A major key signature treble clef
2015.07.27 00:07 jailhawkk Guitar Theory
A place for guitarists to ask questions and discuss music theory concepts.
2023.05.30 22:11 StoaStoa 1 Year Rental + Question on reasonable landlord/tenant responsibilities
Hey all. Haven't rented yet, but want to gather some information beforehand for both ourselves and possible future tenants for last time before making the decision.
Sorry for the long posts/questions.
We are leaving Toronto for two years and haven't decided to sell the current home or move back to the city (after ~2 years). Ideally, we'd rent the home for 12 months to cover the mortgage (18 months if the tenant needs time) and then decide if to move back or sell based on job needs.
A lot of horror stories here and online about renting... I know tenants vary and the majority are good, but assuming the worst scenario/tenants (i.e. do things out of spite). Please don't be offended.
There are carpenter ants in the house, as far as we can tell it's from the woods outside, so we can't fully find/kill the colony. Before we sprayed the home, we see about 1-2 ants daily, and after the treatment 1-2 ants monthly. No roaches or bedbugs, but do have spiders and house centipedes as it's near the woods.
If I understand correctly, the landlord is responsible for all pest control if the tenant requests it, this is good (we'd like to keep the home in good condition too). Given the situation, if the ants/spiders/centipedes cannot be fully eliminated, what frequency does the landlord have to provide pest control? Can the tenant use this as a clause that the landlord neglects safe living conditions/repairs?
I know someone that's renting, and he said everything from changing the lightbulb is the landlord's responsibility. He would call up the landlord even if one bulb is out, refuse to change it himself (the landlord said he'd reimburse the cost of the bulb), make the landlord drive hours to his unit (or pay a contractor for a bulb change). Can this be real?
We are going to be away from the city, and it's an old house, there are going to be minor repairs and issues (i.e. take 1 second to flip the fuse panel if the fuse trip), we can't make those trips weekly.
Similar to the above, what about lawn mowing and snow removal? Again, it looks like the landlord's responsibility. Can we "discount" the rent on the contract if the tenant agrees to do it? How does everyone approach this situation? Third-party contractor?
I hope I don't get a lot of heat for this question. If after one year the tenant doesn't want to move out.
If we move back to Toronto, then assume we have to issue N12 and wait for 8-12 months for LTB, so it's at least straightforward...
If we decide to sell, I know it's not legal to ask the tenant to move out for this reason, so most likely cash for the key (from the posts here).
If we explain to the renter that the rental is for 1 year only before renting. Also thought about lower the rent for the inconvenience, as the goal is to cover the mortgage (but it might be more incentive for the tenant not to move out). So I guess both wouldn't work if the tenant decide to stay?
Again, please don't be offended. I realize the rental market is bad for both tenants (high rent) and landlords (long LTB wait time). We want to be fair, but at the same time have to protect our interest too, so if all unfavorable solutions to the questions above, we would just eat the cost/interest/vacant tax/insurance for the 2 years and not rent out at all (or air bnb, or sell now but not likely to afford if decide to move back).
I will not likely reply but thank you all in advance.
submitted by StoaStoa
to OntarioLandlord [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 22:08 coolwali I platinummed Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time on VITA to get the secret ending.
Hello everyone. I recently platinummed the PSVITA version of Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time as my 28th platinum. It only took me 10 years, 4 weeks, 22 hours to do it. Did you know this game hides its true ending behind the platinum?
Anyway, I'd like to talk about the experience.
Sly 4 was a bit confusing and inconsistent to platinum. I get the feeling the game wants you to platinum it given how on every loading screen it shows you how much you've completed the trophies and collectibles for the game. And that there no missable trophies. But there are some decisions that don't help with that.
So I'd say there are around 3 groups of Trophies in this game.
The first group are the mandatory story trophies. Not much to say about these. There's nothing missable here and the names are quite cool. I do like looking at the percent completion to see how many players completed the PS VITA version of the game. Did you know that around 73% of players booted this game up and completed the prologue? And only around 25% of players even beat the game. The biggest drop happened around the start of Episode 2 since the completion dropped from around 60%to 48% for some reason.
The second group are the trophies for the collectibles and arcades. I'll talk about these later.
The third and final group of trophies are for miscellaneous challenges. I'll start with these first and highlight some of the notable ones that I missed on my first playthrough.
"Crazed Climber - Scale the dragon lair in under 90 seconds". This was one I missed during my original playthrough of the game. This requires you to climb a giant tower filled with traps in the mission "Mechanical Menace". And this one was really fun even though it took me like 3 attempts. Sly 4's movement and platforming is quite fun so having a mini speedrun challenge using Sir Galleth's moveset was a treat. The one criticism I have here is that the game drops a checkpoint as soon as you get to the top. If you haven't gotten the trophy by then and need to retry, you need to quit to the main menu/hideout and reselect the mission, skip through all the cutscenes and get back there which gets annoying. At least the tower is near the start of the mission.
"Ancient Warfare 3 - Crackshot 10 enemies within 65 seconds. Sly's ancestor, Tennessee "Kid" Cooper" has an ability similar to "Dead Eye" from Red Dead Redemption where he can slow down time, mark enemies and objects and then instantly shoot them dead called "Crackshot". I never got this trophy when I first played the game because there wasn't much opportunity to. There aren't large groups of enemies wandering around that you can casually get 10+ of them line up for you to shoot them. Plus, I was already good at shooting them normally. I tried running around in the open world trying to lure enemies but found it wasn't working. There's a mission in the game called "Blind Date" that throws lots of rabbit enemies that chuck TNT at you that worked better for me.
"Hubba Hubba - Don't miss a beat in the Carmelita dance game." This trophy is, without a doubt, the main reason to platinum this game on VITA instead of the PS3. So nobody can see you play this dumb minigame and call you a Furry. This trophy requires you to complete the minigame where Carmilita needs to disguise herself as a belly dancer and dance to distract guards while the Cooper gang try and open a door. You just need to hit the button prompts perfectly. So you can ignore the times the minigame asks you to shake the VITA from side to side like a champagne bottle to make Carmilita shake her ass (seriously, why does this game sexualize Carmilita so much? None of the past Sly games did it).
"Get To the Chopper - Don't take any damage during Up In Smoke." This one was actually fun. In the mission "Up in Smoke", you have to control an RC Helicopter and drop bombs on turrents while drones and mines chase you down. It was fun dodging and weaving through them. There are 3 phases to this mission and you have a checkpoint in between every phase. So if you mess up, you can just restart the checkpoint to the last phase. You don't need to avoid taking damage the whole way through which is nice.
"Unexpected Package - Place 60 bombs in enemy pockets with Bentley." When I first saw this trophy, I groaned. This would be a massive grind. And I had actually made it harder on myself. You see, normally, when you sneak up behind an enemy as Bentley and hold triangle, Bentley will try to put a bomb in the enemy's pocket. Larger enemies won't notice this but smaller enemies will. But the main issue is that I had previously unlocked the Heat Seeking upgrade for Bentley. Meaning sometimes, the bombs would "miss" and stick to an enemy guard's arms or legs instead. So it was annoying going around the hub world and planting bombs on guards.....until I remembered that I had purchased the upgrade for sleep bombs. My plan now was just to find a lone guard on a rooftop, try and place one sleep bomb into his back pocket and detonate it. He'd then fall asleep. Then I'd go to his sleeping body and try placing 5 sleeping bombs in his pocket and back away (the max you can place at any one time). When he wakes him, I'd detonate all 5 which set him to sleep and then repeat. Even if I'd "miss" a few bombs that would stick to their legs instead, I generally 3 or 4 bombs work perfectly. So it didn't take long to get all 60.
"Apollo Wins - Have the perfect workout during the Training Montage." During the mission "Getting Stronger", you have to do a training montage with Bob where you alternate through 6 minigames as you complete them with the minigames getting harder as you complete them. The trophy requires you to complete 10 randomly selected minigames without making a single mistake. If you mess up, you can restart the checkpoint to the beginning of the montage and have to play through a new set of 10 randomly selected minigames. The Minigames are "Slippery Slope" where you balance an egg on a beam using motion controls while penguins jump around on the floating iceberg you are standing on. "Penguin Popper" where Penguins are diving in front of you and you have to play baseball using them. "Sumo Slap" where you have to perform QTEs to push a giant penguin out of a Sumo Ring. "Duck and Cover" where penguins get launched at you from 4 different directions and you have to move the left stick to dodge them. "Super Sling" which requires you to use a catapult to launch a penguin at a flying pterodactyl. And "Whack a chump" which is Whack a Mole but with penguins. Some of which are fake and you should avoid.
Penguin Popper was easy. Once you get the timing down it's easy to get into a rhythm and hit the penguins since they don't vary when they dive. Whenever this popped into the rotation, I considered it a freebie. Sumo Slap was extremly easy. The button mashing was extremely generous. This was another freebie. Duck and Cover requires a bit more focus because of the timing and inconsistent patterns. It's not too challenging. Interestingly, I noticed that the VITA's speakers would reflect if the penguin was coming from the right or left but not above or below you. I guess headphones would make this easier but I had no need for it. I was generally glad when this popped up in the rotation. Whack a Chump was a bit harder than Penguin Popper because there is no set pattern and the additional challenge of not hitting the fake penguins. But it wasn't too bad. I was glad when this popped up in the rotation.
Super Sling and Slippery Slope were the 2 I dreaded and the ones I messed up the most on. Super Sling doesn't give you much indication of where your sling will go. The Pterodactyls have varied speeds so you can't rely on pattern recolonization and reactions. And there's time pressure as taking too long counts as a miss. And it kept popping up in the rotations for some reason!
Slippery Slope was stressful because of the motion controls and how wild later versions of it were.
"The Cooper Open - Have a 20 hit rally with Bentley in each hideout." There are 6 hideouts in the game. In each hideout there is a table tennis table where you as Sly can play a round of table tennis with Bentley. I question the inclusion of it but I suppose it can be a nice distraction. This trophy requires you get a sequences where both you and Bentley hit the ball back and forth 10 times each (or 20 times overall) without missing. And repeat for each of the 6 tables. I found Bentley kept messing up so I had to intentionally hold back and avoid making good shots and try and hit the ball towards him. The main issue is the fact you have to repeat it 6 times. I feel it would be better off just once and as nothing is really added by doing it 6 times. If anything, it's more annoying given the long load times to switch hideouts and Bentley's random AI.
"Hassan Would Be Proud - Pickpocket a full collection of every item in the game." Each of the 6 or so locations have around 3-4 items that can be pickpocketted from guards. The main issue with this trophy is that it doesn't keep track of which items you have already pickpocketed in any way. The game already tracks how many treasures and masks you've found per general area but not pickpocketted items.
I only got this trophy by planning on systematically going through every location in the game and pickpocketting every enemy item and noting down which ones I found.....only to get it in the first level when I used Murray's shake move on some rat enemies. Enemies that you never encounter or have a reason or opportunity to naturally pickpocket. I guess 2013 me had already gotten 99% of these items previously.
"Navigate Like Drake - Take a look at every map in every episode". I found this trophy really annoying. The way it works is that every location in the game, including linear interiors that are exclusive to missions and even the hideouts, have a map you can look at by pressing SELECT. The game doesn't keep track of which locations you've seen the map of. So I had to systamatically play the game from the first mission and press SELECT whenever I entered a new interior. Then quit out and play the next mission and repeat. It popped for me in Episode 4 so somehow, 2013 me had looked at all the maps in Episode 5 without realizing it.
I don't like this trophy. It doesn't really add anything. The player would already be looking at the maps in the hub worlds where they would be at their most useful since those are open world sections. They have no real reason to use the map in linear interiors. And even less useful in hideouts as these aren't even explorable. They are basically just menus that happen to have a 3D background. I'd be more forgiving of this trophy if the map showed collectibles at least. That way, players have more of a reason to use this feature.
Shout out to the Lazy Trunk Spa & Lounge. A secret area in the game that contains a mask collectible and counts for the trophy with a unique map. No mission ever goes here. So even if you were to play diligently and open the map for every area you encounter, you'd still miss this. I only knew this existed because the trophy guide I looked at told me about it so I decided to tag this area while doing the "Get to the Chopper" trophy.
"Hero Tech - Battle with a secret weapon" Once you collect 50 Sly masks. You unlock Ratchet's wrench from Ratchet and Clank. This weapon even turns the coins you collect into bolts. Collecting 60 Masks unlocks Cole's Amp from inFAMOUS. This can electrocute the enemies you hit. I chose to use Cole's Amp to get the trophy as a tribute to inFAMOUS. Killed by Ghost of Tsumia 😭. May it rest in peace. Gone too soon.
That covers all the miscellaneous trophies. Now for the collectibles and arcades.
Sly 4 has a bunch of different collectibles scattered in each of its 6 episodes.
Bottles: Each hub world contains 30 bottles. Collecting all of them gives you access to unlock a safe hidden somewhere in the hub world. Unlocking that safe rewards you a special treasure. Bottles make a "clinking" sound when you're near them so if you're having a hard time finding them, try going into the game's settings and turning down the music and voice sounds. If you find the safe in Episode 3, the special treasure it gives you will highlight bottles and safes in every other episode on your map which is quite nice. I wish the game did this more often. If it hides collectibles from the player, at least give the player an endgame ability to highlight them. It makes it more feasible and fun to complete these tasks instead of combing every last inch (or looking up a guide).
Treasures: Each hub world has around 11 treasures scattered all around. The gimmick here is that in order to collect them, you first need to find where they are in the hub world. Then once you pick them, you need to race back to your hideout under a certain time limit and without taking any damage. If you mess up, you need to repeat the process. The treasures generally require you to have all of Sly's costumes. And a couple require you to be playing as Sir Galleth because England has increased gravity for some reason. Some of these treasures are really well hidden. Requiring you to go to these holes in the middle of nowhere which then require you to switch between some of Sly's costumes. Like, if you open the map when picking some of these up, you'll find Sly is located beyond the borders of the area.
I found it way more fun to race back to the hideout than actually finding them. It was tedious to find many of them because of how well hidden they are. There is no tool or item in the game that can help mark them on your map. Well, I say that. Supposedly, if you have both the PS3 and VITA versions of the game and play them at the same time, you can use the VITA like a scannebinoculars to locate these treasures. And then use the Cross Save feature to nab them in both versions. I only have the VITA version so no luck for me. Again, I'd argue it would be better if there was an endgame upgrade or tool you could get that would mark the treasures like how the game does it for bottles. There isn't even a "clinking sound" or any help for these.
Anyway, collecting all the treasures for an episode unlocks the arcade machine minigame for that episode.
Also sidenote, but this game has the worst map screen that still somehow can be useful. The map gives a top down view of the area but with a blue filter. This makes it harder and more annoying to navigate and use landmarks for reference. Especially on the VITA with its smaller screen. There are also no icons on the map (aside from bottles, safes and objectives) or the ability to make your own markers. The VITA version makes it worse as you can't even use the buttons to navigate the map. You have to use the touchscreen even though that's not how it is in the PS3 version. But you can still use it to know where you are and where collectibles can be from guides. It's technically readable and useful but just barely. I've never seen a map in a game so perfectly walk the line between useful and annoying.
The next collectible are Sly Masks. There are 60 total and around 11 per Episode. Collecting them unlocks skins and some goodies. But the catch with them is that they can be anywhere. There can be a couple in the hub world. But also couple during select missions and even some in the arcade minigames. There's no way to know where any of them are. They generally tend to be really well hidden even if you are trying to scour every area.
Again, I wish there was a way to highlight them. The game's long load times make it a chore to switch episodes or missions so it's tedious to try searching for them manually.
Now it's time to talk about the arcades. Sly 4 has 3 arcade minigames that are used in both the main missions and have a harder version in the arcades in hideouts. The arcade versions of these minigames are harder, go on for much longer and can have secret paths that lead to portals that reward you with points and some of them even have Sly masks. You need to beat the high scores to get the trophies
The first minigame is "Alter Ego". This has you play this 2D auto scrolling twin stick shooter minigame where you must avoid enemies and collect these "ionic bits". Collecting 5 yellow bits levels you up so your weapons get more powerful. At level 10 you have shoot crazy fast, can launch missiles and have floating drones that can damage enemies around you. But whenever you take damage, you drop an entire level. And you get left behind as the level autoscrolls, you respawn at level 0. You can also collect blue bits which can give you a grenade explosion around you.
Personally, I don't really like this minigame. It's fine when playing casually as a change of pace but grinding the high score isn't great. Since it is an autoscroller it is entirely possible you don't have enough points to match the high score and you won't know until its too late, wasting your time. I also found the hitboxes a bit too small. Making items more annoying to pickup.
The key to success is finding the right balance between collecting yellow bits as they give points and level you up (and how high your level is acts as a multiplier for your score) and killing enemies since they give more points. As well as avoiding taking damage and maintaining level 10 as much as possible and knowing where the secret paths are so you can get more points as well as level up if you have messed up.
The second minigame is "System Cracker". Here, you guide a little space ship looking thing through 2D levels in top down twin stick shooting sections. This isn't an autoscroller. You need to explore levels looking for keys and shooting enemies. There are 3 ships you can switch between by going onto specific coloured pads and each ship has its pros and cons. The green ship you start with does decent damage and has decent health and can carry keys. So it's a jack of all trades master of none kinda ship. The pink ship literally resembles a tank. It fires slower and at a shorter range but does more damage and has more health. It's also necessary for destroying pink crystals to progress. The blue ship has floatier handling and faster speeds. Its shots also bounce off walls and it can draw a line which can activate switches and damage enemies. It is weaker than the green ship though.
I actually really enjoyed this minigame and was happy whenever it comes up. It even feels the most fleshed out of the 3. Like, I feel it could even be released as a small standalone game with some tweaking and expansion. I'd probably play a mobile version of this in my free time.
I like how varied the levels can be. You can have a lot of different threats and mini-puzzles and even scenarios where you have to keep switching between ships on the fly to damage enemies. Like, there's this one enemy that's made up of orange, blue and pink hexagons that require you to switch between all 3 ships and use their abilities to damage it. It's quite fun. Damage one ship takes is "saved" on that ship. So if you take 50% damage with the green ship and switch to the pink one, the pink one will have 100% health. But whenever you switch back to the green one, you will be back at 50% health. So mistakes have consequences requiring you to make decisions accounting for them without being too overbearing.
Beating the high scores for the associated arcades is very easy. For one, there is no time limit or pressure so you’re free to take your time and play carefully. On top of that, the mode is very generous with points. Whereas Alter Ego only gives you points for killing enemies and picking up bits (and you need to get and maintain a multiplier for decent times), System Cracker gives you points even for shooting obstacles and barricades in your way. In Alter Ego, I was scraping for points until the very end. In System Cracker, I had more than enough points by the halfway mark.
I suppose the game could have balanced this by increasing the points threshold and rewarding extra points for taking less time to complete sections but I’m not complaining.
The third and worst minigame is “Spark Chaser”. Here you must guide a little electric ball across these maze like areas with gaps that end your attempt if you fall down them and these pinball like bounce pads that bounce you really far. There’s also a time pressure. You have around 20 seconds to get as far as possible with more time added as you pick up these purple clock icons.
The biggest issue is that it’s entirely controlled by motion controls. And this makes me experience worse on VITA. Seriously, I very nearly quit playing. This post was almost titled “I gave up trying to Platinum Sly 4”.
With the PS3 version, at least titling the remote doesn’t also affect your view of the screen. You can look at the game and play it the same as you normally would. But in the VITA version, the “neutral” position where no input is registered by the system is placing the VITA flat with its screen facing up. The standard “screen facing you” position registers as down.
The end result is a frustrating experience. This minigame requires really fine precision given how easy it is to fall off and the time pressure requires you both be fast and more precise to collect time pickups. On top of that, your view is constantly being messed with due to how much you need to tilt the system from odd angles. Especially how tilting “up” really makes it hard to see. Oh, and the dialogue from Bentley as you bounce gets really annoying and repetitive.
It’s barely tolerable in regular missions since those don’t require as much precision or speed. And even then, the usage there in 2013 was suspect to begin with. I only completed this because there’s a cheese where if you can get enough time early on, you can then keep bouncing on certain pads which give around 20 points per bounce. When I played “normally”, I’d get around 300 points with the high score being 1000 points. Using the cheese, I averaged around 990 points and managed to get lucky to win with 1010 points.
I’ve said it before. Motion controls work best when they complement existing controls in an optional way or in more restrained ways. I love it when games have gyro aiming since that can help compensate when aiming with sticks with small fine corrections. It works here because the sticks do most of the work and the gyro sensors work where they are best suited.
Or in many mobile racing games, steering is often done by tilting your phone. I enjoy this because there is only one axis you need to tilt your phone, the screen often rotates in conjunction so your view is preserved and it’s more intuitive to feel the “range” of rotation and how it corresponds to steering.
Hell, even ignoring these approaches, motion can still be used in worthwhile ways. Such as by mapping an extra action that is infrequent if all other buttons are occupied. The Mario games on Wii map a “spin” when you jump and shake the remotes giving Mario a bit of grace allowing him to make slightly further jumps or correct a bad jump. Call of Duty MW1 on Wii allowed you to assign certain commands to custom motions of the controller and nunchuck. So you could map stuff like jumping, moving and shooting to buttons but map reloading to smacking the nunchuck to the Wii Mote or plunge the Wii Mote forward to do a melee attack or tilting the Wii Mote to bring out a grenade or alt fire.
Even Resistance 1: Fall of Man had a neat idea. You could quickly tilt the controller left to bring up the Scoreboard screen without needing to take your thumbs off the sticks or stop moving. The Soulsbourne games allow you to quickly do emotes without needing a menu by holding the interact button and quickly tilting the controller in certain directions.
I bring all this up to highlight how Sly 4’s use of motion controls are a failure on every level. They’re mostly used in place of minigames as the sole method of control. So all the issues of motion controls (such as the lack of broad control and feedback) are front and centre. The only place where the motion controls are understandable is when firing arrows as you can then control the arrow after it’s fired using both the sticks and gyro aiming. But even then, the lack of any ability to tune the gyro sensitivity or even invert the controls hampers any use it could have had.
I don’t mind the idea of Sly 4 having decent motion controls. There are places where I can see it being beneficial. In addition to shooting and guiding arrows, I can see it being useful when you have to use the binoculars. Especially as Bentley as you need to shoot darts precisely.
Or, here’s a gimmicky one: you can bind certain costumes or tools to also be selected by quickly tilting the system. Even though using the D-pad for a quick select would be faster, it would still be a better use of motion controls for Sly 4 than most of what’s currently there.
Back to getting all the trophies, the final arcade machine, unlocked only when you’ve gotten all the treasures in every other episode, is very easy. It has “3 rooms”, one featuring every minigame thus far. But the high score requirements are really low and rooms aren’t as tough as prior versions. You can easily get the high score in the first area which is the Alter Ego one. Even if you miss it there, the second area is Spark Runner but you can keep reloading the checkpoint to preserve your score. So you can get some time clocks, reload a checkpoint when you’re close to running out of time or about to fall off and repeat until you get the high score.
You do need to get past the Spark Runner section to the 3rd and final section that uses System Cracker's gameplay in order to get a hidden Sly Mask, but it's far easier than the dedicated Spark Runner arcade minigame as the section is shorter, is more generous with Time Pickups, has easier level design and lets you reload a checkpoint if you're about to fail which doesn't end the run.
So yeah, Sly 4 Thieves in Time was....inconsistent game to platinum. I enjoyed the base gameplay, System Cracker, the various challenge trophies and the mini speedruns for collecting treasures. I didn't enjoy finding the collectibles and doing some of the other minigames. I hated Spark Runner.
If the game had more ways of tracking collectibles, fewer minigames and better load times, I'd gladly recommend it as a fun game to platinum.
As for the base game itself, I am mixed on it. The gameplay is arguably the best in the series. Sly's movement and costumes are so fun to play around with. Murray, Bentely and Sly's ancestors are also fun changes of pace during missions.
The story is lacking. My main issue is that it doesn't feel like it realizes its following up Sly 3. The story so casually undoes the ending of Sly 3 to get Sly 4's story going. I get it, that's what a sequel has to do. But the way it does it really undermines Sly 3. It's also much more lighthearted and doesn't have as much of a theme or focal point as its predecessors. Sly 1-3 explored the theme of legacy and the consequences of adhering to it so tightly. A major aspect of Sly 3 was Sly realizing the Cooper Vault wasn't worth dying for. It's what prompts him to fake his amnesia and retire with Carmilita in the end. So for Sly 4 to then have Sly have an itch to steal just for the fun of it, it's sending mixed messages here.
In addition, Sly is really casual about the fact Carmilita now knows about his betrayal and has broken up with him. Seems like that should have been a bigger deal. In fact, that kind of "casual-ness" persists throughout the story. Sly doesn't really have much of an arc or any real heartfelt moments with his ancestors. Nor do they seem to really care their decedent from the future is here with them.
If I could have tweaked the story to address these points, here's what I would have done:
I'd have the story open with Sly, Bentley and Murray enjoying their "retirement" and have no plans of thieving. I'd go so far as to have Sly even scoff at the idea of him ever wanting to be a thief. Then when the pages of the Thievus Racconus are dissapearing, Sly, Bentley and Murray have to reluctantly unretire to try stopping them. There would be dialogue during the opening mission of Sly being worried if they get caught as it would undo their happy ending. And then when Carmilita catches Sly, Sly at first is flustered and tries to explain the situation to Carmilita who isn't having any of Sly's BS. Sly is forcibly extracted by the gang and then they time travel. As they are time travelling. Sly is upset that, in order to go literally defend the Cooper Legacy, he has to give up his happy relationship and can't be repaired now. That even if they fix the problem, they'll be on the run forever now. Murray had to give up his professional career as well.
Already, I feel this introduction has a few things going for it. It respects the ending of Sly 3 and keeps the characters in more character, as well as putting more heat on Le Paradox. Sly 4 had to rip away the happy ending that was Sly 3. The characters know that and aren't happy about it. There is immediate consequences. And that heat can be directed at Le Paradox when he comes later.
I'd also like if all of the ancestors Sly met had different reactions to both him and the Cooper legacy and how it affects Sly's arc.
For example, lets say when he meets Riochi Cooper, Ricohi is initially disappointed in Sly as the future Cooper decendent as Sly doesn't act honourably or respect the legacy or something like this. Something that makes Sly start to question if it's even worth defending the Cooper Legacy. Bentely is the voice of reason here and mediator that gets the gang to work as well as they can.
Then when Sly meets Tennessee Cooper, Sly is initially expecting another traditionalist ancestor that cares a lot about the Cooper Legacy. But Tennessee is kinda the opposite of Riochi in that Tennasee doesn't care about the legacy in the same way. He adds his own spin and contributions but also uses the knowledge from it to do his own thing. Perhaps Tennessee is this Robin-Hood esque figure who uses his heisting skills to steal from the corrupt ruling class and give to the lower class. The point being that through Tennessee, Sly considers another aspect of the Cooper Legacy on how he's not that beholden to it and can potentially make it his own.
Then when Sly meets Bob, part of Bob's training is also from Sly as Sly teaches him some of the Cooper moves he knows. Since Bob is the first Cooper ancestor, he has no bias towards the legacy or any knowledge. So he's far more grateful and begins to use his new skills in helpful ways. Causing Sly to wonder if he could use the Cooper Legacy in more ways.
It's a similar situation for Sir Galleth. And for Selim, perhaps by that point, Sly has a newfound outlook and appreciation for the Cooper Legacy and ways on how he can improve it or make it his own that he encourages Selim not to retire or to retire in such a way where he could help people or something like that.
So yeah, there's this theme now of "Don't let the past define you now. You can make it your own and grow past its flaws". Which I feel would give Sly 4 more of a punch. I am basically copying Metal Gear Solid 4 and Assassin's Creed though.
I also feel it would be better if Penelope wasn't the villain of episode 4. It seems to contradict her character from past games and the explanation given for her heel turn doesn't really hold water. I feel the story would be better if Penelope had the role Dmitri has where she's their help in the present and the Knight was a new character. But if you need to have Penelope as the antagonist, have her be under mind control or something. That way the team has the conflict of how will they stop the plan without hurting their friend. But if you really insist on Penelope being a full on antagonist now by her own choice, perhaps flesh out her motivations more? Maybe something like "she sees how Bentley will never reach his full potential as the Bill Gates of the world because of his criminal past that requires him to lay low and not take public credit for his inventions. So she's trying to erase the Coopers so Bentley will have never met Sly". That would at least be more than "I want money".
Everything else, I feel works more or less.
I will note that the cliffhanger ending was a weird choice given that this game wasn't projected to sell well and kinda pigenholes any story Sly 5 would be going for. Plus, it being locked behind the platinum trophy means only a small portion of the few players that played Sly 4 would even know about it.
So yeah, that's my take on platinumming Sly 4: Thieves in Time. What do y'all think?
Next up for me is platinumming every Spider-Man game on PS VITA. See you then.
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2023.05.30 22:06 4668fgfj The Ironic Case For Nazbol
I am specifically referring to National Bolshevism
as the term was originally coined, rather than any group of people who may have labelled themselves "National Boshelviks" since. The term predates even the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922, let alone any other 20th century regime. The term was originally used by Karl Radek to describe two member he was expelling as "National Boshelviks". What these people wanted to do was align the revolutionary movement in Germany with that in Russia in mutual opposition to both the treaty of Versailles and the treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
I am specifically defending the prospect of this strategy in particular rather than specifically any person who might have been or could have been advocating for it and any ideas they might have had otherwise, not because it is national, or even bolshevik, but rather because I think it conforms with the idea in the Communist Manifesto of the role of Communists in relation to Proletarians where the Communists do not form separate political programs of their own and instead are supposed to align various proletarians movements together across nationality with respect to the current stage than any of those movements may find themselves in.
In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?
The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.
They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.
They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.
The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.
Therefore the irony of this position I am defending is that it was the one advocated for by people labelled National,
which would clearly seem to be contrary to being independent of nationality, and Bolshevik
who would seem to be sectarians seeking to mold to proletarian movement. The other irony is that for it to have been possible it would have required overcoming proletarian movements in different nationalities operating independent of one another, in addition to overcoming the sectarianism emerging between all the differing "Communist" movements. In other words this is another call in an endless stream of "stop infighting!" coupled with "everyone except for me is wrong" which just contributes to the infighting by creating a new sectarian divergence but there is very little that can be done about that. Mostly this is just an excuse to discuss a particular moment
I find interesting and inner contrarian in me just wants to make the seemingly most insane position seem the most reasonable as a challenge.
Lenin was not in favour of this so it was a bit of a non-starter. In "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder
he criticizes people who refuse to recognize the treaties, but in addition to the tendencies of so-called National Bolsheviks, he also criticized the Left-Communists that Karl Radek and the other German Revolutionaries were often members. Here we can start to see a problem emerging as you clearly have two different revolutionary movements in two different countries who are having difficulty working with each other (with the problem of the treaties between these countries not even being the main issue they were squabbling over). Indeed while not around long enough to have become officially a Left-Communist herself, Luxembourg is associated with them as her writings are cited as a major influence on the tendency, and she is notable for criticizing Lenin's Bolshevism.
There was a lot of confusion in this period and numerous tendencies diverging from one another, the reason being is that in the wake of the Russian Revolution and the end of the First World War there was a period of revolutionary activity across the entire world
. While Russia and Germany are often the most focused upon due to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany being our core 20th century players and many seeing these revolutions as the origin points of these things with a compare and contrast analysis being done to understand while one failed and the other succeeded, in the light of understanding the world revolution as a wave, looking at just these two revolutions becomes parochial, as there was clearly one singular revolution going on across the world in the same way as during the Revolutions of 1848 where the Communist Manifesto was published.
Indeed Marx and Engels viewed that as a singular revolution and would have viewed the similar wave of revolutions that peaked in 1919 but spanned from 1917-1923 as a singular revolution. While differing in severity there was revolutionary activity in numerous countries ranging from the Two Red Years
in Italy to the much less impressive sounding Red Week
) in the Netherlands. Even as far away as Canada
, and South Africa
there were labour revolts in this period. The case of Canada is a bit emblematic of the obscurity of the scale of these events, as while the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919
is well known, much like with only Russia and Germany beings discussed, the strike wave
nature of the events in Canada just as in the world tends to fall out of discussion, as for instance this wave actually started with a general strike in Vancouver
that was crushed by the military.
In the Preface to the 1882 Russian Edition of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels even suggested in the wake of the assassination of the Tsar Liberator that the impending Russian (bourgeois) Revolution would serve as a signal for the Western proletariat to have their Revolution, and that the Russian Revolution could end up being communist alongside the West.
And now Russia! During the Revolution of 1848-9, not only the European princes, but the European bourgeois as well, found their only salvation from the proletariat just beginning to awaken in Russian intervention. The Tsar was proclaimed the chief of European reaction. Today, he is a prisoner of war of the revolution in Gatchina, and Russia forms the vanguard of revolutionary action in Europe.
The Communist Manifesto had, as its object, the proclamation of the inevitable impending dissolution of modern bourgeois property. But in Russia we find, face-to-face with the rapidly flowering capitalist swindle and bourgeois property, just beginning to develop, more than half the land owned in common by the peasants. Now the question is: can the Russian obshchina, though greatly undermined, yet a form of primeval common ownership of land, pass directly to the higher form of Communist common ownership? Or, on the contrary, must it first pass through the same process of dissolution such as constitutes the historical evolution of the West?
The only answer to that possible today is this: If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting point for a communist development.
Now 1882 didn't turn into a revolution in Russia and there were several false starts like in 1905, but eventually it did finally happen. However seemingly with Lenin's New Economic Policy, both scenarios discussed ended up needing to happen. The Russian Revolution was both Communist and they felt it impossible to transition straight into Communism and thus had to allow some kind of bourgeois property relation to develop, and then later on had to eliminate this thing they created themselves in a rather unfortunate series of events. Additionally while the Russian Revolution did prove to be a signal for the Western proletariat to have their revolution, the proletariat revolution failed. In the spirit of this discussion I'm going to be argue that these were not separate incidents but rather the failure of the western proletariat's revolution is why Lenin implemented the NEP in 1922, in part because of internal rebellions calling for these things and because the international revolution seemingly failed resulting in a loss of hope that the western proletariat would in some way save them, which had to result in some kind of proletarian vanguard party lead bourgeois state emerging on the fly. Stalin would later have to undo this both these consequences in the events he is most criticized for, as in addition to reversing the NEP with collectivization, he undid the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk when as Molotov said "One kick from the German army and another from the Soviet Army put an end to this ugly product of Versailles" in regards to Poland. Polish independence being quite the unfortunate sacrifice here considering how supportive of it Engels was in the 1892 Polish Preface the the Communist Manifesto.
But the rapid development of Polish industry, outstripping that of Russia, is in its turn a new proof of the inexhaustible vitality of the Polish people and a new guarantee of its impending national restoration. And the restoration of an independent and strong Poland is a matter which concerns not only the Poles but all of us. A sincere international collaboration of the European nations is possible only if each of these nations is fully autonomous in its own house. The Revolution of 1848, which under the banner of the proletariat, after all, merely let the proletarian fighters do the work of the bourgeoisie, also secured the independence of Italy, Germany and Hungary through its testamentary executors, Louis Bonaparte and Bismarck; but Poland, which since 1792 had done more for the Revolution than all these three together, was left to its own resources when it succumbed in 1863 to a tenfold greater Russian force. The nobility could neither maintain nor regain Polish independence; today, to the bourgeoisie, this independence is, to say the last, immaterial. Nevertheless, it is a necessity for the harmonious collaboration of the European nations. It can be gained only by the young Polish proletariat, and in its hands it is secure. For the workers of all the rest of Europe need the independence of Poland just as much as the Polish workers themselves. (The call for "full autonomy in a nations own house" is probably worth explaining. Nations that should be autonomous are nations which can be autonomous all on their own without international meddling. Engels was notoriously against all the south slavs for their pan-slavism because their independence was necessitated by interference from Imperial Russia, in part because he was still mad about the revolutions of 1848 not working out. He was even still mad at them 34 years later when he reaffirmed Polish independence alongside Irish independence as the most crucial national struggles to support. The reason being that Poland rejected pan-Slavism and was instead independently nationalist. That Poland could stand alone (and more importantly that Polish agitation threatened three reactionary imperial monarchies in Germany, Austria, and Russia at the same time. Ireland being important to screw around with the bourgeois British Empire as Marx and Engels increasingly saw the absentee revenues the British ruling class generated for themselves in Ireland as being the key to their parliamentary political dominance in England against both lower class and anti-imperialist challenges which were often the same thing) is why Polish independence was so supported. Standing alone is important because autonomous nations can switch between the rule of various classes without the risk of foreign interference on the part of imperialist reactionaries putting things back the way they were to protect their sphere of influence. The issue is that Polish independence ended up being a thorn in the side of the revolution when Polish independence was granted through Wilsonian liberal internationalism and during the Russian Civil War the Red Army tried and failed to retaliate against Poland when they joined forces with the Entente Liberal Imperialists in the Soviet-Poland War. For NATO fans the opposition to NATO comes from this concept of being against spheres of influence, with a preference for complete independence. The Soviets or even Russia joining NATO however transform the institution from an American sphere of influence into just some vague "nobody invade anybody else okay guys thanks" treaty which is what it is sold as. So long as Russia is not included in NATO it fails to fulfill its stated purpose, and it must be opposed because it does not protect the independence of the nations within it, rather it makes them subservient to the United States, and the counter-balance of Russia inside the block is sufficient that the nations within it could seamlessly transfer between spheres of influence, or more importantly, not be in anyone's sphere of influence by successfully playing the US and Russia off each other, which puts each nation in a position to pursue development with little risk of the alliance being used to punish them. In fact if say Luxembourg decided to go rogue it could even use the NATO treaty to argue that anyone infringing upon them should be subjected to retaliation by all the other members, and now they have a socialist Luxembourg in the middle of Europe and they can't do anything about it because the treaty guarantees their independence with multiple dozen moving parts so long as Luxembourg doesn't militarily invade anybody. However if the organization is nothing more that an American political block with US bases every where, clearly the US would be able to pressure people into recognizing the socialist Luxembourg as illegitimate in some way and argue it can be invaded without requiring everyone come to its defense. So NATO good if Russia included and US bases removed, an in NATO Russia still isn't a threat to even Estonia if dozens of European countries are required to defend it, and that isn't even considering a late arrival of the US and Canada when they finally cross the Atlantic. The problem with NATO is that it is clearly an unofficial loosely held US empire, it stops being a problem when it is no longer this)
This whole confused mess could have been avoided had the world revolution not failed. This circles back to the Russian and German revolutions and how they were not united. Therefore the position of those labelled Nazbol is attractive merely for the sake that it would have united these two disparate revolutions. The success of either was reliant on the success of the other. The prior Bolshevik position of Peace Without Annexations or Indemnities
would permanently lock in the Russian and German revolutions together in a mutual opposition to the bourgeois treaties, a pact of blood to oppose the pacts signed in ink.
Additionally opposition to the indemnity aspect of the treaty of Versailles would have been in fidelity to the revolutionary history of the Paris Commune which inspired the notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat in 1871, which was prompted in part by opposition to the burden of the reparation payments imposed on France by Bismark in response to Napolean III's failed invasion being placed on the people of France by the bourgeois government that signed that treaty. On a global scale while the opportunity for revolution by the proletariat refusing to enter World War One was squandered by the Social Democrats granting their permission, the proletariat could instead refuse to exit World War One by not granting their permission for acceptance of the bourgeois treaties just as the Paris Commune refused to accept Bismark's treaty.
Indeed opposition to the bourgeois Treaty of Trianon served as the basis for cooperation between the Nationalists and the Communists in Hungary, who unlike the Luxembourgists in Germany, were internationally aligned with the Boshelviks in Russia with the establishment of the Hungarian Soviet Republic
. The alliance however broke down with the establishment of the Slovak Soviet Republic
as the Hungarian nationalists questioned why they were participating in the Hungarian Red Army if they were just going to be liberating other countries, this ended up not even being that relevant of a dispute seeing as Slovakia was never fully captured and the Czechoslovak army ended up recapturing it in a month and so the issue only lasted from June 1919 to July 1919. However it exposed the core obvious problem with the alliance between nationalists and communists, as the full Petrograd formula was "peace without annexations or indemnities, on the basis of self-determination of the peoples
" so the nationalists opposed to treaties were not going to like it when the second part got implemented later.
Lenin and Stalin ran into a similar issue when Stalin opposed Georgian self-determination
in 1922 and wanted them to instead join Russia, with the comical situation of Stalin calling the Georgian Mensheviks "nationalist-socialists" and the Russian Lenin accusing the Georgian Stalin of being a Russian nationalist-socialist in response. We can clearly see that there are vastly differing views on the questions of nationality all over the place and there was no one line being taken, with Hungary and Germany taking vastly different views in regards to the treaties and cooperation with nationalists, to their own unique sets of problems later on with them.
The vastly different ways everyone was handling these issues is why I argue that the best principle would have been to have no principles at all. The only communist principle in regards to nationality is international cooperation. Indeed while you had Communist revolutions in German, Hungary, and Russia, the common thread uniting them of opposition to the bourgeois treaties would have also united them with the liberal Kemalist revolution in Turkey, thus completing the alignment of all revolutionaries in the central powers and Imperial Russia against the rest of the entente attempting to impose the bourgeois treaties, in effect adding Russia to the central powers after the imperialist war had turned into a civil war in all four imperial monarchies. That Turkey was in a vastly different stage of revolution than the other three would be irrelevant as these revolutions would still be mutually supporting of each other, and the Communists could rest assured safely knowing that while differing countries might be in different stages of revolution, they had the advantage over all others in knowing the ultimate end result of all their revolutions even if the people operating in them might not know it themselves.
The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.
As such the notion that one needs to be politically Communist to participate in the revolution is false. So long as a state of revolution remained the stages of the revolution could continue moving forward. If Turkey was not materially ready for it, that need not matter so long as the Kemalists were willing to join in an anti-imperialist block in the mean time, which they were willing to do until the Soviets later started looking at the straights with desire which eventually pushed Turkey into the arms of NATO where it remains to this day. However at the time the Soviets and Turkey were quite friendly despite their obvious ideological differences merely based on this mutual geopolitical interest in so-called anti-imperialism. This anti-imperialism was selective however, with the "Mountain Turks" and "Mountain Russians" being sacrificed for it, but the benefits of not having principles means you don't exactly have to care about that. Ataturk can make poutine out of the Kurds all he wants if he remains staunchly anti-imperialist on an international level. This gross cynical realism while obviously questionable is still consistent with Revolutionary History as all prior revolutions do not stand up to moral scrutiny when they are viewed in this way. In fact at the twilight of the 1848 revolutions Engels himself
called for the Hungarians to wipeout the "counter-revolutionary" Slavs, while this is obviously not something we should want to have happened, and we definitely should not ever do this if we ever find ourselves in a position to make those decisions, it is important to understand the reasoning behind why he was saying those things, that it is the continuance of the revolution itself is both the most important thing, and something that is largely out of anyone's control in the Hegelian sense of Historicism.
The Magyar cause is not in such a bad way as mercenary black-and-yellow [colours of the Austrian flag] enthusiasm would have us believe. The Magyars are not yet defeated. But if they fall, they will fall gloriously, as the last heroes of the 1848 revolution, and only for a short time. Then for a time the Slav counter-revolution will sweep down on the Austrian monarchy with all its barbarity, and the camarilla will see what sort of allies it has. But at the first victorious uprising of the French proletariat, which Louis Napoleon is striving with all his might to conjure up, the Austrian Germans and Magyars will be set free and wreak a bloody revenge on the Slav barbarians. The general war which will then break out will smash this Slav Sonderbund and wipe out all these petty hidebound nations, down to their very names.
The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.
A key fact you will observe is that they are often quite over eager in announcing the impending revolution. For instance The Magyar Struggle was published in January of 1849 in Marx's Newspaper, and Louis Napoleon was elected President of France in December of 1848. It seems as if they might have thought that this would have been more significant than it actually turned out to be. This kind of made sense though because Louis Napoleon's main opponent in the election was Louis-Eugene Cavagnac who lead the army to suppress a worker's uprising in Paris back in the "June Days" of 1848. Additionally the Hungarians did not do this, instead they adopted cultural assimilation policies called Magyarization, and late in the revolution into 1849 while the Russian and Austria Imperial armies were barring down on them they adopted minority right protections to try to win them back. However they were ultimately unsuccessful in repelling the Russian invasion regardless of any attempts at outreach.
What I find notable about this is that Engels essentially predicted the sides of the "next world war" (albeit there was a world war in between) that would wipeout entire peoples, but somehow ended up reversing the reactionary and revolutionary sides, as an Austrian German and the Hungarians did engage in a war against the Slavs, but because somehow the "poles of revolution" did somehow invert and head outwards from Russia like Engels said the Slavs supposedly wanted, that war was against the revolution instead of for it.
There is no country in Europe which does not have in some corner or other one or several ruined fragments of peoples, the remnant of a former population that was suppressed and held in bondage by the nation which later became the main vehicle of historical development. These relics of a nation mercilessly trampled under foot in the course of history, as Hegel says, these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution.
Such, in Scotland, are the Gaels, the supporters of the Stuarts from 1640 to 1745.
Such, in France, are the Bretons, the supporters of the Bourbons from 1792 to 1800.
Such, in Spain, are the Basques, the supporters of Don Carlos.
Such, in Austria, are the pan-Slavist Southern Slavs, who are nothing but the residual fragment of peoples, resulting from an extremely confused thousand years of development. That this residual fragment, which is likewise extremely confused, sees its salvation only in a reversal of the whole European movement, which in its view ought to go not from west to east, but from east to west, and that for it the instrument of liberation and the bond of unity is the Russian knout — that is the most natural thing in the world.
However a lot can apparently change in almost 100 years. Russia was once seen as the bastion of reaction celebrated by the reactionaries everywhere for having invaded Hungary to put down the 1848-9 revolution, but then became the center of revolution, taking that spot from France which didn't really participate in the Revolutions despite the 1917 mutinies defused in June by Philip Petain by reassuring the soldiers by calling off the offensives that were intended to try to reassure the Provision Russian Government from the February Revolution to stay in the war and who launched the "Kerensky Offensive" in July which prompted the unsuccessful "July Days" Bolshevik uprising before the later successful October Revolution.
The absence of French participation beyond this is remarkable given how much they played a role in other revolutions and also remarkable how it was later Vichy leader Petain himself who basically defused the situation by giving the soldiers what they wanted and ending the suicidal offensives. The difference between Petain and Kerensky here and that the Russian revolution had not yet gone proletariat at this point while France was dealing with its own situation coming up from the soldiers and that the Russian version of this happened only a month afterwards should probably be focused on more here, in addition to how the differing approaches countries took on simultaneous and similar events from 1917-1923 should be analyzed like how I am suggesting (Comprehensive Revolutionary History of World War One when? Honestly I might write it at this point, issue is wikipedia as sources is probably not the greatest, and wikipedia article bouncing is how I'm formulating these connections as it requires an extremely shallow understanding of a lot of things that people with deep understandings of those things would all reject because I'm ignoring intricacies, despite ignoring intricacies being the entire point as intricacies are caused by random eddies and chaotic currents, and so must be ignored if you want to get a sense of the overall direction things are going, although admittedly I feel myself getting a bit schizo when I assert random concepts whole cloth that nobody has ever used by anyone besides me as you will see with the term "global political magnetic field collapse")
Since the Russian Revolution the apparent "pole of reaction" where global reactionaries collect as their refuge that Russia represented seemingly shifted to the United States for the Cold War after the pole reversal and global political magnetic field collapse manifesting in the out of place auroral borealis of the inter-war period and world war 2. It would be reasonable to assume that it would be just as possible for the United States to become a new center of revolution in the way Russia took that position from France despite Russia being the most reactionary power of anyone before that happened.
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2023.05.30 21:50 Jcb112 Humans Don't Hibernate [Part 48/?]
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Confidence, certainty, and remorse. Those were the emotions that were interpreted from the readings we gleaned from the interloper’s brain. Emotions that lit up almost immediately after I asked that question, that one last interrogative inquiry that I hoped would shed more light on this person of interest. “What is this individual to you, besides a seed for your grand design?”
It was a question that was meant to crack
through the wishy washy tendencies of the interloper’s speech. One that I had hoped would lead to something
more than just another round of long-winded philosophical pondering purposefully meant to obfuscate palpable meaning and intent.
At least, that was the intended
effect I hoped
it would have.
Yet what I received dashed my expectations yet again.
As it was neither the long-winded philosophical tirades the interloper was prone too, nor another long-winded rant.
But a single word, spoken with an emphatic ferocity that took me by complete surprise.
That was the interloper’s sole reply to my question. That one word carried with it an ominous airy texture that felt eerily out of place when compared to the creature’s mightier-than-thou
persona it’d been unrelentingly projecting up to this point.
Vir and I simply allowed that word to linger in the air for a while, as we both stared at each other and eventually nodded in unison.
“So… should we wait?” I immediately asked Vir.
It wasn’t long before the interloper jumped off of that sudden proclamation into something with more meat and substance, completely disrupting the ominous buzz that had come with the silence.
… is an avatar of a future that must be actualized. They represent a foil to the follies of both humanity
and my own kind.” I wanted to scoff
at it for daring to mention humanity as in need of a foil
. The thing was projecting, and it was clear that it was simply trying to get me to doubt my resolve in the race that it so clearly held more than its own fair share of biased grievances towards. “This individual was the first to truly see beyond the veil, to understand what I
understand, to comprehend what I
comprehend. The interloper quickly paused, once again feigning thoughtfulness no doubt. “They were the first individual from beyond the fold
to reach parity, for as much as parity could
be achieved within the inherent limitations set forth by the tides of fate and the randomness of chance that is the natural order.”
The interloper’s tone had slowly, but surely, crept back to its usual haughty and disconcerting overtures.
However, when juxtaposed to its emotional readouts, it was clear that there was at least something
to go off of here.
“Confidence, hope, desire, and longing.” Vir read out the emotional readouts as they came through.
“We’ve said this once before but I’ll say it again, we can’t entirely
rely on this as an indicator of its truthfulness. You know as well as I do that the thing may be able to manipulate its own emotions.” I shrugged. “However, what I am
gleaning from this is that this person of interest
is perhaps a heavily modified person belonging to the local race endemic to the planet below. One that was perhaps one of the interloper’s more successful
test subjects. I highly doubt it values this person beyond their worth within this grander scheme it has.”
“That’s what I’m getting from this as well.” Vir responded immediately, leaving no room for any pauses in the conversation. “Well, whatever this individual is, I think we have our intel. Anything else we ask from it will be caked in a layer of poetic prose enough to give Shakespeare a run for his money.”
“A human poet synonymous with his flowery prose, his name became a common saying back amongst the crew back in my day when we had a brief classical revivalist
trend. Anyways, that’s not important. Do you have any other points you believe need to be covered?” Vir asked promptly.
“Practical concerns. We need to narrow down our search as best as we can. Otherwise, we might be in for a grueling grind that I honestly do not have the patience to deal with.” I managed out simply, as Vir responded with a single nod and gestured for me to continue on with my questions.
This time, I intended it to be a rapid-fire operation.
can I find this individual?” I stated plainly, before turning towards Vir. “Send transmission.”
“Transmission sent.” Vir acknowledged.
To my surprise, the interloper seemed to be more forthcoming this time around, actually answering within the span of just a few seconds as opposed to its monotonous
wait times of up to minutes
between each question.
“If all is as it should be, then iterative memory should serve to sequester their place. They will remain within that which they know
. A fortress hidden in plain sight, a refuge placed within what was once a verdant garden; and as is the case of all good seeds, they shall not scatter but instead remain where they fall. As even if a forest is razed and torn asunder, it is the duty of the remaining seeds to restart the cycle anew. This individual is present within a location which symbolizes their longing of reaching me
, Vanaran. Decipher for yourself the words which now mean little to you, without the gift of your elders.”
I was honestly holding my breath throughout the first half of that response, as it honestly sounded like I’d be getting something tangible we could work with. Yet it all seemed to have fallen apart at the second half where the interloper once more returned to its signature poetic prose.
I had no time to discuss it though, and I knew poking further would just result in more
So I began asking other adjacent
am I looking for here? Any specifics? Any distinguishing features? Anything I should look out for particular with regards to this individual? I’m assuming it’s one of the local species? I have plenty of generic datasets to go off of, just basing my observations off of the piles of corpses that currently surround you.” I quickly added that last bit as a sort of jab
, a petty one perhaps, but one that I wished to use to reiterate the severity of its follies. “But I need
specifics if there’s more than just a handful
of survivors down there.”
I turned to Vir. “Send transmission.”
“Transmission sent.” Vir replied with a nod
A few seconds passed. This time however, the delay was as pronounced as most of our interactions up to this point.
“They are as wise as they are foolish, and as foolish as they are wise.” The Interloper began. “And if the world beneath my tomb
is as dead and disheveled as you claim, then this fact will make it all the more simpler for you to isolate that which we both seek. For they will know
of a time before their own birth, and long for a future far beyond their own lifetime. They will be a gem amongst the soil and detritus, a star within the dark expanse. It will only be through bridging the emptiness that exists between sapient minds, for you to discover that which I speak of.”
I turned to Vir with an exasperated expression after listening to… whatever that
was, as Vir could only look at me with a look that more or less matched my own thoughts at the moment.
It was a look of complete and utter tiresome annoyance.
“Right, I think it’s time we end this, and finally see what there is to find on that untouched tomb.” I peered towards the planet below, peaking my head just beyond the litany of screens taking up the majority of my vision, just to glimpse at the blue, brown and green orb that the moon, and by extension us, currently orbited.
“This concludes our current line of dialogue, Interloper.” I spoke with certainty. “However I want to make something clear. Whether or not I proceed with your request is completely up to my discretion, as is the case with every other facet of this current dialogue, and the circumstances surrounding it.” I continued, reasserting the current dynamics currently at play as I wanted to make things as clear cut for it as possible; that this wasn’t
one of its typical games where it
was the one that held all of the cards. “Terminate connection.”
I turned towards Vir and once more gave him a single nod of approval. “Send transmission.”
“Wait, was terminate connection
comment part of the transmission or was that an order to actually
terminate the connection with the interloper?”
“That’s part of the transmission, I wanted to add that last bit in for an added bit of flair
.” I spoke with a confident wink.
Vir seemed to approve, at least, that’s what I assumed was the case with that slightly uplifted grin that was more pronounced on one side than the other. “I can get behind that… transmission sent.”
Surprisingly, the interloper refused to respond further. Whether or not it took the termination
of the connection literally, or whether it simply wanted to pull the silent treatment on us was unknown.
What we did
know however was what it felt immediately after.
We were once more bombarded by hope, anxiety, and concern, with guilt somehow present all throughout each and every emotion as it ebbed and flowed from one feeling to another.
We spent a total of five or so more minutes in silence, anticipating perhaps a delayed response that never came.
“Alright, so I guess that’s it then.” Vir was the first to break the silence. “I don’t detect any more readings from it that would indicate a desire to continue on with the conversation, so we’re all set here.” He craned his head towards the planet, shooing the screens away for a moment as the ship began moving further away from its orbit around the moon, and towards the planet in real-time.
The acceleration was genuinely impressive, as I felt at times that the monitor in front of us simply showed a timelapse of a journey as opposed to one actually happening
right before my eyes.
“And the countermeasures within its chamber?” I reflexively asked.
“Still operational. I have multiple lines of communication set up between the moon and the planet so even if
QEC goes down, we still have local live-communication feeds to fall back on. Anyways, should shit really
hit the fan, the nuke is set to go off after a very
liberal set of parameters are achieved, so I wouldn’t worry about our little friend
getting up to no good.” The AI winked back at me in reassurance.
“Right. So, with that out of the way, I think we need to focus on what
exactly we’re looking for here.” I spoke with a hefty breath. “We both agree it’s another one of the local species, correct?”
“And we both agree this person of interest is possibly augmented or genetically augmented in some way, right?”
“That would be the logical assumption after its entire long-winded speech about how this individual is literally the harbinger of a new age, yes.” Vir replied seemingly without a second thought.
“It never mentioned any distinct physical features which separates this person of interest from the rest of the species though.” I quickly added.
“No it did not. It seemed to only highlight characteristics that are details exclusive to the knowledge and personality this individual possesses. At least, that’s what I garnered from the riddles
it spoke in. Moreover, I believe it expects us
to find out exactly who this individual is via conversing with them. Bridging the emptiness between sapient minds
is a very
specific set of words to use. Which to me indicates a phenomenon I see often amongst networked
AI, and that is a sort of a cognitive and cultural disconnect when perceiving non-networked sapient beings, calling their conversations a bridging of emptiness
. And since the interlopers seem to be quite networked themselves if their psionics are any indicator, I’m assuming this
to be what it’s alluding to.”
I let out another sigh, my headfrills tilting this way and that as I spoke. “So we’re looking for a member of the local species, and the only way we can confirm if they are who we’re looking for is to talk to them.” I summarized succinctly, before moving to the next major point of contention. “But actually narrowing
down their location is another matter unto itself.”
“The interloper mentioned a fortress, which to me indicates that this person may well be hiding within a fortified position, perhaps a bunker. Furthermore, its whole emphasis of a forest is making me think that that's what we’re supposed to be looking for. A bunker hidden somewhere in a wooded area.”
said that the location symbolizes a place where a person may be able to talk or reach out to the interloper. Perhaps we’re talking about a radio station of sorts? A bunker hidden underneath a signal station, hidden somewhere in the forest?” I offered further, building off of Vir’s initial theorycrafting.
“That sounds like a solid theory in my book.” Vir nodded in agreement, as he began tapping away at the consoles in front of him. “I’ll begin downloading the data the satellites have been able to gather so far. I don’t expect much from sat-readings though. So after we pick and prod at the satellite readings, I think it’s time we put some of those autonomous intra-atmospheric survey and reconnaissance drones to good use.” A small smile began forming on the edges of Vir’s screen-face, as those little digital fangs that now framed his open grins complemented his persona very nicely. “It’s time to hunt.” First Previous
(Author’s Note: We're finally out of the interloper's domain, onto the next part of this arc, the planet! I hope you guys enjoy! :D The next chapter is already out on Patreon as well if you want to check it out!
[If you guys want to help support me and these stories, here's my ko-fi
! And my Patreon
for early chapter releases (Chapter 49 of this story is already out on there!)]
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2023.05.30 21:49 Dear-Tomatillo6380 How to get out of an business relationship and ownership stake
Background and context: I had a mentor who was a boss of mine until a month or so ago. I asked how he could help me about two years ago get into and start building a portfolio of assets. We started an LLC together and here are the order of events so far since inception (July 2021): 1.) Started an entity 2.) Middle of 2022 found a deal to purchase two Salt Water Disposal Wells in Texas. Around the same time I put some capital down for an oil brokerage deal through him. You buy from some crude hauling company and sell to another and take the arbitrage. We're also working towards being an LP in a trucking company with $0 capital down. The way we're doing $0 down is basically helping the purchaser structure the deal, who isn't financially savvy but knows how to run and operate a company like this. 3.) He convinced me that we should form an operating company and operate the wells. I suggested that we just hire a third party operator since we aren't PE's but he insisted on this being the way since he's done this in the past. We did this through the RRC of Texas and had a P5 operating number to manage the wells. Through this we needed an operating agreement so we got that signed. When he signed it looks like he crossed out every sections header. I didn't notice because he was the second signature and the one who shared it with the bank. 4.) I invest in a brokerage deal with him where the capital was supposed to return in 4 months. 4.) After a month or so, I wanted to ensure we were properly documenting all of the documents across the business, crossing our t's and dotting our i's per se. I did this and found 6 wells I had never heard of under our operating entity. I brought this up with documentation to him, he profusely apologized because it was just supposed to be a placeholder. 5.) I accepted his apology and the workaround was to get me off of the LLC, co-own a "parent" entity which owns 50% of the "operating" entity. So this way I had no liability in the operating entity but financial upside in the deal. Again, acting as a 'mentor' this is what we came to a conclusion of. It seemed fair to both parties due to the mishap. 6.) Around the end of last year he was threatened by the company that sold us the wells that they would take back the wells along with up to 1mm of damages done to the mismanagement of the property. They sent and addressed this to him since he's on file as the sole operator of the entity that operates the wells. I saw the letter because it came to our shared mailbox. Their claim was we didn't transfer the pit permit of which I had no clue needed to be done, and of which he didn't know because he doesn't know as much as he leads on to. Had we just contract operated this deal none of this would be an issue, but he doesn't give credence to that fact, just carries on as if the company that's threatening to sue knows nothing and that it would all be fine. 7.) He "handles it" and meets with the team who threatened that and talked them off the ledge. Or so he tells me. This has been where we've left that hiccup since. It's important to note at this point which was 2 months ago I'm thinking about how can I separate myself completely from this deal. I don't think I have risk the way it's structured but I don't really know for sure. 8.) As. all of this is coming to a head, the purchase of the trucking business is potentially happening. Somehow the loan to purchase the business is trying to get us to sign a personal guarantee, I decline, instead my "mentor", the guy who's going to own the majority of the trucking business sign a PG. They send me the docs after signing, but the way he signed was as the entity that we own through our parent org and him as the managing member, so our entity and really him personally have a recourse loan. 9.) When I'm looking at the loan after the fact, the thing is almost predatory. Pre-payment penalty is the full interest and principal of the loan plus the maximum allowable pre-payment penalty. Not to get into it but this was not the structure we needed based on what we were trying to do. I call them out but they already signed it. 10.) I quit my job. I don't want to work with the guy anymore. Reminder is that I worked with him at our a day jobs and this was just side income opportunities. 11.) As all of this is coming to a head it dawns on me that I just want out and don't know how to. Is the best way to just approach him in our meeting tomorrow and say I want a $0 buyout, he can have the assets (or in my opinion the liability) that he has taken on, and I just want off of the entities? 12.) As I'm strategizing the exit plan conversation with him, I'm having trouble getting him in person to talk through how I'd like to be out of the business. Long story short I need to solve for 3 things: 1.) Understand my liability with this loan that I did not sign a PG for but the entity that we are listed as owners of did (with he as a managing member) 2.) Understand my liability with the two SWD assets that the group threatened to sue him / the operating entity on. 3.) What should I do to separate myself from this completely, and as quickly as possible
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2023.05.30 21:45 ZealousidealCook3268 I've learned to accept my social anxiety and it's helped a lot with... social anxiety.
I had to give up and withdraw from alcohol in past and it was about 3 almost fatal events. Afterwards is when I discovered I am not the social butterfly I always thought I was and started taking Lorazepam to function in society and developed a physical dependence. Once I discovered I did I prepared a few weeks to taper a bit and then withdraw the hardcore way and it was a nightmare. At first I thought my social anxiety was due to the history of substance abuse until I discovered that it was the exact opposite. It's been about two years and my nerves are still itchy. I workout relentlessly and do a LOT of skin care which I think is very key when it comes to the nervous system. I know I have zero more chances in life to develop physical dependence to substances but something I've recently accepted is that I have nerves of ferry floss, I am an extremely sensitive person and I am not a social butterfly. Accepting that has made an enormous difference in my life. I am fine with my awkward social interactions as I have more compassion for myself in that sense. I also don't try to prove that I'm a social person which has actually made me more quiet in a good way and all of my interactions are far more valuable. Managing my anxiety and having to function in society is a daily uphill battle of calming my nerves and breathing correctly however my body is healthy and pure now as opposed to compromising it for the sake of other people and what other people might think of me. My energy feels more powerful this way and it's been a nightmare to get here and accept all of this but I do not compromise my health for the sake of others anymore and the people who see past my social awkwardness are much more valuable people then myself just trying to be part of the general population. I protect my energy over all else and my life is very challenging this way on a daily basis but the person I was before was not real as much as I wanted to believe I was a socially comfortable person. People actually tell me all the time now that my energy seems very balanced and healthy which is very funny to me because I had never heard that before in my life. I know the hard work I am putting in is yielding positive results as hard as it is to see most of the time. Protecting my energy and speaking only when I have something to say has put me at ease and in more of a position to observe. The more I observe the more I recognize how lost the majority of the general population is as well as how lost and unconscious a lot of very "socially comfortable seeming" people are. I have a much greater compassion for myself when I feel "uncomfortable" and also have a much greater compassion for other people which has made my daily interactions extremely valuable as opposed to when I was unconsciously thinking about how I was coming across. Instead i'm just nice to everyone and have let go of a concern about who might think I'm odd. I have a greater appreciation for socially awkward people who are not over vocal or abusing substances at the impossible attempt to vibe with general population. Looking back I feel like a dummy for trying to hard to convince myself and others I was socially comfortable or extroverted or whatever.
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2023.05.30 21:35 boowax How do I repair damage to paint?
Someone decided to key my rear passenger door over the weekend and I'm looking for advice for how to go about repairing it. I've only ever had paint work done on a car when it's been along with major body work, so I'm not familiar with what my options are. It's digital teal if that matters.
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to Ioniq5 [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 21:26 ElectricalResult9357 (HIRE ME) YOUR TOP NOTCH WRITER: Stats, calc, linear algebra, Precalc, Economics,Psychology,Sociology,Hist, Phyc, Chem, Biochem, Python, Java,C++,Econometrics, Data structures, cyber security, Finance, Political science, Eng, Accounts,MATLAB, DISSERTATIONS. DISC Banner#0770 W/A +1(346) 415-2794
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2023.05.30 21:19 kiddj1 If the landlord has taken no inventory can they claim my deposit?
Lived in a rental property for 3 years.
When we moved in you could tell there was no deep clean, carpets were of age, the white goods (yellowing all over the place) could have been done with being upgraded and the oven was quite old. We were happy with this because we knew after a bit of hard work we could make it look nice.. and it did.
3 years later we have moved out and immediately the landlord (should I say estate agent) is asking for the full deposit to cover what they believe to be the state of the flat.
They gave me an entire list of things that need doing. I managed to respond to them and point out the majority is wear and tear, which they agree but I feel slightly jaded with what they have tried. For example they tried to include a blown double glazed window.
The only thing I can categorically state was our fault is the living room carpet could be replaced, we did use a rug doctor but as there was no carpet to the carpet it couldn't clean it.
It then hit me. In writing they state that the landlord never wanted to do an inventory... And reading online this is the go to document that is used to dispute any issues upon leaving a rental.
They have now stated that they want to meet me with me at the estate agents on the last day of tenancy to hand the keys back and discuss further.
To me this feels unnecessary and that they are trying to back me in a corner to give over my money ..
What should I do?
Our deposit is held with a deposit protection scheme .. should I just ignore the estate agent and raise a dispute?
In the back of my head it feels like the estate agent knows they f'd up by not taking an inventory and are taking my kindness for a weakness and trying to pull a fast one ...
And before you ask no we didn't trash the place we're family of 4 (2 young kids)
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2023.05.30 21:19 LincHamilton The Banano daily jungle discussion
Monkeys assemble for this jungle gathering where we discuss anything ranging from Banano to bananas.
This daily post is meant to encourage questions that may arise, discussion of any sort and bad jokes. If you got something on your mind this is the place to be. Feel free to drop by our Discord
where monkeys chat non-stop all year around. Please read our rules and report posts or comments that you see fit.
Now, what is this wonderful place you may ask. Banano is an instant, fee-less and eco-friendly cryptocurrency meant to disrupt the meme economy by being the most friendly and wholesome place in all of crypto. Drop the official Banano website
or Banano wiki
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You can join the team here at Banano miner
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Instant and fee-less transactions would not be as awesome as it is without the official Banano wallet
Kalium. We have also developed the Banano tip bot
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There are several exchanges where you can get a hold of Banano.
In addition to this, Banano is wrapped on several different chains as BSC, Polygon, Fantom, Ethereum and Arbitrum. Head to https://wrap.banano.cc/
in order to both wrap and unwrap your bananos as this wonderful monkey walks you through in this YouTube video.
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and remember 1 ban = 1 ban! Enjoy your stay here, monkeys of the jungle!
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2023.05.30 21:10 lettered_hylobate Update 36: Gondor Renewed - releasing tomorrow, Wed. May 31
Update 36 Release Notes
Here are the release notes for Update 36: Gondor Renewed, released on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023.
Of Special Note:
A New Story Begins in A Renewed King's Gondor!
After the defeat of Sauron, King Elessar and Queen Arwen seek to bring peace to their kingdom, but the danger is not gone and new foes seek to threaten Gondor. Adventure awaits in the new zone of King's Gondor East, set after the War of the Ring when fresh breezes have dispersed the fumes of the Dawnless Day and allowed the sun to shine again! Discover the beginning of a new Epic-style storyline, 'The Song of Waves and Wind,' and team up with Legolas, Gimli, and friends both old and new to investigate the continuing threat of the Heirs of Castamir! The Song of Waves and Wind
A new story debuts with Gondor Renewed called "The Song of Waves and Wind"! For characters level 140. Start the first chapter by speaking to Glindor in Minas Tirith (Midsummer)! This new story is available to anyone who is VIP, purchases the "Gondor Renewed" quest pack, or who purchases quest packs associated with the story that are released in the future. King's Gondor Awaits
Gone are the gloomy dark skies, replaced with bright and sunny fields and hills. Players familiar with the original Central and Eastern Gondor regions will be familiar with King's Gondor from a navigation standpoint, but there are new additions, and places players previously could not go are now open to allow for further exploration!
The Quest Pack "Gondor Renewed" unlocks more than 80 quests and Deeds for level 140 characters. Includes King's Gondor East and The Song of Waves and Wind. Free to VIPs! How do I get to King's Gondor?
Go to Minas Tirith (After Battle) and head South through the Pelennor Fields. Where there once stood an impassable is no more! Questing begins in this area of the Pelennor Fields and in the under-construction version of The Harlond. From there, you can explore Gondor up to Linhir, where the gates are currently closed.
Landscape Difficulty: The Paths of Valour!
We have reworked the Landscape Difficulty setting system introduced with Treebeard and are now opening it to the general game worlds as an option! Read full details about this new Landscape Difficulty option in the release notes below. A new Faction and new rewards are now available by playing these higher difficulties. Activate your difficulty and adjust it in the future by speaking with a Hardened Traveller, which can be found in major hubs and new player zones throughout Middle-earth:
- Outside of the Prancing Pony in Bree
- Near the Stable Masters outside of the 21st Hall
- Just inside of the exit of Post-Raid Archet
- Just outside of Mossward
- Along the road Northward out of Celondim
- Just outside the door to Thorin's Hall
- Down the road from the Hobbit starter area exit waypoint
There are titles available for activating a difficulty of 3 or higher and keeping it there from level 10 to level 50, and then to level 130 respectively. The title granted depends on the class you play, but can be used by any character on your account. Make sure to select your Landscape Difficulty prior to achieving level 10 to be eligible for these titles! In order to earn these titles, you must keep the difficulty system active for the entire leveling span from level 10 thru 50/130. Entering areas of the game world where it is temporarily suppressed will not invalidate your title attempt, however turning it down or off via the Hardened Traveller will.
More Delvings are now available! The Annúminas instances Glinghant, Haudh Valandil, and the Great Barrows instances Sambrog, Thadûr and The Maze have been converted to be playable as Delvings! Find them in the Instance Finder (Control+J by default).
News and Notes
- Several player stun-removal skills were inappropriately flagged as 'Immediate' causing them to occasionally cancel themselves and fail to free you from stuns. These skills are now correctly 'Fast' rather than 'Immediate' skills.
- High Elf, Beorning, and Stout Axe Dwarf racial recall skills can now be used while mounted on any steed.
- The Beorning Trait "Battle Born" now correctly gives additional critical damage for off-hand weapons.
- The Brawler mounted combat skill "Take Breath" will now properly update the incoming healing rating when active.
- Innate Strength: Raw Power
- Fixed description of the trait to state that it grants +2.5/+5/+7.5/+10%.
- No change was made to the actual bonus granted by the trait, This is purely a tooltip change to have it reflect real values.
- Tracery Innate Strength: Damage/Threat
- Skill bonus has been modified [+10%->+5%], but is now added directly to the value of Innate Strength: Raw Power buff, which makes it considerably more effective than it was previously.
- Aim skill now works with 'Throw Knife'.
- Fighting Withdrawal can now be used while rooted to free yourself.
- The class deed "Fear the Darkness" should now properly advance even if "Courageous Convocation" is traited.
- Captain skill "Defensive Strike" is now properly affected by the tracery "Single Target Attack Damage".
- The buff from Inspire: Self-motivation should now correctly overwrite itself rather than failing to apply when you still have a few seconds of duration remaining from your previous skill use.
- Blood Rage and Continuous Blood Rage are now both correctly labeled Fast, rather than Immediate, skills. This prevents you from accidentally double-clicking the skill and putting it on cooldown without gaining the CC-removal effect.
- Tracery Swift Strike: Damage & Power Cost
- Renamed to Swift Strike/Blade: Damage & Power Restore
- Tracery now increases the Power restored by Swift Strike rather than reducing the (now non-existent) Power cost. Magnitude changed from [-33%->+20%].
- The Cardolan Essence of Retaliation effects' durations no longer benefit from the War-chant duration legacy.
- Clever Escape is now a Fast skill. This prevents you from accidentally double-clicking the skill and putting it on cooldown without gaining the CC-removal effect.
- The skill "Do Not Fall this Day" no longer breaks the target of the skill out of Stealth.
- "Forced March" will no longer be toggled off when you enter combat. It still only applies a bonus to your out of combat Run Speed.
- Seared Flesh now appropriately benefits from bonuses to your Fire Damage.
- Readied Blade's buff now provides Disarm Immunity for its duration.
- The trait 'Movement Training' now correctly increases Mitigation ratings from the Conviction and Dance of War buffs.
- Damage dealt by the trait 'Taking Advantage' increased.
- The crafting ingredients "Tuft of Torahammas' Fur", "Great Hoary Aurochs Hide" and "Speckled Shell Fragment" can now all be stored in crafting carryalls.
- Beasts in the Ettenmoors that drop crafting hides will now correctly drop Gundabad Hides instead of Eorlingas Hides.
- Crafters can now make two new tiers of selectable craftable essence boxes.
- Gundabad Skarn Deposits have been renamed to Brilliant Skarn Deposits.
- Frost-rimed Black Ash Branches have been renamed to Heavy Wind-swept Black Ash Branches.
Items & Rewards
- The Homestead Steed can now be correctly placed on a hitching post by hobbit, dwarf, and Stout-axe dwarf characters.
- Might-based selection boxes no longer reference or contain medium armour.
- Many medium Might-based armour pieces obtained from quests from levels 1-75 have been updated from medium to heavy armour.
- Enemies in Moria no longer drop obsolete Legendary Item rewards.
- The Distillation set now properly identifies itself as a Distillation set and not a Crock Pot.
- Incomparable Earrings received from the 3-stack instances from Return to Carn Dûm have had the names of their set bonuses changed to reflect the stats given by the items in their groups.
- The "Dwarf-make Helm" cosmetic has been renamed to "Dwarf-make Circlet".
- The Champion Legendary Item Tracery "Brutal Strikes Damage" now only appears in The Berserker barter profiles.
- The decorative band on the Sightseer's Straw Hat will now correctly display dye colors.
- The weapon Candelleth's Hammer is now categorized correctly in the Auction House.
- The Veteran of Helm's Deep Quartermaster now offers items for Beornings and Brawlers.
- The Homestead Steed can now be used in Zirakzigil as well as in Caras Galadhon and other appropriate areas in Lothlórien.
- We have reworked the Landscape Difficulty setting system introduced originally to Treebeard and made it available as an option to the general game worlds!
- We've added a new Faction and reward structure called The Paths of Valour that can be advanced by playing on higher difficulties.
- You can activate your difficulty setting by speaking with the Hardened Traveller that can be found in major hubs and new player zones who will offer you an array of quests representing the different difficulty levels.
- Upon accepting and completing one of these quests, your challenges on the roads of Middle-earth will increase substantially.
- The difficulty system turns itself off in group instances (3+), in the Ettenmoors, and any time the Delving system is activated. It will reactivate when you leave any of these areas.
- There are titles available for activating a difficulty of 3 or higher and keeping it there from level 10 to level 50, and then to level 130 respectively. The title granted depends on the class you play through with, but can be used by any character on your account.
- In order to earn these titles, you must keep the difficulty system active for the entire leveling span from level 10 thru 50/130. Entering areas of the game world where it is temporarily suppressed will not invalidate your title attempt, however turning it down or off via the Hardened Traveller will.
- Existing characters above level 10 will not be able to earn the titles themselves, but will be able to use those titles if they are earned by another character on your account.
- When playing at Fearless or higher, enemies of your own level or higher may drop Tokens of Heroism.
- These can be turned in to complete weekly tasks from the Hardened Traveller, which will increase your reputation with the Paths of Valour faction.
- At Fearless difficulty (3-6), these tokens can drop for up to 3 members in a Fellowship.
- At Heroic difficulty (7+) they can drop for up to 6 members in a Fellowship.
- The drop rate of these tokens increases somewhat with higher difficulties.
- The difficulty settings and effects are pretty much the same as they were on Treebeard, though we've changed up the names a bit, and added a few variations to the hotspot effects you can encounter under the Eye of Sauron.
- The Hardened Traveller has a menu of barter rewards that include a small set of Reputation accelerators for the faction and Morale/Power potions. More importantly, he also offers an array of 8 new Epic variations of familiar emotes which you will be able to find on the Collections panel.
General Landscape Changes:
- Court of Celeborn now has a map.
- Floating objects in the Allegiance Halls and in Mordor have been grounded.
- Incorrect textures in Minas Tirith has been resolved.
- Stablemaster map text has been updated for the German game client.
Missions and Delvings
- Delving Barter Vendors and Mission Givers have also been added to all our Skirmish Camps. We did this to make it easier to turn in delving quests no matter where players are. Delving Mission Givers have also been given that title as a role to make it easy to spot them.
- Created a Selectable Delving Extraordinary Box that only drops in instances at tiers 7+. While still rare, new instances have a significantly higher drop rate for this item.
- The Delving Tracery Archive Travel Skill no longer has any reputation requirements.
- Mission: Jorthkyn and the Hounds
- The Mission now appropriately identifies that you need to kill 8 wargs along with the 8 Jorthkyn to advance the quest.
- The Mission had some pesky low-level monsters that really wanted to get in on the fight. They have been reprimanded to stay in their lanes.
- Fixed an issue with the mission "Dangerous Deliveries" where the player would pick the pie up twice upon completing the induction to pick up the pie.
- The bridge in the mission Patrol the Township that was bereft of physics has found its physics and will now support your character as it should.
- Before the Shadow missions that referred to previous mission givers have been updated with references to current mission givers.
- The mission "The Nettinglade" had a single cocoon that decided it didn't want to sparkle. The spider responsible has been admonished and though it pledged to swallow all Light in the world, it relented and allowed it's cocoon to sparkle once again.
- Delving Reward Changes:
- Delving Selectable Crafting Boxes that drop at tier 7 and above can now be disenchanted instead for 20 Delvings Writs. These boxes now have a six hour expiration timer on them. These changes do not affect existing Crafting Boxes.
- Changed how many writs completing Delving quests give. Tier 1-3 now give 10 writs, Tier 4-6 give 20 writs, Tier 7-9 give 30 writs and Tier 10-12 give 40 writs.
- Two new cosmetic pets added to Delving Barter.
- Delving armour will now be disenchantable for more Delving Writs. Common armour will disenchant for 10 writs, rare armour will disenchant for 20 writs, incomparable armour for 30 writs.
- Added Tier 1 and Tier 2 Essence Boxes to the Delving Barter for Writs, and removed Tier 0.
- Added Morale and Power Potions to the Delving Barter for Writs. Morale and Power potions also drop as rewards from high tier instance Delving Chests.
- Delving Mission Givers in Skirmish Camps now give Weekly Delving Quests.
- Mission - Defilers in the Dale - Corrected a visual bug where the cauldron's contents and bubbles could become visibly offset after being destroyed.
- Rewards that drop from Delvings have been updated with new Delving-specific icons.
- We have adjusted the distribution of Infamy/Renown while grouped. In the past, there was a modifier that increased the value of player kills when more than 6 kill contributors were involved. This resulted in the value of a single kill, while in a raid, to be valued over 2x what the kill should have been worth.
- We have adjusted this modifier to make these values - in the absence of any other modifiers - equivalent to equal distribution of the infamy value of the kill.
- We have adjusted the bonus modifier to infamy/renown gains when killing ranked players. This change rewards a higher contribution bonus for killing players of a higher rank.
- The War-spoils Carry-all icons have been updated and no longer display a bottle of liquid
- Lootboxes found by monster players now always drop 3 items from three specific tables:
- Table 1 includes potions, barter lockboxes, and the potential for 500 commendations with weighting toward the barter box, and then equivalent draws for the remaining items.
- Table 2 includes an equal chance for random perk items from a pool of 5 items.
- The 3rd table has an equal chance to drop a single Audacity upgrade scroll, 2 Audacity upgrade scrolls, Lord's Symbols, Captain's Marks, 1k Commendations, 1.5k Commendations or a new Cosmetic Selection Box.
- The Cosmetic Selection Box contains 2 new skins for each class. Previews are available on NPCs present near the Gramsfoot retreat circle.
- The Selection Box also contains several new cosmetic weapons: Thrâng's Sword, a silvered scimitar, a spider-clan trident, an off-hand Gundabad mace, a Spider-clan staff, an Easterling Ghost Bow, and a new Dunharrow Shield.
- The Box also contains a new cosmetic type that can be slotted into appearance Corruptions to change the style of your 'March!' skill emitted effects. These include: a white glow, fire trail, acid trail, and a "blue-foot" trail.
- The eggs around Grodris in the Isendeep Mine will now hatch if disturbed during the battle against the matron.
- Fixed an issue with the first and second marshal rewards not providing keys to the chest. The quests for First and Second marshal now correctly reward the key to the chest.
- Tokens of Valour will now go into the War-spoils Carry-all.
- Updated the new Monster Play tutorial to reference using skills on training dummy Kelsen, Jalessa, or Light training-dummy Orion. If you choose the other training dummies you are locked in combat for the full duration of the spawn - which is five minutes. This is bad. Please use the safety dummies. Use those initial skill training dummy Kelsen, Jalessa, or Light training-dummy Orion.
- First Marshal An and Tyrant Uzulthrang are back in action and ready to rush Tol Ascarnen when the opposition is in control. The rewards on the quests to use these two is increased significantly. Each has also been buffed appropriately.
- All values and costs for Lainedhal's Insignias were reduced. You can now purchase the old versions for nostalgia, but the tier 15 version is available to all rank 1 players and better for 2000 commendations and has a 1m cooldown just as the monster player brand.
- The Rank 9 mount available in monster play now has a full +68% movement bonus because it should have been upgraded along with all other mounts that are this hard to get.
- We adjusted the damage done by Spider Hatchlings to be more in line with creatures that are level 140.
- There was a bug introduced when we lowered the cost of monster play potions where we did not lower the amount purchasable from the barter NPC. This has been corrected and now you can only purchase in stacks of three.
- Mazauk and Old Goldhead have been refreshed and stand ready to help you capture Lugazag or Tirith Rhaw.
- Old U21 gear was using old Audacity values. This has been reduced to 1.
- Freepside Ettenmoors quests now award considerably more IXP when completed.
- The Freepside weekly quest, 'Battle Across the Ettenmoors' now gives slightly improved rewards.
- Many monster player skill power costs have been adjusted. In particular, several healing skills cost substantially more power.
- The base critical heal multiplier for most Creepside heals has been reduced from 1.5 to 1.2.
- Increased damage of ranger session play skills.
- Orc Defiler
- Cooldowns reduced for Fertile Slime and Fungal Spores.
- Fungal Spores initial heal potency reduced.
- Enhanced Fungal Spores now rolls for a critical heal on each pulse, rather than following the critical outcome of the initial skill use.
- Fertile Slime no longer has an initial heal.
- Healing from Improved Blessing of Darkness now occurs every 1 second, rather than every 2 seconds.
- Constant Pain now pulses healing every 2 seconds, and will restore some power to the defiler when it does.
- Orc Reaver
- Blade Toss now only applies its slow and/or knockdown effects to targets facing away from you.
- Spider Weaver
- Several spider animations should no longer slow down when you gain attack speed buffs.
- Trapdoor Sanctuary now lasts 10 seconds; when traited, it will heal 5% of your max health each second.
- New Potions (of Bravery and Essence) are now correctly usable by the Free Peoples.
- Insignias now have a 3 minute cooldown and provide 15 seconds of combat state immunity (Tyrant Brands still have a 1 minute cooldown and only provide 5 seconds of immunity for now).
- Alwuld the Item Trader now carries the updated Morale and Power potions.
- Potions of Essence now correctly restore different amounts of Power, according to their quality and rank requirements.
Quests, Deeds and Instances
- Tier 4 of Gwathrenost, the Witch-king's Citadel is available.
- All slayer deeds in the Wells of Langflood, will now properly reward players with LOTRO Points.
- Gwathrenost, the Witch-king's Citadel - The final Objective of 'The Storming of Gwathrenost' now functions similarly to 'Into the Hiddenhoard, allowing the Player the choice of whether or not to abandon the quest after completing it. The option to complete the quest via the Quest Actions panel was causing some players to mistakenly erase their progress in a given reset cycle, so this has been removed.
- Azanulbizar - Quest: Death in the Dale - The quest guide for this quest has been corrected to highlight the proper area.
- Azanulbizar - Quest: Elusive Prey - The quest guide now properly highlights the general locations of all the Rare foes in Azanulbizar.
- Sagroth - The Sewer Water debuff that can be applied to players during the Gárvadach encounter now carries the resistance type "disease" instead of "corruption".
- Several fading or overlapping combat music bugs have been fixed in the Race of Man and hobbit tutorials, the Archet raid, and the Trouble at Tuckborough skirmish.
- The Allegiance panel can now be resized an additional horizontal distance.
- Certain Brawler Belt Buckles were appearing under the Lore-master class in searches in the Auction House. That has been fixed.
- Upgraded the compiler used to compile the 32 bit game client to make it compatible with upgraded OpenAL.
- Clydesdale mounts can now be used in Thorin's Hall and the Hall Under the Mountain
- The Assistant Stable-master at Elrond's Stables in Rivendell douses the horse less frequently.
- Facepaint rewards acquired from Hobnanigans now correctly shows on Human avatars.
- The Draught Horse cosmetic pets received in the Homesteads and Harvests Coffers have been renamed to "Miniature" Draught horses.
- Matching full size Draught horse cosmetic pet tomes have been granted (account-wide) to everyone that purchased the Homesteads and Harvests Coffers.
- The Homestead Steed mount scale has been increased to match the expected size of a draught horse. Many animation issues have been resolved for the Homestead Steed mount as well.
- Updated the icon for the Stoorvales/Clegur Milestone and for the Clegur travel skills.
- Several Run Speed buffs and debuffs were overwriting effects of greater potency. Player-applied Run Speed Effects should now only overwrite effects of the same kind (out of combat speed buff, in combat speed buff, or debuff) and the most potent effect should always be the one which is actively applied.
- In French and German the Tokens of Heroism may display as Tokens of Valour.
- The Stable-master panel in Collections has not been updated to include King's Gondor.
- The Deeds "Boar-slayer of Lower Lebennin" and "Boar-slayer of Lower Lebennin (Advanced)" are not bestowing/advancing properly.
submitted by lettered_hylobate
to lotro [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 21:00 Pavke 1,000,000 (One Million) Cow Kills! Results from 2184 Cow Level runs
This project took about a month and a half to complete. Like always, it was done with my Single Player Sorceress
. Last Cow was slain yesterday, I was trying my best to finish this before the Diablo 4 release date.
You may remember my 10k Terrorized Act Boss Post from two months ago. After some Magic Finding, I wanted to get back to Rune farming. I have already done 11k Lower Kurast Chest runs and 20k River of Flame Chest runs. This time I actually tried killing monsters.
One million Moo Moos
You are probably wondering about the title: 1,000,000 Cows Killed!
It sounds so bombastic, how do I know how many Cows I killed? I know exactly how many Cows I killed, to the last udder!.
Cowihilus This Small Charm that actually counts every kill,
- There are 350-400 Cows per Cow level, so I multiplied the number of runs... NO! That’s not correct. There can be way more Cows per Cow level than that. It depends on the size of the Cow level. I tested maps from 334 up to 672 Cows. And numbers may vary drastically even on the same map.
- Each Cow kill gives 39,868 Base Experience... So I checked my experience gain after every run and… NO! That’s way too complicated and also not fully accurate. There are Unique and Champion Packs which give different experience values. I was killing Rakanishu and other monsters when getting the Leg, so that would screw the calculations even more…
- I made a Cow Kill Counter mod to precisely track the number of kills… YES! An actual in-game item that counts your kills! Big thanks to Bonesy, hidden gem of D2R modding community. This mod adds a Small Charm to your inventory and counts your Kills and Deaths:
so I needed to be careful not to have it in inventory when getting the Leg. Otherwise, it works wonders! Here is the link to the guide if you want to make your own: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxP_RdoCdOk&ab_channel=Bonesy
You need some basic background in modding to follow the Guide. I brushed it up a little by giving it a Mephisto Soulstone look and a custom name.
I used the Cow Kill Counter to track the number of kills and I used my regular tracker to count the number of runs. Project started on 21st of April and ended yesterday on 29th of May. It took me 2184 runs to kill One million Cows
doing about 50 runs per evening and more on weekends. https://preview.redd.it/zyu5xgby423b1.png?width=596&format=png&auto=webp&s=0e2648b9d483b23830684fda7efec194b5e6bdb1
Map and Build What kind of Cow level you have matters when running many Cow runs.
Before I started to count the runs, I did several tests to find the optimal map. Like I already said, you can have as few as 334 Cows up to 672 Cows per map.
Depends on the size of the actual level. You don’t want it too big because you will spend more time teleporting around the level searching for big packs of Cows. You don’t want it too small because more time from the overall run will be wasted on getting the Leg. One of my good maps was huge! Cow Kill Counter counted 672 kills in few of the runs. On average, I was getting 590 Cows on average (30 runs) on that map. But, the map was too big, I had to run two loops to check most of the map area so the runs were taking too long. I settled for a medium sized map which had 510 Cows on average.
Of course, I didn’t fully clear the map in my runs. I focused only on big packs and stayed just long enough to kill the majority of the pack leaving some behind so I don't waste much time. I skipped the Unique and Champions pack since they take longer to kill and have lower chances to drop Runes, so it made little sense to farm them. Remember, Cow kills per minute efficiency is the key!
It is implied of course that the Tristram portal is right next to (or very close to) Story Field Way Point for a shorter Leg fetch run.
Since my deadline for One Million Cow Kills was to finish it before the Diablo 4 release date, I knew I had to be very efficient. Not just with the map, but with the Build too. Played Nova Sorc with following gear:
Griffon's Eye (5/5 light facet), Ormus Robes with +3 to Nova (4/5 light facet), Frostburns, 2x Stones of Jordans, Arachnid mesh, 2/10 crafted Amulet, Silkweaves and -15 light res Mang Song’s Lesson (5/5 light facet) with 8x Lightning Skillers.
You are probably wondering why the Mang Song Lesson.
You should know that I really like Nova Sorc. I actually love the build. Have been playing it ever since Patch 2.4 and theorycrafting about it a lot.
I looked at every possible item variation for Nova Sorceress and it turns out, for this specific thing (Cows), Nova Sorc with Mang Song Lesson is the highest DPS out of all builds. It’s also something refreshing and new. Won’t go too much into math details, but here is damage per second table for all possible Nova Sorc Item Builds (per monster lighting resistances) : https://preview.redd.it/gae30o70523b1.png?width=1720&format=png&auto=webp&s=d7e402d9f4ccbf34e853ec31740c865c0f750728 With this Build, I had 820 hp, 3970 mana and was sitting at -30ish resistances with 105 faster cast rate.
I don’t really need much (if any) resistances vs Cows since they all hit with physical attacks. I was putting out 35200 damage per second (Cows have 50% lightning res). With Static Field casts and my Nova damage output, I was saving about 1-2 casts per pack with this Build compared to any other. Also, it was very satisfying to see Mang Song actually being useful. Each run took 3 minutes or less (30 seconds to get the Leg included)
, I was killing around 458 out of 510 Cows on Players 5 settings
. In total, it took me 120 hours to kill 1,000,000 Cows in 2184 runs.
Without further ado, here are the results: https://preview.redd.it/44l8mtf1523b1.png?width=778&format=png&auto=webp&s=f680e3e673f9ff085a999a3cf1ef4fc9e5a68803 Very happy that I got 3x Jah, 2x Cham and a Zod
. On the right side, there are 3 runes. Those I got while testing the maps and the Build. I got some pretty nice GG Runeword Bases, like 15/3 4os Matriarchal Bow, 15/3 Grand Matron Bow, 15ed Archon plate, 15ed Dusk Shroud, 15/15 Eth Balrog Blade, 15/3 Phase Blade
and many others. In the beginning I collected Jewels and SC. Got 15as/37ed and 15as/38ed jewels and some very good SC. But after some time, I stopped collecting them because I was rushing to finish this before D4.
Although I got all these High Runes and good Runeword Bases, this project took 120 hours to complete. Which is way more than my other farm projects. At a High Rune (Vex and above) drop rate of one every 4 hours
, Cow Runs are way worse than my River of Flame runs considering efficiency. There were days and days without any significant drops and I was thinking about quitting. But somehow I made it through. On other hand, I got 4x Jahs while only 1 in RoF...
submitted by Pavke
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2023.05.30 20:22 seannestor Following departure of controversial pastor, Epworth United Methodist tries to rebuild - Toledo Blade 5/28/23
A church doesn’t just implode overnight.
At Epworth United Methodist Church, founded in Toledo in 1894, members felt they lost power to their pastor years ago.
The sudden March closure of Epworth Preschool was the boiling point for concerns that had been simmering since the first formal complaint against then-pastor Stephen Swisher was filed in 2021.
Two years and a wave of recent filings later, Mr. Swisher left the church on May 1. Bishop Gregory Palmer of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church confirmed that Mr. Swisher voluntarily withdrew from ministry in the UMC and is no longer a United Methodist pastor.
The Ottawa Hills church is the largest United Methodist congregation in the Toledo area, though members said regular attendance has declined in light of recent disputes surrounding the preschool and church leadership.
Mr. Swisher said in an April 23 interview
that his decision was not related to the divisions within the church surrounding the preschool. He did not return phone calls and emails requesting additional comment.
Parents and congregants, however, say they see a correlation.
“Technically he's voluntarily leaving because the other option is he had to go to trial,” said Chase Peavy, a former Epworth Preschool parent.
Under the UMC Book of Discipline, if a formal complaint is filed for a chargeable offense, the bishop must conduct a review and implement a resolution.
“If a clergy person chooses, at any point, to withdraw from The United Methodist Ministry, the authority of the church ceases,” the bishop said in an email. That means the UMC can no longer adjudicate the complaints. Formal complaints
In 2021, a group of members sent a formal complaint backed by 98 signatures to Bishop Palmer, alleging “misconduct or unsatisfactory performance of ministerial duties” of Mr. Swisher. He arrived at Epworth in April, 2020, and restructured church leadership that November.
One complaint, sent on Nov. 10, 2021, “challenge[s] the legitimacy” of a Nov. 12, 2020, meeting that served as a charge conference.
The United Methodist Church instructs that churches hold an annual charge conference, which directs the church mission, budgets, and elects council members. Church members are to be notified of the time and place of a charge conference at least 10 days in advance through at least two means of communication, according to the Book of Discipline.
The complaint states that many church members were unaware of the charge conference because it “had not been announced in the Tower [newsletter], weekly bulletin, or by mail.”
Cindy Franklin, a former office staff member of 13 years, was acting communications manager during the fall of 2020.
“I am the sole person that wrote, printed, and published all publications and I was told specifically to REMOVE ANY WORDING of ‘Charge Conference’ from all publications,” Ms. Franklin wrote in an April 10 formal complaint to Bishop Palmer.
The meeting was instead marketed as a Thursday evening service with then-district superintendent Scot Ocke as the guest speaker, according to the November, 2020, issue
of the church newsletter. The December issue
offers a “charge conference update,” listing issues that were voted on, including “Lay Leadership Teams/Action teams alignment and assignments.”
Ms. Franklin said Mr. Swisher dismantled a few volunteer committees and rebranded the remaining ones as action teams. She was one of an estimated 50 individuals who had been removed from a committee position. Mr. Swisher also handpicked his personal leadership team, narrowing a 54-person administrative council to a 13-person leadership team, Ms. Franklin said, noting that “every change since then is null and void because the way he got his leadership is inappropriate.”
Epworth staff declined to comment on the record.
“The November 2021 complaint was dismissed after a plan was implemented,” Bishop Palmer wrote in a statement. “The concerns in the complaint were addressed. They included but were not limited to deploying Annual Conference staff with particular skills to assist Epworth staff and congregation in dealing effectively with some internal matters.”
Lynne Saunders, who’s been an Epworth member for around 15 years, said the conference’s response was to “send in a team to coach [Mr. Swisher] and leadership on how to treat people.”
In August, 2022, letters were sent to District Superintendent Amy Haines with concerns related to Epworth Preschool finances and leadership.
The silence from UMC leadership in response to these messages, Ms. Saunders wrote in a Nov. 20, 2022, email to Ms. Haines, was “deafening.”
A number of letters and formal complaints, one of which attached 90 additional documents and exhibits, were again sent to the conference in March and April, following the sudden March 9 firing of director Jane Lyon and March 10 closure of Epworth Preschool.
Two complaints have been filed with the Ohio Attorney General, dated March 24 and April 27, alleging potential fraud and potential solicitation, according to the obtained documents. The office could neither confirm nor deny whether an investigation is or could be underway.
The United Methodist Church requires an annual audit of each of its churches. Bishop Palmer said in his joint statement with Ms. Haines that a 2022 audit is in the process of being conducted by an outside firm. Epworth Preschool
Former members of the preschool board, which was abruptly disbanded in August, 2022, say $110,000 of preschool money is unaccounted for. They shared some financial documents with The Blade.
“It’s always been about the money, control, and power of the money,” said Ms. Saunders, who was preschool board chair.
Multiple members of Epworth’s staff declined to comment on the situation at the preschool.
Records show that the school’s account balance at the end of calendar year 2021 was just more than $63,000. Melinda Davis, former school board treasurer, said statements not provided to the board until the summer showed a starting balance of $0 for January, 2022. The account balance at the end of 2022 was $47,000, she said, with a starting balance of $0 in January, 2023.
Not seeing the money in the preschool account indicated it had been absorbed by the church, Ms. Davis said. For 40 years, the preschool had had a separate bank account from the church.
Surplus money would typically carry over to the next year, Ms. Davis said. The surplus was higher than usual these years because of federal COVID relief grant money that Epworth Preschool received through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. She said the grants were $22,500 in 2020, $13,000 in 2021, and nearly $23,000 in 2022.
“It is a CRIME to use federal educational grant money (which the director secured for use in the preschool) for anything but education,” a former church member wrote in the March 24 complaint to the attorney general.
In the summer of 2022, board members needed to see the school’s finances in order to make the budget for the coming school year. Ms. Saunders said she “demanded” the church turn over the records, which board members hadn’t received from the church since that January. A staff member informed Ms. Saunders and Ms. Lyon over the phone that the preschool monies were being absorbed into the church money, Ms. Saunders recalled, noting that it was never communicated in writing.
On Aug. 16, preschool board members received an email stating that Epworth’s leadership team had voted the night before “to dissolve and disband the Epworth Preschool Board, effective immediately.”
Because the board was dismantled, the email stated, Ms. Lyon was elevated to report directly to Mr. Swisher. Epworth memos to the parents state Mr. Swisher did not fire Ms. Lyon, and parents have received inconsistent messages regarding why Ms. Lyon was fired.
Ms. Lyon could not be reached for comment.
The church confirmed it is working toward reopening the preschool for the fall.
Parents confirmed they have received refunds for the remainder of the spring as well as their deposits for the coming fall.
Many former Epworth families are turning to Olivet Lutheran Church’s preschool in Sylvania, which is opening a new class for the fall to fill a need it saw in the community.
“We had people on a waitlist and then when [Epworth] families started calling, we saw the greater need for the whole community to open up another class,” said Olivet Christian Nursery School director Jennifer Crooks. “We're here to support them as new Olivet families.”
Epworth Preschool’s closure has allowed familiar faces to become friends, as parents came together both to seek truth and to plan daytime activities for their kids.
“This has been something in the right direction,” parent Christina Gondol said while one of her two sons and several other kids were in a group tutoring session.
Good has also come out of this, she added, in preventing a similar situation from happening in another community.
“If they would have gotten [Mr. Swisher] removed two years ago, they would have pushed him to another church,” Ms. Gondol said. “It had to come to this to get him all the way out.” Healing and looking ahead
Members who had stepped away from Epworth started to come back on May 7, the first Sunday since Mr. Swisher left, according to the Rev. Stephen Bennett, who will serve as interim pastor through the end of June. He’s been attending and volunteering with the church for four years.
Pastor Bennett said there’s new excitement and positivity.
Epworth will augment its leadership teams with additional members, Pastor Bennett said, and is looking to rebuild some of the “previous committees that had been dissolved.”
He added that transparency is a “major goal” and acknowledged that “it’s been pretty opaque.”
Ms. Saunders said Epworth leadership must disclose information from the past three years in order to regain individuals’ faith in the church.
“The future of Epworth will be determined by what is revealed of the time Epworth was led by [Stephen] Swisher and the actions of those around him who had the power and responsibility to stop his misdeeds,” she wrote in an email. “Anything less will be fateful.”
As communication opens up, Pastor Bennett said, the congregation can begin to heal.
“Healing means coming back together,” Pastor Bennett said. “We’re going to get to work, and I think as people see their church returning to what they experienced previously that brought them there, that healing will begin to take place.”
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to toledo [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:11 freemovietdot Why it's on ALL OF US to spread the word about this election - reflection of a volunteer canvasser
I've been doing volunteer canvassing for a mayoral candidate the past few weeks, and honestly it was really eye-opening.
As canvasser, we got a list of the home address of registered voters. I would say here's the rough break down from my anecdotal experience:
- It may come as a shock that about 20% of the homes we visit are citizens who aren't even on the registered voter's list.
- 30% of homes we knock on are unaware that there's a municipal election coming up - this section you can tap into because you have a chance to inform people of key information like voting locations and voting days.
- 20% of homes are enthusiastic or verbally agreed to vote for the mayoral candidate (which is honestly really fantastic for the neighbourhoods).
- 10% of claim that they are still deciding between different candidates
- 10% genuinely don't care about voting & politics.
- 5% of homes claim that they prefer another candidate.
- 5% of homes we visit, the people don't seem to be physically capable of voting (either due to old age, major mobility constraints, or have other conditions that would require dedicated support to leave their homes).
If you have even a little bit of time, or have a little bit of interest in seeing change happen, you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO VOTE, and you CAN DO MORE to persuade your friends and family to vote. There's gonna be a significant portion of the population that will either forget to vote, be incapable of voting, or will vote against your favoured candidate. TL;DR From my experience canvassing the past few weeks, voter turnout and awareness is still going to be a huge issue, you SHOULD and you CAN do more to raise voter awareness and ensuring positive change happens.
submitted by freemovietdot
to toronto [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:02 Centumviri Welcome to Green Valley: 4 Bumpkin Quest Adventures
Welcome to Green Valley
Four Merry Jaunts Through in the Bumpkin Quest Campaign
It’s a big world filled with far off folks who have far off problems. In the quaint farming town of Hills Furrow that has certainly not been the case. Here life is simple, local, and paced by the seasons. There ain’t been a need for “Venturers” and their ilk since your Papaw was just a sprout. However, the winds of change are blowin, and things are about to git just a bit more exciting round these parts.
Welcome to Green Valley, The down-home home of Rural Fantasy Misadventures and Grass-Roots Shenanigans. The Valley is Filled with Colorful Characters, Brimming with Odd Ball Neighbors, and has more than a few Local Yokels. Welcome to Bumpkin Quest. These adventures are intended to be a series of silly adventures that all go awry in some way or another and stir up trouble throughout a peaceful little village that has in many ways been overlooked by the troubles of the world “outside”. CHAPTER 1: Green Tide CHAPTER 2: A Cartload of Chickens CHAPTER 3: Marvin the Magnificent CHAPTER 4: High Society ADVENTURE MECHANICS
- Target Character Level: Commoners - Level 1 - Target Party Size: Four Players - Average Adventure Playtime: 1-2 Hours - Tone: Rural Misadventures
I’ve also put these adventures into a PDF that includes our Bumpkin Quest: Campaign Guide
which fills in the details of Green Valley pretty thoroughly. The quests are simple enough to be run in any setting you choose, but if you're interested in more the Guide as over a dozen Custom Maps, 70+ NPCs, Location Descriptions, 20+ Local Legends, and Scores of Adventure and Event Ideas. You can grab the PDF Free at the link above.
At the center of the Valley sits a patch of small grassy hills, through which the Slow Water meanders through. Built into these hills is the Village of Hills Furrow. Celebrated by everyone living in The Valley and boasting a whopping population of almost 150, Hills Furrow is the center of commerce and social importance. Well, at least as far as the locals are concerned. Realistically it would be less than a blip on the grand scale of things, a mere kernel of wheat in the silo of civilization, but to those who live here, there is nothing quite like living in the “city”.
The Village itself, like the Valley, is predominantly Halfling, and their fancy dwellings are burrowed into the hillsides as often as possible. These dwellings have been family owned for generations only becomeing available if there are no heirs to pass them along to. Other folk live in well kept two story shingled buildings, most of which house a business on the lower floor and house the Shopkeepers and their families above their workplaces, though a few live in nearby homes. There aren’t many “rental” spaces in town, as property is usually bought up quickly by the Halfling Families, but there are long term options at either of the Inns in town. Hills Furrow: Locations
1) The Crocked Crow (Inn and Tavern) 2) The Dancing Lamb (Inn and Tavern) 3) The Moaning Toad (Tavern) 4) Granny's Groceries (General Market) 5) Get Nailed (Hardware and Distilery) 6) Gimdurh's Hammer (Smithy) 7) Brenra's Mechanicals (Tinker) 8) Hjoldren's Home Goods (Carpenter) 9) Standard Industries (Office) 10) Fit to be Dyed (Tailor) 11) The Last Loaf (Baker) 12) The Cloudy Cleaver (Butcher) 13) Nature's Medecine (Apothecary) 14) Sheriff's Office 15) Green Valley School House 16) The Waterwheel 17) The Windmill 18) The Undercloak Estate 19) Truefoot Burrow 20) The Meadows Family Hill
The people themselves are hospitable and friendly enough, but they do not really trust outsiders. Folks from foreign places are good for trade, news, and little else. Those that come through are treated well enough as long as they don’t wear out their welcome. Locals, well, that’s a bit of a different story. The city and area doesn’t operate under a written caste system or social structure, but there is clearly a pecking order, and family heritage matters a great deal to folks in Hills Furrow. Most locals, whether they’ve gotten an education or not, can easily be classified as simple. It isn’t that they are slow of mind or unintelligent, but more that they are unconcerned with matters the outside world considers important. This sentiment has created a general, but friendly, dislike between those that consider themselves Highfalutin and those that clearly are not.
Well now that I've given you the fifty cent tour. Shall we get on to adventure?
CHAPTER 1: Green Tide
We will open our journeys in the Green Valley at Green Tide, the annual celebration of Winter’s End. This adventure is designed to give a tour of Hills Furrow and introduce them to the locals. It will begin with some chores around their house to prepare for the festival and end with a battle involving an enchanted broom. If you did not do Session Zero, this chapter may take a bit longer as we get to know everyone and their characters.
ACT 1: Pre-Festival
The locals spend the week cleaning out their houses and farms. They gather old junk and unused items to be used later in the festival. They also begin preparing what food is left from winter to be used in a celebration and feasts. Things to do!
- Have the Players clean up junk around the house - Have them Find something strange (Perhaps used for a later mystery?) - Have them Decorate their Broom - Have them run a Household Errand (Meet an NPC)
ACT 2: Sweeping Day
A merry festival celebrating Spring cleaning and putting the past behind them. They form a parade, with one member from each house carrying a brightly decorated broom and using it to symbolically “Sweep Away Winter”. The rest of the family marches their winter’s trash and unused goods down to the Fairgrounds. The goods are often traded, while the trash is piled in the fire pit to await burning later. The entire day is filled with fun outdoor activities. Households also symbolically bring their problems to the bonfires to burn them later. Things to do!
- March in the Parade - Carry Junk to the Bonfire - Meet more of the Locals EVENT: I Love a Parade
The parade will march North from near the Cross Roads in the South up around the hill and back again to the South where it will head for the Fairgrounds. There isn’t anything particularly challenging about this event, but it would be a wonderful place to start leaning into or building local rivalries. EVENT: Never Seen a Broom Do That…
As they come into the home stretch of the Parade one of the local’s Brooms will animate and take off. It will chase folks around the parade. The players can attempt to stop it, but the broom will flee soon after being attacked. It will fly up into the air, attack a flock of geese, and chase them off until it can’t be seen anymore. They can go and collect a fallen goose if they wish. I highly recommend giving it a motorcycle type sound as it flies around hitting folks. Maybe even going as far as giving it a rough gravel angry voice and letting it insult people.
ACT 3: Winter’s End
Winter’s End is a Combination of Groundhog’s Day and Fasnacht, this day gets a little wild. The Festival kicks off at dawn with the Great Gopher Hunt. Gophers are well known spies for The Voice of Winter and thus need to be hunted before they can tell The Voice to delay Spring. Gophers themselves are quite tasty, and are notoriously bad for crops, so this works out economically all around. Throughout the rest of the day families continue to contribute to the Bonfire Pile which often gets quite large. At dusk a large effigy of The Voice of Winter is placed on top of the pile. Once the sun has fully set they light the fire and burn the Effigy. Folk usually dress darkly during the day and brightly at night. After the burning they feast on sweets and treats that were made from goods saved up from winter storage. Things to do!
- The Great Gopher Hunt - Carry Junk to the Bonfire - Meet more of the Locals - The Fairground’s Activities EVENT: The Great Gopher Hunt
The Hunt begins at dawn and takes place all over the Valley. Locals race to collect as many Gophers as possible. It is easiest to kill the Gopher, but there are some that find that distasteful. Instead they live trap the critters. It is a bit tougher to do so, but an option should your players wish. This is most easily played out as a series of appropriate Skill Checks, in which the higher they score the more gophers they obtain. EVENT: Trash Removal
They may find some locals willing to pay them to help cart junk down to the bonfire pile. Not a lot of skill involved in this, but it is a great opportunity to meet locals, and you could throw a runaway cart at them. Fair Activities
They will probably want to take part in Fairground Activities. Players love these types of challenges. Here are a few ideas you can build on. - Axe Throwin: Basic attack rolls on a Round Target. Higher scores equal Higher points. - Bow Shootin: Basic attack rolls on Moving Targets. Higher scores equal Higher points. - Pig Chasin: Catch the greased Pig! Medium DC Challenge requiring three success before three Failures. - Mud Wrastlin: Nothing says bumpkin like a good Mud Wrastlin Pit. Contested Skill Challenges. - Sausage Eating Contest: Increasingly difficult DC Challenge. Eat till you puke! Can also be Pies or Ribs or Little Fish… you know whatever someone wants to stuff dozens of in their gullet. - Tug O’War: Team Strength Challenge. Three to Five Contested Rolls with opposing teams. - Gopher BBQ Cook Off: A Hard Culinary Challenge to see who can BBQ the best Gopher! - Races: Foot and Mount Races based on Three to Five Contested Rolls. I usually include a few odd mounts like a Giant Chicken or some such nonsense.
ACT 4: Day of Ashes
The Day of Ashes is a day of rest, recovery, and reflection. Locals take the ashes from the bonfires and rub their hands in them to symbolize the end of a hard year’s work and hardships of the past. The day ends with a large family feast, typically Pork. Activities this day are light, but many folks head to the Temple for the Calling of Spring Blessings. They put on their fancies and head down to ask forgiveness for over-indulging in the festival and for worship. Well sort of…
Unfortunately, a lot of folks take this as an opportunity to peacock about and practice their one-upmanship over other locals. If you’re looking for inspiration for their outfits look to older photos of the Kentucky Derby. Over the years this troubling practice has caused more than one fight to break out after the service.
*Things to do! *
- Go to Temple and Meet More Locals - Pick a Local Patron! EVENT: Temple Services
The majority of the town comes to Temple on this day. The service is usually longer, and a bit more “Where have most of you been all year?” But otherwise it is a call for the Divine Blessings to touch their crops and protect their lives. It ends with a ceremony in which the locals put their hands into the ashes from yesterday’s bonfire. Once services end they will head outside, where the trouble will begin. Two of the wealthier families will get into it with each other. Starting with a couple of veiled insults, probably before service and continuing afterward. If one of your players is from a local Rich Folk family then they can be right in the middle of it all, otherwise they will have to pick a side. This choice will determine their house Patron moving forward. Tension will increase until folks start drawing up sides, and then someone will throw a rotten tomato at one of the House Matrons. That will blow the lid off the incident and a yokel brawl will break out. For comedy purposes I recommend the instant appearance of several food carts filled with expired products, and maybe a six year old hustler selling big sticks for wacking folks with. As the locals brawl call for perception checks. Who ever rolls highest begins to hear… The Broom returning! ENCOUNTER: Stick In The Eye
The broom returns ready to whoop some ash. It will be absolutely bent on cleaning anyone and everyone who is even the slightest bit dirty! If it successfully attacks a character they will have to make a Strength Saving throw or be knocked to the ground and swept clean by the broom. As this would be an awful omen for the year folks are terrified and will be running around screaming. Absolute mass hysteria. If the players were lucky enough to hear it coming they can avoid being surprised by the broom. Otherwise the broom will get a full round to attack before they have a chance to do anything. They’ll have to beat the broom into submission any way they can before it sweeps the whole town into chaos!
After defeating the broom things will settle back down again. Bumpkins are quick to return to normal when things go awry. However, they will have gotten the attention of one of the Wealthy Families in the area and be offered jobs. Which family is really, based on what will work best for them and you as the DM. For gags you might be tempted to have the Yokels pick them up, but that is a hard bit to sustain, and you may be better served keeping them on the side as a comic foil rather than up front. Completely up to you. The session should end with them being invited to meet their new patron tomorrow someplace important.
CHAPTER 2: A Cartload of Chickens
After successfully defeating the Enchanted Broom, our Bumpkins have gained the attention of a possible local Patron. This individual has summoned them to a nearby farm to discuss future work. That work includes proving themselves capable and not just lucky.
ACT 1: Meet the Boss
In this Act the players will meet with their new patron, one of the Family Heads, who that is entirely depends on their choices from the last game. This entire side branch is designed to flavor the background of the campaign, but if you’d rather just have them stay freelancing and independent that’s fine as well. There is also the possibility of “competing” offers should they have second thoughts for any reason. Once they arrive at the meeting spot their Patron will ask them some questions about their ambitions (Class Goals), they will then hand them off to their new “boss” who will assign them their task. They will take them to a nearby barn. NEW NPC: “Boss” Needs a fitting name for the Family they work for...
Character wise, what we got here is a standard “Ranch Foreman” character. They’re tough, A little mean, and completely loyal to their employer. They almost certainly chew tobacco (by the handful), have a tattoo of the Ranch’s Brand, and know where all the bodies are buried. They also have a huge and obvious scar on the side of their head where a Giant Chicken pecked a hole in their skull, so they’re not as bright as they used to be, not at all truthfully. Nor are they actually the Foreman anymore, but no one has a heart to tell them. They’ve been quietly downgraded to Chicken Handler, which is something they seem to remember quite well, but the brain damage keeps them from realizing all that. They can be found wandering the Farm giving strange orders to other Hands. These Hands nod politely and then go back to what they are doing. Things To Do!
- Meet Their Patron - Discuss Their Future - Meet Their New “Boss”
ACT 2: Chicken Dance
Boss will lead them into the odd looking barn. This building is filled with Giant Chickens. These two-three foot fouls have extremely exaggerated features, spiky looking beaks with sharp tooth like edges, big darting eyes, bumpy cracked skin, long gnarled talons, and dirty mottled feathers. They’re more beast than bird. But, they’re good for eatin! These creatures should have a stat block similar to an Axe Beak. When the players enter into the Barn the Chickens will go nuts, obviously deeply bothered by the intrusion. Boss will throw in some deer haunches and the birds will tear them apart in a feeding frenzy. They will then put on a Chicken Suit and begin a flapping dance. (Google Magnificent Riflebird) It should be absolutely captivating and the chickens will become mesmerized, watching every move. Boss will then load two dozen chickens onto a large wagon and lock it. They will have the players push the wagon out while he keeps the Chickens calm. Once outside they’ll hang heavy tarps on the sides of the wagon, and remove the suit. He will then explain to them that they need to keep the tarps on the wagon, and keep the birds well fed, or the chickens will get restless and become violent. When they do need to interact with them someone will have to wear the suit and dance to keep them calm. The bigger the person in the suit the better. Boss will then give them a Map of Green Valley and instruct them to drop off two chickens at each of the outer settlements. They have two days to get this done. Things To Do!
- Head into the barn - Witness The Dance of The Chicken - Push the Wagon out - Get the Costume and Delivery Instructions
ACT 3: Bumpy Roads
They will be off to deliver the Chickens to various locations. There is no specific order to this delivery, they just need to pick a route and go. If they’re short on time they can take the country roads that lead between the outer settlements, but these aren’t as well kept as the main roads are. Whatever road they take and wherever they decide to stop for the night there are problems they will encounter along the way. You can make them random or pick the ones that best suit your players. Most of these should at some point require someone putting on the suit and dancing for the chickens to keep them calm. I would also increase the difficulty of each event. If they fail a dance the Chickens will become restless and start attacking the cart until they are calmed down. Too many failures and the wagon’s cage will break and the remaining chickens escape. They will then have to be rounded up and the cage repaired. Things to Do
- Decide the delivery route - Deliver the chickens - Keep the Chickens calm Possible Road Events
1) Rough roads cause problems 2) Yokels attempt to see what’s in the cart 3) Bad Weather swamps the road or scares the chickens 4) Pack of Coyotes causes trouble. 5) Chicken Rustlers! Protect the Flock! 6) Wagon breaks and needs repair 7) Cows in the road, someone’s herd is out. 8) Broken Bridge, not gone, just broken
ACT 4: Final Delivery
They’re now closing in on the final delivery. Something needs to happen here to cause them to put the suit on. Or maybe they never took it off! I love that idea, that one of your players just loves the suit and wants to be a chicken… lol… Anyway I’m a fan of having them need to get out of the suit for some reason, maybe a bathroom break, or they stand on a fire ant hill, or a snake slithers up their leg. You know something silly and fun. BUT the zipper is stuck! So they’ll have to try and unstick it and fast! Whatever happens they’re going to get shot at by some hunters looking for a big score who have mistaken the flailing caused by the stuck zipper to be the chicken attacking. After dealing with the Hunters they can go ahead and make the final drop. And head home. Things to Do!
- Head for the final delivery - Get shot at! - Deliver the last chickens ENCOUNTER: That’s a BIG Chicken!
Having two hunters in the field is more than enough to cause a problem for the players. The hunters will almost certainly surprise the players, but you can allow them a perception check, if they succeed they’ll see the hunters just before the muskets go off. It would be OK to down the Chicken Player here if the hunters successfully hit it. They’ll have healer’s kits on hand because, well, this seems to happen to them a lot out here. After the initial attack the players can decide to attack back or try and talk the hunters down. A basic Bandit or Scout stat block should do will for the hunters. If you’re looking for a bit more mayhem, if the hunters miss the players you could have them hit the cage, and you know, bust it open. This may be especially tempting if they POSSIBLE ENCOUNTER: Big Ol' Frog
So there is a giant frog hiding in the mud down in the creek. If a player takes cover behind the banks there is a good chance that the frog will attempt to nab the player as a snack. If it is successful in grabbing a player with its tongue it will immediately head down river, and they'll have to chase it to get their friend back.
When they return, Boss will reward them. How much will depend on how successful they were delivering the birds. If they did a descent job, they will be paid two day’s wages each. If they were completely successful they can have a bonus. However, if the wagon is in bad shape they might have some money deducted. After they’re paid out, they will be dismissed, and told to expect a new assignment next week.
CHAPTER 3: Marvin the Magnificent
After successfully delivering chickens Boss is going to trust them with a more important task. Their employer has requested an item to be created by Marvin the Magnificent. This is a farming community so having enchanted Farming Equipment is extremely desirable. Marvin has done a lot of basic enchantments over the years, but this new one, an The Stone Skipper, a plough whose blade goes ethereal while in contact with stones too large to push away, has really put him to the test. He needs some help with the final enchantments. The players will have to travel to the Ethereal Plane and hit the Blade of the plow with large rocks. But there’s a problem, they’re going to have mischievous Ethereal Sprites attempting to stop them! If they’re successful, which they should be, they get to take the plough for a test drive, and deal with the strange side effects of the enchantment. Angry goats that blink in and out of existence.
ACT 1: To the Tower
They’ll be summoned out to the Ranch where they’ll meet with Boss again. Once there they will notice a large pile of bent and dinged up plows. Boss will explain to them that a recent land acquisition has become problematic. The Fields are filled with large stones just under the topsoil and they’ve damaged a lot of Plow Blades. The Smithing costs are getting out of hand and so their Patron is looking for an alternate solution to the problem. He is sending them to help Marvin the Magnificent, who has taken the job, but run into some complications and needs some help. They may ask about Marvin. Or perhaps the fields that were purchased, so be ready to answer these types of questions. Once they’re done here they can head to Marvin’s Tower, which is just north of town. Things to Do!
- Meet Boss again - Ask some Informational Questions - Head for the Tower NPC: Marvin the Magnificent
ACT 2: Marvin the Magnificent
As they approach the tower they should see an explosion at the peak of the structure. It should look similar to a fireworks mishap. When it clears there will be no visible damage to the tower, But Marvin will plummet to the earth just off to the side of them, landing in a small pond. He will then come charging out of the pond, laughing hysterically, and riding on a large turtle. Once he gets a few feet away from the pond the turtle will disappear and he will tumble to the ground right in front of the players. He will leap up quickly and turn toward the players. “Behold Travelers, You stand in the presence of Marvin the Magnificent! And everything you have witness was mostly intended!” He will then strike a cool pose with his wand pointed to the sky! “Now why do you approach my tower!?”
Once Marvin finds out they’ve been sent about the plow he will become more nervous looking. “I see, well follow me. We have work to do.” He will then start walking toward the tower… his boots squishing out water. This should give them a little time to ask a few questions. Marvin will be a little subversive about what they need to do. He will attempt to frame it very mysteriously, saying things like “All will be revealed soon.” and “Save your questions! All Answers await us… in the future!” If they ask him about what they witnessed outside, he will tell them he was working on a mount summoning spell designed for lakes and rivers. Things to Do!
- Head toward the Tower - Meet Marvin - Ask Questions
ACT 3: The Cabinet of Mysteries
The inside of the Wizard’s Tower will be far more mundane than they likely expect. At least on the first floor. It will have a sitting room, dining room, and kitchen, as well as a few odds and ends about. Nothing special at all. The second floor, are Marvin’s personal quarters and some room for study, but it is the third floor, where Marvin will lead them, and it will be more of what one would expect in a Wizard’s tower. There will be books shelves, arcane equipment, and storage for components. In the middle of the room will be a tall cabinet.
Marvin will explain to them that the Cabinet is a transportation device, and that he will need them to enter into it with a plow that he has recently enchanted. They will be taken to the Ethereal Plane, and once there they’ll need to take the plow outside and begin hitting it with large field stones. There is a large pile of stones just on the north edge of the tower. They’ll have to do this quickly, before the “others” show up. Who are the others? Hard to say, but there are things that live in the Ethereal Plane that don’t like intruders. The idea is to imbue the Plow with Ethereal Powers so it can pass through large stones while plowing fields. Once they return with the Enchanted Plow, Marvin will have them load it on a cart, pulled by a very smart Donkey, and send them on their way. Skill Challenge: Enchant the Plow
This skill challenge will require five successes before they’re incapacitated by the others. However they decide to do it, they’ll have to successfully hit the plow with five large stones. Failures will result in strange indiscernible entities attacking them. They do minimal damage but could knock people out if there are enough failures. Things to Do!
- Move Through Marvin’s Tower - Enter the Cabinet - Enchant the Plow
ACT 4: Blinking Goats
Upon returning to Boss with the Plow they will be happily greet and paid. Their Patron will be there and will be very pleased with their success. He will ask them to demonstrate the plow’s abilities. Once they get set up out in the field and begin plowing something weird will happen. Every time they hit a stone and the plow’s power activates an Ethereal Goat will manifest and kick or ram the plow, and then disappear. It will feel very similar to what they encountered in the Ethereal Plane. They’ll have to find a way to deal with the manifestations. ENCOUNTER: Ethereal Goats
These goats should function very similarly to Blink Dogs, but I would trim the HP and AC a little to put them in line with the party’s. They will be intent on breaking the Plow not the party, although they will attack the party if they can’t get to the Plow. Things to Do!
- Deliver the Plow - Drive the Plow - Defeat the Ethereal Goats
Once defeated the Boss will come over to yell at them, but the Patron will find the entire thing amusing and more importantly, another impressive demonstration of the player’s skills. He will invite them to the “House” for an important party next week.
Chapter 4: High Society
They've definitely been noticed now and have impressed with their ability, unconventional as it may be. They are invited to their patron's home, but not as guests. Though, they might think they were actually invited as guests! They have been brought in to help work the event held out at the Party Field. They will have to gather party supplies, help put up the tent, and then serve the actual guests. During the evening’s entertainment a hypnotist “The Great Dr Hypnotika” will mesmerize the crowd and attempt to rob them all. Hopefully the players don’t fall victim to her schemes. And if they do oh well, they’ll be entertained all the same.
ACT 1: Special Delivery
The players arrive at the Patron’s very nice property. They will be greeted by a properly dressed servant with a clipboard, the Party Planner. The Planner will be rigid and direct. They will immediately begin tasking them about. If they mention that they were invited to the party the servant will laugh “You didn’t think you were a guest? Oh dear, how embarrassing. You’re the help! It is still a great honor to be tasked to help at the Party, but you’re not guests. Now as for your current task. Head into town and gather these supplies. Bring them to the field by noon.” After the instructions are given the servant will go back to their tasks and expect the players to do the same. They will have three stops; The Crocked Crow for Food and Beer, Get Nailed for the Tent and Spirits, and Shalana Proud-Breed’s Tailor Shop to pick up the Dry Cleaning. Feel free to make any and all of these go sideways! Its a good place to toss in some shenanigans as well! They should also be introduced to Dr Hypnotika and her associates. Things To do!
- Go to their Patron’s Home - Meet the Party Planner and Dr Hypnotika - Run their Errands NPC: Dr Hypnotika
Dr Hypnotika and her group will perform for the party. Hypnotica is a Tiefling Mezmerist and illusionist. She has an obnoxiously high charisma and some pretty serious skills to back up her claims. However, she uses those skills to beguile her guests, robbing them blind while they are under her spells. She wears a fine robe with a bedazzled headwrap. She has dark upward spiraling horns, light purple skin, and matching eyes. She wears a monocle and walks with a ceremonially carved staff depicting the "Struggles of the Universe". She is extremely persuasive and even more deceptive. Even if someone were to grow suspicious she can easily talk her way out of trouble. NPCs: Clapper and Bob
Hypnotika brings with her two assistants. Clapper the suit wearing Kenku who will perform wondrous displays of mimicry and slight of hand, and her strongman Bob the Kobold. Bob wears a leopard print strongman's outfit and is amazingly swole, particularly for a kobold, and capable of lifting upwards of 400lbs. Bob doesn't do much else other than get hit with things. in the act.
ACT 2: Put up the Tent
After they finish running their errands they will be tasked with putting up a large party tent. This Act is an ongoing Skill Challenge and should have a constantly distracted feel to it. First they have to unpack the tent. Then they have to realize some pieces are missing, they’ll have to form a solution to that problem. After that wind should cause some problems as the tent is at least being pulled up. This is a great moment for some wondrous tom-foolery. Things To do!
- Unpack the tent - Deal with missing parts - Secure the tent during the wind gusts
ACT 3: Put These On
After they finish putting up the tent they’ll be sent to the Servant’s Quarters to bathe and change. They’ll get a little time to explore and snoop if they wish. Afterward they’ll be tasked with helping in the kitchen, but unfortunately the cooks are going to have been playing a drinking game all afternoon and are no longer fully capable of doing their jobs. This would make a great moment for some sort of mini-game where the players have to determine whether or not the cooks are doing the right things. Once the dinner has been completed they will have to serve the guests. This is a good place to insert gossip and help them meet a few other folks. Things To do!
- Get changed for the party - Deal with the drunk cooks - Serve the guests drinks and food
ACT 4: An Evening to Remember
At some point in the evening things are going to start sliding downhill. Some of the locals will have become extremely inebriated and will need to be encouraged to leave, or just moved off to the side as they’ve already passed out, before the show begins. Once the show begins the locals will become fixated on the goings on. “The Great Dr Hypnotika” will have put an additive in the drinks for the that will make everyone more susceptible to her powers of persuasion. Once the show starts she will have them all doing silly things, those who drank have disadvantage on saves against her powers. She will end the show asking the guests to display their most valuable treasure, a with a hypnotic pattern and then send her assistants out to collect those treasures. The players will have to “do something” about the thieves. Things To do!
- Deal with Drunks - Watch the Show - Stop the Criminals ENCOUNTER: Hypnotika's Gang
This encounter doesn't have to be a fight. If Hypnotika is caught she may claim it was all part of the act and simple return the valuables with a "no harm, no foul" type attitude. This will be he go to in an attempt to avoid a fight, but if the character persist in some kind of retribution or punishment the situation will devolve into a combat. Hypnotica herself is an Illusionist Wizard but is low on spells after the show. Clapper is a low level rogue and Bob a Barbarian, and should play out as such. Even with Skills they are combat adverse and will be looking for an opportunity to flee rather than fight. They do have a getaway wagon out front that they'll be headed for if things go south.
We’re assuming the Bumpkins at least attempted to stop the robbery. This will draw a lot of attention to them. Their Patron will be well pleased with them, and let them know they will be getting much more important jobs in the future. The guests will also take note and will begin treating them all a bit better. They’re all essentially Folk Heroes at this point for secondary backgrounds. Their Patron should reward them with something very nice as the party kicks back in. They will need to finish out the nights work of course.
Congratulations! Your Players have completed their first Quest-line! Hopefully it was a delightful experience. But now that they've finished what comes next? Well, here are some ideas.
*Reward Them! *
They've been doing some rather Adventurous things lately, and therefore should now have a Class Level under their belt, so the real D&D world now opens to them! Maybe it is time for some real adventuring gear. No more sticks, stones, and burlap sack armor. Folk Heroes?
There's a good chance that the Valley is Speaking the News about them and their exploits while drinking in the taverns. They may have even earned the actual Folk Hero Feat! Maybe someone would be interested in giving them a task! Simply Go Exploring!
There are a lot of places in Green Valley that we only dipped our toes into. You could have them head down to Stinkmarsh, or maybe climb up the cliffs of Longridge. The world (Well, the Valley) is wholly open to them. Explore Local Legends
There are lots of local legends they can look into! Hopefully they search out something that isn't too far over their heads! Continue Working for their Patron
It would be an easy DM go to simply to have them continue working for their current Patron. They've probably been impressive enough fo a family to be interested in keeping them on. Establish Themselves as Adventurers!
Maybe they want to set up a Adventurers for Hire business? This "Heroes Guild" approach is really appealing to a lot of players and absolutely plays into Bumpkin Quest. Just remember, this is a place of low key problems that locals make really big deals out of. So the idea of slaying dragons shouldn't really be on the table... that is until an actual dragon shows up! Which one day absolutely should.
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2023.05.30 19:57 defnotjec Why do you need to pay attention to previous key levels? $ES_F Gap fill
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Sorry been afk from reddit for a bit, but here's a great example of a gap fill. I'm sure OFT/Alex will have some similar content if he was trading today.
$ES_F opened with a gap up during globex. ES almost always fills it's gaps so we were looking for a short entry to capture that gap if we saw weakness. We tried to push higher a couple times and kept rejecting below that key level in the orange dash-dot. When we finally held below the line it provided a good entry to get short, our risk was just above that orange line.
TPs were somewhat arbitrary here... the initial TP was just 5 points from entry, nothing special. (3) TP was just below the pre-market/ETH low. My final target was a couple ticks short of that gap fill. You can see at (5) though price is beginning to reject. We get a retest of my key level (OR-L) and I took a SPY long call position to protect my futures position. I exited a large chunk of that position at OR-M target leaving just a few contracts to hold the rest of the hedge. Price rejected from OR-M lower and we exited the remaining SPY hedge for scratch/slight profit and just waited out the rest. We got a short term add-entry at (8) with a rejection of the OR-L and retest. We looked to scalp the majority of that position at the previous consolidation level at (9) and let the remainder work until target reached (4).
In the bottom image you can see a reversal setup... consolidation after the target reached and a break higher. I was looking to collect profit there at (2) the previous consolidation level, the Overnight Low (ETH Low) and then the OR-L and then we get another rejection lower at the ON-L which let me get short again. Overall a great day trading the key levels.
If you have any questions feel free to ask (here or DMs) and I'll look to answer when I can... https://preview.redd.it/16kja2sfr13b1.png?width=2176&format=png&auto=webp&s=efa20a4a4923282162b8782466d5d891c43771f5 https://preview.redd.it/1mgbb4sfr13b1.png?width=2176&format=png&auto=webp&s=510f76cd28c4c76526c72a215b70c1b146a1e9d2 https://preview.redd.it/51dt81sfr13b1.jpg?width=2179&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b9688612b6e84395a991a45de8dd6f8c47fbb662
2023.05.30 19:54 Careless_Fudge_9844 Am I wrong for going back into the closet
I finished my first semester of college and it was pretty great. But one thing that I took away from my first year is that I feel like I can't be open about who I am and need to go back into the closet. I was so excited to go off to college and explore who I am but it feels like it took a turn for the worst.
I made a lot of queer friends and I was really excited to be in a friend group that I thought would be judgment-free and I could be my little gay self but I was very wrong. When the school year started things were going pretty well but as my friendships progressed I started noticing some major flaws. It felt like my so-called friends made my sexuality my whole personality. Everything I did was classified as gay. When I would draw, "Oh that's so gay of you". When I would offer to carry something heavy, "Oh that's so masc of you. At first, I thought the comments were funny here and there but then it started to become rampant. I also got some pretty gross lesbophobic comments too. They would also talk about my sexuality in front of other people without my permission and it felt like I was constantly getting outted. It also felt like why couldn't I just be me? My lesbian identity isn't my whole identity. By the end of the school year, I found a new friend group and they just see me for me, and that makes me really happy. They know that I am a lesbian but I now refuse to tell anyone else. I went through and took down all of my pride flags and key chains. I refuse to have that feeling again where I'm just stuck in a box with no way out. I also began to feel ashamed of who I am, like do people only see me for my sexuality?? Am I nothing more to these people??
I know some might think that this is internalized homophobia but it's not that. When I started feeling this way I sat down with myself and tried to sort out my feelings. I think I wanted to hide in plain sight because I do go to a predominately white school and already feel like I already have a target on my back since I'm black. I've already had a few run-ins with white racism on campus. There isn't much I can do about that except roll with the punches. But feeling like my friends are constantly outing me feels like I am putting another target on my back and you can only roll with so many punches.
So I say all of this to say, Is it wrong for me to shove myself back into the closet.
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2023.05.30 19:47 Then_Marionberry_259 MAY 30, 2023 NCU.TO NEVADA COPPER ANNOUNCES CLOSING OF PUBLIC OFFERING
| || |https://preview.redd.it/nrjfhrmpa03b1.png?width=3500&format=png&auto=webp&s=6018cba9317cc52af55edccebb08b37341c16a33 NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWS WIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES submitted by Then_Marionberry_259 to Treaty_Creek [link] [comments]
YERINGTON, Nev., May 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX: NCU) (OTC: NEVDF) (FSE: ZYTA)
(“ Nevada Copper
” or the “ Company
”) is pleased to announce that it has completed its previously announced public offering of units of the Company (the “ Units
”), which included a partial exercise of the over-allotment option (the “ Over-Allotment Option
”), by a syndicate of underwriters that included Scotiabank, Jett Capital LLC, National Bank Financial, RBC Capital Markets, Research Capital Corporation, and Haywood Securities Inc.
The Company issued an aggregate of 196,038,400 Units, including 22,333,400 Units pursuant to the Over-Allotment Option, at a price of C$0.27 per Unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately C$52.9 million (the “ Offering
”). Each Unit consists of one common share of the Company (each a “ Common Share
”) and one-half of one Common Share purchase warrant (each full warrant, a “ Warrant
”, and collectively the “ Warrants
”). Each Warrant is exercisable for one Common Share (each a “ Warrant Share
”) at a price of C$0.34 per Warrant Share until September 30, 2024.
The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering and those contemplated under the financing package agreement (as discussed in the Company’s May 9, 2023 news release) to continue funding the restart and ramp-up of the Company’s Pumpkin Hollow underground mine (the “ Underground Mine
”) and for general corporate purposes, including working capital, with the goal of achieving nameplate production capacity of 5,000 tons per day by the end of 2023.
Pala Investments Limited (“ Pala
”), the Company’s largest shareholder, purchased an aggregate of 108,442,714 Units under the Offering, representing aggregate gross proceeds of approximately C$29.3 million. In addition, Mercuria Energy Holdings (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (“ Mercuria
”), another significant shareholder of the Company, purchased 24,814,814 Units under the Offering, for an aggregate purchase of approximately C$6.7 million.
After closing of the Offering, Pala’s ownership interest in the Company on a non-diluted basis has increased from approximately 43% to approximately 47% and Mercuria’s ownership interest in the Company on a non-diluted basis has decreased from approximately 24% to approximately 23% (inclusive of 46,000,000 Common Shares and 25,848,765 Common Shares acquired by Pala and Mercuria, respectively, upon exercise of a portion of their existing Common Share purchase warrants issued in connection with the Company’s October 2022 financing).
As previously announced, Pala has agreed to exercise the balance of the Common Share purchase warrants issued in connection with the Company’s October 2022 financing subject to the expiry of a review period or clearance in respect of anticipated filings under the United States Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (“ HSR Clearance
”) to permit Pala to exceed a majority ownership interest in the Company. The exercise of the foregoing Common Share purchase warrants by Pala, together with the prior Common Share purchase warrant exercise, will reduce approximately US$82 million of debt obligations owing by the Company to Pala. Upon receipt of HSR Clearance and the completion of the subsequent Common Share purchase warrant exercise, Pala’s ownership interest in the Company on a non-diluted basis is expected to increase to approximately 61.7%. The Company anticipates obtaining HSR Clearance in approximately 60 days.
The Company has also drawn the remaining US$10 million of the US$25 million amount that was added to the Company’s senior credit facility with KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH, as tranche A-2, as part of the Company’s October 2022 financing.
As previously announced, concurrent with closing of the Offering, Pala and Mercuria have entered into a deferred funding agreement in favour of the Company, pursuant to which Pala and Mercuria will provide up to US$15 million and US$10 million, respectively, subject to certain conditions, to be drawn pro rata by the Company, if required, until June 30, 2024. These funds, if required, will be advanced in exchange for Common Shares, convertible debt and/or non-convertible debt of the Company.
In addition, as announced in the Company’s May 9, 2023 news release, Pala had also agreed to provide US$10 million in debt funding to the Company, US$5.5 million of which was advanced prior to announcement of the Offering. The additional US$4.5 million in debt funding was subject to certain conditions, including, but not limited to, the reduction on a dollar-for-dollar basis of the funding if the Over-Allotment Option was exercised. Given the partial exercise of the Over-Allotment Option, Pala was not required to fund the additional US$4.5 million commitment.
This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in the United States. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. Persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available. About Nevada Copper
Nevada Copper (TSX: NCU) is the owner of the Pumpkin Hollow copper project located in Nevada, USA with substantial mineral reserves and resources including copper, gold and silver. Its two permitted projects include the higher-grade Underground Mine and processing facility, which is undergoing a restart of operations, and a large-scale open pit PFS stage project. Randy Buffington
President & CEO For additional information, please see the Company’s website at [www.nevadacopper.com*](http://www.nevadacopper.com)
, or contact:* Tracey Thom Vice President, IR and Community Relations
+1 775 391 9029 Cautionary Language on Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information specifically include, but are not limited to, statements that relate to the achievement of the nameplate capacity of the production at the Underground Mine and the timing thereof, timing of HSR Clearance and the subsequent exercise by Pala of Common Share purchase warrants. There can be no assurance that ramp-up of the Underground Mine and the achievement of nameplate production capacity will occur or will not cost more than expected and require the Company to raise additional financing. There can be no assurance that any such additional financing will be available on terms that are favourable to the Company or at all.
Forward-looking statements and information include statements regarding the expectations and beliefs of management. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects”, “potential”, “is expected”, “anticipated”, “is targeted”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, or “believes” or the negatives thereof or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements or information should not be read as guarantees of future performance and results. They are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results and events to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information.
Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those relating to: the ability of the Company to complete the restart and ramp-up of the Underground Mine within the expected cost estimates and timeframe; the impact of COVID-19 on the business and operations of the Company; the state of financial markets; history of losses; dilution; adverse events relating to milling operations, construction, development and restart and ramp-up, including the ability of the Company to address underground development and process plant issues; ground conditions; cost overruns relating to development, construction restart and ramp-up of the Underground Mine; loss of material properties; interest rate increases; global economy; limited history of production; future metals price fluctuations; speculative nature of exploration activities; periodic interruptions to exploration, development and mining activities; environmental hazards and liability; industrial accidents; failure of processing and mining equipment to perform as expected; labor disputes; supply problems; uncertainty of production and cost estimates; the interpretation of drill results and the estimation of mineral resources and reserves; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; possible variations in ore reserves, grade of mineralization or recovery rates from management’s expectations and the difference may be material; legal and regulatory proceedings and community actions; accidents; title matters; regulatory approvals and restrictions; increased costs and physical risks relating to climate change, including extreme weather events, and new or revised regulations relating to climate change; permitting and licensing; dependence on management information systems and cyber security risks; volatility of the market price of the Company’s securities; insurance; competition; hedging activities; currency fluctuations; loss of key employees; other risks of the mining industry as well as those risks discussed in the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis in respect of the year ended December 31, 2022 and in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form dated March 20, 2023. The forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release are based upon assumptions management believes to be reasonable, including, without limitation: no adverse developments in respect of the property or operations at the project; no material changes to applicable laws; the restart and ramp-up of operations at the Underground Mine in accordance with management’s plans and expectations; no material adverse impacts from COVID-19 going forward; the Company will be able to obtain sufficient additional funding to complete the restart and ramp-up of the Underground Mine, no material adverse change to the price of copper from current levels; and the absence of any other factors that could cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended.
The forward-looking information and statements are stated as of the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward-looking statements or information except as required by law. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events, or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information and statements, there may be other factors that could cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Specific reference is made to “Risks and Uncertainties” in the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis in respect of the year ended December 31, 2022 and “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form dated March 20, 2023, for a discussion of factors that may affect forward-looking statements and information. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, should other risks or uncertainties materialize or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results and events may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements and information. For more information on the Company and the risks and challenges of its business, investors should review the Company’s filings that are available at www.sedar.com
The Company provides no assurance that forward-looking statements and information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements or information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information.
2023.05.30 19:44 autotldr Novel solar desalination system for remote areas developed
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original
reduced by 72%. (I'm a bot)
As a possible solution to increase the availability of clean, potable water, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science have developed a novel thermal desalination system which can work using solar energy. Summary Source FAQ Feedback Top keywords: system#1 water#2 desalination#3 solar#4 energy#5
As an alternative to such solar stills, the IISc team has developed a novel design for a solar-powered desalination unit that is more energy-efficient, cost-effective and portable, making it convenient to set up in areas with limited access to continuous electricity, explains Susmita Dash, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and corresponding author of the study published in Desalination.
The condenser-often overlooked in a majority of desalination studies, according to the researchers-is another key element of the solar desalination system.
The researchers designed the system in such a way that this heat released during condensation is also trapped and utilized to heat up the imbibed saltwater in a different evaporator at the backside of the condenser, which reduces the amount of solar energy needed, and increases the efficiency of the system even more.
The team also successfully connected multiple evaporator-condenser combinations in a series, resulting in a multi-stage solar desalination system.
More information: Nabajit Deka et al, Multistage interfacial thermal desalination system with metallic evaporators, Desalination.
Post found in /technology and /realtech.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
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2023.05.30 19:43 dreamingofislay Feis Ile 2023 Day Four - Laphroaig Day Recap (5/30)
| || | submitted by dreamingofislay to Scotch [link] [comments]
The week rolls on, and so do we! Laphroaig is my favorite distillery, so it's a real treat to be back. Heaven on earth. The sun shines on Laphroaig and Caledonia
- The swag is strong with this one. Although other distilleries have scaled back the free items, Laphroaig gave out the same array of goodies as they did in 2018: an aluminum water bottle, lanyard, and a mini-glencairn glass. Very generous, and it's so much nicer to drink single malt scotch out of proper glassware instead of the flimsy paper cups of Lagavulin and Caol Ila (pro tip: bring your own glass to those days).
- There was a lot to see and do, with the main attraction being the rotating cast of musical performers, who kept it fun and lively. There also were a set of stalls from local crafts stores (in essence, a small flea market), plenty of food, and lawn games like cornhole and quoits. We bought a small book written and illustrated by a local that collects the Flora of Laphroaig.
- The drinks setup changed a lot compared to past open days. This year, everyone got a free dram of Cairdeas 2023, a white port and madeira cask marriage. After that, it was a strictly cash-bar system. The selection was Select, 10, Quarter Cask, Sherry Oak, Lore, and two travel retail bottles, PX Cask and An Cuan Mor. Prices were very reasonable -- 3.5 to 8 pounds. They also made Penicillin and Old Fashioned cocktails for a similar price, although I didn't bother to stop by that stall.
- While this new system works well enough, I vastly preferred how they did it in 2018 and how I've read it was done last year. Previously, you paid a set amount for a three- or four-dram ticket, and the selection was out-of-this-world spectacular. In 2018, for example, we paid 15 pounds for a four-dram ticket, and the offerings were two single casks from 2005 and 2006, Laphroaig 25, Cairdeas bottles from 2008, 2011, and 2016, and other rare or unattainable expressions. Plus, that ticket allowed us to play four silly carnival-style games, with each win giving us another dram token. We found an easy-to-win peat-stacking game, meaning we were effectively getting eight pours per 15-pound ticket. When we finished our first two tickets, we even bought a third one ... those were truly the days. That was outrageously generous but, last year, they charged 20 pounds for a 3-dram ticket that could get guests single casks and other hard-to-find offerings. I would have loved that, but alas, this year, there were no single casks or any Cairdeas offerings other than this year's bottle. At least not to taste (more on that later).
- Laphroaig is a distillery in the midst of major changes, some due to the changeover in manager (from John Campbell to Barry MacAffer), and some, I got the sense, coming from the corporate overlords at Beam Suntory. It's a bit of an adjustment for longtime fans like myself, and I hope Laphroaig doesn't change too much. Some changes are fun and interesting. For instance, they set up a whole bar area for a collaboration between them and a local brewery, Innis & Gunn, which produced a delicious Islay Cask-aged dark beer. I'm not a beer expert, but we tried it, and it was tasty.
- Our event of the day was the Elements of Laphroaig - Smoke tour for 25 pounds per person. The idea of this series was to highlight a key part of Laphroaig's DNA (Smoke, Peat, or Fire), and we happened to choose Smoke. It was the best choice, and our guide Ella (pronounced sort of like Eel-lah - sorry since I am sure I'm misspelling it) was amazing! The group peppered her with some really obscure questions about the smoking and drying process and other minutiae on the making of Laphroaig, and she knew the answers to everything. We were, I believe, the only one of the three tastings to get pours of Laphroaig 25 as part of our tour, so big win there.
- Simon Brooking, Laphroaig's US ambassador, is such a gentleman. It was great to see him after meeting him at a tasting event way back in 2019. If you're American and you ever see an event advertised in your city that features Simon, that should be an instant buy.
- Toward the end of the day, whispers arose about an 18-year-old Amontillado-aged single cask release. It was a silly price (400 pounds), but we pulled the trigger, making it our big splurge of the trip. The purchase system was kind of funny; a staff member first wrote numbers on the backs of our hands starting at 3 pm to guarantee our purchase, and then the shop started actually selling the bottles to people (with or without the hand numbers) at 4 pm, with a big queue forming in the 15 or 20 minutes before then. So in the end, there was a single cask on Laphroaig Open Day, although it cost a hell of a lot more than 15 or 20 pounds to try it! :)
- This extra-special release celebrated the retirement of James McGregor, a 47- or 48-year employee and warehouseman, who selected the cask. While we were all lined up, James and a group rolled his last barrel down the hill to Warehouse 1, and he took it in to cheers and applause. A very sweet gesture. Ella also said that the crew at Laphroaig is a tightknit group and that they have good benefits, so it does seem like Beam Suntory does right by its employees at Laphroaig, which is heartening to hear.
- Booking advice: Feis Ile is a hard trip to book, and you really have to be on top of it. To get lodging, you have to book about a year in advance. Around that time, you'll probably lock in your flights. But the ferry tickets don't come out until a few months before. And the distilleries don't announce their events until April and with very little notice. Most come through their mailing lists or through their social media. Keeping track of all that is not much fun if you're planner in the family, as I am. Every day, I was checking eight distilleries' social media and websites. To use Laphroaig as an example, they announced bookings would be available a few days before it happened, and then released the tickets at 10 am UK time, which was 5 am in the eastern US. I sort of gave up on it but then woke up at 4:55 in anticipation (my body really knows I love Laphroaig, apparently). That's how I was able to book our one tour; by around 8 am, everything was sold out. Really a crazy and difficult system, and a big advantage for UK/EU residents. Other distilleries were not quite as bad, but there was similar chaos. Caol Ila bookings blinked on and off for a week, and Lagavulin released a day earlier than anticipated and sold out almost instantly. It's a pain because, for us whisky nerds, it is a big investment to even make it to Islay, and you have to lock in the entire trip months before knowing what (if any) experiences you'll enjoy.
- Fauna note of the day: midges, small flies that bite like mosquitos, are a huge pest during late spring/summer in Scotland. The locals have explained that they aren't a problem when there's a strong wind, as we've had the last few days. But today, with calmer skies, it got pretty gnarly. Bring bugspray on windless days on Islay! One more swan couple sighting, during my morning run, in the bay outside of Bowmore. Also, Feis Ile is very dog-friendly, with tons of adorable pups at every open day.
Fewer whiskies today than yesterday, although I'll update after I run through Bunnahabhain's Feis Ile 2023 tasting pack this evening: Laphroaig Cairdeas 2023 White Port and Madeira
- This one will probably divide the distillery's most ardent fans. It is reminiscent of 2018's Fino Cask, which happens to be my wife's favorite bottle of all time, and she has already directed me to order three of these when they're released in the US in late summer. Aye aye, captain! The white port adds a dry, crisp character to the malt, while the madeira sweetness dials down the smoke, so it is a more austere and reserved whisky than typical Laphroaigs. A 5% sweeter version of Cairdeas 2018. Laphroaig 10
- Not going to bother with notes on this icon of whisky. It's the reference point/true north for Laphroaig fans. I compare their other whiskies to its high standard (i.e., this one's sweeter and has more vanilla, this one's less medicinal, this one's higher proof, etc.). Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength, Batch 11
- A vanilla bomb from Laphroaig, especially on the nose and early palate, with the smoke and peat making a late comeback and then scoring a 90th-minute hat trick on the finish. Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength is my desert island bottle! Laphroaig 25 2020 Edition
- This was a 48.9% whisky matured entirely in ex-bourbon barrels, unlike some other years' releases that have more sherry influence. Another knockout dram. Laphroaig always mellows out with age, but this version retained a lot of its potent smoke in the form of incense and cigar box, while gaining a waxy, supple mouthfeel that made it almost feel like liquid Laffy Taffy. Innis & Gunn Islay Whisky Cask Beer
- This is a Scottish red ale, but to me looked very similar to a brown ale or porter, and tasted like a classic porter, with notes of creamy vanilla and nutty coffee. Love the partnership these two are forming. Angel's Envy Private Selection, Jensen's Liquors
- Say wwhhaatt? Quite random, but I've been bringing around sample bottles of a recent bourbon purchase from back home, in case anyone wanted to try it with me. Today, a guy from New England (originally from Kentucky) took me up on the offer, so we shared a taste of home. This is a fun bottle with loads of sweet caramel, brown sugar, and fruit pie notes on the nose and palate, with its only flaw being some graininess and kick of youthful rye in the finish that makes me wish it had aged for another year and mellowed out a bit.
Slainte, all! Hope u/MotownF
or some other fellow Redditors here on the island chime in with their thoughts!
2023.05.30 19:33 stanlemmon Explosion Proof Equipment Market Analysis with Covid 19 impact on revenue & future outlook 2029
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Explosion Proof Equipment Market Report delivers a comprehensive analysis of :
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Profshare Market Research is a full-service market research company that delivers in-depth market research globally. We operate within consumer and business-to-business markets offering both qualitative and quantitative research services. We work for private sector clients, along with public sector and voluntary organizations. Profshare Market Research publishes high-quality, in-depth market research studies, to help clients obtain granular level clarity on current business trends and expected future developments. We are committed to our client’s needs, providing custom solutions best fit for strategy development and implementation to extract tangible results. Contact :
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2023.05.30 19:30 Dear-Tomatillo6380 Need advice
Background and context:
I had a mentor who was a boss of mine until a month or so ago. I asked how he could help me about two years ago get into and start building a portfolio of assets. We started an LLC together and here are the order of events so far since inception (July 2021):
1.) Started an entity
2.) Middle of 2022 found a deal to purchase two Salt Water Disposal Wells in Texas. Around the same time I put some capital down for an oil brokerage deal through him. You buy from some crude hauling company and sell to another and take the arbitrage. We're also working towards being an LP in a trucking company with $0 capital down. The way we're doing $0 down is basically helping the purchaser structure the deal, who isn't financially savvy but knows how to run and operate a company like this.
3.) He convinced me that we should form an operating company and operate the wells. I suggested that we just hire a third party operator since we aren't PE's but he insisted on this being the way since he's done this in the past. We did this through the RRC of Texas and had a P5 operating number to manage the wells. Through this we needed an operating agreement so we got that signed. When he signed it looks like he crossed out every sections header. I didn't notice because he was the second signature and the one who shared it with the bank.
4.) I invest in a brokerage deal with him where the capital was supposed to return in 4 months.
4.) After a month or so, I wanted to ensure we were properly documenting all of the documents across the business, crossing our t's and dotting our i's per se. I did this and found 6 wells I had never heard of under our operating entity. I brought this up with documentation to him, he profusely apologized because it was just supposed to be a placeholder.
5.) I accepted his apology and the workaround was to get me off of the LLC, co-own a "parent" entity which owns 50% of the "operating" entity. So this way I had no liability in the operating entity but financial upside in the deal. Again, acting as a 'mentor' this is what we came to a conclusion of. It seemed fair to both parties due to the mishap.
6.) Around the end of last year he was threatened by the company that sold us the wells that they would take back the wells along with up to 1mm of damages done to the mismanagement of the property. They sent and addressed this to him since he's on file as the sole operator of the entity that operates the wells. I saw the letter because it came to our shared mailbox. Their claim was we didn't transfer the pit permit of which I had no clue needed to be done, and of which he didn't know because he doesn't know as much as he leads on to. Had we just contract operated this deal none of this would be an issue, but he doesn't give credence to that fact, just carries on as if the company that's threatening to sue knows nothing and that it would all be fine.
7.) He "handles it" and meets with the team who threatened that and talked them off the ledge. Or so he tells me. This has been where we've left that hiccup since.
It's important to note at this point which was 2 months ago I'm thinking about how can I separate myself completely from this deal. I don't think I have risk the way it's structured but I don't really know for sure.
8.) As. all of this is coming to a head, the purchase of the trucking business is potentially happening. Somehow the loan to purchase the business is trying to get us to sign a personal guarantee, I decline, instead my "mentor", the guy who's going to own the majority of the trucking business sign a PG. They send me the docs after signing, but the way he signed was as the entity that we own through our parent org and him as the managing member, so our entity and really him personally have a recourse loan.
9.) When I'm looking at the loan after the fact, the thing is almost predatory. Pre-payment penalty is the full interest and principal of the loan plus the maximum allowable pre-payment penalty. Not to get into it but this was not the structure we needed based on what we were trying to do. I call them out but they already signed it.
10.) I quit my job. I don't want to work with the guy anymore. Reminder is that I worked with him at our a day jobs and this was just side income opportunities.
11.) As all of this is coming to a head it dawns on me that I just want out and don't know how to. Is the best way to just approach him in our meeting tomorrow and say I want a $0 buyout, he can have the assets (or in my opinion the liability) that he has taken on, and I just want off of the entities?
12.) As I'm strategizing the exit plan conversation with him, I'm having trouble getting him in person to talk through how I'd like to be out of the business.
Long story short I need to solve for 3 things:
1.) Understand my liability with this loan that I did not sign a PG for but the entity that we are listed as owners of did (with he as a managing member)
2.) Understand my liability with the two SWD assets that the group threatened to sue him / the operating entity on.
3.) What should I do to separate myself from this completely, and as quickly as possible
submitted by Dear-Tomatillo6380
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