Posts Tagged ‘Bulgaria’

Bulgaria and the EU

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

If you know anything about Bulgaria, you’ll find this funny. Thanks to my sister for sending me the link!

Bulgaria or Bust

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

In January, I’ll be moving to Bulgaria for a few months–at least three, perhaps as many as twelve. It’s been some years since I’ve been in Europe, though, and have no idea where to look for the best plane tickets. Anyone have ideas?

Khan Malamir (831-836)

Friday, July 20th, 2007

When Khan Malamir took control of Bulgaria in 831 AD, he inherited a land in peace. His father, Khan Omurtag, had just concluded a two-year campaign against the Franks. Thanks to Omurtag, Bulgaria was also in the midst of a thirty-year peace with the Byzantine Empire. During Malamir’s rule, he did expand Bulgaria’s holdings in the Upper Thracian Lowland on both banks of the Maritsa River. Philippoupolis (Plovdiv) was incorporated in the Bulgarian state and named Pupuldin (Puldin).

Some have said that Malamir was also an ardent anti-Christian. His father, Omurtag, had been so upset at his first-born, Enravotha’s, conversion to Christianity, that he denied him the throne – instead giving it to Malamir. On being crowned in 831, the new Khan ordered the death of his older brother. It is said that this makes Enravotha the first martyr of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. However, The Lives of the Saints by Theophilactus of Ohrid records the argument between Khan Malamir and his brother Enravotha says: “This faith, in the name of which I am dying now, will multiply in Bulgarian lands. In vain are your hopes to limit it by means of my death. The sign of the cross will be put everywhere, temples of the true God will be erected and pure priests will serve purely the pure God…”. There were priests in Bulgaria at the time, and while Malamir may not have been a Christian himself, it is unclear whether Enravotha’s execution was a question of religious belief or of dynastic expediency. Curiously, in his inscription Malamir addresses not Tangra but God: “Long live together with Isbul for many years”.

After only five years as ruler of Bulgaria, in 836 Malamir was succeeded by his uncle, Pressian.

Happy Birthday, Eden Studios!

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

It’s been ten years since George, Alex and I started Eden Studios. A lot of time has passed, and a lot has changed since then.

In 1993, I was a sophomore at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. Over winter break I went to visit my parents in Bulgaria, where they were doing mission work. I fully expected to come back and finish school, but I ended up meeting my future wife and decided that college could wait.

I later returned to New York and attended SUNY-Albany. One day I had a paper due and no place to type it up, when someone mentioned the computer lab in the School of Business. It was a cool place, with PCs and word processing programs (a step up from the BROTHER I was using at the time). As I was typing, I happened to glance at the computer next to me. The screen had all these cool pictures and the guy there was clicking on them and bringing up new pages with more stuff…

“What IS that?”

“The Internet,” he replied.

“That’s not the internet,” I said. But it was. While I was in Eastern Europe, graphical browsers had hit the market and now people could browse web pages and do all sorts of cool stuff. I was an addict in no time.

There weren’t that many web pages back then, but Tracy Hickman had one. I was tooling around on his site one day when I noticed his Starshield project–a shared “universe” tied to a new line of novels he and Margaret Weis were writing.

In conjunction with Starshield, Tracy had partnered with New Millennium Entertainment, publishers of the Battlelords CCG and Conspiracy X RPG. NME was contracted to design the Starshield RPG and to provide additional content for the online project. After an online chat with NMEs president, I found out they were based in Albany… and worked out of the FGS owned by George Vasilakos, who I’d gone to high-school with.

Online chats quickly gave way to face-to-face ones. I was invited to help them work on the Starshield RPG, along with another guy named Frank Torkel. Starshield was a bust, but it was great fun to work on. The energy created by working with people was like a drug–and I wanted more.

As fate would have it, NME was having trouble as well. Conspiracy X was selling well, but Battlelords was a financial loadstone around the company’s neck. After discussing their money troubles, I approached NME with the idea of saving Conspiracy X by pulling it out of NME and forming a new company. They were all for it… and after a few weeks of working out the details we opened Eden Studios.

A month later, Cryptozoology was off to press and the rest is history.

I’m no longer with Eden–I left after we published the All Flesh Must Be Eaten RPG. But Alex and George are still there. Happy Birthday, Eden!