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2023.06.01 15:15 ReelDeadOne Événements d'été à Dieppe / Dieppe summer events - 2023
2023.06.01 14:48 RiddledMeChris The worst of SCJerk (May 2023)
Section 1: Is SCJerk finally becoming self-aware?
In previous posts I've detailed how SCJerk has become one of the most toxic spaces on Reddit, with users consistently pumping out conspiracy theories and misinformation, whilst also engaging in bigotry and exhibiting almost-psychotic vendettas towards certain individuals. It finally appears, however, that more users are realising how far down the rabbit hole SCJerk and some of its userbase have gone. Let's start with an SCJerk user attempting to call out other users for making fun of Mercedes Mone's recent injury; People jerking Mercedes Mone getting hurt is a direct shot at the majority of SCJerk pretending they’re not just as big of marks as SC.
The thread gets so heated that a mod has to lock the thread, but not without leaving this pinned message; This thread is a shit show, and we're locking the comments before it gets worse. OPs point stands, so the thread is staying up. If you are going to post about an injury, at least find a way to spin it to a jerk, such as the Forbidden Door post.
The user who made the thread then makes this post a few days later explaining the harassment he got from some SCJerk users; What the fuck happened to this subreddit? Earlier this week, I wrote up a thread about people using Sasha Banks’ injury as justification for openly shitting on her. I got called a mark. I got called a Sasha Twitter stan. I got downvoted relentlessly, even when I reiterated what other people said that were upvoted. It got so out of hand that the mods locked the thread but left it up because they agreed with me. It was this subreddit acting more like squaredcircle than I have ever seen in my, like, ten years on Reddit. This subreddit has gotten so fucking nasty with its jerks that’s it’s not even fun anymore. I don’t watch STARDOM and I don’t even like Sasha, but the shit that got sent to me, the shit I got inboxed to me, and the RedditCares messages I got from it, for having the audacity to say “if you’re using her injuring her ankle as a justification for your own dislike of her or her being bad, you’re a fucking Basement dwelling asshole” is fucking sickening. It wasn’t even a pro-Sasha post. It was saying have a single fucking original idea that doesn’t revolve someone rushing to call her bad at wrestling or whatever the fuck because she got hurt doing a move. And when I pointed out the underlying racial tone to it in regards to Indie Hartwell NOT getting that treatment for the same exact injury, people flipped their shit. I constantly quote that whiny ass post from earlier this year that bitched on and on about the mods taking down good jerk posts or whatever. And to be honest, yeah, the mods here are sometimes a little too heavy handed or inconsistent with their removals, but it’s not all their fault. A big problem with this sub’s sliding content is because of the users here putting zero effort into their posts and rushing in to get karma than having two thoughts about what they’re putting up. Now it’s just a race to put up the “… was a longtime WON subscriber” meme up. And it’s just so fucking lame and cringe.
In the same vein as the previous example, an SCJerk user comments on users having a fixation with hating ex-WWE female wrestlers; SCJ is more upset that Sasha and Toni Storm left the Fed than the Fed themselves
One SCJerk user notes how tribalistic the subreddit has become lately; There are few things more frustrating when it comes to WWE things than the discourse on this subreddit about Bianca Belair. Every time someone criticizes her, it becomes a race to type out the “durrrr Gunther duhhhhh except black woman” comparison. There’s absolutely no middle ground with the majority of people here and that sort of mindset is becoming way too popular and way too Basement-lite for me. It’s getting ridiculous how tribalistic people on here are getting nowadays. That stupid ass post bitching about the mod team was a big indicator of it.
Another SCJerk user remarks on the low-key racism he's seen on the subreddit; As a black Kenyan man, this sub has a lot of benevolent racism towards minorities where we’re treated like kids who need protection. Last night Bianca got booed by a full stadium of Puerto Rican fans and that was okay but online when she’s booed it’s because of racism from white people. What kind of hypocrisy is that? Not everything is racist when it involves black wrestlers because it is very patronizing.
Over on Wreddit (which we'll come to later), users talk about the amount of conspiracy theories being pushed on SCJerk; The amount of stupid conspiratorial thinking that goes on within some Anti-AEW people, esp in SCJerk, is frustrating as hell. AEW will probably sell out Wembley and it'll be a big deal, stop acting like there's some sort of con afoot. I know these guys want AEW to fail but it gets old criticizing them for stuff that isn't even real. Section 2: The discontent continues
Throughout the month SCJerk users continue to show their discontent at how SCJerk is being modded (i.e. mods are now actually removing edgelord material instead of letting anything and everything stay up). One user complains about a post being removed by the auto-mod, prompting other users to comment;
We should vote on what kind of content should be allowed in here. Every post having to be a parody of a basement post is pretty constricting. Just a few days before this, another user had complained about one of his posts being removed by the auto-mod;
Jannies shouldnt have this much power. No wonder this site is dogshit echochamber. Cowards dont even use their username.
Waiting for this post to get removed. The jerks have come full circle. One user sums up their feelings simply by saying;
The overcorrections with modding are pretty inconsistent now
That’s why this sub is dead now
Can you even post anything in here anymore without it being deleted by mods
As an added note, the auto-mod account SCJerk-ModTeam is not only still stuck on -100 comment karma (the lowest a Reddit account can reach) but new comments made by the account are still being heavily downvoted by salty SCJerk users very much unhappy with its continued existence.
Section 3: Does SCJerk actually like wrestling?
Earlier in the month, a thread about a Dax Hardwood tweet is made on SCJerk;
The amount of people that want wrestling to fail will never not blow my mind. LFG Wembley.
SCJerk users take this opportunity to calmly and rationally give their opinions on the state of the wrestling industry and AEW's place in it;
Not so much wanting wrestling to fail, just wanting your manchild boss to fail and fail harder than just about anyone ever in the history of pro wrestling.
I like how anytime someone criticizes/expresses dislike of AEW the fans/some of the talent/TK take it like theyre shitting on entire industry. I dont want AEW to fail because of some die hard WWE fanboyism, I want it to fail because fuck TK and all his dickriders
Nobody wants wrestling to fail. We want shit-head promoters like Tony Khan to stop showcasing ballet dancers, acrobats, and cosplayers as his feature attractions while actually good talent gets shelved or tossed onto a weekend show.
I want pro wrestling to succeed. I Iove pro wrestling. However, I want to see Tony Khan fail. I am so excited for the day AEW shuts down. Tony Khan has done serious damage to the US indie scene with his terminally online self, fan base, and the complete disregard for wrestler safety from both. Wrestlers are just toys to be played with and discarded when bored. There's a reason you don't see people making fun of Impact fans and NWA fans. Yes, there are less of them, but moreso they don't act like the petulant owner of AEW, and they don't have a post history from wrestlefap and they don't act like a shonen protag they so desperately think they are. I'm sorry for the dubbalos; Vince hurt their feelings so badly by not booking their favorite wrestler to win during their formative years that they took it personally and never let it go like a well adjusted person is expected to. At least now they have a 40 year old child they can look to who will book his favorite things from wrestling (run ins, blood, swearing, babyfaces winning) and they can eat that frosting constantly. Have at it bro.
As has been the case for some time now, SCJerk would have you believe that they support the wrestling industry as a whole but that they simply don't like AEW. With that being said, let's look at how they react to other wrestling promotions and whether statements such as 'nobody wants wrestling to fail' hold any water;
At least Sasha ended up in Japan. Naomi is in the dead zone that is Impact. I don’t care how good their women’s division is, it’s still a dead zone. I hope things are better there, compared to when their Knockouts Champion had to take a second job at a Sunglass Hut.
That Impact stream leading to Naomi's debut had less than a thousand live viewers. DAE she's so much happier making less money for less fans?
Speaking of irrelevant wrestling promotions...Does anyone have Naomi & Impact’s ratings? Did she increase them or no?
I don't know why the basement is rooting for MLW.
Rooting for the little guy. because none of them have watched the product and realize how bad the little guy is and how little he pays talent brutalizing themselves for nothing This brings us nicely into the next section;
Section 4: ''Wreddit is a Pro-Wrestling news and discussion sub, modelled after NBA to be open to all brands''
The SCJerk affiliated subreddit which is described as 'the better balanced place to talk shop' surely has a better track record of positivity towards other wrestling companies, right? Here's a look at the diverse and wide-ranging discussions pertaining to non-WWE promotions this year;
When it's announced that AEW will be getting two more hours of programming a week with Collision, the response from users is less than welcoming;
Too much fucking wrestling.
There's not much variety here though. AEW, Impact and ROH are just indie spotfest fucking wrestling and WWE is bland boring corporate wrestling. Like yeah it is better that it's not just WWE and Impact but there's not much variety here.
I'm talking on a generalized basis, week to week it's majority indie spotfest wrestling with a mix of bad garbage wrestling thrown in.
Another A&W show that will tank in the ratings. It’s one thing for RAW to compete with a single MNF (and occasionally two), but these idiots really want to compete with college football with a roster centered around over 40 reject has beens and some never weres? I’m curious to see how Shad Khan handles this on his taxes.
Why? Genuine question: is there a need for so much wrestling every week? What's the total weekly amount of hours of new material right now? More than 10 hours are more than daytime soap operas must churn out, and they're notorious for just stretching stories beyond the limit of pointless filler. Wrestling has also reached that point IMO. Can't be a coincidence if ratings have been tanking and nobody really cares outside the inner circle of addicted and obsessed serial watchers.
How odd that a subreddit built around wrestling fans discussing wrestling has such a negative attitude towards a wrestling promotion announcing a new wrestling show. It's almost like these people don't actually like wrestling.
Section 5: Edgelord behaviour, miscellaneous nonsense & users we lost
In reference to Naomi/Trinity;
Then maybe it's better she isn't around, she has a record of not doing her job 100%. Shama lama ding dong is still wrestling. (For the touchy ones, I'm kidding.) Edit: I knew someone would get butthurt. Hahaha
In reference to Brodie Lee's passing;
He died of Post-Fed Syndrome and you need to apologize to Amanda right now, you can find her on Tinder in the greater Jacksonville area
In reference to the Outcasts;
"Will show tits for cash" seems more appropriate for at least two of them.
SteveStogers69 - Long time SCJerk member becomes the latest prominent user to be suspended from Reddit.
Section 6: Help Wanted
As you can tell, these monthly posts have been getting longer and more detailed as time goes by. If anyone who reads these wants to help out (e.g. sending me posts which I should include) then please feel free to message me or drop some links in the comments section.
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2023.06.01 14:10 countwiggles All for a pride profile picture.
2023.06.01 14:03 fidelityinvestments We have another round of new mods to announce, r/fidelityinvestments! Help us welcome them to the team.
| || | submitted by fidelityinvestments to fidelityinvestments [link] [comments]
We’re excited to announce some mod additions to help respond to all your posts and comments.
Here are some brief bios to help you get to know them a little better: u/FidelityAidan
I’m a big Cincinnati football fan, even if that includes losing brain cells watching them on Sundays. I love my vintage early ‘90s SUV most days, and it’s even fun to fix on the days it inevitably breaks. Speaking of retro, I’m a massive classic rock nerd, and my vinyl collection is unparalleled, along with my love for ‘80s instant cameras. u/FidelityKelli
Hey everyone! I have been with Fidelity since December 2020. I enjoy traveling, photography, and binge-watching TV shows. I play trivia once a week with my friends and family, but you wouldn't know it based on our performance most nights (something we are all too familiar with as Cincinnati sports fans). On the beach looking for shark teeth or in a hammock on a nice day are my happy places. u/FidelityShawn
Texan, USAF Veteran, Gen-Xer. I’ve been at Fidelity for 16 years, 12 of them working in tech support. I’m working toward an M.A. in creative writing and close to publishing a collection of essays about military life experiences. I'm also neck-deep into writing my first sci-fi novel. When I’m not writing for Fidelity and myself, I’m striving to live a strenuous life outdoors with my camera and journal, leading a hiking club and a rucking crew, and serving my local community in times of need. u/FidelityShea
I’m a writer, editor, and media addict. If you can name it, I’ve probably binge-watched it. While I love plants, the only one that has survived me is a very stubborn aloe vera that just sprouted two new buds (I really don’t understand how). I enjoy bowling, getting skull tattoos, and collecting art. u/FidelityDestiny
Alongside being a finance girly, I like to keep myself entertained with all kinds of things. I love to travel and am currently working my way through the 50 states—and boy, do I have a long way to go! When I am not traveling, I am either working toward completing the theological program at my church, watching one of the big three animes, or trying new recipes off the internet. I've already been working with this community, but I look forward to where the future takes us! u/FidelityLinsey
I love snowboarding, country concerts, and impulsively booking last-minute flights. I want to visit all 50 states and as many international destinations as possible! Europe is next on the travel list. I love dry humor, and I also have a pet hedgehog. u/FidelityMcKinley
Hey all! I am so thrilled to be a part of this community. I have been with Fidelity since 2021. Outside of my role here, I love to do things with my family. We enjoy taking trips to zoos and aquariums. Much of my free time in the warmer months is spent at the lake camping and boating. I love being outdoors. u/FidelityCourtney
I am originally from Texas but have lived in the beautiful state of Colorado for a little over five years now, and I’ve been with Fidelity for over two years. When I’m not working, I enjoy hiking all over Colorado with my German Shepherd, Kaiser. I’m also a huge music junkie and love to travel. You can either catch me at a concert or on a flight to somewhere new. I’m excited to be a part of this wonderful community!
We welcome them to the team and know they are excited to engage with you. Anyone’s bio relatable to you?
2023.06.01 13:47 More-Head6459 Defending the Draft 2023: WASHINGTON COMMANDERS
Defending the Draft: 2023 Washington Commanders 8-8-1
This 2023 season will be the most interesting for the Commanders franchise in a long long time. We enter this season with more uncertainty than I have ever been a part of, however, the one thing the fan base is certain of... is the future is brighter. Dan Snyder purchased the franchise in 1999 and subsequently done nothing but run a blue blood franchise into the ground. This team has lacked direction for a long time and a large part of that was due to Dan Snyder's meddling in the day-to-day football operations of the team. Starting his ownership with signing washed up HOF veterans, to then overspending in free agency (Albert Haynesworth is arguably the worst free agent signing of all time), drug scandal with thetraining staff, the mishandling of the RG3 and Kirk Cousins situation, Not resigning Trent Williams, and lastly we've now reached tumultuous time where his off the field issues have hung a dark cloud over a once proud franchise. Although, lol, his most egregious mistake may be hiring Jim Zorn as head coach. It's egregious that his only punishment is a 6 billion dollar payout for his franchise. I hope the banks bury him and he faces the deserved legal actions. As of now there had been an agreement to sell the franchise to 76'rs and NJ Devils owner, Josh Harris.... and is 20ish members of his parliament. We await to hear news of the reviews from the NFL financial committee to close out the process. Last news I came across was he has cut down the number of minority owners to 20. It will be a pleasure when this agreement is finalized. He could be a terrible owner, but it would still be an upgrade from Synder. Harris, seemingly has been a hands off owner and properly allows the people he's hired to operate the team. This last sports season he's had both of his teams deep in the playoff hunt. This season will be interesting. A lot of questions all around: Sam Howell? Chase Young? Ron Rivera? Eric Bienemy? Josh Harris? I'm not sure of those answers, but I'm very excited to find them out.
HC- Ron Rivera OC- Eric Bieniemy DC- Jack Del Rio
Key Additions: Eric Bieniemy
Ole' Riverboat Ron Rivera is back and going into his 4th season with the Washington Commanders, hopefully his last. I believe Ron Rivera is a leader of men, but I highly question his actual coaching skills and team building. I've currently seen enough of this coaching regime and front office to safely say let's move on. There's been several things that I believed were firable offenses.... the Carson Wentz trade. Some rumors have said that this was a Snyder push. Not entirely positive, but Ron bragged that it was his call. Our team at that point was not a qb away from being really good, let alone a Carson Wentz level of qb. The next fireable offense was starting Wentz over Hienke when the playoffs were on the line. Wentz ended up being benched for Hienke, but it was too little too late. The next fireable offense was not realizing we were eliminated from the playoffs. Going into the last week of the season Ron planned on starting Hieneke. Pretty odd to not know you're out of the playoffs, let alone to test Sam Howell out for next season. Additionally, there's been some pretty questionable roster creation decisions. I absolutely hate the versatile secondary and offensive line philosophy. We currently have a patch work offensive line that has the means to fluctuate between average to below average. Not a single player on the line is top 5 at their respected position. Two years ago we had a top 10 o-line, but that had Brandon Sherff playing like a top 5 guard and Charles Leno having his best season. Our o-line took a significant step back this past season and now looks to be our biggest weakness. Ron has shown to trust his own board and has reached (according to the consensus big board) with every single pick so far. People mistake 2019 as one of his drafts ( Sweat, McLaurin, Holcomb), but he was hired at the end of the season. Take this with a grain of salt as it takes at least 3 years to properly review a draft. Rons 1st round picks have been the following: 2020 pick 2 Chase Young- the correct pick at the time, but hard to botch the 2nd overall pick, 2021 pick 19 Jamin Davis- hated the pick at the time, too early for a linebacker... let a lone a project. On tape he looked lost a lot and made up for it with his elite athleticism. He's shown progress, but nothing showing he's worthy of the pick. 2022 pick 16 Jahan Dotson- looks to be an absolute baller, had him ranked above Olave in the pre-draft process. Was a slight reach above the consensus board, but flashed high end ability. Davis has been the only mistake in the 1st round thus far. When I say mistake I don't necessarily mean player, but the roster building philosophy. Whether reaching on Phidarian Mathis in the 2nd round of 2022. Lol, he was older than Payne coming out of the draft, one year of good production, and was taken a round too early. In the next round Brian Robinson was taken and was really just a body. Haven't really seen anything elite with him so far and was a meh pick. John Bates in the 4th round was egregious. Now I have to give credit where it's due. Kam Curl was an absolute steal and can solidify himself as top 5 safety this season if he continues to play this well. Our other starting safety in Darrick Forest also had a lot of bright spots playing this past season.
Arguably, our best offseason move was signing Eric Bieniemy. I'm absolutely excited. Forget everything about him not calling the plays. Reports from OTA's shows his hands on approach and full control of the offense. One of my favorites things I've heard is he is using OTA's to see what the players can do and crafting the offense to their abilities. Time and time again (Scott Turner) you see coaches say this is the offense and not change anything to match the players strengths. We don't know for sure how the offense will look, but if it's anything close to the motion west coast offense the Chiefs have... boy lessssss gooooooo. Jack Del Rio has been up-and-down in his time in Washington. He's had two very slow starts with the defense to start year, however, they've finished strong and kept his job safe. This is really the no excuse year and everyone needs to show up amd show out.
Taylor Hieneke- signed with the Falcons
Cole Holcolm- signed with the Steelers
Bobby McCain- signed with the Giants
Carson Wentz- TBD
J.D. McKissic- TBD
Trai Turner TBD
Andrew Norwell- will be released when he passes a physical
In my personal oppinion, the only player that hurt losing in free agency was Cole Holcolm. Linebacker is our one weak spot on defense, however, not resigning Holcolm shows Ron's belief in Jaymin Davis's progression. Cole was limited to 7 games last season and has yet to truly break out. Always played very solid and losing him downgraded the position. We've moved on from both starting guards from last year in Norwell and Turner (previously on the Panthers). Both players were liabilities last season and the guard position was easily upgradeable. Bonny McCain was a solid do it all for is player. Lined up at corner, safety, and nickel throughout the season. Hieneke was a big fan favorite, but was never the answer. We thank you for your service though. Carson Wentz, fuck you. Loved J.D. and his time here, suffered a major injury. Not sure if he gets picked up hy another team.
Andrew Wiley- 3 years for 24 million, 12 guaranteed. Previously on the Chiefs
Nick Gates- 3 years for 16.5 million, 8 million guaranteed. Previously on the Giants
Jacoby Brissett- 1 year for 8 million, 7.5 million guaranteed. Previously on the Browns
Cody Barton- 1 year for 3.5 million, 3.5 million guaranteed. Previously on the Seahawks
Simple. In free agency the Commanders did not overspend and tackled positions of need. None of the players signed are top 5 at their position, however, they could all possibly end up being upgrades to what we have. The most interesting is Andrew Wiley. He allowed 9 sacks (tied for 3rd most)... but man he put on the performance of his life in the superbowl. Another stat that favors him is pass block win-rate, which measure if a lineman can sustain a block for 2.5 seconds. Wylie ranked 9th in that stat last season. I translate that stat to mean can a lineman sustain a block against thr initial rush and counter move off the snap. After that 2.5 seconds the ball is thrown or the play breaks down. Another key factor to this signing is it kicks Samuel Cosmi inside to guard. Cosmi has shown flashes being a high end lineman and I expect him to be even better kicking to guard from right tackle. Guard was our weakest position on the line and Wylie signing helped to upgrade the RG position. Nick Gates is expected to he our starting center. He's coming off of a brutal leg injury that made him consider retirement. Has played guard and center and has some positional flexibility. Jacoby Brissett is the best backup qb in thr league. A solid signing if Howell doesn't pan out. Just a solid game manager that doesn't commit many turnovers. Cody Barton is another unproven guy. Last year was his first year with significant reps. Bobby Wagner leaving in FA and Jordyn Brooks injury made em the guy. He showed flashes of coverage abilities and had a lot of tackles. The tackles weren't necessarily a product of his abilities and more so of cleaning up on a bad run defense team. I've read some notes that he has trouble getting off of blocks. Honestly, haven't watched much on the guy, but reports were he played solid down the stretch.
Link to all RAS scores for our draft class https://commanderswire.usatoday.com/lists/2023-nfl-draft-ras-scores-for-the-washington-commanders-7-player-class-emmanuel-forbes/
Round 1:16 Emmanuel Forbes 6'1" 174 lbs. Mississippi St
Stats: 58 targets, 31 catches allowed for 284 yards (23 yards a game), 3 tds allowed/ 6 ints, 9 forced incompletions, 2 dropped ints, 46 tackles.
PFF Grade: 87.2
If being a 160 pounds is your only knock then I think you're doing something alright. The word on the street is he is already up to 174 pounds. You wouldnt realize hes only 174 pounds by the way he plays the run. Hes not scared to hit and flies ro the ball. Although, he does struggle to get off of blocks. Emmanuel Forbes, per PFF, had the highest rating in man coverage last season, albeit the snap count was very miniscule. Emmanuel Forbes is a lanky corner than played a lot of zone coverage and is a very good scheme fit for what we do. I like the pick and I'm not upset about taking him over Gonzalez, who also had his own question marks. Forbes set a NCAA record with 6 pick sixes. A lot of those were the right place at the right time, but when you have that high of a number than you're doing something right.
Forbes is one of the best ballhawks in this class. Over the course of his three-year career, he came down with 13 interceptions. That’s four more than the next closest Power Five cornerback since 2020. Forbes was unbelievably dominant in man coverage in 2022, giving up only three catches while also snagging three interceptions. He also only allowed a 20% completion rate in man, the lowest among FBS
Remarkably lanky frame. Limbs for days — ideal for a corner.Has bounce like a hooper. He can challenge any catch point necessary. Elite ability to locate the football. All six of his interceptions came in man coverage.
Still a stick. Not much mass on his frame. Has eyes that get him in trouble. Some freelance tendencies on tape.Can get bowled over in the run game. Mediocre tackler over the course of his career.
Round 2: 47 Jartavius "Quan" Martin 5'11". 194 lbs Illinois
Stats: 74 targets, 42 catches allowed, 611 yards allowed, 3 tds allowed, 3 ints, 15 forced incompletions, 2 dropped ints, 4 missed tackles, 64 tackles.
PFF Grade: 73.2
Quan is a beast. I thought he was the 2nd best nickel prospect in the draft and a better deep safety than Brian Branch. Martin absolute rockets around the field in the run game. He started his career at cornerback before transitioning into the safety/nickel position. Another elite athlete that is a perfect fit for our Buffalo Nickel defense.
Martin came to Illinois and immediately started as a true freshman in 2018. He originally started off as an outside corner before becoming more of a slot corner recently. He had arguably his best year in 2022, as his 15 forced incompletions were tied for the sixth-most among Power-Five corners. Martin’s 91.0 run-defense grade also led all Power Five cornerbacks. While he played corner at Illinois, we project him more as a safety for the next level.
Explosive flat-foot breaks. Tremendous burst. Forceful and reliable tackler - 7 misses on the last 129 attempts last two seasons.Fills like a mac truck in the run game. Wants to come downhill and play in the backfield.
Pure man skills are work in progress. Overagressive and liability to bite on fakes. cons On the lighter side for an around the line of scrimmage player. Gets caught with his eyes in the backfield on run
Round 3: 97 Ricky Stromberg 6'3" 306 lbs Arkansas
Stats: 9 impact blocks, 11 qb hurries, 0 qb hits, 0 sacks allowed
PFF Grade: 82.4
Nasty. Another guard experience player that spent his last two years at the center position. Award winner of the Jacob's Blocking Trophy for the SEC'S most outstanding blocker award. This is a solid player that has started since he was freshman in the SEC. He's been battle tested since he was kid and has improved every year. He has some knocks about his play strength, but a NFL program should get em to where he needs to be.
Stromberg was a three-star recruit in the 2019 class and started for the Razorbacks as a true freshman, mostly at right guard. He moved inside to center for his sophomore season and spent his final three college seasons there. Stromberg’s 82.4 overall grade and 83.7 run-blocking grade in 2022 both ranked fourth among all centers in college football, and his nine big-time blocks were tied for fifth among FBS centers. Not to mention, Stromberg had an incredible performance at the NFL combine.
Does not want to let blocks go. Can see him straining his butt of to stay engaged on tape. Tons of experience against top competition. Four-year starter with 3,121 career snaps.
Forward lean gets going on the move, making him liable to topple over. Has wide hands to initiate contact in pass protection before resetting. Leaves himself open for stronger rushers.Unimpressive musculature, which leaves questions about how he'll anchor against NFL strength.
Round 4: Braeden Daniels 6'4" 296 lbs Utah STATS:
0 sacks allowed, 1 qb hit allowed, 14 hurries allowed.
PFF GRADE: 72.2 at tackle, 2021 84.4 at guard.
Braeden Daniels is another tackle/guard hybrid, with starting experience across his college career. This guy is on the lighter side but that allows him to be an Explosive athlete. Very raw at the tackle position and will be a developmental guy. I'd like to give em a try as our swing tackle and see how he performs. He was one of the quickest offensive lineman I've seen off the tape and that athleticism will let him climb to the next level. Even on the lightweight side I'd hate to see this guy running at me on the second level.
Daniels is an experienced veteran who commanded the Utes’ offensive line for the past few years. He originally started as a guard before switching over to tackle. His best season came in 2021, as he put up an 84.4 PFF grade. Given his time on the interior, Daniels is at his best when run blocking, and his run-blocking grade in 2021 was an elite 89.1. He still held his own as a pass protector, allowing only five sacks in his Utah career.
Explodes out of his stance. Arguably the quickest get off in the offensive line class. Linebackers don't want to see him climbing. Gets on them before they can even react. Drive in his lower half to still move the line of scrimmage despite being under 300 pounds.
Wild into contact. He approaches blocks with the adjustment ability of a freight train. consDoesn't bring his hands with him. Clean engagements are rare on tape. Very light by NFL standards (294 pounds at combine).
Round 5: 137 KJ Henry 6'4" 260 lbs Clemson
51 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 FF, 6 pass deflections, 50 qb pressures, 31 qb hurries, 14 qb hits.
PFF GRADE: 83.1
Loved this pick. Henry was a 5 star recruit coming out of high-school and decided to attend Clemson University. With Clemson having deep lines it took him a couple of years to get on the field. The stats look odd when you only see 3.5 sacks, however, the 50 qb pressures is the key stat. Seems more like bad luck that the sack numbers weren't high. Clemson's whole d-line underperformed (Bresee, Murphey) and they should have picked up more sacks from Henry who was the best DE on that team last year. The team clearly liked him as we traded back up for him. He's not elite athlete, but he is an elite hands guy. Almost had that veteran presence in college. High motor and will immediately make an impact as a rotational de, a position that sorely needed an upgrade.
On a team with Myles Murphy, you can easily make the case that KJ Henry was Clemson's best defensive end this year, as he posted better PFF grades than Murphy in every category and even generated 19 more pressures. The only problem is That Henry is 24 years old while Murphy is only 21. Therefore, Henry was expected to produce this well against younger competition. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that he can’t still improve. If Henry's play this season is any indication of his potential, he can still have a great NFL career as an edge defender.
Heavy hands that are so well refined. Uses them independently to use combination moves.Utilizes hesitations and head fakes so well to catch linemen off-balance. Coaches rave about the type of teammate he is. He is the type of player you want in the locker room.
First step that's unimposing for a rusher on the smaller side. Late bloomer. Wasn't even a starter until this past fall. One of the oldest prospects in the class. Already 24 years old.
Round 6: 193 Chris Rodriguez 6'0" 217 lbs Kentucky
STATS: 8 games played, 175 attempts, 904 rushing yards, 6 tds, 5.2 ypa, 5 catches, 41 rec yards.
PFF GRADE: 90.8
Chris Rodriguez is a PFF darling and was rated as the 7th best running back. This guy's is a pure one cut, run you over, power back. There's not much finesse to his game, but there's highlights of dragging guys 10-yards down the field. He does not posses break away speed, but he will get you 40 yards. He was suspended 4 games due to a dui and he may have been drafted higher on am abysmal Kentucky team. An extra 4 games of stats against SEC competition and no suspension may have jumped him into the 4th round. This was an Eric Bienemy guy and they brought him in because of that. Isiah Pacheco was another EB guy.
Rodriguez is a powerful runner, but he lacks the burst and creativity to become anything more than a downhill grinder. He has the size and mentality to do the dirty work between the tackles, but it could be a challenge for him to get to and through the hole quickly in the NFL. He’s a physical blitz protector, so teams might envision a role for him as a second-half battering ram and third-down quarterback protector.
Two-time team captain. Thick frame with ability to pick up tough yards. Makes tacklers feel his size at impact. Stays square getting through downhill cuts. Low success rate guaranteed for arm-tacklers. Stays on his feet through heavy angle strikes. Allows lead blockers to do their work. Steps up with force against incoming rushers.
Below-average burst getting through line of scrimmage. Lacks finesse to navigate tight run lanes. Change of direction is heavy. One-speed running style is easy to track for linebackers. Pad level is a little tall as run-finisher. Inconsistent finding assignment versus blitz.
Round 7: 233 Andre Jones 6'4" 248 lbs Louisiana
STATS: 7 sacks, 5 qb hits, 20 hurries.
PFF GRADE: 77.2
Andre Jones was another hybrid de/lb player coming out last year. He possess 34 1/4" arms which is an elite number for his size. May move to LB, but I'm not sure that's the right move with a 4.71 40-yard dash. He doesn't have much a pass rush move set playing a hybrid role, but does use length to his advantage. A solid developmental pick.
Shows a natural feel for setting up blockers and getting them off-balance. His hands are active and violent, and Jones quickly disengages with blockers and counters when his initial move stalls. Possesses accurate snap anticipation and timing to beat blockers off the edge. Offers some versatility, rushing from a two-and three-point stance with the playing speed to stand up in space.Flashes strength as a bull rusher and his energy doesn't plateau. Showed initial quickness and good flexibility to dip and bend. Jones has active hands and suddenness to his movements, demonstrating the ability to counter inside. Has fluid footwork to redirect, reverse momentum and close with a burst. Regularly first off the ball with good snap anticipation. He’s a high-effort pass rusher with an impressive combination of length and speed.
Jones has to develop a counter move or two in the pass rush, and Jones needs to make better use of his hands. He lacks the speed of a chase and- tackle guy. He lacks twitch as a pass rusher and lacks the feet and flexibility to threaten around the edge. Jones also shows some stiffness when trying to bend the edge, often getting pushed past the pocket — he seems more comfortable countering back inside.
This was my favorite Ron Rivera/Martin Mayhew draft thus far. Going into the draft, offensive line, cornerback, and quarterback were our three biggest needs. Drafting in the middle of the round really took us out of the olineman race. The last one that interested me was Broderick Jones and he went off the board when the Steelers traded up. At that point in the draft it really left us with going cornerback. The Forbes pick was received negatively due to Christian Gonzalez being available. Both players will be viewed under the microscope throughout their careers. I'm fine with Forbes pick though. Another lanky cornerback who was an elite athlete. I did have Gonzalez rated higher going into the draft, but he slid for a reason. A lot of his tape shows him not necessarily being an elite cornerback, but being an elite athlete that plays corner. Forbes actually showed the athleticism, corner skills, and ballhawking ability. Some additional knocks against Gonazalez and his love of the game. Quan Martin was our biggest surprise pick of the draft. A lot of people had him going in the 3rd round, but I think the 2nd was a fine spot. Mayhew after the draft said he wish we were more aggressive at times, which I translated as not getting Brian Branch that went several picks before us. I think Quan was the backup option, but I like him as much as Branch. I think Quan will be a better deep safety and Bramch will be a better nickel. Liked Quan alot, but felt we should have gone o-line at this pick. Ocyrus Torrence would've been a sweet pick here. I think if that happened, the consensus view on our draft would shoot up. Quan will immediately via for playing time as our base defense is essentially a 4-2-5. Kendall Fuller was our only above average corner and now we turned our secondary into a strength. Ricky Stromberg and Braeden Daniels were our next two picks. I like Stromberg’s tape a lot and think by next he will be a solid starter at guard or center. Braeden Daniels will be a nice depth piece and if he's able to tame his play he could develop into a starter. Fun player to watch. KJ Henry was an awesome pick and can see him being a nice rotational piece. Good pick at an underrated area of need on our defense. RB wasn't a pressing need, but it's an underrated area of weakness. I think Brian Robinson is about as average of rb as you will see starting in the NFL. I wouldn't be surprised if Rodriguez slowly cut into Robinson's role over the next two years. Antonio Gibson has had some solid season, but has a severe fumbling problem. Andre Jones will be a depth piece that will need development moving forward.
The biggest question of our offseason was our owner, which now appears resolved. Our second biggest question... was who was our starting qb? Sam Howell. Ron preached all offseason that he was going with Howell and I'll be damned, he did. Brissett was good qb to bring in, not someone that would necessarily turn the offseason into a battle, but can be a starter if called upon. Really a true backup qb. I'm all in on the Sam Howell train. I love it for a multitude of reasons. One, he balls out and we have our qb of the future, two he plays well enough we give him another season and maybe Ron is out and we get a high draft pick, three he bombs and we fire Ron Rivera and go for Caleb Williams next season. If anything, it gives us a direction for our future. I'm ready for Ron to go and think he's only as good as his coordinators. I'm concerned that EB AND Howell turn the offense around Ron gets resigned and EB takes a head coaching role... then the offense regressed. Additionally, I don't want Ron to get credit for drafting Howell. It was 5th round pick, you and every team passed on him for 4 rounds. If Howell is that good... it's not because Ron was a genius and drafted him. Very similar to Seattle taking Russel. I am excited about EB being here and think he's the real deal. I will give Ron credit for allowing him to run his own offense as he sees fit. OTA's have shown that EB is pushing his guys hard and is trying to see what he can do with the offense. We really do have elite playmaker and I'm most excited to see what he can do with Antonio Gibson. I can see his role being that of Jerrick McKinnon, with more athleticism. Sam Howell has shown a lot of progress since his rookie season. Had issues with his foot work, but has shown vast improvements. We only have 1 preseason game and 1 NFL game of tape on him. I liked what he showed. When watching tape you could see him going through his progression, man absolutely saved the day wish his escapability- was under pressure the whole game, threw two beautiful deep passes, and won the game. He did throw one bad pick, but was under pressure and playing hero ball. He had one week of practice with the starters, now he has a whole offseason. Our defense should be a top 5 unit next season and we only got better. Chase Young should be fully healthy and he's the X-factor for the number one overall defense. He comes out plays to his full potential then he could be a mid teens sack guy. If we have that sort of production and Sam Howell plays well than we can compete for the decision. Big if though. Our secondary really lacked a 2nd option, Benjamin St Juyce has shown some flashes but didn't seeze the role last year. Now on paper he's the number and that's very solid. We return two top 6 defensive tackles and Montez Swear is one of the most underrated players in the league. He's yet to have a high sack season, but is very much that Jadaveon Ckowney type of player in the run game. Big question mark season for Jaymin Davis. We knew he needed development, but it's been slower than previously thought. Down the stretch he showed flashes that he was coming into his own and now is his year. He's one of the best athletes at linebacker in the league and his ceiling is very very high. Overall I predict we will go 10-7 and challenge for a wild card spot. That record can fluctuate each one, but I'm calling the improvement now. We went 8-8-1 with bottom 3 qb play. The defense got better, we hired a better offensive coordinator, Howell will at the minimum be slightly better than Hienke last season, we didn't lose any major pieces and had a solid all around draft. I'm truly excited to watch how our future plays out.
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2023.06.01 13:30 readingrachelx Housewife highlights/Daily shit talk - June 1st, 2023
ATLANTA NEW JERSEY ORANGE COUNTY NEW YORK BEVERLY HILLS MIAMI BRAVO TORONTO CHESHIRE NAIROBI GQEBERHA Links to this week's episode discussion posts:
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2023.06.01 13:19 cwcobblestone “Day by Day, Month by Month, Year by Year,” Part 1
“Day by Day, Month by Month, Year by Year,” Part 1
by c.w. cobblestone
A wimp chronicles the femdom/cuck relationship between him, his beloved Molly and her lover DeShawn. Here are the first six months.
January 1 Well, the calendar may have changed but nothing else has. Molly is still in love with DeShawn. They’re still openly flaunting their affair in front of friends and family. I’m still kissing up to both of them and praying they’ll continue to let me hang around. So far, so good; the wedding’s still on for June, and everyone seems to be finding their roles in this three-way relationship. Unfortunately, my role is being their bitch. But Molly’s still here — that’s the important thing. I thought for sure when DeShawn came into the picture and stole her heart that she’d run off with him. But to my great relief, she says she wants to go through with the wedding while also maintaining her relationship with DeShawn. She says we’re now a “poly triad.” I know she’s playing me for a fool and is only marrying me because I earn six figures. But I don’t care. I love her and would do anything to keep her. Anything. Full stop. The ceremony is scheduled for June 8th, and my New Year’s resolution is to not fuck it up.
January 3 Molly didn’t say when she’d be home from the New Year’s Eve party at DeShawn’s friend’s house, but I didn’t expect her to be gone this long. I’m starting to get worried. Molly’s a big girl and can take care of herself, but DeShawn runs with a rough crowd.
January 4 Crisis averted. Molly’s been holed up in DeShawn’s apartment partying, thank goodness. After she texted me and told me to bring cognac and Burger King, I’d hoped to spend at least a few seconds with my beloved fiancé for the first time this year. Alas, I never even laid eyes on her. DeShawn answered my knock, snatched the bags from my hand and slammed the door in my face after throwing out a flippant “thanks, bitch.”
January 5 Molly finally came home but she was only here long enough to change clothes and bitch at me about her car being down to a quarter tank of gas. I thought about telling her she hasn’t been home for me to gas her car up but I wisely kept my mouth shut and volunteered to fill her tank right then. She said she was in a hurry, though, and rushed back out. I’m guessing she was either headed to the club or back to DeShawn’s place, although she didn’t tell me where she was going, and I sure as hell didn’t ask. As far as she’s concerned it’s none of my business what she does — my job is to sit at home and wait for her like a good little toady, ready to kiss her little ass and put up with her shit when she gets back.
January 7 I kept dinner warm until finally putting it away at 9. Even if Molly does make it home tonight, she’ll most likely be with DeShawn, and they won’t be in the mood to eat. I can always heat up something later if they want a post-coital snack.
January 9 When I got home from work nobody was there, although two bags of DeShawn’s dirty laundry were waiting for me in the living room. Molly had me do his clothes a few weeks ago and now the arrogant bastard apparently thinks it’s my permanent job. I thought about just letting it sit there — then common sense took over. The last thing I want to do is piss him off and give him an excuse to kick my ass again. So, swallowing what little pride I had left, I washed and carefully ironed the clothes of the man who’s fucking my fiancé. How pathetic is that?
January 10 My buddy Tim called to tell me he saw Molly making out with DeShawn at the Alexis Club last night. I turned red but gave my speech about how our arrangement allows her to see other men. Tim must be the 10th person to call since Molly and DeShawn started openly dating. I wish my supposed girlfriend and her “black king” would keep their tryst on the down-low but they said they wanted to take their relationship to the next level and I don’t get a vote. With everything that goes on in the world these days, I’d hoped their affair wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m finding that people aren’t as open-minded as they claim to be. I’m losing friends and alienating family over this “poly” situation. Tim sure sounded disgusted. I guess I can’t blame him — if I was my friend, I’d probably be just as outraged at how Molly and DeShawn treat me, and how I put up with it like a sap loser. I imagine it must be painful for my friends and family to watch, but I wish they’d try to see it from my point of view. I love Molly with all my heart. She hurts me, sure. But I’m happier than I’ve ever been since she came into my life. Why can’t people understand that? If I can accept her and the things she does to me, why can’t everyone else?
January 13 DeShawn spent the night last night. He and Molly were already hammered when they got back from the club but they wanted another round. They also wanted privacy, so after I served drinks, DeShawn handed me his key and told me to go clean his apartment. I said “yes sir” and hauled ass out of there. When DeShawn tells me to do something, I don’t fuck around. The guy dislikes me to start with, so I try not to give him any reason to fuck me up. The first time Molly brought him home, I attempted to man up and confront him. I won’t ever make that mistake again. I like having teeth too much.
January 14 For the second night in a row, DeShawn stayed over. Molly got mad because I hadn’t bought the bottle of wine she’d wanted so she slapped me across the face several times, cutting my nose with her engagement ring. I got blood all over my favorite shirt, and she yelled at me about that, too, much to her boyfriend’s amusement. Molly is getting meaner by the day and DeShawn keeps egging her on. He loves the situation he’s carved out for himself — he knows he could steal her from me any time he wants but he enjoys having me around. In addition to bankrolling the affair, I represent the spoils of his victory; I’m the defeated, shamed white boy whose nose is constantly rubbed in the dirt while he enjoys his prize, my beautiful fiancé. That’s why he’s so brazen about taking Molly to all the places frequented by my friends and family. He wants everyone to know that Molly is in love with him, and that I’m pathetically hanging around paying the bills and serving as the beta in this budding “poly triad” of ours. Around town, it’s making me either a laughingstock or an object of pity. I’m not sure which is worse.
January 17 I got into a big argument with my brother Joel today after he called to tell me he saw Molly and DeShawn at the Towne Theatre “acting like a pair of animals in heat.” He and the rest of the family have been pressuring me to leave her ever since DeShawn mopped up the floor with Joel last month. The stupid fuck tried to tell the former Carver State linebacker to stop embarrassing the family by openly carrying on with Molly. DeShawn doesn’t like being told what to do. Joel found that out the hard way. His broken nose just healed.
January 20 Nobody was at the condo when I got home from the firm, although I could tell DeShawn had been over, given the wet spots all over the crumpled bedding in the master bedroom. These days, the only reasons I go into Molly’s room are to clean, change cum-stained sheets, and wipe her boyfriend’s piss stains off the toilet rim in the master bathroom. Molly says her bedroom suite is reserved for “real men” and that I have no business being in there unless it’s to clean.
January 24 Molly dropped some devastating news today. She says DeShawn will be going on the honeymoon in June and I’ll be staying home. Also, we had planned to take a Mediterranean cruise, but since DeShawn’s great-grandmother was from St. Thomas and he’s always wanted to go down there, she told me to switch the arrangements. I was bawling like a baby but I clicked onto the travel site and made the required changes. Since the wedding isn’t for six months, there was no problem adjusting the plans, although it killed me inside to do it.
January 26 Molly told me to pack her bags because she was headed to Atlanta for a week to hang out with DeShawn’s cousins. So, now, just like that, I’m not going to see my beloved fiancé until next Sunday. I don’t think she has any idea how much she’s breaking my heart with this affair of hers, but if I told her she probably wouldn’t care — she’d probably think it was funny. That’s how cruel she’s become. DeShawn brings out the worst in her. After he told her that it turns him on when she’s mean to me, she’s been looking for reasons to dog me. He usually rewards her cruelty by fucking the taste out of her mouth — and that makes her want to treat me even worse. Molly is finding out how much naughty fun it can be to make my life miserable, knowing that I’m so hopelessly in love with her I’ll put up with anything she dishes out. Deep down, she probably knows what she’s doing to me is wrong — but I bet that just makes the whole thing even more delightfully wicked. My former angel is lost in a decadent, BBC-fueled alternative dimension where being bad is good and my pain is hilarious.
February 6 Molly told me to go by her mom’s house after work tomorrow to clean. She says I should plan on that being one of my regular weekly duties from now on. I’m getting sick of being everybody’s fucking maid. I’m stuck cleaning DeShawn’s apartment once a week now. Last week, Molly had me wash her best friend’s car after her boyfriend got drunk and puked in it. My fiancé has pimped me out to her friends recently for myriad other chores — cleaning up dogshit, dropping off library books, picking up drycleaning. Since DeShawn came into the picture, Molly has gleefully let her friends and family know that I’m nothing but her little bitch — and her boyfriend’s little bitch, too. She loves recounting the night she brought DeShawn back to the condo for the first time, and I tried to make a stand by telling him to leave. He busted me in the eye, knocking me to the floor, and then kicked me in the ribs until I begged him to stop. The whole time, Molly watched with a glazed look in her eye and fingers in her crotch. After DeShawn bitch-slapped me one last time, he dragged my fiancé into the bedroom and they screamed up a storm while I lay on the living room floor sobbing. That was the first and only time I ever tried standing up to DeShawn, as Molly delights in telling her friends. “DeShawn runs shit around here,” she says to anyone who’ll listen.
February 8 Darlene is such a cunt. It’s easy to see where Molly gets her snootiness from. After I left the firm yesterday, I headed straight for my future mother-in-law’s house and started cleaning. I busted my ass all night and didn’t finish until after 11pm. Did I get a thank-you? Hell no. The whole time I was there, all Darlene did was belittle me and taunt me about DeShawn. Before I left, she pulled down her sweats and showed me her pussy, asking if I remembered what one looked like. It was so embarrassing, I just wanted to run out of there. But I knew not answering her might pose a problem, so I just faked a smile and said, “it has been a while.”
February 11 There’s nothing more embarrassing than standing outside the dressing room at Victoria’s Secret clutching your fiancé’s purse while she tries on sexy outfits to wear for her lover on Valentine’s Day — especially when she made it known to the salesladies that the lingerie is for someone other than the schmuck holding the bag. I wanted to die when I paid for the purchases, with the women all smirking and making snide remarks. There was no reason for Molly to tell the staff that the lingerie was for another man, other than pure cruelty. On the ride home, I hung my head and bit my lip, doing my best to keep from crying. Molly yelled at me and told me to stop moping, so I sat up straight in the passenger seat and pretended to watch the scenery as it zoomed by.
February 15 Valentine’s Day sucks when you’re a beta. I cleaned the condo spotless and fixed a special dinner for two. Once the candles were lit and both plates were full, DeShawn gave me his mother’s address and told me to report to her house for maid duty. As usual, I said, “yes, sir” and obeyed without hesitation. Jeez, I thought my mother-in-law was bad — Cassandra is ten times worse. From the second I stepped into her house she made it clear that while she absolutely loves Molly and supports her relationship with her son, she despises white males. Therefore, she said, she despises me by default. It took seven hours to clean Cassandra’s house, which was enough time for her to slap me six times and spit in my face twice after finding fault with my cleaning. When I was finished, she made me stand in the hallway with my legs spread and my hands on my head before kicking me in the nuts as hard as she could. After I collapsed in pain, she told me to kiss her shoe and thank her. I complied, and she kicked me in the head and said “now, get the fuck out, white boy.” I’m praying Molly doesn’t add cleaning Cassandra’s house to my regular duties. That woman has a lot of anger bottled up inside her, and after only one night I can already tell she loves taking out those frustrations on a lily-white ass.
February 16 Well, fuck me. Exactly what I didn’t want — DeShawn says from now on I have to go by his mom’s house once a week to clean. WTF, man. So, with my recurring appointment at Darlene’s house and DeShawn’s apartment, that’s three nights a week I’ll now be cleaning other people’s houses, in addition to my chores at home and all the other errands I’m sent on. For Molly and DeShawn, this polyandrous threesome is proving to be a sexy, relaxing lifestyle — but for me, it’s demoralizing and exhausting.
February 23 Per Molly’s orders, I asked the head of the firm if I can pick up extra cases, or stay late to help the other attorneys with research. Molly wants me to make as much money as I can between now and the wedding because she says she and DeShawn want to “honeymoon in style.” She says things like that because she thinks it’s funny to hurt my feelings. Sometimes I wish I was strong enough to get out of this abusive relationship. I guess I’m like those battered wives who keep going back to their husbands. Molly treats me like shit but I take it. With a smile. A fake smile, but a smile nonetheless.
March 19 Mr. Berkowitz accommodated my request and I’ve been working 14-hour days for the past few weeks. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since I get to stay away from home longer, thus avoiding abuse from my fiancé and her lover. Plus, my last few checks have been huge. The bad news is, every dime of that extra money will go toward ensuring that Molly and DeShawn “honeymoon in style.” And despite all the extra hours, my domestic load hasn’t lightened one iota. I’m still expected to clean Darlene’s house every Monday, Cassandra’s every Wednesday, and DeShawn’s apartment every Thursday. If I get behind on my chores at home, I know Molly will cut me no slack, and if DeShawn’s around there’s a good chance she’ll slap the shit out of me if something doesn’t get done. She loves showing off for her man by being bitchy to me, and it drives him crazy when she does it. So, I’ve been killing myself to keep up with everything. It’s been rough, but I’ve managed. Who needs sleep?
March 26 I’m completely wrung out physically and emotionally. Last night was hands-down the worst night of my life. I served as the “bitch boy” at a party thrown by one of DeShawn’s friends and it was pure fucking hell. Molly made me wear a pair of her panties to the party, and when we got there I was told to strip, other than the pink, lacy underwear. There were about a dozen people there, and I spent the night serving drinks and having them pinch my ass and make fun of me. But the worst part was when DeShawn got drunk and forced me to kneel in the kitchen and suck his dick in front of everyone. I’ve been in complete anguish ever since. I can’t get the taste out of my mouth or the thought out of my head that I am now officially a cocksucker. Molly and several other people at the party filmed my debasement with their cellphones, so I’m sure the terrible moment will haunt me forever. I suspect there’ll be a lot more such horrible moments, too, because after DeShawn squirted all over my face and hair, he seemed pleased, bragging to his friends that I was a natural. He didn’t allow me to clean up, either, saying it would be “disrespectful,” so I spent the rest of the evening fetching drinks with dried cum on my face and tears in my eyes. It was a mortifying experience, something I wouldn’t have wished on my most hated enemy. I suppose it could have been worse — a couple of DeShawn’s friends also wanted blowjobs, but he told them I was “his bitch” and therefore off-limits. Molly told me I should feel proud to be DeShawn’s bitch. I lied to her and said I was grateful. In truth, I wanted to die when he said that. He’s starting to see me as his property.
April 2 During lunch yesterday, Molly told me that she and DeShawn had decided to let me come along on the honeymoon. After I fell over myself thanking her, she smirked and said, “April Fool’s.” DeShawn got a kick out of my crestfallen expression. He told me he had just the thing to cheer me up, and then made me suck his dick. He’s been having me do that a lot since the party last week.
April 7 DeShawn’s lease on his apartment is up April 19, and last night I was informed that he’d be moving in with us after that. This isn’t exactly a surprise, and I’d been bracing for it — although when Molly made it official, it was still quite the gut-punch. She said I’ll be responsible for moving everything, and that I should start packing stuff the next time I clean DeShawn’s apartment, so I don’t have to do it all at once.
April 10 As if things couldn’t get worse, DeShawn told me yesterday that he’d be converting the guest room into his mancave. When I asked him where I was going to sleep, he said “in the bathtub for all I care.” I don’t know if he was joking or not, though, because he laughed when he said it. Whether he was serious or not, if he takes over the guest bedroom I won’t have anywhere to sleep, since that’s the only other bedroom in the condo besides the master suite, and I doubt I’ll be allowed to bunk down in there with them. Why should I be allowed a place to sleep? I’m just the guy who pays all the bills.
April 12 Well, the mystery over where I’ll be sleeping is solved. Molly says I can put a dog bed in the hall closet. She told me to go buy one now and to break down the bed in the guest room, so everything will be ready for when DeShawn moves in. So, I guess my days of sleeping in a bed like a normal human being are over. A dog bed in the closet??? WTF.
April 14 I keep hitting new lows. When I was at her house last night, Cassandra made me drink her piss. I was in the bathroom scrubbing the floor when she came in brandishing a plastic cup. She sat on the toilet and held the cup under her pussy, filling it with urine. Then, she handed it to me and told me to say “cheers!” before downing the cup in one gulp. I managed to obey although I almost threw up. She told me to thank her for the honor, which I did with all the respect I could muster. Later, when I’d resumed my cleaning, I overheard Cassandra on the phone bragging to her friend about what she’d done. I got a chill when she said, “sure, come on over when he cleans next Wednesday and I’ll make him drink yours, too.”
April 16 I keep thinking about what Cassandra told her friend on the phone, and debating whether I should say anything to DeShawn about it. At the party last month, he’d told everyone that I wasn’t sexually available because I was his “bitch,” but I’m not sure if that rule extends to his mother making me drink her piss — or, worse, making me drink some stranger’s piss. I haven’t worked up the nerve to say anything, though, and I probably won’t. DeShawn might get pissed if he thinks I’m dissing his mom.
April 17 Ugh, I can’t get this Cassandra situation out of my head. One thing that’s bothering me: Is her friend a man or a woman? It was impossible to tell from hearing just her half of the conversation. I suppose it doesn’t matter — DeShawn has me sucking his dick constantly now, anyway, and Cassandra’s probably going to regularly have me drinking her piss since the genie’s out of the bottle, so what difference does it make whether the person whose pee I have to drink is male or female? Piss is piss, right?
April 19 Yet another demoralizing milestone. DeShawn had me lick his ass last night for the first time. He had bits of toilet paper stuck to his bunghole and I gagged when it touched my tongue — which earned me a severe bitch-slap for being “disrespectful.” But I managed to get through it in one piece. As I do when giving blowjobs, I just closed my eyes and drifted to my happy place, blocking out the terrible world and concentrating on the dialogue from a favorite movie. Last night it was “A League of Their Own.” There’s no crying in baseball or when you’re tossing your fiancé’s boyfriend’s salad.
April 20 Well, DeShawn’s all moved in. Of course, I did all the work while he sat on his ass and directed. I had to throw out 90% of my stuff since there’s no longer room. All that’s left are my suits for work and my laptop; everything else got shitcanned, including my high school yearbooks, family mementos and almost all my casual clothes. Oh, well. I didn’t really need that stuff anyway.
April 21 When I went to Cassandra’s after work to clean last night, she introduced me to her friend, a huge woman named Violet. The lady seemed eager to make me drink her piss, although she was shy and went into the bathroom alone to pee in the cup. Cassandra made me kneel down and drink every drop before thanking her friend for the honor. Then, Cassandra decided to show off, so she made me stand still with my hands on my head while she and her friend took turns kicking me in the balls. When they finally got tired of abusing me, I was released to clean the house while they chatted in the living room.
May 2 We’ve got a new household routine. Almost every night now, DeShawn will holler “hey, bitch, come give me my propers,” which means I have to find a spot behind him and lick his ass. As you might imagine, it’s quite demoralizing to give DeShawn his “propers” when my fiancé is right there watching. Between the constant blowjobs and rim-jobs, I can’t say I don’t have a sex life anymore. It’s not exactly the kind of sex I would’ve chosen, but I do get a lot of action these days. My mouth does, anyway.
May 5 I overheard Molly talking to her mom on the phone about having kids with DeShawn. He apparently wants a big family, and she told her mom she’s glad she’ll have me around to change diapers. As strange as it seems, I felt a twinge of satisfaction hearing that. At least it means Molly wants to keep me around long-term.
May 9 Well, I feared this day was coming. DeShawn has decided to take over the wedding. He announced last night that he’s going to be my best man and he said he may get his buddies to replace my brothers in the wedding party. He says it’s going to be a “poly wedding.” I called Joel and told him he was out as best man and that DeShawn would be handling those duties. My brother cussed me out and hung up on me.
May 11 I got into a huge argument with Mom and Dad on the phone today. They said they never want to speak to me again. This has been brewing for some time in my family. I wish things were different, but they made me choose. I chose Molly. They say they can’t stand seeing how she treats me. Well, I’ve learned to live with it — fuck them if they can’t.
May 12 Now Joel and Ron aren’t coming to the wedding, so I’ve pretty much alienated my entire family. They say Molly’s making a fool out of me by having DeShawn replace Joel as my best man. I told Joel to talk to DeShawn if he has a problem with it, and he shut up right quick. The dumbass learned his lesson a few months ago when he tried to tell DeShawn to stop embarrassing the family by being so open about his affair with Molly. I learned the same lesson after Molly brought her boyfriend home for the first time and I was stupid enough to protest. The lesson? You don’t question DeShawn.
May 24 DeShawn has changed the wedding vows. It’s already written that I will promise to obey Molly, but DeShawn added the phrase “and I will obey DeShawn as well.” Then, since this will be a “poly wedding,” DeShawn is going to say a few words, pledging to love and honor Molly until death do they part. The magistrate Molly chose is quite progressive and when she ran the new vows past him, he said they’re great. The ceremony is going to be embarrassing as hell, but the whole wedding’s going to be a fucking nightmare anyway. I’ve made up my mind: I’m going to just square my shoulders and get through it, because when it’s all over Molly will be my bride. I can’t wait. She’s in love with another man but I don’t care. She’ll be my wife, and that means everything to me.
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2023.06.01 12:35 Suk__It__Trebek I lost my mum May 01,2023
I moved back to my hometown 2 years ago to help, when I realized her memory wasn't so great. Mum lived on her own. It took a year of appointments, and stress, and the stove catching fire, and phone calls from police in the middle of the night finding her in her car out of gas because she got lost, and arguments with friends and family to get her diagnosed with dementia. She never had a family Dr.
We moved mum into a retirement home with a locked memory care floor, end of March 2022, as she was able to do everything on her own, but needed supervision.
A year later, March 2023, the retirement home said they could not provide her the care she needed as she was no longer able to care for herself, or walk/stand. This was after 2 months of us paying extra for them to feed her. And, as we found out later, they hadn't been bathing her either as they didn't have the proper lift equipment. End of March 2023, we moved mum into Long Term Care.
Mum passed May 01, 2023 of sepsis at age 71. Not having baths or being physically moved can cause skin breakdown. Her open sore got infected and the antibiotics couldn't stop it.
It hurts so much knowing that it didn't have to go this way. I would have bathed her myself, had I known. We only found out when they asked to schedule her with the hairdresser to have her hair washed.
I miss my mum. I miss having her sit on FaceTime while I would work. I miss our laughs. Even with her dementia, I would call and chat with her about everything.
My grandma, and last living grandparent, passed in February. She was my dad's mum. My dad passed 13 years ago.
Sometimes it all feels like it's just too much. Life shouldn't be this hard. I just really miss my mum.
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2023.06.01 12:01 AutoModerator [Daily - TRADE] Megathread. All trade advice & team help assistance belongs in this mega-thread or in our other subreddit r/Fantasy_Football.
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2023.06.01 10:45 dreamingofislay Feis Ile 2023 - Bonus Notes from the Festival's First Half
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Going off schedule! I still plan to recap Kilchoman day later tonight after doing dinner at the Bowmore Hotel, but I'm collecting some stray notes from the Feis here:
Laphroaig on open day around 12 pm Caol Ila open day around 1 pm Lagavulin Open Day around 2 pm
- Laphroaig and Bowmore both do their own floor maltings but to quite different ppm levels, with Laphroaig being about double Bowmore. The difference is that Bowmore has a special machine that squeezes more moisture out of their peat (described as akin to a sausage maker, but for peat), so they burn much drier peat, which combusts more easily and so produces less smoke.
- At several distilleries, visitors asked whether Islay is running out of peat. No, not for a long time. There's enough peat to last 500 years, and a lot of effort going into rejuvenating the existing peat bogs, which grow back at a rate of about a millimeter a year.
- But there is a resource crunch coming to the island. When Port Ellen distillery gets going, possibly later this year, Port Ellen Malting is going to shut off the spigot to all the non-Diageo Islay distilleries. The guide at Laphroaig mentioned that this is a big topic of discussion among the other distilleries, and it did not sound like they had a clear solution. Fingers crossed they figure this out.
- People on Islay pretty clearly have mixed feelings about all the new distilleries opening. Apparently, Islay is having trouble attracting workers due to its remote location and high cost of living. The islanders are skeptical about how all these new distilleries are going to find enough labor.
- Ardnahoe's gift shop had one of the best games on the island. They set up six whiskies in dark blue glencairns and ask visitors to guess which region each one comes from (one from each of Scotland's six major whisky-producing regions). There's a prize for getting all six right. Such a fun experience for dedicated whisky fans, although I knew my nose wasn't good enough to pick out such fine distinctions like Highlands vs. Lowlands. We did pretty dreadfully -- I only identified the Islay and Islands whiskies correctly -- but got an Ardnahoe pin anyways.
- Don't sleep on the non-distillery-based events on the main Feis Ile website. We went to a Laphroaig-sponsored trivia night on Wednesday night held at the Gaelic Center close to Bowmore. It was loads of fun, and some new friends from Newcastle were nice enough to form a team with us. We did alright at the trivia, but the whisky highlight was that Barry MacAffer poured a single cask after each of the four rounds, and we got a bonus point for correctly guessing the finish. We got 2 of 4, and then guessed the yeaage right at the end (it was four 2014 single casks).
- u/capriceragtop asked for pictures of the event spaces to get a sense of how busy the Feis is. Spoke to some regular attendees, including a woman who's been coming for 14 years, and they remarked the festival is not busy this year, perhaps because so many came last year for the first one after the pandemic hiatus. Anyways, here's pics of several distilleries at the height of their open days. Long lines for food and some carnival games, but the crowds have been pretty reasonable this week. For individual events, they are much smaller groups, and the distilleries have ample room for hosting those.
- Fauna note of the week: Highland cows apparently prefer poor, rough pasture, as we learned from a conservation group at Caol Ila's open day. When Highland cows are led to rich fields, they get surly and irritable, whereas they are delighted by sparse Scottish hills, where they are very calm.
Bonus Whisky Notes: Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2023 Canasta
- This is a fun dram to drink, but it doesn't stand out as a special or exceptional whisky. It comes across like a lot of cask-strength sherried whiskies, with a drier and funkier nose but all the archetypal dense raisin and fig notes you'd expect on the palate and finish. Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2023 Moine Triple Cask
- This is the middle child of the festival bottlings, between the sub-100-pound Canasta and the super-premium 1998 Manzanilla. The hallmark of this dram is balance between nuts, caramels, oak, and smoke/incense. One of the most pleasant, well-composed, and complex whiskies we've had. XOP Port Ellen 40 y.o. (Douglas Laing)
- This was the second Port Ellen beauty we tried on Sunday. Before this trip, we'd never had Port Ellen, so we're still getting a feel for its distillery character. Both of these were ex-bourbon casks, no finishing. To our surprise, Port Ellen maintains its smoky character with hints of petrol on the nose for longer than other Islay whiskies. By age 25-plus, many Laphroaigs, Caol Ilas, etc., get very fruity and soft on the nose and finish, but PE is still quite robust, while still having a good, mellow, waxy citrus fruit body. PE smoke also seems to be very spicy and fragrant, like a pull from a good cigar. Laphroaig 2014 Single Cask #1
- The first mystery pour at trivia night, and our first wrong guess. We said Fino because there was a little dryness, but we overthought it. It was an ex-bourbon cask, and in retrospect, this did drink a lot like a Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength. Laphroaig 2014 Single Cask #2
- Oloroso finish, which we did recognize quickly. Oloroso-finished Laphroaig develops this wonderful hazelnut note, and this one showcased that flavor. Laphroaig 2014 Single Cask #3
- Barry gave us a hint on this spice-drawer dram, saying it was finished in a different type of fresh oak, and we just had to guess the region/country. The realistic options were American, French, and Spanish, with us excluding Mizunara (Japanese oak) because that's such a hard thing to get. Spanish also seemed implausible since the only Spanish oak we've ever had has been sherry cask bottlings; no idea what fresh Spanish oak would produce. Since spice is a French oak hallmark, we guessed that and got it right. Laphroaig 2014 Single Cask #4
- Blew this one badly, but it was strange. This was a PX finish, but it was not dark in color, nor did it have those treacle and fruitcake notes that are common to PX finishes. It did have a bit of that funky, burnt matchstick scent to it, and a hint of extra sweetness on the palate, but overall a surprising expression, and one where the finish did not add that much influence.
Links to other recaps: Day One, Lagavulin Day Two, Bruichladdich - but we skipped and did Bunnahabhain Day Three, Caol Ila Day Four, Laphroaig Day Five, Bowmore and Ardnahoe
2023.06.01 10:30 BaseballBot [General Discussion] Around the Horn - 6/1/23
So what's this thread for?
- Discussion of yesterday's games
- Excitement for today's games
- General questions
- Mildly interesting facts
- Praising Santa 🎅
- Anything else worth sharing/asking that doesn't warrant its own post
For game threads, use the games schedule on the sidebar to navigate to the team you want a game thread for.
Featured posts and links
Thursday's Games ★
Game Thread. All game times are Eastern. Updated
6/1 at 9:20 AM Yesterday's ATH
This Week's Schedule (all times Eastern)
|Day ||Feature |
|Sunday 5/28 ||No subreddit features planned |
|Monday 5/29 ||baseball Power Rankings |
| ||Happy Memorial Day! |
|Tuesday 5/30 ||baseball Players of the Week |
|Wednesday 5/31 ||No subreddit features planned |
|Thursday 6/1 ||Division Discussion Thread: The Easts |
|Friday 6/2 ||Friday Trash Talk Thread |
| ||Lou Gehrig Day |
|Saturday 6/3 ||No subreddit features planned |
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2023.06.01 10:19 GGAllinPartridge Game of Throw-Ins Finale: EPL's shitty alternative league, Round 38
Here it is, the moment we’ve all been waiting for - the finale of Game of Throw-Ins 2022/23! It’s been a tense season across the table, but the results are in, and Manchester City take the trophy home. It looked like Liverpool very nearly had it for a moment there, but a loss somewhere along the way gave Man City the 3 points they needed to secure the title. Frustrating for the Anfield crowd, but that's football.
Outside of the title fight, a huge congratulations has been earned by Bright & Hove Albion, who have put on show after show for the fans to take 3rd place. Manchester United will be joining them in the Champions League, while Fulham sit just one cruel point behind in 5th place. Those two will make for a must-watch rivalry next season.
Outside of the top five are West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, nearly 10 points away from the Europa League. Despite some moments of brilliance, both of these teams have been dogged by late-season inconsistency and will need to make some changes over the offseason. Brentford have had similar issues, but at least their highs-and-lows weren’t quite so jarring.
In a huge contrast, Newcastle United will be partying hard - after almost an entire season in the relegation zone, they strung together a five-match winning streak to take 9th place on the table. They’re a long way from the top, but the Magpies are a real contender for the story of the season, and they walk away with serious bragging rights. This is what Game of Throw-Ins is all about.
Crystal Palace got a last-minute win to take 11th place away from Bournemouth, settling in just behind Leeds United. They also round out as the only team with a perfectly balanced throw-in difference, after a 763-for / 763-against season. Is this significant? Hard to say, but you can tuck that one away for your next trivia night.
Next up we have Leicester City in 13th, Wolverhampton Wanderers in 14th, and everybody’s second-favourite underdogs, Southampton in 15th. The Saints’ escape from the relegation zone was as admirable as it was late, but they were unfortunately overshadowed by Newcastle’s even more stunning change of fortune. Nottingham Forest and Arsenal manage to stay in the Premier League too, but not by much.
Finally, we have the bottom of the barrel: Aston Villa, Chelsea, and Everton. Aston Villa and Everton have known their days were numbered for a while, so hopefully they already have plans in place for the EFL Championship. Chelsea were full of bravado in 3rd place after Round 5, so I’d be lying if I said it didn’t tickle me somewhat to see them relegated. I’m sure they’ll be back soon enough though, they just have to spend more money.
Well, that’s a wrap on Game of Throw-Ins. I have to be honest, it became a massive headache trying to keep up with this nonsense in recent weeks, and a big part of me is glad to see the back of it. The other part of me is happy to have seen it to the end. Thanks for playing, might see you again for the 2023/24 season. Might not.
Remember, there’s only one stat that counts - and that stat is throw-ins.
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2023.06.01 07:42 RemnantEvil [Video games journalism] When a writer's punished for having the wrong opinion and leads a tiny exodus of hobbyists
What is Rock, Paper, Shotgun?
Rock, Paper, Shotgun (RPS) is a PC-gaming focused site based in the UK that was started in 2007. It has the usual gaming site content – Top 5/10/50/100 lists, publisher or developer press releases dressed up as news, reviews, previews, press event reports, a podcast, and – important to this story – a comment section below articles where gamers and capital-G Gamers, left-wing and right-wing alike, can find unity in complaining that their favourite was inappropriately placed in the aforementioned Top 5/10/50/100 lists.
(Fun fact: one of the co-founders of RPS was Kieron Gillen, who has since worked on Uncanny X-Men, Young Avengers, Marvel’s Darth Vader, and co-created Doctor Aphra.)
Of note, RPS bucks the generally apolitical nature of gaming sites by being quite openly left-wing. Though it generally isn’t a feature of many articles, it does show up on occasion, and not always in the best light. For instance, this article
that has an unusual bone to pick with Rainbow Six Siege having a female hostage in the E3 demo. Despite Tom Clancy himself having a reputation as a conservative, and that’s pretty evident in his fiction, the Rainbow Six series has been unusually progressive in having women fighting terrorists alongside the men since the inception, and Siege was no exception. It was actually quite rare in the ‘90s that a woman not named Lara Croft was involved in the action alongside the boys, so it does seem like an article about Rainbow Six’s treatment of women is more about having a bone to pick.
(Editorial note: I do not believe a person’s identity is political. Some people do. There’s a saying that applies to capital-G Gamers – “There are two genders: male and political.” Often when they decry keeping politics out of video games, it’s directed at any sort of inclusion. So, the political slant on this is just to point out that left-wing people are generally pro-trans and right-wing people are generally not. Spoiler alert, this is a discussion about trans people.) What is wargaming?
Within gaming, there are genres. Wargaming is one of them, and quite niche. Within the genre, there’s a diverse spectrum of passion. Some would consider themselves wargaming fans if they played and liked the Total War series. More hardcore wargamers would vehemently disagree and look down their nose at a game that has giant men standing on a world map; in their minds, wargaming is the domain of the chit and NATO symbology – a whole other language where a rectangular with an X through it represents an infantry unit, and the number of Xs or Is above the rectangle represents its size from XXXXX being army group, XX being division, II as battalion or I as company. (Give me hexes or give me death!) But in general, it’s operational (think the Italian campaign of WWII), strategic (the invasion of Sicily the Allies), or tactical (taking a specific town in Sicily with a regiment), and generally turn-based but occasionally real-time. You won’t find Age Of Empires in this genre, for instance.
Wargaming is not exclusive to the digital space either, and it’s just as likely to be played around an enormous table with intricate landscapes, pushing 8mm, 15mm or bigger pieces, usually hand-painted, and rolling dice. They’ll have a hefty rulebook in hand to consult how many dice you roll and what sort of success you need in order for your British mortar team to successfully knock out the German machine gun nest on the rooftop. Warhammer 40K is the most famous example, but that’s a single guy per base; the deeper wargames have a single base representing a squad or platoon stuck together to move as a group.
(The more hardcore have taken on the moniker grognards, a reference to old soldiers and specifically the original Imperial Guard that fought under Napoleon at Waterloo.) What’s The Flare Path?
Among the contributors to RPS was one named Tim Stone, who started writing for the site as soon as it was founded. (I cannot use anonymity, so the usual sub rules apply about leaving people alone; Tim’s still writing and in order to engage with this drama, we have to link articles that clearly have his name on them.) There’s a distinction between staff and contributors; staff were full-time employees of the business, whereas contributors are just freelancers who pop in and out. He was not a run-of-the-mill writer who would guzzy up press releases, Tim only had one ongoing feature called The Flare Path with a supplemental Friday Foxer. Though he started out doing little comics under the title Strafe Left, he moved on to reviews and features before creating the regular feature The Flare Path in 2011.
The title The Flare Path is a reference to the lights that outline runways, allowing aircraft to take off or land at night. And that is a pretty good summation of the feature, because Tim’s focus was exclusively on wargaming and simulations, which could mean directing squadrons of aircraft to take off for a mission, or yourself piloting a plane to a gentle landing guided by the flare path. Every Friday, you would just as likely find an article about a game where you drive a train in rural England as you would a wargame where you command Roman legions in that very same countryside. Among the regular features were A2Z articles, where Tim would have short snippets for each letter of the alphabet, with Q often necessarily “Quick tea break” due to the infrequency of that letter showing up. For instance, a new ARMA game might be A, then teasing a review of Battle Brothers is B, and so on, just a fun way to wrap up a lot of short bits of news that don’t have enough meat for a full article.
Another article type would see Tim break out of his usual Friday containment and run communal games, typically Combat Mission. Combat Mission is a WWII/Cold War turn-based tactics game where you’d queue up orders to your units that would then be executed for 60 seconds, during which the other side would be executing their own orders and you’d simply have to watch how your planning and preparation plays out. And it turns out, this is surprisingly adaptable to a group game – Tim would grid the map, lay out a scenario, identify the units and the objectives, and then people would comment below the article to give instructions. You could only move one unit in a turn and you had to be the first to claim that unit, but you’d say, for example, “I’d like to move 1st Squad to H3 and try to suppress the machine gun,” and Tim would take your comment and play it out. The next day, he’d do a little narrative report on who did what, where, and when, and what the enemy did in response, in a fun narrative way, even naming characters who pulled off particularly heroic or cowardly feats. Then he’d update the map, and the next turn begins.
Alongside his regular article, he’d also post a Friday Foxer. He’d have a variety of different games in the Foxer genre, and often rewarded correct answers with prizes – usually codes for games that developers gave him. One type was giving clues to a location and the readers would have to deduce where Tim was “standing” that fit all the criteria. Others were Catchphrase-like messages hidden in images that you’d need to decode, or a series of seemingly-unrelated images which had a theme that you’d need to identify.
I go on these tangents to emphasize that Tim had built himself a little community on RPS. While contributors did reply to reader comments in articles, Tim was often playing a game with readers, which endeared him to some people. Not only that, if you were interested in wargaming or simulations, any article on RPS about those genres was typically Tim’s domain. For a certain group, Tim was the only regular source of news on two niche genres, and the only reason to read RPS if the newest action game or looter-shooter didn’t appeal to you. There was and (spoilers) is nothing like The Flare Path and the Foxers on RPS, as far as actual engagement with the article itself through community wargames or puzzles.
Equally important, wargaming itself is niche enough that there are few others who do what Tim does. Wargaming.net is actually the name of the company who makes World Of Tanks, World Of Warships and others – ironically, none of which would qualify as wargames and would barely pass musters as simulations either. Wargamer has infrequent articles. The best podcast on the subject is Three Moves Ahead (which originally launched as the podcast for the now-defunct Flash Of Steel website), but the podcast is infrequent as well, is primarily focused on a single game per episode (though with comparisons made by the host or guests to other games), and has a bit too much focus on Total War or every single new Paradox DLC for Crusader Kings at the exclusion of more niche titles.
On a weekly schedule, Tim became a stable pair of hands, and was directing his community to support all sorts of up-and-comers who were otherwise ignored or neglected or just invisible to wider gaming press.
I also want to point out that there’s an often-unspoken ethical question at the core of wargaming as a hobby. To his credit, Tim often wrote about it, and would even avoid wargaming topics as a matter of sensitivity to significant dates. As players in this hobby, we are moving chits around that represent thousands of people and though nobody obviously dies, wargaming frequently deals with historical events and it’s something we need to be aware of. Tim would frequently muse in his articles or bring it up in interviews with developers – to paraphrase, what we’re doing for “fun” is essentially turning some very dark times in human history into entertainment, and to what extent should we be aware of that? Should we want to simulate “playing” as Germany to conquer Europe, which in the real world resulted in tens of millions of innocent and not-so-innocent people dying? It’s a tough conversation to have and Tim chose to engage with it, which probably put him offside with some of his readers, because it’s a topic that actually genuinely is bringing politics into gaming, unlike a lot of the gaming discourse. A journalist is booted off a fictional radio for being a bit TERFy, resulting in a journalist being booted off a website for being a bit TERFy.
The inciting incident for this drama is an article
posted in 2020 about a UK journalist who was one of several used by game developer Ubisoft to provide voiceovers for the video game Watch Dogs Legion. In the article, it is revealed that this journalist had in the past posted a 2017 The Times article titled “A man can’t just say he has turned into a woman.”
What is TERF? Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, which probably spiked the Google charts more recently with The Author Who Shall Not Be Named. I will add this disclaimer, I am inferring things about Tim when I call him a TERF, and maybe I’m giving too much credit. I don’t know if Tim Stone is a feminist, so I’m giving the benefit of the doubt, and I wear that. The author of The Times article is a self-proclaimed feminist, and does claim to support trans right, but according to the RPS article, “(She) uses familiar hand-wringing about biological sex, transgender identification as a trend, and people with penises in women's changing rooms.” I’ll leave it up to your judgement whether you think either is an actual TERF or not.
In an unusual move, one Tim Stone showed up in the comments of the above article, and that’s the meat of this drama. The Alamo but with TERFs.
The comments, as you can imagine, were completely chill since obviously “censoring” a “journalist” in a “video game” for “anti-trans views” outside of the game itself is just the perfect intersection of everything political on an internet forum possible. (The voiceover in the game was scripted by Ubisoft and was itself not an issue; they were choosing to remove the voiceover to remove association with the journalist based on their views.)
One user wrote:
there are diverse voices within RPS when it comes to games, genres, preferences etc but I would say (and i’d be prepared to be challenged on this) there is zero diversity in respect of political views and arguable groupthink and alignment particularly around trans issues.
To which Tim opined:
There's at least one regular RPS contributor who'd like to see the site show a little more respect for the gender critical position in the trans rights debate. Me.
He proceeded to link several articles, saying,
I agree with all those arguing for more constructive discussion and less name-calling in this debate.
And we’re off to the races.
One commenter wrote:
never mind 'gender critical' being an obvious dogwhistle, it boggles the mind that you think "trans rights debate" is an acceptable string of words in 2020
trans rights are human rights, this shit isn't a debate
And significantly, it wasn’t just site users who were chiming in. Another writer for RPS came in guns blazing:
The "gender critical position" is tired snivelling cowardice hiding behind Very Real Concerns while throwing shit at the people whose lives are routinely treated like an intellectual excercise. [sic]
I am frankly embarrassed [sic] to see you repeating such dogwhistling bullshit. The obviously lying "I am cancelling my subscription!!!" oafs in here are one thing, but this is just sad.
What the writer was alluding to was the typical capital-G Gamer response to anything political (and often something is only “political” if they don’t like it), namely “Get your politics out of my video games.” Often the corollary of that was “..or I’m getting out of your website.”
The inciting article is itself tame. Incredibly tame. As referenced earlier, it has the usual games journalism scent of just dressing up a press release. At the most judgemental, they referenced that the voiceover-providing journalist had “some pretty ugly opinions about transgender people” and “that’s decidedly not neat,” which is just the lovely understatement you get from British people. “This is a bit bothersome” was, I believe, repeatedly uttered during the Blitz.
I won’t bore with copying over more comments, but it gets quite heated – although Tim seems to remain quite collected in the comments, which does have an air that he isn’t aware of what kind of hornet’s nest he’s kicked. The most noteworthy exchange is between a user and Tim, where the user writes:
It is distressing that you think my rights as a trans person are subject to some sort of "trans rights debate," and that "gender critical" is anything but a dog whistle for the same transphobic rhetoric as I've always been subject to, but now behind a veneer of intellectualism and civil discourse.
This isn't a matter of left and right, it's a matter of respect for other human beings. Good to know at least one RPS writer has none for me.
And Tim’s response:
I have profound respect for you and your life choices.
I also believe that questions like "Should trans women be allowed to compete in female sports?" and "Should male-bodied trans women be housed in womens' prisons?" are worthy of debate.
To forbid all debate on "trans rights" and to seek to silence and cancel people who don't unquestioningly support one side of the argument seems horribly totalitarian to me.
If you were to take an unfriendly view of Tim, this might be it – calling a person’s transition a “life choice”, and then putting the question of trans rights up for debate, calling the desire not to debate someone’s human rights “totalitarian.”
In all, Tim would comment eight times, with his last being:
Some proposed trans rights clash with women's rights in certain areas. It is not bigoted to point this out or advocate debate so that compromises can be reached. Overrunning the drop zone.
Five days later, the RPS Twitter account posts this tweet
Trans rights are human rights. We strive to create an inclusive space for all people. Earlier this week, a freelancer used the RPS comments section to express views that failed in that goal. We will no longer be working with this freelancer or publishing their column.
And just like that, the flares are snuffed and Tim’s time at RPS comes to an abrupt end after 13 years of service.
The responses, I’m sure you can imagine, are the usual volleys from the usual battle lines. Left-wing and trans rights people are chuffed to bits, believing that an insidious TERF has been weeded out from RPS. They view his comments about bathrooms and sports as the usual dogwhistle, typical of the alt-right where the goal is to draw increasingly smaller circles to exclude trans people from one thing after another until they ultimately cannot exist in society. Gamers with a right-wing focus and wargamers (and those are not mutually exclusive) try to cancel culture RPS, many declaring that they’d never return to the site for this grave injustice. And for wargamers, that’s pretty easy; Tim was the only one catering to their genre appetite, and there literally was no reason to return without Tim. The most vanilla response was those who didn’t care about the comment section conflict at all and just wanted their dang wargaming news.
(The wargaming audience was not exclusively on the right-wing - the creator of one of the biggest wargaming podcasts showed up in the comments too, and took a distinctly anti-Tim and pro-trans stance.)
The last (spoilers, not really) article posted by Tim was a typical A2Z column, and became somewhat of a shrine to him. Of note, the very user to whom Tim gave his perhaps most damning response showed up:
Please don't assume Tim is a TERF. I was involved, and indeed in lots of was responsible for what happened on the other forum which i am devastated by.
I am trans and Tim replied in support of a view that i expressed! He shared some views and links to articles (including one from a trans blogger) that many people (including many trans people) would agree with. And even if they didn't, and Alison below articulates the position better than i could, its not like he went on an alt right tirade. This is a reasonable person making reasonable views very politely and and commenter whether they agreed with those or not has gained nothing from what happened subsequently, and we have all collectively lost something.
Flare Path fans were somewhat split. The most mild responses were critical of RPS for how they booted Tim out the door without a second chance; some were concerned that it’s not a great way to win allies and convince people. Throw in the usual snippets: “cancel culture” and references to “The Inquisition”, and a number of people saying their farewells to RPS. In an odd way – and I did it myself by calling this a shrine – the comment section really does feel like the man died, with some outright coming to, quote, “pay their respects”.
Of particular note, a user named hms_pepperpot shows up, and it looks like it’s Tim. I have no evidence to the contrary and the phrasing is close enough that I’m willing to believe it. But wait, Tim was posting as Tim Stone in the inflamed comment section, right? Yep, the divorce was so swift and decisive that they even blocked his access to his old username, or deleted it entirely – either way, he was in the comments to say goodbye under an alias.
Leaving RPS without being able to say a proper goodbye to you, the readers who have made my job such a joy this past thirteen years, has been one of the most depressing aspects of the last few days. Your enthusiasm was as important to The Flare Path's modest success as the complete creative freedom Graham afforded me. Thank you for making possible the happiest years of my working life.
While the Flare Path name is destined for the scrap heap, the concept and spirit of the column will hopefully live on. I'm planning to pick up pretty much where I left off early in the new year. An article devoted to the FP game jam entries will be amongst the first pieces I post. Of course, there will be foxers too.
To readers hurt by my words last weekend, all I can say is a heartfelt sorry - I didn't set out to wound and have no wish whatsoever to make the lives of trans people more difficult. To readers baffled by the comments that ended up costing me my job, I strongly recommend reading a thoughtful essay written by Sam Smethers, the CEO of respected British women's rights charity The Fawcett Society. Google 'Sex and Gender Indentity: Finding a Way Forward' and you should find it.
See you in 2021 I hope. Tim.
Of note, HMS Pepperpot is a reference to warship HMS Penelope. With Tim’s penchant for riddles and puzzles, it is not likely a coincidence that:
On wartime service with Force K, she was holed so many times by bomb fragments that she acquired the nickname "HMS Pepperpot".
Though Tim had some in agreement with his views in the inciting comment section, he was undoubtedly outnumbered and taking a lot of flak. Napoleon’s exile on Elba.
Some time later, Tim would resurface on a new site of his own creation, Tally-Ho Corner. Very much The Flare Path with a new coat of paint, he would carry on with his regular columns on a weekly basis. The Foxers returned, as did A2Z and communal wargaming. RPS, for their part, did not seem to fight to keep the column to themselves. There was a small exodus as RPS had once been a PC gaming site with a wargaming/simulation column, to just a PC gaming site. Those with only an interest in those genres left; there was nothing for them anymore. An unknown number followed Tim to his new endeavour and made themselves known over there. Striking out on his own has costs, however, and Tim sells membership and banner space to those who wish to help out. He has made follow-up requests since Tally-Ho Corner started which would indicate that it isn’t a profitable venture; he says he only wants enough to support the site, and seems to be happy to continue for the love of the hobby. He has alluded to the site not breaking even, so you can infer from that what you want about the size of the Flare Path exodus. Like I said, it’s a very niche hobby, so even 100% of Flare Path readers might not constitute a large number. One of the posts with the most engagements is a community vote on the best PC wargames; two years old, it has 144 comments and a closed comment section, so you could probably extrapolate a rough guess on readers versus commenters to see how popular the site is.
Tim would make the occasional comment about his past misadventure, but generally seemed to just carry on. Others would fight for or against him in other corners of the internet, but publicly, Tim seemed done with the whole thing and happy to just get back to writing about games.
The most blatant reference was an A2Z at the start of this year. No longer than any other entry (remember, he’s filling out 26 entries in a week, they’re usually just snippets), the entry “P is for Pointless provocation” in its entirety:
If, after my bruising departure from RPS in 2020, I had decided to start work on a “cathartic” retro FPS about gunning down dogmatic ‘trans allies’, I hope someone – a friend, colleague, or family member – would have taken me to one side and said “Tim, WTF are you doing?”. Unfortunately, no-one seems to have urged Norwegian coder Sandra Moen to think again. If they had perhaps the nasty Terfenstein 3D wouldn’t have made it onto Steam. Tim’s back, baby! But it’s not him! But it is!
In a strange, quite dickish move, an RPS writer recycled an old Flare Path to come up with “The 25 best simulation games on PC”
, with the writer credited… even though it was copied from Tim’s 2015 article
. Tim called it out in an A2Z, as “H is for Hire a new sim correspondent, you cheapskates”, and that really sums it up – they were not rewriting the list, rearranging it, or updating it, they were literally copying the original list over and slapping a new author’s name on it.
If you click the above link, you’ll see that the article now has Tim as the author, changed retroactively (again). That in itself added a new element of drama, as readers who showed up after the edit were surprised by a new article from Mr Flare Path himself. Though it says “updated” in 2022, the giveaway is that the comments are predominantly from 7 years ago, when it was originally posted. One commenter, who I’ll take at their word, seemed to be witnessing the Stalin-esque rewriting of history in real time:
Wow, I just saw that Tim Stone's name has been removed. He was there as author when I first saw it this morning, with a note about it being updated by someone else. Now his name has been fully removed as the original author. I don't know what to say, but it feels icky to rewrite history like that, very 1984.
Update - now it says article by Holly, Additional Contributions by Tim Stone. Still not accurate (seems to be the reverse or reality) but at least the original author's name is in there somewhere again.
(Not calling anyone over there a tyrant or communist or anything, merely referencing that infamous photo where people are removed one by one as they fall afoul of the Stalin regime. In this instance, taking Tim’s work and crediting to someone else, then crediting Tim in addition to the new writer, then finally just calling it a Tim article.)
People noticed that the “updated” tag was the last attempt to hide in plain sight, since there was nothing updated about the list. It was identical to the one posted by Tim in 2015. And the clue was that, according to RPS, no simulation game had managed to crack the list since 2015; the “youngest” game on the list was 7 years old (now 8), a title shared by Farming Simulator 15 and Train Simulator 15.
15, of course, being the year both games released and the year Tim wrote the list.
An odd move to dig up the bones of the past, both the article and Tim’s involvement with RPS, for a single cheap parlour trick. Needless to say, if you search for Tim Stone contributions on RPS now, his “shrine” – a pretty typical A2Z Flare Path – is not his most recent contribution to the site. Instead, it’s “The 25 best simulation games on PC” from 8 years ago.
Fittingly, in the comment section below, the most recent post is by someone seemingly oblivious to the drama surrounding Tim Stone, RPS and trans rights. They’re instead complaining that two other motor racing games were left off the list. And really, there’s probably no better tribute to the community.
submitted by RemnantEvil
to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 06:31 peachismile Trip Report: First trip to Japan, 8 days Mid-May (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto)
Hi everyone! Just came back from my first trip to Japan. It has always been my biggest dream to visit Japan since I was a kid and I'm so glad I finally got the chance to go! The trip was actually planned by my boyfriend who booked everything for us in May, which is my birthday month.
Make Reservations Months in Advance! We made reservations for cafes, activities, restaurants, and even trains months in advance to make sure we would be able to do everything we wanted; we were not taking any risks and we were so thankful for our reservations. Make sure to do your research about when to make reservations months in advance.
Pack and Travel Light. Japan isn't really suited for traveling with big luggage to haul around. The trains can get incredibly crowded, you’ll probably be walking around and using stairs frequently, and hotel rooms can be very small at times. I recommend bringing a small rolling luggage and a large backpack and only pack what you need. Leave some room in your luggage for souvenirs or snacks to bring back.
Get Yen immediately at the airport or at the nearest convenience store! You will definitely need yen for a good amount of places in Japan. My boyfriend and I tried to load money in our Suica but the machine we used only accepted yen. Luckily we found a nearby conbini that accepted our debit card but we couldn't use our credit cards for some reason because the atm required a pin number. I might have accepted Mastercard but we both didn't have one.
Bringing comfortable shoes is a must in Japan! I brought comfortable shoes and my feet still hurt by the third day because we were walking and standing most of the days. I also recommend buying Lion’s Foot Patch if you find it at a conbini (I think we bought them at Lawsons) as the gel patch felt so good after a long day of walking!
Plan more days to relax. Although I have no regrets doing all the fun things we planned for our trip, I do wish we had more rest days in Japan, especially when our feet were so sore and we were so sleep deprived from waking up early. I wish we would have stayed a full 2 weeks in Japan and planned relaxing things to do in between our activities like visiting an Onsen and staying in a Ryokan.
Get to popular places early! My boyfriend and I would wake up at 5am to get ready and beat the morning rush hour and to get to popular places before the crowds showed up, it definitely worked out well for us.
Use hotel luggage transport or lockers when necessary. The luggage transport was especially useful when traveling long distances and carrying luggage through the trains would just be a hassle. All we had to do was just talk to our hotel clerk and give him the information for our next hotel we would be sending it to, and the clerk did the rest of the work. The luggage would usually arrive 2 days after we sent it. For the rest of the time, we just used lockers at train stations to store our luggage as we went sightseeing.
Sunday May 14: Arrival and TokyoDisney
Arrival at Narita Airport
Arrival was simple, fast, and easy. For immigration and customs, we just had to scan our QR codes and passport and also take a picture.
As we arrived at Disney by bus, we wanted to use the coin lockers to store our luggage. The lockers only took suica (maybe yen too) so we tried to buy a suica but the machines only took yen (it didn't look like it took foreign cards). We tried walking to 7/11but it was closed so we ended up just walking to our hotel to drop off luggage. We ended up spending more than an hour walking everywhere and only had 2 hours for Disney.)
The only ride we had time for was the beauty and the beast ride and it was amazing! We loved our experience inside the castle and we were amazed how fluid the animatronics were. If I could recommend one ride in Disney it would be this one. We did have time to go on one more ride so we went on the Monsters Inc ride which was just a shooter game and was just okay.
Monday May 15: Tokyo- DisneySea
Before we went to disneysea, we wanted to try some convenience store food so we went to Lawsons and Family Mart. The convenience store food was delicious! The onigiri tastes better than the ones in the US, the chicken in the hot food section was so juicy and delicious! Definitely recommend eating the hot foods and drinks. We tried getting money out of the ATM with our Visa credit cards but it didnt work so we used our debit card because the atm required a pin number.
We arrived at Disneysea almost an hour early and we still had to wait in line. After the gates opened, we went straight to Journey to the Center of the Earth, but it broke down before we were able to ride it. The staff did offer us a fast pass to use for the ride later when it would be fixed. When the ride was working again, we headed back, used the fast pass and immediately got on the ride. It was a fun. fast, and short ride. All the rides at disneysea are pretty short and are moderately thrilling. Afterwards, we went to the submarine ride, 20,000 leagues under the sea, which was a unique experience and a very chill ride. Next was the Indiana jones ride; it was fun and a much better ride than the one in california. Then we went to Tower of terror which wasn't too scary. We also went to Soaring which actually has really long lines and wait time but it was a cool experience. The ride with the longest line was probably toy story mania; we decided not to go on the ride because of the long lines and we've been to the one in california. Kings triton castle was the most beautiful area to look at and explore, our favorite part of the area was exploring ariel's trinket room. Lots of rides were closed the day we went so we didnt get to ride on the spirits roller coaster, autopia, and explorers. My favorite food i tried there was the Ukiwa bun.
We also got to eat at Magellan which is one of the more expensive dining options. We didn't make a reservation until that very same day but we luckily able to reserve a spot in the morning. The food was tasty and it was my first time going to a fancier kind of restaurant that offered 3 course meal that were all tiny portions. I got the cheaper option (around $40 or $60, i cant remember) and it was very delicious. My boyfriend got the most expensive option (around $100) and it tasted terrible! I wouldnt recommend getting the most expensive option there.
Tuesday May 16: Tokyo-Harajuku
We took the trains to get to Harajuku and it was a little overwhelming trying to figure out how to find our train the first few times but, after a while, it became a very easy process. We used google maps to find the trains we needed to take. Then at the train stations, we looked for signs with the name of the train line we needed and followed the arrows and asked for directions when we needed extra help. Then we used our suica card to tap into the specific station we needed to be at to find our train. Next we looked for the PLATFORM NUMBER our train would be arriving at and followed the signs for that number. Once at the platform, we confirmed if we were at the right place by making sure the ARRIVAL TIME, PLATFORM NUMBER, and TRAIN LINE on the digital signs matched the one from our google maps. Make sure to follow train etiquette by stepping to the side to let people out of the train and putting your backpack in front of you if the train is really crowded.
At Harajuku station, we put our luggage in coin lockers for the day so we could explore. We went to a conbini, grabbed some food for breakfast and went to Yoyogi park to eat since nothing was open at 7am. After eating, we went to Meiji shrine for a bit, which is also near yoyogi park, and then headed back to harajuku so we wouldn't be late for our mipig reservations.
Mipig cafe was our favorite cafe and one of our favorite experiences in japan! The pigs were so loving and friendly, they came right up to us and laid on our laps after the staff put some blankets on us. They were adorable and as many as 2-3 pigs would come up to us and sit on our laps. Some pigs would even get aggressive with other piggies if you gave one too much attention. Some pigs started chewing on my dress so I had to get another blanket to hide my dress from being eaten.
After Mipig, we wanted to get some food. We tried Marian crepes, candied strawberries, and some small cafes. We visited Anakuma cafe and it was definitely an interesting experience. A bear hand would come out of hole in the wall and give us candy and a coin to put in a gacha machine and it would also play rock paper scissor with us.
Next stop was Hedgehog cafe which i wouldnt recommend only because I learned later that hedgehogs are nocturnal and they were sleeping most of the time we were there. We ended up leaving early because there was not much to do as we felt bad disturbing the little guys.
Afterwards we visited the Kiddyland store and I enjoyed the studio ghibli section but they also had kirby, pokemon, and sanrio merchandise.
Next we took a train to team labs, we got there early but we had to wait until it was closer to our reservation time before we could line up. After getting inside we had to put our shoes and backpacks in lockers so we could go through the water exhibition first. They offer shorts if you are wearing dresses as some of the exhibitions have mirror floors. I wasnt too into the water exhibition but I did like the lights exhibition and flower exhibition the best. Overall it was a cool experience and I got some amazing photos out of it.
Lastly we went to shibuya sky. We also couldn't get inside until our reservation time started. The elevator ride up was pretty cool as they played a video on the ceiling. They have some restaurants and cafes near the top, I wish I came earlier to try them but we were so tired I didnt want to stay too long. The top of shibuya sky was outside and it was cold (i wish i brought a sweater) but it was incredibly beautiful, especially at night. It's a nice place to relax and look at views. This was probably my favorite sky building out of the three i went (shibuya sky, umeda sky, and tokyo skytree).
Wednesday May 17: Nagoya-Ghibli Park
We left early morning to get on the train and avoid morning rush hour. We ended up taking the Nozomi train to Nagoya. We bought our shinkansen tickets at the JR ticket booth. We recommend reserving seats as its only a couple yen more and gives you peace of mind knowing you get to choose your seats. We also grabbed some ekibens which were delicious, my favorite was the blue one with mt. fuji on it. Next we had to take a bus to ghibli park which was actually very hard to find. We had to ask for help to find it. To pay for the bus, you can use a suica card or yen to pay as you board the bus.
We arrived super early, and put some of our bags in the lockers. We went to lawsons nearby and bought a ghibli park book which features the exhibitions inside. We walked around the park a bit before we were allowed to start lining up for our reservation times. There are also no trash cans at ghibli park so make sure you bring a trash bag with you to take all your trash back with you.
Around 12pm we went inside and went straight to the first exhibition (Becoming characters in Memorable Ghibli scenes) and there was already a line to get in. Once we got in we took pictures with Noface from spirited away, ponyo, princess mononoke scene, and many more movie scenes.
The next exhibition we went to was the food exhibition (Delicious! Animating Memorable Meals). You can't take pictures in that area but it was cool to be able to interact in the kitchen spaces from your favorite movie scenes. Also, in the end of this exhibition, you can take pictures with totoro and the cat bus!
We visited the ghibli store next because I heard the lines can get rather long at the end of the day and I bought some merchandise from there.
Afterwards, we took pictures at the central staircase, the castle in the sky scene, and the scene with Yubaba.
Next, we took the elevator down to the bottom floor and took pictures in the arietty scenes, it was cool feeling so tiny while everything was supersized!
Lastly we went to the bakery to get some sandwiches. Unfortunately, the food does sell out and there were not a lot of choices left by the time we got there. The food we got was okay but nothing special.
Osaka: Ichiran ramen
After Ghibli park we took the train to Osaka. In Osaka, we lined up to get into Ichiran ramen. We ordered our ramen through a vending machine and it gave us our ticket to give to our server. We were seated in these small cubicle areas but we were also able to close the partition in between us so my boyfriend and I could share our table space together. I thought it was a unique dining experience; it was cool not having to say a single word to our server, and the food was also delicious too.
Thursday May 18: Osaka-Universal Studios Japan
Got to USJ an hour before it opened and there were still super long lines! As the gates opened up, we ran to nintendoland to make sure we got in. We went to toadstool cafe to get ticket reservations but they didn't open until 9am so we decided to take the single rider line for the mario kart ride, it was a bad idea. For some reason the single rider line still took us 30 minutes to complete and it felt like it was going slower than the regular lines. The mario kart ride was cool, it used like a VR headset and you were able to shoot shells at others but I really didn't understand what was going on.
We went back to toadstool but all the tickets were gone, I tried talking to one of the workers if they would offer tickets later but I don't think he understood what i was saying. He actually just let me in the line after I asked a few times if they had anymore tickets for the afternoon. After waiting in line and ordering, we grabbed our drinks and table number and sat down at our table. The drinks were delicious! Definitely recommend. We also ordered some kind of mushroom pesto soup and it was bomb! We recommend that too since they don't offer it in the California Universal. We also got peaches cake for like $30 which is supposed to be for 4 people but just the 2 of us ate it. It was light and fluffy and we recommend getting it as they also dont offer it in the California Universal. The staff also came by and offered to take pics of us which was so nice.
Next we bought the limited edition wrist bands and started playing some of the mini games. We played about 3 games before we decided to leave nintendo land and check out the other areas because we also bought a reserved time to get back into nintendoland to use our fastpass for the yoshi ride.
We had a fastpass for the Jurassic park ride so we went on that next. Make sure you are prepared to get wet cause you will get soaked at the end. Then we went to Hogwarts and watched some of the shows they offered and grabbed a meatpie. We didn't stay long here as we have already been to Hogwarts in california. Next we got in line for the mario strawberry shortcake pancake and it was delicious light and fluffy! I think we also had a fastpass ride for jaws and that ride was actually really cooler than I expected . The next fastpass ride was for despicable me ride so we did that one too and it was actually better than the california version. And lastly we went back to nintendoland to use our reservation time and our fastpass for the yoshi ride. It was a cute slow ride but it had nice views of the park. I enjoyed it even though it was a kiddy ride. Lastly, we had the yakisoba shells and melon lassi and both were delicious
By this time our feet were so sore from walking for days so we left early to go rest at our hotel. I ended up being so sore and tired I just knocked out early. My boyfriend bought Lions Foot Patches from Lawson and put them on my feet while i slept. They felt so nice and cool on my feet. I recommed getting those foot patches while you're in japan.
We woke up for a late dinner and got some nearby mcdonalds. I'm not a fan of mcdonalds in the US but i wanted to try japan's mcdonalds to see if its better. I honestly didn't like the Japan Mcdonalds either even though it does taste different, I'm not sure what the hype is about with the japanese mcdonalds. I found that japan's convenience store chicken was much juicer and tasted better than the mcdonalds chicken.
Friday May 19: Kyoto-Fushimi Inari Taisha, Nishiki market, Ninenzaka
Fushimi inari taisha shrine
We got to the shrine early, maybe around 7am,and it was not very crowded but there were still people there. It was raining a bit so luckily i brought my umbrella, unfortunately my boyfriend did not, this would haunt him later. We took a picture of a map to see which way to go to reach the top as there are different routes you can take. It was a gradual climb up but my boyfriend really struggled as his feet still hurt from the days before. The gates were beautiful and there were so many areas to look at and explore as we climbed. Unfortunately my boyfriend was tired and we were in a time crunch so we didn't explore every area but I wish I could have because this was the most beautiful place I had visited in Japan. As we neared the top it started to rain more heavily and my boyfriend ended up getting soaked. The top of the shrine was anticlimactic, but we took our picture and headed back down. On our way we stopped by the little stores and bought an umbrella for my boyfriend which we were thankful they had some. As we went down the steps in the rain, my boyfriend accidentally slipped and fell on his back pretty badly. He ended up with a deep gash on his finger as the blood gushed all over the floor. Luckily I had some tissues to wrap up his finger. We headed back down the mountain and bought some bandaids at a conbini store. We also bought some strawberry daifuku at a small little shop and it was the best daifuku I ate in Japan. The mochi was a great consistency and the strawberry was the juiciest strawberry i ever had. I wish i had bought more from there.
We went to Nishiki market around 11am and it was super crowded while the path was so small and narrow. We literally had to push through the crowds at times because there were so many people, it was not a fun time for me. I also ended up losing my suica card somewhere around there. I'm also not the biggest fan of seafood but my boyfriend is so he ended up eating most of the food. We ended up not staying long for all those reasons and ended up going to a nearby store that sold all kinds of different food which I liked a lot better because there weren't crowds of people there.
Next we walked to Ninenzaka which was like a 30 minute walk. It was still raining so we were just looking for a place to stop and eat for a bit. We went to Kudamono cafe and got the cloud dessert. It was pretty good and fluffy and the dessert looked so pretty. Afterwards, we had room for more dessert so we tried Meccha cafe. We ordered the matcha tiramisu and the parfait. The matcha tiramisu was probably the best dessert i had in Japan, I definitely recommend getting it! We also visited Donguri and bought more totoro merchandise. At this point, my boyfriend was so tired and soaked from the rain we decided to go back to the hotel. We took the bus this time and it was packed! We had to push people just to get out.
Saturday May 20: Kyoto, Nara, Osaka
Arashiyama bamboo forest
We got to the bamboo forest early at 7am, there were a few people there but not too many like later in the day. I recommend going super early to beat the crowds. The bamboo forest was super short but it was still a cool area to check out and plus there are many things to do around the area. We walked to a nearby park next to a big river and the views were absolutely gorgeous! Kyoto is really breathtaking. After walking a while and checking out the scenery we headed back to the bamboo forest to board the Sagano Romantic Train.
Sagano Romantic Train
We had reserved seats for the Sagano Romantic Train and the views from the train were amazing! Get there early because you might have to do some minor paperwork stuff to print out your ticket if you reserved in advance. The reserved seating we had was in a train with no glass windows so you can just feel the air rushing through your hair as the train moves. Truly it was a memorable and fun experience with a lot of breathtaking nature views. After coming back to our initial departure spot on the train, we left for Monkey Park.
We rushed over to Monkey park and by this time the streets of kyoto became much crowded as we had to dodge pedestrians left and right. We paid a fee to get into the monkey park and hiked our way up to the park, there were a couple benches to take rest if needed. At the top, you can see monkeys running around and playing with one another. We went inside a little building where you can buy food for the monkeys and feed them through windows covered with a mesh net. We didnt stay long as we had a full schedule planned for the day so we left to go catch a train to Nara but we did eat some amazing street food on the way. I don't know why but the street food in Kyoto was so delicious, the best I had in Japan probably.
We arrived at Nara from the trains and went straight to Nakatanidou for some mochi and it was packed with people! It was even hard trying to get a space to watch them make the mochis. It was cool to experience the mochi making and to taste the mochi but I probably wouldn't go back there again because of the crowds.
After the mochis, we walked to Nara park and it was amazing! There were so many deers and they were so friendly and polite! This was my favorite part of nara for sure. For a few yen, we bought some crackers and found some deers that would bow everytime they wanted a cracker, it was too cute. The deers were literally everywhere, on the streets and even at temples.
There were lots of shrines around the area but we came pretty late so most of them were closing up but the ones we did see were pretty neat to look at. We also ate some udon at a little restaurant next to a small lake, the views of the lake were amazing from inside the restaurant.
After Nara, we came back to Osaka and the streets were so crowded at night. I tried shopping at don quixote but there were just to many people to weave through that I just decide to give up and try a 10 yen cheese bread near the store. The line was kind of long but I decided to try it out, it was actually really big, not that good, and made my stomach hurt. I would not be getting that again haha
Matsusakagyu Yakiniku Restaurant
My boyfriend had reserved this place for Thursday but we were so tired that day that we decided to cancel our reservation. We decided to try to go in person on this day to see if we could get in. We were lucky that they had a spot available and we ordered a platter of A5 wagyu beef for more than $100 US dollar. Im not really a meat person but the beef was very tender and delicious and the service was very good. They took pictures of me and my boyfriend and gave me free ice cream for my birthday.
Sunday May 21: Tokyo-Joypolis, Akihabara, skytree
The next morning we took the Nozumi back to Tokyo and headed straight to joypolis. We got tickets that allowed us to go on pretty much any ride there. Joypolis was small but had some interesting and unique rides and attractions. My favorite was the rhythm rollercoaster where you play rhythm games on a small roller coaster. We also played a VR Laser tag which was actually pretty fun even though I dont really play VR. There was an Attack on Titan walkthrough attraction that was completely in Japanese so I didnt understand any of it but it had some very cool props inside. The other interesting attraction was a scary house, where you have to get into these lockers and a girl comes and bangs on them and then the lockers flip you back horizontally. It wasnt that scary but it was pretty unique.
Next we went to Akihabara just to check out but we were actually super tired so we didnt stay long. We went to a couple stores but to be honest it was actually kind of boring as I am no longer as into anime as I was when I was a kid so we ended leaving akihabara fairly quickly.
Instead of going to akihabara I kind of wish I just went to the tokyo skytree shopping area because there was so much cool things to do there! They have a pokemon center, a kirby cafe, studio ghibli shop, and so many stores to shop or restaurants to eat at! We also went to the top of skytree but it honestly wasnt worth the money as the very top didnt have that much stuff and we just had to wait in these super long lines to get both up and down the skytree. After the skytree, we found a yakitori spot and ate some beef skewers which were delicious. We wished we went restaurant hopping more as there were just so many places to eat in this area.
Monday May 22: Ueno Park and Departure
Before we left to the airport, we visited Ueno park which was only a few blocks away from our hotel. It had a beautiful lake which was covered with some sort of lily pads. The park was pretty big and it was nice just walking around the area.
We decided to stop at Life Mart to get some food before we left to the airport. The Meat was so delicious and was so cheap, and it had different options from conbinis. We took train back to Narita Airport, this train I think you have to reserve in advance.
Going back through immigrations and customs and tsa was super easy and fast. We recommended getting lunch or snack early because there were pretty long lines as our departure time approached.
We also bought Tokyo Banana for souvenir snacks to bring back to our families, its very delicious!
In the end, visiting Japan was better than I could ever imagine and I just cant wait to go back! Please let me know what your favorite parts of Japan are and what other areas in Japan I must check out!
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2023.06.01 06:21 TalksaLittle Husband says I need to be accountable
So my husband is a gamer but he used to previously play m-f, Saturday-Sunday 11-8pm and then again 10pm-12am. Me and him both decided to come up with a schedule so that he gets off the game at a certain and it has been working for us until these last couple weeks. He will agree to do something and do it for a bit and then regress and say he never agreed. And I’m afraid that’s happening now.
Our date night is on Tuesday and we agreed it starts at 6pm. So around 6pm I asked him will he be off the game soon and he let me know that he didn’t know and that he would let me know when he was available. So I left and waited for him. He didn’t finish until 2 hours later and by then I told him I didn’t want to do anything anymore.
We had a specific activity planned and if we had started then we wouldn’t be done until around 12am and I have work in the morning. Mind you, he doesn’t work for reasons he can’t control at the moment.
I eventually brought the conversation up later and I expressed my frustration about him not being accountable for the time he agreed to. I let him know that I don’t feel like a priority. I also asked him why did he agree to these times if he wasn’t going to stick to them. He said it was on me because I said that I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I am just tired of coming second to his game, especially when he’s able to play from the time he wakes up 11am until around like 6pm.
Am I in the wrong and should I be accountable? Any advice?
Posted twice since I wanted to get the advice of other married people
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2023.06.01 06:03 AutoModerator [NA Event] Servant Summer Camp! Chaldea's Thriller Night - Rerun ~ Day 17
2023.06.01 05:40 Guilty_Chemistry9337 Hide Behind the Cypress Tree, pt. 1
There are instincts that you develop when you’re a parent. If you don’t have any children it might be a little hard to understand. If you have a toddler, for example, and they’re in the other room and silent for more than a few seconds, there’s a good chance they’re up to no good. I take that back, most of the time they’re doing nothing, but you still have to check. You feel a compulsion to check. I don’t think it’s a learned skill, I think it’s an actual instinct.
Paleolithic parents who didn’t check on their toddlers every few minutes, just to double check that they weren’t being stalked by smilodons were unlikely to have grandchildren and pass on their genes. You just feel you need to check, like getting goosebumps, a compulsion. I suppose it’s the same reason little kids are always demanding you look at them and what they’re doing.
I think that instinct starts to atrophy as your kids grow. They start learning to do things for themselves, and before you know it, they’re after their own privacy, not your attention. I don’t think it ever goes away though. I expect, decades from now, my own grown kids will visit and bring my grandkids with them. And the second I hear a baby crying in the earliest morning hours, I’ll be alert and ready for anything, sure as any old soldier who hears his name whispered in the dark of night.
I felt that alarm just the other day. First time in years. My boy came home from riding bikes with a couple of his friends. I’m pretty sure they worked out a scam where they asked each of their parents for a different new console for Christmas, and now they spend their weekends traveling between the three houses so they can play on all of them.
We all live in a nice neighborhood. A newer development than the one I grew up in, same town though. It’s the kind of place where kids are always playing in the streets, and the cars all routinely do under 20. My wife and I make sure the kids have helmets and pads, and we’re fine with the boy going out biking with his friends, as long as they stay in the neighborhood.
You know, a lot of people in my generation take some weird sort of pride in how irresponsible we used to be when we were young. I never wore a helmet. Rode to places, without telling any adults, that we never should have ridden to. Me and my friends would make impromptu jumps off of makeshift ramps and try to do stupid tricks, based loosely on stunts we’d seen on TV. Other people my age seem to wax nostalgic for that stuff and pretend it makes them somehow better people. I don’t get it. Sometimes I look back and shudder. We were lucky we escaped with only occasional bruises and road burns. It could have gone so much worse.
My son and his buddies came bustling in the front door at about 2 PM on a Saturday. They did the usual thing of raiding the kitchen for juice and his mother’s brownies, and I took that as my cue to abandon the television in the living room for my office. I was hardly noticing the chaos, by this point, it was becoming a regular weekend occurrence. But as I was just leaving, I caught something in the chatter. My boy said something about, “... that guy who was following us.”
He hadn’t said it any louder or more clearly than anything else they’d been talking about, all that stuff I’d been filtering out. Yet some deeper core process in my brain stem heard it, interpreted it, then hit the red alert button. My blood ran cold and every hair on my skin stood at attention.
I turned around and asked “Somebody followed you? What are you talking about?” I wasn’t consciously aware of how strict and stern my voice came out, yet when the jovial smiles dropped off of their faces it was apparent that it had been so.
“Huh?” my son said, his voice high-pitched and talking fast, like when he thinks he’s in trouble and needs to explain. “We thought we saw somebody following us. There wasn’t though. We didn’t really see anybody and we’d just spooked ourselves.”
“What did he look like?” I asked.
“Nothing? We really didn’t see anybody! Honest! I just saw something out of the corner of my eye! But there wasn’t really nobody there!”
“Yeah!,” said one of his buds. “Peripheral! Peripheral vision! I thought maybe I saw something too, but when I looked I didn’t see anything. I don’t have my glasses with me, but when I really looked I got a good look and there was nothing.”
The three boys had that semi-smiling but still concerned look that this was only a bizarre misunderstanding, but they were still being very sincere. “Were they in a car?”
“No, Dad, you don’t get it,” my boy continued, “They were small. We thought it was a kid.”
“Yeah,” said the third boy. “We thought maybe it was Tony Taylor’s stupid kid sister shadowing us. Getting close to throwing water balloons. Just cause she did that before.”
“If you didn’t get a good look how did you know it was a kid?”
“Because it was small!” my kid explained, though that wasn’t helping much. “What I mean is, at first I thought it was behind a little bush. It was way too small a bush to hide a grown-up. That’s why we thought it was probably Tony’s sister.”
“But you didn’t actually see Tony’s sister?” I asked.
“Nah,” said one of his buds. “And now that I think about it, that bush was probably too small for his sister too. It would have been silly. Like when a cartoon character hides behind a tiny object.”
“That’s why we think it was just in our heads,” explained the other boy, “That and the pole.”
“Yeah,” my son said. “The park on 14th and Taylor?” That was just a little community park, a single city block. Had a playground, lawn, a few trees, and some benches. “Anyway, we were riding past that, took a right on Taylor. And we were talking about how weird it would be if somebody really were following us. That’s when Brian thought he saw something. Behind a telephone pole.”
“I didn’t get a good look at it either,” the friend, Brian, “explained. Just thought I did. Know how you get up late at night to use the bathroom or whatever and you look down the hallway and you see a jacket or an office chair or something and because your eyes haven’t adjusted you think you see a ghost or burglar or something? Anyway, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turned there wasn’t anything there.”
“Yeah, it was just like sometimes that happens, except this time it happened twice on the same bike ride, is all,” the other friend explained.
“And you’re sure there was nothing there?”
“Sure we’re sure,” my boy said. “We know because that time we checked. We each rode our bikes around the pole and there was nothing. Honest!”
“Hmmm,” I said. The whole thing seemed reasonable and nothing to be concerned about, you’d think.. The boys seemed to relax at my supposed acceptance. “Alright, sounds good. Hey, just let me know before you leave the house again, alright?” They all rushed to seem agreeable as I left the room, then quickly resumed their snacking and preceded to play their games.
I kept my ear out, just in case. My boy, at least this time, dutifully told me his friends were about to leave. He wasn’t very happy with me when I said they wouldn’t be riding home on their bikes, I was going to drive them home. The other boys didn’t complain, but I suppose it wasn’t their place, so my boy did the advocating for them, which I promptly ignored. I hate doing that, ignoring my kid’s talkback. My dad was the same way. It didn’t help that I struggled to get both of their bikes in the trunk, and it was a pain to get them back out again. My boy sulked in the front seat on the short ride back home. Arms folded on chest, eyes staring straight ahead, that lip thing they do. He seemed embarrassed for having what he thought was an over-protective parent. I suppose he was angry at me as well for acting, as far as he knew, irrationally. Maybe he thought he was being punished for some infraction he didn’t understand.
Well, it only got worse when we got home. I told him he wasn’t allowed to go out alone on his bike anymore. I’d only had to do that once before, when he was grounded, and back then he’d known exactly what he’d done wrong and he had it coming. Now? Well, he was confused, furious, maybe betrayed, probably a little brokenhearted? I can’t blame him. He tramped upstairs to his room to await the return of his mother, who was certain to give a sympathetic ear. I can’t imagine how upset he’ll be if he checks the garage tomorrow and finds I’ve removed his tires, just in case.
I wish I could explain it to him. I don’t even know how.
Where should I even begin? The town?
When I was about my son’s age I had just seen that movie, The Goonies. It had just come out in theaters. I really liked that movie, felt a strong connection. A lot of people do, can’t blame them, sort of a timeless classic. Except I wasn’t really into pirate’s treasure or the Fratellis, what really made me connect was a simple single shot, still in the first act. It’s right after they cross the threshold, and leave the house on their adventure. It was a shot of the boys, from above, maybe a crane shot or a helicopter shot, as they’re riding their bikes down a narrow forested lane, great big evergreen trees densely growing on the side of the road, they’re all wearing raincoats and the road is still wet from recent rain.
That was my childhood. I’ve spent my whole life in the Pacific Northwest. People talk to outsiders about the rain, and they might picture a lot of rainfall, but it’s not the volume, it’s the duration. We don’t get so much rain, it just drizzles slowly, on and on, for maybe eight or nine months out of the year. It doesn’t matter where I am, inside a house, traveling far abroad, anywhere I am I can close my eyes and still smell the air on a chilly afternoon, playing outdoors with my friends.
It’s not petrichor, that sudden intense smell you get when it first starts to rain after a long dry spell. No, this was almost the opposite, a clean smell, almost the opposite of a scent, since the rain seemed to scrub the air clean. The strongest scent and I mean that in the loosest sense possible, must have been the evergreen needles. Not pine needles, those were too strong, and there weren’t that many pines anyway. Douglas fir and red cedar predominated, again the root ‘domination’ seems hyperbole. Yet those scents were there, ephemeral as it is. Also, there was a sort of pleasant dirtiness to the smell, at least when you rode bikes. It wasn’t dirt, or mud, or dust. Dust couldn’t have existed except perhaps for a few fleeting weeks in August. I think, looking back, it was the mud puddles. All the potholes in all the asphalt suburban roads would fill up after rain with water the color of chocolate milk. We’d swerve our BMX bikes, or the knock-off brands, all the way across the street just to splash through those puddles and test our “suspensions.,” meaning our ankles and knees. The smell was always stronger after that. It had an earthiness to it. Perhaps it was petrichor’s lesser-known watery cousin.
There were other sensations too, permanently seared into my brain like grill marks. A constant chilliness that was easy to ignore, until you started working up a good heart rate on your bike, then you noticed your lungs were so cold it felt like burning. The sound of your tires on the wet pavement, particularly when careening downhill at high speed. For some reason, people in the mid-80s used to like to decorate their front porches with cheap, polyester windsocks. They were often vividly colored, usually rainbow, like prototype pride flags. When an occasional wind stirred up enough to gust, the windsocks would flap, and owning to the water-soaked polyester, make a wet slapping sound. It was loud, it was distinct, but you learned to ignore it as part of the background, along with the cawing of crows and distant passing cars.
That was my perception of Farmingham as a kid. The town itself? Just a typical Pacific Northwest town. That might not mean much for younger people or modern visitors, but there was a time when such towns were all the same. They were logging towns. It was the greatest resource of the area from the late 19th century, right up until about the 80s, when the whole thing collapsed. Portland, Seattle, they had a few things going on beyond just the timber industry, but all the hundreds of little towns and small cities revolved around logging, and my town was no exception.
I remember going to the museum. It had free admission, and it was a popular field trip destination for the local school system. It used to be the City Hall, a weird Queen Anne-style construction. Imagine a big Victorian house, but blown up to absurd proportions, and with all sorts of superfluous decorations. Made out of local timber, of course. They had a hall for art, I can’t even remember why, now. Maybe they were local artists. I only remember paintings of sailboats and topless women, which was a rare sight for a kid at the time. There was a hall filled with 19th-century household artifacts. Chamber pots and weird children's toys.
Then there was the logging section, which was the bulk of the museum. It’s strange how different things seemed to be in the early days of the logging industry, despite being only about a hundred years old, from my perspective in the 1980s. If you look back a hundred years from today, in the 1920s, you had automobiles, airplanes, electrical appliances, jazz music, radio programs, flappers, it doesn’t feel that far removed, does it? No TV, no internet, but it wouldn’t be that strange. 1880s? Different world.
Imagine red cedars, so big you could have a full logging crew, arms stretched out, just barely manage to encircle one for a photographer. Felling a single tree was the work of days. Men could rest and eat their lunches in the shelter of a cut made into a trunk, and not worry for safety or room. They had to cut their own little platforms into the trees many feet off the ground, just so the trunk was a little bit thinner, and thus hours of labor saved. They used those long, flexible two-man saws. And double-bit axes. They worked in the gloom of the shade with old gas lanterns. Once cut down from massive logs thirty feet in diameter, they’d float the logs downhill in sluices, like primitive wooden make-shift water slides. Or they’d haul them down to the nearest river, the logs pulled by donkeys on corduroy roads. They’d lay large amounts of grease on the roads, so the logs would slide easily. You could still smell the grease on the old tools on display in the museum. The bigger towns had streets where the loggers would slide the logs down greased skids all the way down to the sea, where they’d float in big logjams until the mills were ready for processing. They’d call such roads “skid-rows.” Because of all the activity, they’d end up being the worst parts of town. Local citizens wouldn’t want to live there, due to all the stink and noise. They’d be on the other side of the brothels and the opium dens. It would be the sort of place where the destitute and the insane would find themselves when they’d finally lost anything. To this day, “skidrow” remains a euphemism for the part of a city where the homeless encamp.
That was the lore I’d learned as a child. That was my “ancestry” I was supposed to respect and admire, which I did, wholeheartedly. There were things they left out, though. Things that you might have suspected, from a naive perspective, would be perfect for kids, all the folklore that came with the logging industry. The ghost stories, and the tall tales. I would have eaten that up. They do talk about that kind of thing in places far removed from the Pacific Northwest. But I had never heard about any of it. Things like the Hidebehind. No, that I’d have to discover for myself.
There were four of us on those bike adventures. Myself. Ralph, my best friend. A tough guy, the bad boy, the most worldly of us, which is a strange thing to say about an eight-year-old kid. India, an archetypal ‘80s tomboy. She was the coolest person I knew at the time. Looking back, I wonder what her home life was like. I think I remember problematic warning signs that I couldn’t have recognized when I was so young, but now raise flags. Then there was Ben. A goofy kid, a wild mop of hair, coke bottle glasses, type 1 diabetic which seemed to make him both a bit pampered by his mother, who was in charge of all his insulin, diet, and schedule, and conversely a real risk taker when she wasn’t around.
When we first saw it…
No, wait. This was the problem with starting the story. Where does it all begin? I’ll need to talk about my Grandfather as well. I’ve had two different perspectives on my Grandfather, on the man that he was. The first was the healthy able-bodied grandparent I’d known as a young child. Then there was the man, as I learned about him after he had passed.
There was a middle period, from when I was 6 to when I was 16, when I hardly understood him at all, as he was hit with a double whammy of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. His decline into an invalid was both steep and long drawn out. That part didn’t reflect who he was as a person.
What did I know of him when I was little? Well I knew he and my grandmother had a nice big house and some farmland, out in the broad flat valley north of Farmingham. Dairy country. It had been settled by Dutch immigrants back in the homesteading days. His family had been among the first pioneers in the county too. It didn’t register to me then that his surname was Norwegian, not Dutch. I knew he had served in the Navy in World War II, which I was immensely proud of for reasons I didn’t know why. I knew he had a job as a butcher in a nearby rural supermarket. He was a bit of a farmer too, more as a hobby and a side gig. He had a few cattle, but mostly grew and harvested hay to sell to the local dairies. I knew he had turned his garage into a machine shop, and could fix damn near anything. From the flat tires on my bicycle to the old flat-bed truck he’d haul hay with, to an old 1950s riding lawnmower he somehow managed to keep in working order. I knew he could draw a really cool cartoon cowboy, I knew he loved to watch football, and I knew the whiskers on his chin were very pokey, and they’d tickle you when he kissed you on the cheek, and that when you tried to rub the sensation away he’d laugh and laugh and laugh.
Then there were the parts of his life that I’d learn much later. Mostly from odd passing comments from relatives, or things I’d find in the public records. Like how he’d been a better grandfather than a father. Or how his life as I knew it had been a second, better life. He’d been born among the Norwegian settler community, way up in the deep, dark, forest-shrouded hills that rimmed the valley. He’d been a logger in his youth. Technologically he was only a generation or two from the ones I’d learned about in the museum. They’d replaced donkeys with diesel engines and corduroy roads with narrow gauge rail. It was still the same job, though. Dirty, dangerous, dark. Way back into those woods, living in little logging camps, civilization was always a several-day hike out. It became a vulgar sort of profession, filled with violent men, reprobates, and thieves. When my grandfather’s father was murdered on his front porch by a lunatic claiming he’d been wronged somehow, my grandfather hiked out of there, got into town, and joined the Navy. He vowed never to go back. The things he’d seen out in those woods were no good. He’d kept that existence away from me. Anyways…
Tommy Barker was the first of us to go missing. I say ‘us’ as if I knew him personally. I didn’t. He went to Farmingham Middle School, other side of town, and several grades above us. From our perspective, he may as well have been an adult living overseas.
Yet it felt like we got to know him. His face was everywhere, on TV, all over telephone poles. Everybody was talking about him. After he didn’t return from a friend’s house, everybody just sort of assumed, or maybe hoped, that he’d just gotten lost, or was trapped somewhere. They searched all the parks. Backyards, junkyards, refrigerators, trunks. Old-fashioned refrigerators, back before suction seals, had a simple handle with a latch that opened when you pulled on it. It wasn’t a problem when the fridges were in use and filled with food. But by the 80s old broke-down refrigerators started filling up backyards and junkyards, and they became deathtraps for kids playing hide-and-seek. The only opened from the outside. I remember thinking Tommy Barker was a little old to have likely been playing hide-and-seek, but people checked everywhere anyway. They never found him.
That was about the first time we saw the Hidebehind. Ben said he thought he saw somebody following us, looked like, maybe, a kid. We’d just slowly huffed our way up a moderately steep hill, Farmingham is full of them, and when we paused for a breather at the top, Ben said he saw it down the hill, closer to the base. Yet when we turned to look there was nothing there. Ben said he’d just seen it duck behind a car. That wasn’t the sort of behavior of a random kid minding his own business. Yet the slope afforded us a view under the car’s carriage, and except for the four tires, there were no signs of any feet hiding behind the body. At first, we thought he was pulling our leg. When he insisted he wasn’t, we started to tease him a little. He must have been seeing things, on account of his poor vision and thick glasses. The fact that those glasses afforded him vision as good as or better than any of us wasn’t something we considered.
The next person to disappear was Amy Brooks. Fifth-grader. Next elementary school over. I remember it feeling like when you’re traveling down the freeway, and there’s a big thunderstorm way down the road, but it keeps getting closer, and closer. I don’t remember what she looked like. Her face wasn’t plastered everywhere like Tommy’s had been. She was mentioned on the regional news, out of Seattle, her and Tommy together. Two missing kids from the same town in a short amount of time. The implication was as obvious as it was depraved. They didn’t think the kids were getting lost anymore. They didn’t do very much searching of backyards. The narratives changed too. Teachers started talking a lot about stranger danger. Local TV channels started recycling old After School Specials and public service announcements about the subject.
I’m not sure who saw it next. I think it was Ben again. We took him seriously this time though. I think. The one I’m sure I remember was soon after, and that time it was India who first saw it. It’s still crystal clear in my memory, almost forty years later, because that was the time I first saw it too. We were riding through a four-way stop, an Idaho Stop before they called it that, when India slammed to a stop, locking up her coaster brakes and leaving a long black streak of rubber on a dry patch of pavement. We stopped quickly after and asked what the problem was. We could tell by her face she’d seen it. She was still looking at it.
“I see it,” she whispered, unnecessarily. We all followed her gaze. We were looking, I don’t know, ten seconds? Twenty? We believed everything she said, we just couldn’t see it.
“Where?” Ralph asked.
“Four blocks down,” she whispered. “On the left. See the red car? Kinda rusty?” There was indeed a big old Lincoln Continental, looking pretty ratty and worn. I focused on that, still seeing nothing. “Past that, just to its right. See the street light pole? It’s just behind that.”
We also saw the pole she was talking about. Metal. Aluminum, I’d have guessed. It had different color patches, like metallic flakeboard. Like it’d had been melted together out of scrap.
I could see that clearly even from that distance. I saw nothing behind it. I could see plenty of other things in the background, cars, houses, bushes, front lawns, beauty bark landscape.. There was no indication of anything behind that pole.
And then it moved. It had been right there where she said it had been, yet it had somehow perfectly blended into the landscape, a trick of perspective. We didn’t see it at all until it moved, and almost as fast it had disappeared behind that light pole. We only got a hint. Brown in color, about our height in size.
We screamed. Short little startled screams, the involuntary sort that just burst out of you. Then we turned and started to pedal like mad, thoroughly spooked. We made it to the intersection of the next block when it was Ralph who screeched to a halt and shouted, “Wait!”
We slowed down and stopped, perhaps not as eagerly as we’d done when India yelled. Ralph was looking back over his shoulder, looking at that metal pole. “Did anybody see it move again?’ he asked. We all shook our heads in the negative. Ralph didn’t notice, but of course, he didn’t really need an answer, of course we hadn’t been watching.
“If it didn’t move, then it’s still there!” Ralph explained the obvious. It took a second to sink in, despite the obvious. “C’mon!” he shouted, and to our surprise, before we could react, he turned and took off, straight down the road, straight to where that thing had been lurking.
We were incredulous, but something about his order made us all follow hot on his heels. He was a sort of natural leader. I thought it was total foolishness, but I wasn’t going to let him go alone. I think I got out, “Are you crazy?!”
The wind was blowing hard past our faces as we raced as fast as we could, it made it hard to hear. Ralph shouted his response. “If it’s hiding that means its afraid!” That seemed reasonable, if not totally accurate. Lions hide from their prey before they attack. Then again, they don’t wait around when the whole herd charges. Really, the pole was coming up so fast there wasn’t a whole lot of time to argue. “Just blast past and look!” Ralph added. “We’re too fast! It won’t catch us.”
Sure, I thought to myself. Except maybe Ben, who always lagged behind the rest of us in a race. The lion would get Ben if any of us.
We rushed past that pole and all turned our heads to look. “See!” Ralph shouted in triumph. There was simply nothing there. A metal streetlight pole and nothing more. We stopped pedaling yet still sped on. “Hang on,” Ralph said, and at the next intersection he took a fast looping curve that threatened to crash us all, but we managed and curved behind him. We all came to the pole again where we stopped to see up close that there was nothing there, despite what we had seen moments before.
“Maybe it bilocated,” Ben offered. We groaned. We were all thinking it, but I think we were dismissive because it wasn’t as cool a word as ‘teleport.”
“Maybe it just moved when we weren’t looking,” I offered. That hadn’t been long, but that didn’t mean anything if it moved fast. The four of us slowly looked up from the base of the pole to our immediate surroundings. There were bushes. A car in a carport covered by a tarpaulin. The carport itself. Garbage cans. Stumps. Of course the ever-present trees. Whatever it was it could have been hiding behind anything. Maybe it was. We looked. Maybe it would make itself seen. None of us wanted that. “OK, let’s get going,” Ralph said, and we did so.
I got home feeling pretty shaken that afternoon. I felt safe at home. Except for the front room, which had a big bay window looking out onto the street, and the people who lived across it. There were plenty of garbage cans and telephone poles and stumps that a small, fast thing might hide behind. No, I felt more comfortable in my bedroom. There was a window, but a great thick conical cypress tree grew right in front of it, reaching way up over the roof of the house. If anything, it offered ME a place to hide, and peer out onto the street to either side of the tree. It was protective, as good as any heavy blanket.
submitted by Guilty_Chemistry9337
to EBDavis [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 05:40 TalksaLittle Boyfriend says I need to be accountable
HE IS MY HUSBAND
So my husband is a gamer but he used to previously play m-f, Saturday-Sunday 11-8pm and then again 10pm-12am. Me and him both decided to come up with a schedule so that he gets off the game at a certain and it has been working for us until these last couple weeks. He will agree to do something and do it for a bit and then regress and say he never agreed. And I’m afraid that’s happening now.
Our date night is on Tuesday and we agreed it starts at 6pm. So around 6pm I asked him will he be off the game soon and he let me know that he didn’t know and that he would let me know when he was available. So I left and waited for him. He didn’t finish until 2 hours later and by then I told him I didn’t want to do anything anymore.
We had a specific activity planned and if we had started then we wouldn’t be done until around 12am and I have work in the morning. Mind you, he doesn’t work for reasons he can’t control at the moment.
I eventually brought the conversation up later and I expressed my frustration about him not being accountable for the time he agreed to. I let him know that I don’t feel like a priority. I also asked him why did he agree to these times if he wasn’t going to stick to them. He said it was on me because I said that I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I am just tired of coming second to his game, especially when he’s able to play from the time he wakes up 11am until around like 6pm.
Am I in the wrong and should I be accountable? Any advice?
he is my husband, not boyfriend
submitted by TalksaLittle
to amiwrong [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 05:30 johndomecus My (28M) GF (24F) of 5 months is still talking to her ex-bf and my confidence shattered after I read her messages
Apologies for this long post, but I'm hoping I can get some input on my situation. I've been in a whirlwind romance the past 5 months and we're both really in love and just click so well. Personalities, interests, conversation flows, and just doing anything together is a blast. I've never met a girl that matches me so well, and I'm incredibly attracted to her both physically and mentally.
I know I was in the wrong for this, but my GF is aware that I know she regularly messages with her ex-boyfriend (they broke up October 2022) on Facebook Messenger. I told her I'm not in love with the idea, but I don't want to be controlling and I trust her if she wants to stay in touch. On Sunday, I was curious and went back through their conversation history. Most of their conversation was tame and ex-bf was the initiator and she was often somewhat standoffish and told him about me and how she's not interested, he was abusive, etc., but I read back to late December (the night she and I first had sex), and she was messaging him the next day (her ex was prodding and trying to get her to describe the sex and everything) and she told him: "not lying, he's the smallest I've ever been with. still fun tho". I'm maybe between 4.5-5 inches and make up for it with everything else so I know I'm not the biggest, but seeing her tell her ex-bf was surprisingly devastating and I couldn't shake that thought. She came home later that evening (we don't live together, so I was hanging out on her bed waiting for her to comeback) and I couldn't dare say what was on my mind, but she knew something was off and tried to get me to talk and I went on this vague discussion about how I'm not "the right person" for her and I'm "not good enough" without being specific. She thought I was breaking up with her and started crying, but I clarified I wasn't and it was just me and my occasional insecurities creeping up, and it'll be okay. I apologized and she asked if I had floated these issues to gauge whether she would be willing to be honest about her feelings and maybe be open to breaking up, and I haphazardly agreed that in a way it was a slight manipulation to get her to be more open about how she really felt about me in case she secretly shared any doubt about me. Because of that, she was really mad at me and I tried to reconcile that I shouldn't have played some mind game and should've just asked her directly how she feels about the relationship. We made up more or less, I slept over and left for work early the next morning, and we haven't texted much the past 2 days. This isn't unusual as we're both very busy with work/school, but I can't help but feel things are still not right and we've been distant from each other after that night. I usually present myself as fairly self-confident and have decent charisma (IMO), but this has really shook me and I just don't know what to do. We both have high libidos and are often physical with each other, but seeing that message was so devastating and now I can't think of her without feeling shame, anxiety, and inadequacy about my penis size, especially considering that sex is an integral part of our relationship and she wants it at least every few days. We're both pretty open sexually (we have foursomes, threesomes, she's bi and we're both sexually experienced with body counts both 10+), so it's a major issue that I'm now associating this with her and right now I'm thinking if she were to grab my crotch or want to do more than kissing, I'd have to subtly find an excuse or move away because I'm so ashamed of myself and feel inadequate and likely couldn't get an erection feeling this way regardless. For the past 5 months of our relationship, she's seemed to love the sex and has been incredibly satisfied, praising me and telling me I'm the best, and I visibly make her body shuttetwitch from multiple orgasms, etc., but seeing those old messages from our first encounter has shattered my self-confidence and I also have lost faith and trust in her even though I know she was just being honest to her ex-bf (or maybe she was trying to not hurt her ex-bf's feelings by putting me down, but I doubt that since she said "honestly" and "smallest" and it was a very specific statement). I know penis size and sexual pleasure are not mutually exclusive/1:1 correlation, but now I'm wondering if she was being 100% honest this whole time or just trying to make me feel better when she tells me she's addicted to my private part. Part of me thinks I should break up with her because I'll never get any bigger and she deserves someone better. I probably sound really petty and stupid buying into the endless penis size debate, but I have to admit I'm shattered and don't know what to do because that message is inadmissible and I know it was wrong of me to snoop through her messages. I don't want to tell her I violated her privacy, but I'm clearly shaken so it's obvious something is wrong. I don't know what to do.
Regarding her still messaging her ex-boyfriend even though we're together: They were together for 4 years and broke up October 2022 (ex-bf wanted an open relationship and she gave in June 2022). August 2022, they went long distance and ex-bf moved across the country and she moved near me for grad school. Almost immediately after they agreed to have an open relationship, ex-bf had sex with another girl and he later revealed that he cheated on my gf with this same girl DURING their committed relationship period. My gf and I got together late December 2022 (I know it's fast and she probably didn't have enough time to be single but we had just met each other and we clicked instantly and didn't want to miss this chemistry) and I noticed her phone getting blown up with missed calls within a few weeks of dating. She was up front with me that it's her ex-bf, and he spam calls her until she picks up, and keeps messaging her first via text then later to FB Messenger. She said that she responds to him because she feels bad, and he still vents to her about his life. (During my snooping on her messages) I did notice she's somewhat standoffish with him and tells him she's not interested, she's with me, he mistreated her, etc. but she does continue to message back and have lengthy calls with him. I told her that I understand the attachment and they basically became each others' best friends over 4 years together, and I basically said "I don't want to be controlling or insecure, I'm not gonna tell you what you can and can't do, I trust you." Apparently I learned as of 5/31 the ex-bf is dating a new girl who is cheating on her bf right now (2 guys dating one girl and they don't know about each other) and he said "it's not my responsibility to tell the other person. It's on her". My gf and I both agree that he's narcissistic, manipulative, jerk, etc.. I don't like to talk bad about my gf's ex-bf because I'm biased of course, but it honestly does bother me that she still messages him regularly (and calls/videocalls that god knows what's being said and not in writing). I know I was wrong to snoop through her messages once, and I pledged to myself I won't do that again as it's bad faith and sets a bad precedent. I know I prob sound like a crazy person, but I just don't want to be taken advantage of/gaslit, but also not a controlling jerk. I don't know what to do.
Also: I don't know if this is actually a red flag since it happened when she was 18 (6 years ago), the way my gf and her ex-bf got together was that she lowkey cheated on her first bf at that time and made out with the new ex-bf at a party, and then felt awful about it and confessed and everything. She told him not to worry about that guy and she wouldn't leave him for the other guy, but they ended up breaking up and she ended up dating that now ex-bf. I gave her a pass because she was really young and based on her descriptions her first bf was super toxic and abusive, but now that I've been going through this I'm thinking about it more. I match with her so well mentally and physically and she's so sweet and thoughtful, but she's clearly still heartbroken over her ex-bf even though he was so abusive and controlling, and it does frustrate me.
TL;DR: I secretly read my GF's messages with her ex-BF and she told him I'm the smallest she's ever been with. My confidence is shattered and I don't know what to do or say since I was wrong to read through her messages.
submitted by johndomecus
to relationships [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 04:57 datdolewhip Planning Informal Social Gatherings As Adults: Herding Cats and Pulling Teeth
Over the past couple of years, I made friends with a small group of coworkers at my job. We decided it would be fun for us to hang out sometime outside of work. However, we can literally NEVER agree on a time and place to do so. The sequence usually goes something like this:
"Sorry, I'm busy after work today."
"Saturday is my boyfriend's birthday and I can't make it."
"I'm going out of town that weekend."
"I hate to cancel but turns out I have a dentist's appointment at that time."
"My hubby and I are celebrating our anniversary!"
"Sorry, but I'm actually moving that weekend."
"I need to check in with the babysitter first."
"I was planning on bingeing Bridgerton that night."
"I'm talking to my therapist that day. Sorry to be difficult!"
ETC. ETC. ETC.
I don't know why, but this phenomenon only seems to exist amongst people I know in their 20's and 30's. The impossibility of planning anything with anybody at any time. The plans that are made and then fall through after you've adjusted your schedule to fit the new plan. It's MADDENING.
Aziz Ansari has a bit where he explains that the reason these plans fall through is because thanks to the internet, we don't rely on and/or appreciate actual social contact anymore. Why do we need to catch up over coffee when we can just look at someone's Facebook page? Why do we need to chat when we are constantly texting and emailing at a mile per minute?
Maybe it's also the illusion of choice. With so many entertaining options at our fingertips, how do we know if we want to grab drinks with coworkers when we could possibly be going to the football game, or staying in and ordering a pizza, or doing virtual board games online or going to the dog park or just scrolling on Reddit for hours on end? HoW dO wE kNoW? The answer is we don't know and our attention spans are limited.
I have a third idea: in a social culture where flakiness is the norm, that just encourages us to be even more isolated and non-committal. If it takes seven tries to make plans with someone, do they really like you? Is it even worth it? To put yourself out there and try to be the one to corral the group is to risk more feelings of social rejection when you find out that someone would rather watch Is It Cake? on Netflix than hang out with you. So you hang back, but then everyone's hanging back tepidly and it becomes even flakier.
submitted by datdolewhip
to Adulting [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 04:22 Trd091 8 months and still no feeding!
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So idk what else to do at this point. I've had my BP since August of 2021 she was about 13 weeks when I got her. She never missed a meal, every Sunday she attacked each mouse like it offended her and when I transitioned her to rats she never went without feeding unless I purposely skipped. Fast forward and in Oct 2022 she had her last meal. She has refused to eat since. She's currently in a 36×12×18 enclosure she has her two hides. Her Temps in her warm hide are roughly 91° and cool side about 77°. Humidity stays around 65-70% and she's never had an issue shedding. I've checked her for mites, I've taken her to vet and nothing is wrong with her. As far as feeding I've tried small rats, rat pups, adult mice, fuzzies, hoppers, ASF, and even live. She comes out as if she's interested and tracks very well but then just goes back into her hide. I've left the food in there over night and it's gone untouched. I typically wait about two weeks between attempts and nothing. I'm at a loss at this point. I'm worried about her and also slightly frustrated. The pic attached is from about two weeks ago and she's lost some weight but nothing drastic. Any advice? I don't know what to do at this point. submitted by Trd091 to ballpython [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 04:10 catchmygrift This weekend in Oregon