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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

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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.
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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.

Zweihänder

Aside

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

Blog, News, Pictures

March For Bernie (2-27-2016)

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Writing

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.

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Music

Today is the last Song of the Week for the year! Be sure to tune in next year under #BufflezSongOfTheWeek where I will continue to post music every Thursday. Below is a Spotify playlist with all of the music, as well as each tweet. My favorite track from this year has to be Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto.

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Writing

Move Over Gabriel

This post is not by me. It is from a letter that we got while doing research on our family, and talks about the death of my great-grandfather, Frank “Bubba” Welsh.

I grew up in a secure family, I can’t recollect having to deal with any major problems – sure, a broken leg here, a broken arm there, a few gashes, all the childhood illnesses, braces and the lot – we were free of any lasting injury, and I had never known what it was like to love someone that I loved. My father’s parents both died before I knew them, I can remember Grandaddy Goode vaguely, but not too well, and I had one cousin, Christine, die of cancer when I was still fairly young. So I didn’t really know what it was like to have someone close to me die, that is until last May when my grandfather, Bubba, as we called him, died at the youthful age of eighty-one. I can remember it to this day, I imagine I always will…

I was going up to Rochester, New York for the summer with Jim McCarthy, a friend, and we were to stop in Blaunox, Pennsylvania, and spend a night so I could see Grandma and Bubba, my cousins, and aunts and uncles. The Thursday before we were to leave I called home to let Mom know what our final plans were, and to get a little money to subsist on. After talking [out all the details] Mom asked if she had a phone where she could reach me if she needed, due to the fact that our phone had been disconnected by the telephone co. Thinking nothing of it, I told her that she had Eddie Likes Lein’s and I gave Steve Greens, whose phone I was using, for good measure.

The following Sunday I was studying in the dorm Library when Eddie stuck his head in the door and told me my mom was on the phone. I couldn’t figure out why she would call, but I knew something must be wrong. I got the phone, and sat down on Eddies bed.

“Frank, Bubba died this morning.” “Oh God, no” and the tears began to come. “Are you o.k.?” I managed to choke out “Uh, huh.”

Mom told me that Bubba had been taken to the hospital Thurs. night, and had died earl Sunday morning, painlessly, in his sleep. Mom said she was flying up to Pittsburgh, and added that Jim and I should still stop over.

In a daze I hung up and sat in the bed, not knowing what to do.

Eddie asked if anything was wrong and I managed to tell him. He walked over to me, gave me a hug and asked if I wanted to borrow his car and go off someplace. I told him that was o.k., but i’d prefer to just go for a walk.

I made it to a tree in front of the dorms, sat down and cried. I was there when Jim came by on his way to work. He asked me if anything was wrong, and I told him there was, but that i’d tell him later. When I did tell him, he asked if I’d like to say in Blaunox for a couple days, but I told him that I’d prefer to stick to our plans.

I got up from the tree, and went for a walk, thinking about bubba, and wondering why he had to die before I got to see him again. I hadn’t seen him in three years, and even though I had tried to prepare myself for his death, with only a week to go before I saw him, I was thunderstruck. I would have been anyway, I guess. At that time I hated God for not letting me see Bubba again, I felt as if someone had stolen something dear to me, something that I would never get back.

I went back to Eddie’s room and we talks for awhile, Eddie comforting me, for he knew how I felt because his father had died a couple of years earlier. Eddie wanted to know if Bubba and I had been close, and what kind of guy Bubba had been. Eddie got me to remembering Bubba, and that in itself cheered me up.

I remembered Bubba and the stories he used to tell us – stories about hoop snakes and wolves; about little mice that crawled all over while we sat on Bubba’s lap; stories about the time during WWI when he had captured a German tank and an ever-increasing amount of Germans single-handed. I remembered the dinner table and the stories Bubba would tell us, about how he used to wring chickens’ necks on the farm near Reynoldsville, Pa. I remember the “arguments” Bubba would have with Grandma – he’d set her up, she’d take the bait, an “argument” would start, and Bubba would always have Grandma with the feeling that she had won, even though everyone else knew better. I can remember hIm quoting “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” his favorite poem. In his deep, light hearted voice he would begin:

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge I cremated SamMcGee.”

Emphasizing the right words, and using the right facial expressions he would quickly have us spellbound, and though he didn’t remember all of it, his style he would have us in peels of laughter when, and wherever he finished. The first present that Grandma had ever given Bubba was a collection of Robert W. Service poems, including Sam McGee, and I do believe that it was his most treasured possession. I can remember Bubba’s own little whiticisms, and his nickname for Ms. I was “Fanz Josef, Emperor of all Austria,” and my brother Joe was “Geribaldi.” I can also remember Bubba saying, while we were swimming at the Trails, or were about to go swimming, “I may be brave, and I may be bold, but I can’t go in, the waters too cold.” I can remember the card games with Bubba, at cards he had no peer and most of the card games I know he taught me. He wold beat everybody, except his grandchildren, of course. One time he and Grandma were playing crazy eights, and Bubba had 96 point to Grandma’s six. Bubba ended up winning 96 to 100 plus.

I remembered Bubba and missed him. Indeed, it was on his knee, or in his house on Walnut St. that I grew up quite a bit. I came to realize however, that it is my younger cousins who will never know Bubba, who will really miss Bubba.

I imagine that since the very moment Bubba entered heaven, things have not been quite the same. Bubba probably got reunited with Christine, and then began holding court for those that wished to hear his stories. By now all the souls of all the ages have heard him, if not heard him personally. The hierarchy of heaven, the saints and archangels have no doubt been relegated to second class statues by now, and Bubba has taken over their positions, I can see it as clear as day….

“Move over Gabriel, Bubba’s on his way to tell me a new story.” Sigh. “Yes, my father.

– Frank J. Goode

Move Over Gabriel

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