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My pitch for a possible Frasier revival...
2020.09.03 00:06 RocketMan_672My pitch for a possible Frasier revival...
So, there’s a lot of ideas being thrown around that the Frasier revival is going to revolve around Frasier living with his son, Freddie, and, while I can’t confirm that that won’t be the premise of the revival, I can confirm that I wouldn’t really like it if they went down that road. First off, I am aware that Freddie had some weird patches, like that episode where he was a goth for instance, but I think that he wouldn’t have grown up to be remarkably different from Frasier; Lilith is too formal and domineering of a parent for Freddie to grow up to be someone resembling Martin or a ‘stereotypical millennial’ like people have been throwing around. Having three Frasiers this time around - because remember we’d get Frasier, Freddie and Niles would presumably still be around too - sharing the space isn’t going to make for good comedy, so he’s off the cards, at least as a main character anyway. Second, I just didn’t like Freddie that much. At all. I found him irritating for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on and I still find all of his episodes quite “skippable”. Not to blow smoke up my own a**, but I think I can do a better job at constructing a character in a single Reddit post than Frasier did with Freddie in 11 seasons. So, the fact of the matter is we need Martin, but John Mahoney is no longer with us, so there needs to be a ‘new Martin’, not a carbon copy - because I think that would make for extremely cringe-y television - but a character that fills the void that John Mahoney’s passing has left. We can’t use Freddie for reasons stated above, so I propose we use... Alli! Who’s Alli? You might ask. Well, you remember Roz had that baby in the original series and named her Alice, well, that’s her now, albeit with a name tweak - that I’ll explain later - and an actual personality this time. However, before I delve into Alli’s story, a little bit of background: Between the end of the original series and the present, Frasier married and subsequently divorced Charlotte. He also had a radio gig whilst living in Chicago, but, as the world is beginning to choose podcasts over radio more and more, the radio station closed down and Frasier decided to retire rather than try and find another job. Now, after Martin’s death, Frasier has decided to move back to Seattle to be closer to family. Even though he maintains that it is not the same because it is ‘on the floor below his old apartment’, the series opens just as Frasier has moved back into an apartment completely identical to the one from the original series. Played for comedic effect but with kind of serious undertones, Niles claims that Frasier yearns for ‘the good old days’ again, and his obsession with having everything identical is a manifestation of this desire. Frasier denies that he wants the apartment to be identical, right before insisting that Niles help him move the couch because it is ‘slightly to the left of where it was.” After settling into his ‘new’ apartment, Frasier finds retirement in Seattle not what he thought it would be. While he does find it familiar and comforting, Frasier feels quite left out and lonely in his retirement to Seattle, since neither Niles, Daphne, Roz or many of the side characters at KACL have retired. Niles and Daphne claim they’re still ‘saving up’ to afford a top tier college for both of their two children, even though it’s becoming clear that their son, David - a slightly aloof 17-year-old who only seems to be interested in soccer and punk rock - is not quite Ivy League material. Roz, on the other hand, refuses to retire until she gets KACL back up on its feet again, even though the now-unpopular radio station has been at death’s door for years. When Frasier questions Niles about why Roz has remained so obsessed over ‘rescuing’ KACL when its demise seems inevitable by now, Niles replies with a cryptic: “Well, what else does she have to obsess over?” In an effort to reacquaint Frasier with Seattle and properly reconnect with him, Niles convinces Frasier to host an elaborate wine and cheese tasting at his apartment with esteemed guests. The evening turns disastrous when a conversation between Roz and Daphne about their respective lives directly before the party turns gloomy, and they reach for the wine for comfort. This soon results in Roz crying about how much of a failure she is and, after Roz struggles to find a positive quality about David when prompted, Daphne crying about having raised an aimless son. After an offhanded comment by Roz about how David would ‘kick butt’ in a public school - since him and his sister go to a ritzy prep school - while her daughter, Esty, would be ‘eaten alive’ in an attempt to comfort Daphne, she then cries about having raised a poor-spirited daughter. Meanwhile, David, who was forbidden from going to a music festival and instead told to watch his sister while Frasier and Niles hosted their tasting and Roz and Daphne had a girl’s night, sneaks out anyway. In case it is not already obvious, Esty was not only named after Hester Crane, but mirrors Niles and Frasier in her behaviour, so, while David sneaks out, Esty is shown miming a conductor while listening to classical music through her headphones. Before he leaves, David gives her a brief look of bewilderment. At the music festival, David is surprised when a punk rock band on the experimental side enters the stage with Alice as their lead guitarist, except she’s now introduced as Alli. While they are a semi-talented band, their style gets them booed offstage, as the festival is filled mainly with mainstream and cover punk rock bands. Afterwards, David meets Alli backstage, where it is quickly made clear that she has had little to do with her mother or the Cranes for some time. The rest of Alli’s band appears and confronts about the extremely negative reception that they just received. Here, it is revealed that Alli’s stubbornness to change - which is meant to resemble Martin’s - has been the main factor in the band not changing their style even if they are continually booed offstage. The rest of the band has agreed that they cannot go on like this and announce they are changing with or without Alli’s permission and she instantly threatens to leave the band if they go ahead with it. The scene immediately cuts to the band members eagerly speeding away in their van without Alli. David, though air-headed at times, is big-hearted and assures Alli that he can help her since she is now stranded in Seattle without anywhere to go. After she recoils at the idea of David taking her to his parents for help, he remembers the wine and cheese party taking place at Frasier’s apartment and tricks Alli into thinking that the party is just ‘a place where a friend of his lives that she can go’ - as Alli was too young in the original series to properly remember the famous apartment. At the wine and cheese tasting, the gathering has been completely ruined by Daphne and Roz’s unruliness, with the latter having taken to crying over the laps of random party guests and the former having taken to drunkenly seeking validation from them that she has been a good mother to her children. Frasier and Niles are beyond mortified at the events unfolding around them, although Frasier admits to Niles in the kitchen that the whole affair is reminding him of the dinner parties in the original series and while he is overcome with embarrassment, he admits that he thinks he is beginning to feel whole and truly at home in Seattle again. Niles, as they walk out of the kitchen, adds on to Frasier’s statement that, while he is horrified now, he doesn’t see things getting any worse than this. On cue, the door swings open and there stand David and Alli, dressed in their best festival gear. Alli instantly recognises the Cranes and her mother and both parties are shocked at the sight of the other. Alli, while she greets her, is extremely distant and brisk with her mother, addressing her simply as “Roz” instead of her mom. David explains himself and Alli to his parents, stating beforehand that he “found Alli while taking a walk”, despite his obvious change of appearance since Niles and Daphne left their home earlier. Alli just wants to leave, preferring to ‘couch-surf and hitchhike her way to somewhere’ than ever face the prospect of having to live with her mother again, which seems like the only solution before her. Roz pulls Frasier away and proposes an offer to him: In exchange for reviving Frasier’s show on KACL and giving him a job, he gives Alli a place to stay. At first, while he instantly realises having a radio gig again would mean true fulfilment, Frasier refuses, citing that Alli will be “just like his dad living with him again”. Frasier suddenly pauses when he realises what he has just said and, after a brief moment of silence, Roz admits to Frasier that Niles told her about his behaviour when he was moving into the ‘new’ apartment - again, an exact replica of the one from the original series - and his desire to have everything the way it used to be. Roz then asks Frasier if he can make this one last thing just how it used to be. Frasier eventually relents, but on one condition. The final scene of the episode before the credits play resembles the last scene of the original series, except the camera pans across Frasier’s booth in the opposite direction, opting to show the window behind him first, which shows Niles, Daphne, Alli, David, Esty and others watching him through the window. As Frasier signs off, thanking the station personally for the second chance, the window beside him is shown, showing Roz behind the producer’s desk. Alli, meanwhile, has kind of taken up a Kirby kind of role at the station - like an assistant to Frasier and Roz among others - even though making her resemble Kirby is the last thing I want to do, because Kirby sucked lol. A staff member enters Roz’s side of booth immediately after the end of show and announces that it was the highest-rating segment on KACL in over a decade and everyone appears ecstatic. While it appears as a happy ending, severe tension between Roz and Alli still exists, David’s aloofness still concerns his parents and the question of who will replace Roz as station manager looms over KACL. The end credits show David, Niles and Daphne arriving home the night Alli arrived in Seattle. Niles, having realised that David snuck out to go to the music festival, chews him out as he directs him upstairs. Daphne follows, but notices Esty still conducting in time with the music coming out of her headphones in the living room and gives her the exact same look of bewilderment that David gave her earlier before heading upstairs. Esty has not noticed her, nor her father or brother, come in. And that’s it... Just to clarify a few things and to tie up some loose ends: On the topic of why Alli and Roz are estranged, it’s slowly revealed that Alli had a music teacher in high school that she was extremely close to and whom she eventually saw as father figure; it was this teacher, in fact, that introduced Alli to the style of music that she now simply cannot leave behind. This teacher was also the first person that Alli came out to. That’s right, motherf**kers, Alli is the show’s first starring character who identifies as openly gay. I think that it’s a sin that a show with a cast and crew that’s included so many LGBT people never did it in the original series, so I’m out to fix it. On a semi-related note, on the topic of Alli’s name change, I came to the conclusion that Alli simply has a more androgynous tone that the obviously feminine Alice. While Alli is by no means non-binary, the character is not afraid to turn away from a lot of stereotypically feminine interests and most definitely does not behave, as old white people would put it, ‘like a lady’. Also, again, while she is not non-binary, Alli’s dress sense and the way she presents herself at times is not strictly feminine or masculine. Anywho, I just can’t see a name like Alice fitting the character anymore and, even though Alli is also a feminine name, I do think it comes across as a bit of a halfway point between Al and Alice and therefore the name is not as staunchly feminine as Alice. The fact that Alli was born as Alice is not retconned either, it is explicitly stated that she made the decision that she would prefer to go by Alli some time ago but before that she was still Alice. Anyway, back to Alli and Roz’s relationship and how it got so bad, Roz eventually ‘decided’ that she was in love with Alli’s beloved teacher, according to Alli, and began to pursue him. After things ended extremely awkwardly between the two, the teacher abruptly told Alli that he could not teach her anymore and left Seattle. Alli struggled to cope with losing what almost felt like a second father and, as a result, her and Roz’s relationship deteriorated significantly. After high school, Alli moved closer to her mother’s extended family in Wisconsin for college and has had little to do with her mother ever since. Alli is not a carbon copy of Martin, but her personality at times clashes with Frasier’s just as his did. She is not overly materialistic nor does she put much thought into what others think of her and, as I mentioned above, Alli can be quite stubborn and, while she is not as traditional as Martin was, unwavering on matters that she holds close to her heart. For example, in one theoretical revival episode, Martin’s old chair ends up in Frasier’s possession again. After she sees that David - who was extremely close with Martin - is visibly upset by Frasier’s announcement that he is simply throwing the chair away, Alli passionately argues that Frasier simply cannot do that. Also in contrast to Frasier’s staunch moral compass - take “Oh my god, I’m dating Lana/Lorna Linley for completely self-serving reasons and I feel the need to tell her, blah, blah, blah…” for example, Alli at times has little moral compass. For example, in a later episode in the theoretical revival, Alli receives news that her former bandmates were arrested for drug possession not long after she was kicked out of and the band’s dog, Billie, a Yorkshire Terrier, needs a guardian. She is adamant that the dog is not her responsibility and she owes none of her former band mates anything, Frasier, however, after misinterpreting a conversation between Alli and a lawyer, thinks Billie is a very small reptile and convinces her that taking him in is ‘the right thing to do’. He fails to realise that this means an extremely lively dog will be living with him again until it’s too late. HOWEVER, and this is a big HOWEVER, Roz’s parenting that we saw in the original series, that included supplying Alice with classical music and enlisting Niles’ help to get her into a very good preschoo has resulted in Alli’s intelligence actually being comparable with that of Frasier and Niles’. However, Alli shows little interest in any of the pastimes that Niles and Frasier would be interested in and instead partakes mainly in ‘common man’ hobbies and interests, such as playing an acoustic/electric guitar, participating in social media, watching reality television and engaging in many other forms of mainstream pop culture. Alli’s mannerisms also mean that she would not be easily accepted by the circles that Niles and Frasier associate with. For example, in one theoretical episode, Niles joins an intellectual debating team and Alli is revealed to have a savant-like knowledge and understanding of many historical topics. However, her proclamation of: “YA TAKE A SWING AT THE QUEEN, YA BEST NOT MISS!” after delivering an excellent rebuttal at the end of the episode indicates that she is still far from being fully accepted by the snobbish society. So, that’s about it, I have either elements that I’ve left out, so if you have a “what do you think _______ is doing in the revival?” feel free to bother me with it. Other than that, enjoy my completely theoretical and fanatical take on what the Frasier revival should entail... Good day and good mental health... or whatever lol
2020.08.13 20:33 Benbtl2000First custom pc build ~£1600
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using. High end gaming, running two instances of borderlands 3 and other multiplayer titles + vermintide 2, doom, just cause 3, ect. And 3d modeling, lots of complex fusion designing.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
Max: £2,400 Preferred: £1,600
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.
Will hopefully buy the components in the next week but may be a bit longer before I actually build it.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Computer with software/os, but not peripherals or the case. Motherboard, GPU, CPU, power supply, ram, SSD & hard drive, CPU cooler, fans, led stips + controller, front panel I/O (usb ports, power switch and such), small screen showing cpu tempritures and fan speeds, ect. Thermal compound.
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?
UK, East Yorkshire
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
I dont want to overclock my computer.
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)
Minimum 4gb storage for films, backups, ect. Relatively smaller motherboard (~20cmx20cm); I was looking at the "Asus ROG STRIX B360-I Gaming mini-ITX motherboard" Also liked the look of the "Corsair Hydro Series H75 High Performance Liquid CPU cooler" PCI extender(?) Won't have room for GPU next to motherboard, GPU will be mounted most likely above.
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?
Building my own custom case hence the smaller motherboard stated above but need to find the components, fans, LEDs, usb's, ect. to go in the case
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 is preferable The plate at the back of my computer where the I/O is an equilateral triangle with a side length ~220mm, although there is still plenty of room inside the case. Thanks in advance (sorry if this is a bit unclear)
2020.08.08 10:43 OldmanRevivedI saw four movies (Spinster, The Secret Garden, I Used to Go Here, Howard)
First up was Spinster There are times during "Spinster" when it feels as if we're watching a filmed version of the rough first draft of a screenplay. Then there are times when it feels as if the director, Andrea Dorfman, simply started filming with the basic outline of a screenplay that had yet to be written. Surely there must be some mitigating factors at play here, but any theorizing about such things would be useless speculation. What we see is what we get, and what we get is a movie that, on a fundamental level, fails to communicate anything of any particular value. At the start of the movie, for example, Gaby (Chelsea Peretti) is 39 years old, unmarried, and childless, watching as her boyfriend of three months dumps her. This should seem terrible (The dumping occurs on her birthday), but Gaby basically wore the guy down, living with him despite his protests. Now, he's so tired of her hanging around for no reason that the guy just leaves and gives her his apartment. Peretti's performance here is so removed from any kind of emotion that we might wonder if this was some kind of scheme on Gaby's part. She definitely doesn't seem to care about much of anything. Gaby runs a catering business, where she insults a potential customer for having an admittedly naïve view on love. She starts dating again, but it's presented as a montage of her being rude to a series of unseen guys. We never quite know what the character wants. Because of Peretti's consistently dismissive tone, we're never really sure if Gaby is ever sincere when she actually says what she wants. The basic premise is that Gaby is indecisive about whether she wants love, marriage, kids or some other life goal that she has yet to realize. Her vision is blurred by the judgement of others, trying to navigate social circles and time with her father, Jack (Bill Carr), and brother, Alex (Davis Rossetti), without being pressured to deliver a life she isn’t sure she wants. Gaby figures things out for herself, trying out the wild west atmosphere of dating apps, and she attempts to meet people through softball, not realizing how important to game is to certain men. She hopes to hit on a chiropractor after an adjustment, coming up short there as well (she asks if he is single to the woman at the front desk, who points out that he's married, and she's his wife). She experiences the coldness of a one-night stand, and takes on the responsibility of owning a shelter dog named Trudy. It's clear that Gaby is a troubled soul in some kind of terrible pain, but the film does little to depict her as anything but a pushy, judgmental, and overly critical human being. "Spinster" actually feels sort of embarrassed at times, maybe because the characters are placed in silly sitcom situations and then forced to say lines that are supposed to be revealing and real. When the jokes do work, it's more a matter of acute social observation than good writing. Peretti's resilience is part of what makes her so refreshing, yet her detachment does begin to feel like a limitation once the film settles for a more generic sweetness, causing its humor to quickly run out. When raw emotions are required to rise to the surface, particularly during a scene set at a cemetery, they appear forced. It's hard to believe that a story that seems so simple in retrospect could be mutilated beyond recognition, but such is the case here. We don't even learn a key component of the plot until more than three-quarters into the movie. While the script hints at some reasons why Gaby is so awful, few of those elements pan out until much later in the film. Instead, she's just dead boring to be around. At the end, we feel that it's far too little after going through an aimless story with listless momentum, flat jokes, conventional and bland supporting characters, and challenges that never really becomes much of an obstacle. "Spinster" is mostly undone by its central character, whose uncertainty feels more like a gimmick than anything authentic. And the movie doesn't really want to be all that heartbreakingly true. It's one of those movies where you can almost keep a mental list of the Important Topics as they're ticked off in the dialogue. The people in this movie don't seem to be having conversations; they seem to be marching through current issues. Because Gaby takes no real risks, because she lives surrounded by the safeguards of formula fiction, the movie is fated from its first shot to be obedient to convention. Next up was The Secret Garden "The Secret Garden" was originally published in 1911, with author Frances Hodgson Burnett gifting readers a tender tale of a household awakening. Little did she know just how influential the story would become, inspiring many adaptations over the years, including a stage musical, an opera, and plenty of film and television takes on the source material. Arguably the most successful of these endeavors was a 1993 feature from director Agnieszka Holland and producer Francis Ford Coppola, who gracefully found a way to bring out the heart of Burnett’s writing while conjuring special big screen magic. This new verison of "The Secret Garden" doesn’t share the same sense of discovery, with director Marc Munden offering a colder version of the tale. But all the same, it is a work of beauty, poetry and deep mystery, and watching it is like entering for a time into a closed world where one's destiny may be discovered. Aside from simply telling this story, Munden also strengthens some of its underpinnings. The director's touch is most noticeable in scenes setting forth the trauma and the unhappiness from which Mary Lennox, the 10-year-old heroine, must gradually recover. In a striking and mysterious opening sequence, Mary (Dixie Egerickx) is seen as a child orphaned in India in 1947, and sent home to England to live on the vast estate of an uncle. Misselthwaite Manor is a gloomy and forbidding pile in Yorkshire - a construction of stone, wood, metal, secrets and ancient wounds. Mary arrives from her long sea journey to be met with a sniff and a stern look from Mrs. Medlock (Julie Walters), who manages the place in the absence of the uncle, Lord Archibald Craven (Colin Firth). Mary quickly gathers that this uncle is almost always absent, traveling in far places in an attempt to forget the heartbreaking death of his young bride some years earlier. Mary is at first spoiled and unpleasant, though by no means the sallow and homely creature Burnett described. Mary's life of privilege and her parents' neglect leave her wholly unprepared for her destiny. And, to her surprise, the servants in her uncle's manor house expect her to dress herself, and to entertain herself as well. There is little for Mary to do in the mansion but explore, and soon she finds secret passageways and even the bedroom of her late aunt - and in the bedroom, a key to a secret garden. She spends her days exploring the grounds, spotting curious animals and encountering Dickon (Amir Wilson), whose sister is a maid at Misselthwaite. Together they play in the garden, and he whispers the manor's great secret: The aunt died in childbirth, but her son still lives in the manor, confined to his bed, unable to walk. Mary goes exploring, and finds the little boy, named Colin (Edan Hayhurst). He has lived a life of great sadness, confined to his room, able to see only the sky from the windows visible from his bed. She pushes him to go out and join her as they sample the world around them. When Mary's presence begins to have a medicinal effect on Colin, Mrs. Medlock is more disturbed by the disruption than pleased by its results. Signs of Mary's unhappiness, like a quick, wrenching nightmare that shows a child being abandoned in a garden by her mother, are easily outweighed by the grandeur of her new surroundings. Even as it displays a fine appreciation of the decorative arts, the film manages to remain carefully ambiguous. It can be seen reveling in a subtly rarefied atmosphere, but it can also be seen as celebrating nature as a force for freedom. This much is certain: once Mary falls in love with the outdoors and discovers the garden of the title, the place develops the kind of tangled, profusely exploding greenery that cannot be achieved without the help of a good-sized staff. The flowers and creatures don't precisely speak for themselves, but they seem more alive than some of the adults in the story. Lord Craven has the stylish look of a gentleman buccaneer; he does have a hunchback, as the character in the novel did, but it's nothing that would keep him out of a Ralph Lauren ad. Maeve Dermody, appearing fleetingly as both Mary's mother and her aunt, serves an equally ornamental function. The little creatures of "The Secret Garden" are like a chorus that feels like the kids in the audience do. All of this could be told in a simple and insipid story, I am sure, with cute kids sneaking around the corridors. But Munden is alert to the buried meanings of this story, and he has encouraged his actors to act their age - to be smart, resourceful and articulate. They are so good at their jobs that we stop being aware they are children, and enter into full identification with their quest. He is also attentive to transitions and colors, offering sun-drenched interiors and cold authoritarian characters. There's a graceful, complex but seamless, seemingly inexorable movement that weaves in and out of fantasy and reality so that each becomes an extension of the other. After that was I Used to Go Here "I Used to Go Here" is an almost unreasonable pleasure about a jaded woman who returns to her alma mater in Illinois and finds that her heart would like to stay there. The movie is an unsprung screwball comedy, slowed down to real-life speed. It is a truism among actors that comedy is harder to play when it's serious. But straight comedy is a cinch, I think, compared to screwball, which is an art so exacting and difficult that when it works it's a miracle. Kate (Gillian Jacobs) got what she wanted. After at least a decade of working at it, she is now a published author. Her first novel, "Seasons Passed," has been released. But this dream fulfillment only lasts for only a couple of minutes. Her big book tour has been cancelled. The book sales aren't as good as the publishing house had hoped. The fact that publisher is calling off a publicity tour, meant to increase sales, probably means that the numbers are even worse than Kate is being told. It doesn't stop there; she hates the cover, and truth be told, she’s not so hot on all the words inside. Meanwhile, her best friend Laura (Zoe Chao) is happily married and about to have her first child, and at an uncomfortable baby shower, surrounded by other happy and pregnant women about her age, they have Kate hold up a copy of her book in a group photo. It's unwittingly adding insult to injury. Everyone else has their lives together in the way they wanted, but Kate, seemingly getting her life together in the way she wanted, is now living with a result that increasingly looks like a failure. Indeed, Kate was engaged to a man (He and the small Chicago apartment are the main details of her short biography on the book's cover flap), and now, he ignores her calls and text messages. Hope is not lost. Kate receives a call from a former college professor, David (Jemaine Clement), who would like her to return to her alma mater for a special book reading. Even before the two reunite, we sense some tension beyond the dynamics between Kate and David. His refuge is to retreat into his man cave and have thoughtful conversations about Cather or Faulkner, much to the discern of his wife, (Kristina Valada-Viars). Kate arrives at her old college and is struck by a flood of nostalgia, becoming caught up in an assortment of dramas, parties, gossipy rumors, and other youthful enterprises. Kate is dispatched to an infantilizing local bed and breakfast whose snarling proprietor (Cindy Gold) seems to have chosen the wrong line of business. She is pleased to discover that her old college house is located just across the street. It's called the Writer's Retreat, just as she herself named it all those years ago, and it's filled with a cadre of interesting coeds, who rent the house where she and Laura lived when life was made up of endless possibilities of dreams waiting to come true. Living in Kate's old room now is Hugo (Josh Wiggins), an aspiring writer who's in an uncertain relationship with April (Hannah Marks), the star student in David's class. It becomes clearer and clearer that Kate didn't write a book she wanted to write, only one she thought might sell. And that nobody has read her novel, even the people who insist they have. At one point, she declares defensively that she was trying to write a restrained book, where the lovers should have sex, but surprisingly don't. And, what a shock, it gets bad press from the New York Times for being too portentous. I guess romance books in question fail to engage the audience's intelligence anymore, when what they want to know is whether it engaged their libido. The movie's better made than we might at first realize. It takes skill to create this sort of comic pitch, and the movie's filled with characters that are sketched a little more absorbingly than they had to be, and acted with perception. The trouble comes in the third half, where Kate and the college kids execute a stakeout at David's house to catch him fooling around with a female student. There is nothing particularly wrong with this subplot, except that it is completely unnecessary, and imposes a generic story structure on a film that might better have just grown from scene to scene like an experience. I like Gillian Jacobs. I just plain like her. She's able to convey bubble-brained zaniness about as well as anyone in the movies right now, and then she can switch gears and give you a dramatic performance that's just as good. Combining her with Jemaine Clement creates a critical mass of awkward charm, which "I Used to Go Here" pulls off so well. Could one weekend on a real campus possibly contain all of these events? Easily, given the tendency of writers to make themselves deliberately colorful. We have gone through college with these people. We have known them. We have been them. And the last one was Howard Most who know their Disney musicals will know the name of composer Alan Menken. But people may be less familiar with the name of playwright and lyricist Howard Ashman. The two collaborated on the Disney classics "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin," as well as "Little Shop of Horrors." Ashman's lyrics, and his finesse with every aspect of musical theater, played an enormous part in the Disney animation comeback that began in the late 1980s. At the time, the studio's animation output had sputtered into near-irrelevance. Few within the company showed much faith in feature animation, despite its long and often glorious history there under Walt Disney. "Howard" makes a stirring, if not unexpected, case for his own legacy. In the documentary's opening scene, we witness an orchestral recording of one of Disney's finest. Howard directs with confidence and gentility. Nine months later, the audience is informed, he would be gone. Ashman was only 40 when he died of complications from AIDS in 1991. His life partner, architect Bill Lauch, picked up the Oscar that Ashman won for "Beauty and the Beast." Jeffrey Katzenberg, then propelling Disney's renaissance, recalls seeing Ashman near the end, having lost his sight and weighing barely 80 pounds. Narrations from Ashman’s mother and sister introduce us to his childhood with detail. Young Howard did not care for sports and preferred living in a world of glamorous make-believe. His sister Sarah describes that he was a highly imaginative child; she gushes over her memories of the worlds he'd create for them and the stories he'd tell. He wrote poems, plays, lyrics and whole musicals from a young age. He started performing as a child, pursuing theater in university, but ultimately found he preferred writing and directing to acting. He was later schooled at Boston University, moved upward to Goddard College in Vermont, and even became a graduate student at Indiana University. As a young New York City transplant, Howard was eager to make his mark. He and his first serious boyfriend, Stuart White, started their own off-off-Broadway theater, the WPA. Howard struck gold with his first major success, "Little Shop of Horrors." In one archival interview he describes the show’s appeal as "the dark side of 'Grease.'" As a teenager, he fell hard for the old Roger Corman movie. Everyone told him it was a terrible idea for a musical. He made millions off it. The show became a calling card for his future success as a lyricist, librettist and director. Yet the film also marks a new step for Disney as it addresses Howard's homosexuality, a topic the studio has notoriously avoided since, well, always. It looks at one of Ashman's ex-boyfriends, who proved problematic in his alcoholic and self-destructive ways, and celebrates the wonderful partner he found in Bill Launch, whom Howard dated until his death. We take a glimpse at other low moments in Howard's life, such as when he takes his shot with "Smile," along with legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch, and it burns up in bad reviews. Howard dodged disillusion by moving to Hollywood and learning that the future of the Broadway musical was in Disney animation. Some of the most fascinating scenes in "Howard" involve the infamous Disney work ethic. It is filled with scenes of Ashman the perfectionist at work on "The Little Mermaid." The suits are appalled at first when he demands that the villainous Ursula be drawn as a G-rated version of drag queen Divine, and that Sebastian the crab should be Jamaican. All the better to catch the lilt of "Under the Sea." And he could be hard on singers who couldn’t match the exact intonation he wanted. Even such pros as Angela Lansbury and Jerry Orbach had to pay heed to get "Be Our Guest" on the right track. We see his encyclopedic knowledge of his own tradition. Howard wanted success, of course, on his creative terms. In the film, he speaks eloquently on the topic of the "I want" song. That's a number sung early in a movie, usually by the heroine, expressing what's in her heart and her vision of happiness and fulfillment. Howard poured that concept into his life’s work. Some musical theater giants leave this world before they’ve barely begun. Howard cemented his own legacy on the musical stage and on the Disney animated musical sound stage, just in time. Because of his untimely illness, he ended up hiding out from the world that he, like his little mermaid, always longed to be a part of.
2020.08.01 23:34 RomaruDarkeyesIt's not our fault - tales of the guild team that really should have stayed at home - part 3
I know I'm slamming these up in pretty quick succession. I personally think the last part ends at a weird juncture, so I include this one so that people don't have to wait. For simplicity: Part 1 is here: Part 1 Link Part 2 is here: Part 2 Link So in order to give some context to the second heist at the library, I should probably recount the first heist in a little more detail. So as part of the groups initial plan to break into the club and recover more information sneakily, they wanted the building plans to make the most sensible run on the main offices for the building. Like I said before, I’m fairly open to all ideas as a DM, and I don’t want to hold back creativity if I can help it. So I thought about it and I reasoned as a DM that building plans would be a matter of public record in similar ways to they are now - i.e. that most buildings will have plans on public record that can be accessed by people with permission or clearance to do so. Our particular group didn’t have permission and applying for it may have set off alarm bells if they went looking for building plans for the local mob bosses HQ. While the guy has never been caught doing anything overtly shady, it’s kind of known that he is a local kingpin type. And in fact this is why Draspher and co are so interesting to him - they aren’t local players and so aren’t on anyone’s radar when people go looking into how the local butchers shop suddenly caught fire and Arnold (remember Arnold our friendly neighborhood arsonist) was “certainly nowhere near by. He was sitting in my club having a drink and keeping out of trouble.” So anyway, Yurion and Sim do some prelim investigation work and discover that this week there is a cross discipline magical conference taking place in the library. Magical researchers of both divine and arcane, as well as some of the naturally magical residents like the fey, are meeting to discuss different aspects of magic and promoting ‘cooperation and good natured competition’. As a lore oracle Yurion has previously attended meetings like these, and described them as, “Unusually boring affairs until the inevitable arguments kick in about differences in discipline. Usually arguments about who’s magic is better, which tends to end one of two ways. Either magic dueling, or everyone ends up shitfaced on whatever the dwarven contingent has inevitably smuggled with them. The only exception to this was when there was a guest visit one year by a succubus, and everyone was getting tested for magical STD’s for the next week…” Sim in particular looked a little perturbed at this revelation… Remember that she was also playing the characters partner as well as being the players IRL partner… Anyway, our pair arrive at the front door to the library - Yurion because her character IS in fact a researchelibrarian and wouldn’t really have to bluff, and Sim to provide back up muscle should the need arise. They are stopped at the door by the typical rent a cop type security guard who asks to see their passes for the conference. Lacking official paperwork, Yurion tries to play it off as Sim forgetting to bring their badges from the lodgings, and to their credit Sim plays the part giving them a plus 2 for the assistance to a bluff roll. However that’s time for one of the instances where Yurions dice crapped out on her, and she didn’t do a great job in convincing the guard… “We were here yesterday! You let us in - you were the one working the door?” “Maam, I wasn’t on duty yesterday…” “Well, it must have been one of your colleagues then. Who was on duty?” Now Yurion is an oracle of lore, and part of the oracle class features is that they take a curse as part of their class. Yurion took the haunted curse, which manifests typically whenever there is a bad roll, or a particular point of misfortune. And as it happens, Yurions ghost just so happened to do them a favour this time, and threw the contents of the guards desk sailing into the air at that moment. As the guard turned round to work out what the hell had just happened, both Yurion and Sim, and Sim’s cheetah companion (Speed, with an ‘E’.... I don’t know alright...) took the opportunity to sneak into the library while his back was turned. Having skill ranks in Profession: Librarian assisted Yurion in her task tremendously as it took her a very short time to find where she needed to look. A quick broken lock door kick courtesy of Sim later and they are poring through a few sets of building plans looking for the information they needed. It’s at this point that the guard, having tidied his desk, realised that the pair he was talking to had disappeared and he came wandering in to make sure they didn’t sneak into the building. The pair duck down inside the little side office, but Sim is concerned that the guard is going to spot the clearly broken lock on the office door. It’s about this time that Yurions ghost pal decides to be a jerk, and he knocks something off the bookshelf, alerting the guard. Without much time to think, Sim directs his cheetah to sneak out of the office and to distract the guardsman. This goes very successfully, leading to a merry chase scene where several guards end up chasing the cheetah between bookshelves, to the tune of Yakety Sax. With little time to consider other options, Yurion grabs a selection of plans from the files, and bundles them into her bag. She hears a commotion outside that she identifies as a group of people leaving an upstairs room and descending the stairs and reasons that the lectures must be over for now - this is about mid day and around about the same time that Draspher and Jaune were hitting up the local guard house for those thieves tools. Looking the more academic of the two, Yurion makes a plan to mix in with the other academics and sneak out the front door in their midst. Sim - knowing that she’s unlikely to blend in as well, transforms into a rat and hides inside Yurions clothing. It goes fairly well; Yurion waits till the group has passed and seamlessly slips into the back of the group. There’s a few looks at her but no one gives her a second glance as she looks exactly like you would expect of a bookish librarian. One of the researchers however takes a shine to her, and approaches to engage in small talk. “Hiya. Some lecture, hey?” “I suppose. I found it rather boring myself…” “Cool, cool… Look I don’t suppose I can invite you to lunch could I?” “I really would rather not…” “Hey don’t worry, I’ll treat you. We can go wherever…. “ He didn’t get to finish that sentence as Sim, somewhat peeved that her girlfriend was being hit on by a creep, decided to slip down Yurions robes to the floor, sneak across to the guy's foot, and bite him on the ankle… There’s a hushed silence at the table as we try to work out whether Sim, with a level 7 characters attack and strength stats, just murdered an NPC with maybe 3 hp simply by biting them on the foot. I ruled that he hadn’t done that much damage as a rat, otherwise we would have a Monty Python rabbit situation on our hands, and this campaign is weird enough without Monty Python references being in play… So this guy is holding his foot and squawking obscenities which allows Yurion to disengage from him and move further down the group. At the exit doors the group form up into a line, and a guard is watching over each person as they pass through an archway. Yurion is momentarily confused by this, but thanks that a combination of Sim using detect magic, a tongues spell (so she could talk to his rat form), and a fair bit of soft nipping and biting actions, they are able to work out that the archway is designed to prevent people from removing books, and other articles from the library. Knowing that she couldn’t step out of the line without looking suspicious, the two hatched a plan. Yurion tore a page out of a single book without being seen and handed it to Sim. Sim then scuttled a few people down in the line to find her target - the one who had hit on Yurion - and snuck into his robes. He was a couple of people ahead in the cue and so was turning back every so often to look in her direction and smirk. As it came to his turn he stepped into the archway, and the arch lit up like a Christmas tree. Confused he starts talking to himself, and the guards ask him politely to step back for a second. Then he tries again and the same thing happens. “Sir. Could you step over here please?” “Yes, of course. What’s going on” “Sir, are you trying to remove any documents from the premises without authorisation?” “What! No, of course not. I’m no thief!” “Sir I have to insist that you empty your bags and pockets onto this tray please…” “THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! Don’t you know who I am!!” “Sir, please do as asked or we will have to summon the guard…” The guard is obviously very bored at this point, but a couple of his colleagues are looking a little eager for some excitement, and are approaching him slowly. It’s at this point that Sim decides to have some extra fun with this guy, and starts nipping at him. The player, after the last situation, described it as, “I want to nip him so he feels it, but not so hard that I can draw blood.” I describe as the guy starts leaping around, screaming about something in his robes, his voice getting higher and higher in pitch as he dances about in pain. One of the guards yells something like “he’s performing some sort of weird ritual! Take him down”, and beats the guy in the side with a club. It’s at this point while the guards are distracted that Yurion decides to try and make a break for it, and is helped/hindered by her ghost once again causing the guards paperwork to explode in a shower of confetti. She’s soon joined by Sim who snuck out herself in the confusion as the mage in question started hurling his own clothes across the room in order to rid himself from the little biting creature… They found the cheetah sitting in the sunshine a short distance away from the library licking it’s own balls, and looking very pleased with itself. So the second time infiltration went somewhat similar… Knowing what they were up against in terms of security, and approximately where they would be going, they decided to go in ‘actual stealth’ this time. The group invested in some scholarly robes for those who did not have any, as for Draspher and Yurion, they would fit right in. They were quite fortunate that they didn’t run into the same guard that had worked the shift that they’d come previously, as he would likely have recognised Yurion, but again it’s a working world that my players live in, and he wasn’t down to work that day. They are able to get some basic forgery papers from the mobster for entrance into the library this time, and arrive in the afternoon when the rest of the scholars are returning from lunch. Yurion and Sim are able to note that the place looks pretty similar to how they remember it, but as the group try to split off from the main throng of people they are noticed by a guard. “Excuse me ladies and gents - you need to proceed to the lecture halls as quickly as possible.” Almost in unison, the whole table announces “Bathroom break!”, followed by a round of chuckling that they all had the same idea. The guard aquiesses but goes with them so they don’t get lost. On the way he cites that, “You can’t be too careful nowadays. We had trouble the other day with some idiots familiar getting loose and causing havoc” For obvious reasons they already indicated that they decided to leave the cheetah back at the club… Jaune, fearless ninja, goes into the mens bathroom and is already invisible and out the door before the last man in the group has finished entering the room. He makes his way out and over to the office that Yurion described to him on their previous visit. Meanwhile Yurion and Sim are wondering what to do about the guard. In a stroke of genius, Yurion makes a sound that sounds like she’s collapsed and Sim rushes out to get the guard to assist him with the unconscious lady. After some umming and arring about not wanting to go into a ladies bathroom and wanting to find a female guard instead, Sim pulls out a fearsome intimidate roll, prompting the guard to enter the bathroom. He’s then grabbed from behind by Ocelot who had snuck behind him in the confusion, and Sim then tries to punch the guy unconscious. After a couple of false starts including Sim punching Ocelot in the face, they manage to subdue him, and they tie him up and toss him into the bathroom stall. As an afterthought, Sim slips off his panties and stuffs them into the guards mouth, and takes a lipstick and doodles on the guards manhood… My players ladies and gents… Jaune, during this, has reached the office, only to find it utterly empty… He investigates a little and finds a note suggesting that the contents of the plan room have been moved upstairs to the restricted files section, thanks to some plans going missing and a broken door lock. Well fuck… Jaune meets them back at the stairwell. “So. Bad news… Seems like the stuff has been moved upstairs to a more secure area.” “Well shit…Any idea how secure?” “Well ironically, if we had the plans for the building, we would probably be able to make an educated guess…” So the party begins a sneaking mission to traverse a few sets of stairs without being heard. There are a couple of near misses but Jaune plays invisible pathfinder until he comes to the top of the stairwell to a very secure locked door. It’s going to take him a while to crack through it and he enlists Yurions help in case the door has any magical components. During this time two of the party get bored and decide that they want to go investigate some of the other areas on this floor. I have a rule in place that crafting can be assisted by getting good quality research materials and Ocelot and Drashper recognise that they might be able to find some good quality material right here. They sneak off into the library to look for some books on wand making and IIRC engineering (I dunno why on this one. I think Ocelot was trying to make a siege weapon in his downtime). Ocelot for his part manages to make off with a book he wanted, but Draspher wasn’t so lucky. He tried to use a summoned yorkshire terrier to distract a set of guards away from the section he wanted, but after the cheetah incident only succeeded in bringing the guards straight to him. Fortunately a set of good bluff rolls convinced the guards that he had simply got lost from the main group. The guards in the library were not affiliated with the town guards so had no reason to know Drasphers face or know that he was currently being sought for two explosions in the town. And thanks to his robes he had no problem convincing them he was there for the conference. So a few minutes later, he’s sitting in a lecture hall with a bunch of other mages of varying types, doodling on his notebook and making stick man pictures… So the rest of the group meet back up - there’s some despair over the Draspher situation again, but they reason that they can work something out later. Meanwhile there is a guard coming up the stairs towards them and Jaune has not quite finished cracking the lock yet. Sim, bold as brass, walks down the stairs straight past the guard. The guard looks a little confused, and calls to her, “Excuse me miss?” “Yes?” “You aren’t supposed to walk around without an escort? Didn’t someone come with you from the lecture room?” “When you have to go, you have to go. And no one was around when I came out of the door?” “Okay, no problem. I’ll walk with you.” So the guard walks Sim to the bathroom. Sim enters the room - gives a couple of seconds and screeches and runs out of the room. “THERE’S A MAN IN THERE!!!” “WHAT?!?” He’s in there! He’s sitting in the stall!” “Let me handle this maam” And he races into the stall to confront the ‘pervert’. Imagine his surprise to find one of his colleagues sitting there with a woman's panties stuffed in his mouth and his trousers around his ankles, with some very interesting graffiti on his equipment” “HOLY FUCK Stewart! You’re a married man!” He didn’t hear Sim sneak up behind him and clocking him on the head. As Sim left the room, she used wood shape on the door to the room and sealed it shut. She then rejoined his colleagues upstairs. Jaune finally popped the lock and the group (sans Draspher) ascended to the upper floor, where the security section was.The entire floor has an anti magic effect on it which is a low level field that disrupts casters. It’s part of that safeguard system that I mentioned previously i.e. to stop people with magical ability or superior skills running roughshod over commoners because it’s a high magic, steam punk tech setting. The whole area is connected to an alarm system that if overt casting is used it will set off alarms. There are a few traps setup in this area - currently active but also controlled independently. This section is a security checkpoint before the final storage area can be reached, and it’s monitored by a guard in a chair. There's a good bit of hushed planning by the team - can they sneak past the traps? Can they access the guard? This goes on for some time till Jaunes player just gets sick of talking in circles and raps on the security shutter. There’s a whistle of a microphone feedback - “Hello, please pass credentials through the slot…” Jaune, “Hi. We are representatives from the guard. We heard about the breakin earlier this week and that some of the paperwork had gone missing. We are here to do inventory and see if we can work out what has gone missing.” “.... I dunno. I don’t have you on the timetable for today. I don’t even have you on the timetable for tomorrow.” “Well I’m sorry to inconvenience you, but we have new information that someone may be planning an attack on a public building and we have reason to believe the plans may have come from here. If so we need to know what other plans have gone missing in order to know if there may be other attacks. If we had time on our side we would have made an appointment, but we need to move quickly on this.” “.... I should really call my manager….” And at this, Jaunes player slams his hands on the table. “There isn’t any time to spare man! Lives could be in danger as we speak! Every minute we are in the dark some fiendish sorcerer could be plotting to blow up another building! Surely you’ve heard the news about two explosions in town!!!” Somewhere downstairs - Draspher sneezes… “Okay man - Okay!!” I don’t even think I made him roll for bluff. He almost certainly would have made it anyway as Jaunes build was specced for two weapon fighting, with two weapon feint. So the guy opens up the shutter and stares at the party all in researcher robes. “Who’s the guard?” Jaune, “That would be me” “You don’t look like a guard…” “Good eye” And then Jaunes player dumps most of the contents of his dice bag onto the table and declares he is using his ninja ability “Flurry of stars” The guard was most certainly not expecting it… And according to the rules, or at least as I was told by Jaunes player, every single star could use his sneak attack damage dice. And he could throw a stupid number of these things. Poor Garry the guard ended up being turned into fertiliser by a fistful of shuriken. Having not expected this at all, the rest of the group were horrified by this sudden murder by the guy who was basically cooperating with them. Jaune - “I couldn’t be sure that we could keep the bluff going. I (pointing at himself) can bluff. Yurion is reasonable at bluffing, hell even Draspher can occasionally make it work. But Ocelot has a poker face like a set of mirrored sunglasses” “Hey…. *sadface*” Yurion - “You really do though… So any idea how to open the door?” Jaune - “What do you mean?” Yurion - “Well as far as I can tell the magical traps effects are still armed, and the door is still sealed…” Jaune - “Maybe there’s a mechanism in the guards office” Me (DM) roll for engineering Jaune - “I don’t have that…” Sim - “Did we just kill the only guy who knows how to work the door???” So fortunately Ocelot has taken Knowledge; Engineering, and with a few minutes of poking around and checking labels and buttons behind the guards desk, he’s about 70% sure he knows how to work the controls. Ocelot - “So the way this system works is that the guard has overall control over the door mechanism. It’s like an airlock system (at which point there is a flurry of argument over whether anyone would know in character what an airlock is except Ocelot). To cut a long story short, it’s a two door system, where only one door can be open at any one time. People go into the chamber, lock the outer door, and then open the inner door to pass into the inner sanctum. There are a couple of pressure plates in addition that hook up to the alarms but Ocelot doesn’t know how to work the system to disable them. Jaune is able to point them out and the group succeed with some easy acrobatic rolls to avoid touching them. So into order to safeguard their escape, and because he knows how the system works, Ocelot volunteers to work the door mechanism. So Yurion, Sim and Jaune head into the chamber, Ocelot works the system and they enter the inner sanctum of the library secure section. It didn’t take them very long to find the stuff they are looking for - the plans had simply been loaded into a couple of large crates and shipped upstairs, with the intention that they would be returned downstairs at a later point when the original office was repaired and reinforced. So they wander around a little till they find the crates, and Yurion starts digging into the box to find what they need. The industrious ninja is meanwhile browsing the shelves and occasionally picking up books that look particularly posh or valuable and dumping them into his handy haversack with the intention of selling them at a later date. That is until he turns to the others, and mumbles, “Guys… I don’t feel so good…”, and falls flat on his face... Now this is a highly secure room containing this particular library’s most valuable books and papers. Items with ancient manuscripts and pages from lost civilisations that are quite delicate and brittle. The simple solution would be several flavours of magic for preventing decay and rot - like the equivalent of gentle repose etc. However in this instance because the room has several anti magic countermeasures in place, it interferes with the efficacy of these types of spells. So the librarians had to create a technological method for maintaining the scrolls and parchments. They simply fill the room with inert gas. Unfortunately Ocelots Knowledge roll wasn’t quite high enough to realise that part of the console in front of him controlled a venting system to allow normal air into the room. So while the group were browsing around in the room I started rolling hidden fortitude rolls for them to avoid suffocation. Occasionally as a DM I will make random secret rolls behind the screen and make a note of them - sometimes it’s for a reason, other times it’s to keep my players on their toes. And I don’t tend to roll back to back when I do this. So when I start rolling three separate dice (Yurion, Sim and Jaune), noting the results, and then waiting about 60 seconds before doing it again, the players started looking uneasy. And when I announced to Jaune that he passed out unconscious, they suddenly realised “Crap… Quick, lets get the fuck out of here.” Meanwhile outside in the office, Ocelot has no idea this is happening. All of a sudden there is a ring on the board - some sort of intercom he reasons - and he pushes the button to open the connection. Ocelot - “Hey, you guys finished in there?” Guard - “Gary? You sound rough buddy? Still got that cold?” It’s at this point Jaune’s player lays his head in his hands and mouths “mirrored… fucking… sunglasses…” Ocelot, then for some reason starts slurring his words a little. “Yeah, sss’ Gary here. Tha’s me, Gary…. Gary the guard…” “You okay there buddy… You sound like you’ve been hitting the sauce dude… You know the boss banned you from drinking on the job man. You are gonna get fired and then what’s your wife gonna think?” “It was just a little drinky man… I just thought it would help clear up this cold… Don’t tell the boss man…” and he just starts fake blubbering into the console. Meanwhile Sim’s player clips Jaune round the head and says out of character “That dude you killed had a wife…” Jaune - “I’ve made plenty of widows, no one cares…” Yurion meanwhile is trying to use a small intercom device by the door of the security room to let Ocelot know they want to come out. Both he and Sim are starting to feel sickly, and Sim is carrying Jaune over his shoulder who is starting to take some damage from suffocation. Problem is that there is only one channel on this setup so while the other guard is on the line they can’t talk to Ocelot. So out of character Ocelot is now meta gaming hard to try and wrap up the conversation in order to get his team out of the ‘vault’ before they all suffocate. And he wouldn’t be able to go into the room to save them because he’s got no one to work the door… Ocelot - “Look buddy, I think I might have taken a weeny bit too much of this stuff. Can someone come relieve me. I need to go lie down for a minute…” Guard - “Sorry buddy, we can’t just this second. We have this weird situation down here with Stewart and Jerry. Guys have somehow locked themselves in the ladies bathroom and apparently Stewarts got his pants round his ankles and lipstick everywhere… We’ll send someone soon okay. Ocelot - “K… Thanks man…” So, this plan is falling apart very quickly… As soon as the line is clear Yurion is able to buzz through and Ocelot works the door mechanism to bring them back through. As soon as the outer door begins to open, fresh air rushes into the chamber and the group start breathing more clearly. Sim strides back out into the corridor and unceremoniously dumps Jaune onto the ground in a heap. Me - “Oh god…” Sim - “... What…” Jaune - “Dude, you just threw my ass right on top of the alarmed pressure plates in that corridor…” Sim - “........ FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Whoop, whoop, whoop… The alarms start blaring and the table stares at Sim. Sim - “This wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t murdered Gary…” So shit has essentially hit the fan - Ocelot starts pulling handmade grenades out of his handy haversack and handing them to people. Because the alarms are blaring, there is an anti magic field in place to stop casting (they were aware of this being a thing) so technology and brute force is the best option. The only real way to go is out the way they came in, but in a brilliant case of deductive reasoning from Yurion’s player (again this was this players IRL superpower), she reasoned that they were at the top of the building and perhaps they could break through a window and across the roof to escape. Ocelots player took this one stage further, pulled a barrel full of gunpowder out of his bag, and said, “Fuck it. If there is no window - we’ll make one…” In the meantime, there are a couple of guards trying to get up the stairs to see what is going on. Jaune made a quick recovery when he started breathing again, and so he and Sim immediately went and attempted to block the stairwell with whatever he could find. This included the guards office chair and a wooden desk that they hurled down the stairs to form a rudimentary barricade. The guards start pushing at the door and manage to lever it open a little ways. Jaune takes the opportunity to wing one of Ocelots home made grenades at them through the gap in the door. “Gary? Is everything alright up there? Chris said you weren’t feeling well and might have hit the alarm by… HOLY SHIT!!!” As this grenade comes flying through the gap and detonates, there is a bang, a couple of heavy thuds, and the door slams closed again. “WOULD YOU STOP KILLING PEOPLE!!” “NO!!” So they place this barrel of gunpowder in where they believe is one of the outside walls and they take cover as best they can in the guards office. Ocelot shoots off the barrel and there’s a mighty explosion that leaves them all temporarily stunned and deaf. When they look next, there is a large hole that has opened up into the eaves of the building - basically it’s the gap between the roof shingles and the inner wall in the building. They pile into this area filled with support beams and plaster dust and find a sloping section of the roof shingles. Sim then wild shapes (at the time I ruled wild shape would not be affected by an anti magic field) into a gorilla and starts going hog wild on the roof shingles for a couple of rounds, punching them and breaking them to form a larger hole, while Ocelot starts looking for a solid enough support beam that hasn’t been compromised by the explosion. He then ties off his length of rope to the beam, and casts it out of the hole Sim makes to the ground. Sim himself eschews the rope, and using his gorilla skills climbs down the side of the building. Yurion and Ocelot take hold of the rope and start abseiling down the side of the building to the ground. Jaune hangs back briefly to cover their escape. As Yurion and Ocelot reach the ground, Jaune tosses both of the remaining grenades Ocelot handed him earlier into the stairwell, then leaps out of the hole off the building with the explosion going off behind him.. Me- “You aren’t using the rope?” Jaune - “Nope - in fact I took the time to untie the rope so Ocelot could recover it. It’s highly unlikely but I don’t want anything that could be traced back to us if possible.” “You still haven’t answered the obvious question. Aren’t you going to kill yourself?” “Nope”, said Jaunes player with a big ol’ shit eating grin on his face. It was at this point that I learned about a magic item called “Boots of the Cat”. This magic item allows a player to treat any falling damage as the minimum amount of damage rolled. So even if you tossed a player out of a plane and they hit terminal velocity (according to the crunch this is 20d6 of damage), the maximum damage they would take is 20 points of damage… Motherfucker even described himself doing a flip on the way down… I can only imagine that they inspired or were inspired by Portals long fall boots… Need to make a short segue here to explain something - our hapless players were not alone in this city in their struggles. They had their contact Ninja-san (...) who could and would occasionally contact them using agents from time to time. Said agents would identify themselves with a code phrase; “An angels wings glow brightest at twilight” Needless to say this is a group that didn’t take notes… So of course they all forgot the damned codeword numerous times during the game and kept having to remember it properly. So as the group are standing at the base of the building, wondering about their next move, there is a rustling from a nearby bush. Without any hesitation Sim launches at it in gorilla form and punches it as hard as he could. The agent got as far as “an angels…” before he was launched 30 ft into the bushes surrounding the library by a gorilla’s fist… At least Sim was making an effort not to kill people and so hit him non lethally. Jaune had already prepared a flurry of stars, but lost out in initiative order. Not knowing what else to do they took off with Sim carrying the agent over his monkey shoulder, till they reached the outer wall - as far away from the main gate as they could. Here the anti magic field wasn’t in place, so they used stone shape to make a hole in the wall, and they escaped into the city. It’s at this point that someone made the point of saying. “It feels like we’re forgetting something…” So Draspher is sitting in the lecture hall when the building alarm goes off… The guards for their part are a little perturbed but they start asking the crowd of casters present to please start moving towards the exit in an orderly fashion. Then an explosion rocks the building… Draspher then starts riling up the crowd, causing the assembled group to charge out of the building in a panic, into the grounds of the building. As they reach the outside of the building there is a gasp as people look up to see a full grown gorilla stand up - beat it’s chest and disappear out of sight towards the back of the building. Draspher for his part tries to stay incognito in the crowds of people assembled. As the local guard forces turn up he stays out of sight with his hat pulled down, until at last they enter the building and he feels the anti magic restrictions lift. He sighs, says a quick farewell to a couple of people next to him, and then uses invisibility to vanish and escape the grounds. In the aftermath of this event there is an investigation. Clearly there has been yet another explosion within the city limits. At least two deaths of the library security were reported. When witnesses were questioned they admittedly saw very little of the event themselves - all people involved remember being blind sided or were the fatalities. On a strange instinct the investigating officer showed the witnesses a picture of an escaped convict wanted in connection for two other bombings in the city. Several witnesses in the library guards as well as in the lecture hall were able to identify the man known as ‘The Mad Bomber’ though they seem to remember him being in the lecture hall at the time of the explosion. Regardless, Draspher the mad bomber is being sought in connection with now a third explosion within city limits, and is to be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Lethal force is authorised. Did I mention that he still has no offensive spells in his spell loadout, and remains the only character with a good alignment...
2020.07.31 18:59 thecambridgegeekAudio Drama/Fiction/RPG Debuts - July 2020
I've got what I think is a mostly exhaustive list of the new audio drama series that came out in July, which may be of interest to those looking for new shows. See below. Anyone want to tell me any I've missed, and I'll update it? (Note, "new" here means that the Ep1 of the RSS feed was released, or a previously non-fiction feed started producing fiction.) Listened to any of them that you would recommend? Previous months are available here: https://www.thecambridgegeek.com/results.php?proof=Releases&tag1=Audio%20fiction And the ongoing updates (just in case you don't want to wait for the end of the month) are available here: https://twitter.com/AudioDramaDebut And I do a weekly podcast collecting a few trailers here: https://www.thecambridgegeek.com/archive/add/add.php 7/1: A Girl's Fiction (Fiction - Anthology) Site: https://anchor.fm/a-girls-fiction/ Synopsis: Hi guys! And welcome to A Girl's Fiction. This is a podcast where I'll be writing stories exclusively for this podcast and will be sharing them with you. I hope that you're able to relate with some of these stories. If not, I hope that you can find some enjoyment in these stories. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/2808ddc4/podcast/rss 7/1: Citadel Goes Viral (Dramatised - Slice of life) Site: http://www.citadelgoesviral.com/ Synopsis: Hi! This is Citadel Arts Group, a Leith based theatre company dedicated to giving a voice to older people. When the Covid virus hit the country, all our projects had to go on hold. That was when we turned to Zoom and we gave our playwrights group the challenge of creating short audio scripts for Citadel to record using the new technology - well, new to us anyway! 7/1: Piano Teeth (Fiction - Anthology) Site: https://www.pianoteeth.co.uk/mutterings-1 Synopsis: A podcast from Piano Teeth. The voice inside your head. Expect darkly-comic, surreal and strange adventures all from the comfort of your own mind. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/pianoteeth/feed.xml 7/1: Shadow of Arcanum (RPG - Urban fantasy) Site: https://anchor.fm/shadowofarcanum Synopsis: It has been 20 years since Vecna was defeated and Exandria has only gotten darker and crueller. Five companions set out on an adventure that will change their lives forever and will make them question everything they thought they knew. Shadow of Arcanum is a full POC lgbtq+ Actual play Drama. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/236ff5e0/podcast/rss 7/1: The Eternity Archives (RPG - Anthology) Site: https://www.theeternityarchives.com/ Synopsis: A biweekly actual play TTRPG podcast. Join us as we venture A between realms to protect the fabric of reality by exploring everything the tabletop world has to offer! RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/www.theeternityarchives.com/feed.xml 7/1: The Mistress Files (Dramatised - Crime/Mystery) Site: http://www.buzzsprout.com/870172 Synopsis: There's no such thing as true evil in this world. Evil is only defined by which side of the line one stands. Follow the tales of The Mistress, one of the most feared criminal masterminds the world has ever known, and ask yourself: Which side are you on? RSS Feed: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/870172.rss 7/2: The One Stars (Dramatised - Comedy) Site: https://theonestars.libsyn.com/ Synopsis: The One Stars is a Comedy Fiction Podcast. Join our host Negative Nancy and her only friend Chatbot as they fly through space aboard the decrepit Space Windu. The One Stars features 'One Star Reviews from All Across the Multiverse. All reviews in The One Stars are fictional except when otherwise noted. RSS Feed: https://theonestars.libsyn.com/rss 7/3: Cape Lock (Dramatised - Urban fantasy) Site: https://anchor.fm/cape-lock/ Synopsis: KINH's investigative reporter Christina Glass looks into a town that only exists in peoples minds. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/20ada960/podcast/rss 7/3: Please Tell Me What To Do (Fiction - Interactive) Site: https://soundcloud.com/law-kaaw Synopsis: Speed-written audio drama. I release Friday, you vote what to do next over the weekend, we do it all over again. It's like goosebumps if the kids grew up but the author did not. 7/3: Ritual (Dramatised - Anthology) Site: http://www.dirtyprotesttheatre.co.uk/ritual-plays Synopsis: Three short plays from Dirty Protest Theatre in partnership with National Theatre Wales and Sherman Theatre in association with BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Arts. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/23df6b14/podcast/rss 7/3: Scared By Scott (Fiction - Horror) Site: https://anchor.fm/scaredbyscott/ Synopsis: Do you like listening to scary or spooky stories? Then sit back and listen to short horror stories presented to you with minimal music and sound effects for that campfire story feel. Try not to get scared… RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/24176334/podcast/rss 7/3: The Pulp Cast (Dramatised - Anthology) Site: https://anchor.fm/thepulpcast Synopsis: The Pulp Cast is a fictional audio drama presentation in nostalgic anthology style. 21st Century stories with old school panache. Depressed detectives, dangerous dames, far-out journeys to outer space, and deep into the human mind. Enjoy original teleplays and new adaptations of forgotten gems from the under-appreciated underbelly of the Golden Age, reshaped and brought to life by the Pulp Cast's creators who are joined by an endearing and enthusiastic cast of guest voice actors. Grab your flashlight and pull the sheets up high, as we leap full speed ahead into the past! RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/247dd6f0/podcast/rss 7/4: Apocalypse Songs (Dramatised - Urban fantasy) Site: https://anchor.fm/apocalypse-songs Synopsis: Red Scare Theatre Company presents a five part audio drama experience. A supernatural thriller about music journalist Amy Louise Chen (Cassandra Tse) whose investigation into an obscure 1960s musician leads her down an unexpected path. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/26ce8ee0/podcast/rss 7/4: Daring Adventures (RPG - Fantasy) Site: https://buzzedandboard.com/daring/ Synopsis: Follow along with this intrepid crew as they set out on Daring Adventures. RSS Feed: https://hibiscus-mandarin-x69k.squarespace.com/daring?format=rss 7/4: Figuring Out Will: A Radio Play (Dramatised - Slice of life) Site: https://soundcloud.com/user-644927447 Synopsis: In a world full of emotional pitfalls, one geeky teen will join forces with his two best friends to face his insecurities and escape the friend zone by realizing it never even existed in the first place. Comedy. Drama. Doritos. Get ready to figure out Will. “Figuring Out Will” is a coming-of-age story set in a video store written by Alec Kerr that made its debut at the NYSummerfest Theater Festival at the Hudson Guild Theater in Manhattan August 2018. 7/4: Green Door Theatre Company (Dramatised - Comedy) Site: https://soundcloud.com/greendoortheatrecompany Synopsis: Just imagine: it's Halloween night, winds are whistling through the crooked trees, darkness falls - and you begin to listen to the spookiest radio play ever recorded by Green Door Theatre! 7/4: Surely You Quest (RPG - Fantasy) Site: https://www.lunarlightstudio.com/ Synopsis: Avast and Ahoy! Prepare yourselves for high seas adventures and shenanigans as 3 heroes find out what awaits them in the mysterious oceanic world of the Chroma Archipelago. Jenny (Played by Hayley Rose), Lenny (Played by Mike Patten), and Pidge (Played by Blue Lennox), embark into the world of DM, Ryan Mitchum's, creation. What awaits will be incredible, daring, or at the very least hilarious. RSS Feed: https://pinecast.com/feed/surely-you-quest 7/4: Tales of the Resistance (Dramatised - Anthology) Site: https://www.sfmt.org/talesoftheresistance Synopsis: The San Francisco Mime Troupe present four two-part original political comedy audio plays, broadcast bi-weekly, each written and performed by Mime Troupe veterans and newcomers, and each in a different style. Each episode will be about 25 minutes long, and presented as podcasts and as radio shows on stations across the country. 7/4: This American Wasteland (Dramatised - Post-apocalypse) Site: http://thisamericanwasteland.com/ Synopsis: This American Wasteland is an audio drama that follows an aftermath. Archived accounts narrate this story of a post-apocalyptic America. RSS Feed: https://feeds.captivate.fm/this-american-wasteland/ 7/4: Welcome to the Revolution…Go Pats (Dramatised - Comedy) Site: https://kevanglin.wixsite.com/gopats Synopsis: A comedy audio-play about the American Revolution. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/gopats/feed.xml 7/5: Lost and Broken Things (Fiction - Horror) Site: https://audioboom.com/channels/5027088 Synopsis: Lost and Broken Things is a podcast featuring tales of original short fiction, generally exploring topics of a dark and disturbing nature. RSS Feed: https://audioboom.com/channels/5027088.rss 7/6: Dungeon Dive Bar (RPG - Fantasy) Site: https://dungeondivebar.podbean.com/ Synopsis: Join seven friends as they delve deep into the ancient and mysterious Emerald Spire! RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/dungeondivebafeed.xml 7/6: Once Upon A Time In Trieste (Dramatised - Historical) Site: https://silverpineproductions.com/2020/07/05/once-upon-a-time-in-trieste-the-audio-drama/ Synopsis: A 19th Century princess and a 20th Century revolutionary are trapped in a fairy tale castle, both struggling to come to terms with momentous events they have helped to shape. Over a night of prayer, cards and violence, they confront each other – and their own inner demons. By morning, only one of them is left. 7/6: Room Infinity (Dramatised - Thriller) Site: https://www.spreaker.com/show/room-infinity Synopsis: Mark Infinity, a survivor of an accident that had just occurred a year ago. Although Mark was released from the hospital in a fair good state, he had one major problem! His memory of that event that put him there where mysteriously gone. With only sparks coming back through a multitude of headaches, unknown people who somehow know who he is and especially the people in the black suits who are called “The Marked Ones”. RSS Feed: https://www.spreaker.com/show/4491449/episodes/feed 7/6: The Drunken Geek (RPG - Fantasy) Site: https://thedrunkengeek.com/ Synopsis: The Drunken Geek is your chance to listen in on some nerds playing roleplaying games, starting with Pathfinder 2nd Edition. Fortunately, as they're all pub quiz hosts, they're pretty funny nerds. RSS Feed: https://drunkengeek.libsyn.com/rss 7/7: Beyond the Dark (Fiction - Science fiction) Site: https://beyondthedark.podbean.com/ Synopsis: Atmospheric sci-fi stories. Each episode is a new world to explore. You might find yourself in the heart of a cyberpunk metropolis, a post-apocalyptic wasteland, or a strange alien world. Every story has its own professional cast, an original score and accompanying sound effects for a truly immersive experience. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/beyondthedark/feed.xml 7/7: Craiglockhart (Dramatised - Historical) Site: https://craiglockhart.simplecast.com/ Synopsis: WW1 - 1917. When DAVID ALLISTER, a facially disfigured war hero, writes a biting condemnation of the war, he is placed in the care of DR ETHAN DRURY at Craiglockhart mental hospital until he agrees to publish a retraction. While there, he meets ARTHUR BRIDGELAND, a shell-shocked soldier obsessed with returning to battle after having been labeled a coward. David delights in tormenting Arthur until he meets and falls in love with Arthur’s suffragette sister, LUCY. Steam Punk meets James Whale by way of MASTERPIECE THEATRE. RSS Feed: https://feeds.simplecast.com/2USktUnT 7/7: Eternal Future Productions (Dramatised - Historical) Site: https://www.eternalfutureproductions.com/ Synopsis: Welcome to Eternal Future Productions! We strive to create good-quality audio productions that will reach listeners of all ages with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With a brand that is wholesome and uplifting, we hope to creatively inspire, encourage and challenge in ways that not only exceed general entertainment, but reminds us of our purpose. RSS Feed: https://eternalfutureproductions.libsyn.com/rss 7/7: Ship of Fools (RPG - Fantasy) Site: https://shipoffools.podbean.com/ Synopsis: Join 4 friends on a D&D adventure through the magical seas of the Lunluma Ocean, seeking fame, fortune, and French fries. Hijinks? Guaranteed. Good decisions? Not so much. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/shipoffools/feed.xml 7/8: Would You Rather… (Dramatised - Interactive) Site: https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/would-you-rather-1 Synopsis: Would you rather... the conversation starter where the participants can never really win. Decisions made when nothing is at stake - our answers are perhaps crowd pleasing rather than truthful. But what if these hypotheticals actually happened? What if your or your loved one's lives depended on it? The Would You Rather... podcast is based on making choices and the repercussions which follow. RSS Feed: https://rss.whooshkaa.com/rss/podcast/id/12632 7/10: Arsen (Dramatised - Fantasy) Site: https://arsen.pinecast.co/ Synopsis: Arsen Audio Drama follows a young woman named Aurelie who, after the death of her parents embarks on a quest to learn the truth her family and her identity in the magical world of LaFresia. RSS Feed: https://pinecast.com/feed/arsen 7/10: Eastmouth (Dramatised - Urban fantasy) Site: https://eastmouth.podbean.com/ Synopsis: Pirate radio for a coastal town that is bathed in mystery. Shh, don't talk to the town council. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/eastmouth/feed.xml 7/10: Harpy Productions (Dramatised - Horror) Site: https://www.harpyproductions.com/ Synopsis: Based on a short horror story by Edwin Crowe (first published as a creepypasta) "My Father Punished Me When I Talked to Ghosts" tells the story of Sean, a blind boy living alone with his father near the edges of reality- where the dead slip back to the world of the living. This strange coming of age story deals with themes of abuse, disability, and he power of friendship to those above them both. 7/10: Like Panties for Dishrags (Dramatised - Comedy) Site: http://www.buzzsprout.com/1189616 Synopsis: Created entirely in lockdown, Like Panties for Dishrags is an audio comedy for adults written by BBC Talent award-winner Jon Blake, also shortlisted for a Writers Guild Award, the Children’s Book Award and the Laugh Out Loud awards. Be transported for 73 minutes to the notorious Tresedd estate where hapless tutor Dominic Kingdom Duff (played by Everyman Theatre’s Peter Harding-Roberts) wades hopelessly out of his depth to bring creative writing to the locals...with surprising results. RSS Feed: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/1189616.rss 7/10: The Visit (Dramatised - Slice of life) Site: https://everymanplayhouse-the-visit.buzzsprout.com/ Synopsis: This programme has been made entirely in Lockdown, over zoom, and in total isolation. We hope you enjoy it! Ashley and Annie met at uni. Now it’s reading week, and Ashley has travelled to Annie’s family home; a world of Waitrose, Boris the Yorkshire Terrier, and 4 cars on the driveway. But, the O’Niell family are just like any other and love a night sitting around the telly with a cup of tea, or a glass of Chablis for Mum, Julia. In this seven episode series we follow the O’Neil family through a week of madness, cultural shocks, and maybe get a little too absorbed by the telly... RSS Feed: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/1198445.rss 7/10: We Never Left (Dramatised - Urban fantasy) Site: https://anchor.fm/lindsay-jackman Synopsis: A gothic audio drama about a college graduate who returns to her small town and confronts the mysterious curse that resides in it. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/2a85d638/podcast/rss 7/12: Seen and Not Heard (Dramatised - Slice of life) Site: https://anchor.fm/seenandnotheard Synopsis: What happens when you lose something you thought you'd always have? What happens when the thing you lose is one of your senses? Bet Kline is deaf. That wasn't the case a year ago. Now that her life has been upended, she has to figure out how to carve out a new path for herself and navigate her way down it. Easier said than done. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/138f48d8/podcast/rss 7/12: To Sleep Perchance to Dream (Dramatised - Science fiction) Site: https://anchor.fm/bruce-miller94 Synopsis: An original sci-fi audio drama. It was supposed to be a way to get away from problems on earth and earn some real cash, but on their return from a distant asteroid, the mining crew awakes to alarms and difficult decisions. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/2b6550c4/podcast/rss 7/13: Dirty Diana (Dramatised - Erotica) Site: https://dirty-diana.simplecast.com Synopsis: As an escape from her carefully curated life and dying marriage, Diana secretly runs an erotic website where women reveal their intimate sexual fantasies. RSS Feed: https://feeds.simplecast.com/Anmhcr83 7/13: Gates (Fiction - Science fiction) Site: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1216082 Synopsis: A secret war is being fought in the shadows after three people were infected by a four hundred an eighty million year old race of super beings and one of the original inhabitants of Earth.The infection has spread further and now in our time it will hit the fan. Dillon and Paul, along with Evil Bill can change into anything and slip inside the very shadows cast on the ground their enemies stand on, but only when Evil Bill wills it because they are now his puppets to command.This action packed Sci-Fi follows Evil Bill, his son Paul and Dillon Briggs as they fight Sensei Shisuki and look to uncoverthe mystery of their changes! RSS Feed: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/1216082.rss 7/13: Lost Terminal (Dramatised - Science fiction) Site: https://www.spreaker.com/show/lost-terminal Synopsis: A sci-fi podcast searching for a response to "Hello world". RSS Feed: https://www.spreaker.com/show/4488937/episodes/feed 7/13: Para.docx (Dramatised - Urban fantasy) Site: https://blacklilac.podbean.com Synopsis: Para.docx is a supernatural podcast following the work of the NCRD’s filing staff as they handle reports from all across America — assuming the reports themselves behave. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/blacklilac/feed.xml 7/13: Wire Canaries (Dramatised - Crime/Mystery) Site: https://wirecanariespodcast.carrd.co/ Synopsis: Wire Canaries are live, it's 11am on the 8th September 2070... A monthly amateur podcast in which two underground radio presenters, one frantic researcher, and one ex-cop struggle to uncover what's been hidden behind the dead-end investigations of eight missing people in the isolated city of Malingate. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/2ba46854/podcast/rss 7/14: Endeavour: Through the Maelstrom (RPG - Fanfiction) Site: https://www.endeavourshow.com/ Synopsis: A new ship. A new crew. A new era!Endeavour: Through the Maelstrom is a Star Trek Adventures actual play set in the 25th century, decades after Star Trek: Picard. Join us as we build transwarp conduits into uncharted space. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/endeavourshow/feed.xml 7/14: The Great Chameleon War (Fiction - Science fiction) Site: https://www.thegreatchameleonwar.com/ Synopsis: Welcome to the Nesting Zone: a surreal rim of jungle around Mt. Tahoma prowled by transdimensional reptiles. The Amanuensis catalogues his expedition up the volcano slope and records stories of explorers caught in the evolving dreamscape. Paleo-mythic lizard pyromancy. Blood whisper secrets. Carnivorous astronauts. Cursed poem hallucinations. Staying sane is not an option. RSS Feed: https://greatchameleonwar.libsyn.com/rss 7/14: WG3 - Wrestling: Grit, Guts, & Glory (Dramatised - Sport) Site: https://wg3wrestling.com/ Synopsis: The official podcast for WG3 - Wrestling: Grit, Guts, and Glory! Every week we will break down all the action on Monday Night Substance, livestream Pay-per-views, conduct interviews with your favorite wrestlers, and dish out all the 100% unfiltered and uncensored dirt in the world of your favorite fictional wrestling world. Hardcore wrestling fiction for hardcore wrestling fans! RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/2102e100/podcast/rss 7/15: ConSensual (Dramatised - Romance) Site: https://consensual.sounder.fm/ Synopsis: Romance for riot grrrls. Join us for season one, Ten Week Turnabout, a contemporary romance story featuring a strong heroine in New York City and her small town turnabout date from the life she thought she left behind. RSS Feed: https://feeds.sounder.fm/3182/rss.xml 7/15: Fast Times at D&D High (RPG - Urban fantasy) Site: https://fasttimesdnd.com/ Synopsis: Fast Times at D&D High is a new Actual Play podcast set in a magical homebrew world from the mind of Dungeon Master Persephone! RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/fasttimesdnd/feed.xml 7/16: Dying Breeds (Dramatised - Comedy) Site: https://linktr.ee/dyingbreeds Synopsis: Dying Breeds is a mockumentary series about clinging onto the old ways. Your host and roving reporter, Gervaise Sareen, searches out the people and professions of yesteryear to see if their days are numbered, or whether there's life in the old dogs yet. RSS Feed: https://feeds.acast.com/public/shows/5f06236f93c905058972fff1 7/16: The Long Short Road (Dramatised - Slice of life) Site: https://soundcloud.com/user-649069426/the-long-short-road-radio-drama Synopsis: A quick tale of one woman's interactions with charity. 7/16: The Vertical Path (Dramatised - Science fiction) Site: https://soundcloud.com/theverticalpath Synopsis: When Earth catches a glimpse of a war raging on a distant world, human civilization begins to develop a conflict of its own. 7/17: CALLISTO (Dramatised - Horror) Site: https://anchor.fm/elliot-somerfield/ Synopsis: "I know that there is something down there beneath the surface of this moon. It’s been there billions of years, entirely alone, waiting, until we arrived - and it knows that we are here." When five astronauts are sent to one of Jupiter's moons to research its sustainability for a potential colony, they discover a mysterious signal coming from below the surface, a signal which raises the suspicion that they may not be as alone as they thought. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/229b3184/podcast/rss 7/17: The Jeane Dixon Effect (Dramatised - Historical) Site: http://www.buzzsprout.com/1217390 Synopsis: Jeane Dixon, America’s first “celebrity psychic,” comes to life in Joseph Rodota’s play, THE JEANE DIXON EFFECT. The former Southern California housewife predicted everything from presidential assassinations to Hollywood marriages, captivating television talk show hosts and dominating supermarket tabloids. Was she a genuine psychic? Or simply delusional? And did her cat really have ESP? Starring Valerie Leonard as Jeane Dixon. RSS Feed: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/1217390.rss 7/17: This Mortal Coil (Dramatised - Comedy) Site: https://aulosproductions.com/this-mortal-coil-2020/ Synopsis: When a Hamlet-inspired murder ruins her dress rehearsal, Elissa’s delighted. The detective’s an old actor pal and she’d forgotten her lines anyway. Lured in by the promise of Jammie Dodgers, Elissa pursues a dastardly killer with a penchant for Shakespeare. A comedy audio murder mystery by award-winning writer James Beagon. RSS Feed: https://feeds.soundcloud.com/playlists/soundcloud:playlists:1093699855/sounds.rss 7/17: Voices from the Unknown (Dramatised - Slice of life) Site: https://soundcloud.com/voicesfromtheunknown Synopsis: Write. Record. Listen. A self-publishing audio platform for new writing. Writing submissions can be sent to: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). The first show is Lockdown Quiz, perhaps unsurprisingly about a quiz during lockdown. 7/18: Red Dirt DnD (RPG - Western) Site: https://www.reddirtdnd.com/ Synopsis: Red Dirt DnD mashes together fantasy with the Wild West. The actual play Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons podcast takes place in the fictional country of Rutoya as four adventurers map the Ka’alban Frontier for the Dwarven train barons. Elves and Orcs collide with saloons and sheriffs in this show featuring local Oklahoma actors and D&D veterans. RSS Feed: https://feeds.captivate.fm/reddirtdnd/ 7/18: White Heron Theatre (Dramatised - Anthology) Site: https://www.whiteherontheatre.org/white-heron-radio-theatre-3/ Synopsis: In the theatre we have a tradition. Whenever the stage goes dark between performances, we always like to leave a single light burning in the house until the curtain can rise again. We call it - a “ghost light.” And until we can all meet once more at White Heron, we’re pleased to offer you something we like to call our Ghost Light Series. Original Radio Drama created especially for you, our Nantucket audience. Nantucket's White Heron Theatre Company presents White Heron Radio Theatre. Our first series, The Ghost Light Series, is adapted by Mark Shanahan from Blue Baillett's book Nantucket Ghosts, 44 True Accounts. Performed by White Heron's award-winning actors. Original music, sound design and audio production by John Gromada. Produced by White Heron Theatre Company. RSS Feed: https://feeds.simplecast.com/aV1QngEo 7/19: Echo Chamber Audio Plays (Dramatised - Slice of life) Site: https://linktr.ee/echochamberaudio Synopsis: Passionate about new-writing, we develop scripts through virtual table reads, and we make audio plays. We are interested in telling stories we dont often hear, by people we want to hear more from. All are welcome here. We want to evolve into a community of people that make and take the form forward - a true audio collective. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/echochambefeed.xml 7/19: Parallel Lies (Dramatised - Science fiction) Site: https://parallelliespodcast.tumblr.com/ Synopsis: In which a space pirate and an AI have a really long conversation... In the distant future (and in space), Deryn wakes up in a doorless room, with only a disembodied AI voice to keep her company. Bored (and slowly losing her mind), Deryn tells Tobias her story. But not everything is as it seems. RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/2cc1b700/podcast/rss 7/19: Rise of the Shattered Sun (Dramatised - Science fiction) Site: https://davidewright.com/ Synopsis: Rise of the Shattered Sun is an Audio Drama set 800 years in the future. After a global conflict, an unlikely source wrested peace from the jaws of chaos. The Sol system has changed, and humanity is not just for humans. RSS Feed: https://rotsspod.libsyn.com/rss 7/20: Low Tide (Dramatised - Comedy) Site: https://lowtide.fm Synopsis: In our world, Low Tide is a scripted comedy podcast. But in fictional Conch County, Low Tide is a popular news and culture radio program that airs on Conch Public Radio. If you're a fan of NPR, Parks and Recreation, or Welcome To Night Vale, tune in to Low Tide. We have tote bags. RSS Feed: https://feeds.simplecast.com/mmzP_KsS 7/20: The Case Files of Donovan Thane (Dramatised - Horror) Site: https://thecasefilesofdonovanthane.podbean.com/ Synopsis: Vampire Detective Donovan Thane takes on any case. Even those of the macabre and other worldly. RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/thecasefilesofdonovanthane/feed.xml 7/20: The Landscape of a Heart (Fiction - Thriller) Site: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-landscape-of-a-heart-audio-book Synopsis: Returning home from war, recovering from what should have been fatal injuries, Matt Blair has spent months in isolation in his childhood bedroom. He has been welcomed and celebrated as a war hero by his family. As summer wanes, Matt decides it's time for him to put it all behind him and move on. In a seemingly manic episode and to his family's surprise, he embarks on a vacation alone. But the world would soon crumble around him making the tragedy he was trying to move on from, just the beginning.
A rescue operation through the desolate wasteland that was once the midwest of the United States and the fateful connection to the destruction is too much to be only a coincidence. Matt begins his true journey. A journey that will exceed the boundaries of his own life and sanity, his pain and the human collective unconscious ensues. The true Landscape of a Human Heart is revealed. RSS Feed: https://www.spreaker.com/show/4453956/episodes/feed
2020.06.30 01:31 _Revelator_Clarkson's Columns: "Hold the wrecking ball, admiral" & "I won't make a hill of beans"
Hold the wrecking ball, admiral — that rusty old destroyer would make a smashing superyacht By Jeremy Clarkson (Sunday Times, June 28) I am very excited by the Royal Navy's new Type 31 frigates. Due to enter service in 2027, they are sleek, fast and agile darts that, at £250m a pop, are surprisingly good value for money. In recent years the navy has been experimenting with Toyota Prius-style hybrid technology, but these new frigates are getting proper old-fashioned grunt in the shape of four 20-cylinder, 11,000-horsepower diesels. And then, to make the on-board electricity, four 16-cylinder generators. If the planet ever stopped spinning, you'd be able to use one of these things to get it going again. What troubles me is what will happen to the ships they'll replace: the beautiful Type 23 frigates. I went on one once, HMS Westminster. It was off Norway, and it remains the only example in human history of a well-run government-funded thing. I loved it, and I loved how the hairs on the back of my neck rose with pride as we slithered into Bergen, powered by nothing but calmness and a few whispered instructions from the captain. In the past such a ship would eventually be sold to some Third World backwater, where it would be renamed after the date of a revolution and then driven at full speed by some coked-up captain into some rocks he'd forgotten about. That would make me sad. Remember HMS Ocean, which was moored on the Thames during the London Olympics? Well, that was flogged unceremoniously to the Brazilians for a reported £84.6m, just a few years after a £65m refit. Our Upholder-class submarines went to Canada, where one is now called the Corner Brook. Many of our Type 22 frigates went to South America. One, HMS Brazen, became the Bosisio and was then used for target practice and sunk. The same thing happened to HMS Boxer, even though it was only nine years out of a total refit when it was decommissioned. Things were even worse for the mighty Ark Royal. That was sent off to Turkey, where it was turned into kettles, exhaust pipes, fridge doors and fence posts to keep the Syrians at bay. And do you know how much we, the British taxpayer, trousered from that deal? Nope, you're wrong. It was £2.9m. That's £2.9m for a fully fledged aircraft carrier that was able to sail to a wrecker's yard on the Aegean under its own steam. And that gives me an idea. We learnt recently that the super-rich are no longer interested in superyachts that potter about in the Caribbean in winter and the Mediterranean in summer. They want ships that can tackle summers in the southern oceans and winters in Svalbard. They are no longer content with a couple of jet skis and one of those water slides off the top deck. They want on-board submarines that can be launched to track the migration patterns of coral spawn, and hulls that can smash through ice. The new breed of eco-minded billionaires who made their fortune in tech don't want to show off. They want to bugger off, and explore strange new worlds and new civilisations. The late Paul Allen, a founder of Microsoft, once used his superyacht, the Octopus, to locate a Japanese battleship that was sunk off the coast of the Philippines. Remoteness is the new Monaco. The Mariana Trench is the new marina. No one wants to lie around on their boat waiting for the private jet to deposit some party guests and half a hundredweight of caviar. Well, some people do. A lot of people, in fact. But many would rather head into the Northwest Passage in search of a new type of squid. And, surely to God, the endlessly downsizing Royal Navy is in a perfect position to capitalise on this new spirit of adventure. Put simply: it can stop flogging its older hardware to Bangladesh and Turkish scrap dealers for next to nothing. And start selling it to Elon Musk for eleventy million. Because, come on, what would you rather have? One of those Saudi monstrosities that block the view from your villa in Corfu, or a former Royal Navy destroyer? You pull up off a beach in one of those and even Sir Green would doff his mullet as a mark of respect. And instead of coasting back that night to Antibes, you could go to South Georgia to study penguins. It really is lunch at Club 55 — and breakfast the next day at 55 degrees south. The fact is that, right now, in Birkenhead docks, there's a Type 45 destroyer called HMS Dauntless that's been broken for the past four years. It's the latest generation of warship, so it's an eco-friendly hybrid. The only trouble is that the intercoolers on its turbines don't work very well in the sort of warm waters you find off Iran, Yemen and Somalia, which means that unless we have more Cod Wars with Iceland, it's always going to be fairly useless. No one is saying how much it will cost to cut a hole in its side and install three new diesel generators, which could solve the problem, but most seem to agree it'll be well north of £120m. So, what if you went along and offered that amount to take the damn thing off the navy's hands? It'd have to agree. It'd have to. You'd then end up with the bargain of the century, because £120m is less than half what you'd pay for an ordinary superyacht. There's more too. A Type 45 destroyer, at 500ft, is longer than all but a handful of the biggest superyachts. You could have more guests too, as it can hold 285 people, and it's fast. Allen's boat can do only 20 knots. You could do more than 30. Plus, if you were bored after a boozy lunch, you could push one button and atomise every single other boat in the entire bay in half a second flat. Not even Roman Abramovich could do that. This, I think, is the future for the Royal Navy. Selling ships that have passed their use-by dates to wealthy individuals. And then, who knows, the air force could jump on the bandwagon. I quite fancy one of those Tornados. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I won't make a hill of beans without water: Pipes laid by clever Victorians might have made Jeremy Clarkson king of Chipping Norton. Shame they're nowhere near his parched veg (Sunday Times, June 28) For such a famously wet country, Britain has always been notoriously useless at dealing with water. We spent a fortune on dams and reservoirs when we thought industry would bring thousands of workers to the northern factories, and they opened at exactly the same time as all the factories shut and everyone moved down south. Today there are 27 reservoirs in Derbyshire, 26 in Lancashire, and 110 in Yorkshire, while in Hertfordshire there's one, in Kent there's two and in Hampshire there are none at all. And there never will be, because while it's easy to evict Albert Arkwright and his whippets from his hole in the ground in Heckmondwike, it's nigh-on impossible to get the Fotherington-Sorbets to move out of their pile in Odiham. There was once a plan to fill giant polythene bags with water from those enormous northern reservoirs and, because fresh water is less dense than sea water, float them down the North Sea to the Thames estuary. But that would have been exciting and clever, so we got hosepipe bans instead. And we just accept that what comes out of the tap got there via the bladders of six other people. I have a similar problem here on Diddly Squat Farm. There are 10 springs that I know of and none of them is where I want it to be. In the 19th century, a previous owner installed a pump, which was used to force water from one of the streams to a tank at the highest point of the farm. And then gravity carried the water from this, down a network of underground pipes, to the troughs he installed in every field. Brilliant. But the halfwit never made a map of where these pipes were. Or the tank. A neighbour called Charlie, who may be mad, suggested that to find everything I should walk about with two coat hangers. In my mind water divining is like ley lines and horoscopes. It's nonsense. Two coat hangers will not react to the presence of water. Except for one thing. They do. It was brilliant. They'd go berserk, I'd fire up the mini digger and, bugger me, right where the coat hangers had crossed, there was a pipe. I found them all over the place. The massive Victorian underground water engine was still there. So all I had to do was fill the tank at the top of the hill and it'd wheeze into life once more. The old pump, made from leather and powered by men with no teeth, had long gone, so I installed a new one, used a mole on the back of my Lamborghini tractor to dig a mile-long trench, and now the troughs are fully functional once more. But it turns out I don't need them. They were installed before stewardship schemes and fertiliser and big tractors changed the way farming is done. Which means they're in fields full of nothing but marjoram and orchids and butterflies and ground-nesting birds. All of which can manage perfectly well without my subterranean water system. What cannot manage are my vegetables. It is stupid to try to grow vegetables in this part of the country. The soil is wrong and because it's so high and exposed, it is below freezing most of the time. Summer here lasts from July 2 at 10 in the morning till just after lunch. However, last year I ran a small potato experiment on a two-acre plot and, contrary to the advice from absolutely everyone, they grew well. I ended up with about 40 tons of the damn things. So when Covid-19 hit and there was panic-buying in the shops and borders were being closed, I had a wine-powered idea. As people would not be able to buy their vegetables from abroad, or even from Kent, if travel was banned, I'd grow some. Yes. I'd be the broad bean king of Chipping Norton. And the man you call late at night if you need an onion. My land agent raised an eyebrow and suggested the idea was foolish. "Ha," I responded, full of the confidence you get after 20 years in Notting Hill. I pointed to a nearby field where we'd planned to grow spring barley and explained that, because of the rain last autumn, everyone would be planting the same thing. He agreed. And then I delivered the coup de grâce. Spring barley is used to make beer, and all the pubs are shut, so there'd be a glut of something no one wants anyway. "Much better, then, to grow vegetables in it," I declared triumphantly. Planting the so-called "sets" was tricky. I bought a machine from the Middle Ages, but that turned out to be useless. So Lisa and I did it by hand. By which I mean Lisa did it by hand. And having seen how much she was enjoying this, I decided to keep right on going. Last year the dreaded flea beetle, which a man in Brussels says I'm not allowed to kill any more (rightly so, actually) destroyed a 10-acre field of oilseed rape. The field is therefore empty. And what's the point of that? Why not use it to grow pumpkins for Halloween and lavender for people's knicker drawers and sunflowers for… actually, I don't know what they're for. Lisa was thrilled. I know this because she rolled her eyes, slammed the door and went for a long walk on her own to celebrate. I, meanwhile, ended up with a 14-acre vegetable patch, and as anyone with a window box knows, all I needed then was a regular supply of rain… April was the fifth warmest since records began in 1884 and, while it went cold at the beginning of May, it didn't rain at all. I can't remember when it last rained here. The ground is parched, cracked. I'm living in a dust bowl. Yes, tons of water is still pouring out of the springs and it's all being harnessed by my underwater engine, but it's all being fed to the wrong fields. Desperate, I broke out the mole, got someone to fit it to the back of my tractor — I still can't do that — and created a new underground pipe to one field, which I must get round to marking on a map. I then attached this to some sprinklers, which have now seized up for no reason that I can see. The other field, however, is on the far side of a small road and it seems I'm not allowed to dig a trench across that. So I bought a vacuum-operated slurry tank that sucks water from a stream and then sprays it over my vegetables. Unfortunately it also sprays it over everything else. Which means the field is now one part vegetable and nine parts thistle. I know now how Jean de Florette felt. Last night, having marinated myself in more wine, I was looking into the possibility of using a hovercraft as a water dispenser. That's had to be shelved this morning, however, as the amount I've spent on my vegetable operation already means each broad bean will have to be sold for £17. And that's nearly as much as you'd pay at Daylesford. There's only one solution as far as I can tell. I'm going to have to call Donald Sutherland and Kate Bush, and get the plans to that rain-making machine they made. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And here's the Sun column: "Mrs Thatcher would not be ill with Covid and she would sort it out without dithering"
2020.06.26 09:45 throwaway6468465647When Karen and a sheltered religious upbringing come together for the perfect storm
This is my story in my own words 10+ years ago in form of a statement made to our local divorce court, with identifying information (redacted) and [edits to support clarity], plus XX for the day of the month. My statement is a response to Karen’s libelous statement of me being a drug user and claiming I was molesting my own daughters. The judge admitted to never having read my statement, meaning that for almost 11 years, it has been sitting in some file cabinet at a courthouse in the US. It is a readily accessible public record if you know where to look. I think it’s time the world sees this. Why? Because I’m tired of being afraid, of being paranoid. Of thinking that the unknown person hitting me up online might be my ex in disguise (she did that). Or of thinking that I am not chatting with my daughter but with this narcissistic control freak of an ex-wife (I’m pretty sure she did that, too). I just want my side to be heard. Warning, it is very long (almost 7000 words), but full of bitter memories and Karen behavior. And yes, she had “the” haircut, more often than not demanded to speak to a manager, and she took the kids. She was a Karen before it was a thing. So much that for the longest time I thought the term “Karen” was based on her. I retyped this, to be able to copy and paste it. The original and the evidence is in my possession. It begins with a foreword explaining my reasoning for writing this at the time. Here we go: Despite the fact that (State) only has “no fault” as the guiding principle for dissolutions of marriage, Karen chose to make statements about me in her declaration that may influence the court in its decision making process concerning in particular the dissolution of the marriage between Karen and myself. This said, while the grounds for divorce should not be of any interest to the court, since Karen chose to make the statements she did, I will make my own as well, to show the court that I am not the person Karen portrays me to be, but a responsible man, who always gave his best for his family, putting Karen’s and our children’s needs before his own. These statements will also show that Karen will not accept responsibility for her own faults and actions, but would rather portray (herself) to be the victim, and go to any means necessary to defend this position, despite evidence to the contrary. They will also show that Karen has a careless attitude towards financial matters, is unable to provide a stable home for (our children), and has serious mental as well as physical health issues, which in the past have made her unable to care for our children, and potentially may do so in future. The following is a chronological timeline of events concerning my relationship with Karen to show her manipulative, deceptive, passive-aggressive behavior towards me as well as her mental illness in general. I request the court to subpoena Karen’s mental health and medical records from (various hospitals) and any and all primary care physicians and specialists she has seen since we were engaged, in order to substantiate some of the following claims: June 1994: Karen and I meet in (Europe). As my family has done in the past with other American visitors, I take Karen on a week-long tour of Europe. During this time Karen makes at least one inappropriate sexual advance on me, at my aunt’s apartment in (European town) [she snuck into my room at night, crawled into bed next to me and I woke up with her hand fondling my privates – I did not object to it as I was in sort of a shock and just froze, and it was the first time any girl had ever shown that sort of interest in me; I grew up in a very conservative religious family, knew that I was gay by 13 years of age but had just been through “conversion therapy”. In retrospect, I honestly thought I had been “healed” as my privates showed a “reaction”]. About one week later, before she leaves, she asks if we could have a long-distance relationship. I accept. September 1995: Karen returns to (Europe) as our long-distance relationship has not done so well. She gives me an ultimatum to either continue it, or to call it off. To show my commitment, my response is that I ask her to marry me and we are engaged. [I literally panicked – during the year the “evil homosexual thoughts” had come up again, and I thought that this was “the Lord’s way out”. Mind you, I did inform her prior to the marriage that I have had those feelings and had been to therapy. She knew.] December 1995: I fly to (the USA) to visit Karen and her parents. During this time we had consensual extramarital relations. We were planning to get married both legally and ecclesiastically in (Europe) in May 1996. January 1996: Karen advises me that she is allegedly pregnant with multiples. She had also become unemployed. The decision is made for her to come to (Europe) sooner. Before her move, she calls me again to advise me that she had lost both pregnancies. While Karen has an extensive medical history, I have not seen evidence that she was ever pregnant during this time. At a later time she confesses that it was a test of my integrity and intentions towards her and I had “passed”. She also tells me that she had tested former boyfriends of her in a similar fashion during high school, and at one point went so far as to show a newborn baby which belonged to (a friend of hers) to one of her boyfriends, claiming it was theirs. Karen was babysitting for (her friend) at the time and claims to have done this with her consent. [If you are wondering why I did not jump ship at this point: we were already engaged and I was too chicken. I wanted to save face. Because “even Joseph stood by Mary when she got pregnant with Jesus”. – Plus I still thought this was “the Lord’s way for me out of homosexuality”.] February 1996: Karen moves to (Europe). We begin the process of obtaining a marriage license. April XX, 1996: We are legally married in (my hometown in Europe), obtain her (European) residence permit and move to (my place of residence at the time in Europe) shortly afterwards, as I am studying at the (local university) to become a translator. I am in my second year. May XX, 1996: We return to my parents’ home in (my hometown) and get married at my home church in nearby (city). Summer of 1996: While out of college for the summer, I work at (a fast food place in a nearby European city). We obtain Karen’s work permit but she is unable to find work. She claims that she has been clinically depressed since the age of 14. While I did not notice this until this point, she becomes more and more discontent, homesick, and depressed during this time. She threatens to divorce me and move back to (the US). She also threatens to commit suicide. The first occurrence was during one night, when she goes to a nearby dead arm of (a major river) to drown herself. I find her there in her nightgown after searching for her for about an hour. She states later that suicide is a “security blanket” for her. During the same time she tells me about her involvement in occult practices as a teenager, and that she is still “demon possessed”. One night she plays out a “demonic” fight within herself, growls in low voices and attacks me physically. Being the religious person I was at the time [protestant evangelical Christian] I fully believe her and pray over her in tears. Eventually she “passes out” and a few minutes later returns, but not as herself, but allegedly as the archangel Michael, telling me that Karen needs me now more than ever and to not let go of her. Eventually, she falls asleep to wake up a little while later, this time as herself, supposedly not remembering anything. Towards the end of the summer, her mother asks what keeps us in (Europe), and our response is my tuition-free higher education. However, we make the decision, for Karen’s sake, to move to the United States. October 1996: We fly to (the US), and I enter the United States on the Visa Waiver program available for certain countries, with the intent to return within 90 days as required by law, if the situation would not work out here. Karen signs up with temp agencies. We live in Karen’s bedroom at her parents’ house (in her hometown). November 1996: We decide to stay in (the US) and so we start the adjustment of status process with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. I receive a temporary work permit and start working for (an employer) as a cook and van driver. February 1997: I am admitted as a conditional permanent resident. Sometime during this time, Karen begins to work for (her employer) at first a full 40 hours week, later reduced to part-time 25 hours per week, as she allegedly cannot handle full-time work. During this time I recall one incident of her disappearing. I contact (hometown) Police to file a missing persons report, including her description as well as a description of her vehicle, a 1988 Oldsmobile. She later returns in somewhat of a confused and dazed state, explaining that all she wanted to do was go to the mall to buy a dust ruffle (but she did not return with one.) Her brother is present for most of this. During another incident at this time, she threatens to commit vehicular suicide with her Oldsmobile and drove down (nearby suburban interstate highways) at a high rate of speed, exceeding 80 miles per hour. I try to keep up with her in my 1985 Nissan, but my vehicle is not powerful enough, and so I lose sight of her. I did not contact the police. May 1997: I begin work for (my main employer). I am still working for them today [this statement is from December 2009]. Summer of 1997: We move into the apartment (in her hometown). January 1998: I begin a second job at (a car rental company near my main job). November 1998: I resign from the second job at (the car rental company) and begin to work another second job for (a school bus company) as a substitute school bus driver, and work there until June 2005. The second jobs were worked in part because I worked swing shifts at my primary job at the time and wanted to do something constructive with my afternoons, and in part because of medical and other debt, such as her medical and mental health issues and pharmaceutical needs, as well as expenses for reproductive endocrinology. During this time, we trade my 1985 Nissan for a 1992 VW which Karen gets, and I take over the Oldsmobile. 1999: We wanted to have children early on, but due to confirmed infertility issues on my part (which make the January 1996 pregnancy implausible) we were unable to conceive on our own. Because Karen would not focus on anything besides getting pregnant, to the point of being obsessed with it, and (berating) me for the inability to produce children, the divorce and suicide threats continue. Eventually I reneged and suggested using a sperm bank to help her achieve her goal of a pregnancy. [Before that, she asked me to ask my brother to be a donor, as “that’s biblical”.] During this year, we trade the 1988 Olds for a 1995 VW. September 2000: Our first daughter is born. We had made the decision for Karen to be a stay-at-home mom before we got married. [She grew up with both parents working and did not like it, and childcare would have eaten her part-time wages.] She had lost her hob with (her employer) a few months prior. On top of her clinical depression, she develops postpartum depression. She starts to sleep a lot and thus neglect her household and parenting duties. She spends weekends in bed until noon some days, leaving care of (daughter 1) virtually entirely up to me. This weekend pattern continues for the remainder of our marriage. May 2001: We fly to Germany to visit my family. We sell the 1992 VW. July 2001: We rent the home of Karen’s parents at (her hometown) from her parents, as they want to be full-time RV’ers. They gift us a 1988 Ford, which I drive. Karen gets the 1995 VW. February 2002: Karen and (daughter 1) are involved in a motor-vehicle accident (at an intersection near hometown). Both Karen and (daughter 1) are injured, but not properly treated at (the local) Hospital. While she is not cited for the accident, the police report indicates failure to yield to oncoming traffic. Karen is convinced of her innocence in the accident and goes so far as to hire a private investigator who essentially confirms what the police report said all along. Karen also sues the opposing driver but loses, as he was not found at fault. Both Karen and I believe that (daughter 1)’s disabilities stem from this accident, but it was never proven, as neither was the closed brain injury Karen claims (daughter 1) has [she also jumped on the anti-vaxx bandwagon thinking they might be responsible as well]. Karen and I consulted with an attorney and it was decided that I, on (daughter 1)’s behalf, would sue Karen and the other driver, as she essentially was an innocent bystander to the accident. The attorney eventually dropped the case as there was not sufficient evidence to link (daughter 1)’s disability to the accident. Karen receives physical therapy due to pain associated with the car accident, which the auto insurance company eventually discontinues, after an independent panel decides it is no longer necessary. We purchase a 1996 Chrysler to replace the 1995 VW. September 2002: We move to an apartment complex in (her hometown) as Karen’s parents decide to sell their home. We find and purchase our home (in a nearby, cheaper, less affluent town) for $162,000. November 2002: We move to our home in (our new hometown). (Daugher 1) is enrolled at (a special needs center) to help her with her disabilities. Shortly after we move in, Karen confronts a neighbor about their use of their own property for the storage of disabled vehicles. It comes to a verbal altercation between one neighbor and me trying to defend Karen, even though she has no right to demand they move the vehicles. She begins a neighborhood watch programs for our street with the goal of “cleaning up the neighborhood” in order to turn it into something resembling (her more affluent hometown). The neighbors show little interest. Early 2003: Karen loses the feeling in her legs, and they give out underneath her as she is standing at the changing table. We take her to the hospital, where she is told that it’s all in her head and psychosomatic. I am close to running out of paid time off at work, and nobody in Karen’s family is willing or able to help, so I call my parents, and my mother is on the next plane to help with the household, so I can return to work. Karen speaks some (of my native language), but (daughter 1) does not, since the accident in 2002 [we had raised her bilingual from the get-go, but she lost all speech with the accident; doctors advised us to concentrate only on one language afterwards]. Karen is eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Late 2003: We refinance our home in (our new hometown) for $185,000 in order to pay off medical debts, credit cards, and the car loan for the 1996 Chrysler. May/June 2004: We fly to (Europe) for two weeks [on my father's dime] to visit my family on the occasion of my father’s (round) birthday. Because Karen and my mother do not get along well, we agree beforehand that if the situation escalates, we would stay with a distant cousin of hers in (a nearby town). Karen provokes an incident where it comes to an escalation between her and my mother, and we move forward as agreed. For the remainder of the visit, she refuses to associate with my family. June 2004: We resume assisted reproductive treatment with some of the sperm samples we have left. The pregnancy is classified as high-risk, due to rhesus-factor incompatibility between Karen and the sperm donor, resulting in weekly trips to (medical center at the other end of the metro area) to see a specialist in order to check on the progress of the pregnancy. December 2004: At my company’s annual Christmas party, Karen approaches my manager to discuss my rate of pay and working hours. He politely but firmly rebukes her, saying that this is neither the time nor the place to be discussing this, and to contact him at the office during business hours. I am mortified, but he understands. April 2005: Our second daughter is born. As my paid-time-off account is still very low, my manager arranges to set me up at home so I can work at least part-time from there. Karen once again is diagnosed with postpartum depression and receives medication and treatment. (Daughter 2) is also very sick and requires continued monitoring due to neutropenia. June 2005: Due to the long commute from (the former hometown) for only a part-time second job, I transfer branches within (the school bus company) from (the old branch) to (another branch near our house). August/September 2005: I receive my commission as Notary Public. December 2005: We take out a $20,000 home equity line of credit to consolidate debt, pay off medical bills, and purchase a used 1992 Buick for $3,000 to replace the ailing 1988 Ford. We also purchase [at Karen’s request] a new Bosch washedryer set for approx. $2,500, as well as a Miele vacuum she “had to have” for $1,200, and new kitchen appliances for $3,000. We each also allocate $1,000 for “personal uses.” Karen decides to buy a Starbucks gift card for that amount. January XX, 2006: Karen, during a phone conversation with her psychiatrist, makes a threat against her own life and is picked up by a Sheriff’s deputy, who takes her to (a local hospital). This has a tremendous effect on (our daughters) as well as myself. Eventually, the children do not want to visit their mother in the hospital any more. January XX, 2006 [about 10 days later]: Karen is released from the psychiatric ward. February X, 2006: I return to work at (my company). February X, 2006 [1 day later]: Karen calls me at work, saying the kids were “driving her nuts,” that “she spanked them,” and that she “put them in their rooms.” She would lay down as she “could not deal with it anymore,” and hung up on me. One hour later she calls back, saying she “gave me enough time to get my ass home” and that this shows her “how much I really cared for the children and her.” She would be “out the door to an unspecified location” and would not “bother me ever again.” I leave work, and dial 911 on the way home. I arrive at home just as the Sheriff pulls up. Since she did not make a threat against her or the children, they could not detain her. However, since (daughter 2) still had neutropenia, it could be potentially life-threatening for her. The Sheriff puts Karen and the children on a missing persons list. At around 5 pm that day, I locate her at her sister’s apartment (on the other side of the metro area, about 1 h away). I call the police to let them know, and (the local) police check up in them to make sure they were all ok. I then drive (over there) to bring them home. February/March 2006: Karen begins or continues psychotherapy and counseling. Also, due to a change in work schedule at my primary employer, as well as the need to take care of my family, I resign from (the school bus company) and start my own side business as a mobile Notary Public. April 2006: Karen is diagnosed with sleep apnea, is given a CPAP machine, but most of the time does not use it. It is our ten year legal anniversary, and I surprise her with concert tickets to Celtic Woman in (further away major US city) as well as a getaway at (a resort town) for May. May 2006: We celebrate our 10th anniversary. Karen is upset as “all she got” was the concert tickets and a getaway. She wanted a diamond ring [couldn’t afford it due to her medical debt]. June 2006: Karen is issued a sample of (a famous patch involved in a class-action lawsuit) for hormone control reasons. July 4, 2006: Our children and I visit Karen’s parents for Independence Day. Karen refuses to come along. Later on we get a call from the hospital. She had overdosed on pain killers. After 36 hours in the emergency room she is transferred to the psychiatric ward. She later admits that she wanted to kill herself on a major holiday, so that I as well as our families would always remember. She was to be released but was also diagnosed with pancreatitis and later on with a pulmonary embolism and deep-vein thrombosis, so they keep her in the hospital. [By now we both had steadily gained weight, with both of us being around 300 lbs]. July XX, 2006: My mother flies in from (Europe) to once again help with the household, as referenced in Karen’s declaration. It was not that I had to “selfishly” return back to work, but that once again, my paid-time-off account was near zero, due to having to take off so much time in order to care for my family. We had no support from Karen’s family, so this was the only available option at the time. At this point, I am emotionally and physically drained from the events of the last six months. Despite my wife’s negative attitude towards my parents, she has no qualms about asking them for financial support when needed. Also, I have come to the conclusion, that if Karen threatens me with divorce again, she needs to follow through with it, as I cannot deal with this sword hanging over my head any more. Her threats stop for a while. July XX, 2006: Karen is released from the hospital. December 2006: In order to pay our mounting medical debt from Karen’s hospitalization this year, we increase our home equity line of credit by almost another $20,000. The notes on the house now total approx. $225,000. I buy her the diamond ring she complained about not receiving for our anniversary for approx. $1,500. We also remodel our home and install a 42” plasma TV and surround sound system for approx. $2,000. February 2007: The three year prepayment penalty on our first mortgage expired in December 2006, and so, because of dwindling revenue from my notary business, we decide to refinance again in order to consolidate our first and second mortgages into one. During this time, Karen also began an in-home business selling clothes on eBay. The business never came to fruition. The 1996 Chrysler breaks down and is replaced by a 2005 Chrysler. May 2007: Karen creates an online profile on Yahoo personals, advertising herself as a single mother living in (our hometown). She also chats and exchanges explicit pictures with a gentleman of Nigerian descent living in London, England. She wants to fly him to the United States. She also has been in touch with women who conceived their children with the same sperm donor and packs up her car one day while I am at work to move to (one of the southwestern US desert states) where a “friend” she has only known online resides. She gets as far as (the next state over) where she visits a mutual friend, and, due to the heat, decides to turn around back home. June 2007: Karen starts working for (a famous internet giant). Despite her health problems, she “wants to live a little” and begins to drink alcohol and smoke. November 2007: According to Karen, I am no longer fulfilling her sexual needs (I have no desire to do so at this point [we’re both upwards of 300 lbs at this point and the thought alone is “unpleasant”]). I also confide in her that the homosexual feelings I have been working to suppress for all these years [so much for ex-gay success stories] have resurfaced, but I do not want to destroy the marriage and so I’m asking for her support, and would seek counseling, thinking honesty is the best way to address this issue. Within one week, she has announced to her family and friends that I am gay. We agree to an open marriage. We interview [at her insistence] some of her potential “candidates” together. Later, I leave the house while she engages with them, at one point two in one night, as the first one did not “measure up.” I find a gentleman friend and admittedly have a relationship beyond a mere friendship with him. At Karen’s request, I call it off a month later and ask her to stop seeing other gentlemen as well. I also ask her to submit herself to STD tests before we resume relations, which she never did. We go through marital counseling through our church off and on over the years, but every time we go, Karen monopolizes the counselor’s time with a litany of all the things I do wrong. I rarely get a chance to get a word in or share my version of events. May 2008: We purchase a new travel trailer in order to spend more time together as a family. While we own it, we only take it out a few times, and those times, Karen sleeps away in the trailer, while I spend time with the children. December 2008: Karen has been on medical leave for several weeks and receives notice that she has been terminated from (the famous internet giant) as part of a downsizing effort. Until then, she has received several warnings about her absenteeism; however, she was not terminated because of this. As part of her severance, she remains on the payroll until February 2009, and, if she has not found new work by then, she would receive an additional two months of pay as well as two months of COBRA coverage, until April 2009. January 2009: The 2005 Chrysler is beginning to show problems, and Karen is dead set on buying a (almost new) Chrysler SUV despite her soon being unemployed. We are financed but need a down payment of $2,400, which we borrow from my father, with the promise that Karen would pay it back once her severance payment comes in. During this time, Karen purchases a Maltese-Yorkshire terrier mix sight unseen from a pet shop (2500 miles away). Rather than shipping it, I offer to drive (there) and pick it up, as the cost would be the same, and I would be able to do one of my favorite activities (which she despises): road trips. In the end, she asks to come along, and I agree. February 2009: Karen receives her final paycheck and files for unemployment. March 2009: Karen receives her severance pay, approximately $3,300 after taxes. She pays a $400 medical bill and spends the remainder within ten days, on frivolous things, without paying back the loan we received from my father. She also briefly finds work with a company, but is laid off again within a week, thus having to restart her claim. April 2009: We file our 2008 tax return, and due to the fact that we both for the first time in our marriage worked full time, find that we withheld too few taxes and owe $1,500 to the US Treasury and $2,700 to the state. During this time, Karen insists I see a psychiatrist as I allegedly display symptoms of manic depression, for which there is a history in my family. I have dealt with bouts of depression and anger since the January 2006 incidents, but have never raised a hand against Karen, which is not the case the other way around [it’s not just men who commit domestic violence]. I also got angry at times, especially when she recklessly spends money on unnecessary items. I see (a doctor) at his (local) office. He does not believe I have manic depression, but rather post-traumatic stress disorder caused in part by my upbringing, but also due to my marriage to Karen. May 2009: For our 13th anniversary, we take our travel trailer to (a romantic place under the stars). June X, 2009: Karen announces that she “had enough,” as I am not changing the way she would want me to, and has decided to move out. She is looking at apartments in the (internet and tech) area, as she hopes to find work with the high-tech industry there. At this point, I am at my wits end, as far as saving our marriage goes and simply give in, offering to pay her rent as a means of voluntary child support, but make it clear to her that I would not be able to afford the house as well as an apartment on our current budget, and that we would have to let the house go. She agrees to this, as she “never liked (less affluent town than her hometown)” anyway. She starts looking in the $600-650 range, then goes higher and higher, as “for only this amount more, she can get that much more.” I finally tell her that I will pay $800 a month, and she would have to cover the rest herself. June X, 2009 [1 day later]: On this Friday, Karen has made plans to visit a male friend in (new place where she wants to live). I am kept back at work beyond my usual time, and receive a call from Karen. She yells that I need to get home so she could go out, otherwise she would drop of the girls at work. I tell her I have no choice in this, due to mandatory overtime. I told her I would let her know as soon as I am close to getting done, and to drop the kids off at my workplace on her way to (the new place). Around 4 pm, I send her a message to tell her “to be on her way,” as it would take her about 20 minutes to get to my workplace. By 4:30 pm she has not shown up, and so I call her, asking where she is. (She is already halfway to the place where she would meet this guy.) I asked if the children were with her, and she replies no. I get upset, and she asks me what she should do. I tell her to turn around. I advise my manager of the situation and leave immediately. We make it to our home about the same time, at approximately 5 pm, finding the children watching TV. She had left our children completely unattended for an hour. Mid June 2009: Since I would be without a social network before long, I decide I need to find new friends. I have been losing weight since April 2009, starting at 325 lbs, and by mid-June have reached 295 lbs. I have been receiving advice from my brother in (Europe) who has a degree (in sports sciences). He recommends I seek local help or a workout buddy. I find (personal trainer) on craigslist, looking for a workout buddy and advertising his personal training services in the platonic male for male section. I set up an appointment and we begin a workout regimen several times a week. Karen is incorrect in citing my personal trainer as the reason for her moving out, as I did not even meet (personal trainer) until after she had already made the decision to move out. By June XX, 2009 [mid-month]: Karen finds an apartment in (new place). We have to come up with more than $2,000 for her to move in. I cannot pay June’s mortgage payment. I also pay for the moving truck. June XX, 2009 [end of month]: Karen moves out of the family home to (her new place). As I cannot afford (PT) as a personal trainer, I offer him a room in the family home in lieu of payment for his services. He helps me move Karen as well, as none of her friends would help her. The only other people that show up at her apartment to unload the moving truck are some people from Karen’s church. I move (the personal trainer) into my home the same day, as I had already rented the moving van. My plans are to purchase a motor home or travel trailer to live in once the house is foreclosed in the bankruptcy- Early July, 2009: Karen calls to ask when we could start dating again. I am flabbergasted at the notion. July 4, 2009: I spend the afternoon with Karen and the children at her apartment complex. In the evening, I celebrate at home with (personal trainer) and my neighbors, who indicate that they have seen what occurred over the years, and some of them are relieved that Karen has moved out [“I can finally get rid of my junk cars”]. As she took nearly everything out of the house, they offer furniture to me, but I decline, as (personal trainer) had a few items of his own. July XX, 2009 [mid-month]: I make arrangements to meet with a friend after work, to help him clean his apartment for his annual inspection. Because I knew I would be late, and (personal trainer) had no means of communicating, I leave my cell phone with him, and he takes me to work in my car. I am picked up by my other friend after work. I return home around 10:30 pm and find (personal trainer) is distraught. It appears that Karen has been calling the cell phone, but because it is not his, he did not answer it. She panicked, drove to our home from (her new place). (Personal trainer) was sitting in the family room watching TV, when she barged in demanding to know where I was and why (personal trainer) was not answering the phone. She said he was obligated to, which he declined. She grabbed my phone and searched through the text messages, finding some that are an explicit exchange between (personal trainer) and one of his friends. She then proceeds to my computer to try and hack into my email accounts [she has in-dept knowledge of this from her time at the well-known internet giant]. She had dropped the girls off at our next door neighbor’s house and goes there with my cell phone. She calls the police, and asks the Sheriff to evict him from the premises. The Sheriff arrives and declines, as (personal trainer) has the keys to the house, to my vehicle, and a note that he lives there legitimately. (Personal trainer) mentions that Karen has my cell phone and so the Sheriff goes next door to retrieve it. I was told that she left the premises at about 10 pm. It turns out, she had no money for a medication, and was looking to borrow $25, which our neighbor gave her. However, she dropped it in our driveway. (Personal trainer) did notice this, called her, and met her (at a nearby gas station) to give it to her. July XX, 2009 [1 day later]: I write Karen an email, saying that her behavior the night before went too far, and that we need to make the split permanent, i.e. divorce. July XX, 2009 [late month]: We file for bankruptcy protection under chapter 7 of the US bankruptcy code. We are listing the house and the travel trailer as being surrendered, but to keep the 2008 Chrysler SUV and to reaffirm the loan. In the end, the loan for the Chrysler is not reaffirmed and the vehicle repossessed, as neither one of us can afford the $365 per month payments. August 2009: (Personal trainer) and I believe it to be a good idea to rent out the remaining rooms. I leave the wording of the ad up to him. Only after the fact do I find out the stipulation of the rentals, and have him take down the ad. This is also in part as Karen does not want any more roommates in the house. In early August, Karen blackmails me into revealing my (sexuality) to my father. “If you’re not going to tell him, I will. He has to know.” [I believe she hopes that he will ostracize me due to their strict religious beliefs.] I speak to my father on August 11. He responds gracefully and understanding. In the meantime, Karen tells me that I am not welcome around her family members any more, and at least one has made a statement that could be perceived as a threat to my life [her uber-Christian, well-armed ex-army father]. “He should be taken out back and shot, to put him out of his misery.” After I tell her how my father reacted, she acts pleased, but then continues that I also needed to tell my siblings, repeating her attempt at blackmailing me. September 2009: Karen is hospitalized several times, once for another pulmonary embolism, the other time for mental health issues. Her oncologist advises her that she is “a ticking time bomb” and should not live alone with the children, as she could potentially keel over and die in a very short period of time. Her mental health related stay at (a local hospital) comes after she leaves a taxicab at a red light on her way to the hospital for a routine test on September 16, but in her mind, (the county social services) want to have her committed. She disappears for a few hours, during which I am making arrangements to pick up (daughter 1) from school. (Daughter 2) had stayed at Karen’s sister’s since the weekend. Karen is eventually found and this time taken to the psychiatric ward. October 2009: Karen hires an attorney to help her prepare the paperwork to file for dissolution of marriage. I meet with them at a (fast food restaurant in a nearby big city) under the condition that all we discuss are the pertinent points of the dissolution. It turns into a barrage of attacks against me, mostly from the attorney, and I leave disillusioned. During this time, she is hired by (another company), but falls ill shortly after. She is employed there for one month, and of that time works two weeks. She is let go in mid-November. I finally reveal my (sexuality) to my siblings. Every single one of them reacts supportive and not judgmental, despite our very religious upbringing. November 2009: Karen and I meet at my home to attempt to finalize our dissolution of marriage papers. We come to a consensus over two weekdays, and I am ready to file. The following day, she emails me, saying she had made some changes, which are nowhere near what we had agreed to previously. A week later, she requests another meeting to “finalize” the paperwork again. She threatens that she would file by herself if I did not respond. I hold off on my response and file for dissolution of marriage as the petitioner on November 30, with the basic parenting plan as agreed and the child support worksheet based on actual income for myself, and imputed income for Karen, as at this point I do not know what her income is. [The remaining statement is a listing of the supporting evidence for these allegations in my possession at the time (and still now). The judge never read it, saying it was too long, she also never looked at her medical records. At the last hearing, my visitation was reduced to a supervised minimum as I was made out to be a drug user and child molester (without evidence). I was supposed to undergo random weekly drug testing. My ex was awarded 80% of my net income, leaving me less than what a hovel of an apartment costs. Outside the court, Karen told me “I have no sympathy for you.” In shock, I went back to my home country, to my parents, and kept to myself for several months. I had always believed that if you did good, acted kindly and givingly, good things would come to you and that Lady Justice is impartial. That pretty notion went out the window. Anyway, I left my father as the point of contact. After a while, I made contact again, asking the court how the divorce was proceeding, if they needed any paperwork. I got either no response or “no paperwork needed”. When the final judgment came down, she was awarded all our goods, custody of the children, support based on 150% of my actual income at the time, and all valid, because “I had not participated”. The PTSD continues to this day, but I am tired of being afraid almost to the point of paranoia, hence this publication. In the last 10 years Karen has finished a higher education program but still cannot get a job, I’ve tried to get the child support people to adjust the judgment to the current conditions, all to no avail (in and of itself worth another post about math illiteracy at the state level), just to preserve the status quo. Just say no to Karen and just say no to religion. Both f*ck people up to no extend. P.S.: Karen, if somehow you came across this post, you will notice that I have left out all identifying information. Please think carefully about how you react to this. I suggest just letting it stand. If my personal identifying information should be divulged (which is against the rules of this platform), or if I start being harassed by you or other people not known to me privately, I will happily provide all the requested information (unlike last time) should you be investigated for welfare fraud again. You have been warned. I am no longer afraid of you. For all others that may recognize this case (it should only be close family and friends): Please do not disclose the identity of Karen (again, against the rules and a d*ck move). Do not harass her, either. Just let this stand here for what it is. I think life has punished her enough.]
2020.05.22 12:32 EnDubbLeeds United Mailbag with Phil Hay
Little bit different to the Q&As, with these people send in questions over the last couple of days and Phil picks some of them out and puts them into an article. Not just virus-related but we've got contract situations, kit deals, summer transfer plans and who to keep an eye on from the U23s.
So first up, Phil says that those who've been following Jean-Kevin Augustin on Insta will have seen how hard he's been working to get ready for the restart. He's lost weight, got over his hamstring strain and was ready for full training by the end of April. He's fit and ready to go. Adam Forshaw isn't as far through his rehab and Phil doesn't expect him to play in any of the remaining games. Forshaw's currently looking at August/September as his return date.
Leading on from that he says that he now expects Augustin to have a bigger role than he would've done otherwise as he's had time to get up to speed not just with his fitness but tactically too. However we all know how Marcelo Bielsa likes continuity in his lineups so don't expect to see Augustin starting much unless Bamford gets injured.
There's no suggestion that any of the squad are against coming back to training. They're all on board and committed to training in whatever manner is allowed from Monday. Of all the clubs affected Phil says Leeds are as enthusiastic as anyone about playing the last nine games. This is partly about winning promotion in the right way and partly, as Tyler Roberts said recently, about redeeming themselves after what happened last season and laying that ghost to rest. Phil says the club would be sympathetic to players with concerns about coming back though, some for example have relatively newborn babies.
Bielsa has apparently stayed completely away from Thorp Arch so far, other than the odd trip to make sure the correct maintenance is being carried out (because of course). The rules when training resumes will be very tight, players will get individual kits in boxes and wash it themselves and shower at home; sessions will be in groups of five, building up to eight or 10 if all goes well before the whole squad start working together. Entry to the main building is heavily restricted and equipment has to be cleaned/sterilised after being used. In Rob Price Leeds have an excellent Head of Medicine so they don't have any extra concern over Bielsa's health either.
Bielsa has spent this time setting tasks and projects for his staff to complete (such as analysing set pieces from the top 5 leagues + Championship to find the best spots to deliver the ball to) and taking selfies with fans while out on walks. He was 100% set on returning to training at the previous date of 16th May so he's ready and with all being well they'll be back in on Monday.
Doesn't expect the Adidas kit deal to be announced until after the season has finished but reiterates that it is all signed and sealed. Leeds will wear Kappa for the rest of this season before moving to Adidas as they feel obligated to honour the spirit of the contract with Kappa. Phil simply says the Adidas contract will be a lucrative, tier-one deal, reflecting the 'extraordinary' amount of shirts Leeds sell (a previous article Phil wrote about shirt sales cited experts who puts Leeds' figures in the top ten in the country, if not the top six). There's likely to also be a re-evaluation of the shirt sponsor deal, either a revised agreement with 32Red or something new altogether. The difference in value between PL and Championship is huge and will be worth millions in sponsorship. To put it into perspective, when Leeds agreed the deal with Kappa in 2015 it was seen as a big one by Championship standards and paid us £2m a year. Liverpool's upcoming deal with Nike is worth £70m a year.
Testing on players and staff will be run centrally by the EFL. You may have seen the stories this week that Leeds bought their own equipment to test the players and staff a little while ago (also been made available to players families should they want to be tested). This is true it's just that the 35-40 players/staff on the essential testing list will also be tested by the EFL. Each test costs £150 and they'll be done regularly so it's a fair chunk of cash. Phil's told that the funds will come from the reward money the EFL pays out to clubs at the end of the season so clubs aren't having to cover those costs themselves but it obviously does mean that there's less money coming in at the end of the season than would have been expected. Millwall would like the three promoted sides to cover the whole bill though. The threat of a TV rebate has definitely focused the minds of clubs when it comes to deciding whether to play out the season.
On the subject of summer recruitment - obviously Leeds will set aside part of the budget to make loans permanent. Costa will arrive for around £16m while Leeds are set on taking up the options for Harrison (£8m) and Meslier (around £5m). There's also the Augustin deal which, if promoted, Leeds are obligated to do (£17.75m) although Phil says it will be up to Augustin wanting to move permanently as well. Phil thinks the squad are in decent shape to cope with the higher level as they're so well drilled and their style should suit the division. If Bielsa can get Augustin fit and playing to his potential he should help with the finishing issues and we know by now that Bielsa isn't going to come out and demand swathes of new signings. Phil could see an opening day PL lineup being very similar to the final day of the Championship lineup. Ben White will need replacing if Leeds can't keep him and a permanent solution at LB would be sensible. Manchester City also signed a 17-year-old Brazilian right-back called Yan Couto from Coritiba, a deal that will go through on 1st July and they're keen on him coming on loan if we go up. Phil says he's heard us strongly linked with him so keep an eye on it. He also thinks added depth for Klich/Forshaw would be good but he admits he thought that in January too and nothing materialised. The pandemic hasn't changed the club's transfer targets but no one really knows what the market will be like with all that's going on.
A question was asked about whether the absence of a crowd could actually help Leeds, taking away the sense of tension as the season reaches its endgame. Phil says on this occasion actually he doesn't think so. We've won 11 of 18 at home this season and "properly filleted" Bristol City, Reading and Huddersfield in the recent winning run. Given the choice the players would rather have the crowd which was why in the first place the club wanted games played with crowds.
Agrees that the single biggest game the club's played this century is the 2006 playoff final in terms of long term ramifications. Says that 05/06 season was "shit or bust" and seeing the damage that was done the following season it could've had such an effect on the direction the club was going in had it been won.
The EFL haven't yet said whether the last nine games will be played in scheduled order and that it won't become clear until the EFL finalises a start date (currently set as 20th June).
Phil picks out Stuart McKinstry as one to look out for from the youth ranks. He's been more and more involved in the murderball sessions and with first-team training. Just 17 but seems to be catching Bielsa's eye.
Kiko Casilla was allowed by the club to return to Spain after his ban was imposed but he's back here and will train as normal with everyone else. Six games still to serve of his ban so he may not play again this season. Beyond that neither he nor the club really know how it'll play out. Regardless of everyone's personal opinions on the case his reputation's taken a big hit and it's a difficult environment for him to live/play in. They'll make a decision on whether he stays or goes when the window opens.
On Berardi's contract Phil says the first port of call is to extend it short term to cover the remainder of the season which won't be a problem. Beyond that a proper extension might depend on which division we're in. Leeds and Bielsa want Bera to stay, Phil says that's clear. There have been times when Bera has been tempted to go back to Italy (especially after the 17-18 season) but obviously the offer of PL football would be a big pull. Another year in the Championship, not so much. No one expects him to walk out on the 30th June though, not his nature to do that.
Similar question over Bielsa's contract. You might all remember them having to extend it at the end of last season and that IIRC it was essentially structured as three one-year contracts with each year being an option that Leeds/Bielsa had to mutually agree to trigger. It all happened pretty quickly/easily last summer. At the moment Bielsa is planning for next season as if he'll be here and like Berardi won't just up and leave at the end of June, he'll see out the season. Phil says he's certain Bielsa stays at a Premier League Leeds United as he and the club both value each other. However, if we're still in the Championship all bets are off. There will be a lot of big decisions to take on and off the pitch. Imma quote this last bit though, Phil finishes by saying "It does occur to me, though, that Bielsa might find it incredibly difficult to drag himself away from Leeds. It’s like he’s found a second home in Yorkshire."
2020.05.13 20:37 6e6f6e2d62696e617279The White Rose
The two Ghoti walked side-by-side down the quiet street, following the Visit England drone assistants a few feet in front. The drones cheerily informed them their destination was close. 'I wonder what it will be like,' said B'illi. 'Hopefully every bit as exciting as the Traditional Yard And Washing Line, I still can't believe we got in without queueing!' said Pee'te. 'I know, right? Hey, any closer to a title for your thesis?' 'I'm thinking, 'Drinking Up Time: Post-Mangle Manifestations in Neo-Slumistic Ersatz English Assemblages,' said Pee'te, 'or you know, something along those lines...' They chatted about Terran history for a few minutes. 'You have reached your desination.' trilled the VE drones, in the Ghoti tongue. 'The White Rose is a traditional English pub, dating from the mid-nineteenth century. It includes an historic fruit machine, circa 1976, as well as various photographs of the area and of local celebrities. Drinks and food must be ordered from the bar and payment is in cash only. Be sure to engage the locals in polite conversation!' The drones hovered near the door and Pee'te turned to them. 'What does the sign say? The script isn't auto-translating.' 'It promises a warm welcome, and a friendly atmosphere!' said one drone. 'How does that differ from the regular atmosphere?' asked B'illi. 'Well, it's the same really, only with tobacco smoke,' answered the other. 'Oh, okay then,' said B'illi, pushing the door open. 'Let's try it!' They entered the pub. A few glanced over, then went back to their drinks. The barman was polishing a glass while chatting to a chrome giant at the bar; there were two older men playing cards, and two women wielding sticks at a green table. Everyone else was talking, drinking, or both. Pee'te put a hand on his friend's shoulder. 'We're the only non-Terrans,' he whispered, 'do you think it's safe?' 'I'm sure we'll be fine,' said B'illi, 'look, here's a Gal'ashi enjoying a few drinks.' He pointed to a photo on the wall, labelled Bobby five-pints - the name seemed to fit. 'Huh, I didn't know Gal'ashi could stand on three legs,' said Pee'te. 'Judging by the colour of its carapace I doubt it did, at least not for long... Anyway you go find the fruit machine, I'll get us some drinks.' B'illi walked to the bar, followed by one of the drones, and climbed on a stool. Sitting on it he was just about level with the barman. 'Hello!' said B'illi. The drone translated; some of the regulars turned to look, and the background conversation dropped a notch. 'Two pints of Black Sheep, please!' he said, confidently. The drone relayed his words in a similar tone that was swallowed up by a sudden stillness. 'Say again?' said the barman, setting the glass down. 'Uh, t-two pints of Black Sheep ale? Please?' There was a long pause, interrupted only by the sounds of chairs scraping the wooden floor. 'We don't serve your kind in here,' said the barman slowly. B'illi turned and saw a hundred human eyes on him. Oblivious, Pee'te was pressing buttons on the antique fruit machine. It started flashing and played a tune; coins clattered down the chute and spilled onto the floor. Startled, he jumped back - into the rear of a barrel-shaped man carrying three pints in plate-sized hands. About a quarter-pint slopped on the floor. The man turned and frowned at Pee'te. 'You spilled my drink.' 'S-sorry, mate,' said Pee'te, attempting a smile. The man's frown darkened. The taller of the two women stomped over. 'I've been feeding that machine for months,' she growled, 'and you just won the jackpot?' In the silence, the fruit machine played another tune. 'Oh, for fuck's sake,' said the barman. 'Cy, you sort this out.' The chrome giant grinned and with surprising speed plucked the first drone out of the air. They turned it over and flicked a switch, before releasing it to hover once more over the bar. Then they lumbered over to B'illi. 'Never turn off dialect roaming, okay?' They gave B'illi a friendly pat on the back. 'But it was clearly malfunctioning; it cycled through a dozen between Liverpool and Manchester,' said B'illi. Everyone laughed. 'Well that's what you get with the basic package,' said Cy. 'Lancashire / Yorkshire's what you might call a hard border. Different rules apply here.' 'Rules? I don't understand,' said B'illi, looking from Cy to the barman, who pointed to a sign on the wall and recited from memory. 'The provisions of the Equality Act (2048) do not apply to persons from or appearing to be from the Autonomous Region of Lancashire (Kingdom of England, affiliated) within the Autonomous Region of Yorkshire (Kingdom of England, affiliated). Short version, no bloody Mancs!' There was a muted cheer. 'Visit England strongly encourages us to preserve our historical differences, for cultural reasons. Anyway, you want to try again?' 'Uh... two pints of Black Sheep, please?' said B'illi nervously. The drone translated, and he was surprised to hear a completely different sound emanating from the forward-facing speakers. 'Right you are!' said the barman, taking two glasses from a shelf. 'That'll be seven Shillings, when you're ready.' Pee'te's drone was tethered to B'illi's. He looked at the pile of coins beneath the fruit machine, and addressed the tall woman. 'Beginner's luck?' he said. 'How about I buy you a round; and, how about I replace the beer I spilled,' he said, turning to the barrel-shaped man. 'Actually, why don't I buy a round for everyone?' This brought a louder cheer and Pee'te hurried to scoop up as many coins as possible. He made two trips, depositing his hoard in a pile at the end of the bar, before climbing on a stool next to B'illi. The barman pushed two glasses towards them. The tall woman came over and rested her stick against the bar. 'Thanks for the drink, I'm Sue by the way. John here,' she said, jerking a thumb at the barman who was pulling pints at a prodigious rate, 'didn't tell you about the unofficial rules. I mean there are thousands of pub rules, he's got to follow those unless he wants to find himself running a bar...' A collective shudder could be felt around the room. 'And to qualify as a traditional pub there are a thousand more,' Cy continued. 'Yorkshire rules you've heard about, no-one gets on the Visit England list unless they're well-observed,' said the barrel-shaped man, who was standing the other side of the two Ghoti. 'I'm Jim.' 'Know who this is?' said Sue, holding up a Shilling. B'illi and Pee'te were turning their heads from side-to-side, trying to keep up with the conversation in translation. 'It's King George, isn't it?' said B'illi. 'That's right. And if anyone drops him in the drink, you have to save him from drowning.' 'God save the King!' said Jim, dropping a coin into each pint. 'God save the King!' echoed a dozen voices, and B'illi and Pee'te quickly lifted their glasses, downing them in seconds. This earned them another cheer; the drinks were replaced almost instantly by two more. 'Cheers lads!' said Jim, raising his glass. 'That means you have to drink,' he explained, before taking a gulp. B'illi and Pee'te did the same. 'Cheers, here's to making friends across the galaxy, but not across the moors,' said Sue, raising her glass. Everyone at the bar raised a glass in turn, and two more pints were quickly sunk. Some days later a photograph was hung above the bar. It showed Billy Iron Guts cradling an empty jar of pickled eggs and Lucky Pete with a flat cap full of coins. Both Ghoti were weakly smiling, with watery eyes.
2020.03.31 17:43 Alec1992Really hoped for more Motorstorm
Really wish Sony kept Evolution and Greenlight a Motorstorm for PS5 (or re-released them on PS4) Still think Sony shot themselves in the foot for letting Evolution go – Polypony Digital had the SIM driving nailed down at GT Sport has only got better since launch but now they don’t have any Arcade racers in their software line up to rival Forza Horizon 4 can’t see one of their 1st party studios doing a racing game. They should have kept Evolution to churn out those Arcade racers. Original Motorstorm was my first game along with Resistance that I owned on my PS3 so it has a special place in my collection. It may have lacked split screen but online and single player was great. Such a fantastic launch title and at the time I was amazed by the graphics, the chaos, control and the mud. Then Pacific Rift came out and it seemed better in every way, it was easily one of the best Arcade racing games in recent memory I played that and its DLC to death and still from time to time plug my PS3 in to have a couple of races. I loved the Chaos and the track design was spectacular. The game is that good I still plug my PS3 in and play it every 4-5 months. Apocalypse was good as well, but I always preferred the first two it just didn’t scratch that same itch that the original or Pacific Rift had due to the lack of colours, vegetation, lava, mud and water. It didn’t control the same either. Was great driving through cities while buildings crumbled round you and earthquakes went off and twisters on the dock. Did always like the Golden gate bridge track. Arctic Edge was one of my favourite PSP games as well – I know Evolution didn’t make it, but it was still good Driveclub to me is a great game and PS4 did need a driving game like it at the time but Gran Turismo will always be the bigger seller I would have preferred a Motorstorm – It just got better overtime and I still pop it in from time to time. Sure, it was sloppy at launch but that to me feels like it was just because they seemed to run out of time and needed it on the shelves. After the up-dates it only went from strength to strength. I hope to God Sony greenlight another one for PS5 or quickly port them over to PS4 because it's a game series that the current line-up that Sony are missing. They have the best Story telling games, they have games like Spiderman and Days Gone for open world, they have a Sim Racing and Driveclub, they have shooters, they have Ratchet and Platformers and have future Racer in Wipeout Omega collection etc. But they are missing an Arcade Racer which Motorstorm can fill. Think about this for a minute, could you just imagine a “Motorstorm: Continental Drift” with PS5 graphics. Racing on 6 Continents. · Tracks in the Desert, Flats, Canyons and Mud of Monument Valley (North America) · Tracks on Lush tropical Islands with Jungles, Beaches, Rock Cliffs, Volcanos and Waterfalls just like Pacific Rift (Oceania/Pacific) · Tracks in Open Grass Fields, Countryside, Cave, Tunnel and Train Track Networks, Hills, Lakes, Farmlands, Woodlands and Snaking Tarmac of Yorkshire Dales/Moors, Derbyshire Peak District and Lake District in the UK (Europe - Rural Areas and Farmland) · Tracks in the Savannahs and Safari of Ethiopia and Kenya (Africa - Open Plains) · Tracks around The Peaks and Snow of Himalayas, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and West China (Asia) · And finally the Incan Ruins, Amazon Jungles and Mountains of Peru (SA) I feel Motorstorm was best when it was tracks built with nature in mind, could add like 2-3 city tracks near an Town or Small rural town in the Peak District or something but mix nature and buildings or half Concrete leading into farm lands and open fields then circling back round. Sugar Rush track comes to mind for example was a nightmare but was such a riot to play on mixing the Sugar fields and abandoned factory. Pacific Rift will always take top spot for me. Heck you could even add an Open World like Forza Horizon with 6 different Medium sized maps with NPCs and Online Human characters in a lobby driving round so it feels like a large festival is taking place that separates the different race tracks to drive round and select events. But keep the race tracks sectioned off to keep them as race tracks not point to point – You could just add single events into that. Bikes, ATV, Buggy, Rally Cars, Racing Trucks, Mud Pluggers, Big Rigs and Monster Trucks return. Snow Mobile added back in for the Snow Levels and 1 NEW vehicle class that MUST be added and 2 maybes Must have Class · HOVERCRAFT - All Terrain Hovercraft are introduced and probably the LAST off-road vehicle class Motorstorm was missing - Unparalleled when it comes to the water and Ice – Doesn’t get slowed down one bit and instead has better control in the water but tackles mud and all terrain with ease as well. Doesn't lose traction no matter what surface it is driving over even Ice. So water, land, sand, mud, ice, snow, up beach etc the Hovercraft doesn't care what the Terrain is. It has one glaring main Weakness which is it's bad Cornering Potential at top speeds because they are not agile. But they can Tackle Every Terrain with ease. Maybes · 4x4 - (Range Rover / Jeep look alike) to bridge the gap between the Rally Cars / Buggy and Racing Truck and is another all-rounder like the racing truck. Good on and off road. But Mud Pluggers and Racing Trucks can bash them out of the way and handle way better in mud but 4x4 hold their own in mud but they handle better when on standard dirt track terrains than the Racing Truck and Mud Plugger would · MUSCLE CAR - Which excels at tops speeds in a straight line even more than the Rally Car, but even though modified it is absolutely shocking at turning and handling and needs to avoid mud and deep snows as much as possible as it can’t drift as well as the Rally Car or buggy as it’s more prone to spinning out with terrible traction. (Think Dukes of hazard or Starsky and Hutch etc The Dodge Charger was a Muscle Car and so was the Gran Torino not exactly used for off-road but they were in the TV Series and did various jumps and stunts) You could even add some new race modes for single player events and splitscreen etc: So have standard Race, Elimination and Speed Events but also could add the following. TokenStorm - A token race quite like CTR and Diddy Kong racing there are 20 Motorstorm Helmet tokens hidden and you must at least collect 10 of them and place minimum third for 1 star, win for 2 stars or collect 15 and win for 3 stars. ZoneStorm – A single player time race to do 1-3 laps on a track. Go through different zones and rings to stop the clock for a certain time. Get a good time to get up to 3 stars. TeamStorm – Group up into teams of 4 and try to place as high as possible with your entire team. So, all pick different classes, Bike or Rally to try and get 1st while your big Rig hangs back and crashing into people. BattleStorm – A 3 lap race with 16 players – Every lap when the players above the guys in the last 5 go over the line the last 5 people who are the back of the pack will keep boosting and then will blow up and they are out of the race and after 3 laps only 1 person will be left driving – 16>11>6>1. StuntStorm –Race around the lap for points for around 4 minutes – You get few points for every lap completed, you get a few for every 30 seconds you lead the pack, Big Air, Drifting, Boosting to achieve top Speed and steal/siphon point when you take Someone out grants more than laps and being in first would – You lose points for every time you personally Crash or get points siphoned when you get taken out and you get less points when you hang too far back from the rest of the pack and top half to deter people from redoing the same jump over and over again. The person with the most points wins the race. BoostStorm – You don’t have a normal boost Gauge – You obtain boost from collecting different coloured boost cans floating on the track trickier to obtain cans will yield more boost, getting Big air also grants some boost and causing other drivers to crash and you steadily gain boost being in the bottom half behind the top half of the pack. MotorStorm – World Event Races - A big Point to Point event race on the open World Maps. Use any vehicle and Go any Route you want to try and get to the point designated on the world map as fast as possible. Motorstorm was just so unique and chaotic and nothing is like it and I can’t find anything that will, It was my favourite arcade racer. Or you know – Codemasters get the guys that made Onrush to make a proper spiritual successor. They are the Racing/Car Game Developers after all.
2020.02.07 08:08 RocknockerDEMOLITION DAYS, PART 90
Continuing We had three groups of demo wire: mine adit, ANFO on the mine floor, and just because, some black powder placed into the old, but unused, drill holes in the mine face. The party room was going to be detonated remotely. We decided to blow the face first, then the ANFO, then the adit. After the applause died down, I’d trigger the party room. Then, the final drinking light for this mine site would be lit. Tomorrow, we pack up and travel south. But first! “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to your first abandoned mine demolition. This hole in the ground has become a menace, alas, through no fault of its own. But steps must be taken to remove it as a threat to society; to protect society from itself. I’ll let you cogitate over the irony of that statement at your leisure. Please, folks. This once was the provider of many a family’s daily bread, butter, and beer. A moment of silence. A moment of reverence. A moment of reflection. This is the place where you cut your subsurface teeth, where you lost your mining virginity, and now…we’re really gonna pop yer cherry!” They laughed! They actually laughed loud and long. I was amazed. This was just my B-list material. Dr. D and I alternated countdowns, Lucas was manning the detonators. Everybody, even the cooks, dish machine operators, and custodians joined in on the Safety Protocol song. First went the face/black powder. A loud, rolling BOOM followed by the mine blowing a huge white smoke ring skyward. Not bad for a first shot. Then the ANFO. Lucas needed to use the recently acquired replacement for Ol’ Reliable, my personal plunger-actuated blasting machine, as we needed the voltage and amperage. The ANFO shook everyone in camp, even set those in suspended hammocks rocking. “We’re over a half-mile from the mine and you can actually here see the effects of low-explosives.”, I said, regarding the swinging hammocks. “Did the Earth move for you, too?” Even that got a laugh. Next came the mine adit itself. The sharp cracks of the dynamite were so distinctly different than the rolling thrump of the ANFO. People were getting a good physical demonstration of the differences in different types of explosives. Everyone was about to clap, hoot, or holler, and head for the bar or leave when I shouted them down. “What are you doing? Where are you going? We’re not done here yet, folks. We have a little bonus. Relax, sit back, and enjoy the death of the cess-pit. The end of the fetid party room. The cessation of the sewer some people around here went to have fun. Want fun? What could possibly be more fun than over 100 pounds of Torpex, PETN, RDX, Dynamite and Kinestik binary high explosives…and a remote detonator?” All eyes one me grew three sizes that day. “And I’m prepared to offer the honor of pressing the big, shiny red button to…the highest bidder!” Consternation and grumbling. “Actually, I kid. Before this, I had given a slip of paper to Dr. D. On that paper is a number, between 1 and 100. Here are some official guessing paper and pencils. The paper was recently outsourced from the DOI, so no fair trying to use any other. Now, write your guess down, a single number, between 1 and 100, one guess per participant. The closest gets the remote detonator and the honor of destroying the den of filth. In the case of prizes, duplicate ties will be awarded. You have 2 minutes before my number will be revealed. GO!” Five minutes later, Dr. D announces the winner. There were no duplicates and my number was 86. Dr. I from Berkeley was the winner. She was a petite little hydrogeologist with a mean streak a mile wide. She grinned like a maniac when I handed her the remote detonator. She wanted to go immediately, but I restrained her for a 5 count. “5...4…3…2…1…HIT IT!” Whoa. Even though the mine was strictly closed, when that Torpex torpedo went off, the whole state probably felt it. It was very much like an earthquake. A very noisy, even that far underground in a closed-off mine, shatteringly brilliant earthquake. Dr. I was ecstatic. “I did that?” “Yes, you did. You’ll be receiving the bill in the mail.” I joshed. It didn’t matter. Nothing could dampen the mood at that point. Before lighting the drinking lamp, I recited a bit of doggerel for the crowd to close and commemorate our first victorious mine closing. “The Earth shakes, the ground cracks, And out steps fmax. Pleased as punch, fresh as a daisy, He watches while the world goes crazy. Strata shakes, structures tumble, Seismographs jump, formations crumble. When he’s finished, spent with sin, He returns as fmin.” (fmax refers to the high-frequency band-limitation of the radiated field of earthquakes.) It’s a geology thing… They seemed to appreciate the effort. They loved that immediately afterward I lit the evening drinking lamp. Dr. D, Lucas, and my own self had our cigars, drink, and maps. We were looking for our next contestant. Given the reaction of the crowd, I figured they’d be ready for something a little more ‘aggressive’. We had 11 days left, so it couldn’t be too far afield, as I didn’t want to waste time in transit, but here in Nevada, that wasn’t going to present a problem. Lucas pointed out the Gobbler’s Knob mining area. It was studded with mines marked with the red ‘X’ of the Bureau indicating these mines had been vetted for critter populations and were slated for demolition, and there was quite the assortment. Sure, it was a good three and a half hours distant as a direct shot, or a full day for this crowd. However, we could just camp there for the last part of the trip; it would make a fine base camp. There were more than enough mines, in close proximity, of all types. So, it was decided and announced. We’d all rendezvous at the titular Gobbler’s Knob gold mine area. I’d scout the area with Lucas and Dr. D, who would follow in his field car. We’d find a place to set up base camp. Sure, it was a diversion from the planned itinerary of the project, but that was at my discretion anyways. Given the shakedown at the Sharp Curve mine, we figure the less over-the-road travel for this crowd, the better. I chatted with the concessionaires and explained our new plans. They were relieved, as once settled, they wouldn’t have to tear down and set up again every few days. We would be relatively closer to some larger cities, so they could assure us to continue the high quality of food and drink. So, we were set. Lucas asked to ride with me and since he didn’t mind my cigars, so long as I shared. So Dr. D, in his rental field vehicle, and Lucas and I in the Hummer, hit the trail first. We’d be there in three or so hours. Real geologists don’t get lost out in the field, they just become slightly temporarily dislocated. Not to waste any time, I had Lucas get on the radio and relate our plans to the Bureau. After this, he called the Nevada State Troopers and let them know what we were up to as well; just in case, as insurance. He called the local police in the town of Goonhaven, NV to warn them that we were on the way. They were most appreciative. They liked geologists and miners. They even gave us the address and phone number of the town’s single liquor store. We had a radiotelephone lash up through the Bureau HF radio, so I had Lucas call the Boozerama and advise them we’ll need a lot of clear ice for the catering guys. Plus they might just want to go ahead and lay in a double, ok, triple supply of beer as there’s a gaggle of thirsty pseudogeologists on the way that are going to hang around for a week or more. I asked them if they had any Russian Imperial Export vodka. They said they had some, but a good variety and supply of other brands. I thanked them and warned them again, that the geologists were coming. I also requested that they source some Bitter Lemon and a few cases of assorted Nehi flavors. They said they would try. Always nice to phone ahead and give ample warning. Elicits discounts. Lucas was a natural as a navigator. “OK, Rock. Stay on the goat path until you hit Big Barn rock. Take a left and head up to Copperhead Canyon. Once past the canyon, go right on past Nellie’s Nipple and follow the arroyo. Once you pass Sniggler’s Gulch, hang a right and another right and we’ll be on the road to Gobbler’s Knob.” I lowered my polychromic safety squints in place and said: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”. I dropped the Hummer into low, stomped the gas, and leaped out across the desert; the trailer with nearly a ton of high explosives bouncing jauntily behind us. Lucas started to protest, thought better of it, got us both a cold drink out of the back seat, just sat, white-knuckled it as he watched the desert fly by. We made great time as we averaged some 60 miles per hour over the flat, rocky desert. Well, maybe not average, but we did hit 60 mph until Lucas got too alarmed and worried feverishly over the trailer full of boom that was fast on our tails. We pulled into the ghost town of the main Gobbler’s Knob camp. It was a large, open area up in the mountains. We got out and began our photoreconnaissance. There was a lot of antique mining equipment and paraphernalia up here. Looks like we were either too high up in the middle of nowhere or perhaps the locals didn’t care enough to brave the route up to the camp area. It was as close to pristine as one could get in the region. It really looked like with a little spit and polish, one could fire up the mines once again. The Gobbler’s Knob mining district covers an area of approximately 30 square miles in the Grunion Range in Nevada. Gold was discovered in the Gobbler’s Knob district in 1905, although quartz veins in the vicinity of the ‘Knob’ had been worked as early as 1866. The district immediately became one of the bigger "boom camps" of Nevada. The greatest production was reached in 1931, and since that time mining has declined until it was abandoned in the early 1940s. Placer gold, post-1945, from the deep gravels of the adjacent gulches have added to the total output. Total gold revenues from the area topped $550 million dollars. The geology is extremely complex. The southern part of the district is underlain by closely folded Paleozoic rocks. These formations have been divided into five units, to four of which local names have been given. The oldest of these units, probably of Cambrian age, consists dominantly of siliceous mica-schist but contains beds and lenses of quartzite and dark sandstone and five beds of crystalline limestone. The total thickness exposed is estimated to be about 5,000 feet. Above this, and provisionally assigned to the Ordovician, is about 800 feet of chloritic schist, altered by thermal metamorphism to a "knotted" schist. This unit, in turn, is followed by 800 feet of gray limestone, partly altered to black jasper, which near the top grades into black slates. The lowest fossiliferous stratum is a thin bed of black slate' containing graptolites, which is separated from the underlying limestone by a thin layer of quartzite. The graptolites are of No-Kill-I (Ordovician) age. Above the graptolite bed is limestone similar in character to that below, followed by a great thickness of chloritic schist, with here and there thin beds of cherty slate and crystalline limestone. The total thickness of this group of beds probably exceeds 4,000 feet in the area mapped. The Gobbler’s Knob mining district has produced an additional $350 million worth of copper, lead, silver, and rare earth elements. Productive rocks include the Pogostik Group, Euyankinme Quartzite, and Awfully Good Formation of Ordovician age, Lonesome Goose Dolomite of Silurian age, the Nowheyinhell Formation and Devil’s Dingus Limestone of Devonian age, and unnamed clastic units of Mississippian age, notably Bob’s Lime, the Coonskin Quartzite, and the Frammish metaconglomerates. These rocks were folded into an overturned anticline and then broken by high-angle normal and reverse faults. Paleozoic rocks were intruded by a granitic stock having a rhyolite porphyry core and by rhyolite porphyry dikes. Primary pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite and tetrahedrite in host rocks of marble and diopside and garnet skarn have been altered by weathering to oxide, carbonate, sulfate and silicate minerals. Some mineralized rock contains remarkably high concentrations of rare earth elements and beryllium. We had carte blanche out here. We were the only bipedal mammals, as far as we could see, for hundreds, if not thousands, of square miles. Lucas tried to raise any local folks on the HF, VHF, ULF, and CB radios. Nothing. We were isolated, but we had our traveling funnel-cake trailers bringing up the rear. It was as nice a field area as one could ask. Lucas and I scouted the area looking for an area to erect Camp Central. I had almost decided in occupying one of the larger old miner’s shacks. That is until Lucas pointed out the local indigenous population of packrats, coyotes, possums, and probably fleas, ticks, mites, no-see-um’s, and snakes. “Good idea, Lucas”, I replied after reflection, “Let’s find us a new spot to camp out.” Dr. D can slaloming into the ‘Knob in a flurry of dust and flying alluvium. “Sorry I’m late, Guys, “he apologized, “But I found an outcrop of jaspalite out in the desert. I just had to stop and take samples.” He showed us the jaspalized lahar, or quartzified ancient volcanic mudflow, samples. They were a riot of colors. Blood red jasper, green jadeite, yellow topaz, bluish-quartz knots, and purplish purpurite, a purply-purple mineral species. It was very purple. Esme would have loved some samples to play with if all her lapidary equipment wasn’t already in storage. Dr. D got out the Gobbler’s Knob topographic map and stood on the roof of his rental, another reason rental car companies hate geologists, peering through his binoculars. Lucas and I were exploring around the old campsite when Dr. D called us over. A short distance away, there was a prominent wavy outcrop of thickly bedded sandstone. It has some nice re-entrants, like little rocky bays in an ancient geological harbor. This was fairly close to the flat highlands of the main camp but would be a prime dwelling for trailers, with some degree of privacy and the off-site storage of nearly a ton of high explosives. In front of the outcrop, was a flat, wind-swept sandy blowout area that would be prime for the catering trailers. If we parked the Porta Johns behind the outcrop, they’d still be close enough to be of facility. But they’d be distant enough that we wouldn’t be gassed in our sleep if the winds shifted during the night. Plenty of parking off-site a piece once the trailers were set. The general area showed no signs of being anything of a hydrological nature, so it didn’t act as a wadi boundary, nor were we camping in a dry wash. We should be protected from the worst of the winds and rain if the inevitable summer high-desert thunderstorm rolled through. “Boom!”, I said, “Gentlemen, we have a camp! First come, first served. Let’s go claim our spots.” We all smiled, piled into our respective vehicles and drove the 350 meters or so over a small rise to our new home for the next week plus. I found a very secure dead-end slot-canyon for the trailer. I backed it in, disconnected it from the Hummer, and secured it to some rock bolts Lucas and I pounded into the very living rock walls of the canyon. Lucas and I chose the next re-entrant to the left. It was one of the larger ones, plenty of space to park the Hummer and for Lucas and my tents. Dr. D selected the one immediately to the right of Trailer Canyon. His rental fit in parallel to the rock face, and he pitched his tent between the rock wall and his vehicle. He had a flat area to pitch his tent, drag out his work table, and sling his hammock between the car and the outcrop. He’d be protected from the wind and rain, and any onslaught other than directly vertical. Clever dude. He even erected a sun-shade he devised from a thick sheet of tarpaulin and some support pipes he scrounged from the surrounding area. We helped him fabricate this bit of brilliance with guy lines attached to rock bolts we pounded into the outcrop and extra tent pegs anchored deep into the desert floor. Very clever. He was secure as houses now. We were set and ready to go. All we needed now was the rest of the retinue to arrive. Lucas went walkabout once we had dragged out my worktable and one of the coolers I carried. I was working away on my field notebooks when Lucas ran up with a 2x2 foot square sheet of what appeared to be weathered white Masonite. “What you got there, Luc?”, Dr. D asked. “There’s tons of this shit lying around”, Lucas explained, “All the same size and thickness. I figure we’re going to be here a while, so we gather some posts, and we have a supply of ready-made signs for the crowd when they arrive.” So, Lucas, Dr. D and I spend the next couple of hours devising road signs for the new arrivals. “Slot 1 =>. Slot 2 =>.” And so one for the basic trailer parking/tenting slots. “Food =>”, which needed to wait until the caterers' arrival. “Shitters =>”, again, had to wait until the Porta-San farm arrived. And so on and so forth. All in bright day-glow orange. Lucas and I did a rattlesnake sweep through the entire camp area and found not even a shed skin. We did find a slot canyon cut clear through the outcrop that would provide great access to the Porta Johns behind the outcrop. It was like this place was designed for us. The food trailers and Porta Sans arrived at virtually the same time. We directed each to the area we thought would be best for each. The Porta San driver agreed this was a good place for the loos, especially since they’d be out of the elements and still close enough to be a convenience. The caterers hemmed and hawed a while, but over a cold beer or two, decided the areas we already designated would prove to be acceptable, with a few minor alterations. A little C-4 remade those minor alterations and relocated some errant boulders. Before you knew it, we were back in business. We figured the day would be a wash as it would take these hydroheads most of the day to find their shoes, much less a distant campsite. So, Lucas and Dr. D went out in his vehicle and posted sings to help direct these hopeless folks to the campsite. I stayed back at camp and pored over the maps, literature, and write-ups regarding the area and the mines it contained. There were literally hundreds of mines out there. Some no more than small prospect drifts that chased a vein of precious metals until it petered out in a few hundred yards. Others were full-fledged scary-ass deep, hard rock mines with vertical transit shafts whose depths were measured in thousands of feet. I discounted those the Bureau hadn’t vetted as to animal worthiness and those that were deemed animal sanctuaries. A quick count left me with 104 mines to choose from. Some I could close “Old School” with a bundle of dynamite and a quick tug on a set-pull-forget and toss fuse. Others were so extensive, it would take me and a trained crew at least a week to explore, devise, set, prime, and charge the thing. OK, I selected 10 easy mines for quick annihilation and set those aside as Class-1, the easiest bundle-of-boom, for later. Sort of a bonus as the project drew to a close. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go all 1880s and pop the fuse on a bundle of stick dynamite then chuck them down a deep hole? I know I would. Then I chose five or six what I considered medium-class, or Class-2, mines. Multi-level, dry, no real obvious nasties like rotten cribbing, loose broke down piles of rock, talc…gad, talc… or noxious gasses. These went into pile number two. Then I chose two that I considered Class-3 mines. Real bastards. Multi-level, flooded, raises, winzes, stopes, shifts, staves, shafts, tunnels, all sorts of fun shit. I decided that Dr. D, Lucas and I would discuss which of these we’d close. It was a point of vanity, I guess. I needed to nuke just one of these tricky fuckers to show the Bureau what they were going to be missing once I left. As well as prove what I can accomplish out in the field, even saddled with a passel of greenhorns. With my field notebooks up to date, all my demolition paperwork in order, and piles of mine candidates to choose from, I declared the day a wash and lit the drinking light. Dr. D looked at our supplies and declared it inadequate. Besides, we didn’t have any Bass Ale, his favorite tipple. He decides that he and Lucas would run into town, only about 75 miles distant, pick up the necessary supplies, and bet me a sawbuck he’d return before the first camper made camp-fall. “You’re on!”, I said as I handed Lucas the cash for the wager. I also slipped him a few extra bucks if he found any good looking cigars, vodka, bourbon or beer we just couldn’t live without. The concessions folks got wind of our plans and asked if one of their tribe could accompany Dr. D and Lucas to town with a couple of coolers for ice. They could make ice on-site, but it’d be hours before they had any in abundance. Dr. D had no problem with that as they could bungee the coolers down to the roof rack of the rental. I asked Dr. D if this extra time to get ice would invalidate our wager. In a flurry of dust and cigar smoke, he yelled out the window as he, Lucas and the food court guy hauled ass town ward: “No way! I’ll still beat them all back!” I was essentially alone out in the wilds of Nevada’s high desert. Nothing much to do, I loafed around, wandered over to the boomtown remains and had a look round, and generally just mooched about waiting. Back at Rock Central, as Dr. D had christened our campsite; as he had created, posted, and signed the signs to prove it, I was called over to one of the cook trailers. They had questions for me. They wanted to know what the gunfire was all about the other day. They’d heard rumors of everything from armed insurgency to just some late-night target practice. I regaled them of the story of the ‘Motorcycle Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight’ and they laughed and laughed. They were pleased to know they were well protected out here in the boonies. After that, with nothing much else to do, I offered them all a beer or whatever else they could find in my depleted larders. They gratefully accepted and we sat around, just shootin’ the shit for a while. Two or three beers in, one of the head chefs excused himself and returned a bit later with an unlabeled bottle of suspicious-looking clearish fluid. “We keep some on hand for emergencies”, he told me, “But since they were working for the Bureau and had to conform to their rules, we were asked to run a dry camp.” “Well,” I said, “As long as it’s kept under control, and as I’m the sole Bureau representative here; I don’t run a dry camp, so if it’s kept low-key, I don’t see a damned thing.” After the whoops and hollers died down, I was presented an iced glass of very suspicious-looking homemade high-octane hooch. The head chef, who assured me he has CIA credentials, i.e., Culinary Institute of America, and knew how to run a still, promised me I’d find his latest creation most enjoyable. Or unusual, I forget which. “Slurp!” Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ on A Soda Cracker! That stuff was smooth. No, not smooth. What’s the opposite of smooth? Sandpapery? Abrasive? Crenulate? Squamulose? Rock ripping? He smiled broadly as I choked down that slug. I gasped for breath. My eyes glazed over. My ears were on fire. My teeth vibrated. My nose ran off. My tongue was contemplating filing for divorce. It was pure loathsomeness. It was fucking horrendous. I hated the fucking stuff. “Care for another?” he asked. “Oh yes, please,” I replied. A while later I heard a car approaching. Given the speed at which it was traveling, I knew without looking who it was. Yep, five minutes later Dr. D roared into camp, sliding backward to a stop only feet from the lead chow trailer in a cloud of Cretaceous floodplain dust. “Did I win?” he asked, as he looked the camp over. Lucas and the cook assistant fumbled out of the car as best their rubbery legs would allow. “Sure as hell.” I replied, “Lucas, please pay the man.” We helped remove the coolers of the roof of Dr. D’s car. Each was filled with a single crystal-clear block of water ice. Seems this old town still had an ice house and it was simple as squash to take dimensions of the cooler, and chip a chunk of the correct size off the glacier they had in the storerooms. The cook crew were ecstatic. Dr. D found his Bass Ale and bought the town dry. Lucas had purchased a supply of classic field camp beers: Lucky Lager, Henry Weinhard's, Hamms, Blatz, Falstaff, Walter’s Bock, Grain Belt, and Buckhorn. It was frosty, ice-cold nostalgia. Plus, Lucas found a bottle of George Dickel, Rebel Yell, and Hoggs Bourbon for me. As well as liters of Monopolowa, Popov, Bowmans’s, Royal Gate, and Ruskaya Vodka. He also admitted to a bottle of Yukon Jack and Captain Morgan for himself since everyone else was getting what they wanted. Plus three cases of really weird flavored Nehi soda. No Bitter Lemon though…he was disconsolate. But still smiling like a loon. Dr. D had also stopped and filled his trunk with firewood purchased from a farmer on the outskirts of town. We stacked that centrally next to where we’d construct the communal fire pit. The high desert. Out in the middle of absolute nowhere. Camping. Few creature comforts. A serious geology job laid out in front of us, a couple already behind us. Campfires. Good friends. Good food. Good cigars. Cheap booze. It really was like coming home again. Finally, some hours later, just as the sun was getting ready to bounce off the western edge of the desert, the trailers and campers began to arrive. They all caravanned, en masse so they wouldn’t get lost. Their tarmacked travels took them through many tank towns, so they stopped along the way for beer, booze, and other things to make the camp run that much more smoothly. One after another, the tenters and campers pulled in. Dr. D, Lucas and I decided we had done enough for one day, so we sat at Lucas’ and my campsite, stoked a smallish campfire and decided to sample the wares of Dr. D’s sojourn to the big city. The trailers all parked, first come, first served. No arguments, no bitching, no sweat. The tenters consolidated the northern end of the camp area, the trailers, the south. The chow triangle was rung and it was dinner time, all right on schedule. Deep-fried cod and chips, mushy peas, Toad in the Hole, Yorkshire Pudding, and roast joints of beef rounded out the British-themed meal. There was Spotted Dick, Banoffee pie, and Syllabub for pudding. You had to eat your meat or you couldn’t have any pudding. Maybe the chef really was CIA. After tea, and before the drinking light was lit, I called everyone for a quick meeting to explain what I had intended for the next 10 days. I explained how Class -1, -2, and -3 mines were defined. I noted that we would, at minimum, close at least one of each type in our time remaining. Everyone would be in on Class 1 & 2 mines, but I’d only ask for volunteers for the single Class-3 mine, due to its inherent complexity and danger. I also noted that since this would be home for the next near score of days, that I have access to VHF, HF, UHF, ELF, SW, and CB radios, with a lash up for telecommunications with the Bureau HF radio, if there was an emergency. I also have a satellite phone if there were any particularly spectacular emergencies. It was available, but not for idle chit chat. Perhaps, later in the week, I noted, I could allow a 10-minute call home for everyone if there was nothing untoward that happened in the interim. There were general shouts of approval on all points. I asked for questions, and there were none. Either I was that good at covering all the bases of these guys were really thirsty. “Folks”, I said, “The drinking light is lit. Remember, we muster front and center tomorrow 0630. Please bear that in mind. Naz dirovya!” After a catered breakfast of breakfast pizza, breakfast burritos, and breakfast Egg WacMuffins, I had the whole crowd assembled, most all sipping coffee and a few lamenting some real humdinger headaches. “OK, gang”, I began, “Class-2 mines today. Class-1 mines are super easy, barely an inconvenience. I’m retaining them as door prizes for the best mine demolishers nearer the end of the week. I won’t say much about these exit prizes, but suffice to say, think 1880s, and bundled sticks of dynamite.” That got the crowd’s interest. As usual, I broke the crowd up into groups. Dr. D, being near as up as me on mine construction and dangers, so kindly offered to take one group in the morning so I could handle the second group in the afternoon, or vice versa, just for flavor. After that, we’d compare notes, ask for volunteers, go back in and charge the mines. Then, we’d retire to a safe distance and blow the living shit out of them. We’d alternate, and when I wasn’t in the mine, he’d radio back what he thought would be appropriate to nuke these mines out of existence. I’d begin work on building the demolition charges. After which, I’d store them, then I’d take a group on a walkthrough. We’d all get together, have a powwow, get people’s impressions and concerns of the mine and formulate a demolition procedure. That way, in six days we blasted out of existence six Class-2 mines. We were humming along like a well-oiled machine. No bitching, no kvetching, just lots and lots of questions, good food, cheap booze, and cheaper beer with mines closing left and right. Things were actually humming right along. Until the afternoon of day 8. Clouds rolled in, covering the skies with their frothy white, billowy cloudiness. I was looking up to the unfolding aerial montage when Lucas and Dr. D wandered over. “You saw it as well.”, Dr. D noted., “Best get the word out, it’s going to be a real toad-floater.” He and Lucas were old-time field hands out in the desert. They knew what was coming. I agreed, this had all the earmarks of a major-league desert thunderstorm. Heavy rain, wicked winds, thundering thunder, dismal darkness, all split by jagged lightning. I called for an immediate camp meeting. “Folks,” I said loudly, so the cook crew could hear as well, “Look due up. We’re in for a real humdinger of a summer thunderstorm. As soon as we’re finished here, get back to your camp. Secure everything not nailed down. Check guy ropes and make sure they’re doubled-down. If it’s loose, pack it, or nail it down tight. I don’t know how many of you have experienced Mother Nature at her nastiest out in the field, but make no mistake, she’s got stuff that makes my best explosives look like Tinker Toys. Get sorted and hunker down. There will be wind. There will be rain. There will be wind. They may be hail, so tenters, you might want to call in some favors with the folks who have trailers. Questions?” There were none, but Dr. D added, “Rock ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie here, gang. It’s got all the earmarks of being a nasty bugger. Prepare to take cover and hunker down solid.” They saw that when the two most senior field trippers said that this was to be a real event, it’s best to listen and ask questions later. The camp scattered. Lucas and I flattened our tents, no need getting them ripped to shreds. I made certain the explosives trailer was nailed down, locked, and well-grounded. What are the odds of a lightning strike? Don’t care. I made double-damn uber-certain. Dr. D flattened his camp and said he’d ride it out in his rental. I offered him a spot in the Hummer, as it was big enough for us to sack out if the storm lingered. He declined. He said he’d be fine in his rental. The cook trailers were stowed and secured, and if the Port-a-San farm took a hit, there wasn’t much now we could do but hope otherwise. Lucas, Dr. D and I sat out in out camp chairs, with fresh cigars and beers, savoring the ridiculously salubrious pre-storm ozonic fresh air, awaiting the inevitable atmospheric show. The clouds above roiled, rolled, and built to astonishing heights. They grew as dark and foreboding as a volcanic ashfall. Over more beer and cigars, and maybe a tot of bourbon, we watched and waited. And waited. “Was this going to be a false alarm?” I wondered. KA-HOLY SHIT-BOOM! The thunder roared. Nope. Not this time. We all sat outside admiring the coming show. It was going to be fun, lots of lightning and peals of thunder. Torrential rains, for certain, with that exciting hint of hail that might come for a visit. Over beers, we sat, watched, and pointed out some of the amazing structures in a building series of cranky cumulonimbus clouds. “PLOP!” the first drops of rain appeared. The camp chairs went into the back of the Hummer. Dr. D departed to his sanctuary and Lucas and I sat in the truck, fiddling with the radios to see if we could get any info on the storm. KRRAACK! Lightning buzzed with a vengeance. We’re in the high desert out here. Some 9,000’ plus above sea level. Puts us that much closer to the storm. KABOOM! Thunder rumbled. “Odd”, I thought, “Not much rain or wind…” The Hummer rocked like it took a hit from an RPG. The rain and wind I wondered about had arrived. If you had anything not locked down outside, it was well on its way to California by now. Rain pummeled. Winds howled. Lightning cracked. Thunder rumbled. And it got very, very dark. Dr. D did a great job of picking out our camp location. The rain puddled, ponded, then ran off to the west. The winds, for at least a small part, were funneled around the campsite rather than lay waste to it. But that’s where all the good things ended. The hail began. Pea-sized first. Then marble-sized. Then organic, free-range, farm-fresh, egg-sized. Finally, high-velocity ice golf balls. It made a hell of a racket on the reinforced roof of the Hummer. I didn’t even want to think what it was doing to thin-sheet aluminum topped trailers. It grew in intensity. Winds whipped even stronger. Hail bounced merrily of the outcrops, cook trailer’s roofs and the very ground. In short order, it looked as if it had snowed. The entire campsite’s grounds were covered with whole inches of accumulation of hailstones. Then, as quickly as it appeared, it was over. The sun cautiously peeked through the waning clouds and lit the devastated tableaux for all to see. Lucas, Dr. D and I got out of our vehicles to survey the circumstances. We brushed the icy accumulations off our tents and raised them so they’d begin drying. There would have been nothing left if we hadn’t collapsed them first. Slowly, the rest of the campers showed up. They milled around the snow-like accumulation and just goggled. Many had never seen, much less experienced, such climatic fury firsthand. Of course, everyone had to pick up and examine the hailstones. Then it happened, one northern wag decided that since it looked like snow, it must act like snow. One West Coaster was the first casualty. He took a hailstone snowball to the back. That’s all it took, a snowball fight broke out. It was hilarious, even though I was less than amused when I played innocent bystander and took a snowball hit directly to the cocktail in my hand, spilling my drink. “Of course you realize.”, I mused, “This means war.” Many campers learned that day, through hard experience, you never start a snowball fight with Baja Canada and Real Canada residents. The carnage was spectacular. It was a late night before anyone hit the sack. They were having too much fun. I finally picked the last mine of the tour, the Gobbler’s Knob #33 shaft. I gave it several days because it was a motherfucker. Fully 7 levels deep. A central shaft that was 33’ across the diagonal, hence the mine’s name. The deepest record we had for the mine was the last work face in level 7 was at 2,729 feet below surface level, more than a half a mile in depth. The last reports were that level 7 might have flooded. Looks like I’m going to need some severely hardy folks to accompany me on this initial trek. After dinner that night, I called a camp meeting. I explained the need for the initial reconnaissance of this mine, and I was looking for volunteers. This was an entirely optional mine, although I’d like input at the nightly meetings. You don’t have to go, but it’d probably look real good on those final reports I have to write up for everyone. Yeah, no pressure. No pressure at all. Of course, Dr. D and Lucas volunteered immediately. Truth be told, if that’s all that wanted to go, it would have been fine with me. However, Dr. I, the Ms. maniac torpedo detonator from earlier, Dr. F, and Dr. H and his associate made the move forward. “OK,” I declared, “That’s seven. Just in case, do any of you have technical rope-climbing skills? That might come in handy on this recon trip.” Dr. H decided that it might be a bit too strenuous for him, but asked if his associate, Gary the Grad Student could accompany us. This guy was supposedly half-gibbon, he was that good of a technical climber. I almost told him to get bent as I didn’t need anyone showing me up. Of course, I relented. I noted that we’d all meet here, tomorrow, fully kitted out with all our gear, at 0600 for the initial assault. We’d take the Hummer as it had plenty of room. The mine adit itself was less than a mile distant, but we’d get so knackered walking that distance even in the early morning desert heat, that I insisted we drive, even if it took a couple of trips. There was a pretty good Happy Hour that night, but not for six of the more intrepid adventurers. We held off until after our explorations were complete. I had copies of the latest mine schematics and handed one out to everyone. “Carry this with you and mark it as you go”, I said, “Find something not on the map, like an ore chute, drift, stope, raise, or winze, make a note. Also, keep tabs on where you are at all times.” All agreed as this was serious nut cuttin’ time. This mine could be a real killer. I doubt it’s going to cut any of us any slack. After checking and re-checking our gear, at the mine adit, we synchronized our watches and rechecked our coordinates. Our ELF radios would work underground as would the mine GPS we had along. To be continued.
2019.11.11 15:06 HirsuteOfArmourI really hate Remembrance Day.
Tl;dr 'They fuck you up, your mum and dad.' Mine did it with words, neglect, drugs, belts, and penises. (Edited to the top so this stops resembling an unpopularopinion post) Disclaimer - I feel nothing much more complex than respect/sorrow for the sacrifices so many people made in good faith. I make donations, but I never wear a poppy. My issue is sod all to do with war, it's all a matter of a personally haunting date in my life, and the ubiquitous symbolism of opioids - the cause of almost all of my problems - during this time I've had a pretty terrible life. Probably not the worst you'll have heard, but it's been awful enough so far to have ruined the rest, I fear. This is gonna be a long ramble, but I just need to vent today. I feel very, very alone. I (29F) was born in 1990, in the truly beautiful Highlands of Scotland, addicted to heroine. I was nameless for 10 days while they did their damnedest to make sure I lived. Kind bastards. My big sister (33F) was a speed baby, born in Cornwall. The distance between out birthplace was the result of our parents fleeing the country before a due court date. My mother was charming, intelligent and witty. The eldest daughter in a Mormon family, she became the black sheep early on and secured that by quitting art school. My Dad was once a great wit, apparently, but as he left us when I was three, I can only really remember him beating my mam up once we'd gone to bed, catching the biggest fish, and belting me when he needed to release some pent up rage. He was good to my sister because she was definitely his. Our childhood was one of extreme poverty. The only money coming into the house was gained by theft or drug sales, and the food we ate had to be caught, foraged or stolen. One week we had a Jamaica ginger cake each for dinner, for example. We were on our way to scurvy for years. We suffered some serious illnesses besides though, including untreated whooping cough in my infancy, and Scarlet Fever. Home being a drug den, we were always surrounded by unsavoury adults. I would often hold the foil while they cooked up, and there are pictures of me holding people's hotknives as a toddler. These are things that I would continue to do with my mother until I left aged 19. It was our version of bonding. There are whole weeks missing from my memory, but these particular faces crop up in nightmares. I don't think I've ever slept soundly in my life. Once Dad left with a bang (I wouldn't see him again until he turned up on my 8th birthday with a new bike for my sister) things were better for me. The guy my mam had been shagging for years moved in officially, and he was kind to us. He was playful, and charming, and generous. He took us on camping and fishing trips. I really loved him, but wasn't especially sure about some of the things he did with us. After a couple of years, when I was 5 and sis was 9, she told my aunt about the rapes. She reported it, and he was taken to court, but a few months later he was living with us again. We had councillors, and literature to help us understand the correct appropriation of affection. He barely interacted with us for the next year, and his treatment of our mam progressed from love, now to verbal and physical abuse. It was around that time that all of my toys were locked in my "booby-trapped" toy box. I discovered a letter years later confirming that our mother had officially okayed his return to our family home - my guess as to why is that she had big sales plans with the guy, operated from said box. As a side-wtf, this aunt later bred with and then married Dad#2. I have a half-sister-half-cousin who is 10 years my junior. Also, they are dwarfs. No, I'm not making this shit up, I swear it. When Mam finally turfed him out (she discovered an affair), he came back for vengeance on a number of occasions: he potted the windows, screamed from the garden that he was going to burn us all to death in the middle of the night etc. But the worst vengeance he took was to dob her in. The Highland police are notoriously brutal, and thorough. Christmas '96 - we were woken up to shouting, breaking down the door. My sister and I peered from the top of the stairs. We watched as they burst in, kicked our dog Pepsi, and shut her in the kitchen. We were promptly dragged down the stairs and made to stand in the corner of the living room with an officer while they handcuffed my weeping mother. They turned everything over in the house as we were repeatedly asked where they should be looking. It seemed to take hours. I still have nightmares in which policemen scream and spit the same words an inch from my face, and aged 29, I still have a deep, deep phobia of the police. We were taken to my aunt's on the other side of the village for the night, still in our jammies. I remember the placement of every toy that I'd not seen in that whole time: torn, smashed and strewn across my bedroom. I still take great care of the one teddy they didn't open. Our granny and granddad had moved from our village with their youngest daughter (7.5 years older than me) to Yorkshire the previous year, but in September 1997, we received news that we "wouldn't see Granddad for a very long time", which was the phrasing used to share his death. He was 64, and my mother has always blamed herself for his death. An aneurysm in his heart burst, and she insists it was due to the stress she caused him: it was apparently the same day she called to explain her upcoming situation and ask if they would take us in. He was my only positive male role model, and I'd trade all of my parents' lives to have just had a few more years with him. Now, I remember being called to the headmaster's office on 11/11/97. We were making a poppy wreath. Apparently he explained that we were going to be moving the 500 miles to live with our granny that afternoon because my mother had been sentenced. I don't remember any of this, just poppies, then my big sister drowning in snot and tears in that room. This is the biggest, scariest gap in my life, and I somethimes feel like it might be because I died a little. Other than situational flashbacks of my 11yo sister sitting with our one suitcase opposite me on a train, and the dog under the table, I have no memory of it. I recall it being a very long and quiet journey to my granny, who met us in York. The next few months were quiet. We had moved into a grieving household, and the only times we talked in any way that wasn't borne of necessity was at church. Since Granny had only explained it to me the once, I understood that I was "not going to see Mam in a long time" because she was dead. Which made her Christmas phonecall incredibly traumatic. I spent my five minutes with her learning that she was going to see me again on March 27th. I hate that day too, by the way. Fast forward: she's out, her addiction is much more demanding, and we're living on an incredibly poverty-stricken housing estate. Everything bad is rife. She made a series of ridiculous decisions in pursuit of funding for her habit. She would go out at night and steal diesel with the Gypsy she let live on our couch for months. He once busted my nose for fetching the wrong sweets for him. At the age of 10, a prostitute was living in my room for about 4 months. I liked her a lot - she'd had a hard life, but she had a kind and delicate demeanor. I taught her how to write. However, I'd asked her too many times to stop leaving her used needles in the knickers drawer we shared, and I told my mam. Many more brushes with the law, constant and terrifying moodswings from my mother, and a string of awful company, and my sister decided to move out when she was 17. No doubt sick of my mam stealing from her, as she always has. She distanced herself as much as possible. I don't blame her now, but I resented being alone through the upcoming escalation. I'm still trying to decide if school was worse than home too. It once made headlines as the worst school in the country. (y) From day one in secondary school I was bullied. Despite health complications, I have always been large. In height and girth. Like, building-large. 6'3" and 20st at my largest. I guess this never helped me avoid the cruel. I and my friends were regularly treated by paramedics, we were put in a classroom at break and dinner times for our safety for a couple of years. After 4 years, the danger was so great that I was given permission to stay at home for my final year and just return for exams. One day though, about a month after sis had left, I returned from school to find my mam in the throes of the first overdose I'd witnessed. I remember wondering if I should help. That was the day I really came to hate myself, and it's never changed. The events that followed wouldn't have happened if I'd just shut that door instead of picking up the phone. October that same year, 2004, and we'd been to visit a friend of hers in the hotel he was living in. Every time my mam left the room, he would have a little weep to me about the accusations he faced regarding his daughter, who was just like me. She had just turned 14 too. We were all drinking heavily, and so he insisted he would walk us home. I knew he had sold something to my mother - he worked abroad, and exotic heroine was just too hard to resist. My mam went up to her room with her coffee, to use - a ritual upon returning home. She must have slept through it, but downstairs, this man. Kevin. He shut Pepsi in the living room, and I turned to stone. This is an episode that I would give absolutely anything to forget. Anything. He put his coffee on the kitchen side. He walked towards me, telling me how pretty I was (I really wasn't, btw) and started touching my hair, neck and face. I told him to stop and he didn't. Then, when he started kissing my neck, I shouted for my mam. I went for the doorway (no kitchen door) and he took my wrist and pulled me to him. He was slobbering onto my screaming mouth and face until I felt what turned out to be one of our kitchen knives pointing into my belly. I froze. I shut up. He told me he wasn't going to hurt me if he got what he needed. That I would like it. Pepsi was barking like fuck and scratching and thumping against the door. He tripped me gently and let me down to the floor in the kitchen doorway, my head on the dog bed in the hall, and her 3 feet and the width of one flimsy council door away, absolutely panicking and yelping. He still had the knife in his hand as he stripped my bottom half and then entered me. He held it throughout, occasionally resting the blade across my neck, but holding it just next to my head in his right hand, his left hand holding his weight over my mouth, and I focused on the door until it was over. He buckled himself up. He pulled up my trousers and helped me up. Then he shouted bye up the stairs and he left. I went to the living room for a cuddle. Pepsi was frantically licking me all over, cleaning my face. It was past 2am. I didn't know what to do, so I called my sister. When she answered I told her that one of Mam's friends had been 'weird with me' - she needn't panic, but I wanted comfort. When she asked for specifics, I could only tell her he'd kissed my neck. I only just told her, very roughly detailed, what happened this year. It was around that time that my 4 years of insomnia began, sleeping only an average of 6 hours one night, followed by two nights laying, thinking, usually crying, and waiting for school or college to start. Plenty more happened between and since, but I thought I'd end with a big one. Currently, my sister is almost totally cut off from my mother - she banned her from looking after her now 7yo grandson when he was a baby. I am in the process of forgiving my mother, who's health is teetering toward an instant death, probably from one of her brain aneurysms bursting. I see her on my days off work, and we're relatively open. She is a shell of the person she was in my childhood, and my efforts are spurred mostly by pity and a major fear of regret, but we are slowly becoming friends. One day I won't have a mother at all, and I don't want her to die thinking that nobody, not even her daughters, love her. I've always maintained a decent sense of perspective and humour. Not very many know details of my life, and I'm often assumed to be charming and chipper. I'm in bar work and love to meet people, because it serves as a very necessary reminder that not everyone is a monster. I know I'm liked, too. I have a partner who adores me, despite my often extreme character and behavioural flaws, and since he knows a great many traumas I've faced, I get a lot of leeway. But I'll never be in a good place. Anyway, I thought this would be the most suitable sub to share these memories with. I know my past is dark. It will never, ever disappear. I can't sleep. I can't feel cheerful for very long - I phase out at random, and I have to push it back and pretend I've not had that break in reality. I hoped you guys enjoy feeding offa this though - I'm a big fan of the sub myself. Tl;dr 'They fuck you up, your mum and dad.' Mine did it with words, neglect, drugs, belts, and penises.
2019.11.04 14:09 CountBrandenburgActivity Review - October 2019
Please see this months sheet here Welcome to October’s Activity Review! It’s the first one of the new rules which you can find here but I’ll list them here:
“The 50% Rule” - should the seat fall below 50% turnout during a given month, then that seat shall be highlighted. Should an incumbent mp be relatively new - as in they have either been mp for 7 days or less, or for 10 votes or less, whichever is sooner, they would not be removed from the seat at review but highlighting remains. should the 50% rule occur after a seat is highlighted or should the seat be highlighted again after the 50% rule has been triggered during that term, then an automatic by-election shall occur. “⅔’s incumbency rule” - Should any individual be an mp for a seat during the month be eligible for ⅔ of votes for a month, that seat would then be eligible for an activity review at the 75% turnout threshold. An average month will probably have 30 votes going at our current speed as is. For the 50% rule - N/A’s for vacant periods will count towards the rule, though we will continue the system where N/A’s don’t count towards overall party turnout.
As per the Constitution, an Activity Review was conducted for the period from 1 October 2019 to 31 October 019. This included any votes that began between these dates inclusive. The following MPs failed to achieve a turnout of 75% and therefore must be replaced within the next 7 days, meaning the deadline for replacements is Monday 11th November 2019 at 10pm GMT. Failure to replace MPs by this time will result in by-elections to fill their seats. Replacements must be sent via modmail to /MHOC. If there are any MPs listed in this review that are no longer MPs or have already been replaced, please let this be known via modmail to /MHOC as soon as possible. Plaid Cymru: Competitive_Cable - North and Central Wales - 71.4% The following seats are eligible for the 75% threshold since they have had MPs for ⅔rds of this month’s votes (that being 24 votes out of the 35 total votes this month) and thus have been highlighted. MP now occupying will not be removed however. Classical Liberals: Northumbria - 74.29% (currently held by realchaw) Conservatives: East of England (List) - 60% (currently held by Greejatus) Libertarian Party: West Yorkshire- 74.29% (held by Shitmemery for the entirety of the month but since been replaced - hence no replacement needed) The following seats have fallen below 50% and will be highlighted: Classical Liberals: Manchester City and South - 45.71% Liberal Democrats: Cornwall and Devon - 20.00% Wales (list) - 48.57% Below are the Total party turnouts for this month: Democratic Reformist Front: 97.14% The People’s Movement: 95.71% Conservative Party: 95.57% Libertarian Party: 95.31% Labour Party: 94.73% Irish Parliamentary Party: 94.29% Classical Liberals: 91.21% Liberal Democrats: 79.22% Plaid Cymru: 71.43% For clarity it is just Competitive_Cable that needs replacing within the next week. If there are any problems please contact myself or anyone in the commons speakership team!
On the 18th of April 1987 the body of 26 year old Shani Warren was found on the bank of Lake Taplow in Maidenhead, England. Her mouth had been gagged with a blue scarf, her hands were tied together behind her back with jump lead cables, her feet were tied together with rope. She was wearing high heel shoes and was found on the muddy bank of the lake. She had drowned in a foot and a half of water. The Home Office pathologist, Dr Ben Davies, performed an autopsy and found that she had died of drowning. However, he also discovered that she had been sexually assaulted; she had a strangling mark around her neck, which had probably been made with a car jump-lead; a jump-lead had been used to bind her wrists and ankles; and she was gagged. And yet Dr Davies concluded that she had committed suicide. At the inquest, Shani’s mother insisted that her daughter was not suicidal, a psychiatrist who had examined her diaries agreed, but Dr Davies – who had earlier been removed from the approved list of Home Office pathologists and then reinstated – insisted that this was a case of suicide. Faced with such a conflict, the coroner recorded an open verdict, and little more effort was made to trace her attacker. Shani had gone missing the day before. Shani had cut the grass at her home in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, She had placed the grass cuttings into black bin bags, before loading them into the boot of her car - an almost brand new Vauxhall Cavalier. She told her parents she was taking the cuttings around to her uncles. She had also bought some flowers for her boyfriend and a bottle of Champagne to celebrate paying off her new car. That was the last time she was seen alive. Her car was examined shortly after her death and it was found to have a faulty gear box. This meant it couldn't be driven in either first or second gear - yet her parents testified that it was a brand new car and she had driven away without a problem on the day she went missing. A knot expert concluded that it would've been impossible for Shani to tie the knots behind her back, especially when using car jump lead cables. However one month later he changed his mind and said it might be possible after all. The inquest returned an open verdict but the Police treated it like a suicide. SUSPECTS: Shani was a secretary for a manager at "Micro scope" - an "intelligent computer systems" manufacturer. Micro scope was taken over by GEC-Marconi four weeks after the date of Shani’s death at a cost of sixteen million pounds. It was the first such acquisition in seven years for GEC-Marconi. GEC-Marconi was a major, high tech, electronics company, and the UK's only supplier of torpedos. In the 1980's Marconi was working on top secret weapons projects for the British and American Governments, especially the Strategic Defense Initiative (the so called "Star Wars" project). During the 1980's, between 22 and 25 scientists died, some in very suspicious and bizarre circumstances. All the scientists were in some way connected to Guidance missile systems. Nearly all were connected with Marconi, yet nearly all their deaths were ruled suicide or accidental. The first death occurred in March 1982. Dr Keith Bowden, a senior computer scientist, who had been contracted by Marconi to work on a top secret programme. drove his car across a dual carriageway and plunged off a bridge, down the embankment, into an abandoned rail yard. He died instantly. The police said Dr Bowden was speeding, and the coroner found high levels of alcohol in his system, so it was ruled an accident. Dr Bowden had attended a social gathering that evening, but everyone there agreed that he hadn't been drinking. His wife and Solicitor hired an accident investigator to examine the wrecked car. He found that someone had swapped the normally pristine tyres on Dr Bowden's Rover and replaced them with a set that were old and almost threadbare. April 1983, Lt Colonel Anthony Godley, went missing. Godley was head of work study at the Royal College of Military Science. They had a close working relationship with Marconi. Godley has never been found. Three years later in 1985, Marconi Radar expert and Draughtsman, Roger Hill died from a shotgun blast to the chest - it was ruled suicide. A few months later, Jonathan Walsh died after falling out of his Ivory Coast hotel balcony window in West Africa. He had been complaining for months that he was being watched and followed, and that his life was in danger. His death was ruled an accident. One year later in August, Vimal Dajibhai, 24, a computer control systems scientist. Working in Marconi's Stingray torpedo department, Vimal phoned his wife to tell her he would be late home, then he drove to Bristol (135 miles away) and jumped from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Dajibhai was found with his trousers around his ankles, and a small "needle sized" puncture wound on his left buttock. His death was ruled a suicide although the Coroner did mention his concern about the death. Vimal had handed in his notice to Marconi and only had four days to go before he left. His family and friends say he was looking forward to starting his new job in London. Six weeks later, Arshad Sharif, 26, another computer scientist who worked on satellite guidance systems at Marconi, also travelled to Bristol, tied one end of a rope to his neck, the other end to a tree, then jammed his foot on the accelerator of his car and decapitated himself. The day before his death, Sharif had been acting oddly and was seen paying for accommodation in a rooming house (popular with Aerospace employees) with a bundle of high denomination bank notes, although none of these notes were found post mortem. A relative summoned to identify the body noticed what appeared to be a metal rod was lying on the floor of the car next to the accelerator. Had it been used to wedge down the pedal? The Bristol Coroner wasn't happy with the coincidence of these latest two deaths, especially when it was discovered both men were working on "Cosmos", an underwater missile, guidance system, but he eventually recorded a verdict of suicide. A few months later, around Christmastime 1986, Dr John Brittan was lucky enough to escape with only minor harm when his car suddenly and inexplicably, veered across a busy road and he ended up in a ditch. A few weeks later, in January 1987, after returning from a top secret trip to America, Dr Brittan was found dead in the garage at his home. He died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. His death was ruled suicide. Two weeks later, the body of Richard Pugh was found at his flat. Pugh was a computer expert for the defence industry but it is not known if he was connected to Marconi. Pugh was found with a plastic bag over his head. A thick rope was coiled around his body, and four times around his neck. His feet were bound together with rope. His death was ruled an accident through sexual misadventure. At the same time Pugh died, Avtar Singh-Gida, an employee of the British Ministry of Defence, who worked on a number of Marconi's top secret programs, vanished from his home in Loughborough, England. He was feared dead but he was found in Paris' red-light district, fifteen weeks later. He had no memory of where he had been, or what he had done in that period. He returned to work and refuses to discuss what might have happened. Still in early 1987 (February), Peter Peapell, a Metallurgy expert working for Marconi was found dead in his garage. Like Dr John Brittan, he died from carbon Monoxide poisoning. His wife stated that they had gotten home from a pleasant evening out. Peter went to put the car away and she went to bed. He was found the next morning with his body jammed under the car in an unnatural position. His death was ruled open. In the same week, Marconi Engineer, David Skeels was found dead in almost exactly the same circumstances - in his garage. He died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. This time a hose pipe had been affixed to the exhaust. Skeels was sitting in the front seat. His death was ruled a suicide. A few days later in February 87**, Victor Moore**, another Marconi employee died from a drugs overdose. His death started an investigation by M.I.5 - although it remains classified to this day. A few weeks later, John Whiteman died by drowning in his bath. His body was surrounded by alcohol and prescription drugs - though none were found in his system. Less than a month later, in March 1987, David Sands packed his car with containers of petrol and drove very fast into an empty restaurant. He died in the ensuing fireball. He was on his way to work, wearing his seat-belt, when he made the sudden U-turn and drove at speed into the building. Sands worked for Elliott Automation Space and Advanced Military Systems Ltd – a sister company of Marconi. His family and friends all agreed that he was not showing any signs of stress or strain. His death was ruled suicide. Less than a month later, in April 1987, Stuart Gooding, an employee of the Royal College of Military Science , died when he slammed his car head-on into a truck on the island of Cyprus. Colleagues of Gooding expressed doubt at the accidental death verdict. On the very same day Stuart Gooding died, David Greenhalgh also died, after falling (or being pushed) off a railway bridge in Berkshire. Greenhalgh just happened to be working on the same program as David Sands. Greenhalgh survived for a few days but had no recollection of why he jumped or if he was pushed. It is here in the timeline that Shani Warren was found dead. It should be noted that David Greenhalgh and Shani Warren died in the same week. They also lived around the corner from each other. On the same day as Shani died, George Kountis travelled over 3000 miles to Liverpool, and drove his car into the river Mersey. His sister has always maintained something sinister happened. The Coroner ruled suicide by drowning. One week later on April 24th, Mark Wisner was found dead in a house he shared with two colleagues. He had several metres of cling film wrapped around his face, and a plastic bag on his head. Wisner Was a Software Engineer for the Ministry of Defence. The Coroner said the death was an accident from sexual misadventure. One week later on May 3rd 1987, Michael Baker, a Digital communications expert working on a defence project at Plessey, died when his car crashed through a barrier near Poole in Dorset. Plessey are important because the previous year they had been bought by Marconi. The Coroner's verdict was Misadventure. One month later, in June 1987, Frank Jennings, an Electronic Weapons Engineer with Plessey, was found dead from a heart attack. There was no inquest. On March 25th,1988, Trevor Knight, a Computer Engineer with Marconi Space and Defence Systems, was found dead at his home in Hertfordshire. He was in the garage, at the wheel of his car with a hosepipe connected to the exhaust. Knight's friend, Miss Narmada Thanki found three suicide notes written by him. Miss Thanki mentioned that Knight disliked his work but she did not detect any depression that would have driven him to suicide. Coroner's verdict: Suicide. In August 1988, Alistair Beckham, a Software Engineer with Plessey, was found dead after being electrocuted in his garden shed with wires connected to his body and a handkerchief stuffed in his mouth. Apparently after doing some light gardening on a Sunday afternoon, he entered his shed, placed a Handkerchief in his mouth, attached wires to his body then jammed the wires into a power socket. The Coroner recorded an open verdict. His wife refuses to believe he took his own life. Hours after his death, men from the Ministry of Defence turned up at his home and removed files and folders. In the very same month Beckham died, Peter Ferry, an Assistant Marketing Director with Marconi, was also found dead by electrocution. In his company flat, he stripped some wires, then jammed them into his tooth fillings, before inserting the other end into a plug socket. The Coroner recorded an open verdict. One month later, in September 1988, Andrew Hall, an Engineering Manager with British Aerospace, was found dead of Carbon monoxide poisoning in a car with a hosepipe connected to the exhaust. I'm unable to determine the location. British Aerospace and Marconi amalgamated to create BAE Systems. Death ruled a suicide. In late 1991, Malcolm Puddy, who worked for Marconi, told his bosses, in an excited state, that he had "found something amazing". A week later he was pulled out of a canal dead. He had a painter's palette tied around his neck. All of his work computers had been emptied No doubt much of the above is speculation. Finding out about the Government Defence employees is always extremely difficult, and a lot of misinformation will have been thrown into the mix. SECOND SUSPECT: (the following is copied from https://www.nickdavies.net/1999/10/05/getting-away-with-serial-rape-the-story-of-clive-barwell/ ) Clive Barwell. At about half past two in the afternoon on May 14 1993, a 23-year-old woman from Leicestershire drove her mother’s car into the centre of Nottingham and parked on the ground floor of the concrete multi-storey car park which squats on the edge of the Broadmarsh shopping centre. For a few moments, she sat there, sorting through her handbag. A man suddenly pulled open the door beside her, clamped his left hand over her mouth, pushed the blade of a knife against her throat and shoved her across the car into the footwell. He threw her coat over her head, threatened to slit her throat and drove off. For a while, he seemed to be intent on theft, rifling through her handbag and pulling her watch and rings off her when he stopped at traffic lights. He asked her if she was religious, and she told him she was a Catholic. “You’d better start praying,” he told her. After a while, he drove away from the city and turned off down a long gravel path where he raped her, doing his best to cause her pain and to terrify her with his knife. When he had finished, he tied her naked in the footwell of the car, drove to a bank where she told him her PIN number so he could use her credit cards to take her money, and then he stopped again in some rural spot and, while she lay naked and bound in the car, he took the cap off the petrol tank and attempted to set fire to it. He failed and, a little later, he abandoned the car, with the 23-year-old woman crying alone inside it. This was a strong woman. Despite all that happened to her that afternoon, she has gone on to marry and to rebuild her life, a battle with pain which has been made none the easier by the discovery by detectives last year that the man who assaulted her with such unbridled ferocity was supposed to have been locked up in prison at that very moment, serving a 16-year sentence for armed robbery. Clive Barwell was eventually arrested for sex attacks after a highly successful inquiry of unprecedented scale, named Operation Lynx and led by the head of Notts CID, DCS Phil Davies. But by the time they arrested him, in March last year, Barwell had been able to spend some 16 years years traveling the country abducting, raping and attempting to murder women, profiting along the way from a series of blunders by detectives who originally dealt with his crimes and, most alarmingly, by the prison service who had been entrusted with locking him up when he was caught for other, non-sexual crimes. Barwell has become the latest in an unsettling history of notorious cases in which serial sex offenders have left the law looking foolish: the Yorkshire Ripper who killed 13 women while police followed false clues; Denis Nilsen who killed 15 young men before the police even realised a crime had been committed; Operation Orchid which traced the paedophile murder of up to nine young men, only to have most of the cases dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. The murders of nine prostitutes, some allegedly by the ‘Midlands Ripper’, remain unsolved; and the National Crime Faculty at Bramshill, Hants has been investigating some 200 unsolved murders of women, some of which are also believed to be the work of undetected serial killers. In retrospect, the problems with Barwell can be traced right back to his first known sex attack, in December 1982, when he drove into the middle of Bradford on a dark and foggy night and waited in a car park on derelict land behind St George’s Hall until he saw a woman alone in a car. It was a symbolic location: Bradford had been a regular hunting ground for Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, who had been jailed the previous year, and the West Yorkshire police were still reeling from criticism over their mishandling of the case. Their competence was about to be challenged again. When the 30-year-old woman, half naked and weeping, went to police later that night and described how a man had forced his way into her car and driven her off and raped her, West Yorkshire detectives checked the local airports, searched the lane where the woman was raped, checked records of cars which had been stolen or abandoned that night and got nowhere. By embarrassing chance, the inspector who dealt with the woman was one Brian Harry Jackson who was later to be sent to prison himself for indecently assaulting young girls. A month later, on January 3 1983, Barwell was back on their patch. He was visiting his girlfriend, Alwyn, who was in Leeds General Infirmary with appendicitis, but in the car park that night, he forced his way into a 26-year-old woman’s car, drove her off, threatened to shoot her in the back of the head and raped her. When he had finished with her, he gagged her and bound her ankles and wrists with electric cable, pulled a shopping bag over her head and drove her to the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool canal, where he shoved her in. The woman was out of her depth in freezing water which rapidly filled the bag over her head. Barwell stood on the bank and watched her struggling. Kicking out, the woman felt a large stone on the floor of the canal and managed to get her feet onto it and to push her face above the water. She wriggled free from the cable and took the bag from her head. Barwell cursed her from the bank and, in fear, she turned and thrashed through the water to the far bank and safety. Barwell fled in her car, which he abandoned and torched. West Yorkshire police rapidly realised the two offences were linked and set up an incident room to catch the serial rapist. They re-interviewed the first victim, ran an extensive inquiry, knocked on 14,153 front doors in search of witnesses but got nowhere. Along the way, they made mistakes. Some were small: a Leeds man saw the second woman’s car in flames and got a close look at a man who walked away, but when he went to West Yorkshire police to tell them, he complained he was treated more like a suspect than a helpful member of the public. Other errors were worse. West Yorks police knew the rapist had used a stolen blue Ford Cortina before and after the abduction of the second victim. They knew, too, that someone had stolen a car in Leeds a week earlier in very similar locations and then gone on a shopping spree with a credit card from that car. If the two incidents were linked, this would yield a harvest of clues: there might be a pattern to the use of the credit card which could indicate the home area of the rapist; possibly he had even used the card in a shop where his name was known. The inquiry sent off for copies of all of the vouchers that had been used in the shopping spree – 20 of them. One of these vouchers proved there was indeed a link: it had been used to buy petrol for the stolen Ford Cortina driven in the second rape. The garage assistant had carefully written the Cortina’s number on the back of the voucher. But the detective who checked the vouchers simply missed the clue and reported that there was no link between the stolen credit card and the rapist. The harvest of clues remained untouched. The officer responsible has since been promoted to superintendent. With both rapes, West Yorkshire police followed correct procedure in gathering numerous swabs and body hairs and other evidence from the victims and their cars but, when they failed to find their attacker, even though they knew it was highly likely that their serial rapist was still at work, they simply threw out the lot. When Operation Lynx re-opened the two cases, they had no usable scientific evidence to work with. The first woman had produced a photo-fit of her attacker, but West Yorkshire police had lost it. Barwell continued to enjoy his liberty, living with his wife and two young sons in Leeds, committing armed robberies and stealing cars to order and, from time to time, abducting and raping women. Police are still putting together the full picture of his career. It is known that some 15 months after getting away with his rapes in Bradford and Leeds, he waited in a car park in Leicester until he saw a 20-year-old woman parking. Once again, he abducted her in her own car, drove her away and raped her, using his knife to cut her breasts, belly and neck. Leicestershire Police investigated but soon became embroiled in embarrassment. This victim was so horrified by her experience that she never told her husband and reported it to the police on condition that they would protect her identity. However, her husband worked occasionally for police in a civilian role and subsequently walked into a CID room to find the intelligence board displaying pictures of his wife as a rape victim, naked to reveal her injuries. When he confronted his wife, she was furious and withdrew her co-operation from the inquiry. In the meantime, a detective inspector had stolen papers dealing with her rape and started visiting her at home, apparently hoping to have sex with her. This inspector, like his predecessor in West Yorkshire, was subsequently jailed for separate indecency. The Leicestershire police contacted West Yorkshire to point out the similarity between the three attacks but, although they agreed to stay in touch, they set up no joint inquiry and, when they failed to find their man, Leicestershire like West Yorkshire before them gave up the hunt and threw out all of the scientific evidence which they had collected. Barwell carried on raping. On November 15 1985, he marked the birth of his daughter by attacking a 20-year-old woman who was parking her car in central Doncaster. South Yorkshire police made no link between this and Barwell’s other offences, failed to make any progress with the inquiry and lost or destroyed every single piece of evidence and every single piece of paperwork from the case. When Operation Lynx finally solved the crime, they had to go to the files of the local newspaper to get a contemporary account of the victim’s ordeal. Barwell was now working as a long-distance lorry driver, using his spare time to referee football matches in the Northern Counties League and also to attack women. His next known attack raised new worries. Shani Warren, aged 26, disappeared on April 17 1987. She had been mowing the lawn at her home in Stoke Poges, Bucks and had apparently set off in her car to dispose of the grass cuttings. She never returned and, the next day, she was found dead, in Taplow Lake, Berks. A Home Office pathologist, Dr Ben Davies, found that she had died of drowning. However, he also discovered that she had been sexually assaulted; she had a strangling mark around her neck, which had been probably been made with a car jump-lead; a jump-lead had been used to bind her wrists and ankles; and she was gagged. And yet Dr Davies concluded that she had committed suicide. Thames Valley Police tried to start a murder inquiry. When an inquest was held, Shani’s mother insisted that her daughter was not suicidal, a psychiatrist who had examined her diaires agreed, but Dr Davies – who had earlier been removed from the approved list of Home Office pathologists and then reinstated – insisted that this was a case of suicide. Faced with such a conflict, the coroner recorded an open verdict, and little more effort was made to trace her attacker. Operation Lynx has since established that on the day of Shani Warren’s death, Clive Barwell was driving near her home in Stoke Poges and also near Taplow Lake, which is some 25 miles away. They also noted the similarity between her death and the attempt by Barwell to kill the woman who was thrown into the Leeds and Liverpool canal. But at the time, Barwell once again was allowed to slip away. Six and a half months later, however, on November 6 1987, Barwell’s career as a sex criminal finally ran into trouble when he was arrested for using a sawn-off shotgun to rob half a dozen security vans and for stealing numerous cars – including 16 from one car park in York in a single day. He was denied bail and when his trial ended, on January 13 1989, he was sent to prison for 16 years as a Category B security prisoner. The police had not begun to suspect that he was a serial rapist but they had at least locked him up where he could do no more harm to women. And yet within three and a half years, he was able to rape again – from within prison. Barwell behaved like a model prisoner, obeying the rules and taking educational courses; persuading prison officers, governor grades and probation officers that he was trustworthy and reformed. After only two and a half years, he was reduced to Category C and, a year later, on August 24 1992, he was reduced to Category D, the lowest possible security status, and sent to an open prison, in Sudbury, Derbyshire. According to Prison Rules, he was not entitled to go on home leave until he had complete a third of his sentence, in March 1993. In fact, he was immediately allowed to return home on ‘resettlement licence’, which also allowed him to work locally as an electrician. On January 7 1990, he went to Leeds to visit his sick father on a four-day leave and at ten o’clock the next night, he attacked a woman who was leaving her car in Belgrave Street in the city centre. The woman fought him off. She told police he had grappled her towards her car door, holding a butcher’s knife at her throat and ordering her to get in. She had no doubt he was trying to abduct her and later suffered severe bouts of depression and anxiety, but West Yorkshire police not only failed to find her attacker but recorded the incident as an attempted robbery, apparently an attempt to reduce the level of reported sex crime on their patch. Her car, which had been touched by Barwell, was never examined for prints. Her clothing, which had been torn, was never examined for body hairs. Four months later, Barwell left the prison on a day release to go to work as an electrician, ignored his job, travelled to Nottingham and abducted, raped and attempted to burn to death the 23-year-old woman whom he found in the multi-storey car park there. The Prison Service say there is no trace of his being disciplined for failing to go to work. Although he was still only five years into his 16-year sentence, Barwell continued to enjoy a life of liberty. On one of his many trips to Leeds, he met a 33-year-old divorcee, Margaret Teasdale. Barwell had divorced his former wife and, on Valentine’s Day 1994, he and Margaret were married in Leeds register officer. The two of them then set up home not far from Sudbury Prison, in the Beresford Arms Hotel, in Ashbourne, where they worked as managers. Barwell – still supposedly a prisoner – regularly slept in the hotel for up to three nights at a time, drew a salary of £10,400 a year, bought a car for himself and, according to Home Office sources, was disciplined for parking in the governor’s reserved space on one of his occasional visits back to the prison. A year later, Margaret was pregnant with his son. The Prison Service now say that they were aware of all his activities, which broke no rules and were explicitly approved as part of his resettlement programme. Detectives want to question Barwell about a number of unsolved rapes which were committed in the area during his time in Sudbury. On June 19 1995, seven and a half years after his arrest, Barwell was released on parole. Five weeks later, at around midday on July 26, he pounced on a 22-year-old student as she went to get into her car in a multi-storey carpark in the middle of Leeds. He tied her up, smeared superglue over her eyes and drove her off to a remote spot where he started cutting off her clothing. She fought with him and he abandoned the attempt to rape her, leaving her tied up in her car. West Yorkshire police made more errors. A passer-by who found the victim in her car made notes of what she said, but the police lost them. An ambulance officer also made notes of what she said but destroyed them several months later when police failed to ask for a statement. A detective inspector from Notts contacted them to suggest that the abduction of this student could be linked to the abduction of the 23-year-old woman from the multi-storey car park in Nottingham. West Yorks detectives, in the words of one police source, “told him to fuck off”. However, despite the errors, this time, they also made a breakthrough. Struggling with his victim, Barwell had cut himself and left a trace of his blood in the car. Searching through her handbag, he had left a finger print on an envelope. In January 1996, forensic scientists in Wetherby matched the DNA in the blood sample from the car in Leeds with the DNA in semen taken from the Nottingham victim. Now, at last, police from the two forces began to work together in what became Operation Lynx. Reviewing the records of unsolved rapes, they made links to the rapist’s behaviour in three of the earlier attacks, one of them in Leicestershire, whose detectives now also joined the inquiry. They knew their best leads were the blood and the fingerprint they had found. Offender profilers suggested they were likely be dealing with a known sex offender. The pattern of offences suggested he was linked to Leeds. They took saliva samples for DNA comparison from 2,177 suspects – but Barwell had no history of sex offences. They ran the fingerprint through the Automatic Fingerprint Recognition system. Barwell’s prints were in there, but they found no match because the print they were working with was only partial. They decided to order a manual search, a potentially enormous exercise. To narrow the field, they turned once again to offender profilers and hit a new problem. Possibly inspired by the errors of the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry, where the entire hunt had been pushed off course by misleading tapes and letters, Barwell had deliberately left false clues as to his background. He had spoken in a strong Scottish accent, although his real accent is Yorkshire. He had cursed his wife as ‘a blonde bitch’, although she was dark. He had referred to his Catholicism, when he was brought up a Protestant, and he had crashed car gears and driven erratically, even though he was a professional driver. The immediate result was that detectives asked the fingerprint labs to check through the records of Scottish men with links to Leeds. They found nothing. Then they searched through all men with links to Leeds who had criminal records for stealing cars. There were thousands of them. While that search ground on, Lynx officers made another appeal on Crimewatch and linked two more rapes and the murder of Shani Warren, bringing South Yorkshire and Thames Valley into the operation. This was now a very big inquiry involving 180 officers from five forces. Apart from the 2,177 suspects whose saliva was tested, a further 9,945 were checked and excluded. Detectives raised 24,324 actions and entered 33,628 names (‘nominals’) on their computer system, more than in any other inquiry in the history of British policing. And on March 19 1998, after 940 hours of sifting manually through more than 7,000 prints, a specialist in Leeds came up with a name: Clive Barwell. He was arrested the next day. Barwell turned out to be a very ordinary man: father a delivery driver; mother a cleaner and bar woman; the second of five children; truanted and did badly at school; a record of petty crime since he was eleven; good at swimming and running. If there were clues to his disposition, they lay in childhood incidents – father reportedly beating mother in front of the children and recruiting the 12-year-old Clive to keep guard on her, the mother walking out with the children but leaving Clive behind with the father, Clive stealing money from her to punish her and being beaten by her when she found out. He had been married three times, and although he had shown some signs of violence, none of his wives had suspected his true nature. Now, he starts his life sentence, leaving police once more to review the errors of their ways. While he was waiting for his trial, the woman he tried to burn to death in Nottingham gave birth to a child. She says it marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one in her life. It doesn't mention in this article but the knot used to tie Shani's hands behind her back, is a knot commonly used by lorry drivers. The area where Shani's car (and close to where her body) was found, is a dead end road, popular with lorry drivers, as a place to park up and sleep. That coupled with the fact he was in the vicinity of Shani's last known location (delivering car parts), are the reasons the police suspect he is the killer.
2019.08.30 12:09 DollOfSoulsOperation Dog Fighter: Attacking and Defending Ops (Late 1k submission).
Organisation: Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) Operator Name: Alexander Grant Codename: Baron DOB: 20 April 1960 ArmoSpeed: 3/1 Primary Weaponry: M590A1, P90, MK-14 EBR. Secondary: P-10C or SPSMG-9 Tactical Gadgets: 2x Barbed Wire or 2x Impact Grenades. Main Gadget: Baron can deploy two portable barrage balloons that inflates from a central pad that is protected by the inflatable balloon when deployed. This device can be deployed to block LoS. When shot the barrage balloon begins an internal timer until it is full deflated. Starting at 2 minutes, each consecutive shot reduces this time by 2 seconds each. Explosives within <0.5m of the balloon reduce the timer by 1 minute, within <5m 30 seconds. Barrage Balloons cannot be vaulted until 1 minute left in the internal countdown where it is the same height as a deployable shield. This device cannot be placed within doors or windows however they can be placed next to them effectively blocking most lines of sight or entrance. Breaching charges will always reduce the timer by 1 minute, and any operator specific breaching methods (Ash's Breaching rounds, Zofia's Impacts or Sledge's Hammer will reduce the timer by 1 minute 30 seconds. Bio: Born in Barnsley, Yorkshire as the son of a retired army pilot and the grandson of a veteran coal miner, Alexander had as he would describe, "An 'arsh an' strict child'ood" he was raised in a militristic manner with a beat or be beaten code to life. At 16 Alexander was enrolled into the RAF by his father as a way to keep on the family legacy of proud soldiers. At 18 Alexander was taught to fly and continued on as part of a elite regiment of pilots taking part in a variety of special operations. After several decades, in the mid 2000's Alexander was recruited into a new regiment of special reconnaissance, after he was unable to continue flying in his regiment due to various health concerns. His experience with both old and new planes was invaluable for the SRR. When the SAS reccommended some of their specialist for the Rainbow 6 regiment, the heads of the SRR chose to nominate two of their specialists for the regiments as well to prove that they are just as good with field officers as the SAS. Psychological Profile: When I interviewed Alexander, I could see the wear of battle on his face despite my civilianhood. When I asked about his childhood, he described that despite the lack of compassion from his father, he still respected him as he "taught him to hold his own in a society that wouldn't respect you". [...] When asking other specialist about Alexander, the common response is that his hard exterior is offputting at first, however most who continue to approach Alexander tell me that he is a thoughtful and funny person with interesting insights despite his lack of formal education. [...] - Dr. Harry "Six" Pandey. Notes: Device: Mk3 Deployable Barrage Device. Operator: Alexander "Baron" Grant Testing Lead: Elena "Mira" María Álvarez (Head of Rainbow R&D). With the permission of Alexander, we tested and took apart his Barrage Device, the work of those engineers in the SRR is rather interesting to examine. With the balloon itself being a mixture of semi-resistant kevlar mesh over a strong inflatable material of which has been kept a secret so far. Due to this the device can effectively block lines of sight as well keeping it's structure for a great amount of time even with a large amount of damage affecting it. Furthermore, the vital expansion and inflation mechanism that houses this devices is fully protected when the device is deployed meaning that easy deflation is unlikely without specialist devices. (Testing with specialist Mike "Thatcher" Baker and Monika "IQ" Weiss' gadgets are yet to occur. - Elena) This device does hold up well to the rigorous stress testing that I have put it through which is a sign of very good construction that the boys at the SRR should be proud of.
Organisation: Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) Operator Name: Marie Small Codename: Kaynine DOB: 3 Oct 1985 ArmoSpeed: 1/3 Primary Weaponry: C8-SFW or AR-15 .50 Secondary: .410 Bailiff or LFP586 Tactical Gadgets: 3x Breach Charges or 1x Claymore Main Gadget: When Kaynine spawns in she also spawns with her trained German Shepherd "Pepper" should Kaynine die in the first few seconds or too far from enemies, Pepper will retreat and despawn. However if Kaynine dies nearby an enemy, Pepper has the chance to hunt and attack them. Whilst alive Kaynine can do 3 actions with Pepper. "Track", "Hunt" and "Fetch". Each can be cycled to similarly to how Zofia switches between Impacts and Concus. Track: Kaynine will command Pepper to start sensing the area for any nearby scents or traps, this allows her to perform "Hunt" 20 second cooldown. Hunt: When tracked Pepper will run after a scent trail and hunt for enemies or traps. 10 second cooldown + Track's 20 second cooldown. Fetch: Kaynine can command Pepper to fetch which sends her off to find things, such as ammunition or tactical gadgets. 35 second cooldown. Pepper has 150 health and takes 50% less friendly damage. Headshots are instakills similarly to operators. Pepper can also be revived from a DBNO state once. Pepper will activate most defender traps, e.g. EDD's, Gu's and Frost Mats except for when EDD's are high enough on doorways as Pepper is at a height between crouched and prone. Bio: Bio in Brecon, Wales as part of a family of respected dog trainers, Marie's interest in dogs was nurtured at a young age. Doing well in her studies she moved to England to study in Animal Care and Handling, whilst studying in Central London Marie saw the use of service dogs on a regular basis, so much so that when she returned home she chose to volunteer for the local police force as a part of their Canine division. Much to the delight and chagrin of her family she eventually enrolled into the Welsh army as part of a regiment that specialized in the training and deployment of military animals, most notably dogs. After several years seeing combat in many corners of the world, Marie was promoted and recommended for a position within the SRR as part of their animal training and protection squad. During the Rainbow 6 recruitment surge, Marie was one of the two SRR specialists nominated to represent the SRR thanks to her intimate knowledge of animal training and her on-field experience. Psychological Profile: Interviewing specialist Small was a delight, her friendly demeanour and kind attitude were pleasant to work with, in the beginning it was clear how much she loved her dogs as she showed me many, I mean MANY photos of her dogs at home, I don't know how she keeps count of them at all. [...] When asking her about her worries in joining the Rainbow team, she did voice her concerns that she may get side-lined as most of the specialists can speak multiple languages, as well as the fact that she was raised in a less technologically experienced area. After she voiced these concerns I chose to tell her not to worry as many of the other specialists had voiced similar concerns such as specialist Gilles "Montagne" Touré. As such I have recommended that specialists Emmanuelle "Twitch" Pichon and Marius "Jäger" Streicher help her to learn a little about their devices as well as to teach her some of their language as to help her settle within the Rainbow team. [...] - Dr. Harry "Six" Pandey. Notes: Device: German Shepherd "Pepper" Trained Service Dog. Operator: Marie "Kaynine" Small Testing Lead: Marie "Kaynine" Small Now whilst I don't like calling Pepper a "device" there were no options for companion or the like. (Noted will look into options on a further date. - Elena) Having trained Pepper myself I know exactly how she performs but as Elena had told me the Rainbow team needs it's own performance records, so I had to test her in their environment. Pepper's stamina is especially good for her breed meaning that she can work side to side with me for many hours, I had also tested her tracking and hunting ability for which I am glad some of the Rainbow Recruits volunteered for, I must say Pepper did enjoy the attention. I will have to work on her fetching ability however, to avoid the "fetching a screwdriver and hiding it in the lab" incident, sorry about that Elena. (Don't worry we found in under a cabinet eventually. - Elena) Overall I would say she is basically ready as always for fieldwork. - Marie "Kaynine" Small.
2019.07.30 02:29 chasingandbelievingWhat's happening in your current save(s)?
Posting purely out of curiosity. I have three saves right now: 1) My legacy that I've been playing for about a year now. I'm currently on the third generation. The second generation (legacy founder's son and his wife) are both elders who are going to die any day now, so I've been trying to speed up the legacy heir's relationship with his girlfriend so they can get married and have kids. However, his girlfriend is secretly addicted to cocaine, so we'll see how that plays out. 2) My second save is a wonderful family of three who are living their best lives in Sulani. The wife is an entertainer on the musician track and her husband is a conservationist. Their daughter just aged up into a child and has already made a lot of friends at school. They also have a Yorkshire terrier named Toffee. They live in a gorgeous beach house that extends over the water and they love to sunbathe, swim, and ride around on their various rafts and boats. I have plans for their daughter to become either an actress or a critic eventually (she's only a child right now, but still...thinking ahead). Mom and Dad are going to start trying to have another kid soon, and I'm thinking about having them adopt another dog? We'll see...this is probably my favorite save right now. Life goals. 3) My third and final save is comprised solely of a very ambitious guy living in one of the fixer-upper apartments in San Myshuno. He is in the athlete career, I believe level 4 or 5. As a result of his career choice, he met, wooed, and eventually entered into a relationship with Kayla Flemming, who for some reason is literally always angry every time he sees her. I was going to first have him get with Summer Holiday, but MCCC made her and Vlad get married. Then, I set his sights on Zoe Patel, but MCCC married her to Raj Rasoya, who is conveniently my sim's next door neighbor. After that, I was going to try Jade Rosa, but she got married to Salim because of MCCC. Kayla seems to be a pretty good girlfriend so far, she's very affectionate and loving which my sim loves (and I think is really cute). I'll have him propose to her after they date for a little while and we'll see where it goes from here! My sim's life goal is to become a master archaeologist so he goes on a lot of vacations, I hope she's okay with that... What's going on in your current saves?
43 points: smgtn's comment in Swedish authorities call for ban on electric scooters after fatal crash
38 points: cheesecow007's comment in Why the HATE from bicyclists? Two days in row a cyclists tried blocking me and then gave me a nasty look when I pass properly “on your left”
33 points: bumblebeetunafishpie's comment in Pro tip. Don't attempt an software update while the m365 is in motion. I expected it to coast worst case. It engaged antitheft mode and locked up the wheels. I have a dent in my laptop and a scar on my hip. Nothing bad, I'm laughing it off. But seriously, would not recommend 0/10 experience.
2019.04.09 20:26 dcfevr'On This Week': 1st April - 7th April
1st April, 1989 - New signing Carl Shutt had a debut to remember, scoring a hat-trick against AFC Bournemouth in a 3-0 win at Elland Road. Shutt arrived from Bristol City in a player-exchange deal, with Howard Wilkinson swapping Bob Taylor and £50,000 for the striker. 2nd April, 1991 - Leeds showed fellow new boys Sunderland how much better they had settled into top flight life with a 5-0 drubbing at Elland Road. Lee Chapman and Gary Speed both scored braces, with the aforementioned Shutt also finding the net. 3rd April, 1945 - This date marks the birth of Leeds' longest serving goalkeeper, Gary Sprake. Born in Swansea, Sprake made over 500 appearances* in his 11 years at the club, posting a clean sheet in over 200 of those games. The Welsh international's reputation was damaged by his occasional high-profile clanger, most famously throwing the ball into is own net in front of the Kop at Liverpool. 4th April, 2001 - Leeds produced the most memorable performance of their Champions League run when they dispatched Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 on a jubilant night at Elland Road. A 25-yard free kick from Ian Harte set Leeds on their way, with second-half set-piece goals from Alan Smith and Rio Ferdinand completing the scoring. A clean sheet against the Spanish side meant Leeds had a real chance of progressing to the semi-finals. 5th April, 2000 - The most tragic night in the history of Leeds united took place on the eve of their UEFA Cup semi-final with Galatasaray in Istanbul. Travelling fans Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight were stabbed to death in Taksim Square. "Tonight is going down as one of those black nights in history," said then-chairman Peter Ridsdale. Shamefully, the Turkish justice system has so far failed to bring justice for this unprovoked attack. 6th April, 2000 - The game that shouldn't have been played. Never has a European semi-final mattered so little. In light of the tragic events in Istanbul the previous night, this was an occasion to be endured rather than enjoyed by both the Leeds United fans and players, as the Turkish side ran out 2-0 winners. As the game kicked off the travelling Leeds supporters stood with their back to the pitch in an act of solidarity to their murdered fellow fans. The Leeds players wore black armbands, the Galatasaray players did not. 7th April, 1973 - Another FA Cup semi-final defeat for Wolves. Billy Bremner scored the only goal as Leeds won a hard fought match at Maine Road to book their place at Wembley. *Wikipedia has Gary Sprake making 381 appearances, however articles by The Telegraph (https://bit.ly/2G0ltnF) and Yorkshire Post (https://bit.ly/2ImVYQ8 for some reason the text on the article doesn't show but on a Google search, it appears in the preview section) confirm the figure of over 500.
2019.02.22 00:49 mcgi5sr2Episode 73: ForgeMasters (Its a Sheffield thing)
## DnD The small gnomes take particular interest in the pistol Riphard has. Seems like lasers are very impressive, even if the design is archaic. The Gnomes were not looking forward to the Varg hold, but decide to share their secrets with the potential customers. Yuppii is not as on board as Marock, tbf they seem to be desperate at this point. They aren't travelling north for the weapon designs, because the Varg are terrible at making weapons. What they really want is the old forge of legend. Bright board forge written about in old dwarven books etc, probably near or in the mountain somewhere. There genius plan is they stay in the warm city and repair the airship, and we go and get what we can from the forge, once we find it of course. We have a long think about this, and by that I mean I think about it a lot, while the others decide. Myron rallies the troops, and decides its hammer time. We set off into the snow, its whipping into our faces, I am unconvinced most of or any of the team know where or why we are going to the mountain. So I spool out the kite and send my head up towards the storm. One massive strike later, I am charged and ready. Lets gooooo adventure.... Myron retakes the lead shortly after it becomes apparent I have no idea where we are going, this Gnome has some skills of the wilds for sure. The raging storm continues around us, we are ascending further and further into the storm. Could it be another 24hr march, is this how the team rolls? AS the storm fails to abate we start using improvised devices, arms, pickaxes, or anything we can dig in with. The climb gets steeper and steeper, but the top is our goal, and at least Myron seems very taken with getting there on time. Negotiating this climb is not the simple task the Gnomes had led me believe. As we slow to a crawl, Myron finds a great little ledge and we start the slide along it. In a shocking turn of events, Burnie gets a free charge, as I overhear something over the mountain radio telling us to turn back. I try to talk back but nothing. So after a brief discussion we move on. Burnie is concerned that lightening is the way the mountain is communicating with us. He isn't a fan. Next up the wind comes whipping up into us, I try and redirct it with my arms, and Myron pulls out some salty edible meat. I hone the wind into a tunnel and try and direct it past Riphard. HE still gets hurled twenty feet backwards. He pulls out his whip and latches onto Myron in and instant. Thankfully Myron has a very think kneck, and ahrdy constitution. Later redacted to tying us into a climbing line. Myron looks like he is going to complain, but then doesn't, his thoughts like his words are lost to the wind. A full rocks fall but luckily not on us, the snow increases to the point where Myron can see a door, but doesn't know where it is. Its clearly a complicated day for him. In the mean time a wall of wind, snow and rattling thunder and lightning scattering across its inner face, its got to be at least 200ft deep. A huge figure emerges, and start complaining about us coming into its domain, despite my good graces the creature seems uninterested in bonding with Myron. After summoning some beast of pure, energy, thunder and wind, it becomes apparent that its time to dance. Kevin takes the first opportunity to hide, behind a rock. We all develop different skills in life. Riphard tries to light the mother fucker up with his ancient weapon, misses, reloads and its like the mountain has exploded around him. A shockwave pushes the air and snow back from around him, and a beam of pure irridescent light emerges tearing into the creature, leaving scorch marks in its wake. Myron whips out some jerky, and then sets off a circle of smoke, that seems to emanate from the jerky he dropped. Also it seems to be surrounding Burnice clearly these guys have fought together before, it must be a tactic of some sort. A strong gust of wind whips up around me, and with seeming intelligence throws me 20 feet. Burnie Hides, and the aspect pulls a enormous pulsating sword made of lightening out and cuts savagely through Myron. I respond by through a glitter grenade into it. The creature now looks transcendentally beautifully as the particles of glitter race around and through it. Kevin unloads another bolt from behind him, The being smites me with a huge bolt of thunder, it hurts, oh it hurts. Riphard re-cocks the ancient weapon but this time the results is less intense. Myron says some real shady shit under his breath and I sense an immense power envelop him. Burnie lets some electricity course through his body, what a strange creature he is, and uses it to augment himself as he hits it, once then twice. Before hiding behind Myron. Myrons shield flashes briefly as his spell is shattered before the sword comes down on him, the light of his life is snuffed from within. I hook up to the storm in the wall, and charge myself up unleashing a torrent of electricity at the two creatures. Despite over loading everything in my body it seems to have little effect on them. Kevin sees a window of opportunity and hits a sweet spot, or what I can only assume is a hotspot from the storms screeching reaction. Riphard bounds out from behind his rock, and screams at Myron to getup. The creature lets out a mighty roar and wind blows out across Burnie, who takes the opportunity to stab at the beast. The howling wind whips up amongst my over loaded parts tearing me to pieces. ---- Observations made post power loss Myron gets twatted again by a huge electic sword. Not surprisingly he takes it in bad sport, and passes out. Kevin seems set on keeping the good fight up, talking to himself about positive thinking. Despite his great hiding skills, he gets exploded by a blast of thunder. Riphard has been ensconced inside the whirling winds. He doesn't stop him from shooting the storm, and saving Myron. Who then goes and hides in the snow, badly. Burnie strikes out again at the storm. He does call on the aid of Kevin to shoot the storm, as Riphard whips the smaller spinning storm, which engulfs burnie. The enraged aspect of the storm, turns on Burnie but somehow misses him entirely. Somehow Burnie stabs it again, as the air around him explodes in thunder. Maybe he is deaf as it doesn't seem to hurt him all that much. Marting has an imaginary gf in Nanduan, and Ravin McCaw is a lying SoB. Kevin crossbows the lady, and then rolls in the snow. Riphard drops the hammer on his ancient weapon and takes the storm art. It suddenly dissipates, the sun emerges and birds start singing. A last flurry of snow, falls to the ground. Kevin asserts loudly that his Girlfriend is real. Burnie dashes over and recharges Martin, in what was probably just in time. ----- Observations resume with power Myron apologises for what was probably his shortest performance to date, whatever that means. Kevin talks to Riphard about what makes the best yorkshire pudding. Myron thinks that it must be good news that something like that was here, as it was protecting something cool. He is looking very almost dead. The door exclaims that this is the Bright Bart forge, or at least its door. Kevin and Riphard inspect the door, and it seems that this is the place, apparently this is where all the legendary weapons of heroes of old came from. Just as Kevin notices the beautiful lock, Myron smashes it with the excalibrum pick. Burnie steps up to the door, and plunges his knife into the door frame, that then falls away from the door letting it slowly and then suddenly fall flat towards us. We head down the stairs, its full of very old drawings, of drawven Gilgamesh. A thick layer of dust covers everything, including a smattering of grouped dwarven skeleton. Kevins sister in northern wales gets a job as a GP, with a 20,000 gold pieces handshake. They have all died of venereal disease. The diaries don't show this, but they did. Over the years having the forge at the top of a mountain proved to be a bad idea, just as Riphard had said at the start. The dwarves sealed themselves in, when the mountain was possessed by the aspect of the storm. Kevin finds the mother load of hammers and tongs, the likes of which no one has seen in since the forge was open. He also finds a whole stack of books on rune carving and forging. Riphard finds a whole bunch of trinkets and jewellery. (5000Gp of curios) I speed reads the books, and helps put it all in sacks. The others go and get the airship. I stay behind and study. The gnomes have fixed the airship, flick a single switch that fixes it, and come back and return to pick up all the books and tools. It takes a week until we are able to get back to Lindedorf. Myron convinces him that he has met Rubrix, even going so far as to pull out the Rubrix Di which he spins around in his hands, it clicks, whirs and then clicks and clunks, sand and goo seeps out of the cube. Martin and the cube talk for a while, before it turns out the Earth Elemental speaks common. Everyone admits its not great that Korg has to leave again soon, Myron gets him to lift Kevin. Myron tells Korg all about the devil they work for, and how they are going to take down Kalimar and the Church. I'm pretty interested, Korg goes around lifting everything he can before being sucked back into the cube. Myron chokes himself out, and Martin turns himself off. We wake up in Lazarus' office/waiting room. "Oi laz we got another new one" Kevin looks out the window to his infinite dismay. Myron explains briefly, and Laz and others fill in the details. Martin tries a touch of exposition, and ends up making a deal with the devil to do whatever he wants in return for Laz getting him off. When we return Myron spots Lady Haramxe walking alongside Smords father. They lock eyes across the expanse of Lindedorf. -- Scene -- Myron ignores her, takes us all back to the workshop, and then goes to the university to meet his father. Lady Haramaxe is present. It is incredibly awkward, even with the extravagant levels of waffling in the wrong and right places. "Kyri needs us, and I need you".... Jeorj, " learn how to say sorry sometime...." BearyMan Exmerah and Myron talk for a great deal of time over wine, the character development is incredible. Everyone meets back at the workshop. Martin is a mouse, Everyone gets made a weapon by the Gnome inventors, except for Kevin who gets a stick.
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Liebe im Alter: Speed-Dating für Senioren WDR Doku - YouTube
Jak wygląda Speed Dating w praktyce? Ile kobiet poznałem?
Ile czasu potrzebujesz, żeby ktoś ci się spodobał? Uśmiechy, spojrzenia, gesty - to wszystko ma niebagatelne znaczenie, gdy mamy tylko 5 minut, by kogoś zauroczyć. Speed dating na pewno ... #HowardSternShow #HTVOD Howard Stern TV JD Speed Dating Game Welcome to HOWARD RADIO chanel ! Please like and subscribe to my channel to more videos . Thank ... The following video demonstrates our high speed bifolding gate which was installed for West Yorkshire Police to provide a secure perimeter to their site and ... Supplements Speed Dating Intro - Duration: 7:12. Jen O'Sullivan 964 views. 7:12. Interview with Sarah Harnisch and Lucy Libido by Jen O'Sullivan - Duration: 41:02. What yall look for when dating? 🔴 ImDavisss Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IFWr98daQA 👉 MAIN CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVC5-Y6ez4s... I'm going to give you four strategies you should be using every time you attend a speed dating event to start filling up your match cards with women's number... Thanks to your incredible support, our latest humangood collection is SOLD OUT! Follow humangood on Instagram and keep an eye out for our next drop: https://... 1:02 czym jest speed dating? 1:40 jak to wygląda w praktyce? 3:50 po co ja w ogóle tam poszedłem? 5:40 oczekiwania, przygotowania 9:03 czego się nauczyłem? 12:35 co mógłbym poprawić? Zusammen mit anderen Frauen und Männern, die eine neue Liebe suchen, sitzen Edelgard, Günter, Christa und Eckhard an einem Freitagabend in einem Café in Esse...