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Friday, May 16, 2014

VOICE OF AUTHORITY

STATISTICS

Something people agonize about with sporting events and such but they never think about their personal statistics.

Since I'm a weird fucker, I've thought about some of mine.

Hopefully, this will inspire other people to put up interesting ones about themselves.

Current age, approximately 48.  Though arguably my brain stopped maturing long ago.

From least amount to most:

About 2 years:  Working for the US Government in intelligence.

4 years:  Military service, intelligence.  Yes, we all know the joke.

6 years:  International travel and living abroad (including my time in the military spent in Korea and Germany).

10 years:  LARP'ing.  Primarily NERO though I have done a couple other LARP's (they were lame) whose names elude me at present.

20 years:  Working at various jobs ranging from corporate purchasing to temp work (go, America!) with a few cool people and the rest I'd gladly set on fire if I thought I could escape prosecution.

26 years:  Computer games, including FPS, MMORPG's (16 years in just those), strategy.  Does not include many years doing arcade games which pretty much don't exist any more due to the rise of the personal computer.

33 years:  Table top roleplaying games.

What are YOUR statistics?



VOICE OF AUTHORITY

In Eastern Europe, they have something called "the Voice of Authority" (VOA).  Not sure if this is a real term or just one the Evil Cat used once and it became a standard term.  This is usually the person who is either in or seems themselves in a position of authority.  They tell other people what to do.  Because a couple generations of  people got their heads fucked up by the USSR, they usually listen unquestioningly.

Since I was raised in the 'be an individual' rather than 'obey or off to Siberia for you' country, the VOA is usually ineffectual on me.

My headphones died.  Apparently life sitting on the table was too hard for them and they gave up the ghost.  The backup pair had been previously broken and stuffed into a bag to rot.  Time to get new headphones.  Unlike many other people I've been with, I prefer to keep my stuff to myself even when living in my own apartment.  No noise pollution.  Besides, people hearing ESO sounds of combat may get the wrong idea.

After walking a few blocks to an electronics store and finding some amazingly shitty 5 lev headphones that appear to have been made during a really off decade in China, it was off to the largest electronic store in the city.  My friend Tito called a cab and set things up for it to take me there, wait and return.

They didn't have the exact headphones I wanted so I grabbed three.  At the counter, I set two off to one side.  I slapped the money down on the counter and with the cashier's box cutter went to work on the packaging so I could try out the headphones while waiting my turn in line.

At this point, an older lady attempted to use the VOA on me.  It was in Bulgarian but I got the message.  You can't open that till you've paid for it.  I gestured at the money on the counter and replied with a big smile "I don't know what you're saying, but I also don't care."

One of the customers in line started laughing.

After wrenching out the headphones and trying them on, I got back in line, bought the other two and jumped in to the cab.

Going to stock up on my normal brand next time I'm in Asia.

As a side note, in the USA I've taken this up a notch.  Sometimes, I grab things off the counter and eat them as I shop.  Shopping is hungry work.  At the register, they ring up the wrappers.  Although it gets some looks as long as you pay for it, who cares?  That is so far out of the ordinary for most countries that I don't do it.  They would think I'm trying to steal stuff and freak out.



THE VOICES IN MY HEAD

I was wandering around up and down side streets as I am wont to do.  Passing a couple old men sitting on a park bench, I politely said "Dobry den" (formal, 'good day').  No response but they eyed me warily.

At this point, my brain kicked in and immediately gave them names (Ivan and Georgi) and supplied their conversation.

Ivan:  "Isn't that an imperialist running dog Americanski that our old Soviet masters warned us of?"
Georgi:  "Look at his stomach!  He may have eaten our old Soviet masters!"



HOW TO IRRITATE THE AMERICAN POLICE

A simple plan to irritate, annoy and baffle the police.

Lock all of the doors and windows to your house. Go into a room. (Note, if you say you can't because the house is all locked up, you are doing it wrong.) Barricade the door. If possible, nail up the windows.

Put a chair in the center of the room with a small table and a telephone.

Dress bizarrely. Scuba fins, clown pants, suit jacket with a Mohawk wig all together is a good start.

From the center of the room, sprinkle a fine lair of talcum powder in a circle at least three meters wide that goes right up to the chair. Be sure not to touch or disturb the powder in any way.

Have a cryptic note on the table next to you saying something like "The person who is about to murder me says that the police are stupid and will probably arrest the wrong person if they even make an arrest. You will never stop me from my current lucrative counterfeiting operation which shall be used to finance terrorism and the slaying of the US president who I like but want to kill anyway. Bwahahaa."

That note will bring in the ATF, Secret Service, Homeland Security and others. This will be a nightmare in jurisdictional issues for the police. They will hate you for it.

Call emergency, tell them your address in a clear voice and that you are in the process of being murdered.  "Please send help."

Set the phone on the table, leave it on. Say "Do your worst, you piece of shit!"

Die of a sudden brain aneurysm.

I can personally guarantee that if you can pull this off (it only have one complicated part, after all. And you have to assemble a costume) it will annoy the shit out of the police.

 Before you are too hard on the prankster, remember, he is dead.

For an advanced prank, return to life just before the autopsy and run off naked. Show up in a picture with Snowden for good measure later.

This will irritate the police and doctors as well.



ERRONEOUS ASSUMPTIONS

When I first started to travel, there was a lot of talk about 'should I claim to be Canadian, eh?'  Nobody is pissed at the Canadians and if they've bombed anyone it is only in the most polite way.

In the last three years, I've not found one person who was angry that I was from the USA.  In fact, most people seem very pleased and want to discuss their friends or relatives who have moved there.

If someone is dubious, you can always say "I am from the USA but honestly, I'm not too happy with some of the things the government is doing."

And everything is fine.



BULGARIAN FRIENDLINESS RANKING

Friendly and hospitable.  In the top five for that of any country I've been to thus far.  For the record, in no particular order the top four countries thus far have been:

Georgia, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Ecuador and unknown.

I'm thinking I'm missing one country so am leaving one slot as 'unknown'.  If you're extremely nationalistic, you can mentally put your country in there.

Also, I'm not counting the USA simply because when I am fortunate enough to stay with friends.



COSTS

Crossing Plovdiv in a methane powered (really) taxi, 5 lev

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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