Nightlife in old town alexandria va
2010.08.28 23:44 plaig Duluth Reddit
Subreddit for Duluth Minnesota, the Zenith City.
2021.01.28 08:09 wunderwerks ResidentAlienTVshow
NO SPOILERS IN TITLES. USE SPOILER TAGS FOR POSTS. This subreddit is for the Resident Alien TV show on SyFy starring Alan Tudyk about an alien who crash lands on Earth and goes undercover as a small town doctor while trying to complete his mission.
2022.05.03 20:09 RRFSenateVote TestingGrill
The community was established by the National Coalition of Restaurants (NCR) to organize the 177,000 restaurants that are still waiting for its Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). NCR was established to be the voice of the 177,000 restaurants that had applied for RRF but was turned down when the funds ran out. NCR is also advocating for those in the Hard Hit Industries that have not received any Federal relief. NCR was organized by the restaurant Java Grill in Old Town Alexandria, VA.
2023.06.08 06:28 lilyriggs One frog more chunky than others
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I am a relatively new owner of 3 Phyllobates Terriblis Mint dart frogs. I was out of town for a few weeks and had my friend feeding them. When I got back I noticed one of my frogs is much plumper than the others, and one in particular looks pretty thin. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help this situation? They are about 8-10 months old, so I’m not sure if it’s possible that the chunky one is gravid or not. submitted by lilyriggs to u/lilyriggs [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 06:25 diamomddog69 Moving to VA and looking for neighborhood suggestions
Hello friendly Nova community! My girlfriend and I will be moving to VA soon as she just took a job in the Herndon area. We are from out of state and neither of us have spent much time at all in the area short of a small trip to DC.
Does anyone have recommendations for good areas / neighborhoods to settle down in?
We are 31 years old, no kids, don’t need to be in a huge busy city, but wouldn’t mind at least being within walking distance to an area with bars/restaurants, etc. Looking to spend around $1200 per month on rent (if that is even feasible), but could go as high as $1500.
We’re totally clueless and just starting our research so any and all suggestions, advice, etc are welcome. Thanks so much for your time!
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2023.06.08 06:19 Xeivia Just a reminder, God sent bears into a village and slaughtered 42 children all because two young boys made fun of a man for being bald
2 Kings 2:23-25 New International Version
23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 25 And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.
Doing some googling about the story of Elisha & The Two Bears I can't help but scoff at how Christians will bend over backwards to make the most hideous parts of the bible seem to have some hidden fruitful lesson.
A few general "explanations" I've found on after reading some links on the front page of google, they are quick to point out:
Bethel was a center of idolatry in Israel (v. 23).
So therefore deserving of this bear attack all for making fun of a bald guy? Sounds a bit like victim blaming if you ask me...
The Hebrew word na'ar translated "lads" in 2:23 describes young men, not boys, in many other places in the Old Testament. Okay so they aren't boys anymore because we need this story to sound good in any way possible, therefore they are men and we'll just say it's a translation error so this story makes more sense
Nope, translation error or not, murdering 42 human beings whether they are men, women, or children all because two of them made fun of a bald guy still is fucking evil and insane.
but the real animal in this overarching story is a serpent. His slithering and slandering tongue was inside the mouths of these mockers
First off, LOL. The only mention of a snake in all of Kings 1 & 2 is a bronze statue of a snake on a cross that was built by Noah because god directed him to construct it, which would cure Israelite's of snake bites if they prayed to it. It was named Nehushtan.
But sure, go ahead, and try to make it seem like these
men were actually the devil incarnate so your story makes more sense. Like what?
Re-reading these "explanations" after I fully deconstructed just makes me feel like Christians have mastered the art of mind bending, fact warping, and twisting these nonsense murderous stories into meaningful parables.
I grew up being told people into astrology were ill-advised, dumb, and worshiping of false profits. Since these people would read general descriptions and think that it applies to the intimate details of their lives. Reading the excuses of Elisha and the Two Bears it's clear to me that Christians do the same thing the astrologists do but it a much greater magnitude.
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2023.06.08 06:16 cutemoonjelly Having "the talk" with my 9 (almost 10) year old daughter
Hi there! So as the title states, I really need some advice on this topic.
My husband's niece, "Amy", is in town, and she's 10. She is definitely being raised differently than my daughter. Her mind is hyper sexualized for her age. She makes odd comments here and there about things that I'm shocked she knows about, and she's always asking questions that make me super uncomfortable. And as a disclaimer, I'm extremely proactive as a parent. I'm in no way. conservative, so the things she asked were even shocking to me coming from a 10 year old.
Well today before bed, my daughter pulled me aside and told me that "Amy" told her "how people make babies." My kiddo is a typical 9 year old. She's been curious about harmless things like kissing, which we've talked about, but this is foreign territory. We just recently had the talk about periods, and that went super well! She asked questions and didnt feel weird at all. But with this she told me she was very uncomfortable about it, so I didnt press for details and said we'd talk about it later.
Now I feel I need to have the talk with her sooner rather than later. Does anyone have any advice on how to approach this with such a young kiddo, and if there's any books anyone recommends?
Much appreciated, thank you!
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to Parenting [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 06:03 assthrow_away AITA for asking if someone in my car is wearing a seatbelt and then being upset no one else cared?
So my SO’s sister is in town and we decided to take a little day trip to the nearest big city, about a 2hr drive. I have quite a bit of anxiety when it comes to seatbelt use in the car…for obvious reasons…at least to me. My SIL was in the very back because she has an 8 month old she needed to be available for. Our 4 and 2 year olds were also in the car. I was driving and part-way into the drive realized when looking in the rearview that SIL did not have a seatbelt on. I have a history of being called “rude” and taken wrongly, especially by SO’s family (there is a good chance I am on the spectrum), so I didn’t want to say anything directly to her and instead simply asked my SO “does she have her seatbelt on?”. Her response was “I think, off and on”. I felt completely dismissed already at this point especially since my SO is aware of how I feel about these things. About 5 minutes later I asked again and the response this time was “you just can’t stop focusing on it can you?” And finally another 5 minutes later she finally asked her if the seatbelt was working to hint at putting it on. I was pretty hurt at this point by my SO and later on asked for an apology for dismissing my feelings and lying that she had it on at some points. All my SO heard was me calling them a liar and thus an apology would not be given bc “they didn’t lie and how dare I accuse them of that”. I felt pretty shut down the rest of the day and being someone who doesn’t hide my feelings well, I was by the end of the day being told I am so rude and shitty. Every-time I bring it up now my SO just claims I was so out of line and trying to be controlling of her and my SIL. They won’t see my side at all and just say I don’t care about anyone but myself and it just becomes a fight every-time I ask for some sort of acknowledgment of my feelings and it instead turns into how I acted shitty the rest of the day. AITA??
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2023.06.08 06:01 trashmancer9000 My (28M) boyfriend (35M) sort of made me sleep on the couch
There are record breaking smog levels in my city - it’s a health emergency. My apartment is old and drafty. My boyfriend has filtered AC and an air purifier.
We had plans to go to his place tonight. Last minute, he told me he was coming over mine. The air in my place was so bad we kept our KN95s on. I was having trouble breathing and we both had migraines.
I was trying to find a bus out of town until an air purifier could be delivered. Friends in another state offered to host, and BF encouraged me to stay with them. But BF is having a big concert this weekend, and this would mean missing his performance.
Eventually, I asked if I could just stay over his place He said one of us should take the couch, so that he could sleep before his concert on Friday (it’s Wednesday). I offered.
RIGHT before this, I had a call with my therapist where she expressed concern about the relationship. He has talked down to me or put my needs last a couple times. When I bring it up, he paints them as misunderstandings, or gets angry.
He later admitted he switched plans last minute so I wouldn’t stay over. I also fear that if I didn’t offer to take the couch, he would’ve been angry.
I’m mixed. He has a big performance he’s anxious about, and he doesn’t sleep as well when I’m here. But I was suffering through a toxic smog emergency.
Am I crazy? Should I be grateful to be on the couch right now?
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to relationship_advice [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 05:58 Mods-of-HFH-1 [Repost] Back to being busy as a beaver after making a stupid mistake
| || |Reposting this because it was just too good to lose. And even without the media, the account deserves to be seen and read by all. Enjoy the stand-in images and go to our Telegram for the good shit. submitted by Mods-of-HFH-1 to havingfunhobbying [link] [comments]
I'm still here, lurking in the shadows. We all gotta play the game and let's just say uncle T been busy w beaver…
I got caught up in a LDR for a bit and even did some stupid crazy shit that I'm ashamed of. I flew down to LA just to see a chick and got flaked on. Let's be honest, we've all done some stupid shit for pussy and this was probably one of the dumbest things I've done in my mongering career.
Long story short I met a girl off Reddit, hit it off and moved things along. She said the right things, sent verification. We talked on the phone and on Snapchat. I set up a date where I would fly down and meet her and hook up.
She wasn't gonna "charge" me a dime but I sent over a few gifts to make sure she knew I was the real deal.
The day came and I flew to LA, got a hotel, and waited for her. She made some excuses and flaked. I knew that this was gonna happen. So, I packed up and left on the earliest flight I could.
It sucks because she was a 10 in my book. Gorgeous Latina, nice guerita (light skinned) thick ass, nice fat tits, and just a freak.
Some of the things she told me she wanted me to do to her almost made me blush. I was so ready to dive into this chick I even stopped mongering for almost 2 months! I was saving it up for her. I wanted that hunger to hit and unleash the beast on her.
But alas, the fantasy died the day I flew to her and was flaked on. I had written a post in anger, but decided it's best to not post that one. I'm not that guy anymore. I take these mongering life lessons and move on. Since then, we've chatted on and off but I've been having fun elsewhere. A mans gotta eat!
Haha. Sometimes things may be too good to be true and she was one of them. But after everything we had been through, I never thought she would have pulled the shit she did. Oh well, ya win some, ya lose some. Time to move on.
(These are not in chronological order just from memory. LOL)
The day I flew back from LA I was able to see my favorite Latina. My lil sugar baby that started my sugar mongering journey. She hit me up randomly while I was fasting for the LA girl and ignored her. But I knew from then on she was game.
After the bullshit that happened and I sat at the airport, I texted her and she said she would be waiting when I landed. She met me at a hotel near the airport and we had an amazing time, like 2 lost lovers and like a man returning from war. LOL
I think I might have busted 3 or 4 times that night my balls were so full from not busting! God damn I missed her. She dressed super slutty, and knew just what to say to me. We fucked all throughout the room, shower and balcony. I needed her badly and she came through in the clutch.
She was a 1x thing cause I caught mad feelings for her the 1st time around, so I knew this would be a one-and-done.
Tattoo white girl & friend
I had seen this pretty lil white girl I wanna say off the blade a long time ago, she had tattoos and piercings but was a good lil fuck. She used to be hella skinny but gained major weight, she was still good in my book cause y'all know me, I don't discriminate. You can see the difference in the photos. But I posted about her on one of my old accounts and I even showed the leg shaking from her cumming. LOL
Anyways for 100 you can't beat a white girl with a good attitude. She met me in a parking lot near my house, we drove to a spot and fucked, funny thing is she told me she had her friend waiting in the car. I asked if she "worked too" and to send her over when I finished.
I didn't even put my pants on and her friend came into the back seat. I paid her and got the double team special.
The friend got her friend's sloppy seconds. But to be honest she sucked and fucked better than the 1st one. Was super into it and she didn't seem like a pro. Just a girl needed a lil spending money. Huge tits a lil thicker than I'm used to but God damn she was flexible. She could almost put her legs behind her head lol.
Either way 20 minutes later I busted my 2nd nut of the night and left content. 2 thick white girls for 200 lol can't beat that price!
SLA came through with a banger! Sheeessshhhh this girl was fuckin gorgeous! Skinny, nice man-made bubble butt, nice perky tits, perfect lips and hair... and took dick like a champ. Too bad she covered my camera cuz, fuck, she was a winner.
I love paying $120 for dimes! And, yeah, it's random when you actually find a 10. But, fuck, man! This girl was gorgeous!
Few days ago I was able to see 2 girls, one in-between jobs and one at lunch.
The 1st girl was beautiful, cute lil jap/Chinese with a nice fat ass and natural titts. A pretty face and a great attitude. She had a tight lil kitty and took her time moaning and riding me. I finished In doggy and she let me really empty out, didn't just jump right off the dick like some do.
I showered and was on my way. The door person was a girl and she was super friendly. I told her I was on my lunch and she offered me food haha.
TBH I kinda wanted to fuck her. Next time imma ask. LOL
This girl was pretty amazing too, super fun and enthusiastic. Small thin girl but God damn her kegels and pussy were to die for! I swear I haven't fucked Tighter pussy all year and she was great! Super vocal, didn't complain and all in all was great. She even showered me and washed me off, prepping me to go back to work. Thanks lil apple!
Just a few street girls from memory. (I stopped my log for this past month)
Met this cute chick with pigtails 100 for 20 minutes, she was dressed like a super slut, just neon panties and a jacket. Super young looking and was a good ol sport. She had a ton of tattoos and a few tongue piercings. Had a lisp lol. Had floppy titts… nothing too crazy but the lisp kept distracting me.
BJ for $60
Paid this girl $60 to suck my cock. She had nice titts but nothing special after that. Funny thing is she was waiting for the bus but kept making eye contact with every car driving by. So I knew she was working. I got her number, I'll hit her up in a pinch. 60 for a bj is low these days.
Asian van chick
I ran into an old flame, lil ML was out and she took me to her hotel, quick bj and fuck and I was out of there, great service as always and super enthusiastic blow job. Thanks ML ! I posted a few pics and videos of her before.
White Girl Salinas
Met this cute white girl from Salinas on the blade, she was dressed in a fishnet leggings and had a white jacket on.
That's all I needed to hear!
She was a service queen. I love when they are getting fucked and try to keep the moans in, it makes me work for it even harder. She was great, I felt bad because I didn't give her a ride back to the blade but you gotta pay me to do that. LOL. I got her number, too. She's worth the price.
Big titty Asian
Met this awesome thick lil Asian, seen her 3x so far. Huge tits, great attitude, and can take a good pounding. Only thing is she doesn't suck cock. She also looks like one of my co-workers so it's nice to fantasize about that. She's always in town hitting me up.
But y'all know my rule: 1,2,3 and then I'm out!
Another White girl
I met this white girl off the blade and she initially quoted me $140. LOL. I talked her down to $100 then $80 for just a blowjob. I really wanted a bbbj so I convinced her to hook me up. Only prob is once that happened, I wanted to FUCK.
Upgrade then ended up taking a load bare down her throat! Hahaha man I swear I found gold on these streets here. She was a chill White girl and I appreciate the effort from her.
She kept getting phone calls from her pimp and I knew she was new to the game. She was just my type of white girl too lol nice fat ass. Next time I'll definitely hit it.
LOOK FOR ME ON OUR NEW TELEGRAM GROUP
All In all I'm a man with needs. I had my fun catching up and fuckin a few of these girls. Even seeing a few of the old flames I had. I'm still here and keeping busy, I'm having fun and hope yall are too!
Summer is just around the corner and I can't wait for these hot summer nights. The girls are gonna be stelllaaarrrr! Yeeeahhh
Look for me and all my pics & videos on our new Telegram group for HFH. Check the other post for the link on how to join the group.
Till next time fuckers!
- Uncle T
2023.06.08 05:56 Chaos_N_Cats I lost one half of a bonded pair of cats to a urinary blockage two weeks ago. The surviving half is losing weight and acting weird.
He is a three year old male cat with no particular pedigree. He's a bit on the chubby side but he's begun losing weight rapidly- but only in his hips.
Their have been a couple of accidents I can't account for- though I'm pretty sure they're the dog.
He is still using the litterbox and is still peeing in it, though maybe slightly less pee than normal.
His belly feels firm but not tight. He's vomited up a hairball recently.
I plan on calling our vet in the morning when they open to schedule a wellness check- I'm hoping they'll be able to squeeze him in.
Does this sound like something that can afford to wait for a slot opening up or something urgent enough to warrant an ER vet visit a town over if we have to wait a couple of days?
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2023.06.08 05:52 coombooms Local music scene this weekend?
Will be in town Thursday through Sunday, any cool shows happening? Interested in local bands, punk/rock/metal/experimental/indie/grunge/etc. Thank you in advance, apologies if this has already been asked (I did search but most posts were over a year old).
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to Louisville [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 05:51 Determination7 An Outcast In Another World (Subtitle: Is 'Insanity' A Racial Trait?) [Fantasy, LitRPG] - Chapter 200 (Book 5 Chapter 26)
Quick Author's Note:
For better clarity of intent, the 'worthwhile opponent' stipulation in Lifedrinker is being changed to 'non-negligible opponent' moving forward.
"The Gellin Empress was the catalyst for our breakthrough," a mage explained. "Tracing Lord Rob's lingering mana signature through the space between dimensions proved effective at first, yet it came with an insurmountable problem: he only attained mana after initially leaving Earth. At a certain point, there was no more of a signature for us to trace. We had found his home dimension, but finding his home world within the infinite expanses of that dimension could have taken years of aimless searching, like blind men stumbling in the dark."
He leaned forward, clearly enjoying having a captive audience. "The key, then, lay within Lord Rob's memories. Even without mana, memories have a power all their own. The Empress looked within his mind and found locations of personal importance to him. Ones that he remembers with pristine clarity. By scrying for areas within Lord Rob's dimension that matched those specific locations, we were able to narrow down the scope of our search considerably."
The mage spread his palms wide, and his voice dropped a full octave, as if he was imparting a great revelation. "The result will soon be made self-evident. You shall bear witness to the foremost magical achievement of our era: a one-way viewing window into Lord Rob's world. The first of many to come."
In respect for the man's showmanship, Rob started up a clap. Granted, he would've clapped even if the explanation was done via a mindnumbing PowerPoint presentation, because nothing in the universe could stunt his enthusiasm right now. Riardin's Ranger, the Elders, Diplomacy, and the Soul Surgeon clapped as well, although Rob was pretty sure they were just following his cues. This moment couldn't possibly hold the same gravitas for them as it did for him. They mostly were here to provide moral support and satisfy their curiosity.
While for him, this meant everything.
"Do we need the Gellin Empress here to create the window?" Rob asked. "I'd also like to thank her for the help she's given."
The mage shook his head. "I'll spare you the details, but to be succinct; she taught us how to save a mana-based copy of the necessary memories, which will allow us to attune to a subset of Earth locations. Her presence is not required. In fact, she insisted that we proceed without her, as the Gellin have gone to rest for the night."
Must be nice. I'd trade ten Levels for a consistent sleep schedule. Rob internally frowned at himself, punting the envious thoughts away. No sour grapes. If the Empress helped me see Earth again, then I hope she sleeps like a baby for the rest of her life.
"One question," Keira interjected. "In your explanation, you stated that, without the Empress' assistance, it may have taken years to discover Earth. That is hardly the weeks or months you claimed in the past."
The group of dimension mages froze, embarrassment blooming on their features. They looked to the head mage for guidance, whose veneer of showmanship was deflating like a leaky balloon. "We were perhaps...optimistic."
"The previous estimate I put forth was one that assumed we would develop breakthroughs as we went along." His mouth widened into a sheepish grin. "As you can see, we, um, succeeded."
Keira raised an eyebrow. "Only with the timely assistance of a Leader." Her tone was calm, yet unyielding. "Rob is too grateful to point out this contradiction, so I suppose the task falls to me. You have also told us that you should be able to 'open' the window and let Rob send a letter home within the next week – is that more unfounded optimism?"
"No." The mage straightened his posture. "Now that we have located Earth, the rest is simply a matter of refining our spells and collecting reserves of mana. We are no longer blind, nor are we fumbling in the dark, and thus our progress moving forward shall be predictable and steady. This, I swear."
After a few seconds, Keira nodded. "Then I thank you for the wonderful boon you've granted to the man I love."
From behind, Malika giggled under her breath. Rob squeezed Keira's hand, gave her a warm smile, and faced the mages. "I'm ready whenever you are."
The tent thrummed with mana as the dimension mages formed a Mage Circle with Malika. It was no different from any other time they'd done so, yet the knowledge of what they were about to accomplish heightened the tension in the air to a fever pitch. Rob's pulse quickened, his throat tightening. He'd been disemboweled by monsters, decapitated by eldritch abominations, and none of those events made him a fraction as nervous as watching the dimension mages at work.
Minutes passed. Rob forced himself to be patient. Reaching across the boundaries of space and dimensions wasn't like heading to the store to pick up a carton of milk. It involved a level of spellcasting prowess that would take Rob decades of committed study to have even the slightest chance at grasping. Frankly, the fact that it was possible at all still beggared belief.
Maybe...maybe the mages were wrong. Not lying; just wrong. They could be overeager, sharing before they were actually ready, and they'd end the circle looking contrite and ashamed.
That was okay. No biggie. Rome wasn't built in a day, or...something. He could wait–
It was the sound of a rusted hinge, of crumpling paper, of breaking bones, and more. A combination of all the noises things made when subjected to an external force. Like reality itself was groaning under the pressure.
A thin, imperceptible line appeared at eye-level, dark as the endless void. Slowly, inch-by-inch, it widened.
It had become a rectangle. Two feet wide, three feet high. With a final CREAK, reality threw in the towel. The void dissipated, as if smoke blown away by a gust of wind, revealing...
Everything was as he remembered it. The same furniture with scuffed marks of wear-and-tear. The same living room where they'd watched movies each Friday. The same kitchen with a sink perpetually filled with dirty dishes. The same tacky wallpaper that his mom refused to change, and that he secretly enjoyed.
Identical. Like a portrait had been painted straight from his memories.
A tsunami of aching nostalgia surged through him. Rob didn't realize he was extending his hand until his fingertips were already brushing against the viewing window. Its surface felt solid, and for an instant he was terrified that this really was just a painting. Something invented to give him false hope.
Then he noticed that a window had been cracked open. Not the mages' window; the window inside his house. A small breeze blew inside, jostling a curtain ever so lightly. Just enough to make it move.
"It's real." Rob's voice was hoarse. "It's my home."
No one said anything. They allowed him his silence, a gesture which he greatly appreciated. Eventually, Rob took a deep breath, clenched his hands so that they wouldn't tremble, and looked at the dimension mages. "Thank you. I owe you...so much. Even if observing from afar ended up being the limit of what you could do, just seeing my house again like this is..."
He trailed off, unable to find words that were sufficient. Thankfully, the dimension mages seemed to understand. "You are most welcome, Lord Rob." The head mage smiled. "This is far from the limit of what we can do, however. Give us time, and this window shall open."
Rob nodded, choosing not to believe them. They were probably right, but on the off chance they weren't, he didn't want to look back on this moment with bitterness. Best to assume the worst and be grateful for what he already had.
As if drawn by a gravitational pull, his eyes drifted back towards the window. It was displaying a fixed point in the center of his home. "Can you switch perspectives? I want to check other rooms." His parents were likely asleep in their bedroom at this hour. Assuming they didn't sell the house out of grief and move, that is.
"I am afraid that isn't possible. We can transpose the viewing window to other specific locations that the Empress provided, but having it 'walk around', so to speak, requires finer control than we are yet capable of."
Yet, he says. Which means that with practice, they'll be able to. Rob placated himself with that notion. This was a minor setback, and he wouldn't let it get him down.
He especially wouldn't listen to that tiny voice in the back of his head, whispering that the reason he couldn't see his parents right now was because they were–
"Got it," Rob stated, in a wooden voice. "What other locations did the Empress pick out?"
The window's perspective blurred and shifted. Rob swallowed a gasp as an extremely familiar place was displayed before him. He'd seen it many, many times, even after coming to Elatra. It used to be at the top of his nightmare rotation, only ousted from its throne when Blights started coming into play.
In front of them was a small grassy lawn, surrounded by lecture halls in the near-distance. The place that had forever altered the course of his life.
"This is where it all started." Rob pointed to an empty spot in the middle of the field. "Portal opened up. Right there. Saturated with darkness. Chains shot out, tried to grab at Jason. I pushed him out of the way, and...the rest is history."
Silence reigned once more. After a few seconds, Orn'tol stirred. The young Ranger opened his mouth, preparing to say what would undoubtedly be some platitude reassuring Rob over his noble sacrifice.
"The grass truly is green."
Rob burst out laughing. He kept going until he was short of breath, wheezing as the others looked at him with eyes full of concern. "I'm okay," he managed to cough, once the laughter had died down to snickers. "Thanks, Orn'tol. I needed that."
"You're very welcome?" Orn'tol exchanged confused glances with the rest of Riardin's Rangers. "I am unsure of what I did to assist you, yet it's good to see you in high spirits nonetheless."
"Sometimes a little silliness is just what the doctor ordered." Rob offered him a high-five, which the boy accepted with zeal. They returned their gazes to the viewing window, Rob tilting his head as he peered closer. "Hmm. That's weird."
"What do you mean?"
"There's no people. It's early evening, but college students have the worst sleeping patterns on the face of the planet. Trust me; I'm speaking from experience. Usually you'd see a dozen partygoers strung out on energy drinks racing around now."
"Perhaps this location is known as a place of danger," Keira posited. "I would certainly be hesitant to tread where a portal of darkness sprang from the aether and kidnapped a civilian."
Rob watched the viewing window for signs of life, finding none. "Could be. Parents probably pulled their kids out after what happened to me. Then either the government condemns the area, or enough money is lost that the college goes bankrupt." He snorted. "Would be the least of what it deserves, considering the tuition fees. Bloodsucking vampires."
"People on Earth drink blood?"
Normally, Rob would have played along with their confusion, but there were more important things to focus on. "Can you change this to the next location from my memories?" he asked the dimension mages. "How many are there, anyway?"
"Five in total. One moment, please."
The window's perspective blurred, shifted, and reformed. Now it was displaying a city sidewalk, its view positioned right outside the best god damn burger joint in existence. Rob didn't care what anyone else said; two greasy slabs of beef squeezed between two sesame-seed buns was the absolute pinnacle of culinary delight. So what if his palette was 'like a five-year old's?' Wasn't his fault that delicious things were delicious.
Belatedly, he realized that his memory of this restaurant had been strong enough for the Gellin Empress to choose it as a point of reference for interdimensional portal magic. That...yeah, that tracked. Aside from the burgers, he had fond memories of sitting at the outside patio with Jason and his folks, drinking Minty Fresh Phantasma and inhaling cheesy fries as they mocked his dietary preferences. Good times.
He was about to explain what this place meant to him when a human casually walked past the viewing window.
She was a normal working woman like any other. Tired eyes, a purse slung over her shoulder, and dressed for lukewarm weather. A cell phone was held in her right hand, her eyes glued to some form of social media. She strode past the window without a care in the world, visible for merely a second before disappearing from view.
To the Elatrans, it was like a horror movie jumpscare. All of them froze. Several gasped. Elder Alessia grimaced. Faelynn muttered "a world of Humans" in a hushed tone. The only exceptions were Elder Duran and the Soul Surgeon, who crept closer to get a better look, their eyes shimmering with curiosity.
In contrast, Rob let out a sigh of overwhelming relief. That bored, everyday woman was exactly what he'd needed to set him at ease. Earth hasn't completely gone to shit behind my back. People are still living their lives.
As he watched, a few more humans walked in front of the window. A middle-aged man, a young boy with his mother, and an old woman with a walking cane. The old woman pivoted straight into the burger joint, Rob internally praising her good taste.
"W-well," the head mage stuttered. He paused, cleared his throat, then started anew. "As you can see, the viewing window is imperceptible to those with low Levels of Sense Mana. Naturally, this will not be the case for a portal that can be interacted with from both sides."
"Dangerous," Meyneth commented. "I would advise that you conceal this type of spell for as long as you are able. The viewing window especially."
"Why is that?"
"If this window cannot be sensed by those with low Levels of Sense Mana, then that makes it an ideal tool for spying on non-Mages. In your haste to glimpse into the world of another dimension, you have inadvertently developed a field of magic that puts every nation in Elatra at risk of subterfuge. People have been assassinated for much less."
The mages blanched. "We are nothing more than simple researchers," the head mage protested, in a faltering voice. "Who besides a madwoman like the Dragon Queen would stoop so low as to threaten noncombatants?"
Keira averted her eyes, pointedly examining the floor.
"We can discuss matters of life and death at a later time," Duran interjected. He gestured to the viewing window with the demeanor of a child in a toy story. "There's a world of discoveries to explore! Take a look at those structures the Earth Humans have built – they resemble the buildings within Human territory, yet small differences set them apart."
Duran ooooh'd as another person walked past the viewing window. "So many humans are ambling about despite the late hour. Is this area a well-traveled location in your home city, Rob?"
"This is around the level of street traffic you should expect for early evening. If it were daytime, you'd see a hundred people per minute."
Duran aaaah'd. Before he could launch into a series of questions, Zamira beat him to it. "Pardon me if this comes across as an insult," she began, hesitantly. "But Earth Humans appear marginally...uncoordinated. It is hard for me to describe the notion, yet when I watch them move, they appear as if they're liable to fall over at any moment."
They look normal to me, Rob almost said, before remembering that Earth's normal wasn't Elatra's normal. "That's called being permanently Level 1." He shrugged. "They've all got crap stats. Except athletes, I guess."
Zamira stared at the human passerby with obvious sympathy. "My condolences."
Does Earth seem like a world of cripples to her? Rob wondered. Even Utility Class users have the option to put a couple points into Dexterity and Perception. That's not counting the natural stat boosts they gain as they grow up, either. And when combined with Vitality and healing magic, it means that people in Elatra tend to age gracefully.
Rob tried to think of the last time he'd seen an Elatran with the same frailty as that old human woman with her walking cane. The oldest person he'd met so far was the Fiend High Soulseer, and in spite of being positively ancient – and blind – the dude could get around fine. Elder Duran was having health problems, but that was only after suffering from severe Corruption poisoning for weeks on end. An incident like that would've landed an Earth human in long-term hospice care.
Actually, no, that was wrong. It would've just killed them.
"We should switch to the next location," Rob said, preempting any further questions. "There's still two more left." Maybe I can see...no. Keep your expectations in check.
He was right to do so. Rob's heart sank as the viewing window solidified once again, revealing battered, empty streets. Half the buildings had collapsed to rubble, as if visited by a wrecking crew with an axe to grind. He recognized this spot as the street leading up to his favorite movie theater on the other side of the city. There'd been good times here, as well.
Although not anymore. The theater's roof had caved in, and half the letters in its ostentatious PRIME CINEMA logo were missing. It would take years to rebuild – assuming someone was willing to invest millions of dollars into what was essentially a ghost town.
"This..." He ran his hand down his face, aware of everyone gazing at him with pity. "As you can probably infer, this isn't normal. In the past–"
Rob practically jumped out of his skin at the abrupt sound of gunfire. At first he thought the shot had come from outside, but no, it was both too distant and too close for that. The noise also sounded different from the rifles that the Dwarven Thunder Rod wielders employed.
A series of repeated bangs swept his thoughts away. Everyone watched in astonishment as a crew of Earth military soldiers ran into view from a side street, desperately fleeing the eight-legged Blightspawn that was hot on their tails. The abomination was more of an amalgamation of flesh and limbs than anything resembling a living creature, and the way it skittered made Rob reconsider if spiders were really that bad in comparison.
"Keep firing!" one of the men commanded, his voice sounding like it was coming from the bottom of a lake. The soldiers blasted their assault rifles in a retreating offensive, peppering the abomination with a hailstorm of bullets. Their response was swift, their aim was true, and it did not matter. The Blightspawn bulldozed through the rain of bullets as if it was a light drizzle, the creature's five cavernous mouths wailing for blood and sustenance.
It was nearly upon them when an explosive rocketed in from the opposite side street, knocking the Blightspawn off its many feet. The reprieve was temporary, but it was just long enough for the soldiers to escape unharmed. Unfortunately, the creature was also mostly unharmed, sporting minor injuries despite a direct missile strike to the torso. With a chorus of screams that prickled Rob's ears, the abomination continued its chase, batting away a second missile as it resumed the chase with renewed fervor.
Then it was gone, having left the window's range of sight. Distant sounds of battle grew quieter, the gunshots and explosions becoming more faint as predator and prey ran deeper into the ruined city.
Rob closed his eyes. He said nothing for half a minute, allowing himself time to process what he'd seen.
"Okay." He opened his eyes, nodding. "This is fine."
Keira laid a hand on his shoulder, struggling with what to say. "Rob...you don't need to–"
"Hold it in? Bottle up my emotions?" A wry chuckle escaped his throat. "Honestly, I'm not as affected as I thought I'd be. The Blight dropped one too many cryptic hints for me to be surprised, anyway. At this point I'm just glad that Earth hasn't been completely overrun. Some parts of the city might be fucked up, but not all of it is."
He narrowed his eyes. "The biggest thing I'm worried about is the Blightspawn itself. You saw those weapons the humans were using, right? Think of them as substantially upgraded versions of the Thunder Rods. They should've put a real dent in a fully-grown Blight, let alone one of its spawn."
"Perhaps the creatures have gained a defensive Skill?" Duran theorized. "What we witnessed appears consistent with other damage reduction Skills such as Tough Skin or Heat Resistance. I would surmise that the Blight has learned something akin to – for example – Thunder Rod Resistance."
Rob paused. Elatra didn't have a specified 'Bullet Resistance' Skill, but that was because conventional firearms had been removed from the system for balancing purposes. The Blight wouldn't give two shits about balance. They'd cheerfully grant themselves Bullet Resistance, Missile Resistance, and whatever else tickled their fancy.
And the more Earth fought back, the more resistant they'd become.
"...This doesn't change anything," Rob eventually concluded. "Earth is a big boy planet. It'll figure something out. In the meantime, we'll clean up our problems here and be ready to help if the Blight's still around by then."
"You're sure?" Keira asked. Two words that held so much intent. 'Are you sure you'll be alright? Are you sure Elatra should remain your primary concern? Are you sure you don't want to head home the instant the dimension mages create a working portal?'
Rob gave her a thumbs-up. "I'm sure. And I know you'll worry about me regardless, but I promise I'm feeling fine."
Or maybe he was just numb, and an avalanche of emotions would bury him when he least expected it. The good news was that was a problem for future-Rob to deal with. Present-Rob had one last area to investigate.
I'd be satisfied with seeing my old bedroom intact, he thought, as the dimension mages altered the viewing window for the last time. I have strong memories there, right? It should be a candidate. Those late night Netflix binges were uh...riveting. Yeah.
The window finalized.
Rob felt the strength leave his body.
Some parts of what he was seeing were incongruous. Strange details that he'd need to figure out soon. All of it took a hard backseat to the one sight in the room that truly mattered.
Jason was alive.
He was at his house that Rob had visited so often. Alive. Surrounded by people. Alive. Chatting away. Alive. Gesturing in that exaggerated manner he often used. Alive.
A dam broke. Silent tears began streaming down Rob's face. Thoughts cut out, leaving only the realization that his best friend since childhood, the sole person he'd have trusted with his life before meeting Riardin's Rangers, the man whose place he'd taken when the gods picked a new chew toy...
"Hey, man." Rob's smile was the most genuine it had been in a long time. "Been a while."
At that moment, almost as if he could hear him, Jason grinned.
When I was writing Chapter 199, I was mildly annoyed that Rob didn't reach 200 Vitality on Chapter 200. That would've been hilariously coincidental. But if I had to choose between that chapter or this one for a big milestone...I think I like this better.
Happy Chapter 200, everyone. Thanks for reading and staying on this journey with me.
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2023.06.08 05:49 unclestaple first full group sesh
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Previously ran Rotback Sludge for one guy from my group, tonight had everyone (four players) present. I put them outside the Shadow King's Palace, where I decided there is a small town. A local snake breeder complains of his wares (snakes) going missing, and an old blind mercenary says his friend Silas went to investigate and has not returned. A lackey of the seer from Rotback (who wears a brooch of the seer's mask) approaches them and says there is a disturbance in the disused east wing that is causing pain to the Shadow King, and hires them to investigate.
The palace is like Gormenghast, but mostly in ruins. The forest of Sarkash is encroaching upon it's bones. As they wander through it I make them check PRE to not get lost. Rooting in a huge pile of trash they encounter a Starving Pig Man (from Fork Borg) that decides they look like a better meal than the garbage. A tough fight but they win.
Near the trash pile, jutting from under the rubble of a fallen building, they see the intact entrance to a root cellar from which comes the muffled screech of a large bird. And we'll see you next week.
Starving Pig Man gone eat ya.
2023.06.08 05:48 Fullies4bullies Favorite/Least favorite characters
- Boyd. Dude is a BEAST!! He does his best to take care of everyone else in town. Is willing to take risks to find out what’s going on/Getting out of there. He NEEDS to communicate tho. No doubt.
- Jade. Dude is super smart, but is determined to figure out the symbol and also getting the hell outta there. Him talking to Tabitha was great progress.
- Victor. Dude knows what’s up. He definitely knows more then he’s telling people. But I feel like the trauma is too crazy. I mean imagine how many people have died while he’s there. Besides the point, people need to listen to him. He knows what he’s doing.
- Donna. Is a hard ass and doesn’t tolerate BS. She also wants to take care of her people. Great leader. I wish she wanted to learn more tho.
- Elis. Team player. Will do what’s best for everyone else, and isn’t scared to take a risk.
- Matthew’s family. This entire family is a joke. Jim has something with the voice on the radio, but he thinks hes 100% correct. Acting like it’s a sure thing it’s a government experiment, but the only evidence he has is a voice from the radio. He can’t explain anything else. Tabitha is annoying asf. She has gotten better over time, but still she’s annoying. Tabitha and Jim are both stubborn and annoying. Julie is just an air head. I feel like she’s clueless. That whole thing with Elgin acting like she’s some sort of OG in the Town but in reality she doesn’t know much.
- Ethan. Yes he gets his own ranking. Dude is annoying ASF!! He’s a little shit who doesn’t listen to anything. Someone tells him to leave or fuck off and he just keeps talking. And this whole Quest/Brave Kid thing needs to stop. He’s a little kid, he’s scared shitless. He’s also 0 help for the group. His parents need to tell him to knock it off with the “quest” stuff and just tell him the truth. Your a little 9 year old kid living in a night mare. This is your life now. All u need to do is be quiet and stay inside. And quit bugging Victor. Wouldn’t mind seeing Ethan get violently eaten.
- Elgin. Dude seems a little clueless too like Julie. I think he could be valuable to the team, but I think he’s so shocked about where he is that he’s not a as focused as others. Kid also made some dumbass decisions.
- Meriane. I think that’s her name. Kristis girlfriend. She seems like a liability more then anything. If she can get her shit together she can help with the nurse stuff, but right now she’s more of a liability.
- Randall. He can definitely be valuable to the group. But he’s hard headed. He’s an asshole. He needs to realize this is his life now and stop being a dick
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2023.06.08 05:47 shzcrafty Book about collecting tears in a bottle
Fiction book about a group of young girls somewhere in the age range of 11-17 living in either a girls home, orphanage or home for troubled girls. The place they are at is strict and cruel. The people that own it mistreat the girls and beat them. No one outside of the “home” knows that these girls are being mistreated. The people that run the place have somehow managed to convince everyone that the rumors spread about the place are false or have put on a show for when people come to visit the place. The plot goes through some of the girls living there and the ways they try to keep hope for a better life. They shift through garbage dumped at the place as a chore. One girl going through the garbage found a postcard of a family and managed to convince herself that it was a picture of her real family. I think the plot follows two main girls. Both friends. The main girl is focused on trying to escape while the friend more so observes? The main girl gets this idea to collect everyone’s tears in a old perfume bottle, escape, and show the perfume bottle to someone as proof. Either the best friend or everyone else writes off this as a dumb idea. Somehow the main girl gets caught and is thrown in the basement of the place and essentially left to die. The best friend in a last chance attempt to save her, gathers the tears, escapes and brings the bottle to a random house. A guy awnsers the door and doesn’t believe the girl about the bottle having x amount of tears from the abused kids. He throws out the bottle but retrieves it the next day to get it tested. Results come back and it does in fact have x amount of tears. He calls the authorities and i think the town comes together to go and save these girls. They go to save everyone but it’s to late and the girl in the basement has died. I read it in 2014 in 6th grade. I want to say the cover had silhouettes of girls on the front and one of the silhouettes in red. I got the book at a classroom library. Any guess helps. Thanks!
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2023.06.08 05:44 darylsdiscordkitten ???
2023.06.08 05:42 Long_jawn_silver y’all-
having a rough go here. i’m from philly but moved to upstate ny 2 years ago. currently in philly for work without my family. wife is at home with strep, kid is being the most obstinate 5 year old. i need to be here for a meeting with someone from france doing their americas tour for hardware we are possibly interested, that could make a big difference in the future of my organization.
air quality is 383 here right now, my eyes were suffering when i was on my way back to home base (MIL house) when it was 220. i’m supposed to be around for a happy hour tomorrow which is important because i need to exist as more than a name on SOPs/policies.
my family barely talks to me and i’ve basically been told i shouldn’t let them know if i’m in town but won’t be visiting. my mom is terrified of highways enough where she won’t ever be subject to the trip to our home 180 miles away. dad won’t visit us because he “can’t afford to be the favorite grandparent”. he’s gone as far as to let me know that he has accepted the fact that he won’t really have a relationship with my kid.
i just want to, and have, cried about it. things are rough with me and my wife already. i’m having a rough go here. all i can do is to think about how i can make sure i never make my kid feel this way. whether she decides to be he, has a kid, doesn’t have a kid, moves to another continent, stays put but goes quiet, has a “normal” life, or anything in between.
I used to look up to my dad so much, and in so many ways i recognize what he has done for me, but the unwillingness to actually show up is killing me.
i know i won’t be the same but shit, y’all. it just stings. i just want to give my kid a … 20 second hug? idk jokes aside it’s just a rough night for me.
thanks for listening
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2023.06.08 05:33 KillerOrangeCat Three New Terrifying True Scary Tales 6/7/2023
Three New Terrifying True Scary Tales
Number One: The Pool
Now, this happened a very long time ago. I am not going to mention when or where though and I am submitting it anonymously. I don’t want people going back and finding out more about it and then lashing out of me.
I was 13 years old and my brother was 11. As I mentioned, this happened a long time ago and I think today, not a lot of parents would put a 13 year old in charge of an 11 year old. But this was not unusual at all back then. In fact, I was looking after my little brother all the time before either of us even hit 10 years old.
After a while, of course, always keeping my eye on him began to get very annoying. It interfered with my hanging out with friends. It was quite a drag when I would try to talk to girls. It was just a pain in the ass, really.
Anyway, one day during a really hot summer, our parents decided to drop us both off at the local swimming pool for the day. My dad had to work and my mom had errands and stuff to run plus work do to do for the church. It was so hot and there was no way we could afford air conditioning. We had one old fan in the house and a sprinkler in the yard that we could go play in. But the swimming pool was the much better option.
Of course the pool was very crowded. Lots of families would drop their kids off there during the summertime. And of course, even though I knew it already, my mom stressed to me, “Keep an eye on your little brother at all times.”
Some of my friends were at the pool too. I got to talking to them and they told me about this new girl who moved into town. She would be starting school that fall and supposedly she was really hot. So of course, I wanted to check her out. I knew the lifeguards would be watching my brother in the water, so he would be fine.
I went with the guys and the girl was really cute. My buddies all dared me to approach her, which was admittedly a brave thing for a 13 year old boy to do. Of course, I couldn’t chicken out in front of them, so I did just that.
She was a very sweet girl. We actually ended up talking for a little while. Her parents were at the pool though, and they called her back after too long. So I went back to the water to see how my little brother was doing.
The only problem was that I couldn’t see him anywhere in the water. This was a small town in a rural area, so although I said the pool was crowded, it wasn’t like a water park is crowded though. I should have easily been able to pick him out of the water. He just wasn’t there.
I went and searched around the area surrounding the pool and didn’t see him there either. My heart started beating faster and I began panicking. I went to the building where the showers and concession stand were. He wasn’t there either. You couldn’t leave that pool without going through that building, though. I asked the attendant if a 11 year old boy had left the pool on his own in the previous hour and he told me no.
I then went to the lifeguards and my buddies. I thought maybe there was a chance that I had missed him. It’s easy to occasionally miss someone in a crowd. The lifeguards ordered everyone out of the pool. Fortunately, there were no drowned children in the pool. Unfortunately, my brother was nowhere to be found outside of the pool.
The lifeguards had to call my mother at the church. I had never before lost track of my little brother like this before. I had no idea what to expect when she showed up. I was only thankful that the police were already at the pool or she probably would have whipped my ass right there in front of the entire pool.
The trouble I got into at home isn’t something that I want to go into very much. My butt very much has PTSD from the experience. But that was minor compared to the fear I felt for my little brother. Hell, I didn’t even have time to feel guilty although that I knew that I was. I was only concerned for him and wondered what would happen.
All day and night, I expected the police to bring him home. But that didn’t happen. I expected it the next day too. But it didn’t happen.
The town organized a search to look for him. I kept expecting to hear from them that they had found him. But that didn’t happen either.
After about a week of my brother not being found, I began fearing for the worst. I began thinking that he was dead. And I was terrified every waking moment of my life, expecting to absolutely hear the news that his dead body was found.
Nearly two weeks after the disappearance, we got a phone call from the police. They had found my brother and thankfully, he was alive. But unfortunately, that’s not the whole story.
Remember the attendant telling me that no boy had left on his own? Well that’s because the boy left with one of the lifeguards who was getting off duty. He had lured my brother out of the pool and into his car with promises of ice cream, something he and I rarely ever got. And my brother went to his house with him.
For all of that time, he kept my little brother locked up in his basement. He didn’t do anything sexually to him, thank God. But there was a lot of mental and some physical torment when my brother wouldn’t do what he was told to you. But the scariest part for him was thinking he would never get out and be with his family again.
Here is another weird part. The lifeguard wasn’t an adult. He did this while his parents were out of town for a few weeks. They came back early and caught him. And if you think I felt bad for my parents’ punishing me, what they did to him had to be legendary. The police thought he was either planning on killing or releasing my brother before his parents got home. But no one ever knew for sure.
He had to live with it without much help for a long time. Mental health assistance had a very bad stigma back then. But we’re both still alive today and he forgave me a long time ago.
Number Two: Taking the Garbage Out
A few weeks ago I went outside at around 3am to move the garbage to the curb since pickup would be in the morning. I often do this in the middle of the night. I just tend to keep weird hours and as the weather warms up for the summer I find the warm nights preferable to the sweltering days.
I’m not worried about bothering my neighbors since I don’t use noisy bins and all of the houses right next to me are currently empty. I actually find the quiet of the neighborhood at night quite relaxing.
Unfortunately since I don’t use bins animals are able to get into the bags a bit easier and while this doesn’t happen often it had happened on this night. So I was outside picking up the strewn around garbage and putting it into another bag when the silence of the night was suddenly broken by multiple police sirens.
At first they seemed distant and while they startled me it was not at all unheard of to hear sirens at night here. But usually it would be one in the distance. As I listened, still bagging the garbage, I could tell it was multiple sirens and they were getting closer. Then just as suddenly as it started it stopped again. There was just silence. By the time they stopped they sounded maybe four blocks away.
For a moment the night was silent again and I began hauling the bags to the curb when the neighborhood dogs began barking all at once. It was like every dog in the neighborhood had gotten the cue to start barking. Many were even howling. It continued for maybe a minute and once again it just stopped as suddenly as it had started.
I realized I hadn’t heard any barking or howling while the sirens were going and that’s normally how it would work. These dogs had started up separately from the sirens and just stopped all at once. It just wasn’t normal. I went back to the side of the house to grab more bags when the silence was broken a third time.
Just a single chime in the night. Like someone getting a phone notification. This sound wasn’t blocks away. This sound was here. RIGHT HERE. No more than feet away. As I said, the houses around me are empty.
I was done. The rest of the garbage would wait until morning. I didn’t see anyone close by but that just made it worse. There was someone close by that I couldn’t see. I immediately went into the house to leave the garbage for the morning.
I don’t know if these things were related. If the cops had been chasing someone who’s fleeing had caused the dogs to bark. Someone who received a message on their phone as they approached my house. Or if it was all just a coincidence. But I won’t be taking the garbage out at 3am anymore.
A Commuter’s Nightmare
Back in the 80s, I worked at the Irwin Memorial Blood Bank in San Francisco while living and commuting from Oakland, CA
My job as Registrar, took me all over Northern California, during Blood Drives at hospitals, clinics, major corporations, etc., where we would sometimes witness firsthand, the dead, being placed on gurneys, running out of the Coroner's or Medical Examiner’s rear doors, and down the sidewalks, because they simply didn’t have enough room or staff inside the morgues to process them. Mortuaries were having problems too due to the massive overload where deceased loved ones were admitted but not processed or interred for months or even years at a time.
I remember watching the News and reading newspaper accounts of E.R.s in hospitals, clinics, etc. so clogged with patients, that 1 in 10 would die waiting to just get in to see a Dr. It was a Public Health and Safety nightmare. It was a National disgrace. It was politically orchestrated mass murder. It was the B purge of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
I remember, starting work early on one of many Blood Drives (the A.I.D.S. epidemic was just getting started) and having to catch the first B.A.R.T. (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train out of the station at about 4:00 am, where morning after morning I would witness hundreds of people sleeping on the benches, or the sidewalks, or on the streets outside, waiting for it to open.
Hundreds of others would be seen walking around like zombies in the early morning freeze amid the concomitant yelling, screaming, moaning, begging, and pleading, all of it looking like a newsreel of the death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Many times, I was woken at home in the middle of the night, to the sounds of people howling and cursing outside my window at some real or imagined threat, until either the police came, which usually took hours because they were spread so thin, or some tenant, or other, ran them off.
I remember the time I woke up to the sound of a woman’s voice begging in the early morning cold for someone to help her. She kept repeating it over and over growing weaker and weaker until it was little more than a whisper.
By the time I’d gotten up, armed myself with the steel-reinforced baton I’d purchased at a Police Supply store, and ran the 5 floors down to the ground floor, I found her sitting in a taxi shivering from the 42-degree drizzle coming in off the Pacific. The cabbie told me it was alright; she was just cold and needed someplace to rest and warm up; He’d drop her off at one of the nearby shelters.
At the time, I was living in a local Residence Hall on Lake Merrit in Oakland, California which was little more than a converted Hotel from the San Francisco/Oakland Gilded Age of the late 1920s. It had 5 floors and a penthouse with a capacity of about 200. I never saw it get much beyond about 30 residents. It sported a full kitchen, dining area, big screen tv viewing room, swimming pool, and a recreation room with pool, foosball, and darts.
I lived with a friend, at the time, on the 5th floor just under the penthouse. There was an elevator, but like most refurbs, it didn’t work. That meant we'd have to climb 10 flights of stairs every day to reach our room. The best part was that we had the entire floor to ourselves. I guess nobody wanted to climb that many stairs. Because we were both runners, it was a little like running the 900 feet to the top of Angel Island, running across The Golden Gate Bridge and back, or running the 3.4 miles around Lake Merrit twice a day.
Because there was no air-conditioning, all the windows were left open during the summer months, but along with whatever cool air the San Francisco/Oakland Bay would bring through the gaping nearly wall-length vault ceilinged windows, it was always accompanied by the teeming, screaming City of Oakland street din: cabbies, buses, cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, scooters, police sirens, ambulance, fire department, pedestrians, hustlers, druggies, break-dancers, prostitutes the homeless, et al. Day or night, winter or summer, it was like living in a jet engine test lab, somewhere on the 9th level of hell.
Of course, we could always close the windows against the noise 5 stories below. But if it was summer, with all the humidity coming off the bay, we’d roast like 2 suckling pigs in our own sweat even if we used a fan.
One night after a particularly grueling day at work, I came home, climbed Mount Everest (or at least K-2) to my steaming little abattoir, tore off my sports jacket, shirt, and tie, and fell into a coma-like sleep only to awake some 4 hours later to the sound of someone slamming a door, over and over, seemingly as hard as they could. It was about 2:00 am and raining so hard the water was pouring through the open window and flooding the floor and carpet. The sound was coming somewhere down the hall from one of the other units.
After about the 15th or 16th slam to my inner ear, I was up, as in a trance, running like a lunatic from unit to unit and window to window, covering the entire southside of the 5th floor; battening down the hatches, and getting drenched in the process. It was, how should I say: exhilaratingly infuriating. I was supposed to get up in 2 hours and commute to work in the upper peninsula.
Having unconsciously completed this Sisyphean task and realizing that there was zero chance of getting any sleep, I donned my foul weather gear, equipped my trusty baton (I used to tuck its 2 ½-foot length up my sleeve when running), and headed out the front door to Lake Merrit which was just outside the main entrance. From there, I trotted to the sidewalk circling the lake, and began to run.
As I ran counterclockwise against a torrential rain with a gale-force wind broken only by the occasional intermittent rainbow-hued lightning flashes which blinded me to almost everything around me, I almost ran into someone up ahead who was walking in the same direction.
He was hunched over against the wind and rain and wearing a long heavy winter coat. Unusual for that time of year, I thought. Whenever I would run in public, I always made it a courtesy to let people know when I was approaching especially from behind. I’d blurt out a perfunctory:
“Excuse me.” Followed by a conciliatory:
But apparently, the person ahead either didn’t hear me or didn’t care because, when I was about 6 feet from him, he suddenly turned around, exposing a darkened contorted face, jagged teeth, and a guttural growl that would have stopped a charging 600-pound Grizzly.
The sheer force of the malevolence emitted from this inhuman thing almost made me stop, but because I was moving so fast, the inertia along with the gale force wind and lightning strikes propelled me past him (or it), and fingering my steel-reinforced baton, I, in turn, steeled my nerve and kept running. I looked back only once to reassure myself that he (or it) wasn’t following.
Running on the leeward side now, with the rain at my back, I ran past a group of men in a circle smoking or drinking or doing whatever noxious or illicit thing I imagined, when, feeling charged with my own adrenalin, or the anger and resentment at that woman’s searing pleas for help, or the spook I’d almost run into, or just the gross injustices thrust upon the world in that dank, dark and dangerous time, I almost stopped, baton in hand, intending to take on the whole group: I may go down, I told myself, but at least I would take one or two with me.
Just then, the lightning struck particularly close to where I and they stood and the sheer blinding flash and concussive boom shook all of us enough to break up their conspiratorial collaboration and my righteous crusade; just enough, that is, to shove me headlong around the next bend, to the long straight full out dash to the front doors, the 5 floors, 10 landings, and 50 risers to rain-sodden home.
To get to work every day, I'd have to commute to the upper peninsula by using 3 buses, 1 train, and 1 cab and after a 10 or 12 or sometimes 14-hour day, I would have to take the same to get back. This meant that if I didn’t go out, make dinner, eat, or watch tv, I just might get about 4 hours sleep. Commuting took between 2 to 3 hours, one way.
Once on the way home, almost every stop was crowded with commuters. I was told that it was because there were so many buses down for repair. The ones still running were so filled beyond capacity, that the shocks and springs were sitting on the chassis, and stop after stop proved nearly impossible to take on any more passengers. Still, and despite the few getting out at every stop, the driver would take on even more and just pack them in.
I remember him yelling for people to get back behind the yellow line over and over. By then, he was long past any semblance of reason; his patience frayed to a single maniacal thought, his voice raspier and raspier, his manner, more and more brusk.
I can still see when he finally lost it; jumping up, out of his seat, with a nickel-plated 38 Caliber Revolver pointing at one of the passengers; an elderly woman, screaming from the top of his lungs:
“Get back behind the yellow line!”
I can still hear the woman begging the driver:
“Please...” while the passengers behind were practically trampling each other to get out of the line of fire.
I remember the sad, exhausted urgency in her voice; she really was trying to move back, but how could she, an old woman, do that with all those people blocking her way? Everyone knew this was an impossible task; everyone except the maddened driver. He just kept glaring, and bellowing with his gun out pointed right at her and the other passengers.
"Back up and make room" he yelled.
‘Or else what?’ I thought. ‘You're gonna kill an old woman?'
Getting up out of my seat, pushing my way through the throng who were pushing against me to get away, I managed to get within about 6 feet from the front when, roaring through the din and my fear and anger, I ordered the bus driver to:
“Put the gun down!” And again, with even more rage and authority:
“Put the gun down, now!”
The bus driver shocked that it might be a cop, or worse, shakily, put his gun back in his concealed carry holster and hypnotically sat back down. He resumed driving without saying another word. I got out at the next stop, along with the elderly woman. She was so shaken, that she busted out crying. I held her still fuming despite the close call because I would now have to wait for another bus and after that, 2 more; the train and a cab to get home. I wasn’t going to make it until well after 8:00 pm. As soon as I got home, I reported the bus number and the driver to Muni.
Many of the commuters I'd see day to day, or share a seat with were victims of the purge just trying to get out of the rain or the cold, or the wind, or the sun, even for just a little while. For them, it was easing the agony of living on the street, even just a little. For many of us regular commuters, during those dark times, it proved to be the same.
On one of the final buses that would take me to the train and across the bay, I remember standing, with about 50 others, on Market Street waiting. Like ours, stop after stop was so packed with people, some were standing in the street because there was simply not enough room on the sidewalk. The ones in the street would stay where they were for fear of losing their place and missing their connection and having to wait another hour, or more, to catch another.
Because the rapidly descending elevation of the southbound streets ending at Market Street from the upper peninsula were so steep and the transverse angle of the turn so sharp, some of the buses would skirt the edge of the curb, sometimes rolling up over it onto the sidewalk putting them dangerously close to the commuters waiting on the other side.
If there were any people in the street, especially the old or the infirm, they would either have to get out of the way and lose their place in line or hope the bus driver stopped before completing the turn. Most of the drivers would. Once there was one who didn’t.
I remember the television and newspaper account about an elderly woman waiting at one of the stops during the pm rush hour. When the bus made the oblique turn way too fast at 25 miles per hour she was either too close to the edge or standing in the street when she was hit by the side view mirror across the face and the left side of her head.
She went down under the wheels and her body got hung up under the chassis. The bus driver too full of passengers to stop, or late for his break, or just too coked up to notice, kept on heading for the Embarcadero before he realized something was wrong. By then, the woman had been dragged over a quarter of a mile. No one knew for sure whether the concussion from the mirror or the relentless dragging was the cause of death. I guess it didn’t matter to her anymore, one way or the other. It mattered to a lot of those who witnessed the whole thing though; screaming and yelling, block after block, trying to get the bus driver to stop.
To get across the Bay to San Francisco from Oakland or back, one alternative to the nightmare bus commute was the B.A.R.T (Bay Area Rapid Transit). It was quiet, clean, air-conditioned, and fast. Traveling under the Bay, it could span the 13 miles in minutes. Once I’d reach the train station, by bus, from the Oakland side, I’d descend one of the many street-level entries to the below-ground turnstiles which led to the train platform. Of course, there were always hundreds of derelicts, homeless, hustlers, etc., hanging out by the turnstiles waiting for their chance to slip through and get on any one of the many trains that serviced the Bay Area, but sometimes, especially after a scuffle with B.A.R.T. Security or the San Francisco/Oakland Police, they’d scatter to the winds (or the shadows as it were) until everything calmed down and then they'd be back at it again, day and night.
Almost every week I'd hear about someone falling, or being pushed, or jumping down onto the third rail, which would either short-circuit the line and knock out the power or if it was particularly grisly, halt service entirely. Because service resumption could take hours, waiting passengers would have to go back up and out onto the street and catch another train, take a cab or a bus or just walk or, as was often the case for me, run.
Once, I remember running to the next stop when I was ascending to the upper peninsula because the previous connection didn’t show up which meant it would have added another 45 minutes to my commute. The choice was obvious and inevitable: I could either
“wait to be late” or go for it. I chose the latter.
You just can't imagine what it’s like to run at a 20-degree angle uphill for about 2 miles while wearing dress slacks, dress shoes, a white shirt and tie, and a sports jacket, in San Francisco, during the summer, with the humidity until you’ve tried it. It’s, how should I say: exhilaratingly infuriating.
Running, I came upon a stand-alone, transmission shop, right in the middle of a residential area. The owners must have paid a pretty penny to get away with that one. There were police cars, the fire department, a metro ambulance, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a marked County Coroner’s Office vehicle scattered around the shop.
Some people along with some of the employees: their first names embroidered on their shirts, were standing on the sidewalk just outside the property watching. They’d been there for about an hour when I stopped to ask one of them (Bob) what happened.
Wearily he said:
“The girl who worked in the office answering the phone and typing up orders was shot to death by her boyfriend. The boyfriend got away but she was still down there being processed. God, she was only 24 years old. They’ll catch him, though. He hasn’t got a chance.”
'Nope,' I thought.
'In this town, I don’t expect he would.'
I was late again when I got home. Vaulting the 5 floors to reach our loft, I held my friend close, the entire night. She was ok with that. So was I.=
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2023.06.08 05:32 BlackShadow2804 What CDL class do I need?
Hey guys, I'm getting a job at the airport in town and they said having a CDL would be a huge plus, so I'd like to get one (I've been wanting to anyway). I'll be driving fuel (containing Jet-A or Avgas) trucks mostly, old Ford with 3k gallon tank, Ram 5500 with a smaller tank (under 1k) and a big Freightliner (not sure how big the tank is, maybe 5-8k?)
Which CDL class do I need? I'm having trouble telling the difference between the three
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2023.06.08 05:20 birdlawlawyer293939 Away for a week - what to do with young bearded dragon
I have a 5 month old beardie and we are going out of town for a week. I thought boarding would be an option but every boarding place (usually reptile stores) I’ve talked to I just don’t really trust. They either put them in the back but won’t show me where they will be putting him, or when I ask them about feeding they tell me they just give them lettuce once a day and bugs once a day.
Ours eats 3x a day currently (sometimes 2) usually bsfl and dubias plus some greens (not lettuce).
The other option is to make a temporary travel container for him and have a family member care for him at their house but I’m worried he will be stressed out in a new container.
A pet sitter wouldn’t come twice a day, just once :(
What have you guys done?
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2023.06.08 05:19 profhill2021 47 [M4F] #VA #RVA, Seeking summer intern/visitor adventures
I'm searching for a fun young woman who's visiting RVA or further north in VA for the summer for fun or as an intern.
If you're up for an adventure, we can spend time together, get to know each other. Explore this amazing city together, share fabulous meals. Even take some weekend trips together if you trust me enough to keep you safe.
I LOVE art, animals, all kinds of music, road trips, the beach, and lots more. If you're looking to switch things up with an adventurous summer fling, say hi and tell me a little about you.
I'm 47, white, over 6ft, clean cut. Short brown hair, hazel eyes. And looking forward to hearing form you.
In your msg, please tell me why you're in town this summer and (very generally) what area you're staying in.
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2023.06.08 05:17 cold_surround Struggling to find an accounting internship
Hi everyone, I’m new to this subreddit. For some background, I’m a 21 year old accounting major (junior in college). I have a 4.0 GPA, good relationship with college faculty/supervisors (I’m a student worker: peer tutor), management and leadership experience of over 2 years, an Associate’s degree, and have excelled in all of the accounting courses I’ve had so far. However, I’ve one issue. I live in a fairly small town, so internship opportunities are more scarce here than in some larger cities. I guess that’s what I’m telling myself in order to feel better, because no matter how many internships I apply to, I never get a call back. I had an interview some time ago with no luck. Regardless of how many follow-ups I give them, I can’t seem to secure a position. People in my classes continue to ask if I’ve gotten an internship yet, and I become so embarrassed because I have to tell them the truth. How should I proceed? Any tips to increase my chances of getting an internship? Thank you all in advance.
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2023.06.08 05:13 Cassie2007Smile 16 [F] Looking to make friends/meet people/whatever [chat] [friendship]
Pretty new to this and just seeing if I can make friends my own age. My Parents are crazy strict so it's not easy making new friends for me. A little bit about myself:
I play basketball (hoping to make varsity) I enjoy going swimming I live in a tiny boring town in Iowa Never had a bf/gf (strict parents remember) Possibly gay.. or bi? I'm not sure
Please be nice if you message me and don't be a creepy old man! Thanks!
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2023.06.08 05:08 Slayers_Picks UFC 289 Fight Predictions!
I hope everyone here is doing well.
Now, this is an odd write up, in that there really was not a lot to say for the vast majority of the fights, it's such a low interest card that it feels like a fight night that they used to throw for Mighty Mouse when he defended his belt, you remember those old cards? wacky time that was.
With that said, you guys know that my interest for a card translates into far better analysis, so if this card feels like opinion instead of analysis, that's because it's one of those bad cards lmao.
Lets get this over and done with yeah?
(c) - Champ
D/DWCS - Debut/Dana Whites' Contender Series
FLS - Fight Lose Streak
FWS - Fight Win Streak
NS - No Streak
(#x) - Rank in Division
x/3 - Confidence Levels
Diana Belbita (-105) (14-7-0, NS) v Maria Oliveira (-115) (13-6-0, NS) - Well this is certainly a tale of two losers, and I mean that in the nicest possible sense. Belbita is coming off a tough but very hard fought loss against Gloria de Paula, and whilst Belbita did show a lot of initiative in starting exchanges, her strikes were only landing at a 37% rate which is fairly low. She does look busy and is very active on the feet, her striking is relatively standard, but ultimately I feel like she does tend to lack in the grappling and wrestling department. Now, Belbita is obviously a striker, she does throw a lot of volume but she also has natural power as well, however she kind of reminds me of a long reach fighter with the way they strike, its a long movement and motion that packs a lot of power, but with that comes a downside of speed, she seems like she’s punching underwater at times and whilst she can knock out her opponents, if she is facing a much quicker, more traditional combat sports striker like a Muay Thai fighter, she tends to fall behind. Oliveira is also coming off a tough loss, this time against Demopoulos in which Demopoulos ended up controlling her in more dominant positions, not allowing Oliveira to set her own pace and rhythm with her striking. Oliveira has similar grappling and wrestling disadvantages that Belbita has, in that it’s certainly not her best attribute as a fighter. However, Oliveira has been a lot more active than Belbita, and I feel like even feeling the strength and durability of Demopoulos is enough to give her a taste of things to come, and that would allow her to make the proper adjustments. Oliveira is a very explosive starter, she is no doubt a very dangerous Muay Thai fighter who is still finding her footing in the UFC, and I feel like the fact that Belbita is a bit of a striker herself will only play in the favour for Oliveira. There is also the different way both fighters strike. Belbita tends to kind of load up, you can see her pull back the punch then throw them, they’re not tight punches, and that’s where Oliveira has that advantage, Oliveira, if her team knows what they’re looking at, knows that Belbita is a bit of a long striker, and that speed is a necessity when fighting against her. I got Oliveira winning this one, she has been a lot more active and overall is, in my opinion, the slightly better pick here.
Oliveira via UD - (1/3)
David Dvorak (#11) (-175) (20-5-0, 2 FLS) v Steve Erceg (D) (+150) (9-1-0, 8 FWS) - This is going to be an interesting one. Dvorak is coming off two back to back losses against some incredible tough fighters in Kape and Nicolau, that’s a tough outing for anyone, and one thing that I’m almost certain of is that Dvorak has improved a whole lot just by preparing for those two warriors. Dvorak is a very well rounded fighter who has a very tight striking style, he throws his punches relatively accurately and is quick on the feet. His striking will be a necessity in this fight since he is taking on a very dangerous submission specialist, so the longer he keeps the fight on the feet, the longer Erceg will have to play a completely different game, away from any planned attacks that himself and his corner have prepared him for. Now, Dvorak has a huge experience advantage in this fight, and he has faced a litany of challenges in the UFC. I also suspect that he is very well aware of a lot of submissions that Erceg may attempt since Erceg is a very tall and long fighter, the set ups will be a bit different from a more equal physique opponent. Overall, I think Dvorak will be well prepared for anything that comes his way, although once things get to the ground, anything can happen. Erceg is coming in as a late replacement and no doubt is excited to finally fight in the UFC. Erceg has one significant win in his career that I’ll highlight, and that was against Shannon Ross, that’s one hell of a win. Erceg is an interesting one to talk about, because he also comes from a gym that is relatively small and has no major fighters, in fact I believe he is the only pro fighter, so I feel like the lack of higher level fighters in his gym might not translate too well in the competitive sphere of the UFC. I hope that made sense because I have no other way to explain why I think him being in a relatively unknown gym might hamper his capabilities in the UFC. Regardless of that though, he is still a ferocious submission artist and I suspect that from the get go he is going to look for chokes, whether its a jumping guillotine (his length may allow him to wrap up Dvorak easily) or just a takedown followed by progressional submission movements. Either way, if Erceg wins, it will have to be by submission, because I don’t see him outstriking Dvorak. I got Dvorak winning this one, but i’m eager to see how Erceg does against him on his debut.
Dvorak via UD - (1/3)
Blake Bilder (-200) (8-0-1, 8 FWS) v Kyle Nelson (+165) (13-5-1, 2 FLS) - I always find it difficult to categorise what a draw is, I don’t know whether to include that as a loss, or a win, so if you’re wondering why Nelson is on a losing streak, that’s why. Bilder is on one hell of a nice streak at the moment, and during his fight against Young, it became a bit clear as to why he is riding such a streak. There is a uniqueness to his movement, he is very tricky to get a hold of and his lateral movement allows him to find angles and openings, especially when his opponent wants to reach and try to land punches, he lures his opponent into his own range in which he fires away with a quick counter. He is also fairly proficient at throwing kicks, especially the left high kick in orthodox stance in which he flicks up with such speed and accuracy that it barely disrupts his own movement and motions. Bilder is also an excellent wrestler and grappler, he’s strong on the ground and often looks for takedowns, constantly keeping his opponent guessing and working, and all of this works well with his lateral movements because it makes his opponent chase and walk him down, focusing on closing distance rather than the potential level changes that might come his way. Nelson is in a very difficult spot in his career, not really a winner in the Featherweight division, he is coming off a tough back and forth fight against Choi and even prior to that hasn’t exactly won a whole lot. He is a fairly well rounded fighter who does look for takedowns fairly often, but ultimately doesn’t do a whole lot with them, he is a very submission focused grappler who doesn’t mix it up very well on the ground, he can be a bit one dimensional and I can see him being frustrated with Bilder’s movements and thus making a forced mistake in which Bilder capitalises on it. However, if Nelson turns up the offence and throws volume, that can slow down Bilder a whole lot, because the more his opponent presses the action, the more movement is involved, and that can sap at the cardio of Bilder. However, all of that aside, on paper I think Bilder is going to get a win here, he performed very well against the very dangerous Shane Young, and with him fighting in his own backyard, he has a home-town advantage which is very much a real thing, there is no need to worry about logistics of travel, adapting to time zones and knowing where to train when you’re training in the same country. I got Bilder winning this one.
Bilder via UD - (2/3)
Aiemann Zahabi (+105) (9-2-0, 2 FWS) v Aoriqileng (-130) (24-9-0, 2 FWS) - Well this is certainly something. Zahabi is coming off two relatively good wins, albeit those wins have taken place in the span of two and a bit years, and the quality of his opponents have been a bit questionable. Regardless of that, Zahabi is a very well rounded fighter who has a fairly high fight IQ, which is no doubt a trait that he learnt from training alongside his brother Faras Zahabi, the head coach of Tristar. However, with how low quality his opponents have been, it’s fairly difficult to gauge where he is at compared to someone like Aoriqileng. One potential advantage that I can see Zahabi having over someone like Aoriqileng is in the wrestling department. Zahabi has a black belt in BJJ and since we know fairly well that Tristar produces outstanding wrestlers, I highly suspect that wrestling will be in the game plan since Aoriqileng is a very dangerous knockout artist. However, one thing comes into mind and that’s age and activity. Zahabi isn’t nearly as active as Aoriqileng has been, and Aoriqileng has a whole lot of experience in comparison to the older fighter in Zahabi. Aoriqileng is someone who I hyped up when he started fighting, it was everything about him that made me a fan, his nickname, his ferocity when he strikes, his first round fury and power, everything you love to see in a striker, however, he still was a bit of a greenie. Now, with more time in the Octagon against some tough competition, I think he has found his footing, and I feel like now that he has settled down a little bit and become a bit more methodical with his strikes, I suspect that he is going to have a power advantage here. The only problem is that Zahabi is a methodical fighter who can get a very good read on his opponents movements and set ups, and of course there’s that possible grappling advantage. The fact here is that it’s a highly close match and a tough one to predict, either fighter has, in my opinion, a relatively equal chance to win, but i’m gonna make a rough prediction here and say that Zahabi is going to get a win. Aoriqileng doesn’t have great takedown defence, and whilst Zahabi has not shown any capability (yet) on the ground, there is always a surprise in a fight, and I think Zahabi will make said adjustments coming into this fight. You do not become a black belt whilst training under Danaher without putting in the work, and you do not become a high level MMA fighter without the assistance of veteran coaches in Faras Zahabi. I know I sound like i’m gargling the balls of Tristar, but I think that in this particular case, style wise, Zahabi can get a win here.
Zahabi via UD - (1/3)
Jasmine Jasudavicius (+240) (8-2-0, NS) v Miranda Maverick (#13) (-300) (11-4-0, 2 FWS) - This is the only fight that I look forward to watching in the prelims. Well, one of two fights actually. Jasudavicius is coming off a rather boring wrestle-heavy fight against Fernandes, who was making her debut and thus kind of suffocated under the pressure of Jasudavicius and her superior wrestling. Jasudavicius is a tough one to talk about because I feel like she’s been a touch overhyped by the commentators and promotion team at the UFC, there is nothing significant about her that Maverick does multitudes better and I think the only main advantage Jasudavicius has over Maverick is her reach and height, that could cause some severe problems for Maverick, especially since Maverick will need to hunt down a takedown and that could leave her open for any knees or uppercuts that Jasudavicius has in her pocket. Jasudavicius is a good wrestler in her own right, but she hasn’t exactly fought the best competition, I mean, the best win on her record is Kay Hansen who is about as relevant as the Commodore 64. This upcoming fight is a true test for Jasudavicius, and I suspect that her striking is going to be the only major problem for Maverick. Maverick is someone who is always on my “must watch” list. If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you know for a fact that I think she’s going to be a contender sooner or later, she’s something special and even though she had a slip up against Blanchfield (who is now currently the hottest prospect in the division) she has improved substantially since then, a whole lot of improvements have been made to her wrestling and just her workload, she is exceptional in the cage and can absolutely wear down her opponents. The biggest difference in terms of wrestling between both fighters here is that Maverick implements ground and pound in high volume, she is a fully evolved MMA fighter and that’s the major difference maker in this fight. It’s why I think she has the best chance to win this fight. The only problem or challenge that I see Maverick running into is frustration in being unable to achieve a takedown, if Maverick cannot get a takedown, I suspect that she’s going to be behind on the scorecards because all Jasudavicius is going to do is back up and throw counters, a whole lot of jabs and just be ahead in volume on the feet. With that said though, I am in full belief that Maverick is going to get a win here.
Maverick via UD - (3/3)
Nassourdine Imavov (#13) (-125) (12-4-0, NS) v Chris Curtis (#14) (+105) (30-10-0, NS) - This is the other fight that I am very much looking forward to on the prelim card. Imavov is coming off quite a devastating loss against Sean Strickland, and whilst he did lose mostly due to the sheer volume and pressure of Strickland, he has gained incredibly valuable experience at the higher levels of the UFC, and is going to be a lot more prepared since Curtis is not a late replacement fight, so there is no doubt a lot of tape study and preparation involved. However, Imavov does have one major advantage that isn’t a fighting related one, and that’s that Xtreme Couture have prepared for Imavov twice now, they saw Strickland fight Imavov and no doubt went “alright so that’s his intricacies as a fighter, he likes a clean fight, so lets throw a crapload of volume and break him” and I highly suspect that Curtis is going to implement a very similar game plan this time around. However, Imavov isn’t just a striker with impeccable accuracy and timing, he is a dangerous wrestler too, and whilst Curtis has stuffed every takedown that has come his way, Imavov will still have that ability to mix it up and perhaps get a fight changing takedown. One other thing that I see happening is Imavov trying to copy what Hermansson did against Curtis, and that’s frustrate with a tactical style, don’t take risks and make Curtis force an attack, and from there, retaliate with a counter, and counters are something Imavov is very good at doing. Imavov also has impeccable footwork and I believe that he will a bit more of a chance to utilise it in this fight since its a three rounder and Curtis is not exactly as volume-oriented as Strickland is. Curtis is coming off a tough loss against Gastelum, and it was a very close fight in which a fair few thought Curtis won the fight, but that headbutt kind of changed things a bit. Curtis is a highly dangerous, well rounded fighter who is a lot more technical than Strickland, he moves around a lot more, has a lot more emphasis in his strikes and is just a bit more well rounded than Strickland has recently shown. This might create a challenge that Imavov will struggle to work around, that, alongside the fact that Xtreme Couture know Imavov’s capabilities very well might lead to Curtis having a massive advantage. Let’s not forget the fact that Curtis has 40 fights under his belt whilst Imavov has 16, advantage in experience has been proven to be a dangerous attribute. Either way, this is a very, very 50/50 prediction, but I think Imavov will be able to get a win here, his movement, evasiveness and counters might be enough to frustrate Curtis and cause him to make mistakes. However, Curtis could be a good underdog here, depending on how the line moves, and of course your own preference.
Imavov via UD - (1/3)
Eryk Anders (+115) (15-7-0, NS) v Marc-Andre Barriault (-140) (15-6-0, NS) - This is bound to excite the crowd. Anders is coming off a strong win against Kyle Daukaus, and it was fairly clear from the start that Anders had a power advantage, and boy did he decimate Daukaus. Anders has always been a highly athletic and explosive fighter, but there has been one thing that has held him back, and that’s his cardio, and that’s simply because he doesn’t tag up his opponents, he throws with nasty intent and also has quite explosive takedowns, all of these things, when strung together well, make Anders a wrecking ball that not many Middleweights can stand against. As I said though, he does tend to slow down a little bit, he doesn’t throw a lot of volume and everything he does is explosive, and thus comes in short, albeit effective bursts. The primary reason why i’m talking about his cardio and his conditioning is simply because Barriault has all of that and much more. Barriault is coming off a strong TKO win against Julian Marquez, a relatively dangerous fighter but perhaps not on the level of Barriault. Barriault is a very well rounded fighter, he is a ferocious striker with incredible power, with the added bonus of having the cardio to carry said power throughout three rounds, which makes him such a dangerous challenger for anyone who isn’t able to get him taken down to the ground. Even once the fight gets taken down to the ground, Barriault is never complacent with being in a bad position, he constantly works to get back into a standing and striking position, and that alone can exhaust even his opponents. I just feel like Barriault is going to look like the fresher fighter the longer this fight goes on, and once Anders starts to slow down (assuming that Anders throws heavy and often early) that’s when we’ll see Barriault turn up the striking a little bit. This is a tough one to predict though because whilst Anders isn’t the best fighter, neither is Barriault, the only major difference between these two warriors is the cardio factor, in which Barriault wins that comparison. Bit of a short but sweet prediction here, but I got Barriault winning this one, and I suspect that this would be a late fight KO due to how durable Barriault is.
Barriault via KO R3 - (1/3)
Dan Ige (#13) (-230) (16-6-0, NS) v Nate Landwehr (+190) (17-4-0, 3 FWS) - Ige is coming off a tremendous KO win against the fairly tough and durable Damon Jackson, and for the most part it was a scrappy back and forth fight, with Ige looking like the more cleaner striker. Ige has always been a phenomenal boxer, and he has such substantial knockout power for a Featherweight that it doesn’t take a lot for him to land the fight-ending punch. Ige’s best attacks are within the pocket though, short hooks, especially the right one, are perhaps his most perfected weapon and he uses it brilliantly either entering the pocket or breaking from a clinch. One other thing that I need to highlight is the sheer quality of competition that Ige has faced over the past couple of years, I mean, his losing streak, whilst a bit of a bad look, is stacked with insane fighters… Evloev, The Korean Zombie, Emmett… all of these fighters are contender calibre and Ige shared 45 minutes total with them. That’s a whole lot of experience gained just from those three fights alone, so to say that there is a substantial difference in quality of competition is a bit of an understatement. Landwehr is a wildcard when he fights, but he is riding one hell of a strong streak at the moment, and each and every fight has been entertaining. This is primarily due to how much output and activity Landwehr utilises when he fights, he is a non-stop action packed fighter who throws everything and anything at his opponent and just doesn’t stop until he’s knocked out. Now, the big problem that Ige will need to deal with is the crowd, there is a possibility that the crowd roaring and cheering at the action will lure Ige into throwing wild, volume heavy combos that leaves his chin open, and Ige isn’t exactly a strong, long range boxer, he tends to overextend and perhaps Landwehr’s aim is to lure him into throwing like that so Ige can make mistakes. Landwehr and Ige’s style tends to clash in my opinion, because whilst Ige wants a methodical approach, set up his own attacks and read the actions of his opponent, Landwehr doesn’t slow down and is constantly in the face of his opponent, and that could cause Ige to lose his ability to settle down and set a rhythm and pace where he is at his best. However, despite all of that, I still think that Ige has the necessary experience to handle Landwehr, I mean, if Landwehr’s biggest attributes is activity and volume of attacks, that’s no different from Emmett or The Korean Zombie if we’re talking sheer stand up striking, and if you want to lean on the wrestling aspect of Landwehr, Evloev is a takedown machine. What I’m trying to say here is that Landwehr seems to be a combination of all three losses that Ige has experienced, and even though they are losses, Ige is the type to learn from those losses and thus turn it into an advantage.
Ige via KO R2 - (1/3)
Mike Malott (-210) (9-1-1, 5 FWS) v Adam Fugitt (+170) (9-3-0, NS) - Alright this is going to be a bit of a rant induced post because if we look at this without any context other than Malott v Fugitt, this is ultimately a prelim fight. Malott has no doubt been gifted this position in the main card, and some might say its for a very good reason, and I would somewhat agree. Malott has three finishes in the UFC, all in the first round, all against relatively green fighters (green = newcomers). The reason why i’m saying all of this is simply because at its core, this fight needs to be treated as a regular prelim fight where a “prospect” fights someone who isn’t quite a prospect. In this case Malott has a whole lot of momentum behind him, fighting against someone who has just found his footing. Malott is a very well rounded fighter who is highly explosive but also does everything very cleanly and just so… textbook. I don’t know if that sounds like a compliment, but with him winning his fights within minutes, it’s hard to say how far he is going to go. All I can say confidently is that he is definitely someone that we need to keep an eye on since he has the skill set to make it fairly far in the UFC, and with him being the last canadian to make a walk out to the Octagon, that’s only going to hype up the crowd a whole lot more, and Malott, who has been asking to be on this card, is going to absorb that energy like a sponge. Malott has one massive advantage that cannot be underestimated, and that’s his wrestling, he is very quick to find that takedown, but not force it, he kind of makes feints and reads before shooting for that takedown, and once the fights taking place on the ground, he works effortlessly to get into a dominant position and chase a finish. He is a genuine prospect and perhaps the only chance Canada has at really having a prospect or a future contender. Fugitt on the other hand is someone who i’m still trying to get a read on, because during his last fight against Kinoshita, he did land many takedowns on Kinoshita, but I have a rule, and it’s a rule that maybe only I follow, and that’s “the less takedowns, the better”. What I mean by that is if you are unable to keep your opponent on the ground, and you require numerous attempts to keep him on the ground, you’re an inefficient wrestler who is only wasting cardio. It’s fantastic to watch and is a display of sheer athleticism and cardio, sure, but ultimately it’s much, much better to watch one takedown followed by 4 minutes of control/ground and pound, compared to 4 of 7 takedowns for only just under 3 minutes of control time and 6 ground strikes. Do you guys understand what i’m saying? Anyway, Fugitt is, in my opinion, not on the level of Malott and perhaps only accepted this fight because its on a PPV in front of a large crowd. Rant aside, Malott in my opinion has a higher chance to win compared to Fugitt, and I say that simply because those three first round wins are nothing but immaculate displays of fight IQ and well roundedness, stuff that we need to see more of, so with that said, I got Malott winning this one early.
Malott via KO R1 - (2/3)
Charles Oliveira (#2) (+105) (33-9-0, NS) v Beneil Dariush (#3) (-130) (22-4-1, 8 FWS) - This is the fight we all were waiting for, i’m sure. Oliveira is in an interesting position at the moment, and I think a lot of hype disappeared when he lost his title against Makhachev. People need to remember that Oliveira has never really been a well rounded, high level fighter, there have always been holes in his games, namely his ability to take a punch, it’s not quite there any more and we saw that when he fought the three heaviest hitting fighters in the division in Poirier, Chandler and Gaethje. The main difference between these three guys and Oliveira is the ground game and that’s how Oliveira won against Poirier and Gaethje. Oliveira’s grappling is on a whole different level however, and its an interesting aspect of this fight since we are about to see Oliveira’s grappling tested once again, but this time against an incredibly hungry, and very talented wrestler in Dariush. Now, Oliveira’s striking is not going to be a major problem for Dariush simply because Dariush has excellent striking defence and tends to avoid a lot of the striking exchanges through his wrestling sequences and actions, so that somewhat eliminates, in my opinion, one major tool that Oliveira has somewhat relied on in recent years. On the ground, specifically in any submission position, Oliveira has the edge, but he has only had that edge against mostly strikers, and whilst there have been some exceptions, its clear that his last 4 wins have been mostly strikers who don’t quite have a capable grappling skill set that matches Oliveira. That is where Dariush steps in. Dariush has been on an insane tear through the division, and only recently has been on the radar in many fans and pundits minds, simply because the quality of competition kind of held him back a tiny bit. It was only when he fought Gamrot that I saw some serious potential for him holding the belt in the future. To counter-wrestle and fight that effectively against an elite, best of the best wrestler like Gamrot is ground shattering, there was of course expectations prior to that fight that Dariush could resist the takedowns, but to look that quick, with reactions that fast and the ability to adapt and adjust against one of the best wrestlers in the UFC in Gamrot really puts a shine on Dariush. Dariush has similar striking to Oliveira, in that it’s certainly a thing, but Dariush hasn’t been dropped yet nor has he suffocated under a strikers pressure, mostly due to his ability to just shoot and get a takedown. Now, obviously Dariush will need to be careful of the submission threat that Oliveira is very well known for, but any good wrestler will recognise immediately what his opponent will be setting up, and since Oliveira is primarily a submission specialist, not a wrestler, I feel like Dariush is going to just bully Oliveira on the ground. All the groundwork and fundamentals to defeat Oliveira is there, Makhachev made sure of that, and I highly suspect that Dariush is going to mimic or copy what Makhachev did, and that’s wrestle, shut down the submission capabilities by manoeuvring out of danger, and just punish with ground and pound. I got Dariush winning this one, but i’m not counting out Oliveira wholly, mostly because that submission threat is very real.
Dariush via UD - (2/3)
Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout
Amanda Nunes (c) (-330) (22-5-0, NS) v Irene Aldana (#4) (+260) (14-6-0, 2 FWS) - I don’t actually have a lot to say about this one. Nunes is coming off a rematch win against Pena and it was a reasonably good fight if you were a Nunes fan, and a disappointing mismatch if you were a Pena fan. Nunes has always been a step above a lot of the competition, mostly due to how shallow the division is, and just how much of an advantage Nunes has with her power and speed when she strikes. Striking is no doubt a realm that Nunes has ruled for a long time in this division, and I can only suspect that she will have a power advantage in this fight. However, when it comes to technique, she tends to fall a tiny bit behind in my opinion, she’s mostly a brawler and I feel like Aldana has a tiny bit of an advantage on the feet due to her technical boxing. However, I'm going to piss off a lot of Nunes fans (if there are any)... Nunes reached her ceiling long ago, and has not improved at all, she has begun to plateau as a fighter and is only a champion because of the lack of competition and high level fighters, and Aldana has a fairly clear chance at winning, because whilst Nunes has had a full camp, she is facing someone who she is unfamiliar with in the cage, instead of facing Pena who she shared the Octagon twice with, and whilst Aldana isn’t exactly a championship level fighter, its the technical boxing and her ability to gauge range and timing well that might catch Nunes a few times. Aldana is coming off a strong win against Macy Chiasson, and it was a bit of a rare upkick KO win that crumbled Chiasson. Now, a win against Chiasson is great and all, but to go from Chiasson to Nunes with a noticeably short amount of time to prepare is a whole different thing, not to mention that this is a 5 rounder main event makes me think that Aldana will be woefully unprepared. There is of course a chance that Nunes will get caught by Aldana, since Aldana does have the boxing advantage over Nunes, which does make me think that Aldana would make a great underdog pick, but there’s still that chance that Nunes will get a win, but really she has fought fucking shit fighters over the past few years, I mean, Megan Anderson? Felicia Spencer? That’s not bottom of the barrel competition, that’s underneath the damn barrel stuff. I do have Nunes winning purely because of the longer camp and experience in 5 round fights, especially at this calibre, but Aldana has a solid chance at winning too since she does seem like a capable contender if we are speaking on boxing skill alone. This is a weird prediction post, I know, but I truly don’t give any shits about this fight, its a coin toss.
Nunes via KO R4 - (1/3)
And that's it!
As I said, i'm not happy with this write up, only because it's such a weird card overall and I felt no motivation to write even this much for this card lmao.
Locks of the week are: Bilder, Maverick, Malott and Dariush.
Primary Parlay is: Oliveira/Belbita o1.5 - Dvorak/Erceg o1.5 - Maverick/Jasudavicius o1.5 - Barriault/Anders o1.5 - Ige/Landwehr Does Not Go The Distance
Alt Bets are: Curtis Points, Anders KO R1 or 2 (combo rounds), Landwehr ML, Aldana KO
if you wish to keep in contact with me or follow me on twitter, my twitter handle is @Slayer_Tip, and my Discord is Slayertip#7013.
Lets have a fun and friendly discussion down below about this weekends card!
I hope you all have an amazing day, look after yourselves, and enjoy this awesome event!
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