200 Followers Checkpoint Reached

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10. 12. 2017

Aaa-ha-haaa, yes. My 42. Cyber Corps is growing STRONG. Here we are at the 200th follower. Yes, there is a call for others to “enlist via email” to my army and the number is around the 300, but we are monitoring the “follow” button and the rewards that come when someone uses it. I had to clarify that, so nobody gets confused with all of the numbers on my blog.

I feel I should say something, maybe a quote or a verse, but I am speechless right now. I don’t know how to react to this. For weeks I saw this coming and I was growing happier by the second and finally it happened. Someone stumbled over my blog, read a story and decided he likes what I wrote. Isn’t everything happening by chance? You tell me.

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42. Cyber Corps insignia

Because I started this, I feel like I need to do it again and show how much do I appreciate my “brothers in quill”. You are all soldiers now, and some promotions are in order.

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I hereby promote Oh Brother to a Sergeant First Class for interesting post, kind comments and truly wonderful charisma she radiates with. I enjoy every letter she puts in the text and the attention for details she often places in her writing.

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I promote Carlo Rossi to a Sergeant First Class because of his spectacular texts about many wonders that decorate his county and love of his country that couldn’t be measured. When reading his posts, I feel like I am witnessing the grand architectures in person.

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I promote Love to a Sergeant First Class because of the emotional and thoughtful post she is writing in a very heartbreaking way it almost leaves a crack in my iron made cyber heart. I might turn human because of her.

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I would also like to thank the Sergeant First Class Yuvi for her comments and shown love, for I became very fond of her and her posts also. I like the style of her writing, because it somehow fits her personality and it can’t be copied. I look forward reading a lot of your stuff.

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I promote Michael to a Sergeant First Class because of the haiku that leaves me confused and provokes sudden bursts of laughter. I became a regular visitor and committed reader of the blog that brought me joy. Keep making those.

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I want to thank the Sergeant First Class Hayley and also say that she should write more. I’ve found her form of writing very interesting and I admire the easiness with whom she writes stunning posts.

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I am thanking Sergeant First Class Jasmine even though I haven’t seen her posting for a while. I can only hope she is taken by more important things and that she will soon return to WordPress. Even so, I recommend everybody to drop by her blog and read a few poems she made.

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I also thank the Sergeant First Class Teodora for very emotional, empathic and understanding posts that motivate me to stay true to my goals and strive to be a better man. It’s hard to explain how much love does she puts in her work, so I can only suggest you to read what she writes with genuine kindness.

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I promote Kimberly to a Sergeant First Class for very personal posts, thoughts and opinions. After few of her posts, I started feeling like I’ve known her for a very long time. She writes in a beautiful and easy to follow way that I keep soaking in like water. Thank you for sharing your world with me.

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I am also thankful to the Sergeant First Class Nash for being honest and a good friend of mine that is not afraid of telling me when my writing is lacking sense and what ideas are well thought. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for you my friend.

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I promote Sofia to a Sergeant First Class for her highly addictive short stories, wonderful style of writing and frequent comments she likes to leave at the bottom of my posts. I admire her writing skills and the lightness of her fingers while she writes stories.

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I promote Ray to a Sergeant First Class for the interesting aspects to everyday life and insight in her colorful and happy world. Although I am still fresh to her blog, I religiously started to read her writing, and I also recommend others to do the same.

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I promote B. to a Sergeant First Class for very short, but striking posts that often make me pause for a moment and take in the meaning of those words. I find her work very inspirational and valuable. Keep up the good work.

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I promote Mile to a Sergeant First Class because of his short stories that enrich my work through inspiration and different angle of looking at certain situations. Even I am new to his blog, I’ve found many artistic masterpieces that blew me away.

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I promote Tetiana to a Sergeant First Class for unbolting me from everyday routine and giving me something to look for in reading. If you haven’t seen her work, I suggest you to check it out and show her some love from me.

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I promote Fauxcroft to a Sergeant First Class for making great poem in the way I couldn’t possibly do. For the short span of time I am a follower of that blog, I became a regular visitor because of the creativity that have made those poem for what they are – a golden nuggets.

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I promote Stephen to a Sergeant First Class for being a great and responsible parent that have shown me how strong character can be. His family is slowly becoming my daily visit and a pleasant read, because I can see hope lingering threaded in the post he writes.

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I promote Yazzeus to a Sergeant First Class because of the truly poetic stand in life turned towards love and passion. Every sentence she writes is a piece of her heart copied to paper. I grew to like her style of writing so I suggest you to visit her blog.

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I promote Shikka to a Sergeant First Class for her witty poems and book reviews that interested me enough to look for them in my local library. I also thank her for all of the reads and likes.

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I am extremely grateful for the Sergeant Second Class Nathaswami for being one of the brothers in quill that kept me going and for the posts that often lingered in my mind while I was off computer. He gave me much needed hope when I needed it most, and I could never forget that.

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I promote Ruth to a Sergeant Second Class for providing me with a glimpse of what a humble and modest person she is. I can’t describe in full how often I was moved by the words she writes from the bottom of her gentle and passionate heart… And don’t get me started on the photos she has taken with her camera.

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I promote Juan Te to a Sergeant Second Class for the great and insightful posts, great personal stories and lovely comments. I grew to religiously read her post and visit her blog, because I always learned something from her experience. Keep up the good work my sister in quill and don’t stop writing.

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I promote Stella to a Sergeant Second Class for her lovely smile that transcends through all of her posts and shine upon me. Who could’ve known that Denmark is so interesting place to live in? Thanks for what she is doing, I am constantly building up a desire to visit the places she often described in her giggly posts. Stay giggly Stella. Never change.

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I promote Susan to a Sergeant Second Class for thought provoking posts, interesting stories and being a muse to all of us that follow her blog. I consider her a very talented writer and honorable person. For those seeking inspiration, check her blog.

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I promote Zeckrombryan to a Sergeant Second Class  for choosing the same genre of writing as me and weaving amazing stories I found hard not to read in one breath. He is truly talented plotter that uses English almost as his native language. If you like action, his blog is packed to the back with it.

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I promote Obioma to the Radiant Lieutenant Second Class for her kind words, great poems and shown friendship. I strongly value our comradery that started from the beginning of this blog. It is impossible for me to talk with her and not have a smile on my face, which made me a better person.

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I promote Alyana to the Radiant Lieutenant Second Class for sharing laughter with me, sharing the burdens of life and presenting me a voice of objectivity. Her blog gave me so much of insight in the world that appeared not so different from mine. I thank her for being a good friend of mine and trusty commentator.

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I promote Debbie Pierce to the Radiant Lieutenant Second Class for her lovely poems, encouraging comments and shown friendship. Among many bloggers I follow, she is one that brings me smile even before I get to read the colorful poems she writes with such ease, it is out of this world… and then, people say I write fiction.

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I thank the Radiant Lieutenant Second Class Idlebrain for being a true friend of mine. For some reason, he is absent WordPress and I became very worried of where he might be. His posts speak volumes and sometimes, I like visiting him, even if he isn’t posting as much as he used too.

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I thank the Radiant Lieutenant Second Class Duri for being supportive of my blog and for being one of the first followers that didn’t just leave a like and vanished. I became very fond of his work and I hope he will make more in close future.

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I thank the Company Mayor Matt for starting all of this rise to stars. If it wasn’t for his instructions about blogging, I still would be at the level zero. All of my success I owe to this guy. Matt is an aspiring writer and a great Harry Potter fan. He likes books, but most of all, he likes to help. I wish you many written books and a huge fanbase you can geek out about your favorite books. Thanks once again Matt.

Ah… I don’t know what else to say. Congrats everybody. I will celebrate this occasion with a bottle of beer. You are welcome to do with your new bling whatever you like. You can write about it if you get an inspiration, you can tell your mom about it, or tell it to your pet if you have one, of take it to your grave as a secret.

And I thank you all for choosing me as someone worth of reading. I am truly honored to write for you my brothers in quill. May your success be written among the stars.

– With love, Nenad. –

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So, you want to write about Vampires?

Intro

I am sure by now that you have heard everything there is about Vampires, but I just might surprise you with how little you actually know. We grew accustomed to Hollywood presentation of these mysterious beings that live in darkness, feast on blood and prey on virgins, but did you know the origin of those stories and how did they came to be? Truth is far grimmer than what you have expected.

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Origin

Vampire is the one and only Serbian word that in all languages is pronounced the same with the same meaning. Nobody is sure how Vampire was invented and who originally did it, but there are some things we do know. In between the years of 1717. and 1739., a couple of Austrian ambassadors traveled through the south region of Serbia where they came onto a peculiar custom performed by the locals. Not knowing what is happening, they followed the mob to the graveyard where a coffin was dug out and opened to show a pale corpse like it was buried that morning. One of the villagers plunged a hawthorn stake through the deceased and priest held a ceremony of banishing evil spirits away. When asked what is happening, locals explained that Vampire was let loose on a killing spree in the village and this guy was the first one laid in the ground before it all started.

The whole thing was strange, as corpse was preserved for more than 10 days without rotting in the ground, the inhuman pale color of the skin and dripping blood from the man’s mouth was still fresh. Are Vampires real? No! So what actually happened and how was this possible? Well, the ground had clay in it which kept the oxygen away from the body and kept it fresh for a long time, then the natural liquids reacted in the body that started to bloat collecting gasses and pushed the man’s blood out from the cavities he already had like eyes, ears, nose and mouth. It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?

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People of those days were deeply religious and driven by omens of the land, so Vampire myth grew into what we know now. Those Austrian ambassadors wrote to their King, warning him about evil that woke up in the Eastern Europe, so myth was spread on the Catholic Church and this is where we get those assumptions of what weaponry might kill a Vampire if infestation spreads west. You know, garlic, holy water, crucifixion, Sun light and combination of all.

These methods of killing a Vampire didn’t originally came from the Eastern Europe where the only weapon against a Vampire is hawthorn stake. All of these Catholic mumbo-jumbo is completely false and useless.

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The blood cult

Vampires among Slavs and Serbs in this matter were not seen as creatures that feed on blood, but for what is in the blood. Strong upbringings thought the Slavs that strength is in the family, in the tribe, in the bloodlines. This bloodline cult is still in full swing among the Balkan folk, like many other pagan beliefs, tribal superstitions and ancient customs. So, we can say that strength is in the blood, right? Vampires that fed on people, actually drained them not of blood, but power and strength, so when someone tells you: “You are such an energy Vampire.”, he just told you that you are an original Vampire myth… Which is not that bad, or is it?

Many times when some ancient Slav couldn’t rise from his bed having a fever, he would blame on the Vampire that came over night and took his strength. Those Vampires couldn’t turn a man into a Vampire. That is just a western delusion. They could only drain the men dead, but not make them another Vampire.

To sum it up: drinks blood = taking life essence.

Look and powers

Now you will be fairly disappointed with this segment. To divide the numerous sorts of Vampires there are, I must make a clear boundaries around this myth. To start categorizing them all, I will stick to historical data when they appeared, so we have: Post-Barbaric Vampire, Catholic Church Vampire and Modern Vampire.

Post-Barbaric Vampire

This type belongs to Orthodox Church and Slavic myth pantheon. As I already explained, this is the one who got into the world first and started the Vampire sensation. The actual myth probably started decades ago before it reached the Balkans where it got popularized and spread around Europe. To some extended beliefs in Slavic folklore, Vampires are considered as shape shifters who can take form of a small animal of an insect. They prey on everybody, not just virgins and “drop dead” beautiful girls. They can be either male or female, it depends on a deceased. Pale skin, drains power so that makes them strong, but not like dozen men strong, just an average strength. Weakness: hawthorn stake to the heart and nothing else. Sharp screaming and owl howling in the night is what they commonly do. No natural enemy like werewolves or similar creatures.

Slavic Vampires have various appearances and characteristics that change from Nation to Nation, but the original Serbian Vampire is a man of the people in traditional clothes with sheep fur vest covered with dirt, splintered nails, long and untidy beard and bulged eyes, all teeth overgrown to resemble sharp canines.

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Catholic Vampire

Invented around eighty years after the original version, maybe more. Belongs to Catholic Church pantheon. Presented as a demon or an evil spirit. Shape shifter (mostly reserved for transformation into a bat), royal descend, immortality, soulless, no reflection in the mirror for the reasons he doesn’t have a soul, very strong, very fast, mind control and fire red eyes. Weakness: holly water, crucifixion, garlic, any sort of stake to the heart and day light.

His appearance is usually based as a man in slightly noble clothes with long cape, sometimes portrayed as a gentleman with a cane or a personal weapon like sword. Posh, eloquent and elegant by posture. Because of this distinct characteristics, Count Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula is the most renowned Vampire of all.

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Modern Vampire

Ah, the one we all hate and get aroused by… Haven’t you seen the Vampire Diaries or Twilight? Yup, fit and gorgeous creatures that can run with the speed of light, enormous strength, fair skin, posh, versatile, cute fangs, extremely sexual and young. These sorts of Vampires were created by the writers, artists and fans of the occult. Now, we have a plethora of Vampires, their powers and physical characteristics that more or less follow the same standard. Even if these new Vampires have nothing to do with religion, nor do they rely on historical data and myths, we can still see something borrowed from the myth, but never from the Eastern Europe versions or even older version when Vampire was known by other name in other cultures.

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Often portrayed as teenagers or baby face adults, writers were challenged to show the Vampire community, their life and daily struggle to control the insatiable thirst for blood. Many authors even tried to develop a complex history of vampirism, epic battles and romances that were mostly present in the horror movies of the 50’. Good old days.

Conclusion

What is there to conclude? Go write your own Vampire story, novel, scenario and use whatever elements you want. Please try to be original so the myth can evolve.

This text has 36 Vampires including this one. Someone call Buffy or Blade, these things are multiplying!!!

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For more fresh topics, find me on Facebook, or Twitter.

I see you wanted a story. Well, I got something for you.

Spies among us

File marked with red tape (18+)(Blood and Gore)

Gratnian archers

 

Mystery Blogger Award

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Rules:

  • Feature the award logo/image on your post
  • List the rules
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Tell the readers 3 things about yourself
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well –> [Okoto Enigma]
  • Answer the questions provided
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers and notify them by commenting on their blog
  • Ask the nominees 5 questions of my choice with one weird/funny question (specify)
  • Share and link to your best post(s)

Self-reflection Healing aka Love Alchemy has nominated me for a Mystery Blogger Award originally created by Okoto Enigma. It’s been awhile since I had a nomination and I am very grateful for this honor the exquisite poet Love Alchemy has shown me. He might be new to my 42. Cyber Corps Army, but he is a valuable trooper that I grew to like and respect.

Now let’s hit the tasks.

3 things about me

It is rather hard to pick just 3 things to list. We are all complex beings, so to extract only 3 traits from a human would be insufficient. Ah, the rules we must obey, or fall down to chaos and disorder.

  1. I am tradesman with a high school degree, a preschool teacher with University degree, an amateur writer, an amateur illustrator, liker of all forms of art, talented in all sorts of art except music and I am a blogger.
  2. I don’t support violence, but I am fascinated by it, therefore I am trying to understand the causes and the effects of it.
  3. My real name is Nenad, which means (in Serbian) “the one who surprised us”

Questions I was asked

  1. What did your past relationship teach you?

Never been in a long lasting relationship. That’s why I never write about love, because I am uneducated of ways of love. To make this even more sad, I am not interested in love, nor I am in search for my soulmate.

2. What one thing do people always misunderstand about you?

My personal convictions about many of -isms are considered radical to some extent and often people classify me as a radical, connect me with radical movements, even though I am not aggressively pushing my personal opinions onto others. To give an example, I believe that terrorism and racism can not be solved by pure violence, but must be fought ideologically and methodically to the point where bad ideas are being constantly challenged and change provoked within the enemy group (from the inside), sort of pacifying the enemy with showing them the alternative route, turning them to a good side. People often think I defend terrorism, but forget that one’s man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, so which is which and how can YOU tell them apart? This is what I strive to find out.

3. What makes you feel accomplished?

Accomplishments make me feel accomplished? *nervous grin

4. What is your favorite song?

Lately I can’t push this song out of my head.

5. Weird Question: What would you name your boat if you had one?  If you already do, what did you name it?

First of all, I don’t know how to swim, but I can dive like an anchor. I just sink well. Now, if I had a boat, I would name it “Armadron” like my main character is being called in my unpublished novel.

I hope this answered your curiosity and burning questions about me. I do understand if someone is not sharing the same opinions with me and that is 0K, as long there are no fists flying around. Our strength is diversity and uniqueness. We all have our thoughts and no matter how different they are, they belong to us. A little bit more tolerance and respect is what our society needs, specially now when everybody grows intolerant to all sort of things.

My Nominations

I nominate my Sergeants and LT.’s , because I got a lot of them. I think their blogs should be rewarded, because they put a lot of their time, emotions and energy to provide us all with a quality content. To these people, I salute.

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Sg. I Teodora, Sg. I Nash, Sg. I Ruth, Sg. I  Stella, Sg. I  Yuvi, Sg. I  Susan, Sg. I  Hayley, Sg. I  Jaismine,

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Lt. I Obioma, Lt. I Stoner, Lt. I Piper

My Questions for them

  1. What were you like as a child?
  2. What is your favourite dish?
  3. What is your favourite vacation destination?
  4. Describe a perfect moment with a loved one.
  5. Wierd question: What would be your weapon of choice if you were presented with a bad person in front of you?

As always, here’s a Kitten. It is just a web cat, nothing else, but it seems, you guys have developed affection for it. 😀

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DRONSTAD Facebook page for instant notifications.

You liked that? Why would anybody in the whole wide world do such a thing? Ah, well, here’s some more.

Liebster Award 2017

THE REAL NEAT BLOG AWARD

100 Followers Checkpoint Reached

 

100 Followers Checkpoint Reached

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05-Sep-17

Welcome to my blog y’all. We made it. My little scribbling has managed to rally a one hundred loyal readers to my blog. I refer to you guys as “Soldiers”, “My Brothers in Quill”, but I feel like we are much more connected than we really are. Liking, sharing, commenting stands as a proof of our comradery, our helping each other with writing, understanding the torment of random thoughts and motivate others to stay strong and prevail in this storm we named LIFE.

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I intend calling this Company a 42. Cyber Corps of Dronstad Army, and all of you are soldiers now. I couldn’t wish for a better looking lot than you folk, so this makes me very proud. You are all troopers that need an insignia for your righteous deeds, so some promotions are in order.

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I hereby promote Juan to a Sergeant First Class for shown respect, love and passion for writing. Her blog is one I firstly have found on WordPress and enjoyed visiting. I recommend everyone to visit her blog and thank her in my behalf.

Sergeant1Squad I also promote Ruth to a Sergeant First Class for frequent visits, kind word, Likes and other activities that put warmth to my cold heart. Her images and words do pack a punch, therefore I recommend visiting her too.

Sergeant1Squad I promote Stella to a Sergeant First Class for sticking around and being giggly all of the time, which lifted me up many times I was feeling down and gave me motivation to hope for better things in life.

Sergeant1Squad I promote Yuvi to a Sergeant First Class for being so nice to me, Liking my writing and providing comments that often made me smile and go happy through my day. Her blog is set to do many wonders.

Sergeant1Squad I promote Susan to a Sergeant First Class for being positive and inspiring with her Likes and comments that made such an impact to my way of thoughts. She really is a Muse.

Sergeant1Squad I promote Hayley to a Sergeant First Class for writing great posts and providing me with a good vibes and inspirational quotes I still come to recall.

Sergeant1Squad I promote Jaismine to a Sergeant First Class for showing up, out of the blue like a thunder and giving me a hail of Likes to my writing. Glad you are here.

Sergeant1Squad I promote Teodora to a Sergeant First Class for letting me realise what sort of army did she massed on her blog and that nice words have a better reception than the bad ones.

Sergeant1Squad I promote Zeckrombryan to a Sergeant First Class for his insightful comments that have thought me of what was good in my work, giving me hope and being a true friend.

Sergeant1Squad I promote Nash to a Sergeant First Class for acting as a total undercover agent and slamming me with good advices on Facebook. Without him, this would be pointless.

Sergeant2Squad I promote Nathaswami to a Sergeant Second Class for being with me from the beginning and sticking around when it was the hardest to start the blog’s growth. He truly motivated me to continue with my mission and assured me that stars are achievable.

Liuetentant2Platoon I promote Obioma to a Lieutenant First Class for teaching me how to dream and control my desire of stealing the stars. Her welcoming words and passion for God almost made me a religious person once again. Still, her writing gives me a lot to look for during the day.

Liuetentant2Platoon I promote Stoner to a Lieutenant First Class who became one of my favorite blogger to read, talk to, exchange motivational words and socialize all together. Her words are filled with emotions loosely swinging from happiness to sorrow and back to happiness.

Liuetentant2Platoon I promote Piper to a Lieutenant First Class because she thought me to enjoy life, observe the horizon and cherish the time with my close ones, think about them and love them intensively. Her lyrics are masterpieces that all bloggers should read studiously.

Liuetentant1Platoon I promote Idle Brain to a Radiant Lieutenant Second Class for being such a good friend, a valuable soldier and advisor. His joyful comments are the ones who made me laugh the strongest and almost shed a tear. I couldn’t wish for more than what he gives so naturally and easily.

Liuetentant1Platoon I promote Duri to a Radiant Lieutenant Second Class for being one of the first followers and loyal recruit in the 42. Cyber Corpse, that have left so many Likes it is almost impossible to count them all. His texts are a great fun to read, because he wrote them with his mind and soul.

Of course, this can’t go by without a Company Commander which has endured the most of all. This guy taught me everything about blogging and instructed me how should I make more recruits follow my blog. His words moved me so much in the right path, it is almost called luck, and I’ll admit, I am lucky to have met him.

Major2 I promote Matt to a Company Major for his dedication to our friendship, cleverness and passion for writing. This is the guy who is deeply in love with books. His blog is THE FIRST one who followed me and gave initial advice on how to blog. Solely on his words did this Dronstad Army took its march and started growing. Before him, this was a lonely blog and now it is hard to recognize. Thanks to him, I now have ONE HUNDRED FOLLOWERS.

Now, all of you have permission to brag, show off your new bling and do whatever you want with your new rankings. You can write a blog about it, share, like, comment… Or not, I ain’t your mother.

DRONSTAD

Fun Facts For You

Because I am a preschool teacher, I’ll hit you with something interesting about Balkan’s history.

A long time ago in the 12th century, Ottoman Empire descended its might on Balkan territory and occupied it for almost 5 centuries until Balkans started their rise and pushed them back. In their conquest of Europe, they managed to reach the outskirts of Vienna, but have failed to seize the city from former Austro-Hungary Empire. Their reign was dreadful and bloody, but there are also a good sides of it. Their culture stayed, polite customs, patterns of how to rule and how business should be done could be spotted even today among many big and small companies all over Europe. Many of their traditional dishes, music and art was somewhat well received by the local Balkan population and slightly modified to fit ancient customs of Balkan folk. The fight against the occupator draw western influence, so Balkan represents the genuine mix of both side, East and the West. I could talk on and on about Ottoman influence on the modern day Europe, but I will make a turn towards some more dreadful things that have haunted the poor Balkan civilians.

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(Kosovo Battle, 28. 06. 1389, Serbian last stand against Ottomans)

It is considered a religious sin in Islam to make muslim a slave, but Balkans folk were predominantly followers of the Christ, so Ottoman Turks thought it was fine to enslave the Slavs, Illyrians and other Balkan races, and so citizens of the Balkan were thrown in chains for about 500 years.

People were forced to convert to Islam and those that didn’t, were impaled with a long beams of wood, originally intended for pig roast and planted near the road so everybody could see what was the punishment for disobedience. In other cases, a hot boiling oil was poured by litres in slave’s anus and cooked from within for laying their hand on their master. Ottoman Turks were the Lords of the land, and everything that moved on it was their property and had to pay taxes to their Lord.

On yearly basis, slaves had to give their whole harvest to the Ottoman empire. If one refused to do so, his head would be removed from his shoulders and family slaughtered. If a slave had nothing to give, he would pay the taxes with his life. This yearly toll was also performed in other ways. Because Ottomans were a military driven Empire that lived from freshly taken lands, fights were massive and bloody. They had a constant need for fresh soldiers, so they have devised a cunning plan to build an army with less effort and used slaves to fight in their behalf.

Every year, a brigade of riders would storm every village they come close to and snatch every Balkan male child under 10 years of age and bring it to the Ottoman Empire. Those boys were trained to become soldiers and when they reach 21st year of their life, they were sent back home. Their mission was to wait until a major religious festivity comes about and when many their family members (cousins, aunts etc.) gather to a family home to celebrate the glorious occasion. This is similar to a Thanksgiving, where everybody comes home for a supper, socialize, exchange warm feeling with their close ones. The only difference is, that in the Balkans, such supper lasts for 3 consecutive days.

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(Janissaries – an Elite Troops, like a French Foreign Legion)

When the main day comes, the lost son returns home, bringing a squad of his newfound brothers and butchers the whole family. Decapitated heads of his biological father, his uncles and all of the males he have found are now proof for his commander that the lost son is loyal to the Ottoman Empire. This was a very effective test of loyalty, dedication and coldheartedness the Ottoman Elite Rider must have.

Because of this chilling events, many Balkan mothers were cutting their newly born son’s fingers, so they would be unable to hold a musket or swing a saber, leaving them barely fit for a life of a farmer.

It was also a custom that the Turkish Lord must lay first with the newly wed maiden befor her wedded husband. If the Lord was riding a horse, slave must move from the road and bow to him (meaning that slave must bow to the Lord, them bow again to the horse, as he had a bigger stature than a slave). Public gatherings were not allowed, because of the fear that slaves might plot to start a revolution, so nobody could socialize, however, slaves were given the right to honor their religion if not converted to Islam.

Slavs fit for battle were hiding in the hills and the mountains since Balkan wasn’t in scarce of that kind of structure. Festivities are now converted to a religious gatherings, as religious assembly was allowed by the Ottomans. This was a loophole fighting slaves have made to warmonger against the Ottomans, right before their eyes. From festivity, to festivity, mass around the table grew and grew with battle ready men, that will soon start a march for freedom.

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(Hajduk soldiers – Serbian rebels that fought the Ottoman patrols)

Moral of the story

This have happened, more or less true to the legends, and you would assume that today Serbs hate the Turks, right? That was history. People who did those stuff are dead for a long, long time. Why would I hate someone of today, who wasn’t alive when all of this stuff happened? He has no connections with it. It is in the past, and the future is what we both make – him AND me. Some groups of people could learn a lot from this text.

 Educate

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Hope you liked this. If you want more, check this out.

Price of Combat 2

Neon fire

Marching Forward

Rakija – connecting people

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Balkan people like to say: „Rakija – connecting people“ as a joke that originated from a commercial for the Nokia cell phones. Rakija is considered among the common folk as a jet fuel of southern Slavs, and their favorite drink. It is pronounced (/rɑːkiːɑː/ RA-ki-ya), but other Slavs have different names for it. So what is Rakija actually? Well, it is a fruit made moonshine, a type of brandy or spirit. Usually it is made from plums and that kind of rakija is called „Sliwowitz“, but there are other variants. Rakija can be made from apples, pears, apricot, peach, mulberry, rose, grapes and more types of fruits that can be found in the Blakan region. The most important thing in making rakija is that the fruit involved must be very juicy and ripe. Some variations are considered a feminine drink like walnut rakija and sour cherry rakija, because they have a distinctive sweetness and strong screaming colors. A common color of rakija is clear yellow with a shade of dark or a completely clear like Vodka, just it will knock you down a lot faster.

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If you look at the Slavs as a whole, you would say we run on Vodka, but the South runs on rakija and Balkan folk are very proud of it. Normal Slav can get drunk from 6 shots of Vodka, but only 2 from Rakija, so I’ll let you imagine how strong that is. Some Russian tourists came to the Balkan in the 80′ and had a good time there, having parties in Serbia, sunbaths at the Croatian sandy coasts, eating classic Bosnian „burek“ and buying souvenir from the shores of Montenegro, but when they were introduced with Rakija, they wished they were dead – so a saying was made in that honor. It goes: Yesterday I drank with Russians and I wanted to die, but today I drink with Balkans and I wished I died yesterday.

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The process

Measurements are very hard to guess and tell the correct ones, because every family has their own way of making this booze. My family has its own recipe to make a good Rakija, so I will speak of that. This is Serbian way. First you need the minimum 200 kilograms of plums. We pick them from the ground because those are the ripest ones, then we shake the tree and collect the rest of plum. This cargo is stored in huge barrels with the lid half way closed, because it needs air so it will not explode from the fermentation gases. After few months of natural fructose fermentation, you will end up with a plum mush material we call „komina“.

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(this one is made from grapes)

Second thing you need is a distillery apparatus, made out of 3 parts: the „kazan“ (caldron with a brass coating), a cooler and a pipe. This distillery device is commonly called „the church“ because a lot of blessing is involved in saluting the good year in the field and a bountiful harvest. Some people will refer to the distillery as „happy machine“ because it produces joy and happiness to a lot of men and family members.

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(my father making rakija known as “lozovača”)

Third thing you’ll need is a lot of firewood. The plums are poured into the cauldron and the lid is placed over it, then the pipe is installed on both parts connecting the boiler and the cooler, then the whole thing is being sealed with a mixture of the corn and grain dough. The fire is placed under the caldron and the waiting can begin. After an hour the first drops of rakija will form on the cooler’s end as the hot steam from the caldron travels through the brass pipe and gets in contact with the cold area of the cooler which is filled with water.

That is called a first run. The first run lasts for a few hours and you will get around 40 liters of rakija. This liquid is not drinkable, because of the high percentage of alcohol and it will behave like an acid and not the way you would expect. Inhaling the vapor from this liquid will spin your head faster than the rollercoaster and will put you to a 10 hour sleep coma.

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After the first run comes the second run, which is a little different from the first one. You repeat the first run, but you add those 40 liters you just made and you add few white corns (corn flour is made only from the white corns, not from the yellow ones which are used to feed the cattle). When the new drops of rakija start pouring from the cooler, you will have a proper rakija that is now ready to be used. This product is called „prepečenka“ or in English „double baked“. From the second run, you can make the final product of 30 liters of fine rakija. If you continue the distillation any further, it will just make the rakija weaker than it should be and it will have a watery taste and lose its sharp bite.

Drinking

This part comes very easy. You just chug the first shot, then the second is used for sipping and enjoying the conversation with your smiling friends. Initial taste is like trying the cold oil, but when you swallow it, the magic begins. Firstly it will give you a burning sensation in your mouth walls, and then the tongue will slightly start to sizzle. Aroma of the fruit will now start to amplify in your mouth and a strong scent of liquor will rise to your nose and tingle. I have to warn you, because you will feel every drop of the liquid slowly running down your throat and travel to your stomach with a piercing sharp pain like you just ate a razor. After the third shot, you can kiss your legs goodbye because you will not be using those in the next 5 hours.

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There are no rules of when the rakija is used, because it is used all of the time. Every ceremony in Balkan has a bottle of rakija somewhere, just look it up. During the winter, Balkan people like to make boiled rakija and drink it like a tea to warm up. This sort of thing is better known as “Šumadijski čaj” (shumadia tea), and its vapor will make you drunk in a minute.

I was introduced with rakija when I was 7 years old, and we made our fresh batch. When my father stored the rakija in big oak barrels, he gave me some to try, only if I wouldn’t tell it to my mother. Now, I drink it every morning for good luck and often share it with my guests. Fun fact: If you see a Coca-Cola bottle with a Fanta cap on, it is most definitely rakija inside.

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If you get to know a Balkan boy or girl, ask them for rakija, because they don’t travel without one.

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The Rise of the AVKF

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Intro

To show how much is the Balkan interest into the Sci-Fi, I must mention yet another website and a small group of people that use their time to promote various genres. I wrote about Sci-Fi Society and Lazar Komarčić SFA, but they are not alone in the Balkan. There are more of these people that stare at the starry skies and write, in order to help Balkans Sci-Fi production. They go by the name Autostoperski Vodič Kroz Fantastiku – AVKF, or in English – Hitchhikers’ Guide through the Fantasy. The name is a sort of a joke, which travels from ear to ear, bringing in the curiosity about this certain site. Why writing about them, – well, let’s find out.

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The Origin

The origin story started at the grim point of our lives, where one of the respected Sci-Fi beacons (SF Serbia) went down due to the editor’s decision to end the site. Nobody knows exactly of, why he has decided to do that, however, the fans suggest that it must be the lack of time or energy that caused this step. In those sad days, dragons didn’t fly in the cloudy sky, monsters silently slept in their caves, valiant heroes awaited for the danger to ensue, but it never came. Blades went dry and dusty, shields rested above the fireplace as a memory of the glory days. What? Too poetic again? Ugh, but I like it that way. Come on, stay with me on this… Alright, I’ll stop.

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It started as an opinion of a girl that said to her friend: You should make another site; and the guy did it. At the 9th of September 2015, the AVKF was born. The rise of popularity shortly followed and everybody was happy again. Other sites, newspapers and radio programs, even the foreign ones, welcomed the AVKF, recognizing it as a valuable Sci-Fi portal for all that want to get informed in speculative science. Now, two years running, it still keeps its trend of popularity, constantly providing quality content for it viewers.

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About the website

What makes this site special and worth of looking is: numerous topics and broad interest in all of the things that stand marked as a Sci-Fi. Primary attention is being steered onto the fantasy part, where along with the already favorable genre; other genres have a spotlight, reserved just for them. Genre of products reviewed (comics, films and shows); vary from horror, classic Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, steampunk, epic fantasy, anime and subgenres of the previously listed branches. All of the reputable authors, from the John R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin (do all these epic fantasy writers get their R. R. as a badge of success?), to the Arthur C. Clark and Steven King; along with many others can be equally found on AVKF website. What brings the fans to that place are the insightful facts about the authors and their work, so it is partially educational website, a good place for those new to the Sci-Fi. The site’s reach is well accepted in the countries such as Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and many more.

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Goals

The AVKF website currently holds around 1 666 battle ready followers, but that number is rapidly changing, which means, there is a chance for them to evolve into something more influential in the Balkans. All of the things I have mentioned deserve to be discussed about and shared around, because that is the only way for them to achieve their goals. Besides the obvious goal to magnify the readership, their path is set towards becoming a powerful organization and publishing house that will give a chance for success, to all of the young aspiring Sci-Fi writers in the region.

AVKF contributor’s engagement in their work is led by few unifying thoughts, and those are: to rival the other fantasy websites, to fortify and to enrich Sci-Fi scene in the Balkan, to get professionally upgraded and to be internationally recognized as a valuable SF Association. The force is strong with this one. *he said it in Vader’s voice

Valinor Club

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One of the most trusted AVKF’s allies is the Valinor Club, founded in May 5. 2015. This elite social club herds cosplayers and Tolkien fanatics under its wings, giving them a place to grow and exchange their ideas. The Valinor Club is responsible for a lot of gatherings and themed cultural events all over the region. Such happenings are followed by a massive crowd of people, sometimes it goes over 3 000 souls. One of notable projects where Valinor is involved in, is Festival of Tolkien Fantasy, which is under the patronage of a much bigger fantastic society called Evenstar. Members of Valinor often show performances on their tour like: dancing, playing instruments, swordfights (no blood thou), shows for kids and showing the arts of cosplay makeup.

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Visit AVKF and Valinor at:

AVKF: https://fantasticnivodic.com

Valinor: http://valinor.club/tag/valinor-srbija

Or visit me: https://www.facebook.com/dronstad1

AVKFLogo

Drinking customs in Balkan

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Intro

West has its games and parties, but not the Slav drinking history that radiates with positivity and warmth. Drinking is somewhat a religious thing among Balkan folk, where alcohol is used at every event, him being bad or good. In Slav lands, Holy Days and liquor go hand in hand. It all began when Slavs were still tribal community that picked fruits of the land and enjoyed in peaceful nomadic life. Drinks were used among other products as offering to the Sun God. Slavs are people of the forest, very calm and easygoing, that hold family the most important thing in the world. So in a way, I’m saying we are party hard elfish folk that have history in drinking and can drink more than we can pick off the ground.

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Usual age when a Balkan Boys and Girls start to drink is around twelve years old. At first, it’s just a sip, but two years later that sip is turned into a bottle. It is one, most favorite thing to do while spending your time with friends. Getting drunk is a normal thing, as that is the effect of alcohol on human body. In the US, you would not be able to sit in the park with a group of people and get wasted, but in the Balkan, you can sit in front of police station, and police would kindly ask you to move from the entrance. I know, because I did that. I do not support drink and drive. I have never done that. I just ask friend for a ride home. There is no alcohol in prison, man. Let’s get to drinking then.

Never offer a glass that’s half full.

In some Slav states, it is a custom to pour half of glass. This is the host’s way to show he wants you around, as he constantly needs to refill your glass and bring more drink, but when the glass is full, it is telling you, that’s the time for you to leave. In Balkan, this has opposite meaning. To offer a half of glass, is to make an offence to the guest. It means you don’t value them, that you think they are a half of the man and therefore, they don’t deserve a full glass. Wars were started over this, friendships lost and broken with many dead.

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Always look into someone’s eyes when clinking glasses.

There is something in the eyes when someone is saluting you. You can always tell if they wish you a good health or not. It is a sign of respect towards the people you share drink with. If you miss the eye contact, you must repeat the clink until the contact is established. Many will ask: How do you clink if you don’t follow where your glass is going? Well, you tend to aim and swiftly turn your eyes towards the friendly face, before the class hitting glass sound, rings in your ear.

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Never say “Cheers” with something that isn’t alcohol.

Water, as a type of drink, is passionately hated among Slav. They’ll say: “Water is good for nothing, that’s why you wash your feet in it.” Drinking is connected with religion to some point. Every celebration is spent in rivers of alcohol, because, a newborn child is greeted with a glass of alcohol and a friend is sent away with same. Holy bread is being crossed with vine, it’s being poured on the bountiful land for a good year filled with crops, and it can be used in many ways. Distillery is commonly called “The Church”, because Slav usually bless themselves before first sip of “Rakija” (Rakija – homemade fruit brandy). Cheering is mostly used as a ceremony during more notable celebrations, like marriage, Saint Days (Slava) and birthdays. A host would take his drink and go to each guest wishing him “Živeli” (Long live, Long life), where they’ll briefly stare at each others eyes, bless themselves and take a sip.

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Always take a sip from the glass after toasting before putting the glass back on the table.

It’s considered very rude and disrespectful not to drink when pleasantries are exchanged among friends. Sipping after the toast is sort of a seal that confirms spoken words. Don’t be misled by thinking that sip must be long, because a rude joke may take place. If a beginner is accepted in company of seasoned drinkers, and he doesn’t know the custom and it’s meaning, it is sure they will exploit his ignorance by constantly making toasts and salutes until he is in no ability to look straight. That’s how I got drunk for the first time.

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My Beard Styles

Intro

Beards came to be very popular and desirable lately, but I’m not doing it because of the trend. I had my beard before it was cool, so its kind a stupid now for me to start falling into what society dictates. My beard started to grow at normal rate when I was 14 years old. That was also the time I started to shave regularly. I was one of few kids among my friends that actually had facial hair. At first it bothered me, because I’ve been laughed at for being different. Friends would call me names and compare me with iconic people that had beard and were not popular for exceptional deeds. All that mistreatment wore off, when biological stands were revealed to me as a beard stands for a mark of an adult man. After some interesting facts, I raised my head in pride and relied peculiar intelligence when ridiculed for my looks. Many years later, all name calling came to a minimum, giving me a lot of time to perform experiments with my, now, favorite playing thing.

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This style is one of my extreme looks and highly demanding to maintain. It starts from the bottom of the ears and goes in a sharp triangular curve to the peak of the chin. Neck is clean and mustaches are also removed, leaving only facial hair on the cheeks. Tops of triangles are neatly lined with same space in between, providing badass look of teeth drawn out on lower jaw. Making this look is long time taking process, and I would recommend some help for the best possible result. All of my style forming is being done by razor blade, not trimmer or any other tool. I also use only water for best visibility, cause with soap or foam on the beard; it’s hard to see where the beard is and how process is going. Now, I would also not recommend shaving with nothing else but water on your face, because, that shit hurts like hell. Do it only if extremely resistant on pain, especially when shaving mustaches, those hurt the most, seriously, it made me cry like a girl when I did it first time.

Knight’s honor

This style is my current one at the time. I call it this way, because it resembles a stereotype of today of a medieval horseback warrior. In regards of the style, think of a thick beard stripes that fall from ears, over the cheeks to meet each other beneath the lower lip. Around the mouth and above are mustaches, formed in a wide curved line, like a crescent moon falling down from the nose. Neck is clean shaved, and stripes brought to equal size. I love this look for easy maintenance and for its length. It also makes me appear wiser, older, more experienced and mature. This style often gave me much needed boost of moral and self-confidence when I was attending high school.

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Commando

When I mention Commando, some of you probable think of harsh lines around mouth with a goatee below, right? I do something similar. Lines are one finger wide or thinner, and they break over the edge of the lower jaw. These lines meet on the top of the chin and connect in one line, thick at the same rate that falls from the lower lip. Mustaches form a cubical around mouth and merge with the beard lines to form a complete style. Cheeks, neck and spaces around lower jaw teeth are shaved to accentuate facial hair. I use this style from time to time, usually when I’m bored and don’t know what else to try. This particular look got its name when I was supper pissed on one of the parties, and as I stormed out of the door, a group of friends noticed me and gave me that remark. I instantly calmed and started to think of their words, where a style name was decided.

Wolverine

It is as what you think. This is the most accurate copy of Hugh Jackman “James Logan” aka “Wolverine” from the “X” men. Thick stripes cover the cheeks and fall together to the side of the lips. Moustaches and chin is shaved as well as the neck. You figured it out… I am a Marvel’s fan, but not a fanatic. It just looks so badass on him, and since I can mold my beard into anything, why not giving it a badass look… might attract some fan girl, who knows. Despite this falls under society standard, I didn’t wore this style to up coming premier of new X men movie or anything similar. I did it opposite way. Whenever I felt like looking like Logan, I grab my razor and start shaving away unnecessary parts. Didn’t get the girl though.

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Orthodox priest

To even begin understanding this look, some of you might want to check the internet. Mentioned style is to me, a sign of laziness, even if that’s not true. I look at it, differently, than many others. It is usually a long beard, what is known as a “buck dollar beard”, and it is hard to maintain. To keep this beard you need special oil, daily trimming and grooming, for which I don’t have time or will. I sometimes let it to grow wild; just to see how far it will go before the growth rate starts to slow down. People from my surroundings often commentate and provide disrespectful remarks as I laugh cynical at them, and irritate by coning the ruffled ends. So much win.

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Picking up the topics for writing

Most of my time I’ve spent thinking, wandering and observing turmoils around the world, looked at nations getting separated, listened to people crying, while politicians and journalists talked about it. I don’t support violence, but I do get a lot of interest in it, as it is a phenomenon that strikes cultures and lives.  One thing was clear more than the others; War never brought anything good into the world. Now, I know what are you thinking: What can, a little man, do about it?, right? Well, a lot actually. For example: Don’t do things you wouldn’t like to happen to you and your loved ones. Question all of the media. Think with your own head and take nothing that they try to sell you as “compassion”, because they are lacking one. Develop critical thinking and join conversations to gain info about things that are going on in the war zones. Most important part is, to listen with respect for what people have to say, it doesn’t matter if they are speaking complete bull. That will just turn your opinion into a solid principle. Get knowledge, get info, get your gears going. Tolerance is what I seek from people around me.

And know one thing. There are people like you out there, fighting for their country, turning civilians into refugees that leave their homes in approach of the carpet bombing. There could be your troops helping out there, or making it worse, but to risk, is to potentially harm. War itself is a problem. We as humans, need to  force the faulty politic to change it’s mind, without a need for bloodshed. There are ways, we just need to join our minds and find it, but we can’t do it if we have no knowledge about it. Get to know your enemy. We are stronger then them and more in numbers. If we work together, there is no force that will stop us, cause we stand for a right to live. Welcome to my church.

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