Stout heating and air salisbury nc
Alright guys..feeling a little bit defeated…..
2023.06.10 20:40 StrxwbrrySwitchblade Alright guys..feeling a little bit defeated…..
So..I flew for the first time this passed April and as silly as it sounds, it was one of my largest accomplishments. I’m terms of my anxiety/ptsd journey.
I’m finally facing another solo flight around June 22-29th. From ONT or LAX to DFW. I’m trying to figure out which times/days I should go with. Due to Texas weather being so hot(90 to 100 degrees-never gets under 80 even at night time hours), I’m starting to worry I’ll just be stuck on the most turbulent flight I’ve ever had due to the heat all while being alone. Causing a severe panic attack mid flight. And my anxiety is starting to spiral. But I’m trying to stay focused. I know I will feel defeated if I don’t conquer this.
I’m losing 2 hours heading to Texas so even flying out at 6/7am, I will still be landing around 11:30-12:00pm. So I can’t fly in the cooler morning air entirely.
I was just wondering if anybody has advice on the better flight times etc. I think my anxiety/ptsd is just trying to take over my thoughts and I could use some advice to snap me back out of it.
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2023.06.10 20:20 blurryturtle 2023 Roland Garros Men's Finals 🐢
As usual, before a big final, I like to get a little behind the scenes insight. Last time, I got up close and personal with the players, but as a result, a restraining order was issued, so this time, I leveled up and installed some cameras in their hotel rooms. This will give us a first-hand look at their prep for the finals.
Casp-o-vision : Sunday, June 11th. The clock strikes 6:00AM. Norwegian music begins playing. Casper’s eyes open. “Ahhh Kongesangan,” thinks Casper, “the only choice for brushing one’s teeth”. Casper begins brushing. He is already in the bathroom, where he sleeps standing up to maximize efficiency. He brushes the right side efficiently, and does the best he can on the other. Though these teeth are mainly defensive, they are constantly improving. Casper turns to his coaches, who are sitting in the tub watching him brush. They nod and make fists, the only coaching he has ever received from them. He nods and makes a fist as well. The main coach, whose name he has never learned, hands him a plate of Fårikål, and he begins eating. “Shouldn’t I have eaten this before I brushed my teeth?” he asks, but perhaps the storyteller, like Casper’s team, did not think this through. Still though, Google is very informative. “Boy, I sure do love Oslo,” muses Casper. “And fjords.” Wow, Casper is ready for Roland Garros.
Djokocam : Sunday June 11th. The clock strikes 6:00AM. Norwegian music begins playing. “Perhaps we should not have been roommates” thinks Novak, as he looks across the room to Casper’s bed. But Casper is not there. Djokovic stretches his impervious to cramps body. He is not in a bed, but gently relaxing on a bed of moss, which grew when he summoned it with warrior one. He eases slowly into chair pose, and a chair appears. Goran quickly sits in it. “Look at my cool new shades!” says Goran. “Very nice, Goran,” says Novak, as he closes his eyes to begin meditating. “You think we can win, Novak?” asks Goran, while swinging his legs excitedly in the chair. “Yes, Goran,” answers Novak. “Can you believe they eat snails here?” asks Goran, while pretending his hand is an airplane. “Yes, Goran,” answers Novak. “Would you ever eat a snail?” asks Goran, while pretending he is an airplane. “Yes, Goran,” answers Novak. “Wow,” says Goran. His friend Novak is so cool.
Casper emerges from the bathroom, and Djokovic heads in. There are crumbs in the sink, and Ruud’s team shake their fists and nod at him as he begins combing his hair. Novak shakes his head. He is ready for Roland Garros.
Men’s Singles Final : There is something about Casper Ruud’s game that makes it seem like he is not doing anything special. He is ultra-consistent, and he makes the right choices in almost every situation, but his disciplined approach can make a player like Zverev or Rublev seem like they are on another level. Ruud has made two Grand Slam finals already (both last season), but was summarily written off before they began, suffering defeat at the hands of Carlos Alcaraz at the US Open, and Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. Here again, he is being given very slim chances by most people. When you do everything right (by the book), there is a sense that you become predictable, and the greats of the game have excellent situational awareness. If they can move early to your shots, you’re not going to get many errors from them. It makes this a very uphill battle for him, because Novak Djokovic is a player that is unlikely to be rattled by the classic patterns and approaches to the game, and is one of the most consistent players the tour has ever seen. Once he gets in a rhythm, you’re playing a tennis game set to expert, so Casper will need to elevate his aggression here.
Ruud will thankfully be fresh for the finals, but after watching the Alcaraz demise it’s hard to gauge how long that will last. Him being a bit older does give him a bit more stamina and experience, and he had a fairly quick match against Zverev. He’s also done this before, so I think physically he is ready to go 5 sets. Thinking, though, isn’t it always the cause of our blunders. Zverev looked competitive in parts of their match, but he is not at the top level of the game yet. His ceiling is, but where does his ceiling lurk? Ruud is nearly robotic out there. You know he is going to execute and move the ball well and his defensive skills are solid enough to make his opponent play several shots to win a point. It’s the discipline he has that allows him to do this regardless of the stage and the opponent. Zverev, on the other hand, is very much thinking out there. When he has a setup, it’s very up in the air what he should do. He’s often creating angles and situations that he is only going to play 1-2 of per match, and it leads to errors as he second-guesses and hesitates on shots (especially rough in choosing when and when not to come to net). In truth, he could have wound up deep in the match against Casper, but when Zverev had control or time, he made a lot of unforced errors trying to crack Ruud’s defenses. Despite having a ton of experience on tour, Zverev has not really ironed out his game and since returning from injury, he hasn’t really dealt with a match where he had to play hard every point in order to win. The ability is there, but the repetition of effort is not.
Speaking of repetition of effort, it should be noted what a great adjustment Djokovic made in his semifinal match. He is very frequently a slow starter on clay, but he came out and looked to match Alcaraz’s aggression from the start. It was a very “I’m not going to miss and I want you to know that” approach, and digging in in this manner started to forced Alcaraz to come up with more and more ambitious attempts. They both have a lot of heat on their shots, but Alcaraz is certainly the one swinging harder on the average ball. He started to make errors, but it looked to me like he would wear down Djokovic’s defenses with the onslaught. There have been a number of matches this tournament where the first couple games were furiously played, and eventually one player settled into their role as a defender, or folded up and forced offense until they lost. This didn’t feel like the case here, as both of these players can legitimately expect to hit a high percentage of their shots no matter what style they proceed with. A good example is how a post-cramp, immobile and defeated Alcaraz was able to guide winners off Djokovic’s serve. Not a strategy to win the match, but something that he rarely uses in match-play yet was instantly able to do.
After losing the first set, I still like Alcaraz’s chances. It had become the best type of ATP match, one where the player who is serving doesn’t just automatically win. The great big 3 matchups featured so many breaks and yet those breaks weren’t huge cracks or fails at all, it was just that at the highest level, players can play defense and offense from everywhere on the court. They exchanged breaks late in the 2nd set, and it seemed like Alcaraz’s aggression was finally mentally wearing Djokovic down. Early in the third though, disaster struck in the way that it always seems to when a phenom plays Djokovic at a major. Carlos Alcaraz cramped. Spectacularly. His hand cramped, his calf cramped, and he looked like Medusa slid in his DMs for a moment. Big credit to Djokovic for being bigger than the moment, and coming across the net to express concern and help Alcaraz to his chair. Cramping is something that affects a lot of players on tour, but it was pretty unexpected from Alcaraz. His physical strength is off the charts, and he trains extremely hard. If some combination of nerves and over-exertion really caused this, then it’s a by-product of Djokovic being willing to go toe-to-toe with him right from the start of the match.
There are great nutritionists working on the tour, but once you actually go full-cramp, it is nearly impossible to continue playing tennis. The muscle is in pain, and doesn’t want to fully flex even if you do. In short, you’re fatigued, in pain, and weak. Alcaraz forfeited the game so he could get treatment, but with 2 full sets left against the guy who is leading the GOAT debate currently (and competing against off-tour opponents), you’re pretty much finished. Brave of Alcaraz to finish out the match, and I had some hope that the kid would go full-tank and hydrate to recover for a 4th, but it appeared the damage was irreversible. He stood in on some returns, and while this means that any poor returns leave your court position too shallow to cover both wings of the court, he did show a pretty good ability to utilize this tactic. I’d love to see him do more of this in the future, as the best returners are pretty much hugging the baseline and you need this to win with minimized effort on hardcourt and grass. I’d also add, his deep return position was allowing Djokovic to serve and volley an awful lot, and Novak really was the one scoring off the dropshot in the non-cramp sets so Alcaraz will need to work on some other strategies. A good restful win for Djokovic, and a new wrinkle to the “how high will Alcaraz rise” debate. I don’t think too many people were really expecting cramps (to my knowledge it’s the first time he’s dealt with that on tour), and he had the momentum before they occurred.
One of the best things about majors is how long the players are out there. It allows for so many deviations in strategy and planning. Dumping sets to conserve energy, planning to sprint early then take a set off, and changes in strategy (holding back a bit of pace on serves early or playing frequent dropshots to take your opponents legs) can be really effective. Djokovic got the benefit of an interesting result here. It seemed like his defense was good enough to keep Alcaraz at bay but he wasn’t able to counter-punch. If this was by design, kudos to him and his team for allowing Alcaraz to punch himself out. If it wasn’t, it has at a minimum inspired other players to dig in on defense against Carlos now that they’ve seen the gas tank actually on E, which is tremendous for the tour since we’ve seen a few top guys fold against him already. The names on the trophies are less important than creating an environment where these guys can compete at their freest, because the sport won’t continue to grow unless the product is visibly enticing to the non-tennis public.
Djokovic Ruud should be a great match, the same way Swiatek Muchova was today. Ruud has yet to win a set against Djokovic in his career, but almost every single set has been confined to a single break of serve. That’s largely what I expect here. Ruud is good enough to compete with Djokovic for 75% of the match. Similar to the CA/ND situation that caused the cramps, Ruud is good enough to play Djokovic on even terms, but not really able to get out of trouble once he’s in it. Since Djokovic’s measured approach won’t wear himself out like Alcaraz’s did, this means a long match, with a vaguely assured result. This is good for Ruud for a few reasons. One, he won’t be distracted very often. When you’re going uphill but are a great competitor like Ruud, you don’t get caught up in the “what ifs” of an L or fret changes in the scoreline, you just keep an eye on how you’re doing out there. Trying different approaches, working on the spots you’re losing ground in, and communicating with your box constructively rather than complaining are useful, and keep you in the present moment. That’s a good place to stay for Casper here, because the crowd is very likely to get behind him. Djokovic is a beloved champion, but fans want to see a long match. If Ruud was considered an even contender here, he could almost enter villain territory, as fans would not want to see a great champion dethroned. Since he’s publicly regarded as a plucky underdog, he’ll have plenty of support.
Tennis-wise, the problem here is simple. Djokovic has the best backhand in tennis, and Ruud fights his off. He can create some great angles with it, and hits passes fairly well, but it’s a safe target for Djokovic which means the majority of shots are going to go there. We all saw how devastating a weapon the dropshot and forehand inside-in became for Alcaraz when Tsitsipas attempted to camp in his backhand corner, and I fear that Ruud will have similar issues in this match. This is doubly tricky because Djokovic’s backhand dropshots are much better and much more frequently attempted down the line. Ruud served well against Zverev, but he went out wide from the duece court a lot and Zverev never really punished him for it. Djokovic ropes these shots cross-court very well and he’s good at picking a few spots to up the aggression. If Casper is forced to abandon this serve, it’s a problem because it’s generally the best way to ensure that his second shot is a forehand. He plays well behind the pattern, but great returners (and great teams hello Goran) are likely to notice any significant lean on a particular serve. The odds at -450 indicate that Ruud will be competitive (because basically everyone watching is looking to bet on Djokovic at this point), but this would be the most surprising result that has occurred in tennis in a very long time. I think Ruud wins the same set via steady play and heavy hitting that Khachanov did, but it’s hard to see Djokovic struggling with patterns and opponents that he has already figured out. Djokovic in 4.
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2023.06.10 20:18 SenorPwnador Sealing Gaps in Eternal facing Shiplap
*external, ugh. Hey folks, I recently discovered that an eternal facing wall in my home has zero insulation behind the sheet rock, and the wall gets extremely hot in hot weather. In fact the previous owner install mirrors on this wall so it was actually radiating heat! Anyway, I tore away the sheetrock and see that we have diagonal shiplap (old house built to Galveston county codes). Outside there are old asbestos shingles and siding. Most of it is sealed nice and tight, but in some spots there are gaps and I can feel the heat pouring through. I’m going to put insulation up on this wall, but wonder if I should take the extra steps to use some sort of gap filler or caulking to fill in these gaps first. Gaps are about 1/8”-1/4” and you can feel a draft of hot air pouring through. Any reason not to seal it with gap filler?
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2023.06.10 20:14 Cape-Happenings Quality AC Repair in Cape Coral, FL - St. Clair's Custom Air
2023.06.10 20:08 Here_to_helpyou Who will be wearing ice packs or battery operated Ice coolers or freezable cool packs under abbayas during heat wave ?
Asallam alaikom ladies,
I'm observing proper hijab at work, I ha e a uniform but I wear a loose shirt on top with a long sleeve mini dress under the nurse like uniform and then loose pants so everything is completely covered and whole outfit lose. Heat wave coming up in UK.. any ideas how to keep cool?
I have a fridge freezer at work and want yo hide something cool under uniform so no one thinks I'm too hot in summer. My building at work has no air conditioning unfortunately.
-Revert and hijabi or just a few years
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2023.06.10 19:39 Menstrationvacation The concrete slab floor to my crawlspace is collapsing. Pics in post, it's not pretty. Tell me how fucked or not fucked I am?
As it says in the title, I went into the crawlspace for the first time in 6 months and saw something pretty gnarly. We moved into this house, our first home, which is a new build, finished in 2019. We live on essentially wet land, there's a small canal and a large lake nearby, so the water table is quite high. Our house is built on concrete foundation footings that are supported by piles driven into the bedrock so I think the foundation isn't going anywhere, but take a look at my photo album linked at the bottom and check out that poured concrete floor which has cracked and sunk about 8" from the foundation footings, exposing dirt, gravel and some of the support piles. There alot of mouse poop because evidently rodents now have space to get in. I've also noticed the first floor is very very cold in the winter time, heating bills are high, and I feel like air is escaping through this crawlspace and moisture is probably coming in too.
I didn't notice any cracks of any sort in the foundation footings, nor are there abnormally large cracks in any of the visible walls. All windows open and shut properly, some doors are a bit jammed but I figured that's from regular expansion and contraction of the wooden doors and frames.
It's my first home and I'm fucking exhausted by the amount of shit that's happened to this house and the out of pocket costs. I don't think insurance is going to cover this. Who do I call to fix this, how much will it run me, is this something I can fix myself, how worried should I be about this problem? Has anyone dealt with this kind of issue?
Crawlspace with poured concrete slab floors collapsing https://imgur.com/a/97lOuDI
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2023.06.10 19:23 bluedabadaeeeee How to deal with heat wave for hamsters?
Hi, there have been many days of heat wave. I don't have an AC and I have put a fan blowing air over the top of the hamster's bin cage just to make sure that the hot air is blown out. Is that enough? I'm thinking that as long as I can tolerate the temperature, the hamster should be fine too.
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2023.06.10 19:23 FullDerpHD Can you condense the ground wires to free up spaces in the ground bar?
TLDR - Can I put more than one ground in a receptor of the ground bar?
More info - I've had an old fixer upper home for a while now and recently I have decided I would like to do away with the natural gas heater. (It's a massive radiant heater that takes up almost all of the usable space in the living room)
My thought is that I would like to get one of those DIY heat and air mini splits along with an electric hot water heater and just do away with the natural gas in general.
To do that I'll need to install a couple of 240v lines and I'm not sure I have the space in my box. There is room for the breakers, but the ground bar appears to be full. https://gyazo.com/f0285a68646417f00f03c78f420c165f
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2023.06.10 19:14 micktalian The Gardens of Deathworlders: A Blooming Love (Part 19)
Part 19 Like Angels Falling from the Heavens (Part 1) (Part 18)
"Dropping in 3… 2… 1. Mission initiated." A synthetic voice read the words off of Tensebwse's HUD and his vision was suddenly filled with the familiar sight of metal and polymer panels rushing past him. “Target ETA, 8 minutes.”
“Alright, ladies!” Tens shouted into his comms-link to the Qui’ztar warriors who were about to experience why the Hell Divers had that name. “Hold on tight! When those retro-thrusters kick, they kick hard!”
"Hold on to what?" The deep yet feminine that called back was equal parts excited and nervous, and even held hints of sarcasm.
"Consciousness." Tens chuckled as he felt himself slowly being pushed towards the planets below.
Despite not feeling too much pressure himself, the Nishnabe warrior was keeping a close eye on both his own acceleration gauge as well as the reads out from his trainees. With his suit and control-AI acting as the central node of the networked machines, he had immediate access to the external and internal sensors of every mech he was in formation with. And, like a good pack leader, Ten wasn't at the front of the group, charging ahead, and possibly going beyond the physical limits of the Qui’ztar warrior women. Rather, he was at the back of the formation, letting the first-time jumpers set a pace they could endure, and watching for signs of overexertion. Even though each woman was nearing the absolute peak of their athletic abilities, the strain they were about to feel would be unlike anything they had ever experienced.
"This isn't that bad." It was Hutloxa who made the remark while sounding a bit too confident.
"We're still on the insertion-burn!" Tens fully laughed into the comms. "Verify trajectory and shield integrity, ladies. It's now or never!"
"Drop zone marked, call out when verified!" Captain Marzima's commanding tone was that of an ardent professional as she knew her commanding officer was watching them carefully.
"Drop Mech 1, confirmed!" A cacophony of voices began calling out in sequence until completing at number 19.
"All units confirmed, Lieutenant!" Marz was doing her job with the precision of a trained expert.
"Excellent, Captain!" Though the praise wasn’t necessary, Tens was starting to get excited as he saw the timer for the retro-thrusters slowly counting down. It had been months since his last time falling into hell and he missed the adrenaline rush. “Remember ladies, you need to keep breathing. If you stop breathing you will pass out. The mechs can and will land on their own if they need to but I need you to stay with me for the whole drop. Do you understand me?!?”
“Sir, yes, sir!” All 20 voices shouted back through the comms in perfect synchronization.
Tens could feel as his heart rate picked up in anticipation as his mind became perfectly clear. Only a few hundred meters below him he could clearly see the highlighted outlines of each of the mechanized walkers he was following towards the ground below. Judging by the angle of their approach, the direction of the planet's rotation, and current placement of the day-night terminator line, they would be hitting their drop zone just as the sun would begin to rise. Though that wasn’t necessarily the intention when planning out this training drop onto the Kyim'ayik’s new colony world, the Nishnabe warrior was looking forward to seeing the sunrise on a new planet. As he watched his countdown time slowly inch closer and closer to the fun part, he hoped that even if some of the women got sick, they would enjoy falling into hell and then being greeted by the morning sun.
“Remember what I said, just keep breath-” Tens almost had his own breath knocked out of lungs as his retro-thrusters began to fire. With a glee none of the women were expecting to hear as they were all rocked by the same forces, the young Nishnabe warrior let out a call of unbridled excitement. “Eeee!”
"What! The! Fuck!" One if the women shouted into the comms though, through the strain, it wasn't clear who.
"You got this!" Tens was able to get out in a surprisingly clear tone. "We're only just over 30 m/s2. This isn't even an emergency drop!"
"Come ladies!" Marz's voice, despite the pressure on her body, was just as strong and confident as it was at the very beginning. "You're deathworlders! You're Qui'ztar! You will endure!"
"You'll build up a tolerance with more drops." Tens added, his ear to ear grin audible as he tried to keep the women going. "Sound off! I need to hear you're still with me!"
"Drop… ugh! Drop mech 1! Still breathing!" The first women called out through labored breaths.
"Drop Mech 2! This is great!" The next voice, in stark contrast to the first, sounded like she was having the time of her life.
In sequence, each of the women called out their number and condition, some showing intense strain and others were clearing having a grand time. It didn't matter to Tens if some of them would need more training, or may not even be cut out for these kinds of missions in the future. The only thing the man cared about at this moment was making sure that they all landed safely. Though it only took a few seconds for each woman to signal they were still conscious and aware, and one a second or two between each one speaking, they were burning through the counter down timer just as quickly as they were beginning to burn through the upper atmosphere of the planet below them. Just before Tens's view of the deep blue oceans beneath him were obscured by the building ball of fire and the blue shimmering from his active shielding, a quaint chain of islands caught his eye. When Captain Marzima finally confirmed that she too was still conscious and able to maintain her professional demeanor, the countdown showed less than six minutes until they touched down.
Like angels of fury falling from the heavens, the 21 mechanized combat walker suits tore their way through the building layers of atmosphere, reentry plasma building with each passing moment. The preprogrammed descent path, having been calculated long in advance, coupled with the lack of incoming fire from the ground to ensured the group of first time jumpers and their experienced instructor had no need for evasive actions. In front of them was a clean and clear route, save for a few sparse clouds, which would see them land directly at the chosen site for the new Kyim'ayik colony. Even though something in the back of the man's mind was telling him not to trust the Arnehilians on the planet below, the idea that even the gray demons who had stolen his ancestors from their home weren't all evil warmed his soul. As the formation of mechs came closer and closer to their target, continuing their dramatic descent as if they were an unstoppable force sent by the Gods, the coastal clearing they were heading towards was highlighted by their HUDs.
"By the Matria- oof!" One of the women called out with a mixture of giggling and exhaustion. "It doesn't let up!"
"Just a couple more minutes!" Tens couldn't help the fact his volume was raised. None of them could. All he could do was shout words of encouragement to spur on the few who were still having trouble acclimating to the strain. "I know you're strong! I know you’re capable! Just keep breathing and you'll be the first Qui’ztar to see a sunrise over the shores of new colony world!"
"Yac'tloma! Chuiom! Are you still with me?!?" Marz's slightly more intense yell caused Tens to trigger the cockpit-view of both of the pilots who got called out.
"Yes, Captain!" Yac responded almost instantly and with a surprising amount of strength. "I think… mmm… I'm finally getting used to it."
"Chuiom!" Marzima shouted again just as a hologram of the Qui’ztar in question popped up on Tens's HUD.
"I'll wake her up." Tens chuckled as he sent a signal to Chu's mech to give her some mild stimulation.
"Fucker!" The woman was instantly awake and Tens could see through the holographic display that she wasn't happy. "Did someone just shock me?"
"No napping till after the debrief!" Tens retorted. "Your vitals are fine and we only got a minute or so left. Keep breathing and stay with me!"
Various readouts across Tens’s HUD were running through numbers faster than the holographic display could refresh. From altitude to effective airspeed, the Nishnabe warrior could see that everything was going perfectly and, despite some of his trainees showing signs of serious exhaustion, he was about as happy as he could be at that moment. Though one of the women did stop breathing for just a moment too long, and needed a bit of prodding to wake back up, the health data the man was cycling through indicated everyone seemed fine, no bones had been broken, and the strain hadn’t caused any unforeseen injuries. Regardless of how strong and capable he knew all of these women to be, and the fact that inertial dampers were reducing the felt forces to about a third of what they should be, each of these Qui’ztar deserved to relax after this. With only a few thousand meters per second of relative velocity left to burn off, and the retro-thrusters maintaining a cool 80 meters per second squared of deceleration, they would all get their moment of peace very soon.
“Is that the Arnehilian settlement?” Hutloxa’s voice cut in through the comms. “It looks really small.”
“Yeup, looks like.” Tens answered while bringing the relevant data up on his HUD. “Just a couple bigger buildings that look like greenhouses, some smaller ones that look like civilian structures, and really simple solar heating and wind energy systems.”
“My systems are telling me there aren’t any defensive systems.” Another of the warrior women added with hints of both confusion and doubt in her voice. “I’ve never seen Grays without some kind of weapons.”
“Remember the brief!” Marz shouted into the brief. “These aren’t Grays, they’re Greens. They’re entirely peaceful and they only have a few personal defense weapons that would barely break our skin.”
“I don’t -ugh-” It sounded like Chu was still struggling with the pressure she was under but was beginning to cope. “I don’t like this. Feels like a trap.”
“Their Mayor said he’s tried to keep his people clear of us.” Despite having more reservation about this situation than he cared to admit, Tens almost hoped he would have the opportunity to meet one of these supposedly peaceful Arnehilians. “But we’ll find out if he actually did it. According to the Admiral, the guy is a total softy and doesn’t like telling people what to do.”
“The ground is coming up fast!” One of the women nervously shouted as Tens noticed his relative velocity gauge showed the mach cones surrounding the mechs were about to dissipate and they would be on the ground in the next few seconds.
“Congratulations, ladies!” Tens shouted in reply as he saw the first mech halt its descent less than a meter off the ground before its massive metal feet could impact the soil. One by one each of the mech stopped just before impact and gently set themselves on to the surface of the planet. “That was your first trip into hell and I hope you enjoyed it!”
There was a chorus of cheers, sighs of relief, and what even sounded like a few tears as 19 of the 20 warrior women began to celebrate their accomplishment. As each of the mechanized walkers shed their re-entry assistance systems, the durable and combat tested thrusters impacted the ground in a series of dull thuds, and complete physical control over the suits was given over the pilots. While a many of the over five meter tall goliaths of metal and poly ceramics jumped up and down, throwing their fist in to air in excitement, some of the others had taken up more leaned forward positions to represent the posture their pilots would be in if they were out of their suits and catching their breath. As the orange and purple sunrise crested the horizon, the Nishnabe warrior couldn’t help but take a moment to simply enjoy the scene around him. Though Tens knew the celebration could and would likely keep going until the recovery shuttle landed to pick them up, he couldn’t help but notice that one of the mech seemed to be staring at the treeline of the clearing.
Quickly interfacing with the sensor system networked into his own, it soon became quite obvious what Captain Marzima was staring at. Just a few dozen meters away, just at the edge of the treeline surrounding the clearing, were four beings which were quickly highlighted on Tens’s HUD and registered as Arnehilian biosignatures. With a quick zoom and directed scan, it became immediately obvious that a small group of children had stuck away from settlement to watch the mechs land. Though they looked quite clean, well fed, and properly cared for, Tens couldn’t shake the feeling that these small, dull-gray beings were somehow different from the silver-skinned bastards whom he hated. It may have been the more healthy, full-figured appearance of their more human-like frames, the simple olive-drab clothing they wore, or possibly even just the more natural appearance of their skin, but they didn’t seem evil at all. Despite the somewhat suspicious nature of beings trying to keep themselves hidden, a smile formed on the Nishnabe warrior’s face as he walked his mech over towards them.
“Hey kids! I can see you!” Tens shouted through his suit’s external speaker system which prompted the children to try to duck behind cover. “The sensors already have you tagged as innocent. You don’t have to hide.”
“Report.” Admiral Atxika’s commanding voice cut into the comms link even though she already knew exactly what was going on.
“Ah, just some kids.” Tens quickly replied with an unbothered tone. “Probably got told to stay away and then did what kids do.”
"I'll contact Mayor Harideth and have him come collect these wayward youth." Atxika replied a bit softer. "Make sure they're safe and uninjured. This planet does have its share of predators."
"You got it." There was real excitement from the warrior as he closed the distance to where the children were still cowering behind cover. "Hey kids, are you alright over there?"
The only reply Tens received as he stopped just a few of his mechs long paces away from the treeline was silence. Despite their attire blending surprisingly well with the lush green forest that surrounded them, the children's attempt to hide behind a large bush was weak at worst and endearing at best. Seeing as they were obviously still afraid of the giant metal machine that was standing just a few meters away, Tens took the initiative, lowered his mech down to a kneeling position, and triggered the cockpit opening procedure.
"Don't be scared." Tens shouted with a caring voice from his now open cockpit. "I've got some snacks for you if you come out."
"But… you're an angel…" One of the children was slowly lifting their head above the bush as they spoke.
"And angels only fall on tyrants and oppressors!" Another child added with an absolutely adorable, squeaky voice while joining the first with their head poking above the bush.
Tens shifted his eyes between the two, unsure of how to respond, but very glad that both children seemed perfectly fine beyond their fear and apprehension. As the other two slowly rose, the Nishnabe warrior opened a small compartment in his cockpit and moved to pull out the promised snacks.
"We… we aren't oppressors…" The child who spoke first was clearly still very concerned about why these angels had fallen so close to her settlement. "Are we?…"
"No, no, no!" Tens quickly answered in the sweetest voice he could muster. "You are innocent children, little ones! You have done nothing wrong. Now, you can eat candied fruit, right?"
"Yes!" The two youngest children shouted in perfect, ecstatic unison.
"But…" The first child, though she was now eying the small packets of treats that Tens had in his hand, obviously still had her reservations. "If we aren't oppressors… Why did you fall so close to our village? Are there oppressors nearby?"
"Ooohhh!" The realization of what was scaring the young girl hit the man like a falling brick. "No, no, no, don't worry, sweetheart. We're just training. Angels have to practice falling so we can do our jobs perfectly when we are called to."
"Huh…" The gray, scaly skinned little girl only looked concerned for a second longer before a huge smile formed across her face and her large blue eyes began to sparkle. "I guess that makes sense. And you all were so beautiful as you fell! Like a wing of fire falling to the ground with the fury of the loving Old Gods!"
"The Old Gods?" Tens half asked while motioning for the children to approach and collect their snacks. "But, more importantly, what are your names, little ones?"
"I'm Valerovum." The first child, who was obviously the leader of this group, announced as she guided the rest from behind the bush and towards Tens and his mech. "And this is Teliuva, Carmoni, and Jokiat."
"It is a pleasure to meet you all." The man bowed slightly before handing the snack packets to Val who then distributed them to her posse. "Do your parents know you're out here? I'm sure they're worried about you."
"Umm…." Val and her gang's eyes grew wide as they realized they might get in trouble for wandering so far away from the safety of their village. However, as if on cue, a new voice called out from the forest behind them.
"Valerovum! Teliuva! Carm-" It sounded like a man was desperately crying out for the young children.
"Over here!" Tens shouted back as loud as he could. "They're safe!"
In the few moments it took for rustling of branches and leaves to close the distance to where Tens and the children were waiting, the kids had already opened their snacks and begun savoring the sweet treats as if it were the very first time they had ever eaten something so sweet. When the olive-drap clad Arnehilian Mayor burst through the bramble, he quickly came to a frozen stop as he saw the four children eating their snacks in front of the Nishnabe warrior and his mechanized walker.
"Mayor Harideth!" Jokiat, the smallest of the four children, ran over the older being, wrapped one of his legs in a tight hug, and then offered the packet of candied fruit up towards him. "This angel has the best snacks I've ever had!"
"They aren't-" The Mayor began before quickly cutting himself off. "Oh, is that right, Jokiat?"
"Yes, yes! You have to try one!" The small child raised the packet of snacks even further towards the Mayor’s dull-gray face.
"They're just candied fruits." Tens clarified after seeing the hints of apprehension on Harideth's face. "They're high in vitamins and sugar content."
“Tha- Thank you!” Harideth took one of the slices of dried, semi-hardened fruit from the package then gave Tens a polite bow before patting Jok on the head lovingly. As he took a delicate bit of the sweet treat, his eyes suddenly grew just as wide as the children’s and he looked like he was eating the most delicious thing he had ever tried.
“Good, right?” The Nishnabe warrior was doing his best to be friendly towards these members of a species that, in any other circumstance, he would have already killed. “I always keep a few packets in my mech just in case I get hungry on a mission.”
“This is wonderful!” The mayor confirmed before bowing again and then redirecting his attention towards the group of children. “Now children, we were worried sick about you! There are predators in this forest. Think about how your mothers would cry if something bad were to happen to you. Let’s get you back to the village before one of those predators finds us.”
“I can escort y’all, if yah want.” Tens chimed in with a genuinely pleasant tone and smile on his face. “I wouldn’t want anything happening to these adorable little ones. If there are predators in this forest, they wouldn’t dare try to attack y’all if me and Loud Bark are with you.”
“Oh, that-” Harideth was about to respectfully decline when Jok interrupted him.
“The angels protect the innocent!” The small child’s shout was quickly followed up by the rest of the children repeating the phrase in near perfect unison. “The angels protect the innocent!”
“That…” The Mayor looked down into Jok’s eyes and saw a sense of hope and serenity that touched his soul before he turned back towards Tens. “That would be quite kind and generous of you. I would truly appreciate it.”
“Tsss! Don’t worry about it!” Tens was all smiles at the prospect of being able to witness a truly peaceful Arnehilian settlement. “It’s gonna be another 30 to 40 minutes before the recovery shuttle gets here, another 20 to 30 minutes to load up all my trainees, and then they can just come pick me up from your village. Besides, angels protect the innocent, right?”
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to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 19:05 SleepyBeanBear Keeping rats cool in hot weather (UK) ?
Its currently 33 degrees in the UK and homes just aren't equiped to deal with such high temperatures - we don't have air con as many warm countries do so the house gradually heats up throughout the day until it's insanely warm and humid
I have a rat that is especially unwell (Been on IV antibiotics and fluids for 3 days and has medication 6 times a day currently) and I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do to keep him cool
Doing the following:
- Fan with ice blocks infront
- Pea fishing bowl in enclosure
- Blinds all closed
- Damp / part frozen blankets which are changed regularly
Anyone else have any tips or do you reckon this will be enough? Anything else would be grateful or many a few of the above tips might help a few others at least
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to RATS [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 18:53 thesagenibba M2 Pro or M2 Air?
I'm looking to upgrade from a 2017 Macbook Pro to either the 2022 M2 Pro or the M2 Air.
Current 2017 specs are:
2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 1536 MB
I have gotten absolutely everything out of this computer, and more. It has no issues right now, except for an obvious decrease in battery life compared to when i first got it. I've been able to very occasionally edit videos on Premiere Pro, save an absurd amount of pictures, do 10-15 hour web browsing days, and 5-8 hours league of legends sessions at (minimum 60)-80+ fps depending on the settings. It's been amazing. I'm looking to do exactly this, on either the Air or the Pro but don't know what to go for. I know either of the two will be an objective upgrade so I'm not really worried.
.8-10hrs of web browsing/homework (twitter, reddit,canvas,zoom) without charging
.League of Legends at 80+ fps regardless of settings if possible
.Little to no fan noise/heat
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to macgaming [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 18:45 otisappleoat New to PC’s! Need help with my budget PC build
I am building a PC and this will be my first PC build. I am wondering if these components would work well together for streaming and playing games like Valorant, Minecraft, and other FPS games like COD or Apex. I am also specifically wondering if every component is compatible with each other and the case. This is also meant to be a budget build and is supposed to cost around $1300. If you think there is something I could do differently please suggest.
Here are the specs:
• Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Smart Case - White (Case)
• Intel Core i5 Core 12400F Desktop Processor 18M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz (CPU)
• GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS Elite AX (LGA 1700/ Intel Z790/ ATX/ DDR5/ Quad M.2/ PCIe 5.0/ USB 3.2 Gen2X2 Type-C/Intel WiFi 6E/ 2.5GbE LAN/Q-Flash Plus/PCIe EZ-Latch/Gaming Motherboard) (Motherboard)
• CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB DDR5 RAM 32GB (2x16GB) 5200MHz CL40 Intel XMP iCUE Compatible Computer Memory - White (CMH32GX5M2B5200C40W) (RAM)
• ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX™ 3060 Ti Twin Edge OC LHR 8GB GDDR6 256-bit 14 Gbps PCIE 4.0 Graphics Card, IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, Active Fan Control, Freeze Fan Stop ZT-A30610H-10MLHR (GPU)
• DeepCool AK620 CPU Air Cooler High-Performance 260w TDP 6 Copper Heat Pipes Dual-Tower CPU Cooler with Fans Each 120mm PWM 1850RPM 68.99CFM for Intel LGA 1700/1200/1151/1150/1155 AMD AM5/AM4 (CPU Cooler)
• WD_BLACK 1TB SN770 NVMe Internal Gaming SSD Solid State Drive - Gen4 PCIe, M.2 2280, Up to 5,150 MB/s - WDS100T3X0E (SSD)
• Corsair CX550F RGB, 550 Watt, 80 PLUS Bronze, Fully Modular RGB Power Supply (PSU
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to PcBuild [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 18:37 Lt91d Anyone else watching Where Dreams Begin / The Youth Memories?
I've been following the drama as it aires and honestly, I'm glad it's not political how many people said it would be, its a great drama, well written, realistic characters, well paced and not too slow and starts picking up real quick.
Although as a fan of Xiao zhan and Li qin ( my reasons to actually start the drama ) along with them all of the cast gave a great performance and I'm currently emotionally invested in it.
For people who are thinking of watching it as a romance drama imma have to disappoint you but the drama is basically written on the lives of these "friends" and how life takes it turns for good and bad for each of them, the romance between the two leads hasn't yet started as of episode 22 but maybe in 2 more episodes we will start seeing the leads finally falling? for each other? so yeah basically don't go in it for the romance watch it for the stories of these characters.
This drama has me currently invested in it emotionally and well xiao zhan's character and his acting really has done it for me again.
Also ending this with a congratulatory wishes to the team for breaking the heat value on tencent. ✨ https://twitter.com/whredreamsbegin/status/1667543411208122368?t=vQV-v6piLuWOM5xkxfXglQ&s=19
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to CDrama [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 18:23 FelicitySmoak_ On This Day In Michael Jackson HIStory - June 10th
| || |1970 submitted by FelicitySmoak_ to MichaelJackson [link] [comments]
- The Jackson 5 perform "The Love You Save" & "ABC" on the Groovy Show TV program in Los Angeles. 1972
- Michael third solo single, "I Wanna be Where You Are", on Motown enters the Billboard US Top 40 singles chart at #38. It will peak at #16 during a 9 week run. 1972
- Lookin' Through the Windows
by The Jackson 5 on Motown Records enters the Billboard US Black Albums Chart where it will peak at #3 during a 29 week run 1975
- “Forever Came Today” is the last official single of the Jackson 5 released by Motown 1979
- Last concert of the first US leg of the Destiny World Tour at the War Memorial Auditorium (now Greensboro Coliseum) in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tour resumes in October 1993
- Michael makes an appearance
at an afternoon rally at a middle school in Los Angeles to launch a new DARE programme called DAREPLUS (‘Play and Learn Under Supervision’) program for the school, an initiative educating children on the perils of substance abuse and gang membership
Jackson was a member of the Board of Directors of DARE (‘Drug Abuse Resistance Education’) and he was presented with a t-shirt for which he said:
“Thank you very much. I love you all. Thank you.”
All members of the 'Challengers Boys & Girls Club' were invited to Neverland 1993
- Michael announces that "HTW"s total earnings of $1.25 million, along with his entire Super Bowl XXVII
proceeds from that year will be funneled to "Heal L.A.", for the children having suffered from the Los Angeles’ riots at the time.
The Big Brothers of Los Angeles give Jackson a rocking chair made by a woman who made them for President Kennedy and the Pope. Another group of children visiting the ranch get a sneak peak preview of Tom & Jerry: The Movie
. The film wasn't scheduled to begin running in theaters until July 30th, but Michael received an advance copy from Joseph Barbera. 1997
- Michael plays the second of two nights
at the Amsterdam Arena (now Johan Cruyff Arena) in Amsterdam,Netherlands , to an audience of 50.000. 1999
- Michael is in Paris, France. He stayed one day at Le Crillon hotel as he shopped around the town on his brief stop there for business related meetings 1999
- It is reported that the opening of the first 'Michael Jackson Dance Studio' (formerly announced as the 'Michael Jackson Entertainment School') happened in Tokyo. Michael couldn't attend the inauguration of the school but planned on going soon. 2002
- Michael Jackson arrives in London and checks in the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. 2003
- Michael finally gives his deposition in Indianapolis before going to Merville, Indiana
Last month, Jackson he fell ill and was hospitalized before he could be deposed in a lawsuit filed by Gordon Keith (who signed the Jackson 5 to his Gary, Indiana-based Steeltown Records in 1967) and musician Elvy Woodard. The men claim that the Jackson 5 used the name of another Gary band and two of their songs without license.
Jackson’s attorney, Bob Meyer, says the suit has no merit, noting that Michael was only 9 years old at the time.
The deposition took place at a hotel from 11:21 a.m. to 5:10 p.m
“Michael was extremely comfortable today,” he said. “He really surprised me.”
Meanwhile, an attorney for the plaintiffs, Norman Reed, described Jackson’s deportment as “jovial,” though he went on to say that Jackson couldn’t answer every question because certain events in question occurred more than three decades ago
Later in the evening, Michael was the main attraction at the Circle Center Mall in Indianapolis, as he tried to make his way through the crowds with his entourage to get a little personal shopping done at Brookstone, while also being followed by a mob of fans.
Michael hires Charles Koppleman as his new business adviser. 2004
- Ray Charles passes away and Michael issues a statement:
"I am saddened to hear of the death of my friend, Ray Charles. He was a true legend...an American Treasure. His music is timeless; his contributions to the music industry...unequaled; and his influence, unparalleled. His caring and humility spoke volumes. He paved the way for so many of us, and I will forever remember him in my heart." 2005
- Jury Deliberations Day 6
Jurors in the trial will be back again on Monday after ending their first full week of deliberations without reaching a verdict
The jurors asked a number of questions today
and also requested to have some testimony read back to them. Judge Melville held at least three meetings with attorneys from each side
Legal experts say the lengthy and complex instructions issued by the Judge may be responsible for the extended deliberations.
"This is a huge, huge celebrity trial, so you can bet that they're going to want to read those jury instructions pretty carefully," said Donna Shestowsky, a law professor at the University of California.
Shari Seidman Diamond, a law professor at Northwestern University, agreed: "Running through these instructions is the use of words that are real words in everyday life that have different legal meanings."
She said that terms such as "attempt," "reasonable" and "conspiracy" have specific meaning in criminal law and "we know that makes instructions harder to deal with."
Diamond said that judges could make jury instructions more palatable but rarely did so as they were more concerned with making sure the instructions were unflawed and would not lead to a reversal on appeal.
Peter Tiersma, a member of the California Judicial Council's task force on criminal jury instructions, said it was easier for a judge to simply copy the text of a legal opinion or of a statute in the instructions.
He said that no matter how dense or incomprehensible the instructions were, "if you changed it, you risked getting it wrong."
As an example, Diamond pointed out that the explanation of 'reasonable doubt' was buried on page 45 of the instructions, which offered little explanation of why jurors should ignore certain pieces of evidence.
About 2,200 journalists received press credentials to cover the Michael Jackson trial, more than the O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson trials combined.
Major TV networks have committed dozens of staff members and some news organizations have even installed land lines, fearing that the explosion of phone calls following a verdict could jam the region's cell phone networks.
Reporters from every continent except Antarctica are covering the story, a reminder that Michael's popularity remains intense outside the US. News organizations from more than 30 countries were represented
"The appetite for Michael Jackson is insatiable," said Graeme Massie, who has covered the trial for Splash
, a British news agency. "In the U.S., people may believe that Jackson's star has fallen, but in Europe it still shines brightly."
The case is being closely watched in Japan where they are thinking of moving to a jury system.
"People in Japan are interested in the King of Pop, but they also want to know how the jury will treat celebrities," said Wataru Ezaki, who works for a Japanese news organization in Southern California. "They want to see if jurors can be fair. It's a very unique case."
Deliberations will resume Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. 2009
- AllGood Entertainment Inc. filed a $40 million lawsuit against Michael claiming breach of contract and fraud in an attempt to stop Jackson from performing in London. The New Jersey-based company filed the suit in federal court in New York stating that it signed a deal with Jackson's manager, Frank DiLeo for a pay per view reunion concert with the other Jackson siblings 2013
- Jackson v AEG Trial Day 26
Katherine Jackson was at court for the morning session Randy Phillips Testimony Jackson direct
Panish showed a June 20th email from Tim Leiweke (CEO of AEG) to Dan Beckerman (CFO/COO of AEG) in which Beckerman described Phillips as jittery:
"Trouble with Michael. Big trouble."
"I figured something might be wrong given how jittery Randy has been this week. Is it "pre-show nerves" bad or "get a straight jacket/call our insurance carrier" bad?"
Phillips said he was not jittery, but concerned with the show. Jittery meaning shaking and he said he doesn't think that's how he was.
Phillips said Dr. Murray receiving $150k per month being the cause of Michael's sickness in June of 2009 never crossed his mind
Phillips said he did not recall what was discussed in a phone conversation with Murray. In his video deposition that was shown to the jury, Phillips first said the conversation lasted three minutes. He was shown phone records that showed it lasted 25 minutes. Phone records show Phillips had a 25 minute phone call with Conrad Murray after Kenny Ortega's emails on June 20, 2009. Phillips said he didn't think the call lasted that long, doesn't recall what they talked about. "It's very possible I might have even read him these emails," Phillips testified, referring to the "Trouble at the Front" chain. "I would not have discussed his health other than what it was in the content of the emails"
Phillips said everyone in the This Is It production got a list with everyone's phone numbers. He doesn't know how Dr. Murray got the list. Phillips was asking about how Conrad Murray got his home phone number. He initially said it might have been on a list given to tour personnel. Phillips then said that Murray may have gotten it from Jackson's former manager, Frank Dileo. Phillips testified that Dr. Murray called his home number. Panish showed picture of the business card Phillips gave Dr. Murray with his cell number on the back. The card was found in the doctor's car.
Panish then asked Phillips about an email he sent director Kenny Ortega, telling him Murray was "unbiased and ethical", the email serves as Phillips' best recollection of his conversation with Dr. Murray. This morning, Panish frequently asked Randy Phillips whether he was truthful with Ortega.
Panish: "Did you make that up and lie to Mr. Ortega?"
Phillips: "No, I don't lie"
Panish talked about email Phillips wrote to Ortega on Jun 20:
"Kenny, it's critical that neither you, me or anyone else around this show become amateur psychiatrist or physicians. I had a lengthy conversation with Dr. Murray, who I'm gaining immense respect for as I get to deal with him more. He said that Michael is not only physically equipped to perform and, that discouraging him to, will hasten his decline instead of stopping it. Dr. Murray also reiterated that he's mentally able to and was speaking to me from the house where he has spent the morning with Michael. This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he is totally unbiased and ethical. It is critical we surround Michael with love and support and listen to how he wants to get ready for July 13th... You cannot imagine the harm and ramifications of stopping this show now. It would far outweigh "calling this game in the 7th inning". I'm not just talking about AEG's interests here, but the myriad of stuff/lawsuits swirling around Michael that I crisis manage every day and also his well-being. I am meeting with him today at 4p at the Forum. Please stay steady. Enough alarms have sounded. It is time to out out the fire, not burning the building down. Sorry for all the analogies. Randy"
Phillips said he thought Dr. Murray was extremely successful based on the clinics he had and business he would've to close to go on tour.
Phillips: "It was an assumption I made"
Panish: "And that was not true, correct?"
Phillips: "In retrospect, that's correct"
As to the "we check everyone out" reference in the email, Panish asked if that was a true statement or untrue.
Phillips: "It's not, it's hard to say yes or no on that. It is not true because everyone would imply everyone"
Panish: "'We check everyone out'" is a false statement you wrote to Mr. Ortega, correct?"
Phillips: "In retrospect, yes"
Panish asked about the reference "he doesn't need the gig". "I made another assumption based on the information I had," Phillips explained, "I didn't have any basis to say he was unbiased and ethical"
Panish used the email to try to show that 3 people _ Ortega, Murray and John Hougdahl _ were warning Phillips about Jackson's health. Phillips said Murray didn't agree with the assessments of Michael's health by Ortega and Hougdahl (the tour production manager). After multiple questions, Phillips said many of the statements in the email about Murray weren't true. Those statements included that AEG Live checked everyone out, and that Murray was an accomplished doctor who was unbiased and ethical. "At the time, I thought it was the truth", Phillips said of the above statements
Phillips testified he wrote email to Sony exec asking her to remind him to tell her where Dr Murray was the night he was to be caring for Michael. Judge only allowed plaintiffs' attorney to say it was a social establishment, but the place was a strip club
Panish then asked Phillips about the suggestion that Jackson needed a psychiatrist. Phillips confirmed what he said last week -- he never consulted a psychiatrist. He said today it wouldn't have been appropriate. As to having a mental health professional, "no one brought a psychiatrist," Phillips said, "because Michael didn't need one"
Phillips testified he had conflicting information coming from Dr. Murray and Kenny Ortega regarding Michael. Panish pressed Phillips about the fact that he sent completely opposite emails to Ortega and AEG high ups. "It was because they were sent for different purposes," Phillips explained. Of the statements to Ortega, Phillips told the jury:
"I just wanted to calm things down until we had this meeting"
Before the morning break, Panish showed some of the emails he showed Phillips last week. Panish only had his copy, which had notes on it. Panish gave Phillips his annotated version of the email, but Phillips refused to look at them. Flipped them over so he couldn't see them. "I don't want to help you with your case", Phillips said of reviewing Panish's annotated copies of the emails. That brought some laughter. Phillips was ultimately given a clean copy of the emails, provided by his defense lawyers.
Phillips said he remembers the meeting on June 20th lasted at least an hour. Dr. Murray and Phillips were sitting on one couch, Michael was on a bench and Ortega on another couch. In his deposition, Phillips said Ortega talked about Michael's physical and mental status. On the stand today, Phillips explained Ortega did very little talking in the meeting. "He addressed Michael coming to rehearsals. I do not believe he talked about Michael's physical condition and mental state. Dr. Murray did most of the talking," Phillips testified.
Panish pressured Phillips about him changing the testimony. "My memory is getting better about the events of four years ago," Phillips said. "The purpose of the meeting was to find out what was happening with Michael because of the events on the 19th"
Panish: "Did Mr. Ortega say he was concerned Michael was not getting enough sleep?"
Phillips: "I don't remember if he asked that question. I know he asked about the food, but I'm not sure if he asked about the sleep"
Panish: "Dr. Murray contradicted what Ortega said in the email, correct, sir?"
Phillips: "Yes, Dr. Murray, said there wasn't anything wrong with Michael. Michael said there wasn't anything wrong with Michael. I don't know if there was a mental problem"
Without getting into details, Phillips said Ortega and Murray "were a little combative" at the meeting. Phillips said Murray reassured everyone that Jackson's health was fine. He said Jackson also assured them nothing was wrong with him. He said Murray told the group that Jackson may have had the flu, or some similar ailment. He said Jackson's health was discussed. Phillips said he couldn't recall whether Jackson's sleep issues were discussed. A portion of Randy Phillips' deposition was played in which he said sleep issues were discussed at the June 20, 2009 meeting
The meeting happened in the afternoon, Phillips said. Panish asked if Michael was shaking in that meeting. Phillips said "No, not at all" A vase was broken in one of the production meetings, Phillips explained. He said Frank Dileo, Paul Gongaware & himself were present. Phillips said he doesn't know who broke the vase, but he thinks it may have been Frank DiLeo. Phillips denied a vase was broken during the June 20th meeting at Michael's house.
Panish: "Did you have a meeting with Michael where you threatened to pull the plug and take everything he had?"
Panish: "Did you tell him he would lose everything, including his children, if the show didn't happen?"
Phillips:"That's ridiculous, no"
Phillips said Michael was a phenomenal father & denied ever saying to anyone at the meeting that Michael was on skid row or going to become homeless.
Panish: "Did you ever tell Michael you were paying for his toilet paper?"
Phillips denied that Murray said during the June 20th meeting that he "couldn't take it anymore." Phillips denied that Murray's contract was discussed at the meeting, saying that would have been inappropriate.
Phillips was also again asked about emails a couple of AEG executives (former CEO Tim Leiweke and Dan Beckerman) traded about him. The email described Randy Phillips as jittery, and alluded to either him or Jackson having a "mental breakdown." Phillips denied he was having a mental breakdown, and said he didn't want to put words in the other executives' mouths. In the deposition played to the jury, Tim Leiweke said the reference to "mental breakdown" in the email could've been to Randy Phillips not Michael. Panish played depo of Dan Beckerman, in which he said he didn't recall what prompted him to say Phillips was jittery.
Panish: "Did you think that Michael needed a straight jacket?"
Phillips: "It was a generic comment"
Phillips said it was a question of "stage fright and the show will go on" or "I can't do this let's cancel" scenario.
Panish: "Do you think Michael needed a straight jacket?"
Phillips: "No, I don't think Michael needed a straight jacket"
Regarding the straight jacket email, Phillips said the way he read it he can't tell if it was referring to him or Michael. Panish pointed out that insurance was only if Michael had a break down, not Phillips. Thus, the email must've referred to Michael
Questioning then moved back to the June 20th meeting, with Phillips describing Murray as "demonstrative" toward director Kenny Ortega. Phillips said Murray's message to Ortega was essentially "stay in your lane" and not to interfere with medical issues. "The meeting got a little bit heated when Dr. Murray was admonishing Kenny," Phillips recalled, but said hostile is too harsh of a word. Phillips said lack of sleep was discussed in the June 20th meeting, but wasn't the main focus. Phillips said the reason of the meeting was to find out what happened in the night before, what was the issue and also Michael missing rehearsals. Phillips said Michael had the best two rehearsals after the June 20th meeting. "Kenny told Michael to take the next two days off, spend some time with the kids," Phillips testified.
Phillips was then asked about emails he sent to Leiweke, others, about the results of the June 20th meeting at Jackson's house. This was after Jackson's attorney, John Branca, earlier in the day had suggested a counselor to work with Jackson. Phillips email:
"Anyway, things are not as bleak as Kenny's emails. John, now is not the right time to introduce a new person into his life"
After this email is when Phillips made the "badgering" comment to Panish that prompted Judge Palazuelos' admonition to him.
Suddenly, judge decides to take a break at 2:24 pm and sends the jury out of the courtroom. Outside the presence of the jurors, judge admonished Phillips for not answering the questions asked. "Mr. Phillips you need to answer questions," said Judge Yvette Palazuelos, frustrated. "Lawyers are trying to getting the answers." Judge told Phillips that arguing with the lawyers isn't really going to help his case, it will just lengthen his testimony. She noted his testimony is taking much longer than expected, and at this pace he will be here for another week. Phillips told the judge he's just trying not to say the wrong things or be caught in tricky questions. Judge: "It seems like they are pretty straight forward questions, but when you offer info, it may not be good for you"
AEG's attorney Jessica Bina defends Phillips saying the questions are compound, but that she believes he's trying to answer the questions. Panish said he wants to finish today, that he hasn't argued with the witness or judge. "I really tried hard, for me, it's hard!" Panish said. Phillips said he understood and wants to go back to work as well. Promised to be better.
Phillips said the email he wrote saying "this guy is trying to concern me" was referring to Kenny Ortega. "I had two concerns: wanted Kenny to be open minded until the meeting and I didn't want Kenny to quit," Phillips explained. At this point they were about $30 million plus in advance, Panish said. Phillips said it was about $28 million, which was a lot of money.
Email on 3/13/09 from Leiweke to Phillips:
"Phil (Anschutz) can be such a paranoid scrooge. He thinks he's smarter than everyone"
After a break and admonition, Phillips testified about some of his concerns surrounding the show.He said he was concerned about Ortega. Phillips said he was concerned that Ortega as getting into an "entrenched position" regarding Jackson's health and rehearsals.
"I was also quite concerned that Kenny would throw up his hands in the air and quit."
The CEO was talking directly to the jury. Phillips said again that his concern with Ortega was that he wasn't going into the meeting with an open mind and that he was going to quit. Panish played Phillips deposition where he said he didn't remember what he was concerned about regarding Ortega. "I think my answer today is clarification," Phillips said, adding he did not change his testimony. Panish questioned whether his description was something he "just remembered right now." Phillips responded, "I'm remembering a lot of things now." Panish shot back that Phillips hadn't remembered many things during his deposition.
In his depo, played to the jury, Phillips said there were no discussions on June 20th about Michael taking a couple of days off. However, in court today, Phillips testified Ortega suggested that he take two days off
After the June 20th meeting, Jackson took two days off and resumed rehearsals. At that point, Phillips began working out of Staples Center. Phillips said one of the changes to come out of the June 20th meeting was that he would be at Staples, looking in on rehearsals.
Phillips was also shown an email from his assistant, looking for a physical therapist for Jackson on June 22, 2009
At this point, Phillips was asked about Arnold Klein. He was shown a June 23rd email from Jackson's business manager Michael Kane. Kane:
"On the list of doctors that will help get (us) from today to the opening night, where does Arnold Klein stand on the list?"
Phillips responded about Klein:
"He scares us to death because he is shooting him up with something"
"Well since we owe him $48k and he wants payment maybe I should stop paying him and he'll stop shooting him up. I have the details of what he is doing"
Phillips told jurors the email was a response to a $48,000 bill that Jackson's manager received for the treatments by Dr. Arnold Klein. The treatments included numerous shots of cosmetic drugs such as Restalyne and botox, as well as other unidentified intramuscular shots, Phillips said, citing the bill. Phillips said he maintains his position that he didn't know what, if anything, any doctor was giving Michael.
Phillips was asked about Jackson's rehearsals on June 23 and 24. He said he couldn't remember which songs were performed which day. Phillips said he watched them in its entirety, which lasted about 3 hours. He said Michael was engaged about an hour and a half to two hours.
Panish: "Michael never did the whole show, did he, sir?"
Phillips: "No, he wouldn't have, they were not ready for that"
Panish: "Was Michael cold on the 23rd?"
Phillips: "I don't remember"
Panish: "Did you ever see Michael walking around in blankets?"
Phillips: "It's possible, because the place was freezing. But I don't remember"
On 6/25/09 the insurance broker wrote to Dr. Murray at 12:54:15 pm, probably London time (approximately 5am LA time):
" We are dealing with a matter of great importance and your urgent attention would be greatly appreciated"
The email talked about getting Michael's medical records. Phillips said he learned from the media that Dr. Murray had been treating Michael since 2006.
Panish: "This is Dr. Murray doing something to help AEG get insurance, fair enough?"
Phillips: "Fair enough"
On 8/18/09 Phillips wrote email to Michael Roth:
"I think I know what Michael died of and this would exonerate Conrad"
Lionel Richie's ex-wife Brenda called Philips and said Michael died of a combination of other drugs and Propofol. Phillips said he never told police, the DA or Dr. Murray's attorneys about it because he thought the info was not reliable.
Panish: "Did you want Dr. Murray to get exonerated?"
Phillips: "I'd always want an innocent man not to get convicted"
Panish played video of Phillips' deposition where he said he didn't remember what the information was but his memory has been refreshed
Judge then adjourned session for the day. Trial resumes tomorrow morning. Panish said he has one more hour of questioning. The attorneys estimated Phillips will be done testifying by Wednesday afternoon Court Transcript
2023.06.10 18:19 steponeloops Bubbles in hardboard lamination - what to do?
I've got a 2nd hand hard board (JP allwater race carbon 14x26.5) and only after the purchase I noticed 2 bubbles on the bottom (I was too much fixated on searching holes/dings I suppose :)
The bubbles are nowhere near fins, handle etc where the board could have drawn water, i think, and the bubbles seem
to be filled with air, i suppose (can be compressed).
I suppose the bubbles are mainly an optical issue but if I would want to fix them: what would the pro's do?
- Try to put something heavy on the bubbles, maybe try to "iron" them out with moderate warmth/heat? I suppose this won't work because hardened epoxy won't melt!?
- Maje tiny holes in the bubbles and inject adhesive with a syringe, put something heavy onto the bubble till the adhesive has dried? If this: what kind of adhesive?
Thank you in advance, s https://i.imgur.com/46RZSLY.jpg https://i.imgur.com/d0OpVuk.jpg
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2023.06.10 18:02 usernames-are-tricky Ventilation shutdown is a method of mass killing farm animals. Air circulation is stopped leading to heatstroke and suffocation after multiple hours in high heat. Known recordings for pigs show sustained screaming and signs of distress
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2023.06.10 18:01 milestonegem Any substitutions for plastic storage containers for footwear under the bed? My boots got mold from all the heat and lack of air circulation
I had my boots stored in a plastic container underneath the bed if that makes sense. I’m not too happy about the mold but it cleared out quickly with a couple wipes.
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2023.06.10 17:55 Kawentzmann Ways to keep cool in the summer heat 😎🌞
2023.06.10 17:48 cutoffscum What Are The Best Aftermarket Accessories For Gen 3 Tacomas.
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My 2020 SR5 Limited V6 Crew Cab 4X4 has received the below aftermarket accessories. submitted by cutoffscum to ToyotaTacoma [link] [comments]
3 inch levelling with brake line relocating kit. All factory lights been changed over to LED Window rain guards with hood guard. TRD wheels with 255/75/R17 tires. TRD weather guard floor mats. Toyota seat covers front and back. Mirror caps mat black in colour. Dash mat/cover. TRD red door hinge covers. Wheel well rubber striping with engine bay splash guards. OME fog lights with LED bulbs. Tacoma Beast wiring with OME switches. TRD shifter. Tacoma Beast mat black interior knob chrome delete heat, air con, fan speed. Bed support bars. LED bed lights kit.
2023.06.10 17:18 Bunny22222222 Took my reactive dog on vacation
So last month I took my reactive pitbull terrier mix on my road to see my sisters college graduation. It was a 10 hour drive there and back, and he was nothing but amazing. He basically just laid down the entire time! When we went to truck stops to get some fresh air & let him potty it was a breeze! He was so happy to be able to smell everything & see new scenery. We ended up taking him to Sunset Beach in NC which is dog friendly twice! We had to go on a narrow boardwalk to get to the beach, and even an off leash corgi came running up to him(I didn’t even notice because it came from the back), and he stayed calm & didn’t try to attack!(we had a muzzle and his prong collar so he couldn’t even if he reacted). we had a nice time sun bathing & going in shallow end of the water. He only got reactive once (we probably saw over 30ish dogs there) & he stopped it fairly quick with a little distraction& treats. He was amazing in our pet friendly air bnb. We crated him up when we left (nothing more than 4hours) & over all he seemed pretty calm. Definitely motivates me to bring him out more, and makes me genuinely excited for what our future together can be. I feel like I genuinely put a lot of blood sweat in tears into this dog when I found him hanging dumped from a fence. It’s been over a year and a half now, and honestly couldn’t of asked more of him. He definitely seems happy out of the city & to see some grass and sand haha.
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2023.06.10 16:48 TheBlackCycloneOrder If You Gamble Against a Man With a Hat for a Face, Know What Your Wager Is
All I ever wanted was for my wife and I to live comfortably. But the longer we stayed together, the higher our bills increased. We’d already fought off debts from college, barely scraping by. Even after we paid them off, we were only able to afford a tiny apartment on the outskirts of New York City.
Sidewalks laid cracked everywhere while condemned buildings sat sadly against their crooked foundations. Crooked lampposts would hang only by electrical wires. Graffiti marked every street corner in bland art that existed without rhyme or reason. Homeless people could be found on every street corner, a constant reminder of what would happen if my wife and I failed to keep up with our payments.
However, I managed to make somewhat decent money as a plumber. But even then, it sometimes wasn’t enough to deal with loan sharks, the hefty utility bills, food prices, and gas money. I was willing to do anything to get us out.
And that is where I encountered gambling. I was willing to take the risks. I’d take any chance to obtain a reward, even just a small one. It started out with just a handful of poker games. Then I moved on to scratch tickets and slot machines. All I needed was enough to get by. Unfortunately, obtaining a payday from the casinos was impossible. I started growing desperate, which only led to more debt. The whole cycle sucked me down like Odysseus’ ship in Charybdis’ maw. And just like that, my relationship with my wife began to tear us apart.
My wife and I were once so close together. Before we married, there would be days where we’d work together at wood shops, creating 3D prints of various sci-fi characters and video games. Other times we’d study the components of circuits and use them to create elaborate lighting displays whenever Christmas arrived. Our wedding day was supposed to be the greatest day of our lives. Instead of relying on the help of others back like we did in college, we relied on ourselves.
But my actions tore all that apart. I didn’t know what else to do, either.
A few nights ago, I arrived at my shitty apartment, having completed a ten hour shift fixing the drains of several upper class folks. I rested my hand on the knob, expecting the worst from my wife. Sighing, I pushed the door. The moment I did, she was already in the front hall. Her eyes were scrunched and she was holding a bank statement, smacking it for emphasis.
“Care for an explanation?” She demanded.
I rubbed my temples, removing my scum covered overalls and plopping them right into the nearest laundry hamper. We locked eyes. Breaking eye contact with her would only ignite her anger further. She was holding another piece of evidence of my failures. My failure to strike it rich. All I could do was stand there sheepishly, tail tucked behind me, and wait to get ripped a new one. No words could come out of my mouth.
She marched up to me, holding it in my face. “Frank, you wasted three-thousand dollars at the casino AGAIN?!” my wife bellowed.
I set my tool box down and washed the pipe gunk from my hands, looking down just for a bit.
“Turn around and look me in the eyes.”
Resting a hand on my eyes, I glanced over at her petite frame. Then, I began to speak. “We can live comfortably if you just give-“
“Enough of the excuses! We nearly lost our apartment twice by you betting on slots, you wasted our heating money on roulette, and now this!”
I held up my hands reassuringly. “Look, just let me figure this out! I’ll think of some way to get the money!”
“You’d better. Otherwise we’re getting a divorce. Got it?”
Without another word, I put on a casual outfit, exiting for some fresh air. Shutting the door behind me, I gazed back at the unpolished apartment number on the frame. Wincing, I clenched a fist and descended the rickety stairs. Eventually, my boots hit the cracked pavement, and I headed off.
I had only made it a few blocks from my apartment, when I noticed shadows lurking in one of the alleyways. Picking up my stride, I try to evade the figures. They drew closer and closer. My stride changed into a sprint. Another alleyway comes into my sights. I make a break for it, hoping for an opportunity to escape. Only a dead end greets me. Before long, the figures cornered me. The light from a street lamp illuminated two shady faces. Loan sharks. Before I could react, the duo held me up by my throat.
“What the hell are you guys doing?!” I strained, feebly kicking back one of the thugs. He jammed a fist right under my rib cage. My lips pursed as I lost my breath. The other grabbed me by the chin, grinning like a maniac and revealing his tobacco rotted jaw. I gulped.
“Frank, calm down. Take it easy,” every word he said ground my inner ears. Brown saliva sprayed on my cheeks. “We just want to have a little talk…” I didn’t have the courage to speak up. All I could do was let them tell me everything.
“Your landlord is getting rather impatient with your payments. We just came to send a little message. He has some demands.” The other guy snarled.
I tugged on my collar. “What…demands?”
“The landlord wants you to cough up $18,000 for your next payment!”
My hands grew clammy. Were they out of their minds? I was a plumber, not a heart surgeon! I didn’t have that kind of money! Besides, the rent was only $500 a month.
“You have until the end of the month,” one of the goons croaked.
That was only two weeks! I couldn’t have made that kind of money with such constraints! I’d barely be able to afford food and electricity! Negotiating was out of the question. God knows what would have happened to me if I dared speak up.
“The landlord has given you chance after chance to pay up. But you’ve never followed through. He’s let it slide for three months. You haven’t paid shit in that time frame. Do you realize how much he has to pay for his own apartment? If you fail to pay at that time, there will be consequences…” He makes a capiche gesture.
I nodded. The moment I complied, they released me, disappearing into the smog.
I stood outside a graffiti covered subway station, pacing around, hands in my pockets. My fists constricted as I pounded a nearby wall. There’s no way I would have been able to make that kind of money! Craps were too unpredictable, arcade machines were always rigged, and roulette was too high in stakes. Seeing red, I screamed and kicked a wall as hard as I could. My foot throbbed and once I was done with my fit, I broke down sobbing. The sidewalk darkened with my tears. I pressed my head against it, clawing at it until my fingernails turned crimson.
Then, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Wiping the tears away, I glanced over my shoulder. A card was lying on the floor. Its borders were covered in green dollar symbols. The rest of the card was a silver color shiny enough to reflect my face in it. Written in gold letters were the following:
ACES HIGH CASINO
WIN ONE ROUND OF BLACKJACK
AND EARN FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!
NO MONETARY WAGER NEEDED
My eyes lit up. All I had to do was win one game of blackjack, and I’d be rich? Dimples formed on my cheeks and I pumped my fist. I nearly clicked my heels in joy, but decided against it. I’d already caused enough of a scene already, and I wanted to make sure nobody knew my secret. When I flipped it around, it had an address also written in golden letters.
Despite the address being in an unknown area, I still managed to pull it up on my phone’s map and arrived without any struggle. The casino itself was a pigsty, to say the least. Smokers polluted the air in the prison gray interior. Slot machines with broken lights clicked and whirred while cheap dice clattered against tables with peeling felt. Meanwhile, the concrete floor was covered in colonies of roaches while neglected beer bottles sat against the rungs of several tables. The only thing that was kept well was the bar and a room draped with navy blue curtains with golden sashes. Emblazoned above the doorway was the number 777.
This was the first time I had entered a casino smiling. For once, I thought that this was my lucky night.
When I pushed the curtains away, they revealed a room with ornate black wallpaper, an assortment of oak desks and other furniture. The walls were covered in fine Baroque paintings. On the floor was a single blue carpet covered in opulent tapestry. I followed the back wall to a single dealer table coated in green felt. Two seats were present with one patron taking the seat on the left. He was shaking with what I assumed was excitement.
Behind him was the dealer, a trim man with long blond hair and a top hat over his nose and eyes. He wore a dapper tuxedo free of blemishes that shimmered in the light of a single hanging glass lamp. His skin was pure and free of moles, glistening with slight amounts of glitter.
“Why, hello there…” The man spoke in a voice slicker than the gel in his hair. “Are you here to win big?” Unlike the loan sharks, his teeth were cleaner than a freshly washed plate.
“Yup. Deal me in.” I said, straightening my back, shuffling into the last seat. The other player had his jaw locked together. His eyes were drooping and bloodshot. Sweat pooled around his brow like glass beads. Just like him, I always felt nervous about losing, so their reaction was understandable.
“You know the rules of blackjack. I deal out cards. You can say ‘hit me’ if you want more cards. Get closest to twenty one without going over. Dealer only draws two cards. And you can also surrender your cards for half your bet. When you don’t want any more cards, say the word ‘stand.’” The dealer said, shuffling the cards through his hands and manipulating them like a sculptor with a ceramic pot.
I double blinked. Wager? “What do I bet with?”
The mysterious man just focused on passing out his cards. First, he brought out two cards for himself and dealt two more to each player. Instantly, he flipped over his cards. A jack and a king. Twenty.
I clutched the velvet backed cards, seeing what I was dealt.
A ten and a seven of hearts. I forced my face into a neutral smile. My stomach twisted. There was no way I could get twenty one that easily. “Surrender,” I said, pushing my cards to the dealer. All he did was reshuffle the cards and toss me two more. They didn’t even bother looking back up at me during the process.
The other player started clutching his stomach. My smile vanished. I carefully looked over the left guy’s cards. A seven and a two of clubs.
“Hit me…” the guy on the left choked out. An ace of spades. A total of ten. Sweat trickled down his head like a shower in April. His eyes welled up with tears while foam developed around his mouth. I raised a brow, wondering what his deal was.
I knew the stakes of gambling, but my sixth sense kept telling me something was just not right. No. That couldn’t be true. Even if there was some kind of string attached or fine print I didn’t read, I couldn’t risk giving up that money. Besides, this might have been my only chance to obtain such a vast award without much risk.
“Hit me…” The man wheezed. A five of hearts. His teeth chattered.
While I waited for my turn, I stood up and walked around the room, getting a closer look at all the ornate gadgets and such. My eyes focused on a painting on the leftmost wall. It resembled a man in rich military regalia. But something made my hair stand on end. Their upturned white mustache looked damp, and their face sagged like they were crying. Linear, stick-like shadows were cast on the sleeves. Edging forward, they came into focus.
Hands. I followed their forms outward, which extended into oily, dripping arms.
“Husssssssssh…” A faint noise echoed from somewhere in the room.
“What?” I mouthed, turning an ear to the source.
“Husssssssssh…” It came from the painting. I backed away, hands out at my sides. Was someone dragged in that painting?
“Where are you going? You forgot to pay up!” The dealer yelled back, hands slamming on the table and pulling out a sack of navy blue poker chips.
I double took. “I thought the card said there was no monetary wager needed?”
Then, I looked at the ground. There was a second rug on the ground. The tapestry matched, but its patterns didn’t match with the other rug. It was off center from the rest of the decorations, like someone didn’t even bother setting it up properly. Taking a closer look, I could hear faint whispers coming from it, too. When I looked back up, the guy on the left was gone. I rushed over, checking his cards. A total of twenty five.
Swallowing saliva, I stood in confusion, wondering what to do next. I scraped my fingernails against my palms. I needed that money. If I didn’t get it, I’d lose my wife and my apartment. And what about the loan sharks? Only God knew what would happen to me if I didn’t pay up. What was I going to do? What would happen if I lost? Would I turn into another object just like the other guy? Or would I be in for a worse fate?
“That’s because there isn’t a MONETARY wager. I’m still taking half of what you owe.”
A sharp pain punched my left side. My left side felt heavier than before, like my veins were replaced with tungsten. I grabbed my fingers around my chest. The area around the pain almost felt solid like a tumor. Brushing around the area, I could make out a cylindrical mass. I tried to inspect it some more, but the pain overwhelmed me, and I crumpled to the ground.
I crouched down on all fours, trying to get back to my seat, but the pain froze me in place. Reaching out a hand, I called out for help. Nothing.
Slithering away, I pulled back the curtains to the entrance of the casino. I spat on the ground from the bludgeoning pain.
“Don’t feel out of luck. You can still surrender once more and you still have two chances left!” The dealer smiled, adjusting his hat. It was only a glimpse, but I caught a look at his upper face. His eyes were on his hat and his forehead was blank. The dealer looked like they were plucked straight out of an Alice in Wonderland book. What or who was this dealer?
“Think long and hard about this. I saw you arguing with your wife. And those ruffians nearly killed you.”
I clambered back to my seat. I still didn’t know what that dealer did to me. Something in me forced me to get back up and keep playing. More questions ate at me the longer I played. How did he know that information?
Then, I remembered feeling a tap back at Grand Central Station. And the card that brought me here. He couldn’t have been human. Was he some kind of demon? I didn’t bother asking. There wasn’t any way he would spill the beans about his nature.
After what seemed like hours, I managed to writhe back into my seat, slumping over the table like I’d just had the worst hangover.
“Ready to try again?” The charming man said, resting his chin on his interlocked hands.
Reluctantly, I gave him a thumbs up. He took back the cards and began manipulating the split deck once more. I analyzed every move he made. None of the cards were tricked. He wasn’t second dealing and didn’t have any aces up his sleeve. Never revealed anything under the table, either. The only thing that brought me reassurance was that he was honest. Still, keeping an eye out was critical.
The dealer revealed his cards. Two tens again. One of spades, one of hearts. His face was harder than diamond and glowed like one, too. Not a pleasing glow, but one that would hex anyone that dared gaze at it for too long.
I looked at my cards. An ace and a seven. Eighteen. Gripping my lower abdomen, I stayed crumpled in agony. The odds of getting a blackjack were slim and the stabbing pain skewed my thoughts.
“Surrender…” I wheezed. The words slipped out of my mouth like the dying breath of a wounded soldier. The dealer smiled, holding a pile of blue poker chips around him. He waved his hand over the mound and made an inaudible chant. Then, they vanished.
I held my hands over my face, bracing myself. Suddenly, the pain doubled, shifting to my right like a mudslide down a hill. Now I knew everything the previous player was going through.
I vomited out something hard and blue. A poker chip. Suddenly, my guts turned and another seven spilled out. My esophagus wound itself into knots more contorted than cobwebs. “I…forfeit!”
The man started to smile. “Without these?” With a thud, the hat faced dealer pulled out a jar filled with a kidney and a piece of liver. They still were oozing with blood that plumed and fit their containers. I remembered how the dealer said that there was no monetary wager. He never said there wasn’t a wager at all. My wager…was my organs.
“You want them back? Win them.” He set them back on the ground.
Now there was no choice. My fate was sealed if I tried to leave. I started to shed tears. If I didn’t get these organs back and fast, I was done for. Even if someone saw me passed out on the floor, finding donors for organs wasn’t guaranteed. And even then, I’d be put further in debt. Nothing would be solved. Then again, was trying to beat this guy even worth it? No. The reward was too great. Taking a few deep breaths, I sat back down. Reluctantly, I asked that he proceed.
The dealer drew out cards just like before. He took the cards and gave them a good shuffle. Plucking two cards out of the stack, he revealed them. A king and a nine. Another poker chip tumbled out my throat. I spat it out in a red and blue plastic heap. Not paying attention to the mess I made, he handed me two cards. A jack and a two. Twelve.
“Hit…me.” An ace. Aces could count as one or eleven depending on what other cards were drawn. I still had a fighting chance.
“Hit me.” A five.
His dead stare tore at my soul. I scratched against the felt, the wounds in my fingers reopening. From the corner of my eyes, I could see him frowning. “Are you going to play, or do you want all that money to go to waste?”
I gritted my teeth. “Shut up…Hit me…” Swallowing saliva, I watched the dealer play out my last card. A queen.
“You lose.” The dealer said coldly, grabbing a pile of poker chips and holding them close. He waved his hand over the mound and made another incantation. Then, they vanished once more. Everywhere at once, burning pain sears my skin, making me blackout.
When I wake up and feel my arms, they are covered in something hard, blue and plastic. My clothes were gone. I examined my extremities and my torso.
My skin was missing and replaced with poker chips. They were shaped to fit every part of my body. Cracks filled with blood gushed out with each slight movement I made. Horrified, I spilled my guts. More poker chips slid out my throat. Piles of skin laid clumped on the side of the table in hideous pink and blood red sheets.
“I think you know what’s at stake now. One try left. Better make it count. You want to end up in an object for an eternity?” He taunted.
The rigidity of my plastic coated skin made each movement expose more of the cracks, searing my muscles. I groaned as I raised myself up. Crimson liquid dampened the table. I pounded at the table. This was it. I either walked out with my money and saved my marriage and tied up all those knots. Or I lost and suffered a fate worse than death. Giving up was not an option. I gave the mysterious man a death glare, not even bothered by his resistance.
He plucks out two cards. A nine and a ten. This was my chance.
Then, my cards were revealed. A ten and a two. Fingers rattling, I took a deep breath and let calmness seep into me.
“Hit…Me…” I sputtered. Another two.
Huffing, I opened my mouth to speak again. The dealer just stared into me, tilting his head like a vulture waiting for roadkill. The poker chips rattled again, grinding against each other.
“Hit…” I paused for a moment, recollecting my thoughts. At a value of fourteen, I needed at least a six to beat the dealer. But an eight or higher would result in disaster. Gulping down another chaser of saliva, I spoke. “Hit…me.”
To my chagrin, a five slipped out of the hand. I was now tied. Staring at the pile of skin and my other organs, I closed my eyes and shook in horror. An ace or a two were the only cards I could draw in order to win. I looked down at my cards, sweat dripping on the table. With a quick glance, I gazed at the eyes on the man’s silk hat.
“Don’t keep me waiting.” The man demanded.
I’d begun hyperventilating. His stare grew more intense the longer I waited. His confident smile turned into a frown of irritation. Eyebrows and mouth twisted into a hideous snarl. He rattled his fingers against the dealing table. The cacophony made my ears go numb.
Then, I whispered my answer.
The man darted up, smiling back in anticipation. “I’m sorry, what was that?”
I closed my eyes, expecting the worst.
“HIT ME!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.
Then, the last card was revealed:
My mouth dropped. The sheets of skin unfurled themselves and flattened over me. Two organ jars spilled over, their contents rising in a beam of white and torpedoing back into my body. Immediately, I yelped at the top of my lungs, skipping my heels and doing a jig. I regained my strength, instantly looking around for traces of my prize. For several minutes, I wasn’t able to uncover anything. Staring directly at the dealer’s face, I asked him to reveal my prize.
“I don’t have it with me.” He said, blankly.
Not listening, I scrutinized every inch of the room, looking behind his station, checking under the table, everything.
I searched everywhere for my prize, my happiness dissipating. With each step I took, my smile faded even further, twisting into a frown. My nose crinkled. “Where is the fifty million?” I demanded, overturning the table, ripping off the ornate paintings and yanking the tasseled rugs off the floor. “You promised me fifty million dollars if I beat you! Do you realize what’s gonna happen to me if I don’t get that money, you charlatan?!”
The strange man just stood there, not even acknowledging my pleas.
“YOU PROMISED ME MONEY! You’re a thief!” I roared, pointing an accusing finger at him. “I only did this for my wife, to save my marriage! I almost gave up my life trying to help my family out! How can you take that away from me?!”
The demon stuck his hands behind his back and shook his head. He rolled his eyes back in thought. Something was up with him. “You aren’t like the other gamblers.” He said.
“Other gamblers?” I said, stepping back.
“They all wanted the money for worthless things. A mansion with fountains and a view, hookers, a trip to Tahiti…” He paced around me. His face was rather relaxed and calm. Never once did he lose eye contact with me. “But you had so much determination to help your wife out that you would risk it all. I admire that. It took me a while to figure out that you were actually a kind hearted person.”
I saw red and tried to punch him. He grabbed my fist, shoving it back.
“Listen to me. I understand your rage. There never was a prize in the first place. It was nothing but a lure to capture those that wasted their lives away. But there is one thing that you don’t understand.”
I saw red and I thrusted my hands back. “You nearly killed me all for nothing?!”
“Yes, but that was before I saw you the way you really were. Listen to my words.”
Slowly, I relaxed my posture, but still remained firm. “Why should I listen to you?”
“I can help you out of your situation.” The man said.
My nostrils flared. “You owe me money you snake!”
“You never needed the money in the first place.”
Taken aback, I retreated. “What do you mean?” My arms relaxed once more.
“You are a plumber, aren’t you? I saw you come home from work, just barely catching a glimpse of your schedule. Forty hours a week for thirty-eight dollars an hour for five days a week. That’s $15200 a week for two weeks. You already have everything you need.”
“But you don’t understand. They need $18000!” I pleaded.
He wouldn’t budge. “Trying to earn this money via dumb risks and chances will not get you anywhere. Look at all the things that you’ve done wrong.”
Tears began to well up. “And I want to change that.” I wiped my eyes. “But what am I supposed to do now?”
“The only way you can earn that money is through grit and spit,” He said, walking around me. “You aren’t going to find solace through good luck alone. You have to work for it. And you already have the tools that some people don’t have. If you give up now, you might as well have lost. Think about it.” With those last words, he raised his hand and snapped it, disappearing without a trace. Slowly, I gathered my things and walked out of the casino, head hanging low.
The following day, I sat outside an old woman’s faucet, inspecting how to fix a leak. I wondered what the demon’s words meant to me. Before I stuck the wrench up to a U trap, I remembered my pay. If I worked the same amount of hours as before, I’d only make $15200. But if I pulled off some overtime and worked several extra hours, I might just be able to pay off my debts.
I started staying up much later than before. Not long after, my wife started to become suspicious. Eventually, she confronted me.
“Frank, you’ve been staying up late. Are you going back to the casinos again?” she asked, hands on her hips.
I closed my eyes. Instead of fear, calmness filled my veins and my blood stilled. “Not this time. I’ve been working overtime.”
Her face loosened up for just a moment before hardening back up. I held my hands up and motioned my palms downward. “Listen, I have been horrible lately. All my gambling did was drown us in deeper debt.”
Her expression began to soften up again, her frown vanishing.
“I want to change things. We used to work so well together, doing everything to help each other. Instead of fighting against each other, it’s time we made peace. And we bring us out of our debt, together.” I held out my hand for her to shake it. She kept her arm pulled back and folded like the pincer of a mantis. Inch by inch, she extended it and took it.
The following day, my wife convinced me to go to therapy to get out of my addiction, which I gladly obliged. Simultaneously, she decided to start up another job working as an electrician. Day by day passed and we pooled all our resources as one. Before our eyes, bills were paid and debt disappeared faster than eye floaters. Our financial status wasn’t the only thing that changed. Her once crusty mood lightened up and she began to smile more. She began to believe my words and began to respect the changes I made.
And then, we paid off our rent. We got a letter from our landlord, saying that we now were even. The moment that letter came in, we embraced each other. The only question now was, what were we going to do with this extra money?
Not too long ago, we ended up earning enough money to create another 3d project, this time of a Companion Cube. Day after day, we created more projects. Although we weren’t as happy as our days back in college, we still could make the best with what we had. In retrospect, the hat-faced man put up a good fight, but I managed to come out of a casino with more than I came in with. It wasn’t exactly money, but it wasn’t worthless, either.
submitted by TheBlackCycloneOrder
to WeAreLegion [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 16:20 Random_Trinidadian The First Contact War
Yea... I was there when the invasion began.
It was so long ago, yet I remember it like it was yesterday. Back then, we only had to worry about nuclear hell fire destroying out species. A result of mad men acting like children with the perverbial big red button. Yet despite this, we tried to live our lives the best way we could. Just trying to survive our own petty struggles that came with day to day life.
Back then, I was just a huble taxi driver, driving about my city, just trying to make a honest living. Iwas actually in my cab when I saw the first ships break through the clouds and begin their attack. I could still remember the screams of people when they began to open fire, destroying building as if they were nothing but toys.
I didn't even know how I was able to escape that blood bath, all I could remember was jumping into my car and hitting the gas as hard as I could. It was just all a big blur, I could see people running as the first ships landed and began to deploy their troops. That's when I saw them... Big ugly bastards dressed in black armor and carrying weapons ....weapons they used on the fleeing people as they tried to get away.
I guess I was one of the lucky ones, cause I was able to get away and didn't stop driving until I reached the mountains. For the first two days, I wondered around the Forrest. I was too afraid to sleep, as I feared what ever those things were would find me. I could hear jets and other aircraft flying overhead, but I could see them through the trees.
It was on my third day however, I ended up being discovered by a group of soldiers as I walked along the road. I guess I must had been more exhausted than I thought, cause the next thing I knew, I was waking up in a hospital bed inside of a large tent filled with doctors and patients.
I could see both soldiers and regular people being treated for various types of injuries. I could hear the sounds of helicopters and vehicles coming from outside, while doctors and nurses did what they could.
Eventually, I found out the true extent of what was going on and I have to admit, I could not believe what I was hearing. I think I even chuckled a bit when I was told that actual aliens were invading the planet. But I soon realized that was all too real, as I the camp I was now in was across a river from another city. A city that was now in complete ruin and was still burning.
Apparently, similar scenes we're taking place all over the world, as more and more ships landed and deployed troops. They... Who ever THEY were, never announced who they were, but it soon became clear to us this was not just an invasion, it was a extermination. As they killed everything and everyone in their way, even if they tried to escape.
Obviously, we were not to keen on becoming extinct and we fought back.... We fought back hard. The nuclear powers unleased their arsenal on the "Invaders", numerous mushroom clouds rising into the air as ballistic and cruise missiles found their targets. I guess that the invaders were not expecting such a a response, as their ships proved to be no match for our rather "Primitive" nuclear weapons. But the fighting continued and eventually, I would end up volunteering with a group calling itself the "15th Volunteer Regiment."
I became a gunner on a old Patton Tank, something that the army pulled out of storage as the war continued. I could remember the first battle I took part in, a small town somewhere in western Texas. We were to go in to releave a detachment of Mexican Soldiers who has been trying to retake the town for the last month.
I could remember when I saw one of the Alien Mech Suits appeared and began to open fire. I could also remember just how I felt when I saw the bastard burst into flames after taking a HEAT round to it's chest. I didn't feel anything for who or what ever had being sinsude that contraption, they were monsters for what they had done and they all deserved to die. It was also during that time that I finally got a good look at just who had invaded.... They looked just like us! But they were completely bald with some kind of tattoo pattern on their heads with impossibly pale skin and eyes that were nothing but whites. Yet we still did not know their name or what they called themselves.
Eventually, North America was cleared and my unit was then sent south to help in the fighting in those regions. Again, I saw the death and destruction the invades had caused. I saw entire towns filled with bodies, many of whom had wounds that suggested they were trying to run away when they were killed. We fought our way down and eventually linked up with the Brazilians and took part in the Battle of the Plate.
For Fives years, we continued to fight. Eventually making it to Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and finally India. The 15th was there and were were all hell bent on making those bastards pay. By then, the suits in the lab had managed to reverse engineer some of the weapons we that were captured and we were now using tanks with large Lazer cannons, attack aircraft with used some kind of.... Anti-gravity engines, we even had mech suits of our own. But for the 15th, we still used the old Pattons and even a few T-72 we were able to acquire when some Nigerians joined our group.
Then.... Came the Battle of Rangoon.... The last major battle of the war. The invaders had set up some kind of base Intelligence believed to be their main operations center. Once again, al nuclear strike was used to soften their defences and we began to advance. We didn't beat the bastards.... We slaughtered them.
Mexico City... Caracas.... Largos.... Nice.... We remembered.... We remembered what we saw and what they did. We were not going to give them the luxury of Mercy... They were going to pay for what they did.
Five days of absolute hell... But eventually we took the command base and by extension, ended the war. The Rangoon Base was their last stronghold on the planet and we destroyed it. The war was won, but at a heavy cost.
Two billion people were dead, the atmosphere was now heavily irradiated due to the use of nuclear weapons. There was a very real fear of famine due farm land bring destroyed due to the fighting. The next twenty years following the war were not easy, but eventually were were able to rebuild and with the Technology the Invaders left behind. But.... We were not done....
We knew that it could only be a matter of time before they came back and we might not be so lucky. So we began to build up our militaries once again and untied them to form the United Earth Defence Forces. The ships were captured, the few they were, became the basis for a new Space Navy. We soon began to build ships of our own, build bases on other planets and designed new weapons. We never found out the name of our would be attackers, but my people will not soon forget them. We want to find them and show them the true consiquences of their actions.
"So why are you telling me this, ambassador?"
Ever since we became part of the Galactic community, my government have been trying to find out who had attacked us. So far, we have ether been meet with silence or some vauge legend.
"But what purpose would getting revenge serve at this point?"
You would not be saying that if what happened to my people, happened to yours. There is one thing you need to know about my people.... We don't like it when others bully us and we will do everything in our power to hit back at those who hurt us. So ... Will your people help us?
"You humans are driven too much by you emotions."
It what got us through the War and the many skirmishes with your people. Need I remind you who supported your government during your civil war? You owe us.
"And if my government refuses to help?"
It's in their best interest that they do. So will you help us?
"I... Will speak with them when I return home."
You do that... We will speak later.
submitted by Random_Trinidadian
to HFY [link] [comments]