Just finished work for the day… at 2:05 am…
I haven’t been posting much here or anywhere and that’s because I’ve been working like a mule. I’ve been putting in 50 to 60 hours a week for a few months now but this last week has spiked up to 80 hours…
I just sold off some bitcoin and I’m trying really hard not to spend my profits on an EOTech sight. REALLY HARD.
One of our robotics engineers, who worked for the Department of Defense, tapes over all of his phone and laptop cameras. “Can’t trust ‘em”, he says.
This is pretty funny at first and pretty terrifying once you think about it.
Whoever sent me the anon ask with the Kardashians reference, I’ll answer you in private but I don’t want to post the answer to that ask in public.
If you don’t care, that’s cool too.
Considering dropping a few grand in some of these new alternative currencies this week.
Probably going to spread a few grand around one some bitcoins, Silver Shields and a Valcambi CombiBar. There goes my .308 fund…
EDIT: Silver Shield/Bullet just put a temporary hold on all sales to catch up the back-orders and demand.
I was just shopping around two days ago and all was great… sigh.
My grandfather, from my dad’s side, came from a very rich family in Turkey. They owned copper fields and where a major family in the Ottoman republic.
They were very connected in every way imaginable, from politicians to businessmen to villagers. Before the Armenian genocide, someone either informed them of the coming atrocities or my great grandfather just had an uneasy feeling, not sure which it was and I’ll get to why soon.
Anyway, my great grandfather began building “water” tanks with copper and started to ship them to Syria as if they were sold to clients. What he was really doing was smuggling his copper in the form of tanks and the tanks were filled with their other property. Gold, silver, books, etc.
He was only able to get so much out before the Turks began to slaughter people so he split from his family and took his wife and two children to Beirut. His brother(s) said they were going to France. The mines were supposed to be sold off or closed until the situation died down. Now this is where the story get’s blurry. I’m not sure how many brothers or sisters he had and neither is my dad because my grandfather was very young when they left and the family began to feud shortly after the fear of the genocide was over.
The part of the family that was supposed to go to France never sold the mines but they never returned my great grandfather’s share. He was the oldest son and he was entitled to take over the entire mine as tradition but he only wanted his fair share. But he was a peaceful man and just wrote it off as a loss. After all he had enough money and property. But his siblings never connected with him because they feared that he’d try and take back his claim one day.
Armenia, if you don’t know, was pulled into the Soviet Union as a desperate last-ditch move to stop the Turks from killing off every last Armenian. The Russians didn’t really care to help the Armenians, so they let the Turks carve up the country, the West to the Ottomans and the East to the USSR.
My grandfather and his sister grew up never knowing their cousins. My grandfather was very sickened by how his family had been torn apart and he was determined to move back to Armenia and free his motherland. My grandfather was a very well read man, from what I’ve been told. He had studied Marx and Smith and he despised communism and socialism. Liberty runs thick in my family, as you can tell.
Right after World War II ended, and Russia seemed crippled from the years of fighting, my grandfather and a dozen or so other men moved to Yerevan, Armenia in 1946 to try and start a revolution and free Armenia from the USSR. Needless to say, he was turned in by a KGB agent within a year and spent the next 11 years slaving in Siberian prisons.
When he returned, he was incapable of working or even walking and to make sure he’d have a hard time, he was blacklisted from working anyway. My grandmother was the OB/gyn at the hospital but the income was barely enough to raise 3 kids on. The next decade would be very difficult.
My grandfather encouraged my grandmother and their 3 children to flee the country. But that wasn’t an easy task. So they devised a plan. The family still had a considerable net worth, even in a communist country and my dad had a high position in the government (Head civil engineer for Yerevan). They used his connections and leveraged all of their assets to carry out the plan.
They would fake a divorce between my grandmother and grandfather and my grandfather would go and live with one of my grandmother’s nurses, posing as his girlfriend but still capable of taking care of him. They left her with more money than she needed and asked her to promise one thing, bury my grandfather in a specific grave that was already paid for. They’d then give away their house, in the Monument district (the Beverly Hills of Armenia) to a customs agent to ensure that they’d receive sufficient passes to “vacation” in Beirut (where my grandma’s family was living). This was their way out; to give up everything, including their husband and father, just for the chance to escape communism.
They fled in 1969 and found themselves in the middle of a civil war with not a single cent to their name. They got lucky twice. My grandmother’s family was well off and able to take them in and a family in Montebello, California was willing to sponsor them as refugees of communism and get them visas to America.
They’d visit my grandfather four more times before his death in 1976. My grandmother would pass in 2002 and as a promise to her they took all of us younger generation kids to Armenia to both see our roots and to visit my grandfathers grave site, something they had not done.
In 2003 my got on an Aerofloat flight, the worst airlines on the planet, and headed due East.
When we got to Armenia, there was an adventure awaiting us. An adventure we didn’t anticipate and one we were’t too happy to embark on. When we got to Armenia we discovered that my grandfather wasn’t buried where we thought he would be.
We had some good connections in Yerevan and we exhausted everyone of them. We had an ex-KGB agent, who was now the head of state department security search through records as well as other state department officials. Five men where on the hunt for official records of where my grandfather was laid to rest.
But there was one problem. A big problem. Armenia had burned all of their official records after the fall of the USSR. This was done to protect the identities of Armenians who worked for the KGB in secret. We were told that as much as 10% of the population worked for the KGB in Yerevan. Don’t know how much of an exaggeration that is but the figures I’ve seen for the Russia itself was something around a million KGB members with an unknown budget. Needless to say, these KGB members were responsible for the torture imprisonment and killing of thousands of Armenians. The newly constructed government of Armenia didn’t want any revenge killings or feuds so the first thing they did is destroy a huge part of their records, this included birth certificates, employment info and even death certificates.
The search carried on for the 2 weeks I was there and on the final day my dad and uncle proclaimed that they found the grave.I was 19 and didn’t believe anyone, I wasn’t about to believe them. So I asked when we can visit and they said we couldn’t. Now my distrust meter was pinned at 100.
As it turns out, they had actually found it, we just didn’t have time to visit. I’d return to Armenia a few more times and finally visit my grandfather’s grave.
My second time in Armenia, traveling with just my sister, I was instructed to visit an optometrists office and wait for an old man to come in and get his glasses adjusted. This was the man who knew where my grandfather’s grave was.
This man, who I’d never met, took me on a 1 hour drive. It was one of the most awkward drives I’ve been on. Here I was, 22, sitting in a car with a man I don’t, riding in a car I don’t trust, driving in a country I barely recognized, off to see the grave of a man I never met. Very surreal, yet very emotional.
If you want to know why I hate socialism, communism or abusive government, just read this story.