Hotels near merchants road knoxville tn

Thoughts on 2023.

2023.06.06 04:12 CarAtunk817 Thoughts on 2023.

First of all. We were there in 21, and I think we were the only ones who had a good time. It was our first festival so maybe we don't know what a well run fest is.
  1. Zach killed it. I was looking for the post down about 180 days ago crying he was a headliner saying he didn't deserve it. I wonder if OP went this year. The energy on Saturday was all him, and he didn't disappoint. He also showed up on stage with two other artist on both days. I wonder if he thinks the same now? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--7tVUDMj3o
  2. Lines, water, food, bathrooms, and shade were all better. Even local medias biggest issue is ride shares/traffic/hotels. (Legit gripe, but also LEX isn't set up for that. RB literally added 1/5 of the total population to the city.) Would love to see better logistics if they continue at Red Mile.
  3. The Lineup was 100% my jam.
  4. Performance highlights.
    1. Marcus Mumford - Kansas City
    2. Nathaniel Ratliff - I'm on your side.
    3. Head and the Heart - Rivers and Roads (Bonus ZB duo too.)
    4. Weezer - My name is Jonas.
    5. Sierra Ferrel - Don't let me Down (Beatles cover)
    6. Nickle Creek - Light house tale
    7. Lol. Sheryl Crow dropping "This song is older then your mom"
    8. Zach - Oklahoma Smoke Show.
Overall was a incredible time.
Complaints.
Saturday the vibe was awesome. Sunday UK kids wanted to fight everyone to the front so they could GenZ and talk instead of watching the music. Why did you fight your way down to Limestone to face the other way to fight about football while music was on. Douche bags you're not that cool. Go home.
Acoustics near Limestone were off. Clearly had a lot of technical issues. Weird static, Guitars dropping out, sounded better at the entrance. Weird.
Overall. 9/10. Great success see y'all next year!!!
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2023.06.06 03:43 ShadowDragon88 I've Been Reincarnated as a Bunny Girl?! Ch. 5

Hey there, readers! Here's chapter five for your reading pleasure! Please consider leaving a comment or review as those really do just pick me right up!
I've Been Reincarnated as a Bunny Girl?! (Chapter 5)
by
ShadowDragon88
A fine drizzle was coming down on the town of Starlight Rose. A familiar wolf-kin beasta in red robes that appeared to be shimmering despite the cloudy gloom of the day was walking along the main road. In his right hand, he held a long polished oak staff, topped with a red glowing gemstone the size of his fist. In his left hand, held away from his body, was a tan leather satchel, the drawstring tied in a knot. It appeared full, and seemed to shudder and wriggle. Felixin smiled and nodded to passing villagers.

"Hey there, Felixin," came the rumbling voice of Earl Shatterknuckle. The blonde dwarf, presently wearing just simple brown leather trousers, fell in step beside his taller friend. Felixin looked down at the dwarf, whose smaller frame was bulging with muscles, with blue and gold glowing tattoos tracing intricate spider-web-like symbols across his chest and arms, smiling back.

"Good day to you, Earl," the wolf said. There was a spitting-chittering sound coming from the bag, making Felixin pause and frown before giving the satchel a good whack with his magical staff. "Quiet, you!" he hissed at it.

"Caught yourself another evil spirit, eh?" Earl said with a smirk.

"Oh yes, and this one was quite the nasty piece of work. I'm on my way back to my lab to properly dispose of it. I think it's from some destroyed remnant of Eld technology, one of the ones that gained sentience, or at least some spiritual semblance to it," Felixin said as he gave the bag another whack when it started to make some electronic beeping sounds.

"Oh?" Earl asked, curious. "I remember more than once we had some nasty run-ins with Eld-tech back when we were adventurers."

"I remember you and Melthi being the ones to turn the blasted machines on, both times when cautioned not to," Felixin said pointedly, making the dwarf chuckle.

"What can I say? We're both curious by nature!"

"Yes, that's one word for it," Felixin said with a smile, remembering his adventuring days and the party of friends he would regularly travel with. "Anyways. For some reason, about six years ago, they suddenly became much more prevalent. Thankfully, their numbers have been dropping back down over the years."

"What makes you think this one is from Eld tech?"

"It kept saying 'Does not compute!' over and over again, while also identifying some kind of rabbit threat." Felixin's mood seemed to shift and his ears laid back on his head, while his tail dipped, almost long enough to drag on the ground behind him. "And when it mentioned rabbits, it made me think of my little princess."

Earl rolled his eyes as he reached up and clapped the town wizard on the back. "Ah, Kiana'll be back to visit before you know it."

"I know... it's just, one minute she was this little delicate baby girl, and the next minute, she was this amazing young woman, all ready to up and go out."

"Didn't Kiana kick down a couple of brick walls when she was a baby?" Earl asked, scratching his head. Felixin waved a dismissive paw at that.

"Pure coincidences. Those walls were clearly unsound and improperly constructed, so much so that when she was having one of her tantrums just a little punch or kick was enough to send them tumbling down. We're lucky she wasn't hurt or scared, just confused and curious more than anything. Anyways, I just get so worried when I think of her, out there on the open road. Just so... vulnerable. Thankfully I made sure to instill in her a proper sense of caution." Earl snorted at that.

Meanwhile...

Kiana let out a roar of fury as her trusted tetsubo connected with the raised steel shield of the bandit before her. The metal dented and warped just as the bandit, shield and all, became airborne. They traveled in an arc straight towards a stone tower connected to an old run-down fort the bandits had holed up in. The screaming man smashed into the top of the tower, crumbling it, his screams instantly going silent.

"Fire!" Kiana heard a deep voice shout. There were several blasts and, thanks to Kiana's speed, she watched as five cannonballs headed in her direction. To the ordinary person, the black metallic spheres were probably nearly impossible to follow. To Kiana, it looked as though they were moving incredibly slow. She simply stepped aside from four of them, letting them explode into the nearby hillside. As the fifth one hurtled her way, she crouched slightly, raising her tetsubo like a baseball bat. She swung and smacked the cannonball, her tetsubo making a loud DING, and sent it flying right back where it had come from. The two bandits manning the cannon were obliterated along with the weapon itself, as well as a good chunk of the fort wall.

"She's some kind of demon!" one of the bandits cried. The man, really more of a boy, no older than Kiana, leapt down from the fort wall onto a carriage they had recently stolen from some traveling aristocrats. He then leapt onto the ground and sprinted out into the forest, stripping off the black cloak with the red eye in the center.

"DAMMIT!" the bandit leader cursed, pulling off his tricorn hat and dabbing his bald sweaty head with a handkerchief. While the remaining men were busy barring the windows or reloading and firing the cannons, he was gnashing his teeth. After a moment's hesitation, he pointed to a nearby subordinate. "You! Follow me. We'll unleash the troll on her."

The other bandit paled, audibly gulping. "Th-the troll? Are you sure th-that's wise?" Just as he finished asking that, another cannonball destroyed another cannon, making the entire structure shudder.

"We don't have any other options. Hopefully, after it kills her, it'll be injured enough for us to finish it off... or the other way around if she kills it." The other bandit grimaced at the options laid before them, but nodded solemnly. Outside, Kiana smacked another cannonball back at the cannon that fired it, being careful not to send it flying towards the base of the tower. According to one of the kidnapped merchants that had managed to escape and make it all the way to town, the cells where the bandits were holding their ransom victims were all on the ground floor. Kiana stopped when she heard a loud guttural roar, followed by a rapid series of loud BOOMs. Bandits ran by the windows and open holes of the fort, while the front gate slowly opened.

Out stumbled a massive creature. Its flesh was a dark brown, and had a texture not unlike tree bark. Its long arms and legs were thicker than the old oak trees in the forest near Starlight Rose. Its gnarled hands, with thick thorn-like protrusions sticking from the knuckles, balled into fists, fists that were as big as Kiana was tall. Its barrel-chest heaved, with white criss-crossing scars in its bark-flesh. It didn't have much in the way of a neck, and its head looked just like a tree stump, complete with root-like tendrils wriggling back and forth. It's mouth was partially concealed by the tendrils, until it reared back and opened its gaping maw, revealing rows of broken yellow teeth, to let out a bellow that shook the ground. From the top of its head grew two slightly spiraling branch-like horns.

"These idiots somehow managed to get a forest troll?" Kiana asked out loud, a smirk appearing on her face. "And this was only a gold-ranked quest? Something tells me I'm in for a sweet bonus."

The beast stopped as its knot-like eyes, of which there were at least seven, caught sight of the bunny girl. Up above from the second story windows and holes and from on the roof, the remaining bandits, many of them injured, looked down. Most were smirking, some of the more foolish ones shouted out taunts. The bandit leader stood there, looking grim-faced, but taking some satisfaction in knowing that despite their losses today, the annoying source of their problems was about to end, one way or another.

Kiana stuck the end of her tetsubo into the dirt, large and surprisingly quick thudding steps shaking the ground. The beast was lumbering towards Kiana, who didn't look the least bit afraid. While not intelligent enough to be truly sentient, the troll did have enough sense to know that its prey should be running. And the fact that it was just calmly standing there, staring at it, only angered it further. With a final roar, the forest troll charged forward. It balled up a massive fist, and swung straight for Kiana. Kiana swung her own fist, the two colliding.

There was a very loud, sickening crunch and pop. The bandits looked down in shock and horror as where the now screaming troll's fist and forearm had been, there was a bloody and jagged stump that ended just above the right elbow. The troll screeched and lunged at Kiana, hoping to impale her on its horns. But the bunny girl simply kicked, knocking the head clean off the rest of its body. The head bounced off a tree and rolled for a bit, settling in the dirt, a look of surprise on the stump-like face. The rest of the body tumbled over three times before coming to a rest near the make-shift stables, where the carriages and horses of the abducted nobles were kept. Kiana looked back up at the fort, making the majority of the bandits shrink back and shudder. A few of them began to wave white tablecloths hastily tied to sticks and tree branches.

A short time later the bandits, now in shackles, were being marched to the mechanical cart as the local sheriff and his deputies led them. Except for the severely injured ones, who were shackled to stretchers and loaded up into a seperate mechanical carriage. Kiana looked on as bodies were checked for possible survivors, there being very few to find, as the merchants and a few nobles were led by deputies out from the fort. Kiana smiled at them and nodded to their looks of awe, some of them having gotten a good look at the show of force the petite bunny girl had demonstrated. Ignoring the ones who shrank back away from her in fright, Kiana spotted the sheriff, a large older man in his mid-fifties with salt and pepper close-cropped hair and a matching mustache. He was wearing the classic green cloak, directing his deputies. He turned to face her as she approached.

"I think that's all cleared up," Kiana said, her voice chipper, belaying the fact she had a smattering of blood and gore staining her fur.

"I'd have to agree with you, young lady," Sheriff Tonsol said, his voice even. In truth, he had tried to avoid enlisting the aid of any adventurers until pressure from various merchants and nobility forced his hand. And even then he had expected it to involve a large party and, more than likely, some lives lost from the hostages. He was a little surprised when the girl reached into her satchel to produce a clipboard with a form on it, as well as an ink pen.

"In that case, would you mind signing this form indicating that I completed the job satisfactorily?" Tonsol looked at the form for a minute, and then his mouth curved upwards. He let out a chuckle and signed his name on the indicated line, writing in the date as well.

"Satisfactorily is putting it lightly, miss," he said, handing the clipboard and pen back to the bunny girl. "I had no idea that they had a forest troll in their possession. I went ahead and bumped up the reward."

"Oh wow, thank you, sir!" Kiana said, looking excited.

Tonsol smiled, something his deputies claimed to be a rare sight to behold. "Well, you earned it. I'm just glad you were able to get them to surrender without harming any hostages. Well, without them harming any more than the ones they did last time someone came out here to free them."

"I'm glad I could help!" Kiana said, bowing a little. "Now, I'm going to head back into town." She spread her arms wide and indicated to herself. "I'm really in need of a bath at this point."

"If you don't mind waiting a minute, you can ride back to town with us. It's faster than walking."

"Oh, thanks for the offer, but I'm good." Kiana waved, before jogging back to where she'd left her tetsubo and pack, Mirabelle coiled around it protectively. She grabbed the items up, quickly looking through the travel pack to make sure she still had everything, and nodded to herself, satisfied. She slipped the pack onto her back, then scooped her pet snake into her arms, and started to jog down the road in the direction of the town of Hengecliffe. Picking up speed, she rapidly became a blur, and in just a few seconds she was coming to a sliding stop in front of the town gates, startling a couple of bored-looking guards.

She greeted them and let Mirabelle down before they let her inside. They stared at the snake with the big pink ribbon around its neck slithering obediently behind the bunny girl. She stopped off at the local guild hall to drop off the signed paperwork and collect her now even heftier reward. She noticed a few stares in her general direction, and some unhappy grumbling from some fellow adventurers, but otherwise no one said anything.

Kiana then headed to the town inn where she still had a room for another night. Thankful again that this world had indoor plumbing, with hot water to boot, Kiana wasted no time in stripping off her gore-coated clothes, which she would wash in the laundry room down the hall, and enjoyed a nice steamy shower. She didn't have to worry about possible intruders, as Mirabelle sat coiled on the bed, ever vigilant.

"Today was a good day," Kiana said, stepping out of the shower and drying herself off, a feat that took several minutes with a towel. This left her gray and white fur all fluffed-out, which led to her brushing it out. Kiana had grown accustomed to the care and maintenance of her fur, taking pride in keeping it clean. She then donned her underwear and a cream-colored sundress from her pack, carefully putting her dirty clothes in the laundry sack in her pack. She smiled and stroked Mirabelle's head, the snake letting out a contented purr-like hiss.

"I'm going to go out and enjoy the rest of the afternoon in town. You stay here and guard the pack, okay?" she asked, slipping her mithril knuckles into her dress pockets, along with a small money pouch. Mirabelle hissed, thumping her tail on the bed in response, curling up tighter around Kiana's belongings.

"Good girl," she praised, before heading out, locking the door behind herself for good measure. Kiana smiled as she stepped out onto the paved sidewalk, carriages passing by on the street. Hengecliffe was much larger than Starlight Rose, with paved streets and even streetlights. Centrally located in a region of plains, it served as a trading hub. Kiana walked along, noticing a few men and women looking her over. Some seemed to do so with distaste, more than likely not enjoying the sight of a beasta. But most seemed to be pleasant people observing a new face.

"Well now, if my eyes are not deceiving me, it seems that an angel from the heavens has decided to grace us mere mortals with her presence." Kiana's ears twitched at the sound of the male voice. She paused and turned, looking down an alley, where a man leaning up against the side of a building stood, looking her over. He was wearing brown leather trousers, a white linen shirt, and a belt with a large buckle which, matching the large buckles on his boots, made him look a bit like a pirate. The goatee and the cutlass sheathed at his side were also not helping.

"Hello, beautiful," he said, giving Kiana a wink. Kiana rolled her eyes, and moved to keep walking, only to find a squat bald man standing in her way, grinning sinisterly. Kiana checked behind herself and saw another man, a larger one with a completely shaved head, arms crossed with a club under one arm. "Now, how about we all go somewhere more... private," the pirate-looking moron asked, giving Kiana a smug wink.

"Wow, you idiots have no idea just how badly you messed up," Kiana said, walking into the alley, the two guys following right behind her. The men chuckled. Passersby stopped when they heard three loud thuds coming from the alley, all of which made the nearby buildings shudder. They saw a bunny beasta girl walking out, brushing some dust off her sundress. She smiled and waved and continued on her way, leaving behind three broken figures. Two were lying in craters in the pavement of the alley, while the third, this one with a cutlass laying at his booted feet, was standing... his head laying all the way back in a hole in the brick wall right behind him.

Later that evening...

Kiana was sitting just outside the town walls on a hill, watching the stars come out. After sixteen years, it still mystified her to look up at the night sky, and not see any of the old constellations. She smiled as a shooting star streaked its way across the sky. Suddenly, Kiana felt a surge of energy just course through her. Her eyes faintly started to glow with the blue light, and she felt a strange pulsing in her chest. Looking around, she felt a strange magnetic pull coming from the south.

Starting as a jog, Kiana soon found herself sprinting outright across the countryside. She ran, as a blur, following the pull, her eyes gradually glowing brighter and brighter, shining with the crackling blue energy. Then, she came to a stop. She stood at the foot of a mountain, itself part of a larger range. Looking up at the mass of rock and ice, she could see broiling clouds up over it, flashes of lightning briefly illuminating the rocky and snowy peaks. With one such flash, Kiana saw something move. Something big. Kiana's glowing eyes went wide.

"Oh wooooooooow," she said, her jaw hanging open. There were rumbles as the giant coiled mass shifted. Several avalanches were caused by the serpentine body, buried under tons and tons of snow. At the very peak of the mountain, a gargantuan head rose.

"Is that a giant... cobra?" Kiana asked under her breath. Indeed, that was what the creature that seemed to dwarf the Spire appeared to be. In the light of the lightning, she saw that its scales were a deep blue, almost purple. There were stripes running down its back, but they were glowing a bright bioluminescent blue. That same glow radiated from the creature's reptilian eyes, and the inside of its hood. The same glowing blue as Kiana's eyes.

"What... are you?" Kiana asked, quietly.

I can ask the same of you, little one, a deep female voice hissed in Kiana's head. She winced and looked around. She then looked back up at the creature, her veins flooded with adrenaline. There was another flash of lightning, and in that very instant, the creature's head was bent down low, right in front of her. Kiana almost jumped back, but stopped herself. As the snake-entity looked her over with an eye that was twice as tall as she was, Kiana felt a sense of calm overtake her.

"Are you... a storm dragon? A real storm dragon?" Kiana asked, reaching out and touching the creature's cheek with her hand. It flicked out a blood red tongue, its mouth curling up a little at the corners.

That is something that little ones like to call my kind, she said. Kiana figured right then and there that this was a female.

"A monk said that... my spirit is like one of yours," Kiana said, breathlessly.

Your soulsong feels similar to one of our kind, little one, she said, turning her head and gently nuzzling the top of Kiana's head, making her ears lay flat. The storm dragon's head was almost as large as the entirety of her hometown.

"My... soulsong?" Kiana asked. The monk she had met hadn't said anything about them.

The song of your innermost being. It stands out from the loud and noisy cacophony that happens when most little ones gather together in large groups. Yours is beautiful, and a little... fluttery. The dragon gave her a wink. She reared up and opened her mouth. Electricity danced between the dragon's fangs, before she shot out a sonic boom. The raging storm above abated, the clouds dispersing, leaving only a crystal clear night sky for miles and miles around. She then turned and looked down at Kiana. The bunny girl felt the storm dragon's gaze. She felt a radiating warmth coming from her. It reminded Kiana of her mother.

It was so nice to meet you, little one. It was quite the pleasant surprise to awaken to. She let out a proud roar, and her body began to undulate. Sections of the mountain range began to crumble as large sections of mountain were crushed and smashed by the body slamming into them. The body of the dragon rose into the air, beginning to gracefully slither about. Levitating there, partially coiled, the sheer size of the storm dragon just boggled the bunny girl's mind.

"Will I see you again?" Kiana asked, feeling a little sad. She had just met this beautiful and amazing being, and already they were leaving.

Of course, little one, the mental voice in her mind chuckled warmly. I have listened to your beautiful soulsong, and I have shared my soulsong with you.

"I... I don't understand what that means," Kiana said, confused.

You will, little one, she said, you are still young, but my soulsong has resonated within you. When you stop and listen, it will become easier and easier to hear it. And thus, the bond has begun to form. In time, you shall understand. With a flick of the creature's tail, there was a flash of lightning that radiated from within the hood, and she was gone. Kiana stood there, her eyes readjusting to the dark.

"This world is so awesome," she said, a smile on her face, as she began to job back towards town. She figured that if the town gates were closed and locked, she could just jump over the wall.

Meanwhile...

The lone figure stood in the dark, staring at where the great serpent had been levitating. They were sitting on a log in a small clearing, where they had set up camp. The individual in question was polishing their armor when a gray blur had shot right past them. And then, where it had been heading, the giant serpent, an actual storm dragon, arose. They sat there in stunned silence. They knew right then and there, that it had been a sign from the gods. As they unsheathed their katana, it began to thrum with magical energy, the blade becoming engulfed in bright purple flames.

The light of the purple flames illuminated his green face, glinting off his polished tusks. "Soon, the war shall begin," said the orc, sheathing the blade and cutting off its purple light. The same purple light shone from his eyes.

Name: Kiana

Species: Beasta (Rabbit-Kin)

Age: 16

Skills: Sibling Wrangler, Babysitter, Puppy-Dog Eyes, Master Martial Arts, Brawling, Heavy Weapon Proficiency, Sarcasm Mastery, Eyerolling Mastery, Beast Taming Level 3

Class: (Official) Master-Level Dragon Monk: Storm Dragon School, Storm Dragon Hatchling.


Str: 141
Int: 12
Dex: 140
Cha: 12
Wis: 10
Con: 172
Languages: Common, Draconic

Equipment: Adventurer's Pack, Steelwood Tetsubo, Mastercraft Mithril Knuckles (x2), Rope (25 Ft.), Canteen (Full), Road Rations, Spare Clothes, Bedroll, Health Potion (x2), Books (x3)
I really hope that you enjoyed the new chapter! Thank you for reading so far!
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2023.06.06 02:51 TomSzabo And It Utterly Broke My Heart

Valid theories as to why Nine Mile Hole was so very special to Forrest Fenn are out there, if one cares to look carefully enough. But nobody yet to my uncertain knowledge has pointed to hints in The Thrill of the Chase or other evidence that explain why Fenn might have been so emotional about his journey to the special place that he cryptically described in the poem. Yes, it was the place he wanted to die, and that alone would be a good enough reason for emotion. Yet the sort of sentimentality that Fenn betrayed about the place – for example when he read the poem out loud – suggests something even deeper and more sorrowful: a sense of loss that is larger than the man himself.
It so happens that there truly is a source of information that reveals why Nine Mile Hole was so sacred to Forrest Fenn: an emotional connection had been forged as a result of dual tragedies. It is contained in poetry masquerading as prose written by Ernest Schwiebert, an expert on flies and flyfishing, in his seminal Nymphs: Stoneflies, Caddisflies, and Other Important Insects including the lesser mayflies, Volume II (2007).
The existence of this text and its importance to the chase was originally revealed by Vertigo, who first shared it on The Hint of Riches forum. Later, Vertigo reposted the excerpt from the Schwiebert text on Medium here along with the other results of his excellent research. All the Vertigo entries are a must read if you want to try walking in the shoes of Forrest Fenn. I won’t repeat that portion of the Schwiebert text previously shared by Vertigo in its entirety although I will include a few of the most relevant excerpts to help tie everything together.
What I want to focus on here is the emotional and motivational parts of the tragic story that Schwiebert eloquently told in the paragraphs that Vertigo did not quote. This material is critical in my opinion to understanding the importance of Nine Mile Hole and what happened there to make it the place where Fenn wanted to die.
To summarize, the fires that devastated Yellowstone in 1988 were in part the result of government mismanagement of forest fires on Federal land, much of which was due to political games (e.g. to discredit members of the other political party). These fires created havoc and destruction in the Madison watershed and its fisheries that went largely unacknowledged by environmentalists and the public at large. Only those who had fished those flywaters in the decades before the fires could truly understand the extent of the negative impact on the river and its riparian ecosystem.
Among other casualties, the brown trout hideout at the famous Nine Mile Hole was spoiled, and the spring-fed pond secreted in the woods nearby was literally wiped off the map. Its crystal clear waters – a quarter mile up a cold rivulet from the legendary hole on the Madison – had once rewarded the most tenacious Brown with the perfect spot to spawn. Now there was only brown sludge in its place. To someone who had intimately known Nine Mile Hole, its matronly crystalline pond, or any other riverine wonder of the Madison watershed in Yellowstone, it was enough to utterly break their heart.
Forrest Fenn's feelings about the ordeal were very much in the same vein as those expressed by Ernest Schwiebert. The difference was that the latter man did not need to keep a secret and therefore could lay bare his emotional injuries.
Indeed, the 1988 fires must have devastated Fenn similarly if not more so. But this grand tragedy was not quite as catastrophic to him as being diagnosed with cancer and given slim odds of surviving it. The year 1988 was not particularly kind to the man.
Fortunately, the forests and rivers of Yellowstone always seem to recover from the worst tribulations that nature could manage to throw at them, and so did Fenn. But not without a profound impact. The battle for survival and the scars left behind had connected Fenn to his special place at a level so primal and emotionally raw that it was almost umbilical. How could there ever be another consideration when it came to the somber task of choosing the place to take his last breath?
And then came the FBI raids in 2009. The Feds had had a hand in destroying his Shangri-La in Yellowstone in 1988, and now it seemed they wanted to finish robbing him of treasure while desecrating his reputation and castle in Santa Fe.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, he said to himself through sublime gritted teeth and with a resolve that only the gravely aggrieved can muster. I'm going to carry out my plan. In Yellowstone Park, damn the consequences!
The following is taken from Nymphs: Volume II, starting on page 237. Unless noted otherwise, boldface is mine for emphasis.
I note that Vertigo excluded an important portion of the first paragraph of the story so I will re-quote this paragraph in its entirety. He then faithfully reproduced the next 7 paragraphs, which I won't repeat but will highlight a few excerpts. See Vertigo's Medium post for the full text of the 7 paragraphs, or "DYODD" and buy the book.
Schwiebert's account contains several additonal paragraphs beyond the 7 quoted by Vertigo that are just as important in my opinion, plus there is a footnote that helps enormously to shed light on things. I quote these in their entirety as fair use in order to support the theory being advanced in this entry.
But the entire Yellowstone was ravaged by a series of wildfires in the drought of 1992, and one of the worst of these fires had crossed into the park from Bridger National Forest in Wyoming, just north of Grand Teton National Park.6 The great lodgepole forests of the Bechler and Firehole watersheds had become a tinderbox, and vast acreages of primeval timber were surrendered to the fire. Magnificent stands were transformed into fire-blackened cemeteries of snags. Entire mountainsides were utterly scorched as steep timber-filled ravines became incandescent chimneys filled with fire. Slopes of unstable volcanic soils were stripped of their trees and rendered vulnerable to the erosive impacts of winds, rains, and melting snowpacks. Frightening shrouds of talcum-fine soil and ash were carried aloft as storms worked across the Yellowstone Plateau. Gullies were quickly cut into unstable hillsides, and large alluvial fans of gritty clay and ash were formed at many places along the Madison, Gibbon, and Firehole. Such fans were visible immediately below Seven Mile Bridge on the Madison, and there was much worse damage at its famous Nine-Mile Hole, which had been the most popular pool.
Schwiebert makes an error here: the great drought and fires were actually in 1988 as he correctly states in Footnote 6; see near the end of this post.
The next 7 paragraphs are faithfully reproduced in full by Vertigo … I highlight a few key lines. Following this, I start to quote the paragraphs that are excluded from Vertigo's work.
Nine-Mile lay just below the highway, in a beautiful corridor of primeval lodgepoles and ponderosas …
It was a striking place with secrets. There was a crystalline springhead pond across the water, about a quarter mile beyond the river, and completely hidden behind a dense screen of intervening conifers.
Large brown trout were known to enter this minor lodgepole tributary in October to mate and lay their eggs …
I once caught a good fish in the little pond itself … a handsome five-pound hen that had apparently spawned and wintered, and then elected to stay.
The cold spillages of the crystalline creek entered the river in the uppermost shallows at Nine-Mile …
It was a spring-hole worth knowing. Large trout often gathered there in hot weather, basking in its cool temperatures where the ledge rock shelved off into a secret pocket. I could usually count on at least one good fish there, because most anglers simply fished the primary currents of Nine-Mile without covering the pocket below its aquatic weeds.
The fate of Nine-Mile, however, was a terrible surprise.
Compare to page 141 in TToTC with the following words bolded and in red: "Cancer is a terrible word." Boldfaced and redlined text is used within the memoir in only four places, twice in reference to cancer and twice to suggest a warning that something is scalding hot: "DO NOT TOUCH!". The reason for this editorial oddity should be obvious: red for fire, and the red boldface connects cancer to fire.
The fish-filled secret below the weeds was smothered with silt and trash, and the spring-hole itself was gone. I became curious about the fate of the forest pond, and forded the river to inspect it. Dour rivulets of slurry came spilling through the trees, and I was astonished when I reached the tarn.
Its crystalline shallows were completely filled with slurry and trash. A tiny paradise had been destroyed. The outlet was clogged with refuse and silt, and the barrage of trash had raised the water in the lake until its overflows were forced into several braided channels farther downstream. No trout could ascend such gritty rivulets to spawn, and no freshly hatched juveniles would use its spatterdock riches to reach smolting size. Nine-Mile itself had been irrevocably changed, and after dutifully suiting up, I found myself angry and unable to fish.
Compare to "There'll be no paddle up your creek, Just heavy loads and water high."
Consider why Schwiebert was "angry": the full extent of the devastation was perhaps preventable if Forest Service management had actually cared about the ecosystem within their purview instead of trying to score political points.
Schwiebert continues the story as follows, not quoted by Vertigo.
Some ecologists have argued that postfire impacts have largely proved beneficial because natural lightning-strike fires are obviously implicit in our natural forest ecosystems. The science of such truths remains clear. Lodgepole cones do not surrender their seeds without exposure to hot temperatures associated with natural fires, and the argument that ancestral fires have played a substantial role in the ecological history of such forests is sound.
Such apologists further contend that once-dangerous thickets of deadfalls and dry tinder in these lodgepole forests had healthily been purged, and argued that these Yellowstone fires had cleansed its historic forests. The new grasslands created were alleged to have improved bison and elk habitat because both are grazing species, but both bison and elk lacked major predators then and had become much too plentiful before the fires. The ecosystem did not need more bison and elk. Other apologists waxed poetic about the beneficial impacts of the fires on avifauna and their prey within the boundaries of the Yellowstone, but none mentioned their horrendous impact on the famous Yellowstone trout streams.
Some fishing writers have written pieces echoing the doubtful thesis that everything had been improved through the purging of the fires, and that the fishing had also been helped. One reported unusual numbers of larger fish in the Firehole. This was irresponsibly wishful conjecture on the part of observers who lacked a fifty-year perspective on the Yellowstone and its fisheries, and were not competent to pass such judgment. The truth is much less felicitous. Several key tributaries had become so choked with postfire sedimentation, ash, and charred debris that their fish, including large trout that had never seen anglers, had been displaced from their headwaters to find refuge in the Firehole itself.
Such fish were not a happy portent.
Compare the above paragraphs to Fenn on page 141 of TToTC where he follows up the redlined and bolded "Cancer is a terrible word" with "The disease it defines represents nature in its most repellent form."
Fires also ravaged the hillsides along the lower Gibbon. Steeper slopes had quickly eroded, forming labyrinthine networks of raw gullies and wounds leaving the narrow highway below Gibbon Falls buried under great alluvial fans of mud, gritty precipitates, and trash. Heavy equipment had cleared the right-of-way, leaving great windrows of marl in many places, and the Gibbon became choked with waist-deep strata of raw sediments and ash. The great beauty of the box canyon below the Gibbon Falls had been charred and scarified by fire, leaving a river littered with postfire trash and mud winding through cemeteries of charred lodgepoles. I did not attempt to fish, and decided to investigate the fire damage along the Firehole.
The fires had decimated its remarkable lodgepole forests in many places between the Cascades of the Firehole and the Fountain Flats above Nez Perce Creek. I turned south on the old freight road toward Ojo Caliente, and found more fire damage there, but worse burns had overwhelmed the shores of Goose Lake. Its trees had been killed in fires of such temperature and intensity that their fire-seared trunks looked like they had been coated with shiny black lacquer. Fire had smoldered in the great mattresses of dead needles that once carpeted the entire forest floor, and when I used a tire iron to root deep into the burned earth, I found that fire had festered into its thick mattresses of pine needles to depths of eight and ten inches. Goose Lake was now encircled with skeletal lodgepoles that had been killed and charred by fire, although damselflies were still emerging from its shallow margins, swimming ashore to climb the blackened deadfalls and split their nymphal skins.
The scars were much worse beyond the lake.
Compare to cancer as above and to the poem words "Tarry scant": the word tarry could also mean covered by tar in addition to its more common interpretation of delay.
I reached the river and simply sat in the car, staring at its crippled forests with tears in my eyes, remembering the circling seasons I had enjoyed in these uncommon meadows. There were decades of happy memories from this place. I had shared a number of wonderful picnics at Feather Lake with old friends like the late John Hemingway, the late John Daniel Callaghan, and Bud Lilly. I particularly remember awakening from a post-lunch nap on the lodgepole bench at Feather to find Hemingway looking upstream toward the geyser plumes at Midway.
"Know what's wrong with this place?" Hemingway said with a sigh.
"No," I confessed.
"We don't own it," he said.
The narrow trace and cul-de-sac were no longer sheltered in a theatrical corridor of lodgepoles and big ponderosas, and a place of remarkable beauty had been utterly sacrificed and lost. The Firehole still flowed under the fire-blackened bench, a glittering necklace of bright water, with great billows of steam still rising from the geyser basin upstream. I had shared this place with a long parade of people across more than fifty years, and the morning was filled with echoes. I left the car and was surprised by the silence. There were no birds, no brash camp robbers arrived to beg for table scraps, and no skittish chipmunks scuttled across the forest floor. There was nothing for buzzards to scavenge, and no voles to interest circling hawks. The pale September sky was empty. Wind stirred in the blackened snags, which groaned and creaked. The meadow had offered some remarkable sport over the years, and I had hoped to fish, but there was no thought of fishing now.
I drove slowly back along the washboard trace toward Ojo Caliente, through its fire-scarred mausoleum of trees, as a big storm was starting to gather and build along the Pitchstone Ridge. Its conifers had also been ravaged as the wildfires crossed into the Firehole watershed, leaving its summits a raw wasteland of charred earth and gritty ash. The sun had quickly surrendered to an ominous gunmetal sky, and as the storm finally broke along its battlements, immense clouds of loose soil and ash billowed high into the darkening gloom. Such spiraling squalls of silt and windmilling ash would eventually reach the little Firehole itself, and further despoil its hyaline currents. I suddenly understood how profoundly its watershed had been changed.
And it utterly broke my heart.
😪
Footnote 6 on page 735 is revealing. It reads:
There is much credible evidence that these fires had begun outside Yellowstone Park, in the Absaroka headwaters of the Yellowstone in the Shoshone National Forest, and in the Teton National Forest north of Jackson Hole. The fires were fought on national forest tracts, but firefighters were withdrawn once the fires entered the national park itself. The fires were permitted to burn inside the national park for short-term political purposes, because 1988 was an election year. Our natural-fire policy had actually emerged under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and was based on sound forest science, but its application became a regional political issue when both Nathaniel Pryor Reed and Cecil Andrus refused to extinguish a number of controversial fires on federal land. Political opponents fought the Yellowstone fires aggressively outside the national park because the blazes had apparently begun in campfires and lightning strikes on the national forests. Firefighters had been deployed while these fires were still burning on tracts of commercial saw timber, but were stopped once the fires had crossed into Yellowstone. Some of the worst damage occurred on the Firehole and Thoroughfare, and these fires were not fought until they threatened park installations at Canyon and Fishing Bridge, and the historic art sauvage hotel located at Old Faithful. Andrus was no longer Secretary of the Interior when I met him, but during an interview in his office at Boise, I sought his opinion of the Yellowstone fires. Andrus still believed that the bipartisan natural-fire policy had been supported by good science, and pointed out that more than twenty petrified forests within park boundaries suggest that Yellowstone had survived worse destruction, although that perspective is little comfort to anglers who will never again enjoy the pristine Madison and Firehole of recent memory. He agreed that Yellowstone itself was not large enough to protect its aggregate ecosystem, and further conceded that a zealotry that had continued to advocate natural-fire policy in the worst drought summer in recorded history had perhaps been unwise. But he shook his head over the political tactics of appointees in the Forest Service, who had protected tracts of commercial saw timber while later permitting the Yellowstone itself to burn, and had further attempted to discredit the Carter Administration during the election of 1980.
From TToTC page 26: "One day my father gave me a spanking at school for running across some stupid desks, then that night he gave me a spanking at home because I got a spanking at school. The more I thought about that the more I felt put upon. When I explained to him that I'd been double jeopardized he told me that those things didn't count in a dictatorship. That's when I started to mistrust governments."
From TToTC page 147: "Now I feel that my father is sitting on the edge of a cloud somewhere watching. If he knows everything about me he's pretty busy lighting candles, some of them on both ends. But I hope he knows that I've been sometimes guilty only by innuendo, and that's why I wrote my epitaph with such profundity: I wish I could have lived to do, the things I was attributed to."
In 2009, the FBI raided Fenn and several other art dealers – and alleged looters – of Native American artifacts in the Southwest. The raid resulted in the confiscation of just four items from Fenn (none of which could be proven as having been obtained by him illicitly).
https://www.sfreporter.com/news/coverstories/2009/08/19/stealing-the-past/
This was more than just a nuisance … Fenn's reputation had been impugned and two other dealers who were arrested after the raids committed suicide. These guys were likely people he knew or may have even been his friends. A third man arrested in the case also committed suicide; he was a government informant who essentially helped the federal agents entrap the Four Corners dealers.
https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/dealer-blame-fbi-for-seller-suicides-in-four-corners-looting-case/article_f8613507-1b71-513a-ba21-43a6b0622c0b.html
Fenn was supposedly very angry and threatened Tony Dokoupil with legal action when the reporter spoke with old "pothunting" acquaintances and revealed some unsavory information about Fenn's artifact-collecting past, for example: "... Fenn wasn't just taking a treasure or two but returning to caves and stripping them clean …" In the end, the publicity of appearing in Newsweek magazine at such an early stage in the treasure hunt must have overridden Fenn's desire to keep some of those things that he "was attributed to" under wraps.
https://www.newsweek.com/forrest-fenn-wants-you-find-his-treasure-and-his-bones-64427
The FBI raids – based on purchases of artifacts by a government informant using government money to entice dealers to specifically sell him contraband, and which were conducted by multi-agency SWAT teams – were highly controversial for many locals. No doubt Fenn was pissed off at the Feds more than ever at that point. Despite the epitaph he wrote for himself, he certainly did not want to be remembered as "the old guy in Santa Fe raided by the FBI".
Less than a year later, he published his memoir with its treasure hunt poem. Little chance the timing was just a coincidence.
Finally, does anybody find it intriguing that Fenn rarely if ever talked about the 1988 fire in Yellowstone? It happened the same year he got cancer (or did it?), and he talked plenty about that personal ordeal. The fire and its aftereffects utterly destroyed some of his most cherished places where he had fished for trout and melded with nature since he was a young boy, including his (probably) favorite fishing hole at TOP SECRET "Nine-Mile" and not to mention the magical wood on the far bank of the river with its secluded crystal pond to which he would have gone alone and sat under pine trees, napping, daydreaming, watching wildlife, marveling at the mountain and river vistas, and writing poems or love notes to his wife. Yet not a peep from him about the conflagration that ravaged all of that? Curious.
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2023.06.06 02:26 bie716 Singapore experts of r/bangtan! What advice and recommendations do you have for ARMY visiting Singapore for the SUGA Agust D Concert? (16 - 18 June 2023)

In just under two weeks, ARMYs will descend upon Singapore to see SUGA! Help an ARMY out and let them know about safety, how to get around, where to eat, tourist attractions, BTS-related things to do, or anything else that you think someone should know when they visit! (Special thanks to the mods for your input and feedback for this guide!)

BTS' Past Visits

Red Bullet Tour (2014 BTS Live Trilogy Episode II) at the The Star Performing Arts Centre (13 Dec 2014)
Music Bank performance (4 Aug 2017) at the Suntec Convention Centre
Love Yourself World Tour (19 Jan 2019) at the National Stadium
This made history as the first time a K-pop group held a concert at the venue (largest concert venue in the country) and tickets sold out in about 3.5 hours! (45,000 audience)

Concert Venue

Do note that it’s currently the June school holidays too (26 May-26 Jun), so the Sports Hub and surrounding areas may be crowded with many other visitors besides the concert-goers. Please be mindful!

Sightseeing/Activities

Non-exhaustive list (all prices are in SGD)
(Note: You may want to check out Klook for discount tickets/passes)

Dining

Singapore is a food paradise with various cuisines from the local ethnic groups, as well as international ones. For Muslims, there are a lot of Muslim-owned or Halal-certified options around (look for this certificate, or the label “Muslim-owned”), including most of the fast food chains like McDonald’s/KFC/Burger King/Subway.
Carrying some cash with you (~$10 per pax) is a good idea, especially if you’re venturing out to hawker centres; while many places now have an electronic payment system in place, cash is still king in terms of versatility, and anecdotally most stores prefer cash or will charge a credit-card payment surcharge.

Where to eat?

What to eat?

Breakfast (These are generally very affordable options that should cost you below $10 per person, particularly if you go to food courts/hawker centres)
Lunch & dinner
Snacks

Getting Around

Singapore has a great public transport system. It’s really easy & cheap to get around on the MRT (mass rapid transit trains) and buses. Use Google Maps or the City Mapper app to navigate yourself and get route recommendations (the latter also has transport arrival timings and fare estimates. It also works in many cities globally, so is very useful for tourists). Various transport passes are available for tourists, but you can also use your contactless credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) to pay for the fares (no registration required).
In general, using the Circle Line (yellow) or Downtown Line (blue) should get you to most tourist attractions. Orchard Road (main shopping belt) can be accessed via the North South Line (red), between Orchard and Somerset MRT stations. Map for reference, with links to versions in Chinese/Malay/Tamil available for download.
Taxis and ride-hailing cars: We have Grab and Gojek in place of Uber.
General navigation
All signs are in English, and the locals - esp the younger generation - are able to speak English fluently. If you’re really lost, feel free to approach others to ask for help! People are generally friendly and helpful despite initial appearances :)
As a side note: in general, if Google Maps is asking you to circle around a building to get somewhere - don’t. You can cut through most places on the ground floor quite easily, even the residential buildings (unless they’re private properties like condominiums/landed housing). MRT stations are connected to a good number of places via sheltered corridors if they’re nearby enough. Enjoy the aircon & shade instead of walking outside in the heat if you can.

Shopping

Weathewhat to wear

The weather is especially hot these days (max temp of up to 35 degrees celsius, or 95 Fahrenheit), with possible spurts of heavy rain at certain times of day, so dress light and carry an umbrella (most places do have sheltered walkways between buildings and bus-stops/MRT stations though, so don’t worry too much about getting around in the rain). Mall air-conditioning can be cold, so hv another layer (e.g. cardigan/wrap/scarf) on hand. Remember to hydrate frequently & avoid staying outdoors for too long!

Airport

We’ve tried to achieve a balance between being succinct and informative, but certainly the above info is not exhaustive. So do feel free to ask in the comments below if the info you need is not here! Fellow SG ARMY, or those familiar with Singapore, feel free to chime in!
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2023.06.06 01:51 Chicken_Butt_Nuggets I don't like living in the South

I grew up north, just miles from Canada actually. Been in the south (east TN, near NC) for almost 15 years and in these years I've never saw this famous homey hospitality people claim is prevalent. People are openly friendly but not nice. I'm never included in anything. I'm always treated like an outsider wherever I go. I often get asked "where are you from?" then their attention shifts uncomfortably or they ignore me from then on. Oh don't get me started on the nepotism in these small towns too. I grew up in a small town and it had it's issues for sure but it is like it's magnified down south. You can see entire families running towns (usually sheriffs' or lawyers' families).
Also the most corrupt police forces I've ever seen. My town has a rumor the police are running their own meth operation in the mountains, and there's literally a dirty old RV parked behind the police station right there in the open that's gone sometimes. Were they inspired by Breaking Bad!?
Drug addicts are all over the place and steal from your yard (although I know this is prevalent everywhere)
I had a friend here who was also a neighbor down the road, also an out of stater. He told me before he moved (back in Feb) this is the weirdest region he's ever lived in and he's lived over the US. He was happy to be out of here and I plan to get out someday too.
That's my rant for today.
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2023.06.06 01:06 Expensive_Ad_5089 June 2023 - Unpacking the Light Police

Unpacking the Light Police. Light Pollution News.
Show Link: https://lightpollutionnews.com/podcast/unpacking-the-light-police/
Subscribe: Apple Podcast Spotify Google Podcast
Social: Instagram LinkedIn
Guests:
John Barentine of Dark Sky Consulting, LLC.
Kaitlyn Evans, Conservationist.
Show:
I was busted by the light police. They had a point, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post.
Dana Milbank purchased a home in, soon to be not, rural Virginia. At night he kept the formerly vacant property lit to the degree that spurned one commentator to call it “spaceship lighting.”
Milbank recaps being visited by the “light police,” a group of concerned citizens who help educate neighbors and instill a sense of pride in the brilliance of their starry night skies.
At first, he was taken aback, but later, not only did he appreciate their efforts, but he also converted his blinding always on, white light flood lights to warm 2700 Kelvin motion sensing lights.
Per Ruskin Hartley, executive director of the International Dark Sky Association, “for 4.5 billion years there was no artificial light at night. It’s really only in the last five human generations that we transformed that. It’s one of the most profound transformations of our environment.”
Many of you may recall an earlier story, way back in our Hormone of Darkness episode, showcasing concerns by local residents prior to a 760 house (now 761) plus town center development moving into the Culpepper County, VA area. Per the Rappahannock News, this development features “a resort style swimming pool, clubhouse, tot lot, and multiple sports fields and sports courts, all connected by a network of biking and walking trails.”
The forgotten medieval habit of ‘two sleeps’ by Zaria Gorvett of the BBC.
Gorvett opened my eyes to something I never knew about, the medieval custom of two sleeps. For those of you unaware, two sleeps are exactly what it sounds like.
Folks would partake in a communal nap, complete with rigid sleeping arrangement conventions, between 9 – 11pm, then awaken for a few hours to do everything from hang out to brew beer! In fact, the idea of multiple sleeps crossed cultures and was found in places as far from Europe as indigenous South America.
How can one’s circadian rhythm make sense of all of this?!
Well, for starters, until the invention of the alarm clock, which humorously was invented by a clocks salesman so he could wake up and sell more clocks, people had no firm way to wake up at a consistent time. The industrial revolution enforced a new circadian standard.
And there’s some science behind this! In the 1992 study, In Short Photoperiods, human sleep is biphasic, researcher Thomas Wehr found that after four weeks of 10 hour days, his subjects began to engage in this two sleep cycle, involving a one to three hour period for which they became awake and engaged in between.
Want to Learn About Light Pollution? There’s a mini-course for that!, Jennifer Sensiba of Clean Technica.
Quoting Sensiba, “As I got older, I traveled a lot more and saw the problem more for what it is. Not only did I see that in many places there is no refuge from it, but I also saw that it was slowly growing worse. Places that had been dark 30 years ago had more and more light creeping upon the horizon.”
If you’re interested in learning more, or more importantly, know someone who might benefit from learning more, Sensiba links up to an International Dark Sky Mini-Course on light pollution, call it Light Pollution 101!
There’s a Play Date at the National Museum of Natural History: Lights Out exhibit!
But unfortunately, by the time you listen to this, and hell, by the time we talk about this, it has passed.
Ann Arbor named best place for sunrises, sunsets in Michigan. Sarah Parlette for Click on Detroit.
Evidently gambling websites have decided to honor April’s International Dark Sky week in a strange new content marketing campaign, which was to rank the best places in each state to see sunrises and sunsets. My favorite one, “Ann Arbor named best place for sunrises, sunsets in Michigan,” comes from Click on Detroit, whereby a quote “study” examined Michigan’s most populated cities.”
According to Click on Detroit, “to celebrate International Astrology Day on Saturday, staff at Great Lake Stakes, a Michigan online gambling news site, looked at light pollution in the five most populated cities around the Mitten state to determine which offers the best views every morning and evening.”
Star bathing is the new outdoor travel trend we should all be trying for Summer 2023, according to Amy Beecham at Stylist.
Evidently, as an attempt to destress and promote mindfulness, romanticism about sleeping under the stars has birthed a 70% increase in searches for the term ‘star bathing’ on Hipcamp. And to be sure, “Hipcamp recommends checking a stargazing calendar which outlines major astrological events – like supermoons, pink moons, and star showers.”
Industry Must Face an Inconvenient Truth — Most LED Lights at Night are Unhealthy
Dr. Martin Moore-Ede, a circadian clock expert, recently published an article in LEDs Magazine chastising the lighting industry for not recognizing and reigning in the negative externalities of its products. Per the piece, such effects are, obesity, diabetes, depression, cancer, and more.
He cites three categories of industry responses, making the correlation that long term Denial or outright Ignorance of the Facts, may result in “asbestos-scale liabilities or draconian regulations.”
Per the piece, a recent survey by the Circadian Light Research Center of 2,697 peer reviewed scientific articles confirmed that human circadian clocks are highly sensitive to blue wavelengths, and that exposure to such wavelengths leads to major health disorders.
Moore-Ede calls for the industry to harvest the “commercial opportunity” to greatly limit future liability by creating and managing its own standards for circadian modulated lighting.
Unpacking the Wallpack, by Dan Weissman in LD+A Magazine.
Weissman, who recently purchased a telescope for his family in Cambridge, MA, discovered that the scope could only afford him views of some solar system objects and a few brightly burning stars.
The ire of Weissman’s pen takes the shape of a rectangular fixtures, be it box like or simply a panel these days, that typically hang off the side of an exterior wall or above an exterior door. “Devoid of aesthetic value” this light is often put up under the “pretense of security and safety” by “recommended practices and adopted municipal codes.”
Weissman recognizes labels that often accompany, what he calls, “Glare bombs,” including “contractor-select,” “energy efficient,” or “light pollution friendly.”
Further, per an earlier LD+A article, such lighting driven by its extreme contrasts is exceedingly common in minority communities where light is weaponized as a tool of power. It becomes a “device of alienation, creating a zone of control and separation.”
Weissman recognizes that the true reason such fixtures are selected often comes down to cost. He recognizes that it may take equally as much cost to persuade building and homeowners away from such lighting into the realm of more responsible, lower lumen, shielded lighting.
Weissman calls for producers of these glare bombs to be labeled as polluters, putting them in line with fossil fuel manufacturers and PFAS makers.
Songbirds, dusk and clear skies: Scientists explore migratory flights, by Erin Blakemore.
Bird migration season is ending here in the Mid-Atlantic. I was lucky enough to catch several Baltimore Orioles and Indigo Buntings last week. Researchers looked at 400 songbirds from 9 major species, “including the yellow-rump warbler, American redstart and Bicknell’s thrush.”
The question they hoped to answer was how are these birds so darn precise in identifying the best time to take off for their nightly migration? Scientists found that 90% of the migrating birds in the study took off within 69 minutes of dusk. A “much narrower takeoff window,” that even shocked the research team!
Per the study, taking off at night is all about maximum flight time. In addition to being able to precisely schedule their take offs, a feat that every airline I’ve flown with over the past few years has proven inept at, birds also are apparently good meteorologists! They often depart when the atmospheric pressure rises over a day’s span. Other factors also trigger migration, including sex, age, and celestial cues.
‘Lights Out’ initiative appears to be saving birds from crashing into Philly buildings by Sophia Schmidt.
Preliminary results indicate that bird death counts are down 70% at one Market Street tower, since it began its participation in Lights Out. As we spoke about on a previous show, birds utilize the stars to navigate, but city lights can disorient the birds. Combine the lights with reflective or transparent glass, and that spells fatal trouble for our migrating warblers!
Per Keith Russell, a program manager for urban conservation with Audubon Mid-Atlantic, “We’ve lost almost a third of our birds – and [collisions] contributing to that. If we’re going to want to preserve the bird populations here in North America, we have to look at these types of problems. And this is a preventable one.”
The Knoxville, TN Zoo is offering up what they call “Twilight Tours” per WVLT 8. Each event will feature a guide to showcase nocturnal critters.
I did something similar in Singapore years ago. The zoo had very dim lights in the exhibits – and they kept those lights dim as you walked so that you didn’t lose your night vision. It was a very different and, might I say, peaceful experience than the typically chaotic daytime zoo.
Flashlights posing major threat to nesting sea turtles. Fox35 Orlando
Apparently, a single flashlight can deter female sea turtles from coming onto a beach and nesting. Florida, as I did not know, is home to 90% of the sea turtle nests across the world, so losing sea turtles can affect the global ecosystem.
One visitor to Cocoa Beach stated, “Just leave them alone. Stand back and look. You don’t need a flashlight.”
Another, “It’s not super surprising because more buildings go up, more technology. As it increases, nature and stuff like that decreases,” said Zoe Jovaag, whose grandfather used to take her on walks to see sea turtles.
Capture the Dark 2023 officially is under way!
The International Dark Sky Association opens up its annual photo contest complete with prizes across eight categories and an additional People’s Choice category. Voting begins on July 3rd, entries must be received by June 30th.
City Tests Traffic Light That Only Turns Green for Drivers Who Obey the Speed Limit. Erin Marquis for Jalopnik.
And hey, you better not speed in Brossard, Quebec….otherwise you may be waiting around for a while. Brossard is testing out a new traffic light that will stay red until it senses oncoming traffic. However, it will only change to green if the car is going the speed limit. Per the Jalopnik article, “FRED [the French acronym for “educational traffic calming light] forces fast drivers to stop and gives them a chance to reconsider their life choices.” Such lights are already used in Europe, but this will be the first for the Great White North.
Why the Greatest Threat to Star-Gazing Isn’t Light Pollution, and this comes to us from Dorin Elin Urrutia at Inverse.
Elin Urrutia writes, in her compelling piece, that the greatest threat to star-gazing is actually the weather. Citing notable examples of the Mount Stromlo Observatory in Australia (which burnt down due to bushfires) and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico (which sustained structural damage following the winds of Hurricane Maria).
While the threat of human-caused climate change has presented new challenges, Elin Urrutia references proactive burns that saved Los Angeles’ Mount Wilson Observatory from flames in 2020.
On a similar note, ABC News (the Australian Broadcasting Company, not to be confused with the American Broadcasting Company), brings us “A World Without Darkness Could Be a Reality within a Few Years.”
Per Carol Redford of Astrotourism Western Australia, “There are some people in the world now who don’t actually experience darkness anymore. They’re in a city like Beijing, Toyoko, or London. In all those big cities, it’s never dark, it’s always light. During the day of course with the sun, but then during the night with all of the artificial light. They’re not experiencing darkness, and definitely not seeing those beautiful stars…”
In the 66 years since the implementation of the UN Convention on the Peaceful Use of Outerspace, around 11,000 satellites orbit the Earth. But it’s about to get wayyy busier. Driven by innovations that have led to dramatic reductions in costs, over the next ten years, Per attorney Steven Freeland, it’s anticipated that somewhere between 100,000 to 500,000 objects will be sent up. Let me pause on that for a second.
On the travel front, we stay in the land down under, “Aussie region determined to keep its darkness is a stargazer’s dream” by Chantelle Francis of News.com.AU.
The town of Swam Reach, population 270, resides in a 3200sq km region of Southern Australia that received its International Dark Sky Reserve status over three years ago. On a scale of darkness between 0 – 22, the River Murray Dark Sky Reserve at Swam Reach, measures in at a whopping 21.9!
Tourism has become a growing business. The reserve hosts numerous telescope pads and offers tours of the night sky. There’s hope that an observatory and/or planetarium may also arrive in due course.
Best smart lights for outdoors in 2023, Brittney Vincent of CBS Essentials.
Oh there’s a lot not to love here, but it does fall in line with last month’s ‘Lumens are Coming’ article.
For those of you who feel the need to light your trees, because for some reason they need light at night I guess…I’ll try and pretend it’s not solely for ostentatious and narcissistic reasons. By the way, does anyone remember when those were negative characteristics?
The article features spotlights that can be programmed to over 16 MILLION colors including…lucky for us, ALL shades of white….which you can also do for a 500 lumen flood light set.
And hey, Ring now has solar path lighting. Don’t worry though, the fixtures themselves put out up to 80 lumens of sideways light.
You know, it’s astounding when you look at some of these pictures. The amount of redundant lighting. It honestly makes no sense to me. You have a porch light, which lights up the path. Path lighting, which lights up the path. And, in the one picture, god awful frontward facing flood lights, which also light up the path. How bright do you need these paths!? I digress. But the lumens are indeed coming.
LDS Church will get to light up its Heber Valley Temple after all, but the faith didn’t get everything it wanted, Blake Apgar of the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fought hard to rid itself of any nighttime lighting responsibility by pressuring Wasatch County, Utah officials to approve new lighting rules that would enable the church to light a proposed new temple the same way it does for every other temple.
The Church received permission to uplight the temple, enabling an exception to be made in Wasatch’s rather stringent nighttime lighting rulebook. However, the temple will be restricted by the level of lumens it can use, and it must have exterior lighting turned off an hour after sunset or an hour after normal business hours.
Smart Street Lights Market is Expected to Hit USD 14,751.1 million at a 23.4% CAGR by 2030, Market Research Future Press Release
The pandemic is officially over, smart street lighting is about to boom. Combine the rush to LED fixtures with the Internet of Things, and expect to see street lights moonlighting as traffic and parking monitors, air quality meters, and more. Not to mention, “it is anticipated that camera-connected smart street lighting will increase road safety by lowering the likelihood of accidents and criminality.”
Texas now has 7 dark sky communities for spectacular star gazing, Sana Ameer, MRT.
Let’s cheer on the city of Bee Cave, everyone! Bee Cave joins a growing list of dark sky places already in the Lone Star State, including 2 Dark Sky Sanctuaries, 5 Dark Sky Parks, and 1 Dark Sky Reserve. Nighttime is alive and well in some parts of Texas!
Our Afraid of the Dark article is a bit scary! Hilton Head’s dark roads and pedestrians are deadly combo. What the town is doing about it, Blake Douglas at The Island Packet.
Per the article, 9 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities occurred since 2018, with five occurring after dark. Prior to that period, there were 28 recorded deaths from 2000 – 2016, with 20 of them taking place after dark.
In 2018, an 11 year old resident was struck and killed while walking her dog across an intersection one night. Lighting advocates began taking shape in what otherwise is a very conservation focused island. Hilton Head, SC has a limited number of street lights, priding itself on “avoiding light pollution and blending nature with construction.”
Lighting advocates appear to be, at the very least, asking for flashing crosswalk lights on the island to indicate when an individual is crossing.
It should be noted that the article shows a chart of 9 after-dark-deaths since 2014, only two of them occurred at crosswalks. In fact, during the same time frame, 6 additional deaths occurred at crosswalks during the daytime.
As a whole, the National Safety Council reports that 74.5% of pedestrian deaths occurred at night, whereby 39.1% took place in lit areas and 35.38% took place in unlit areas.
Bryan Bloch, an auto safety expert, surmises that car companies bear some of the blame – producing cheap or ineffectual headlight fixtures, and drivers themselves, who don’t realize that they need to regularly clean their headlight lenses.
Despite opposition from residents, it appears that Hilton Head will be receiving lights at two new intersections and possibly more depending on engineering studies currently in progress.
Is lighting the key variable here? Is more light going to solve pedestrian deaths?
Our featured research article of the month comes to us from Animal Conservation, “Manipulating spectra of artificial light affects movement patterns of bats along ecological corridors.”
Bats are already known to have a wide range of responses to artificial light at night (also known as ALAN). Fast flying species tend to be more opportunistic in the presence of ALAN while slower ones tend to be more light averse. We know that “long wavelengths and reduced intensity” can minimize their environmental effects on bats. It’s not unheard of for bats to travel upwards of “tens of km per night.” Furthermore, bats are very dependent on the landscape and the structures within those landscapes.
Despite the nuances between species, the consensus is that ALAN, especially high intensity ALAN, negatively affects bats. This study attempted to answer what exactly bats do when they encounter ALAN – how do they react depending on different types of ALAN.
The study used three different light fixtures – one green, one red, and one white. The control was devoid of light fixtures. The researchers attempted to ascertain the behavior of bats as they encountered lights adjacent to woody areas. The researchers looked at three different bat groupings based on their foraging-echo location behavior, that being one of open field foraging, forest edge foraging, and narrow space – or more aptly forest foragers.
Researchers found that open and edge foraging bats increased their activity close to white and green lights, and to a lesser extent red lights. However, narrow space bats were more likely to veer away from all colors of lighting. Edge foragers were also less likely to cross a white light.
The positive effects of white and green light on open and edge foraging bats appear to be attributed to the accumulation of insects around light sources containing more blue light.
The nighttime sky over Oahu will be lit up with green lasers in the coming days. Here’s why. Hawaii News Now
Before we close up today, do you live in Hawaii? I know I wish I did!
If so, do you recall seeing green lasers streak across the night sky? Well, the Army Corps of Engineers was using lidar at night to complete a coastal mapping survey.
Why did they survey at night? Specifically, why did they do this between midnight to 5am? Simply b/c the airspace is so busy, that time was the only chance they had to complete the survey. The remaining survey was completed during daytime hours.
submitted by Expensive_Ad_5089 to lightpollutionnews [link] [comments]


2023.06.06 01:01 420lovecraft I have had 3 weddings and Im not happy about any of them

This is a long post, im so sorry. I also want to say, this happened in October 2019, before covid. I understand peoples weddings were effected by covid too im not heartless. This is just my experience I need to get out. I'm not sure what sub would be right for this story so I figured Ill just tell my story and let you decide. Back in 2019 I(f) was about 24 then, my then fiancé (m) now husband was 27. I live in the US, I moved from the south where I had lived my whole life, up to the north. I was leaving an abusive relationship. When I left I had a daughter with me who was only a baby so I was a single mother. As soon as I moved I somehow met this new man where I was. We hit it off instantly, and he also had a daughter who was the same age as mine, give or take a couple months. Our kids hit it off as toddlers and have been inseparable ever since. Couple years go by, and we have become a little family. His family was also from the south, one state over from where I grew up. We grew up only 2 hours apart. They reminded me of home and it was very wonderful. He is the youngest in his family, and his mother is elderly because she had him when she was in her 40s. (all of this information is relevant I promise) So here we are engaged, and im planning the wedding. While we were dating and engaged we never lived together. He lived with his family, me with mine. We wanted to save money for a wedding and we figured it would be easier if we saved money for the wedding, and to move out over the next 2 years. We are not well off people by any means, and neither of our families have money. (not wedding money anyway) So other than the dress, my dad paid for, the wedding was completely on us. I had not had a graduation ceremony, No one wanted to celebrate my baby because I had her out of wedlock so I didnt have a baby shower, I really had no ceremony in my life and I longed for a little tradition. Both of our families being southern, I saw this more of a pot-luck-get together, after a small ceremony. A year before the date we set, I began planning. I had a binder, my computer, and so many things I was working on. I genuinely wanted a nice event that was going to be just a big party for our families to celebrate life and family. Well I was wrong to think or want that lol. The venue we settled on was his brothers front yard. It was off a dirt road blocked by woods so no one could just drive by. There was a trailer on other side of the yard that was dilapidated, and beyond that a cemetery where my husbands father is buried. This house is on a lot of land, however squeezing in tents, chairs, tables, 60+ people right between a house and a trailer was not my idea of a "wedding" location. But honestly, its free and beggars cant be choosers right? I was trying to come up with ways to cleverly try to hide the trailer maybe hanging some curtains up around the tents? Something classy so it wouldn't be in the background of every picture. So his mother owns his house in the south, but lives up north with us. She allows her oldest son and his family to live there. (important) So this was her saying, she would go down there, help get it set up, clean the house, make the wedding happen. I was planning everything, décor, music, I even created the entire wedding itinerary myself mapping out every hour of the event so nothing could go wrong. I worked my ass off for a year to make this wedding happen because I thought my partner and I could start our life off on a great note. 3 weeks before the wedding my husbands mother got very sick. She became septic which is an infection in your blood. She was found barely conscious one morning on the living room floor when she had gotten up in the middle of the night and fell. We called 911 and she was in the hospital for almost 3 weeks. After shes in the hospital and its clear she will be staying, it becomes very clear, she wont be going down south to arrange the wedding. Which is fine, for the record, she is alive and well now and hasn't gotten this sick since thank everything. So then I have to start calling my family and telling them the wedding is canceled. I was suddenly met with a huge back lash of "I ALREADY PAID FOR MY HOTEL" and "HOW CAN YOU JUST CANCEL PEOPLE HAVE PLANNED FOR THIS!!!." (okay now we are caught up on why I moved.) This entire time by the way, literally no one was interested in a single plan I was making. When I told my aunt I felt like no one gave a shit she simply said "no one is gonna care as much about your wedding as you do." yes, this is true but wtf? Im not asking for people to care as much im just asking for people to care at all. My maid of honor was still down south too, as well as all my wedding party. I was doing this all on my own so I guess understand no one else would care. So the response I got felt odd that people were mad it was canceled? Which pressured me into another situation where I felt I had to get married the weekend it was intended for because people already took time off work. Now I felt obligated at this point, and my husband just kind of said he would go along with whatever I wanted. While all this was going on my mother showed up out of nowhere. She never travels anywhere and she was talking to some guy who lived near me she met on facebook. (fucking boomers) He turned out to be catfishing her so we had to go pick her up from a parking lot in the middle of town. (she did not come up to see me, she happened to see me because she needed a rescue) She stayed with us for a few days, My daughter and I were staying with my fiancé at his families house to figure out his family crisis and our wedding. So then we deiced to have a wedding ceremony at the hospital she was staying in at the chapel then go down south to my family, and have the "official ceremony" at a park. Well... Come to find out you need an ordained minister to marry you and make it legal, or in the state I am in, someone can get ordained online but they need a senator approval to make it legal which could take 3 months... The morning we were planning on having the "wedding" at the hospital we went down to the court house and got married. The judge that married us was such a old white man im pretty sure hes paying personal reparation's. anyway, while getting married, we are doing the vows written on the paper and agreed to save our personal vows for his mom. In the middle of this, this crustations phone goes off and its some loud cowboy song from a 1950s wester or some shit. We are finally legally married, we get home, my mom had been staying with the kids while we got married. We call the hospital and tell him that we are on the way. The hospital informs us that my MIL will be released today. what? so.. we literally just got married.. just to have a ceremony at the hospital.. she wont be at. bet. So now fast forward 3 horrible hours later, we are waiting on his mom to come home and we decide we will have a little "ceremony" in her front yard. by that I mean we are gonna stand on the flat brick patio, all dressed up, me in my giant fluffy wedding gown, and have my husbands best friend "marry" us. I honest to God I wish I could make this up. In that 3 hours waiting for his mom to come home, I find out my husband has not written any vows. When I say "im not sure where to put my vows" she looked at me confused at the paper in my hand. I said "where are yours? I cant wait to hear them" he soooo casually just said "yea I didn't write anything down im just gonna say whatever comes to mind." excuse me? okay im already on the verge of a break down because all of my work, DIY decorations, planning, money was just wasted and now the OTHER PERSON WHO THIS INVOLVESSSS did literally nothing but show up. Had ONE job. As the "ceremony" on his mothers patio is going on, we did all this just for her, she is not even paying a bit of attention. Her entire attention during truly one of the most cringiest moments in my life, was on her grandkid. I get it they were both quite young but outgrown toddler so had the ability to sit still for 5 mins. She would not stop messing with her hair, her clothes, talkin to her. Right after it ended and we kissed, she just said to our daughter "okay lets go inside." like... yea. So then a few days later we are leaving for the south to do this all over again, this time with my family. The van is packed and its me, my husband, our kids, and his best friend/best man. 10 hours in a car completely packed, we finally get to our hotel. we all are sharing one room, and it sucks. Finally its time to get married at the park, its "wedding day" jokes are flying around how if we ever get divorced we have to do it 3 times for it to work. I dont mind, I often laugh at myself in times to get myself out. I arrive at the park, and someone had forgotten the flowers, theres like 15 people, we had a metal arch with some fabric woven in it that kept trying to blow away. My husband was drunk, but managed to actually write some vows last minute. Finally it was all over and we went back to my aunts house for an "after party" which lasted like an hour. we didnt really get a first dance or anything. Our cake was fallen over and mostly melted, but it tasted really good so thats what matters. All of this doesnt really effect my marriage today, but I still think about it sometimes and feel a knife to my heart. I know that weddings arent really that important, and I dont put a lot in them, I dont even feel like people need the weddings they have. I feel so guilty when I think about feeling bad over it. No one could help what happened and im not bitter, just sad. Sorry for the long post I just cant living in silence.
submitted by 420lovecraft to TwoHotTakes [link] [comments]


2023.06.05 22:55 kasutori_Jack 2023 r/baseball Power Rankings -- Week 10: Quest for #1 Tightens, Pirates More Seaworthy than Mariners, Tigers Drop Their Guard and Cleveland Picks It Up, Astros Back in Top 5

Looking for Around the Horn?
Hey Sportsfans — it's time for Week 10 of baseball Power Rankings: Happy first Monday of June, everyone! Hopefully you've paid your rent, paid your bills, and sent us our monthly check to keep your favorite team higher than they deserve. Have a fabulous Monday!
Every voter has their own style / system and the only voting instructions are these:
"To an extent determined individually, you must take into account how strong a team is right now and likely to be going forward. You must, to some degree, give weight to the events and games of the previous week."
TRANSPARENCY: This link will show you who voted each team where and has added neat statistics!
New Voter Chance: Are you a fan of the Dodgers? We received tepid response last week and are still looking for a new Dodgers voter. I'll be reaching out to Dodgers shortly to help with the search. -- apologies for the delay. Check out this link to see how to apply!
If something is a little messed up, feel free to pester me let me know.
Total Votes: 29 of 29. Technically a perfect vote?
# Team Δ Comment Record
1 Rays 0 Why replace writers with AI when the Rays bullpen has proven to be the most cost efficient way to generate drama in 2023? The team doing so well makes it hard to complain, but Jason Adam also makes it so easy, yanno? Happy pride month y'all! In other positive news, Glasnow has looked good if not otherworldly in his return, he'll look to continue finding his groove. Yandy Diaz also hit a quintessential little league homerun, which should make everyone everywhere happy! 42-19
2 Rangers 0 hahahahaha offense go brrrrrrrt. Big week this week with a series against the struggling Cardinals and then the big weekend matchup against the Rays. Ending another month on top of the division and we are having fun! 38-20
3 Braves 0 Horrid start to the week by losing a series to the Oakland "Triple A's" (don't @ me...I heard their own annoucers call them that), but we salvaged the week in AZ thanks to Eddie Rosario playing OUT OF HIS MIND and capping off our weekend with a go ahead Slam in the top of the ninth on Sunday. We are banged up on the hump, but are pushing through. If this is a rough patch, I am happy. First up this week is the Mets. A very important series to get it all back on track. 35-24
4 Astros +2 Crucial series win against the Angels to finish off the weekend. Saturday's game was a lot of fun, aside from the top of the 7th inning - but we don't talk about that. Let's talk instead about how Alex Bregman's grand slam, 4-walk day can be 100% attributed to his wife throwing out the first pitch (it was Girls Night Out) and Bregs subsequently skipping the photo op with her to finish his warm-up. 35-24
5 Dodgers -1 35-25
6 Orioles -1 Alternating wins and loses all week this past week. Losing two out of the last three series is not great. I then thought about it and obviously the Orioles can't win every game and can't win every series, so thinking they can, means I have more confidence in this team than I have in a very long time. Aaron Hicks has been a pleasant surprise filling in for Cedric, batting .455 with an OPS of 1.208. Even though the fans were severely against getting him, he seems to have been the right move so far. The next six games are against Milwaukee and KC, hopefully we go at least 4-2. 37-22
7 Yankees 0 Another strong road trip, another handful of injury questions. Is Nestor really hurt, or is this a “get right” phantom stint? Will Judge need IL time? Wtf’s Bader’s situation? In better news Stanton, Kahnle, and Donaldson are back, and Rodon is set to face live batters. It would be really fucking cool if we could get off the IL merry-go-round though. 36-25
8 Blue Jays +1 Very nice bouceback week(ish) after our AL East foes took us to Pound Town, with series wins over Minnesota and Milwauke (Algonquin for "the good land") before sweeping the Nye Mets. Bassitt continued to build on his '23 legend by nearly throwing another CGSO while his wife was going into labor in another country. Vladdy lasered his first HR not off a shitting-his-pants position player since May 4th, and still hasn't hit one at home, which is WILD. Belt overcame DFA screams from dipshits after an abysmal April (.519 OPS) with a hero-ball May (.940 OPS). Big tests coming up, tho, with HOU, BAL, MIN, and TEX next on the docket. Someone throw an irradiated spider at Manoah or something. 33-27
9 D-Backs -1 The Diamondbacks had a decent week, sweeping the Rockies in four games and coming within one out of taking two of three from the Braves. Alas, the Diamondbacks' bullpen is still the Diamondbacks' bullpen. Additionally, Geraldo Perdomo's abysmal peripherals are catching up with his early-season performance, and third base remains a question mark, as Josh Rojas still doesn't have a single home run on the season. 35-25
10 Twins 0 A 4-3 week, including another series win against the reigning WS Champions! The lineup still isn't consistent though and we're being carried by our good pitching. There's time to fix those issues as the summer goes on, especially in the AL Central where we don't have a lot of competition. 31-29
11 Brewers +2 In the words of noted Brewers fan Tom, "i don't understand how each day the lineup can look worse than the day before, like each day feels like rock bottom then it gets even worse somehow" That's pretty much Brewers fandom opinion of the Spring Training esque lineups Milwaukee is trotting out day after day. Somehow the team was 4-2 in the last week though. (Thanks Reds). Also, Reddit effectively kiling third party app support is terrible, and might actually be the thing that gets me to leave this Californian Hotel. 32-27
12 Red Sox 0 You know, I liked baseball more when we weren't .500. Losing Chris Sale to the injured list right as we get Whitlock and Paxton back is cruel but predictable. Our rotation has a lot of talent, but lacks the stamina to actually go deep into games. Houck, Whitlock, Pivetta and Kutter are all decent to really good 1st/2nd time through. Pair them up and have them each throw ~3-4 innings and you've basically Frankenstiened two 110 ERA+ starters! CHaim hire me please :) 30-29
13 Pirates +4 The Pirates had a miserable May. The pitching went from excellent to merely good while the offense was put on life support. The Bucs, who were 20-9 at the end of April, had dropped under the .500 mark on Memorial Day. Since then, the Bucs have won 5 straight — 2 against the Giants to pick up the Pirates' first (and only) series win in May, and then a sweep of the Cardinals for the first time since 2018. Yeah, the Pirates are only 31-27, but that puts them just a game out of first in the NL Central. Not bad considering where this team stood a week ago. 31-27
14 Angels 0 When he has been on the field and not getting into it with fans or wasting away on the injured list, Anthony Rendon has been a quietly solid presence in this Angels lineup. Slated to return back to the lineup within the next couple days, the team could use a boost in the middle part of the order, especially with runners on. 31-30
15 Mariners -4 A Mariner is a person who works aboard a watercraft as part of its crew, and may work in any one of a number of different fields that are related to the operation and maintenance of a ship. The profession of the Mariner is old, and the term Mariner has its etymological roots in a time when sailing ships were the main mode of transport at sea, but it now refers to the personnel of all watercraft regardless of the mode of transport, and encompasses people who operate ships professionally, be it for a military navy or civilian merchant navy, as a sport or recreationally. Up next: 2 @ Vedder Cup bros, 3 @ Troutanis 29-30
16 Mets -1 Since my last update, we swept the Phillies and we got swept by the Blue Jays. This is a weird Mets team who I think may just be pretty mediocre, though I suspect they'll stick sneak into the playoffs. Our record is back at .500 and we have the Braves in Atlanta next, which is not the kind of shit you want to see. Omar Narvaez will likely return from the IL this week, creating an interesting roster crunch which shouldn't be interesting at all, since current backup catcher Tomas Nido has an OPS of .278. 30-30
17 Marlins +1 Sweepy has been busy so far this year. The fish complete their 4th sweep of the season on the visiting A's, reports are sketchy but apparently he was last spotted saying "Mets are over rated". We'll get further clarification on what he meant by that next time he resurfaces. Sandy is going through it right now, if im being honest i think hes working through some mechanical issues cuz hes still lowkey struggling with location. His last outing was fairly good save one inning where he allowed a bunch of runs but he is slowly improving. Very slowly. The his week the marlins are gonna host the royals, followed with a trip to south side chicago. 32-28
18 Giants -2 The Giants went 2–4 with two 1-run losses. Normally losing a series to both the Orioles and Pirates would be problematic, but in the New Age, both teams are good and the Giants played hard 80% of the time. They are 5–7 in 1-Run Games, and 1-2 in extras, and with a +1 Run Diff (18th in MLB, -5 spots) they are slightly underperforming expected W/L Record. The Giants will be without Joc, Yaz, Conforto, Estrada, and Bart until tomorrow (expected), and Alex Wood is the latest casualty – gone for 12ish days. The rotation, led by Cobb, Webb, and Disco, will rely even more on the bullpen which usually means Jacob Junis (yay!) and Manaea (: / ). Cleaning up their act some, the bullpen ERA is now 20th in MLB (+3) and the whole staff at 15th in RA/G (=). The inconsistent offense, hampered by injuries and some mini-slumps, sits at 14th in RS/G (-2). Giants fans must hope a return to health will boost the bats, the younglings liven back up, and the bullpen holds the line @ Coors Field ( : / ) and vs the question-mark-of-a-team Chicago Cubs. 29-30
19 Padres +1 It was the first game at Petco for my Niece and her Father. He'd long written off the Padres, as a team of nobodies that would never try to win at a sport that ultimatley rigged for markets that weren't in San Diego County. As a sign of goodwill from my Sis, his ex-wife, they had amazing seats, down by the first base side, that were each in the triple digits. Over the last few years he'd gotten into the sport for the first time since '98, and for my Niece, it was the first time following any pro sport in her life. They sat down at their beautiful seats, had a couple of 'dogs, and by the third inning, San Diego was behind 7-0. Sigh. The Padres average 39k at Petco, ranking 5th in the majors in attendance. They have a 13-17 record in those games. 27-32
20 Guardians +3 I was on vacation this week, so I haven't been as aware of baseball as I should be. I did go to two games at Camden and two at Nationals Park while on my trip. The Guardians won a series against the Orioles and split one with the Twins, so now I'm being optimistic and will probably embarrass myself again. Also, I hope the Reds ranker is doing okay. 27-32
21 Phillies -2 What a miserable week it was to be a Phillies fan. They salvaged a 2-4 record by winning the weekend games against the Nationals, but were dreadful all week in games that were just close enough to keep your hopes up. The Phillies are currently 4.5 games out of the 3rd wild card spot with 3 other teams ahead of them. Trea Turner, who you'd think would have one of the highest floors in the league, is hitting .232 with a dreadful .276 OBP. Alec Bohm hit the IL, which means the infield regularly includes one or two of Josh Harrison, Kody Clemens (who's actually been quite hot the past few weeks), and AAAA quality Drew Ellis (who went 3/3 with 2 walks and 2 home runs on Sunday). The bats and pitching have completely died, but that's thankfully set the stage for Nick Castellanos to do what he does best. This week: a homestand with 3 against the Tigers and 3 against the Dodgers. 27-32
22 Cubs +2 This week was a much needed bounce back for the Cubs, as they took 2 out of 3 from both the Rays and Padres. Unfortunately, the week was marred by yet more struggles in the clutch and with RISP as well as Justin Steele's injury. Steele is out for at least 2 starts with forearm soreness, and will be dearly missed as he has kept the Cubs in game after game. The Cubs continue their West Coast road trip this week with sereis against the Angels and Giants following today's game in SD. 26-32
23 Cardinals -2 The Cardinals should be playing better, they aren't. They've been bad all season. Short of collective epiphany that sees them 30 up in their next 40 (lol, doubt it) there's no useful information I can put in this box past "Fire John Mozeliak." 25-35
24 Reds +1 It finally happened boys. After just a month of being separated, she gave me official divorce papers. I think she’s made it abundantly clear she has no interest in fixing things, and you know what? I get it. It’s alright. She told me straight up that she didn’t feel anything between us anymore, and no amount of therapy or counseling is gonna fix that, whatever was there is gone. She’s felt like that for a while, I just refused to see it, I was in denial. But i’m not anymore. I’m free, I am once more ready to set sail on the ocean of loneliness until I find land. I hope I can find land. I gotta find land. How we’ll divide time between our son is yet to be determined, but I know we’ll find a good compromise. I’m just…happy that the air is clear. No more pretending to enjoy each other's presence, no more fake smiles to mask our emptiness. No more. Anyway, let’s talk Reds baseball. We had a good road trip where our offense managed to shine but a horrid home series where we got pantsed by a division rival. The front office just refuses to throw the fans a bone. We continue to give playing time to people like Will Benson and Stuart Fairchild, all the while prospects like Elly De La Cruz and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are tearing up AAA to the point where there’s really nothing left for them to do. Both had problems with their Walk%, so what happened? The last couple weeks both have significantly improved their walk rate. They have nothing left to do in AAA if you ask me and plenty of the fanbase. Imagine if both can be successful in the MLB, what kind of boost of energy that would give to this team while they’re still in striking distance of the NL Central crown. Our starting pitching is still a major liability, Graham Ashcraft has just flat out forgotten how to pitch. The Bullpen is still keeping us in games and our offense can be truly clutch at times, but consistency is one thing we’ve lacked all season. Consistency, consistency, consistency. It’s not here. But with an injection of young talent, things could definitely turn around, or I guess you could say something that’s become a bit of a motto here in Cincinnati and with our recent ownership groups: We’re just a couple years away. 26-33
25 Tigers -3 RIP Riley Greene. RIP Eduardo Rodriguez. I guess the White Sox walkoff on Saturday where a Jose Cisnero pitch domed the home plate umpire for a wild pitch was emblematic of this week (shrugs). As a side note, man is this linup brutal, sporting a team slash line of .226/.302/.349 for the season. Yikes! This week: 3 at PHI, 3 vs. ARI. 26-31
26 White Sox +2 The AL Central being so competitive/non-competitive is the worst thing for the White Sox right now. Despite being 9 games under .500, they are only 5.5 games back in the division. They're stuck in limbo right now. In any sane world, they would already be selling parts, but in all likelihood, they'll have to sell some of the future at the deadline, only to go on a cold streak in mid September, finish 8 games out in the division, and make this awful season feel even worse. 26-35
27 Nationals -1 Rough week for the Nats losing 5 of 7 and getting even worse news with the announcement of Strasburg being shut down from all physical activity. While I can't speak for all Nats fans, I can speak for myself: Stephen Strasburg has absolutely nothing to prove. I genuinely would be ecstatic for him to ride off into the sunset without throwing another pitch before unvailing a statue with Zim on the corner of Capitol and Potomac. 25-34
28 Rockies -1 No Blurb Submitted 26-35
29 Royals 0 Congo rats to Scott Barlow on notching his 50th career save. And congo rats to Aroldis Chapman for rebuilding his career and being a trade chip. The Royals are going to fuck up the return, but at least he can get something back in another couple of months. I'm looking forward to surgery so I can be too drugged up to give a shit about this team. 18-41
30 Athletics 0 More a question than a curse, how could hell be any worse? 12-49
submitted by kasutori_Jack to baseball [link] [comments]


2023.06.05 22:22 chuckhustmyre [TH] The Detour (Part 1 of 2)

By Chuck Hustmyre
Not every town is on the map.
"Daddy, I gotta pee."
Dale Thornton looked over his shoulder at his six-year-old son belted into the back seat of their Jeep Cherokee. As the boy squirmed around, Dale looked at his wife in the passenger seat beside him. "Didn't he just go?"
Carol glanced at her watch. "That was over an hour ago." She twisted to look into the back seat. "Can you hold it?"
In the rearview mirror, Dale saw Jesse shake his head. His wife checked her watch again. He could almost see the wheels turning inside her head. She was the family mediator, and she had just come up with something that made perfect sense. One of the reasons he loved her so much was her ability to change gears. In himself, Dale recognized his single-mindedness as a drawback. He admired her flexibility. In more ways than one, he thought. She was a good wife and a good mother.
"It's almost five," Carol said. "Let's stop at the next town. We can all use the restroom and get something to eat."
Dale tugged the spiral-bound road atlas down from where he had wedged it between the visor and the roof. They had left Tulsa that morning, headed for Mardi Gras, and he hoped to be in New Orleans by 10 p.m. Looking at the LOUISIANA page, his eyes traced the route he had highlighted in yellow. They had detoured down old U.S. 167. Rural America was disappearing and Dale wanted his son to see something of it before it was completely gone.
They were somewhere south of Ruston. He couldn't remember if they had passed Jonesboro or not, so the next town was either that or--if they'd already passed it--Winnfield. The gas gauge was on a quarter of a tank. They needed to stop anyway. "All right, honey," he said. "We'll take a break."
Carol laid a hand on his leg. "I'm glad we came this way. You can't see anything from the Interstate."
Ten miles later they sprang upon a small town. There was an old-fashioned, carved wooden sign posted beside the highway. Dale read out loud, "Welcome to Batesville. Population 875."
"What's that mean," Jesse asked.
Dale glanced at his son in the rearview mirror. "That's how many people live here."
"When somebody dies, do they change the number on the sign?"
Carol smiled over her shoulder at Jesse. "I bet they change it when a baby is born."
Just like her. She didn't like to talk about death or dying. Instead, she liked to focus on the good things in life, babies, birthdays, and family vacations. She had always been like that but more so since her grandfather passed away last year. She had been very close to him, closer than she had ever been to her father.
Dale sneaked a glance at her. She was his angel but an angel with dark secrets. She had shared some of those secrets with him but not all of them, probably because she knew the abuse in her life disturbed him so much. "That sign probably hasn't been changed in twenty years," he said.
"Why put it up if it's not right?" Jesse asked.
Good question. "I don't know, son."
As they got into the little town, Dale was impressed. The side streets that cut off of the highway were lined with neat wooden houses, most of them with white picket fences. A lot of the little towns they had passed through looked run down and dirty, but not this one. Batesville was clean and pretty.
When they came to the town's only traffic light, Dale saw a business on each corner: a hotel, a gas station, a restaurant, and the Batesville General Store. Before the light turned green, Dale pulled the Jeep beside the pumps at the gas station. A middle-aged man wearing oil stained coveralls stepped out from the office. "What can I do you for?" he asked. His tone was friendly, something you didn't hear at many gas stations these days.
Dale stepped out of the driver's seat and stretched. "I need a fill-up and some food." Then he jerked his thumb toward the back seat. "And my son needs to use the head."
The man wiped his hands on a rag he pulled out of his pocket. Then he shook Dale's hand. "Dudley Simpson. I can help you with the gas and the bathroom for your boy, but as for food, afraid all I got is potato chips and sodas." He pointed to the restaurant across the street. "Right over there is the best food in town." He laughed. "Only restaurant we got, but I wouldn't kid you. It's really good. Restroom's not too bad either."
Jesse said he could hold it until they got to the restaurant, so Dale sent him and Carol across the street to get a table. When he reached for the gas pump, Dudley Simpson stopped him. "I don't charge extra for full service. Every car comes through here I pump the gas, look under the hood, and check the tires."
"Don't see that too much anymore," Dale said.
"Guess I'm kind of old-fashioned."
After Dudley finished, Dale added a couple of bucks to the bill. He felt a little awkward, unsure if he could tip the owner of a gas station without insulting him. But Dudley took no offense, just said thank you and asked him to stop in again on their way home.
When Dale turned the key, nothing happened. He turned it again and still nothing happened. Just a click. No dash lights, the motor didn't turn over, nothing. Dudley told him to pop the hood again. After Dale turned the key a couple more times with Simpson's head buried under the hood, Dudley said he'd found the problem. "Alternator's shot. You must've been running on battery for a good while."
"Can you fix it?"
The gas station owner looked at his watch. "Not today. Parts store is closed 'till tomorrow."
Great, just great, Dale thought.
"I could arrange a tow to somewhere else, next town down the highway has a Goodyear Service Center," Dudley said, "but even they won't get to it until tomorrow."
Dale nodded, his mind stuck on having to spend the night in Batesville instead of New Orleans.
"I'll get to it first thing," Dudley said. "Have you out of here by ten o'clock." He pointed at the hotel. "Mrs. Jensen has a nice place. A-C, cable TV, and no bugs."
Great. No bugs.
Dudley told Dale that he could leave the Jeep right where it was. No need to worry about it, he said. They had a town marshal but nothing ever happened in Batesville. So quiet the state police never even came by.
"Sorry I'm blocking your pumps," Dale said.
Dudley shrugged. "Other side's open." Then he looked at his watch. "Besides, it's five-thirty. I close in half an hour."
As he crossed the street, Dale remembered his gun. A Smith and Wesson .357 revolver that he always brought with him on road trips. You never knew what could happen. They might break down on the highway and get attacked by a drug-crazed motorcycle gang. The gun was in the cargo compartment, wrapped inside a cloth and tucked between the spare tire and the side wall. It would be safe enough.
At the restaurant he told Carol the news and in typical Carol fashion she looked on the bright side. "It'll be fun being stranded in a small town," she said. "Who knows what'll happen?"
"Do they have TV?" Jesse asked.
A cute young waitress served them. The plastic tag pinned to her blouse said her name was April. When she brought out their food she set Jesse's down first.
"That's the cutest little mark on your face," she said. "Almost looks like lipstick."
Unabashedly, Jesse pointed to the red oval shaped birthmark set high on his right cheek. "It means I'm special."
She smiled. "It looks like a kiss."
"Really?" Jesse asked.
Dale saw a look of contentment on Carol's face. Jesse's birthmark was something she'd never wanted their son to be shy or embarrassed about.
The waitress set out the rest of the plates. "I heard a mark like that means that right before you were born an angel kissed you."
Jesse turned to his mom. "Is that true?"
Carol smiled at her son and nodded. "I think she may be right."
April bent down and kissed Jesse on the top of his head. "I'm not an angel, but there's a kiss from me."
Dudley Simpson had been right; the food was excellent. After they ate, Dale got up to use the bathroom. "You need to go again, Jess?"
The boy shook his head. "No thanks."
Dale handed Carol a credit card. "Let's save our cash."
She nodded. "All right, baby."
"Back in a sec," he said as he turned away.
***
When he came out of the men's room, Carol and Jesse weren't at the table. The waitress had been quick. Most of the dirty plates were gone; the only ones left were his. Dale looked for his family near the front door, then up by the cash register, but they weren't there.
Maybe Jesse had changed his mind and Carol had brought him into the bathroom with her. So Dale waited, but after several minutes passed and they didn't come out, he decided to check outside. They might have gotten cold or Jesse could've gotten restless and they were waiting out front for him. But they weren't out front, either.
Across the street the lights were out at the gas station--Dudley was closed for the night. The Jeep Cherokee sat at the pumps. Anxiously, Dale looked at the hotel. Maybe...but they wouldn't do that, wouldn't have gone without him. That wasn't like Carol. Smart and independent, but she liked her husband doing the man things, and in her mind, checking into a hotel was a man thing.
Back inside he knocked on the door of the women's restroom. No one answered, so he cracked it open. "Carol?" No answer. "Carol, Jess, you there?"
"Can I help you, sir?" It was their waitress.
Embarrassed, Dale forced a laugh. "I seem to have lost my wife and son." He nodded toward the men's room. "While I was in there."
"Your wife and son?" She looked confused.
"When I came back they were gone."
She had a blank look on her face.
Annoyed, he said, "I ate with them."
The waitress furrowed her brow. "Sir, I didn't see you with anyone else."
Dale stared at her. For a second he thought that maybe he was wrong, maybe this wasn't his waitress. He checked her name tag, saw it said April. "You waited on us." Dale pointed to his right cheek. "My son has that little birthmark. You said an angel kissed him."
She shrugged. "I think I'd remember that."
He pointed to himself. "You remember me?" Then at their table. "We were sitting right there."
She nodded. "Yes, sir. I remember you, but you ate by yourself." She turned to the table where Dale's dishes still sat. "I was just bringing you your bill."
He raised his voice. "Is this some kind of a joke?" People began looking at him.
April took a step back and raised her hands. "You need to talk to Mr. Simms."
"Who's Mr. Simms?"
"The owner."
"Well that's who I want to see."
Mr. Simms was already scurrying over. "What's the problem?"
Dale turned to him. "I can't find my family." He pointed at the girl. "She was our waitress and she's telling me she doesn't even remember them."
Mr. Simms looked at April.
She shrugged again. "I'm sorry but he was alone. I've never seen his family."
Simms looked like he didn't understand. April tried to explain it again, but Dale cut her off and pointed to the table. "My family and I ate right there. I went to the restroom, came out, and they were gone."
Mr. Simms clapped a hand on Dale's shoulder. "Maybe they're outside waiting for you."
"I've checked outside," he barked. "They're not there."
Simms glanced at the waitress. "Why don't you get back to work. I'll handle this."
Dale grabbed her by the arm. "She knows where they are."
Everyone in the restaurant stared at him.
Mr. Simms jerked Dale's hand away from the girl. "Sir, she said she doesn't know where your family is."
April pleaded with her boss. "He didn't have his family with him."
"She's lying!" Dale said, as he inched closer to April.
Simms stepped between them. Looking at Dale, he said, "Have you checked your car?"
He nodded. "It's broken down at the gas station across the street. We've got to spend the night at the hotel."
Mr. Simms smiled. "That's probably it."
"What?"
"I bet they're at the hotel."
"He was by himself," April said.
The restaurant owner snapped his head towards her and pointed to the dinning area. "Go."
She looked at her boss for a second, a half-formed protest on her lips; then suddenly she spun on her heel and stomped away.
Simms looked back at Dale. "Have you checked the hotel?"
"They wouldn't do that."
"Have you checked?" Insistent.
Dale could feel himself losing control as the sweat dripped from his armpits. He took several deep breaths, trying to force himself to calm down. "No, I haven't."
"Maybe your kids got tired."
The deep breathing had made him light-headed. "Just the one boy." As Dale turned toward the door, Simms patted him on the back. "I'm sure everything's going to be fine."
But things weren't fine. At the hotel, he woke up Mrs. Jensen. Turns out she and Mr. Jensen had an apartment behind the office. Dale had banged on the glass door of the office for five minutes before a light came on.
Mrs. Jensen had come out first. A white haired old lady, covered in a paper-thin pink housecoat, imprinted with blue flowers the size of a quarter. A minute later, Mr. Jensen, looking about seventy, dressed in a full set of dark green, silk pajamas and a pair of matching slippers, stumbled into the office, smelling like he'd taken a bath in Jack Daniel's.
Dale's heart sank. He went through the story anyway, but as he expected, the Jensens said that no one had checked in or even come by since mid-morning.
Walking back to the restaurant, he looked at his Jeep. Still empty and no one near it.
A marked police car was parked near the restaurant's front door. As he got closer, Dale read the decal on the side, BATESVILLE TOWN MARSHAL. Maybe now he could get some help.
Just inside, near the cash register, Dale found April the waitress, Mr. Simms, and a heavyset man in jeans and a T-shirt, talking. As he walked up, all three stopped and stared at him. He felt like a freak in a boardwalk exhibit.
"Did you find them?" Simms asked.
Dale shook his head. "The people at the hotel haven't seen them."
The big man in jeans took a step toward him. "Mr...?
"Thornton. Dale Thornton."
The man stuck out his hand. "Jerry Stillwell. I'm town marshal."
"Saw your car outside." Dale shook the marshal's hand. "My wife and son are miss--"
"I understand there was a problem here earlier."
"Yeah there's a problem. My family disappeared."
The marshal and Simms traded glances; then he looked back at Dale. "So I heard. What do you think happened to them?"
Something didn't feel right. "If I knew that, they wouldn't be missing."
Marshal Stillwell stuck his belly out. "No reason to get smart. You all ready scared some customers. Don't make--"
"Scared some customers. Is that why you're here, because I scared some customers? My wife and son are MISSING!" Everyone in the restaurant had stopped eating and was watching the soap opera at the door. With a sharp edge to his voice, Dale said, "What are you going to do about it?"
The marshal jabbed a finger at him. "You better calm yourself down or I'll do it for you. Now I need to ask you some questions," his eyes swept the customers, "and I don't think this is the place to do it."
"I'm not going anywhere." Dale pointed to the completely cleaned off table where they'd eaten. "Half an hour ago my family and I ate right there. Now they're gone. Someone in here knows what happened to them."
The marshal dropped a big hand on Dale's shoulder and tried to guide him out the door. "We're going to find your family, but not here, not like--"
Dale pulled away. He pointed to Simms and the waitress. "They coming with us?"
"I don't see the need for--"
Dale reached out for April. "She's lying!"
With surprising speed, the town marshal slipped behind him and clamped a meaty forearm around his throat, sealing off his windpipe. Dale grabbed at the hairy arm and tried to twist it away as the marshal whispered in his ear, "Take it easy, son." Then something jabbed him in the kidney that sent waves of pain shooting up his back.
Seconds later, Dale was on the floor, his cheek pressed against the cool tiles, as the marshal handcuffed his wrists behind his back.
###
submitted by chuckhustmyre to shortstories [link] [comments]


2023.06.05 22:19 cinnamonandcrime In October 2022 Levi Davis, a professional rugby player and Celebrity X Factor contestant, posted a concerning video to Instagram which was subsequently removed. He travelled to Spain and ultimately disappeared. Did Levi drown in Barcelona port, and were his allegations true?

Levi Davis
25 year old Levi Davis is an English rugby union player; a former England U18 and U19 international player. Levi joined the Bath United team in 2017 and made his first professional appearance in October 2019 against the Bristol Bears. In 2020 Levi signed a loan deal with Championship side Ealing Trailfinders and in 2021 joined the Worthing Raiders.
In September 2020, Levi came out as bisexual, making him the first professional rugby union player to come out whilst still playing. Levi came out to his fellow team mates first, who he stated were all incredibly supportive.
In late 2019 Levi took part in Celebrity X Factor, which further ignited his love for music. He signed a record deal and released his debut single “With me” under the name LEDA on 14 September 2022. Levi’s second single was due to be released in November.
Levi’s mum, Julie, stated Levi was very open about his mental health, and in the months prior to his disappearance had been dealing with a knee injury. She said that the accumulation of recent struggles and his knee injury had taken a toll on him mentally, and that he needed to take some time to himself. Friends agreed, noting that he had been trying to deal with things more on his own in recent months, rather than asking for help.
Levi’s trip to Spain and subsequent disappearance
In October 2022 Levi travelled to Ibiza to stay with his friend, Richard Squire, in order to work on some new songs together. Levi arrived on 17th October and while there is little information on his initial stay, it is presumed there was nothing of concern during this time and that the two simply worked on new material for Levi’s album.
Around 2 weeks later, on October 28th, Richard dropped Levi into the town of Ibiza. The following day when Richard checked in with him, Levi told him he had left on a boat to Barcelona to go and see some friends. Richard stated he was worried about him, and Levi told him he would call him when he arrived in Barcelona. Richard never heard from Levi again.
Whilst on the boat, Levi sent his mum a video, showing her the view from the deck and telling how her beautiful it was. Later that night he sent her another video of a singer performing in a bar and said he was hoping to travel around Europe and see some of his friends in France.
Just after midnight, Levi attempted to call his friend Mike Guida, who missed the call. Levi followed up with a voice note saying “Barcelona is absolutely beautiful. It’s amazing. I’m literally just getting all my inspo. I love it, it’s so good”.
This was the last contact Levi had with any of his friends or family.
Investigation
Days later, and after Richard never heard back from Levi, he contacted Levi’s family and mutual friends. Levi was officially reported missing on 8th November.
Police located CCTV footage from the Old Irish Pub near Barcelona’s La Rambia, showing Levi leaving the bar at around 10pm. This was approximately 2 hours prior to Levi’s last contact with his friend Mike. It is not known where Levi was after leaving the bar or when he made his last voice note. This footage shows Levi turning left out of the bar – further up this road are more bars, hotels and the metro. Note that this is the opposite direction of the ferry port, which was a short 10 minute walk by turning right out of the bar. The port and streets of this area are busy, however no further sightings of Levi were reported.
Levi’s phone data was reviewed, and his last phone ping was located in the port area in the early hours of the morning, October 30th. There is no further information on whether the phone was in use at this time, although we know Levi made no further contact with friends or family. Over 2 weeks later, on November 19th, Levi’s passport was found in Barcelona’s port area near to a cargo shipment container.
Police have confirmed that Levi’s phone has not been used since the early hours of October 30th, nor have his bank accounts been used.
The video
On February 5th, a video was released by the family’s private investigator. This video was posted by Levi to his Instagram account in October, prior to him going missing. Some reports suggest it was posted 4 days prior to his disappearance, although I’ve been unable to confirm a date. The video was deleted by Levi after being posted, but was retrieved by the private investigator and released with the agreement of his family.
The full 15 minute video can be found here. For those who don’t want to watch the video, it is of Levi explaining that he had been drugged, sexually assaulted, and blackmailed. Levi states multiple times that by making the video he is putting his life in danger. Some have suggested that the video is reminiscent of a person with mental health issues.
Levi’s friend Mike, who was the last person to speak to him before he went missing, stated he had previously spoken to Levi around the blackmailing. Mike claimed they had previously talked about it when Levi was drunk, but became more concerned when Levi posted the video discussing it whilst sober.
Another friend of Levi’s stated that he believes the allegations of blackmail were down to mental health issues, and encouraged Levi to remove it. After several discussions with friends, Levi ultimately decided to remove the video.
In the video Levi states he reported the allegations to the Police, but I’ve been unable to find any Police statement confirming if this is true and if any investigation took place.
Subsequent investigation
On February 21st, a friend of Levi reported that they believed someone was using Levi's phone. The friend stated they sent a message to Levi in December asking him to come home, and this message has since been marked as read. I’m unable to find any Police statement regarding this report although I can confirm his phone has not been located. It has additionally been reported that there has been continued activity on Levi’s Instagram account, including 38 friends being removed.
In April 2023 Spanish Police informed Levi’s family that they believe he drowned in the Barcelona port. They reported that on the same night Levi was believed to have gone missing, a cruise liner reported seeing a male in the water and shouting for help in English. The coastguard searched the area for this male but was unable to find him. Spanish Police now believe this male was Levi, and that he subsequently drowned.
Conclusion
So what happened to Levi? What happened in Ibiza that suddenly left Levi travelling to Barcelona last minute, and what were his plans when he arrived here? Levi sounded in good spirits when he contacted his mum and friend, with plans to travel to France to see friends. Were the allegations made in the video true, or was this a result of mental health issues Levi was facing? Whilst a lot of those online have written off this case as someone struggling with mental health and taking their own life, there remains a lot of questions around Levi’s movements that night. Whilst no body has been found, Police do feel certain that Levi drowned in the Barcelona port. If this was him, why did Levi enter the port? Why was his passport the only thing recovered, and where is his phone? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this case, any feedback and criticism also welcome.
Sources
The Guardian
ITV
Sky News
The Argus
Wiki)
submitted by cinnamonandcrime to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]


2023.06.05 20:40 Isanbard [R1S] San Francisco Bay Area -> Illinois: Part IV

The country I come from Is called the Midwest —Bob Dylan
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Movin' right along, Lord Nibbler of the Orange and I, his food bringer, leave Cheyenne. The stay in a hotel was a much appreciated respite from the road. We now enter the Midwest.
Yup! It's just like I remember it. Flat and more flat with miles of corn and soy bean fields broken by the occasional flat town, where if you stand on a chair in the middle of town you can see the edge of the state.
I noticed a wonderful feature about Rivian's map that I should have known from the beginning, but was too stupid to notice before. The map will automatically add charging stops for you! How did I not realize this?! (Planning: it is my forte!) This takes so much pressure off me.
The only issue I found was that Nebraska has charging stations from an energy company appears to want you to have an account with them first...or at least that's what it looked like during the three seconds I was willing to stand in the downpour trying to figure one out. (It doesn't rain in California from May to November, so rain is seen as a judgement from God.) It's probably fine for anyone to use, but I had the patience of a chihuahua on a sugar high.
I was finally able to eat at a non-fast food restaurant! Buffalo Wild Wings (hush, you! it isn't fast food!) has some pretty good burgers it turns out...almost "The Menu" good (but, no s'mores). (Spoiler for "The Menu".)
Being from the Midwest, I know that it's lacking in campgrounds. I know they exist, but they're not as frequent as the heavily forested or mountainous areas of the country. We're four days in and I'm ready for it to be over. Even though the hotel was a nice change of pace, it's clear that Nibbler isn't having a great time (he's hiding most of the day now), so I don't want to introduce him to too much new stuff. Thus we "camp" out at a rest area near Omaha, which is apparently a popular option for others as well.
Next: The end of the trail.
To Be Continued
submitted by Isanbard to Rivian [link] [comments]


2023.06.05 19:58 hecknCasual2 Did I go too hard on this intro for my short story?

A young girl, Fray, gazed down the cobbled streets past the merchants booths and the crowded fountain. Tourists had come through the mountains looking for the natural beauty and prosperity of Inreld. Merchants had come for the simple motivation of gold and goods, drinking in their spare time at the tavern down the road. Fray was in the town centre so she could get some meat for her mothers stew. Her father had just come back from the war, so she was trying to hurry so she wouldn’t miss any of his stories. The foreigners shivered and cursed under their steamy breaths. Fray was born in the ice. Up in Inreld, metal was an uncommon sight in public places, as one touch could lock you into a painful frostbite. The surrounding mountains, however, were even worse. Her father had sent letters of his journey through the peaks. He said all the men were praying to their gods, their tears making it not halfway down their cheeks before falling to the snow, solid. The ones that made it back say it never felt so good to see darkness. Some came back blind, but only after they had fought. The commander thought it would be a waste of meat to send them back, so they had to fight anyway.
But among all the joy of the celebration, Fray stood deadfaced. Her eyes dried from the cold, a thin veil of snow coating her hair, undisturbed, for the host of their stay was still. She beheld a split sky before her, a grey solid mass bleeding a teal lightshow. The blue fire engulfed the fountain in front of her, sending masses of brick and shards of ice tumbling through the air. People ran, livestock ripped from the ground, raining red from the claw marks. Ice turned red. None of it mattered. She fell to her knees, the muffled screams of her friends and family being crushed beneath the stampede. Her eyes wandered down to her dress. Her mother made that dress. It had white ribbons and frills, so much time and patience. The flames nearly looked appealing next to the cloth. The heat climbed her like vines, whipping and feeding on her skin. She fell forward, the streets now empty, and, in her final moments, gazed down the cobbled streets past the merchants booths and the crowded fountain. Only this time, the only thing crowding around where the fountain used to be were corpses.
submitted by hecknCasual2 to fantasywriters [link] [comments]


2023.06.05 19:57 hecknCasual2 This is the intro to my short story that I'm writing. Did I go too hard?

A young girl, Fray, gazed down the cobbled streets past the merchants booths and the crowded fountain. Tourists had come through the mountains looking for the natural beauty and prosperity of Inreld. Merchants had come for the simple motivation of gold and goods, drinking in their spare time at the tavern down the road. Fray was in the town centre so she could get some meat for her mothers stew. Her father had just come back from the war, so she was trying to hurry so she wouldn’t miss any of his stories. The foreigners shivered and cursed under their steamy breaths. Fray was born in the ice. Up in Inreld, metal was an uncommon sight in public places, as one touch could lock you into a painful frostbite. The surrounding mountains, however, were even worse. Her father had sent letters of his journey through the peaks. He said all the men were praying to their gods, their tears making it not halfway down their cheeks before falling to the snow, solid. The ones that made it back say it never felt so good to see darkness. Some came back blind, but only after they had fought. The commander thought it would be a waste of meat to send them back, so they had to fight anyway.
But among all the joy of the celebration, Fray stood deadfaced. Her eyes dried from the cold, a thin veil of snow coating her hair, undisturbed, for the host of their stay was still. She beheld a split sky before her, a grey solid mass bleeding a teal lightshow. The blue fire engulfed the fountain in front of her, sending masses of brick and shards of ice tumbling through the air. People ran, livestock ripped from the ground, raining red from the claw marks. Ice turned red. None of it mattered. She fell to her knees, the muffled screams of her friends and family being crushed beneath the stampede. Her eyes wandered down to her dress. Her mother made that dress. It had white ribbons and frills, so much time and patience. The flames nearly looked appealing next to the cloth. The heat climbed her like vines, whipping and feeding on her skin. She fell forward, the streets now empty, and, in her final moments, gazed down the cobbled streets past the merchants booths and the crowded fountain. Only this time, the only thing crowding around where the fountain used to be were corpses.
submitted by hecknCasual2 to writingfeedback [link] [comments]


2023.06.05 19:07 jasoncrawford What I've been reading, June 2023

What I've been reading, June 2023
A monthly feature. As usual, recent blog posts and news stories are omitted from this; you can find them in my links digests. In all quotes below, any emphasis in bold was added by me.

Books

Thomas S. Ashton, The Industrial Revolution, 1760–1830 (1948). A classic in the field, concise and readable. Crafts (see paper below) cites this work as pointing out “the links between scientific thought and the industrial revolution” that were later synthesized by Mokyr. Given that I’ve already read a lot on this topic, there were no big revelations here, but many interesting details, such as the effect of interest rates on infrastructure building. War tended to raise interest rates and thus to slow growth.
Samuel Butler, Erewhon (1872). I picked this one up because it has an early prediction of the machines taking over, was cited by authors including Turing and Haldane, and presumably inspired Dune’s “Butlerian jihad#The_Butlerian_Jihad).” I expected a dystopian sci-fi novel, but it’s actually a political satire, and quite amusing, although I need some exegesis to understand exactly what he is satirizing. I’m only halfway through, though, and haven’t gotten to the “war on the machines” yet.
James Pethokoukis, The Conservative Futurist: How to Create the Sci-Fi World We Were Promised (forthcoming). Pethokoukis is very well-read in the progress field, and I love his quotations and sources; reading his stuff always sends me off on a bunch of interesting followup reading. It was from his blog, for instance, that I discovered American Genesis. Several of the books mentioned below were quoted or cited here.
H. G. Wells, Anticipations Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1901). I think both Pethokoukis and J. Storrs Hall referenced this one. I’ve only lightly sampled it, but it has some very interesting predictions about the future of transportation and other technologies. E.g., this explanation for why motor vehicles are needed:
Railway travelling is at best a compromise. The quite conceivable ideal of locomotive convenience, so far as travellers are concerned, is surely a highly mobile conveyance capable of travelling easily and swiftly to any desired point, traversing, at a reasonably controlled pace, the ordinary roads and streets, and having access for higher rates of speed and long-distance travelling to specialized ways restricted to swift traffic, and possibly furnished with guide-rails. For the collection and delivery of all sorts of perishable goods also the same system is obviously altogether superior to the existing methods. Moreover, such a system would admit of that secular progress in engines and vehicles that the stereotyped conditions of the railway have almost completely arrested, because it would allow almost any new pattern to be put at once upon the ways without interference with the established traffic. Had such an ideal been kept in view from the first the traveller would now be able to get through his long-distance journeys at a pace of from seventy miles or more an hour without changing, and without any of the trouble, waiting, expense, and delay that arises between the household or hotel and the actual rail.
Speaking of which, there’s:
Norman Bel Geddes, Magic Motorways (1940). Bel Geddes was the industrial designer known for a “streamlined” Art Deco style. He designed the “Futurama” exhibit for General Motors at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, and this book was written to complement that exhibit. It’s a vision of what cars and driving could become if we built an ideal road system. I’m only partway through, and I’m still trying to fully understand what he was envisioning: it was something like the modern interstate highway system, but what we got falls far short of his vision. Bel Geddes was very optimistic about how wonderful driving could be: he says we can have “safety, comfort, speed, and economy” all at once; he thought future highways would “make automobile collisions impossible” and “eliminate completely traffic congestion”; he thought drivers could safely go 100 mph and get from SF to NYC in 24 hours; and he thought all of this could be achieved using 1940s technology, and completed by 1960. I’m very curious about what he and others like him imagined at the time, and why things didn’t turn out as beautifully as they planned.
Visitors view Futurama from moving chairs. General Motors Archive
Detail of a diorama from the Futurama exhibit. Wikimedia / Richard Garrison
Peter Attia, Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity (2023). Not exactly a progress book, but relevant if you want to understand the frontier of fighting disease and where the next major improvements in mortality will come from. Attia says that the main causes of death today (cancer, heart disease, etc.) all build up slowly over decades, and that we need to be doing more to prevent them, beginning much earlier in life than today’s medical guidelines suggest.
John Adams, Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife (1841). A letter towards the end of the book, from 1780, contains this well-known quote (h/t Rob Tracinski):
I must study politics and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
Some books I haven’t had the time to read yet:
Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson, Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity (2023). Here’s Acemoglu’s Twitter thread introducing it.
E. A. Wrigley, Energy and the English Industrial Revolution (2010). This was described to me as sort of what you get if you take Robert Allen, remove the “high wage” part of the hypothesis, and just keep the “cheap energy” part.
James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America (1931). The book that coined the term “The American Dream.”
Edward Glaeser, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier (2011):
Cities, the dense agglomerations that dot the globe, have been engines of innovation since Plato and Socrates bickered in an Athenian marketplace. The streets of Florence gave us the Renaissance, and the streets of Birmingham gave us the Industrial Revolution. The great prosperity of contemporary London and Bangalore and Tokyo comes from their ability to produce new thinking. Wandering these cities—whether down cobblestone sidewalks or grid-cutting cross streets, around roundabouts or under freeways—is to study nothing less than human progress.

Articles

In memoriam of Robert Lucas, I’ll point to his most-quoted paper On the Mechanics of Economic Development (1988). He opens the paper by pointing out how much per-capita income, and growth rates in that income, vary across countries and over time. “For 1960–80 we observe, for example: India, 1.4% per year; Egypt, 3.4%; South Korea, 7.0%; …” Then he says:
I do not see how one can look at figures like these without seeing them as representing possibilities. Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia’s or Egypt’s? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the ‘nature of India’ that makes it so? The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.
Those lines have been quoted by every growth economist, but I also like the paragraph that immediately follows:
This is what we need a theory of economic development for: to provide some kind of framework for organizing facts like these, for judging which represent opportunities and which necessities. But the term ‘theory’ is used in so many different ways, even within economics, that if I do not clarify what I mean by it early on, the gap between what I think I am saying and what you think you are hearing will grow too wide for us to have a serious discussion. I prefer to use the term ‘theory’ in a very narrow sense, to refer to an explicit dynamic system, something that can be put on a computer and run. This is what I mean by the ‘mechanics’ of economic development – the construction of a mechanical, artificial world, populated by the interacting robots that economics typically studies, that is capable of exhibiting behavior the gross features of which resemble those of the actual world that I have just described. My lectures will be occupied with one such construction, and it will take some work: It is easy to set out models of economic growth based on reasonable-looking axioms that predict the cessation of growth in a few decades, or that predict the rapid convergence of the living standards of different economies to a common level, or that otherwise produce logically possible outcomes that bear no resemblance to the outcomes produced by actual economic systems. … At some point, then, the study of development will need to involve working out the implications of competing theories for data other than those they were constructed to fit, and testing these implications against observation.
Kevin Kelly, “The Unabomber Was Right (2009), kind of a clickbait title but very worth reading. This article is where I found the passage for the recent quote quiz, and I quoted it extensively in the answer to the quiz.
Various pieces commenting on Robert Allen and his British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective; I linked to many of these in my book review:
Another post I found from that research and liked was Mark Koyama’s “The Poverty of the Peasant Mode of Production (2016):
The work of development economists like Jean-Philippe Platteau and Marcel Fafchamps nicely demonstrates that all the characteristics of peasants in subsistence economies discussed by anthropologists and political scientists such as James Scott—such as gift exchange, highly egalitarian norms, a reluctance to specialize in the production of cash crops etc—can be generated by simple rational choice models.
Bret Devereaux, “Why No Roman Industrial Revolution? (2022). Several people have pointed me to this at different times. Many interesting points, but ultimately Devereaux is taking a kind of Robert Allen demand-side explanation (see above) and then saying that because the Roman Empire didn’t have 18th-century Britain’s exact situation regarding coal fields and the textile industry, they couldn’t have industrialized. I don’t think industrialization was nearly as contingent as Devereaux assumes. See also Anton Howes’s comments.
Paul Christiano on AI safety: Learning with catastrophes (2016) and Low-stakes alignment (2021) (h/t Richard Ngo).
Isaac Newton, “The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy/BookIII-Rules) (1846 edition, translated by Andrew Motte). Book III: Rules of Reasoning in Philosophy. Rule II:
Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes: as to respiration in a man and in a beast; the descent of stones in Europe and in America; the light of our culinary fire and of the sun; the reflection of light in the earth, and in the planets.
Jerry Pournelle, “What man has done, man may aspire to (2011):
… in 1940–1945, with a population of 140 million, half the work force conscripted into the armed services thus requiring building a new work force from women, apprentices, new graduates, and people called out of retirement, we produced a Liberty ship a day, thousands of B-17’s and other heavy bombers, clouds of fighters, and enough tanks to give numeric superiority over the best the Germans could produce. Once, told that the German Panther was ten times better than the US Sherman, we said that the solution to that was simple. We would build 11 Shermans for every Panther. We pretty well did that.
We built the Empire State Building during the Depression in one year. We built Hoover Dam during the depression in 3 years. We built the P-51 from drawing board design to actual combat deployment in 105 days. We built clouds of P-47 close support aircraft. We build a mechanized army and the ships to take it to Europe. All that without computers, without robots, without Interstate highways, with a population of 140 million, beginning with an economy enthralled in the Great Depression. …
If we could do all that then, can we not do it now? What man has done, cannot man aspire to?
Original link: https://rootsofprogress.org/reading-2023-06
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2023.06.05 18:33 Colatsc Trip Report May 28th - June 3rd

Spent from May 28th -June 3rd in Iceland doing the Ring Road with another family member.
Lodging- Booking.com and Airbnb were the two primary sources used for securing lodging.
Car rental - Renault Captur drove 1314 miles and cost $1000 for full protection , prepaid fuel, and roadside assistant. I hold top tier status with National so this was a cheaper route renting from them.
Clothing - Base layer thermals, 5.11 pants, layered fleece, and a outside Columbia jacket that acted as a wind and rain protection layer. Wore a Icelandic wool hat that I purchased from a previous trip. Wore sneaker Oboz trail shoes. No need for hiking poles, gloves, etc.
Planning - Most reservations were made in October and November 2022. Restaurant reservations were made as they came available.
Pace - We did not have an extended time so we did do some “jumps” on the Ring Road in the more wildnerness areas by driving 2-3 hrs to lodging or early morning. For some people this sounds horrible, but we both really enjoy the lowering sunlight casting it rays on the mountians along with the solitude. We had a lot of buffer times built in and actually was stuck with a lot of free time.
Driving - Driving is rather easy with mostly paved roads and some gravel. Be mindful of your driving capabilities, exhaustion, and weather ahead. Always check the apps, weather reports, and general reddit post every morning.
Gas - Go to N1 and walk inside to the attendant and ask for the pump to be turned on. They may ask for an ID. Or purchase N1 gift cards to use at the remote pumps if your feeling bold. Never go below half a tank and if you plan your trip right that won’t be a big concern. No need for credit card pin unless using remote pumps.
Weather - Rain and wind on day one arriving with cold temperatures. Weather broke with sunny and mid 50’s the rest of the trip around the Ring Road. Highest temperature we saw was 60 degrees.
Sunday, May 28th
Arrived at Baltimore Airport and stayed in the airport lounge before departure at 7pm. Priority boarding was purchased along with seat selection.Plane ride was fine, but was stuck next to an oversize passenger who invaded my seat preventing me from sleeping. We arrived at 5:00 am after a 30 minute delay on take off. Weather was chilly 40 with a drizzle rain. Heavy rolling fog and overcast sky.
Walked through customs with almost no wait. They are under remodel so big changes will be coming here. Got on the sky blue rental car shuttle that was empty and dropped us off at our stop. We picked up the car with National at a schedule pick up 6:30 am with an actual pick up at 6 am. Got upgraded due to status with a vehicle with a higher clearance. First thing we did was the bridge between continents as we waited for the bakery to open. Got breakfast at Kökulist bakery near the airport which opened at 7 am. Blue Lagoon Reservation at 8:00 am - Upgraded to premium - not really worth it in my opinion. Drinks were good. Attempted to stop at the grocery stores or Costco at 10: 30 am, but things were closed. Parked at Laugavegur parking garage, napped for 30 mins in car, and ate breakfast at Grillhusio and walked downtown to kill time.
We pressed onward and drove to Golden circle with random stops for scenery. Stopped at the Oxarafoss waterfall top parking lot first and hiked it. Then drove by the Geysir Geothermal area, but due to miserable weathecrowds we passed by. Went to Gulfoss and it was - windy/rainy. rainy, parked at top and only did top observation deck. Observed many people unprepared for weather and the winds.
We did not do Faxafoss as paid access was required and it wasn’t worth it to us.
Had Reservations at Friðheimar 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm. Excellent food and we did the unlimited soup and bread for about $20 a person. Had the apple pie dessert which was fabalous. To pay just go to the bar and tell them your table number that is on the twig piece on your table.
Finally stop was our lodging at the Blue View Hotel - Cabin 7A right by the restaurant which was a clean, new two bedroom cottage. Well worth the value and was easy to access with self checkin using an email from them with codes.
Notes: Drive Time Between Airport and Lodging = 2 hours We stayed up for a day and half to overcome the time difference. We arrived at our lodging at 5pm and were in bed by 6:30 pm to take advantage of the 24/7 light.
Monday, May 29th
Breakfast was items left from the bakery the previous day we purchased.
Did Seljalandfoss/Gljurabui (early arrival the better due to crowds/pay parking) - arrived 6 am after 3:30 am wake up. We actually circled back to Gluggafoss which was completely empty around 7:30 am. Drove Fjotshiloavegur rd back to the N1 in Hvolsvollur for gas and breakfast proper.
Then get to horse back riding at Skalalot Manor Hotel - 9:30 am arrival required. Arrived at 8:30 am actual time. Place was well kept and they treated their horses with a lot of love and respect. Did an all day ride with the morning spent on the glacier and the evening ride on the black sand beaches. I actually had a difficult horse that was having a bad day in the morning and she successful threw me/I controlled bailed out off the horse to avoid getting implaed on a fence post. Lunch provided at the hotel was excellent and a lot of high end options.
Went to Skogsfoss around 6:30 pm. Then drove through Vik, but did not stop as it was extremely crowded with buses and the gas station looked mobbed.
Arrived at Hotel Laki around 7:45 pm and found that the rooms were clean, simple, and under remodel in the hallways. Excellent simple buffet with hot and cold choices with two protein choices. Staff were attentive and the weather started to break with sun peeking though.
Note: Drive time from Blue View to Horseback Riding = 1 hour and 30 minutes- finished at 6 pm Drive time from Horseback Riding to Hotel Laki = 1 hour and 30 mins Dinner at Hotel Laki (anytime between 7-9 pm )
Tuesday, May 30th
Woke up at 8 am and ate breakfast buffet at Hotel Laki. Left hotel at 10 am. Also, we woke up to a road closure by Diamond Beach due to high winds causing a motor vehicle accident per the Iceland news site and the road safety app. We hiked Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon for about an hour with moderate crowds. Beware of parking in the lot as people can trap you in blocking with a camper van. Finally around 11 am the Road closure on ring road due to wind was reopen so we decided to immediately start that way after a quick stop at the N1 by Hotel Laki. Drive time from Canyon to Diamond beach - 1 hr and 45 minutes. Stopped and did first overlook at the Mulagljufur Canyon. Narrow parking lot with limited options. The Fjallsarlon Iceberg tour site has an on-site restaurant . Ate here about 30 mins before a 2:30 pm boat tour. Excellent food with a choice of buffet, soup, and sandwiches. Tour lasted an hour. Tour Diamond Beach and Glacial Lake (about 12 mins btw the two glacier lakes) Drive time from Diamond Beach to Hofn for dinner at Pakkhús Restaurant - 1 hr. Got gas at the N1 here. Then 2 hr 45 min to Egilsstadir - arrived at cottage at about 10 pm. We LOVED this drive with the Ring Road turning into gravel with steep cliffs, sweeping views, and beautiful dramatic landscapes. The sun was really hitting everything making it even more special. Stay near Egilsstadir at Abot Cottage. Cute and practical place with one bedroom and a loft.
Wednesday, May 31st
Big driving day for us - FYI Woke up around 6 am and left immediately to seize early morning opportunity. Stopped off at the Stuolafoss Canyon but nesting birds prevented hike. Did 100 ish stairs down to overlook. Noticed a few people violating the posted signage of closure till June 10th for nesting birds on the cliff. Drove to Selfoss/Dettifsoss. One road is gravel and more adventurous and the other side of the canyon is completely paved now for tour buses. Was about a 2 hr drive herre from cottage this morning. Arriving at Dettifoss there was no one on the adventure side which was amazing experience. We didn’t see another human or car for almost 3 hrs! We decided to do the gravel road side up and stop off at the Asbury Cliffs for gas at the N1 and see the little museum. Ate lunch right at 11 am on the paved road side back to the Ring Road. Excellent little burger place. Did geothermal area (parking $10) and also the John snow grotto. Stopped at gas station/grocery store for snacks and drinks. Stopped at Godafoss - got here at 1:45 pm Drove into Akureyri/Piddle around shops - spent 35 mins here and left at 4:30 pm. I mostly wanted to go to one knitted sweatershop and talk to the older lady who knits there. Always super kind! Pay your toll for the tunnel within 24 hours! 2 hr drive to Stay in Northwest Guesthouse and Restaurant in Víðigerði, 531 Hvammstangi, Iceland. Looked dumpy from the outside but they had excellent lamb chops - room was small but had a common sitting area outside rooms. Breakfast was lacking. Did waterfall right by hotel that was a favorite. Do not let this place fool you!
Thursday, June 1st
Goal -Hvammstangi to outside Reykjavik. We had a lot of buffer time built in and decided to redo some things from first day that was rained out. First, we stopped at the KIDKA Wool Factory Shop in Hofoabraut at 8 am. Then stopped at the Alafoss Wool Factory Shop near Reykjavik to finish shopping. Then drove to the Secret Lagoon for 2 pm access. Did the geysers we drove past and got lunch here at the cafe. Drove to Reykjavik downtown to walk around, relax , bread bowl soup, ice cream and some beers till 10:30 pm. Stayed at Airbnb. Note - I left my headphones at the cottage on night one so we picked those up as well.
Friday, June 2nd
Penis museum at opening and hotdogs for breakfast at the famous hot dog place nearby . Got coffee at famous cat place, was mobbed for food and a really small place. Hike into the Volcano Tour - 12 pm takes six hours. Easy drive to parking lot for tour. Highlight of trip. They provide food, harnesses, and helmet. Not strenuous walk, just a tad long hike over a gravel path in the lave field. Walked downtown after volcano tour, swapped police patches, and other random items. Our big dinner was at Matur og Drykkur at 8:30 pm and was beyond amazing with a good wine pairing. Stayed at the Airbnb night 2.
Saturday, June 3rd
Walked downtown and went to Brauo & Co Bakery for cinnamon rolls at 9:30. Returned car at 11:30 am with a boarding at 2 pm. I value not waiting in security or lines so a 30 minute early arrival meant no lines for car return, bus, or security. Sat down in airport and ate lunch in preparation for long flight home. Flight back 3:00 pm
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2023.06.05 18:24 Zilladestroyer2k Tesla Destination charger

Me and my family are trying to take our tesla on a road trip this summer and trying to figure out if taking our Tesla is a viable option. I saw that there was a destination charger near the location that we are staying (found using Tesla supercharger map on website). I saw that it was part of a hotel or something. My question is: is everyone allowed to use these destination chargers, even if we are not staying at that exact hotel? What is the difference between a normal one and a destination charger?
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2023.06.05 17:18 TheTittieTwister Trip Report: May 9-30, Tokyo - Osaka - Kyoto - Tokyo - FOOD & BOOZE Focus

Returned last week from a 3 week trip in Japan, my first!
Did the very typical route of Tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo but did things a little different stayed in 7 hotels throughout my stay. Why? My wife and I are very much food and nightlife focus and love to get a feel of neighborhoods, this enabled us to do one inconvenient journey to then set up base for the next few nights, get a feel of neighborhoods and avoided expensive Taxi fares at night.
This trip report will focus mostly on the wanky food, coffee and drinking spots that I enjoyed - as well as some tourist highlights
 

Tokyo May 10-18

Shibuya

First couple of nights was a treat hotel stay as this was a delayed Honeymoon. We stayed in the Cerulean Tower in Shibuya on an executive floor and it was worth every cent. Mostly just chilled around the hotel adjusting with the jet lag and using the executive perks. Whilst we stayed here we drank at R261 CIGAR & ROCK and mostly the Executive lounge "free" cocktail hour.
 
Notable spots:
SG Low - great foreign friendly introduction to Izakaya culture.
L'Intemporel - Amazing French fusion tasting course with wine pairing, not cheap (honeymoon remember) but we wanted to try Japanese influenced French and it did not disappoint!
 

Shinjuku

Stayed at the Tokyu Stay East Side, spacious but basic and a little bit away from the madness but close enough to explore the nightlife in the area, also close to Shinokubo.
I know Golden Gai can be a questionable visit but my wife and I loved it, found some real niche bars that we enjoyed, hotel was in close proximity, loved Piss Alley too
Experienced my first basement of a shopping center and was blown away. I know that everyone recommends it but holy shit, the food options are endless. Great if you want to take some treats back to the hotel.
 
Notable spots:
Kodoji Small bar in Golden Gai that is also a photography gallery. Very much a locals only joint, owner eyes you up before you allowed to drink. The regulars were lovely.
Bay Window More laid back and spacious, the owner had extensive knowledge of Japanese whiskey, very much enjoyed!
All Seasons Coffee Fantastic Coffee in an independent shop
養老乃瀧 新宿西口店 Good Izakaya in Piss Alley. Not the typical small and crowded joint, eating upstairs near the window you can see the trains go by.
Uobei Shin-Okubo I know its Kaiten sushi but my wife and I were blown away with the quality. We are Sushi novices so we are likely rating this with inexperienced palates. If you want to dip your toe into Sushi/Sashimi I couldnt recommend it enough!
Hanbey's Izakaya Yes its a chain and the food is average at best but if you book in advance you might be lucky to get a private room. Cheap and cheerful with a great vintage decor
 

Azabu-Juban

Random one to move here but we found a great deal at the Oakwood Hotel & Apartments. Has an amazing view of Tokyo Tower! We also had a steak restuarnt booked, see below, and knew we were going to the Tsukiji Outer Market and Sumo tournament so it seemed like a good base of travel.
Lined up big day of Tsukiji Outer Market - Sumo Grand Tournamet - Asakusa.
Quick take, Tsukiji Outer Market can be missed if traveling to Kyoto or Osaka. I found the markets in Kyoto and Osaka to be less hectic and a little cheaper and just as enjoyable. Tsukiji is a massive magnet to all tourists across the city, I sure enjoyed it at the time but then when I went to Nishiki Market and Kuromon Ichiba Market I found them to be just as enjoyable but with less of a crowd.
Sumo Grand Tournament - If you ever have the opportunity I would 100% recommend to go. We go the nose bleeds and got in a little early to look around. If you want to see the more high profile fights go in a little later, around 2pm. Was pretty cool to see the Sumo walking from the station to the stadium.
Sensō-ji Temple in the evening was great, noone about and you get to take on the temple as the sun sets. Couldn't recommend going later enough, felt like we had it to ourselves and you have a lot of decent food options around Hoppy street.
Made a trip out to Nakameguro on a nice day and it was a lovely chilled vibe. Checked out the vintage shops there and then had a drink chilling by the river. A nice escape from the madness of Shibuya and Shinjuku, some really lovely independent shops, cafe and restaurants
 
Notable spots:
Juban Ukyo Stand Bar Stumbled across this and loved it. If you like your natural wines and are in the area this is a go to, even have orange wine which was hard to come by elsewhere.
Northcote Coffee Shop Small independant coffee shop that makes a decent cup, owner is very lovely and happy to have a chat - she lived in Melbourne previously.
Komiyama-nishiazabu Another splash out dinner, holy shit this was amazing. The Chef used to be a butcher so he buys by the cow and takes you on a tasting course of all the different cuts. One of the best meals I've had
Turret Coffee Tsukiji If you like your coffee strong, this is the one. Like an uppercut of caffeine. Loved it!
Popeye Conveniently located next to Ryogoku Kokugikan National Sumo Arena, if you are a craft beer drinker this is the OG spot in Tokyo. As with all craft beer its more on the expensive side, however, they offer a free place of food from selected drinks during their happy hour, helps soften the blow.
Akagaki Hoppy street wasn't doing it for us and my wife was curious of this place, we stuck our heads in and had a night we will never forget. Very much a local spot but welcoming to foreigners - if there is space. Once we mentioned were on honeymoon the Shochu didnt stop, also made a friend who booked us in at Imahan Honten, more on that later.
 
Quick take - Though its fun getting Ekiben from Tokyo station, in comparison to Konbini or bakery food its pretty poor. Opted for one to share and then grab something quality from a Konbini
Quick take again - if you are doing my same overall route there is no need for the JR pass. If you book ahead, a month in advance and the max, on the SmartEX site you can get discount tickets for standard and green cart. Also book an oversized baggage seat if possible, yes your suitcase might fit above or in front of you but if you book the Nozomi train - a non JR pass Shinkansen, you are likely to be one of the few foreigners in your carriage that are hauling baggage so likely no competition. These seats cost no more than the standard, they are just limited, also book the D and E seat for Mt Fuji views, were were lucky and saw it twice! Our tickets to Osaka were ¥12,370 each, little more on return as we only booked them a week in advance. In total it was ¥26,340 return each, cheaper than a 7 day pass and on faster trains.  

Osaka May 18-23

Namba

First stayed in an interesting container hotel called Distortion 9. Was really in the thick of it, just a short walk from the station.
Dotonbori is hectic, too hectic. I did enjoy the lights and restaurant displays but the sheer amount of people was overwhelming. Very much enjoyed the vibe of America-mura and Yotsubashi, lots of vintage shops and boutiques.
Shinsekai was great, highly recommend going a little later in the day to see at night. Come hungry as there are a lot of great Kushikatsu and Okonomiyaki spots about.
 
Notable spots:
SAKImoto COFFEE A great cup, can also buy and bring over baked goods from across the road.
Gokai Tachizushi Nambanankaidori Great quality Sushi/Sashimi for the price. Very much an Izakaya feel.
Umineko Great craft standing bar.
LiLo Coffee Roasters Really great cup of coffee
Luv Wine Namba A really lovely standing wine bar. The owners where very warm and welcoming. Great selection of wines and quality food.
EDENICO Coffee shop by day, bar by night. Enjoyed having a chilled afternoon here with a local we made friends with at the standing bar.
 

Kita

Moved to her to stay in a cheaper hotel as we were doing day trips for a couple of days. Osaka underground city is mental, when we first got out the station we thought we moved to a ghost town, little did I know there was an entire underground city below stretching for city blocks, makes for some confusing google map directions
Nakazakichō was a sleeper hit of Osaka, great to explore the vintage and art shops of the area and an exceptionally good coffee/cafe scene here. Wish I could have come back later to see what the buzz was like at night.
Nara Park was worth the visit but is overwhelming with crowds initially. Once you hike a little more into the hills it really opens up and you can appreciate the beauty of it more. Would have like to explore the city more but a hot day in the park really takes it out of you.
 
Notable spots:
お初天神 大衆レトロ酒場 オハツ商店 個室居酒屋 Great standard Izakaya we ate at. More flagging this for the area itself.
Not really known by tourists- I think we were the only white folk about. A gem of a spot home to a number of bars, restaurants and Izakaya
Monaca Coffee incredibly well curated coffee spot, surprised we got a seat as it seemed very popular once we got in. One of the best pour over coffees I've had.
 
Quick take If you are traveling from Osaka to Kyoto and are staying in the Gion area opt for the Keihan Main Line trains. Only costs ¥430 and drops you at Gion-Shijo/Ōebashi station. Dont be confused if you think you need a reservation, only the premium seats require that. Just take any seat you can find.
 

Kyoto May 23-26

Gion

Was really unsure whether to go to Hakone and stay in a traditional Ryokan or not but instead opted to rent a traditional Japanese home in Gion instead, much to the delight of my bank account - Hakone Onsen Ryokans are £££££. Loved our house, had the Tammi mats and a view of the local temple gardens.
Gion was beautiful but also consumed with tourists, however everyone seemed very respectful in comparison to other popular tourist magnets. Was fortunate to catch the last day of performances at Pontochô Kaburenjô. Drank like a local along the river on a nice day which was very lovely, the river is so clean!
Did two "touristy" things whilst staying here, Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine and Arashiyama. The Tori gate shrine we visited in the late afternoon. Was a little hectic at the beginning but the further we got to the summit the less crowded it became. Once we got down there was hardly anyone left. Couldn't recommend going later in the afternoon more, you get a great view of Kyoto as the sun starts to set. The hike to the top is a little more than expected, more that my wife was in heeled sandals. Shes a trooper though and scaled it with ease, I would just recommend flat shoes at the minimum.
Arashiyama was fantastic, we went on a really shitty weather day. Which was great as it only attracted the brave. We did the Sagano Scenic Rail which I can't recommend enough. Pretty spectacular getting out of that first tunnel. We had a massive down pour when going through some valleys, was wild and forever memorable especially all the thick clouds crawling through the valleys.
Bamboo forest was also empty due to the rain but we didnt stay long as how much bamboo can you see?
 
Notable spots:
RUTUBO This place was swarming with tourists unfortunatley, I guess it comes with the area, however I couldn't recommend this place enough. Specialising in smoked Izakaya dishes and drinks. Stayed here all evening and loved it.
Imozou Kyoto Kiyamachi Tried this on a whim and loved it, got a seat upstairs which was a modern traditional Japanese table and booth. Solid food and lots and lots of Sake and Shochu options.
Hello Dolly Great cocktail bar with records spinning. Lucky to get a spot as the bartenders are quick to turn people away
 

Tokyo May 26-30

Shibuya

Our final stint, Staying at Shibuya Stream as we hadn't utilised the area prior due to the fancy pants hotel and jet lag. This final stretch was to just relax a little but enjoy any spots we potentially missed. Checked out Harajuku again as we visited on our first day and holy hell, never go on a weekend hahaha. Escaped by going to Shimokitazawa which has a great vibe, stumbled upon the Neutral Case craft beer fest which was a score. I found this area better for vintage but still on the more expensive side in the smaller store. Worthy for a visit, would be interesting to see the nightlife here.
We made a friend in Osaka and his girlfriend was performing pole at THE27CLUB That was SUPER fun, a little expensive, but a great vibe.
 
Notable spots:
Ramen Nagi - Shibuya. Ichiran gets all the foreign hype but I actually enjoyed this more (can't go wrong with either tbf). The host was funny as she screamed orders to the kitchen.
BEATCAFE Great genuine dive bar. REALLY loved this place and wish I could have stayed longer but I was cooked.
WOKINI Another big favourite of the trip, great cocktails and tunes. I was pretty pickled prior to arriving, wish I got in earlier so I could have stayed all night.
PIZZA SLICE my second only western meal, was hanging out my ass because of above and sought the pizza gods for healing. Tasty slice, could have stuffed my face but said hangover was having other ideas. Great vibe in there and reasonable priced, well compared to London.
Imahan Honten A friend that we made in Akagaki the week prior married into this family run Sukiyaki restaurant. I'm so glad we did meet her because this was a great swan song. We were given a private room and got the sirloin set. Was unreal! On the expensive side but was an experience I would never forget.
NEW YORK BAR Got to get my Lost in Translation fix. Pretty exceptional views but also incredibly expensive. Still really enjoyed it but sneaky that tax and service is not included
CoCo Ichibanya After throwing down at New York Bar its only fair we balanced the scales. I was pleasantly surprised how good this was, I know everyone will throw shade or have better options but for a chain it was shockingly good.
Bellovisto We end our holiday with where we started, this time in the roof top bar of Cerulean tower. I 100% can recommend this over the New York Bar, of course you don't get the Lost in Translation clout however you get better views cheaper drinks and exceptional service. They had a live piano signer on too. Typically there was a cover charge but its free if you are staying in the hotel - something we only realised when we came back and weren't guests.....
 
Last Quick Take Go to the flea markets for cheap and unique souvenirs. My wife went to Odeo Antique Market and managed to find some bargain Kokeshi dolls and Kimonos. A little more unique than Don Quijote bits, which in the end I thought was a bit of a ripoff.
 
If you made it this far then congratulations. Feel free if you have any questions, I will be happy to share anything coffee, wine, vintage, clothing and craft beer related.
 
Lastly Craft Beer Can shops, found it hard to find can shops for takeaway but loved these two:
ISETAN CRAFT BEER BAR
クラフトビール酒屋 threefeet Tokyo 表参道原宿本店
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2023.06.05 15:34 Ichbindick [Online][5E][UTC+1][Wednesday Evenings][LGBTQ+ Friendly] Wanted: Warriors, Wizards, and Wayfarers to discover the Lost Mine of Phandelver - New players welcome! 🐉⚔️👑⛏️🏹🪓🛡️🧙‍♂️

The world of the Forgotten Realms is one of high fantasy, populated by elves, dwarves, halflings, humans, and other folk. On the roads and rivers of the Realms travel minstrels and peddlers, merchants and guards, soldiers and sailors. Steel-hearted adventurers from backcountry farmsteads and sleepy villages follow tales of strange, glorious, faraway places. Good maps and clear trails can take even an inexperienced youth with dreams of glory far across the world, but these paths are never safe. Fell magic and deadly monsters are the perils one faces when travelling in the Realms. Even farms and freeholds within a day’s walk of a city can fall prey to monsters, and no place is safe from the sudden wrath of a dragon.
Greetings travellers! I’m Oscar (He/Him), the DM for this new Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign. I'm excited to invite you to join me on an epic journey through the Sword Coast. I'm leaving this form open for ~3-4 days (until Thursday/Friday) and hope to get back to as many people within a week :) For any questions, DM me or ask them in the comments !

I'm primarily looking for newer players, although feel free to apply no matter your experience. I'm looking for 4-5 players.
We will be playing using Discord voice chat, D&DBeyond and Roll20 VTT, every WEDNESDAY 6.30-11PM BST.
I’m based in the UK and so primarily looking for people in the UTC +0/+1/+2 time zones. If you’d like me to consider multiple applications together, please DM me about it.
This is an 18+ game and I will not consider anyone younger.
I ask that you have a stable internet connection and a decent microphone to play.
As DM posts can be popular, if you haven’t heard from me within a week after applying, it is very likely I haven’t picked you. I apologise in advance, and wish you the best luck in trying to find a game that you enjoy. Following this, I will try to arrange a brief 1-on-1 video call to try to get to know those on the shortlist better before the final decision is made.
Application form

You begin near Phandalin

We begin your journey on the road to Phandalin, a bustling frontier settlement, recently rebuilt nestled within the foothills of the Sword Mountains, home to farmers, woodcutters, fur traders, and prospectors drawn by stories of gold and platinum in the foothills of the Sword Mountains. Dangerous beings are afoot however, bandits, goblins, orcs and even sightings of a mysterious dragon, your character will quickly become aware as they begin their journey as an adventurer.
Your patron, Gundren Rockseeker, has hired you to escort a wagon to Phandalin. He has gone ahead with a warrior, Sildar Hallwinter, to attend to business in the town while you follow with the supplies. You have been promised 10gp each by the owner of Barthen’s Provisions in Phandalin if you deliver the wagon safely to that trading post.

Your Character in the World

In session 0 all players and the DM will work together for everyone to create a character, 2 NPCs (Preferably one of which will be based in Phandalin, the other further afield), 2 connections to NPCs created by other players, connections to 2 other players, a Personal Goal, and a motivation for why they accepted Gundren’s Contract. This will be visualised using “The Web”. Be prepared to work with me to figure out how your character can be best involved with the world at hand - the main buy-in is that YOU are open to adventure, and be willing to work in a group.
Before coming to session 0, I ask that you do not come with fully developed characters. Touchstones or general ideas are absolutely welcomed but flexibility is needed on both the DM and Player ends to integrate your character with the world.

Character Options

Characters begin at 1st level. I suggest using online tools to visualise your character, such as Heroforge, Picrew or another avatar generator, to help get a better understanding of them.

House Rules

The game will typically be run using those set out in the core rules (Player’s Handbook, DM’s Guide). Additionally, here are some extra rules I use.

Technical

We will be playing using Discord voice chat and Roll20 VTT, with DnDBeyond to create characters and the Beyond20 chrome/firefox extension to assist with rolling online. I ask that you have a stable internet connection and a decent microphone if you want to play.
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2023.06.05 15:28 ExecutiveInn1 Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Hidden Gems in Fort Stockton

While Fort Stockton, Texas, might not be the first place that springs to mind when considering hidden jewels, this little community offers plenty of pleasant surprises that are just waiting to be explored. Fort Stockton, located in West Texas, is home to a fascinating history, outdoor activities, one-of-a-kind sights, and delectable regional food that are easily accessible from our hotel in Fort Stockton. Join us to discover its undiscovered wonders which are must-see on your trip. History of Fort Stockton
Fort Stockton was founded as a military outpost to guard travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road in the middle of the 19th century. As a supply hub for the westward expansion, the fort was essential to the settlement and growth of the area.
Attractions in Fort Stockton - Visit the Fort Stockton Historic Site to see the museum, officer’s quarters, and rebuilt barracks, and immerse yourself in the past. Learn about the life of the pioneers and soldiers who formerly resided here. The town’s pioneer heritage is also highlighted at the Annie Riggs Memorial Museum, which features objects that depict the lives of its early residents. Explore the stunning natural features that surround our hotels in fort Stockton Tx. Take a trip to the magnificent Big Bend National Park, where untamed panoramas and harsh terrain await. Discover the hiking paths, go birding, or just take in nature’s tranquility. Visit the Comanche Springs Pecos River Nature Trail for a closer look at the local flora and animals.
Outdoor Activities - Hiking in the Davis Mountains State Park will allow you to experience the beautiful routes and the untamed surroundings. Admire the expansive vistas, come across unusual flora and wildlife, and take in the peace of nature. Set up tent at the neighboring Historic Fort Stockton RV Park under the starry sky for those wanting a genuine camping experience. For lovers of nature and birdwatching, Fort Stockton is a wonderland. Visit the Black River Lake animals Management Area to see a variety of bird species and see local animals in its natural setting. Take your time admiring the variety and beauty of the local bird inhabitants while holding a pair of binoculars in your hands. Play a round of golf at the Desert Pines Golf Course or a round of tennis at the nearby courts with your buddies. There are many of possibilities near our pet friendly hotels in Fort Stockton Tx that lets you stay active and play your favorite sports. There are well-kept facilities and a friendly ambiance, whether you’re a tennis or golf fan.
Dining in Fort Stockton -The Executive Inn is the ideal option if you’re seeking for cozy lodging lodging in Fort Stockton Texas. This quaint hotel, which is located in the center of the city, provides a number of services and a warm environment that will make you feel at home. Enjoy comfortable accommodations, helpful staff, and convenient access to the area’s activities. A great place to start your exploration of Fort Stockton’s hidden attractions is the Executive Inn. Conclusion Planning to explore these off-beaten paths without breaking your bank? Find the cheap hotels Fort Stockton Tx, just a short distance away from these off-the-beaten-paths and enjoy a memorable trip into the heart of Texas with its rich history, numerous sights, outdoor activities, and delectable food. Book your stay at Executive Inn Fort Stockton Tx.
Hotel Rooms in Fort Stockton Tx - The Executive Inn is the ideal option if you’re seeking for cozy lodging lodging in Fort Stockton Texas. This quaint hotel, which is located in the center of the city, provides a number of services and a warm environment that will make you feel at home. Enjoy comfortable accommodations, helpful staff, and convenient access to the area’s activities. A great place to start your exploration of Fort Stockton’s hidden attractions is the Executive Inn.
Conclusion
Planning to explore these off-beaten paths without breaking your bank? Find the cheap hotels Fort Stockton Tx, just a short distance away from these off-the-beaten-paths and enjoy a memorable trip into the heart of Texas with its rich history, numerous sights, outdoor activities, and delectable food. Book your stay at Executive Inn Fort Stockton Tx.
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2023.06.05 11:13 redvelvet108w 4 Star Hotel In Patna The Red Velvet Hotel

Recognized as the top 4-star hotel in Patna, Red Velvet offers a plethora of exceptional amenities and services that guarantee an unforgettable stay for its esteemed guests. With its strategic location hotel near the railway station, state-of-the-art meeting and banquet facilities, exquisite restaurant, and proximity to Patna Junction, Red Velvet has become the preferred choice for both business and leisure travelers.
Red Velvet is the best hotel near Patna Junction, making it easily accessible for both domestic and international travelers. With its proximity to the bustling Patna Junction, the hotel ensures convenience and connectivity for its guests. This strategic advantage allows travelers to save time and enjoy seamless transportation, establishing Red Velvet as the most sought-after hotel near Patna Junction.
Visit us: www.redvelvethotel.com
Being the top hotel in Patna, Red Velvet takes immense pride in providing luxurious and comfortable accommodations that cater to the diverse needs of its guests. The hotel features a wide array of well-appointed rooms and suites, each meticulously designed with elegant decor and modern amenities. Whether you are a business traveler seeking a productive workspace or a leisure traveler yearning for a tranquil retreat, Red Velvet offers the perfect accommodation option for you. The rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including plush bedding, high-speed internet access, flat-screen televisions, and spacious bathrooms, ensuring a delightful and rejuvenating stay for every guest.
Understanding the significance of hosting successful business meetings and events, Red Velvet offers expansive meeting hall in Patna and banquet facilities that exude professionalism and sophistication. The hotel's well-equipped meeting rooms are designed to cater to the needs of modern businesses, providing cutting-edge audiovisual equipment, high-speed internet access, and comfortable seating arrangements. The dedicated staff at Red Velvet is committed to assisting guests in organizing and executing flawless events, guaranteeing a memorable experience for all attendees.
Visit us: www.redvelvethotel.com
The banquet halls in Patna at Red Velvet are nothing short of grandeur. With their elegant ambiance and exquisite decor, these halls create the perfect setting for weddings, receptions, and other celebratory occasions. The hotel's expert event planning team takes care of every intricate detail, from decorations to catering, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable event for all guests. With its ample space and impeccable service, Red Velvet has earned a reputation for hosting successful and remarkable gatherings in Patna.
Red Velvet has best restaurant in Patna, and prides itself on its culinary offerings, aiming to tantalize the taste buds of its discerning guests. The hotel boasts a range of dining options, including a multi-cuisine Ambrosia restaurant that promises a gastronomic journey like no other. The skilled chefs curate a diverse menu featuring both local and international delicacies, prepared with the finest ingredients and flavors. The restaurant's elegant ambiance, attentive service, and delectable dishes make it a perfect choice for intimate dinners, family gatherings, or business
Being the top hotel in Patna, Red Velvet, exceptional service is at the core of its ethos. The hotel's dedicated and professional staff is committed to creating an unforgettable experience for every guest. From the warm welcome at the reception to the prompt room service and concierge assistance, every aspect of guest satisfaction is meticulously taken care of.
Visit us: www.redvelvethotel.com
Address: Ranjan Path, Near RPS More, Bailey Road, Patna - 801503
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2023.06.05 09:52 ScribblingFox98 The Survivor Becomes a Dungeon (Chapter 79)

First
Vitmori POV
Work had begun almost immediately as Trisha got the forge going, talking with Heptio as she started going through the motions. It was clear to me that she was already off in her own little world. Rita had lingered to watch the work for a moment, but I could tell she was bored of this before long and began making her way out of the forge. Reyvyre had stood around for a little while longer before also making her way out, though she waved for me to follow; seeing no reason not to, I joined her and fell in step beside her. "So, how does your avatar feel? Trisha and Rita mentioned you battled with Reonim." She asked as she glanced over at me; I could see and feel her eyes wandering my body, though I could sense it was strictly analytical as she reviewed her handiwork.
"Hmm... Well, I lost, for one." I mentioned with a bit of a smile and shrugging a bit. "Reaction time wasn't as fast as my original body, though it was fast enough. I think I figured out a hint in using mana to enhance my physical capability, but I was unable to maintain my boosted running speed. My overall physical capabilities were good despite my low weight, but how heavy I am doesn't really matter to me. If I do need more weight, I'm sure I can manage with some kind of metal or stone weights."
Reyvyre's intrigue and curiosity were palpable as I spoke, I could sense that she wanted to take down notes, but she realized that she forgot her notepad back at the longhouse; focusing back on me, she nodded intently at my words before speaking up. "It sounds a lot like the delay that people with artificial limbs experience. The suggested remedy for that is to just use the limb as much as you can... So I suppose it's only a matter of time until your avatar feels natural." She suggested as she absently ran her fingers through her hair. "As for making use of your mana heart, I'm afraid I don't have much experience in actively using it. The only benefits I truly make use of are the ones that maintain my body with the reduced need to eat, sleep, and drink. Though I'm sure Reonim could advise you." She said before looking unsure as she tilted her side to side a bit. "Well... He's knowledgeable and able to explain things easily enough, but he hasn't shown much talent in actually teaching." She admitted with a little shrug.
"Well, how common are mana hearts and magic users?" Now that I'm really thinking about it, the only people I've seen with mana hearts were mostly those in my service, aside from the drakewardens, Virtisa, Jaz, Lanzak, and Sylvia. Isaak looked like he had some glittering lights around his heart, but he had not actually developed one yet. Even Dhalia only had a mana heart; it wasn't even that impressive.
Reyvyre seemed to need a moment for that, I could feel her mind swirling with information as she considered my question. "One in ten people naturally develop mana hearts, one in twenty will develop their mana hearts to effectively use in combat at Reonim's level, and one in forty are able to cultivate their mana hearts to develop a single mana ring." She explained before looking over at me. "And that is only considering the short-lived races." She mentioned as she looked back out at the treeline below us. "You won't encounter many as powerful as yourself or even as powerful as I am, but there are many ways to develop mana hearts and mana rings, so there will be more than the predicted amount of those with mana hearts here and there, especially in the service of nobles, affluent merchants, among the guilds, or the various academies." She explained as she listed them out on her fingers.
"I see. Well, maybe I'll see for myself once my armor and equipment are ready. I was planning on joining Basti in visiting the hegemony and investigating the trafficking on their side of things." I decided to mention it as we neared the base of my mountain.
I could feel Reyvyre looking at me curiously at that comment. "Are you sure you're up for it? I mean no offense, but this world is nothing like yours, I just don't want you to be taken advantage of or misled." She expressed sincere worry and concern plainly on her face as she watched me.
I couldn't help but be amused by that as I returned her look with a quirked brow. "You may be four times older than me, but I'm still a grown man capable of caring for myself. People will still be people, no matter where they are from. As long as they can still be swayed by words, actions, kindness, or violence; I should be fine wherever I end up." I was half joking with that comment, but as far as I've seen with the people in the haven, even if they look different, they're still just people like I used to know.
I could sense Reyvyre's uncertainty, though she soon accepted my words and decided to move on to the next topic as we got down into the woods. "Well, if you're going on a trip, would you mind if I took Reonim and visited my clan?" She asked curiously, I could tell she wanted to go no matter what I said, though she also felt I wouldn't say no to something like that, and she wouldn't be wrong.
"Leaving so soon? You haven't even been back for a full week." I mused, deciding to pry just a little bit before letting her do what she wanted.
Reyvyre seemed to catch on to what I was after and obliged with a bit of a smile. "Well, I need to go report my status as possibly the youngest elven mage to etch their fourth ring of mana around their heart." She enthused proudly, though she then looked rather sheepish as she scratched the back of her head. "It's also been a decade since I last reported back, and I'm one of fifteen elves to actually wander beyond my clan borders, so I should probably inform them of the events of the world sooner rather than later." She chuckled a little bit before looking back at me. "If it's okay with you, I'd like to return the remains of the elf we found in Lichtdren's chamber to my people, the armor she wore was a lost treasure for the elven people, and returning it should do well to endear the clan to you and possibly the Empire, thanks to your alliance with them." She explained, the anticipation clear in her eyes about the possibilities.
"Just admit it, you have a hard time staying in one place, don't you?" I tease gently before smirking a bit. "Though I do appreciate you going out of your way to find me more friends in this world." I said as I looked over at her, glancing at my mark around her throat. "Sure, go for it, just let me do this real quick." I mentioned as I stepped closer, reaching out and gently poking her neck. I could feel her jolt with surprise, though she remained still as her mind hummed with curiosity at what I'm doing. To be honest, I'm not even sure what I'm doing, but I focus as I trail my finger from her neck, down to her shoulder, and pull away. My mark had seamlessly moved away from being so clearly distinct on her neck, down to her shoulder where most other people tend to have it. "There... Sorry if that was uncomfortable." I said as I flashed a small smile. "But my mark looked too much like a collar on you, and that wasn't sitting right with me." I explained as I rubbed the back of my head. I'm not sure why I did this right now, but it felt right.
Reyvyre looked surprised, to say the least, absently touching her neck and swallowing. I could sense a flurry of emotions coursing through her mind, but overall I could feel that the collar-like mark did bother her, at least in the corner of her mind when she saw others with my mark in more discrete places. After a moment, she smiled at me as she looked up into my eyes. "Thank you, Vitmori, for your help and your permission." She says while looking away, still absently touching her neck as she continues on our way back to the Haven. Though as we drew closer, she glanced back at me and flashed a smile. "Say... How about I show you some of the basics of magic? I'm sure you'll have a handle on it in no time." She mentioned with a grin.
"That sounds good to me." I reply with a bob of my head.
Reyvyre nodded in return before looking away. "Give me some time to set things up, I'll come get you in a little bit." She said as she stepped away and went off in a different direction than the Haven.
I watched her go for a couple of moments, though I made my way over to the clearing soon enough as I walked around. Most people are working on various things, though I do see a cluster of people working around a log, stripping it of bark using the new tools I had given them. I make my way over, spotting a beaverkin man snacking on some bark chips as he seemingly takes a break while Lanzak leads the group now. "You are Woody, right?" I ask, not entirely sure of their name since it felt a little on the nose.
The beaverkin man jumped a little with surprise, having been lost in thought while enjoying his snack. Looking over at me, he offers a grin before standing as he tucked the remaining wood chips he had into his pocket, all while doing his best to chew what he had in his mouth before swallowing and clearing his throat. "Guilty as charged." He expressed cheerfully as he stepped up to me. "Is there anything I could help you with?" He asked as he absently wiped at something at the edge of his lips.
"Yeah, Trisha mentioned that you would be making my bow and arrows for me, I just wanted to know if there's anything I can help with to get you started?" I explain as I glance over at the work they're already doing.
Woody looked thoughtful, his beaver tail tapping almost absently against the dirt behind him. "I know that the Shepherd Zasutir said that we should be doing work on our own so as to not burden you... However, if you are offering your help in exchange for something, then I suppose we are not burdening you anymore, and this is just an exchange of service." He reasoned with a shrewd smile before continuing. "We need much more wood than we are able to process ourselves at the rate we're going. Between firewood and construction materials, we need to get a lot of this setup and drying if we want to make any considerable progress on construction after winter has passed." He explained as his tail tapped at the dirt again. "Now, I did hear those drakewardens were planning on coming in with builders and supplies in the next couple of weeks, but wood is a long-term commodity that has lots of uses." He explained, now all business, though even as he spoke, he reached into his pocket and popped a wood chip into his mouth every now and then. "If you don't mind, could you use some of that dungeon magic of yours to take down twenty trees for us?"
"Only twenty trees?" I asked before chuckling a bit. I certainly don't mind the work, and I do have a lot more mana to work with than I had several weeks ago. Plus, Woody did have a point, this sort of stuff is no longer a one-sided charity of giving them whatever they need. They're doing stuff for me now, and I'm working to earn it. Even if I think twenty trees don't exactly equate to a bow and arrows.
Woody nodded as he chewed on some more bark. "Yep, for now. It's not like we're gonna stop cutting down more trees, though we won't be as rushed if you can do this for us... And as impressive as the longhouse you made is, what we need now are simple buildings for us to grow into before we improve on them later." He explained as he wiped his lips absently. "All we need to do is build the frames and floors of buildings, then I can make some bricks with clay and dry grass to fill out the rest." He said while nodding at his own words.
"I see, so how am I gonna break these trees down, and where do you want them?" I asked while looking over at the treeline and considering what trees to take down.
Woody hummed thoughtfully at that. "Well, you can put the wood behind the longhouse. That's where we have been putting it up till now." He mentioned before looking back up at me. "If you could break down four trees into manageable logs for firewood, eight trees into planks, and the remaining eight trees into squared posts for the frames." He listed out before snapping his fingers as he considered something else. "If it's not too much trouble, could you also pile up all the tree branches next to the wood, and as for the bark..." He trailed off. In the middle of biting down on another chip from his pocket, he pulled it away before clearing his throat. "Could you set up the bark near the fireplace, Virtisa has been asking for some to make some kind of medicine and other stuff... Apparently, it's got some sort of stuff and such to make lots of things and a few medicines." He explained before shrugging as he finally popped the piece of bark he had into his mouth and chewed. "I just think it tastes good." He mused with a smile.
I chuckled a little bit at his last comment before rubbing the back of my head and looking back to the tree line. "Sure, I'll see what I can do." With that, I step away towards the treeline, Woody looking to the others and getting back to processing the current log they were working on. It doesn't take long to go around and gather all the trees since I'm able to take everything from the leaves to the roots all at once. The only thing I had to actually take my time on was making sure the trees I collected were unoccupied and then taking a moment to fill the new hole with dirt so nobody fell in and got hurt.
It was actually on my way back when I encountered Sylvia, who smiled as she spotted me and made her way over. "I heard from Woody you were helping gather trees for us. Could you make sure some of that bark comes my way? I need it if I want to start making the leather for your equipment." She explained as she walked with me.
"Of course, do you think you'll have it ready anytime soon?" I ask as we start heading back to the clearing around the longhouse. Though at that, I could sense some kind of unease coming from Sylvia as she slowed her pace to stare at me.
"How... How soon are you thinking?" She asked before picking up the pace to walk by my side again.
I look over at her and offer a shrug. "Sometime next week, once I have some weapons and clothes, I'll start walking toward the Hegemony and..." But before I could continue, Sylvia started to chuckle before full-on belly laughing at me as she wiped at some non-existent tears, looking over at me and laughing some more as she was soon doubled over at my expense. To say I was a little annoyed would be accurate, but moreover, I was just confused by her reaction.
It took almost a full minute before she managed to get ahold of herself. Even then, she was still snickering as she placed a hand over her mouth before speaking up. "You're such a silly human... I don't know how they did things in your world, but proper leather for armor takes at least two months to be armor grade, and that's not even considering all the other prep work to get it done." She was panting, taking slow breaths as she did her best to compose herself, though she still turned red from the strain of not laughing at me each time she looked back up at me, having to physically place her hand over her mouth to do so. "Forget about the leather, I'll make you some hide boots and gloves and get with Miriam to see what we can do for some quick and sturdy armor. Just leave it to me, Vitmori" She mused, smirking at my expense as she smacked my lower back a couple of times before walking off.
Well... There goes my self-esteem. I suppose the only experience I have is the stuff I scavenged that was already put together, or from armorers who already had a supply of treated leather ready to be committed to make armor per request. To get my mind off that blunder, I set to work sorting out the wood into the requests Woody made for me. I end up sitting cross legged in the dirt and closing my eyes in order to focus on the details of the work; I can feel the mana be expended, and while it does consume more mana than when I usually interact with things in the vacuum of my storage, I can't help but be pleasantly surprised that I'm even able to do this much in this avatar; that is being able to visualize my storage space in the same abstract nature I used to before I had a body.
Before long, all the wood has been sorted out in neat piles behind the longhouse and I go over by the outdoor fireplace to find Virtisa getting a massive pot of water to boil over an open flame, the herbalist lizardkin flashing a fanged smile at me as she pokes at the fire with a stick, Sekha mrowling politely as she sits besides Virtisa, but doesn't move from her place as she watched intently. "Hello Vitmori, I take it that you have the bark Woody asked you to collect for me?" She asked, appearing to be content with Sekha sitting in her lap, which was a huge improvent from when I last saw her hurriedly rushing out of my medbay after seeing what I had done to Dread, her head full of anxiety and doubts.
"Yeah, where should I leave them? There's a lot ya know." I mentioned as I made my way closer, reaching out and gently doting on Sekha by scritching her throat before stepping away to give Virtisa her space.
I could see her eyes wander as she looked around before pointing at a spot a couple of feet away from her. "If you could leave them there, that would be great, thanks." She said as she brought her hand back and down on Sekha's back as she stroked the blue cub's fur.
I can't help but feel she's underestimating just how much tree bark I collected, in the end I settle with just dropping off a good thirty pounds of bark, and with that I could sense that Virtisa wasn't expecting nearly that much. "Perfect, I'll get to work refining all of this." She said pleasantly. She didn't visibly betray her surprise though, instead bobbing her head as she went back to prodding the flames underneath the pot.
Before I could get into anything else, Reyvyre came into the clearing and waved me over, her hands and knees covered in dirt. Making my way over, I look her up and down before quirking a brow with curiosity. "I see you've been playing around in the dirt." I mused kindly.
Reyvyre, for her part, looks confused for more than a few seconds before remembering something and looking at herself. She chuckled a bit as she scratched the back of her neck. "Yeah, about that... Well, it's better if I just show you." She said with a small smile before leading me out of the clearing. We walk for a few minutes before coming across a smaller clearing, the smell of fresh cut grass in the air as I see the results of Reyvyre's efforts. In the middle of the clearing was a magic circle with a variety of runes strewn all over the place, while I can read a few of the things here and there, I'm not too sure about the specifics, though I sense Reyvyre is more than ready to explain everything in just a moment as she beckoned me to come to the middle of the circle. "Kneel down here. We're gonna check your affinities." She mentioned, moving to get out of the circle while stepping carefully between the lines and runes.
Watching how she walked, I made sure to follow her example, crossing into the magic circle as I knelt down in the middle. "My affinities?" I parrot curiously. I mean, I knew I had three aspects, but I don't know if it's the same thing she's talking about.
"Yeah, we're gonna see what magics you have the greatest connection to, the base roots of which are the primal elements found in the world. Things like fire, water, earth, and air, among other things." She explained eagerly as she pointed to the four big circles within the magic circle before gesturing to the numerous smaller circles. "Beyond those, there are other magics which are more esoteric beyond the base elements. From there, I can see how to best guide and instruct you on the branches of magics that come easiest for you." She said as she sat down cross-legged in the grass. "Go on, reach out and run your mana through the magical circle, I'll make sure everything stays stable and review the results." She mentioned, eager anticipation just radiating from her like a ball of light. I look around myself for another moment before following her instructions, closing my eyes as I reach out with my mana. I can feel things happening around me, my mana pulsing and resonating as I meet Reyvyre's mana in the magical circle. "Wow..." Is all she says as I go to open my eyes.
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2023.06.05 09:27 mpopbelpop Types of cars to book for road trip (LA - SF)?

hi all! My partner and I will be heading to US in Dec, and looking forward to a road trip from LA to SF!
Sorry this is a long one. Here’s some background:
Here’s our itinerary for reference:
Day 1 to 5: pick up car in Los Angeles Airport (Avis) upon arrival. Explore LA.
Day 5 to 9: Explore Joseph tree > Grand Canyon.
Day 9: Drive to Las Vegas (rest stop). Return rental car at Las Vegas
Day 10: Fly from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara airport. Pick up the rental car near Santa Barbara airport (Avis)
Day 11 - 13: Drive up to Big Sur (if roads are open) and Monterey.
Day 13: Drive to Yosemite
Day 16: Drive to San Francisco. Return rental car near hotel. Note: this is to save the valet parking fees which is $70/night, and we think we might not need the car the following day
Day 17: explore SF by public transport, ferry, foot. Half day at the Alcatraz.
<3rd part of trip>
Day 18: pick up rental car. Flexible plans (Muir Woods, Golden Bridge and/or Napa).
Note: we can’t return the car on Day 19 as it’s a major public holiday and most rental shops in the city are closed
Day 20: return rental car at San Fran airport
Our questions:
  1. Do you think that Avis would be the best option? We’ve taken into account its wide network and our membership.
  2. Considering the costs and weather constraints, what cars should we book for each part of the trip?
Thank you!
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