Mexican food near the colony tx
2019.08.08 03:36 noncongruent earwiggles
Place to post earwiggles by nursing critters
2023.06.02 21:46 EagleHammer6 How the rules were enforced when I was in the Navy was wild.
Things woud be one way for a year. Everyone would go by a specific baseline. Then one day - things changed and some person wouldn't get the memo. So they would do things how htey had been done for a year. Then they would get gaslit and told things were never done that way.
I started to question myself so I kept a notepad in my pocket. I'd write down dates and exactly how something happened. Then when it was re told a few months later, I'd refer to my notes knowing they were full of crap and I was right.
Someone would do some minor thing and everyone would act like they killed a man. Like a guy left a receipt under his matress one day. They took that as "gear adrift" and destroyed his rack. This guy was one of the only people who worked or followed the rules 99% of the time. And that is how they treated him.
he once hadn't eat in 36 hours and was about to get his chance, but his watch relief relieved him ten minutes late knowing hte galley was closing simply because they wanted to miss 10 minutes of their watch knowing the guy hadn't eaten. The guy gets mad and everyone tell him to quit crying and doesn't say one thing to the late relief. But they had eviscerated him over a fucking receipt under his matress.
We would have battle station drills. I was maybe 4 months away from getting out with my honorable. The pipe patching team was all brand new people with no leader. That had no idea what to do. But the chain of command would send them into drills by themselves. Totally setting them up for failure and if a real event happened they'd maybe die.
One day I get irritated because it is the end of battle stations and they are sending these guys in alone. The person running hte drill and testing them knew what was happening. There was never any equipment left at the end, and I felt their lives were worth something... So I take charge of the team for the drill and I take them in and htey are just doing abysmal and won't listen to anything I say and the person running the drill is just giving me shit like - "You're supposed to be leading these guys, where are your boots, where is your hat, why don't they know this." And I am just thinking, this is what I get for trying to do the right thing. That stuff wasn't as important as educating and preparing them.
One battle stations my team had finished their drill and it is near the end of battle stations. A second class comes in and says, "Eagle, get an air tank and follow them!" There were no air tanks because it was the end of the drill. There was also no boots or hats. I know it is going o take me a minute to find some so I ask the group and the second class - where are the ygoing so I know? No one would acknowledge I was speaking.
I find a tank, hat, and boots, and I walk through a fir barrier the directio nthe group went. A Chief and First class are standing there gabbing. I ask, "Am I supposed to be on air? Where am I supposed to go, what team am I helping so I know what to do?" They wouldn't acknowledge I was speaking. I try to get a response for maybe 3 minutes. So I go through another fire barrier and just can't find anyone nad have no clue.
Suddenyl the Chief and First class come through the barrier and th first class is yelling at me, "Why the fuck aren't you on air?" And I am looking at him like are you kidding me???? And I say something mildly snarky and he loses it, "What the fuck is this guy's problem?" And the Chief said, "Oh, e jst has an attitude problem." And I am just standing there like, yeah that's it.
People would try to enforce rules across the board like there was never any special cirumstances.
We'd paint te sides of the ship and we couldn't wear our gloves because they would stick together and get ruined. You couldn't work with the fingers all stuck together. Out hands would be numb and we'd be walking from the wuarterdeck to the berthing with our hands in our pockets wet and shivering live a dog. And someone would shout at us and tell us to, "Get our fucking hands out of our pockets." Because the rule was no walking with hand in in pockets.
I'd have watch as midnight, then go straight into sea and anchor, then wed have to clean everything up, dress the lones, bring in messenger lines, etc. I'd be walking through the hangar bay at half past noon with some stubble on my face. Some Chief would stop me and just yel at me for 15 minutes because I had stubble, "When was the last time you shaved?" And I'd tell them, when I got up this moninging - and before I could say I got up at midnight they'd just lay into me on how the rules state I have to shave everyday and blah blah. And I am just thinking, are we done - I have a mountain of work to do and if I'm lucky we'll get an hour of liberty before curfew - was I really supposed to excuse myself from mooring the ship to go and shave?...
We stood brdige watch and lookout watches. I got off watch at 3am one morning and I step into the hangar bay piss tired with my hat on. Underway you don't wear a cover. It's 3 am. Me and one other guy were theonly person in all three hangar bays. This guy is pointing at his head frantically like someone is going to die because I have my cover on at 3am on my way to my berthing where I'll get 3 hours of sleep.
It boiled down to no one having any empathy or thinking into things. No one stopped and thought - these people are barely sleeping, barely eating, getting abused physically and mentally... Maybe I should cut them a break.
One summer me an one other guy did a job by ourselves that was usually 12 people. We'd get 20 minutes for lunch. We had to go to this barge because were in a ship yard. I had to poop. So I poop and I had ten minutes left. i go to the galley to find something I can take with me. They had these individual ceral cups. I took one and this guy just loses it on me, "Hey! No taking food off the mess deck!" So I pretend to put it back and stick it in my coveralls. The guy sees me and I just bolt.
I literally ran to the lower level and into a head to scarf down dry cereral. The guy didn't even think - maybe this guy is just hungry and htis is his only meal today - he is covered in paint and carrying a life jacket - maybe I should let this one slide.
submitted by EagleHammer6
to MilitaryStories [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 21:41 usernames-are-tricky This Was Published in 1981. We Knew Then, yet Cattle Farming is Still The Top Deforester of the Amazon
2023.06.02 21:39 RevoHits US PC Chernarus "Escape The Night" looking for more players
~Escape The Night~ PvE w/PvP ZonesWIPED3PPHelisAI-BossesRaidingBBP100kNoobsKeycardsAirdropBunkersParty-SystemTraderBlackmarketBankingDrugsBedRespawnSpawnSelectVehicles+Guns+Loot+
Join Our Discord https://discord.gg/2EQPEZ8
Server Restart Intervals Are At 5:40AM PST - 11:40AM PST - 5:40PM PST 11:40PM PST
BASE BUILDING: AT THE MOMENT TRADERS DO NOT SELL NAILS/FOOD/ARMOR, for a more survival feel we made base building a little more grindy than other servers for a better experience (MOD: BASE BUILDING PLUS), THERE IS NO BUIDLING NEAR PVP ZONES, HIDEOUTS, OR TRADERS (500m from Hideouts/Traders, 300m from PVP zones). Get your grind on and have fun with more of an immersive pvp building system. We have BasicTerritories/PVEZE Flag Zones. You need a flagpole to make a base & you need a flag fully raised on your pole to enable PvP. Since we use PVEZ the flags help in case you need to defend against a raid. The flag also helps keep all your items secure from poofing away. Sadly bases can be raided even with your flag pole lowered. So it’s recommended that you keep your flag pole raised.
ALL BASES HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF VEHICLES THEY CAN POSSESS! Each base can have a max of 3 Land Vehicles & 2 Helicopters (This Is To Help Prevent Lag)
PVP ZONES/PVE: All PVP Zones contain either a military spot on the map, or Custom Keycard areas, Custom Key Cards spawn randomly around the map or in airdrops/military bases/bunkers.THERE IS ABSOULETLY NO KILLING OUTSIDE PVP ZONES, what ever damage you afflict on another Survior, that damage will come back to you, this a noob/pve setting of a server so show some respect.
KEYCARDS: There many different keycards you can get but they all are different. Some have different loot, some have mixed loot. Rare keycard rooms give 10x better loot than normal military/bm loot. There Is 2 Red/Black/Violet/Green Rooms. 1 Yellow/Blue/Med Lab/White Rooms.
Right Now The Keycards Ranging From Best To Worst Are Red, Black, Yellow, White, Violet, Green, Blue, Med Laboratory. There will probably be more in the future. Red Keycard Loaded but is suuuper rare.
(NOTE: Right now please don't fly into keycard areas. We recently added helis again and some areas are possible to fly into (AI will probably shoot them down but still we want keycards to be used to access keycard areas. ALSO When you open a keycard room it will stay open until server restart because the loot crates wont reset until after restart)
THE BUNKER: Right now there is currently 1 bunker on the server. You need a White Keycard to enter it & when you enter it turns to total darkness. You'll need a light or nvgs too see anything after entering. This place is worth checking out but be careful of possible chances of Zombies/AI. The bunker is really nice for finding blackmarket items and chances decent/guns/armoammo.
TRAVEL TRADER: We recently added a trader that can change locations and also change what they Buy/Sell! The Travel Trader Can Spawn At Any Keycard Locations (Based On When I Move Them) & Trades Rare Items Other Traders Might Not Sell Or Might Buy/Sell At A Discount!
TRADERS: Traders are all around the map and they only sell certain items there. Very high powered weapons cannot be bought a civ traders, they will most likely be purchasable at Blackmarket or not purchasable at all, you will need to scavenge your way around the map if you want to be the best, there are no handouts. Normal Civ Traders will have the essentials there to survive.
AI/BOSSES: AI spawn at all keycards/hideouts except Blue/Green Keycards. They have a chance to spawn anywhere else. There are 3 Bosses on the server. Killa, Zryachiy, the Goons. Killa spawns at Red/Black/Yellow Keycards. Zryachiy spawns at Prison Island. The Goons can spawn at Red/Black/White/Med Lab. The Goons are the rarest Bosses to run into right now while Killa and Zryachiy are about the same. Killa and Zryachiy can have guards.
submitted by RevoHits
to DayZServers [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 21:38 ItzAtlazs A new faction I made: The Protocol of the United States of America!
(Here's a new faction I created, please tell me your thoughts about this!)
The story takes its roots in north North Carolina in the year 2245, near the pre-war city of Fayetteville. For about 30 years, the settlement of Nemington, inhabited by roughly 300 men, women and children, had been flourishing thanks to local trade with very close farms. But around this time, raiders started getting bolder and bolder despite the makeshift turrets surrounding Nemington.
And one day on the 12th of May 2245, tragedy struck the peaceful settlement as a group of raiders stormed the city and killed a total of 30 people before being killed by the very loose and untrained militia that was not prepared for such an attack.
The next day, after burying their loved ones, the town's council, led by Jeremy Cross, decided on a plan to reinforce their militia and secure the future of Nemington. The town's strongest would set out towards the pre-war Fort Bragg, one of the biggest military compounds in the US, which was guarded by automated defenses set on preventing raids and never got turned off due to no military presence occupying it anymore. But while everyone had tried brute force to their way in, Cross had another idea: stealth.
So a group of 20 men set out, led by Cross, towards Fort Bragg to claim it for themselves. They arrived at the fort's gate at night, since the machines relied mostly on solar light to see. Working through the gate and corridors, they quickly reached the main control room without being spotted, until someone from the group sped up towards the main control panel, which triggered the entire system's alarm. It woke up an Assaultron in the room, that quickly lasered through the man's head, making him fall to the ground. Cross then went on to work through the control panel and disable the infrastructure, all while the group jumped towards the Assaultron, trying to keep it steady against a wall. It took Cross a minute to disable the entire grid of robots, but the surge of power this caused made the Assaultron able to shove away the men holding it down, and fire a laser beam straight to Cross, before shutting down.
The group returned in triumph in Nemington, though carrying the body of their leader who died seconds after the laser hit his throat. The people buried Jeremy Cross and gave him a farewell ceremony, and the next morning, an expedition comprised of 30 men and women was sent to Fort Bragg to secure it properly. They reactivated the defense systems but whitelisted themselves to make sure they wouldn't get shot on sight, and soon enough they started making inventories of everything they found in the Fort, including undergrounds networks filled with T-60 power armors, hundreds and hundreds of them, stacked there with an incredible stockpile of Fusion Cores.
With this, they found something a lot more valuable: relics of the pre-war era. Laws, texts, recipes, blueprints, everything that made the pre-war world what it was and what this world lacked. Some people started studying these texts, while some others found texts that were directly related to the US military, including the reason there were so many Power Armors underground. Near the beginning of the War, the US were feeling there could be a possibility that they would be destroyed, and so designed a massive amount of Power Armors to be used in the eventuality of Mass Destruction. This protocol was named Protocol I, the core directive of the United States' Protocol of Reconstruction, which is as follow:
"In the event of nuclear annihilation, the remaining US military is to assume temporary control over the United States by using the Power Armors and supplies stockpiled at the 5 main US bases to maintain stability in the United States until the leaders of the US arise from The Whitespring Bunker."
But as it appeared, none ever came from these vaults, since they never came to retrieve the Power Armors. The council held a meeting in Fort Bragg about the future of Nemington, and after a bit of arguing, it was decided that Nemington would move over to the Fort, turning it into New Nemington. A broadcast was established thanks to the Fort's high tech antenna, advertising the settlement and threatening all who would want to harm the New Nemingtonians.
Over the course of ten years, a new leader was found in the newly 20 years old daughter of Jeremy, Melinda Cross, deemed the most viable as leader of NN. All men and women who didn't have children were given basic training in weapon handling and Power Armor use, turning them into a proper military force to keep the children and the disabled of the town secure in time of crisis. The settlement grew in population as more and more people came to NN for the safety of living inside of the walls. Farms were established both inside and out of the walls and the sources of food and water were secured properly.
Then, Cross called for another meeting after the town's population reached the 500 people both in and out of the walls affiliated with NN. it had come to her attention that the Protocol was meant to be an unification of the United States, and she had the ambition to get the nation's powers together. She wanted what was right for her people, and uniting the USA again was the best thing that could happen to them, especially with the armors and weapons they had discovered years prior and had been using to keep everyone safe.
So on the 28th of August 2255 was created the Protocol of the United States, a military force led by Melinda Cross. This Faction had a few key principles that Cross was very adamant were never broken. Firstly, they were to never attack first. Melinda wanted the Protocol to be a peacekeeping army, not a conquering army. The rule was to "only open fire if the people were to feel threatened for their lives". This applied to all creatures, but mostly for humans, as she also added that "Humans are to be reasoned with if. If the Humans start to attack as an offensive, selfish mechanism, and cannot be reasoned with, lethal force can be used against them", this rule applying mostly to raiders who were armed, and anticipated angry citizens who would attack them simply out of fear and paranoia, which wasn't as dangerous as a tribe of raiders opening fire.
Another pillar of the Protocol's ideology was that all non-creatures are deemed "to protect" until they attack and are deemed uncivilized. The Protocol was also meant to be kind and compassionate, and as there were multiple sightings of sentient, peaceful ghouls around NN, she wanted all to feel welcomed by Protocol.
The last pillar of Protocol's ideology was that all first contacts with factions encompassing more than one settlement are to be set with an attempt at peace, with a truce. No Protocol Soldier is allowed to attack first in the possibility of another Faction running into them, so that self-defense can be claimed and Protocol's image can remain intact. Protocol doesn't seek war, but will wage it for the good of the Commonwealths.
After setting their core ideas, they had to decide where to go first to establish their presence. Thankfully, when the settlement of Nemington was first founded, the original settlers had received a transmission from hundreds of miles away from a faction called the Minutemen, claiming to be a unifying faction in the Commonwealth and inviting all others to join them to help them in the unification of the US. Before, they were too scared and underequipped to do anything, but now? They had the power to help rebuild. I mean, how civilized could the rest of the world be?
So in October, the Army of the Protocol started marching. Going through swamps and forests and nuclear deserts, protected by their Armors and carrying their supply all through the Commonwealth, leaving their Settlement behind. About 200 men and women were enlisted into the army, using the vehicles and aircrafts found all throughout Fort Bragg and its surroundings to mount an expedition towards Washington, from where they picked up broadcasts of another powerful faction.
The expedition as a whole took 2 weeks to complete, as even with all the vertibirds and trucks carrying supplies like food, water and weapons they had, they had to stop regularly, both because of the threats out in the wild and because of the fact that most of the armors had to be carried by people walking inside of them. Thankfully, Fusion Cores were to hold power for about 100 years, but still it was tiring for the people walking in them.
When they arrived in the Capital Wasteland, they found the Brotherhood of Steel. An attempt at a truce was tried, but as the Brotherhood of Steel offered to absorb the Protocol to help maintain peace with all of their technology, Melinda Cross refused politely, stating:
"Our mission is to save the Commonwealth, and we will do so as the United States Pre-War protocol dictates. We are the force that will bring peace to the Commonwealth. You wage war, we keep peace. We cannot co-exist unless you give us access to your resources and let us absorb you. Then, you will be able to call yourself peacekeepers. Until then, keep out of our way, and we will keep out of yours, as we are only looking for peace, but we can wage war to protect our peers and protect the people."
The Elder of the Lyons' chapter was so mad at this refusal, that war was officially declared against the Protocol. Unfortunately, at this time the Brotherhood had lost many members due to the Brotherhood's pointless war against the Super Mutants, and so the only battle that was waged between them, the Red Battle, that was held at the Red Racer Factory, was completely in the favor of the Protocol, due to their weakened state but also to the fact that the Brotherhood had taken about 20 soldiers due to their shortage, while the Protocol had brought about 50 soldiers with them.
The Brotherhood was utterly dominated, and no losses were taken for Protocol, instead making this battle a breaking event for the Elder's reputation, triggering, with the refusal of salvaging Fort Independence, the departure of the Brotherhood Outcasts. The Protocol shortly left the Capital Wasteland after this victory, furthermore securing Melinda Cross as the ideal leader and general of the Protocol and strengthening the loyalty of all that follow her.
It took the Protocol another three weeks to arrive in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, surviving through their supplies and business deals with local farms they met on the way, helping anyone they met in fending off any potential threats they faced, and mostly taking the time to circle around the massive area glowing in green and yellow, that seemed to be filled with Deathclaws and Radscorpions.
When they finally arrived into the Commonwealth proper, they secured the Federal Stockpile after killing the raiders that occupied it (after having tried to negotiate first). The place was secured and properly fortified by placing the trucks all around the settlement, pre-made turrets placed in the gaps to make sure that all the corners had been properly fortified, and the first official outpost of the Protocol in the Commonwealth was founded. The vertibirds started flying through the airs of Boston, scouting the areas and locations that could be used as additional outposts, and after hearing rumors from travelers and farmers surrounding the outpost, the first expedition to Diamond City was put into planning stage...
submitted by ItzAtlazs
to fo4 [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 21:34 myusername1424 Translation revision.
I would like for my translation of an old Arabic newspaper article to be revised.
Here's the original: https://imgur.com/gallery/olMUnGp
And here's the translation:
Palestine’s freedom is India’s freedom:
Convention of our Muslim brothers in India:
Yesterday, we published a memorandum which our Indian Muslim brothers have provided to the Governor-General protesting the British policy in Palestine. The newspapers of India have reached us yesterday night, containing ample details about the convention of our brothers there, we translate them as so:
The All-India Muslim Conference concluded at 1:30, in the afternoon on the 10th of this month. Important decisions were taken during it, among them being a boycott of the coronation of the king, not buying British goods, and refraining from paying for the funds of the Empire in its coming wars. The convention will not go back on these decisions unless Britain betters the solution of the cause of the Arabs of Palestine.
The convention had elected an executive committee consisting of 44 members to oversee the implementation of the decisions.
The convention had also issued a warning to the Zionists, demanding from them to back off from being the tools of the British against the Arabs. It would also issue a statement to the Muslim leaders, in it calling them to aid Palestine in its distress, along with another statement thanking the Arab Christian brothers for their Arab patriotism, and for their stance as one line with their Muslim brothers.
The convention had unanimously agreed that the response of the Governor-General of India was unsatisfactory. Likewise the committee could not do what is required of unless it were to investigate all of the intelligence that have been exchanged between the Government of Palestine and the Jewish Agency from one side and between it and the Ministry of Colonies from the other, as in this intelligence is what reveals to the committee the extent of the Zionist influence on the government of the Mandate of Palestine, and its submission to it.
The Arab Nation accuses the Ministry of Colonies, and sees that it is the root of all bad in Palestine, and thus it is upon the convention to check with this accused ministry before it can hope for the Arabs to cooperate with it.
The convention lasted for three consecutive days. Many people participated in it, all of them being enthusiastic and desiring to work.
Doctor Said Mahmoud had delivered an excellent two hour speech which had ended with him demanding the necessity of strengthening the committee upon the League of Nations to abolish the British Mandate on Palestine, and the cooperation of the Parliament of India along with all of the Indians in this demand, drawing attention to the fact that the freedom of Palestine is the freedom of India.
Doctor Mahmood would review the history of the Arab Revolt, the lies of the Allies, and the errors of the British Mandate with expertise. Afterwards, he would call upon the elected members of Parliament to add the Palestinian Cause in the core of the constitution as was done before even if the Governor-General refuses to do so. Thus it is upon them to provide a memorandum on that to the League of Nations. The doctor mentioned that he knows that there is no benefit in asking from the League, however India ought to send its loud voice in the world in the name of Palestine and for its aid.
Afterwards Doctor Mahmood would discuss a dangerous problem that we refrain from mentioning fearful of the publications registry, however we will refer to it in a simple manner: The doctor had talked about an opinion held by some people and which nearly became prevalent among the Muslims of Peshawar a few months ago. The doctor had mentioned that the Muslims themselves cannot carry out the work to force Britain to provide justice to Palestine. Furthermore, he would state that the Hindus ought to cooperate with them, and that if the Hindus were to join with the Muslims in one body, not many, and that if the Muslims were to collaborate with the Hindus in one policy rather than a policy of separation, then the Muslims and Hindus would be able to aid Palestine and force the British to give aid to the Arabs.
“Some might say that Hindus are not Muslim, so what is their issue with the Muslims of Palestine? As for this, I say what I have said before, which is that the matter is that the freedom of India is the freedom of Palestine, and the freedom of Palestine is the freedom of India, and both are inextricably linked”.
Later, the doctor moved on to talk about the Zionists. He said that they are tools and instruments in the hands of the British colonization, and that the British are using them for their colonial policies in the east in general and in the Mediterranean in particular.
He would then talk about the minorities, and said that they are a colonial plot, as it was the British who would create what they call a Muslim minority in India, a Coptic minority in Egypt. Furthermore, the Italians, as soon as they set their eyes on Ethiopians, created a cause in the name of a Muslim minority.
However, we are not minorities, rather we must cooperate on each side as one nation against colonialism, and I call upon the Muslims of India to sacrifice for the sake of their Hindu brothers, and to unite with them in defense of Palestine as defending the freedom of Palestine is defending the freedom of India.
submitted by myusername1424
to learnarabic [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 21:08 AccomplishedKale795 Ben Gross : The Cat Dad
Ben had never thought that he would ever be a cat dad, not since he saw his own father run over his cat when he was only five. But yesterday, history almost repeated itself when he almost ran over two stray kittens while driving himself home from the graduation ceremony.
It had happened only a few hours ago - despite the fact that in an attempt to impress his dad, who was in the passenger seat, he had tried to be extra precise while backing out of his parking spot, he missed a little something in his way.
However, before the disaster could happen, a shrill scream made him slam the brakes.
"STOP! You'll run over them, STOP!"
He jumped out the car and ran to the back, to find Shira looking slightly wary of a cardboard box near one of his back wheels. Inside the box were two kittens.
"BEN!" she shrieked on seeing him, her arms flailing in an almost comical way, "You almost killed them!"
Ben picked up the box, and noticed that there was a small slip of paper inside it.
"You should be more mindful of how you treat animals, Ben! We're supposed to share the planet with them, not-"
"Here, hold it for a moment" he interrupted, holding out the box for her to take.
She did not comply. Instead, she scooted away with a scared look on her face.
It took every last ounce of resilience inside Ben to not roll his eyes. Here she was, lecturing him about being 'mindful' with animals, when she was too disgusted to hold a box with two tiny, malnourished sleeping kittens.
Balancing the box in one hand, he pulled out the slip of paper and opened it.
"Take care of them, please" it read.
Take care of them. Hm. Someone left them here to be found.
After a moment of pondering, he made his decision.
"I'll take them to a shelter." he told Shira, opening the car door to put the two kittens inside.
"Wait!" Shira exclaimed, pulling out her phone and positioning herself as if to take a selfie.
"Shira, I'm really not in the mood to-" Ben began protesting, but the sound her phone made told him she had refused to listen to him. She skipped away, typing what he was sure was a story about how she saved two innocent kittens.
Her followers will like that, for sure.
Still, I'm rescuing two kittens from certain death. That's a good deed.
His good deed, however, remained unfinished, because the shelter did not have any space for cats and could not take in the two kittens. Ben was forced to take the kittens home, with the reassurance that his dad would find a place for them somewhere else.
And now here he was, having cleaned and fed them with Patty, trying to figure out what variety they were while shovelling spahgetti into his mouth.
"Oh, Ben! My sweet boy has graduated!" a saccharine voice suddenly spoke.
Vivian Gross, unlike his dad, had chosen to be absent from his graduation ceremony, where he and Devi had jointly recieved the title of valedictorian. His dad had hugged him tightly and exclaimed how proud he was of his son with tears in his eyes. Ben knew he would remember that moment and smile till the day he died, he would be forever grateful for it, but it didn't quite erase the truth - he had expected his mother to show up. This was not a PTA meeting, not a debate tournament, not a club presentation - he has graduated high school. This was important. Today, for one day, he was important.
Apparently not important enough for his mother to abandon her regenerative healing spa appointment.
He did not want to admit it, but a sinking weight had appeared in his chest when his dad had informed him that his mom wasn't coming at all, and it had only dulled slightly since then. On hearing her voice, the weight re-appeared with full force. She pulled out a chair and sat beside him at the dinner table.
"No phone! Be respectful when your mother wants to talk to you, alright?"
Ben immediately put his phone down.
"So, have you thought about college, honey? Where would you like to go?"
Ben tried his best to not let the sheer disbelief show on his face. After all, 3he should have seen this coming.
"Uh, yeah, I - I applied to Columbia. The acceptance letter arrived two months ago. I got in. I'm pretty sure I told both you and dad?"
"You did? Oh, I must have forgotten! Typical me, forgetting things all the time."
It isn't normal to forget what ivy league your son got int- no, no Ben, don't be ungrateful. Don't say anything.
Well, I'm not being ungrateful here. She should've known this.
Before Ben could decide whether or not to convey his true feelings on the matter, Vivian cut the conversation short by pulling her phone out of her purse and beginning to scroll through it. Whether she ignored or didn't hear his scoff, he did not know.
After some time, she spoke up again.
"Oh, you and your girlfriend rescued kittens today? That's so nice!"
"Shira! She's your girlfriend, isn't she? I'm one of her followers! Very sweet girl, understands the importance of self-care very well."
He opened his mouth to say something, but no words came out for a bit.
"Mum" he began, drawing a deep breath and trying to control the quiver in his voice "Shira and I broke up two years ago, in sophomore year."
You'd know that if you knew anything.
"Huh? Oh! So you haven't had a girlfriend since?"
"No." he mumbled back, realising it wasn't worth it to explain anything to her. If his mom didn't care enough to know everything that had happened in his life in two years, then he didn't care enough to tell her either.
Ben had always thought the fault was in him. After all, he was richer than most kids in his class, he knew that - he had everything. And yet he felt unhappy. He felt unhappy despite having everything, hence he must be ungrateful.
But he had come to understand he was anything but ungrateful. His dad was the one who was always busy, but he had tried - he had become a better parent. He had been there for Ben. He had showed up.
His mother had chosen not to, and it certainly wasn't his fault. Mothers didn't behave like that - he had met Nalini Vishwakumar. He had to fight the urge to yell some sense into Devi every time she said she hated her mom.
She's ungrateful. I'm not.
This realisation had made him colder towards his mother. He realised it, but was even more hurt by the fact that she didn't notice this at all.
"Well, what did you end up doing with the kittens anyways?"
"The shelter didn't have space for them, so I brought them home. They're in my bedroom. I'll keep them until Dad finds a spot for them." he said.
The silence that followed made him look up from his plate, to find his mother staring back at him with disgust.
"You let stray animals into my house?"
"Stray - what? But you just said it was a nice thing to rescue them!"
"It is! For somebody else! If you wanted a cat we could get you whichever you liked from a breeder!"
"I don't want them! They had been left in the parking lot! They would've died there!"
"They could be diseased, you know."
"They're not. I had them checked and vaccinated at the shelter. There's a veterinary clinic right beside it."
"Still, Ben, get rid of them right away. There will be no random abandoned strays in my house."
Bold words, calling it your house, when you're never in it yourself.
She left the dining room in a huff, mumbling exasperatedly to herself.
Left alone, Ben made a decision. Sure, it was driven by hurt and anger, but he would do it anyways. She hadn't come to his graduation, had she? She hadn't listened to him. Why should he listen to her?
For the first time in his life, Ben Gross was going to disobey his parents. He was going to keep those damn cats.
Ben woke up the next morning to the sounds of two kittens rolling around and yawning in a box, and realised he was a bit conflicted - taking care of a whole live animal was no joke, especially since he couldn't ask for help from Patty and his dad.
Hiding them from mom isn't really a problem.
The thought of his mother brought back some of the rage he had felt the night before.
He was keeping those kittens, for sure, but for now, he didn't know where to start.
After an hour of research, Ben had a list and a day full of errands to run.
Why are there so many litter box varieties in this world?
Ben had never known such confusion in his entire life. He was the class valedictorian, had won multiple awards and first place prizes, had gotten into a freaking ivy league, and yet had never faced something so difficult.
In front of him were five tub-like containers - each of a different colour, shape and size. One of them had a transparent lid, another one had a coloured lid, one of them had all these little knobs and buttons on the side, another one had a tag that said 'CAUTION : Be careful of electric wires'
He had angrily told the salesman to leave him alone after the idiot had attempted to sell him seeds for a parakeet, and now he had no one to ask for help.
Or maybe not.
He whipped out his phone and dialled a number.
Ben was regretting his choice.
Paxton had been standing beside him for the past five minutes, brow furrowed and completely silent.
Ben had suddenly realised that he did, indeed, have friends, friends he could ask for help. Only, his friend seemed even more lost and confused than he was.
"I- Wait, does that one say be careful of wires? I thought litter boxes didn't need electricity!"
"So did I! That's why I called you for help!"
"Me? What would I know about this? I've never had a pet!"
"But then why did you agree to help me?"
"Dude, I thought the box was too heavy for you to carry!"
"What's too heavy to carry?"
Trent had showed up out of nowhere, but Ben was somewhat used to him appearing out of thin air.
"Nothing. We can't figure out what to do here, which one of these litter boxes should I buy?
Trent looked at him with confusion. "Bro, you know these are for, like, cats, right? You can't use them."
Ben closed his eyes while Paxton held in a laugh.
"Yes, Trent, I know. I have two kittens at home. This is for them."
"Oh!" Trent said, rolling up his sleeves "Well, none of this fancy shit. What you need is a smart, durable, and simple solution" Spinning around, he called out - "Yo, does anyone here know where the Paw-fect range is?"
A girl in an apron appeared in the aisle, gesturing at them to follow her. She lead them to a different part of the store - a section that seemed entirely dedicated to the company Paw-fect.
An hour later, they were walking out to Ben's car with three large shopping bags.
"Dude, how do you know all this stuff? I mean, you basically told us what varieties of cats there are based on hair length. Where did you find that out?" Paxton asked Trent, not being able to place when precisely Trent had become an expert on cats.
"I spend a lot of time watching commercials on youtube, bro. I know exactly how to look after bunnies and dogs too."
Ben smiled to himself, getting inside the car. He rolled down the window and bid his friends goodbye before driving off towards home.
A month had passed since that fateful day when he discovered his two beloved pets in that parking lot. Now, a month into the summer, he felt he had become somewhat of an expert cat dad. Well, enough of an expert to be worthy of a 'Best Cat Dad in the World' mug, the purchase and use of which had earned him some inquisitve glances from his father, but no questions.
He had hidden the kittens away inside his room, making sure to keep it locked at all times.
So far he was managing spectacularly. He had told Patty that he would clean his own room from now on, in preparation for college, and she had not discovered the kittens yet. To his dad he had said that the same shelter they had visited on graduation day had found an empty spot and accepted them.
He had developed a routine - everyday when Patty went out for grocery shopping, he would empty the litter boxes, fill up water and cat feed in the dispensers and brush their fur. He had installed a lock on his door, and made sure to leave it locked whenever he went out.
So far, so good. Nobody knew - not his dad, not Patty, and definitely not his mom, who had only been in the house for two days in the entire span.
The doorbell rang, telling him that Paxton and Trent had arrived to meet the cats.
"Oh, welcome! Ben is upstairs!" he heard Patty tell them.
Footsteps got louder and louder till Trent finally burst through his door.
"Where are they? Where are my nieces?"
"Trent, dude, not so loud man!" Ben warned, but he couldn't stop the smile from coming onto his face.
When he had found them, the two kittens had been on the verge of death. Thin and sickly, with dull fur, they barely had any energy at all, and would stay lying around and yawning all day long. Now, Ben had nursed them back to health, and they were happily climbing up their scratching post.
The only complaint he had was how aloof they stayed all the time. They made absolutely no efforts to return his affection and made no effort to get close to him, and bolted any time he tried to pet them.
He would call them ungrateful, but they weren't humans after all. Perhaps this was just how cats behaved.
"So, what are their names?"
Ben looked at Paxton for a moment before realising - he hadn't named them yet.
"You haven't thought of names yet, have you?"
They both sat down on his bed and began gazing at the cats carefully.
This went on for some time. Just before Ben was about to interrupt, Trent finally spoke up.
"The white one is Taylor and the ginger one is Sadie."
On recieving confused looks, he explained further "She reminds me of Taylor Swift and she reminds me of Sadie Sink. Name your kids after great people and they shall become great themselves."
Before Ben could say anything in reply, the cats noticed that they had visitors in the room and bounded towards Trent. Jumping onto him, they began licking his face.
"Hey! They like the names!"
"Well," Ben said, smiling "Taylor and Sadie it is."
The very next morning they had little silver collars with Taylor and Sadie engraved on them, hanging around their necks.
Ben stood as if ready to tackle, glaring at the white kitten. Taylor glared back - no one would make her take a bath if she did not want to take a bath.
A moment more of glaring, and Ben jumped onto her. Taylor let out a yowl and shot off towards the bed.
"Come back here, you little rascal! Don't get my bed all muddy!"
But Taylor refused to listen. Jumping on the bed, she left her muddy footprints all over the white sheets.
Ben had accidently left the window cracked open the previous day, and the more mischiveous one of his cats had taken the opportunity to escape out into the rain-filled muddy backyard. Ben had been trying to get her to take a bath in his tub ever since, but getting a cat near water was proving to be more difficult than imagined.
"You were fine with soaking around in the rain yesterday - what's the problem with my tub? It's still water!" he exclaimed as she attempted to run away from between his legs.
She was not succesful, however, for in that second Ben bent over and caught her.
She growled again as he held up her little kicking and squirming frame in victory.
That very moment, the door opened, revealing Patty on the other side.
Ben gulped - he had forgotten to lock the door.
"I can explain-" he began, but he was cut short.
"Oh little prince, did you really think you could keep a cat in this house for two whole months without telling me? Who do you think kept them clean this whole time? Come one, hand them over, I will give them both a bath."
Shocked, Ben handed Taylor over to her.
"Does-does Dad know?"
"Of course! He really liked your 'Best Cat Dad Ever' mug."
As Patty took the kittens away, Ben smiled to himself. So his dad did know him well enough to know his secrets after all.
The news had put a damper in an otherwise splendid morning.
Ben had grown out of wanting his mother to return home. Now, he didn't feel anything but frustration when she was around, didn't wish for anything but for her to leave. It was better when she was away.
But that morning Patty had told him that she would be returning home for a whole week.
Way to ruin a boy's day.
He was shuffling about his room, reluctantly trying to find his jacket so he could go out and buy something nice for his mother.
Ever since the reveal that both Patty and his father were well aware of his pets, Ben had let them run free in the house. The very first day the two had run across the hall while he was they were eating breakfast, and his father had simply smiled in response.
Now he headed downstairs, calling out to them, but neither of them appeared.
Shrugging it off, he left for the grocery store. A box of chocolates would do nicely, he thought.
Ben returned home to chaos.
His mother was apprently screaming at someone in the living room.
As he got closer, he could make out the words more clearly.
"How could you let those...those creatures stay in our house Howard? He picked them off the street!"
Of course, the very first thing she did after returning home was berating his pets. Anger bubbled up inside him, but he pushed it back down and entered the room smiling. His father was sitting on the couch, massaging his temples, while Vivian stood in front of him.
"Mom, you're back! I got you chocolates." he said, trying his best to fake happiness, holding out the box.
His mom didn't take it, and instead crossed her arms and glared at him.
"Ben, I told you to get rid of those cats."
"But you didn't listen to me! They were in my house! I went to the fridge to get myself water and I found them rolling around on the kitchen floor!"
Ben paused for a moment.
"I wanted to keep them."
"I don't care! I told you to get rid of them! You have to listen to me, I AM YOUR MOTHER!"
Well, it's not like you ever behave like a mother.
"What did you just say?"
Did I say that out loud?
"What did you just say, you ungrateful brat?"
That was what did it. Something inside Ben's chest shattered into pieces. His eyes filled up with tears as he stared straight at his mother, having waited far too long to say what he needed to be said.
"I SAID, you never behave like a mother! You didn't show up to your only son's graduation ceremony, you didn't know that I got admitted into a ivy league, hell , you didn't even know who my girlfriend was! THAT IS NOT HOW MOTHERS BEHAVE! If only you actually had time left for me after all your retreats and spas and treatments, maybe you would realise you know nothing about me!"
Ben did not wait to find out her reaction. He did not turn around to face his dad who was calling his name. He did not look at Patty. He simply bolted up the stairs to his own room.
Locking the door, he jumped onto his bed with shoes still on, and buried himself under the covers. Trying his best to not let the tears fall, he tried to call his cats.
"Taylor? Sadie? Are you there? Taylor?"
Not one peep. They weren't here either.
For the first time in a long time, Ben felt absolutely alone. He had his dad, he had his friends, but he had never had a mom. She was right there, down the stairs, the woman who had given birth to him, but he had never had a mom. And for whatever reason, that was enough to make him feel the way he did.
He lay quietly for some time, not letting a single tear or a single sound escape. He refused to cry.
Suddenly, he felt something weighing down the bed beside him.
Taylor and Sadie both made their way underneath the blanket, finally lying down right beside Ben.
He turned to his side and tried to pat Taylor's fur. He gently touched her with his hand, afraid that she would run away any moment.
But she didn't. Instead, she let out a content purr and curled up into an even smaller ball of fur.
They were here. They were here with him.
He could not hold back the tears any more. But even through the sobs, he began to smile.
"Take good care of them Patty!" Ben called to his housekeeper as he hugged both of his cats one last time.
"I'll be back for Thanksgiving and Christmas, alright?"
He finally got up to leave when Patty began hounding him about being late to the airport.
He got into the passenger seat beside his dad.
His mom hadn't spoken to him since his outburst that day. He had tried to get a hold of her, but had always come out empty handed.
Still, having let all of it out had left him feeling lighter than ever. This time, he noticed, he didn't really care about his mother's absence.
"I left all the instructions for food and water on a checklist on my desk. Vet visits every month, and -"
"Ben, relax, we got this. You're going to college, be excited."
Ben smiled and looked out the window one last time as the car started, at the two little fur balls that he had come across by accident, who had ended up claiming rather large pieces of his heart.
What's more, they had ended up healing large parts of it as well.
"Yeah, I'm so excited." he said, looking at the road ahead.
Author's Note : I am so sorry for being SO LATE, but I have an excuse - I kept deleting and re-writing over and over again because this is the first time I'm showing something I've written to someone else. I'll be doing the other two prompts over the next two days as well.
Well, this ended up being sappier than I had thought earlier! Anyways, I always appreciate constructive criticism, but please be kind.
Thank you for reading!
submitted by AccomplishedKale795
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2023.06.02 21:06 TrueGod92 A Profane Prophecy Fulfilled.
In early may 2023 I sat in church with my family. The preacher Approached his podium looking war torn sad, and with a worried look on his face. He raised his hands and said. "I've had dreams of god speaking to me. Hes telling me so much. It's almost incomprehensible to me his words they burn my ears as if a red hot iron is being forced into them. What I can gather from him is that the end times are close, and the seven trumpets shall call it forth. Now my children As your preacher, my intention are to deliver a sermon that not only explains the significance of the seven trumpets being sounded but also encourages individuals to reflect on their own lives and prepare themselves for the end of the world.
The seven trumpets are significant in the book of Revelation as they represent the final warning of God's judgment on the earth. The first four trumpets describe catastrophic events that will result in widespread destruction and devastation. The fifth trumpet describes a swarm of locusts that will torment those who have not been sealed by God. The sixth trumpet describes an army of 200 million that will bring destruction upon the earth, and the seventh trumpet announces the final judgment of God.
The sounding of these trumpets serves as a warning to all of us that the end of the world is near, and we must prepare ourselves accordingly. As we read in the book of Revelation, the effects of these trumpets will be catastrophic, and those who have not prepared themselves will face a terrible fate.
Therefore, we must examine our own lives and make sure that we are prepared for the end of the world. We must ensure that our hearts and minds are focused on God and that we are living our lives according to His will. We must repent of our sins and ask for God's forgiveness, so that we may be sealed by Him and protected from the judgments that are to come.
In conclusion, the sounding of the seven trumpets serves as a warning to us all that the end of the world is near, and we must prepare ourselves accordingly. We must make sure that our hearts and minds are focused on God, and we must repent of our sins and ask for His forgiveness. Let us heed this warning and prepare ourselves for the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen."
Finishing up he smiled at us all as he pulled a pistol from his robe putting it in his mouth squeezing the trigger and blowing the back of his head apart. Painting the statue of jesus christ behind him with a grotesque mosaic brain matter, skull fragments and so much blood. After the cops were called his building in the church were searched. The two nuns that accompanied him hanging and they're chambers and bleed dry. In his quarters They found the he used the blood and painted on his walls repeatedly. The seventh trumpets shall sound they shall sound. This was painted and cover the entirety of his room. After this was done the church was closed and we never went back.
Then it happened The two witnesses show on june 7th 2023, in an attempt to save humanity, they spread the gospel of God explaining to all those who were willing to listen, but most turned a blind Eye with this. The two witnesses then had no choice, but too have the first of seven trumpets sound. The first Trumpet sounds with the echo across the world. More of a vibration than a noise many people had not known it went off. After it had stopped Hail began to fall from the sky with a drastic change. The Hail went from solid small pieces of ice to pieces of Red hot glass as it hit the ground it burnt everything in touched. Within two weeks it spread across the world. Because of this most of the world's vegetation Burnt to the ground, leaving nothing but melted glass and ash across the lands. With this a three hundred day war breaks out across the world. Nations began to fight for what food was left in the world. As april approached the war ended with no victor. With hundreds of thousands dead the world went into mourning. Realizing that the war caused nothing but harm to the world. Bringing the sadness and pain to all those that had to be involved. Countless families torn apart so many wounded so many dead. Children without fathers or Mother's, wife's mourning Their husbands. mothers screaming and crying over the lose of their children. The world fell silent as it realized that if they had listened Maybe none of this would have happened. None of that mattered now. Now there was too much pain, too much anger, and too much hate. The world blamed god for all this tragedy that had happened to them as a whole. They cursed it's name. Those who had faith in God, Started to doubt they felt as though God itself had left them. How could something so powerful, So all-knowing do this to them. It wasn't fair, was God acting out like a child? How could God be all-powerful and be jealous that not every single being on the Earth showed it Love and loyalty. what kind of power hungry thing Was God? if this is what god was They didn't want to believe they didn't want to follow. They wanted to forget they wanted to abandon it. Seeing this the witnesses called out to the world. Trying the best they could to get everyone to understand why God was doing what it was doing. This caused more problems than good. People started burning churches to spite god. No longer were churches safe no longer could families go and feel safe and at peace. Now churches were taboo and known to be a place of death.
Not having convinced the world the witnesses called forth the second trumpet to sound. The sound of the second trumpet was unlike anything humanity had heard. To most that could comprehend the sound described it as if thunder was crying out in pain. On the last day of April the sky looked as though it was being torn open by the sound of the trumpet. Stopping abruptly people from all over the world could see that the sky had in fact had been torn open like a wound, and from that wound spilled an asteroid that resembled a blood clot. The asteroid was said to be the size of mount everest. Slowly it fell towards the earth. The closer it came to earth the more people felt a sense of dread and sorrow. Knowing that once it hit all would be turned to ash. People stood in shock as the mountain of an asteroid split in to smaller pieces and falling to the world's oceans. Hitting the water with such forces tsunamis to accrue across the plant killing thousands. Over the next few day the pieces decayed into the waters turning them into a viscera soup, killing roughly a third of all sea life. People started smelling the rot that came from the now think blood like ocean waters. Noticing the animals dying out and rotting giving the bloody ocean a acid like state causing those who lived on the waters to die slowly and painful. Soon people left the oceanside for they no longer could fish for food to survive.
In less than a year the world's oceans became a gelatinous mass of blood and gore. Spreading sickness and suffering to most if not all of the world's population the sickness only caused pain and discomfort but never death.
By July 2026 the Temples that once held weekly services to worship and praise God, were now completely abandoned and avoided by all that still lived. Knowing that their voices would fall to deaf ears the witnesses sound led the third trumpet. The sounds a weeping was heard throughout the disease ridden word. Knowing that a new plague approached the weak and trembling people hid the best they could. A flash of green light flooded the sky as a second asteroid came for the heavens. This one devolved in the air turning to light rain. Only hitting the lakes ponds and every other body of water. Seeing that nothing had changed the slowly dwindling population went back to what lives they could live. Unfortunately over the next year many died of was thought to be from dehydration no matter how much water they'd consume. Looking back the people that were left realized that all the waters had been poisoned. Those who survived learned what was safe to drink and what caused a slow labored death. The ones who died suffered incredible pain as their insides turned to a mess of rot and decay. Slowly they'd rot throwing up their literal guts and organs until nothing was left. At the end of the year only a quarter of the earth's population was left. Roaming what was left of the war torn lands searching for some sense of peace only to find rage pain and death at every corner of the world. Then the witnesses sounded the forth trumpet it was a quiet dull sound the next few weeks. The skies began losing light as if the sun was dying. The night sky was now a void of darkness with no stars in sight and a fading moon. Slowly darkness was all the people knew. Christmas came that year some people tried to show they had faith once again. Setting up small groups to share the holiday spirit most were meet with hatred but some were welcomed with loving arms. With their all seeing eyes the witnesses observed with hope that the world was going to change for the betterment of all. Then the new year started with a major power claiming that they held the right to command over what was left in the world for they had more of a population and those who disagreed would be delt with a swift and painful experience. This well, this caused so much to happen and none of it was good. People started looting fight and killing just because they knew they could. There was no rules anymore and people took full advantage of that. What's no hesitation? The witnesses sounded the fifth trumpet. The trumpet Sounded as though A million babies were screaming out in causing everyone to drop to their knees and hold their ears. The sound penetrated them, causing mass hysteria. With an hours of the Trumpet sounding hells Pit of torment Tour open from the Earth's crust and from it, a rupted millions upon millions of locust. Please locust tour through homes, buildings, and people. The sound that they made made people tear At their ears shoving Anything that they could get their hands-on into their own ears Just to stop the sounds from entering their body. This went on for 5 months, then abruptly all that's a locust died. Falling from the sky, as a terrible reminder. Once they all fell to the ground the sixth trumpet screamed out calling forth an army of two million undead warriors, for the next eighteen months they search and brutally attacked and killed close to a third of the male population leaving nothing but death in their wake, once they had accomplished their task they caught fire burning up the locusts and their own bodies to dust. As a calmness came over the world the witnesses came forth speaking of the coming of christ itself, and those who are righteous shall know peace and all others shall know pain and death. In a show of power the witnesses disappeared in a flash of bright blue light and a clap of thunder that shook all that was left. The sky opened as a voice echoed through the ears of all people. Tellimg them to fall to their knees and beg for forgiveness and show that they have true faith in God for if they don't it would strike them down sending them to hell. With much fear, anger, pain, and hatred. People of the world lashed out, calling the so called one true God a false God a sad and jealous God end they would not Worship follow or do, as is it commanded and for it's so-called chosen one, it could also turn back and never return. For they As people of the world would find their own way they could live. Be happy and grow they would turn this world back in to something lavish and beautiful once again. Screaming out to gods so-called prophet youre not needed. Your God is not needed here all of this pain, death and destruction, it was caused by you. And we will be the ones to rebuild it not you Your profit, not your witnesses, us. And only us now close your gates to heaven and hell. Leave us to our own we've already turned our backs on you so you do the same. We don't want you and we don't need you. The sky closed and went dark leaving only the last few survives scattered across the wasteland that was once earth.
submitted by TrueGod92
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2023.06.02 21:04 hyddroxx5 Help me with my trip
I am planning a trip to visit Thailand in July for 6-7 days and I have no clue about what to do/eat/stay/see etc... .Any advice is appreciated...Kindly help... I'm from India btw... Having a vacation with my brother before he goes off for his PG... Right now I'm thinking 3 days in Bangkok & 3 days near & exploring beaches...Please help me with my itinerary in a way that I can see the city,culture & experience their food...or point me in a direction that would help..
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to ThailandTourism [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 20:56 LIS1050010 Guide: How to Grow Your Own Food
For all of human history, people have managed to feed themselves, either by fishing, hunting, gathering, or subsistence farming. Nowadays, we can simply head to the grocery store to buy our meals. However, growing your own food is both rewarding and money-saving. If you’d like to grow your own food, make sure you research the climate in your region, create rows for your crops, and harvest when your food is ripe to enjoy the food from your garden.
Growing Food in Your Climate Grow most leafy greens and vegetables during a warm summer.
If you have temperatures above 75 °F (24 °C) during the summer, plant your vegetable crops in May or June. Make sure they are planted after the threat of frost is over.
- Lettuce, cabbage, kale, and tomatoes are all great options to plant in the summer.
Legumes do well in a temperate rainforest and are a great source of protein. Plant fruit in the early spring in a moderate climate.
Most fruit, like apples, oranges, lemons, and limes can be grown on trees in a 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) area. Start with planting a fruit tree in a pot to monitor the soil and water intake, and then transfer it to the ground after 1 year during the early spring. Most fruit trees will not start bearing fruit until they are 2 to 3 years old.
Grow winter grains in a cold, wet climate.
- Vine fruits, like grapes, can be grown anywhere with a trellis that they can climb.
If you live in an area that gets below freezing and has a lot of precipitation, plant grains like rye. Rye is able to withstand the cold temperatures and the heavy rainfall that will happen in many areas of the world. Plant your rye in the early fall before the first frost hits.
Farm summer grains in a warm, moderate climate.
- Winter grains will usually give a higher crop yield than summer grains.
Summer grains, like corn, do best during warm weather. If your summers get hot, plant corn in May or June and let it grow over the summer months. Corn does especially well in the midwest area of the United States.
Let root vegetables mature during the fall.
- Rice needs a tropical climate to grow. Southeast Asia is the best climate for rice crops.
Potatoes, beets, radishes, and other vegetables that grow underground prefer to grow during the colder months. Plant root vegetables in July or August to prepare for a fall harvest. You can grow these even if the threat of frost is near, since they are hearty enough to withstand it.
Planting Crops Make sure your soil pH is between 5.5 and 7.0.
Test the pH of your soil by using a test probe or paper strips to determine the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. Most food grows at a pH of 5.5 and 7.0. If your soil is below 5.5, add dolomite, a type of crushed mineral, to make it more basic. If it is higher than 7.0, use pine needles or peat moss to make it more acidic.
Break the ground with a plow or a tiller.
- You can find a test probe or strips at most garden stores.
- You can buy dolomite at most garden stores.
Clear away any large stones, roots and limbs, heavy accumulation of vegetation, and other debris before tilling. Use a rototiller or a plow to disrupt your soil and turn over the top layer. This will make the nutrients in your soil more readily available and allow the top layer of soil to refresh itself.
- To sustain a 4-person family, use 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) of land to grow vegetables and grains.
On a small plot of land, you can use a pick, shovel, and hoe to till your land instead. Lay rows with a hoe or a plow.
Mark out the area you intend to plant. Use a hoe or plow to create a slightly raised bed in the loose soil in a line across the length of the plot. Next, make a shallow groove cut in the soil with your rototiller and a furrow attachment. Do this until your growing area is covered in rows.
Place your seeds in the furrows at the depth they require.
- You can rent rototillers and their attachments at many hardware stores.
The depth of planting may vary according to your choice of plants. Check on the back of your seed packet to find out the best depth for your plant. Make a small hole with your fingers and place 2 to 3 seeds in each hole.
Cover the seeds in soil and gently pack down the dirt.
- Plants like legumes and melons, squash, cucumbers are planted between 3⁄4 inch (1.9 cm) and 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep, and corn and potatoes may be planted 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) to 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) deep.
- You can also start seeds indoors and transplant them after they have sprouted.
This will prevent the seed bed from drying out in the sun. Use the palm of your hand to press down on top of the seeds you planted. Make sure they are covered all the way so they don’t get eaten by animals. Continue this process until you have the number of rows you planned on planting.
Managing and Harvesting Your Crops Water your garden every day during the summer.
The sun can dry out and kill your crops if they do not have enough water to replenish themselves. Use a garden hose or a sprinkler system to water your crops thoroughly every day from May to September. If the temperature reaches above 90 °F (32 °C), water your crops twice a day.
Weed your garden if it is getting overrun.
- Winter crops like rye do not need to be watered unless it is a particularly dry winter.
Because you are planting this crop in rows, you will be able to walk the center area between rows. Remove any weeds by hand that sprout up during your growing season. Make sure you get the root of the weed when you pull it so that it doesn’t grow back.
Deter pests with fences and natural sprays.
- Weeds are much easier to pull in loose or wet soil.
- Try not to disturb the roots of your crop as you weed.
If you see leaves that have been eaten, it could be a sign of insects or vermin. Use a chicken-wire fence to keep out small animals like mice and rabbits. Remove and kill insects as you find them, or use a natural deterrent like peppermint oil to keep pests away. Tip:
Make a peppermint spray by combining 2 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1 gallon (3,800 mL) of water. Mist the leaves of your crops once a day to keep common insects away. Harvest your crops when they are ripe.
Many common garden vegetables are harvested as they become ripe, and continue to produce throughout the growing season with proper care. Grains, on the other hand, are most often harvested when they are fully ripened and dry on the plant. Use sharp, clean gardening tools to pick or cut your crops so you don’t damage the plants. Preserve your food if you can’t eat it all.
If you have grown grains, use barns which will keep your stored harvest dry and safe from insects and vermin. A combination of storage and preservation methods are the best way to reduce food waste. Drying, canning, freezing, and bedding are all viable options for storing food.
- Bedding is a method for storing root crops such as potatoes, rutabagas, and beets. Lay your root crops in a dry, cool location on a straw bed.
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2023.06.02 20:54 Mista9000 Perfectly Safe Demons -Ch 13- Kidnappers hate this one weird trick!
[Chapter One] Prev
Late at night, in the back of a warehouse.
Grigory squirmed against his restraints. The rope binding his hands was coarse and too tight, causing his hands to lose feeling. A bored council guard stood nearby, but was mostly ignoring him. He wasn’t going to get far with his hands and feet tied together. It was worse than he had thought possible. They are very much going to kill him tonight. This was even worse than either Stanisk or Aethlina had speculated, and he just knew that they would use his role in this disaster against him in future disagreements. However, he might be overly optimistic worrying about a future that might not include him.
Grigory thought over what he had left in his notebooks, contemplating if it would be enough for someone to continue his work. He wasn't sure. It was a lot more than he started with, but there weren't a lot of qualified scholars looking to follow his footsteps. The best outcomes for a lot of different paths all need him to survive.
Grigory tried not to be distracted by the ropes digging into him, and frantically wracked his mind for any sort of escape plan. He had a single imp totem on him, and they left him with his satchel nearby. That’s something. He would need to be untied to invoke it, and a single perfectly safe imp wouldn’t change the balance of power much. Perhaps if everyone but the four executive members left, he and Stanisk might have a chance to overpower them. Well he could at least be distracting while Stanisk overpowered them. They also hadn’t checked his satchel yet, so maybe he could bribe them with the ten thousand glindi engraved gold bar he brought to pledge his support? Bribes are a type of negotiation, and being tied up while they already had the gold put him in a frustratingly weak position to start negotiations. Not getting executed by the organised crime successor to the Council of Demonologists wasn’t on his list, but he still felt it was important.
Grigory could clearly see and hear the meeting continue in the centre of the warehouse. A small detail that he noticed was just how small the sums were. Robberies of a few hundred glindi? The value of a business protection racket being ten glucks a week? Had the runaway success of his imp-made goods distorted his value of money? Pandemonium Partners profited a few hundred thousand a month, and the big safe in the workshop’s basement held about a million glindi, mostly in heavy gold bars. That was after the expenses, taxes and salaries had been paid. Maybe bribes will work here.
Another trend that emerged was how cheap lives appeared to be. Stole a knife from the boss? Death. Miscounted the take? Death. Didn’t show up to the job? Finger loss. How they attracted or retained any talent at all was its own mystery. On that note, we wonder if he enormously overpaid his people? These goons were killing each other over sums of money close to what he paid each of his security goons a day, which in turn was a fraction of what he was paying his partners. All the people he hired seemed excited when he told them the starting salary, and not a single one asked for a raise. Not the time for that! Focus on the matter at hand! Grigory continued to look for anything that he could use to escape.
All too soon the business part of the meeting was concluded. Two of the Council's guards wheeled out a cask of beer, and a crate of cheap clay mugs. Not great news for plans that require being left alone. In singles and groups the ‘Demonologists’ started to come over to where he was tied up. To drink cheap beer and look upon true evil in his demon summoning face.
“Hullo gentlemen! This is all a silly mistake, I’m sure we can work something out,” Grigory said with a calmness and pleasantness he didn’t feel.
A gangster in a threadbare tunic and patched leather pants started going through his coat, and then his satchel. His notebooks with neatly written titles were thrown on the floor, and the minor spell reagents placed on top of a nearby crate.
“Holy shit!” he exclaimed far too loudly, ensuring everyone saw him pull out the slim gold bar, about the size of a knife handle. “This can’t be real?!” The gangster saw how everyone near him stared, mouths agape at the bar in his open hand. The bar’s engraving of the Royal Mint of Hiruxia glinting in the flickering rushlight.
“Back off! I found it!” He held the gold tight in his fist and drew his dirty, nicked knife from his belt with his free hand. Quicker than a blink of an eye every member had their blades out and the men at arms from the edges moved towards the commotion.
“PUT IT AWAY!” boomed Arcanist Devorio. He reasserted control of the situation with palpable menace. “The prisoner and all his goods are the property of the Council! Put it down on the table, Tricky Tupo!”
The gangsters grudgingly resheathed their weapons, and Tricky Tupo passed the bar to the Arcanist without making eye contact.
“Holy shit, it is actually real gold!” Devorio muttered after inspecting it for a second. “Where the hell did you steal something like this?”
Something in his phrasing crystalized a plan in Grigory’s mind. An insane, reckless, dangerous plan. Grigory tried not to smile when he replied, “Not stolen at all, well not from our plane of reality.”
“You summoned it?” the well dressed head of the council asked incredulously.
“Oh no, not at all! I stole it from the treasury of Hell! You see that’s the point of having a perfectly obedient demon, it does what I say, and not what the Lords of Hell say,” Grigory lied. The Hellplane wasn’t organised like that at all. There was no such thing as a treasury there. He still wasn’t sure how to sell it, but he hoped there was enough ignorance and greed in the room to do the heavy lifting for him.
“Demonologists have never stolen from hell! As far as I know. I think?” The arcanist was in uncertain territory.
“Mostly true! But we steal minor things all the time, like magical energy, or arcane secrets, but the exciting advance I wrote to you about was stealing things like minerals or artefacts and sometimes regular boring gold.” Grigory was hoping he was priming their greed enough. He worried he was being too subtle.
“Well, it looks like you have a new job! You steal Hell gold for us now!” The Arcanist-turned-crime-lord was back in familiar territory of coercing people into giving him what he wanted.
“Oh I couldn’t!" Grigory feigned reluctance. “I don’t have the right equipment, I haven’t done the full balancing equations for today’s planar alignments! I should go home and get what I need, and I’ll be happy to come back tomorrow and we can get a fresh start on this.”
“Not a chance! You’re doing the ritual this instant, or your blood will cover this entire floor!” Davenio countered.
Grigory, aware that excess blood could damage goods, decided against arguing. “Alright, you win, I’ll have my imp steal another dozen gold bars tonight, I guess. But that’s it! I’m leaving after that!”
“Hah! We’ll see about that!” The arcanist cut Grigory’s bonds while staring straight into his eyes.
Grigory rubbed his sore wrists, and looked at the fifty or so people that had gathered around him. Cruel smiles and the stink of cheap beer surrounded him, but he had a plan. “First I’ll need to summon my imp, to help me set up the ritual!” Grigory found himself speaking like a showman at a fair, with exaggerated gestures and in a loud clear voice. The assembled thugs, goons and crime lords backed up to give him some space. Aethlina suggested obscuring the details of invoking a demon, which was a great idea. He slowly and rhythmically chanted in demonic detail how he likes his tea, with lots of hand gestures and steps and ritualistic looking movements. After a few long seconds he pulled out the imp totem from his vest, waved it around like a wand for a bit before doing the quick gesture of invocation to actually invoke the imp. With two small clicks the tiny imp landed on the rough floorboards of the warehouse. Several goons gasped, and one of the lady goons even shrieked a bit. Truly a sad state of affairs when someone calling themselves a demonologist is startled by a tiny perfectly safe imp!
Grigory picked up his notebooks from the floor, and found the one titled ‘Charts, Formulas, and Tables.’. Doing some mental maths, and modifying a few old spells and rituals on the fly, Grigory gave his imp simple directions in demonic. He could have just spoken plainly, but he was aware he was also putting on a show. Keeping everyone’s attention was important for the next part.
“Ahem, is there any furnace ash, or the like? I’ll need to create a circle in ash or wax or sand.” A few people turned to look for what he needed, and Grigory returned to working out the planar alignment in his notebook. They returned with a canvas bag of stove ashes, he looked them over and nodded. “Does anyone have a silvered steel blade I can use? Anyone at all? No matter, I have one!” Grigory pulled out the small pocket knife he used to cut his food with. It actually was silvered steel, since that also came up from time to time in his line of work. Besides it was interesting to learn that was the only silvered steel blade in the room.
Grigory passed the bag of ash to the imp. He gave detailed instructions on the shape, symbols, and spacing of the elements, all crucial to the huge circle taking shape in the middle of the warehouse floor. The assembled crowd of dirty, dangerous, and desperate deviants started to look concerned. What had started as a bit of mean spirited fun was fast turning into the exact thing they knew was evil incarnate. A path to Hell was being built in front of them! A few moved to leave, but the others called them names and threatened their reputations, forcing them to stay and watch. There was a good reason to stay, there was about to be a lot of gold for everyone. In theory.
At last the preparations were complete. Grigory slowly walked the entire outside of his circle to make sure it was unbroken. He had done similar rituals before, but always with hours of double checking, and never with an audience. His hands were sweaty and shaking as he tore a page out of his notebook. Quickly, he scribbled down a final set of instructions in demonic script and handed it to the imp.
“Merp!” it said in agreement.
Grigory turned to address everyone. He saw a very worried Stanisk standing off to the back, and he subtly gestured for him to wait. Steadying his nerves for a second he addressed his gathered kidnappers, “Soon you will see a small tear in reality! Plug your ears, lest the screams of the damned drive you mad!” Grigory looked around, to make sure everyone was properly alarmed, and activated the ritual.
With a crack of thunder and a hurricane blast of dry wind that reeked of hot iron and sulphur Grigory’s surprise appeared in the centre of the circle. A towering rage demon, its black armoured hide covered in dancing hellfire, its wolf-like face filled with jagged fangs, and its shoulders brushing the rafters of the old warehouse. The assembled criminals looked up from the floor and saw the bipedal nightmare towering over them. They stood stalk still, not knowing how to react, nor sure what exactly was happening.
Grigory stood up straight and turned on the crowd, in a commanding bellow he condemned them, “What kind of idiots let a master demonologist do any summoning ritual he wants?! Look upon the true power of hell and despair!! Your petty schemes are –”
Grigory’s gloating was cut short by a foundation shaking roar from the demon. It started grabbing people at random, and biting them in half, throwing hunks of torso against the wall with splattering force. In accordance with the note, Grigory’s imp hopped up on the table, grabbed the bar of gold from where Arcanist Devorio put it, and sprinted figure eights between the demon's legs. With everyone’s fear AND greed now focused in the same area, Grigory took his stuff and ran for the door. Most of the so-called ‘demonologists’ were trying to escape, but a few were focused on the imp running with a gold bar held over its head. That was as much as a labourer would make in a year, and they couldn’t just walk away from that. The massive demon continued to kill and dismember with glee. The sound of tearing meat and snapping bones was even louder than the screams of the dying. As far as distractions go, Grigory was pretty proud of this one.
Grigory started for the door they had entered by. However, it was jammed with people trying to escape. He stopped at the edge of the chaos, trying to gather his thoughts. As he did, a better solution appeared to him. The demon grabbed one of the cutthroats that dove at the imp’s gold, and threw him at the wall with enough force to vaporise him. The impact filled the whole side of the warehouse in a steamy red mist, and sprayed meaty chunks over everything. The demon howled with laughter when he saw how people popped when thrown into walls.
The important part for Grigory was that there was now a second exit. An exit covered in gore and bone fragments, but entirely clear of goons. Signalling Stanisk, he made his way out through the wreckage. Slower than he’d like, and getting blood and worse on everything, but a clear path. The demon had stopped feeding entirely and was just throwing people as hard as he could, first at the floor then at other people. Its roars of rage were now peals of terrifying laughter. The air in the warehouse was thick with a mist of blood from the high energy impacts.
“I assume it knows not to kill us?” Stanisk asked in a ragged voice once he caught up to Grigory.
“Yes, but only not to kill people in purple. So don’t take off your tabard! It was the best I could do!”
They struggled out into the cool night air of the yard, free of the stenches of hell, gore and terror.
Stanisk looked down at his tabard, so soaked in fresh blood that it looked black. He ran even faster to the wagon.
“So this thing is just going to destroy the city until someone slays it then?” Stanisk asked, as they ran to the cart while frantically gesturing for his two guards to turn the wagon around and get it rolling.
“Oh no! Just until midnight” Grigory explained after he dove into the moving wagon. He wiped his blood soaked hands on his blood soaked robes, to no benefit.
Stanisk stared backwards at the destruction unfolding behind them. The demon had brought the warehouse down around himself and was clearly visible from the road. It was still energetically killing and smashing. “That's more than an hour! You reckon it’ll come for us?”
The single horse dragging a cargo wagon with four men on it was maddeningly sluggish
Grigory fumbled around for something to get the blood and bone fragments off his glasses. Finally finding part of his undershirt clean, he wiped them and he replied,“Oh my no,It’s bound to the summoning circle. Within a hundred paces.” They both watched as a few people fled on horseback, and a wagon rattled away at a gallop. Mostly it was a mess of shouting and terror. Knife fights broke out as people tried to commandeer the remaining horses. Horses were panicking and bolting without riders. Some survivors just ran away on foot. With every fresh kill the demon laughed so loud that Grigory felt like it was coming from his own skull.
“What the hell happened in there, sirs?” asked the terrified guard driving the cart.
Grigory turned around to answer, but Stanisk put a hand on his arm and answered instead, “Those filthy witches in there tried to kill us with a demon, but Grigory outsmarted them and turned it on its creators. Keep driving Kedril, we should be safe in an intersection or so.”
“Light preserve us all!” Kedril the driver said. “Is that a real demon Sir?”
Grigory watched the demon grab one of the goons fighting in the yard and threw him in a high arc towards the city centre. The demon’s arm cracked like a whip as it threw. The ragged corpse left a trail of blood mist as it arced far overhead.
Grigory answered calmly, “Yes.”
Grigory pulled out his demon totem from his robes, and devoked the imp, causing a gold bar a block and a half behind them to clatter to the blood soaked warehouse floor and slide into some debris. He was surprised how calm he felt. By all accounts his plan was in shambles and he’d stirred up a dozen hornets nests. Facing certain death and prevailing did wonders for one’s perspective.
Grigory looked over at Stanisk, and he was looking less calm. Which was entirely fair. A lot of uniquely horrific things happened tonight. Stanisk’s mouth was a tight line, face pale and eyes bloodshot. That might have just been blood from before, that got in his eyes.
“We can’t go through town looking like we bathed in the blood of the innocent, take us to the Golden Anchor’s warehouse on Glibstone Street. We own that place, we can clean up and change there,” Stanisk tersely told the driver.
Grigory countered, “First off, the previous owners of this blood were far from innocent, and secondly that’s across town, let's just lay in the bed, throw the rainsheet over us, and go to the main workshop.”
Stanisk groaned and tried to rub the blood off his face while he thought it over, but just smeared it around.
“Fine, Kedril, Remember to do a few triple left turns to make sure we aren’t being followed, like we discussed last month.” Stanisk undid the oilcloth on the side, connected it to the mounting points, and slid underneath.
“I think we need to review our plans!” Grigory whispered.
“Shhhh, cargo don’t talk.” Stanisk whispered back. The soldier cupped his head in one hand, and covered his eyes with the other and tried to get comfortable enough to sleep. Grigory rolled onto his back and stared at the cloth in front of his face. He tried not to dwell on the odd whip crack sound coming from behind them, nor the horrified gasps of the two guards on the driver’s bench while he mentally updated his plans.
A few hours later Grigory was bathed, wearing fresh clothes and feeling much better. He sat contemplating at the kitchen table in his workshop. He was troubled by what this was going to mean for his business and for himself. Stanisk was still in the tub cleaning up, and the two guards had been dismissed for the night. It was shortly after midnight now, and that meant more to Grigory than it did other nights. He hoped no one innocent died tonight, but he was also a little surprised how little he was bothered by the destruction he unleashed this evening. Considering it was the first time he took another human’s life, albeit indirectly, he expected a stronger emotional response. Part of this was a clear case of kill or be killed. Another part was these people were awful people. Grigory worried this might mean he had more subconscious bias against the value of the lives of the economically disadvantaged, but that’s probably not it. Being biassed against people that were willing to kill him made more sense, but also he knew the coming years mean that will become the same as willing to kill most of the world.
Grigory put on some fresh tea, and set out another cup for Stanisk when he was done washing. He couldn’t shake the feeling that his worst fear, being mad with power and using that power to violently kill everyone he perceived as an enemy, wasn’t as far-fetched as it was before. These were the goons that might have killed his mentor, Archmage Willoford. Avenging a mentor was a reasonable rationale, at least in songs and plays. Grigory knew that wasn’t his motivation tonight. And besides that was the inquisition from the sounds of it, these ones just celebrated his mentor's execution, which isn’t really moral grounds for demonic dismemberment. He also knew he could have summoned a stench demon or a screaming demon, or just non demon based rituals he could have used to escape without violence. He didn’t even offer to bribe them, just straight to violence. Grigory wasn’t sure he liked finding out who he really was when lives were on the line.
His introspection was interrupted by a sound coming from his workshop door, and he sagged with relief when he saw it was just Aethlina. Relief that was short lived, because the questions started immediately.
“I assume you had something to do with the demonic giant that threw seventeen people into the side of the Cathedral of the Light?” the elv asked, without reproach or scorn.
Grigory took a second to answer. “I had something to do with the presence of that demon in our plane of reality. I had a little to do with either the people it chose to throw. Nothing to do with where it chose to throw them nor its accuracy. Interesting it threw them at the Cathedral, you’d think it would have some kinship with the church? They both love burning people.”
“By all accounts the accuracy at least, was excellent. All the bodies hit Cathedral Square. The Cathedral itself requires extensive repairs to the nave, and two flying buttresses collapsed. At least according to the terrified lady I ran into.” Aethlina paused for a few seconds in case Grigory chose to share more details.
Aethlina asked mildly, “How rude of me. I meant to ask, how did your meeting go tonight?”
Stanisk came out from around the partition wearing fresh clothes. “The fucking witches weren’t even witches! They were just shadow blighted gangsters what stole the demonologists reputation! Broke as shit, and twice as dumb!”
Stanisk grabbed a bottle of whiskey off the shelf and sat down at the table, ignoring the cup and the pot of tea. After drinking right from the bottle he continued, “It hit the actual main Cathedral? The one right in the centre of town? That’s like an hour walk from where we were! A catapult wouldn’t have thrown a person half that far!”
“The one and the same, The Grand Ubrafadter’s residence is in that square, so I assume what follows will be the sort of witch hunt the city has never seen before.” Aethlina turned to Grigory, “May I also assume your reasons for staying in the city are weaker and your reasons for leaving are stronger than they were yesterday?“
“There were definitely survivors, and I was introduced by name. I can’t stay here, probably not in the empire at all. I don’t think they know the name of the company, but Stanisk and I were wearing the company’s sigil, so it might not be long for them to work it out.” Grigory rubbed the bridge of his nose without taking off his glasses. “I guess we should start planning our exit immediately.”
In a rare show of emotion Aethlina smiled for a second, “We are leaving on a ship named the Widow’s Remorse, it’s provisioned for us and departs on the morning tide, in about nine hours. The captain agreed to wait until we were in open water to hear our destination. He and his crew also suffer from a rare medical condition where their memory fades entirely anytime they are given a bag of money. The ship can carry thirty-five passengers, so the guards can bring their families. I’ll describe the places I think we should go, after we are in open waters.”
Grigory was both very impressed and a touch alarmed. “Did you know what would happen at that meeting? Did you know what I was walking into?”
“No, I had mistakenly assumed you were on top of that, and took you on your word about them. The odds of them being what you expected were poor. I also had a detailed plan in case they kidnapped you.”
Stanisk burst out laughing, “Imagine if they kidnapped you, Boss! All trussed up like a rotisserie chicken! Hah! I guess I’ll get packed and meet back here to get everything organised! I’ll miss my townhouse, but I’ve had enough of living in Jagged Cove, it's loud and crowded.”
Stanisk stood up, and turned to leave, but paused mid stride. “Miss Aethlina, how big of an investigation do you reckon it’ll be? Reckon they could keep after us after we leave?”
“Likely.There are cases where the inquisition spent entire centuries on the trail of heretics and their descendents. Those heresies were vocally opposing an aspect of doctrine. This may be the first heresy in which a building-sized demon flung citizens into Cathedral Square. I assume yes, they will be interested in following up.”
“Alright, I’ve got an idea that might buy us some time. Grigory, are there any specific numbers that are significant to demons?”
“Um, not actually, but the older texts are filled with references to threes and eights I guess?” Grigory said with a shrug.
“Perfect!” Stanisks' smile strengthened and he turned to Aethlina. “Can you think of eight nobles, eight businessmen, and eight clergy the city would be better off without? Here, write 'em on this!” He slid her a notebook page when she nodded.
Grigory leaned forward,”I’m not sure what you are going for?”
“In the army, there was a famously clever bird that would trick soldiers, called a red heron. We are going to make a whole flock of ‘em!” Stanisk excitedly explained. “Oh, draw a demon circle on this page, doesn’t have to work or anything, like the one from the warehouse”
Grigory began his sketch. “I don’t think red heron is quite right, but I’m catching your drift.”
While they wrote, Stanisk went to the carved chest where all the imp totems for the workshop were stored, and invoked twenty four of them. Taking Aethlina’s list and Grigory’s sketch, he ordered each imp to sprint across town and use hellfire to scorch the circle into the street in front of the home of a specific name.
After the final imp bounded out of the building and was leaping along the rooflines Stanisk returned to his partners. “Now they’ll have too many leads! Hopefully folk see the imps and hellfire, that’ll be even better!”
“We can just outvoke them in an hour or so, that's easy enough. Great idea, Stanisk!” Grigory said cautiously, still thinking through the plan.
“If your big demon didn’t cause a public panic, I can’t imagine a better way to finish the job.” Aethlina replied.
Stanisk smiled and shrugged. “It wasn’t my good looks alone that kept me alive this long! I’ll send some runners to gather the lads and get this show on the road. Human runners I mean!” Prev
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2023.06.02 20:50 ExitAcceptable Haven’t eaten yet today. Don’t know how to manage 1300 with my lifestyle
I’m struggling with depression around my weight gain. I’ve slowly put on about 20-25lb in the last 5 years. I’ve been in a cycle of telling myself I’ll “start Monday” but because of how my life is structured I just find myself sliding back into old habits all the time.
I live in a busy food/beverage mecca, I have friends and family visiting the city near constantly. I am partnered with someone who works a very high stress job with long hours, who loves to unwind with a burger and beer out and about. It feels like every single weekend and most weeknights I’m either obligated to, or am tempted to, go out for dinner and drinks. I can usually order a salad and stick to one or two drinks but let’s be honest… that alone is probably 1300 calories
My calorie deficit based on my stats is 1300 cals a day, aiming to lose a pound a week. I haven’t been able to lose weight in years. I’ve basically been halfway in this entire 5 year period. I’ve never had to lose 10lb let alone 20lb and I just feel overwhelmed.
I have a friend coming to visit for a long weekend. A college friend who is honestly a heavy drinker and wants to experience the town. I felt like I couldn’t say no because she initiated the visit, wanted to make the trip and I haven’t seen her in probably a year.
I feel hopeless to make any changes. It’s 3pm where I am and she’s arriving soon and I’ve basically decided not to eat at all so I can try to limit the number of calories I’m bound to consume this weekend. Everything feels hard… changing my lifestyle feels hard, sticking to a measly 1300 calories feels hard. I hate how much mental energy this is consuming. It’s stealing my happiness
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2023.06.02 20:48 Jhonjournalist 77,000 Individuals in 6 Regions are Affected by Betty’s Limited Damage in PH
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The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said on Friday that tropical cyclone Betty’s impact on infrastructure and agriculture
However, the storm harmed over 77,000 people
across six districts, according to NDRRMC spokesperson Raffy Alejandro. He said on ANC’s “Rundown” that the damage caused by Betty to infrastructure and agriculture was “very minimal” based on his monitoring and reporting.
According to Alejandro, there have been some landslides in the Cordillera while a historic warehouse has been demolished in Cagayan.
monsoon may continue to intensify after Betty exited the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday afternoon, according to PAGASA, the state weather agency.
- National Disaster Risk Reduction Council reports minor infrastructure and agriculture impacts from Betty.
- Storm damages 77,000 people, minimal infrastructure damage reported.
- Alejandro emphasizes improving preparations by maintaining adequate stockpiles.
The nation is currently being affected by the habagat. Previously, the NOAA predicted that between 10 and 14 tropical cyclones would make landfall in PAR between May and October of this year.
Alejandro stated, “We will keep improving our preparations by ensuring we have an adequate stockpile of food and non-food products in our strategic warehouses across the nation.
While we improve our response unit’s capabilities all the way down to local government
, we will also keep improving our reaction unit’s capabilities.” Learn More: https://www.worldmagzine.com/agriculture/77000-individuals-in-6-regions-are-affected-by-bettys-limited-damage-in-ph/
2023.06.02 20:46 CAWAFL7 Great Dane Gastro Issues
Our 3 year old blue Merle Great Dane has had gastrointestinal issues since he was a pup. It started as a rare occurrence- one loose stool here or there. More recently, his upsets have been occurring more frequently (about once a week) he will vomit and/or have loose stools. His vomit episode are HOURS after his last meal and the food looks exactly the same in vomit form as it did in his bowl. After a vomit occurrence, we’d withhold his dog food, and deliver a chicken and rice diet for a few days until his stomach was rested and his poops resumed to soft/formed. We’ve been doing this method for years, he’d be okay for a few weeks without throwing up or diarrhea and then randomly, he’d have an episode and we’d begin the cycle all over again. We’ve tried to isolate what could be causing him to throw up so randomly, why could he be fine for a week or two and then boom he’s vomit, or we’d come home from dinner to find a poopy in the house. We’ve changed his dog food diet only a few times to try to isolate certain proteins or see if it was how we were feeding him and adjusted his feeding schedule. We’ve added some anti-diarrheal to his food but not a long term solution. Nothing thus far has provided a permanent fix, he’s fine for a few weeks and then will have an accident. It’s all been pretty manageable so far, but within the last couple months, his accidents have become more common about once a week he’d either vomit and/or have loose stools. I’m concerned for malnutrition if he cannot keep his meals down, and also, this may be happening more often than we know because my husband and I both work, and our other dog will eat his vomit if we’re not home to stop it. Furthermore, I’m concerned for something more malignant with his GI tract, and know that a vet trip is in our near future if he doesn’t get better. We’ve taken him into our vet when he was younger and these vomiting episodes started happening, and our vet told us to rest his stomach and do chicken and rice. We stopped taking him in for these vomiting issues because they would happen often and they would resolve for a short period without additional interventions. Within the last year, for our check up, I mentioned that the vomit episode and loose stools haven’t stopped, although not a constant occurrence (at the time) this is now looking like a chronic issue. Our vet said his blood tests were normal, physical examination (that day/time) was normal, and that the next step would be to do some imaging scans (CT, EGD) to see if there is something internal going on. We decided to hold off for now because costs, but I’m worried he will become malnourished and I don’t know what else to do here. We are now attempting a home cooked diet for him, but I’m hoping to get him back to regular dog food. His feedings are 3x a day, 2-3 cups each meal. He weighs around 140 lbs and is very lean. He is intact and has no other major issues that we know of.
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2023.06.02 20:45 Vcm814 What else can I do or ask for? 2 failed FETs
I froze embryos two years ago (age 35 female and age 34 male at the time). I had three genetically tested day 6 embryos from that cycle. I don’t get a lot of eggs, frozen twice and got 9, then 8, none of my frozen eggs from my first cycle in 2019 ended up fertilizing when we unfroze them, so the 3 embryos came from the 2021 round where we fertilized immediately then froze.
I did a saline ultrasound last year (2022) when we started trying naturally. Nothing was found.
March 2023, I did a mock cycle and the ERA EMMA Alice and Receptiva tests. I was found to be prereceptive, needing an extra day of Progesterone. The rest were negative.
April 2023, I transferred an embryo that failed. Estradiol orally 3x day + 1ml progesterone nightly. I ate all warm foods, did acupuncture (leading up to, day of, and post transfer), limited exercise, had cut out caffeine and alcohol. My estradiol and progesterone levels looked good. No explanation for failure.
May 25, 2023, I transferred another embryo. I did same protocol as above but added kitchen sink to include Pepcid and Claritin and upped progesterone to 1.25 as it was borderline (20.5) on day of transfer. I have now had two negative tests (day 7 and 8 - today)z My beta test is Monday but I’m 99% certain it will be negative. I also had a Myriad Thrombophilia panel done to test for any autoimmune issues on the recommendation of a friend after 1st dialed FET and all came back negative.
We have one embryo remaining. I’m now 37, nearly 38, and we want two kids. Do I freeze again, seek out a second opinion, anything else to change?
Feeling pretty down, especially since we did all the tests in advance, and it doesn’t help that none of this is covered by my insurance.
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2023.06.02 20:43 kennymax123 Coral Burst Crabapple has many dead/dying branches this spring. What to do?
We have had this tree for about five years and it usually always produces leaves, but this year, nearly half the branches seem to be dead or dying. This is after my has been trimmed most of the dead branches. The last one he trimmed, he was concerned that it was still “alive” because of a little green on the outside
Husband has used plant food on it and suspecting maybe that could’ve been a cause.
What would’ve caused us? What should we do?
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2023.06.02 20:43 GrumpyOik "Feral" Cat adoption. Does anybody have stories to give me hope?
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This is Luther. We adopted him from a shelter 15 months ago. They described him as "a bit Aloof".
For the first 5 weeks, we kept him indoors. He hid constantly. After 5 weeks, he disappeared - we believe he had manged to squeeze through a very small gap in an upstairs window. He was spotted at various places in the immediate neighbourhood - and we put out food and his litterbox so he could "find his way home".
He now uses our house like a hostel. He sleeps indoors most nights (we had left a cat bed in the hallway during the cold months - he either sleeps there or on the sofa. As soon as he hears us come downstairs, he runs out into the garden.
He gets regular meals. He sits outside the open catflap (he seems too stupid to use one- so we leave it wedged open) and licks his lips at us when he wants feeding. He will occassionally sneak past my wife in the kitchen to go to his bowls in the dining room - but this is the sum total of our interaction. He won't come near us, he doesn't interact. He never makes any verbal sounds.
We are not new to cats, Luther is the sixth over the last 25 years - it's just that Luther is all the hassle of a cat (mostly worrying about him) with none of the rewards (interaction, cuddles, purs, companionship).
Has anybody ever adopted a "feral" cat? Is there hope? - will he eventually come around and find that humans are OK?
He is ours, we take responsibility and will make sure his needs are met - but it is difficult havin a non companiable cat. https://preview.redd.it/3hiuej93hn3b1.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=58c8f430ebb4712fbba9fe1f6b01fcf26b230504
2023.06.02 20:33 yupanda 24 days in Japan. Osaka - Onomichi - Shimanami Kaido/Matsuyama- Hiroshima/Miyajima - Kyoto - Takayama/ Kamikochi/Matsumoto - Tokyo
Hi lovely people,
We just came back from our first trip to Japan and it was truly a memorable trip. We spent over 3 weeks in Japan from 07th May until 30th May.
WE LOVE JAPAN! Can't wait to come back.
A little bit about us: We are both ~30y olds and enjoy a mix of urban, outdoor and culture during our holidays. We are foodies, but not hard-core as in we don't specifically organize our trips around restaurants. There are so many restaurants in Japan, it is hard to get a bad meal. We enjoy just wandering around neighbourhoods. Mostly low/mid-budget stuff with a splurge once in a while.
Our travel itinerary can be found here General comments
- Time period of travel: We arrived 7th of May which is the last sunday of Golden week. We specifically wanted to avoid Golden week, as we heard it can be crazy busy due to domestic travels. And we also didn't want to go too late in May because June is rainy season in Japan. We were pretty lucky with the weather overall as we only had a couple of days of rain, most days were sunny and we even had some days of sweltering heat :O
- Like other people suggest, try to get in shape before you go! We are both in average shape. Almost every day we walked around 20.000 steps or more. The only rest days we had were the days where we were switching between cities, i.e. sitting in trains for longer periods of time. No complaints ;). I brought two pair of shoes: water-proof hiking shoes and one pair of light-weight running shoes. Switching between shoes was nice, I didn't have any blisters during my time in Japan luckily. All the walking compensated all the eating though!
- Check whether region specific JR passes might work for you. We decided against getting the nationwide JR passes as they didn't fit our needs and were expensive and instead opted for a regional JR Setouchi area pass. It was perfect for the Shimanami Kaido. We could travel from Osaka to Onomichi -> Hiroshima/Miyajima -> Kyoto. And it also gave us access to Nozomi shinkansen (fastest) and a great ferry ride between Matsuyama and Hiroshima.
Japanguide has a nice overview of all the passes : https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2357.html
- Be flexible (That's how we like to travel). I mapped out most of the sights beforehand according to must-see's and mapped out what other interesting sights there would be in those areas. The day before or in the morning, we would decide what we would do roughly, sight-see according to neighborhood and just wing it a little bit. We just love to wander around and see what we come across, mixed with some google maps + "explore" function. Some days you are just tired and just want to hang out in a park, or you have temple-fatigue and want to do something entirely else. Same with food/restaurants, we usually just used google maps to see what kind of great restaurants were near us at that moment. We haven't lined up more than twice our whole time there and still ate wonderfully. We do tend to avoid overly hyped stuff anyways. I do keep in mind that everyone has their own ways.
- Buy e-sim if possible, it is the cheapest and easiest way. My partner bought an e-sim and it was so convenient! My phone unfortunately didn't support it and I had to buy a sim. I opted for getting one at BIC camera, which was the cheapest I could find. 10GB for 30 days for 3200 yen.
- Keep plastic bags for trash. Buying food from conbini, and eating it somewhere? say yes to that plastic bag, because you will need it to stash your garbage until you are back at your hotel where you can throw it away or you find a garbage bin at the train station per chance. I read about this a lot on this subreddit, but still I found it astonishing the lack of trash cans. Fascinating how the streets of Japan are so damn clean.
- Try Pokari sweat. :) I tried it for the first time there and I was hooked immediately. It is awesome! Best electrolyte drink ever and it definitely saved me during those hot sweaty days there. CC lemon is also great!
- Go for a haircut or some other beauty/massage treatment. The hospitality is amazing in Japan. You won't regret getting pampered in Japan. They have all kinds of crazy treatments. I got the best haircut of my life for 4400yen.
Trip report PS. I am not mentioning everything we did in this post. I will just mention highlights. It is still a long read though ;). D1 - D2 Osaka
We landed at Kansai airport. Before our trip, we also bought train vouchers for Osaka online (https://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/
). Best decision ever, because the journey was rough and we were exhausted by the time we landed. We only had to exchange our vouchers at the station and off we went.
Osaka was nice city to start with as it is a more manageable "smaller" city whilst recovering from our jetlag. Despite being smaller, I do think it is worth a visit. Osaka is so iconic at night. We stayed at a spacious Airbnb near Kuromon Ichiban market.
- Takoyaki :) We had our first try of takoyaki at Takotako King instead of one the places at Dotonbori to avoid the crazy lines. You can sit down, have a beer and yes the takoyaki is amazing. It should be crunchy on the outside and deliciously goeey on the inside, doused with sauces and katsuobushi. Man, I wish I could go back and eat it again. It is true, you can't get great takoyaki outside of Osaka, at least I didn't get that same crunchy gooey combo again in other cities.
- Discount sushi from Takashimaya department store. For the budget-minded, this is a no-brainer. Around 7PM, an hour before closing time, you can get delicious fatty tuna maki at discount prices in the basement of takashimaya. Other foods at the department store food floor such as the fresh mochi are delicious also. Takashimaya is my favorite department store for food I think!
- Osaka castle - Our first castle in Japan. The green roof and the golden ornaments are beautiful and unique!
- Dotonbori - iconic :) fun to walk along. The queues are long there. We avoided eating at Dotonbori.
- Shitenno-ji - beautiful pagoda with buddha statues inside. Do pay the fee to go inside and see the garden. You can also go into the pagoda and walk up.
- Huge fan of Shotengai's, Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street. They are so quintessential Japan.
- Ramen Tendo, the first ramen joint that we tried in Japan, so it has a special place in my heart. They specialize in chicken broth with lots of umami katsuoboshi flavor. Noodles were great too, very bouncy. Delicious! Little did I know that this ramen joint was really one of the best we would have this trip. It set the bar high for sure!
- Visit a local grocery store. Maybe it is just me, but I love to browse at local grocery shops (KOHYO namba Minatomachi) and be fascinated by all the different things they sell. It is also a great place to buy food souvenirs, like miso, green tea etc. Lots of pre-cooked meals/ fried stuff. Just a wider selection than your typical conbini. And again discounts if you go ~1hr before closing time.
Skip Shinsekai: We visited during the day and it felt very empty to me. More like a tourist-trap, the eateries didn't look appealing to me. Maybe during the evening this area is more fun. D3 Nara
We did Nara as a day-trip from Osaka.
- Yes, to feeding the deer. It is touristy, but it is so much fun to be chased by cookie-crazed deer. One more thing: deer's fart a lot. We were wondering where this weird high pitched sound was coming from, those are actually deer farts.
- Todai-ji is very impressive, definitely a must visit.
- Just wander around in Nara park, it's very lush and beautiful and has many more shrines and interesting sights, such as manyo botanical garden. I wish we had one more day to explore Nara but oh well maybe next time :)
- We ate lunch at Magura Koya, a small restaurant run by a lovely elderly couple. Delicious tuna dishes. I had a tuna sashimi bowl and my partner the fried tuna set meal, so fresh!
- We had the best pork bun at Hourokutei at the end of the Higashimuki shopping street. It's a small hole in the wall, but omg the squishy-est juicy-est porkbuns ever.
After staying in Osaka for 3 days, we headed west for the Shimanami Kaido. We decided to stay in Onomichi (Hotel Beacon Onomichi) for the night before we started our two day bike trip. For this part of our trip, we picked up our 7-day Setouchi area pass at Shin-Osaka JR station. I just want to mention that I really love the hospitality of the staff in Japan. The JR office people were so nice and helpful. We reserved our seats for the shinkansen and off we went to Onomichi. Onomichi is a lovely little seaside town to just stroll around and take in the views. I really recommend spending at least half a day here. Don't skip it!
D5 & D6 Shimanami Kaido -> Matsuyama
- Senkoji park observatory - we walked up to the observatory (ropeway available), please walk up as there are lots of nice alleyways, shrines and cats along the way :). The view is amazing, especially at sunset.
- Cat alley: honestly, every alley is cat alley.
- Onomichi Shotengai - very retro, lots of cute shops. We bought a nice poster from a little granny there.
The next day, we picked up our reserved cross bikes from the general bike rental and off we went. Honestly, biking the shimanami kaido was the highlight of our trip. We took two days to bike the whole way, one day would definitely be too rushed for us. We stopped at Ikuchi island (Shimanaido NEST) for our halfway stay.
The sights along the way were great! It was so much fun to go down-hill, the uphills were do-able. We had great weather also, not too hot and no rain. Everything was clearly indicated, we just followed the blue lines. I felt very safe biking in Japan. PS. My butt did hurt from the saddle, so be warned! Bring some cushioned pants if you want to be safe side.
- First pitstop after the first bridge was Hassakuya. You have to stop here! They have delicious strawberry and citrus daifuku! The citrus had a bitter aftertaste, but they are famous for their citrus so its definitely nice to try.
- Just enjoy the views, stop everywhere to take pictures. There are lots of things to explore along the way.
- Stop at roadside stations such as > tatara shimanami park and yoshiumi iki-iki-kan. Especially before you take on the last bridge just do a little pit stop. It's a nice place to take some pictures of the insanely long bridge and have a citrus/vanilla soft cream.
for more info and bike rental
We decided to bike one-way from Onomichi to Imabari and we have no regrets. I liked that we ended the bike trip with the longest bridge (4km!!). Imabari is very industrial, but after the fun long way down from the last bridge and being exhausted from biking you just want to get to the station and stuff yourself with pastries from the bakery at the station and go on to your next destination. Thus, we immediately took the train to Matsuyama. Originally, the plan was to enjoy the famous onsen in Matsuyama, but we didn't have enough time and we were also pretty tired. After checking-in at the hotel, it was already 4, we made our way to Matsuyama castle but unfortunately, we were too late to go in. It was still nice to view it from the outside and walk around the park. We planned to do sightseeing in Hiroshima the next day, so there was no more time to explore Matsuyama further. D7 Hiroshima -> Miyajima
After Shiminami Kaido, we headed towards Hiroshima/Miyajima. We took an early ferry from Matsuyama. The ferry was included in the setouchi JR pass, so we gladly took advantage of that. It's a nice way to get to Hiroshima, just one last view of the Seto inland sea. One remark: if it is not JR serviced transportation, you do have to obtain separate tickets. Normally, just showing your setouchi JR pass is enough to get onboard the train, but for the ferry you do have to go to the ticket desk and show your JR pass to obtain the ferry tickets.
- Peace memorial museum - a history we must not forget and do not want to repeat
- We tried another Hiroshima speciality for lunch: Hiroshima Tsukemen. This tsukemen is GREAT. One of my favorite dishes. We ate at Tsukemen Karabu Tokaichimachi. The spicy umami dipping sauce is very addicting!
Surprisingly, it was very hard to find affordable good accommodation in Hiroshima. It was the weekend and two weeks before G7, so maybe that was the reason why it was harder to find accommodation. In the end, I found a nice simple hotel on Miyajima island and it was a good decision after all! After a long day in Hiroshima, we made our way to Miyajima to stay two nights. Staying on Miyajima island is lovely especially when all the day-trip tourist leave. D8 Miyajima
Honestly, Miyajima is truly magical. Another highlight of our trip! We started the day early to get ahead of the crowd and that made it all so much more enjoyable. Seeing shrines and temples without a crowd is truly 1000x better! If you can stay at Miyajima island, do it! You don't have to splurge on expensive ryokan (although it would have been nice). We stayed at Sakuraya, which was very budget-friendly.
- Itsukishima Jinja - Nice but Daishoin and surrounding nature were the highlights for me.
- Daishoin - it is the most beautiful shrine complex I have seen in Japan this trip. I think it's because it was so quaint and it was embedded in the hill, surrounded by lush green nature. There were multiple complexes. There was a pathway studded with Jizo statues, buddist cave, prayer wheels and much more. While we were there, a ceremony with a monk was ongoing and everyone could participate in helping burning the origami peace cranes made by children, to make their wishes come true. We bought a little peace crane made from the ashes to remember this moment.
- Mt. Misen - we hiked up from Dashoin. It was ~2hrs? of steep stair climbing, 500m elevation gain. A challenge for sure but we definitely earned our way going down by ropeway :P. Views are great! go go! There is a bus to the ropeway so you don't have to suffer if you don't want to.
- Momijidani park - If you don't like Momiji trees, you can't be my friend.
- Snack along the Miyajima ometesando street. Crowded, but the cakes are great!
One remark, our hotel didn't include dinner and all the restaurants on the island close quite early. Luckily, with our setouchi JR pass, we could take the ferry for free, so went to the mainland for dinner. Just keep this in mind, when booking your stay. D9 - D13 Kyoto
We took the early train to Kyoto and checked in at Tokyu stay Sanjo-karasuma. We had 5 days to explore Kyoto and by this time we had lost our FOMO a little bit and also decided to take it a bit more slow. We still ended up walking a lot anyways but at least we were sleeping in.
The day we arrived,15MAY, was supposed to be Aoi matsuri so we headed to Kamo river to see the festival. Unfortunately, the festival was postponed due to the slight rainfall and we had no clue! but we were next to Kyoto botanical garden and we decided to visit that instead!
- Kyoto botanical garden: it is a lovely garden with a huge variety of plants and trees to see. Really well maintained and during our visit there was a great rose garden in bloom. I recommend going there! It has a nice japanese garden section too with momiji trees and moss. A greenhouse with orchids. Lot's to see here. Only 200 yen.
- Arashiyama area - I really loved this area, not just for the bamboo forest. Togetsukyo bridge and Katsura river were the highlights for me. You can walk along the both sides of Katsura riverbank. A nice way to get to the bamboo forest and bypassing the busy beginning at the start of bamboo forest is by walking along the katsura river bank into Kameyama park and following the signs to Okochi sanso garden. You will end up at the backside of bamboo forest, which is the nicest part. We went more north to visit Pottery Tanuki, this area was very nice and quaint to walk around; bamboo, shrines and traditional houses everywhere.
- South kyoto - Fushimi Inari + Uji day trip - We visited fushimi inari around 9am and it was already very busy! If you hike deeper into the Tori gates, it gets more quiet. We decided not to hike to the top, but instead do a little loop and we stumbled upon some lovely fox shrines. After Fushimi Inari, we took the train just a little bit more south to Uji. If you like matcha, visit Uji. It is a scenic little town with lots of matcha specialized cafes. We ate at Torikiku, famous for their matcha soba and udon. I had the best matcha icecream dessert at Nakamura Tokichi Byodo-in. Again, the river views are beautiful! It's a great daytrip from kyoto. On the way back to kyoto, we spontaneously decided to visit the Gekkeikan Sake museum. It's a small museum, mostly about the history of Gekkeikan, but for 500 yen entry fee, you also get 3 small sake tastings. Fun for an hour or so. I wouldn't go all the way here just for the museum, but for us it was a nice stop on the way back to Kyoto.
- Gion - visit Gion in the evening and just wander around the little streets. Hanamikoji street is one of the more famous streets there.
- We ate amazing gyoza lunch at Gyoza-dokoro Sakemasa. Best gyozo of our trip.
- Higashiyama area - Heian jingu shrine, visit the attached garden for a fee, definitely worth it! We ate amazing mazesoba and ramen for lunch at Menya Yamahide. We also visited Kyoto handicraft center in this area where we bought an ukiyo-e painting. There was also a vintage antique market at that day. We just browsed a bit around the market and honestly that was a day worth of exploring :).
I didn't mention everything we did in Kyoto here. We also had so much more planned for Kyoto, but didn't get around to it, which was totally fine! We were also a bit temple-fatigued by that time and needed a slower pace. Hopefully next time, we can visit some of things we skipped. Furthermore, some days were incredibly hot (30 C degrees and humid) or we had whole days of rain. On those days, we decided to go shopping instead.
D14 - D15 Takayama
- Sanjo Meiten-gai shopping arcade , Compasso teramachi. One long shopping street between Omiya and Kyoto-kawaramachi station. My favorite shops were: Standard products, Tokyu hands and Loft.
After spending 5 days in Kyoto, it was time to leave the city and head for the Japanese alps. We took the shinkansen to Nagoya, where we changed to a limited express to Takayama. It took around 3 hours to get to Takayama, but we didn't mind. Train travel = resting time for our legs! Also, the views from the train were great!! I really enjoyed this train trip to Takayama. We arrived around noon and immediately checked in at our hotel (Hotel Kuretakeso Takayama). We had two nights in Takayama to explore the town.
D16 Kamikochi -> Matsumoto
- Hida beef - it's the wagyu of this area and I found my favorite place to eat it: Ajikura Tengoku. We went there twice for lunch, because it was that good. It was our first time in Japan to try yakiniku and sukiyaki. I really do appreciate the taste of wagyu but only in small amounts. I couldn't eat it everyday, because it's really so rich and yes paying for the premium cuts really does make a different in taste and texture of the wagyu beef.
- We really loved Takayama. Again, if you have time, stay overnight and wander around the streets during the evening when all the daytrippers leave. The town has such a nice vibe and it still has a very local feel to it.
- Miyagawa morning market. Fun to stroll around
- Hikaru museum - we stumbled upon this via google maps. It's a mayan temple-inspired building, very unique. You could visit the place just for the architecture itself, really impressive. It has a very nice collection of art. When we reached the top floor, there was a whole exhibition dedicated to a specific religious person. We didn't know beforehand but this museum is connected to a cult. Suddenly, it all made sense why this museum was so unique. We didn't mind, but it definitely puts the whole experience in a different light. It's a 1-hour walk from downtown, there is no direct bus connection unfortunately.
- Hida folk village - Open-air museum with nice re-builds of traditional mountain houses. We spend over half a day there. You can see local craftsmen doing their thing and you can also participate in pottery for example. There is a lovely pond and it is just pleasant to walk around. it's only a ~10 min. busride from Takayama bus station. You can buy combined entryfee+bus combo tickets at the bus station.
After checking out of our hotel in Takayama, we took the 7am bus to Kamikochi. We were only going to spend a day here, and then continue our way to Matsumoto to stay overnight.After ~1 hour of bus, we finally made it to Kamikochi. The Japanese alps are amazing. I wished we stayed longer in this area, but just the bus ride alone to Kamikochi was already a great with the views. We decided to hop off at Taisho pond bus stop and walk along all the major sights in the park. We had no specific plan. Just hike around as far as time allowed. For lunch, we stopped at this cute teishoku restaurant, where we ate katsu curry, a big lunch to fuel our walking. We also saw wild japanese macaques and lots of wildflowers where blooming during our time there.At the local shops, we bought some yummy pastries to snack on. I had the tastiest baumkuchen with cheesecake center and my partner had a chocolate ganache cookie. I really regret not buying more kamikochi pastries to take home while we were there.After spending the day walking around, we hopped on the 4pm bus towards Matsumoto. Checked in at Tabino hotel lit Matsumoto, where I relaxed in the onsen.
D17 Matsumoto Tokyo
- We were only carrying backpacks, so we hiked with them until we reached the kamikochi bus terminal, where you can drop off you bag at the storage for a small fee.
- Reservation is mandatory for the bus Kamikochi -> Matsumoto, you can do it online or while you are at the busstation before hiking.
- Transportation in the Japan alps is mostly by bus, do reserve ahead if you go at peak times. Main bus company is Nouhi bus: https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/.)
After sleeping in, we did some sightseeing in Matsumoto before we moved on to Tokyo. We really liked wandering around in Matsumoto. Lots of cool shops with local crafts. We didn't know but the biggest national crafts fair is held in Matsumoto. Unfortunately, we were only able to stay for one day, but next time we would love to visit this crafts fair! Matsumoto Castle
- I really like the interior of the castle. It has been renovated, but still contains that castle feel. It is 5 story castle and you are allowed to climb all of it. It also included a pretty extensive gun/weaponry exhibition. Do arrive early because you do have to line-up within the castle to get from one floor to the other. This is due to the steep stairways, on which they allow only one-way traffic at a time. Matsumoto city art museum
- There was a nice exhibition from Yayoi Kusama. We didn't know but Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto. It is a good replacement exhibition if you aren't able to snatch up tickets for Yayoi Kusama museum in Tokyo. Nakamachi street and Frog street
- street with persevered houses with craft shops, cafes, brewerys. What more do you want.
After spending the day in Matsumoto, we took the train to Tokyo, our last destination of our stay. We decided to stay in Ueno (Hotel resol ueno). This hotel was located close to Ueno JR. D18 - D24 Tokyo
Last 7 days in Tokyo. By this time, we were just enjoying everything at a much slower pace. Tokyo is huge! Staying near the JR line is indeed a must like everyone said. I could go on hours about Tokyo, I am just going to mention some highlights here.
- Anmitsu at Anmitsu Mihashi. My favorite dessert! It contains agar jelly, mochi balls, red bean paste, fruit and a scoop of matcha icecream.
- shopping in Ginza - It's nice to go during the weekends when they close of the streets for cars. We liked visiting flagship stores of Muji, Uniqlo. Go to Itoya if you are a stationary freak.
- Ueno park - Museums, shrines, Lotus pond. Have a look at their website, there are almost always events in the park. :)
- Tsukiji market - very busy, but fun to have a look. Lines everywhere. Look for sushi restaurants that open around 11am, line up at one of those places. I don't think it has to be the one with 4.5 rating and 1000 reviews. Why? There are so many good restaurants in Tsukiji area. We went to Tsukiji Kagura Sushi.
- Hamarikyu gardens - Bonsai pine trees pruned to perfection. Ponds filled with sea water, thus there were seabass, little sardines and jellyfish in the water. Very special! You also had a nice skyline view from the park which is a cool contrast! It was nice and quiet.
- Tokyo Skytree - best view :) it also has a great shopping complex attached to it.
- Asakusa area - Senso-ji
- Yanaka Ginza - we went during the weekend and there was live music, little stalls and just very lively in general. Really nice to spend a morning. Largest preserved cemetery, which apparently welcomes visitors a lot for flower viewings. It is a preserved neighborhood with traditional houses and lots of shops selling crafts, gifts, souvenirs, and unique snacks.
For 24 days, we spend around ~2500 euro p.p. (excl. 1000,- flights). This amount includes food, transportation, entrancefees and shopping/gifts. so average is ~100 euro/day. We didn't track every cost. Hotel costs were 900,- pp, which ranged from 50,- to 120,- per night accommodations. The conversion yen/euro is also great at the moment, so it might have contributed!
I hope you enjoyed my trip report. Let me know if there are any questions.
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2023.06.02 20:29 bikecuriousatx The Bike Curious Ride - Sunday June 4 - 6PM - Mueller Hangar
The Bike Curious Ride meets every Sunday, in the parking lot on the west side of Browning Hangar (between Airport Blvd and the Hangar), currently at 5:45pm with wheels down at 6:00pm!
Our start time is adjusted seasonally.
We visit parks, parking garages, bakeries, and convenient stores as we ride around appreciating art. We typically ride about 10-15 miles, not too many hills, but you never know.
Note that this ride is a no drop ride, meaning everyone sticks together, and no one gets left behind. All skill levels are welcome. This Sunday, June 4th, our end stop is at El Chilito ( 2219 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722 ).
WHAT YOU NEED: Lights, Locks, Water, Wheels, an ID, money for food and drinks, and your friends. HOW: Social Cycling Austin rides AS traffic and NOT AGAINST it. We stop at red lights, yield the right of way and let cars pass as best we can. We don't block intersections. We are nice to both our fellow riders and the other traffic on the road. LISTEN TO the volunteers helping to lead the ride. They are some nice folks and have you best interest in mind. If you have any questions about the rules, we suggest you check here: http://bicycleaustin.info/laws/austin.html REMINDER: The goal has always been to create a safe environment for all riders, but we cannot control, nor do we desire to, every rider's behavior. We promote personal responsibility, and it is each rider's responsibility to take care of themselves, and if they choose to ride with us, then they accept those risks inherent in riding a bicycle with a large group of other people riding bicycles.
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2023.06.02 20:23 thedangerranger123 Rough past year, medication related body temp issues, car problems have wiped me out, trying to stay cool, eat, and take care of my cat and save what I can for car repairs.
Hey everyone. I thought I would reach out here because I am having a really rough go for a little over a year now. My credit is toast from all the car problems I've had this last year and now I have another one I have to save up for before it gets worse (differential gear issues). I just spent $900 4 weeks ago to fix some transmission issues. I also found out that one of the medications I take is contributing to the issues I have been having with hot weather as it effects the part of your brain that regulates body temperature. I get (lightheaded, faintness, weakness, UV sensitivity), and I work outdoors with my dream job so I am trying to find anything I can to help me keep cool and safe as I work in the desert doing physical work for a living.
I have been behind on bills, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and just struggling. All my money has gone toward keeping the lights on so to speak, and feeding me and the cat. I stay at home so I don't waste gas and risk car problems, and am pretty much trying to get some stuff that I need to save me having to spend as much at the grocery store this check as I just can't afford much besides food, unfortunately amazon fresh is not offered near me or my family members. A lot of the stuff are things to be safe at work with this new heat issue I'm dealing with, some snacks and stuff I need. This week I've lived off 50 cent burritos and a pizza a family member bought for me.
Any help is appreciated whether it can be done or not. I hope to one day be in the position to lend a hand as best I can. Thank you. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/20BH2NMP6RDJA?ref\_=wl\_share
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2023.06.02 20:21 SierraTheWolfe Back to the grind of Job Searching.
So I (33m) am back in the job hunt for the 2nd time after being mislead into working for a company that had no transparency and decided to hire me at part time instead of full time as requested. Brought this up many times to the company, but nothing was being done. Not to mention the unsafe working conditions that OSHA / State would shut them down for a short time until things were resolved. So I plan to seek unemployment if possible. For now I am searching in an area where the job market is absolutely terrible. I live in a resort city where majority of the jobs are retail, hotel or food service related. I have experiance in retail, auto, information tech and food service. However I lack a driver's license due to health related issues. I am literally tired of being mislead by companies that just want to use me for a short time as if I were expendable. I nearly have 18 years of work experiance. I do have my own LLC, but I am self funding it until I can get enough to get it running. So in the meantime, I am seeking employment.
If anyone has some sort of experiance, stories, suggestions or advice then I am all ears. Love to talk. Any side gigs I can do until I find something? Let me know, because I have a lot bills and too much debt.
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2023.06.02 20:12 HenryVIIIs_number7 AITA For Only Door Dashing for Myself and Older Sister?
So I (F21) live at home with my parenrs (F48, M 52), Older sister Anna (F24) and some younger step + half siblings (M17, F14, F10).
My parents are both in high up, demanding positions. But it wasn't always like this. Growing up my mother was a single mother, meaning my sister and I didn't always have it the best. My older sister was responsible for taking care of me after school and often would cook dinner before my mom would come home late from work. She did this as younge as 11 y/o. After my mom got a better job and got married life improved but my sister was an adult and I was nearly 18 by the time that happened.
I say this to point out Anna and I are close as well as self sufficient. Because my parents have demanding jobs we often end up making sure the younger ones eat dinner on time or have to remind the parents the kids still haven't eaten. Yesterday I went on a bad date and was upset about it. My sister and I decided to order some food to feel better. It was just Chipotle but we wanted it. The food arrives and my parents came out of their offices seeing the delivery. They asked me where the rest of the food was. I told them Anna and I had ordered food for ourselves.
They proceeded to call me selfish for not getting food for the younger kids. I was honest and said I didn't have the money to add $60 to my bills so they could eat, besides, Anna had paid for her own meal. They said they could have covered it but I don't like doing that because they're bad at returning the money (realistically my parents owe me about $750 in paying for the kids food just this year). When I said I couldn't risk not getting paid back my mom said I was an asshole. She then insinuated i was treating them differently because Anna is my "full" sister. I took deep offense to this and pointed out that its not my job to take care of the kids no matter how we came to be related. My parents and younger siblings went to a fancy restaurant for dinner that night and my mother has been cold towards me all day.
I can see how it would have been easier for them if I had helped with feeding the younger ones but they're not my kids. I'm also in college so I don't have a lot of money to begin with. AITA?
EDIT: To add context I was not in the house during the evening on the date and had missed when dinner is usually figured out (6-7pm). I didn't know they hadn't been fed until our food was delivered just before 9pm (their bedtime).
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2023.06.02 20:11 Demonicking101 We Need a Deathworlder! Pt 66
Chapter Sixty Six: Plotting with Puppy
Entering into the entrance hallway of the apartment Simone tentatively holds up her hand to inform the other two women to wait.
”Something wrong?” Chak asks before looking down at Zrume who sits at her side vigilantly.
The animal’s ears perk up and nostrils flare silently, keeping her own tabs on the situation.
“Hope not, but…” Simone replies in concerned thought, “While I was stranded on the Gratt homeworld and just getting to know Meeki, she was chased and attacked by big burly dogs like Zrume here. Not the same breed of course, but I wanna check in with her before waltzing in, you know? Her only experience with dogs being like that, she probably needs a warning.” she informs.
Chak’s eyes widen slightly and she quickly nods.
“Oh, of course. Yes, that’s a good idea.” she agrees before placing a lower limb on the mutt’s big head.
“Surprised you accepted taking it! You seemed very scared of it at first.” Sonla comments, having been keeping her own distance from the animal thus far.
“She’s a little scary, certainly. Definitely intimidating in size and stature…” Chak grants, “But that look in her eyes… she’s without a doubt a very good natured girl.” she says while gently petting the dog.
“I think so too, but we’re gonna have to be careful introducing her to everyone and make sure she knows who’s a friend. Don’t want her thinking any of them approaching you is of concern.” Simone says before walking ahead to enter the apartment, “You guys wait here, I’ll just be a sec.”
Entering the apartment proper, Simone looks around the circular center hub space. There’s a faint smell of pizza in the air as the empty boxes are still resting on the counter island in the kitchen area. However there is no sight of either Gratt or Terran outside their disheveled mess in the center media couch.
Simone would have felt a but more concerned with how late the three seems to be sleeping in, but the evidence around reveals that they just have been up late having fun while they can.
However, knowing that she still can’t surprise them with the pouch, she walks over to the Gratt’s room and knocks her knuckles against it.
Though when Troy answers it dressed in nothing but a blanket Simone looks over to the other room doors confused.
“Oh, morning dude. Sorry, did I forget who’s room is who’s?” she asks in a chuckle.
“Nope.” the sheepish man replies as he rubs the sleep from his eyes, “Uhm… shoot. Yeah, uhm… Meeki and Nodrin are just waking up too, need me to get ‘em out for ya?” he says as his cheeks redden.
Simone’s eyes gradually expand in realization as she tilts her head enough to see the partially collapsed fortress of pillows and blankets. Nodrin pokes their head and upper torso out from the draping wall in a stretch, while another pair of loving Gratt hands massage their torso in the usual process of separation.
“Hmmmm… morning good Simone.” Nodrin groggily utters as they more fully pull away from their softly chittering partner in a crawl out.
Returning her eyes back to Troy to grant the nude Nodrin a bit of privacy, Simone clears her throat and rubs the back of her head.
“Wow… It looks like you guys had a hell of a time. Uhm… congrats? It seems like it went well. Right, ahh… Yeah...” Simone rambles with several streams of thoughts going through her mind, but she eventually snaps to it by raising her voice slightly, “Meeki? Nodrin? I need you two to get dressed and step out asap. There’s something I need to run by you guys before Chak comes into the apartment.” she calls out to the Gratt before winking at Troy and stepping away and scavenging one of the few remaining cold slices of pizza in the fridge.
“Okay!” Meeki’s voice replies before Troy closes the door to get dressed himself.
Simone updates Chak on the situation with her Lens as she leans against the kitchen island, and only waits for about a minute before the three hurry on out more appropriately garbed. For the most part.
Troy is still shirtless as he wanders out and approaches the kitchen area and starts digging through the cupboards.
Meeki and Nodrin run up to the island by Simone and sit up on the stools. The female wears a gray shirt that’s way too big for her, answering why Troy’s outfit is incomplete.
“Well I’m not seeing much guys, we can try ordering in again. But there’s enough to work with here for some quick and dirty pancakes. Not seeing any syrup or jam, but I think I can make something real quick with these frozen fruit packs in the freezer. Maybe I’ll just throw ‘em into the batter and see if it works out?” Troy tells the duo, seeming to have picked up a conversation they were having while getting dressed, “Oh! And bacon! At least… something that looks like bacon. Definitely not from a Terran animal so I can’t be sure if it’ll cook the same.”
“Sounds much good!” Nodrin agrees as they rest their head in their hands, watching the half dressed Terran get to work, very much enjoying the show.
“What we need to discuss?” Meeki inquires the nearby redhead.
Simone nods before finishing off the slice in her hand.
“Chak and I brought some new friends back home with us, and I wanted to give you a heads up. Probably should’ve messaged ahead… but let’s just say we were a bit distracted. One of them is a Vorook named Sonla. She’s a bit of an infiltration expert and I have a good idea of what she can do in case things don’t go to plan. That said, hold back on details with her for now.” Simone says, to which the Gratt nod, “And… the other is a security service animal that was gifted to Chak by the Z’ah’tuck ambassador. Long story.”
“And I thought we had a wild night… Did you even manage to have that date?” Troy says over his shoulder as he mixes wet and dry ingredients in a bowl.
“Yes, actually. It was amazing, all this other stuff happened afterwards. Anyway, Meeki, Nodrin. I want to clear it with you before bringing the animal in because… it’s a dog. Meeki, I know for a fact that your introduction to dogs was harrowing to say the least, because they were the animals those Gaia people used while invading your home.” Simone addresses the two green folk, seeing a bit of confirmation of her concern in the responding fearful Gratt eyes looking to the entrance door of the apartment.
“The four legged beasts with fur?” Meeki inquires a bit nervously.
“Yep. But I assure you that this one will mean you no harm. Those Dogs that attacked you before were raised and trained to do so. But dogs themselves are domesticated animals that are broadly safe to be around, as long as you don’t make yourself a threat to them. And even then, they may just cower from ya rather than fight. That said, Chak’s new dog Zrume is trained to be a kind of bodyguard. It’s important to know to not act aggressively towards Chak when she’s ‘on duty’, alright? However I’d like to socialize her with you guys here in a sec while she’s ‘off duty’. You know, to make sure she understands you two are friends and permitted near Chak in times of crisis. Is it okay with you two to let them in?” Simone elaborates.
“So… this dog is nice?” Meeki questions for full confirmation.
“Chak called her a sweetheart herself. And I completely agree. As long as you don’t bum-rush Chak for some reason as soon as she walks in, you will be perfectly fine. Just don’t stare into her eyes until she’s comfortable around you. For dogs direct eye contact can be seen as a threat.” Simone answers, “Ready?”
Meeki blinks as she watches the door for a moment longer.
“Yes. Is okay to bring them in.” she nods.
The redhead pats Meeki’s shoulder reassuringly and messages Chak, informing her that she is cleared to enter.
Everyone within the apartment turns to get a look as the entrance opens up to the Cali princess holding a leash to an animal that weighs more than she does.
Meeki relatively takes hold of Nodrin’s hand, but otherwise remains calm as the god is brought closer to the kitchen area.
Chak stops and pulls up a list of provided commands that the canine is trained in.
“Zrume, at ease. Safe zone.” she states firmly, hoping that she did it correctly.
Immediately, Zrume’s posture loosens and even becomes a little wiggly as as she looks down and begins sniffing the ground and nearby furniture within range of the leash’s allowance. Although the leash straightens out, the gentle creature doesn’t pull against her owner’s grip, instead simply shifting her focus to something else.
Quickly that focus comes upon the two Gratt still sitting on stools. Coming closer with caution, Zrume approaches the strangers carefully.
“Lower your hands with palms out, let her say hi first.” Simone advises.
Nodding Meeki slowly obliges, twitching slightly as the animal starts to sniff her clawed hands. Then in a side-rub against Meeki’s legs the dog opens its mouth in a relaxed grin exposing her tongue.
Feeling like permission is granted, Meeki starts to pet Zrume’s shaggy fur along her vertical back.
Nodrin then lowers their hands as well for another sniff-inspection before being enthusiastically allowed to join in on the petting.
Meeki’s nerves gradually fade as the animal proves to be indeed very friendly and well mannered. Nothing like the animals that intended to tear her to shreds way back when.
“Hello Zrume.” she says in a relieving sigh.
At the sound of her name being spoken by this new person the dog arches her head back and up at the Gratt female. Her expression being only what can be defined as ‘goofy sweetness’ with big expressive eyes and a heavy swinging of her happy tail.
Simone covers her mouth, trying to not snort a laugh upon seeing the dog’s dorky nature. Removing her bag from her shoulder she turns to look at Sonla who has been very quietly looking around the apartment and the folks within.
“And this is Sonla. Sonla, this is Nodrin, Meeki and Troy.” the redhead introduces with a moving hand gesture.
The monkey-like lizard stood up from walking on her knuckles to give everyone a wave.
“Hi.” she says a bit awkwardly.
“Welcome to the circus!” Troy greets as he pours his pancake-fruit mixture into a heated and buttered pan. Leaving it for just a moment he leans over on the island and gives the Vorook a big smile, “Want any pancakes? I might have made a bit too much batter while trying to even out the texture.” he offers.
“I’m an obligate carnivore, so no thanks.” Sonla replies as she settles back on her thickly scaled knuckles.
“Oh, sorry, right. My bad.” Troy chuckles as he rubs the back of his neck, “Uhh… what about some bacon? The animal is uhm…” he turns sound to closely read the chilled packaging for the answer, “Premium cloned loamph? Not really sure how ‘premium’ cloned stuff is, but we got it!”
The man flips the package in the air with one hand while the other gives the lizard lady a thumbs up.
“Yes!” Sonla immediately replies as she maneuvers up to the remaining stool by the island, and adjusts it to compensate for her shorter stature.
“You got it!” Troy says with a finger-gun before turning around once more to tend to his cooking.
After a short while seeing the dog is handling the situation well, Chak takes off the leash. Zrume takes this opportunity to step away from the Gratt and further explore the space around her.
“She’s very nice.” Meeki says as she watches the animal sniff around everything that was in her path, “She play or no?” the Gratt inquires curiously.
“Oh yeah. I imagine she’d be happy to play things like fetch and tug-of-war. In fact Chak already ordered toys, food, a bed and a waste pad system to be eventually delivered to the Kwip-chap.” Simone answers before her fiance pressed up against her in a side hug.
“It’s only sensible to be prepared now, rather than later.” Chak defends in a chuckle as she keeps an eye on the pouch, “I just hope the children will like her.”
“I’m sure they will.” the redhead replies as she gently rubs the Cali’s back.
Meanwhile Sonla finds herself staring up directly at Nodrin with an unreadable expression.
“You… alright?” Nodrin asks.
“Why do you have four eyes?” Sonla bluntly counter-questions.
“Ah- uhm… because I was born with four? As most Gratt are. Four eyes not all that strange when it comes to other species. Truba, Carvv and Hallo as examples.” Nodrin answers, confused by the question,
“Well duh, but I mean why does your species have four eyes evolution wise?” Sonla clarifies, “Carvv and Hallo have four to see different light spectrums, and Dillo needed six to look upwards for falling debris in sandstorms and cliffsides. Runeani have eight! I think that is because they needed good depth perception.”
“Oh, so you much study biology science?” Nodrin assumes.
“No. It’s just kinda creepy to look at without context.” Sonla bluntly responds with a shrug,
Nodrin leans back a bit, finding themself a bit offended.
“Much rude… but if it make you comfortable to be around us then I’ll answer the best I can.”
“Sorry. But yes, it’ll help.” Sonla says, although to the Gratt her tone can stand to be a bit more apologetic.
“Very well. They help get more clear vision in dark places. Mostly they help us with close inspection and far distance seeing.” Nodrin explains before pointing at their pair of eyes furthest from the center of their face, “But outer eyes are much special. Our ancestors were aquatic animals and so Gratt’s outer eyes still have extra clear lids to see underwater.”
“Oh. Aquatic?” Sonla questions, “Where did head fur come from then? Are you like mammalian?” she adds with more genuine curiosity.
“I… don’t know…” Nodrin admits, “Gratt study past ancestors much, but we still know little. Though hope new tech from the stars can help with all our sciences.”
“I saw Terran article that said we closely resemble… uhm…” Meeki inserts herself into the conversation before trailing off as she forgets the classification used, “One moment…” she utters as she navigates her Lens to find the article she found, “Ah! Synapsids! Not exactly like, but much comparison. So we are compared to ‘Mammal-like reptiles’.”
Sonla blinks before looking back as the roar of bacon hits a hot pan.
“Huh… Neat!” she replies, “Vorook can’t really swim very well. We tend to sink and even if we don’t we are too top heavy so our heads get stuck underwater. Very funny to see, but also sad. But we are really good at climbing! We can hold on to and dangle from things for long periods of time!”
“But not holding on to speeding shuttles roofs, huh?” Simone teases, as she maneuvers her positioning to get a better line of sight on the sizzling bacon.
“N-no… Well maybe, if it didn’t get so cold so fast.” Sonla says,
Troy looks back at his fellow Terran with a furrowed brow.
“What did you guys get yourselves into?” he says as he breaks into a bewildered laugh.
“I’m sure you’ll know soon enough when you get the chance to look at the news. But by the end of it Chak managed to secure overwhelming Z’ah’tuck support for her and her efforts to take back the throne. Like… military support. Granted, they have a lot to gain from it, but so do we.” Simone reveals as she finds herself a bit closer to the plate where the man was putting down the greasy strips of crispy goodness.
Chak then lets out a genuinely humored giggle that borders on outright laughter.
Confused, Troy looks to Simone then to his other side where Chak is looking. Having somehow sneaked up on him, Zrume sits there while gazing up at him with big pleading eyes with a little line of drool dripping from her maw. Noticing that he is boxed in he turns to Simone and aims his tongs out at her.
“You already pillaged our leftovers, you can wait a few minutes for bacon!” he states sternly in his fake parental tone before turning to the dog.
“Sorry pupper… way too much sodium for you. It’ll upset your guts real bad.” he sweetly apologizes.
As he addresses the canine, Simone swiftly reaches over and silently snatches two hot strips from the plate and retreats back before he is able to notice.
“You motherf-” Troy laughs once he sees both Simone and Chak snacking on the stolen goods, but knowing he would do the exact same drops it immediately.
Simone smirks in victory as she wanders over to the circular center couch to make herself comfortable as they all wait for their other Terran comrades to return from their own mysterious mission.
“Well that wasn’t a complete disaster…” Brandy mutters as she strides ahead of Thorn and Devin with her arms crossed while marching into the apartment entrance hallway.
“Hard to believe we weren’t caught after that water tank collapsed… Almost didn’t have the time to scrub us from all the crossing security footage.” Devin groans in a low grumble.
“Getting caught? How about -oh you know- nearly crashing that tanker shuttle into a residential area!?” Brandy snaps back.
“Not my fault that the pilot passed out.” Devin argues.
“Sorta was, that kinda happens when you jumpscare a Zernth from behind like you did.” Brandy counters.
“It was either lose the target or try to convince the Zernth to turn left.” Devin sighs before he feels a mechanical hand press on the back of his shoulder.
Pushing him to hurry up, Thorn catches up with Brandy where he plants his other hand.
“Mmhmm. Not our best work. But we got the bastard and actually convinced the Squilla ambassador to help us out in our little operation here. Other than some spilled water, we managed to pull it off without a hitch. I say we all learn from the experience and get to what’s further down the trail. Remember what’s at stake.”
“Yeah, you’re right. But still… it’s those stakes that make every mistake feel like I’ve wronged the entire universe. Like it’s heavier than it has any right to be.” Brandy replies as she reaches the door, “One fuck up and who knows how many people will be hurt from it down the line…”
“Aye… but in the grand scheme of it all your actions have had the same weight your entire life, because it led you here doing what you’re doing. Still, you're right, it’s a lot to bear on the heart.” Thorn grants, “My advice? Take a note from Simone’s book. Just keep moving forward and rest in the arms of whoever you want to hold ya.”
“I honestly don’t know how she copes. It’d drive me into a downward spiral of stress and paranoia going through half of what she has.” the woman huffs as she reaches to open the door via indicator.
“Don’t compromise who you are, and preserve your capability to love throughout all of the hell life will march ya through. It’ll hurt, but it’s worth it because that’s how you win life.” the old man states right before the door opens.
“Yooo! Bout time! You guys want some cold pancakes? I can reheat ‘em if you’d like!” Troy cheers from the couch with two Gratt resting at his sides.
“I hope you three have moved from the couch at some point…” Brandy says with an exaggerated eye roll, “Have a good night?”
“Yeah we did!” the man answers both of Brandy’s sentences at once.
“I’m going to set up to get our finalized planning underway. Ten minutes.” Devin notifies as he peels off to his room.
“Good. I hear we have a new member to the crew?” Thorn says as he strides in with his hands on his hips.
As if summoned, Sonla’s head peeks out from behind the other side of the couch.
“That’s me! Master infiltrator Sonla at your service!” the Vorook introduces herself, now standing proudly upon the headrest.
“Master eh? Good… We’re definitely gonna need a master’s handiwork in our lil’ operation.” Thorn chuckles as he scratches at his five o'clock shadow.
“We were also told that we have a doggie?” Brandy asks as she looks around for any trace of the animal.
“Yup! Simone and Chak were just showing her off to their kids in a call.” Troy explains as he thumbs to their room.
As if summoned by Troy’s opposable digit, the door opens with Chak once again holding the leash of the dog.
“Welcome back, I hope everyone is alright?” the princess inquires as she guides Zrume out to meet Brandy first, “At ease, safe zone.” she reminds the animal.
“Why hello there! Oh my goodness I’ve never seen a breed quite like hers before! Like a big pitty and… African painted dog maybe? Has the color at least. Definitely some others mixed in there too, hint of mastiff or something else chunkier? But still all the pretty in a fluffy package!” Brandy says as she scratches under the dog’s wide neck, which is very much approved.
Though the angle of Zrume’s ears change to one of caution and alertness. Turning her head towards the old man who had yet to approach she released a low growl.
“It’s okay Zrume, safe zone.” Chak assures, but the animal’s stare remained intense on the cybernetic man.
Seeing the confusion and concern on everyone’s faces, Thorn raises his hand.
“Don’t worry about it, dogs and I don’t really mix. A shame really, but it’s something to do with how my non-organic bits emit a sound they find very agitating. Like a walking annoying dog whistle. I’ll see if Devin can do anything about that, but in the meantime it’s best if the dog and I keep separate.” he explains.
“Oh damn. Yeah I guess dogs never really approached you before. Bummer. I guess while we sort things out we’ll have her chill in our room.” Simone says apologetically.
“And I’ll bunk up when she needs some runnin’ around time.” Thorn nods back appreciatively, “She’s downright adorable by the way.”
As Chak turns back around to lead Zrume back in her room for the time being, Troy’s eyes go wide and he points at Simone dramatically.
“Shit dude I almost forgot! Someone came asking for you by name.” he reveals.
Looking to him with a bit of fear in her eyes Simone gave him her full attention.
“Who?” She demands.
“Don’t worry I never confirmed you were actually here and she seemed… not like the people we’re up against. She was a tall thin lady who said she was a friend of yours from your academy days? She left a contact card and before you ask, yes I scanned the hell out of it. She seemed to really really want to talk to you.” the man explains as he feels around his pockets and when he finds nothing he shoves his hand down the crevice of the couch until he victoriously pulls the card out of the furniture-void.
He holds it out to which Simone accepts hesitantly.
“Yeah, okay…” she mumbles while looking at either side of the card.
“Just be careful, our options of people who we can trust from your military career are thin at best.” Thorn cautions.
“I know. And… I think I know who it is. Honestly I have no clue how involved she is, if at all… but it’s quite the coincidence she shows up now of all times.” Simone admits.
“Is she gonna be a problem for what we’re planning to do?” Brandy asks.
“If she has nothing to do with the Terran terrorists, then I don’t think so. I’d ignore this completely, but I ought to at least know what she wants to talk about, clearly she knows I’m here anyway. No point in avoiding it, especially if she seeks me out during our operation regardless of her intentions we’re asking for trouble. The other big issue of course, is that she’s still with the Terran Union. This could just be a ploy to get me arrested and into Union custody.” the redhead says as she taps the card in the palm of her other hand.
“Then wherever she wants to meet I’ll come with you.” Chak announces as she returns to her Terran, “I’ll even request for Ambassador Zrreak’s attendance if possible, or at the very least have a representative of his there to show that arresting you would be a terrible political nightmare for the Union.” the princess adds sternly with an affirmative nod.
“Damn you're so hot when you get like this…” Simone replies in jest to alleviate her own nerves, “But yeah, I appreciate it.”
“But first before any of that potential shit-show…” Thorn says as he crosses his arms, “It’s time we put our main plan to paper. We have a president to possibly kidnap and hold at gunpoint after all.”
“Oh… wow. That’s a bit more than ‘less than legal’...” Sonla mutters with wide eyes “Good thing I’m a master of explosives too…”
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