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2023.03.22 11:20 angowalnuts What does "three deep" mean here

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2023.03.22 07:25 HughEhhoule The Klink Mike's Story Part 1

Link to original story
The floor of the cell is covered in decades of mildew and dust. This disgusting carpet does nothing to dull the pain as I skip across it, thrown in by someone with the intention of making a point.
My Name’s Mike, and if any of you are the types to go on a deep dive, you probably know A little about me already.
For those of you that don’t, Jesus I don’t know exactly where to begin.
The Cliff’s notes would be that I spent a little over a decade either being a serial killer or a vigilante. I won’t try to justify my actions, both of those are just sides of the same shitty coin. I’m not a person to be idolized or emulated, so I choose not to plead my case.
Now, while I thought that was just about as screwed up as life could get, one day, out of the blue, after burying my best, fuck, my only friend I found myself, somewhere else. A world that looked and felt like mine, but one where the things that go bump in the night actually existed.
Where I came from, I’d seen monsters, to be sure, but only the kind that happen when people break.
Since I’ve been here? Got caught up in some demented gameshow for demons or something, threw a massive shit in the punch bowl of the thing running the production, and got the world’s unluckiest man his freedom.
And that leads me to my current situation, staring down the rage filled, mildly bruised face of that asshole, that fucking, demonic Ted Turner, Art.
He runs a hand aggressively through his slicked back hair, standing at the door to my cell.
“Looks like your little plan didn’t work, exactly as I predicted, you fuck.
I mean, great try with the little cat thing you had, honestly didn’t see that coming. But, Jesus, Mike, what was your end game? “ Art gloats.
“Cards on the table? It was a lot better, but shit fell through, that whiskey abomination, it was the one that ratted me out I assume?
That being said, still got Kev out. And you can’t really ‘flip off his lightswitch’ if he didn’t let you screw around with his wiring, can you? “ I grin, I keep it, even as a Gucci shoe slams into my face.
Am I scared? Of God damn course I am, I’ve been pissing myself (metaphorically speaking.) since I realised that the rules of reality don’t really apply any more.
Every new grain of sand on the beach of hell my life has become, tosses me further down the road of mental failure. Shit, that’s half of what fucked up my last plan in the first place.
If I could have just kept my shit together long enough, I’d be sipping a beer with Kev in some shit hole town somewhere. But the only thing harder than trying to stamp down fear in the face of God’s and monsters, is trying to do it while projecting some kind of ‘death fears me ‘ persona.
Between you and I? Death doesn’t fear me, in fact, it seems to love to hang around. And every day I have to stare down that grim spectre, the closer I get to losing the tenuous grip on reality I have .
“Oh, fuck Kev. He’s smart enough to stay off my radar, and too stupid to figure out a way to come back at me.
He's got a 1 bedroom in Idaho or something? Salud, good on him.
You, I had high hopes for, and then you decide to wipe your ass all over my carpet, cost me more than I could even explain, and even, get me a little roughed up. My favorite shell, anyway.
I want to recoup some loses Mike. So, you, get to be a part of another one of my projects.
You thought The Path was bad? Oh, you literal, fucking clown, you haven’t seen anything.
I won’t spoil it for you, the devil’s in the details and all, but you know what everyone loves?
Not being in it themselves, of course, but seeing others, especially those they hate in there.
This place isn’t fair, the path was a boxing match with Queensbury rules, this is a handcuffed knife fight.
And I can’t wait to see you figure out, all the little surprises it has in store for you. “ Art laughs and tosses me a battered, ancient looking smartphone, “ Feel free to drum me up some good press online if you want. “
My heart is pounding, I have to use every bit of will I have to stop from shaking, to roll my neck and sit against the cold, padless cement bed behind me.
I feel sick, my stomach boiling and gurgling.
“For the love of whatever the demonic equivalent of Christ is, why not just kill me? I’m right here, I have no way of fighting back, and you know damn well that if you give me enough time, I’m going to find a way to wipe my ass on your doorframe next. “ My tone is flippant, or at least, I hope it is.
“The ego on you kid, you think you’re that guy don’t you?
They exist, don’t get me wrong, probably a couple thousand folks capable of taking me out, but trust me, you are not one of them.
This isn’t some ‘Arch’ idiocy where I leave my greatest rival alive. This is me watching you squirm because I can, and making a little profit on the deal.
Don’t flatter yourself. “ Art has produced a long thin knife as he talks, he spins and rolls it absently.
“Before your guys dragged me off, I met something. A corner store, I don’t know if it was haunted, possessed, or if it was some kind of creature that just decided to look like a knock off 7-11.
Point being, it was out there, ethereal, I couldn’t hurt it, outwit it, even slow it down. I ran from that thing as fast as I could. It gave me some serious Lovecraft vibes.
You, Art, are not that guy. “ I notice myself tapping my finger nervously on the slime covered floor, I focus, stopping the tic.
The tip of Art’s knife glows, the sick, grey sheen isn’t heat, but something that makes me start to back up.
“I am, but you will never see that. You’re not worth the effort.
I want to give you a little something though. “ Art stalks toward me, I stand as I back into the farthest corner of the cell, “ Proud of your face paint were you? “
Art grins, and for a moment lets some of his true self slip through. For just a moment I see timeless horror in his eyes, a dark black void of consumed souls and unrestrained evil.
That knife parts my flesh with pain like a whip. Without even using the blade, it’s presence flenses my face, opening up raw, textured furrows in my flesh.
He leaves after he is done, laughing to himself.
The pain makes me black out, my stomach is boiling, I come to dry heaving, the effort sends me back into the oblivion of sleep.
I don’t know how long has passed, my face feels like it is on fire, and the thick steel bars of my cell door are closed.
It takes me two minutes of cupping my hands under the grime laden steel tap to get enough water to clear off a spot on the rusted, old, wall mounted steel mirror.
No mortal hand could have scarred me as accurately as Art did. The wounds, not healed, but cauterised as to not make me bleed out, used depth, and width, to create a colorless replica of my makeup.
I know trauma, physical as well as mental, and these are scars that will never heal. As the fact sinks in that my face is literally no longer my own, I scream, heart pounding, I split open my knees on the cold cement floor.
Pain flares, threatens to send me back to the bliss of unconsciousness, but I don’t care.
I read Kev’s journals, and they paint me in a really… positive light, in a sense.
What I mean is, going by what he thought he saw, I’m some kind of supervillian or something. Tossing three hundred pound air conditioners ( it was the outer shell, seventy pounds, physics and luck did the rest.), wrestling Art ( I was clinging on for dear life, had it not been for Jr and the mass of denizens, I’d have been killed with a flick of his wrist.), or appearing like a ghost (people, even immortal are very unobservant. Especially in an emergency.).
I’m great at seeming horrifying, and that’s a weapon in and of itself, but at the end of the day, that’s all it is.
Kneeling in my own blood, vision blurry with pain, I realise how small, vulnerable, and unarmed I truly am.
By the time daylight shines through the yellow reinforced glass window, I’m already awake. I’ve spent an hour and a half calming myself, trying to find some focus, some centre to keep me going.
I’ve been in prison before, back home, first and last time I tried plying my trade outside of America.
Being the stupid payaso gringo that I am I bit off so much more than I can chew that I wound up choking on it for 2 months in a Mexican prison.
The routine of, count, lineup, chow, remained the same.
The demographics of the population on the other hand…
Being observant is one of my main skills and as I was brought into the absurdly sized cafeteria, I was taken aback at just how many people were here.
Tens of Thousands, easily, maybe a hundred. I try and think of how many missing person cases this accounts for, and even that math doesn’t quite add up.
I quickly inventory the groups that make up the place, not that it wasn’t obvious.
The first, of course are the guards. Some, the majority, appear to be human, well geared up and in intimidating physical condition.
But a handful, they are clearly, something else. Some are smooth featured ebony skinned giants, carrying truncheons that could crush a car engine. Others are grinning, pale skinned bad attempts at human copies, wild eyed and twitching.
Second would be what I called the cultists. They all appeared to style themselves after certain tropes and urban legends, clearly human, but dressing, tattooing and mutilating themselves to appear like, myths, legends, and monsters.
The subtle violence I see tells me I’ve found the gangs.
Third are the Everymen, I can’t see any kind of pattern to them, but they seem to make up the majority of the population. They keep their distance from the guards and the cultists, but on more than one occasion I see then stand, united against attempts at extortion.
The last group, I call the candles, people that are clearly on their way out mentally and physically. Sunken eyed, and set upon from all angles, at any moment these folks could be simply snuffed out.
I keep my distance, and stay respectful, the meandering, twisting line seems to take hours to get me my thick slice of crumbling yellow bread, and thick red slurry that reminds me of porridge masquerading as meat.
My coat is gone but I’m left with the majority of the clothing I fashioned back in the path. I see a mix of unwashed orange uniforms and ‘civilian’ clothing, some of the cultists, bordering more on costume than wardrobe.
As the massive, butchers apron wearing man in smeared clown makeup sits down, I wish I’d have been issued something more generic. I saw this coming the second I noticed a lump of Chlorophiles in blood stained getups.
“You sit with us. “ I can’t tell if it’s an accent or speech pattern, the clown sounds strange, either way.
I eat a spoonful of the red sludge.
“No disrespect intended, I’m not one for clubs. I’m going to make no waves, no plays, nothing. I’m a ghost. “ I say, levelly, avoiding eye contact.
Why, you might ask, having been told about my adventures in murder.
Well, that’s just it. Murder is easy, and any time you saw me end a life, it was just that.
A fight, that’s another thing entirely, especially against someone with a significant weight and height advantage.
“Not asking. You got friends. “ The massive clown moves his bulk closer, it’s like sitting next to a forklift.
I eat the bread, it tastes amazing until I swallow, then has a foul, chemical aftertaste.
I drink some tepid, burgundy fluid that might be caffeinated.
No weapons nearby, no one watching that might step in. I’m full of bruises and sprains, and probably anemic from blood loss. Not to mention one eye is running at about fifty per cent. Art didn’t sever the optic nerve last time, but he wasn’t gentle. My heart races.
“I don’t play well with people who take clowning and slap a coat of dark paint on it.
You guys are Clown Killers. You are good at killing, I’m sure, but the clown part, it’s tacked on.
Myself, I’m a killer clown…. “ I had a really good rant planned, honestly, it was a corker, douche bags would have used it in memes for a decade.
But before I can react, with one massive hand, he bounces my face off of the pitted steel table.
It rings my bell, but not as much as I let on. In clowning terms, what I do Is called a pratfall.
For those of you that don’t speak nerd, I oversell the hit, falling backwards, eyes fluttering.
I tip backwards, reaching out my left arm, as if to steady myself. The meat mountain is unbothered, knowing I have no chance unarmed, in this close, he let’s me grab one shoulder of the butchers apron. The material is thick, and matted in stains that will never come out, literally or metaphorically.
If you want to take someone out, in a relatively harmless way, you don’t want to choke them. It takes forever, usually ends up killing them, and generally is a bad idea for everyone involved.
Your goal is go cut off blood flow to the brain as quickly and fully as possible.
I hook my thumb around the opposite shoulder strap, and snap my body backward, the apron acting as an impromptu Garrotte.
His right arm is knotted through my left, as he tries to struggle, to put his murderous intent and ability to work, the choke only becomes tighter.
I don’t want enemies here, and I only have so many tricks to play before things come to a knock down drag out fight, so I leave the clown unharmed.
I do need friends, but the look I get as I take a seat at a loose collection of men is cold and fearful.
A red haired guy, five foot nine or so, makes eye contact, “Anything we can help you with? “ he says, fearless.
“Yeah, despite the face work I’ve had done, I have fuck all in common with any of those penny wise, Icp, Gacy dressed, assholes.
I need a tribe guys, you all look like the unlucky ones around here, but I don’t want to get involved in bloodshed.
I’m Mike “ I know, that’s only mostly true, but I mean it, either way. I extend a hand.
“Chris. “ the red haired guy says, he wears a white dress shirt and surprisingly blue jeans, “Those stains around your cuffs tell me otherwise.
If you’re telling the truth, that’s great. If you are lying, and still sane enough to keep your word, that’s even better. “ Chris’s tone is mirthless, I read him easily. He’s been here a long time for a short life, he looks thirty max, and I shudder to think how young he may have been when he came in.
Chris catches me up on the ins and outs of this place, beyond what a general knowledge of prison would give.
Everyone here has crimes they were not convicted of, that would, otherwise put them in jail for life. A large amount, obviously are murderers, torturers, real bastards.
But a significant minority are just regular folks, maybe a bit thoughtless, but that have collected a litany of small, petty, in cases almost victim less crimes.
No one seems to be aware of the… reality t.v. Meets demonic fast food aspect of things, but there is a Doom cherry on this fear Sunday.
There is a single way someone can get out. To earn 20 tokens.
And how does one earn these tokens you ask?
Each day the prison holds an event, to call it a challenge would insinuate a level of fair play that is simply not there. The events range from somewhat fair, a fight or game of chance, to esoteric rituals complex enough to rip someone’s soul from their body.
These tokens are also the sole form of currency in the prison, they can buy everything from commissary snacks to literal free passes from guards.
The economy has created a cut throat society, the heads of the cults not even taking advantage of being able to be free, but simply reveling in the power of being psychotic and enabled.
The weak are enslaved, their lives traded on the off chance at tokens.
So, of course, braindead asshole that I am, I signed myself right up. Feeling a little more confidant after climbing Mount Bozo.
It's 8pm and the volunteers are rounded up and brought to a massive room that has all the trappings of a gymnasium, but the scale is large enough easily hold the focus of tonight’s events.
In tiered bleachers all around us, our fellow prisoners cheer and scream. The smell of thousands of unwashed, men is overpowering, the din of excitement is deafening.
But my attention is focussed on the small, single floor home, sitting out of place in the middle of the polished wood floor.
What I wouldn’t give for Demi to appear right now, give me the low down on all the supernatural bullshit that is heading my way. But the longer we stayed in the mountain the less and less the most useful voice in my head could, or would, make an appearance.
I study each of my fellow volunteers, the goal seems simple, last the longest in the home. Men enter and leave within minutes. They come out looking shaken, with minor lacerations, and a general sense of shell shock.
By the time my turn arrives, I think I know what I’m in for.
I’m wrong.
As the baby blue door closes behind me, nothing immediately in the home causes me concern. The fixtures and furniture is a bit out of date, the lighting is, not inviting, and there is a general fog of gloom hanging around.
I smile, I’ve felt this before. Granted I had Demi feeding me supernatural errata at the time, but, I’m positive I can wing it.
“So, I think I may have met one of you guys before. Back in New York, a Happy-Face corner store, anyone you know?
Scary dude, took a couple of pieces out of me.
But this, it’s more like an MMA fight, right? I tap out when you start kicking my ass? “ I stretch, trying to see if I’m getting any kind of reaction.
I inventory the objects around me, last time everything that wasn’t nailed down, shifted, changed and tried to take me apart.
You may have noticed by now, I love using the phrase ‘ last time’, and that’s because up until this moment, I haven’t learned a fucking thing here.
Mike’s first rule of paranormal survival, last time means nothing.
“It’s you” the voice is young, late teens, and male.
I spin, expecting violence, then, wishing violence.
I know the young man, not this pale, older, revenant with a self inflicted gunshot wound, but I know him none the less.
I’m not being metaphorical when I say my heart misses a beat, I almost fall over, pounding at my chest to stop it’s arythmatic pounding.
I knew what happened to him, found it out long after I could do anything about it. And wasn’t in the best of places when I did.
I’ll call him a ghost for simplicity sake, but this kid, he’s my first, and biggest mistake.
I based who I turned into on finding what I thought was one of the worst people on earth. This kid’s father.
I did things to him worthy of what I knew he did. And to top it all off, I had him die by his wife’s hand.
Well, a decade later I find out, the guy wasn’t a Saint, but he didn’t do anything worthy of the twisted shit I put him through.
I got wind of some false information put out there in a moment of rage by a tech savvy ten year old. The kid never intended it to see the light of day
“I found out about you Mike, I saw that you were a hero. “ The voice is thin echoes like a stuck record.
“No kid, don’t think that. “ I mumble, I’m shaking, the air is freezing, each breath comes out as white mist.
I’m sitting on the flower printed couch now, and it hits me.
I’d assumed because Art couldn’t screw around in my head last time, the same went for everything here.
Remember what we said about last time.
“My told me what happened one night, what I made you do.
I destroyed her memory of him, I made a real Hero kill him, I couldn’t keep hurting people. “ I can see images, flashing in my mind, memories that are not mine.
I’m counting seconds, trying to focus, trying to stay long enough to get the token. It has to have been fifteen, twenty minutes at least.
I try to work up a smirk, to convince myself that I’m just being played by the paranormal equivalent of a heckler.
That’s not it though, This place, this house, is reaching inside me and finding places to look. As I stare into the young man’s rotted eyes I know this is some part of him, torn away from whatever rest he was entitled to.
The lights dim, then turn off. The house is silent.
Hollywood gets being both a lunatic and a hitman wrong in equal measure. No matter how much morality you want to inject into the profession, there are going to come times when you make mistakes.
As the lights slowly turn to a dull orange glow, I’m surrounded by the hovering, mutilated forms of mine.
Those that died that could have been spared, those that died because of my inaction, or stupidity. I’ve never forgotten them, I use them to make sure I never make the same mistakes again, but having them looming, screaming, all demanding I hear their stories, their accusations, their placations.
It's too much, I stumble from the couch, trying to avoid the icy touch of these phantoms. For a moment I find some last scrap of courage, I close my eyes, shut out the shrieking din of the dead.
The silence hits like a truck, I focus, trying to calm my burned out nerves.
Then they are reignited like a fucking welding torch.
“This place didn’t bring us here.
We’ve been right next to you for years Mike. We can’t leave. “ The voice of my first mistake.
Like a toddler I try to run with my eyes closed, I trip over a glass coffee table, clawing my way up the door, grasping at the handle.
I can feel a slight pull now, almost magnetic, trying to drag me backwards.
My hands shake too much, I have to steady my right wrist with my left hand, the floor becomes slick, I see the door, escape start to move further away as I’m pulled backward.
I've taken a hit or two, and had a couple of three day benders that have made me piss myself. But as I stumble, trying to make progress on the nearly friction less floor, I have another unpleasant first experience.
I grab the handle, pulling myself out of the house, launching my body into a skin peeling tumble across unforgiving plank flooring.
I’m a shaking, fetal wreck, by the time I’ve pulled myself together enough to take in my surroundings, I see the red Led clock displaying my time.
42 seconds. Bottom of the barrel. The jeers and booing from the crowd do nothing for my frayed nerves or the storm of fear and anxiety going through my mind.
I’m exhausted, but I can’t sleep, it has nothing to do with the concrete slab that serves as my bed.
My stomach has been knotting and cramping, with each passing second I get more worried I blew some internal gasket in one of the many life or death struggles in the past months.
When I finally manage to vomit, the urge is strong enough I get no where near the filth crusted hole in the floor that serves as my toilet. And my worst fears are confirmed as I see the massive pile of vomit is mostly blood.
… and bones? Is that an eyeball? A piece of fur?
The mass begins to pull itself together, bits and pieces forming the most rudimentary attempt at a face.
“Junior? “ I say, stunned.
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2023.03.22 07:03 xMrPink85 [USA-CA] [H] Playstation/XBox/Nintendo Consoles/Games/Manuals/Pokemon [W] Sega Games/Playstation Games/Nintendo Games/Lists/Offers

Happy to provide pics of anything you might be interested in.. Most of this stuff I would like to move ASAP. If you would like to buy see my GameSale post!
If you are local to the Sacramento area I might be willing to do a local meetup. Cash/Paypal also acceptable on either side to help even out a trade.
Thanks for looking! Happy trading!
PS1 Games:
Strategy Guides:
PS2 Hardware:
PS2 Games: All CIB
PS3 Hardware:
PS3 Games: All CIB/Boxed.
PS4 Hardware:
PS4 Games: (CIB/Boxed)
PS5 Games:
PSP Hardware:
PSP Games
Vita games:
OG XBox Games: (CIB unless noted)
**XBOX 360**
360 Consoles:
360 Games: (CIB unless noted)
XB1 Games: (CIB/Boxed unless noted)
NES Carts: (loose)
NES manuals
Super Nintendo Games:
SNES Carts:
SNES Manuals:
Nintendo 64**
N64 Hardware:
Wii Games:
**WII U**
Wii U Hardware:
Wii U Games:
Switch Hardware:
Switch Games (CIB/Boxed):
GB Manuals:
Nintendo DS Hardware:
Nintendo DS Games:
Nintendo 3DS Games:
Saturn Hardware:
Sega Saturn Games:
Dreamcast Games:
SOME specific items I'm after:
[General Wants]
** Your lists/offers. I am not interested in loose discs or any sort of Greatest Hits, Platinum Hits, Players Choice, etc. Black Label/first print only. Most Carts are ok loose with the exception of games that came in plastic cases such as DS/Vita. If it had a cardboard box I can do without.
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2023.03.22 06:14 TheHonorableDrDingle Plain White Simple Minimalist All-White Wall Clock Zazzle

Plain White Simple Minimalist All-White Wall Clock Zazzle submitted by TheHonorableDrDingle to CustomPhotoGifts [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 05:05 idontreallycare9432 Not waking up to alarms.

So i sleep through about 40 alarms, not including my alarm clock. I drink, but not enough to make me sick. Ive been pot free (because of other health problems) for a while now. No meds other than albuteroul (inhaler), and the ocasional pain med/allergy pill. Note im dont actively take them, just when ive been off work for a while, and havent had caffeine, or when my allergies are going haywire. But i dont wake up to my alarms. I seem to wake up to people talking, or when my dad would tell me to get up for school. This is becoming a huge problem for me. Sure i dont go to bed at a decent time, usually about this time im laying in bed but could spend an hour of laying to pass out. It more of a alarm problem tho. I have alarms with voices, one set of them is completely screwed (corrupted audio file i think.) The other normal, then just normal phone alarms.
Like i said i have a alarm clock. It can wake me up but not usually. Irl voices seem to wake me faster. For example a neighbors kid in the backyard yelling loud enough to pass through the walls (i live in an apartment, a small one.)
Not looking for medical advice, just what should i do? The walls are thin so its not like i can get a super loud alarm, or a math alarm. My brain will just block it out. I even used to sleep through my dad yelling at me to get up. Now and again ill wake up and ignore the alarm completely.
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2023.03.22 04:59 BraveMagikarp Monitors keep going black at random while playing FFXIV

I've been having this issue of where I play Final Fantasy 14 and at random my montiors keep going black. It never has this problem with any other game and its been driving me up a wall of how to fix it. I've tried a a few fixes, such as uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, using MSI Afterburner to bring down my core clocks by 200-400, and even fully uninstalling and reinstalling, and yet it still decides to black screen while playing on occasion. Any information on how to fix this will be highly appreciated, if possible.
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2023.03.22 04:35 InFerroVeritas Creative Accounting

Talea reclined on the day bed in her office, one leg folded under her and the other swinging free along its side. The rich red upholstery squeaked with each swing; she paid it no mind. Her attention was directed to the letters on her desk, read a half dozen times, and her gaze was fixed on the ceiling. Tessellated patterns of hexagons and trigons repeating with geometric precision, inlays of gold-flecked lapis lazuli and pale blue agate bringing color to the relief carvings.
"I think we should send him a gift," Yna said.
Talea turned her attention towards her companion. The arch of her eyebrow made her question plain.
Yna sipped at her tea and then recoiled as if slapped. "Aquan's blood, girl, how do you drink this?"
"Practice," Talea said with the barest hint of a smile. "That and a general mistrust of the water in this city. The Blackwater is no Sweetwater, yes?"
Yna resisted the urge to fling the contents of the cup over her shoulder and out the window, but only just. Instead, she set the porcelain down on its saucer and gave it the sort of dirty look a banker reserves for smudged ink in a ledger. "As you say. And as I was saying, I think we should send Hightower a gift."
Talea chortled. "How many iron coins do you think a raven can carry, my dearest friend on this wretched continent?"
"I was thinking about something with a bit more... refinement," Yna said. "Mayhaps a ring?"
Talea turned her gaze back to the ceiling and considered the proposal. "Fine enough. But I think I ought to talk to Aelinor, too."
"You haven't mentioned her in a spell," Yna said. She crossed the room to a credenza and plucked two glasses of carved crystal from a mahogany stand. "Things did not end well last time."
Talea sighed and closed her eyes. It was that or grimace. "No, they did not."
Yna knelt and searched through the cabinets under the credenza, examining bottles and decanters until she found a rich red that fit the occasion. "You haven't told me much about it."
This time she did grimace. "Mistakes were made."
Yna rose, holding a bottle of Rasnic. "Look what I found."
Talea turned her attention back to Yna. Her eyebrows rose when she saw the label, a wheel with three spokes. "I thought we drank the last of that."
"They brought some back from Liy." She produced a knife from somewhere and began peeling back the wax seal. "Let's celebrate."
"What are we going to celebrate?" Talea waved vaguely in Yna's direction. "The fact that you didn't lop a finger off with your knife because you're too stubborn to use a corkscrew?"
Yna barked a sharp laugh. "The only corkscrew I use --"
"-- yes, yes, I've heard that one before."
Yna waggled her eyebrows.
Talea groaned.
"So -- ring for Hightower, what's this about Aelinor?"
"Well, her new tax plan --" Talea was abruptly cut off as a piece of wax flew past her ear. "You missed."
"I took pity on you." Yna flicked another bit of wax with her knife; this piece failed to clear the distance between them.
Talea snorted. "Superb bladework, ser."
Yna sniffed and looked down her nose at Talea. "'twas intentional, my lady."
"I feel like there's a dirty joke to be had here." Talea grinned across the room to Yna. "Shall we workshop it, my dear?"
"I struggle to conceive of a situation in which you need help finding a dirty joke, Tal." Yna finally wedged the cork out of the bottle with a satisfying pop and began filling the crystal. "Something about over-promising, I suspect."
Talea placed a hand over her heart in mock indignation. "Why, I never! The implication!"
Yna poured the remainder of the bottle into a decanter and carried the crystal across the room, offering a glass to Talea. "Spare me. Now, do you want to drink and talk about Aelinor or did you want to talk about something else?"
Talea pushed herself up into a seated position and accepted the offered crystal. She met Yna's eye and allowed her gaze to wander, with as much brazen disregard for etiquette as she could muster, down the other woman's figure. She smiled slightly as she went, then pointed at Yna's knee. "It looks like the cleaners haven't swept up lately."
Yna glanced down, holding one leg out to examine the indicated knee. "Oh, that wasn't from here." She met Talea's eyes and took a long sip of her wine. "That was from the other kneeling I did this morning."
Talea threw back her wine, not even bothering to savor the taste of it. She paid no mind to the fact that the Rasnic vineyards ceased to exist a decade ago or that the vintage in question was almost as old as she was. She set her crystal aside and leaned towards Yna. "I think that discussion about Aelinor can wait, don't you?"
Yna laughed. "I'm sure you can multitask, oh great and clever Emissary of the Iron Bank. It's a wonder you're able to fit a hat on that head, what with your enormous intellect and unrivaled mastery of numerology."
"Laugh all you want," Talea said. She snatched Yna's wine away and drank that took. This time she did take a moment to savor it, but not nearly as much as the vintage deserved. "I'll have you know that I am the foremost mathemagician in Westeros."
"Wow!" Yna said. "It's an honor to be in your presence, my lady!"
Talea smiled. "Yes, I'm sure it is." She reached out, hooking three fingers around Yna's necklace. Whatever Yna's response might have been was lost as Talea pulled her in for a kiss.
A few heartbeats (or perhaps ten minutes) later, Yna pulled away. "Feeling focused yet?"
"Oh, very," Talea said, biting her lip. She realized she still had a glass of crystal in her left hand. Fine Myrish crystal, as clear as a fine Spring day. She flung it across the room, indifferent to the sound of something worth thrice its weight in gold shattering against a stone wall. She pulled Yna in for another kiss.
submitted by InFerroVeritas to IronThroneRP [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 04:16 ashi_jain25 Decorate Your Wall with Antique Pieces

With these lovely ideas for antique wall decor, you can infuse your house with a feeling of history and beauty. You are not restricted to using typical wall decorations like paintings. There are many ways to add charm to your home with antiques. In this blog, we will discuss wall decoration ideas with the help of Antiques.

1. Placing Small Etchings & Photographs

In the early days of book and magazine printing, most photographs were printed using engravings or etchings. These tiny engravings and etchings can be bought for a reasonable price; frequently, they cost approximately $25 each. Most are neutral in color.
However, others are hand-colored. They complement any environment and are available in numerous themes. You can find images of people, places, animals, plants, historical news events, etc. Even fairy tale picture books have excellent illustrations. Beautiful vintage wall decor can be created by framing several little etchings and engravings, especially if you add antique picture frames to complete the appearance.

2. Paste Antique Mirrors on The Wall

From enormous, elaborate floor mirrors to smaller hand mirrors, antique mirrors come in a wide range of sizes and designs. Make a gallery wall in your home using a variety of mirrors to display them. This installation style will reflect light and enlarge your room, which is an added benefit. Also, mirrors only reflect the hues they are exposed to, making them ideal for neutral farmhouse wall decor.

3. Make Use of Framed Embroidery to Enhance Your Wall

Samplers made of embroidery and other fine needlework are a wonderful way to lend a touch of old-world charm and distinctive personality. Frame examples of Victorian needlework to add character to your wall decor. They are frequently offered for less than $30 at flea markets and auction websites. When matted and framed, even a tiny sampler conveys a powerful message.

4. Hang Antique Metal Trays

You can display your collection of antique trays on the wall if you collect them. The reflective surface behaves like a mirror without producing a distinct reflection, whether you gather copper trays or silver-plated platters. The polished trays are a neutral option that complements any interior and can increase the lighting in any space. You can get these ancient yet antique metal trays from sites like Shopify.

5. Style Your Wall with Antique Fans

Fans can still be found in antique shops; they were formerly a crucial component of women's outfits. These make wonderful vintage collectibles, especially if you wish to display them. One concept for an antique wall decoration involves framing fans in unique shadow boxes, which are then hung collectively on the wall. This looks great in a living room or bedroom.

6. Place Antique Clothing on Your Wall

Particularly when you hang a collection of multiple items together, clothing offers an interesting and charming antique wall décor alternative. You can find anything from vintage children's apparel to aprons in thrift stores and antique shops. A huge wall can be used to hang numerous items on wooden hangers. This is a nice option for a bathroom or bedroom.
submitted by ashi_jain25 to u/ashi_jain25 [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 03:08 Darren716 Post WWE NXT 3/21/2023 Show Discussion Thread

Winner Loser Match Finish Stipulation
Tiffany Stratton Indi Hartwell Moonsault Stand and Deliver Ladder Match Qualifier
Ilja Dragunov JD McDonough Double DQ when both competitors run into Dragon Lee at ringside and start to brawl
Lyra Valkyria Ivy Nile Round-House Kick Stand and Deliver Ladder Match Qualifier
Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes w/ Trick Williams Pretty Deadly Nothin' But Net
submitted by Darren716 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 03:03 FyrestarOmega Daily Mail 21/3/23: Paediatric doctor nearly begged colleague to take surviving triplet to another hospital as it was 'the only way he would live', court hears in Lucy Letby trial
A doctor told a jury in the Lucy Letby trial today how she was almost reduced to begging a colleague to take a surviving triplet to another hospital as it was 'the only way he would live'.
Letby, 33, is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit.
The paediatrician, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told to the court about the desperate and 'overwhelming' battle to resuscitate another of the identical triplets after he suffered a series of unexplained collapses at the hospital.
Baby P, one of identical triplet boys, required resuscitation after his heart rate and blood oxygen levels plummeted.
Despite the efforts of a room full of medical staff and a specialist neonatologist drafted in from the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Baby P was pronounced dead at 5.57pm on June 23 and was handed to his parents - just two days after he and his brothers had all been born in a good condition
Twenty-four hours earlier they had had to deal with the similarly unexplained death of Baby O.
Letby was the designated nurse for Baby O and P on the day shift of June 23 and continued to care for the latter the following day.
The doctor also spoke of 'shocking' and 'inappropriate' comments made by Letby as the drama unfolded on June 24 2016, including one regarding Baby P which said: 'He's not leaving here alive, is he?'
Following his death, the court heard she appeared 'excited' as she offered to make a memory box for his bereaved parents.
The consultant's harrowing account emerged when she was asked if any conversations that day had stuck in her mind.
She recalled going through to Nursery 1 to Nursery 2 shortly after receiving an optimistic gas reading that suggested Baby P might recover.
'A few nurses were there, including Staff Nurse Lucy Letby. I remember when you face one wall there's a clock in front. It was just going past 12. I was desperately wanting this baby to get better and feeling totally out of my depth.
'I just said, almost thinking out loud: "Ok, the transport team are going to be here". Staff Nurse Letby said "He's not leaving here alive, is he?"
'I found it absolutely shocking at the time. I turned round and said "Don't say that – he's had a good gas". In my mind he was very much alive. I said that and left the room.'
She continued: 'We have babies who are very, very sick, and very, very unwell. With some of them who have followed a course where they've become increasingly unwell, but you still keep hoping and trying.
'I would never let myself think [they would not live]. It's that hope that helps you keep going. When I heard her say that I don't even know if I was upset. I was just shocked.'
At that time Baby P was the best he had been since the collapses had begun in the morning.
The doctor said: 'The transport team was on its way. I thought he was winning and saw no reason for this comment'.
Following the baby's death she had gone with Letby to see the baby's parents in the nearby Lavender Suite.
'I remember thinking "I don't know how to face them. I don't know how to say this". The parents were sitting there and I told them P was going to need a post mortem too.
'Staff Nurse Letby was against the door and she was very animated, saying to the parents "Do you want me to make a memory box, like I did for (Baby) O?"
'I remember thinking "This is not a new baby, this is a dead baby. Why are you so excited about this?"
'That's how she was. Saying "Do you want me to make a memory box" like it was a bounty pack. I found that very inappropriate. It was the way it was said, not what was said.'
She added: 'Dad was there and he was stood next to (the surviving triplet), sobbing and literally begging Dr Rackham to please take him.
'And even though I didn’t beg, and I found a professional way of saying it, in my heart I just wanted him to leave too because that’s the only way he was going to live.'
She said although she did not go to the police, she raised it with colleagues, including the clinical lead and the neo-natal unit manager, at their regular Monday meeting three days later. The court heard Letby was removed from the ward soon afterwards.
Also revealed to the jury today was that Letby found caring for less sick infants in hospital 'boring'.
She is also said to have argued with a senior colleague when asked to work in an ‘outside nursery’ where babies were treated in preparation for going home.
The unit was split into four rooms - intensive care in nursery one, high dependency care in nursery two and the ‘outside nurseries’ of rooms three and four, Manchester Crown Court has heard.
On Tuesday, senior nurse Kathryn Percival-Calderbank told jurors that Letby was 'unhappy' if she was allocated shifts in either room three or four.
She said: 'She expressed that she was unhappy at being put in the outside nurseries.
'She said it was boring and she didn’t want to feed babies. She wanted to be in the intensive care.'
Mrs Percival-Calderbank, who qualified as a nurse in 1988, added: 'If anything was going on within nursery one you would find she would migrate there, as we would all do to go and help. She would definitely end up in nursery one to assist.
'It was more that we were worried for Lucy’s mental heath because it can be upsetting, emotional and sometimes exhausting as well at the end of a shift, if you’re constantly put in that stressed situation all the time.
'Sometimes you’ve got to come out of that environment and be in an outside nursery.'
She recalled an argument - some time before June 2016 - with Letby who was 'upset' at a shift allocation.
'Lucy went into the outside nursery but she was not happy with the decision,' she said.
She told Ben Myers KC, defending, that Letby had made it plain that she preferred to work in intensive care.
Asked whether the alleged killer had used the word ‘boring’, she replied: 'Yes, she did.'
There were times when she would end up in Nursery 1 if there was an issue. She was 'particularly happy to assist' in such circumstances.
Ms Percival-Calderbank agreed that she and some of her colleagues felt that Letby 'should spend more time away from intensive care'.
Despite the nurse preferring to be in Nursery 1, she would always go wherever on the unit she was told to work.
Letby, originally from Hereford, denies all the alleged offences said to have been committed between June 2015 and June 2016.
The trial continues.
submitted by FyrestarOmega to lucyletby [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 02:31 GDT_Bot Game Thread: Vegas Golden Knights (43-21-6) at Vancouver Canucks (31-33-5) - 21 Mar 2023 - 07:00PM PDT

Vegas Golden Knights (43-21-6) at Vancouver Canucks (31-33-5)

Rogers Arena

Comment with all tables

In-Game Updates

Time Clock
Teams 1st 2nd 3rd Total
VGK 2 2 0 4
VAN 0 2 1 3
Team Shots Hits Blocked FO Wins Giveaways Takeaways Power Plays
VGK 27 17 13 53.4% 1 4 0/4
VAN 35 35 14 46.6% 8 6 1/2
Period Time Team Strength Description
3rd 11:43 VAN Even Phillip Di Giuseppe (4) Backhand, assists: J.T. Miller (41), Quinn Hughes (62)
2nd 17:19 VGK Even Pavel Dorofeyev (4) Tip-In, assists: Alex Pietrangelo (37), William Karlsson (34)
2nd 12:42 VAN Power Play J.T. Miller (28) Wrist Shot, assists: Quinn Hughes (61), Elias Pettersson (56)
2nd 10:22 VGK Even Teddy Blueger (4) Wrist Shot, assists: Brett Howden (7), Nicolas Hague (13)
2nd 07:57 VAN Short Handed J.T. Miller (27) Backhand, assists: none
1st 12:11 VGK Even Reilly Smith (24) Snap Shot, assists: William Karlsson (33)
1st 03:01 VGK Even Phil Kessel (13) Wrist Shot, assists: none
Period Time Team Type Min Description
3rd 19:37 VAN Minor 2 Quinn Hughes Hooking against Jack Eichel
2nd 12:12 VGK Minor 2 Chandler Stephenson Hooking against Ethan Bear
2nd 11:58 VAN Minor 2 Anthony Beauvillier Hooking against Alec Martinez
2nd 11:53 VGK Minor 2 Pavel Dorofeyev Hooking against Quinn Hughes
2nd 07:57 VGK Penalty Shot 0 Shea Theodore PS - Slash on breakaway against J.T. Miller
2nd 07:16 VAN Minor 2 Brock Boeser Boarding against Zach Whitecloud
1st 14:15 VAN Minor 2 Ethan Bear Hooking against Ivan Barbashev
1st 13:11 VAN Minor 2 Tyler Myers Slashing against Paul Cotter
  • Referee: Kyle Rehman
  • Referee: Jake Brenk
  • Linesman: Scott Cherrey
  • Linesman: Travis Toomey


07:00PM 08:00PM 09:00PM 10:00PM 11:00PM

Watch, Listen and Talk:

Listen VGK - VAN
Other-Away Preview - Boxscore - Recap
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GameCenter On

Thread Notes:

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Golden Knights and Canucks.

Join the discussion in the /Hockey Discord
submitted by GDT_Bot to hockey [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 01:00 HockeyMod Game Thread: Vegas Golden Knights (43-21-6) at Vancouver Canucks (31-33-5) - 21 Mar 2023 - 07:00PM PDT

Vegas Golden Knights (43-21-6) at Vancouver Canucks (31-33-5)

Rogers Arena

In-Game Updates

Time Clock


Teams 1st 2nd 3rd Total
2 2 0 4
0 2 1 3

Team Stats

Team Shots Hits Blocked FO Wins Giveaways Takeaways Power Plays
27 17 13 53.4% 1 4 0/4
35 35 14 46.6% 8 6 1/2

Goal Summary

Period Time Team Strength Description
3rd 11:43 Even Phillip Di Giuseppe (4) Backhand, assists: J.T. Miller (41), Quinn Hughes (62)
2nd 17:19 Even Pavel Dorofeyev (4) Tip-In, assists: Alex Pietrangelo (37), William Karlsson (34)
2nd 12:42 Power Play J.T. Miller (28) Wrist Shot, assists: Quinn Hughes (61), Elias Pettersson (56)
2nd 10:22 Even Teddy Blueger (4) Wrist Shot, assists: Brett Howden (7), Nicolas Hague (13)
2nd 07:57 Short Handed J.T. Miller (27) Backhand, assists: none
1st 12:11 Even Reilly Smith (24) Snap Shot, assists: William Karlsson (33)
1st 03:01 Even Phil Kessel (13) Wrist Shot, assists: none

Penalty Summary

Period Time Team Type Min Description
3rd 19:37 Minor 2 Quinn Hughes Hooking against Jack Eichel
2nd 12:12 Minor 2 Chandler Stephenson Hooking against Ethan Bear
2nd 11:58 Minor 2 Anthony Beauvillier Hooking against Alec Martinez
2nd 11:53 Minor 2 Pavel Dorofeyev Hooking against Quinn Hughes
2nd 07:57 Penalty Shot 0 Shea Theodore PS - Slash on breakaway against J.T. Miller
2nd 07:16 Minor 2 Brock Boeser Boarding against Zach Whitecloud
1st 14:15 Minor 2 Ethan Bear Hooking against Ivan Barbashev
1st 13:11 Minor 2 Tyler Myers Slashing against Paul Cotter


07:00PM 08:00PM 09:00PM 10:00PM 11:00PM
Left Center Right Left Center Right
Andrei Kuzmenko Elias Pettersson Anthony Beauvillier Ivan Barbashev Jack Eichel Jonathan Marchessault
Phil Di Giuseppe J.T. Miller Brock Boeser Reilly Smith William Karlsson Pavel Dorofeyev
Dakota Joshua Nils Aman Conor Garland Paul Cotter Chandler Stephenson Phil Kessel
Vitali Kravtsov Sheldon Dries Vasily Podkolzin Brett Howden Teddy Blueger Mike Amadio
Left D Right D Left D Right D
Quinn Hughes Noah Juulsen Alec Martinez Alex Pietrangelo
Guillaume Brisebois Ethan Bear Brayden McNabb Shea Theodore
Christian Wolanin Tyler Myers Nicolas Hague Zach Whitecloud
Goalies Goalies
Thatcher Demko Jonathan Quick
Collin Delia Logan Thompson

Team Stats

Canucks 69 31 33 5 67 48.5 3.30434 3.71014 22.6 68.9 30.23188 30.89855 49.2
Golden Knights 70 43 21 6 92 65.7 3.24285 2.77142 21.7 79.5 31.88571 30.88571 52.5

Team Leaders

Stat Player Value Player Value
G Andrei Kuzmenko 34 Jack Eichel 26
A Quinn Hughes 60 Chandler Stephenson 41
P Elias Pettersson 88 Jack Eichel 54
+/- Quinn Hughes 16 Jack Eichel 20
PIM Luke Schenn 71 Keegan Kolesar 64
TOI Quinn Hughes 25:23 Alex Pietrangelo 23:52

Goalie Breakdown

Spencer Martin 29 27 11 15 1 0 3.98 0.87108
Thatcher Demko 23 23 9 12 2 0 3.32 0.89807
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Logan Thompson 36 35 20 13 3 2 2.66 0.91399
Adin Hill 27 25 16 7 1 0 2.49 0.91539
submitted by HockeyMod to goldenknights [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 00:12 Consistent-Rice-8117 Washington prepares for war with Amazon on mergers, antitrust, privacy and more

The Biden administration is planning to take action soon on at least three of its half-dozen investigations of Amazon — moves that could lead to a blitz of litigation to rein in the iconic tech-industry giant.
The FTC has been investigating the internet titan on multiple fronts dating at least back to 2019, looking into its abuse of power within its online marketplace, as well as potential consumer-privacy violations connected to its Ring cameras and Alexa digital assistant.
The agency is also reviewing Amazon’s purchase of robot vacuum maker iRobot. Any suit against Amazon would be a high-profile move by the agency under chair Lina Khan, a Big Tech skeptic who rose to prominence with a 2017 academic paper specifically identifying Amazon as a modern monopolist needing to be reined in.
Although Amazon has already been hit by local antitrust suits in Washington, D.C. and California, the coming federal cases would be the most significant challenges to the global company yet. The exact timing of any cases or settlements is unknown.
POLITICO spoke to more than 10 people with direct knowledge of the investigations by the FTC’s competition and consumer protection teams to put together a comprehensive picture of how the agency is now pursuing Amazon, why it didn’t take action on the company’s most recent major acquisition of One Medical and what is likely to happen in the coming months. According to those people, who were granted anonymity to discuss confidential investigations:
The FTC is currently weighing whether to challenge Amazon’s $1.7 billion acquisition of robot vacuum maker iRobot, with the agency’s staff attorneys leaning toward suing to stop the deal according to three people with knowledge of that investigation. That case could come in the next few months. It has at least two open privacy investigations, one into Amazon’s Ring camera and security system business, and the other into its Alexa voice assistant over potential violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, according to four people with knowledge of those cases. The result of at least one of the FTC’s privacy investigations could come in the next couple of months, one of the people said. FTC staff previously recommended filing a lawsuit over alleged privacy and data security violations at Ring before Khan started. Also potentially coming in the next few months is a wide-ranging antitrust case targeting Amazon’s retail operations, multiple people with knowledge of the probe said. Though the details of a complaint are not known, it could include the bundling of services through its Prime subscription business and its use of competitor data to out-muscle rival retailers on its platform, according to some of those people. The FTC has been investigating nearly every aspect of the company’s business since 2019, and a lawsuit has long been expected. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that an antitrust case could be filed against Amazon in the coming months. The FTC is pursuing a so-called “dark pattern” probe into the difficulty customers have unsubscribing from Prime and other services. Dark patterns are deceptive tactics used by websites to trick users into doing things like subscribing to a more expensive service than they intended. It is also conducting a deceptive advertising probe into the “Amazon Choice” label the company gives certain products on its marketplace. The FTC is investigating how that label is used to promote products that appear in search results, including whether it is pay-to-play. Amazon maintains it is not. Nicholas Thompson interviews David Limp onstage. Hold the satellite subsidies. A top Amazon exec is more worried about space junk. BY JOHN HENDEL Representatives for the FTC and Amazon both declined to comment on the investigations.
The lack of action so far shows the difficulties facing the agency in taking on a company as multifaceted as Amazon — and suggests the FTC is picking its cases with caution, according to some of the people, who are familiar with the agency’s strategy.
The FTC has sued Amazon before, accusing it of illegally withholding tips from some delivery drivers. The company settled the case and paid almost $60 million to reimburse drivers.
Top enforcement officials in the Biden administration have aggressively gone after corporate mergers and tech firms in the past year. The FTC last year sued to block Microsoft’s $69 billion purchase of Activision, and the Justice Department has two separate lawsuits against Google over its search and advertising businesses in addition to preparing an antitrust case against Apple.
The FTC is also coming off a loss in its case to block Meta’s acquisition of a popular virtual reality app. While the judge in the case validated the FTC’s novel theory that it could be illegal for companies to acquire, rather than build, a product, he also said the agency did not have the facts to support its claims.
In that environment, the FTC is under immense pressure to bring a successful antitrust case against Amazon — particularly after letting two of the company’s largest deals through without opposition in the past year, according to agency insiders and observers.
Amazon closed its $8.5 billion purchase of MGM Studios in March 2022, with the agency’s hands tied as its four commissioners at the time deadlocked along partisan lines on whether to intervene. Then last month, the agency elected to pass on challenging the company’s $3.9 billion purchase of the primary care provider One Medical despite agency officials’ belief that the deal was anticompetitive, according to three people with knowledge of the agency’s decision.
The rumble over Roombas
Most of the FTC’s Amazon investigations were launched during the Trump administration, when Republican chair Joe Simons began a broad oversight push on tech giants.
One exception is the $1.7 billion iRobot deal — along with One Medical — which was announced in August 2022.
The agency has not yet concluded its investigation of the deal, and is continuing to collect documents and testimony from third parties, five of the people with knowledge of the review said.
FTC staff do not believe that Amazon, the leading online retailer in the U.S., should be allowed to buy the largest maker of a popular product sold on its platform, the people said.
Among its issues, those people said, the agency is concerned that Amazon will favor iRobot’s Roombas over competing brands of automated vacuums such as Samsung. The FTC is also concerned about how the addition of iRobot will add to the control Amazon has in the broader market for connected home devices. Amazon also owns the home security company Ring, and makes the popular voice assistant Alexa and Echo smart speaker. And the FTC is asking whether Amazon would withhold Roombas from competing retailers altogether.
The FTC has also asked how the deal would increase Amazon’s control over consumer data, as well as potential privacy harms, but that is not the main focus, according to some of the people.
“We’re working cooperatively with the relevant regulators in their review of the merger. We have no plans to operate iRobot differently than how they operate today in regards to its availability through other retailers,” said Amazon spokesperson Curtis Eichelberger. “We will continue to supply other retailers and vendors with iRobot products, and continue to sell other products on” Amazon also plans to maintain iRobot’s interoperability with other voice assistants, Eichelberger said.
Amazon has been largely unresponsive to the FTC’s investigation so far, refusing to turn over information requested by the FTC, some of the people said.
For a targeted company, this can be a strategy to run out the clock: Merger reviews are governed by strict statutory time restrictions. In an in-depth review of a merger, the government has 30 days to decide whether to sue once a company meets all the investigative demands. Companies often agree to give the FTC or Justice Department more time, but Amazon has made no such concession, sources said.
In this case though, the FTC likely has time, given the companies also need approval in the EU and UK before they can close their deal. Those reviews are still in the early stages.
An iRobot spokesperson did not respond for comment.
Roomba robot vacuums made by iRobot are displayed on a shelf. The FTC is currently weighing whether to challenge Amazon’s $1.7 billion acquisition of robot vacuum maker iRobot, with the agency’s staff attorneys leaning toward suing to stop the deal according to three people with knowledge of that investigation. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Why the FTC didn’t try to block the One Medical deal
One reason for FTC’s lack of action on Amazon so far, say experts, is that it’s technically very hard to bring cases against tech giants, either for enforcers or private plaintiffs — in part because they control all the data that enforcers need to build a case.
“The platforms have an enormous information advantage and unique access to the evidence that the government or plaintiffs need to meet their burden of proof,” said Amanda Lewis, in Senate testimony this month. Lewis is a partner with Cuneo, Gilbert and Laduca, and previously worked at the FTC and as a Hill staffer on tech and antitrust issues.
Another illustration of the difficulty is the most recent antitrust case the agency didn’t pursue against Amazon: Its $3.9 billion purchase of One Medical, a primary care company providing access to doctors through individual and corporate subscriptions.
The FTC extensively investigated the One Medical deal and found evidence of anticompetitive behavior that many at the agency considered damning, but ultimately cleared the deal because they saw it as too hard of a case to win, according to multiple people with knowledge of the agency’s thinking.
That evidence includes Amazon’s decision to abruptly end lengthy negotiations to poach some of One Medical’s corporate customers with cheaper pricing in favor of killing off its competing Amazon Care service and acquiring the company, those people said.
In one instance, Amazon was trying to lure the ride-hailing company Lyft to sign a deal for its own health care service, according to three people with knowledge of Lyft’s testimony during the merger review. Amazon offered to substantially undercut One Medical on price and offered a national network of doctors — but when Lyft was ready to sign with Amazon, the retail giant announced its takeover of One Medical, pulled out of negotiations with Lyft, and then said it was shutting down Amazon Care, the three people said.
A spokesperson for Lyft declined to comment.
Other companies had similar testimony, two of the people said. Though many FTC staffers saw that behavior as anti-competitive and illegal — acquiring a competitor rather than competing on the merits — the agency ultimately decided it would be too challenging to define exactly what market Amazon was monopolizing, some of the people said.
“We decided independent of, and prior to, the One Medical acquisition, that the Amazon Care offering and business model wasn’t going to work long-term,” Eichelberger said.
For the FTC, time is not on their side. With just 19 months until the election and a potential change in administration, it’s in the agency’s interest to move on these cases as quickly as possible, lest priorities change in a new regime.
submitted by Consistent-Rice-8117 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 23:18 bigdaddyteacher I created a clock template and quickly printed it for my classroom wall clock. I’m really impressed and saved like $50 from the team store.

I created a clock template and quickly printed it for my classroom wall clock. I’m really impressed and saved like $50 from the team store. submitted by bigdaddyteacher to stlouiscitysc [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 23:15 Ready-Ad-4549 Afterglow lyrics meaning - Ed Sheeran

[Anti-Christ heroin man speaking to Christ cocaine]
Stop the clocks (3AM Mercy hour),
it's amazing (White 4)
(3AM-6AM zigzag cocaine during heroin high)
You should see (White 4) the way (Grey 5)
the light (White 4) dances (Grey 5) off your head (White 4)

[Anti-Christ heroin man]
A million colors (Blue 2) of hazel (Grey 5),
golden (Grey 5) and red (Red 1)
Saturday morning (Blue 2) is fading (Grey 5)
The sun's (Red 1) reflected (White 4)
by the coffee (Grey 5) in your hand (White 4)
My eyes (Grey 5) are caught (Grey 5)
in your gaze (White 4) all over (White 4) again

[Anti-Christ heroin man]
We were love drunk (Blue 2), waiting on a miracle (White 4)
Tryna find (White 4) ourselves (Grey 5) in the winter snow (White 4)
So alone (Grey 5) in love (Red 1) like the world (Red 1) had disappeared (Grey 5)
Oh (Red 1), I won't be silent (Grey 5) and I won't let go (White 4)
I will hold on tighter (Grey 5) 'til the afterglow (6AM Black)
And we'll burn (Grey 5) so bright (White 4) 'til the darkness (Grey 5) softly clears (6AM Black)

[Anti-Christ heroin man speaking to Christ cocaine]
Oh (Red 1), I will hold on (Grey 5) to the afterglow (6AM Black)
Oh (Red 1), I will hold on (Grey 5) to the afterglow (6AM Black)

[Anti-Christ heroin man speaking to Christ cocaine]
The weather outside's (White 4) changing (Grey 5)
The leaves (White 4) are buried (Grey 5) under six inches of white (White 4)
The radio (Grey 5) is playing (White 4), Iron (Grey 5) & Wine (White 4)
This is a new dimension (White 4)
This is a level (Grey 5) where we're losing track of time (Grey 5)
I'm holding nothing (Grey 5) against it (Grey 5),
except you (White 4) and I (Grey 5)

[Anti-Christ heroin man]
We were love drunk (Blue 2), waiting on a miracle (White 4)
Tryna find (White 4) ourselves (Grey 5) in the winter snow (White 4)
So alone (Grey 5) in love (Red 1) like the world (Red 1) had disappeared (Grey 5)
Oh (Red 1), I won't be silent (Grey 5) and I won't let go (White 4)
I will hold on tighter (Grey 5) 'til the afterglow (6AM Black)
And we'll burn (Grey 5) so bright (White 4) 'til the darkness (Grey 5) softly clears (6AM Black)

[Anti-Christ heroin man speaking to Christ cocaine]
Oh (Red 1), I will hold on (Grey 5) to the afterglow (6AM Black)
Oh (Red 1), I will hold on (Grey 5) to the afterglow (6AM Black)
Oh (Red 1), I will hold on (Grey 5) to the afterglow (6AM Black)
Cocaine Rock Heroin Roll cycle
Kingdom of Light = forever, always = all cocaine, History = His Story
9PM-12AM only cocaine during cocaine high
9PM Christ cocaine born (Christmas)(cocaine shot right arm)
10PM Father God cocaine (cocaine shot left arm)
11PM Holy Ghost cocaine (cocaine shot both arms)

12AM Anti-Christ wakes inside Christ cocaine when Christ cocaine shoots heroin

Rocking = Christ cocaine dominant, cocaine addiction
(12AM-3AM zigzag heroin during cocaine high)
(zigzag between Red 1 and Blue 2)
shoot (heroin) to thrill (cocaine)
sometimes, something = some heroin
American Pie

1AM Red = some heroin mostly cocaine (black dot white bar)
I (Christ cocaine)
baby, the sun,
hope, happy, light, easy
here, now, do
body, head, eye, see,
free, loose
young, girl,
wind, mountain, breeze,
all, whole,
knows, nose, teach,
stop, walk, stand,
story, speak, write, words, letters,
reason, why, want, how, knowledge,
diamonds, business, work, make, build, give,
city, world,
buy, got, rich, strong, right, million, style,
one eye open, black hole sun, spick, wake up,
pinky (1), index finger (1 or 4), horns sign thumb out (1,4&5), shaka sign (1&5), A,
love, sex,
think, thought, logic,
forest, rock,

2AM Blue = more heroin mostly cocaine (white bar black outline)
I (Anti-Christ heroin)
the moon
million colors, rainbow, bright,
rain, air, sea, sky, cry, summer, blue moon, bawler, bawl, endless day
Saturday mourning, morning,
run, dance, lie down, action,
road, church, ocean, earth, bed,
what, anything,
king, fool, 17, illegal, boy, student
change, sell, take
poor, weak, soul, mind, pay
go, speed, play, vacation, holiday, move,
bruised, part,
superstition, wild,
dare, risk
heard, no words, numbers, hearts,
fake, matter, use, try, blow,
feel, hopeless, sad, heavy thoughts,
wrong, fine, well, wish,
trauma, bleeding, hard, challenge,
the blues,
hum, say,
B, 2, 5, thumb,
smell, rape, lust, love drunk,
something's wrong, better way,

3AM Mercy hour
lavender, purple, violet
Anti-Christ heroin kills Christ cocaine, mostly cocaine syringe becomes mostly heroin syringe
(stop the clocks)
(3 = middle finger = Anti-Christ heroin fucks over Christ cocaine)
(Ouroboros = Dragon heroin addiction consumes body of Christ cocaine addiction)
(the day the music died)

Rolling = Anti-Christ heroin dominant, heroin addiction
3AM-6AM zigzag cocaine during heroin high
(zigzag between White 4 and Grey 5)
play (cocaine) to kill (heroin)
somewhere, somehow = some cocaine

4AM White = some cocaine mostly heroin (white dot black bar)
Anti-Christ heroin woman
my son,
you, your, your light, help yourself, your heavenly body, your gaze,
tonight, fall, today,
let go, (let it go)
train station, town, wherever, frontline, lost, free from sin,
shine, reflected, star light,
alright, tucked in, flying
crazy, wonder,
dove, little bird, cat,(dead cat bounce), prey,
smoke, sweat, tear, speck, pool, bone, ball, pillow, skeleton, (skeleton in the closet), grain of sand, first star, apple, winter snow,
apart, only, just, so, the (the light), just think, so far, so bright,
Sisyphus, orphan, little one, bastard, rock star, wife, mother, sister, mama, hitchhiker, them,
whistle, sing, ringing, noise
photograph, TV,
one in a million, times like these, waiting on a miracle, new dimension,
bounce, around, (she'll be coming around the mountain), all over,
sleep, pray, forget
message, answer, call, (call of the wild), SOS, meaning of things, pretend,
symbol, clubs, agriculture, (sowing the seeds of love),
good luck,
wedding,(White wedding),
should, would, will, you will be
wanna, gonna, gonna make, tryna find,

5AM Grey = more heroin (black bar white outline)
Anti-Christ heroin man = Blackjack, (the ace of spades), (shot caller), liar, yeah, um, no,
me, my, mine, my eyes,
alone, so alone,
it, it's, it's a shame
winter, last night,
nowhere, buried, underground, grave, closet, deep down, hole, so low, inside, south,
yellow, golden, hazel, brown, glow, faded, broken, disappeared,
feeling, peace, pain, warm within, burn, shame, lucky, insane
the way, turn,
thing, bad habit, shadow, time,
transportation, truck, train, horse,
need, hunger, necessity, hopeless itch,
object, clock, gun, telephone, radio, hair, cannonball, pistol, bullet, horn, shotgun, bottle, cup of coffee,
rat, bat, wild, predator, wolf, beast,
nature, sand,
hush, silence,
remember, found,
papa, chosen one, father, husband, brother, keeper, guide, finder, ourselves, us,
catch, kill, die, dream, bite, take, race, (brothers in arms),
force, pressure, gravity, fire, squeeze, tight,
hand, hold, grip, (hold on tight)
game, symbols, star, V, 5, spades, 21, ?, bell, (hell's bells), bad sign, horns sign thumb in (1&4), thumb, lucky star,
fight, military, brawler, war,
fear, restless, sleepless,

6AM Black = (Black bar) all heroin
Devil, Dragula, Sandman, yeah-yeah, Lord above, mother nature
Devil heroin castle, (The Wall), home, hell, never never land,
green, black,
sunrise, afterglow,
softly clears
jealousy, greed,
More Metaphors:
cocaine: stone, Dutch, pink, letters, white, hills, sweet, sugar, northern, 9, uptown, highlands, new, west, fly, truth, smile, hard, touch, silver, paper, sheets, sail, urban, west, god, hope, ...
heroin: slip, strangle, slam, smack, dig, ditch, soft, velvet, sun, sunshine, Italian, country, man, downtown, southern, poison, 8, rural, shelter, east, dark, misery, dirt, luck, mud, frown, low, mule, madness, weak, lonely, gone, watch, strange, stranger, spread, nobody, nothing, bad, lies, trouble, ...
submitted by Ready-Ad-4549 to LyricalDrugs [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 23:12 Forrester94 Nest Feathers

Standing in a silk dress and jacket across a crowded room,
Dressed past and present with nest feathers stuck to our shoes,
To me you’ve already started to conquer this city,
Moving through a room that brings out your unique personality,
Made the leap from your home to where it’s all happening,
Now every glass is raised and every pair of hands is clapping,
Propped against a wall I’m drinking anything to not be sober,
Watching a clock waiting to lean on you again when it’s all over,
Your walking taller than these buildings that I walk under,
Headphones on, I turn it up, but I can still hear the thunder,
The weight of expectations that you feel you just can’t meet,
Our best years, you say, have been stuck in concrete,
Watching you move I feel like I’m just rock and stone,
Keep quiet incase my mouth drains away your brain till it’s gone,
I used to, but now I can no longer hold your gaze,
Everything that was is now unrecognisable in a haze,
Seeing you pull away has left me a stranger,
I’m falling behind you as the perpetual beginner,
Am I the reason you can’t seem to see all that’s good in you?
I wish you could own all your faults and all your perfections too,
I’m blaming myself trying to give these thoughts pause,
Struggling to adjust to your new lifestyle as I struggle to adjust to yours,
Our spent moments spent sat back speaking to the TV,
Late nights waiting as you navigate the creeps and the greedy,
I say ‘Spring has come so early this year, I can see the flowers blooming’,
You say ‘Maybe it’s just the last forced breaths of something that’s dying’,
There’s never a good space to realise your splitting at the seams,
Unnoticed as we move out of sight as easily as a bend in a stream,

Feedback 1 -
Feedback 2 -
submitted by Forrester94 to OCPoetry [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 22:52 HelloHelloHelpHello How do you cancel a dinner date with a monster?

She was dressed in white, wearing an old fashioned dress far too fancy for an evening alone in a small restaurant like ours. Her wide-brimmed hat was adorned with lilies, and she refused to take it off, leaving half of her face hidden in its shadow. Nobody had noticed her come in. It was as if she had just materialized into her chair.
She had chosen to sit all the way in the back at one of our least favorite tables. The lighting didn’t properly reach this part of the room, leaving it in a state of perpetual darkness. People generally avoided sitting here. She didn’t seem to mind. There were lots of other free tables, but she didn’t make a move for any of them. She barely moved at all in fact. She didn’t wave, or call out for somebody to serve her. She just sat there - silent, and motionless.
My co-worker was already busy waiting on a few tables, which meant that the woman in white was my responsibility. I approached her, carrying a menu, and a tray of napkins in one hand, and a glass jar containing a tealight in the other. Her head tracked my movement as I weaved past a bunch of empty tables. I forced a smile onto my face.
“Hello. Glad to have you as our guest. Can I get you something to drink while you look through our menu?” I felt a growing sense of unease as I rattled down my standard greeting. Something was very off about this woman.
Her dress was not the pristine white it had seemed from a distance. Large yellowish stains littered the fabric, as if it had been left lying in a damp place for a long time. The long strands of her straight black hair were of uneven length, and stuck together in a strange way. The sight evoked an unpleasant memory. Once upon a time, when I was a kid, I had gotten a bad case of head lice. My hair had looked exactly like that back then.
Even more unsettling than all of that was her smell - a dense cloying scent - intense and artificial - the smell of flowers layered on so thickly that it bit my nostrils. It smelled as if she had dumped an entire bottle of perfume over her body, and even that couldn’t completely hide the underlying moldy odor. Breathing it all in nearly made me gag. Somehow I managed to keep my composure.
“I can highly recommend our fresh carp today,” I said, while positioning the menu and the napkins in front of her. “Or the mushroom-potato casserole if you’re looking for a vegan option.” I hastily grabbed the glass jar to light up the candle inside. The faster I was done here, the quicker I could get away.
“I already know what I want.” Her voice was raw and deep. By now the candle was burning. I reached for my little notebook, and turned back towards her. My body froze.
The light of the candle hadn’t dispelled the creepy atmosphere surrounding the woman. It had made it worse. Now I could see the unnatural stillness of her face. There was not a single twitch of a muscle, no wrinkling of the skin, no rising of her cheek bones - nothing. Her features would have been stunningly beautiful otherwise, but this lack of motion made her look uncanny and disturbing. She didn’t seem like a person. She seemed like something else entirely.
The candlelight had also done nothing to drive away the shadow hiding her upper face. It just made the darkness stand out even more. The fire was reflected back from her eyes, and they suddenly sparked up within the darkness - two glowing orbs fixated right on me - unblinking and merciless.
“I already know what I want,” she said again, and I noticed that I had just been staring at her for the last few seconds. I swallowed, and forced myself to look down onto my notebook.
“That’s great,” I said, my voice suddenly hoarse. “What can I get you?”
“Sit with me,” she said.
“What?” - I looked up, the tip of my pen still resting on my notebook. Her head turned towards the chair on the opposite side of the table, then back towards me.
“Such a warm and pretty thing,” she said. “Come sit with me.”
“Uhm…” I struggled to keep the neutral smile on my face. A clenching pressure began building up within my bowels, as if some invisible hand had pushed into my abdomen, and was now squeezing down on my innards. “S-sorry, but I’m in the middle of work. I’m afraid I can’t just sit with you. I’d be happy to get you your order though - or anything else you might need.”
“Come sit with me,” she repeated, and just as she spoke something suddenly moved on her face. It was minuscule, but it stood out among the unnatural stillness of her features. The left side of her nose bulged a little. Something thin and black poked out with a little twitch. I thought it was a hair at first, but then it twitched again, and it grew longer and wider, and then…
A big blowfly emerged from her nostril.
It came to rest above her upper lip, rubbing its hindlegs over its wings. She didn’t react at all. After a few seconds the fly lifted off, circled around the flickering candle twice, then headed towards the kitchen entrance. I stood there frozen, my mind reeling from what I had just witnessed.
“Come sit with me,” the woman repeated a third time, and I stumbled away from her.
“I - sorry… I just… - need to work -” I gestured towards the room with a slightly panicked movement. “Lots of other table to wait on - I just… I need to… Just call me if you’ve decided on your order - uhm -...”
I never found a way to properly finish my stuttering speech. I just turned away mid-sentence, and hurried back towards the well-lit sections of the room. Her stare burned into the back of my neck, but she didn’t stop me. She also didn’t call me back all evening. At some point I noticed that she had vanished from the table. Nobody had seen her come in, and nobody had seen her leave either.
The tension within me began to seep away. My body allowed itself to relax. It had been a creepy encounter, but nothing actually bad had happened. Now it was over. It’d probably make for a good story to tell at a party.
My workday came to a close. The last guests left. We cleaned up, and said our good-byes for the night. It was just past 1am when I finally got home.
I kicked off my shoes, rubbed my aching feet, and headed to the kitchen to make myself a little bedtime snack. I was in the middle of rummaging through one of the pantry lockers, when the lightbulb above me suddenly blew. For a short moment I stood in the darkness. Then a candle flame whisked to life behind me. I froze in horror.
She was still dressed in white, now sitting at my kitchen table, hands folded in her lap. The menu of our restaurant was lying next to her, the tray of napkins right beside it. The small glass jar holding the tea light was positioned at the center of the table.
“No more work,” she said. “No other tables to wait on. Now you can sit with me. Such a warm and pretty thing. Come and sit with me.”
I tried to say something, but the sudden crushing tension of my fear squeezed my throat tight. The only sound coming out of my mouth was a feeble choking whimper.
“Sit with me!” A forceful note crept into her voice and she leaned forward. I shoved myself away.
Her head abruptly jerked to the side with a series of twitches. Something squirmed within the shadow beneath her hat. The silhouette of a small wriggling body began emerging from her ear, until a final violent twitch of knocked it free. The thing tumbled down, hit her shoulder, and landed right in front of her. It was a huge black cockroach.
The insect lay on its back, frantically kicking its legs to get upright. It looked just as panicked and disoriented as I felt myself. The woman looked at it for a moment, then swooped down. She extended her tongue - a blackish and bloated thing - and licked across the tabletop, scooping up the roach. A single leg still stuck out from between her lips when she pulled back. There was a faint crunching sound. She swallowed.
“Sit with me. I will eat, and when I am finished we can go to my place,” she said “Won’t that be wonderful? Come sit with me. Sit with me! Sit with me!”
She raised one hand, beckoning me to step closer. Her nails were broken and chipped, with something dark clinging beneath them. Her arm stretched towards me. I should have been far out of her reach, but just as the extended limb seemed to have reached its limits, it began to grow longer, inching closer and closer, her fingers clawing through the air.
I scrambled backwards - or I tried at least, because I was already forced flat against the wall. There was nowhere to retreat. The woman was sitting between me and the only door. The only other exit was the window to my back - a five story drop onto asphalt pavement.
“Sit with me,” the woman said. “Sit with me. Sit with me. Sit with me. Sit…” - And her hand stretched closer and closer, the faint touch of her long broken nails already brushing against the front of my shirt. I tried to move, or to think, or to do anything, but I was completely frozen, and her hand came even closer, and my mouth snapped open and shut, struggling to scream for help, or to beg for mercy, to make any sound at all…
And then I managed to squeeze out one lone sentence. It was a sentence ingrained into me after years of working in the food service industry, an empty automatic response that I didn’t even have to think about. That was probably the only reason my mind was able to utter it at all.
“D-did you make a reservation?” - It was a ridiculous thing to say. The woman hesitated. She slowly pulled her hand back into her lap.
“No reservation”
“W-we… we are sadly booked out for today.” My voice was hoarse and strained and barely audible. “I’m afraid you’ll need to come back some other time.”
She sat there in silence. The steady ticking of the kitchen clock above the kitchen sink was the only sound in the room.
“I would like to make a reservation,” she finally said. “For tomorrow.”
“We’re all booked out tomorrow, too.”
“Next week…”
“We’re booked out all week. We’re booked out ALL YEAR!” I nearly shouted those last two words.
“All year?” The glowing orbs that were her eyes suddenly flared up. They visibly widened within the darkness. She suddenly leaned forward. Her hands slammed onto the table. Her nails dug deep into the wooded surface, leaving deep scratch marks. “All year - all year - ALL YEAR!”
This was it. I had pushed the lie too far. Any moment now she would fling herself from the chair and onto me.
“ALL YEAR! ALL YEAR! ALL YEAR!” Her voice grew louder and louder, and her body threw itself downward, shivering and pulsing, fists slamming onto the table - and then - all of the sudden - all tension fell away from her. She pushed herself back into a sitting position, now perfectly still once more.
“Next year then,” she said. “This day. I’m making a reservation for this very day - one year from now.”
Before I could think of a way to respond she reached for the candle. Her hand pushed into the glass jar, showing no sign of being affected by the heat. Her fingertips closed around the flame. There was a sharp hiss when the fire touched her skin, and then there was darkness, and then she was gone. The only evidence that she had ever been there were the deep uneven scratches on the table, and the cloying sweet smell of her perfume still hanging in the air. A whispering echo reached my ears, sounding from everywhere and nowhere at once.
“...such a warm and pretty thing…”
One day has already passed since then, but since next year is a leap year there are still 365 days remaining. 365 days to figure out how to cancel a dinner date with a monster…
submitted by HelloHelloHelpHello to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 22:16 Gold-Minute-5493 Noisy Upstairs Neighbors (with screaming child) = No sleep

I would greatly appreciate any legal advice I can get for this.
My best friend and I live on the 2nd floor of our 3 floor apartment building. First things first this was not the best built apartment complex ever made, you can hear your neighbors tvs, you can hear them yelling at each other, you can hear them walking around. That stuff, we can handle. I’ve lived in this apartment for a year now, and somehow get cursed with upstairs neighbors who have lead feet, and are up at ALL HOURS of the night. Well the people who just moved in upstairs have a toddler… Now I don’t know who’s running the management department, and what they’re thinking… A toddler… on a top floor? The last 4 days have been hell. This child screams for HOURS, runs around for HOURS, last night I was pretty fed up when my pictures started falling off the walls. I took both of my fists and banged on the walls about 10 times, mind you it was 11 o’clock at night and I had to be awake at 5 am. I felt bad because my downstairs neighbors definitely heard that, and they didn’t deserve it, but these upstairs neighbors got the message loud and clear to shut their kid up. Today it is so bad that I can hear the running and screaming through my NOISE CANCELING headphones. That I got specifically for these reasons.
What I’ve done so far is blast non-child friendly music until about 8 pm (because again not fair to any of my other neighbors), and banged on the wall. My best friend has taken to the old broomstick trick, which hasn’t helped.
I need to know what I can do about this because it’s starting to affect me and my best friends sleep and that’s not okay. I will be calling my management tomorrow, and see if they can move them or move us because I’m not dealing with this shit.
submitted by Gold-Minute-5493 to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:53 m80mike Don't Feed The Pumpkins

A rule breaking truck driver takes a forbidden detour.

Don't Feed the Pumpkins
I'm typing this as a record of what has happened to me. If someone should find me out here, where ever here is, this is what happened and who is responsible. Also, out of the dozens of vehicles bogged down in this field, mine is the Blue Jay 2013 Freight Liner. If I should die and it is recoverable, it should go to my son, John Grainger in Antioch, Illinois.
I left Litchfield Illinois around 2pm on Halloween with a last-minute load of pumpkins destined for the Antioch Walmart. Despite the fact I was once that told Illinois is the #1 pumpkin producer in the country the itself state appears to be in the midst of a shortage. I was due in about 8pm, but I was trying get in by 6pm and after unloading, I was going to visit my wife Carly and my son for Halloween. It was going to be the first Halloween in my son's life that I was going to be there for trick o treating. My wife was making a big deal out of it and John was 10 now, so, she said he would be “scarred with disappointment” if I didn't show now. So, I probably should have gotten better sleep the night before and sue me, I was gear jamming and popping go-pills like popcorn. Don't look down on me, don't be fooled, this is just the nature of the trucking industry. Everyone does it and I'm not afraid to tell it like it is.
Just after Normal on 39 I hit a wall of traffic. I could hear on the CB that there is a hazmat incident up ahead and they require special teams to clear it off. I, like the other truckers, get to gabbing on the radio, looking for shortcuts. To my surprise, after scrutinizing this route several times before, I was informed about a “gutshot” shortcut just ahead that could get in me into my destination at least an hour earlier, even with the fact I had sat in the backup for at least 45 minutes at this point. A second comrade in gears piped in and stated that the shortcut was closed. The first driver contradicted him and stated, he had used it two weeks ago, it was wide open country land you could go 70 the whole way, and the only town along the way had burned down in an industrial accident 30 years ago. The second trucker chimed in again. He said it was closed for tonight and only tonight and not to use it. I disregarded the second trucker, exited the interstate and followed the directions of the first trucker.
Well, Carly, you always said it would be this way. You always said, I needed to learn how to follow directions to not cut so many damn corners all the time. You always told me didn't put in the work, and the funny thing is, for the first time, on this drive, get there, I did. Sure, I cut all the corners, but I wanted to to put in the work. But you're right, I never put a second of effort in, and if this is how it ends, I suppose you're right, I never will. But I guess, one way or another, you're getting what you've wanted, what you text me, what you don't tell me about, and what I didn't care about. I was coming home for him and damn it, I know it won't hold up in court but I want my boy to get the damn truck!
Anyway, I found the road, 2 lanes clear to the sky, surrounded by corn and then pumpkin fields forever. My straight shot, I pushed 80 the whole way flying on cracked asphalt, diesel, and go-pills. Ahead, there were barricades and I applied the brakes and barely stopped in time. I got out and saw they were chained up with a padlock to concrete posts in the ground. In theory, I could blast through them but I would sustain serious damage. The ground was a bit wet so I didn't think I could cross the ditch and field and not get stuck either. The barricades were not official in the least. They had a sign on them made out of it mailbox stick-on letters which said: “Do Not Feed The Pumpkins”. As far as I could see from my cab and binoculars, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the damn road. I said hell and I knew it would take hours to reverse course and get back in time – in time to even unload much less make it in time to go trick o treating.
And I said it wasn't worth it. I didn't bother to call. I'd just show up now. Because it wasn't my fault. So I started back, turning around with great difficulty. I traveled back 2 miles and saw small signs for a rest area. I must have missed it the first time, too deep into the zone I suppose now. I needed to pee and probably eat a bit before starting a roundabout way back, so I stopped. It was a little old 2 story joint with a small dinner on the 1st level and looked like 4 or 5 small motel rooms on top and oddly an outhouse for a restroom. I want to emphasize the outhouse because that is how you'll find and catch this guy, the guy who did this to me. It was Bill Shaw of Shaw's Shack, who did this to me. It had a sign with the building, it too was made of stick-on letters and vaguely resembled a huge ransom note. It read “Yes! We are open! We are the only rest area for 67 miles and 1 of 2 “tombstones” for the late great town of Pumpkin Grove Illinois – the former pumpkin capital of Illinois. Ask Your host, Bill Shaw about the Pumpkin-beef-bean stew!
The parking lot had three vehicles in it, not including my own, a silver Prius, a grand cheeroke with wood panels, and an older model chevy pick up truck. I went inside. The dinner was small, set in a rustic décor with old license plates nailed to the walls. The cafe had eight counter seats and two smaller tables near the two windows. There were two witnesses to what happened that night, to what Bill Shaw did – at least partial witnesses. There was the older man with stringy white hair and octagonal glasses – unfortunately, I didn't get his name. There was that irritating millennial – All I remember is the metal crap in her ears and lip. Hell, if I die and John starts ever pulling that crap, I'll come back and haunt the crap out of both of you. Anyway, now, I wish I could remember their names or something else about them to put here. I didn't care about either one of them enough to remember.
I guess that goes for Shaw too. He was a bit taller as sometimes I couldn't see his face while sitting at the counter because of the low lights in the ceiling blocking his face. He had gray hair. Hell. That's it. Anyway, the old man said he was part of a historical society, said he spent the better part of his past two years tracking down anyone or anything about Pumpkin Grove. The college student – of course – it was college student said she was from the school newspaper, looking for a spooky story. When she asked me where I was from, I didn't respond.
Shaw came from the kitchen with two big bowls of the famous Pumpkin-beef-bean stew for first two. He seemed taken back by my presence for a bit before saying “howdy” and trying to get real friendly with me. He asked what media I was from. I told him I wasn't from no media and I was trying to get through the barricade up ahead. Neither of the other two seemed to know about the barricade. Shaw said he didn't know anything about it either. I was suspicious of him then because of the lettering on the signs. But I didn't push it. I wanted to eat and he said my choice was the stew or stew. So the stew seemed fine. He said he wished he had more time to chat with me but he promised to tell the story of Pumpkin Grove to the two others but I was welcome to listen and ask questions. I didn't say it but I couldn't care less, I was going no where fast and I needed to eat.
He started off by saying he and his wife are among a handful of survivors of the fire that consumed the town of Pumpkin Grove some 30 years ago on Halloween night. Then his story descended into a cross between a rambling fading nightmare and a ghost story. He said, without hesitation, fear of consequence or remorse that he was accessory to a murder in his childhood. Specifically, some 40 years ago, again on Halloween, he was friends with a small group of young men including one named Donnie, who was a little slow and had a slightly misshaped head. He was picked on a lot by the Gerst Brothers, notorious town bullies and teenage thugs of a bad seed thanks to their neglectful alcoholic single father. Long story short, he said, the Gerst Brothers lured Donnie, himself and another 2 boys out to a pumpkin field where they gave back Donnie's missing dog. Apparently they kidnapped the dog and wrapped every inch of it in duct tape a few days ago. They watched us try to peel and pull the duct tape off while the weakened, hungry, and thirsty dog whimpered away its last in the field. Unbeknownst to any of us, Donnie had a pocket knife and he lost it as the Gerst Brothers cackled around him and the dead dog. He leaped up as they laughed and sliced the vein on their necks. One of the Brothers died quickly while Donnie and the two others fought the other to death. Shaw said he just stood there, covered in arterial blood splatters, watching Donnie and the others finish off the Gersts.
Much of the town was shockingly grateful to hear the Gerst Brothers were dead and everyone was all too happy to sweep it under the rug rather than have 4 of their sons incarcerated for decades when they were needed to help with the town's bread and butter – the Pumpkins. So, they buried the Gerst Brothers in that field and grew pumpkins on their corpses and no one really talked about it. The town paid off their father, who was too inebriated most of the time to care and he gleefully drank himself to death on the payoff only about a year later.
I didn't have much of a reaction to the story. The historian on the other hand, was hesitant to stay and keep writing and he made a brief protest concerning whether or not the story was true and whether or not he could legally listen to it. Shaw said it was both true and legal. After all, there was nothing left of the town and the remains were long gone and he himself, would not bare witness to himself. The college student's dumb metal encrusted mouth was agape in a mix of horror and disbelief.
I was waiting, patiently, might I add, for my stew. Shaw promised it would be up soon. He continued the story, stating that the fields produced abnormally well afterwards and 10 years later he was visiting his parents with his girlfriend for the annual Pumpkin fest. It was just that the pumpkins weren't just more numerous and larger, or more resistant to the rains and the fungus, they were alive and nothing could keep them tame or from spreading wider and wider. And everyone thought this was great at first, the profits were never higher but then weird things began to happen. Equipment went missing and two farm hands were crushed by a wagon full of pumpkins tipping over onto them in what was at first called a freak accident. Shaw recounted how he took his girlfriend through one of the patches and the vines seem to wind and grapple her legs, of course, Shaw's folks passed it off as her not being used to the mud but Shaw said he knew better.
Shaw continued to describe that over the days that led up to Halloween, the Jack O Lanterns on people's porches and elsewhere began to do some unusual things. Things like seemingly move by themselves from dusk to dawn, changing the carvings of their faces slightly, or appearing to “jump” off a table onto the porch without damage or apparent cause. On the morning of Halloween, Shaw said that he found his black cat, Lucky, incinerated in front of a jack o lantern as if it had breathed fire on to it from its mouth though they had long ago blown out the candle inside.
After the cat burning, the elderly man from the historical society tossed his spoon in his bowl. Shaw asked if something was wrong. The elderly man got up to leave and he said it tasted like bitter cold bull and his story was bull and thanked him for nothing. After checking the remaining contents of his bowl of stew, Shaw chased him out of the door, to his car, asking him what direction he planned to go home. When he peeled out of the parking lot he was headed southwest. Shaw came back in and threw up his hands.
I tell nothing but the truth, he said, most people can't handle it. Part of me wanted to go, but I was cozy there, it was warm and the story, while bull to me at the time, was entertaining enough. The SJW sitting down the way looked exhausted, barely keeping her eyes open as Shaw finished out the story. In short he said, Donnie approached him at dusk on Halloween while he and his family sat on the porch eagerly awaiting trick o treaters. Donnie said the Gerst Brothers are alive in the pumpkins and that they planned to burn the whole town down tonight. Donnie said, he had to tell Shaw because Shaw wasn't supposed to die, he was supposed to watch.
I rudely stopped him and demanded more stew. I was still hungry and the stew was somehow unsatisfying. When he returned, he finished the story, stating the town was suddenly engulfed in flames and their house in particular with Donnie on the porch, flash burned to the ground like napalm from an exploding pumpkin. He escaped with his family and his future wife in the pick up truck sitting outside now.
The college student said she felt like she needed to lay down, that she didn't think she could make back to the campus to the north. Shaw attended to getting her one of the rooms upstairs. I stayed down stairs and went to the back for more stew. I rubbed my eyes intensely and felt as if I too should stay for the night. But in the tug of war between fatigue and dexrine, the dexrine was slowly coming out ahead.
Next to the stew was a cutting board and a knife and on it was some bluish whitish powder which I found peculiar. On floor was a bottle of medication. It was Insomnex – a sleeping pill I use when I'm coming off of dexrine. The stew was dosed.
I ran to my truck and pulled out my dexrine and my revolver. As I climbed out of the driver's side, I could see Shaw running out of the dinner with a huge kitchen knife. I ducked under the trailer and back out on his side and pointed the gun at him.
What the hell I asked as I slowly advanced on him with my snub nose pointed at his head. He dropped the knife. He said, I just wanted to puncture your tires, I had to do something to stop you. I know you want to go north and I know you might be crazy enough and your truck tough enough to smash the barricades but I can't let you. I can't let anyone else go through, he said hysterically. I asked the dumb question about whether or not he set the barricades and just as I previously suspected, he did.
I'm supposed to watch, Shaw cried. No one can get through tonight, no can be allowed to. I told him to shut up as he rambled on about how he and his wife took it upon themselves to ward off travelers on Halloween Night. Its a cursed road tonight, he said, we're cursed to stay here and this is the best we can do to stop it from spreading. Its been calling us for 30 years, he went on, we tried to walk away but it kept on spreading, the pumpkins, he said gritting his teeth in anguish.
Maybe it was the dexrine and the insomnex working together, hell maybe it was the stew by itself but I just started to laugh as I guided Shaw back into the dinner and proceeded to duct tape him down to the dinner chair to make sure he could not cause anymore harm to anyone else until the police arrived. I had some cash on me, I wasn't a criminal, I wasn't going to make it seem like I tied him up and dinned and dashed, I was in the right, I was doing the lawful thing. So I left him exact change, no tip for the food. In the process of making change for myself, I found the padlock key in the cash drawer, I was certain of it at the time as I waved it in front of Shaw and he gasped and thrashed behind the duct tape the hardest.
I got into my truck and gunned it north towards the barricades, which, as I suspected was easily opened with the key I confiscated from Shaw. I got on my CB and started making emergency calls to the State Police, I gave them my name, the location of the diner, and Shaw's name. I was in the middle of nowhere so it didn't surprise me when I got static and no acknowledgment. I had no bars on my cell phone either but that is typical of central Illinois.
I was going along about 70. The sun was almost down but I hadn't seen the moon yet. I turned on the radio and found a classic rock station. The song was Born on the Bayou from CCR. The opening riff perked me up and reassured me that I had done everything all well and all good. If things held, there was a chance, I could get my freight unloaded and see John tonight. I was eagerly tapping the steering wheel waiting to bust into “When I was just a little boy...” But just as the lyrics should have entered, the radio station seemed to have accidentally reset the song, it just started over.
The sun faded away entirely and yet no moon came up. The sky was so dark but I didn't remember seeing any clouds or expecting any for that matter. The song continued restarting itself, the same opening again and again. I flipped through the other stations and all of them had it playing. Eventually, the digital clock on my dash began to spin wildly like the LCD numbers on the tuner while in scan mode. The truck buffeted and shook side to side despite my headlights showing no cause for it.
To my shock, ahead, in the distance was single traffic light. It was went from green, to yellow, and red, as any other traffic light but there were no lights or towns on this road. I slowed to 40, then 35 then to 30 as I entered an unnamed densely populated area with small buildings, stores, and houses and one traffic light. I came to a stop at the light and I looked around, locked my doors and tried to glimpse where I was. Where ever I was, I felt, I felt like I shouldn't be there. There were dim orange lights in some of the rooms of the houses at the edge of the intersection.
I looked up at one of the windows and I saw a figure with large head in the window. I couldn't believe my eyes at least not until the figure turned to face outward. It was a jack o lantern, a classic one with a black glow where the eyes, nose, and mouth sat. It was held up right by a thin vine structure that seemed to grow and stretch as it stuck its head out of the window and let out a barely audible shrill whistle and stared directly at me.
I gunned it. I blew the red light as the town seemed to collapse into nothing by dark green swelling pumpkin vine and a sea of glowing jack o lanterns in my side view mirrors. I hit the radio off because all I could hear on it was that whistle filtering through. I drove and the mass of jack o lanterns grew in the mirrors. I glimpsed the left and right windows and the plains were glowing black with more pumpkins rolling and creeping towards the road.
The road began to warp and bend as I started to red line my truck. The buffeting side to side became difficult to control as the engine groaned. I couldn't explain how the road began to shift nor how the moon, blood orange began to circle around me from horizon to horizon. Aside from the moon, I thought I was making progress as I couldn't see the vines nor the hundreds of blacklight pumpkins swirling after me.
The moon slowed and dipped down and I started climbing a hill. As I crested, the moon filled the entire windshield and more. It spun and then settled on a black light pumpkin face and bore down on the cab.
I don't know what happened next but I woke up in my cab. The was engine smoking. All I could see was mud and putrid rotten pumpkins as far as I could see. My Blue Jay was sunk up to the cab down in mud, vines and rot. It wasn't going anywhere in it without some serious assistance. To my right and left I saw dozens of other vehicles, most of them at least ten years old, also up their doors in mud and rot. Swarms of flies were visible all around in the boiling midday sun. I'm not really sure how long it has been or what time it really was because the clock on my phone is broken and simply reads as 99:99. I don't know what day it is. I have no cell signal and no radio.
Carly, I need to be honest with you. I cheated on you. Maybe a dozen times. I did it before I thought, before I knew you were doing it to me. I can't live by the rules of trucking, or marriage or anything. It is the road and you command it and that is the only rule. But now, I'm worried I've broken my last rule. I have no food and no water. There is no road here. There is only rule of a blazing sun with jack o lantern face that never sets. I fear that in time, unless I find help or help finds me, I will be feeding the pumpkins.

Theo Plesha
submitted by m80mike to ChillingApp [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:49 g0dn0 How many basses do you have?

I’m starting to think I have problem. Not just owning too many, but I genuinely struggle deciding which one I want to play with my band. The struggle is real :-D I have 7 basses currently. To begin with I’d buy another instrument for what I felt were practical reasons. My main bass was J, but after years of playing it, I was suffering with my back, so I got a Mustang. As a band, we have a little demo studio of our own. So I leave my J bass there for my songwriting partner when he’s working on ideas. I have my own little studio setup at home in a cabin in the garden, so my mustang would live there. But then I wanted something to play/practice on in the house so I could leave my mustang hanging on the wall in my little home studio. Then I wanted to have a different vintage sounding bass for a certain project, with flat wounds on - and so on and so forth until now I’ve got 7. I play them all, some not as often others, but I play them. One was gifted to me. I love them all, they’ve all got their own sound and characteristics. But now I can’t decide which bass I want to use live with my band, whereas before, I just had my main and my backup. Should I thin down my collection? Am I unusual? Or is having multiple instruments common? They’re all different models. I’m not in debt, I’m not spending money I don’t have as disposable income.
submitted by g0dn0 to Bass [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:49 nonexistentgreen EN players - let's talk about cheating

So, Rank Match is coming to EN (in less than 12 hours as I’m writing this!). Maybe you’ve seen a few posts crop up on your twitter TL or randomly on this subreddit bringing up fear of cheaters. Maybe you haven’t and have only seen the ones saying “I’m no good, I’ll probably only languish in bronze” or something like that. But all the same, I think we need to treat with the topic.
Let’s talk about cheating. It’s rampant, and it needs to be recognized. It’s worth addressing. It’s worth keeping EN’s integrity as a server.
A little context, before I do: I'm a user from the community Sekai server (henceforth referred to as Sekaicord) linked on the sidebar. By habit, I am not a reddit user, and I apologize if this comes off too strong as a consequence. I understand this is a contentious topic, and I recognize that I might have perception bias if the only posts I see from here showcase the "worst" posts and not the actual "average" opinion on this — but, my impression is that, in general, this subreddit has a terrible track record when it comes to identifying cheaters, and an equally awful slate of defenses for their behavior. I'm writing this post not just to address some of these defenses, but also to open the conversation. The less we know about it, the less we can push the devs to take action on it. And likewise, the more we’re aware…
Some context for my viewpoints / experiences on the matter:
- I'm a Day 1 JP player, with 240+ Master FCs. I played EN from day 1 up until around Scramble, when the amount of external tiering drama got too much for me (and, if my handle on what happened during White Day is right, it hasn't gotten better). Level-wise, I’d be about Lv31-32 for FC skill and 26-28 AP-wise. Ask me for a handcam if you want. On Sekaicord I frequently talk to much better players — yes, even ones who can FC/AP 33+ songs (which are probably the most likely to get doubted). I asked a player with Lv34+ FCs (AMARA, 16bit, Intense Voice, Disappearance/END) to review this huge treatise before I wrote it out. I'm pretty confident as to their legitimacy and generally see some patterns that emerge as to why they are. I'll explain some of these here.
- I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to APs up to around Lv32 in the wild, but a lot of Lv33+ FCs tend to be more suspect for any number of reasons you can see from the co-op results screen.
- The atmosphere in Sekaicord around cheating is, as you can probably infer from my tone, highly distrusting. Cheaters are banned on sight once proof is established beyond doubt – so in fact, it surprises me that technically speaking, the rules on the subreddit’s sidebar don’t concretely penalize cheating!
But like many communities, it didn't start out like that. The dedicated gameplay channel was VERY happy to celebrate players' accomplishments (we used to have every 33+ FC pinned) and generally didn't ask for much proof — until Rank Match came on JP, and a player who we all thought was just insanely good got exposed (because JP caught and banned him). Here's the thing — he was a good player in his own right (i.e., Lv. 32+, but not good enough for the results he cheated), and the way he hid his results was much less blatant than some of the people later banned from the server for cheating, who… well, put in about as much effort as some of the cheaters that have been linked to me from here. This is how it goes for pretty much any community: break the established trust, and obviously nothing's the same afterward.
I will try to write this in such a way that it gives cheaters as few hints as possible on how to make their plays look more "legit"; I simply want to point out some of the common patterns that emerge when a cheater really is afoot (and which are never an issue for a legitimate player), and refute some of the more common defenses.
Another thing: yes, not everyone condescends to the level of some of these defenses I’ve written out. However, I’ve seen them appear enough in more or less these exact forms, unchallenged, that it’s worth quoting them in exactly the same way to give you an idea of what’s wrong with these viewpoints. This is not meant as a personal attack (moreso if you may have said something to these effects in the past); it’s simply an attack on the logic behind them.


(1) "Has it ever occurred to you that someone might just be that good? / Or maybe they're just that good?"
Statements like these are, to put it bluntly, passive-aggressive and condescending towards people who might have genuine grounds for suspicion. People weren't born yesterday; we're fully aware that people on the level of HPS, MaengZombie, nanoflower, REN, STK, SkisK… exist. (I've specifically excluded jack just because he's the low-hanging fruit and also to point out that if one’s only knowledge of a "good player" is jack, well… there’s a whole world out there).
But the reason people don't cast doubt on those players is because they have put in the effort to be deserving of that trust. Every one of the players I've mentioned has videographic evidence — YouTube, Twitter clips, the list goes on. They frequently compete to get world-first on APs, and they're well aware that if you do not have a video that shows your hands, your play means nothing. For example, tweets purporting to show world-firsts on Six Trillion Years and Overnight Story were, pretty much without exception, disregarded by JP players when the user was silent on the question of handcams.
(The first recognized AP of Six Trillion Years is from SkisK , at 1d 1h 19m after release.)
(A little aside: JP players can be pretty ruthless about cheaters. From the official JP Discord, I passed by this message of someone posting a Yaminabe AP tweet with no proof on release day and was (not) surprised to see a slew of X-to-doubt reactions -- and, as with the tweet above which I had to resort to Wayback Machine to show you, it was later deleted presumably after getting called out.)
I also want to be clear on this: this also means that a player you don't expect CAN come out of nowhere and stake their claim on an achievement, as long as they have the proof to back their claim up. Here's a good example: the maxed score on Arcaea's hardest chart, Testify BYD, was achieved by a player (005saikou) who otherwise wasn't known for any other world-firsts! And — you guessed it — he had an annotated video to back up his claim, commenting on which parts he thought was hardest, and other peculiarities of the chart.
There's a common counterargument to (1) that goes something like
(2) "Well, maybe some people just don't want to show their hands / dox themselves / don't know how to record / etc."
Let's do this point-by-point.
2a) "...don't know how to record / not everyone has a second phone or camera to record handcams with..."
The trial-and-error process required to reach the level of play we're talking about 99% demands the ability to record, review, and rewatch your play. Even if you're not going to post it, you almost certainly will have tried it at some point on the road to 33+ just for your own "where did I go wrong?" purposes.
This argument is also an insult to the intelligence of a player; recording ISN'T EVEN HARD. Recording is built-in on iOS. Recording on Android is as simple as typing "screen recorder app" into Google Play Store (or its equivalent, for Xiaomi and other no-Google builds) and downloading the first free option that doesn't have ads every 0.1 seconds. While screen recordings are less trustworthy than handcams because, well, you can’t see what the player is doing in order to get that result, they’re trustworthy enough in conjunction with players who, besides a recording, can talk about what, why, and how they do what they’re doing (more on this below).
As for handcams, please don't be intimidated by the fact that most well-known YouTubers have professional-looking, crisp 1080p setups: even a grainy 480p view is enough as long as it's clear you're not pretending to mash away while a bot automatically PERFECTs the 200BPM portions of Intense Voice. Google "handcam setups", or DIY one by cutting a slit at the top of a cardboard box and pointing a camera lens down while you play from the bottom (my preferred solution). I have seen players who record themselves using cheap $20 webcams not even clipped to anywhere stable, players who ask to borrow a family member’s phone or camera for a paltry five minutes… anything to be honest! For as many cheaters I’ve seen accused, I’ve also seen nearly as many people who put in the effort to be honest, which deserves a good mention.
Just about every case I know of someone who wasn't a cheater was willing to provide a handcam of some sort. It doesn't matter if they took 30 minutes, five hours, or three days — they came back and defended themselves. I've even seen it on the EN discord! The first instinct of a cheater, by contrast, is to either stay completely silent and let other people do the defending for them, or to get extremely defensive and use some of the many arguments here.
Incidentally, there are legitimate examples I know of of completely unknown players who pop up one day in Sekaicord with some godlike play, and the reason they were believed on the spot? Handcam.
2b) "...don't want to show their hands / dox themselves..."
I suppose nothing can be done about that, but on this point I'd like to point out that Sekai is hardly the first (and will not be the last) rhythm game community to have doubters. This is frankly small-time compared to osu! players doing this like it's a JOB. And that comes down to a fundamental truth about rhythm games: difficult skill-based achievements have always had value because people SHOW they can be done. Consequently, if there is no proof, there is no value; if you're willing to make an outrageous claim; you best be prepared to show some outrageous play, or risk it not being worth anything at all.
There are other ways to show you clearly did what you're claiming to that don't involve a handcam, mind you — but they involve knowing what you're talking about, describing the chart / your strategies in detail, and, well, generally a certain level of passion about the intricacies of the game that most cheaters don't really seem to have, because they're only really here for the one fleeting shot at attention (mentioned this above already; skip to “spotting cheaters” below if you’re curious enough to know how).
Moving on…
(3) "But they posted a recording of…"
Let me be clear on this point: I personally (and many others) are not wondering if they photoshopped a rainbow clear diamond on a song; anyone can do that in three minutes. I am also not wondering (and do not care) if someone has a recording of themselves scrolling through a list of songs with a shiny line of rainbow diamonds, because that doesn't really mean anything if they cannot demonstrate the ability to repeat it (and that a bot didn't do it for them). On this point, most players aren't so letter-of-the-law obsessed as to demand a recording of a re-AP (understandable: players like Mita Kousuke take months even to get a singular AP on What's up? Pop! and there's no guarantee the perfect moment will be caught on camera for most players) — I (and many others) just want to see a level of play that reasonably LOOKS like they can do what they’re claiming to have done. Put simply, I really just want to see someone’s fingers dancing where the notes are landing, not their hands flailing miserably against the glass screen while a bot does the actual playing.
What would "reasonable" look like? Take a look at the Mita video as an example. While he lists some of his current personal bests at the top, you'll find that the majority of these streams are him failing, sometimes incredibly early, sometimes amazingly -- but the overall level of play is high. Players who've just finished with a feat from the night before / day before / two hours / 30 minutes before don't "rust over". A few hours' rest (if necessary) for exhausted hands is almost always enough to show something approaching legitimate if the player in question is legitimate -- again, no one's asking for a second AP.
(4) "You're just jealous!"
And? So what if I am? Since when was emotion a valid reason to stop reading and avoid the possibility that even people driven by emotion can make valid points? But part of why this argument is unusually effective is because most aren't aware of the common patterns that drive cheaters, and so valid arguments are often dismissed as being down to jealousy if you're not aware of why some of these defenses for cheaters just don't stick.
Part of why I shared the context of where I come from with this was partly to dispel this argument. I've long since accepted that there are people much better than me, and I want to explain why people (who don't necessarily have that chance) react the way they do towards cheaters without resorting to ad hominems like this.
But never mind me. If me potentially being jealous is enough to discount it at my sub-33 skill level, then would you believe the distaste for EN cheating if it came from the world-first AP on Kusaregedou to Chocolate? Incidentally, I assure you he's got nothing to be jealous of: after all, he's going to Tokyo for Spring CS and rubbing shoulders with HPS and the rest of the Sekai gods.
(5) "It's just a game, why would anyone cheat on Sekai?"
If you've ever heard a variation of the common schoolyard boast (or jokes about it) "my dad works at Nintendo / Game Freak / Activision / [insert AAA video game company here]", the answer is: it’s for exactly the same reason immature people have lied since the dawn of society — attention and self-esteem. Of course they gain nothing from this, it is just a game, after all — but kids literally lie just to win arguments as petty and easily-forgotten as those in a schoolyard. Why would Sekai be the first skill-based game (of many, many rhythm games out there) immune to this?
(6) "It's just a game, calm down lol"
I genuinely struggled to write an answer to this without getting a bit irritated; I’ve seen this so many times in so many places for so many wrong reasons. But what’s wrong with being passionate about a game? What’s wrong with wanting the pastime you settle into after a stressful day of work or school to be a fair playing ground? Why shouldn’t a game be taken seriously when competitive PvP games fuel multi-billion industries, have university scholarships, and round-the-clock teams and sport scientists analyzing them, and ignite the passions of people just as intensely as any “traditional” sport?
“Because that’s esports, and this is just Sekai”? Here, tell me you can’t feel the room shake when Mita APs Brand New Day live on stream.
What’s wrong with being passionate about something in the same way others, you included, are passionate about things besides Sekai – enough to be offended if someone said this exact same thing to you? What’s wrong with wanting fairness for one thing and not another?
(7) "Trust the cheat detection!"
I hate to have to say this, I really do, but automated cheat detection for EN is TERRIBLE. It might not even exist. As evidence I'd like to point towards some of the more infamous cheaters: the T2 for Mesmerized by Mermaids in EN. There are some pretty damning threads from long-time tierers that have explained the point in much more detail than I could eloquently say. Now, this exact cheater was defended by someone using the exact same argument I'm about to reply to, and it's just as fallacious now as it was then.
Allow me to explain exactly why "trust the cheat detection" doesn't fly.
- T2, as the threads I've linked demonstrate, was clearly botting, and did so for the entire week the event ran. So why didn't the supposed "cheat detection" pick this up? Why was T2 allowed to play all the way until the EVENT ENDED? Why was the event title AWARDED to T2, denying the T4 (nara) the T3 as a result?
- The appeal to authority argument particularly disgusts me because of one thing: JP has had its own issues with cheaters of a different nature: those who share accounts so that they can tier 24/7 with no downtime. The example I know of is from Unnamed Harmony: not only did they outright admit to account sharing (and insinuated that the t2 who lost was probably also cheating), they weren't banned. I use JP as an example for this reason: JP, which actually, proactively bans botters in Rank Match, still has cheaters that are left completely alone. How then, can you expect EN to have better scrutiny when even botters need a public outcry and a LOT of angry support desk mails just to get one T2 banned? (oh, and come back, and get that account banned too, and admit to committing about 7k euros worth of chargeback fraud…) No offense, but EN can't even herd its official discord channels together; how am I supposed to believe they have time for botters?
T2 Mermaids is hardly the only example there is — only the most notorious one. But if even the cases of people high enough to be in the ranking spotlight take so much effort to call out (no thanks to people spouting uneducated defenses and convincing enough people), how much more botters who just roam the wilds with all perfects that show with 0 notes hit?
Put another way: why use a tiering cheater as an example for skill-based cheating when tiering skill boils down to whoever has the stamina to slap Envy for the longest time? Answer: they use the same tools. The person running around with an EmpErroR AP in public rooms may be doing it to show off, while a tiering cheater may be doing it so they doesn’t lose sleep or struggle the same way their competitors do, but the means are (almost) always the same: a machine does the work for them. And if the game isn’t banning one of them… how can you be confident they’re banning the other?
“Well, that was months ago! They’re better now, I hope!”
The proof is in the pudding. If you’re right, then I’d be happier than anyone else.


Besides the whole "they get really defensive" / [insert argument above] things listed above, there are a few more tells that really go a long way towards sniffing out a cheater, and I'd like to go over some of them here (since they didn't really fit naturally into the counterarguments presented above). I'll skip over directly critiquing their results in the case that a prospective cheater reads this and takes notes on how to avoid getting caught.
Now, a little disclaimer, for fairness: most of the posts I’m aware of don’t actually involve the cheaters themselves risking getting caught on here, and so the uses for such red flags may not be easily applicable. But all the same, they go hand-in-hand with the (fallacious) defenses for cheaters, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for when someone inevitably comes here asking why they got banned (for “no reason”) assuming EN is any trustworthy when Rank Match hits.
Keep in mind: each of these ALONE does not mean someone is a cheater — it's when red flags like these, ALONG with refusing to provide videographic proof, come together, that someone becomes more and more suspicious.
(1) Unrealistic timeframes for improvement
Let's not mince words here: the highest levels of Sekai are HARD. As in, it competes with "pure" rhythm games like Arcaea, Lanota, Phigros, Cytus, Dynamix, CHUNITHM, maimai, ONGEKI… levels of hard. Sekai itself is unusually hard for a popular rhythm game (sorry Tokyo 7th Sisters, no one knows you) with funny PNGs you roll and pay for, in a market where the closest competition (and therefore most people's previous frames of reference for existing difficulty) is Bandori or Enstars. And, well, no offense… but Bandori doesn't have six Hell or Hell SPs (and it took THIS long to release the 33+ specials…) and a release schedule that promises more every three months, like we're getting with Yaminabe and Jinsei. As for Enstars? Two years to release Awakening Myth and Seishun Emergency SP (and they’re only roughly as hard as ~32lv. Sekai charts).
What this results in are cheaters who grossly underestimate the time needed to get to Sekai's highest level. You might hear things like "i was up all night / week / month getting this omg my fingers are so tired". To use an example from sekaicord / experience: most players who commit to the improvement grind tend to find that they'll improve really quickly from 26 to 30 — and then hit a major wall at Lv31, where the difficulty then spikes exponentially. The average time it takes legitimate players to go from Lv31 to 32? Six months or more. 32 to 33? You'll be lucky or just insanely good if it takes you six months.
Anyone claiming to be the exception to this pattern, put simply, needs the proof. People are willing to believe someone’s good if they can see someone play good.
(2) Not recognizing patterns when questioned
An actual story about a banned cheater from sekaicord: they claimed to have AP'd Don't Fight the Music on Master, and immediately fell through when people started asking them about patterns from other charts, including Hibana and KING. The issue? They were told that those patterns were from Don't Fight the Music. This is pretty much self-explanatory: you'd at least be expected to know the charts you're claiming to have beaten!
But besides that, people who have pulled off such feats (hell, pretty much anyone) always has a devil of their own. Everyone has That One Pattern they find, and which they hate. And if you're a devilish enough little Pattern (hello Greenlights / Bitter Choco Decoration), you'll be so absolutely evil that everyone will know you, not the other way around. Someone who picks out a pattern that is pretty obviously free to someone actually at that skill level OR doesn't have a least favorite pattern at all tends to stink from a mile away.
(3) Low-quality / vague explanations and/or misuse/lack of terminology/jargon
A common trope in TV shows, video games, and so on is a smart character (usually a scientist) who launches into a convoluted explanation with a LOT of jargon you're not supposed to understand, before a character stops them and says you're making my brain hurt. While silly, this trope has some basis in the fact that people who are good at something tend to be really passionate about it, and often won't hesitate to explain in a lot of detail exactly how they pull off what they do. The same almost always goes for rhythm game players — it's common for people who have just conquered a chart in sekaicord to follow up their FC / AP screenshot with a long-ass postmortem of the parts they hated the most, the strategy that finally got them through it, and pretty much everything in between.
As a cheater, it would be pretty difficult to emulate this. There's no adrenaline rush as you get through the part that you've been struggling on for weeks, possibly months, no sitting down staring at a chart viewer cursing the disgustingly hard part, no detailed "L-R-L-R(index)-R(middle)" big brain strategy just to pass something extremely cursed. There is nothing to explain. Most often, you will get "i was just shaking throughout it's all so hard", "uhhh i just mashed as hard as i possibly could" “go watch a video instead of bothering me” without reference to a specific pattern, and almost no way to describe their solution in terms any reasonably practiced regular would be familiar with. Did you jack this part here? Two fingers or multiple? Is there a BPM divisor that helps you get the rhythm down on this?
Let's go back to the 005saikou Arcaea example I mentioned earlier. Pretty much anyone at that level will have thoughts about their own achievements, and which parts they found hardest to conquer; look at the pinned comment (translation of the CCs) on his Testify video and see just how detailed they can get. I'm not saying everyone has to get to that level of detail, but someone with practically nothing to say about their achievements AND no video either is a serious red flag.

A brief conclusion

Why I took the time to write all of this is pretty simple: I would very much like if people were more aware of the players they're defending who don't deserve to be defended. Not only are there legitimate players out there much more deserving of your attention, but there's also a glut of illegitimate ones out there cruising along with the potential to make Ranked Match completely unplayable if we're just going to sit here and pretend it's not a problem. Perhaps you’re thinking it’s not going to be a problem for you if you only stay in Bronze / Silver / Gold / Plat. Good for you, but then that leaves Diamond and Mastery completely unplayable wastelands fit only for people who jump onto sites-that-shall-not-be-named for modded apps. Pretty much every time I talk to a JP player about EN and the prospect of ranked match, I universally hear back the words “cheating” and smell the implication that there’s no point to even touching it. There’s already so few legitimately skilled players on EN (let alone those who aren’t simply imported / previously JP players) and the last thing EN needs is to drive those players away.
Genuine question: If the playerbase is capable of raising enough of a stink to get an entire event memory-holed out of existence (I have not forgotten RMD), please tell me why it's not possible to push the devs to take action on people who will undermine the legitimacy of an entire game mode? It's easy enough to ignore if you're just running around co-op getting event points and can forget about someone who's not playing the game, but in a game mode whose basis is a fair and even competition between two players, surely there's some reason to get them to do something.
Call me jealous, salty, misguided, whatever you want, but if at the end of the day this post has you thinking a bit more critically about why people can be so suspicious of others (and why it's more legitimate than just jealousy), then writing it will have been worth something. Please, don’t throw these words by the wayside, and keep a more critical eye out for the people you meet, be it in ordinary rooms, on social media, or, well… on Ranked Match. If you could do something about RMD, you can do something about cheaters.
If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for your attention and time.
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