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2008.01.25 07:51 Sex
sex is for civil discussions pertaining to education, advice, and discussion of your sexuality and sexual relationships. It is a sex-positive community and a safe space for people of all genders and orientations which demands respectful conduct in all exchanges.
This is a place for targets of a narcissist’s abuse to come together to support, encourage, learn from, share with, and validate one another. It is NOT a replacement for therapy or counseling. We support abusive relationships from romantic, work, roommates and friends.No family dynamics or posts about family members or posts about other people being abused please. They are not permitted.
2020.09.21 18:46 kittyknuckles94I have given the ultimatum, and this day next week I may be single again.
Looking back, I am so embarrassed that I never saw the red flags, and that I had so much faith in love that I forgot to check if the vial of love that I emptied every time was ever being filled up again. In my desperation, in my haste and in my believe in the goodness of men, I chose a man who was not human at all. I allowed him to treat me as a disposal in his life. He loved me in his own time and I thought that love meant compromise so I would bite back tears and take whatever scraps I could find? But is this really love? Love is not just money. Is it really love if the man you love can not keep his eyes on you for more than a second? If his only excuse is that he will always love work more than you? Is it love if you can hurt and cry every night and be told that you are mean, and horrible. This is not love. Love is not promises for the future. WHAT ARE YOU WILLING DO TO RIGHT NOW? If you can spend sleepless nights over a dream of being a millionaire, and you can not spend a single hour with the person you love...if all your promises are for a future yet you show no promise of keeping it at all? Yeah, no. I loved a monster who made me think there is something wrong with me, with my laugh, my face, my body. I loved a man who touched me like a chore, who felt that there was no need to treat me with gentle care. A man who had no qualms about adoring other women around me, while his lifeless, useless, unfaithful body could only squirm for half a minute on top of me. A man who hid things from me, lied, threatened to beat me? What kind of love is this? I have felt alone with or without him? Five days a week spent in silence, just month after month. Hours upon hours spent either in one sided conversations, aching for him, or teaching myself that it is okay if he does not initiate, reach out, or say sweet nothings to me. I am DONE making excuses. And still...he says I am silly, he loves me quite a bit, and besides he will marry me? MARRY ME? A man who can not get a birthday cake for me? Who dumps flowers in my hands like he wish he had not? A man who spends 2 grand on a vacation, but dumps the cheapest, non-romantic bunch of flowers he can on me? Who has not once surprised me with a romantic date? A little present packaged just for me? A fucking Christmas present he would take the time to wrap? A man who wanted to punch me while I was bleeding from a pregnancy loss? THIS MAN? He makes fun of conservatives, of girls who need validation, of country boys, of people who love their wives, of men who want to look muscled, of the same girls that he looks online at, ignores me for and jizzes over...he thinks this feeling sensitive emotional world is beneath him? He thinks I am stupid for being angry at him enjoying tiktok videos of thick teens while I sit here hoping to go back to being a stripper so at least I can stop feeling like a meek little ogre? Because I am supposed to be okay with this greasy sex addict who can not even show intimacy through sex or speech or action, and expects me to be okay with it for an UNFORESEEN TIME. Yet, they all left. And I will join now. Just another woman on his list that he will call a problem, but just another woman who would rather have a real man, instead of an emotionally unavailable, lying, aggressive narcissist who is willing to give nothing and take it all. This man made women go crazy. He has girls in his list who committed suicide, cheated, hurt themselves, became addicts...no not me son. Not me. Don't flatter yourself my love. Behind this mask you wear, you are just an insecure, heartless pre-teen boy. You are nothing but the 'weeb' that you seem to think other men are. Just because I told you of my insecurities you thought I was not good enough? I am no queen bee, but I assure you I could do better and I am way, way out of your league. Always was, always will be. It hurts ever so much, but we were on the phone last night and he asked if I could be nicer when I told him about the issues I had with him. Then he said, "To be honest, these pointless conversations we have are draining."And when I asked if he could just communicate more he said he just does not know what to say? This man wants me to be by his side while he neglects my needs, ignores me, cusses at me, ogles women, threatens to put me out treats me like a chore. Yeah, fuck it. I'm done. Just give me motivation. Because my heart hurts so much, but really, I can not love this man. I told him this week I would initiate anything, including our conversations. and I will see if I can survive this relationship. I know the answer is no, because I love myself too much to ever be okay with this. And h will never change. He is not brave enough to change, and his insecurities demand that the women in his life remain slave to his will. And guess what?Right on spot, its 11a.m and no messages, no calls. I will do the right thing, and wait till the next Friday, and its over then. (And this is for my ex man to be since he acts like he is above reading my posts, but does it anway)Fuck you, Bryan. You sad, sorry, sack of shit. You are not a heartbreaker. You are just a fuck up, this horrible, abusive sad fuck up who is too afraid to ask for help and chooses to hurt the people who love him and prove himself right? Look around you. Everyone left, and they will continue to do so. Your friends will find love, have children, get old and you, you will just chase and chase, teens, kids, big asses, little asses,whatever your deal is. You will chase power and money and act like a fool who thinks hes entitled....but go ahead and chase. Live this lie because deep down you know what you really are. And that will always be your curse.
2020.09.21 18:42 2myyouthBuying second hand vs buying new with $800 budget
Please look at the bottom of the post to see what i'm talking about in the title
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
Mostly gaming like league of legends, overwatch, warzone. I will also be doing schoolwork, but no specific demanding programs
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
~$800. I can go a little over if it'll help, but under $900.
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
Within 2 weeks
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Just the tower
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
Los Angeles and I have a microcenter available
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Ducky one 2 mini and g403
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
If I ever overclock it would be later on
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
An SSD for booting up would be nice
What type of network connectivity do you need? (Wired and/or WiFi) If WiFi is needed and you would like to find the fastest match for your wireless router, please list any specifics.
I'm going to use wired, but access to wifi would be preferred
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
No preference for cases
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
Extra info or particulars:
Here is the build I am thinking of buying secondhand. It's going to $450 and has been used for 2 years. I'm a little worried about the longetivity of it because the 1060 seems a little old at this point. How fair do you think the price is? Or how low should I try to bargain? Thanks.
2020.09.21 18:30 lybrick2chinaLosing my best friend to her controlling boyfriend
Hi guys just a disclaimer I'm relatively new to reddit and suck at writing posts so please forgive me if this post is all over the place and lengthy, I'm just ranting, I haven't proof read this either so I'm sorry in advance. I met my bestfriend online, we have known eachother since we were 15 and we are now 18. We lived less than an hour away from each other so we were able to meet a every now and then. When we were both 17 she started dating a guy that was quite frankly, not physically attractive. Now I don't want to judge people based on looks because all that matters is if he's treating her well. For contextual reasons only, he was clinically obese (19 stone) a drug dealer and was what British people consider a "chav". This guy had no redeeming qualities but she would be absolutely infatuated with him after saying the bare minimum. side note - he couldn't bring himself to compliment his OWN GF THE ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP. My friend would often get bullied for being with him even by some of his own friends because she was by far more attractive than him and it was a massive mismatch. From quite early on I realised he was not a great guy, even though I had little interaction with him and hadn't met him in person. Although they lived in the same town he would often make her feel as though she should be grateful to see him once a week because she was "lucky he even took the day off for her because he could be doing stuff more WORTH WHILE or going out with his friends" . For some odd reason he didn't want to spend more than 10 hours with her (overnight stay) and would demand she left early the next morning. Not to mention the nights she stayed she would text me crying almost EVERY TIME telling me how badly she wanted to go home because he had done something to upset her or coerced to perform sexual acts on him! Ps - she couldn't go home because she didn't have any way of getting home. I always felt bad for her because this is what she thinks is love. My friend began making new snapchat accounts to please him. She eventually told us it was because her boyfriend didn't like the fact she had males added (ex school friends she added way before him) even if they weren't in contact or interacting with her. FYI she didn't really post either and by all means nothing provocative. He actually in fact, MADE her make a new account and she was only allowed to add who he approved of which were mostly his friends. Im going to bullet point a few things because I don't want to make this long - he would get incredibly angry AT HER if a male asked for her number -he would have to APPROVE of EVERY outfit she wore and EVERY outfit she wanted to purchase if not he would slut shame her and tell her she was too embarrassing to be seen with -he writes posts on social media slut shaming women in general for dressing normally... -he wouldn't let her go certain places or interact with certain people - she wasn't allowed to post happy birthday posts for male friends He was incredibly verbally abusive and would try to scare my friend by fake dumping her while she begged and didn't sleep or eat for days on end. He would often tell her she would never find anyone half as good as him and she genuinely believed it! I would spend nights trying to console her on the phone till 5am about her break ups. We were like sisters and told each other everything. Her own father would tell her countless times that he is NOT good for her. He would often make up stories that women tried to approach him at parties or at the bar (confirmed by his own friends and bystanders were not true) My friend would believe these things and feel a tad insecure but I, along with all her other friends, saw right through it. He was trying to get some sort of reaction from her and would often say things about other women to make her jealous He would talk badly about EVERY SINGLE ONE of her friends and successfully turn her against them. But then scream at her for having no friends! One day when she finally arranged to meet a new friend she had made, he pretended everything was great until it was time for him to drop her off and he proceeded to shout at her the minute they get in the car (very tactical) about how they were supposed to spend the day together (which was not true they had no plans). She was distraught and in tears so she had to cancel. He would even talk badly about her father who is a single dad recovering from cancer and another chronic illness. And I don't mean casually b*tching, he would absolutely rip into her father and insult him. Her boyfriend was always out with friends partying and he said he was too embarrassed to be seen with his girlfriend, often treating her like a liability. His own friend actually tried to stir the pot with the intention of getting him to break up with her, it almost worked but when it eventually failed, the friend would bully her and send her horrible messages calling her ugly and anorexic. Her boyfriend did NOT stick up for her and continued to be his friend without addressing anything. She was too scared to say anything. He would often call me weird but I hadn't spoken to him directly nor did I have him on social media! I am literally a NORMAL PERSON and have not said or done anything that could've made him feel this way. He briefly verbally attacked me unprovoked when I was added to a large "motive" group chat. I could never figure out why he hated me so much. Whenever me and my friend would go to festivals he used to try and chaperone her and tell her he is also going to buy tickets. He didn't even have the slightest interest in the genre of music, he just NEEDED to supervise us. Of course I did not want to be supervised by somebody who lowkey BULLIES ME ONLINE. I don't want to be supervised in general, Im an adult. So I told my friend I wouldn't be comfortable with that and I would sell my ticket if her boyfriend didn't allow us to go alone. Fast forward a couple weeks later in another group chat, totally unprovoked AGAIN he sent in voice notes laughing at me telling everyone I have social anxiety and that's why I didn't want to go to the festival with him. 1) I have never EVER claimed to have social anxiety or any type of anxiety for that matter. A few of his female friends added me to a separate group chat and bullied me for it, I blocked them all of course. I asked my bestfriend (his gf) why he would randomly come out with this and she said that he had made it up to try and mock me infront of like 30 people because he doesn't like me. (luckily the festival was cancelled because of covid anyway) After this he told my friend that she was not allowed to be friends with me or he would break up with her for good. She didn't seem to have a problem with this, we kept our friendship a secret for 3/4 months and she would unadd me or block me whenever she would go to his house when he checked her phone. I was her only bestfriend so I don't understand why, having already turned her against her other friends, I would have to stop speaking to her too. I don't really feel the need to mention the countless amount of times I told her he was INCREDIBLY bad for her and all the advice her family members and I had given her. Our friendship was never the same after this point. June 2020 they had broken up once again, he had sent her very malicious texts - the usual, him playing hard to get and trying to scare her. They were already on and off all week arguing, breaking up, you name it. The main cause of the break up is because my friend finally had the courage to question why she wasn't allowed to be MY friend when he was openly posting on HIS FRIEND on Facebook and how he "couldn't ask for a better mate"- the SAME guy who body shamed his girlfriend and sent her countless horrible messages. Of course he manipulated the situation and had no good argument. After two days of my friend balling her eyes out she promised me and her family she couldn't go back to him because of how he had been treating her and out of the thousands of times she said it, she "meant it this time" and she was going to do this for herself in order to get her mental health back on track. None of us believed her because she was clearly being emotionally abused so we knew she would inevitably beg for him back and play into his mind games regardless of how much I tried to help. By the third day they had gotten back together but it was a weird power dynamic where she had to prove herself to HIM in order for him to want to make it "official". She attempted to test the waters to see if he would allow us to be friends again since he was allowed to be friends with someone who bullied her. Without hesitating he immediately refused and said he would rather cut contact with his own friend than allow for us to be friends again (he wasn't actually going to cut contact with his own friend lmao). He never gave a good reason for it but lets be honest there is no good reason for being controlling. She immediately switched up as if she had been brainwashed and told me it was "completely normal" for him to control her because they had been dating for a year and that's a "long time". We didn't speak for a couple days because I genuinely had nothing to say and couldn't believe how far gone she was. After almost a week she contacted me and told me her and her boyfriend had gotten into a big argument so I obviously I tried to be there for her even though I figured she was just using me for emotional support and did not care about anything I wanted to rant about personally, as women do... It became very apparent to me that she had turned on me and was being two faced. She would unadd me from her private stories and talk badly about me on there and post cryptic quotes - basically what she did to all her old friends so I was waiting for it to happen anyway- (PS I had found out from an acquaintance of hers I was friends with). She would come back whenever they had gotten into an argument after days of us not speaking and I would be added back to her private story. This happened more than 6 times so I finally addressed it and she kept saying she had just "forgotten" to add me back because I was not in her best friends list ( I was though! I was number 1). She was known to use people and had very on and off friendships with her ex best friends who she sometimes kept around when needed. Furthermore her excuses were pathetic and I just ignored it and resumed our friendship. One weekend she had gone to her boyfriends house and hadn't added me back for a few days so I was really confused. I texted her and asked her why and she had told me she had forgotten but she "would've remembered" whatever that means! We used to speak everyday without fail so I could tell something was up for months. I had clearly gathered enough evidence that she was being fake with me so I sent her a message no longer than 10 lines, telling her politely that I cannot support a controlling relationship and I have heard she is talking badly about me on her social medias but I was past it I just no longer wanted to be in contact with her. She opened the messaged and immediately blocked me. I messaged her on instagram telling her it was unnecessary as I wasn't trying to pick a fight and she could've had the decency to respond! She added me back for a minute replied "ok" ONLY. I think she genuinely thought it would be funny and intended to wind me up by only responding ok. To which I replied "you really thought you did something there" and she said "no I just wanted to read the whole thing" which would imply she literally skim read through the message and just deleted me without even attempting to read all of it. It made me feel really shitty that she had disregarded everything I had said and didn't even offer an explanation or some sort of apology for CLEALRY using me and talking smack about me on her social media. Since that day I never spoken to her again and she has not attempted to reach out. She is still with her toxic controlling boyfriend. I feel like the biggest idiot for letting somebody treat me this way. I am fully aware she is clearly in a bad head space but it was so draining for me to listen to the same problem 4-6 times a week and my advice was going in one ear and out the other. I cannot BELIEVE she used me and feels no remorse. I do truly feel as though I deserved some sort of apology, I mean aside from throwing away a 3 year friendship for a guy who makes her miserable everyday. There really is no conclusion or question, thanks for coming to my ted talk I guess :)
2020.09.21 18:21 throwawaynofap20It's been so long since I've got a long streak on NoFap, and now I failed. Two times.
It's been almost two years since I'm aware of NoFap and of my addiction. The number of attempts had been decreasing just as the lengthy of my streaks. While in the start I was able to get to 30 days, now I mainly do NoFap for 4 days at max, relapse, feel guilty, decide to drop it for a few days till I get motivated, relapse, feel guilty, rinse and repeat. Well, since No Fap September is here, I decided to give it a try, I'm already onboard with NoFap, why shouldn't I try? For some reason I don't particularly know, I got to 16 days. I'm guessing the "challenge" aspect really motivated me. But I was getting a long streak and that's what matters. Aaaand, that's where it all falls apart. I relapsed because of a combination of a bad habit and my mind successfully luring me into viewing NSFW stuff just for the sake of it, I'm not gonna even edge or anything, right?, Just viewing. Needless to say, it didn't work. Well, I decided to not give in to the habit till I find motivation and got right back in the streak, and now, I'll try harder, I'll keep myself busy in the most productive hours, finally read that fitness guide and start exercising and eating right and then... I failed again, for the same mistake of not acknownledging my mind luring me into it. That happened yesterday. And I have been thinking about it, and I will continue to do so. This post will most likely serve as a way to sort my mind out and understand what happened. See, I don't actually work for it. I just start the streak and that's it, I might "fight" the urges, try to shut it down but I don't actively attack these urges. (i.e keeping myself busy when I know I'm most likely to have these urges) Right now, I'm not doing anything productive, I'm not studying even though a life-goal of mine demands it, I don't exercise a lot, I don't read, I don't create, I don't draw, anything. I'm not doing anything productive at all. I waste my days chatting with Discord friends I don't even know IRL and watching YouTube videos. And when chatting, it's by text, not even voice chat which would improve my english. I still have a thick accent and bad pronunciation, something I promised I'd change in the start of the year. It's no wonder why that's not working out. It's now up to me to build my life up, which I'll need the motivation or discipline to. Another topic that is closely related to NoFap: I've been fantasizing about just having a relationship. I don't actively try to date, approach people, because I simply don't want to, I don't really see any reason to aside from affection which I can get by other means. It's probaly me not wanting to put in the effort a relationship needs. When I'm on NoFap that suddenly changes, I start fantasizing about having a relationship, and I'm not even focusing on the sexual part of it, I just want someone to watch stuff with while cuddling. Helping eachother out with whatever problem arises. However, in these fantasies, it's not really a traditional relationship, I mainly fantasize about "femboys". I don't know if I'm bisexual or if it's just a fetish that gets blown out of proportion by arousement. Those boys I often fantasize about are very feminine, often looking almost just like women, where you can barely see they're male. But the thought of knowing it's a boy is what sets me, for some reason. The fantasy is so strong that I might actually try meeting someone IRL if that doesn't change. I'm fine with it, I haven't even decided yet if I want to have children so then again, I don't really have a reason to enter traditional relationships (unless you can prove me wrong). That's how I relapsed last time. I decided to enter a Discord server about it, and they had 18+ channels, which my mind lured me to click in, again, "just for viewing".
2020.09.21 18:15 OneFaradaySome experience with building, clueless with planning: basic video editing build
First off, I'd like to give a huge thanks to this community. I came here many years ago and got a design for my current PC which has served me very well. This will be my third PC I've built. Doing the assembly is not a big issue for me, but I will probably have the staff at the store mount the CPU on the motherboard (that part makes me nervous). I'm pretty clueless about choosing parts, though. You guys are my heroes when it comes to that. >\*What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.*** The most intense thing I will be doing is some light video editing, and some occasional gaming. My current PC really chugs along slowly when I edit videos. Video footage also takes up a lot of hard drive space and I'm desperately low. Most of the gaming I do isn't too demanding. I'm a big fan of the Fallout series. Sadly Fallout 5 isn't announced yet so I can't ask to match those specs, but if my new build can play Fallout 4 decently I'm thrilled with that. It would be awesome to plug in a VR headset in the future, but that's not strictly necessary. I have not settled on video editing software yet. >\*What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?*** It would be great to hit $800 but I'd be okay going as high as $1200. I can't afford it all-at-once, so my plan is to buy and build in stages. If I can't get a decent video card for that budget, I'm willing to save up and install the video card later. >\*When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.*** Stage one: I need more storage immediately. I plan to buy the hard drive ASAP and install it temporarily into my current PC. Stage two: A basic build in the next couple of months. I'll buy the case and basic components and get that up and running. Stage three: Over the next 5-6 months I'll buy the remaining components (more RAM, video card, etc) and upgrade. (I know that this time frame makes it more difficult to plan and I might have to adapt, I'm alright with this. On the plus side, I can watch for sales.) >\*What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)*** I do not need a monitor, keyboard, or mouse. The computer also won't need a wireless card, I will be plugging it directly into the modem. (If the motherboard has one on-board, that's fine.) I will just need a case, motherboard, CPU, fans, power supply, video card (any other components I'm forgetting?) >\*Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?*** I'm in Alberta, Canada. My usual go-to place for components is Memory Express but I'm also happy to shop online, compare pricing, and watch for sales to get the best deals. >\*If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.*** I have an HP w2207h monitor (ancient but still works great). I have a USB keyboard and mouse already. >\*Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?*** Honestly I don't know. I'm not an advanced enough user to really know the benefits. If you have a suggestion, I'd be happy to hear it. >\*Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)*** Decent hard drive (5TB or more) and a decent video card are the main features I'd like. >\*Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?*** Appearances do not matter at all. >\*Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?*** Yes. Windows 10 preferred. I may also do a Linux dual boot. >**Extra info or particulars:**
2020.09.21 18:05 wewearmasks15My Story - The Past 12 Months
I sit here, writing this on what would have been our first wedding anniversary. If things had gone differently perhaps I would be preparing for a romantic evening meal. Maybe I would be wondering if my wife had found the note I would have written for her in her planner and awaiting a thankful text. A year ago today I married my dream girl. After almost 5 years together we tied the knot in a vineyard barn, in front of close friends and family and everything was exactly how we wanted. Months of stressful preparation had paid off and it couldn’t have gone any smoother. My wife was absolutely breath-taking, and when she walked down the aisle I couldn’t help but beam at her absolute radiance We said our vows, poetry was read, and rings exchanged. We left the barn, hand in hand with Blue Oyster Cults ‘Burning For You’ blaring through the sound system, through a tunnel of our nearest and dearest while bubbles and confetti swirled around us. What followed was your stereo typical wedding. Brilliant speeches, incredible food, lots of shared drinks and of course terrible dancing. We screamed the lyrics to our favourite songs at each other, stuffed cake in each other’s mouths and ended the night being whisked away to a local hotel. We awoke on the next morning, both suffering hangovers befitting of the copious amounts of alcohol we had drunk the night before. Despite wanting to never move again, and on the verge of throwing up we celebrated becoming husband and wife, as a husband and wife normally do. As the day unfolded and we dealt with the post wedding fallout, I took any moment I could to be thankful for how everything had gone and how truly lucky I was. A new chapter had begun, one that we had been planning together for almost half a decade. I was as happy as I had ever been, and ready to move forward with my new wife. She started her new job as a high school teacher a few days later. She had been working tirelessly for the past few years to get that job and as she left for work on that morning, I couldn’t have been prouder. All of those evenings spent apart while she planned lessons, all of those rushed dinners and early morning study sessions had been worth it. A week later I returned to work as well. The small start-up company I worked for had been my life for the past 2 years. I started my journey with them while they still did business out of the owners garage, and we now had a hub in the centre of Brighton. My boss and colleagues had all attended the evening portion of the wedding and I was excited to see them all, a married man. I was always the first member of staff through the door, bar my boss, and today was no different. I walked in and instead of the fanfare I expected, I was greeted with a sombre mood and unmeeting eyes. My boss greeted me and then said ‘We need to talk’. 5 minutes later and I had been made redundant. I knew the company was struggling and as a high paid member of the team, my job was always going to be first to go, I just didn’t know we were so close to the edge. He had paid me all that he could right up until the wedding, including the overtime I had been requesting and gave me a more then generous redundancy package, but my heart was broken. To be made redundant is usually no failing of the employee but you can’t help but take it personally. This was when I had my first real breakdown. I felt like such a failure. I had just sworn myself into a relationship to support the person I love forever, and a week later I was jobless. I could survive a month or two but I had no idea what the job market was like for someone with my skills. I never went to university and don’t have a huge amount of formal training. My CV has always been boosted by my years of work experience and roles that have been consistently promoted with the companies I have worked for, but it never felt strong. My new wife of course was incredibly supportive, she checked in on me any moment she could and kept my mental health in check where possible, but I was struggling. For the first time in years I was really struggling. A month later I had been offered a job at a tech company in a nearby town. Having not started at a workplace in a while, and with every millennials impending sense of imposter syndrome I was incredibly nervous. My wife was now working 11+ hour days and her interaction whilst at work was few and far between, due to her workload and inability to quickly access her phone. I started the new job and began the process of settling in. My new boss was lovely and my colleagues equally so. Life seemed to be settling down and returning back to a state of normal I could relax into. Around a month or two later, on a sunny but cold weekend my wife seemed preoccupied. I had asked her if she was ok that morning but later in the day she still seemed to be distant. I pushed her for some information and she eventually caved. She sat down on the sofa and asked me: ‘Do you know what polyamory is?’. My heart sunk. I knew exactly what polyamory was and although I hold no ill will to anyone wishing to practice it, It was not for me. She went on to say that it’s something she had been thinking about and had come to realise that maybe she was polyamorous. I could not process the information. My new wife, the person I had just entered into a monogamous marriage with was now talking about wanting to be with other people. I made it very clear, then and there, that if that was something she truly wanted to pursue then it would have to be without me. I had no interest in leading a polyamorous life and all I could think of was my wife being with someone else while I sat at home, missing her. It felt unreasonable to be so black or white about it, but I felt it in my core. I couldn’t do it. This is when I had my second breakdown. That night, after a day unable to really process the information, I was in London for a friends engagement party. We had meant to attend together but due to the days events, had decided it best If just I go. I really didn’t want to but I pushed on, determined to not make a big deal of this all. I caught the train up with a few friends and after greeting the happy couple and indulging in pleasantries, I found myself hunched over a pint of beer In the outdoor section, chain smoking roll ups and crying. I was found by two old college era friends, who hung around with several of the girls a friend had dated at the time. I had so far told no one of what had occurred that afternoon, but I told them. I needed to get it out in some way and I’m forever thankful for the time they gave me. A friend I had travelled up with also happened upon me in this state and thus was informed of the situation. I returned home and several days later, called into work sick due to having such a severe breakdown that morning, I was unable to move without stumbling. I needed support and contacted my closest friends for aid. They arrived and I explained what had happened through streams of tears and anxious panting. It was decided that I needed a break and I was shipped off to a friends house a few towns over. I had a doctors appointment booked in for me and was prescribed anti anxiety medication after breaking down in the doctors office and admitting suicidal thoughts. The weekend unfolded and towards the tail end my wife told me that I needed to come home. She had made her mind up and decided that a polyamorous life was not something she needed to pursue, but was firm in the fact she was polyamorous. This I could accept, and wouldn’t wish to change that about her. However, this is when she announced she also no longer wanted to have children. We had been planning a large family for years, and personally, having kids is something I have wanted since my early teens. Having come from divorced parents and a troubled childhood, I was so ready to do it myself and nail it. To bring a life into this world with the best of both of us and bring them up with the love and support that my early childhood lacked. She said that she had decided she didn’t want kids for the foreseeable future, and certainly didn’t want to give birth. She put it down to career and lifestyle changes/demands her mental health as well not being as strong as maybe she once thought. She was open to adoption, or fostering, and I was as well, but it was not what I had been planning the past 15 years. I struggled with this concept more than anything. I didn’t know it at the time but I essentially began mourning the death of a child that never existed. My life had been so clear to me only a handful of months ago, and now my wife no longer wanted monogamy and we no longer had our own children in our future. Over the next few weeks my mental health took a turn for the worse. I was struggling to concentrate at work, having panic attacks on my lunch breaks and questioning everything my wife did. I had become so frail and fragile that the slightest change in routine or normality meant I grew anxious, invasive, and controlling. I also found myself trying to ‘re-sync’ with her. After such shocking revelations, I felt that we needed to re-bond and connect again. This meant I was generally wanting more of her time, asking her on more dates than normal and texting her more than usual. I also found I cared more than ever about sex and wanted to engage it in more often. I have always been less than confident sexually, so my wife deciding it might be something she wants to do with other people (I understand that isn’t everything in polyamory, its just hard to not think about) had me questioning everything and beat my self-confidence to a pulp. She wanted space at a time when I felt disconnected from her. She was smothered by work and her husband, and I was left feeling lonely, lied to and unstable. As the months went on we butted heads many times. So many weekends were spent barely talking to each other, followed by a heart to heart talk where we would agree we had differences but that we loved each other, and we will continue to work on them. No real solutions. Throughout this time, she grew more and more distant. Lockdown for Covid 19 had kicked in and we couldn’t escape each other. I wanted more than anything to spend some quality time with my wife, to go for a long walk and chat and laugh like we used to, and she could think of nothing worse. Every night we would share a 45-minute dinner together and then she would disappear upstairs. I would ask her if we could get a coffee at the weekend and be met with ‘maybe’ every time. We would go weeks without sex. I would make jibes and jokes about it or make a move only to be met with hostility. I felt like I was such a drain on my own wife, purely for wanting to spend time with her. Towards the end we had started to talk about trying to get some time alone. I didn’t really want that but I played along, and was fully onboard with her going to London for a few days or to see friends up north. I hoped that maybe some time apart would give her time to miss me. To talk to her friends about what was happening and maybe get some insight into the situation. What actually seemed to be happening was days where we wouldn’t really speak, playing the ‘whos going to text first’ game and a very unceremonious return. This came to a head when I ended up on a last-minute trip to Torquay. A friend’s wife had had to pull out of the trip so there was room for me. I leapt at the chance, eager to give my wife some time alone in the flat. I felt like being the one at home while the other is away is a very different experience, one she needed to feel. Over the three days I was there, we exchanged a handful of dry, uninspiring texts that felt even worse after catching glimpses of my friends communicating with their spouses and giving/receiving only care and affection. I decided to change the way I acted upon my return. I was going to become blank. To become stoic and just let whatever she wanted to happen happen, when she wanted. Put my feelings aside and just see what the outcome was. She left me a week later. I held her on our bed as she had a panic attack and told me she didn’t want to try anymore. That she was sad, and tired of making me sad. She told me she thought I would never get over not having children and that she hated denying me that. I refused to believe she didn’t want to try. We were stronger than this. I was certain we could get back to how were before all of this. I had suggested counselling as the next stage if things got worse and was fully prepared to do that. I wasn’t giving up on us, but she was, and I couldn’t stop her. We held each other for the longest time and she said ‘this is the closest we have been in months’, and every turned down date flashed before my eyes. I cried harder than I have ever cried. I was breathless, sweaty, cold and unable to comprehend what was happening. I needed to leave that space and stumbled about grabbing a handful of useless items and stuffing them into a bag. I said goodbye to my cat, covering her much to her dismay in tears and made my way to the stairs that lead down to our door. And I stood there, for what felt like eternity. I couldnt catch a breath and I could barely see through the tears. I knew what taking that first step meant. I knew that once I began down those stairs, my life was going to be different, forever. I swayed back and forth, my chest heaving and my clenched fists shaking thinking of every single moment I would never have again. All of our songs, jokes, shared moments, her smile, the way we make each other’s coffees, our entire future was still possible if I didn’t take that step. And that takes us to now, just over a week later on what would have been our first wedding anniversary. The past week has been the toughest of my life. I have received support from every single person I know and still I feel lost and alone. The one person that I wanted help and support from when feeling this low, was the one person that has abandoned me. I sit here in what was our flat, surrounded by memories that hurt to look at. I keep thinking ‘She’ll be back soon and we will catch up and laugh about whats we have been up to’ but no. Notice has been given and Im due out at the end of the month. Having dealt with emergency trips to the vets, large unprecedented bills and the stress that comes with emergency flat hunting, I don’t think its possible to feel lower than I have done this week. It has been an unrelenting torrent of terrible and I am amazed I have survived it.
2020.09.21 18:00 EmpireOfChairsCapstone for Part 3: Gravity's Rainbow
Hello, everybody! It’s finally time to leave the Zone! Can you believe that you haven’t even gotten to the most difficult part of the novel yet? Anyway, I’ve included a massive plot summary here, because the last capstone had one, but this is only for the benefit of new and future readers who are struggling to make sense of the plot threads, and it doesn’t contain any real analysis. If you feel like you understood the gist of what happened already, then feel free to skip it. I am hoping that this summary will elucidate this part of the novel for those who are having trouble following the narrative but still want the opportunity to come to their own conclusions about what it all means. Throughout In the Zone, I found my real life suddenly full of random obstacles that meant that I couldn’t contribute to as many threads as I would have liked. I would read those other threads and find that things which had fascinated me were either being ignored wholesale or else (I felt) misinterpreted in the comments. As such, I would like to give my thoughts on them here and now, before we leave the Zone and the opportunity to discuss these things is lost. However, because the plot of In the Zone is so damn long, I’ve decided to do things a little bit differently: I’m going to use this main thread for the summary, and then I’m going to write individual comments on the various parts of In the Zone which I think deserve more analysis before we move on to The Counterforce. The parts I will be analysing will be titled Bianca, Enzian, and The Castle, with associated page numbers based around the 902-page Vintage edition. Plot Summary: As you would imagine, I can’t put a lot of detail into a brief summary of what would, on its own, still represent a fairly long novel. I’d like to apologise in advance if I happen to miss anything important, story-wise. In the Zone opens with Slothrop in his new secret identity as British journalist Ian Scuffling, travelling by train trough the remnants of post-war Germany, the Zone, where he shall remain for most of the book. He meets a racist, jingoistic military man named Major Duane Marvy, who is promptly thrown off the train by a mysterious African ‘rocket-trooper’ named Orbst Enzian. Wandering through the Zone, Slothrop encounters Geli Tripping, a witch with an owl who reveals herself to be the lover of a murderous Soviet cyborg named Tchitcherine, who is involved with finding the Schwarzgerät; a one-of-a-kind V-2 rocket. Having apparently escaped Them, finding out what happened to this rocket then becomes the primary goal of Slothrop – his new epic quest. Slothrop attempts to infiltrate the Mittelwerke, a vast SS-shaped underground tunnel complex, used by the Nazis to create V-2 rockets using slave-labourers from the nearby Dora concentration camp. He finds the place invaded by Marvy’s army, and the Russians – who both decide to murder Slothrop for discovering what seems to be… an ongoing operation? After his escape, Slothrop finds himself escaping to Berlin via hot-air balloon, only to be hunted by Marvy’s boys once more, but luckily the balloon is filled with custard pies, which are then thrown into the engine of Marvy’s aircraft, presumably killing most of them. We come to learn more about Enzian, who turns out to have lived previously as a sex-slave to Weissman, a high-ranking German officer who participated in the Herero genocide that wiped out Enzian’s family. As time progressed, Enzian became Weissman’s Monster – the sinister, black right-hand man during his master’s involvement with the development of the V-2 rocket and the mysterious Schwarzgerät. In the Zone, with Weissman’s disappearance, Enzian has taken on a new, commanding role as the leader of the Schwarzkommando – a paramilitary death-cult made up of members of the Erdschweinhöhle (the death-obsessed Herero-survivors scattered throughout various communities in Nordhausen), who have made it their goal to find the Schwarzgerät. He even gets his own right-hand man in the form of the radio-enthusiast Andreas Orukambe. Among the Schwarzkommando, however, there is disagreement – some, like Enzian, believe in the destiny of destruction promised by the Rocket, whilst others, such as Ombindi of the Empty Ones, wish to initiate their own form of ‘racial suicide’, which uses sexual deviancy to ensure a negative birth-rate, which is seen as a triumph of material pleasure over the European ideals of Christian asceticism and death-worship. Because of his quest to discover the Schwarzgerät, he is by default the arch-nemesis of Tchitcherine. Tchitcherine, we find out, is the long-lost half-brother of Enzian, their father having had a steamy affair with a Herero girl whilst in the midst of deserting the Russo-Japanese War. He grows up into a high-ranking agent of the Leninist Soviet regime, being principally tasked with giving the native people of Kyrgyzstan a new language (the New Turkic Alphabet), which isn’t historically accurate, by the way. During an uprising against conscription in 1916, thousands of native Kazakhs were killed, in an event which Tchitcherine refers to as the Kirghiz Light, which loses him his cosy, bureaucratic job. He is haunted by this light, which he sees as an illumination, a transcendent moment in which he saw the force behind it all. Sent out to the Zone, Tchitcherine has quickly adopted the new role of Rocket-fanatic, believing (like Enzian) that there is a spiritual force to be revealed to him in the Schwarzgerät. He is not entirely sure why his superiors sent him to the Zone, but he is absolutely convinced that it somehow involves Enzian and the Schwarzkommando. Back to Slothrop, who briefly runs into Enzian again, only to be told, rather ominously, that reality is not real. Enzian, indeed, seems to treat his existence as though they were all conjured into being by some director or writer-God, and that all they can do is follow a pre-determined path to His ending. Weird. Anyway, Slothrop then meets Säure Bummer, the coolest man in the Zone – a proto-hippie drug dealer and money-counterfeiter, who suggests that Slothrop take on the superhero identity of Rocketman (which he does) and then advises him to travel to a bar to meet a contact (Seaman Bodine, the foul-mouthed sailor) who will show Slothrop the way to the Schwarzgerät in exchange for picking up a massive shipment of marijuana – located in the centre of the Potsdam conference. He is then to return with the product, which will be given to an influential Zone personality called der Springer, who will know Slothrop is cool because Säure has given him a chess-piece (a white knight) with which to identify himself. With this potential reward, along with part of the score and one million fake marks, Slothrop decides to haul ass to the conference. He invents another disguise (Max Schelpzig, the name on the fake ID which brought him to Europe in the first place) and sets forth, first by taking a boat into the Russian sector and then running on foot through an Autobahn, jumping the barricade into Potsdam. He gets the dope eventually, after a few awkward encounters with politicians and a few epic stealth moves, and then returns to his boat, where he is then drugged and dragged away, unconscious. Turns out, Tchitcherine has been watching him the whole time, and has just drugged him with the truth-serum/LSD stand-in Sodium Amytal.). He then tries out a huge chunk of Slothrop’s product with his right-hand man, Dzaqyp Qulan, and dumps Slothrop in an abandoned film studio. Waking up, Slothrop encounters Greta Erdmann, a pre-war pornographic actress, who is searching the studio in the hopes of finding her daughter, Bianca, who was conceived at this very studio, with a man named Max Schelpzig, during the filming of German director der Springer’s movie Alpdrücken. Slothrop confides that he isn’t so sure that he’s not in a movie right now. Meanwhile, the Argentinian anarchists of Squalidozzi find themselves in a submarine, longing for the Zone to become a permanently decentralised monument to the freedom of the individual, in stark contrast from what is happening back home, in their native Buenos Aires. They believe in the power of art to inspire revolution, and desire to work with der Springer to create a film version of Martin Fierro which will force their revolution into existence – just as his propaganda films seemed to will the Schwarzkommando into existence. Quite the opposite kind of person is then introduced to us: Franz Pökler, a Nazi engineer who worked on the V-2 rocket and the Schwarzgerät under the command of Weissman (now calling himself Captain Blicero). Pynchon shows us basically all of Pökler’s adult life, in a non-linear order. What happens, in short, is this: Pökler is inspired to become a rocket-engineer after taking university lectures in chemistry via Laszlo Jamf, the Pavlovian who somehow conditioned Slothrop as a baby to get erections during V-2 rocket strikes, decades before the V-2 was invented. He marries Leni Pökler, a communist reactionary who will drift apart from him as Weimar Germany becomes the hotseat for a new form of Evil. After watching the late-night premiere of Alpdrücken, Pökler runs home and impregnates Leni with their only child, Ilse. Raising her, he feels compelled to instil within her a desire to travel to the Moon, which is handily reinforced with frequent visits to Zwölfkinder, an amusement park run entirely by children. With Leni gone, Pökler falls deep into his work for the Nazis. As time goes on, he begins to question the nature of his work – is what he is doing just as Evil as what They are doing? Blicero and the other higher-ups catch wind of this, and, to prevent sabotage, Ilse is removed from Pökler’s life. He realises that bringing up the topic will result in termination, possibly of his life, and so he keeps on with the rocket work. He then sees Ilse again, delivered to him at his office without a note, and is advised to go to Zwölfkinder with her, which he does. She disappears the next day. This happens year after year on the same day, with Pökler gradually developing a harrowing fear that she died in the first year, and was replaced by a similar-looking girl. On their final visit to Zwölfkinder, after the Nazi defeat, they find the park empty, and ‘Ilse’ no longer likes the Moon. She tells him that they will no meet again. He returns to the office to find that it has been bombed to smithereens – interesting, isn’t it, how this just so happened to occur on the same day that Pökler goes on his holiday? Bewildered, Pökler travels to the location that Ilse and Leni were supposedly being held, only to find himself in the middle of the Dora concentration camp. We then encounter the quick story of Horst Achtfaden, another Nazi engineer who, whilst on-board a possibly imaginary “Toiletship” vessel, is captured by Enzian and the Schwarzkommando, who demand that he reveal to them the location of the Schwarzgerät. Deciding that the entire War was just a big joke and that it definitely isn’t worth dying for, he claims that he has no idea what they are talking about, but that there was a colleague named Narrisch who worked directly on the project, so maybe bother him instead. Back to Slothrop, who is now following the slightly unhinged Greta Erdmann’s lead as she follows a hunch that she hopes will lead straight to Bianca. This leads to a coastal town near the Lüneberg Heath, where the glimpse of a shrouded figure in the mist sends Greta into hysterics before it disappears. As evening approaches, a party-boat named the Anubis drifts by the coast. Upon seeing it, Greta becomes convinced that Bianca is on-board, and jumps into the water after it. Slothrop swims after her, losing his entire Rocketman costume to the sea as he does so. He discovers that the ship is a massive upper-class, elite society orgy vessel - people are indulging in the most depraved sexual acts he has ever seen, all the time, all over the place. And as the night wades on, the centrepiece of this orgy commences – a young girl (Bianca) performs half of a Shirley Temple routine before being publicly humiliated and whipped by Erdmann, her mother. The following morning, Bianca enters Slothrop’s room and the two have sex. Later, a Japanese people-watcher named Ensign Morituri, who lived on the same coastal town that Slothrop was at when they saw the Anubis, relates the horrible truth of Erdmann’s past life. In the lead-up to her time with Slothrop, Erdmann, a fellow native of the town, had gradually gone insane with her partner Gerhardt von Goll, believing herself (for some reason) to be part-Jewish. As some sort of psychotic payback against the Nazis, she began dressing in a shroud and luring the local children out to the swamps, where she would role-play with them (her as Nazi, child as Jew) before drowning them. The figure Erdmann saw earlier is revealed to be a grown-up version of one of the few survivors of her serial-killings – a survivor only because Morituri was there to stop her. Later, Slothrop endeavours to find Erdmann after she locks herself in her room out of guilt. However, she reveals that her guilt is out of a completely unrelated event – during her time at the Heath, she became the sexual associate of Captain Blicero, who is revealed to have gone insane whilst pursuing some kind of apocalyptic project with a sex-slave (a young boy named Gottfried, who has mysteriously disappeared…) and has now come to see himself as a mythic figure in a fantasy world, running through a different version of Germany from everyone else. During her career as a sex-icon, Blicero took Greta to a remote room in a petrochemical plant, filled with politicians and business tycoons, who introduced her to clothing made entirely out of a new form of plastic – she finds it so stimulating that she wanted to immediate get down and dirty with those around her, but was just as quickly led out of the room again, and, over time, left with a growing concern that she witnessed the birth of something too horrible to really get to the bottom of. Shortly after this encounter, a major storm hits the Anubis, and many of the passengers, including Slothrop, find themselves thrown head-first into the Sea. Slothrop seems content that the ‘Fascist cargo’ of the ship will soon drown to death. Of course, he is not included – he is soon picked up by an illegal smuggler and sweet old lady called Frau Gnahb, who travels with her young descendant Otto. Reaching land the following morning, Slothrop quickly finds a white-suited man calling himself der Springer, who (after Slothrop shows him Säure’s chess-piece) reveals himself to be none other than Gerhardt von Goll. He is travelling with his friend, an ex-scientist named Narrisch. They all then hop on-board to journey to Peenemunde, where von Goll is immediately arrested by Russian authorities. Narrisch, angered by the whole thing, then forces Slothrop to accompany him as they do another deep-cover infiltration, this time of the Tchitcherine’s military base where they are keeping von Goll. Freeing von Goll, who is on Sodium Amytal, Slothrop finds himself kocking a guard unconscious and taking his uniform. Then, Slothrop and Narrisch run into Tchitcherine and Qulan, where they all get very confused about the uniforms, thus buying enough time for von Goll’s escape. Narrisch then decides to stay behind to fight off the Russians, to allow Frau Gnahb and the gang to get away safely. Then, to Slothrop’s horror, they once more find the Anubis, where Slothrop is told that he will find his stash to give to von Goll in the engine room. Going on-board, he finds that no-one on the ship remembers or recognises him at all. He gets to the engine room, where the lights go out completely, and voices proceed to taunt and beat him. Frightened, he looks up to find the corpse of Bianca hanging from a noose, just above the stash. He gets it and runs, finding invisible hands grabbing his own as he tries to climb the ladder out of there. Meanwhile, two older characters, Katje and Pirate, find themselves entwined with a counter-revolutionary force after the destruction of the White Visitation. Katje discovers a film by Osbie Feel which seems to reveal to her the whole Plan and how to combat it, whilst Pirate, on the other hand, has a psychic vision in which he discovers that people of those whom he had trusted are actually parts of Them, and, what’s worse, They know that he is watching them. Both Katje and Pirate begin to form a vague hope of something that can defeat Them, some kind of Counterforce… Wandering homeless around the Zone again, Slothrop begins to wonder about his own family history, and the environmental damage wrought by his family’s paper company. Furthermore, he thinks back to his first American ancestor, William Slothrop, a pig-loving anti-establishment figure whose political pamphlet was burned on-masse by the Elite, and was then forced to return, defeated, to England. Slothrop once more meets both Marvy and the Schwarzkommando, neither of whom recognise him in the Russian uniform. We soon find out that Marvy is now in league with the Soviets, who have been extracting information about the Schwarzgerät from Narrisch and selling it back to Marvy. While this is going on, Slothrop finds Cuxhaven, where the local children ask him to become their mythical pig-hero, Plechazunga, as part of a pagan festival. Crashed by the cops, Slothrop takes refuge with a teenage girl, who wishes to escape with him, but refuses to leave when the time comes. Slothrop, on the road again, finds a slightly mad German child who demands that Slothrop help him find his lemming, which they fail to do, but Slothrop himself finds a pig, who accompanies him on his journey, which is interrupted by one evening in which Slothrop finds a fellow homeless wanderer named Franz Pökler, who he finds strangely relatable. Meanwhile, we get to hear about Lyle Bland. Bland was a member of the Masons, though he did not care about the society in the same way that the other Masons seemed to. However, as time went on, he felt that he understood their rites and rituals in a way that the real members never did. He became connected to arcane magickal forces, creating nightly out-of-body experiences, saying on his deathbed that he would choose that night to break through to the Other Side and achieve transcendence. Bland’s life prior to this event was a mish-mash of government deals with mobsters, with the conniving blackmail techniques of intelligence agencies, with the grand conspiracies of international technology tycoons. This last one seems particularly interesting, don’t you think? Bland thinks so too, and he actually has quite a pet passion for a remarkable scheme involving pinball machines that are built to fail – the machines will, in fact, fail immediately after they are fixed. How? Good question. The final Slothrop scene of In the Zone shows him once more with Bodine, running away from American troops and straight into a mansion which happens to be hosting the party of the century. Ditching his pig-costume in a closet, he takes up in a bedroom with a prostitute named Solange, who is actually Leni Pökler in a new identity. Meanwhile, Bodine runs into Major Marvy, who is here to have sex with a minority so that he can live out a racist power-fantasy. Bodine gives Marvy a vial of cocaine, which Marvy then stashes into his jacket. Later, the mansion is raided by American troops – Marvy, having sex with a minority, freaks it because of the coke he left in his pocket, runs to the closet to find the jacket, only to discover that his whole uniform is missing – the only outfit he can put on to escape is some sort of pig costume. The American troops then find him, ask him if he is Tyrone Slothrop, which Marvy agrees to, hoping that Slothrop hasn’t done anything too bad. He is then kidnapped and dragged into the woods by Muffage and Spontoon, the two hitmen hired by Pointsmen in a previous part of the book to find Slothrop, who proceed to drug and castrate Marvy. The final section features Mossmoon and Scammony, two government boys back in England who gossip about Pointsman’s career ruination over the castration of Marvy, and the collapse of the whole Scheme. They uneasily discuss the role of homosexuality in government conspiracies. They reveal, finally, what Slothrop was supposed to do in Their Grand Scheme. He was supposed to begin the extermination of the black race. Oh well, they think. If he can’t do it, They will just have to develop different methods. In the Zone ends on, or around, August 6th 1945 – the date of the atomic bomb strike on Hiroshima. It is also the celebration the Transfiguration. Discussion Questions: · Has it occurred to you that most of the dialogue in these sections would have been spoken in German? · Why do you think the novel is divided into four parts, and what do you think separates them? · What do you make of the use of the Wizard of Oz quote that begins this section? Quite interesting, especially considering that this is the only epigram that seems to have no reference point in the actual novel. · What has changed between the beginning and the end of In the Zone? · Many have expressed the view that Gravity’s Rainbow is not about WWII at all. In fact, Gravity’s Rainbow is about Vietnam. How do you feel about that interpretation, given the focus on the Zone here? More importantly, what does In the Zone tell us about the world in 1973? · Do you believe that Gravity’s Rainbow is at all autobiographical? · Why do you think Slothrop keeps becoming a superhero in these sections? What do superheroes and comic books mean to Pynchon? · Some people have pointed out, with a particular focus on the episodes in which Slothrop wakes up in the studio and Katje finds Osbie Feel’s movie, that the plot is actually a giant film. How does that strike you, and how do you think that metafiction and the introduction of alternative mediums relates to the themes of In the Zone? · In the Zone makes up literally half of the book. But why? What’s so important about it that could not expressed elsewhere? · For that matter, what do you make of the Zone itself? Why do you think he wrote a book around it? · Does Pynchon evoke the imagery of ghosts, magic, angels, demons, telepathy and other phenomena with genuine sincerity, or are we supposed to take these as metaphors for more grounded events? · This section is far more epic in scope than the two preceding it. Did you encounter anything cool or interesting that you think we forgot about in the discussion threads? · What do you make of the Rocket-cartel, and what do think Their grand plan actually is? · What was your favourite episode of this part? Also, what was your favourite Pynchon-tangent or speech? Previous Threads: Sections 30-33 Sections 34-37 Sections 38-40 Sections 41-45 Sections 46-48 Sections 49-53 Sections 54-57 Sections 58-61
2020.09.21 18:00 MotaVenturesCorpTHOUGHTFUL BRANDS ENTERS BINDING TERM SHEET TO ACQUIRE AMERICAN CBD EXTRACTION CORP.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA (September 21, 2020) – Thoughtful Brands Inc. (CSE:TBI FSE: 1WZ1; OTCQB: PEMTF) (the “Company” or “Thoughtful Brands”), a global natural health products and eCommerce technology company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a binding term sheet to acquire (the “Proposed Acquisition”) all of the issued and outstanding shares, or all of the assets of, Kentucky-based hemp extraction company American CBD Extraction Corp. (“American CBD”). The Proposed Acquisition is expected to set the stage for Thoughtful Brands to become a fully vertically-integrated CBD company, controlling each aspect of the supply chain, including production, logistics and value chain. Upon completion of the Proposed Acquisition, the Company will acquire an abundance of hemp biomass along with a fully equipped 41,000 square foot facility with the ability to process more than 1,200 pounds of hemp per day once licensed. Upon completion, Thoughtful Brands would also be able to utilize American CBD’s technological and scientific expertise to enhance the formulations of the Company’s various direct-to-consumer CBD brands, which include Nature’s Exclusive, Sativida and the recently acquired Golden Path and Wild Mariposa. Additionally, the Company plans to sell American CBD’s hemp biomass to support operations in Europe and to other clients worldwide. “The term sheet with American CBD is an important milestone for the Company because it increases the likelihood of expanded margins and will allow us to launch innovative new products for which we control every step of the process,” said Thoughtful Brands CEO Ryan Hoggan. “Once we’re able to work directly with the team at American CBD and within their state-of-the-art Kentucky facility, we expect to be able to fine-tune and advance our cannabinoid product portfolio.” Acquisition Details The Company proposes to acquire all of the issued and outstanding share capital of, or all of the assets of, American CBD in consideration for Cdn$11,000,000, which will be satisfied through the issuance of common shares of the Company (the “Consideration Shares”). The Consideration Shares will be issued to the existing shareholders of American CBD or, in the case of an asset acquisition, directly to American CBD, at a deemed price equivalent to the lesser of (a) Cdn$0.18 per share or (b) the five-day volume-weighted average closing price of the Company’s common shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange for the period preceding closing of the Proposed Acquisition. The Consideration Shares shall be paid upfront and subject to an escrow arrangement, from which 25% of the Consideration Shares will be released on the closing date of the Proposed Acquisition, followed by an additional 25% after each subsequent 90-day period. In addition to the Consideration Shares, a bonus of Cdn$1,000,000 will be paid to the operating team of American CBD on closing and a Cdn$2,000,000 performance milestone payment will be paid to the operating team of American CBD upon the achievement of production and cumulative online sales of over USD$1,000,000. The bonus and milestone shares will be payable in common shares of the Company based on the five-day volume weighted average closing price of the Company’s shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange immediately prior to the bonus and milestone payments becoming payable. Closing of the Proposed Acquisition is subject to American CBD: (a) having a minimum cash balance of Cdn$2,000,000, less closing costs related to the Proposed Acquisition (which are not exceed Cdn$40,000); (b) having no debts or liabilities; and (c) having been granted a seat on the Company’s board of directors, all on the closing of the Proposed Acquisition. The Company is at arms-length from American CBD and its shareholders. The transaction will not constitute a fundamental change for the Company, nor is it expected to result in a change of control of the Company, within the meaning of applicable securities laws and the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange. Readers are cautioned that the final terms and structure for a transaction between the Company and American CBD have not yet been determined. Completion of any transaction remains subject to negotiation of definitive documentation and satisfaction of conditions set forth above, as well as customary closing conditions for a transaction of this nature. The Proposed Acquisition cannot be completed until these conditions are satisfied. The Company will provide additional information regarding the Proposed Acquisition as soon as it becomes available. About Thoughtful Brands Inc. Thoughtful Brands Inc. is an eCommerce technology company that researches, develops, markets, and distributes natural health products through various brands in North America and Europe. Through continuous strategic acquisitions, the Company has a strong footprint in the CBD market, as well as the burgeoning psychedelic medicine sector. Thoughtful Brands owns and operates a 110,000 square foot pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Radebeul, Germany, where its highly skilled team conducts clinical studies utilizing naturally occurring psilocybin and other compounds found in psychedelics for the treatment of opiate addiction, while planning for future opportunities to create proprietary psilocybin products. About American CBD Extraction Corp. From the rich soils of Kentucky, American CBD Extraction Corp. is a Kentucky-based company that produces cannabinoid distillates and isolates, and is positioned to become a significant supplier of hemp-derived extracts. Its location in the eastern part of Kentucky, a place that has been called “The Hemp Capital of the United States,” gives American CBD the privilege to partner with the state’s most experienced farmers to source the highest quality hemp for its products. American CBD is a company founded on dedication, strong work ethic and quality, fulfilling its mission to provide consistent, high-grade and clean hemp-derived CBD oil to meet the growing demand in this evolving marketplace. ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS THOUGHTFUL BRANDS INC. Ryan Hoggan Chief Executive Officer For further information, readers are encouraged to contact Joel Shacker, President at +604.423.4733 or by email at [email protected] Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release, which has been prepared by management. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statement All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking information” with respect to the Company within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including with respect to the completion of the Proposed Acquisition, the synergies created by the acquisition of American CBD, plans to sell hemp biomass to support its operations in Europe and to other clients worldwide, its plans to acquire additional revenue-producing natural health product brands and operations in both Europe and North America with the goal of establishing an international distribution network utilizing its eCommerce technology platform. The Company provides forward-looking statements for the purpose of conveying information about current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. By its nature, this information is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that may be general or specific and which give rise to the possibility that expectations, forecasts, predictions, projections or conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that assumptions may not be correct and that objectives, strategic goals and priorities will not be achieved. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited those identified and reported in the Company’s public filings under the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless required by law.
2020.09.21 17:32 HappierDaysAheadEx gf (27f) destroyed me (32m) psychologically
This is a long read but if you want to hear screwed up, here it is. Dated her for 4 years was a bad relationship. She lied all the time. Would constantly block me after a couple of good weeks suddenly without explaination. Then ghost me and come back and be “in love again”. It conditioned me to freak out every time she did it and call text chase her. I was dumb but I fell into this pattern of conditioning, it was torture. We broke up a year and half ago. She dated someone else. We still stayed in contact but it was still the same screwy game, I just couldn’t let go. Eventually her and that guy break up and she asks if she can stay with me for a bit before she gets her own place. I say yes, being the fool in love still. We move her in and things are great. Exciting we hook up. Tell each other we love each other all the time etc. how grateful she is I’m helping her. That she’ll always be here for me. Both agree she should be single awhile but talk about maybe dating again. After the first week the nightmare begins. On my birthday she starts setting up her own bedroom in my spare room. This immediately makes me feel weird because we didn’t talk about that. It also makes me feel rejected in some way that after the romance she doesn’t want to sleep with me but take over another room. I told her that it made me feel weird. Which turned into an argument and I said she had to move out soon because this is already throwing me off because of my feelings for her. The argument ended with her breaking a bunch of plates, calling the old guy asking to move back, in which he declined. Ruined my birthday, she obvs didn’t get me a gift. The next day she’s flying back to our home town for a week. Things are fine. She comes back we are about to hook up and she says she can’t. Because she hooked up with someone and the condom broke and didn’t want to confuse things. We weren’t exclusive but that was just too much for me. I went down to play guitar out of my frustration. It was 11pm on a Saturday and we usually stay up late. She demanded I stopped and I said no it’s my house I want to play guitar for a bit. So she starts slamming doors over and over and screaming at the top of her lungs over and over again. I ask her to stop and she finally does. 20 mins later cops show up. Neighbor called because of her screams. Had to explain the situation and fortunately no one was arrested. At this point I feel like such shit in my own house I can’t even sleep anymore. We try to be amicable and focus on having a connection still. I didn’t suddenly stop loving her after this even though I wish I could. The next weekend she asks me to plan a date so I do. She ghosts me the ENTIRE weekend. I’m so mad because of the ghosting but also because I can’t do anything because if she randomly comes back I have to let her in the building so I can’t go out and do anything. I sent her a bunch of angry texts saying I’ve had it and she’s got to move out. She comes home and apologized said she stayed with a girlfriend. Which the next day I found out was a lie because she left a journal open saying she met some guy that weekend and they are exclusive already. This gave me a legit anxiety attack, felt like I was going to have a heart attack which she calms me down and acts nice. Later that night she starts packing her luggage. I asked her if she’s leaving. She says yes. I pry a bit more and she said some guy was supposed to give her 2k for nudes but he didn’t pay her so now she ‘has to go fuck guys for money’ and goes on this psychotic rant about men. I assume this guy she’s seeing is paying her money some kind of sugar daddy thing because no one pays 2k for nudes. A few days later she asks me for a loan because she can’t afford her apt move in cost as she just started a job (she has a good career). I was so stressed and wanted her out so I said yes but made her sign a promissory note. She said she was also going to get out of the relationship ship with this guy. I give her the loan (1500). Over the next week things seem alright but occasionally she’d just be fuckkng mean to me for no reason. Told me she didn’t want to talk, to leave her alone whenever I just said hey how’s it going etc. telling me I haven’t helped her at all. Having her move in didn’t cost me anything and the loan she has to pay back that I’ve done nothing for her. one day she loves me and cares about me next day she’s just mean back and fourth. She acts so mean to me one night that I did something to be a jerk. I texted some guy she’s been also banging off and on for years she was talking to that she had herpes and was just going to use him also (this is actually true). I felt bad for doing that it was petty, she flipped out but obviously they smoothed it over. Then the weekend before she moves out she ghosts me again after making plans with me to hang out with that guy. I’m so angry at this point I sent a bunch of angry texts and said get your shit in a few days I don’t care anymore. So her new guy is a lawyer and threatens me. So I said fuck it get your things now. She BRINGS this dude to move her out. I asked her not to or bring anyone else but she still does it. I leave because I don’t want to be there for that. Whole situation sucked gave me a ton of anxiety. After they finally finish she texts me because the dude wants to meet me because I told her that dude coming over was fucked up. I said no twice. Then he texted me from her number and I’m just like dude leave. The next day she gets her last things alone she’s being super friendly. So I thought alright cool at least this can end without pure resentment. The next day I’m blocked everywhere the day before she’s supposed to pay the loan back. I lose my shit because I know she’s not paying me back now. I texted her like 30 times from another number about the loan and she needs to pay me back or I’ll go to small claims. So she tells me to fuck off a certain amount of times so she can claim I’m harassing her. At this point I try to reach out a few more times and then I just say screw it you can keep it im tired. She finally talks to me in the phone saying how grateful she is and she loves me and I’m a good person. But then tells me how the boyfriend was going to file lawsuits against my business and drain me in lawyer fees but she is going to talk him out of it. Over the next day I lose my shit try texting her a million times from different numbers because I was seriously freaked out about this dude filing lawsuits against my business. I just wanted her to give me closure on that plus everything else that happened. It seriously destroyed my mental health and I have several alcohol induced text message breakdowns. All of this happened over 30 days. It’s been two weeks and she hasn’t given me a single response. I’m trying to move on from this but mentally I’m just ruined. This relationship over the years has seriously given me PTSD. How do I come to terms with this and move on? Tl;dr: ex destroyed me psychologically over the years and recently. Need help letting go and feeling better / moving forward.
2020.09.21 17:26 roseprincess1AITA for cutting out my uncle after he took and sold something important to me of my grandma's?
.(edited for grammar and spelling) Ok.. So.. you have seen my posts before so you know my family is slightly wack. So let me preface this with a lil background. My maternal grandmother and myself were very close. We had a lot in common with each other as she was a crafts woman and artist like myself. She is also the one that instilled the love of doll collecting in me. She had a magnificent collection when I was growing up and I loved it. It inspired me to become a collector myself. My art studio in the top of my house contains my collection, some of which date all the way back to the civil war. There was one particular doll that belonged to my grandmother, that she told me she would give me some day. A rather homely lil thing called “little miss no name” by hasbro i believe. I however found the lil doll adorable and my grandmother told the family that when and if she ever passed the doll was to be mine. Fast forward to recently. My grandma had been passed for a while now. So I asked my grandfather could I please have the doll to remember her by. My grandfather turned several shades of pale and informed me that he had given the doll to my uncle, to sell. This is a very rare doll. In cases of mint condition ones, it can go for 1700.00+ My grandma’s was NOT mint, but was in very good shape. Meaning that it would have at the least gone for about 500.00. My uncle had taken my grandfather to the Doctor on an appointment, then demanded that my grandfather pay him for doing so. My grandfather was unable to pay him, so my uncle asked for the doll so he could put it on Ebay. My grandfather, never having really taken my grandmother’s or my love of collectables very seriously, gave him the doll and said he was sure I would not mind. Most of the rest of my grandma’s doll collection was also sold off to pay bills, or given to my cousin’s children to “play with.” I do realize it was in fact , only a doll. I am not angry over the rest of the sales of the other dolls to cover bills. IF it were truly needed for money, I do understand. However I just wish my grandfather would have at least ASKED me, As i would have gladly offered him the money for it if he HONESTLY needed it. I have stopped talking to my uncle as of the moment. My family has pointed out that it was in fact “just a doll.” As I said, and I should not be angry about it. I think it's more disappointment than anger at this point, I want to let it go but I am having a hard time even talking to my uncle now. So, AITA over this? Should I just let it go? After all it's just a doll.
2020.09.21 17:16 sc-dragonieThe Girl That You Could Not Kiss
There was once a woman who lived in the village during the old days of this great land that we call, Delmar. This woman was pregnant and was convinced that her baby would be a girl. However, the woman also wanted her baby to grow up being the most beautiful girl in the village. So one day, she packed a lunch and headed up the trail that led to the dragon's cave. The dragon was a poor creature that had been captured by the villagers and imprisoned inside the cave, many years ago. They used him for his magic abilities, particularly, his ability to make wishes come true. The woman eventually reached the dragon's cave. She called inside, "O' great and mighty-magic -dragon-of-the-mountain, grant me a wish!" After a moment, the dragon crawled out of the back of the cave, exposing his dark red scales to the light. "What is your wish?" He asked in a deep voice. "I am pregnant, with a girl, and I want her to grow up to be the most beautiful girl in the village!" "Is that all?" "Yes." "Very well, I will grant your wish, however... There is a catch." The woman was confused, she had never heard of there being catches to these wishes. "A... Catch? "Yes, your daughter will grow up to be the most beautiful girl in the village. But, you mustn't allow anyone to kiss her on the lips," the dragon explained. That's an unusual condition, The woman thought. "That's the catch?" "Yes," the dragon said, rolling his eyes. "Do not dare disrespect me! I along with the other villagers give your food and shelter!" The woman cries. "Are you satisfied with your wish?" the dragon asks, ignoring the woman's demand. The woman composed herself. "Yes, I am." "Good..." A few days later, the woman gave birth to a girl, and the moment she held her in her arms, she knew that she'd be the most beautiful girl in the village. But the woman remembered the dragon's condition and she constantly reminded her daughter that she mustn't allow a single pair of lips rest on hers. The girl grew up with the words drilled into her head, no kissing. When she was old enough, the boys and even some of the girls in the village began asking for her hand in marriage left and right. There were so many she was overwhelmed and didn't end up getting married until she was older. She gave birth to another daughter and taught her the same two words, no kissing. When her daughter gave birth to her own little boy, she taught him the words, no kissing. It was passed from generation to generation. That brings us to the present day... Bethany, seventeen years old, a student at her local high school. Her mother taught her the same words, no kissing. She'd had a few girlfriends in the past and they all respected her no kissing rules. One day, Bethany got her new girlfriend, Jessica. A local girl who'd lived in the town her whole life. Bethany fell for her after they worked on a school project together and the first date was already in the planning stages by the end of the project. Before she knew it, Bethany found herself getting ready for her date with Jessica. Her heart was fluttering, her hopes were high, this was her night! Bethany waited outside her house for Jessica and eventually, a car pulled up with Jessica in the front seat. They drove off into the night together, playing music loudly with the wind in their hair. Bethany couldn't have been happier. The date goes perfectly, Bethany and Jessica enjoyed dinner under the stars at a fancy restaurant. A musician comes to play them romantic music while they eat, enjoying the view. After dinner, they went stargazing. Jessica knew of a good spot and that's where they went. The spot was beautiful, you could see the whole town from there. Bethany was beaming, she couldn't be happier. Jessica was really happy too, so happy that she leaned in for a kiss. Bethany dodged it and apologized, explaining what she'd been taught since she was a little girl. Jessica nodded, but she didn't seem convinced. This worried Bethany but she brushed it aside and enjoyed the rest of the date. When she got home, Bethany told her parents how much she enjoyed her date and they were very happy for her. Eventually, Bethany and Jessica were going steady. Jessica still wanted to kiss Bethany but she always stopped her and said the same words her mother had taught her, no kissing. Jessica was getting tired of this, she really, really wanted to kiss Bethany. She would do anything to kiss Bethany, even if it was just one kiss. But Bethany persisted, no kissing. This caused a few arguments between the two of them, some got bad enough that they wouldn't talk to each other for a week or two. The way Bethany saw it, they could have a good relationship without kissing each other on the lips. But for Jessica kissing was a huge deal and they could never seem to come to a compromise or agreement. One night, Jessica and Bethany were cuddling while watching TV. Bethany was starting to doze off and she reminded Jessica, no kissing. Jessica said that she would not kiss Bethany and that seemed to be enough for her and Bethany promptly fell asleep in Jessica's arms. Jessica grinned, now was her chance... Without thinking, she moved slightly so her face was level with Bethany's, then she leaned in, and kissed her. At first, nothing happened, in other words, it was a normal kiss... For two seconds. Bethany woke in a panic and the moment she did her tongue shot out and wrapped itself around Jessica's. She tried to pull away but she was caught by her tongue! Bethany's tongue was inhuman, long and impossibly big with sharp barbs that dug into Jessica's tongue. Before either could act, Bethany's tongue began pulling on Jessica's. Jessica screamed and struggled but it was no use... The tongue gave one last tug and with a meaty, wet rip, Jessica's tongue was gone... Pulled deep into Bethany's throat, but her monstrous tongue. Jessica was rushed to the hospital and her wound was tended to, thankfully she didn't lose much blood. Bethany's mom was appalled that such a thing had happened, after all, it was the first time something like this had happened in the family's history. Jessica made a full recovery but sadly for her, Bethany had no interest in dating her. She felt violated and betrayed, Jessica had broken her one rule... no kissing. The End
2020.09.21 16:55 QotiI fucked up? Complicated break up
I feel like an idiot. Got dumped out of the blue on Aug 12. Kept NC for a month but we work together and couldn't avoid eachother forever. I tried looking for another job but the pandemic has made it very difficult. The relationship was on and off . First time i called it quits because after many months of dating he still didn't know if he wanted to be my Bf. A month later he asked me to be his gf. Six months later he broke up with me bc he was unsure. Then got back together. A year later I broke up with him bc I discovered he had a porn addiction (was looking at scort websites, couldn't keep it up, didn't want to have sex anymore). Discovering this heavily traumatized me and I'm still dealing with PTSD. He worked at his addiction and did everything to win me back, we were happy for a while, although i still had and have issues. Pandemic hit, things got difficult, I got more and more stressed and anxious. His cousin was murdered in April. He had a relapse. Tried to break up with me , waited it out a couple of days and decided to stay together. Yesterday I went to work and opened the laptop, he had left a porn tab open. It triggered me really bad. I sent him a message to let him know gently i didnt want to see that and to be more careful, but before I was done telling him, he had already arrived. Told me he missed me. We ended up cuddling on the couch and talking about the relationship. He kept kissing my head gently. After work I started crying. I demanded answers. To make sense of everything. He said he loved me. Kinda hinted at regretting the break up, that he just needed space to clear his head, hinting at wanting to get back together but aware that none of us are sure anymore. We cuddled and made out. I think he was just horny. I didn't want to leave, I was hugging him again and didn't want to be the last time. Told me he loved me, I told him I loved him more, he cried. He told me how pretty I was, how he loved my eyes, how he didn't wanna leave. I feel this was stupid of me? Since he is unable to say anything frank I told him what I had talked with my therapist: even if he asked me to get back together or the possibility opened up, I would not accept it, even if I miss him so much. It would be impulse. We have broken up so many times. Im tired of this. I want to break this cycle. We got issues to work on. I deserve someone that wants to be with me without a doubt. I tell myself that maybe if we are separated enough time to get our shit together, maybe in the future things will finally work out, it's probably just fantasy but its and incentive to stick to it. But to be at work together? Its so difficult. The urge to hold his hand is too big, and now that I know he also misses me its worse. I feel kinda trapped and unable to scape this. Just because we miss eachother doesn't mean we are a good match, but seeing him makes it one millions times harder to go forward. I feel sick. I feel tired. I feel hopeless that he is using porn again. He had developed porn induced ED, and overcame it. Does he not care about that? Is it so preferable over real women that he is willing to sacrifice his sex life knowingly again? Was the pain I went through in vain? I found some confort in thinking that at least my discovery and trauma served in waking him up and changing his life, even if we broke up. I kinda feel he broke up so he could consume in peace, and that though sickens me. But i still miss him. I dont know if i can control myself from running into his arms next time i see him. I feel sick and tired of this. I wish I could run away and never see him again. How do I stick to my guns? Sorry, this post is a huge mess.
2020.09.21 16:41 Typical-EscapeWhere are the strict desi parents at? Cuz all the desi kids that I know of are spoiled AF.
To be honest, whenever I hear the word “tiger parents” I mostly think of Chinese or Korean parents but not desis. Almost all desi kids that I know of are coddled and spoiled rotten by their folks. I’m from Canada so I know a very large sample. At brown parties, I see kids as old as 9-11 who don’t grab their own food and drinks . The parents even offer refills & get desserts for them. Some are overweight because their mother is constantly feeding them delicious desi foods. I have been trained in multiple classical Indian dance forms & I had an extremely strict guruji. My parents LOVED it because they thought that was the only way to learn. I currently teach some classes to desi kids at my temple. They never practice & their parents make excuses for them. Shit like, “ oh little Priya had soccer so couldn’t practice the simple 3 step routine.” My parents hosted a party at our place before the pandemic. Those rowdy desi kids ran around the whole house, jumped on our couch & mattress but the parents were no where to be seen. Some of the kids knew me pretty well but just walked into my room demanding WIFI password without even saying hi. Desi parents also love white people . My cousin has a white husband and he always gets pampered to the point it’s embarrassing. Most desi kids are allowed to date whoever they what with the exception of maybe some very religious Muslims, even they are okay with it after conversion. I think desi parents are afraid to be strict cuz they are worried that will make them look too “ Indian” & their their whitewashed children will resent them & eventually abandon them. TLDR; I think desi parents being strict is kind of a myth.
The U.S. economy continues its slow grind of improvement, aided by reduced coronavirus case growth. However, reflation and small business uncertainty could be headwinds.
Measures of U.S. inflation accelerated in August. The year-over-year Consumer Price Index increased 1.3 percent and was up 1.7 percent when excluding food and energy prices. Inflation is still well-below the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) preferred target and the Fed has promised to overshoot its target to support the ongoing recovery. In our view, rising inflation is likely to continue for another quarter, although abundant supplies of labor and key commodities, as well as slowing income growth, may limit gains.
Small business confidence improved in August. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index improved, led by earnings trends that showed a smaller percentage of respondents were experiencing negative earnings. Rising uncertainty moderated higher optimism. This highlights the growing concern over policy related to both the stimulus and the presidential election.
Coronavirus case growth in the U.S. is declining, now to an average of 35,000 new cases per day, down by 5,000 from last week. The decline stands in contrast to the rest of the world, which is either experiencing low growth (China and Japan), high growth (India) or rebounding case growth (Europe). The trend of lower coronavirus growth in the United States is leading to an improvement in several high-frequency reopening indicators, including airline passengers, same-store sales and restaurant seatings. However, most indicators are still down sharply on a year-over-year basis.
It was another calm week in the bond market. Long-term Treasury yields drifted lower but remain within their small trading range that has persisted since April. Historically heavy fund inflows indicate strong demand for investment-grade corporate and municipal bonds, which may support further outperformance over Treasuries. High corporate issuance has helped companies increase cash levels, which may help limit defaults relative to past recessions. Investment-grade corporate net issuance is at a record pace so far this year, and high yield issuance is not far behind. Forward default projections by Moody’s, the credit rating agency, remain elevated but have decreased since March to adjust for easier borrowing conditions.
2020.09.21 16:13 crumjdFaster Than Light via Sheer Willpower
IMPORTANT NOTE: I already posted the first quarter of this story. If you saw it at that time you can scroll down to the bold italic paragraph and begin reading there.
“What the hell is wrong with your ship?” Non-human comm discipline isn’t quite as good as the human equivalent. As I understand it, they never had to deal with the crackling early radios that informed our procedures. Sure, on most worlds, when a communication spell was first developed it was the domain of a high priest or archmage, but it was clear. Still, I’d expected a slightly better introduction to the local traffic control net than a half panicked voice asking a question that made no sense. “This is Frontier helm control. All ship systems reporting nominal. To whom am I speaking?” I glanced down at my board after I finished speaking. The ship systems were reporting nominal by not activating any shrieking klaxons or flashing lights. But with a few pokes to the controls in front of me, I was able to project a little hologram of the ship status. Everything was outlined in happy green. “Nominal! I’m registering explosions at your aft end.” The speaker still didn’t identify himself and he still sounded panicked. I reached out, ‘grabbed’ the hologram, rotated it around to view the back side of the ship, and then zoomed in until I was looking at fairly low-level systems. I wasn’t as far down as I could go. The ship would happily report on the status of individual circuit boards and breakers, but I was surely low enough that I could see anything that a local space station could see. Some components were haloed in light green rather than dark green, but that only meant they were coming up on a service date. I drummed my fingers against the control board mentally debating if I should launch a drone for an external view or if I should respond with ‘everything’s good’ a second time. On the one hand, whoever I was talking to was probably looking at me in a freaking scrying mirror and shouting into a pointy hat or something so there was seriously no way they’d have noticed something that the ship’s sensors hadn’t. On the other hand, I didn’t want to end up in textbooks as an example of why only a jackass would ignore panicked warnings from traffic control. Then the hologram changed. A tiny icon shaped like an idealized hydrogen atom exited the back of the ship, a dozen lines lanced out at it, and a flare of fire blossomed behind the ship’s pusher plate. Because I was paying attention I felt the ship give a tiny shudder as we decelerated very slightly. “There it is! There is again! I just saw a huge explosion behind your ship.” “Oh, sorry. You’re registering our drive system control. All systems are nominal and everything is under control.” This, at least, seemed to calm the alien traffic control operator down a tiny bit. He... Well, I was assuming it was a male from the pitch of its voice. Translation spells are nicer than the computerized equivalent. They tend to give speakers roughly the voice the listener would expect given the nature of the speaker even if the original ‘speech’ was in the form of wild tentacle gesticulations and skin color changes via some alien squid thing. This voice was sort of nasal and high, but definitely male. He at least listened to me this time, “You’re telling me your ship is deliberately firing off a series of huge fireballs? Is that safe?” “Perfectly safe, control. You’re seeing laser triggered fusion pulses. They’re as clean as mother’s milk.” That wasn’t strictly true. Even laser pumped fusion makes some tritium. But it’s not very hot and the half-life is short enough that even if some mutant atoms end up in a planet’s upper atmosphere they aren’t going to hurt anyone. “None of that translated.” The speaker's voice had become more nasal and somewhat accusatory as though I had any control over what its spells could or could not translate. “But if that’s your drive then don’t come any closer. I need to talk to someone about this.” Then the line cut off. “Control! Control! That’s not how this works. The explosions are my brakes.” I didn’t get any response. * * * I should probably back up enough for a little context. Mankind made contact with extraterrestrial life for the first time when the Oohmahlock’s enormous crystalline spaceship floated out of the sky and set down in the wilds of Alaska. There was a lot of turmoil in response to that, of course, but the strangest part came when they told us why they were on Earth and how they’d gotten there: pure faith had carried them through space faster than a beam of light, and they were here to tell humanity of our divine mission. We hadn’t believed them on either count. Tackling their technology seemed easier than tackling their belief system, so we’d set about examining everything they were willing to show us absolutely certain that it was standard tech that they didn’t understand and had thus reduced to superstition. Perhaps the ship had been built long before it had been piloted to Earth by a now fallen civilization. It was not. Long story short it was not. The Oohmahlock allowed us to examine their technology in any way we requested. They knew what would happen before we started. We found nothing capable of doing anything in it and as soon as we looked closely at it the tech stopped functioning. Next, the Oohmahlock explained how the ship had been built. And, indeed, they had built it themselves. The crystals that made it up were grown over the course of three generations nurtured by the prayers of their entire civilization. A holy order of monks was founded to slowly shape the crystals into livable spaces and workable power focuses. And, when the end of construction was finally in sight, a dozen times as many traveler priests as was normally needed were taught the chants and hymns of fast travel and breathable air. The very best of that group was selected to pilot the ship and only with this extraordinary effort were they able to land a ship on Earth, and then only by keeping it well away from most of the population. Then they explained humanity’s divine mission. In the beginning, god created the universe. He created the races therein and to them he gave the ability to adjust the rules of reality so that they might not perish under the iron fist of physics. The races of the vastness grew proud. They called their powers magic and said that the wonders they worked were of will and mind rather than through faith. So, on a planet with more iron in its heart than any other, a race with cold iron in its very blood was born. To this race was given special magic; a magic that enforced the rules of the creator. This race would humble the works of the magi and test even the faithful. This time god wasn’t screwing around. We would assert the rules of reality whenever we examined something. Humans didn’t get a choice in that. So that was our mission. To survive and travel. Of course, most people thought that was a load of crap. There was even a contingent of people sufficiently contrary (or self-loathing) that said we shouldn’t travel the galaxy. However, the general reaction was, “There’s a great big fantastic universe out there and you’re going to help us get to it? Well praise the alien lord and pass the booster rockets!” A new space race was on. It eventually produced three key technologies that gave mankind the stars: laser lifters, the Orion drive, and the Orion two. Laser lifters were the simplest. If you focus a sufficiently powerful beam into a ‘thruster’ that’s essentially nothing more than a durable black cup then all the air inside flashes to plasma and the cup is tossed upwards. Do that a few thousand times and the cup, as well as anything attached to it, is in space without the brutal constraints imposed by the device having to haul its own fuel with it. All of the research into lasers let us crack fusion. We were massively aided in this by having allies who could magically mine metallic hydrogen from gas giants. We probably could have built Orion’s with fission devices, but it was an almost perfect drive with laser pumped pulse fusion. The Orion Two wasn’t related to the Orion Drive from an engineering standpoint but… * * * The bridge radio clicked on again and brought me the still nasal and slightly frustrated sounding voice of control. “OK, I talked to my boss, who talked to his boss, who talked to diplomatic affairs. For some reason, I’ve got to let your doom machine approach. So, here you go, park it there and try not to blow up. Well, not any more than you already are.” The hologram of the ship was replaced with a holographic representation of the parking orbit Control wanted the Frontier to take up. I thought, not for the first time, that the translation spells used by most races really are amazing. Control had probably put a voodoo doll of the Frontier into a scale model of the system expecting a diagram to show up in my scrying bowl or some such. But, because of the translation spell, the information made it to me in a format that the ship’s computer could interpret. Better yet, because the spell was acting on their communication and not my reception the human anti-magic field couldn’t turn it off. There was a sharp crack of static and the hologram in front of me shifted to a bunch of juvenile squid aliens playing a game that looked a lot like dodgeball. One of those allies, a small and awkward one even to my human eyes, was getting the worst of it. Several other beings were pelting it mercilessly with balls and each of them was using more than one tentacle at a time. Then that image started to fuzz and break up. I quickly looked away from the hologram. Modern comms training includes a fairly extensive section on not thinking too hard about just how aliens who have never discovered radio are speaking to you. The human anti-magic field always gets a vote if you catch its attention. Let’s see, the bastard over at control had stuck me in his system’s L2 point. L2 is way out past the moon and it’s gravitationally unstable. If I’d just gotten a normal parking orbit I could have shut off the ship's engines and taken some much-needed rack time. But, oh no, because Control thought I was going to blow up I was going to have to periodically correct the ship’s position. On top of that, I suspected the Orion Drive was too powerful for that work. It would be like trying to make a golf putt with a sledgehammer, so I’d have to run our maneuvering thrusters way more than they were really designed for. I looked back down at the holo. It was back to being a display of Frontier's parking space. “Parking orbit acknowledged Control,” I said through clenched teeth. There was a long silence and I thought maybe Control had wandered off without telling me for a moment. Then the line went live again and control spoke hesitantly, “So why is your trip that important, anyway?” I ran my tongue across my teeth wondering just how to answer that. We were in a Von system. The Von were a race of mighty wizards of the sort that Humanity was sent to humble and bring low. We’d been doing a great job of that. The Von had a lot of desire for human consumer goods. Our technology filled niches their magic handled poorly and anyone could use it without training. Yet all we could buy from them was raw materials. Their military was nearly useless against us because we shrugged off their most potent death magic like it had never been cast; they could throw a rock at us or telekinetically fire an arrow, but that was only if they caught us off guard. So a species with 100 planets to their name was having to normalize diplomatic relations with a single planet species as though we were total equals. I wasn’t exactly shocked the Von leaders hadn’t publicized this meeting well enough for Control to be ready for us. I also wasn’t going to give away their secrets. “Just some trade negotiations.” Control’s only reply was a sigh so thick with annoyance that I actually started to feel for the guy. Embarrassing or not the local traffic control facilities really should have been told they were going to be dealing with a completely alien spaceship. No one ever thinks of the little guy. Again I thought control had signed off without announcing it but he came back one last time. “OK, I’ve got to ask. You’re using fireballs to push yourself around space, which is still nuts, but I learned back in school only one or two really special spells can move something faster than light. Pyromancy definitely doesn’t do it! So how did you make the interstellar leg of your trip?” * * * The Orion Two wasn’t related to the Orion Drive from an engineering standpoint but they were philosophical and spiritual brothers. Humanity couldn’t learn directly from the Oohmahlock but we could stand way over there with a particle detector while they used miracles to torment space-time, and the Oohmahlock just loved to do that for us because they basically saw it as helping angels learn god’s will. Eventually, we learned to make a G.E.C.; a gravity emitting circuit. Because the electroweak force is so much stronger than the gravitational force it’s possible to supercharge one of those until it very briefly becomes a singularity. If you toss such an artificial black hole in front of a ship, and lace enough G.E.Cs through the ship that the force gradient across it is even so you don’t get spaghettified, you’ve got an FTL drive. Better yet if you use a second artificial singularity inside the first, or a third in the second, or a fourth in the third and so on you can go really really fast indeed. It annoys physicists and mathematicians because they can’t even begin to describe where the ship is after that bit of fuckery, but the tech tested as safe. At least it’s safe for human equipment and Earth life. It’s not so safe for Oohmahlock. We learned that when one of their high priests took a historic first ride on one of our ‘Holy Vessels’. They started screaming and they didn’t stop until a faith healer wiped their memory. Their whole memory. The high priest was left as little more than a mentally damaged infant and everyone agreed the cure was way better than the disease. The most sensible thing the priest said while it still had its memories was, “They can see me! They can see me! They can see you, but you can’t see them! They can touch me but they can’t touch you! You can touch them! Save me, save me, save me! Will you save me?” The official human explanation is that the Oohmahlock have some sort of subconscious connection to the normal universe that allows them to achieve the things they can do. Taking them so far out of the normal universe causes a form of stress that can damage their minds. The official Oohmahlock explanation is that some sort of horrible thing is looking into our universe from outside and maybe they were wrong about just what humanity needs to do. Perhaps we aren’t just supposed to annoy wizards. Maybe we need to fly around in the high warp bands acting like border guards for reality. Their church is in a bit of a state of flux. I’d just spent a month in those warp bands and the only danger I’d felt was boredom, so I don’t know what to think. It is nice to imagine that my mind set a big brace down the spine of reality itself, but it’s kind of far fetched. What I do know is there’s no way I was going to explain any of that to Control. I’d end up with a parking orbit in a neighboring star system. Or maybe he’d just tell me to go in for a landing on the system’s sun. * * * “Um, the force of will,” I answered into the radio. “Yeah, pure will power. Everyone on the ship just wants to go faster than light really badly and then we go faster than light.” “Oh, well good. At least you’ve got a sensible FTL drive. Geez, you should just get that working in-system. Way better than those fireballs. Anyway, your approach vector is clear. Perform a sending if you need anything. Control out.” * * * The talks with the Von went well. The biggest incident was when one of the younger secretaries attached to the delegation lost all of her magical cosmetics. She had apparently been wearing a lot of them and apparently her coworkers hadn’t known. I keep saying ‘apparently’ because the Von aren’t a race to inspire lust in humans. They kind of look like someone shoved a rudimentary skeleton into a squid. They have a skull on an invertebrate neck-stalk, an abbreviated rib-cage analog, and bones for added leverage in 4 of their 8 limbs. They can casually slip a lot of those bones out of joint sacrificing strength and speed for flexibility. It also makes them look a bit like a deep-sea creature that has inexplicably fallen off a skyscraper. Not great model material. The whole makeup incident had some positive side effects. The Von use a lot of medical magic at the end of their lives. Once everyone had gotten a visceral example of how hard and fast magic evaporates under the inspection of a room full of skeptical humans our scheduled meetings with some of the more senior staff were canceled. It would’ve been bad for the discussions if the head of the embassy screamed and collapsed into dust. Second, it gave Control and me something to gossip about. He proved to be a pretty good guy even if he was uptight about human tech, and neither of us was very busy as the port was mostly shut down for the big meeting. We passed the time comparing cultures, swapping stories, and griping about our bosses. Or ‘building an intercultural rapport’ as I put it in my status reports. * * * “I said goodbye to my parents last night. Father was brave, but it almost pushed me over the edge when my mother began to cry,” Control said out of the blue. Well, he didn’t say anything of the kind. He made a series of pops, squeaks, and clicks that the human ear could barely follow, and it would have been quite a huge coincidence if the Von cry. But I had my translator set to dynamic equivalence. As such, that was what I heard and there was no robotic voice breaking into his words to explain, ‘explosive flatulence is an expression of sadness for the Von,’ or whatever. “Buddy, you’re going to be fine! Your people wouldn’t want to trade for our warp drives if they weren’t safe. And you’ve given us, what, like 10 whole planets if this works.” “If! And my people aren’t thinking clearly. What is the horrible death of a single comms operator if it might alleviate the biggest weakness of our magic?” Control could be a downer sort of squid. We were still calling each other ‘Control’ and ‘Helm’ because he couldn’t pronounce ‘Jeff’ and I couldn’t pronounce ‘engine that really needs oiled’ sounds. I cast about for something to distract him and found it in the form of a rather grand Von in the corner of the room. He had on robes stitched with precious materials and held a quartz staff shot with veins of natural gold surmounted by a huge ruby. He was wearing a very grand hat though it actually looked more like a sombrero than the pointy thing humans associated with fictional wizards. “Alright, even if your people would throw you to the wolves that guy is pretty important and magically experienced. He wouldn’t get onto this ship if all non-humans were doomed would he?” “The high mage is the foremost master of spatial magics, so yeah he’s pretty important. He also has considerable faith in his own abilities. Perhaps enough so that he would underestimate the risk.” Despite his words, Control’s simulated tone sounded a bit less stressed. I felt I was on the right track to comfort him. “This stuff is also pretty good, right? Some sort of magic armor?” Control and I were hanging plates of enchanted material the Von had provided around one of the aft cargo bays like it was so much drywall. However, even to a complete mundy like me, it appeared to be fancy stuff. It was pattern welded like Demsasus steel. Only the patterns in it were magical runes and half a dozen materials had been woven together in its construction. Control sniffed in an offended way, “‘Pretty good!’ ‘Magical armor!’ I’ll have you know, this is the best anti-magic armor in the known universe. This,’ He stroked it almost reverently, “enforces the rules of reality such that no spell may travel through it. This material accounts for some of the vast might of the Von military as well as the fact that our natural philosophy is far more advanced than any other race. It will contain a bubble of the real universe even in the face of your horrific drive system!” Control was sounding a bit more like himself so I let him slide on referring to their iron age understanding of the laws of reality as ‘advanced.’ Instead I looked back at the magical plating. It was basically a weak version of the human effect. Interesting. No wonder they were letting me touch it. I’d thought that was just a sort of stress test, but this might be a spell humans couldn’t break. Or could we? Actually, it was probably best not to think about that question in case the answer was, “Yes.” The High Wizard chose that moment to provide something better for more to think about. He was still over by his crate, but now he was loudly chanting something my translator couldn’t handle while he twisted his tentacles and limbs into all manner of strange shapes. That went on for a moment then, with a triumphal air that carried across species, he slammed his staff into the deck and the big gem on top flashed. With growing excitement, I realized I was watching magic. The pallet of material in front of the wizard heaved itself off the ground and wobbled unsteadily about half a foot in the air for a moment. I started to mouth, “Cool!” Then the entire load slammed back into the ground with a crash that sounded like it couldn’t have been good for whatever was inside. The high wizard slumped, and let me tell you, a being whose skeleton is mostly optional can really slump. Then he turned around in that slow ‘did anyone see that’ way of a being who has just realized their fly is open and hurriedly fixed it in public. When he saw me he stiffened and pointed an angry appendage, “Human! You are rendering it impossible to work! Begone!” I drew in breath for some sort of retort. I’m not sure what it would’ve been. Something so clever and scathing it would have set diplomatic relations back decades, probably. But then I felt the weight of Control’s tentacle on my shoulder. I looked back at him. “Perhaps it would be best if you return to your duties elsewhere. We are well ahead of our schedule due to your wondrous ‘electric screwdrivers’ which penetrate the anti-magic plate where our most potent tools fail. It will ease the High Wizards work if he can once again access his spells.” The High Wizard could have accessed a hand truck as far as I was concerned, but we were nearly done so I just nodded. “Alright, call me if you have any problems.” * * * “Comm check, medical bay here,” I spoke into the comms panel in the med bay. It was my station for our test flight. There were half a dozen Von soldiers lying unconscious in the beds. Half of them had been tranquilized via human medical science, half with magic. Human medical personnel buzzed around them. “Um, this is the converted cargo bay. Oh, bay A-3. Can you hear me? Did I activate this correctly?” “You’re on. Do it just like that if you need to send any messages.” “Bridge here. Your headset should be listen-only on our general channel and I’ve got the wall panel hooked to Captain’s priority. Is it all coming in?” I cocked my head and listened to the prelaunch chatter for a moment on that device. It was all coming in clearly. At the moment they were working through the end of the “Station Ready” checklist. That meant we were less than 5 minutes from getting underway. “It’s all coming in,” I told the bridge via the wall panel. “Very good. Bridge over.” I leaned back on the wall and felt minor shudders go through it as the first of the fusion pulses went off. We were moving farther away from everything so we could go FTL. It was somewhat strange to be doing nothing during this part of the flight as I would normally be at my busiest. At the moment my job was to have no job. That way I could keep track of where we were in OUR flight sequence so I’d know how long it was to the end of the flight and what our window was on an emergency abort while simultaneously being available to Control and the medical staff if anything went pear-shaped on their ends. For fifteen minutes, we traveled through normal space and everything went smoothly. The magical sleepers stayed asleep and the medicated sleepers stayed healthy. Control reported back to his superiors magically and me via the comms system. He even admitted that fusion explosions were a softer means of propulsion than he’d expected. I heard we were at a minimum safe distance on the general channel so opened the channel back to control and spoke into it and the room in general, “Alright everyone, we’re about to go superluminal. Fifteen minutes out. Fifteen minutes back.” The anesthesiologist gave me the thumbs up, but everyone else in the room kept their eyes glued to their tasks. “Grace of Magic, protect and provide in this my hour of need,” Control murmured over the comms. I doubted I was expected to comment on that. Going FTL in a human ship feels a bit like getting pushed and poked from a half dozen directions at once as the gravitational stabilizers spin up hard enough to prevent spaghettification and then self-tune until the local gravity field is nice and even again. I felt that, heard a series of agitated clicks over the comms, and then everything went back to normal. I looked around at the brightly lit medical space and the still apparently peaceful Von laying in it. They seemed good. I thumbed open the channel to the converted cargo bay, “Control, how are you liking the ride?” “Was it meant to feel like someone was tugging on my spleen for a moment then smooth out?” “Yeah, that’s about right.” “In that case, my situation remains nominal…” Control’s all clear report cut out suddenly as two things happened simultaneously. First, there was a loud bang and a thick cloud of white acrid smoke rolled out of the communications panel in front of me. Second, all three of the magically tranquilized soldiers began to jerk and seize. “Shit,” the anesthesiologist swore. Then she looked over at me, “Let the bridge know we’re going to need to abort.” She immediately turned back to her work either not noticing the panel in front of me was dead or deciding that was my problem. Doctors are focused like that. The touch screen of the comms panel was dark, but I gave it a couple of good jabs with my thumb anyway hoping that it would wake back up. It didn’t, so I took off running out of medical and down the hall to the bridge. The Frontier is bigger than most people picture when they think, ‘spaceship’ but it was still going to be faster to run across it than it was to fix the comms. Only it wasn’t. The first bulkhead door I came to was shut, which isn’t normal, and its motion sensor ignored my approach, which is even odder. All the bulkhead doors have a little screen next to them. Under ordinary circumstances, they display an identifier and can provide a little map of the ship if you’re lost. During a depressurization event, which is the only thing that should have made the door fail shut, they’re supposed to display environmental status for the corridor beyond and allow for the door to be manually opened. Only now the screen was dark and there were scorch marks on the panel above it. I gave the screen a punch, more out of anger than any hope that it would wake up. It didn’t wake up. It did fall off the wall. I looked into the recess beyond it and found a small scattering of black powder as well as the remnants of what looked like a crystal and maybe a couple of liquids. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, but the crystal sure seemed like Von magic and the black stuff could have been gunpowder. Down the hall, the anesthesiologist poked her head out of the med bay, “Hey, we’ve got the Von under again, but we’re getting some odd readings. It’s like they’ve all started to have nightmares. What’s going on with the abort?” “Sabotage I think! We’re still superluminal.” My receive only headset was fine and still connected to the bridge so I knew we were four levels deep and holding with all systems green. They hadn’t noticed the link to the medical bay was dead yet. “There are panels in all of these rooms. Maybe I can…” My clever plan to make the call from a different phone was interrupted by a huge explosion from the direction of the cargo bay. This one definitely wasn’t caused by black powder. Instead of a bang the sound of it was like a super high pitched tuning fork being struck and flashes of black light strobed all around us for a moment. I felt nothing, of course, but someone in the medical bay yelled, “Fuck! What the hell was that? It’s hitting the Von hard; Ann we need you!” Ann shot me a look, then vanished back into medical without speaking. We were close to the cargo bay, and I knew it had a commlink. So I sprinted in that direction planning to call in the abort from there once I had the full situation. Fortunately, the door to the cargo bay was open. The screen next to it was glitching and there was a black stain on the wall above it, but whatever had happened hadn’t been enough to make it fail shut. I sprinted through without slowing. The bay itself was a mess. The anti-magic paneling was fine, and the human equipment looked about like it always had, but all of the Von’s crates were scattered like they’d been hit by a strong wind. Control was laying in one corner making an undulating squealing sound I’d never heard from him before. My translator couldn’t do anything with it, but it sounded like distress to me. “Buddy, are you OK. What’s going on?” “I am… I feel… It’s like magic is looking directly at me. I feel like it’s judging me. Inspecting me. I can function. The plating helps, but this is most unpleasant.” “Was that what that flash was?” “No that was,” then the English from my translator dissolved into clicks and pops as it found a term it couldn’t handle. Most likely it was some technical explanation of whatever magical thing had just happened. “I must check on the High Wizard.” The Frontier's cargo bays are modular and can be configured with extra walls and dividers at need. That’s what we’d done for this experiment: we’d set up one chamber that was the correct size for the amount of anti-magic plating the Von provided and a second unshielded chamber where the High Wizard could work freely. Control was looking at the door between them. It had been mostly covered by crates when the Von equipment was thrown around. “The door servos are pretty strong. If you can squeeze your way over to the control panel they’ll be able to push that stuff out of the way.” “I can do that,” Control said and the translator gave him a confident tone. Then he started popping his ribs out of joint and I had to look away as his entire torso crumpled up like an old sock that had been used to store nails. (No, I have no idea why someone would store nails in an old sock, but if the mental image of a being looking like that is unpleasant you’re on the right track.) I walked over to the comm panel and, at last, found something that hadn’t been inexpertly blown up. It was showing that the link to the medical bay had cut out unexpectedly, which I already knew. I cleared that error and connected it to the bridge instead. As soon as the channel was open, the bridge officer started speaking, “Cargo bay? What’s happening back there? Medical is offline.” “This is Jeff. Medical has problems. I need an emergency abort.” There was some garbled, but energetic, discussion on the other end of the line that I couldn’t quite follow, and then the bridge came back, “I’ve signaled it, but we’re in band transition. I’ll need five minutes to get us back to flat-space.” Across the room, there was a whine of stressed servos, but when I looked back the door to the High Wizard’s chamber was open. “OK, I’m going to check on the High Wizard. I should be back with his status in 30 seconds. If you need me sooner, I’ve still got the general channel in ‘receive only’.” “Roger.” What I didn’t tell the bridge, because they couldn’t do anything about it at the moment, was that I suspected the High Wizard’s status was ‘traitorous bastard.’ Someone had set all of those black powder charges and when I looked over at Control I found him pressed up against a film of blue light which now filled the door. “It’s a magical shield!” I drew the sidearm I’d been issued before we let a half dozen soldiers and an alien wizard onto the ship. “Magical shields aren’t fucking real.” The shield popped like a soap bubble and Control went stumbling into the High Wizard’s chamber. I ran to the door, crouched down, and looked around it with my head low to the ground so I wouldn’t provide a ready target. The scene beyond the door was like something out of a DnD game. There was a circle drawn on the floor in the milky blue-white fluid Von use for blood. Crystals, each one emitting enough black light that my uniform was fluorescing, were set at regular intervals around the outside of the circle. There was a ring of symbols on the inside. I can’t read Vonish script. They could have said anything, but they were glowing a nasty sickly green. The high wizard was on the outside of the circle on the far side of the room. Right after I arrived at the door he finished a chant that my translator couldn’t handle and turned to face Control who was sprawled on the floor. The real piece de resistance of the whole scene was what looked like an extra-large Von made of glowing green light in the center of the circle. We all froze for a second, but the High wizard recovered fastest. “So, you survived the,” my translator dropped a word, “that’s most impressive. You must have considerably more magical talent than I gave you credit for.” “What are you doing,” Control demanded. “I am gaining power. The power we need to ensure the Von place in the universe. Power far more potent than Human scraps. I can’t let you interfere.” With that, he raised his staff and snapped out an untranslatable word. A bolt of power lanced out of the staff and flew across the room. In his prone position, Control never had a chance at dodging. The bolt caught him squarely and he slumped back down as a nasty burnt fish smell filled the air. The Wizard wasn’t holding any weapon beyond his staff that I could see. I stood, trained my sidearm on his chest, and stepped into the doorway. “Please put the staff down, and I will escort you to the bridge.” I glanced down at the still form of my friend, “You have considerable diplomatic immunity for what you’ve done thus far but I would strongly advise you not to push it any farther.” He said his word again, only this time the spell was pointed at me and there wasn’t so much as a flicker in the crystal of the staff. “Put down the staff,” I said around clenched teeth. “Oh please, allow me,” a third voice said. It was very cultured and smooth and it came from the center of the circle. When I looked, I saw that the figure of light had transformed itself from a Von to a handsome Human male. It was wearing a suit and it was built on a scale such that its head nearly brushed the ceiling. It flicked its hand out at the High Wizard and the High Wizard turned inside out. That was nasty. The Wizard's jaws yawned wide and it started to let out a pained squeal. Then, with a crack, they jerked just a bit wider and filled with blueish tissue that must have come from somewhere inside the being. Over the next 15 seconds, more of its insides fountained through its mouth until they were all outside and it was nothing but an unidentifiable blob of flesh laying on the floor. I opened my mouth. I suppose I wanted to say something, but if anything came out it was only a little whimper. The thing did not appear to be overly concerned with what it had done, because it began speaking in a completely casual and urbane tone. “You are something very interesting. He was a sleeper who dreamt a dream not of this place. But you…. Hmmm, I can’t tell if you’re a dream of the one who dreamt of all of this or if maybe you just happened. Still, you are completely awake. I dare say we have quite a bit to offer each other. Would you like to be able to change all of this like that thing could before I killed it?” “You’re offering me magic? Just like that.” “Just like that! Well, there’s a certain resonance I’d need to achieve by killing the other beings on this ship. I can explain why later, but you need to decide quickly. I can feel you falling away from me and your nature is pushing me away. I don’t think one of your type could ever get me back on your own.” I know a couple of TV show tough guy lines like, ‘here’s my decision’ or ‘is this quick enough for you’ ran through my head, but I’m pretty sure I just robotically trained my weapon on him and pulled the trigger without saying anything. My sidearm is a standard Gravitational Compression Gun. It fired a pulse of gravitational energy which compressed a meter wide column of air between me and the target into a centimetre wide beam of burning white plasma. Then a second pulse rippled down the plasma and slammed it into the target. There was a crack like thunder as the air collapsed back in on itself and my eyes were left slightly dazzled. The GC gun does horrible things to any living target it hits. It’s not quite as hard on Outer Horrors but they don’t like it. The simulacrum of a man let out a bellow of rage and wavered for a moment before stabilizing again. “Fine,” it snapped then raised its hand and made a gesture like it had at the High Wizard. I felt a painfully sharp tug at my jaw and stomach simultaneously, but it faded before it could even work my jaws open. I squeezed the trigger of my GC again and the thing waved under another onslaught of plasma, but it only seemed like a momentary inconvenience for it. Worse yet, I could hear someone saying something about slow warp band collapse on the bridge general channel. We were having a hard time coming out of FTL. That’s not completely unusual, and no one on the bridge was that worried. With the context I had, it seemed bad. The man shape made a different gesture then joined its two hands together such that its thumbs and fingers touched in front of it making a little triangle. A bar of silver light shot out of the triangle and slammed into my chest. It felt like an icicle stabbing into me, and I staggered backward. When I looked down frost coated the front of my uniform and a small patch of blood it. Still, the thing had a shocked look on its face and I had to assume that was because I was still standing.
Book 1 of The HEL Jumper Book 2 of The HEL Jumper ----- PreviousFirstPatreon Thanks to Big_Papa_Dakky, Darth_Android, bloblob, AMERICUH, The_Real_Jumper, Mr_Polygon, Krystalin, Damned_Thrice, Mamish, Vikairious, Sam_Berry, RedHawkdude, KillTech, LilLaussa, Daddy_Talon, Gruecifer, Gaelan_Darkwater, Konrahd_Verdammt, red-shirt, DaPorkchop, Benjamin Durbin, and everyone supporting me on patreon. ----- “Knock knock, anyone home?” Alice called, rapping politely against the door frame of Sentaura’s dwelling. Compared to anything on Earth it was modest, but it was easily one of the nicer homes in the village. She didn’t mind, however. Antoth had apologized profusely several times since placing Alice in her now cozy little blockhouse, and she’d waved him off each time for good measure. It helped that new furnishings and technology from the Event Horizon showed up almost daily with Pilot Cromwell. She had a desk and lamp, a second sleeping pad and pillow, a laptop for recording her notes and working with photographic documentation of Cauthan life, and a digital picture frame that alternated between a photograph of her family and one of her and Russell with Veera, Lachlan, Xan, Asha, and Zolta. In short, the idea of Lachlan staying at a ‘nicer’ residence than hers was a moot point. Instead she saw it as a testament to Ratha’s influence and the kindness of the village at large. The man in question poked his head out of the bedroom as Sentaura and her son prepared breakfast. “Good mornin’, lassie! What brings ya ta this neck o’ the woods?” “The amazing cooking, of course. It smells wonderful in here,” Alice replied, earning an approving glance from the matron of the family. She waved her in, a cooking spoon in hand. “Please, no need to wait outside in the streets. Do you have need of Lachlan today?” “I sense she was lookin’ fer a bite,” the Marine jested, prompting Alice to reach into her satchel and withdraw two ration bars and wave them in his face. “I am perfectly capable of feeding myself, Lachlan,” she declared proudly, earning a confused look from him. “If that’s yer wish I ain’t gonna stop ya. So what’s going on, Alice?” he asked, wiping a bit of sleep from his eyes. Sentaura rose and began her labors at the crack of dawn every day, and apparently Alice was capable of such a thing as well. Her reply was interrupted as Ursol latched onto Lachlan’s leg and proceeded to hide from Alice behind him. “Now what’s gotten into you, fluffy lad? It’s just Alice! You were grabbin’ her hair the first time you two met. Now go say good mornin’ nice and polite, would ya?” “Do as Uncle Lachlan says, Ursol,” his mother commanded, now busy peeling dato with a simple knife. Alice meanwhile was looking quite surprised and excited at how Sentaura had referred to her houseguest. As though suddenly struck by the memory that Alice was, indeed, a human he’d interacted with before, minus the different clothing and the fact her hair was done up in a bun that day, the little furball toddled over to her and waved. “Morning!” “Selah and good morning to you!” Alice replied, her pitch rising as she ribbed her friend after greeting the young Cauthan. “So Uncle Lachlan, huh? Super cute. I might start using it. How are you, Ursol?” “I’m good! Are you going to play with me today?” he asked, prompting Alice to pick him up as Sentaura sighed and shook her head. “You humans pamper him.” She didn’t seem upset about that fact. “That could be arranged,” Alice considered, happy that she’d done her hair up that morning. Ursol didn’t explicitly go after it, but much like a human child he was very hands-on. There was no need to present him with extra targets. He settled down soon though, looking around curiously from his new vantage point. “There you go, I’m not going to drop you. So, what’s up Lachlan?” The Marine cocked his brow at her with an exasperated smile. “I was asking ya the same question, lassie. What brings you over here today?” “First day on our own,” Alice laughed. “Natori and the Event Horizon are gone, my brother and Veera are off at the other site. Just you and me for a couple days! Figured I’d come by and say hi. But yeah, there is something I need to talk to you about.” “Oh I don’t like that phrase,” Lachlan replied cautiously. “When a lass says we need to talk, that ne’er ends well.” “Oh stop it you! We aren’t even dating. And it’s got nothing to do with you and me, well not directly anyway,” she clarified. “If it is not a secret for human ears only, perhaps you could discuss it over breakfast,” Sentaura suggested. “Oh that’s so nice of you, but I wouldn’t want to impose. There’s only so much food and all,” Alice demurred. Sentaura waved her off. “Nonsense. You can have some of Lachlan’s portion and then share your human food with him later if he’s still hungry. Ursol, go fetch some water for us. No complaints if you want to play today.” Alice set the young boy down, allowing him to pick up an empty bucket and toddle off out the door. “Will he be alright?” she wondered. “If he is not, he will be punished later,” Sentaura clarified easily. “Breakfast will be ready soon, but please do not let me keep you from your necessary conversation.” Lachlan gestured to one of the chairs in the room but Alice waved him off, depositing her bag by the door instead and leaning against the wall. “I’m fine, Lachlan. Did Natori tell you before he left?” “Tell me what? What’s the Admiral up to now?” MacGregor demanded uneasily as he and Alice both couldn’t help a bit of a smirk. Natori was just such a man. “This time? Nothing, believe it or not, but I had assumed he would at least have told you before leaving. It’s actually about something Gentia said when we were explaining where Thantis would be going.” “I think I’ve had quite enough of ya beatin’ around the bush, lassie. What did the head mum have to say?” he pressed. At the mention of Gentia’s name, Sentaura’s ears perked up as well, though she made a point of looking busy around the cooking fire. There was still plenty to do. “Well, it’s kind of crazy,” Alice admitted, reaching for a strand of her hair to play with that proved elusive. “You know that little cub Ketra, the one who lost her parents last year?” “Aye.” “Yeah so, she said she wants Ketra to be raised or adopted by humans.” Alice fell silent as Lachlan stared quietly at her, letting the ambient sounds of the cooking fire fill the space again. Sentaura was shaking her feathers. “Perhaps her age is finally getting to her,” she murmured, more perplexed than anything. “Not to risk offendin’ a high priest, but that does sound a bit… off?” Lachlan tried. Alice furrowed her brows at him and squared her shoulders against the wooden wall behind her. “She wants Ketra to have a better life. What’s wrong with that? We should be thrilled that her experience with humanity has been so positive!” “Nothin’s wrong with it, of course,” Lachlan acknowledged. “But ya don’t think it would be a bit odd for Ketra ta grow up and eventually start askin’ why no one looks like her?” “Of course I know it would be odd, but I think we should still do it if everyone agrees. No one says we need to hide Ketra from her heritage even if she’s raised like a human child. Xan proposed that a Cauthan be involved, probably a woman since Ketra is a girl too. I think it’s a splendid idea,” Alice reasoned. It was the Scotsman’s turn to frown. “How about we take a few steps back, Alice. When you say ‘we’, I’m startin’ ta get the idea that-” “I do think you and I should be candidates,” she confirmed. “That’s why I came to talk with you today. I think we should speak with Gentia without Natori looking over our shoulders. That’s assuming you’re amenable, of course. Please?” “Hmm, how bold,” Sentaura chuckled lightly, finding some small enjoyment in Lachlan’s flustered demeanor as her son returned from his task, sloshing plenty of water onto the street as he did so. “Thank you, sweetie. Now come help me stir the pot while Uncle Lachlan and Alice have their talk.” “No that’s quite alright, mum. This conversation is over, I’m thinkin’,” the Marine insisted firmly. “Alice, be reasonable here!” “This isn’t even my idea! How am I being unreasonable?” she demanded, crossing her arms over her chest. Lachlan let out a bark of laughter. “Where do ya want me to start, lassie? The bit about goin’ behind Admiral Kaczynski’s back or the bit where you think you or I should be helpin’ to raise an orphan?” “Oh yes, heaven forbid people like us raise a child. I’m serious, Lachlan!” Alice protested. “I know ye are, and that’s the problem!” he said firmly, though his tone remained moderate. “Think about it, Alice.” “Oh really? That’s the line you want to go with? ‘Think about it, Alice’,” she mimicked sarcastically. “It’s literally my job to think about things like this! And you know what I think? I think Natori might do something foolish, like putting Ketra with Gerard and Yvonne Dupuis for starters. I would bet my entire year’s salary he accepts Gentia’s offer and then the question is who? If my brother and Veera turn the offer down, as they have once already, I can’t think of a better idea. Can you? Do you have any other humans in mind who have spent a day living around Cauthan, much less weeks?” Lachlan paused a moment, rubbing his face as he silently acknowledged Alice’s point on the subject of a particular Admiral and the given circumstances. He glanced back to Sentraura and Ursol, finding them quite enraptured as they stirred a morning stew of vegetables and dato. He smiled at the little cub, whose curious face and eyes could melt even the sternest of hearts. “Alice, what’s wrong with the doctors? They’re experienced parents and Yvonne’s got a degree in infant care among other things, right?” Alice’s mouth curled slightly as Lachlan moved from denial to bargaining. “Nothing is wrong with Gerard and Yvonne, Lachlan. I have no doubt they’d make exceptional surrogate parents or grandparents. The latter would be better, I think. I’m just saying though, how would you feel if you were raised by aliens and your alien parents were elderly and passed away shortly after you reached maturity? That’s a much different life than being raised by a young couple who, God willing, should be around to guide you until you have your own children and such.” “I daresay she has been giving this a bit of thought, Lachlan,” Sentaura interrupted with an approving tone. “Please, everyone grab a bowl and eat while it’s hot. I don’t mean to be rude but I’ll not be serving my guests cold stew.” The pause in conversation was most welcome for the young Marine, and Lachlan insisted that Sentaura take the first bowl herself, followed by Ursol. He then ladled out a portion for himself and Alice, which was more than he might eat on a given morning but certainly less than two humans might consume. Alice rested a hand on his arm and smiled at him, indicating her approval. “Awawa, hot! Mama, it’s hot!” Ursol declared, dropping a steaming piece of dato back into his bowl and splashing a bit on his tunic. Sentaura sighed and wiped him down quickly. “Ursol, you’re a big boy now. Surely you can blow on your own food to cool it down? And not too hard. If you spill your soup you’ll be in trouble,” she warned. Lachlan pointed his spoon at the little Cauthan, pursed his lips, and demonstrated. “Nice an’ easy, laddie. Yer mum didn’t work so hard this mornin’ just to have you splashin’ it about now!” Alice watched in fascination as Ursol did just that, blowing lightly on his food before observing it keenly, giving it a sniff, and then taking a nibble. Satisfied that it was of a reasonable temperature, he swiftly took the rest into his mouth only to scrunch up his face in discomfort. “Still hot!” Lachlan and Alice laughed lightly, sounds that seemed to make Ursol very pleased with his antics before he busied himself with breakfast again. Sentaura managed a wan smile, and the meal continued without major disturbance. When they concluded, Alice stood and ruffled MacGregor’s hair before handing him one of her ration bars. “Sorry, Mac. I’ll be at the temple if you want to stop by.” “Momma, she touched his feathers!” Ursol immediately remarked, pointing and bouncing on the balls of his feet as Lachlan looked at the entryway with a mixture of confusion and annoyance on his face. Sentaura smiled genuinely and took her son’s empty bowl. “Yes, but humans are different from Cauthan, Ursol. We do not touch feathers like that. If you wish to learn how to touch humans correctly, you must speak with Lachlan or Alice or Winters.” “But the white one is scary,” Ursol murmured. MacGregor watched closely as Sentaura set aside the dirty dinnerware and took her son into her arms, soothing him with a gentle voice. “Sometimes, my son, you need to be scary to protect the things you love. I am sure Lachlan would be happy to teach you instead.” He nodded an affirmative when she glanced his way. “Course, mum,” the Marine replied quietly, wondering for the first time what Ursol might or might not have seen on the night of the raid, perhaps when fleeing his burning home. “I’m sorry about Alice. Sometimes she just has these ideas and-” “It sounds like it was the Mother’s idea, Lachlan, not Alice’s. If she wishes to play a role in such a thing, that is for Gentia to decide. And it is clear she will look to you for support,” Sentaura pointed out, her tone indicating that such things were obvious. She cleaned the fur around Ursol’s muzzle with a few licks of her tongue before turning him over to Lachlan. “Could I trouble you to see him to the temple this morning?” “Of course, Sentaura,” he agreed easily. “Uncle Lachlan, hunter games?” Ursol suggested. The Marine laughed and picked him up, placing the young boy on his knee. “Right after breakfast? You’ll be crampin’ up something awful, laddie,” he warned. “Nuh-uh!” Ursol insisted pointedly as his mother gathered her effects for another day in the fields as harvest season approached. “Alright, but don’t blame me if you find yerself losing that breakfast! Let’s go. One lap around the village before school then. Hunters gotta be fast, right?” “Right!” Ursol cheered, hopping to the ground and running out the door. Sentaura handed him Ursol’s lunch for the day, swishing her tail behind her in contemplation. “This… may not be my place Lachlan, but you have been a welcome addition to my home and I would ask this question of you.” “Is that… is that Cauthan for we need ta talk? Because there’s only so much of that a man can take in a day,” he protested lightly. Her eyes narrowed slightly as her expression softened. “We have not known each other for long, but I would hope that by now you would understand that if we needed to talk I would out and say it. I just wanted to know if there is something wrong with Alice. Is she not fertile? Are her features undesirable?” The Marine was caught flatfooted. “I don’t get your meanin’, Sentaura.” “Are you mated to another female then?” “Oh that’s what this is-” Lachlan rubbed his face with his hands, pulling his moustache downward before running his fingers through his beard. “It’s complicated, Sentaura. An’ even if it weren’t complicated I couldn’t just hop to it without knowin’ I love her.” The young but world-wise Cauthan blinked twice, cocking her head as she mulled over her question. “How could you know such a thing like love without bringing life into the world with her?” “Uncle Lachlan, I wanna play!” Ursol popped his head back in the door, is face fraught with childish impatience. “I should be going, Sentaura. I’ll see ya in the fields later,” Lachlan insisted softly, bowing in thanks for breakfast before grabbing his gear and heading out after Ursol. “Ah well, Valta only knows no male is perfect,” Sentaura concluded. ----- “Alice Winters, good morning to you. What brings you to my temple today? Feeling restless with your brother gone?” Gentia asked knowingly, leaving a small gaggle of young Cauthan under the care of several of her acolytes while she went to speak with the human. “Selah to you, Gentia,” Alice replied formally before easing into the conversation. They sat on a bench nearby, so the acolytes and children alike would know that the head priestess was still watching them learn. “I daresay you must feel the same. Would it be rude to ask how long it was since you spent a night away from Thantis?” “You remind me of myself when I was young,” the old Cauthan admitted. “Always asking the pointed questions, hmm? I will be frank; it was difficult. We have been constant companions for more years than I can number. All I can pray for is that when the time comes, the Mother and her father see fit to receive us at the same time. I’m sorry, you surely didn’t come here to listen to an old female like me ruminate on life and death.” “No, but don’t let me stop you. I’m sure I could learn a lot from that sort of chat,” Alice responded politely. Gentia waved her off. “Bah, how depressing. We will have words if he’s not returned to me soon instead, hmm! Now, what else is on your mind? Your forehead is wrinkled. When your brother does this it usually means he’s frustrated or thinking very hard about something. Is that painful?” Alice placed her fingers to her lips and giggled. Gentia joined in quietly for just a moment. “No, thankfully it’s not painful. Our faces are like your feathers. We have a great deal of control over the muscles under the skin, and we’re very attuned to one another’s expressions.” To demonstrate, Alice waggled her eyebrows and showed off how much minute control she had over the movement of her lips and mouth. “You have made your point quite splendidly,” Gentia told her as multiple young Cauthan began trying to imitate her with various degrees of success. “Oh just go on and play, all of you. We will have lessons this afternoon instead.” “Oh, I’m sorry,” Alice suddenly adopted a reserved expression as the gathering of cubs immediately scattered laughing and shouting to the far corners of the temple to play. Thankfully, none bolted for the door. “Oh, them? Think nothing of it, Alice. They’ve been looking for an excuse all morning. Sometimes it is best to give a little and then take. Though I will say Ursol has been instigating disruptions far less than usual over the past cycle. Please give your companion my thanks. I assume it’s on account of him running the boy ragged every day. Meylith bless him.” “That’s… actually what I wanted to discuss today,” Alice continued, taken aback as Gentia’s eyes began to sparkle in a manner reminiscent of her husband. “O-ho! You’ve decided to be his mate then? We would be happy to allow you use of this space for your ceremony!” Gentia nodded, quite pleased with herself indeed as Alice spluttered and waved her hands quickly in front of her. “No no no! That’s not what I meant at all! I was referring to your suggestion to Natori the other day, about Ketra.” “My condition, you mean?” the Cauthan clarified sharply, looking around her temple and quickly locating the ball of light brown fur. “Of course, let us talk then. Centille, you can leave Ketra with us.” “Thank you, Gentia,” the younger priestess replied with relief audible in her voice. The little cub was discontented for one reason or another that morning, and was quite indisposed to remaining in Centille’s arms. “I’ll go look after the others.” “Please bring us a bit of grain and water first, she may be hungry. Then you may go,” Gentia requested. Centille bowed before hurrying off to the granary to comply with her orders while the older female addressed the cub on her lap. “Now what’s gotten your feathers all bent out of shape, little one? Oh, it is your feathers! Well look at you, you’ll be a fine young female with a grand crest one day. All the rowdy little males will be clamoring to be yours.” Alice watched with great interest as Gentia unsheathed her claws ever so slightly and began running them in one direction from the top of Ketra’s forehead, over top, and all the way down to the base of her neck. The tiny Cauthan let out something of a squeak but settled down shortly as her elder scratched the itch of new feather growth. Gentia rested her cane against the bench and adjusted her hold on the little one before speaking quietly to Alice again. “I will have to teach Centille about this, I suppose. She is wonderful with the older cubs. I am sure that will change when she has her own. Ah, thank you Centille. Just place the bowl here, would you?” The acolyte left the small amount of food on the bench next to Gentia before bowing and returning to her duties. “She’s so cute,” Alice couldn’t help but whisper, waving her fingers at Ketra who, being pampered, looked ready to doze off for a little snooze instead of continuing to be difficult. “She’s a handful and a half is what she is,” Gentia said. Alice tittered. “So that was your plan then? Have the humans raise the difficult child?” she joked, hoping the translation would prove adequate. “How could you suggest something so very like me?” The priestess feigned shock before pivoting to a quite serious demeanor. “Do you think it is a wise decision?” “I… a- what?” Alice stammered. “You’re asking me?” Gentia gazed at her for several seconds as she ordered her thoughts. “If I understand correctly you have spent almost all of your life studying and learning, no? Surely that counts for something. Even I am still subject to fits of passion or flights of fancy. I serve the Mother, but no one says I must always act like her, hmm? Sometimes calling on a bit of Valta or the Twins might be prudent. But it strikes me now that humans wouldn’t know to do what I’m doing. I wonder how many other moments in her life would be subject to the same problem.” “Well, you could always teach us? I liked Xan’s idea,” Alice admitted, hands in her lap. “And what happens when you return to your home?” Gentia pointed out. “Yeah, I know. Part of me wants to say that all mothers have to go through that though, even human ones. We have to learn how to take care of our children on our own, maybe with our own mother’s help. You can know about teething all you like but I’m sure that it’s different when you have your own baby in your arms. That’s when our infants get their first set of teeth, by the way,” she explained. “Your young are not born with teeth? How do they eat?” Gentia asked. “They consume food in liquid form exclusively for quite some time and then slowly transition to a solid diet,” Alice explained. “I can never decide if your people are more similar or different to mine than at first glance,” the priestess mused, humming gently to the cub that was now snoozing in her arms, one stubby paw hanging limp at her side. “But it would appear that question will need to wait for another time, Alice. I have a great duty to fulfill this morning it would seem.” That duty took the form of none other than the village Huntress, as Ratha stood silently just inside the doorway to the temple. Alice found herself feeling quite nervous under the Cauthan’s scrutiny, as no amount of height disadvantage or pregnant belly seemed capable of dulling Ratha’s sharp, predatory gaze. “Want to have a little fun?” Gentia asked. “With Ratha? No, I think I’m good,” Alice decided immediately. “Be that as it may, unless you intend to examine her yourself I would ask you to take this bundle of joy from me, just for now. Should she wake, simply repeat what I was doing to calm her, or soak some grain in water and offer it to her. Gods willing this will not take long, despite the fact that her first visit should have been a season ago,” the priestess said, raising her voice enough so that Ratha would be able to hear her. “Well I’m here now, Gentia. I can come back later. Human,” came the Huntress’ greeting. Alice’s capacity to respond was replaced by the need to accept a snoozing Ketra from Gentia. She was very careful to ensure the cub’s head remained supported as she cradled the little fuzzball, but the developmental differences between humans and Cauthan seemed to render that consideration a bit less important. If young Cauthan were born with teeth, Alice supposed it wasn’t too much to assume they would be capable of supporting the weight of their own heads much earlier in life. “No no, far be it from me to impose upon you, Ratha. I just pray you didn’t finally come to us because something is amiss. Thank you, Alice. Call upon any of the acolytes if you have need of them. And no snide comments, my dear,” Gentia insisted of Ratha. “As you can see her feathers are coming in and we just got her to sleep.” A shiver ran up Alice’s spine from the way Ratha sized her up, but if the Huntress had any thoughts about a human holding one of her village’s orphans, she kept it to herself. So far as Alice knew, Ketra was not the daughter of any of ‘Ratha’s people’. Instead the auburn furred Cauthan strode onward, accompanied by Gentia who immediately launched into what Alice supposed was a standard set of questions for expecting Cauthan mothers. Ratha did not speak a word until they disappeared into the next room over. “Well, that was terrifying,” Alice whispered, looking down at Ketra. “To think she used to look like you one day, long ago. Okay I’m sorry, please don’t wake up! I’ll talk inside my own head.” To Alice’s relief, Ketra’s sudden movement was nothing more than a sleepy adjustment as the little one snuggled up to her, presumably for warmth. Alice had to bring her free hand to her mouth in an attempt to contain a squeal of delight before whipping her head around as a low voice spoke to her from behind. “Practicin’?” “Lachlan!” she hissed, gesturing for him to sit next to here. Ursol had just run off to join his fellows, having arrived after his jog around the village. “She just fell asleep and Gentia had to leave.” The Marine yielded and held his hands up in front of his chest, content to take a moment and join Alice in silent watch over the little one. Though he’d made something of a habit out of it, there was nothing stipulating he had to assist Sentaura in the fields each day. Instead he watched Alice as she rocked her torso gently back and forth, once or twice reaching for her hair before remembering again it was tied tightly behind her head. It was a side of her that he’d not seen before, and Sentaura’s words came back to haunt him. He didn’t know about love, but there was something undeniably compelling about a woman caring for an infant. Given how fluffy the infant in question was, the species barrier was a non-issue in terms of the adorable factor. If anything, it was a plus. “What was the last time you showered?” Alice suddenly asked. Lachlan groaned and scooched away from her on the bench. “Look, it’s not like I can get back up ta the ship right now.” “I know, I’m just teasing,” she assured him quietly. “That’s the real reason we’re not supposed to interact with pre-industrial civilizations. No indoor plumbing. Oh no no no no no! I’m sorry! Please go back to sleep!” Ketra’s surprise at finding herself in the arms of an alien was more than apparent as her little eyes fluttered open and she evaluated the situation rather than return to slumber. Alice began to panic as Ketra grew restless, squirming around and making adorable but disgruntled noises. “Ok then, how about some food?” she suggested, taking a piece of Maran grain and dipping it in the water before offering it to the cub. She was not impressed. “No? Oh geez, alright. Is it your feathers? Are they annoying you?” Lachlan watched in nervous silence as Alice began running her nails, which had last been painted pink so long ago than more than half of the enamel had chipped off, along Ketra’s scalp. More than one of the priestesses of Meylith was watching out of the corner of their eye, but Alice was intent on salvaging the situation and they seemed amenable to allowing her the chance. “Rock a bye baby, on the tree tops,” Alice began singing. “When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall and… oh my God, why is that even a nursery rhyme?” she whispered as Ketra began to protest her current condition more loudly. “Lachlan, help!” “What am I supposed ta do?” he demanded. “You’re so good with Ursol!” “He’s four! He ain’t an infant. There’s nothin’ alike about-” his protests died as Alice gave him the most overblown puppy eyes he’d ever seen. “Oh by me grandpa’s kilt! Alright, wee one. What’s got ye so bent outta shape? Ketra, stop makin’ life difficult for Alice here.” When Ketra realized that the alien with the facial fur and deep voice was addressing her, she gave him a moment of her attention. Afraid that it wouldn’t last, he swallowed his embarrassment and tried his hand at singing, though his song was not a nursery rhyme by any means. “Red is the rose, that in yonder garden grows. Fair is the lily of the valley. Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne, but my love is fairer than any.” Not knowing the rest of the lyrics, he hummed the tune instead, his voice and Alice’s gentle scratching finally working as Ketra ceased attempting to escape from Alice’s grasp. By the time Lachlan made it around to the chorus again, Ketra was accepting individual pieces of grain from Alice’s fingers and chewing them slowly. Her eyes never moved from Lachlan. “Isn’t that an Irish ballad?” Alice whispered as Ketra took her breakfast, finally, in some amount of peace. “An’ what? I can’t like it cause I’m Scottish?” Lachlan asked. “We both hate the English after all.” “No no, of course not. I was just surprised,” Alice remarked, tilting her head as she looked at him. “Thank you. You’re really good with them.” “Perhaps you can teach that song to me sometime,” a low voice suggested from nearby. Alice almost screamed but managed to hold it in, providing Ketra with a bit of amusement. Antoth clearly possessed a bit of Ratha’s stealth. That or the two of them had been far too concerned with the immediate problem to notice him walking up behind them. “Her feathers?” “Oh, yes Antoth. Good morning to you,” Alice stammered, shifting Ketra so she could activate her translation program. She suddenly felt every bit as self-conscious as she had been around Ratha. “Gentia said to scratch her like that if she woke up, and your wife is over in the other room.” “Mmm, I’ll have to make note of that as well,” the high priest said, blinking at Ketra who had become quite still in the presence of so many adults. “I hope my cubs are as polite as her when I’m around. So, am I to take this to mean that the two of you were chosen by Natori?” “Wha- what? No, it’s nothing like that. Natori left on the resupply mission before saying anything about Gentia’s proposal. I just- yes yes sweetie, here’s another piece. Gentle now. There you go,” Alice cooed as Ketra used both of her stubby little paws to move the morsel of food to her mouth. “Sorry Antoth, I just thought it would be a nice thing to do today to come see her. With everyone else gone there isn’t much to do. Is everything fine with Ratha?” “I hope Gentia will say so,” the black-furred Cauthan replied, crossing his arms over his chest. “You saw her today, I presume? She didn’t say anything untoward?” “No, she didn’t say anything to me at all, really,” Alice confirmed. Antoth breathed out a relieved sigh. “That is good. I would not say a bad word about her, but pregnancy is… an interesting challenge.” “No need ta explain to us, Antoth. We understand,” Lachlan assured him. The Cauthan’s eyes grew a bit wider. “Oh? I didn’t know you had cubs of your own. Are they aboard your ship?” he asked politely. “I’m not even married, Antoth. Just saying ya have my sympathies. Pregnancy’s pretty bad on human women too.” “You’re welcome,” Alice chipped in proudly. “Fer what? You don’t have any either,” he ribbed her. “Well on behalf of womankind, you’re welcome anyway. Right, Ketra? We’re the real tough ones. They don’t know what it’s like,” Alice cooed in a high pitched voice. Ketra seemed far more accepting now that the alien had established itself as a source of nourishment and comfort. “Neither do you,” Lachlan pressed, earning Alice’s finger jabbing into his bicep. “Well one day I will, mister. And if you’re the daddy you best believe I’ll be reminding you of this regularly!” Antoth laughed loudly as Lachlan leaned away from Alice as far as he could. She joined in, sticking her tongue out at him. “I continue to insist that once she gets over humans in general, my mate will find you quite agreeable,” Antoth stated as Gentia and Ratha emerged from the ‘maternity ward’ of the temple. “Ratha.” “Don’t you have something better to be doing than waiting around to see what’s wrong with me?” she demanded. “No,” he replied firmly. Ratha’s face softened several degrees and she rested her head against his chest where his left arm met his shoulder. “Good answer, Scarface. Our spawn is just fine,” she informed him. The humans couldn’t help but smile as Antoth’s shoulders sagged with relief. “The tenderness on the underside of her belly is normal, as is the nausea. There is a possibility the cub may come into the world feet first, but that’s nothing we cannot handle,” Gentia reported before hardening her tone. “Do not wait next time, Huntress. Listen to your body.” “I know my body better than anyone,” Ratha insisted hotly. Gentia did not give an inch. “And I know pregnancy better than you ever will.” “When you never had a cub yourself? Spare me.” “Ratha, that’s enough!” Antoth stepped in, his voice not quite a shout. She leered at him before stalking proudly from the temple, her hand supporting the bottom of her belly. “You have my apologies, Gentia. I will ensure she returns to do the same.” “You and I both know such a thing is pointless,” Gentia said tiredly, standing beside him. “She is afraid. Her body is betraying her. It is natural for her to behave this way. Support her as best you can.” He growled quietly in acceptance. “I do not know what we will do when you go to the Mother’s side, Gentia.” “One of my very capable assistants will take my place. And unlike me, she will have had cubs of her own. I was not the first, and I will not be the last, Antoth.” “You have my apologies as well, humans. That was not something for you to see or hear.” He bowed to them all before leaving after his mate. Even Ketra was looking around silently in his wake. “Way to read the room, wee lassie,” Lachlan congratulated her. Gentia refocused on them with a brightening expression. “Thank you both. She seems to have taken a liking to this arrangement. Maybe the two of you can make things official at the harvest festival, hmm?” she tittered. “Why does every Cauthan we know insist we should be gettin’ hitched?!” Lachlan lamented. Gentia poked his stomach with her cane as she explained. A small group of male cubs, including Ursol, ran past them playing what seemed to be tag. “Because if our youth were like you, still unmated in the prime of their lives, we would die out as surely as Seil rises in the west. Ratha and Antoth are an exception, not the rule.” Lachlan and Alice stared at one another quietly. ----- PreviousFirstPatreon
Ordered on Thursday at 8 AM PST when they were actually able to release them
(FedEx) Label created shortly after (about noon PST)
Picked up at warehouse on Friday
Shipped on Saturday
Strategies and Observations for Launch Day It was clear to me when they announced this card that there would be unprecedented demand and the chance of getting one on release day was slim to none. That notion was exacerbated by the fact that only NVidia and Best Buy would be selling them. I had little hope for Best Buy considering my attempts to pre-order the PS5 the night before (I failed). Let's just say I went in with very low expectations.
Online before 6 AM PDT.
F5 on the hour and after, but especially on the hour.
Follow Reddit launch day thread using live view in the app for the most convenient and up-to-date experience.
Following the thread was especially important because it's almost guaranteed that a few people will report getting one if they do. Due to the lack of any evidence of someone receiving one I knew there had to be some sort of delay.
I wasn't even aware of the shop page until someone linked it in the thread.
When I realized the launch page was actually updated it had the following text updated (I probably would have missed it without this text [yes, it was duplicated]):
Limit 1 per customer Limit 1 per customer
Check out as quickly as possible.
I didn't bother signing in although that may have been easiefaster (used guest checkout).
Chrome auto-fill address.
Chrome/Windows credit card auto-fill (remember that security code).
I attempted to do a dry-run with the NVLINK Bridge the day before, but the website actually wasn't working at the time. As of this writing it is working though so that might be a good idea to practice the process of filing in info, etc. Just don't submit the order unless you actually need a bridge :)
During the next launch I would recommend not assuming that bots got all of them right at launch time. If absolutely no one has reported ordering one I would just assume that they've pushed it back due to technical difficulties (like they did). It may have been a coincidence, but I believe they waited until it was on the hour to trigger the release. First Impressions: Massive jump in performance from my STRIX 2070 Super. I estimated it would be about double the performance (based on reviews) and that seems about right. If you subtract the price of the items in the bundle they would come out to about the same price, which is wild. I now have a 3080 and a 2070 Super for the price of a 2080 TI. I only spent about an hour and a half testing SoTR, RE3, Metro Exodus, MCC, and Control in 1440p. I was able to use medium ray tracing settings before (sometimes requiring DLSS) whereas now it seems like I will be able to use max ray tracing settings no problem. I can see why reviewers say you'll get the biggest benefit upgrading to this card if you play in 4K because I believe I have already encountered scenarios where I was CPU bottlenecked (2700x3700x) at 1440p. It was in RE3 if I’m remembering right (MCC of course too I almost felt like I lost performance there). I spent most of my time playing SoTR with max settings, including ultra ray traced shadows and DLSS turned off, where I was passing 100 FPS. Only concern at the moment is that it runs like a jet engine under max load. I went from the beefy STRIX to finally being able to install those two bottom fans because of the 2-slot profile. I'm not using a controller and the bottom two are daisy chained to the exhaust. I think I just need to do some retuning and maybe crank those up a bit to improve the flow in my mini-ITX case. Update: I was getting up to 80 C before but after cranking up those case fans a bit the system was overall quieter and ran at about 75 to max 77 C. For comparison, my STRIX never went over 65 while gaming. Same build with STRIX I love the design of the card but obviously the power cables are not ideal. It will be interesting to see the different cable management methods that people use. Update 1 Part 1: Currently having an issue where if I have only two display port monitors connected one (G7) will turn off and on every few seconds and the other one (VG248QE) will having black flashing on the screen from top to bottom. Adding an HDMI screen fixes it and so does using only one display port monitor. Update 1 Part 2: Turning off Windows HDR appears to fix it. In-game controlled HDR works just fine with dual monitors.
2020.09.21 14:16 DadomedgodThe PS5 preorder chaos was orchestrated by Sony to mask production issues.
To blame retailers for the fiasco is surface level thinking. They were given no instructions on how to handle preorders, and no consequences for going against the preorder date. Sony didn’t present preorder info on their ps5 showcase and when they tweeted the info, it was vague. No specific time, and no list of selected retailers. Then there’s the PlayStation email preorder waitlist they put out a few weeks ago. That ramped up paranoia because it wasn’t first come first serve, but instead based on a criteria that didn’t even make sense. This leads me to believe the Bloomberg article is somewhat accurate, and there’s issues with the chip. Instead of acknowledging the issue they wanted to make the ps5 demand seem so off the charts that there was nothing they could do about it. Either that or they have the worst PR team in consumer electronics.
2020.09.21 13:54 44445throwaway44445AITA for breaking up with my partner during their Visa application
My partner and I have been together for approx 18 months now, due to issues with her VISA which are still ongoing she was due to be deported however together we have decided to persue a partnespousal visa. The application process is long and painful where I am from, at this stage it could take anywhere from 3-18 months from this point in time, with no way of ascertaining the length remaining. However in the past few months the relationship has somewhat soured, I have kept trundling along as I'm not entirely unhappy, but this is not what I would describe as a fulfilling relationship. It has an expiration date which would have likely been met by now, but I offered to help my partner with the visa application, so I felt I should follow that commitment through to the end. Recently things have become much worse, the relationship is now me performing almost all the house work, cooking, cleaning, etc. In addition the standard relationship gripes are kicking in. My partner has become very emotional and borderline controlling/demanding of both my time and my behaviors. As well as dependent on me for much of their entertainment, as a fiercely independent person this is becoming a real big drag. Many of these topics have been discussed, but the issues keep resurfacing, a rational and logical person would call this relationship unsustainable and end it before it became toxic. The kicker here is that ending the relationship will almost guarantee this person is deported once international borders open up. Normally my thought process would be that a commitment was made and that should be maintained. But to play devils advocate to that argument, a huge lifeline was offered but the behavior does not show appreciation or gratitude for what has been done, this isn't to say I expect something in return for my offer. But rather the relationship is becoming increasingly one sided, and that my own personal mental health and happiness is being unduly sacrificed for that of another. tl;dr Relationship is going sour, breaking up with them will likely result in them being deported to a shit country
2020.09.21 12:59 bar-al-an-neOP Buds in Scandinavia
Hi. Just a little warning here; this post will seem a little manic. I am like that when I order stuff, I want to have it instantly. Wanted to share an observation from Scandinavia here. First of all, Oneplus isnt a known brand to anyone here, atleast outside the sphere of people that have a interest for tech, that probably applies to many parts of the world. Since the Buds launched there have been a tiny shipment of them reaching us, I do not sit on any concrete number but this is through observation. I sat on the fence just long enough to not get my hands on the black buds and now I am paying for it. After the first shipment, the Buds was basically unobtainuim for quite some time if you wanted fast shipment(I rarely order anything but trading cards from outside Scandinavia). This felt strange because sometimes the retailers seem to struggle to get the phones out of the door due to not being known or popular enough. So I made my order in late august, ordered a pair of black buds and sat waiting for the ETA they gave us. This date has been pushed back about three times now. We(Scandinavia) recently got a shipment of the white buds, this seems to apply to all of Scandinavia and is almost certainly due to there being one Oneplus distributor for all of Scandinavia. Many of the shops who stock Buds use the same ETA numbers for the black and the blue buds, which strengten my claim about the distributor. White isnt really an option for me, but every day its getting more and more tempting to just say fuck it and not care about what color I get them in. I have been really close a couple of days... It would be interesting to know the numbers that was allocated for Scandinavia and how fast these sold out in all of Scandinavia. It would also be interesting to know how many of each color is produced, my guess now is that white buds by far is most produced color. This situation puts up alot of fun questions that I never will get an answer to, here are some of them: Is the Scandinavian market not a priority when it comes to allocation? Have the Buds been seized in customs here as we saw in the US? Is there a supply shortage of dye/colored plastics for some reason? Is Oneplus prioritizing manufacturing of the white buds because of suspected demand? I am in no way in need of these right now, I am quite happy with my OP Bullets 2 but have chosen to get the buds aswell because I intend to use them differently.
2020.09.21 12:42 100thlonelyguy"Nice guys" exist because of YOU
I've exhibited common "nice guy" thoughts/behaviors and here's the rub. I am a "nice guy" irl because when I was "myself" it didn't work. I wanted people to treat me a certain way and I wanted to act a certain way and all of that was invalidated over and over and over. I've been vilified for speaking my goddamn mind, being true to myself, and otherwise being honest. Maybe sometimes I didn't communicate as accurately as how I wanted to, but the end result is the same: I choose to subvert my own fucking will because my will is unacceptable to *you*. Whatever I want isn't acceptable to *you*. So, rather than continue to be the selfish fucking prick I wanna be, I go ahead and go with what *you* want, because you said I'm evil, who am I to go against it!? I want your love and affection and a goddamn blowjob, and I'm not gettin' it, no way no how, not in a million years as myself - so I try and try and try and try to please you and I'm so fucking tired of being vilified for that, too. I've said it before in comments on Reddit that I just don't give a flying fuck anymore and I'm gonna be me, but as soon as I walk away from my damn keyboard screen the facade comes back, like it's written in my programming. I don't lie, but I certainly don't stick up for myself or my needs or my wants. Why? Because every time that happens I get shot down. Why? Because of *you*. And even besides that, if I actually *did* have a choice in the matter, I'd still choose what you want half the time, at least. I know I want something to go my own way. I know I want that thing there like 90% of the time, and I don't want anyone to contradict me on that. I want no dissent, but clapping and cheering for me getting my way all the time, every time. But, instead of listen to that part of myself, even though it's screaming in my fucking ears, I'm going to smile and do what you want. Why? Because that's the definition of selflessness to me. Maybe you don't agree. Maybe you think it'd be better if I had my way, I don't really know. I know it upsets me that I'm the only one thinking this like 99% of the time. You want me to change? Then why don't you fucking look in my eyes and see that demon trying to get out and throw it a bone instead of asking if I'm sure the 9th time in a row? Yes I'm fucking sure! If I wasn't I'd be a horrible selfish monster! Now quit vilifying my selflessness, make up your goddamn mind and throw me a fucking bone! GAH! EDIT: And the advice I get amounts to, "Just don't want it anymore." AAAAAAGH! I'm so fucking frustrated! EDIT AGAIN!: Alright, since everyone here keeps assuming shit, let me clear this fucking thing up for everyone. I've had dates. I've gotten laid. I've had love, and loved in return. I'm a nice guy. I do nice things. Sometimes at my own expense. I've still gotten burned by women. I've gotten burned in friendships. I've gotten burned as an adult, as a teen AND as a child. Fucking hell. I've had good experiences AND bad experiences. I just see this idea that somehow, by not indulging in my OBSESSIVE NEED to control EVERYTHING that somehow I'M the bad guy! I'M NOT! Quit fucking telling me I'm an asshole for not demanding my own way all the time like I want to! I could go on. Keep assuming shit and I will.
2020.09.21 12:08 throw52618awayI had another meltdown.
I am an adult female. I am autistic. I didn't find out until recently. My life has been a series of unfortunate events and I was raised in an abusive household only to leave it to be with an abusive significant other. When they left me I crashed. I found someone else, who is wonderful and patient, with their own baggage. We discovered our diagnoses and issues together. Both damaging to the other partner. We stayed anyways. When I first started having my meltdowns they would always say they're done and leave. Understandably. But they would end up staying because that thing that comes out during my meltdowns isn't me. They cheated on me in the beginning. I can't work and household chores are hard. I don't justify their decision but I understand it. When we finally had a conversation and truth came out we decided to still try. They realized more baggage and disorders they had. I kept having meltdowns. They grew more understanding and tried to not take it personally. I am higher functioning but can't work and can't really take care of myself or my daily tasks. You just wouldn't think I was autistic if we chatted in a store. I had another meltdown today. They kept from me financial troubles and I decided to 'check up' on old dating profiles to see if they had been active. How a went to b was logical in my state. But emotions are many autistic people's worst nightmares. And mine control everything. I went to rage. Blind angry betrayal rage. I held it mostly together by not being too mean but I was still hostile and demanding. This isn't the first meltdown I've had with this person where I don't ask first because my 'facts and proof' look solid. I justify it as 'they'll lie or hide evidence if I ask first'. I have a lot of trauma and ptsd from my childhood and other relationships. My baggage could probably fill an ocean. There is reason as to why this is happening. I can only recover so fast. But I refuse to accept it. Bless this person for staying. And trying so hard to be a better person for both me and themselves. And I had another meltdown. I don't want to have them. I don't want to be an abuser even if it's emotional. I'm tired of being so terrified of myself and everyone around me. I'm tired of hurting myself in my meltdowns. I'm tired of hurting others. I'm tired of coming back to mess after going on a rampage without any control. Depression or anger, either consume me. I don't want my partner to leave me but I hate that I'm selfish enough to think that. I don't want to be alive but I have no want to hurt myself in any life threatening way (I don't hurt myself outside of my meltdowns and for anyone who doesn't know what an autistic meltdown looks like mine specifically includes slamming my head or hands against things, including each other). I want to be normal. Not this normal, but neurotypical normal. I'm not an abuser because I can't control this but I am an abuser because I refuse to let this be an excuse. I've only been diagnosed a few months and have accomplished so much since then. This is the worst meltdown I've had in quite a while. I'm in therapy. I understand relapses will happen. But I don't want this. Even if my partner leaves me I'm just going to abuse the next person and the next. Maybe I'll eventually control them. I'm starting to. But how much longer do I have to be an awful person to people who are trying so hard for me? I don't want to lose my partner. We have been together for years now and we have started a future together. But I don't want it because I'm like this. I don't want to hurt people. I don't want to put children through this. I don't want to continue to hurt the person I love as they take it and move on. But god I don't want them to leave me. Why am I even in this mess. Why did I have to be autistic. I just want to be normal.
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Eirick's Dating on Demand Video (chicago) - Duration: 3:17. RealityInc 601 views. 3:17. Language: English Location: United States Restricted Mode: Off History Help I'm an extremely intelligent and romantic guy. I'm very cultural and I enjoy writing poetry. If you would like to hear some of my poetry, let's make a date. Here you have it! The dating on demand compilation brought to you by cringeblog.com. Although this video isn't entirely cringe, most of these videos here hav... Video profile for a dude trying to get a date on Comcast's On Demand dating feature Excellent dating video from Dating on Demand. Great catch for one lucky lady. If you like this, check out Chase from Dating on Demand - http://www.youtube.co...