Kaizen’s Log #1 (11 Dec 2017)

Hello everyone, my name is Daniel P. Meyer and this is the first edition of Kaizen’s Log. In this (hopefully) weekly series, I will attempt to document the progress made on The Realm of Kaizen, a worldbuilding project that I have been working on since the start of this year.

The primary purpose of creating this series is to fill this website with content–as I have neglected to since purchasing the domain several years ago. Additionally, until the publishing of the Kaizen Database or any full length stories set in Kaizen, these posts will serve as a place to direct individuals who seek information.

Summary of week

This week may not have been the best week to start a series like this. I am currently finishing up my first semester in college, and this week has left me exhausted with finals. Despite this, I still managed to find time between studying to write some.

The focus of this week has been on the lords of the Shadow Forest–with a focus on House Callahagan and their dynasty. I worked on writing detailed biographies of Callahagan kings while also moving down the Kaizen Spreadsheet. I began the week working on the article of “Brian Callahagan IV,” although I did not make much progress. Most of my time was spend thinking about plot-lines for a novel and adding basic content to other articles.

I am awaiting the production of two commissioned art pieces from Gibslythe. I really enjoy her pieces, and am looking forward to receiving them (she said they might take until January). My goal for this next week is to focus on developing the lords of the Yellow Meadows. Additionally, I continue to be irked by mistakes with the map which I strongly desire to fix.

Conclusion

I really do hope to produce much more content during the upcoming Winter Break. I will have likely few obligations, and aside from (hopefully) creating additional video content for the YouTube channel, I should likely have a lot of free time.

Thank you for taking interest in the Realm of Kaizen, I hope you will revisit next week. For questions about the story or anything else, please email: dan@bufflez.com

Daniel P. Meyer
Creator of the Realm of Kaizen

Follow on Twitter: @bufflez

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Diplomacy Game #2

  • Austria – Emperor Fitzpatrick & Prime Minister Howe
  • Britain – Admiral Rabinovich
  • France – President Lacek & Field Marshal Obaid
  • Germany – Emperor Meyer & Chancellor Spokas
  • Italy – King Hofer and Doge Meng
  • Russia – Emperor Chakraborty & Advisor Mesich
  • Turkey – Sultan Winnie & Grand Vizier Hudyma

Day 1

diplomacy-g2-d1-map-13-feb-2017

Day 1 saw the creation of several alliances. Germany allied with Austria and Britain, Austria allied with Turkey and Italy. France created a soft alliance with Britain, and Russia did not really try at all to make friends. Austria, Germany, Turkey and Britain agreed to attack Russia.

Italy expanded into Northern Africa, capturing Tunisia, while France expanded into the Iberian Peninsula. Germany expanded into the Netherlands and Denmark, while Russia took control of Scandinavia. Germany agreed to allow Britain to take control of Belgium. Austria moved into Serbia and Greece, while Turkey took control of Romania and Bulgaria.

War began early this game, with Turkey following through with their plan and moving into Sevastopol. Both Germany and Austria prepared to move into Warsaw, while Britain took their time moving in to help. In addition, Italy quickly requested German assistance in an invasion of France, which Germany agreed to. Germany captured Burgundy, while Italy captured Marseilles.

Current Rankings

Based on troop size (available troops/max troops)

  1. Turkey – 6/6
  2. Austria – 5/5
  3. Germany – 5/5
  4. Russia – 5/5
  5. Italy – 5/5
  6. Britain – 4/4
  7. France – 4/4

Day 2

diplomacy-g2-d2-map-14-feb-2017

Day 2… was extremely confusing. Austria warned Germany that Turkey was planning to invade the fatherland after war with Russia, but that Austria would not choose a side because the two countries were his “blood brothers.” Germany and Austria had agreed that they would next invade Italy. France continued to try and get allies, sending a special delegation to request German help to invade Britain, which was ignored.

The eastern front began with the destruction of Russia. The Russian leadership fled, leaving individual armies to defend themselves. This made it easy for the coordinated armies of Germany to take control of Scandinavia, and the combined armies of Austria and Turkey to take control of the rest of the country. Turkey received the most of the country (Sevastopol & Moscow), with Austria receiving Warsaw and Britain receiving St. Petersburg.

On the western front,  Germany pressed their attack, making pushing into Paris. Italy intended to assist in an attack on Gascony, but because of a premature attack by Austria on the undefended Italy, they were forced to leave the battle. Germany was now alone in a war that they didn’t intend to enter. However, they continued to push into France with their single unit. They eventually drove them out of the homeland, but they convoyed into the undefended Britain. Due to mistakes by the British admiralty under Admiral Rabinovich, who refused to take troops out of Russia to defend the British isles, the French managed to capture a majority of the country. The German Emperor became highly frustrated, and told the British that he would clear out the French menace. The British convoyed a German company over to assist.

Because the Austrian troops were preoccupied in Italy, Turkey took advantage and drove the troops intended for Germany into Austria. This was despite warnings by the Emperor Meyer. But the combined German and Austrian alliance drove the invaders out of the northern territories. However, Italy attempted futilely to move into German land in Munich.

Current Rankings

Based on troop size (available troops/max troops)

  1. Germany – 8/10
  2. Austria -7/10
  3. Turkey – 9/9
  4. France – 3/3
  5. Britain – 3/3
  6. Italy – 2/2
  7. Russia – 0/0

Diplomacy Game #1

meeting-of-the-first-world-council30 January 2017 began the first Diplomacy Board Game in the Pittsburgh Sci-Tech activity. Teams consisted of two people, with all but two groups containing one player who knew how to play, and one who didn’t. Two groups (Italy and France) did not have any experienced players to begin with. The activity is held every Monday and Tuesday, and there are currently two running games.

  • Austria – Emperor-King Hofer (Teacher) & Prime Minister Snyder
  • Britain – King Fitzpatrick & Minister of India, Chakraborty
  • France – President Rabinovich & Admiral Obaid
  • Germany – Emperor Mesich & Chancellor Spokas
  • Italy – Doge Meyer & Prime Minister Gettings
  • Russia – Tsarina Adrian & Chairman Foreman
  • Turkey – Sultan Howe & Grand Vizier Winnie

Day 1 – 30 January 2017

Day 1 began with diplomacy. Italy created an alliance with both Germany and Austria. Austria created positive relations with Turkey. France attempted to create positive relations with Italy and Britain, and attained a non-aggression pact with Britain. Austria requested a future attack on France with Italy, and Italy agreed. Italy managed to get Germany to agree to enter the coalition against France.

France expanded into the Iberian Peninsula, and Italy into Tunisia. Austria expanded into the Balkans, and Turkey managed to gain control over Bulgaria. Germany expanded into the lowlands and Denmark, while Britain gained control over Scandinavia. Russia failed to expand or gain any allies.

Day 2 – 31 January 2017

diplomacy-g1-d2-map-31-jan-2017

Day 2 began with a first-coalition-against-francedeclaration of war on France by the 1st Coalition Against France
(Austria, Italy, and Germany). Italy was the first to attack, moving into Marseilles. Austria moved through Germany and into Burgundy. The Germans moved first to the border, but did not take any French territory due to threats by Britain. Germany and Austria also moved into Russia, taking some territory.

There was also a war being planned by Britain to attack Russia through the Barents Sea, with Turkey attacking both from the south and also into Austria. This was disrupted by Turkey not attacking Austria, and Britain getting into a fight with Germany over Denmark. However, they managed to take significant territory from Russia. Russia somehow managed to get into the middle of Austria.

Between Day 2 and Day 3

Between days two and three, a plan was formed for after the conclusion of war with France and Russia. This plan was for the nations of Britain, Germany, Turkey and Italy to attack Austria. This plan was agreed upon by all parties, and discussed for two days.

Day 3 – 6 February 2017

diplomacy-g1-d3-map-6-feb-2017

Day 3 continued war with Russia and France. Russia was completely undefended, and was quickly conquered by Germany and Austria. A treaty was agreed upon, granting Sevastapol to Turkey, Moscow to Germany, St. Petersburg to Britain and Warsaw to Austria. Land was however contested in Scandinavia, and Germany and Britain both fought over Denmark. In France, it was agreed upon that Germany would get Paris, Austria would get Brest, and Italy would get Marseilles, Spain and Portugal.

Germany informed Austria of the Turkish plan to invade Austria, but neglected to inform them of the British-German-Italian-Turkish plan of invasion. This prompted Austria to attack Turkey early, and threw off the entire plan.

War with France continued, with President Rabinovich being absent. Because of this, Admiral Obaid took control. He retreated from the Iberian Peninsula, allowing Italy to take control. France eventually lost control of all core territories, and was just about to lose all of their units whenever they assisted Britain in taking control of Austrian-controlled Brest. This truly kicked off the war, but not in the way intended. Despite not communicating at all, both Germany and Italy betrayed their alliance with Britain and stayed with Austria.

The first coalition remained in tact.

Day 4 – 7 February 2017

diplomacy-g1-d4-map-7-feb-2017

Day 4 began with a highly confusing chain of events. The previous period, Germany attempted to reconstruct the Coalition Against Austria. This, however, backfired. Even though Britain declared war on Austria, Germany and Italy; the coalition switched around, becoming Britain, Austria and Italy versus Germany. Germany had put all of their manpower into navies, leaving their land lightly defended. Italy did the majority of fighting, taking all but one of their core lands. Britain took Scandinavia and the coastal provinces, while Austria finished off Turkey and advanced from the west into Prussia.

The game quickly and unexpectedly came to an end after Austria secretly attacked Venice and Tunisia (both Italian provinces) and gained the required amount of provinces to win the game.

  1. Austria – 16
  2. Britain – 9
  3. Italy – 7
  4. Germany – conquered Day 4
  5. Turkey – conquered Day 4
  6. France – conquered Day 3
  7. Russia – conquered Day 3

 

The End

“Digging” by Seamus Heaney

A video I made with a friend for an English project.

Between my finger and my thumb   
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
My father, digging. I look down
Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   
Bends low, comes up twenty years away   
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   
Where he was digging.
The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.
By God, the old man could handle a spade.   
Just like his old man.
My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.
The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

Zweihänder

You may remember that at the beginning of last summer, 2015, I created a post regarding a computer upgrade. That post is now gone, but there is new news. After building the computer, there were first several hardware issues, which I quickly resolved. Then, there were some software issues, which I kept putting off. I have, however, this weekend, received help from my friend Eddie, and completed the computer.

There is a single issue, regarding my duel monitors, but I need to buy new ones anyways. Below are the parts from the computer, which I have dubbed the “Zweihänder.”

  • Asus M5A97 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
  • Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
  • Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
  • AMD FX-6350 3.9GHz 6-Core Processor
  • MSI GeForce GTX 960 4GB Video Card
  • Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 OEM (64-bit)

The computer cost me around $800, and runs much better than I could have expected. All games I currently own run at least 60 fps, averaging over 120.

March For Bernie (2-27-2016)

Today I participated in a “March For Bernie” in Pittsburgh, PA. The march began at 11:00, and went from Oakland to Market Square. It was about 26°F, but it felt much worse. Regardless, over a thousand people managed to show up to the march, with around 2000 attending the rally at the end.

Below are some pictures of the event, none of which were taken by me.

Kevin Crivelli
Photographer: Kevin Crivelli
Photographer: Kevin Crivelli
Photographer: Kevin Crivelli

 

Photographer: Kevin Crivelli
Photographer: Kevin Crivelli
Photographer: Jesse Compton
Photographer: Jesse Compton
Photographer: Kevin Crivelli
Photographer: Kevin Crivelli
Photographer: Kevin Crivelli
Photographer: Kevin Crivelli

The Thing in the Attic

Below is a nightmare that occurred frequently when I lived at the house on Mount Royal Blvd. At the time, the dream repeated itself so often, that I actually believed this was happening. The dream only ever occurred at that house, and once we moved away I never experienced it again.

Originally posted to my personal Facebook on December 22, 2015.

Lying in bed, the sheets closed tightly around me. I faced the wall, listening, completely still. I could hear a distant and faint whispering, mumbling something I couldn’t understand. I was scared, trying to fall asleep with all my might, but there was something in me that demanded I search for the source.

Gingerly climbing down the ladder of the bunk bed shared with my brother, I crept out of the safety of my room into the darkness. As I approached the hallway that led to the bathroom, I could hear the whispering getting louder, yet it was still indecipherable. Though I was scared, sweating and anxious, I walked calmly as though I had done this a thousand times over, and yet I did not know what I was doing.

I stepped into the darkness of the hall, looking right towards the stairwell, and left towards the bathroom. I continued to follow the whispers left, an unnatural draft pushing me softly, but with a firm pressure, towards what I feared.

I swung open the linen closet, hoping to reveal the orator, but there was nothing but towels, some toilet paper, and a… a door? A door. Like the one used to get into the attic. Except, this wasn’t the door to the attic. By now the still unintelligible whispers had become angrier, more restless, and were practically being spoken directly into my ears.

I had no choice, whatever was making these noises was through that little door.

Slowly, I pushed the door open, and brought myself up with it. My muscles strained, and I managed to poke my head into the room. I immediately regretted what I had done. Everything around me felt unnatural. The room itself was bright white, not painted, but pure white. In the center of this pure, seemingly unending box, was a figure.

It was crouched over, holding itself. It was pale, almost translucent, with scratches and blood covering its body. Although I immediately identified the creature as the source of the whispers, the creature was not moving. It looked dead sitting there, not even breathing. My lungs tensed up, and it became hard to breathe. The scent of death filled my nostrils, and I could hardly support myself. I was barely given time to recover though, as the stillness of the room was broken.

The creature’s back and skin began to stretch, its head standing straight up, though it remained crouched. Its head began to turn, towards… me. The whispering stopped, and I was met by the most disturbing things I have ever seen. Its face, bar the nostrils and creased lips, was completely bare. Its skin was tight around its bones, and it looked like it could barely move.

Quicker than any man could react, the creature began bounding towards me. Its flesh stretching over twisted joints, the feeble and unnatural freak edged closer with every stride. Quickly, I dived below, shutting the door behind me. The smacking of flesh and scratching of claws on wood could be heard for a few moments, before quickly fading away.