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Lars Porsenna

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Everything posted by Lars Porsenna

  1. Well, it looks like some big news is in the works as far as the quarantine is concerned in Ecuador: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W6acSDfVXOECpnV7FDO0TDQNRPbMZhOf/view?fbclid=IwAR0mAqPzE3J2DVtm52R4aoUChvtFZ_oHaNSLCVP8RaiygWZOxSzCB1kyHi8 Here is the translation thanks to Google because I am too lazy to do it by hand:
  2. The plan is still for her to come to the US. In 7 years, once all my kids are adults, I plan to emigrate to Ecuador. There is a large expat American community that lives there & they use the US dollar. Plus it is a beautiful country. On the upside, for my kids they do not need a visa to enter Ecuador (US citizens fill out a visa form at the airport), & can stay for 90 days plus another 90 days with an extension. So while my kids are in college, they can spend the summer break with us! First thing to do when the ring comes is clean it with alcohol. Second is to magnetize it. THird is to send her a photo if everything checks out... Ring is currently in Alaska... Damon.
  3. Thanks. It is definitely different & exciting. With several problems that need to be overcome... One of the things you need to make a marriage happen of course is an engagement ring. I found a very nice one on Amazon that wasn't an outrageous amount of money. It also comes with the wedding band too, which I will need at some point as well. I had an inscription put in, "Te amo." Appropriate. The only downside? It was made in China, & I just read an article about how COVID has been found in packages in New Zealand & (ironically) on shrimp imported into China from Ecuador. So the plan now is to open the packaging outside the house & clean the rings with alcohol. I assume no, but does anyone know if alcohol (I have 91% in my house I use for airbrushing) has an impact on white gold? With all that said, & that the only obstacle to getting married in Ecuador is the quarantine, the current plan is to wait & see what happens. If the quarantine is not lifted by November, we will do the civil ceremony in the Dominican Republic rather than in Ecuador. We sill see what happens in November, though. As an aside, this has always been my dream. When I was young (teenager) I always imagined myself marrying someone from another country. I always thought it would be Italy or Argentina (I have a thing about Argentinian women), I lost track of that dream when I decided to settle with the partners I have had over the years, but my last relationship. also with an Ecuadorian, made me remember this dream & want to pursue it. So here we are... Damon.
  4. That's the reason for the 2 week quarantine in country of course. I would be flying out of Newark though, so I would think they would have COVID tests available there? Also, most flights to Ecuador seem to organize out of Ft Lauderdale FL rather than going overland to Texas. There might be exceptions of course. Damon.
  5. I recently talked to a lawyer in Ecuador about marriage laws, as they impact foreigners. The good news is that the law that says I must be in residence in the country for 75 days has been revoked, so there is nothing stopping me from getting married there. Well, except for the Coronavirus & the quarantine. But still, this will be significantly cheaper for me, as well as being better for me in that I marry under Ecuadorian law, get indisputable spousal rights under the law, & will probably be easier when I decide to immigrate in the next 7 years. Damon.
  6. Short update: She wants me to travel to Guayaquil & then go together to the Dominican Republic. I can't blame her, & it would be a nice time to get to know each other. The only problem is that as soon as I step off the plane, they will do a COVID test. The other problem would be more money. I have a budget for this, so hopefully it all works out. Whether I test positive or negative I am still required to go into quarantine for 14 days before entering the country. SHe is going to call the airport in Guayaquil & explain what our plans are, & see if I still would need to go into quarantine. The other thing is that I checked on the marriage laws in the Dominican Republic. We are required to have 2 witnesses at the civil marriage. Her sister's lawyer friend (abrogada, new word for me) is going to make the arrangements, so that is a huge relief. Today I looked at rings. I have not formally proposed to her due to the Quarantine, & we are throwing this together as we go. I sent her a picture, she is enchanted with it. I picked out one for me too, much, much simpler & cheaper (because yo soy un hombre), still made of gold. It should be nice. Damon.
  7. This thread is going to be my documentation about my adventures with marriage & more specifically with immigration. First, some background. I met a woman from Ecuador on an on-line dating site. One of the things about dating women from Latin America is (besides the cultural differences) a lot of them are looking for a green card*. Not just my opinion, but I have a friend who is an Ecuadorian & someone I had previously a relationship with, & she tells me the same thing. So I had to be cautious. It is usually easy to spot the green card hunters: I am 45 & would get bombarded by women in their 20s, telling me how much they will love me, etc. While there seems to be a cultural bias in Latinas in regards to relationships with older men (my friend was married to a man 15 years older than her, & now has a relationship with a man in his 60's...she is in her late 40's), the likelihood a relationship with a 20 year old is not good. Besides, I cannot have more children. Likely grounds for divorce or green card* hunters. Anyway this woman is different: same age as me, already has a son, in no way wants more kids, & when I told her about my ambition to retire to Ecuador one day, sent me information on housing costs there for us, when that day comes (FYI much cheaper than the US, which is why Ecuador is an attractive retirement destination for gringos**). Many other points as well convinced me she is not after a green card, but specifically she is looking for a husband. The culture is a little different there... Anyway, after 3 or 4 months of "dating" she dropped the bomb on me & used the words "te amo" with me. For those that do not know, in Spanish you have two different terms of endearment: "te quiero" can mean either "I like you," or "I love you," but not in the "I want to marry you" sense. The other it of course "te amo" which is a Big Deal, the sort of thing you say to your mother, your kids, or to your spouse & future spouse. So it was a big deal to hear those words. She wants to marry me one day. So we started talking about it & making plans. Some of the difficulties with this plan. There are 3 different strategies to achieve our marital bliss: 1. Apply for a K-1 Visa. This is the Fiancee visa. If anyone has ever watched the program 90 Day Fiancee, this is what they are talking about. The advantages to this one are that we do not have to get married immediately; we would have 90 days in which to get married in the US (hence the name). The disadvantages are that we would need to "prove" there is an actual relationship (in the Latin community some people try for a "marriage of convenience" in order to get around the laws for immigration...my Ecuadorian friend had a Colombian working for her illegally & was considering using marriage as a way to stay in the US; his visa was an educational visa only so he could not legally work), & it is much more expensive. To "prove" a relationship exists is that we would have to meet in person at least once in the past 2 years. Currently that is challenging (because of COVID), though there are ways to do it, I have found. 2. Apply for a K-3 Visa. This is a spousal visa. This is different because you have to be married FIRST before you can apply for it, & is meant to naturalize the foreign spouses. The advantages are that it is a bit cheaper & easier to apply for. The disadvantages are that it takes longer (averages 9 months right now, but sometimes it can take up to a year; the Fiancee visa averages 6 months but right now it is averaging 9 months, so no advantages to that at the moment), & you have to be married first, so you have to navigate the laws in the country you are getting married in to pull it off. Right now we are looking at Option 2. It has always been my intention to marry in Ecuador. For one thing I really want the legal status in Ecuador so there are no problems when I decide to immigrate in the future. But also because her family is there; I am asking her to leave her family behind in Ecuador to live with me in the US. This is only fair to her. As a bonus, Ecuador is a beautiful country with many old & magnificent churches. The only problems are that there are a limited number of places we can actually marry (she is from a coastal resort city called Manta): Guayaquil, Cuenca & Quito (the capital). The other problem is that I would need to be a resident there for 75 days before the marriage; this is impossible for me because of my kids & because of work. I should also clarify that in Ecuador there are 2 processes to getting married: you need to have a Civil Marriage before the Church wedding. This is just the legal process to indicate you are married in the eyes of the government. Later you can have the church ceremony so you are legal in the eyes of God (unlike in the US where the process is simultaneous; you just need a marriage license first, though I have never been married & may be incorrect in the details). While Guayaquil is relatively close to her (3hr drive by car down the gorgeous Pacific coast), & both Cuenca & Quito are lovely cities, it is just not practical to have the civil marriage there given the rules. As an aside, these rules were put in place (so I understand) by Pres. Correa. He is a Chavista (follower of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela; the current president of Venezuela is a Chavista as well), & has just been convicted & sentenced for bribery; he is supposed to serve a term of 8 years in incarceration. So option B of Plan 2 is to instead get married in the Dominican Republic. The advantages here are that it is closer (& cheaper) for me to fly down there, there are no onerous laws there for foreign nationals to marry, the quarantine is less restrictive, her sister has a lawyer friend there who can help us, & plus her sister (also married to a gringo for 10 years now, & has a kid with him) used this method & lives here in the US with her husband & kids. Neither I nor her need special visas to do this. Plus we can do this sooner rather than later. *** The other component of this is that we are planning on having a church wedding in February in Manta, Ecuador. The marriage in the Dominican Republic will only be a civil marriage to establish the relationship for the visa. She is religious so a church wedding will be important for her. Right now I am talking to an immigration lawyer about this process, & the documentation I will need to marry in the Dominican Republic. She is also talking to a lawyer locally in Ecuador for the same. Right now, target date is sometime in September. By the way, I have not told my extended family about this yet, just my kids. This should be interesting... Damon. * for those that don't know, especially outside the US, a Green Card is a type of identification card immigrants get when they have legal status in the US. ** A term Latinos use specifically for Americans. Maybe Canadians too. It is not a pejorative either. *** For a bit more detail of the troubles she had: one of her daughters was not born in Ecuador, but rather in the Dominican Republic. Because of this it took 3 years to complete the documentation to bring her daughter here. I do not wish that torture on anyone.
  8. I just got the rulebook yestersay. It's pretty nice & well published. Only one mistake found as far as I know... Damon.
  9. Dunno, the Beemer has a bubble o' death at 3 hexes, where everything is at short range. That's when you alpha strike! I would reverse firing order: use the PPC at anything above 6 hexes, close to 3 hexes & unload. Damon.
  10. I think that was really a function of the leadership at the time; if the secondary games didn't make big profits, or it was felt sales ate into the Big Two, they were axed without mercy. With the new leadership this may change. But we have to give it time to see what they do. Damon.
  11. Personally I always thought WHFB was the better game compared to WH40K, so I was pretty upset when they killed it. I don't think AoS is a good replacement either, as it takes a mass battle game & turns it into a skirmish game similar to 40K. I think GW can & should support all 3 games, to give players options: AoS for skirmish, WHFB for mass battle. They could even reintroduce Warmaster for large scale battles, & create a gaming ecosystem for fantasy. We shall see... Damon.
  12. It really sounds like you prefer the combat system from 4e. 5e is more like a simplification of 3e than a successor to 4e. If you liked 3e more than 4e, then 5e is right up your alley (this is me). But if you thought 4e was where it was at, then 5e is going to seem a bit flat. Damon.
  13. The vast majority of my mechs are currently painted dark grey with decal numbers to tell them apart (I routinely buy 2 of each specific mech model, for when I want to use two at the same time). With the new nu-seen I'm starting to paint the khaki instead, to differentiate. I do occasionally paint some mechs with custom schemes, especially if I'm doing a con game or specific scenario during campaigns. But most of my mechs are painted generically so they can be whatever I want them to be... Damon.
  14. The Charger was designed as a rules exploit mech, rather than a sensible battlefield unit. Imagine an 85 ton mech doing an 8-hex charge (hence the name!) So if you like doing charging attacks, the Charger is the mech for you... Personally I love the Challenger upgrade (first previewed in the Battletech fanzine Battletechnology, later made canon in the records sheets). Downgrades movement & upgrades 4 of the SL into LL. Makes it like a LL Awesome. The Vindy is a zombie mech. Too bad it's a signature mech of the most despised House in the setting, Liao... Damon.
  15. In terms of mech logistics, I don't think it is quite that bad. Things like myomers & armor plate are probably pretty standard & interchangable (i.e. a combat force gets shipped with myomer coils that get cut to the right size for the right mech...). But in terms of mech designs, you can make some pretty solid conclusions by studying the data. Look at what mechs each house produced. And assume that during the 3rd SW production broke "even" roughly. I concluded a while ago that most mechs in the House armies were around 40-50 years old (how long it took for complete turnover of the mech force compared to production....we had a solid production figure from the House Marik sourcebook). So FREX in terms of light mechs, House Steiner is going to overwhelmingly be composed of Commandos & bug mechs, with a few other designs hanging about as either long term survivors or battlefield salvage. So the logistics issue isn't that severe IMHO. Plus the Warrior trilogy often described units as being fairly homogenous. Entire battalions of Panthers, FREX. As opposed to merc units that used whatever they had. Once you get out of the 3025 period, though, things go a little gonzo. Damon.
  16. I'm only really familiar with the SAGA edition, though I've played the D20 & WEG versions at one time or another. If you are looking literally for D&D in space, SAGA edition is the way to go. Mechanically it is somewhere between D&D 3e & 5e (a lot of us in the group thought that SAGA was how D&D 4e SHOULD have been implemented...). We had loads of fun with it, & jedi can do a lot of cool cinematic stuff with good choice of force powers, though there is a little bit of a learning curve. Unfortunately OOP however... Damon.
  17. Actually I was specifically thinking of the Whammy with my post. Delete the Slases & Mgs, add 2 Mlas & a ton of armor, and you have a very dangerous machine, especially at the 3 hex bubble o' death where everything is at short range, if you wanna alpha strike... Damon.
  18. In Introtech, if you're trying to figure out how to make a specific mech better, the answer is usually "more medium lasers." Damon.
  19. Over on the Oathmark FB page they posted some artwork previews from the book. One of the paintings is of Elf light infantry (looks like the current elf figures, but sans armor). Also the rulebook is delayed until April... Damon.
  20. They look good! Makes me wonder what the "special" troops for Elfs & Humans will be. Dwarfs got extra-heavy infantry (fits thematically). Humans will probably get heavy cavalry. And Elfs will get ??? Damon.
  21. Yes, the clickys are double the size. They also won't really fit in a hex, bases being twice as big if not more... If you are patient the last Battletech kickstarted got A LOT of plastic funded, & these are going to be in general release eventually... Damon.
  22. Yep. When the ship is taken out of action, you represent this by placing the model on the lower shelf... Damon.
  23. So how SF is it actually then? Is it like Trek or Star Wars with Elfs & Goblins? Or something more gonzo closer to Spelljammer? Damon.
  24. The key to painting white is to not paint in white. I base in either (old GW colors) space wolf grey + white, or Bleached bone + white, wash in either SW grey or BB, then highlight with pure white (titanium white in this case, most hobby whites are not non-yellowing). I painted an entire High Elf army for WHFB (lots of white), & it works. Damon.
  25. I've always been Starfinder curious, & thought about picking up some of the setting books. I love the idea of Urban Fantasy (i.e. fantasy but set in the modern world; think Shadowrun), & like the idea of space fantasy too. Is starfinder basically D&D/PF in space, or is there more to it? Damon.
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