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2010.07.31 00:02 coaster367 Roller Coasters: Rides Galore!

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2023.05.31 19:02 Nickel324 Will I gain any bike fitness doing Peloton 2-3 hours per week?

Let me add more context. I have never done a triathlon, but have goals to accomplish several in 2024. My current training right now is for a Half Marathon in October '23 and Full Marathon in February '24.
Running/Lifting will be taking up the vast majority of my training schedule for 2023. However, with the intended goal of doing Triathlon in 2024, figured maybe I could add some biking as cross training about 2x a week. My road bike (obviously preferred) was stolen and do not want to invest a bunch in a bike now as it is not my focus. I do have a Peloton and wondered if I did 2-3 hours of PowerZone Endurance classes per week, will that elevate my bike fitness some until I have a more dedicated plan next year.
Clearly something is better than nothing, but can I make reasonable gains on the bike with that little of weekly volume?
submitted by Nickel324 to triathlon [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:01 Boop108 Bahman Farmanara’s Profound Horror Film, Tall Shadows of the Wind

This article contains a lot of film stills. For a fully illustrated version please click here -
Bahman Farmanara’s early Film Tall Shadows of the Wind was released in 1979, one year after the Iranian revolution. It was based on a short story by Houshang Golshiri. The film was banned by the Shah before the 1978 revolution, and then banned again by Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, after the revolution. It has no overt references to anything political, but it is a potent allegory about power, faith, fear, and subjugation.
Tall Shadows of the Wind presents us with a strange world that is difficult to describe. Surreal would not be accurate, it’s more of an alienated and empty world where reality is fuzzy around the edges. It might be closer to magic realist, but in a menacing and dark way that is not common in magic realist stories. We are watching people who live far off in a desert with nothing but each other to rely on. Their isolation leaves them without an outside world to keep them grounded.
The heart of Tall Shadows of the Wind is a rumination on belief. We, as humans, have a tendency to quickly and easily adopt irrational ideas. Our psyches were shaped by natural selection, which is guided by quick and simple results. Imagine two early humans sitting somewhere on an African savanna. One hears a rustling in the bushes and gets up to run. The other explains that just because the bushes made a noise doesn’t mean they are necessarily in danger, it could just be a mouse. The one who has jumped to conclusions without proper evidence gets up and runs away, but the one waiting for further information to properly confirm his hypothesis is torn to pieces when a lion jumps out of the bushes. The human who jumped to conclusions without fully considering the facts escapes and lives to pass down his genes. It is not quite as simple as all this, but as a result of dynamics like this, humans are more emotional than rational, which paves the way for superstition, religion, and other unfounded beliefs. Evolution is not concerned with end goals or outcomes, only with what works in the short run.
Our predisposition to jump to unfounded conclusions and ignore facts leaves us all vulnerable to manipulation. This is what Tall Shadows of the Wind is about. This is why it was banned both before and after the revolution. Whether those in power are put there by a democratic process or a military coup, their status is affected by what the populace believes.
The plot centers around a scarecrow that is erected in a field near a small town. The story’s protagonist, Abdullah, happens upon it and, in a moment of esprit, uses a piece of charcoal to draw a face on the white rags that have been bunched together to form its head. The playful gesture seems to unintentionally trigger a string of mysterious and frightening events. Some villagers are suddenly frightened by the scarecrow. Either they scream when they see it, or imagine that they see it in places where it is not. Others say they can hear the scarecrow hopping around on its wooden post in the night.
A scarecrow is a perfect means to examine the intertwined layers of fear and power. A scarecrow is a sham. It’s an illusion meant to fool birds into believing that a human is present. The scarecrow has no actual power. It is a harmless inanimate object. Its power is in its ability to fool a victim into thinking it has power. Its efficacy, its purpose is directly proportional to its ability to make its victims believe in it.
The fear of the empty, meaningless scarecrow is a metaphor not only for political power, but religious power as well. At the beginning of the film, there is a sequence where we see villagers worshipping the scarecrow. We hear the crowd chanting a plaintiff prayer over and over.
May he come to help us
May he come to solve our riddle
May he come to care for us
May he come to comfort us
May he come to tie our knots
May he come for our victory
May he come for our happiness
May he come for our justice
It forms a loud, menacingly fervent chorus. Humans have needs. They have a natural inclination to feel incomplete, dissatisfied, and restless. They pray for their problems to be solved and for happiness and comfort. The more elusive these things are, the more apt humans are to imagine a way to attain them. Our need for meaning, happiness, and satisfaction makes us vulnerable. This prayer is a litany of weaknesses that lead us astray and cause us to irrationally invest our hopes in random superstition.
As the fear of the scarecrow begins to take hold of the villagers, a woman seeks the council of the village elder. She is worried the villagers are being led astray. The elder shrugs his shoulders and says, “What can I do? I am the master of the village, not the master of people’s fears.” It is the scarecrow that is the master of people’s fears, which in turn means it is more powerful than the village master.
Where there is fear, there is almost always hope. In many ways, Tall Shadows of the Wind is as much about how people are controlled by hope as they are by fear. It is reminiscent of Piotr Szulkin’s O-Bi O-Ba The End Of Civilization. Manipulating people’s hopes is a risky game where the power of their faith can quickly outstrip your ability to control it. These villagers fear their new scarecrow god, and so look to him for salvation. The scarecrow frightens them, and so they look to it in hopes of gaining its favor, and perhaps sharing in its power. It's a bit like Stockholm Syndrome.
I remember teaching at a school in an impoverished neighborhood where my students couldn't distinguish between the words "fear" and "respect." I spent almost half a class period trying to help them differentiate the two, but they saw no distinction. For them, there was no other way to get respect. Respect for them was power, and power was taken by force or threat of force. There was an implicit assumption that there was no other reason to respect someone. This worldview stems from a lack of trust in general. Everyone is suspect, no one can be trusted to have your best interest at heart. It is a world without altruism, sympathy, or compassion. It creates a hierarchy of fear, where the baseline is a fear of everyone, which then calibrates your position of influence to how much fear you can inspire.
Tall Shadows of the Wind takes place in a nameless, desolate, almost colorless landscape where everything feels distant and strange. Without a specific context, the story feels more like a parable. It looks a bit like a Pasolini film, where everything is biblical and apocalyptic.
Not all of the scenes stitch neatly together. There are parts that seem like a dream, or perhaps a momentary detour. Some parts seem to fit into a chronology, but others just seem to float outside the narrative. Watching the film, one gets the feeling they're not entirely in the loop. We are observers who cannot fully understand what we are seeing, but that is also reflected in the characters who also seemed mystified. Certainly, confusion and miscommunication are essential ingredients in maintaining fear-based power. Reliable sources would unite people with information that people could use to challenge dictatorial power. Confusion keeps the populace divided, and therefore ineffective.
If the populace in the fairytale of The Emperor’s New Clothes could communicate effectively, the illusion would be dispelled. It isn’t even an illusion. No one is fooled, they simply are too afraid to relay what they honestly see with their own eyes. So too, the scarecrow. Neither the king nor the scarecrow has even asked for people to follow their lead, the populace does it willingly, hoping it will keep them in the fold. Foucault talks about the lateral nature of power, where hegemony is not forced downward from above, but exerted laterally by our desire to conform to the group. We are misled, not by the powers that be, but by our own desire to belong.
Tall Shadows of the Wind stays just vague enough to open a versatile arena of possible meanings. It is a potent and imaginative criticism of power that speaks both to leaders and followers. It is a nuanced exploration of how a state garners and maintains power. There is a primal set of desires and beliefs that are ignited and then harnessed, not simply by the will of one individual, but by a confluence of an entire society.
submitted by Boop108 to TrueFilm [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:01 Unlikely_Kale_2144 Struggling to make the decision of whether to transition

I (M21) have been questioning my gender for a long time, and I’ve been in denial for many years. I’ve come to realize that I probably have a genuine desire to be a woman, but I can’t bring myself to go through with the long process for the following reasons:
  1. Appearance changes in the transition process would probably make me generally less attractive to women, which I am pretty sure I am exclusively attracted to. I would be especially afraid of not being able to “pass” given I am relatively old to start
  2. Being a man doesn’t prevent me from having a loving relationship with a woman, which I’ve done in the past multiple times. But I have struggled occasionally with ED potentially due to dysphoria or general anxiety
  3. Even if I did decide to transition, I am currently in university getting ready to start searching for jobs for at most 8-9 months. Starting my transition now could not only compromise my mental state, but it could induce stigma from interviewers or my boss if they could visibly tell I was transitioning. I’ve heard of an unfortunate statistic regarding rates of job loss after coming out as trans
  4. My family and friends are transphobic. I likely wouldn’t have financial support for treatment.
  5. I couldn’t deal with the devastation if I wasn’t happy with my transition
I’m not even sure if I would truly be more happy as a woman, or if I just crave affection from women to the point that I imagine being one to “fit in”. I don’t resonate with some peoples’ accounts of being uncomfortable with male pronouns or body hair, so I might be misdiagnosing myself
Thank you for any advice
submitted by Unlikely_Kale_2144 to asktransgender [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:01 LoomisKnows [Vent]My roommate explodes at me for installing a lock on my door after his coked-up friend crept into my bedroom two nights ago

Previous post:
I told the landlord about putting a lock on my bedroom door (I asked him to fix it when it happened but my other roomie fixed it for me so I need to give the landlord the new spare key for it) and my landlord was appalled about that guy creeping into my room. He gave the other roommate (Will call K) a new notice that has less time on it and a stipulation that he can't bring people over to the house anymore.
DPD rang the doorbell and I went to let them in and he cornered me in the hallway. I managed to press to unlock the door so the DPD girl ended up entering the conversation mid confrontation and that spooked him off from kabedoning me against the wall. Then he started sending me this shit trying to downplay his creepy friend standing in my room.
Baring in mind that last night someone tried to open my bedroom door AGAIN and was frustrated audibly by the lock.

He then goes on to say that he didn't know I had been raped even though he's literally walked in on my rape counselling zoom calls thrice (because the door doesn't fucking lock) and it has been discussed with him IN THE CONTEXT OF HIM ENTERING MY ROOM PREVIOUSLY.
Boy really fucking playing the birthday card forgetting I TOOK HIM OUT ON HIS FUCKING BIRTHDAY so I know his birthday wasn't even this fucking month! Also I like how he's like "I haven't complained about anything' you haven't had a fucking reason to! You're fed, you steal toiletries, I clean up after everyone, I replace everything you fucking break and steal. Do you know how many fucking glasses and cutlery sets I have purchased? How many towels I have to throw awake because he wipes his FUCKING ASS on them


I have literally fed this man for a year, got him into rehab, kept in contact with his non-druggy friends for him-invited them over for dinner so fucking maintaining his support network for him. I took him to A&E when he overdosed, I collected every single pill bottle for what he took so that they could save him and spent 12 hours in the triage with him. I have gone above and beyond to push this man back on the right fucking tracks away from his addiction. And this is how he fucking treats me.
submitted by LoomisKnows to badroommates [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:01 roconn87 Now (ex) boyfriend cheated and left it to me to fix.

Hey y'all this is a repost probably just venting to feel better. Who knows if telling my story to reddit will help. So here ya go!
I (32F) had been dating my boyfriend (29M) for a little over a year. When we met everything was amazing. We met on Hinge (how else do you meet people now 🙄) and hit it off right away. He was caring, sweet, always made time for me, and looked at me like, to quote Juno "The sun shined out of my butt". I was upfront early on of my goal to move to another state to be near family and further my career. I was finishing up my Masters degree at the time and he was incredibly supportive. Fast forward to last October, I got a job offer at an amazing company I had been scoping out for months, I had a month to plan and move. Originally we were going to do long distance until April as he wanted to go to Lineman school. Pretty last minute he decided against it and moved with me, and got a job in my new state right away. We were living together in a small 1 bedroom apartment, also note this was our first time living together. All was decent until about December, he got distant, depressed, and we were arguing, which wasn't something we normally did before. (And I know we probably were still in the honeymoon phase before, conflict is normal). By early January we had decided to take a break and he would be moving out for awhile sometime in February. At the time it was because we didn't have the same future goals on kids.(I don't want them but he said he did) We discussed boundaries and we were together and not seeing anyone until then and to enjoy each other for the time. Fast forward again to end of January, call it woman intuition or something... I had a terrible feeling something was going on. So I did the unhealthy thing and looked through his phone at night. I found messages of him talking to his friends about hating it here, and other things we were not communicating about. Then... I kept looking and found he had a tinder account and had been talking to someone for about a week. Not just friendly but flirty and making plans to meet up with her. I immediately confronted him and a huge argument ensued... he moved out the next day. He says that's the only time he did it and he was lost, alone, and it was a moment of stupidity. Also he never planned on actually meeting up or doing anything with her. Part of me wonders if I hadn't caught it when I did if that's really true.... A few weeks later he got laid off from his job and moved back to his hometown. He kept trying and apologizing. He realized what he had in front of him, all those things. I didn't give in for about 2 months and did my own thing for awhile. But I did love him and gave him another shot. He had come back to work where I lived and got a great job opportunity. We set the boundary of not living together again for awhile so he has his own apartment 15 min away. And we were in couples counseling. I thought we were making progress, and then... on my birthday a few weeks ago. He asked me a very specific strange question. I immediately knew he had gone through my search history, as I had let him over to my house before I got home from work to cook dinner, and knew my computer was sitting in the living room. I have that synced to my phone so anything I do I both is on there. I pressed, and he denied it, a few times. Finally, I got him to fess up to the search history digging. I was angry and very early on I had said (I know its silly) that you can see whatever you want, but my search history is my buisness. I have adhd and anxiety, so my google search is odd... I didn't want to fight on my birthday, so I asked him to leave my key and my apartment. When I got home, I went through my computer logs and saw he had gone through much more. Like all of my socials. I told him to fess up to exactly what he went through and denined, denined, and denided. I mentioned the logs... and he finally fessed up. We argued on the phone, and I drank some wine and cried at my birthday being crap. We argued the next night, and I decided to go no contact for awhile. We stuck to this for the most part. Very small talk here and there. And about 4 days later, he came over, we talked calmly and had a nice weekend. All of that to say... I felt like I was going crazy. I used to be very confident, secure, and happy in the relationship. I worried constantly if he was lying to me, on a dating website, using me. I went full girl feral and tried looking in different ways to make sure he dosen't have a dating profile, see who he follows on socials. I asked him all the time if he's happy, if he wants someone else, if he's in this for the right reasons. I asked him to go through with me, who he follows in instagram and how he knows the girls he follows. He did it but said he was very uncomfortable in doing so and didn't think it was healthy. I brought up if I have a fear he's talking to someone if he would show me who he's been recently talking to. Not the actual conversations just who he's been conversing with. He said he didn't want to do that and it was chipping away at his privacy and he's sense of himself as an independent person. I see what he means, but I didn't think it was way off base. And something I thought as time went on and trust was built again, and security would end. Is that too far? I felt like he had the burden of proof to show his fidelity at this time? Anyway, we broke up last weekend and I found out he's already on dating apps. So I guess that's my answer to everything. I'm mad I have to pick up the pieces of what he did, and try to love myself and trust again before I can even think about a relationship.
Sorry for the long post.
submitted by roconn87 to cheating_stories [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:00 MjolnirPants Gary and the Nightmare: Part 1

"Shit!" Chris shouted, causing Gary to spin. Boss held a spotting scope up to his eye.
"No way they didn't see us," he said. Gary marked the two running figures in the distance. He didn't think about it. He didn't register that they seemed small. He only knew that if the Taliban got wind of them moving through this pass they'd start mortaring the area and send out spotters. It would just be a matter of time before they were all dead.
He put his eye against the magnified optics. He placed the crosshairs at the top of one figure's neck and fired. It stumbled and fell. The other one angled off, getting some lateral motion, which would have been a smart move if Gary weren't such a good shot. He got the left arm of the crosshairs lined up on the same spot, the vertical bars just in front of the figure and fired again. The second one dropped.
"Checking," he said as he rose from the crouch he'd shot from and ran towards the closest. It took a minute or two to reach him, and when Gary flipped him over, his breath caught in his throat.
Blood soaked the front of his tunic and the lower half of his face. He was gasping for breath, his windpipe and probably one of his lungs destroyed by the intense cavitation of the 5.56mm round.
"I was..." the boy gasped. Because that's what he was, just a boy. A boy with thin, delicate features. A bow-tie, soaked in blood and clinging to his neck was below the tunic and Gary could just make out the top of a familiar Star Wars patterned vest below it.
"I was going to save the world," the boy gasped.
"You were," Gary agreed. "You were gon' marry a goddess and have the sweetest kids. And you were going to save the world, more'n once."
"Found the second!" Rog called. Gary turned away from the boy who would now never grow into the man he'd meet in a safehouse in Kabul after getting discharged and taking up work for the Company.
He walked over, ignoring the uneasy feeling in his stomach.
This one was a girl. Earth-brown skin and tightly braided cornrows greeted him. Gary collapsed when he saw her.
"Why'd you shoot me, daddy?" she asked.
"I had to, baby," Gary sobbed. "You was gonna call the Taliban."
"No I... No I wasn't... I was gonna tell... Dad," She reached up as Chris jogged up. Rog looked at them, scowling.
"Dad and Daddy? What are you, a couple of fags?"
Gary ignored him. He cradled his daughter in his arms as she bled out into the dust and dirt of a fallow field.
He awoke with a start, the old familiar panic already fading. Chris sat up smoothly, awoken by his movements and wrapped his arms around Gary. His smooth skin pressed against Gary's back and helped ground him in the moment.
He was in bed, naked, with his husband. Natalia was asleep in her room, peaceful and calm and happy and loved. Gary reminded himself that he didn't need to check on her. That she was a light sleeper, and she'd wake up and then all three of them would be up until four in the morning, and they'd all be bleary-eyed and exhausted all day tomorrow.
"Same dream?" Chris asked. He nuzzled Gary's neck, then kissed his shoulder. Gary reached up to stroke his arm.
"Yeah," he said, his voice raw. "A little different, this time."
"In what way?"
"The first one was Jerry. But as a kid, you know? Like, ten, twelve years old. He was wearing one of his little bow-ties and his Star Wars vest under the tunic. The second one..." Gary took a deep breath to steady himself. "It was Nat."
"Ouch," Chris said with a wince. Gary nodded.
"I won't lecture you about how we had no choice again. I think you know. I think your brain has made your peace with it, and this is just your conscience, refusing to let go."
"Ayup," Gary said.
"Hey," Chris grabbed his chin and turned his head to kiss him tenderly on the lips. "That conscience is a part of what makes you so beautiful."
Gary smiled into the kiss.
"Come on now," he said when they pulled apart. "We both know you only want me for my body."
Chris slipped a hand down Gary's stomach and let it drift lower and lower.
"Well, how about that," he said when he found something interesting. "I think we both know that it's my body that somebody wants right now." Gary reached back.
"I'd say the feeling's mutual," he said. Chris moved around as Gary stretched his legs out to let the beautiful man straddle his lap. Their lips met as they intertwined the fingers of their hands. All thoughts of the nightmare fled Gary's mind as the blood rushed out to do other things.
As was usually the case when they woke up in the middle of the night for some hanky panky, Gary awoke with a sore neck and back. He stretched out, toes seeking the sheets and finding nothing but Chris' body, pressed to his side.
He opened his eyes to see that Chris was already looking at him. "You slept in," Chris said. "You're getting lazy in your dotage, old man." Gary turned to glance at the clock. 0527 hours.
"Seventeen minutes," he grumbled, sitting up and pushing his feet off the bed. There were the sheets, crumbled on the floor. Gary rolled his neck to work the stiffness out, then stretched his back.
He felt the bed jerk as Chris hopped out.
"Who's on KP this morning?" Chis asked, opening the underwear drawer and digging through. Both men were about the same size and shape, close enough to wear the same size clothes, so they'd long since combined their wardrobes into one. Chris found two pairs and tossed one to Gary, who caught it and stood to pull them on.
"It's your turn." Gary said, "But I think I'd like to get breakfast if you're okay with that."
"Grandma's?" Chris asked, referring to Gary's favorite greasy spoon.
"We can do something else if ya don't want that," Gary said. He opened the closet and found jeans for both of them, spinning suddenly and whipping one pair at Chris' head. Chris got a hand up, but not quite in time, and the legs wrapped around his head. Gary grinned at him as he got untangled.
"Well," Chris said primly as he extricated himself. "If that's how you're going to thank me for last night, I guess I can go back to pretending I still have a gag reflex."
"Let's not be too hasty now..." Gary said, but before he could go on, Chris whipped the jeans at him like a wet towel. The hem of one leg smacked into his back, just above his ass with a stinging crack, making Gary yelp and Chris grin.
"Truce!" Gary declared before his husband could fire again. Chris lowered the jeans and began to pull them on. Gary did the same with his pair, and then went digging into the closet again.
"Wanna coordinate today?"
"Get the long-sleeves. The two identical gray ones," Chris said. "Our pants already match, might as well match the tops, too."
"I take it you wanna wear the black boots, then?" Gary asked as he took the two gray shirts off the hangers and handed one to Chris.
"They're the only pairs we have that match."
Gary chuckled as he pulled his shirt on and tucked it into his pants. Chris tossed him socks and they sat down and pulled on their boots. When they were done, they admired each other for a moment.
"Twinsies," Chris said in an artificially cheerful, artificially high-pitched voice. Gary chuckled.
"Let's take Nat to IHOP," he said as he opened the door to get their daughter. "We ain't been in a bit."
"Works for me," Chris replied.
They hadn't quite finished their pancakes when Gary's phone rang. He looked at the number, then sighed and showed it to Chris.
"That's probably your first case," Chris said. Gary nodded. "Ayup. So I should take it." He pressed the accept button and held the phone up to his ear.
"Johnson," he said.
"Hey Gary," Inanna's voice said. "Hey, Anna," he responded.
"How's Chris and Nat doing?"
"They're good. We're just eating breakfast now, at IHOP."
"I'm jealous. Jerry's with the little ones today and I'm stuck in the office, running on coffee and a blueberry muffin from the break room."
"Figured you'd take the day off," Gary said. "What with it being the first day of summer break."
The waitress approached their table then. "Anyone need a refill? Anything to go? Or just the check?"
Gary held up a hand. "Am I gonna need to come into the office soon?"
"Uh... Probably. I've got a case for you, and you'll need to be briefed. And I think I might come with you. Mind magic might be useful here, and I know that's not really your thing."
"Want me to bring you breakfast?"
"Fuck yes," Inanna said with gusto. Gary chuckled and pressed the phone to his chest. "Can I get a menu? I'm gonna get a meal to go."
The waitress smiled and promised to be right back.
"What you want? Pancakes? French toast? Crepes? A big, hearty plate of eggs and potatoes and bacon?"
"Yes," Inanna said with a chuckle. "I'm famished."
"I'll do you one of the samplers and add some french toast, then," Gary said.
"Thank you, Gary."
"No problem. So give me the bird's-eye view."
Inanna sighed. "It's kids, Gary. I wouldn't have put something this heavy on you, except we don't have anyone else. Jack and Glenda are working another case up in the Rockies, John's up in New Jersey helping out with a kidnapping and both Clarence and Regina are on those killings up in Oregon."
She sighed again. "We've got three dead in a group foster home in the Baltimore suburbs, Franklin Green, to be specific. All three died in the middle of the night, one each night for the past three nights. The police reports said that each one woke up in a sweat, screamed the air out of their lungs and collapsed, dead. Preliminary autopsy results on the first showed tearing in the heart tissue, significant internal bleeding. The cops said the beds were soaked in blood."
Gary sighed. The waitress returned with the menu, and Gary used it to order Inanna's food. When he was done, she took off, promising to have it out shortly.
"Ayup. That sounds mighty weird."
"Cops called us when they got the third this morning. They're freaked out. The rest of the kids in that home and the caretakers are beside themselves."
"I'll tell ya what. I can be in Franklin Green in twenty minutes if I leave here. Why don't ya send me the address and we'll meet there. You can pass on the details to me as ya eat, I think I got enough to start with."
"Okay," Inanna said. "I'll leave the office in, say, fifteen minutes. How much for the food?"
"Don't worry about it," Gary said. Chris put a hand on Gary's arm. "I got it," he mouthed. Gary smiled at him.
"Okay, I'll see you there."
"Twenty minutes," Gary said and hung up.
"We'll take an Uber up to Gunpowder and have a nice hike," Chris said. "Maybe we'll stop by the safeway and pick up some supplies for a picnic." He looked at Nat. "Would you like that?"
"Hell yeah!" Nat said, kicking her legs happily and wiggling her butt back and forth as she shoved the last piece of pancake in her mouth." She grinned as she chewed.
Gary chuckled. The waitress returned with a pair of boxes and the check. Chris took it and muttered. "Military discount?"
"My dad was in the Army," the waitress explained. "You two wear it like a neon sign, no need to check IDs."
"Thank you, darlin'," Chris said, handing her the check back, along with his card. She took it to ring them up and Chris told Nat, "Say goodbye to Daddy. He's gotta go work."
"Bye Daddy!" Nat said, hopping up to come wrap her skinny arms around Gary's neck. He kissed her on the cheek and squeezed her back gently.
"Now, you heed your Dad, y'hear?"
"Yes, sir," Nat said. Gary smiled at her and booped her nose, eliciting a giggle. "That's my girl," he said.
"That ain't a lot to go on," Gary said as he and Inanna sat in Old Bess outside the group home. Inanna stuffed the last of her french toast into her mouth, dripping syrup on her lap.
"Shit," she muttered, grabbing a napkin and soaking up the condensation on the bottle of iced coffee she'd brought with her. She dabbed at the stain.
"I know," she said as soon as she swallowed. "But it's all we got."
Gary sighed. "Well, if you're done, let's go check the site. I'll interview, you scan for magic."
Inanna nodded and opened the door. "Mind if I leave this here for now?" she asked, gesturing at the empty food containers. "S'fine," Gary said. He climbed out and they both walked to the front door. He noticed that Inanna had a small handgun on her belt. He approved. It matched his G2C, which reminded him...
He produced his troll doll and clicked it to a belt loop using the small metal carabiner he'd had to replace the original plastic clip with. It was his good luck charm, his favorite of the collection that occupied a display cabinet in his living room. It had been with him through thick and thin, and it would make a good conversation starter with the kids, he thought.
Inanna knocked on the door, which was answered by a stressed-looking black man with a neat, short beard and a bald head. Gary felt the man magically. Patronly love, grief and stress came off of him.
Inanna and the man exchanged a few words and then she gestured to him.
"This is my partner, Gary Johnson. He's an Army vet as well." Gary stepped forward and offered the man a hand.
"Percy Washington," the man said in a deep, resonant voice. "Wrench monkey, oh-three to twenty-three."
"Pleasure to meet ya, Percy. I was a shooter, ninety-two to oh-twelve."
Percy chuffed a short laugh. "Couple of pensioners, then. Infantry?"
"Something like that," Gary said. Percy nodded, understanding what he was getting at.
"So Percy, can ya take me to one of the kids what saw what happened?"
"Yeah. Suzanne's still here. I had the others sent away, you know, for their protection, but Suzanne wouldn't stand for it. She flat refused to leave me and Beth."
Gary nodded. "Family's family, even if you had to find it."
Percy led him inside the large house, down a hall and to a small den with a TV on one wall and a thickly-upholstered couch on the other. A girl, about the same age as Nat sat there. She had bright red curls and a smattering of freckles across her face. The TV was playing a re-run of The Legend of Jimmy, from the first season. Suzanne was staring at it with haunted eyes. Gary blinked as he recognized the scene.
"Mighty strange coincidence," he said as he sat down next to the girl. She slowly turned her head to regard him.
"That's me," he said, as his counterpart on the screen tossed a grenade through a dilapidated factory door, waited for it to go off, then rushed in.
"Glenn Jackson?" the girl whispered.
"Gary Johnson, actually. They changed all our names for the show. The creator, my friend, Sookie, she wanted to give us the option of avoiding a lot of media attention."
She turned back to the television and watched as Glenn gunned down six men with ruthless efficiency.
"Is that how it really happened?" Suzanne asked.
"Sort of," Gary said. "Gunfire in a small space makes more smoke than you're seeing there. It's louder than the TV makes it sound, too. And I don't think there were any fellers in that particular room."
"But you rescued the girl?"
"Ayup. Found her hiding behind a couch, just like in the show. She was hurt, real scared, too. I got her out of there and back to our group."
"This is my favorite part," she said. Gary glanced over at Percy who nodded, then shook his head. Gary understood. Someone had hurt Suzanne before she came here. He sneered unconsciously and hoped his beard hid the expression. People who hurt kids... He called them and a few other types 'orcs'. Because they filled a role in his life that orcs did in fantasy books. People that the hero could kill in spades without ever having to feel guilty about it.
Gary and Suzanne sat in silence for a bit and watched the dramatic moment that Glenn found the naked Karen behind the couch. He watched as his counterpart put a large gun in her hands and she turned it on the greaser, bleeding out on the floor. He'd been dead in real life, but in the show, his eyes widened as he realized the girl he'd hurt would have her revenge.
The camera cut to a close-up on Karen's face as the flash of the shot lit it up. Three more flashes came in rapid succession, and then she gave the gun back and vomited on the floor.
Glenn held her hair back and rubbed her back as she convulsed, then pulled a large t-shirt from his pack and handed it to her. He stripped the shoes off the dead greaser and got Karen dressed.
The scene faded to black, and then expanded upon the meeting with Ishtar.
"You know, Inanna's here with me," he said.
"Ishtar?" Suzanne asked, not taking her eyes off the television. "Ayup. She's walking around, feeling out the magic in the house, right now. We can say hi, if you want. Maybe get some autographs before we go."
The people on screen chatted for a moment, then Ishtar ripped the head off the greaser she'd been holding hostage. Gary winced. Now that he thought about it, this was a little bit too violent for a child her age. He hadn't let Nat watch the show, yet. But Percy seemed like a good guy, and he clearly cared about his kids. Gary wouldn't second-guess his parenting.
Gary watched the characters vanish in the smokey heat-illusion visual effect that Sookie had picked to represent teleportation in the series, and then the credits rolled.
"Did you guys come here just to meet me?" Suzanne asked.
"Sort of," Gary said. "I need to talk to you, ask you some questions about what happened."
Suzanne nodded.
"Can you tell me? Just tell me the whole story of what happened to the others."
"I only saw Jerry die," Suzanne said in a small voice. A flash of the dream that had woken Gary up last night went through his head, but he dismissed the mental image. Jerry was a common enough name.
"I had a nightmare that night. A dark man came. He chased me through the house, but I hid in the attic and he couldn't find me for a while. I woke up when he opened the attic door.
"I was sitting in bed when Jerry woke up. He looked at me and said 'the dark man', then he started screaming. It woke everybody up. He screamed so loud his voice broke, and then he started bleeding out of his mouth and he fell over in bed."
Her voice had cracked worse with each word, and she sobbed the last few. Gary tried to gauge the girl, feeling her emotional state. She was afraid and sad of course. But she felt alone, too. She'd been an only child for a while, living with parents, real or foster, who didn't care about her. Until she'd come here, Gary guessed. He could feel where the wounds had started to heal, here in the group home with Percy and Beth and the other children. But then this happened, tearing the old wounds open.
Gary went for it. He wrapped the girl in his arms and pulled her into his torso, letting his shirt soak up her tears.
"I know, darlin'," he said gently. His own voice cracked with remembered pain. "I seen my friends die, too. I know what you're feeling."
She clung to him and cried for a long moment. Percy still stood in the doorway, his face a mask of sympathetic pain, blended with his own pain.
After a good while, Suzanne began to calm down.
"I wanna go lay down," she said.
"That's fine, honey," Percy told her. "You can go lay in me and Missus Beth's bed, if you want."
She stood and turned to walk through the door, but stopped.
"Are you here to kill the dark man?" she asked Gary.
"I think I might be, darlin'," he told her.
"When you do... Will you give me the gun? Like in the show?" Gary winced. This girl was too young for that, he was sure.
"We'll see," he told her. She nodded, accepting that, then turned and left.
"Jesus," Gary breathed.
"She's been through a lot," Percy said. "Her mother was one of those cultists from the show. So was her father, most likely, but nobody knows who that is. CFA found her when she was four, living in a roach-infested trailer with her mom, who was strung out on meth at the time. She had scars from cigarette burns on her arms."
Percy sighed. "The first foster family that took her turned out to be... A bad fit. They couldn't deal with a child who had trauma like that. They ended up locking her in her room and going out together a few times before the case worker found out and brought her to us instead."
"I hope them two ain't fostering any more kids," Gary said.
"They won't tell us what happened, but I heard through the grapevine they've been blacklisted," Percy confirmed. Gary nodded in satisfaction.
"She tell you what happened?" he asked. Percy shrugged.
"Same thing she told you."
"You notice the two parts about the 'dark man'?" Gary asked. Percy nodded. "I did, but I don't know anything about this stuff. I told the detective about it. I think it was her that called you guys."
"That sounds about right," Gary said. "Which was was Jerry? I mean, what order did the three pass in?"
Percy sighed again. "First, it was Candy. Then Jerry, then Martin."
"Did Candy say anything about a dark man? Or was there something else that could have inspired Suzanne's nightmare?"
"You think it was a coincidence?" Percy asked with a frown. Gary shrugged. "Maybe. I'm trying to rule that out."
Percy raised his hands in a helpless gesture. "Okay," he said. "Candy, right before she died..." He sniffed and angrily rubbed his eyes. "I made it into her room, because she was sleeping with Lacy, and woke her up when she sat up in bed. Lacy called us, probably tattling on Candy, she's like that, you know? Anyways, I went to see what was the matter, and I caught what Candy said. She said 'he's coming', right before she started screaming."
"Hmm. What about the last one, Martin?"
"I don't know. Martin had his own room. He might have said something, we didn't hear him until he started screaming."
Gary nodded.
"Thank you," he said. He walked up and put a hand on Percy's shoulder and spoke in a quiet voice. "I got a little girl of my own. I can't imagine what you're going through, right now."
Percy nodded and scowled at the floor. When he turned his face up to meet Gary's eyes, his were steely and angry.
"I just want this to stop," he said. "And if there's someone or something behind it, I want that person or thing or whatever... I want it dead."
Gary nodded. He patted Percy's shoulder. "Let me go check on my partner," he said. Percy turned with him. "Beth should be showing her the rooms where it happened. Come on. This place is a maze."
Percy led him through three halls to a stairwell, then up it and through two more halls until Gary could hear Inanna's voice.
"...not sure. I'm just gathering information right now. But it does look like that."
Gary stepped into the room the voices were coming from to find Inanna and a middle-aged, redheaded woman with long, straight hair, wearing a heavy metal T-shirt. The redhead turned to him as soon as she spotted him and held out a hand.
"Beth Washington," she said, her voice choked and raw.
"Gary Johnson," he said, shaking her hand. Beth nodded and let his hand go to stare at a bloodstained bed that had been stripped of sheets. Two more beds filled the room.
Gary turned to Inanna. "What'cha got?" he asked.
"There's something here," Inanna said. "A spirit or a deva, maybe. Not an asura, I don't think. It doesn't feel powerful enough for that. This is a tricky creature."
Gary nodded. "What can ya tell about it?"
Inanna shrugged. "Not much. I caught a glimpse of it, though. It looked like a tall man, perpetually cloaked in shadows."
"The dark man," Gary muttered. He felt the air as best he could. Even though he was nowhere near as proficient as Inanna, he could feel it. A dark, sinister presence, waiting to strike again.
submitted by MjolnirPants to JerryandtheGoddesses [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:00 mossbottle Men's shirt sizing (way too small)

My shirt size is always a M or L (button-up, sweaters, just plain t-shirts etc.). (edit: I'm in the US, if that makes a differene re sizing of shirts) I just ordered a bunch of shirts, all size L, and most of them fit like they are S or even XS. I could barely fit them over my head! I was so confused I even double checked the size on the tags and also my orders to make sure I didnt accidentally order them in kids sizes.
Here's a photo of one of the shirts size L on top of a size L t from American Apparel: One of the shirts fit normally lol Have others had this experience? I also read many reviews of each of the items - everyone says the fit is "true to size", and I see pictures of guys who look bigger than me saying they're wearing S. What gives? Am I missing something about the way sizing works on Shein? I'm returning everything and planning to re-order them all in XL or XXL... And here's the link to the Shein shirt, you can see most people are not wearing it super tight:
submitted by mossbottle to SHEIN_ [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:59 CountyCreepy1387 First Chapter of BLOOD RED

Vampire Red
Red woke up craving a cigarette. She also wanted blood, but unlike blood, her body would no longer tolerate cigarettes. Since her body reconstructed itself into the same turned state after resting, she would always want tobacco.
"Better than true death," she thought.
She rolled over and slapped off the alarm. It was the middle of the night─one in the afternoon. She shoved the shoulder of her husband, snoring peacefully beside her.
“Time to wake up. I am ready to ride," she said, and when he didn't move, she hit him on the shoulder.
“Ow! Bitch"
"Then get your lazy butt out of bed. We are meeting Spider and Boulder at the Moonlight," she said.
"If I had known being married came with hen pecking─" Eli dodged the next shot to the shoulder.
"You knew what I was when you married me, Sweetie."
He sighed and said, "Let's shower and have breakfast."
They were both naked, so the shower was just feet away. They scrubbed each other clean and played. Eli had been shaved when turned, so he always woke up cleanly shaved. He rarely told others since that just pissed off the men. Luckily for Red, she had been freshly waxed and also never mentioned it to her girlfriends. But her weight annoyed her.
Eli got glasses of Type-A for both of them, he was very partial to Type-AB negative, but that could not be bribed out of a blood bank at almost any price. They sat together, enjoying each other's company. Red had three glasses since her metabolism was not completely stable yet.
"Alright, time for us to get ready," Red kissed Eli on the Cheek.
Eli dressed quickly and went to get the bike out of the garage. It took longer for Red. As good-looking as the catsuits were, they were a bitch to get on. She struggled to get on her boots with only three-inch heels, as she felt she was tall enough. She grabbed her UV Blocking helmet and went to join her husband. She locked the front door, and Eli started the Harley.
Her husband was six-three, though not as thick as Boulder, but plenty big enough to be a proper escort for a girl of her size. She put her foot on the back peg and swung up behind him. Eli put the bike in gear, went down the driveway, and curved out into and down the street. Eli lived further out I-45 than Boulder, off Kuykendall Rd. Reaching I-45, he turned south toward town. Eli went through Houston, turning onto 288 going south. He went under 288 on Rosharon Rd and then proceeded north to the Moonlight.
They entered the parking lot, Eli Stopped near the front door, and Red got off the bike. She sighed. She missed being the doorkeeper, deciding who was acceptable and who wasn't. Eli parked the bike, came up to her, and escorted Red inside the bar. They went to the back partition and joined the gathering group.
Eli and Red took off their helmets. Eli gave a girl a twenty and asked if she would be willing to get a couple of pitchers of beer. The girl went without protest since she knew Eli and Red were Vampires and must stay behind the partition. When she returned, he told her to keep the change and poured Red and himself half a cup of beer.
Red, Violet, Dahlia, and Blanche were gabbing away. When Red asked where Calida was, they informed her that Dahlia and Calida were now both living with Scruffy, so only one came on Scruffy's bike at a time.
Red giggled, "And he is still alive? If I remember correctly, Calida had almost exhausted him to death."
Spider spoke up, "He stepped up, but he is getting a little gray in his hair."
Scruffy shouted from down the table, "That's a lie; they're blond highlights!"
Everybody laughed at that response. Dahlia hugged him, "They're just jealous, baby!"
Violet leaned over to Red and asked, "How are you, really?"
"Hungry, but on the order of being on a diet. Very controllable, but not exactly fun," Red said, "But it is getting easier as time goes on."
Violet replied with sympathy, "You are doing better than any new Vampire I have ever heard of. Your husband is a good man."
"But I haven't finished training him yet."
Violet laughed, "If you get it done, please tell the rest of us girls."
Red was about to respond when a girl came running up and said, "I heard Red is back?"
Before anyone could stop her, she came around the partition and stopped in her tracks, "What happened? You don't even look like yourself," the girl asked.
Everyone held their breath. Red paused and said, "The nastiest rehab you can imagine, my Dear!"
"I am so sorry, and I have got to be going. Be good!" She said and quickly left. Everybody looked at each other and smiled.
Violet cautioned her, "You scared her to death. Be careful what you tell people with that intensity. She probably imagines her worst hospital horror fantasy."
"That will keep her quiet anyway!"
Violet responded, "That it will!"
Later in the evening, Bob, the owner, came over. "How am I going keep the tourists out without you blowing smoke in their faces?" He kissed her on the Cheek.
"So you want me to train my replacement!" Red quipped.
"Nobody will replace you; welcome back!"
The evening was fun. The members of the group stopped by all night, welcoming Red back into the fold.
At about ten, Eli and Red packed up and drove North to home. They were riding up the long stretch of Kuykendall from the interstate to their neighborhood. They pulled into the driveway, opened the garage, and put the bike inside.
After closing and locking the garage, they went through the garage hallway interlocks into the kitchen. When Red was human, they installed all the Boulder Modifications. They were still just as valuable.
They set their helmets on the shelf just inside the hallway door and started toward the bedroom to get out the Daylight Rigs.
The doorbell rang. Looking at the monitor, they saw two men in suits were standing on the porch.
submitted by CountyCreepy1387 to vampires [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:59 flimfloms Having owned the same, basic kitchen bin for nearly 4 years and STILL not being able to find bin liners for it which fit without ripping!

submitted by flimfloms to britishproblems [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:59 Batchman2 HELP! I'm Trapped in Forest Frontiers and Can't Get Out!

Well, kind of. I keep replaying the scenario again and again, trying to get a near-perfect park. Because I'm trying to make it as nice as possible, each play-through takes several days, and even when I impress myself, I know I may not impress others.
So this post is to show off my latest attempt, ask for some thoughts, ask if anyone knows where I can try to get a couple of bits of scenery for a couple of areas, point out a couple of problems, etc.
First off, I use a lot of cheats for money in here, right at the beginning, to buy up all the land and build a mountain in the back corner of the map. But the game keeps track of it, and before the end of year one, I still manage to get everything paid back.
My Pirate Isle area seems to be coming together fairly nicely. I use a lot of custom rides, and theme with both the game standard pirate theming and some from Amazing Earl. I've got an inverted hairline coaster running with Earl's Peter Pan pirate ship cars circling the land, providing both a bit of a scenic view, and a coaster with quite decent stats. The animated giant squid and shark fins also come from Earl. There's a row boat ride circling a small treasure island, and a large pirate ship 'fighting' with a British warship. I've used a track for the row boat ride to keep things moving, but used the tile inspector to make it invisible, which may look better, but leaves the water looking a little more empty in the process. Thoughts on where to find more pirate scenery or how to improve the area would be appreciated.
I have a neat custom ride I learned to make from a YouTube video called Leap Frog (low launched freefall with a roto-drop car and a lift hill edited in which causes it to bounce gently a few times) which gets great stats for a sort of kiddie ride. I've themed it pretty nicely already, but two things I would love to add if I could find them would be a giant animated frog for right at the entrance, and if such a thing is even possible, three linked animated items which would be put right next to each other ... two lily pads with medium-sized frogs on them and an empty space in between. The frogs would occasionally leap between the two pads, passing through the center space. Don't know if this would even be possible, but if it would be, would look kind of cool. Also in the same photo, Earl's bounce house ride, surrounded by his walls and with a roof added looks fairly nice to me. (Used the ride vehicle editor to allow 8 people 'on the ride' because 4 seems a little limited to me.)
The other place I would love to find a bit of custom scenery is for the small inverted coasters that I have under the name of Bee Line. I have a few animated wasps helping to decorate this that come from the generic scenery, I'm pretty sure, but would be nice to have actual bees instead of wasps. I actually quite like and approve of these kinds of compact coasters that can still provide a somewhat exciting ride. Especially in a small park like Forest Frontiers, you're not going to be able to add in tons of huge coasters, but some small coasters that still provide some thrills, I think people could still enjoy them, even without absolutely raving about them.
The final place I could use a nice piece of animated scenery would be on the Black Widow mobius coaster, which has a couple of giant spiders, but they aren't actually black widows. Anyone ever seen a black widow animated scenery piece anywhere? This coaster was originally created by Stu, but I edited it to add in a couple of loops, in the process making it about 70% larger. Next time maybe I'll just stick to the more compact design. Also a problem ... while the stations do line up and share a tile next to each other, and it is set up for syncronized stations, for some reason it refuses to syncronize, lowering throughput slightly. Anyone have any thoughts on what's wrong?
In the Timber Mountain region of the park (can anyone guess what I grew up near) the area started with the park's train running through it, and a small Indian village on the top of one of the mountains (which you can barely see through the trees, but the land looks barren if you don't have a lot of trees.) The first ride created for the areas is a basic splash boat, followed by a log ride. Didn't want the log ride in the way too much, but also didn't want it to be too short or too limited, so it starts out on the bank of the lake, lifts up into the mountain, then heads into a cave, takes a drop underground and winds around UNDER the lake for a small distance, then comes back up and out of the mountain, interacting with the splash boats slightly.
Third was a powered mine train ride that was supposed to be a slow, scenic journey around the land, something along the lines of the Calico Mine Ride, but even with the ride editor, it seems to be impossible to get the powered mine train to run at a fairly slow speed, so it ends up being a full-blown roller coaster that I mostly regret building. Lots of custom flat rides, including a petting zoo, logging museum, wilderness museum, stunt show, and bucking bulls, plus the haunted house. Then I added on a runaway mine train, mostly circling the whole land, but also doing a little twisting and turning around the mountain and lake, and I'm mildly pleased with the way it came out. Finally, also ran a mine car wild mouse through the area, first running a small under ground section, then interacting with the water rides and train rides. Used scenery bits to hide much of the supports to keep the lake and the Indian canoes from being completely hidden under supports.
That should have been the end for the Timber Mountain area, but wasn't paying enough attention, and didn't leave myself room to build a water slide to get my six water rides to be able to win the best water rides award, and the smallest ride I could find to put in was a second rapids ride which I built on top of a couple of other rides in the Timber Mountain area. I don't like doing that, it looks halfway ugly, and even after a lot of work, it gets terrible stats. Yuck!
Maybe now I will finally convince myself to move on to Dynamite Dunes ... getting tired of Forest Frontiers. Thoughts?
submitted by Batchman2 to rct [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:58 pbjoel Where do I start? How do I know where I want to go?

I (20) have been struggling with the idea pretty horribly for most of the latter half of my life. Today, all that I really know about my gender is that I am AMAB, but I've been swinging from branch to branch as far as what I feel like which label fits me best. For the past few months I have been identifying as nonbinary, but I'm still not entirely sure if that's right. I've identified as a woman, genderfluid, and agender in the past, but nothing has completely stuck with me to the point where I feel completely comfortable in my own body.
I guess this is a little too rant-y than I'd like, but I've never really talked about this with anyone before, seeing as how I don't feel comfortable with anyone that I know -- and here I am talking about it on Reddit, of all places...
Nevertheless, I have been considering what the next step is in my journey to figure out who I "really am", so I've come here for some advice. In short... what's next? Gender therapy? Starting HRT? I hope that the kind people in this community can help me find some direction where I currently feel completely lost. Thank you in advance for your words of wisdom, advice, or encouragement.
TL;DR: I'm not really sure what steps I should take to start my journey into exploring a possible transition. Any help would be greatly appreciated <3
submitted by pbjoel to asktransgender [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:58 GenuineUprising Tried IX again with Moguri Mod. FFIX IS EXCELLENT.

I played it last time with the PS4 remaster, I thought it was good, but didn't really enjoy it, the remaster was crappy with horrible backgrounds and textures, and the cheats available with the click of a button made it hard to play properly.

With Moguri Mod, FF9 really shines, the textures are beautiful, but it really speedens up the gameplay, I picked the turnbased option, it's like playing FF9 with the battle system of FF10, and all I can say IT IS EXCELLENT. I had to switch back to the OG MIDI music, Orchestral remakes just don't do it for me, also the PSX Font is a must.

The game is very consistent and great nearly almost all of the time with great pacing with the speed mods. The writing and story really shine for me this time. What a difference a good remaster makes. I don't see why this can't be added to the PS4/5 and Switch Remasters with a Patch update...

It really changes everything. I always knew FF9 was great, but really enjoyed it more through a backseat experience as it was too slow. This is what FF9 was meant to be. I hope the remake carries everything through.
submitted by GenuineUprising to FinalFantasy [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:58 wolferwilder Never think it's a coincidence

At the time I'm writing this I'm 17 years old and this all happened a little over a week ago. For a little background information, I live in a small rural town and have always been a very paranoid person. I often stay home alone, especially at night, due to my mom's job and my dad will often disappear for odd jobs around town at random times in the day and night. My brother also lives with us but he likes to leave to either stay at my sister's across town or stays a few nights at his friends house. Lately a lot of people have gone missing in nearby cities and towns between the ages of 1-18, even a few newborns, which never eased my paranoia. So whenever I'm home alone I make sure to lock the doors, I never have to worry about the windows due to them either being blocked or have an ac unit in them. I only ever go outside if I need to take my mom's dog Ava and my brothers dog Molly outside to use the bathroom or need to get something out of the deep freezer. So one morning I was home alone and would be until at least eight at night when my dad would get home. I had decided to let Ava and Molly outside to go use the bathroom and pull something out of the deep freezer to cook for dinner. Ava started growling and refused to leave the patio while Molly just stayed near her, which was odd since Ava was very playful and had never growled once her whole life. I decided to look across the street at the empty field at just saw a man standing in the grass near the woods. I could make out some minor features on him though, he had short brown hair, blue long sleeve shirt, and shorts. It was a little weird and made me uncomfortable but I brushed it off thinking to myself it was just someone camping just to make myself feel better. Ava and Molly wouldn't leave the patio and stayed near me so I just took them inside. As I took them inside a large white van had drove past the house a little slow but I just thought it was nothing and ignored it. Later in the day I decided to take the dogs out again and sit on the porch steps as I play on my phone as they do their business. After a few minutes I looked up from my phone as the dogs ran up to me to go back inside and saw the same white van from earlier pass by the house again, it made me a little paranoid but I just ignored it and just thought it was a coincidence as I took the dogs inside, making sure to lock the door just in case. Around 6 I decided to start making dinner, since I like to go to bed early. Halfway through cooking at around 6:20 Ava started scratching at the front door to use the bathroom, but when I went to open the front door I felt uneasy and scared. I unlocked it and opened it slightly to look outside and saw the white van from earlier in the driveway, I couldn't see the driver the in the passenger seat I saw the man that I saw near the woods talking to the driver before getting out. I immediately shut and locked the door and went to my parents room where my dad had his guns and locked myself in there with the dogs as I called my dad knowing he would be at the house faster than the police. As I waited for my dad to get to the house I called the police as I heard the guy trying and open the back door near my parents room. As I waited I heard the guy bang and try to open the door for about 5 minutes before he quit. After another 5 minutes I heard my dad come into the house and yell for me. The guys who were in the white van had left shortly before my dad got home and the police showed up shortly after him. After I gave a description of the man I saw to the officer he left and my dad stayed home with me the rest of the night and when my mom came home he explained everything to her. My mom works at a local convenience store and after my dad told her what happened and I said what the guy who tried to break in looked like she went pale. She had just seen them at the store getting gas just an hour before her shift ended. A few minutes later we all got an amber alert for a girl about 12 years old who went missing in town, and the description of the guy and the vehicle she was taken in matched the description of the guy who tried to break into my house. If it hadn't been for the fact that I always lock the doors I don't think I would be here telling this story today.
submitted by wolferwilder to Horror_stories [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:58 antonio_inverness Ascendant Art: A new AI avatar app that pays artist royalties

Does anyone know about this new startup? It looks like users can create an avatar from a limited number of style options, like from a menu. So basically it appears to be a series of models fine-tuned on specific artists who participate in the platform.
But what dataset are the fine-tuned models operating on top of? Surely it cannot just be using the art that has been submitted by that individual artist. That would be nowhere near enough data. I couldn't find anything on the site with more details. Nor could I find more information in the many articles that have essentially reprinted the company's press release.
My fear is that this company is essentially taking advantage of people's ignorance of how AI systems actually work—a sort of greenwashing, if you will to hit people's hot-button concerns about "ethical" AI. I don't personally think that the base models are unethical to begin with. But if they are, then fine-tuning on top of them doesn't magically make them ethical. Someone tell me if I have the tech wrong.
As of a couple weeks ago, "nearly two dozen artists" had signed up. (No snark.)
submitted by antonio_inverness to aiwars [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:58 LadyElfriede LadyElfriede's Reviewless Review Recs of May!

Note: I make fun of books and authors, so if you really can’t take being poked at, Spindle Manor will do the poking for you with their long, sexy legs,

Table of Contents: ctrl + f:

Updates: #
Stats: ^
Recs: *
Conclusion: @
Answers: ~
Theme: Ö


Welcome back to Reviewless Review Recs of May!
A short introduction to this post: Every book is recommended, regardless of how bad it is or not. You have the brain capacity to decide if you like it or not, don’t let a stranger make a decision for you.
I speak in the second POV and describe what the book is actually about, and not the false advertising of publishing companies. I do this with shitty jokes and satire and try to convince you to pick up the book, regardless of how I feel about it.
Unlike Hoover, all books deserve a chance….Sigh, OK, fine, fine, Barbara. Even….Even...Eleventh Cycle.

May was filled with disappointment that a jury vote existed and the king of Finland didn’t win Eurovision. The world unanimously cried, but couldn’t be that mad that Loreen won.
Except this bitch.
I fucking wanted Alika to win so badly. I even voted and paid for the first time to give all my votes to her. Her song spoke to me and touched me that it’s never too late to go back to my work.
If Bomanz from Black Company can become a famous sorcerer at his rickety age, maybe we can too!
My favorites of Eurovision (from music videos only, I feel like every one of my favs bombed someway except Finland, France, and Norway):
Czechia (wtf was that live performance...)

In ACTUAL book news, I’ve been waiting patiently for the library to hand me the newest Mark Lawrence book that I’ve been waiting literally 3 and a half weeks now, but I still get bumped down on Libby...for some reason. Eh.
Also since I managed to finish “She Who Rides the Storm”, I finally started “Elantris”. Was a long time coming but was saving it for a while and thought it was finally time to tackle Sanderson. I started Way of Kings with the paperback version and boy, that was a mistake for my ADHD…
And, that’s why I got a Kindle last year.
Anywho, let’s get started!

Some Updates: #

Stats: ^
Books read this month: 10
Books I started*:* 13
Total amount of words I read (approx): 1,050,508 (-414,261,565) according to last month...I read way more. Not sure why the numbers are this drastic
Books published 2010+ : 8 (N/A)
Mary Sues & John Smiths: 11, give or take (7+)
YA books: 5 (+4)
Good smut scenes: 1 (+1?) I think it was in the Witcher, say what you will about the series, the man knows how to write smut
Light Novels read: 0 (-2)
Books that felt Souls-like: 6 (+2)
Audiobooks: 4 (N/A)
How many brain cells I lost: 529 (+500)
Brain cells gain: 175 (N/A)

What other stats do you guys want to see?

Guessing Game:
Want to know the real rating I gave each of these books anyway, even though the true spirit of this post is to decide for yourself anyway? I know there’s one of you fuckers in here, but here, guess the ratings and the answers are revealed at the end. You anarchist, you.

Reviewless Review Recs: \*

Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb*:* Read if you're in the ages 14-18, as this is possibly the most edgiest thing you might read about fictional Italy. Two teens are trying to solve a murder mystery in an alternate universe where Catholicism reigns supreme. Wait.
As an adult, this is a living personification of that one prozd video.
If you ever played Phoenix Wright, you’ll figure out the murderer in 5 seconds. If you haven’t, then maybe this would come as a surprise.
Atheism is talked about on the nose, you can't stop thinking about “Friends” because of "Roz" being mentioned every other second, and our intrepid MC goes to horny jail every other second when she's literally fighting for her life and not focusing on a gun that could disembowel her.
PTSD of war is represented by the male MC who probably once could be have been the trope of the “nice guy” in school that you never had had interest in, but 3 years later, because he sported 5 o’ clock shadow and has a barotone voice, he’s automatically hot.
Oh, and there are token bi, POC, and elderly people, but they’re only mentioned for a few pages, so don’t expect that much diversity. You think Archer, Maas, and Lobb could actually be friends with each other given how they write their books. A secret society. cough

Ö Theme: Heat Waves – Lime:
Ö Runner up clip: Moist maker (this sandwich is actually GOAT, made it several times):
Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman :
Read if Percy Jackson wasn’t edgy and dark enough for you and need something similar. Uniorinically, this is actually not satire but an actual (sorta) rec. Structure is similar to Jackson but with none of the jovial themes and tropes. Think “Lightning Thief”, only dark and edgy with grotesque monsters and, not urbanite Greek deities, but evil people from the Crusades era.
You keep thinking you’ll meet the 4th character in the Sanderson reunion tour, but there’s actually only 3 characters that are on this journey, not 4. So that Italian will actually not join us even though you liked his character a ton and curse at yourself at a potential LGBT partner dude. One day.
You will also find yourself crying, not because of how the story ended, but how the epilogue ended and boot up AO3 to fix everything.
You probably should(n’t) give this book to your aunt for reasons you know in the back of your mind but your evil AF. Maybe offer this to at Christmas and explain that it’s a book about a pilgrimage...(which isn’t totally wrong) but you’re a little bastard that is gonna get an ass whopping next Christmas, but it’ll be worth it.

Ö Theme: Alika- Bridges:

Time of Contempt (Volume (???)) by Andrzej Sapkowski (Witcher)
Read if you want to see Geralt turn into a woke ally Boomer, Yennefer going to relationship counseling, and Ciri gets her wish in more ways than one. If you’re comparing Witcher books with each other, quality has gone up since Blood of Elves if that’s what you’re concerned about. We also see the Abyss Watchers making an appearance and then you think of Jerma’s Rat song in your head for inexplicable reasons.
This book is mostly about Yennefer trying to employ questionable (albeit understandable) parenting tactics on Ciri and being caught up in the after math.
As usual, book is dated towards rape, but the only saving grace is it’s “off screen” and not in your face, “Eleventh Cycle”, knock that shit off
Let’s be real, you can’t treat this series as a separate unique book to it’s own, it’s more of a long ass story that Sapkowski decided for marketing reasons to space it out in 300+ page books.
If you ask me what makes this more interesting than the previous books, it will be like asking me which regional orange looks different and bitch, I don’t got energy for that shit.
Ö Theme: Rats Birthday Mixtape

The Curse of the Spectre Queen / The Rise of the Snake Goddess by Jenny Moke
Read if you like to imagine Indiana Jones as a teenage girl, but loves books. Instead of meeting hot girls, we meet hot 1920s men, which you get to decide how good or bad that is.
The BAMF slays and you wish we had her as our Jones instead of our shy book loving MC, but hey, at least this MC has at least one quality to her that has way more personality that anything Shannon can hope to write in her stories. (Yes I know she writes her books as if they were history books, that’s not the point, Meredith)
Spectre Queen’s plot is literally another book that will make you hug trees and will lead our characters across to Ireland. The next book is about a girdle, that you literally had to Google wtf a girdle was. You first thought it was a grill.
You wonder if the publishing agency struck a deal with the Irish and Crete travel agencies.
You also make a startling discovery that these characters are your OC from high school and middle school and your love interest OC from college mashed up into an adventure book that is oddly less erotic than anything Maas could create. You decide how good or bad that is.
Ö Theme: Indiana Jones Theme Song:

Mordew by Alex Pheby
Read if you want to read an MC bland as hard tack inherit powers that don’t make sense till past the 70% mark. You want to read a dark YOUTH ADULT novel. Can’t find anything that’s edgy and dark enough for you? Well, here it is!
Dark mansion with Igor from the Velvet Room with an obvious villain being obvious, befriending a young boy that supposedly wants the best for him.
What can go wrong?
There are Souls-like elements weaved in, but you’re not going to see much of it. It’s mostly a vibe/fart than a plot or atmosphere.
What this book is pretty much: boy wants to help dad, there are weird monsters living in the mud, and a mansion that totally wants to abduct/help kids. Totally. Oh, and be aware, animals die in this book. A lot. An entire species is pretty much annihilated for teenage hormonal reasons that won’t make sense even if you’re still a teen. (Yes, I was one too and I also didn’t go on genocides. Thanks, Dad, you are a gem.). Oh, and someone fucked an anthropomorphized hedgehog along the way. Yeah. That happened.
If you go into this book, DO NOT READ THE BLURB! It ruins the whole plot of the entire book. If you buy/rent it, don’t you dare flip to the back side. Just open to the first chapter and start reading. You’re welcome, Matt.
Ö Theme: La Zarra – Evidemment Unironically, I think this song fits rather well with Mordew

Ö Runner up clip: Running in the 90s: You know why...

She Who Rides the Storm by Catelin Sangster
Read if you like Sanderson and wished he focused more on the characters rather than the world building. You also like the ooey gooey feeling of finding a red/blue ship that you wished was the main pairing, but you’ll have to settle them being the side ship. Oh god, why, every single time?!
While it does have romance tilt to it, this book focuses more on finding a cure for a mysterious illness and two of the characters are refugees from a religious cult that loves sunshine and that one weird horse mount from the Empire Strikes Back that you couldn’t take the auroshees seriously because of that.
Imagine that desert bar scene in A New Hope, but make it a whole book. But make it about a heist as a side plot that is barely touched on until the last 20% of the novel.
You also love doing puzzles in your spare time as you’ll be doing a lot of piecing together of the plot and world building from chapter to chapter. Unlike my problems, this one is pieceable and the last remaining piece is dangled over your head until the next book.
...Sangster is probably going to make you pay $20 for this singular piece, ain’t she?
Ö Theme: First Aid Kit - The Lion’s Roar:
Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
Read if you want to have a blunt conversation with Bourdain about food, the faults of the kitchens, what not to do if you want to be a chef, and to be transported to the deepest, darkest alley where you might be knifed, but goddamn, the best chicken heart can be found here.
If you’re a bitch that’s easily spooked by curse words, then this probably isn’t for you. can sneak this to your cook boyfriend if you want to break up, because he already read the fucking book, Berta, I thought you knew him better by now!...Now you can finally segway to break up. Congratulations!
You’ll see the workings of a mind that was suffering. That was the reflection of this entire autobiography. Suffering and food. That’s life in reality, ain’t it?
Don’t expect cohesion or a semblance of logical flow of pacing. This book, like Mr. Bourdain’s mind, was a cluster fuck of erotically describing food, the dark corners and reality of the cooking world, and shitting on people because they were dicks.
He is sorely missed, and this isn’t a bit, but I still mourn his loss to the world. The world needs him again.
RIP to the GOAT.
Ö Theme: Okami – Sei-an (Aristocratic Quarter II) (Because he’s timeless and immortal even beyond death)
Skullduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Read if you got tired of everything happy and sunshine in Percy Jackson and wanted blood, death, knives, SKELETONS, AND 12 year olds that are surprisingly self aware of the fact that they’re a teenager. You want less consumerism and capitalism than what Percy Jackson pushed down your throat. Finally, no mentions of those fucking gold arches, Riordan.
Oddly, no parents are dead in this book. In every YA book you read, there is at least one parent dead, gone to get milk, or playing Tears of the Kingdom. Pleasant surprise for this narrator.
You are also a person that hates world building that lastS for pages and pages. There’s none of that in this book. Expect pages of dialogue like it’s a transcript of my parent’s arguments.
Mom, I don’t agree with you. No, I don’t agree with you either, Dad. You fucking little….Just plant the damn fig tree, for fuck’s sake.
From other sources, apparently the book series gets darker as books go on, so take that as you will. Listening to Eminem and Linken Park between books may increase levels of angst in the subsequent books.
Side effects include: angst, a potentially bi-found family that lasts 10 seconds, fear of skeletons, mourning for fictional characters, and teenagers being oddly logical.
Post script: This would actually make an excellent autumnal book cause of spoopy skeletons.
Ö Theme: Lose Yourself – Eminem: (I was yesterday old when I realized “Mom’s spaghetti” lyrics was this song)
Ö Runner up clip: Spooky scary skeletons
The White Rose (Volume 3 of the Black Company) by Glen Cook
Read if you liked having Charm flashbacks of Volume 1, but want a great dopamine rush in Volume 3.
Night Circus got nothing on this book for reasons you’ll figure out later. Expect a lot of weird crack shenanigans such as talking rocks just to name an example. The Lady’s character is fleshed out a lot more than previous volumes. Twists and turns are aplenty and Croacker complaining he’s too old like an old grandpa shopping 10 AM at a Walmart.
Funny enough, Morgenstern is a lot related to this book in more ways than one. Move over, lady, Cook was the original writer of Night Circus, caramel popcorn and candy apples be damned! We’re eating crusty bread and thickened stew, bitch!
You’re not going to be at the edge of your seat until the last percentage of the book, but it’s worth the dopamine rush and emotions that are given in the end, long after you put the book down. You will find yourself wandering around the library wondering how you returned from a reality of flying manta rays and talking old ass Swedes loitering in the lobby, discussing where to fika next.
You’ll need a lot of Monsters to process your emotions tonight.
You also finally figure out where Miyazaki got the inspiration for the Storm King in Demon Souls. All this time, you got mad at Miyazaki for inserting a giant manta ray for disappointing climax reasons. No. He may have understood Black Company more than we thought.
Coleydoesthings is also screaming at the top of her lungs by the end of the book, crying into her body pillow.
Ö Theme: MSR – Lord of the Wolves: (Someone help me on the EX Stages omfg)
Conclusion: @
I’ll be traveling soon, so the books might be on the short side, but my dumbass quality will remain. Just sprinkled with a lot of curry, chapati, and a big helping of obesity.
God, my thighs can’t take anymore of America.
I think I’ll have fun reading Elantris cause it’s literally a love letter to Soulsbourne and I might learn a bit from it! Can’t wait for it!
I know it’s not book related too much, but what were y’alls favorite in Eurovision?
(Did anyone feel like Armenia just spent money to send that girl an expensive Tinder profile?)
Answers: ~
Seven Faceless: 2/5
Between Two Fires: 3/5
Time of Contempt: 4/5
Curse and Snake: 3.95/5 & 4/5
Mordew: 1.5/5
She Who Rides the Storm: 3.9/5
Skullduggery: 3/5
Medium Raw: 4/5
White Rose: 4.5/5
If you have any constructive feedback, I’m open to them! Hope you enjoyed this month’s Recs!
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2023.05.31 18:57 Careful-Trash0000 32M - Friends around downtown

Hey, i work downtown near West Georgia and Dunsmoir. it would be nice to make friends that i can grab lunch with or just meet for coffee.
About me: 32M, Married, South Asian.
Interests - Gym, Finance, Accounting.
submitted by Careful-Trash0000 to Vancouver4Friends [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:57 paraplume Refurbished bikes - Sondors Smart Step or Jetson Adventure?

I'm looking to get either of these bikes (499+100 shipping) (549+10 shipping)
The Sondors has more online reviews, and the refurb deal has showed up on reddit a few times. Haven't seen as much about the Jetson. The main differences I can tell between the Sondors vs the Jetson are the weight (65 vs 41 lb), the motor (350W vs 250W). Retail seems to be 1300 vs 1000. Not sure about the build quality and rest.
I'll just be using it for the summer in the Bay Area, to get to the gym and such. I do have a more decent e-bike at home, but can't bring it with me since it doesn't fit in my car.
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2023.05.31 18:57 Illustrious-Bar-7332 AITA for wanting my washer/dryer back after my bf gave it away?

My (27m) boyfriend's (30m) parents are moving into a new house in the same town with the intention of also moving his grandparents (who currently live next door to them) into the basement so they can more easily assist with caregiving.
My bf and I have been together for 2.5 years now, and he moved in with me about 1 year ago. He had a washedryer set that was several years old, albeit very nice/high end, that he didn't want to part with even though I had a brand new set already installed in my home shortly before he moved in. He decided to store his set at his parents' house (they had plenty of storage space) rather than sell them during his move to my place. This was totally fine for the last year, except now his parents' current house needs to be emptied out so they can move into the new place and sell the current house.
His grandparents wanted to have their own washer dryer in the basement of the house they're moving into (I think to maintain some semblance of "independence") and my bf said we could have them take my set. I expressed that I thought it made more sense to give or sell my boyfriend's set to them and keep mine since 1) mine are already installed in our home, 2) are newer, and 3) his set is already in his parent's house and could therefore just be moved to the new place with all of their other things instead of us having to uninstall mine, haul them down to his parent's hometown, swap them out and bring his set back up to hook up in our house.
Every single time I tried to express my concerns/views on this topic I was basically brushed off and told "no babe, this is what we're doing so you just need to get on board" rather than actually talking through the whole scenario so we can get on the same page. He then went ahead and talked to his parents/grandparents about how they can buy my washedryer (without my agreement to sell them) and of course his grandfather is just gushing with joy at the fact that I have the exact model he wanted and it would just be perfect for them.
Fast forward to this last weekend and we planning to go to their hometown to start helping them move. But that morning, my bf goes and picks up a uhaul and unhooks my washedryer and loads them up....but recall that I haven't agreed to sell them. He just says well 💁 it's happening.
As a cherry on top, his grandfather fell during the move and got pretty banged up right before all this went down, so I felt like I would be the a-hole for refusing to sell my appliances to the family's beloved (and freshly banged up), unfortunately, I kept my mouth shut which I realize was totally my fault. The real kicker though is that we never agreed upon a price and my bf just dropped the washedryer off. So I didn't even get anything out of them, I've basically just donated my near-brand new appliances to his grandparents (they cost me about $1200 total).
WIBTAH if I made my bf bring my washedryer back to me?
submitted by Illustrious-Bar-7332 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:57 AdNumerous279 God herself

Hello! I’m a female writer that’s been writing for about 8 years now! And I’ve just created a plot and looking for like minded individuals to have fun with and play it all. The plot is as followed
“Why does no one believe me!!” Zeal is god. The god who created this dimension/ universe. The god people would assume is Jesus Christ although she is much less popular than her spin off counter part. No she is the true god of this known universe and everyone she encounters or explains it to refuses to believe her. She has all knowing power and knowledge infinite divine wisdom and in all actuality she’s much more like you and I then once thought. She’s clumsy, bi polar, chaotic and forgettable. I guess that’s why we were made in her image. The main goal of her visit back to “earth” is to find someone to take over her work. Like an apprentice
I’m down for world building at the change up the plot around to fit some of your needs and desires but hmu !!
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2023.05.31 18:57 Nerdlurld Need Help Tracking Down a Documentary

I recently remembered a documentary I watched as a kid on Animal Planet (I think), & am having trouble tracking it down. The premise was essentially ‘what animal is most likely to become intelligent if humans go extinct?’ Spoilers, they concluded that the most likely candidate would be a colony insect like ants or bees. They even went so far as to construct a 3D animation of a sapient insect inside a skyscraper sized ant hill.
It’s not “the future is wild” though it is a similar premise. When searching for speculative biology documentaries I only ever get the big 5: Future is Wild, extraterrestrial, alien planet, dragons, & history of an alien. I’m not sure if this is lost media, extremely obscure, or I fell into a Mandela wormhole, but it’s kinda bugging me. Any help would be appreciated.
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2023.05.31 18:57 TrynaSaveTheWorld May Socks: year of learning to knit socks

May Socks: year of learning to knit socks

4 x short socks with stripes and speckles
Yarn: Hobbii Silly Socks Flower Pop in Crocus
Pattern: self-fitting formula developed from Kate Atherley's Custom Socks (yes, still)
This month, the lesson about unpleasant yarn that I learned during my March sock fiasco was reinforced. I love speckles and was excited for this yarn, but then it turned out that the background was ecru rather than white as it looked in the photo when I ordered, and (much worse), it had these surprise stripes. On my first sock, I thought I could deal with the caution-tape-looking stripes on the ball of the foot, and the green stripe was okay, but then I did the heel and it looks to me like I dropped a candy corn in my shoe and it smashed all over the back of my foot... gross. It's really unfortunate placement of the yarn pattern. So then I made two more just like it (ugh) and finally managed to move the striping around a bit for the final sock. In the future, I'll be paying more attention to how the yarn pattern falls within the construction pattern. I did not enjoy the look while making these socks and I do not like how they look finished. That said, the texture and fiber of the yarn is perfectly pleasant (which is good, because I bought more of it in different colourways and intend to use it!).
I'm currently rather flummoxed that so many sock patterns call for many more stitches around than I'm making for myself (48) and often on larger needles than I'm using (2-2.25 mm). I've also been "accused" of having rather tight tension, historically, more than once. If my tension, needles, and stitch count are all smaller than is typical for others, why aren't my socks tight? Are my feet slimmer than average? Are my fit expectations incorrect? Any experts have advice about this issue?
I will congratulate myself this month on completing TWO pairs of short summer socks rather than the single pair I committed to for my 2023 resolution. These may be ugly socks, but they are wearable, and I'm pleased now to be able to knit them quickly and competently enough to complete them at this pace, quite a bit faster than I anticipated back when I conceived of this challenge for myself.
For my June socks, I intend to make another two pairs of short summer socks using a non-wool yarn for the first time: HiKoo CoBaSi (cotton/bamboo/silk/elastic). It feels very soft and cool in the hank (and there are no surprise stripes). I'm also going to have a go at a bit of colourwork.
If anyone else is still doing their New Year's Socks Resolution, I'd love to see your work too! And, of course, anyone else who made socks during May, if you'd like to share, I'd like to congratulate you.
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2023.05.31 18:57 tronn25 Congrats Recent Grads - GL Studying for the Bar

Congrats to all of you recent grads. Studying for the Bar sucks, but approach it like a full-time job so that you don't have to retake it.
I wrote an article on Bar study prep on my Substack, but I see that there's a bright-lined no self-promotion rule. So I won't. Instead, i'll just drop it here. I would love to know what you guys think.
Hey there, aspiring lawyers! So, you’ve decided to take on the ultimate test of mental fortitude and endurance: the dreaded bar exam. Congratulations on voluntarily subjecting yourself to this masochistic journey! But fear not, my dear readers, for I’m here to help you navigate the treacherous waters of legal jargon and sleepless nights with some well-deserved advice. Grab a strong cup of coffee, and let’s dive right into the abyss of bar exam study madness!
I took the bar in early antiquity, or 2010. While we had the same bullshit distractions, including the dopamine-driven social media platforms, they were nowhere near as effective and pervasive as today. I didn’t have as much in-your-face FOMO over non-legal friends’ European getaways, summer pub crawls, or beach barbeques.
If you struggle with phone social media time, do something about it ASAP. Deleting the app is great for those who have the willpower. But if you think you will just re-install then try limiting usage instead. In all of the app’s settings, you can set screen time limits for the day. Start with 10 or 15 minutes and adjust as you see fit. If you’re able to stick to it, you will be amazed by how your relationship with yourself and your friends changes for the better. Personally, I have a daily 30-minute social medial cap that I try to abide by and a no social media Sunday rule. It’s honestly been a godsend for my mental health.
Your mentality should be “One and Done.” Treat studying as a full-time job. You will give everything you have to this draconian profession gatekeeper, you will pass on your first attempt, and you will never do it again.
This is extremely important because your likelihood of passage drops significantly with each attempt (above).
You know how to study for an exam, or you wouldn’t have made it through law school. So I won’t insult your intelligence with common, run-of-the-mill, tips. But the following served as keys to my successful passing on my first attempt:

Keys to “One and Done”

  1. Embrace Your Inner Hermit: To succeed in the bar exam, you must become a recluse. Say goodbye to your social life, bid adieu to those Netflix binges, and break up with your social scene – temporarily. Lock yourself in a room, surrounded by mountains of study materials, and become one with your law books. Trust me, embracing solitude is the only way to survive this ordeal.
  2. Get Your Snacks and Drinks in Order: Bar exam studying is like running a marathon, except you’re not allowed to move from your desk. Fuel up, my comrades, with an arsenal of snacks and beverages. Stock up on energy bars, healthy snacks, and gallons of coffee (or better yet, intravenous caffeine drips). Remember, your success depends on your ability to snack your way to legal enlightenment!
  3. Remove the Booze: I love having brew-cha-chos with the boys as much as the next guy. But for the 2.5 months I studied I cut it out *almost* entirely. I wasn’t worried about getting drunk or hungover, I just wanted my mind to be as clean as possible to process and retain information so I’d never take the Bar again. I sat for the Bar in July, so I allowed myself the 4th of July to get after it. You can’t live on the Newport Peninsula and not give the 4th of July your full attention.
  4. Practice Makes… Well, It Makes You Hate Practice: No one likes practice exams, but they’re a necessary evil. So, buckle up and subject yourself to an endless cycle of simulated hell. Time yourself, endure the mind-numbing monotony, and always remember that practice exams are like exes—they’re only good for reminding you of what you don’t want in life.
  5. Flashcards – Your Brain’s Sidekick: Flashcards are the superheroes of the study world. They come to your rescue when your memory fails you, providing snippets of legal wisdom in bite-sized portions. Make flashcards your loyal sidekick, and take them everywhere. Whip them out during lunch, on the bus, or even in the bathroom (hey, desperate times call for desperate measures). Become a flashcard ninja and let them save you from the clutches of legal oblivion.
  6. Body Karate Glow Up: You will be cut out from society for about 2.5 months, won’t be drinking, and should be nourishing your mind with healthy food. Calendar daily exercise times to get out of the house, see the sun, and work on a revenge-less, revenge bod. The exercise will help your mind and well-being, and serve as something to look forward to each day. It will also keep you looking lean and mean so that when you do emerge from your cacoon, you can jump right into that beach life and turn some heads.
As you embark on this grueling journey to pass a test a bunch of dead men decided was necessary, remember that a dash of humor and a sprinkle of madness can make the unbearable bearable. So, my fellow legal warriors, stay caffeinated, embrace solitude, and conquer the bar exam on your first go.
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