederation Australasia, despite the turmoil of recent years, has seen marked improvement in its economy. The government has leveraged New England's investments to stabilize the economy and turn it into a functional, stable system. The downfall of Canada's economy has seen New England's wealthy pick up the pieces and continue to invest in their system. While Canada still holds the dominant position, unless Canada has an economic miracle, New England will likely become the most influential trading partner in the Australasian economy. Australasia itself is also poised to further expand its economic system, and many are seeking for greater ties to the Pakt to fight off Japan. Some also propose that Australasia double down on its current trading system, and expand its markets among the former Entente nations.
Kingdom of Italy The Italians are in an odd state. The French have for all intents and purposes dissolved, and the Italians are suffering in the short term as a result. New England's investments in Sardinia keeps the Sardinian part of the economy from entering into an out and out recession, but the other parts of the Kingdom are suffering the lost of Canada and France as partners. Many Italians also saw the Kingdom giving away art as a sign that the end is near, and as a result capital flight has occurred to a degree, though unless things decidedly turn against Italy, this is not a major issue.
Washington Government MacArthur's economy was never going to be great. The Washington Government has seen large capital flight, and significant displacement. Refugees from all over complicate humanitarian aid, and only vital wartime industries remain in full operation. Although no one is starving, rationing is seeing less and less food on the plates Americans. Unless significant action is taken, MacArthur will see a large humanitarian crisis as the situation on the ground continues to change significantly. With the loss of Canada's trade (to a degree), MacArthur will have to rely on the rest of the international coalition. The USD has additionally remained in circulation in the area, with the NED and RM also seeing some use. A significant black market has been established, aided by goods coming with the convoys across the world. Overall, projections estimate that the military can sustain itself for the near future, but post-war the civilian sector will be decimated.
San Francisco Government The PSA has undoubtedly been the biggest economic success of the former USA. With capital flight from across the East coming to the PSA, they are experiencing a boom. Along with only minor damage in Colorado, and Seattle being damaged, the PSA has little need for reconstruction efforts. As refugees flood the nation, a housing crisis has overcome the region. All sectors involved in supplying the military are seeing record profits and expansion, while the civilian sector is still operational. Food supply is stable, but if more refugees appear, the PSA could see an implementation of rationing as inevitable. President Roosevelt has also encouraged state governments to continue the Bretton model for recovery. Unless the PSA seriously enters the war and starts seeing bombardment or siege, it will likely remain the best economically for the near future.
New Orleans Government The South has been an unparalleled disaster. Although Long had managed to hold the region together for a short time, his overthrow has completely upended things. The KKK and Silver Legion have dismantled or destroyed all economic progress, and the South is in absolute chaos. There is fighting in the swamps, streets, and forests of the nation. Blacks and whites are fighting each other en masse, and the state governments barely have control beyond their capitals. The Minutemen have all but dissolved as barracks were raided and comrades were shot. The few international reporters in the South paint a horrible picture, emaciated children of black and white race dead on the street, long dead lynched men decomposing in the streets, arsonist attacks on Catholic churches, and overall complete social and economic chaos. A photojournalist has even captured a photo depicting the Silver Legion lining up children, aged 6 to 13, accused of being Syndicalist collaborators up to be shot by firing squad. There is no silver lining in the South, the region is becoming as much a heart of darkness as the German Kongo.
Chicago Government The CSA, out of the three Eastern ACW contenders, has managed to perform the best. While still facing the problems of refugees, the firebombing of Chicago, and limited resources, the CSA has managed to establish successful industrial production, and has coordinated its economic efforts. Although by no means a good place to live, the CSA has also had a relatively good standard of living for most of its citizens compared to MacArthur and the Longists, if only because the CSA has managed to largely provide its citizens with the essentials. With factories being quickly reorganized to support the war effort, one major issue has been dealing with corruption and patronage within the union systems, as well as fighting factionalism. Although mobilization has by and large gone well otherwise, the limited resources threaten to upend the whole system if not carefully managed.
United States of New England New England has managed to secure for itself all of its claims, but is now dealing with the problems of them. While the New England proper is relatively unscathed, New York City and New Jersey are now in need of severe reconstruction. While the New Deal and several economic policies have given most New Englanders a high standard of living, the sheer devastation in NYC has sapped a large amount of resources in its reconstruction. New England has however taken a significant amount of the oil markets due to investments in Somalia, White Ruthenia, and Arabia, which promises to assist the private sector establish itself internationally. New England has also secured Liberia's resources for itself, and has started a large relief program in Puerto Rico, which, while it may pay off in the future, will be costly in the short term. New England's spending has worried some economists, who project that to keep up with all of these programs, foreign investment or deficit spending (and thus debt) must be implemented. The defense spending has helped to make New England a large international supplier of weapons, which in turn has helped employ a significant amount of New Englanders in the defense industry. Future projections do show greater growth as educational investments and standards of living result in a more productive, high-skilled economy.
Kingdom of Hawai'i Hawai'i' has managed to leverage its independence to benefit the economy. Firmly within the Reichspakt, trade has stabilized the Hawaiian economy, and the new Kingdom hasn't been as affected by the ACW as one would expect. Hawai'i does, however, still have a long way to go before it fully establishes an independent economy. The economy is still based on agriculture, and significant reform will be need to be made in education and training to begin a transition to a services-based economy.
Mexico Mexico has seen stable growth as the US war brings capital and refugees south. Mexico's oil industry, as well as its agricultural industry, have both seen significant use as the 3I gears up for war. With the already massive network of trade partners, Mexico's economy is booming, and is easily the largest in Latin America. As mechanization and transportation links expand, Mexico is geared to become a major power in its own region. However, corruption has been a large issue, as due to the myriad of international partners, Mexican officials have been able to skim millions off the top. A black market has also been established as Americans flee and begin trading off many luxury goods to the local population, though this is a temporary, small problem. Perhaps this will be the Mexican Century for Latin America.
Latin America The nations of Latin America have seen economic growth as the world's need for agriculture expands. With New England and Mexico expanding into the region, nations are not without options for trading partners. Costa Rica has stayed with Germany, but has also opened up to the region as a whole. Latin America's economy is, as a whole, growing, though not as much as Mexico. One thing of note is that Latin America's education systems are still very outdated outside of Costa Rica, and most of the profits are very top heavy, with the average citizen not receiving a noticeable difference in pay of standard of living. Panama has also gained a large source of income by taking over the canal, with the nation charging the same amount as pre-ACW America.
Gran Colombia (Colombia, Venezuela, & Ecuador) Northern South America has seen the benefits of trade, with Venezuela entering into a budgetary surplus as the oil trade assists the nation. Colombia and Ecuador have also seen economic growth on par with Latin America, though their larger economies allow them to export more than most. The nations have not integrated as much economically as their northern cousins have, however.
Brazil Brazil has seen an economic boom as wise investments and a favorable international climate see Brazil as a major client to gain. Discrimination in the workplace has also lessened up as a campaign has taken hold over the Brazilian people. While the rest of the Americas are largely in a boom (outside of the USA and Canada), the Brazilians are truly coming into their own as the international markets are seeing Brazil a good, stable investment. The only issue is the rising threat of syndicalism to the south, which threatens investor confidence. Many in Brazil have, however, called for a largely non-aligned approach to international affairs, due the failure of the Entente. Only time will tell if Brazil can become the dominant power in its continent, however.
Peru In a continent of prosperity, Peru has been the loser. Suffering from a transition to Syndicalism, Peru hasn't been able to have its economy take advantage of the opportunities present. Although the citizens aren't starving, the economy itself is only growing at normal levels, as the growing pains of an economic transition show themselves. Peru is expected to overcome these issues and eventually get to the level of the other South Americans.
La Plata (Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay) The nations of the former La Plata (minus Argentina) have seen the same economic development as Latin America. Economic growth has lead to an expansion of education, and Uruguay especially is focusing on becoming respected for its tertiary education system. The group are expected to continue stable growth as the world continues to invest in South America as the most stable region in the world. Paraguay has suffered some economic problems from Argentina closing the river, but have managed to even it out with foreign investment.
Chile Chile has seen the greatest amount of economic growth in South America. Beating even Brazil in growth rates, the Chileans are set to have the greatest standard of living on the continent. Although corruption is still endemic in the system, the Chileans are still outperforming their neighbors and have a stable, high growth economy. With focuses put on sustainable sectors, the Chileans are set to be biggest power in South America outside of Brazil, even ahead of their puppet in Argentina.
Argentina Argentina is still recovering from the civil war, but is starting to reap the benefits of being one of the world's breadbaskets. Investment and rebuilding have seen Argentina on par with the rest of the continent for its growth, and the economy is quickly recovering. Corruption is a major problem in the northern parts of the nation due to the sudden introduction to syndicalism, but the nation is still overall in an advantageous position.
Ireland With Canada firmly on the decline, Ireland has seen its British exiles hunker down in Ulster. Rising tensions between Ireland and Ulster have resulted in difficult economic planning. While Dublin is growing as a financial and industrial center, Ulster is demanding more and more concessions, and the Irish people are growing weary of potential civil war in the future. Many Irish Catholics have called on fellow Catholic nations to support them in their quest to unite Ireland, while Ulster has reached out to the Pakt to pressure Ireland into giving them more autonomy. The overall economy, however, is still growing and it looks as if Ireland is destined to be one of the better off nations in Europe.
Portugal The collapse of France proved damaging to Portugal's economy. Although New England's investments and the oil refinery are largely countering that, the additional collapse of Spain into civil war has seen refugees and trade go crazy. Portugal is now largely restricted to trading with the British Entente, New England, and the Reichspkat. Many Portuguese call for the nation to quickly align itself to another bloc, in order to ensure stability. Reforms in the colonies have established Portugal as one of the few nations to make a profit from its modern day colonies, though discontent in Africa is still present. Some nationalists call for Portugal to take advantage of the French collapse, and seize surrounding colonies before Mittelafrika or the Syndicalists can.
Spain The civil war in Spain has halted all economic progress. The Spanish people are quickly converting to rationing, and the tense situation has seen any growth quickly reversed. Refugees and capital moved quickly to the Commune of France and Kingdom of Portugal as civilians escape the fighting. Some warn that a humanitarian crisis could happen if international aid is not coordinated soon. Spain's economy is inevitably going to suffer, and it will be a long time before it reaches pre-Black Monday levels. A Spanish civil war was the last thing the already backwater economy needed. There is no telling what civil crisis awaits the nation should there be prolonged civil war.
Switzerland Switzerland has managed to hold out and remain neutral. Despite giving up Haute-Savoie, the Swiss in turn managed to open up a new partner. They have also been swamped with Austrian refugees who fled the quickly collapsing neighbor. The banks of Switzerland have also seen a massive uptick as people from across the world see Switzerland as the most safe place to store their monies. Switzerland's economists propose further industrialization to take advantage of the great trading opportunities, while also making the nation more defensible to deter violations of Swiss neutrality.
Norway Norway has seen a mixed bag. Trade has increased as the nation is now the focal point in the war in Sweden. Syndicalists and Pakt are trying to court the Norwegians, and this has allowed them to, at last for now, profit. The war in Sweden has also seen many Swedish refugees flee to Oslo. Unemployment is becoming an issue as Norway was unprepared for the immense amount of people and attention it is now receiving. While still better off than most, the Norwegians must balance their current position, or they risk toppling over and losing it all. Talks of temporary jobs and "New Deal" policies are already in place, with some calling for emulating Germany and New England.
Sweden Sweden has seen an economic disaster as the invasion displaces hundreds of thousands of people. As the Swedish economy was already having major growing pains adjusting to Totalism, the invasion has completely sunk the economy. Refugees have poured over the border to Finland and Norway as civilians flee the intense fighting in Sweden. The Swedish collapse has also seen capital flight to Norway, while situations on the ground see food become scarce as winter enters its worst in the nation. There is no telling how Sweden will be after this war, but it will almost certainly take a decade to recover and heal from the scars of this war.
Finland Finland is seeing waves of refugees seeking temporary shelter in the Swedish communities in Finland. This has aggravated tensions between the Swedish and Finnish communities, and has seen some Finns propose to Mannerheim that the Swedish refugees be expelled. Outside of the Swedish flight. Finland's economy continues to grow as Pakt investment spurs healing from Black Monday. The Finnish are also settling under the stability of Mannerheim's dictatorship. Finland is seeing a quickly growing economy, only behind Norway, though this is mostly due to the flight of capital from Sweden. Finland is projected to have a healthy growth rate as long as the Russians don't attack.
Papal State Rome has seen major improvements in living conditions as the woke pope expands humanitarian missions throughout the region. In addition to a return to democracy in municipal elections, the Papacy has expanded Catholic schooling and welfare for the citizens, in line with Catholic Social Teaching. The upheavals in Italy have seen the Papal State take in refugees in smaller numbers, while also seeing some Italians sending their valuables with family to Rome for safe keeping. Only time will tell if the Papacy will retain control over Rome, but for now they are competent stewards of the holy city, and will continue to see a growing economy. Given the nature of Pope John XXIII, some more conservative elements dislike his approach, but most Romans look favorably on their Pontiff.
Two Sicilies Two Sicilies has finally recovered from Black Monday, and just in time. The war in Italy rages on and the Bourbons are likely to be involved at some point, but until then they have focused on mobilizing their economy. Although the south is much less industrialized than its northern cousins, they still have managed to convert their economy to making small arms and equipment for the Armed Forces. Most Bourbons have called for a greater emphasis on the civilian side of the economy once this travesty is all over. The morale of Two Sicilies helps it overcome its lack of industry, as civilians enthusiastically participate in the mobilization effort to defeat syndicalism.
The Former Austrian Empire The collapse of the Empire has shocked the economies of every sector of the former empire. Austria has been hit the hardest, going into an economic depression and hyperinflation as the economy adjusts to the shock. Although Karl has tried his best to keep citizens from going hungry (and has thus kept his reputation in tact), the government has been blamed for this travesty. Hungary, Bohemia, and Illyria aren't doing much better, as their interlocked economies have been separated without much warning. The region has entered a recession, though for most it'll recover by 1940. The Austrians will need significant foreign (German) support to recover by 1940, and already the radical right is gaining ground in the nation's political scene. Many Catholics around the world have sent their thoughts and prayers for the blessed Karl and the Catholic former empire.
Bulgaria The Bulgarians have seen their economy begin to recover as the Socialists help the nation recover from its humiliating defeat a year earlier. The nation is picking up the pieces of working as the non-dominant power of the Balkans. Already it has expanded its trade to the Ostpakt and its neighbors, as well as the former Austrian Empire, but it will take at least until 1940 for it to reach pre-Belgrade levels.
Albania Albania has seen its economy remain stable. The Balkans haven't affected the nation as much as one would expect, but it has seen some capital flight from Albanians fleeing Serbia. The nation is expected to remain on track for stable growth as it works to recover from Black Monday.
Greece Greece has seen its economy begin to grow evermore as it reclaims its rightful lands from Bulgaria. The Greeks already are growing faster than most of the Balkans, and this will likely continue well into the future. Many Greeks have called for Greece to take a more dominant role in the Balkans, and ensure their supremacy in the region.
Russian Republic The Russians have seen their economy almost completely recovered from Black Monday. While Russia is still a work in progress, they have taken significant progress in growing their economy. Many expect the Russians to have a full recovery by 1939, and fully get out of the recession by 1941.
Ottoman Empire The Ottomans have seen endemic corruption fully come home to roost. The economy continues to operate below par, but has improved due to much needed reforms. While the Ottomans are keeping pace with their neighbors, they still have a while to go before they can re-obtain their great power status. Economists call for the Ottomans to have more wide ranging and reformist anti-corruption efforts, while also trying to encourage a financial sector to establish the Ottomans as a possible creditor for the region.
Egypt Egypt has maintained a similar level of growth to to the Ottomans, but generally has been better off. Egypt's administration is in a good position to exploit its position and resources to propel itself into the 20th century, and perhaps even act as a rival to the still failing Ottomans. Only time will tell if the Egyptians manage to succeed in this endeavor.
submitted by WilliamKallio to WeltkriegPowers [link] [comments]


2020.04.23 21:51 SmugIntelligentsia Armenian Genocide in Turkish Literature - Some Excerpts

For this April 24, as a Turk, I decided to compile a few excerpts from famous Turkish novels and poems that talk about the genocide. Of course, none of them uses the term genocide, but this is probably because the term genocide was not popular at the time (the newest piece is from 1955) rather than the authors made a conscious decision not to use the word genocide. Some of the below are translated by me, so please forgive me for whatever mistakes I have made.
Let's start with Nazim Hikmet. He is arguably the most famous modern Turkish poet. This poem is named 'The Evening Walk':
...
The grocer Karabet's lights are on. This Armenian citizen has not forgiven the slaughter of his father in the Kurdish mountains. But he loves you, because you also won't forgive those who blackened the name of the Turkish people.
...
Another one from Nazim Hikmet, this one is from the epic novel 'Human Landscapes from My Country':
Grocer Sefer snatched the paper. Yusuf could barely keep from laughing. As Grocer Sefer sniffed the newspaper, his gold teeth sweetened in his mouth like apricots.
He put on his glasses: “See, Ihsan Bey, no pictures, all Muslim writing. Read it, so we can hear.”
The grocer closed his eyes; his mouth open, his teeth gleamed like the four evening prayers.
“The paper is Morning, effendi agha, dated ’10 Rebulhair 1327, number 7038.’ The licensee, Mihran.”
Modern Yusuf asked: “So the owner was Armenian?” “Armenian, Schmarmenian– just read, Ihsan Bey…”
“I am reading, effendi agha: ‘Directeur-propriatre’ (He read the French as if reading Turkish.) Grocer Sefer’s eyes widened: “What’s that, Ihsan Bey?” “That’s French, effendi agha.” “True, in the old days the heathen shops in Beyoghlu wrote their signs in French. It’s good they’ve banned that now. Those who eat Turkish bread should write Turkish. Anyway, read the columns. “
...
“Isn’t there any news, Ihsan Bey? Read the news.” “There is, but that part of the paper is really in pieces.” “Never mind, Ihsan Bey, read.”
“‘Tashkishla and its environs were watered with Ottoman, Albanian, Greek, Armenian, Jewish and Bulgarian blood for the love of the country and the freedom…’”
Stunned, Moden Yusuf asked: “Weren’t there any Turks?” “It says ‘Ottoman.’” “Are they the same?” “I don’t know.” “Go on, read.”
“‘Armenian women assist soldiers transporting artillery trough Tatavla.’”
Ihsan Bey wanted to put down the paper; he’d lost hope of making Grocer Sefer mad: “I can’t read it, it’s in shreds.” This time Modern Yusuf insisted: “Whatever is there, read it to the end.”
Ihsan Bey continued:
“‘Incidents in Adana
Satanic hands, disgraceful men
the house of a married Armenian woman
.
her husband comes and shoots three of these devils
[Muslims] taking this opportunity, attacks on Armenian homes
official indifference
Muslims against Armenians, Armenians against Muslims.
houses burned
fundamentalists loot the city Adana and the surrounding villages
streets of Tarsus littered with bodies…’
Should I go on?”
From the same epic novel:
During the Great War, Ismail had been packed off to the army, even though he was just sixteen. He acted brave out of spite. He got sent to Yozgat as a guardsman. And when the Armenians were massacred, he got up to his neck in blood. He deserted and became a bandit.
. . .
“Go get your mother’s quilt,” Ismail told Omer [his son]. “Beat her if you have to, but get her back.” Omer wouldn’t go, And Ismail beat him unconscious. He woke up in a pool of blood and made up his mind to kill his father. “I’ll shoot him in his sleep,” he told his mother. His mother cried: “Your father has nine lives– he’ll kill us both before you can kill him. An Armenian priest cursed him to live a thousand years. Give it up, son. He’s my curse I have to live with…”
. . .
Next one is from Orhan Kemal's novel 'Kanli Topraklar':
“You thief!” he said. How did you forget the days you came to Cukurova (Cilicia) with nothing but ragged shoes and some dirty carpets? Did your father build that factory? It belonged to Armenians...
...
“After the war, o Allah! Everyone pillaged Armenian and Greek properties… Our boys got all the businesses the infidels left.
...
“Those times, you know, Armenians and Greeks owned most businesses, they were robbing the Ottoman Empire. Then Sultan Hamid was deposed. Then the constitutional monarchy. Community of Union and Progress. It was the time to create a national bourgeoisie. Finally the deportation of Armenians. That boss of Nedim, he was Armenian too, wanted to escape the country. He told Nedim: ‘I like you, you are an honorable man. You are religious. Let’s make a deal. Let’s pretend I sold you all my property, and you paid money for that. You run the business. Run it and earn money. Keep as much as you want. Send some of it to me.’ Of course, Nedim was a sly old fox. He told his boss ‘Don’t worry. Your property belongs to you. Now that you’re in trouble, I will run the business. All profit is yours. Allah forbids me to take one bit. I will just deduct my salary and send you the rest.’ But of course, Nedim never sent a dime.
. . .
And this one is from Yasar Kemal's 'Salman the Solitary':
Ismail Agha refused to take the mansion. “Thanks, Bey, but this mansion belongs to an Armenian. This is their nest. I can’t take it.” Then the Bey got angry: “They are not birds, they are Armenians! Do you hear what you say, you dumb Kurd? Armenians are not birds, they can’t have nests, neither homes.
...
[Some villagers want Ismail Agha to stop harboring Onnik, an Armenian friend of Ismail Agha] “O Ismail Agha, give that Armenian to me. I will go to heaven. If I kill that Armenian, my deeds will be good enough, I will go to heaven. Give him to me, you will get your reward too.
. . .
And this is again Yasar Kemal's 'Mehmed, My Hawk':
“The second place that Ahmet Bey liked was a small plantation near the Akmezar village. While Armenians were fleeing away from the region, the owner of the plantation sold it to his Turkish friend. He told his friend: ‘If I ever get back, brother, give me my land back. If I can’t, it’s yours. Use it the way you like.’”
. . .
“Murtaza Agha didn’t take the lands of the exiled Sultan or the Armenians. And he was proud of that. But, the manor he was residing now was gifted by his Armenian friend Karabet Keklikian. Everyone was saying he took the manor by force, and this was driving him crazy. Those who seized manors were Zulfu, Taskin Halil Bey, Molla Duran. Not him. They didn’t pay a dime for the property, neither to the owners nor to the government, when Armenians left, they just sat on those manors as if they belonged to their fathers.”
. . .
submitted by SmugIntelligentsia to armenia [link] [comments]


2020.04.01 12:46 Agamidae Today's CK3 Q&A with the developers, April 1st

Q: Any fun bugs you had with religion?
A: When we first got art assets for Christian priest robes, we blocked priests from wearing non-religious clothing. However, since we blocked non-religious clothing for all priests but only has special robes for Christian priests, the priests of every non-Christian faith collectively shrugged and decided to walk around naked.
Q: will zoroastrian be a religion in base game?
A: Yep!
Q: Will you be able to make a same sex positive religion?
A: You can make same-sex relations acceptable, but marriage will still only be opposite due to historical constraints
Q: How diverse are the different Pagan religions?
A: There is a lot of different pagan faiths of many kinds!
Q: How will pagan reformation work in this game?
A: stay tuned for the next dev diary :wink:
Q: In the Dev Diary 18 it is mentioned that mercenaries will have an upfront cost equivalent to three years of pay. In the march video uppdate, two years upfront cost is mentioned. Which is it?
A: This is a matter of balance, so is subject to change, but currently 3 years
Q: Will there be recommandations for what someone who is new to CK Should Play as for example what Nation?
A: the tutorial ireland is a good start :smile:
Q: Will Scotland have clan or tribal government?
A: Scotland is Feudal in 1066, Tribal in 867
Q: is the multiplayer mode gonna be more stable if there's gonna be one? I'd love to play some ck3 agot mp
A: we've definitely aimed for MP stability! So hopefully!
Q: how many dead religions there will be?
A: It depends on the start date, there's more of them in 1066. Generally there's not that many, but a few notable examples are Hellenism and Zunism.
Q: Can you have an "agnostic" faith of a religion? Or do you always have a "real" faith and other traits show your fevor?
A: Everyone always belongs to a faith
Q: Will there be polyandry in doctrines?
A: Yes, if you set Polygamous Marriage along with Female Dominated. Female Rulers will then be able to have up to 4 husbands.
Q: will the magyars religion be separate in any way from tengrism?
A: Yes, they're separate
Q: For custom religions, how will we choose an icon for the religion?
A: There's a set of icons to select from for each religion. More info on this in the next dev diary most likely
Q: Will there be cultures like in CK2 formed in special enviroments like the Norman or the English? And will there be some a bit alt-history for unlikely combinations?
A: we will have roughly the same melting pot cultures as CK2, English and Swedish etc.
Q: If a player is the leader of a faction, do they need to wait for the Discontent to reach 100% in order to send their ultimatum?
A: The player can bypass this requirement
Q: In the crime doctrines, can "crimes" be encouraged as well? Or even mandatory
A: You can set the crimes to 'Allowed', where there are no penalties and characters will gain certain traits (like Witch) openly. You can not currently make them mandatory.
Q: Will we be able to create custom heresys based on real religions
A: I don't see why not.
Q: How much does tactically planning your army helps? Can you beat an army of 5000 levies with only 500 good men-at-arms?
A: 5000 vs. 500 you'll almost certainly lose, but 5000 levies vs. a couple thousand men at arms with a good commander might go the other way
Q: will there be polandry and polygamy in same sex marriages?
A: There's no same sex marriage due to historical constraints
Q: out of curiosity, did you use the "sacred lies" tenet (or a similar unusual one) for one of your premade religions?
A: sacred lies is not used in any existing faiths, but for your own heretical desires.... :wink:
Q: Will there still be MP cap?
A: We do not have a hard cap on the number of players, though if you play with several hundred people you're likely to run into issues
Q: Will autocephalous Orthodox Churches be considered as separate Faiths?
A: We will not have autocephaly as a mechanic on release
Q: 1. I didn't see Zoroastrianism in the dev diary, will it be in the game? 2. I saw that Catholicism and Orthodoxy had art in the background of churches. Will all religions have similar art? 3. Will Hellenism be in the game at launch or is it something that will be considered later?
A: They are in yes
Q: Can lifestyle traits be sins/virtues?
A: There are a few lifestyle traits that can be sins or virtues, but it isn't common. This can be modded, of course
Q: Can we expect more detailed vassal contracts in the future? Like split tax/vassal obligations, war participation, etc
A: It is a system we do want to expand upon at some point
Q: What are some spicy mechanics in multiplayer to mess with your friends
A: There is plenty of ways to mess with people in MP :smile:
Q: Will we see Hellenism in the base game?
A: Yes
Q: will we have specific national units for each nation or just culture specificc units?
A: Only cultural
Q: Will there be more muslim religions such as Ibadi?
A: There are far more variants of Islam in CK3 than CK2
Q: Has the Slavic Faith changed in anyway if so how?
A: With the new Tenet and Doctrine system all pagan faiths, including Slavic, are more differentiated/unique based on their historical traditions.
Q: Will religions such as the old Greco-Roman and Celtic faiths be present in the files?
A: There will be some dead faiths in the files for historical characters
Q: Can you still take prisoners and artifacts from raiding?
A: You can take prisoners and gold. Artifacts will not be in CK3 at launch.
Q: with part of the martial focus only increasing knight effectiveness/numbers will the pagans have a special unit equal to the knight, or will pagans just have different martial skills?
A: Pagans also have knights, just under a different name. E.G., for Scotland in 867 they're called "Champions"
Q: will Romuva get any flavor?(as in flavor events, decisions etc)
A: Yes :wink:
Q: is it planned to be able to "downgrade" from a feudal government to a tribal one? Or move to a clan government? Basically, how do changing one country's government go?
A: Generally switching governments down like will not be a thing
Q: are the dead faiths part of the 99 faiths count?
A: Yes they are counted in that 99
Q: will Giraffes be in CK3?
A: Not yet...
Q: to whoever answers this, what's your favourite tenet so far?
A: Adorcism :possessed~1:
Q: If I remember correctly, it has been mentioned that the AI in CK3 will be less random than in CK2. How will this be achieved?
A: There's plenty of randomization in some AI systems, and less in others. E.G., troop movement has very little randomization, while building construction has quite a bit (but has weighting to ensure bad choices aren't made). We haven't quantified how the amount compares to CK2, but it has had more thought put into where randomization makes sense
Q: How moddable will be succession systems?
A: Quite moddable! You can mod the weights for elective types and who is valid voters, for non elective you can still choose when they can be enacted and the methods of building valid heirs from a few options
Q: Will spiriutal heads like the Pope be playable, will we be able to be chosen as them from bishops etc.
A: Theocracies (including the Catholic Pope) are not playable. Only Temporal Heads of Faith (such as the Muslim Caliphs, or other created religious heads) can be played.
Q: will the map extend itself to European Atlantic islands or will we only have a few of the canaries again?
A: The map ends just west of the Canaries. The whole Western African coast is in
Q: Can we play as character with too exotical confession like with matriarchal clergy and supporting lesbian polygamy? :)
A: Sure. Though there's no same-sex marriage due to historical constraints
Q: How moddable will heresy/reformation system be?
A: Very moddable, as with everything in the faith system its controlled via our moddable text files!
Q: will we see the return of the Fylkir, or will reforming Germanic Paganism take a more true-history approach?
A: If you reform the faith to have a Head of Faith, it will have a Fylkir.
Q: Seeing how can you mod religions in the game (very cool stuff, btw) is there a cap, for example to how much Holy Sites you can have? Meaning, can you have less than 5? And more importantly, can you have as much as you want?
A: There's no hard cap. You can have more or less than 5. The vast majority of faiths in CK3 have 5, but there are some that have more (E.G., Hindus)
Q: Will athieism be a possible "religion"?
A: Atheism as a faith sort of goes against the entire point of a faith, atheism is the lack of believing in a faith and a religion, and even then at best in medieval society being an Atheist was not something at all common if even a thing at all, and if you were one it would at best be a secret that you were a non-believer The closest you're really gonna get is the cynical trait, cause being so openly atheist was not really a thing in those times as far as I've seen in research, and in most faiths if you were you'd almost instantly be declared a heretic and hunted down
Q: any special events or artifacts for reforming a religion?
A: You receive a special event, but there will not be artifacts in CK3 on release.
Q: Will we be able to change in-game whether an event should be a Notification or a Toast, similar to what we can do in CK2 with low/high priority messages and the pop-ups?
A: That is not planned for release
Q: will it be possible to set up your own head of religion if you don't like the caliph/pope?
A: You can make your own faith
Q: Can Orthodox people crusade?
A: They cannot crusade
Q: How playable is the game right now?
A: Very
Q: are children of destiny a thing in ck3?
A: No, at least not yet...
Q: How far east will the map go? Will it be the same as CK2?
A: The game goes as far East as Burma, so slightly further than CK2
Q: Will I able to alter the doctrines of existing religions over the centuries or will every change create a new heresy? For example, if I am powerful enough, will I be able to change the doctrines of the Catholic church over time to the point that the Pope is a woman who practices witchcraft with her four husbands or will I have to create a whole new heresy for that?
A: The codebase does supports having Faiths change their doctrines over time. Unfortunately we will not have any content that takes advantage of this on release (my dream of sponsoring new ecumenical councils sadly did not make the final cut) but we hope to add that stuff in later patches. Mods, of course, can also do whatever they like with this.
Q: will hinduism be one faith?
A: No, the Hinduism Religion is comprised of many different Faiths
Q: Will there be able to be female bishops or, maybe even female popes? I'd love a Momacy
A: If your religion allows female priests then yes :slight_smile:
Q: can multiple military groups engage in one combat and is there any advantage to doing so? E.g. attacking from 2 directions
A: There's no concept of directions in combat other than river crossings
Q: will there be a different training system? as in will you be able to train infantrymen into different groups of people? that'd be interesting
A: No. There's a levy system and a men at arms system, as well as mercenaries.
Q: will clan government only be possible to mulims?
A: Not just Muslims :slight_smile:
Q: Will my lustful son bring me shame?
A: Depending on your faith's sins and virtues :wink:
Q: Since Islam is being heavily split up, how will that affect what countries will defend against crusaders?
A: Great holy wars targeting a kingdom will target everyone of a hostile faith within the kingdom, so that can result in multiple faiths being targeted. Right now though, only the primary target's faith will have people from outside the kingdom joining. It's possible this might change
Q: how similar is the ck3 syntax compared to ck2, i.e. will it be a somewhat smooth transition, and what editor do you use for the txt files?
A: Its different enough that you cannot copy paste anything from CK2 really, but similar enough you can probably see what to change. Most people here use either Sublime Text or Visual Studio Code for their work in the text files, or if they are a sinner Notepad++
Q: If you can give a rough estimate, when will the map reveals come? I.e. are we talking just before launch or earlier?
A: Yes
Q: Will my character suddenly forget how to navigate rivers if they convert away from Asatru? And can we please have river harbors?
A: River navigation is cultural rather than religious
Q: Those three categories, Abrahamic, Pagan and Oriental, would seem to struggle with some religions which don't fit into any of those categories such as Zoroastrianism. Are there more categories or do they just end up under one of the others?
A: We just have those 3 currently. While it is possible this will be expanded after release (or with mods) the current system does what we need it to do. More details will be coming in our Fervor and Heresy Dev Diary in several weeks which will explain why we set it up that way.
Q: What do I stand to gain siding with a peasant revolt or 'popular uprising if one should appear?
A: You cannot side with the peasants as you are well a noble :wink: But if you side with the populists by joining their faction and they then win you will of course get the benefits of the faction fulfilling their demands
Q: Are Bulgarian and Serbian Orthodox Churches a separate Faiths?
A: No, Orthodoxy is one Faith.
Q: is it possible for you to create an alien invasion DLC to tie into Stellaris? Like, have a chance that in 1200 ad some space ships will land and try to take over?
A: Possible? Yes. Likely? No.
Q: Are there going to be family trees in the game? If yes, can you go back to Charlemagne or Mohammed?
A: we do have dynasty trees yes :slight_smile:
Q: will the map go any further south in Africa?
A: The map includes the entire Western African coast; it goes almost to the equator
Q: In the timespan of the game we saw the rise and fall of countless kingdoms and empires, especially in the Muslim world. What systems do you have in place to make sure that for example the Abbasids or the Umayyads will collapse and won't just blob into Europe/Africa/Middle East without resistance?
A: Clans, being very opinion-driven, see much more of an up-and-down in realm stability. A poor Clan ruler is much more likely to collapse their realm than it was in CK2.
Q: What's your favourite ruler to play as currently?
A: Matilda of Tuscany for sure!
Q: Will you be able like in Holy Fury to secretly convert (or fasely convert)? And what kind of impact will someone with a secret faith have on gameplay?
A: We don't have secret religions like in Monks and Mystics, but some Faiths do have a 'False Conversion' Tenet that behaves similarly.
Q: Can we make a province a Holy Site?
A: Holy sites are currently static
Q: Will the sympathy for others religion work same as in CK2?
A: Not like in CK2 but there are some tenants that effect how faiths view each other
Q: will there be Varangian Guard still as mercenaries or as something else?
A: Yes they exist as mercs!
Q: How are faiths where people choose one of multiple gods in a pantheon to follow represented? Will it be possible to create such custom faiths?
A: Some Hindu Faiths have a 'Bhakti' Tenet which allow followers to devote themselves to a single god. Custom Hindu Faiths keep this feature, but allowing other Faiths to do this will require mods.
Q: will concubines be tied to religion, culture or both?
A: Concubines is tied to the doctrines of your faith
Q: Will it still be possible to demand that vassals convert to your faith?
A: Yes, but it's a much more involved process now.
Q: Will iberan christians have any kind of special event (Beyond crusade) to have a chance of reconquer the peninsula?
A: Iberian Christians do have several special advantages when it comes to reconquering Iberia.
Q: will women get any major debuffs that weren't in ck2?
A: Depends on your faith and how equal they are, the debuffs and double standards depend on how your faith views the acts of men and women
Q: How hard was it to stop at 99 faiths and not find a weird religion forgotten in the annals of history for that sweet, sweet round 100?
A: Reaching 99 Faiths was actually a complete accident. We did not have a goal to reach any specific number of Faiths, we just added them where we felt they were needed.
Q: Have you developers had the opportunity to play the game on your own yet as in a (nonpublic) CK3 dev clash for example?
A: We do weekly multi player sessions, or if that is not possible with enough people single player time, and many of us also play single player ourselves at home
Q: is there any new ways to take over countries that dont involve warfare?
A: Not new, no. Warfare and inheritance are the ways to expand. And title/vassal grants from your liege, of course. You can also request someone become your vassal, much like in CK2
Q: What will be the mechanics behind crusader orders? Will they just appear for hireing or found crusader states and have holdings like the Teutonic order or Livonian? Will this happen progressively through the game or just in start dates?
A: We have holy orders coming up, so stay tuned for that once it is out
Q: the diary said that one could not only play as different sects, but also as a school of thought within those sects such an in Asha’ri and Isma’ili. How will that work and will there be differences between these.
A: Each school of thought is represented as a different Faith. What doctrines those Faiths have will determine if that Faith is considered to be Sunni or Shia, and this how other Faiths perceive them.
Q: Will the Aztecs show up on the shores of Europe in CK3?
A: No
Q: Can we wait different confessions in Asatru, Suomenusko, Rodnoverie (Slavic paganism) and other paganies?
A: Different confessions of the various pagan Faiths will not exist on game start, but they can be created during the course of the game itself.
Q: Would it be possible to usurp the Papacy, if a higher (feudal) title is held?
A: You cannot usurp religious head titles
Q: how moddable is the map? Is it easier to make a map than in ck2?
A: you can fully mod the map and we, like Imperator, have tools built into the game for doing so
Q: how will magyars be able to reform their own faith?
A: Same way as everyone else
Q: what was one of the hardest religions to find accurate sources for?
A: The native Mali faith was tricky
Q: Will there be a faction or intrigue plan to overthrow the king/emperor in some way?
A: There are claimant factions
Q: How will flavor titles adapt together with custom religions? For example what will determine what a Christian "Caliph" will be called, or what a Suomenusko Pope or Caliph be called, what a Islamic "Pope" would be called, or what a custom-religion King or Priest would be called?
A: Each Faith has localization defined for it's Religious Head Title. This title is used regardless of if the Religion Head is spiritual or temporal.
Q: Will it be possible to play as the pope ?
A: Not that Pope, but maybe you can become your own Pope :eyes:
Q: If you receive a nickname like "the drunkard" and then conquer the entirety of europe, will your nickame change to, say "the conqueror" , or will your vassals still remember you as the guy who passed out drunk that one time?
A: Nicknames can get replaced, and we've got priorities for more "significant" nicknames. "Conqueror" would take priority over "Drunkard"
Q: Will the church try to make you "disappear" in case you will make some big science work public? (Like saying that Earth is a globe like in CK2)
A: Medieval people generally all already knew the Earth was round, its a myth that they thought it was flat
Q: will you be able/need to change localiztion when creating a new faith?
A: Stay tuned for the next dev diary on creating a new faith :wink:
Q: Will heresies like Lollardy be in the game continuously (like Ck2) or appear when they historically appear? Will we get events to notify us they appeared?
A: We have minor and major heresy outbreaks, and your example of Lollardy can appear at any time as part of an outbreak. Lollardy will tend to appear in the british isles, any faith tied to a specific region wil ltend to appear in it. This can be modified with Game Rules.
Q: if you are the religious had through reformation. Will you be able to excommunicate, grand claims and or make characters saints? And is this something that might be added later?
A: For balance reasons only Spiritual (unplayable) Heads of Faith can excommunicate characters. Temporal Heads of Faith have a different, slightly more limited option with the Religious Law tenet, which has similar penalties but can only be used by high Learning characters on sinful vassals.
Q: How much of an impact do traits have on the way you play the game?
A: Quite a bit! For example each personality trait matters more than before hence not being as many on each character, in both how an AI will act and how a player will deal with their events
Q: will you keep the sunset invasion in late game ?
A: No
Q: I sent in big "effortposts" a while back about Baltic paganism(which I stopped due to irl issues, but now that I actually have a PC I might restart but doubt), where they considered when writing stuff for Romuva?
A: Yes
Q: Will cultures have more flavour to them as in CK2 or will most of them have "no special cultural effects"?
A: We will talk more about culture in a later dev diary
Q: is it possible to field full calvary armies?
A: You could, but there's no reason to; you'd have to disband your levies to do so. But all your men at arms could certainly be cavalry
Q: will each culture when reforming an religion will have cultural names? For example if a Lithuanian reforms Romuva there is Perkūnas, but when a prussian does so there is Perkūns?
A: No, but that could be modded in.
Q: Will CK3 be an awesome time devouring masterpiece of a game ? It sure looks like it’s heading that way !
A: We sure hope so :smile:
Q: Is Slavic paganism a single Faith, or is divided into multiple ones?
A: Single Faith.
Q: Is there any chance that it can be like in CK2 where if you could raid you could also raid over the sea? That really made raiding fun.
A: The Norse are able to raid overseas
Q: what will be the earliest start date
A: 867 is the earliest
Q: will the government be fully based on religion?
A: Nope
Q: How have your thinking been when you consider what start dates should be present at launch?
A: Popularity and maintenance cost
Q: Will there be more interactions with pets at events? and more events?
A: There are some events about you and your beloved animals...
Q: will there be tenants that modify how goverments work?
A: The 'Unreformed' doctrine will affect how it is to play Feudal/Clan, it will not be easy... Unreformed pagans will do best staying tribal, and converting/reforming before turning Feudal.
Q: Will we still be able to declare war with an army of Mercenaries and Men-at-Arms a day away from the enemy border?
A: No, you can't start a war while you have any troops raised. You might have mercenaries hired, but not raised
Q: How are disabilities, be it mental or physical, represented?
A: As respectfully as possible. While they do have character penalties associated with them, we strove to ensure the penalties were as medically accurate and took care to avoid falling back on stereotypes.
Q: can you be Spartan?
A: I think you might be thinking about Imperator if you want to do that :wink:
Q: Can you have mercenaries hired, but not raised?
A: Yes
Q: what is the most morally repugnant thing a character in game has done to do during your playtesting(be it because of a bug or otherwise)?
A: One AI kep imprisoning my easter egg character and beheading me, that was pretty harsh
Q: In the early muslim faith there was only one Caliph, that was both militar and theologic leader of all muslims, until an Omayyad ran away to Hispania and proclaimed himself Caliph, meaning that he was the religion leader of his realm. Is there going to be a consequence to a muslim ruler becoming emperor tier? Seeing how in real life that meant being some kind of anti pope?
A: - We will not have this on release, but we do plan to expand the religious head system in later patches which may include something like this. Mods, of course, are free to add anything they want to help model this kind of interaction.
Q: Will mercs still be able to raid?
A: No they cannot
submitted by Agamidae to CrusaderKings [link] [comments]


2020.02.23 23:37 FWolf14 Important Facts About Albania According to Encyclopedia Britannica (1911 version)

Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition) was published in 1911 and it covers Albania extensively. I think that reading history of that time by using sources from that time is the best way to learn it, since this way you get rid of the post-1911 bias.
I am sharing some of the information I found interesting and additionally the link to the full encyclopedia. Titles are bold and are based on theme. It is too long, so use the titles as reference to only read the parts that you find interesting if you don't want to spend the night reading. I do not provide a TL;DR.
If you want to read about the climate, geography, a bit more about the population and so on, then please refer to the original source, which you can access by following this link. In the end I add information about all cities that had their own articles and that were mentioned as part of Albania. Many of them are in Kosovo and Greece today.

Territory
ALBANIA, a portion of the Turkish empire extending along the western littoral of the Balkan Peninsula from the southern frontier of Montenegro to the northern confines of Greece. Albania is perhaps the least-known region in Europe; and though more than a hundred years have passed since Gibbon described it as “a country within sight of Italy, which is less known than the interior of America,” but little progress has yet been made towards a scientific knowledge of this interesting land and its inhabitants. The wild and inaccessible character of the country, the fierce and lawless disposition of the people, the difficulties presented by their language and their complex social institutions, and the inability of the Turkish authorities to afford a safe conduct in the remoter districts, combine to render Albania almost unknown to the foreign traveller, and many of its geographical problems still remain unsolved. A portion of the Mirdite region, the Mat district, the neighbourhood of Dibra, Jakova and Ipek and other localities have never been thoroughly explored. The northern boundary of Albania underwent some alteration in consequence of the enlargement of Montenegro, sanctioned by the Berlin Treaty (July 13, 1878); owing to subsequent arrangements providing for the cession of Dulcigno to Montenegro (November 25, 1880) in exchange for the districts of Plava and Gusinye, restored to Turkey, the frontier-line (finally settled December 1884) now ascends the Boyana from its mouth to Lake Sass (Shas), thence passes northward, and crossing Lake Scutari separates the district of Kutch Kraina on the N. from the territories of the Gruda, Hot and Klement tribes on the S.; leaving Gusinye and Plava to the S.E., it turns to the N.W. on reaching the Mokra Planina, and then follows the course of the Tara river. On the S., Albanian territory was curtailed owing to the acquisition of the Arta district by Greece (May 1881), the river Arta now forming the frontier. On the E. the chains of Shar, Grammos and Pindus constitute a kind of natural boundary, which does not, however, coincide with ethnical limits nor with the Turkish administrative divisions. North-eastern Albania forms part of the Turkish vilayet of Kossovo; the northern highlands are included in the vilayet of Shkodra (Scutari), the eastern portion of central Albania belongs to the vilayet of Monastir, and the southern districts are comprised in the vilayet of Iannina. The boundaries of the three last-named vilayets meet near Elbassan. The name Albania (in the Tosk dialect Arberia, in the Gheg Arbenia), like Albania in the Caucasus, Armenia, Albany in Britain, and Auvergne (Arvenia) in France, is probably connected with the root alb, alp, and signifies “the white or snowy uplands.”
(...)

Population
The population of Albania may be estimated at between 1,600,000 and 1,500,000, of whom 1,200,000 or 1,100,000 are Albanians. Of the other races the Slavs (Serbs and Bulgars) are the most numerous, possibly numbering 250,000. Servian settlements exist in various parts of northern Albania; there is a strong Bulgarian colony in the neighbourhood of Dibra and Ochrida; farther south, Mount Zygos and the Pindus range—the “Great Walachia” of the middle ages—are inhabited by Vlachs or Tzintzars, who possibly number 70,000. Some Turkish colonies are also found in the south-eastern districts. There is a considerable Greek-speaking population in Epiros (including many Mahommedan Albanians), which must, however, be distinguished from the genuine Greeks of Iannina, Preveza and the extreme south; these may be estimated at 100,000. The population of the vilayet of Scutari is given as 237,000, that of the vilayet of Iannina as 552,000. The principal towns are Scutari (Albanian Shkoder, with the definite article Shkodr-a), the capital of the vilayet of that name, pop. 32,000; Prizren, 30,000; Iannina (often incorrectly written Ioannina), capital of the southern vilayet, 22,000; Jakova, 12,000; Dibra, 15,000; Prishtina, 11,000; Ipek (Slav. Petch), 15,000; Berat, 15,000; Ochrida, 11,000; Tirana, 12,000; Argyrokastro, 11,000; Kortcha (Slav. Goritza), 10,000; Elbassan (perhaps ancient Albanopolis), 8000; Metzovo, 7500; Preveza, 6500; Avlona, 6000; Durazzo, 5000; Parga, 5000; Butrinto, 2000; and Kroïa, the ancient fortress of Scanderbeg, 5000. All these, except Elbassan, Metzovo and Kroïa, are described in separate articles. (note: Jakova = Gjakova; Ipek = Peja; Ochrida = Ohri; Argyrokastro = Gjirokastra; Kortscha = Korça; Metzovo = Metsovo, modern Greece; Avlona = Vlora; Durazzo = Durresi, Kroïa = Kruja).
The Albanians are apparently the most ancient race in south-eastern Europe. History and legend afford no record of their arrival in the Balkan Peninsula. They are probably the descendants of the earliest Aryan immigrants, who were represented in historical times by the kindred Illyrians, Macedonians and Epirots; the Macedonians and Epirots are believed by Hahn to have formed the core of the pre-Hellenic Tyrrheno-Pelasgian population which inhabited the southern portion of the peninsula and extended its limits to Thrace and Italy. The Illyrians were also “Pelasgian,” but in a wider sense. Of these cognate races, which are described by the Greek writers as barbarous or non-Hellenic, the Illyrians and Epirots, he thinks, were respectively the progenitors of the Ghegs, or northern, and the Tosks, or southern, Albanians. The Via Egnatia, which Strabo (vii. fragment 3) describes as forming the boundary between the Illyrians and Epirots, practically corresponds with the course of the Shkumb, which now separates the Ghegs and the Tosks. The same geographer (v. 2.221) states that the Epirots were also called Pelasgians; the Pelasgian Zeus was worshipped at Dodona (Homer, Il. xvi. 234), and the neighbourhood of the sanctuary was called Pelasgia (Herodotus ii. 56). The meaning of the term “Pelasgian” is, however, too obscure to furnish a basis for ethnographical speculation; in the time of Herodotus it may have already come to denote a period rather than a race. The name Tosk is possibly identical with Tuscus, Etruscus, while the form Tyrrhenus perhaps survives in Tirana. The large number of Slavonic local names in Albania, even in districts where no trace of a Slavonic population exists, bears witness to the extensive Servian and Bulgarian immigrations in the early middle ages, but the original inhabitants gradually ousted or assimilated the invaders. The determination with which this remarkable race has maintained its mountain stronghold through a long series of ages has hitherto met with scant appreciation in the outside world. While the heroism of the Montenegrins has been lauded by writers of all countries, the Albanians—if we except Byron's eulogy of the Suloits—still remain unsung. Not less noticeable is the tenacity with which isolated fragments of the nation have preserved theirpeculiar characteristics, language, customs and traditions. The Albanians in Greece and Italy, though separated for six centuries from the parent stock, have not yet been absorbed by the surrounding populations.

National Characteristics
While the other primitive populations of the peninsula were either hellenized or latinized, or subsequently absorbed by the Slavonic immigration, the Albanians to a great extent remained unaffected by foreign influences. Retaining their original language and preserving the customs and institutions of remote antiquity, they present a distinct type, and differ in many essential particulars from the other nations of the peninsula. The Ghegs especially, notwithstanding their fierce and lawless character, their superstition, ignorance and predatory propensities, possess some noteworthy qualities rarely found in eastern Europe: simple, brave, faithful, and sometimes capable of devoted attachment, these wild mountaineers make excellent soldiers and trustworthy retainers; they have long furnished a bodyguard to the sultan and, like the Tosks, are much employed as kavasses and attendants at foreign embassies and consulates in the East. The native disposition of the Tosks has been modified by intercourse with the Greeks and Vlachs; while the Gheg devotes his attention exclusively to fighting, robbery and pastoral pursuits, the Tosk occasionally occupies himself with commercial, industrial or agricultural employments; the Gheg is stern, morose and haughty, the Tosk lively, talkative and affable. The natural antipathy between the two sections of the race, though less evident than in former times, is far from extinct. In all parts of Albania the vendetta (gyăk, jăk) or blood-feud, the primitive lex talionis, is an established usage; the duty of revenge is a sacred tradition handed down to successive generations in the family, the village and the tribe. A single case of homicide often leads to a series of similar crimes or to protracted warfare between neighbouring families and communities; the murderer, as a rule, takes refuge in the mountains from the avenger of blood, or remains for years shut up in his house. It is estimated that in consequence of these feuds scarcely 75% of the population in certain mountainous districts die a natural death. A truce (bessa, literally “faith,” “pledge”), either temporary or permanent, is sometimes arranged by mediation, or among the Ghegs, by the intervention of the clergy; a general bessa has occasionally been proclaimed by special trade of the sultan, the restoration of peace being celebrated with elaborate ceremonies. So stringent are the obligations of hospitality that a household is bound to exact reparation for any injury done to a guest as though he were a member of the family. No traveller can venture into the mountain districts without the bessa of one of the inhabitants; once this has been obtained he will be hospitably welcomed. In some districts there is a fixed price of blood; at Argyrokastro, for instance, the compensation paid by the homicide to the relatives of his victim is 1200 piastres (about £10), at Khimara 2000 piastres; once the debt has been acquitted amicable relations are restored. Notwithstanding their complete subjection, women are treated with a certain respect, and are often employed as intermediaries in the settlement of feuds; a woman may traverse a hostile district without fear of injury, and her bessa will protect the traveller or the stranger. Women accompany their male relatives to the battle-field for the purpose of tending the wounded and carrying away the dead. The bride brings no dowry to her husband; she is purchased at a stipulated price, and earnest-money is paid at the betrothal, which usually takes place while the contracting parties are still children. It is customary for young men who are attached to each other to swear eternal brotherhood (compare the Slavonic pobratimstvo); the contract is regarded as sacred, and no instance has been known of its violation. The costume of the Tosks differs from that of the Ghegs; its distinctive feature is the white plaited linen fustanella or petticoat, which has been adopted by the Greeks; the Ghegs wear trews of white or crimson native cloth adorned with black braid, and a short, close-fitting jacket, which in the case of wealthy persons is embellished with gold lace. The fez is worn by both races, and in the northern highlands yataghans and firearms are almost invariably carried. The costume of the Mirdite and Mat tribes is peculiar. It consists of a white felt cap, a long white tunic bound with a red girdle, white linen trousers and opinki, or sandals.
(...)

Religion
The great majority of the Albanians, probably more than three-fifths, are Moslems. The conversion of the Christian population to Islam appears to have taken place during the 16th and 17th centuries. Like the Cretan Moslems and the Bulgarian Pomaks, the Albanian Mahommedans retain many Christian traditions and customs; it is said that many thousands of them secretly adhere to their original faith. In the vilayet of Scutari they form about 55% of the population; central Albania is almost entirely Moslem; in southern Albania, however, there is a considerable Christian population, whose limits practically coincide with those of the Greek-speaking districts. Of the Christian population (about 600,000), some 110,000 are Roman Catholic Ghegs, some 90,000 are Orthodox Tosks, and some 400,000 are Orthodox Slavs, Greeks and Vlachs. The Roman Catholic Ghegs appear to have abandoned the Eastern for the Western Church in the middle of the 13th century. Their bishops and priests, who Wear the moustache in deference to popular prejudice, are typical specimens of the church militant. Some of the Gheg tribes, such as the Puka, Malsia Jakovs and Malsia Krues, are partly Roman Catholic, partly Moslem; among fellowtribesmen the difference of religion counts for little. The Mirdites are exclusively Roman Catholic, the Mat-i exclusively Moslem. At the head of the Roman Catholic hierarchy are the archbishops of Scutari (with three suffragans), Prizren and Durazzo; the mitred abbot of St Alexander is the spiritual chief of the Mirdites. The Orthodox Church has metropolitans at Prizren, Durazzo, Berat, Iannina and Kortcha; the Bulgarian exarchate maintains a bishop at Dibra. Of the Albanians in Sicily the great majority (44791) remain faithful to the Greek Church; in Italy 116,482 follow the Latin ritual, and 38,192 the Greek. All the Albanians in Greece belong to the Orthodox Church.

Education
Education is almost non-existent, and the vast majority of the populati (m, both Christian and Moslem, are totally illiterate. Instruction in the Albanian language is prohibited by the Turkish government for political reasons; a single exception has been made in the case of an American school for girls at Kortcha. There are Turkish primary and secondary schools in some of the towns; in the village mosques instruction in the Koran is given by the imāms, but neither reading nor writing is taught. The aristocratic Moslem families send their sons to be educated in Constantinople or Vienna. At Scutari a college and a seminary are maintained by the Jesuits, with the aid of the Austrian government; the Franciscans have several primary schools, and three lay schools are supported by the Italian government; in all these institutions Italian is the language of instruction. There are two Servian seminaries at Prizren. In southern Albania there are Greek schools in the towns and a large Greek gymnasium at Iannina. The priests of the Greek Church, on whom the rural population depend for instruction, are often deplorably ignorant. The merchant families of Iannina are Well educated; the dialect spoken in that town is the purest specimen of colloquial Greek.
(...)

Tirana
[A] town of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Scutari; 20 m. E. by N. of Durazzo, at the southern extremity of the plain of Kroīa. Pop. (1905) about 12,000. Tirana is beautifully situated on the border of the richly wooded highlands inhabited by the Mirdite Albanians. It is a picturesque town with a large bazaar and many mosques, gardens and olive groves. It was founded early in the 17th century and was long the see of a Greek bishop, although the majority of its inhabitants have always been Moslems. Kroīa, the ancient stronghold of Scanderbeg (q.v.), is 14 m. north.

Prishtina
[T]he chief town of a sanjak in the vilayet of Kossovo, Albania, European Turkey; on a small tributary of the river Sitnétza, an affluent of the Ibar, and 3 m. E. of the Prishtina station on the Salonica-Mitrovitza railway. Pop. (1905), about 11,000. Prishtina is the seat of a governor-general and of a general of division, and possesses many mosques, a military hospital and a higher class school. The trade is considerable, the exports including chrome, wheat, maize, barley, skins, wine and timber from the magnificent beech forests in the sanjak. The plain of Kossovo (Kossoaopolye, “Field of Blackbirds”), to the west, was the scene of the battle in which the Servian empire was destroyed by the Turks in 1389. To the south-east lies the partly ruined monastery of Grachanitza founded by King Milutin of Servia (1275–1321). Among the frescoes are a remarkable head of Christ in the dome, and portraits of the founder and his queen Simonida, daughter of Andronicus II. Palaeologus.

Prizreni
[T]he capital of the sanjak of Prizren, in the vilayet of Kossovo, Albania, European Turkey; 65 m. E. by N. of Scutari, on the river Bistritza, a left-hand tributary of the White Drin. Pop. (1905), about 30,000, chiefly Mahommedan Albanians, with a minority of Roman Catholic Albanians, Serbs and Greeks. Prizren is beautifully situated 1424 ft. above sea-level, among the northern outliers of the Shar Planina. To the north-west a fertile and undulating plain, watered by the White Drin, extends as far as Ipek (42 m.). A good road connects Prizren with the Ferisovich station on the Salonica-Mitrovitza railway (37 m.). The city is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop, a Greek bishop, and a Servian theological seminary. Its chief buildings are the citadel and many mosques, one of which is an ancient Byzantine basilica, originally a Servian cathedral. In its bazaars an active trade in agricultural produce, glass, pottery, saddlery, and copper and iron ware is carried on; but the manufacture of fire-arms, for which Prizren was long famous throughout European Turkey, has suffered greatly from foreign competition.

Durrësi
[A] seaport and capital of the sanjak of Durazzo, in the vilayet of Iannina, Albania, Turkey. Pop. (1900) about 5000. Durazzo is about 50 m. S. of Scutari, on the Bay of Durazzo, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. It is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop and a Greek metropolitan, but in every respect has greatly declined from its former prosperity. The walls are dilapidated; plane-trees grow on the gigantic ruins of its old Byzantine citadel; and its harbour, once equally commodious and safe, is gradually becoming silted up. The only features worthy of notice are the quay, with its rows of cannon, and the bridge, 750 ft. long, which leads across the marshes stretching along the coast. The chief exports are olive oil—largely manufactured in the district—wheat, oats, barley, pottery and skins.
Epidamnus was founded by a joint colony of Corcyreans and Corinthians towards the close of the 7th century B.C., and from its admirable position and the fertility of the surrounding country soon rose into very considerable importance. The dissolution of its original oligarchical government by the democratic opposition, the consequent quarrel between Corcyra and the oligarchical city of Corinth, and the intervention of Athens on behalf of Corcyra, are usually included among the contributory causes of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.). In 312 B.C., Epidamnus was seized by the Illyrian king Glaucias, and shortly afterwards it passed into the power of the Romans. As the name Epidamnus sounded to Roman ears like an evil omen, as though it were derived from the Latin damnum, “loss” or “harm,” the alternative name of Dyrrachium, which the city possibly received from the rugged nature of the adjoining sea-coast, came into general use. Thenceforward Epidamnus rose rapidly in importance. It was a favourite point of debarcation for the Roman armies; the great military road known as the Via Egnatia led from Dyrrachium to Thessalonica (Salonica); and another highway passed southwards to Buthrotum and Ambracia. Broad swamps rendered the city almost impregnable, and in 48 B.C. it became famous as the place where Pompey made his last successful resistance to Caesar. After the battle of Actium in 31 B.C., Augustus made over Dyrrachium to a colony of his veterans; it became a civitas libera and a great commercial emporium (for coins see Maier, Numis. Zeitschr., 1908). The summit of its prosperity was reached about the end of the 4th century, when it was made the capital of Epirus Nova. Its bishopric, created about A.D. 58, was raised to an archbishopric in 449. In 481 the city was besieged by Theodoric, the king of the East Goths; and in the 10th and 11th centuries it frequently had to defend itself against the Bulgarians. In 1082 it was stormed by the Norman Robert Guiscard, who in the previous year had defeated the Greeks under their emperor Alexius; and in 1185 it fell into the hands of King William of Sicily. Surrendered to Venice in 1202, it afterwards broke loose from the republic and in 1268 passed into the possession of Charles of Anjou. In 1273 it was laid in ruins by an earthquake, but it soon recovered from the disaster, and became an independent duchy under John, the grandson of Charles (1294-1304), and afterwards under Philip of Otranto. In 1333 it was annexed to Achaea, in 1336 to Servia, and in 1394 to Venice. The Turks obtained possession in 1501.

Parga
[A] seaport of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina, and on the Ionian Sea. Pop. (1905), about 5000, of whom the majority are Greeks. Parga has a rock-built citadel and a harbour formed by a mole which the Venetians constructed in 1572. It exports citrons, wool, oak, bark and skins. Originally occupying the site of the ancient Toryne (or Palaeo-Parga), a short distance to the west, Parga was removed to its present position after the Turkish invasion in the 15th century. Under Venetian protection, freely accepted in 1401, the inhabitants maintained their municipal independence and commercial prosperity down to the destruction of the Venetian republic in 1797, though on two occasions, in 1500 and 1560, their city was burned by the Turks. The attempts of Ali Pasha of Iannina to make himself master of the place were thwarted partly by the presence of a French garrison in the citadel and partly by the heroic attitude of the Pargiotes themselves, who were anxious to have their city incorporated with the Ionian Republic. To secure their purpose they in 1814 expelled the French garrison and accepted British protection; but the British Government in 1815 determined to go back to the convention of 1800 by which Parga was to be surrendered to Turkey, though no mosque was to be built or Mussulman to settle within its territory. Rather than subject themselves to the tyranny of Ali Pasha, the Pargiotes decided to forsake their country; and accordingly in 1819, having previously exhumed and burned the remains of their ancestors, they migrated to the Ionian Islands. The Turkish government was constrained to pay them £142,425 by way of compensation.

Korça
[A] city of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina, in a wide plain watered by the Devol and Dunavitza rivers, and surrounded by mountains on every side except the north, where Lake Malik constitutes the boundary. Pop. (1905), about 10,000, including Greeks, Albanians and Slavs. Kortcha is the see of an Orthodox Greek metropolitan, whose large cathedral is richly decorated in the interior with paintings and statues. The Kortcha school for girls, conducted by American missionaries, is the only educational establishment in which the Turkish government permits the use of Albanian as the language of instruction. The local trade is chiefly agricultural.

Preveza
[A] seaport of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina; at the entrance to the Gulf of Arta, an inlet of the Ionian Sea. Pop. (1905), 6500, of whom about four-fifths are 'Christian Albanians or Greeks, and one-fifth Moslems. The town is surrounded by dense olive groves, and most of its houses stand in their own gardens. The harbour is small, and closed to large vessels by a bar of sand; but it is a port of call for the Austrian Lloyd Steamers, and annually accommodates about 1500 small vessels, the majority of which are engaged in the coasting trade. Preveza exports dairy produce, valonia, hides and wool, olives and olive oil. The yearly value of its trade varies from about £70,000 to £80,000. About 3 m. north are the ruins of Nicopolis (q.v.).

Dibra
[T]he capital of a sanjak bearing the same name, in the vilayet of Monastir, eastern Albania, Turkey. Pop. (1900) about 15,000. Dibra occupies a valley enclosed by mountains, and watered by the Tsrni Drin and Radika rivers, which meet 3 m. S. It is a fortified city, and the only episcopal see of the Bulgarian exarchate in Albania; most of the inhabitants are Albanians, but there is a strong Bulgarian colony. The local trade is almost entirely agricultural.

Peja
[A] town of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Kossovo and sanjak of Novibazar, 73 m. E.N.E. of Scutari, near the eastern base of the Mokra Planina, the Montenegrin frontier, and the headwaters of the Ibar and White Drin. Pop. (1905), about 15,000, principally Albanians and Serbs. A small stream bearing, like several others in the Balkan peninsula, the name of Bistritza (the bright or clear), flows through the town. On one of the neighbouring heights is situated the monastery of Ipek, founded by Archbishop Arsenius in the 13th century, and famous as the seat until 1690 of the patriarchs of the Servian church. The buildings are surrounded by thick walls, and comprise a large central church (Our Lady’s), and two side chapels (the Martyrs’ and St Demetrius’), each surmounted by a leaden cupola. The church dates from the 16th and 17th centuries. Among its numerous objects of interest are the white marble tombs of Arsenius and other chiefs of the Servian church, and the white marble throne on which the patriarchs were crowned. Ipek has been incorrectly identified by some writers with Doclea or Dioclea (Duklé in Montenegro), the birthplace of Diocletian, and the capital of a small principality which was overthrown by the Bulgarians in the 11th century.

Vlora
[A] town and seaport of Albania, Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina. Pop. (1900) about 6000. Avlona occupies an eminence near the Gulf of Avlona, an inlet of the Adriatic, almost surrounded by mountains. The port is the best on the Albanian coast, and the nearest to Italy. It is protected by the island of Saseno, the ancient Saso, and by Cape Glossa, the northernmost headland of the Acroceraunian mountains. It is regularly visited by steamers from Trieste, Fiume, Brindisi, and other Austro-Hungarian and Italian ports, as well as by many small Greek and Turkish coasters. The cable and telegraph line from Otranto, in Italy, to Constantinople, has an important station here. The town is about 1½ m. from the sea, and has rather a pleasant appearance with its minarets and its palace, surrounded with gardens and olive-groves. Valonia, a material largely used by tanners, is the pericarp of an acorn obtained in the neighbouring oak-woods, and derives its name from Valona. The surrounding district is mainly agricultural and pastoral, producing oats, maize, cotton, olive oil, cattle, sheep, skins, hides and butter. All these commodities are exported in considerable quantities, besides bitumen, which is obtained from a mine worked by a French company. The imports are woollen and cotton piece-goods, metals and petroleum.

Berati
[T]he capital of a sanjak in the vilayet of Iannina, southern Albania, Turkey; on the river Ergene, Ergeni or Osum, a left-hand tributary of the Semeni. Pop. (1900) about 15,000. Berat is a fortified town, situated in a fertile valley, which produces wine, olive-oil, fruit and grain. It is the see of an Orthodox metropolitan, and the inhabitants, of whom two-thirds are Albanian and the remainder principally Greek, are equally divided in religion between Christianity and Islam.

Gjakova
[A] town of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Kossovo; on the river Erenik, a right-hand tributary of the White Drin. Pop. (1905) about 12,000. Jakova is the chief town of the Alpine region which extends from the Montenegrin frontier to the Drin and White Drin. This region has never been thoroughly explored, or brought under effective Turkish rule, on account of the inaccessible character of its mountains and forests, and the lawlessness of its inhabitants—a group of two Roman Catholic and three Moslem tribes, known collectively as the Malsia Jakovs, whose official representative resides in Jakova.

Butrinti
[A] seaport and fortified town of southern Albania, Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina; directly opposite the island of Corfu (Corcyra), and on a small stream which issues from Lake Vatzindro or Vivari, into the Bay of Butrinto, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. Pop.(1900) about 2000. The town, which is situated about 2 m. inland, has a small harbour, and was formerly the seat of an Orthodox bishop. In the neighbourhood are the ruins of the ancient Buthrotum, from which the modern town derives its name. The ruins consist of a Roman wall, about a mile in circumference, and some remains of both later and Hellenic work. The legendary founder of the city was Helenus, son of Priam, and Virgil (Aen. iii. 291 sq.) tells how Helenus here established a new Trojan kingdom. Hence the names New Troy and New Pergamum, applied to Buthrotum, and those of Xanthus and Simoïs, given to two small streams in the neighbourhood. In the 1st century b.c. Buthrotum became a Roman colony, and derived some importance from its position near Corcyra, and on the main highway between Dyrrachium and Ambracia. Under the Empire, however, it was overshadowed by the development of Dyrrachium and Apollonia. The modern city belonged to the Venetians from the 14th century until 1797. It was then seized by the French, who in 1799 had to yield to the Russians and Turks.

Ohri
[A] city of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Monastir; on the north-eastern shore of Lake Ochrida, and at the eastern end of the Roman Via Egnatia. Pop. (1905) about 11,000, including Albanians, Turks, Greeks and Slavs. Ochrida occupies the site of the ancient Lychnidos, which was added to the Macedonian empire by Philip II. (382-336 B.C.), and destroyed by the Bulgarians in A.D. 861. It is the seat of Bulgarian and Greek bishops. From the creation of the Bulgarian patriarchate of Ochrida in 893 to its abolition in 1767 the city was the ecclesiastical headquarters of the Bulgarians in the west of the Balkan Peninsula. Lake Ochrida is 2260 ft. above sea-level, in a mountainous limestone region of Karst formation. It measures 107 sq. m., and has a maximum depth of 938 ft. Its waters are supplied by subterranean streams. Its chief outlet is the river Black Drin, on the north.

Gjirokastra
[A] town of southern Albania, Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina. Pop. (1900) about 11,000. Argyrokastro is finely situated 1060 ft. above sea-level, on the eastern slopes of the Acroceraunian mountains, and near the left bank of the river Dhrynos, a left-hand tributary of the Viossa. It is the capital of a sanjak bearing the same name, and was formerly important as the headquarters of the local Moslem aristocracy, partly owing to the mountainous and easily defensible nature of the district. It contains the ruins of an imposing castellated fort. A fine kind of snuff, known as fuli, is manufactured here. Argyrokastro has been variously identified with the ancient Hadrianopolis and Antigonea. In the 18th century it is said to have contained 20,000 inhabitants, but it was almost depopulated by plague in 1814. Albanian Moslems constitute the greater part of the population.

Janina
[T]he capital of the vilayet of Iannina, Albania, European Turkey. Pop. (1905) about 22,000. The largest ethnical groups in the population are the Albanian and Greek; the purest form of colloquial Greek is spoken here among the wealthy and highly educated merchant families. The position of Iannina is strikingly picturesque. At the foot of the grey limestone mass of Mount Mitzekeli (1500 ft.), which forms part of the fine range of hills running north from the Gulf of Arta, there lies a valley (the Hellopia of antiquity) partly occupied by a lake; and the city is built on the slopes of a slight eminence, stretching down to the western shore. It has greatly declined from the state of barbaric prosperity which it enjoyed from 1788 to 1822, when it was the seat of Ali Pasha (q.v.), and was estimated to have from 30,000 to 50,000 inhabitants. The fortress—Demir Kule or Iron Castle, which, like the principal seraglio, was built on a promontory jutting into the lake—is now in ruins. But the city is the seat of a Greek archbishop, and still possesses many mosques and churches, besides synagogues, a Greek college (gymnasium), a library and a hospital. Sayades (opposite Corfu) and Arta are the places through which it receives its imports. The rich gold and silver embroidery for which the city has long been famous is still one of the notable articles in its bazaar; but the commercial importance of Iannina has notably declined since the cession of Arta and Thessaly to Greece in 1881. Iannina had previously been one of the chief centres of the Thessalian grain trade; it now exports little except cheese, hides, bitumen and sheepskins to the annual value of about £120,000; the imports, which supply only the local demand for provisions, textile goods, hardware, &c., are worth about double that sum.
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2020.02.22 14:13 ConorCulture Booking WrestleMania 36: (lots of detail)

Hello gang. So I’ve seen multiple, multiple, multiple WrestleMania cards on the sub as of late, ranging from good to bad, however I’ve yet to see someone actually book the show. How do we get to the matches? How do the matches play out? What are the stories? In this booking I will create my ideal WrestleMania card, varying on the scale of realism. This is quite long with lots of detail, however I didn’t go mad with 6-8 paragraphs per match. Anyways, on with the show.
PRE SHOW:
1- Street Profits vs. The Authors of Pain vs. The Viking Raiders vs. The OC - Elimination Match for the vacant Raw Tag Team Championships
Rollins attacks Edge brutally one night on Raw (more on that later) and so as punishment, Rollins and Murphy are stripped of their Raw Tag Team Championships. Authors of Pain want to fight for their stable mates honour, Viking Raiders want to reclaim the titles, The OC say they never got a shot at the gold while Rollins and Murphy were champs, and Street Profits say they haven’t been given their big break yet. All these guys come to blows in the ring explaining why they deserve the match and so the match is declared official. Viking Raiders get the win and after the match, AOP look on at them as they celebrate atop the ramp, and that’s the feud going forward.
2- 24/7 Championship Scramble Match
I’d scrap the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royale as it’s just meaningless now, and really only used to get people on the show. I’m fine with that reasoning, but to make it more interesting, make it a 24/7 Championship Scramble. Here’s the rules: 30 men start, and it’s a pinfall and submission only battle Royale. That means you can exit the ring and roam freely around the arena. When you pin somebody they are eliminated and whoever pinned them becomes champion. I wrote out how this match would go but it was like 6 paragraphs so I’ll just leave it in the comments.
3- Natalya and Beth Phoenix vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Fire & Desire vs. Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott - Elimination Match for the vacant Women’s Tag Team Championships
Kairi Sane and Asuka implode (again, more on that later) and so the Women’s Tag Team Championships are vacated. I’d use this match to attempt to build the division, establish characters, create stories etc. Beth Phoenix and Natalya are the workhorses, Beth using her strength, Natalya her submissions to take out the competition. Cross over the past weeks has become a psycho, doing anything and everything to please Bliss. Bliss takes control of this and slowly begins a heel turn, using Cross as her own personal monster . Fire & Desire use some help from Otis in a fun spot, however the main story is Rose is slowly abandoning Deville.
In a backstage interview we see Mandy get told by Vince she’s a future Women’s Champion and all that stuff, while Deville is told to be a “good partner.” Deville does all the work for the team while Mandy sits back. Mandy gets the sole elimination for the team, as when Deville has beaten the hell out of Sarah Logan, Mandy hits a V-Trigger and steals the pin. Riott and Logan keep telling Liv Morgan she could be so much more if she joined them, but Liv refuses. Riott and Logan are eliminated first by Fire & Desire, then they’re eliminated by a wild Nikki Cross. Nikki tries to shatter Natalya’s legs to she can’t lock in the Sharpshooter. Bliss goes for a Twisted Bliss but Beth catches and hits the Glam Slam for the win and to become the new champions! Bliss berates Cross as they walk up the ramp.
MAIN CARD:
4- Sasha Banks vs. Bayley (c) - SmackDown Women’s Championship
Sasha Banks wins the Women’s Royal Rumble and joins the likes of Asuka and Becky Lynch as Women’s Royal Rumble winners. Sasha then has the choice to fight Becky Lynch, her previous rival, or her best friend Bayley. Sasha makes it obvious she’s gonna choose Becky as her opponent. Meanwhile Bayley is being attacked a lot backstage, first by nearly being hit by a car, second being attacked by a masked women. The car has a spades symbol at the hood of it, leading us to believe its Shayna Baszler. Baszler then attacks Becky on Raw and states she’s challenging her to a match at Mania for the Raw Women’s Championship. Bayley rewatches this clip on SmackDown and is puzzled as to who tried to hit her with the car, BAM! Sasha attacks her and pulls out the mask of the masked attacker! It was her!
Sasha chooses Bayley as her opponent for WrestleMania, saying she’ll end Bayley’s era of dominance on SmackDown. Sasha makes a grand entrance, driving out in a Low Rider, tribute to her hero Eddie Guerrero. She stands up on the car and does her signature pose, before taking off her glasses and strutting down to the ring. Bayley wears a “I’m a Slugger” t-shirt, as she’s still a heel. Early part of the match is a slugfest of both trying to hurt the other as much as possible, both women hating each other. It then dissolves into some great wrestling between the two, which they are both very capable of. Sasha makes Bayley tap to the Banks Statement, becoming new SmackDown Women’s Champion.
5- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro (c) - Intercontinental Championship
Braun Strowman defeats Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and Mustafa Ali a Super Show Down to retain his Intercontinental Championship, before losing it to Cesaro on SmackDown. Cesaro is jumping for joy having won the gold, when Nakamura attacks him from behind! Zayn with the two men now hating each other, sends him into a frenzy. He then announces his in ring return, AT WRESTLEMANIA! Nakamura competes in the Chamber and is eliminated after a distraction from Cesaro from outside the chamber. A Triple threat is set for the Intercontinental Championship, the trio now imploding.
It’s action packed from the get go, each guy doing what their good at. Nakamura delivers the brutal strikes, Cesaro uses his insane strength, while Zayn flies around the ring like a bird soaring through the sky. The end sees Cesaro hit a Spinning Death Valley Driver with both men on his shoulders, from the top ropes, but Zayn breaks it up! Zayn gets the crowd going as he lines up a Hellavu Kick, and the roof explodes as he finally hits the move. He covers for the win and the fans go mental, Zayn having won his first championship in WWE outside of NXT.
6- Drew McIntyre vs. Rusev - Singles Match
Drew and Rusev came into blows at the Royal Rumble, which set up this match. I think a big hoss fight is much better use of Rusev’s time rather than being a cuck. He’s the Bulgarian Brute, returning to his monster ways while Drew plays the babyface in the match. The match begins slow, before they recreate Shibata/Ishii - WK10, taking turns sitting down and getting kicked by the other. The action escalates until both men are throwing themselves at each other. Drew hits a Tree of Woe Two Hand Choke Suplex for two, Future Shock for two, he just can’t get Rusev down. Rusev locks in the Accolade and Drew struggles, before slipping out and hitting the stiffest Claymore ever to the back of Rusev’s head for the 3 count, winning the match.
7- Andrade (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Murphy vs. Angel Garza vs. Ricochet vs. Aleister Black - Ladder Match for the United States Championship
I believe there’s a problem with the Titles in WWE. And that’s they have no difference. What’s the difference between the IC and US, other than which brand they’re assigned to (which doesn’t mean anything since they swap which brand they’re designated to every god damn draft.), no difference. In my opinion, Intercontinental Championship should be for the strikers/technicians, your Aleister Black’s, Cesaro’s, Nakamura’s etc. While the US Title should be basically a Cruiserweight Championship, for guys like Andrade, Rey, Garza etc. Those more nimble or aerobic fighting for the US while the guys with the gut wrenching submissions and knock your dick stiff strikes fighting for the IC is a clear difference IMO. So, this ladder match is basically a Cruiserweight Ladder Match. And so, let the flips commence.
Some spots off the top of my head, Garza goes to grab the gold, but Murphy tries to pull him down, however he just pulls Garza’s tights off. Rey hitting a 619 into Andrade who’s laying on a ladder leaned against the ropes, Cedric with a Lumbarcheck from atop a ladder, Aleister Black and Murphy having yet another face off, Andrade beating the hell out of Dominic, Zelina Vega diving off a ladder into a crowd of people, and of course Ricochet with lots of, lots of flips. In the end, Garza and Andrade are atop the ladder, and they stare down. Andrade tells Garza all he is a replacement for Andrade, and throws him off the ladder. He then makes Vega watch as he throws her client off the ladder and grabs the title, retaining.
The Undisupted Era are seen in the front row along with a bunch of celebrities.
8- Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe vs. John Cena and Kurt Angle - Tag Team Match
Yes, yes, yes, I know. Angle retired last year, but he retired wrong. Again, I know Kurt Angle is really hurt right now, as he’s made clear in interviews. Only bit of build he’ll do is a video promo on Owens and Joe, only move he’ll do is an Angle Lock. Okay, so, the build for this. Owens and Joe have been a pretty good team, classic hoss duo even though we have like 3 of those on Raw. I’d have to be they never feuded with Rollins and friends, instead formed in the Rumble. Joe and Cena come face to face in the Rumble, and Joe can only eliminate Cena when Owens gives him a bit of help as he also wants to eliminate Cena.
Another person in the Rumble, was Kurt Angle. All he did was put in the Angle Lock on Baron Corbin, make him tap, and thus win the 24/7 Title, however he was eliminated by Kevin Owens. Angle then stood atop the ramp with R Truth holding the title, before vacating it. We see a hype package for Samoa Joe vs. John Cena, how this has been a dream match for many for many, many years. Kevin Owens and Joe start teaming up and get into a friendly rivalry with Cena, since Cena will be off TV a lot. Big thing Cena does however, is challenge Owens and Joe to a match at Mania. Owens and Joe are like “who are ya gonna be teaming with?” Cena responds, “Ruthless Aggression.”
Angle then appears on the titantron and says he’s Cena’s partner and they will take on Owens and Joe at Mania. Majority of the match is Cena and Joe going at it, with Owens getting involved here and there. Angle locks in an Angle Lock near the end to a big pop from the crowd, but Owens gets out. Angle then rolls to the outside since I don’t want him getting hurt at all. Owens hits a Pop-Up Powerbomb to Cena, with Cena landing in a Coquina Clutch! Owens and Joe win! After the match, everyone hold each other’s hands up in celebration.
9- Asuka vs. Kairi Sane - Singles Match
Asuka gets a second shot at Becky Lynch’s title at Elimination Chamber, but is unsuccessful. She’s so angry she failed to win the title, she attacks her teammate Kairi Sane. Kairi then turns babyface, making a pirate entrance on Raw to a raucous pop from the crowd. She then says Asuka did a bad thing, so she will pay. Asuka comes out and chokes Kairi out, wanting to defeat somebody. She mows through the roster, defeating Sarah Logan, Natalya, Liv Morgan etc. Kairi is the only one standing, and they stare down the go home show.
Asuka makes her usual entrance, but it’s time for the big one: Kairi’s pirate entrance. We see multiple people dressed as pirates walking around the ship, doing general pirate activities while Pirates of the Caribbean knockoff music plays. We see holograms of thunder and in the darkness, rises Kairi, looking on into the crowd. She then swings from a rope to the ring, Paul Burchill style. She arrives and the match begins. Classic Joshi match of big strikes, mighty double foot stomps, and brutal submissions. Asuka counters an N’Sane Elbow into an Asuka Lock and Kairi passes out, Asuka wins the match.
Recap of the Hall of Fame, headlined by Batista.
10- The Miz & John Morrison vs. The Usos - SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Miz and Morrison defeat The New Day at Royal Rumble to become new champions. They then turn heel and become a Hollywood duo, cocky, arrogant, overall douches. The DirtSheet returns to replace MizTV and airs for free on YouTube, unscripted videos of Miz and Morrison sitting down and talking about whatever. We’ve seen what gold Miz can create when unscripted on Talking Smack, so he should make some great moments. The Usos cut a promo on SmackDown saying they have been the heart and soul of tag team wrestling on SmackDown for 4 years. Even though they had a rough patch this past year, they’re back and ready to take those titles from that fake ass Hollywood duo.
Miz and Morrison attack The Usos after a match with Lucha House Party on SmackDown for what they said against them. Miz and Morrison say that to be fair, the SmackDown tag division is the best in the world when it comes to sheer amount of talent. They could fight The Revival, The New Day, Heavy Machinery, Roode and Ziggler, Lucha House Party, Ali and Shorty G, so many options for great matches. The Usos made an embarrassment of themselves with their year, Miz & Morrison don’t want to add salt to the wound and make another fool of The Usos.
On an episode of The DirtSheet, midway through Miz and Morrison discussing something, The Usos jump them! Jey superkicks Miz through the green screen and beat them up around the set, attacking them with lighting equipment, cameras, etc. Jimmy and Jey then take their seats and say they’re gonna fight Miz & Morrison at WrestleMania, probably saying “Uce” 50 times. Go home week Miz &.Morrison are in the ring and replay this clip, before declaring they accept the challenge. At the show Miz & Morrison do a throwback entrance, Miz gelling his hair back into a mini Mohawk and wearing a fedora, Morrison his old fuzzy coat and shades. Miz even hits his old finisher, The Reality Check midway through. In the end Usos win and become new champs, this being their 7th tag title reign in the company.
11- AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker - Singles Match
This has been rumoured like mad as of late and for good reason, it’s an utter dream match. “Phenom vs. Phenomenal” is a good enough tag line to make people by the show but we’re gonna give this story. Styles returns after injury from the Rumble and cuts a promo saying how there is no legend that can beat him. He’s beaten Cena, he’s beaten Orton, nobody can match A-J-Styles! Following weeks we begin to see strange things happening to Styles. Backstage he could just be in his locker room, when the lights go out. He begins panicking only for them to be turned on and Curt Hawkins says “oh sorry man I accidentally turned the lights off.” and Styles batters him.
We see his car with the words “Phenomenal” painted on it in red, with “Phenom” underlined. This all boils up to one episode of Raw with Styles and The OC telling whoever it is messing with them to show themselves - GONG. Taker walks out and because he’s the Undertaker, the crowd go ballistic. Undertaker walks out and in a croaky voice says “WrestleMania, you might try and kill me, I will kill you...” then does his weird eye roll while The OC quiver in fear. The match is made, can Styles bring Taker’s record down to 24-3? Or will Taker make it 25 wins, we’ll have to wait and see.
Now, elephant in the room, Taker isn’t great anymore. However you can cover up for his lack of ability. We can still have a solid 10-15 minute match because firstly, he’s wrestling AJ fucking Styles, he could wrestle a broom to a 5 star classic. Secondly, just have Taker do really basic signature moves like Big Boot, Chokeslam, Lariat etc. Maybe he can hit an Old School, who knows. Styles can sell the Hell’s Gate like his body is being ripped into two. Also, we have to see Taker counter a Phenomenal Forearm into a Chokeslam, throwing AJ into Gallows and Anderson on the outside. Taker hits two Tombstone Piledriver to win and become 25-2.
12- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler - Raw Women’s Championship
Shayna Baszler attempts to cost Becky her title match with Asuka at the Rumble, but fails to do so as Becky still somehow retains by the skin of her teeth. Baszler then in the Rumble gets around 10 eliminations, before she’s thrown out by Becky Lynch who wasn’t a participant, and they brawl up the ramp. Shayna stays put in NXT for the next while, ending her program with Shotzi Blackheart. A photo is put on WWE’s Instagram of Shayna and Becky staring down with Becky holding the Raw Women’s Title. The night after this Shayna attacks Becky on Raw!
At Elimination Chamber, Asuka gets a second shot at Becky’s title. She fails to win and turns on Kairi, as you already read below. After the match Shayna Baszler walks out and points at the WrestleMania sign, Becky does the same, and that’s the final image before the main event of the night. Weeks in build to Mania see Becky beat up Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir backstage like a total badass, while Shayna says “Becky may have beat Ronda, she may have beaten up Marina and Jess, but she ain’t beating me.”
Its everything Ronda/Becky should have been before Charlotte got involved. Becky trying to out match Shayna’s MMA credentials, avoiding submissions, and taking some stiff strikes. In the end Shayna counters a Becksploder into a Kirifuda Clutch for the win and becomes new Raw Women’s Champion. Her, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir all celebrate with the new champion while Becky struggles to get up, pushing aside medical staffs attempt to support her.
13- Seth Rollins vs. Edge - Singles Match
Seth Rollins gets into a program with Christian in the build to Super Show-Down and they have a match there which is won by Seth. Seth then begins feuding with Edge who just returned at the Royal Rumble. Edge says since 2014 HES wanted to beat up Rollins after he said he’d break his neck. Rollins says “and I still want to” before Curb Stomping Edge and telling AOP to take him out. However, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, the former Edgeheads rush to Edge’s aid! 12 years on from when they teamed with Edge, here they are again. Next week AOP squash Hawkins and Ryder. Next week Rollins walks down to cut a promo and brags how he defeated Christian, he’ll do the same to Edge.
Rollins attacks Edge brutally backstage one episode of RAW and so is stripped of the titles. Edge says that he sees a lot of himself in Rollins. Young, fired and hungry, an ultimate opportunist, a tag team specialist, a multiple time world champ etc. Edge warns Rollins he knows exactly what it’s like to be drunk of power, Rollins responds to this with another Curb Stomp and the match is made. They go about 10 minutes with back and forth action throughout, same structure as AJ/Taker of Rollins carrying his opponent who can’t do much in the ring, with Edge hitting his basic signature moves. Rollins win the match and he showers in the boos.
14- “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan - WWE Universal Championship
Seems a strange mash of guys but lemme explain. Everyone of these guys bring out the best in each other. Wyatt and Bryan’s 2014 feud is phenomenal, along with their recent work producing the Fiend’s best match to date. Bryan and Reigns have history with the mystery attacker storyline and their feud from around SeptembeOctober time. Reigns and Wyatt is of course the most rumoured and to be fair, most likely match for Mania. It all links, but now to how we get here. Fiend defeats Bryan in the exact same match as real life. In the Elimination Chamber the match looks like: Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan vs. King Corbin vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Braun Strowman vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the #1 Conterdership to the WWE Title.
Corbin is taken out first by Reigns, then Nakamura and Bryan have a face off but Nakamura is rolled up by Bryan after Cesaro distracts Nakamura on the outside, Braun Strowman is eliminated by Mustafa Ali as a way to really put Ali over. Commentary build how Ali had his chance at the title taken away from him last year, he won’t let it slide this year. Bryan then eliminates Ali after a fun encounter leaving just Bryan and Reigns. Ali I purposefully left off the card so that the fans can get upset at Ali being left off the crowd, get a Yes Movement thing going which will lead into Ali being cost the MITB ladder match AGAIN which really annoys the crowd. Ali can either turn heel and feud with Kofi Kingston the new WWE Champion (spoilers) or stay face, I wouldn’t mind either.
Reigns pins Bryan even though Bryan’s foot was on the ropes. Reigns is going to Mania but by fluke. Bryan demands a rematch happens which he’s given, but no stipulation is added. Bryan has Reigns pinned but then the match is ended via DQ after The Fiend attacks both men. Bryan, REALLY annoyed he hasn’t gotten his god damn shot at the title confronts Reigns. Reigns says that what happened at the chamber wasn’t Reigns fault and Bryan was simply unlucky. That just how it is man. Bryan then slowly begins a yes chant, his hands slowly rising up and the crowd slowly getting louder and joining along with him. It reaches a boiling point where the roof is about to blow in cheers when Vince McMahon walks out.
Vince says Bryan will have to do what Kofi did last year, and run a gauntlet, what Reigns had to do to get his shot at Chamber, Bryan will have to do next week on the go home show. In the Firefly Funhouse later that night Bray says it’s very unfair that Bryan isn’t getting a match, but if Bryan wants the match, all he has to do is - Let Him In. Bryan enters in Iron Man attire for the gauntlet and defeats old friends of Wyatt/Reigns like The Usos, Braun Strowman etc. The last man he has to face, is The Miz. Miz has history with every man in the match so he’s a good fit, and now he’s a heel him and Bryan just go at it for a solid 5-10 minutes before Bryan puts him away with a Running Knee. It’s nonstop action from the get go in the match, and I’d have it be won by, Daniel Bryan.
15- Kofi Kingston vs. Brock Lesnar (c) - WWE Championship
Main event time. Kofi Kingston wins the Rumble after getting saved 3 times: first by being thrown out and landing on Heyman’s body, second by being caught by Big E, third by landing on the announce table and then walking across the cover of the monitors back to the ring. He wins last eliminating Seth Rollins and it’s truly a crowning achievement, because after all these years of creating classic Royal Rumble moments every single year and being a legend of the stipulation, he finally wins the thing. He’s also I believe the first African American to win the Rumble, which WWE can talk about during Black History Month over the course of February.
Kofi finally wins the Rumble and he has the choice between fighting The Fiend or fighting Brock Lesnar. Really, it’s a lose/lose situation. He chooses Brock so that he can reclaim the title he never got a rematch for, the title FOX made him lose. After months of successful defence after successful defence, being the best champion he possibly could, 180 days he held the gold, he had to lose it in the shortest world title match in history, never getting a rematch. No matter how much walls he was barricaded off with, boundary after boundary, he’s still breaking barriers, even after last year, he’s still at this, and he won’t stop until he beats Brock Lesnar clean as a god damn whistle.
After the hype package, Kofi Kingston enters with Big E and Xavier Woods and they make a typical huge New Day entrance, driving down a car with the old New Day Entrance video on stage, the choir of black women singing their theme song. In the car Woods is on trombone, while Big E is wearing a top hat driving the car, Kofi standing tall in the centre. In the back they have all their old gimmicks, Booty O’s, Ice Cream, Pancakes etc. Brock Lesnar strikes fear in Kofi with his entrance, but Kofi stays put. Brock laughs as soon as he sees his opponent, still not thinking he’s a threat.
As soon as Kofi runs for Brock, Brock gets him up in an F5 position but Kofi gets out. Trouble in Paradise! Boom Drop! 1...Kick Out!! Suplex City from Lesnar, Kofi lands on his feet, another Trouble in Paradise! Kofi then hits a Springboard Tornado DDT followed by Dropkick. He goes for a vault jump Double Foot Stomp but Brock catches and hits an F5! Kofi rolls to the outside but Brock chases him. He then hits a German Suplex to Kofi onto the announce table. Big E and Brock have a stare down, before Brock gets Big E up for a F5 on the outside, Kofi jumps off the announce table with a Double Foot Stomp to Brock! Back in the ring hits Suplex City before Kofi hits a Pendelum Kick! Kofi goes for a Springboard Crossbody, F5 by Lesnar! 1.....2....Kofi gets his foot on the ropes!
Lesnar mercilessly beats down on Kofi with a Three Amigos before Kofi manoeuvres into an S.O.S. Brock takes Kofi back to Suplex City but Kofi gets out and hits a V-Trigger + Double Foot Stomp! Kofi then ducks a Lariat attempt and runs up the ropes and looks for a Crossbody but Lesnar rolls with it and hits a Ushigoroshi! Lesnar lines up the F5 but Kofi gets out, hits 5 Trouble in Paradise’s to Lesnar before Lesnar falls. Kofi then hits a Boom Drop and looks at Lesnar, thinks of how he humiliated him on the FOX premier, stole his title, never gave him a rematch, picks him up, hits another Trouble in Paradise! 1...........2..........3!!!!!! KOFI KINGSTON IS NEW WWE CHAMPION!!!!
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2020.01.26 04:15 PotentialRemote Not dating girls from your own country.....just too much stress and hassle!

I'm probably going to get shot down in flames for this but has anyone else given up dating girls from their own country? I'm just going to lay this out and I know the issue is likely me but here goes:
I'm from Scotland and ever since I've been in my early teens I've mostly dated Scottish girls. This seems normal enough as it's my home country. Also, I'm certainly not perfect (not by a long way!) but I have tried to be as decent as possible. However what I noticed is that I just can't seem to get on with girls from my country.
I counted that between working abroad, holidays, scheduled flights that were cancelled and resulted in having to take major detours that I had visited around 13 different countries outside my own. Then I realised that being in these 13 different countries I proceeded to meet girls from other countries still. E.G. if I was in Spain I might meet a girl from Sweden even though I personally have not been there. Or if I was in Germany I might meet a girl from Russia, even though I have never been there, that sort of thing.
When you add together the countries I have actually set foot in together with the home countries of girls I have met but have not actually visited their home (Sweden, Russia and many more) the list adds up to over 30. Now in pretty much each and every one of these interactions I have to say the girls were so nice, so pleasant and it was just great to meet them and for them to allow me to share their company even if I was not their type they were still honest, polite and very nice and thats all you can ask for IMO.
The trouble is, after each and every one of these pleasurable meetings, I've always had the misfortune of having to come home to Scotland.
I have to be honest, I'm pretty slow! I always have been and I guess I always will be. Unfortunately no matter how much I've tried to better myself...I'm just not that smart :(
What I have realised though is that I get on so much better with foreign girls. With Scottish girls I've had dates when, for example, we went for something to eat and I've tried to make conversation and the whole time the girls have been on their phone and often just ignored anything I said or asked. Then because I assume they were not interested or thought I was boring or whatever I dont want to pester them so I didnt contact them again, only to wake up to a text a few days later...giving me abuse for not texting or calling to arrange another date?? I mean WTF? You ignored me and were on your phone the whole night so I assumed you just thought that maybe I was beneath you, not your type etc? Which is fine as I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea.
This is just some examples there are many, many more, Including one girl who was angry because I refused to get her pregnant even though I had only been out with her twice.
Sorry for such a long post and I don't mean to bore anyone but to cut a long story short (or just make it not as long lol). After having countless dates with Scottish girls, some of which I found out later was just to make their ex jealous and get a free meal and things like that, I realised that I had to analyse things.
I realised that the vast majority of meetings with Scottish girls were complete, unmitigating disasters! Then looking at meetings with girls that were not Scottish I think there was only one that was not pleasant (turned out she was a Bulgarian Gypsy that was wanted by the Police but thats another story!)
So I tried to be logical and decided that basically.....if the best I can do in life is a Scottish girl, then TBH...I would rather just not bother. This came back to bite me in the arse though because a girl I work with tried to set me up with her friend who was newly single. I didn't know the girl so asked where she was from and the matchmaker told me she was Scottish so I politely declined and informed her I don't date Scottish girls anymore.
Well!!!!!!! This resulted in my prospective date errupting in a manner that would make the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs seem like an ants fart!! She was calling me for alsorts....even though I had not even met her! To me it made me realise I had made the correct decision.
I've met a few Irish girls who were just an absolute dream. The reasons we couldn't see each other anymore were mainly logistical and geographical and to do with their jobs and my job but still, they were so nice and it was an absolute delight for them to allow me some of their time. They were also very honest and polite when telling me why things could go no further and although it was disappointing.....all you can ask is that someone be honest with you and hopefully not be unpleasant when there is no need for it and that is what they were like, so sweet and i couldnt help but wish them all the best.
It's just I was wondering if it was just me that for some reason rubs their fellow country women up the wrong way or just cannot seem to get on with people from their land?
submitted by PotentialRemote to dating [link] [comments]


2020.01.07 19:27 Icarus_Nine Taken from a 100% serious lunatic on FB, he was not shitposting

#GenuinelyLookingToSettleDown
Sick of Dating Apps so trying this as over the years I've met far more women off Facebook PM chats than any "Dating Apps" just going to put this out there and see what happen's 😅 I'm 5ft7 15+Stone Muscular, I'm Loving, Caring, Out-going,Fun, Genuinely fed up of games and cheating I want to give it my all and I'm happiest when my woman is smiling, Great listener and communicator give excellent advice and guidance honest opinions even if it is criticism I will structure it and give an explanation or personal experience example, I worked mainly with women since 2012 I listened to over 10 women's issues, Relationship, Family, Tragedy, Deaths, Being Home Sick, Women pain ECT, I Protected my Girls 8hrs a night 7nights a week for 6months without even a single day off because I was loyal as they were my friends and family whilst in Europe after work 6am wee all went to Panama Jack's 24hr Bar for full English breakfast and Drinks Ect after working 10pm -6, I wear Expensive Designer Clothes bought about £2,000 worth in a Boutique in the last few weeks and I have way too much TBH, Financially stable, No kids, I'm Extremely VWE Dominant in the way women want a man to be, In bed I always put the lady's pleasure before my own and I'm very long lasting, been told by women "My Oral takes them to heaven and my hands are Magical & I know how to use my tool I don't just batter full size in and out and blow in 3mins I'm more half hour-hour foreplay and 2-4hr penetration" regularly I just give up as I can't Climax even though I'm loving it I have ghostys, I'm pretty much up for anything love outdoors,, role play,, fantasy, Lingerie (I actually have about 12 brand new items and 7 sex toys and Lube) Ive got Semi detached house alot of recent major Renovation work done and plans in place to have the work I want done by end of February then the walls that were skimmed will be painted with the paint I've already got 2x Dulux Once 5L Cookie dough chocolate and 5L Magnolia, Already paid for and waiting for hand built New UPVC front and back door because mines aren't a standard size I'm having to wait and Totally new frames should be fitted by 16th January! New Vertical Blinds in Living room front and rear window by End of February, Hoping to have a New CCTV cameras Front and back by start of March I already have a Camera but I want to Upgrade and get the Cameras put up so high that they can't be interfered with and new ones have 360 rotation capabilities, I live in a Very Quiet Nice Street one of the best in the Town my garden is 40ft from a small Castle with a Hot Tub in my unit, Looking for a Extremely Loyal, Trustworthy, Loveable Lady around 21-35Yrs preferably someone without kids I may consider a bit younger but you will need to be seriously mature because at 16 I thought I knew everything and it wasn't until years of experience living in Europe after turning 24 and then being in literally every single situation you can ever be in in life and I experienced a lifestyle that only a very small percentage of people ever would in life I've worked 5 brothel & lap dancing club in Majorca and 1 brothel in Tenerife I've done bars, restraunts, booze cruises, boat party's, Bar Crawl, Pirates Reloaded 18+, Rat Race,Sex Games, DJ'n and Kareoke presenting, Protecting hookers and lap dancing girls, I even got asked by a Very High Class Escort who only serviced millionaire types to Escort her 16yr old Bulgarian Daughter around the Island I was given a list of what she could and couldn't do and I basically Babysat a 16yr old girl while she traveled all over Majorca Shopping ,Drinking,Waterparks ,Go-Karts,Quad's, Rental Cars Ect and basically holding her hand/Shoulder so no lads would attempt to get into her as far as her mother knew she was a Virgin and that was the way it was too stay until she found someone who could afford to give her a lifestyle that her mother had given her and going by the amount I was paid per day and how much she was spending her mother must have been making some Epic Money basic hookers at our brass house were making between 1500 - 4000 a week after a 50/50 split with the club so I can only imagine what a Millionaire Client Only Escort was Earning sometimes she was going on Round the world trips and 4week + Yachting (Posh Cruises) that employed Michelin star Chefs to be On-board Ect, My next partner Must be Financially Independent but of course I will buy you some presents and take you out occasionally I have travel Scotland Passes so Travel for 2 is free but I am currently banned for another 3yrs I'd prefer a lady who has a License but if you don't and were serious relationship I will help pay you through your test if necessary and help get a motor depending on the Lady's own financial Situation, I want to do day trips, Nights out, Weekends Away, Holidays and Festival's, Partner Must be willing to have a Child in the Future I have the perfect family home Semi detached house 3minute walk to school and Supermarket, front and back Garden with professionally built 12x10 unit for the Hot Tub 2seater leather couch, Electric Radiator and Sound Bar for Tunes, I can do Romantic Hot Tub by Night Candles, Floating multi colour neon flash light, Drinks and Music of your choice Bluetooth from my phone I get 30GB data but my Phone takes 2 different Sims so easily increase it to 60GB Data if needed for our entertainment or given you a Hot Spot for internet Browsing/Streaming!
I'm adding some pictures of what you can expect from me and where I am in life and the way I live and standard of living and personal look I hope you like it and inbox me 😍😍😍
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2020.01.02 05:40 Bearrrs My progress for the year! 26/5'3'' [150ish > 125 = around 25 lbs] Fall 2018- Fall 2019 Lifted weights, and started eating carbs again

X posting from progresspics.
Before and After
So I decided to post this picture from fall because since then with holidays and work I've been more focused on maintaining, though I do think I look slightly more defined. My scale weight fluctates pretty wildly depending on if I'm hydrated or not but I generally sit around 123-127.
In the photo on the left I was probably a year out from the most stressful time in my life. I won’t get too much into that, but during that period I coped with the lack of control I felt professionally and artistically by exerting extreme control over my diet.. (very strict paleo Keto) Something that in retrospect was a complete waste of time and really didn’t result in any benefits health or fitness wise and probably just added more anxiety on top of everything else I was going through. (Not saying Keto is a waste of time for EVERYONE, I definitely think it works well for some. Just not for me.)
Frustrated by my lack of progress despite going to such extremes I swung in the opposite direction and put on 30-40 pounds in a pretty short amount of time. I felt like an alien in my own body. So, I decided to fix it but at a deliberate non-extreme pace. I focused on lifting and progressive overload something that wasn’t completely new for me but this past year I’ve committed to more consistently than I ever have in the past. I also try to get at least 10k steps on days I exercise.
I cut my calories down slowly and focused on getting enough protein and eating clean but not killing myself mentally over having some artificial sweetener, carbs, or dairy. I would have made more “impressive” progress with a more aggressive diet and training schedule but this approach has felt more sustainable and less stressful than the way I’ve approached fitness/diet my entire life.
More recent images and videos pulled from my insta in this album
Edited to add this progress template. Sorry mods!
My History and goals
(This is long, pretty much the most relevant info is in my original post. I’m just being thorough. Feel free to skip if you just want my routine and diet.)
I was a chunky kid. My parents did not feed me well. Lots of fast food, etc. I played a lot of video games so I wasn’t active. When I was maybe 13? (I was probably around 140 lbs at this time.) I cut my calories down to like 900-1200 a day as at that time that was basically what the general advice was to lose weight for women. At my lowest at around 14-15 I was probably around 110 lbs, but was still super unhappy with my body composition. My only exercising at this time was legitimately Dance Dance Revolution for cardio.
Between 15-17 I branched out a little more in terms of exercising. My weight fluctuated during this time between 115-130 lbs. I did a lot of “Insanity” workouts. Those were my go to. So lots of cardio, plyometrics, still eating very little calories. Obviously that cycle resulted in some binging.
Between 17-18 I started going to a gym and doing “Bootcamp” group classes which were basically insanity but like an hour to an hour and a half. I also saw a trainer a few times that sort of taught me some gym machines but I definitely never squatted on anything other than a smith machine during sessions. I was also intimidated so didn’t do a lot of lifting at all on my own. Still eating very little, Maybe 1200-1500 a day. But if I’d hit 1500 I’d have probably panicked and thought I was eating too much. Now though with bouts of veganism and pretty extreme clean eating. My body composition did improve a bit at this point, but not in a way I was still really happy about. My quads were poppin’ from all those plyometrics tho.
Put on weight after getting ill after freshman year of college, (got up to like 170 lbs here, actually a bit more than in the before picture) Took a year off school and recovered. Went back to school, but I was in a fairly intense program in which I slept very little. So working out a ton was unfeasible. This is when I found keto. I did lose the weight on keto but it pretty much just brought me back to my baseline of 125-130 lbs. Even though that’s the same weight I am now my body composition was EXTREMELY different. This is finally when I can discuss macros, sort of.. as I was probably eating 30-40 grams of carbs most days and maybe 60 if I had like a “bad” day on keto. Couldn’t tell you what my other macros were, I was just worried about staying low carb.
Post-college (I addressed this in my initial post a bit) I got very extreme with paleo/keto. I’d say my macros were still 60 carbs a day max, usually more like around 30. I was probably eating 1200-1600 calories a day still aside from occasional binges as a result of being way too restrictive. I was kind of working out, but it was mostly at home with a set of adjustable kettlebells and more insanity style workouts. Near the end of this time I did start lifting but I wasn’t mentally in a great place and don’t think I was eating to fuel myself properly. Still wasn’t seeing great progress, got tired of it, stopped working out and kind of swung wildly into “fuck it”mode and put on the weight you see in the before image.
So that brings me to last summefall when I got a gym membership and started lifting for real. My main goal was to lose the weight I’d put on and improve my body composition. I don’t particularly like being on a program, so I never followed a guide. I just did my research, looked at what other girls on instagram/youtube were doing that had bodies I admired and do a basic 4x a week split. Two upper and two lower days. I’ll get more detail on that in the routine section.
Before and after stats
BEFORE: Height 5’3, Weight: (Around 155 lbs) age, 25 BF% 36.3 (Percentage from fitbit scale so probably very inaccurate) Start date: Late summeearly fall 2018
AFTER Height 5’3, Weight: (124.2 lbs) age, 26 BF% 24.6 (Percentage from fitbit scale so probably very inaccurate) End date: Fall/Winter 2019
Diet
The most important thing to note here is that I don’t eat gluten or wheat 90% of the time. I don’t eat anything at home with it and I avoid it as much as possible at restaurants. I don’t care if you don’t believe in gluten intolerance, I don’t believe everyone has an issue with it like I do. When I eat gluten it gives me insane headaches and makes random areas of my skin (fingers and ears mostly) red and inflamed. Cutting it improved my personal health exponentially.
I also don’t eat much sugar. I’m not big on snacking, I prefer to eat 2 large meals a day and maybe have something like a gluten free english muffin with some kind of spread on it if I feel the need to have something small.
I don’t track macros strictly most days, I’ll occasionally plug stuff into fitbit to see where exactly where I am. I keep general track of my calories and protein for the day mentally.
Aside from that I just try to hit between 70-100 grams of protein a day. I eat moderate fat, high carb naturally, don’t really try to limit or count either of those often. I eat to satiety, which when I’ve calculated comes out anywhere between 1500-2000 calories a day. (Usually the higher calorie days are leg days.)
If I eat a little extra I use it as fuel for a workout.
Routine I workout 4x a week, I try to get 10k steps on all of those days. I don’t work chest at all. I’ll change the order of the routine depending on if equipment is in use, usually try to keep the more compound lifts in the first things I do though obviously and save the accessories for later.
Some of the glute accessory work is interchangeable for me. I’ve listed the ones I do here but I’ll swap them with each other depending on my mood.
My split is: 1. Shoulders Triceps / 2. Legs / 3. Back/Bicep / 4. Legs
My warmup every session is 10-30 minutes on the treadmill depending on how I’m feeling. I run, or do incline walks.
On leg days I do glute activation:
1-2x in a circuit.
Banded squats/squat jumps x15-20
Donkey kicks (sometimes banded) x20
Fire hydrants (sometimes banded) x15
Banded Glute Bridges x15
Shoulders/Tris
Seated Shoulder Press 4 x 8-15
Upright Rows 4 x 8-15
Front + Lat Raise 3 x 8 - 10 (Both movements = 1 rep)
Standing around the worlds 3x 10-15
Tricep Cable Push downs 3 x 15
Tricep Extension Machine 3 x 10 -15
Leg Day 1
Back Squats 4x 5-12
Bulgarian Split Squats 3-4 x - 8 - 12
Wide to Narrow Leg Press Super Set (Do a full set of wide, and then a full set of narrow and then rest) 3 x 8-15
Quad Extensions 3-4 x 10 - 12
Glute/Hamstring Back Extensions Or Pull throughs 3 x 10 - 15
Seated Hip abduction Machine 3 x 10 - 15
Back / Bicep Lat Pull Downs 4 x 8 - 15
Reverse Grip Pull downs 4 x 8 -15
Seated Cable rows 3 x 8-12
Single Standing Hammer Dumbbell Curls 3x 10 - 15
Double Bicep Curl Machine 3 x 10 - 15
Chest Press Machine Singles (I keep this light weight and push through my bicep so I don’t hit chest) 3 x 15
Leg Day 2 Back Squats 4x 5-12
Romanian Deadlifts 3 - 4 x 8-12
Narrow to single leg press superset (Do a full set of narrow, then each leg for singles then rest) 3 x 8-12
Quad Extensions 3-4 x 10 - 12
Cable kickbacks OR Pull throughs 3 x 10-15
Either seated abductions or cable abductions, or hamstring curls here. Usually 3x 10 -15
Abs
(Just starting to incorporate this, I’ve done almost no abs for the past year but have slowly started to improve. It’s one of my resolutions to have more ab progress so I usually add this on the end of back/bicep day. Moving forward I want add a cardio/ab day into my routine. So abs would be 2x a week. Currently only just started hitting 1x a week.)
Standing Weighted Side Bends 3 x 20
Oblique Twist cable machine “Wood chopper” 3 x 15
Low Plank 3x 1 minute
Lying Bench Leg Lifts 3x 12-15
Lying scissor kicks off bench 3 x 15
submitted by Bearrrs to xxfitness [link] [comments]


2019.12.29 19:20 Raykel r/popheads 2019 Album of the Year #29: FKA twigs - Magdalene

Artist: FKA twigs
Album: Magdalene)
Release Date: November 8, 2019
Label: Young Turks
Listen: Spotify Apple Music

Background

Luke 7:37-39
And behold, a woman of the city, when she learned that Jesus was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
Magdalene is the second LP by FKA twigs. A few years after following the critical success of LP1, she found herself amidst tragedy. It was announced that her highly public long-term relationship with famous actor, Robert Pattinson had ended. Immediately, rumors spread about how it was due to the racism she endured from his fans. Publications flocked to their story of the week and theorized it was due to their conflicting schedules. And during it all, Twigs was battling fibroid tumors in her uterus that she had to undergo surgery for to remove.
Finding herself alone, she discovered a biblical figure named Mary Magdalene. If you look up her name you’ll see stories of how she was a prostitute with several demons attached to her. The bible tells of how she became one of Jesus’s followers after he had saved her. With further research, you’d discover how much her narrative was shifted. She was one of Jesus’s closest peers and she’d always have potions on her to heal people like a first century doctor. Once FKA twigs discovered this, she found a home in Magdalene. She related to the duality of her reputation – a seductive dangerous whore and sensitive caring virgin.
Once she discovered herself in Magdalene’s story, Twigs sought out the next step of her artistry. She honed in on her talents, improving her vocal, dancing, and composing capabilities. With that she started new skills such as pole dancing, tap dancing, and even wushu, a Chinese martial art that involves mastering sword play. She trained for these for over a year in preparation for what would be her most personal project yet.

Track Breakdown

a thousand eyes – The album starts out with a somber track. While the lyrics are filled with worry, Twigs shows off her operatic vocals. Her voice is front and center at her most vulnerable. At some points it sounds like she’s letting out a cry she desperately wanted to keep in. She sings about what would happen once her public relationship ends. Anxious of all the judgement she’d face; every eye holding a potential insult. There are incoherent edited vocals in the background representing people and publications airing out every opinion they would have about their public break up. Twigs looked up to Mary Magdalene at this time, knowing all the slander she’s endured throughout the centuries. She saw someone who she can relate to and found strength in her story, but once the outro instrumental of this song arrives it’s threatening. It’s warning what the future holds and asks her if she can embrace the cold.
home with you – This song is about how Twigs would do anything to be there for anyone she loves. But a piano and her edited vocals give an eerie start to this track. She alludes to her fibroid tumors by describing them as apples and cherries, a raw sense of pain. And goes on to worry about whether she’s a good candidate to be a solace for herself and others. Behind the scenes, she talks about how she never sees a woman like her in superhero movies. A minority who’s also a sensitive and imperfect person trying all they can and sometimes failing. The lack of representation in media doesn’t allow for her to look up to someone to serve as an example. Despite all this, she’s willing to be the hero in the story that she’s telling as she says, “Mary Magdalene would never let her loved ones down.” In the chorus her voice becomes crystal clear. She asks for communication, a signal for her to come to the rescue. As the song goes on, she explains how she had no idea that the one she’s singing to was going through so much pain. The final chorus builds into an orchestral storm. There’s a thunderous keyboard and strings going 70 miles per hour. A clarinet flies threw the air and Twigs’s voice follows it up. They all find harmony as she admits to failing to communicate as well.
sad day – As if its fearing a loud noise may signal its lover to run away, the song starts out reserved. There’s an almost inaudible sound of rain hitting a window pane with synth strings mimicking it at the forefront. This intro perfectly encapsulates a sad day physically and emotionally. Twigs sings softly to her lover after hurting him, asking if he’s willing to chance staying in hopes of their love growing into something better. She mentions fruit for the second time on this record, “Taste the fruit of me.” She compares it to her love, the most raw emotion. Asking him to bask in it. The song later picks up with drums shattering its gentleness. She describes the distance growing between their love. The bridge now unrelenting as it sees its lover running away. She imagines herself closing that distance no matter how far it’s pulling apart. But once the reality of her life sets in, she realizes it’s just another sad day.
holy terrain ft. Future – With Future shouting adlibs over a Bulgarian folk inspired chant, the song starts out wanting to be heard. Comparing her love to fruit yet again, Twigs lists out the criteria a man would need in order to take it. When the chorus comes in, a synth glitches out and reels you in and her voice keeps you enthralled. During, she asks for a man who is confident enough to not be easily persuaded by influences outside of the relationship. Future acts as this man. He starts out his verse begging for forgiveness and willing to prove he’s worth her love. With other big names such as Skrillex, Jack Antonoff, and Kenny Beats on the production, this track is the most upbeat on the record.
mary magdalene – Twigs described this song has her most complex song ever. After wind chimes fill the intro, she comes in singing a cappella as she explains a woman’s capabilities. The instrumentation then builds into the chorus. A lot of it being a distortion of her vocals. She goes on to compare herself to Mary Magdalene – a healer and a confidante. In the second verse she speaks on Mary’s tarnished reputation. She explains how powerful she must’ve been if men felt threatened enough to change her history, as they wouldn’t have searched to destroy her for no reason. Then in the bridge Twigs sings about how, just like Mary Magdalene, she wasn’t heard. Her word wasn’t taken seriously and her perspective was blind to a man’s eye. Right after this, the production becomes explosive. Every element is picked apart and made into something else, just like Twigs’s vocals, just like Magdalene’s story.
fallen alien – Tying back to Mary’s reputation, the title of this track describes how FKA twigs is viewed but not how she identifies. Well aware of the general public finding her art to be strange and foreign, she tells her perspective, “To me [my work] didn’t feel foreign, it felt obvious... and more human than I’d ever been.” But with this song she played into her alien character; wailing in the chorus and layering instrumentation until the point of chaos. In the midst of it, she searches for a way out of her lover’s grasp and emotional hold, kicking him down in the process. With a sample from Florida Mass Choir’s “Storm Clouds Rising” throughout the track, and a loud panging synth with prominent electronic drums towards the end, Twigs finally reaches a cathartic boiling point in what is the climax of the album.
mirrored heart – After releasing her anger in the last track, Twigs plunges into darkness. A slow and drowsy guitar sets the tone. Emotionally exhausted, she starts off with a wail too weak to finish. The song then becomes an abstract piano ballad as she mourns not having her other half. She wonders if she was ever truly wanted, and if so, was it ever for the real her. Jealous of people who find the reflection of themselves in their partner, she can’t help but feel she was never truly seen in her partner’s. She lets out a jarring cry during the bridge and then collapses back into her quiet despair. Despite this episode of heartbreak, she sings about how she’s never going to give up, though she knows it’s a long climb up.
daybed – Depressed and alone in bed, this track follows Twigs’s eyes while looking around the room. With an ambient synth looming over her thoughts, she ceases to overthink. She lies there motionless as she allows her perception to change. Everything becomes abstract and personified. Ceilings, cacti, and fruit flies suddenly become the perfect representation of her emotions. Her emotions become physically tangible objects. The song also features added tweaked vocals. Small cries and quiet orgasms harmonized in the background as if the personified objects are speaking back to her. She finally finds company in her solitude – herself.
cellophane – What served as the catalyst for this era now serves as the closure of this album. Twigs is the first thing you hear on the track before a piano comes in and slowly gets distorted. Knowing that she gave her all, she wonders why it wasn’t enough. Her vocals then become as resonant as a violin as she sings about why he wasn’t enough. A vocal percussion also comes in and compliments her voice as her notes get higher. All of this is then paused as strings and a shimmering synth rains over the song. Then a quick moment later, her voice gets desperate and seemingly pleads for an answer as to how everything fell apart. The piano becomes even more distorted as she gives her one last wail for an ounce of closure. Now frazzled, the instrumentation calms back down. Twigs gives her final send-off as she mentions the thousand eyes that are now awakened, and wonders if she’s not enough for them either.

Visual Art

Music Videos
FKA twigs doesn’t stop at music. Fans of her wait eagerly for every video she releases. Her first single for the album, Cellophane kicked off the era with a high note. Now nominated for a Grammy, the music video mirrors the story of Icarus, flying too high for one’s wings and falling back down to the depths from whence they came. It starts out with Twigs wearing sunglasses with pearl droplets. A reference to a Jan Boeckhorst painting, “Mary Magdalene”. She then shows off her pole dancing skills as a winged creature with her face opens itself up to her. This can represent Twigs’s vulnerable side. She kicks it away in an attempt to hide away her emotions, which causes her to fall. After the long drop she’s in a cavern full of clay. People who are reminiscent of the thousand eyes she sung about in previous tracks crawl out and cover her in the clay. They may be molding her into something different. She embraces that she might become a changed woman; maybe an even stronger and more powerful one.
Another fan favorite music video is Home With You. The first half of the video features a partying and intoxicated Twigs. She’s numbing her pain with these activities. One eye is covered as if she lost a side to her. When she’s in the car, she and her friends go into a formation mimicking “The Virgin” by Gustav Klimt. This relates back to what may be Magdalene’s truth. Once she arrives home, she is sitting in front of a woman, which may allude to Michelangelo’s painting of Mother Mary holding her son, Jesus in her arms called “Pietà”. It could represent the strength and prowess women have in time of despair. With a band aid over her eye, she runs down the hills, treks through water, and hikes through forests to find her other half. When she pulls them out of the well that she finds, it’s revealed to be herself in child form. A band aid is also covering her eye. Twigs pulls back her dress and shows the missing eye placed where her belly button should be. It may be a small nod to the tumors she had in her uterus, but she herself said it’s a reminder to always follow your guts.
Costumes
FKA Twigs incorporates visual art to the very fine detail of costume. Stylized by Matthew Josephs, a lot of what she wears is a re-imagine of the dresses Magdalene wears in paintings. References can be made back to “Icon of Mary Magdalene” and Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen’s “Mary Magdalene”. She also has fun with other nods like performing Cellophane live at The Wallace Collection as the “Girl with a Peal Earring” by Johannes Vermeer. There are more photo shoots of her recreating famous paintings and if interested you can delve into it more.
Performances
It’s said that watching an FKA Twigs concert is like watching a theatrical play. She starts the show tap dancing solo to an avant-garde chant featuring her vocals. As the show goes on she shows off her vocals, pole dancing, and sword play using Lilith, her sword she named after Adam’s first wife who was banished after she said she doesn’t want to be ruled by a man. She also has televised performances she works tirelessly for. She practices seemingly nonstop. She craves to improve; she wants to how much she’s capable of. And to show us what she’s capable of, she released Magdalene to the world.

Talking Points

  1. What are your favorite moments on the album?
  2. Everyone has their own interpretation. What does this album mean to you?
  3. There are debates online on whether this is her most experimental record or not. Do you think she’s gotten more experimental or less since LP1?
  4. What new talent do you think she could try that’ll be interesting?
  5. Has the album cover grown on you?
submitted by Raykel to popheads [link] [comments]


2019.12.27 19:07 zankoas Kaiserreich Beta 0.10 - ‘Blood on the Yangtze’ is out!

Kaiserreich Beta 0.10 - ‘Blood on the Yangtze’
We are out of alpha! Welcome to the first beta version of Kaiserreich for Hearts of Iron 4. We are so happy to be here and couldn’t be more proud of all the work that has been done to get here. We never would have got here without one of the most amazing and passionate communities in all of gaming. Thank you. This update is our largest ever, with no less than 17 pages of changes. Highlights include, of course, the long awaited China update, the Italian rework, new naval changes, our largest ever performance improvement, an insane number of bug fixes and huge quality of life changes. More than ever before, we hope you enjoy playing Kaiserreich!
The KR4 team
P.S. We owe a massive thanks to Dayshine, among others, who have been working on CWTools. It has been an invaluable tool for us and we encourage modders from all Paradox games to make use of it.
P.P.S. We are aware of many people still having trouble with the new launcher. We believe we have identified, and fixed, the cause of some of the issues, though not all. If you are still having trouble, we have written up a guide which we hope will be of some use: https://kaiserreich.fandom.com/wiki/Troubleshooting_the_HoI4_Launcher
Changes
Notable Additions
The Italian Update
Naval Rework 3.0
Added Focus Trees to:
Reworked/expanded focus trees of:
Added Events to/for:
Added Decisions to/for:
Added Custom Paths to/for:
Mapping
GFX
Music Mod
Miscellaneous
Western Europe
Eastern Europe
Southern Europe
Northern Europe
North America
South America
Asia
Africa
Other
Incomplete Content
Fixes
Western Europe
Eastern Europe
Southern Europe
Northern Europe
North America
South America
Asia
Africa
Other
We hope you enjoy playing Kaiserreich as much as we did making it!
- The KR4 Team: Alpinia, Anbory, Arvidus, Beelzebub, Blackfalcon501, DSFDarker, Dr. Njitram, Drozdovite, Edouard Saladier, Eragaxshim, Fbruchmueller, Flamefang, Jeankedezeehond, Jonjon428, Jonny BL, KeetnaWilson, Khalil, Kracc, Krčo, Liegnitz, Maltesefalcon, MantisToboggan, Mifil, OperationsManagementDecisions, PPsyrius, Pietrus, Rei VL, Rinbro, Roniius, Roparex, Rylock, Saladenicoise, Sjarlewis, Skip, Telcontar101, The Alpha Dog, Thomahawk2k, Vidyaország, WordZero, Yard1, Zaddy-Chan and Zankoas
submitted by zankoas to Kaiserreich [link] [comments]


2019.12.18 17:30 youngrichntasteless Launching a $1.5MM/month digital wallet company

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Yavor Petrov of iCard, a brand that makes payments, transfers & loyalty cards
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Yavor Petrov and I’m the CEO of iCard - a unique and 100% digital bank account alternative.
I’ve always been passionate about technology and the ways to use it for the sole purpose of making people’s lives easier. The early days of my career got me acquainted with my co-founder and a majority owner of the company - Mr. Christo Georgiev.
Together, we’ve been building iCard since 2007 and today , our app and services support the daily payments of people in over 30 European countries.
We are a leading e-money institution that builds payments infrastructure and end-user platforms.
The jewel in our crown is the iCard Digital Wallet - a payment solution for Android and iPhone that is intuitive and packed with awesome (and free) features like:
Let’s meet before we get to the story and the details. This is me, in my office, in a photo shoot for a recent interview I did for Investor.bg :
image
Since the launch in late 2017 , the iCard app got around 500,000 downloads. An increasing number of our users opt to use our accounts for getting salaries paid in because of the security tools we have embedded. Everyone has their own particular favourite feature, but spending money in a way that provides better than expected funds protection is the main conversion point and we seek any opportunity to emphasize it.
image

Wha** t's your b ***ackstory and how did you come up with the idea?*

My co-founding team and I had an idea, or a dream, to innovate and redefine card payments and make them more accessible and affordable. The idea for the so-called e-money solutions came to fruition way before the legislative body of the European Union defined guidelines, drafted laws and regulations for our industry.
Together we created the company from scratch and built a new real-time transaction processing system directly integrated with all major card schemes such as VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, JCB, UNION PAY.
Being a pioneer means going places no one has visited before.
We’ve faced numerous challenges from both legal and technical perspective.
For the past 30 years, we’ve been witnessing enormous digital progress. The big US market leads the way to tech adoption with consumers changing their perceptions on a mass scale.
I remember the days when the majority of people were afraid to use their credit and debit cards for online payments. Then the market boomed and we saw the emergence of behemoth online retailers like Amazon and eBay, who were a major driving force for the build-up of trust in tech.
Next was the adoption of mobile devices. I was very optimistic for all of this because these new, tiny computers were packed with digital horsepower - from the start, smartphones were as fast as desktops and laptops. The big difference? They came into our lives and stayed with us 24/7.
The concept of technology taking up more and more of our personal attention was actually the driving force for creating the iCard digital wallet.
The concept behind iCard
We want to make payments easier and more affordable while opposing the long-standing banking model. We are providing an alternative because banks always find reasons to slap you fees for things that do not even incur administrative costs.
Our strategy is different!
We give out most of our services for free and only charge small usage fees for processing transactions we have expenses for.
Besides saving money on fees, we give people something even more valuable - a way to save time by not having to visit bank branches anymore.
https://youtu.be/SQWbLAI1GfA
Market challenges
Things in Europe are different than in the US … or in China, who is a leader in mobile tech adoption with centrally governed and unified digital services.
As much as we would like to take advantage of the 2-times-bigger-than-the-USA European market, it proves to be a challenge with 24 official languages, different connectivity and technology penetration levels.
Still, the relatively slower technology adoption pace on this side of the Atlantic, along with the market vacuum that the language differences create … was tempting.
Fast forward, I’m happy to keep busy building an awesome product and creating long-lasting relationships.
It’s a pleasure running a team of over 25** 0 highly-qualified professionals** in software, finances, customer service, and marketing.

Take us through the process** of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.**

The design
Now, iCard is a digital wallet and we wanted to make it as feasible as possible - to look like a real wallet. The first designs included a leather wallet appearance with debit cards tucked into it.
Have a glance at this screen from approximately one and a half years ago:
image
The idea of iCard was to fit pretty much all your cards, so we needed to design a wallet that can hold all of that. The cards you see above are just a small number of what you can fit into iCard. You could scroll and rearrange them, which is especially valuable if you have stored all your discount and loyalty cards, or if you have 20 virtual cards.
Coming up with an idea is the easy part. Making it appealing, legal and trustworthy takes many long and sleepless nights.
Making the first product
Have you ever created a website? Your idea seems clear , it even got designed and now is in the process of being built. Then, you get a tiny new idea to tweak one part just a bit and make it better. All this can shift your production timeline drastically because even the slightest change can require a series of connected adjustments.
To avoid this, we decided to use agile methodology in building our systems and processes. Building something and testing it in the real world is the best way to see what we’ve been missing in the conceptualization phase.
To make payments easier and more affordable , we needed to just launch as soon as possible. Building onto our past experience in the payment industry, we created our first app that lets people use basic payment features such as IBAN account, debit card.
And licensing was not an issue, because we were already in the business of electronic money and payments.
So, we designed the wallet, built it in a couple of months and let it run on our proprietary infrastructure, while observing how the users react and interact with it.
People’s feedback was our number one driver for improvements. With time, a lot of additional product features came to fruition.
We still have the leather designs for our top fans. Just recently, we even launched the trendy “dark mode”:
image

Describe the process of launching the business.

We are a 100% digital company, meaning that we do not have client-facing offices. It’s the technology that helps us cater to users in a very cost-effective way, which essentially transfers the savings back to the client.
We are very focused on our online presence as well.
Take a look back at the first version of our website, dating back to 2010:
image
This is us in 2019:
image
This comparison uncovers a great deal of progress - it reveals how much experience we have gained and how much web technology has progressed.
Nowadays, our website is undergoing changes on a daily basis.
But, to us, the mobile app is even more important and it needs to behave perfectly and do the job right - every time.
The market fit
I’ve researched the market extensively and it’s quite amusing :)
We have a segment of users who choose our digital wallet for its safety features, only after they get “burned”.
Here is the concept: Your cash can get damaged or lost. You are so used to handling notes and coins, you don’t even realize the dangers are persistently following you in your daily life. Then you lose a wad of cash, or it gets stolen, and you realize it has been a mistake all along.
This is how people find our app - when looking for a solution to their current problem.
The solution for this segment of users is simple to explain:
We solve real problems, but to be successful, we need to present these problems in a rational way.
So, reaching the perfect potential user at the right time, with the right message, is a challenge.
Why so?
Many localized markets in Europe behave in their own ways.
Incoming bank transfer fees are just another example of a problem that needs to be realized.
In our view, incoming money transfers to your classic bank account has barely any administrative expenses, yet some banks can charge up to $35 for that.
It’s now 25 years after PayPal was created to solve the problem of costly money sending and making it instant. Yet, PayPal could not really penetrate into the daily lives of people on our largely conservative continent.
Here is one more fact that we work to change:
More people search Google for “Cheap money transfers” than “Free money transfers” and when they find iCard, they are skeptical. It’s a mind-shift that we need to encourage and it takes a lot of trial and error in the process.
Launching, launching, launching
Nowadays, we are launching new app updates on a weekly basis, with new releases opening up new services or just perfecting the old app features.
For us, it’s always been very important to be agile and launch services quickly.
We’ve launched 2 other mobile apps, before iCard digital wallet, and many other B2B services. We are not the classic example of a garage-startup and all of that past experience helped us launch a totally awesome, rich and reliable service while financing it with own funds.
See what we launched in the last few months in this video:
https://youtu.be/-2E0_zTfZ5I
Measuring
Measures are relative. You may think that 100,000 clients is a good number, but that’s far from true for someone like me - someone who aims to make the lives of millions of people better.
We’ve seen a steady growth in numbers since launch, mostly due to people referring others to connect in iCard and send/receive money instantly and for free.
Check how we are doing in the last 6 months:
image
The lessons we learned
Putting together an e-wallet app with an account and debit card was just the beginning.
Lesson 1: We have learned 1 very important lesson - we need to constantly talk to our users and optimize accordingly.
A change that we implemented after listening to client feedback, was the ability to try some of our app features for free, without going through the full account identity verification process.
Since then we have included:
Lesson 2: We also learned that being mobile-first is a good market fit with the younger people.
So, we are going to very soon launch a full-blown web platform and the exquisite Visa Infinite debit card with higher limits to cater to a whole different market segment and gain even more trust.
We actually just launched the iCard Visa Infinite in our homebase market, so have a look at our teaser video:
https://youtu.be/1jurg3oePbI

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

It’s really intriguing playing around and testing different digital marketing tactics for improving our web presence.
What is the best form of Marketing? That’s happy clients referring a product.
But marketing on its own is not enough without a product worth being recommended.
By now, we’ve managed to create a super-rich app that fits within the needs and lifestyles of different types of users.
And it proves to be working.
Word of mouth for us is the best channel for attracting and activating users.
Retaining users
Here we go beyond marketing.
To keep a person happy, they need to get the job done right - to send the money easily or to make the payment with no friction.
Launching quickly and sorting any issues later may seem counterintuitive in the context of having a software product that does the job well to retain customers.
However, the missing piece of the puzzle is customer support.
I, personally, am more focused on the technical side of the business and I’m happy to work with great people around me, who handle customer concerns.
We go far and beyond expectations to resolve issues 24/7 … and the process involves a lot of explaining, guiding, comforting and assuring people that their money is safe and having an issue is our chance for improvement and getting closer and closer to serving a perfect app.
So, the people at our headquarters in Varna are vibrantly collaborating, effectively tackling problems and keeping users happy.
Here is what works really well
Challenging people, serving them with interactive web campaigns and giving as much personal attention as possible is key to success.
We test and launch different interactions, games and contest.
We ran a game called “iCard around the world”
It was run in social media and asked our users to take pictures of their card when visiting different landmarks, during holiday. Participants had to guess where the picture was taken for a chance of being selected to receive one of our limited edition NFC wearables for contactless payments. The game brought a lot of interest and revealed that iCard really does work anywhere!
Here are some of the game posts:
https://www.facebook.com/iCard.Digital.Wallet/photos/a.744673682398699/1093565794176151/?type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/iCard.Digital.Wallet/photos/a.744673682398699/1076284435904287/?type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/iCard.Digital.Wallet/photos/a.744673682398699/1065019170364147/?type=3&theater
We ran the referral campaign: “Keep tapping with friends”
We took advantage of the growing interest towards our NFC wearables and created a referral campaign and a challenge. Everyone who used the “Invite friends” option in the app, and 2 of their friends passed video identification, received an NFC wearable. Again - a great amount of interest and a lot of new clients.
This type of marketing works really well and we are even adjusting the dynamics right now to scale up the effort.
Here is how we welcomed participants:
image
Ratings work the best
One more thing that works really well for attracting users is our app presentation and rating in Google Play and App Store.
It is a combination of product, marketing and customer support that brings in user reviews and a score.
Right now, we are fluctuating between 4.4 and 4.6 Stars in Google Play.
Organic traffic is our number one traffic and download source , but getting there took us quite some time to prove we are worth it and get an excellent trust rating.
So, your focus, just like ours, should be on making clients happy.
And we keep pushing to do exactly this:
image

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today, we are doing … differently, in different European markets.
Our product adoption varies from one country to the next and depends on technology penetration, population age, money habits, competitors and of course the language.
Our app now runs in 8 different languages out of the 24 official EU languages.
Bulgaria, for example, is our home market. It performs really well and it’s not a surprise because on top of using an excellent product, our fellow countrymen and women support technology developed at home - that is prestige and recognition, mixed in with a hint of nationalism.
Beyond home, the northern European countries are leading the block with card payments taking over cash payments.
Germany and Switzerland are known to stick to their cash use.
So, we are constantly looking for ways to either break the old habits and get established in people’s minds as a modern and secure alternative to their old banks or to become the alternative when people are frustrated with their current account providers.
Operations
It’s very important for us that we do not depend on external contractors and service providers.
This is our way to keep agile and keep control in our hands.
We build our systems in-house and integrate our processes vertically.
Our team deals with getting licensed and complying with regulations.
We develop all the software at our headquarters.
Support is also handled at home.
All this allows us to see, act and predict better … and it shortens the communication channels, which is crucial.
We are not a bank
As a licensed e-money institution, we are not allowed to provide loans. Banking license is different and we are an alternative to banks.
This means we can’t collect revenue from the interest rate on loans.
At the same time, we give our many services for free, in order to compete effectively with the long-standing banking institutions.
Providing excellent bank-like services at minimal or no cost at all is part of our long-term strategy. We are well aware and prepared to incur some losses when acquiring a new client, however, we rely on our careful calculations that help us forecast before we break even.
And that works better in some markets than in others, so we keep testing and improving daily.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Sure we learned a lot. We keep learning as you read.
Changing habits is really, really hard and logic can rarely take over emotions (fear of new technology) to make someone move beyond their comfort zone and open an e-money account without visiting a bank branch - from the comfort of their phone and without wasting time on queues.
When people discover iCard, they realize it’s good, appreciate the richness of the app and say they will use it. What happens later is that their lives resume as normal, they reach for their cash, in their pocket, and totally forget about the new app they just installed.
Of course, once we welcome someone in our app or our website, we have ways to reach out and re-send targeted messages as part of the lead generation or onboarding processes.
Timing is important
We use it to our advantage.
How?
We aim to adopt everything new, to be first or at least next to the first.
Apple Pay is a great example.
Not many card issuers around Europe are integrated with it. User demand is high and we are now just weeks away from offering a debit card in over 30 countries that works with Apple Pay. This will help us become one of the very few app accounts that offer this on the old continent.
We are highly certain this move will positively impact our future success.
Brexit is another challenge and yet we have come up with a smart way to take advantage of the situation in either case - deal or no-deal exit from the EU market (but I’m going to keep this secret for now).

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Our CRM (Client Relationships Management) is custom-built to help us work with clients in the most effective way. There’s just no other solution for our service.
ZenDesk is integrated with our CRM and other communication channels to assist in handling support issues. Check the iCard story that ZenDesk placed on their website.
We are on Facebook with pages in 3 different languages - English, Italian and Bulgarian.
We use these channels for:
We use LinkedIn mostly for recruiting, announcing product updates and events.
We are optimizing for Google Search to be easily discoverable when people look for bank account alternatives or answer questions. We also run some advertising on the network.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

That’s going to be short - just launch as soon as possible! This is the best way to learn and get real market feedback that you can use to improve your offering.
Don’t be afraid - ideas on their own are worth nothing - execution matters the most!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are constantly looking to onboard high-performers in software development and customer support.
We welcome people from all over the world, so long you have the legal right to work here.
Check the current open positions here: https://careers.icard.com/jobs-modern-list/
Enquire with our team if you can recommend anyone - we may have a referral bonus for you!

Where can we go to learn more?

Learn more and connect with us:
Some of our other companies:
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to Business_Ideas [link] [comments]


2019.12.18 17:15 youngrichntasteless Launching a $1.5MM/month digital wallet company

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Yavor Petrov of iCard, a brand that makes payments, transfers & loyalty cards
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Yavor Petrov and I’m the CEO of iCard - a unique and 100% digital bank account alternative.
I’ve always been passionate about technology and the ways to use it for the sole purpose of making people’s lives easier. The early days of my career got me acquainted with my co-founder and a majority owner of the company - Mr. Christo Georgiev.
Together, we’ve been building iCard since 2007 and today , our app and services support the daily payments of people in over 30 European countries.
We are a leading e-money institution that builds payments infrastructure and end-user platforms.
The jewel in our crown is the iCard Digital Wallet - a payment solution for Android and iPhone that is intuitive and packed with awesome (and free) features like:
Let’s meet before we get to the story and the details. This is me, in my office, in a photo shoot for a recent interview I did for Investor.bg :
image
Since the launch in late 2017 , the iCard app got around 500,000 downloads. An increasing number of our users opt to use our accounts for getting salaries paid in because of the security tools we have embedded. Everyone has their own particular favourite feature, but spending money in a way that provides better than expected funds protection is the main conversion point and we seek any opportunity to emphasize it.
image

Wha** t's your b ***ackstory and how did you come up with the idea?*

My co-founding team and I had an idea, or a dream, to innovate and redefine card payments and make them more accessible and affordable. The idea for the so-called e-money solutions came to fruition way before the legislative body of the European Union defined guidelines, drafted laws and regulations for our industry.
Together we created the company from scratch and built a new real-time transaction processing system directly integrated with all major card schemes such as VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, JCB, UNION PAY.
Being a pioneer means going places no one has visited before.
We’ve faced numerous challenges from both legal and technical perspective.
For the past 30 years, we’ve been witnessing enormous digital progress. The big US market leads the way to tech adoption with consumers changing their perceptions on a mass scale.
I remember the days when the majority of people were afraid to use their credit and debit cards for online payments. Then the market boomed and we saw the emergence of behemoth online retailers like Amazon and eBay, who were a major driving force for the build-up of trust in tech.
Next was the adoption of mobile devices. I was very optimistic for all of this because these new, tiny computers were packed with digital horsepower - from the start, smartphones were as fast as desktops and laptops. The big difference? They came into our lives and stayed with us 24/7.
The concept of technology taking up more and more of our personal attention was actually the driving force for creating the iCard digital wallet.
The concept behind iCard
We want to make payments easier and more affordable while opposing the long-standing banking model. We are providing an alternative because banks always find reasons to slap you fees for things that do not even incur administrative costs.
Our strategy is different!
We give out most of our services for free and only charge small usage fees for processing transactions we have expenses for.
Besides saving money on fees, we give people something even more valuable - a way to save time by not having to visit bank branches anymore.
https://youtu.be/SQWbLAI1GfA
Market challenges
Things in Europe are different than in the US … or in China, who is a leader in mobile tech adoption with centrally governed and unified digital services.
As much as we would like to take advantage of the 2-times-bigger-than-the-USA European market, it proves to be a challenge with 24 official languages, different connectivity and technology penetration levels.
Still, the relatively slower technology adoption pace on this side of the Atlantic, along with the market vacuum that the language differences create … was tempting.
Fast forward, I’m happy to keep busy building an awesome product and creating long-lasting relationships.
It’s a pleasure running a team of over 25** 0 highly-qualified professionals** in software, finances, customer service, and marketing.

Take us through the process** of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.**

The design
Now, iCard is a digital wallet and we wanted to make it as feasible as possible - to look like a real wallet. The first designs included a leather wallet appearance with debit cards tucked into it.
Have a glance at this screen from approximately one and a half years ago:
image
The idea of iCard was to fit pretty much all your cards, so we needed to design a wallet that can hold all of that. The cards you see above are just a small number of what you can fit into iCard. You could scroll and rearrange them, which is especially valuable if you have stored all your discount and loyalty cards, or if you have 20 virtual cards.
Coming up with an idea is the easy part. Making it appealing, legal and trustworthy takes many long and sleepless nights.
Making the first product
Have you ever created a website? Your idea seems clear , it even got designed and now is in the process of being built. Then, you get a tiny new idea to tweak one part just a bit and make it better. All this can shift your production timeline drastically because even the slightest change can require a series of connected adjustments.
To avoid this, we decided to use agile methodology in building our systems and processes. Building something and testing it in the real world is the best way to see what we’ve been missing in the conceptualization phase.
To make payments easier and more affordable , we needed to just launch as soon as possible. Building onto our past experience in the payment industry, we created our first app that lets people use basic payment features such as IBAN account, debit card.
And licensing was not an issue, because we were already in the business of electronic money and payments.
So, we designed the wallet, built it in a couple of months and let it run on our proprietary infrastructure, while observing how the users react and interact with it.
People’s feedback was our number one driver for improvements. With time, a lot of additional product features came to fruition.
We still have the leather designs for our top fans. Just recently, we even launched the trendy “dark mode”:
image

Describe the process of launching the business.

We are a 100% digital company, meaning that we do not have client-facing offices. It’s the technology that helps us cater to users in a very cost-effective way, which essentially transfers the savings back to the client.
We are very focused on our online presence as well.
Take a look back at the first version of our website, dating back to 2010:
image
This is us in 2019:
image
This comparison uncovers a great deal of progress - it reveals how much experience we have gained and how much web technology has progressed.
Nowadays, our website is undergoing changes on a daily basis.
But, to us, the mobile app is even more important and it needs to behave perfectly and do the job right - every time.
The market fit
I’ve researched the market extensively and it’s quite amusing :)
We have a segment of users who choose our digital wallet for its safety features, only after they get “burned”.
Here is the concept: Your cash can get damaged or lost. You are so used to handling notes and coins, you don’t even realize the dangers are persistently following you in your daily life. Then you lose a wad of cash, or it gets stolen, and you realize it has been a mistake all along.
This is how people find our app - when looking for a solution to their current problem.
The solution for this segment of users is simple to explain:
We solve real problems, but to be successful, we need to present these problems in a rational way.
So, reaching the perfect potential user at the right time, with the right message, is a challenge.
Why so?
Many localized markets in Europe behave in their own ways.
Incoming bank transfer fees are just another example of a problem that needs to be realized.
In our view, incoming money transfers to your classic bank account has barely any administrative expenses, yet some banks can charge up to $35 for that.
It’s now 25 years after PayPal was created to solve the problem of costly money sending and making it instant. Yet, PayPal could not really penetrate into the daily lives of people on our largely conservative continent.
Here is one more fact that we work to change:
More people search Google for “Cheap money transfers” than “Free money transfers” and when they find iCard, they are skeptical. It’s a mind-shift that we need to encourage and it takes a lot of trial and error in the process.
Launching, launching, launching
Nowadays, we are launching new app updates on a weekly basis, with new releases opening up new services or just perfecting the old app features.
For us, it’s always been very important to be agile and launch services quickly.
We’ve launched 2 other mobile apps, before iCard digital wallet, and many other B2B services. We are not the classic example of a garage-startup and all of that past experience helped us launch a totally awesome, rich and reliable service while financing it with own funds.
See what we launched in the last few months in this video:
https://youtu.be/-2E0_zTfZ5I
Measuring
Measures are relative. You may think that 100,000 clients is a good number, but that’s far from true for someone like me - someone who aims to make the lives of millions of people better.
We’ve seen a steady growth in numbers since launch, mostly due to people referring others to connect in iCard and send/receive money instantly and for free.
Check how we are doing in the last 6 months:
image
The lessons we learned
Putting together an e-wallet app with an account and debit card was just the beginning.
Lesson 1: We have learned 1 very important lesson - we need to constantly talk to our users and optimize accordingly.
A change that we implemented after listening to client feedback, was the ability to try some of our app features for free, without going through the full account identity verification process.
Since then we have included:
Lesson 2: We also learned that being mobile-first is a good market fit with the younger people.
So, we are going to very soon launch a full-blown web platform and the exquisite Visa Infinite debit card with higher limits to cater to a whole different market segment and gain even more trust.
We actually just launched the iCard Visa Infinite in our homebase market, so have a look at our teaser video:
https://youtu.be/1jurg3oePbI

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

It’s really intriguing playing around and testing different digital marketing tactics for improving our web presence.
What is the best form of Marketing? That’s happy clients referring a product.
But marketing on its own is not enough without a product worth being recommended.
By now, we’ve managed to create a super-rich app that fits within the needs and lifestyles of different types of users.
And it proves to be working.
Word of mouth for us is the best channel for attracting and activating users.
Retaining users
Here we go beyond marketing.
To keep a person happy, they need to get the job done right - to send the money easily or to make the payment with no friction.
Launching quickly and sorting any issues later may seem counterintuitive in the context of having a software product that does the job well to retain customers.
However, the missing piece of the puzzle is customer support.
I, personally, am more focused on the technical side of the business and I’m happy to work with great people around me, who handle customer concerns.
We go far and beyond expectations to resolve issues 24/7 … and the process involves a lot of explaining, guiding, comforting and assuring people that their money is safe and having an issue is our chance for improvement and getting closer and closer to serving a perfect app.
So, the people at our headquarters in Varna are vibrantly collaborating, effectively tackling problems and keeping users happy.
Here is what works really well
Challenging people, serving them with interactive web campaigns and giving as much personal attention as possible is key to success.
We test and launch different interactions, games and contest.
We ran a game called “iCard around the world”
It was run in social media and asked our users to take pictures of their card when visiting different landmarks, during holiday. Participants had to guess where the picture was taken for a chance of being selected to receive one of our limited edition NFC wearables for contactless payments. The game brought a lot of interest and revealed that iCard really does work anywhere!
Here are some of the game posts:
https://www.facebook.com/iCard.Digital.Wallet/photos/a.744673682398699/1093565794176151/?type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/iCard.Digital.Wallet/photos/a.744673682398699/1076284435904287/?type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/iCard.Digital.Wallet/photos/a.744673682398699/1065019170364147/?type=3&theater
We ran the referral campaign: “Keep tapping with friends”
We took advantage of the growing interest towards our NFC wearables and created a referral campaign and a challenge. Everyone who used the “Invite friends” option in the app, and 2 of their friends passed video identification, received an NFC wearable. Again - a great amount of interest and a lot of new clients.
This type of marketing works really well and we are even adjusting the dynamics right now to scale up the effort.
Here is how we welcomed participants:
image
Ratings work the best
One more thing that works really well for attracting users is our app presentation and rating in Google Play and App Store.
It is a combination of product, marketing and customer support that brings in user reviews and a score.
Right now, we are fluctuating between 4.4 and 4.6 Stars in Google Play.
Organic traffic is our number one traffic and download source , but getting there took us quite some time to prove we are worth it and get an excellent trust rating.
So, your focus, just like ours, should be on making clients happy.
And we keep pushing to do exactly this:
image

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today, we are doing … differently, in different European markets.
Our product adoption varies from one country to the next and depends on technology penetration, population age, money habits, competitors and of course the language.
Our app now runs in 8 different languages out of the 24 official EU languages.
Bulgaria, for example, is our home market. It performs really well and it’s not a surprise because on top of using an excellent product, our fellow countrymen and women support technology developed at home - that is prestige and recognition, mixed in with a hint of nationalism.
Beyond home, the northern European countries are leading the block with card payments taking over cash payments.
Germany and Switzerland are known to stick to their cash use.
So, we are constantly looking for ways to either break the old habits and get established in people’s minds as a modern and secure alternative to their old banks or to become the alternative when people are frustrated with their current account providers.
Operations
It’s very important for us that we do not depend on external contractors and service providers.
This is our way to keep agile and keep control in our hands.
We build our systems in-house and integrate our processes vertically.
Our team deals with getting licensed and complying with regulations.
We develop all the software at our headquarters.
Support is also handled at home.
All this allows us to see, act and predict better … and it shortens the communication channels, which is crucial.
We are not a bank
As a licensed e-money institution, we are not allowed to provide loans. Banking license is different and we are an alternative to banks.
This means we can’t collect revenue from the interest rate on loans.
At the same time, we give our many services for free, in order to compete effectively with the long-standing banking institutions.
Providing excellent bank-like services at minimal or no cost at all is part of our long-term strategy. We are well aware and prepared to incur some losses when acquiring a new client, however, we rely on our careful calculations that help us forecast before we break even.
And that works better in some markets than in others, so we keep testing and improving daily.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Sure we learned a lot. We keep learning as you read.
Changing habits is really, really hard and logic can rarely take over emotions (fear of new technology) to make someone move beyond their comfort zone and open an e-money account without visiting a bank branch - from the comfort of their phone and without wasting time on queues.
When people discover iCard, they realize it’s good, appreciate the richness of the app and say they will use it. What happens later is that their lives resume as normal, they reach for their cash, in their pocket, and totally forget about the new app they just installed.
Of course, once we welcome someone in our app or our website, we have ways to reach out and re-send targeted messages as part of the lead generation or onboarding processes.
Timing is important
We use it to our advantage.
How?
We aim to adopt everything new, to be first or at least next to the first.
Apple Pay is a great example.
Not many card issuers around Europe are integrated with it. User demand is high and we are now just weeks away from offering a debit card in over 30 countries that works with Apple Pay. This will help us become one of the very few app accounts that offer this on the old continent.
We are highly certain this move will positively impact our future success.
Brexit is another challenge and yet we have come up with a smart way to take advantage of the situation in either case - deal or no-deal exit from the EU market (but I’m going to keep this secret for now).

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Our CRM (Client Relationships Management) is custom-built to help us work with clients in the most effective way. There’s just no other solution for our service.
ZenDesk is integrated with our CRM and other communication channels to assist in handling support issues. Check the iCard story that ZenDesk placed on their website.
We are on Facebook with pages in 3 different languages - English, Italian and Bulgarian.
We use these channels for:
We use LinkedIn mostly for recruiting, announcing product updates and events.
We are optimizing for Google Search to be easily discoverable when people look for bank account alternatives or answer questions. We also run some advertising on the network.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

That’s going to be short - just launch as soon as possible! This is the best way to learn and get real market feedback that you can use to improve your offering.
Don’t be afraid - ideas on their own are worth nothing - execution matters the most!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are constantly looking to onboard high-performers in software development and customer support.
We welcome people from all over the world, so long you have the legal right to work here.
Check the current open positions here: https://careers.icard.com/jobs-modern-list/
Enquire with our team if you can recommend anyone - we may have a referral bonus for you!

Where can we go to learn more?

Learn more and connect with us:
Some of our other companies:
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]


2019.12.15 22:22 Rey_del_Doner Armenians and the Cleansing of Muslims 1878–1915: Influences from the Balkans

Brad Dennis (2019) Armenians and the Cleansing of Muslims 1878–1915: Influences from the Balkans, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 39:3, 411-431, DOI: 10.1080/13602004.2019.1654186
Brad Dennis holds a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in history and wrote his dissertation and published a few articles and chapters on relations between different ethnic groups in the late Ottoman Empire, particularly the Armenians, the Kurds and the Turks. He occasionally teaches history and political science classes at Utah Valley University. He is currently interested in victimhood narratives that are promoted and leveraged for privilege, influence, and wealth, and the role of finance in this promotion.
Abstract
Armenian liberationists and revolutionaries since the end of the Russo-Ottoman War of 1878 looked to the Balkan model of political autonomy and independence as inspiration for crafting a liberation strategy for the Armenians in Eastern Anatolia. In spite of the fact that more pragmatic revolutionaries attempted to convince the Armenian community that the Balkan model would not work for the Armenians because of demographic and geopolitical differences, the Armenian struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire was waged in a way that was similar to the Balkan model. There is strong reason to believe that if the Armenians had had stronger British and Russian backing and constituted a slightly higher percentage of the population in the region of Eastern Anatolia that an independent Armenia would have emerged in Eastern Anatolia and Cilicia much in the same manner that an independent Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro emerged in the Balkans. Given this retrospective likelihood, the question of whether an Armenian state would have taken steps to cleanse the indigenous Muslim population much like many of the Christian populations in the Balkans did is relevant. This study explores the propensities exhibited in the Armenian community towards cleansing the Muslims over a period of 8 decades stretching from 1828 to 1915.
submitted by Rey_del_Doner to Turkey [link] [comments]


2019.11.27 00:06 Szeraax Youth classes during 2nd hour of church in 2020 will have specific lessons for specific dates (like Sunday School)

Date:November 26, 2019
To:General Authorities; General Officers; Area Seventies; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishoprics and Branch Presidencies; Stake Young Men and Young Women Presidencies; Ward Young Men Advisers and Young Women Presidencies; Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Presidencies and Young Women Class Presidencies
From:Priesthood and Family Department
Subject:Changes to 2020Curriculum for Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women Classes
Beginning in January 2020, the curriculum for Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women classes will change in the following ways:
The first three months of outlines will be released in December 2019 on the Gospel Library app and on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. The remaining outlines will be released each quarter throughout 2020. In 2021, meeting outlines will also be available in print.
The meeting outlines will be available in the following languages: Albanian, American Sign Language, Armenian, Bislama, Bulgarian, Cambodian, Cebuano, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, English, Fijian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Haitian, Hungarian, Ilokano, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kekchi, Kiribati, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malagasy, Malay, Marshallese, Mongolian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tahitian, Thai, Tongan, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
submitted by Szeraax to latterdaysaints [link] [comments]


2019.10.28 22:17 livinginclip Pre WWE RAW Discussion Thread! October 28th, 2019

Source wwe.com
Seth Rollins and Erick Rowan set to battle in Falls Count Anywhere Match
With a Universal Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match against “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt at WWE Crown Jewel looming in the distance, Seth Rollins will get to try his hand at the ruthless stipulation opposite one of Raw’s newest monsters.
As revealed on FS1’s WWE Backstage show, the Universal Champion will go one-on-one with Raw draftee Erick Rowan in a Falls Count Anywhere Match this Monday, potentially giving The Beastslayer a chance to work out the kinks as he barrels toward his horrifying foe at WWE Crown Jewel.
The match also carries a certain kind of poetic significance. In what feels like another lifetime, Rowan was a disciple of Wyatt’s. And although the former SmackDown Tag Team Champion has since broken away from any and all subjugation to become his own kind of nightmare, Rollins might gain the mental edge that he sorely needs if he can defeat Rowan prior to squaring off against the Superstar who has pushed him to the brink of his sanity. Tune in to Raw this Monday, live at 8/7 C on USA Network, to see who prevails.
Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair to appear days before WWE Crown Jewel
If tensions weren’t already at a boiling point between Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and their respective teams heading into their massive 5-on-5 Tag Team showdown at WWE Crown Jewel, they certainly are now.
A war of words between the two WWE Hall of Famers and team representatives devolved into fisticuffs Friday on SmackDown, setting up a Six-Man Tag Team Match won by Team Hogan competitors Roman Reigns, Ali & Shorty G.
With only three days before the score is settled at Crown Jewel, what’s in store when both The Hulkster and The Nature Boy are on hand for Raw.
Becky Lynch to face Kairi Sane on Raw in matchup of champions
Champions collide this Monday Night as Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch will battle Kairi Sane of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Kabuki Warriors.
The match was announced on FS1’s WWE Backstage following Friday Night SmackDown. Will The Man continue her dominance over the Raw Women’s division, or will Sane step up under the bright lights?
Rusev and Lana will take their quarrel to “The King’s Court”
After serving as the catalyst for fireworks last week in WWE’s most scandalous love triangle, what will we see this week on “The King’s Court”?
Lana and Bobby Lashley’s restaurant date interrupted Rusev’s conversation with Jerry “The King” Lawler, later leading to The Bulgarian Brute’s attack on Lashley in the very same restaurant. Rusev was ultimately taken into custody by the Cleveland Police Department.
After being released when Lana and Lashley didn’t press charges, Rusev is set to appear again on “The King’s Court” — and he’ll be joined by his estranged wife herself, Lana.
What will the two former lovers have to say before Rusev and Lashley represent Team Hogan and Team Flair at Thursday’s WWE Crown Jewel?
Ricochet looks to tip the scales for Team Hogan in rematch with Team Flair’s Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre made good on his promise to make things “uncomfortable” last week, defeating Ricochet after Ric Flair unveiled McIntyre as the final member of his team for WWE Crown Jewel.
Team Hogan answered with a volley of its own when captain Roman Reigns and teammates Ali & Shorty G got the better of Cesaro and Team Flair representatives King Corbin and Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura in Six-Man Tag Team action on SmackDown.
Now, Ricochet gets a chance to avenge last week’s loss, while McIntyre once again looks to enforce his will on WWE’s resident superhero. Find out who will seize the advantage for their team just three days before WWE Crown Jewel, live at 8/7 C on USA Network!
Raw begins tonight at 8:00 pm EST / 7:00 pm CT / 1am GMT (UK). Remember sorting by new to see the latest discussion/posts.
What are you looking forward to on RAW tonight?
submitted by livinginclip to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


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8 simple rules for dating Bulgarian girls Follow The Sisters

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  6. Beautiful Bulgarian Women - Beautiful Bulgarian Girls
  7. ENGLISH GUY REACTS TO DATING BULGARIAN WOMEN/MEN - YouTube

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