Discontinued bernat baby coordinates yarn
Weekly Gear Giveaway/Swap
2023.06.05 08:01 AutoModerator Weekly Gear Giveaway/Swap
The thing about babies is that they grow FAST! They outgrow clothes, gear, and other supplies in the blink of an eye.
We've had some requests to have a weekly giveaway/gear thread to allow our members to share gear. This is a space to accommodate this sharing, but all sharing/swapping must be facilitated by members. Shipping, meetups, coordination should happen between interested parties. Just as a disclaimer, there is a risk to sharing personal information online so please be aware of these risks and make sure you are comfortable doing this. It helps if you've interacted with a sub member in the past and are familiar with the person but this is not a guarantee of safety.
We ask that money not be exchanged here as this is not an e-commerce platform. Please work out shipping costs (if applicable) between you and the other person. It's best to keep information in DMs once you've decided on a swap or give-away.
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2023.06.05 04:53 onwheelzdiva 26 [F4M] show me consistency Miami FL
I always get lost for words tryna write these I’m not like everyone else here who writes a shit ton 😂😭 requires patience to read all that ya know? Tell me is it deja vu cause you want me and i want you? cause baby this ain’t nothing new Ummm i love reassurance and quality time I wanna be that couple who color coordinates and also rock Justin Bieber merch I love me a man who’s lowkey gonna be obsessed with me also I’m an introvert and homebody so if you are too we’re definitely gonna connect fast and i love when I talk to introverts cause nothing seems forced just flows naturally and we’re so comfortable and chill and i love every minute of it I’ve never had a guy best friend who knows me inside out I want a reason to smile a reason to laugh and cry less someone who’s gonna make me feel safe and loved unconditionally who’s romantic spoils me a little someone who knows how to compliment sweep me off my feet go on dates or just chill and binge watch stuff at the house I wanna cherish every moment we have together like I’m so ready to love the hell outta you like fr tho🥺💕 so hurry up I’m patiently waiting to see if you’re the one who is gonna steal my heart so waiting on you hubby I need someone considerate patient loyal funny and and strong daily good morning and goodnight texts someone who cares about my well being
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2023.06.05 04:25 Holly_Daisy What should I make using the colors of the ace flag (black, gray, white, and purple)?
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Using this book but not sure what I should make, this shows how big they are going to be. In order by photos; Raccoon, frog, dragon, jellyfish, sea otter, sloth (don't know who he's trying to impress with that pose 😆), red panda (slightly different build than the raccoon), or alligator. I had to add a photo of the giraffe cause it looks like a creeper to me with all the legs on the bottom like that. And I couldn't leave out the mothman! I don't know which to make and I would also need to figure how what color all the small pieces would be. Let me know your thoughts and ideas!! submitted by Holly_Daisy to YarnAddicts [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 04:13 Radical-Shadow Sizing/Gauge Help
Hi! It gets pretty cold up where I go to school, and I was asked by a professor to make him two hats for the winter. He picked out the patterns from a list I sent him, and the first one I'm working on is the braid and rib cable hat
. By the time I had already finished the brim, I realized I had used size 7 needles rather than size 9 accidentally (lesson learned now!), but thought I could just write it off and work through the pattern until I believed the hat big enough (to keep the two size increase, I just moved up to my size 9s instead of size 11). However, after getting about a repeat and a half through the braided cable chart, I realized something: it was too small for my head, which I like to think is around average in size (I think the same goes for the professor, but I haven't asked him to measure his head).
So, I unraveled the whole thing, and am starting over with the correct size 9 needles for the brim. However, I was wondering if I should edit the pattern a little to ensure it fits. I am using Bernat Softee Chunky yarn (super bulky, as the pattern recommends). Despite using the wrong needles last time, I'm hesitant to do the instructed 60-stitch cast on, since it didn't fit me last time. As the pattern reads, when you switch from the brim to the chart (and thus increase your needle size to 11), you should increase the stitch count by 12 (from 60 to 72). This is because the chart is 12 stitches across. Should I just do as the pattern writes, and hope it'll fit this time around? Or should I increase my stitch count? I was thinking I'd start with 72 stitches (and do the same 12-stitch increase) to keep the ratio, but would that be the right move?
I know I should be knitting a switch to find my gauge, but I'm unsure if the 3 stitch by 3.5 rows per inch is for the size 9 or size 11 needles mentioned in the pattern.
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2023.06.05 02:58 Tessylu Using mohair for a baby gift
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2023.06.05 01:41 Taintdmeat [WTS] Atom brown burlap, Griptilian, Banter and baby Banter combo!!
SOLD-I have a few knives for sale today
Video Atom Griptilian Banter and Baby Banter
First I have a TRM Atom with brown burlap scales. I have two of these and decided I didn’t really need two. Has never been sharpened or used to cut has been disassembled to try and get action a bit smoother. Blade is centered with no play the scales are a bit darker on one side not sure why and can’t really tell unless they are off beside each other. Have box and paperwork. SOLD-SV: $180 Second is a Griptilian s30v with black dlc blade and black scales. This knife has been discontinued I have carried and sharpened the blade once not a hard user just thought I’d like it better than my mini and i didn’t. I did notice the blade had a small chip in it while taking video wouldn’t be hard to get out with a sharpen. Clip has some snail trials blade also has a few scuffs. Never disassembled. Have box and pouch SOLD-SV: $80 Last is a combo Banter and baby banter. Banter is a 20cv black blade and jade scales carried once or twice never cut or sharpened. I love the action and snappiness of this knife it just never gets pocket time. I will throw in my baby banter nitro-v with black blade and purple g-10 scales I have carried a few times never cut anything and never sharpened. It has a gold thumb stud I haven’t seen this on others looks sharp. Both of these knives are LNIB will include clam pouches with both. SOLD-SV: $110
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2023.06.05 00:29 CrudLord69 CrudLord's Collection Reduction: Microtech, Benchmade, Spyderco, Protech, TRM, and MORE!
I have acquired far too many knives and am trying to scale way back, everything includes tracked USPS shipping to all 50 states baby, only paypal F+F accepted, will ship Monday, know your local knife laws especially in regards to autos. Mostly looking to sell but trades are entertained. Hit me with an offer if you don't like my prices, worst I can say is no. Comment on post before messaging, those unable to comment will not be sold to or traded with. Timestamp, pics, vids Microtech Glykon Apocolyptic (A+):
Brand spanking new, purchased direct from Microtech last week. Really cool auto with the nickel boron internals that creates better action than any OTF I've used. This thing rocks and I had to have one, unfortunately I have too many OTFs so this one goes. Paid $550 with shipping, get it brand new for
SV: $510 TV: $550 Benchmade Mediator (B+):
Got this off the swap, in great condition with the only real wear being on the coating of the pocket clip. Super snappy out the side, slightly contoured handles, s90v blade steel, solid lock up, a safety switch that has zero rattle, and an overall slim and very carriable profile. My favorite out the side auto, and as such has been carried a little bit, the blade isn't dull by any means but its also not laser sharp either.
SV: $205 TV: $235
TRM Atom Green G-10 (A+): Brand new, never carried or used, simply opened and closed a number of times. Comes with everything from TRM except for the yorkie sticker. Solid washer action and lockup as expected and just a razor thin edge on this bad boy. SV: $180 TV: $210 Benchmade Turret 980 (B):
Purchased off the swap, taken apart by me to clean and lube with KPL. Ill say it, this is my favorite Benchmade I've held and I've held quite a lot of them. Has a larger overbuilt axis lock that creates for perfect free swinging action while also having rock solid lockup which is unfortunately not super common on Benchmades. A big ol blade of S30v with G-10 and stainless steel liners and a deep carry clip. This knife has been used and will show some wear, mostly on the pocket clip, and does not come with box but will be shipped securely.
SV: $135 TV: $160 Protech SBR S35vn Acidwashed (B):
Catch and release from the swap, has scratches near the tip of the blade on both sides that are somewhat hidden by the acid wash but still noticeable. A couple small dings on the handle scales. Has classic super snappy Protech action with rock solid lockup. Knife appears to have been used a fair amount by previous owner and could use a sharpening.
SV: $135 TV: $160 Benchmade 3550SBT (A):
Purchased off the swap, in excellent condition. No real wear besides a tiny mark in the coating on the spine of the blade and the pocket clip looks slightly used. Wicked snappy action with rock solid lockup, razor sharp edge. This is an older model that was replaced by the stimulus. Comes with original box and docs.
SV: $125 TV: $150 Benchmade Griptillian (C):
This is the one that started it all for me and has been carried and used pretty extensively. 154CM steel, comes with blemished AWT scales and backspacer installed, however it will ship with the original scales as well. The action and lockup is fantastic on this one. A couple of not so great things: the AWT scales were purchased from them as blems and as such they have cosmetic flaws, mostly the two scales being slightly different shades or grey and the show side scale has a machining mark down the middle, with these scales installed the pivot doesn't sit flush into the scales, this could be a problem with the way I installed them but im not sure. The screws from AWT are also somewhat soft and are T6 and as such I stripped a body screw on the installation. This knife has also been sharpened by me on a work sharp. This knife has been used extensively and has some rust spotting around the axis lock housing on the inside. This is a user, with great action and lockup, and will continue to serve someone very well. No box on this one but will be shipped in a soft taco.
SV: $105 TV: $130 Kizer Cormorant S35vn/G10 (A+):
Brand new in box, never cut or carried just flipped open a couple times. Great action with zero blade play and a cool fidgety knife.
SV: $75 TV: $95
Spyderco Dragonfly Pink FRN S30v blade (A): Great little knife in a cool colorway with a great upgrade in the steel department. Purchased off the swap, appears in like new condition with zero noticeable blemishes and solid action and lockup. Comes with box and papers. SV: $75 TV: $95 Benchmade SOCP Partially Serrated (B):
Cool fixed blade purchased off the swap. Factory sharp edge, however it does have some wear on the coating from the sheath.
SV: $70 TV: $90 Spyderco Centofante (B):
Second owner on this discontinued back lock Spyderco. Does have small amounts of wear, mostly on the coating of the pocket clip. The smoothest back lock I've used, this thing flicks open and drops shut. There is a tiny bit of side to side and up and down blade play which isn't uncommon especially for back locks as they break in. Also the shiny Spyderco logo on the show side scale is snazzy as hell. Comes with box.
SV: $70 TV: $90 Budget Bundle- Kizer Begleiter 2 (A+) and Sencut Sachse (C+):
Kizer is brand new in box, just opened a couple times, N690 and micarta with an insane action for a budget knife. Sencut has seen some use, coating is wearing off on the thumb studs, no really noticeable flaws but it has been used and would continue to make a great user. No box with the Sachse but will be packaged carefully.
SV: $70 TV: $90 Spyderco Salt Dragonfly (B):
Little rust proof dragonfly with solid action and lockup. Purchased off the swap so unsure of its background but it appears in great shape with no noticeable flaws. Comes with box.
SV: $60 TV: $75 ADD ONS ONLY BELOW- MUST BE PURCHASED WITH SOMETHING FROM ABOVE- Cold Steel Air Lite (C):
Purchased from bladehq and was made a user for a bit. Solid tri-ad lockup that is surprisingly flickable on the open. Does not come with box, and again this was a user, coating on the pocket clip shows some wear, thumbstud coating shows some wear, a touch of rust in the stop pin that I'm sure could be easily cleaned off. Overall it is sharp and solid, and again would continue to be an excellent user.
SV: $35 TV: $50 SRM (A+):
Dont remember the model on this one but its a cool little brand new SRM. Has a bottle opener and some sort of wrench hex thing in the side, idk I was kinda drunk when I bought it.
SV: $15 TV: $17
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2023.06.04 23:16 Which_Stress3167 Is feeding to sleep for naps really that bad?
I just started work again this week and my 4 month old has been taken care of by my MIL 5 days a week. He's always been really hard to get to sleep and the 4 month regression hit the week before I went to work. Before that I managed to wean him off contact napping and he was falling asleep in his mini crib through me rocking it (it's on wheels) and he was finally extending naps past one sleep cycle. It took so much hard work and many tears of mine to get him there.
After the regression everything fell apart and his naps shortened. He CRIES before he has to sleep EVERY. TIME. Like real crying. Has been like that since birth. The first day my MIL took care of him she was really surprised that he cried for 30 min before his first nap. She laid down next to him in the bed to fall asleep. I guess since then to make it easier on both of them she's been feeding him to sleep - she told me she will put a couple oz. In a bottle and lay him down once sleepy. He's getting enough oz. In the day even with these mini feeds.
I've been trying to set up good sleep habits and avoid the feed to sleep association. However I've developed PPD and PPA that is completely focused on his sleep and naps and wake windows, etc. I've been going to a therapist weekly. This week has been a little bit freeing that I don't have to coordinate his naps and worry about wake windows all day. I told her about his WW but I think she's just been going off his cues. I wasn't thrilled when I found out she's been feeding to sleep but - some of his naps have apparently been good, like an 1.5 to 2 hrs, which I can't even remember the last time he napped that well with me.
This weekend has been a complete shit show with his naps at home - my normal methods of rocking the crib, rocking in arms aren't really working. I'm not watching WW because I'm trying to watch cues like my MIL does and LO is just screaming so much before his naps that it's really triggering my PPA to the point that I had a breakdown and had to leave him crying in the crib. Should I just give in to feeding to sleep? She seems to be successful with it and it seems like LO is getting more rest under her care than mine, but I still feel wary that it's going backwards from independent sleep. But she's right it's just easier for everyone and my anxiety and mood is so horrible this weekend I just want someone else to handle everything and follow their lead because its less emotional and mental stress for me. Worrying about his naps is literally stealing all the joy of motherhood and being with my baby from me.
So I guess what I'm asking is should I just do what's easy right now for all our sakes and for my mental health? Or am I setting myself and my baby up for pain in the future? We don't feed to sleep for nights at all and I'm aware of the danger of having to feed every hour if we do, but is it really that bad for naps?
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2023.06.04 23:10 micronesiarain Episode 6- "Robbed: The Musical!" 💃🎶
| || |the queens return to the workroom after Kami's elimination submitted by micronesiarain to XtinasDragRace [link] [comments]
Anthyy: Everybody, moment of silence for our sister.
🏁Anthyy CF: Kami just got sent home, and it really was worst case scenario. I love Sue, don't get me wrong! But Kami was probably my closest ally here. And with how shitty last week was for me, that just sealed it as the worst week so far.
Zodya: Congratulations to our winners! Really well deserved, you both did great. How does it feel?
Wren: I'll be honest, I was starting to doubt myself. On Season Six, I felt like I always had the opportunity to prove myself. Maybe it was by winning a challenge, or by lipsyncing.
Fleur: Shoutout to the bed!
Wren: As I was saying...I was able to prove myself as a competitor. But this time, it's felt a lot different. Let's be real, my track record wasn't great before this last challenge.
🏁Fleur CF: She says as if it's better now.
Wren: But I finally feel like I showed what I have, and lipsyncing again felt like my batteries being recharged.
Sue: You run on batteries? I thought that was just me...what a world!
🏁Wren CF: I'm feeling pumped right now. Micro saw me as the best of the week, it doesn't get any better than that. I'm taking this momentum and making it into as many wins as possible. Maybe I'm the new Greantee? I like the sound of that!
Steph: Has anyone else felt that way of questioning your place here?
Fleur: If not, a lot of you should.
Anthyy: I can't say I have. I'm in it to go all the way. Morgs looks over at Anthyy, wondering if Anthyy had forgotten about their previous conversation during Untucked
🏁Morgs CF: It seems like Anthyy is out of the mindset of wanting to quit. Which is perfect! Losing Kami was a big hit to us, so it's important that Anthyy stays and keeps the focus on what really matters.
Zodya: Whorechata, what lipstick do you have tucked away?
Whorechata: Yikes, this is awkward.
Whorechata: I chose Micro. It was the only decision that felt right to me!
Zodya: If you don't show us who you actually picked...
Whorechata: I also chose Kami. It really was nothing personal. She said she had the fire to stay, and I wanted to believe her. But I didn't see that fire in her the same way that I did with Sue. And girl, you know I wasn't about to send you home. Our history goes back too far for me to do that to you.
Sue: You can never know for certain, so I really appreciate this.
Whorechata: I got you.
🏁Blondie CF: The FDR queens definitely need to be broken up. Whorechata saving Sue proves that even if they don't have this crazy close relationship, that FDR bond is enough to influence a major decision. Next time I'm in the top, I have to go after one of them. Or multiple of them, why not! The Next Day the queens strut into the workroom, wearing coordinated outfits
🏁Morgs CF: It's a new day in the workroom, and the group is getting smaller and smaller. Next thing you know, it'll look like a bunch of fairies running around! Honey, I shrunk the kids!!
Wren: I want to start off the day by apologizing to Anthyy and Morgs for how I acted during the challenge. It wasn't cute, and I see that now. I don't know, it just felt like all the stress was finally getting to me, and I put so much pressure onto myself.
Morgs: In my heart, I should be mad at you. But you are also the prettiest lady I've ever seen, so I can't be mad! It's all good, for real.
🏁Anthyy CF: I can forgive Wren, but I won't forget. She's the reason I don't know if I want to be here anymore, and I can't let that go. I'm feeling better than I was before, but I'm still not in it all the way. I'm getting in my head about it, I don't know what I need to do to feel better about this. the workroom door swings open and Micro walks in, wearing a sequin caftan with teased out curly hair
Micro: Hello hello queens! Who else cried themselves to sleep last night after that elimination? Just me? Okay, we love that! Anywho, it's time for your next challenge. All of you have one thing in common. Whether you got close to the prize, or went home too early, none of you got the crown on your original seasons. And I'm sure you'd all be inclined to say that you were robbed. Which is why your next challenge is a musical journey through the crushing feeling of defeat. Because what is a drag race without a little emotional exploitation?! Each of you will choose a song of your choice, and then select sixteen lines from that song. Using the rhythm of the song, you'll be rewriting the lyrics to tell the story of how you were eliminated. The songs you choose and the approach you take are totally up to you. Make it you, make it stand out, that's all that matters! Good luck, and I'll see you on the runway for the big premiere. Bye! the queens scatter around the workroom in small clusters as they go over ideas
🏁Steph CF: For our challenge this week, we are taking part in "Robbed: The Musical". Using a song of our choice, we have to rewrite sixteen lines to tell the story of how we got sent home. If you saw Season Three, you know all too well that I had thoughts, feelings, and concerns about how my time there ended. My only concern here is how to squeeze all of these thoughts into just sixteen lines. I could do fifty, and still have more to say!
Whorechata: So, what am I supposed to do for this challenge? I never really got eliminated.
Sue: Right! I forgot about that. I guess you eliminated yourself.
Whorechata: How do I make that work for this challenge, that's the question.
🏁Whorechata CF: Everyone else has been eliminated, got the axe, got thrown to the curb. And then there's me. Luckily, I feel more confident with a verse challenge than I could for any other challenge. When I put my pen to paper, none of these queens can come close to me. But it's hard to reference your journey and elimination when you quit on the second episode. I'll make it work though, know that! Blondie and Fleur have a heart to heart by the mirrors
Blondie: I know there's tension between us, and that might never change. But I want you to know that there's an olive branch from me to you.
Fleur: Why would I want a stick?
Blondie: I-, that's not what that means.
Fleur: Girl, I know.
Blondie: Where did things go wrong between us?
Fleur: We both want to be the top bitch. And we know that there isn't enough room in the spotlight for the both of us. For me? Absolutely. But you...yeah, no.
Blondie: I just don't get that. We have the same friends, we work the same shows. There's no reason to keep things between us so fractured.
Fleur: Maybe one day. But right now, I don't know if it's the right time.
Blondie: I'm fine with that. It doesn't need to be immediate, I just want to know that you're willing to get there eventually.
🏁Fleur CF: As much as it pains me to admit, Blondie and I do have a lot in common. There's just something about this competition that makes it hard for me to connect with people. Some call it competitive spirit, most just call it being a bitch. I'm not closing the door on a friendship between Blondie and I, but I'm not opening it either. Not yet at least. Morgs and Anthyy style their wigs for the challenge as they go over last minute ideas
🏁Morgs CF: Anthyy is the one person here that I know I can trust. Seeing her win would make me so happy, and I know she feels the same about me winning.
Anthyy: Sister, what song are you doing for this?
Morgs: There are a few rap songs that I think I could do well with.
Anthyy: You always do well with those, that might be the perfect option!
Morgs: But then another part of me feels like that would just be a convenient way of ending up safe again. I'm questioning whether or not it makes sense to go with what I know, or if I'm in a spot where I have to take a risk.
Anthyy: I feel the same way. If you took a risk and it didn't work, do you think you would be able to convince people to keep you?
Morgs: That's the thing, I don't. I feel like you wouldn't send me home, but that's it. I can't trust anyone else to save me.
Anthyy: What's your riskier option?
Morgs: Aretha Franklin.
Morgs: I know, I know! It's not what you'd expect from me.
Anthyy: And that's why it makes total sense. You need to believe in yourself. Give them the full Morgs fantasy, and they'll live!
Morgs: Ah, you convinced me! I'm doing Aretha.
Anthyy: Our top two moment incoming!
🏁Morgs CF: I feel like I have nothing to lose at this point. If I'm ever gonna take a risk, now's the time to do it. Pray for your girl, she needs a miracle right about now! Runway the lights flicker and an electric magenta light floods the runway as Micro struts down the center Micro Episode 6 Look
Micro: Welcome back to the runway of Micro's Drag Race: All Stars! This week, the queens were tasked with rewriting a song to tell the story of how they lost their original season. And joining me on the judging panel tonight is not only an MDR legend, but a fantastic verse writer, and the winner of Micro's Drag Race vs The World, Jords! Jords Guest Judging Look
Micro: Jords, thank you for being here!
Jords: Thank you, I'm so excited to crush some dreams.
Micro: How has life been since taking home the crown?
Jords: You know what they say, club, another club, bus, no sleep. Except this is on Discord, so not exactly like that, but you get the idea!
Micro: Are you ready to get started?
Jords: I told you I'm not staying in this corset for more than an hour, let's get to it!
Micro: Without further ado, here is "Robbed: The Musical"
! Robbed: The Musical
Micro: Category is..."Chain Reaction". "Bad Juju" by Jujubee plays
Anthyy: When i heard the category was chains i got a bit scared cause first i had an idea to do a bad bitch look! But then i realized probably everyone is gonna do that! So my mind went to a diffrent thign! When i dont know what to do i always look for inspiration in my culture! PURR POLISH BITCH! In Poland, you can easily say that in the whole europe, knights were EVERYWHERE so tonight i decided to serve you a knight look HONEY i am drippinnggg in chains! From head to toe i am a silver sparkling dream! And i know miss micr loves them sparkles so i made sure she is BADAZZLED for the gods! I did a lil leg and a hip reveal so she can have her sexy moment! And ofc i am carrying a sword caue i am a fighter. I really liked going back to the more haute couture side of anthyy since reently i focused my looks much more on the drag side so this was a nice comeback! And you kno im a sucker for gowns! Anthyy Look
Blondie: Tonight I am giving full shame and guilt. Every since I taken a break from my season, I realize I have a lot of internal thinking and shame of the things I did on my season. Giving up so easily when I know I was in the right for most of my arguments and being manipulated into thinking I'm the problem when you just wanted Greentree to win so y'all robbed me. Tonight I am wearing beautiful Thai silk fantasy and got this beautiful styled red hair and have it locked up and chained up all over my body. You want me to feel shame, well come unlock my chain, baby Blondie Look
Fleur: Tonight I decided to fuse rich and affluence with sex and fornication and I have to admit, I am a HUGE fan of this result! I am feeling so fancy and so lush with all this gold and skin! Thank the lord that fashion tape exists because without that, who knows how these chains will stay perfectly in place. I am EATING. I am so happy to be wearing this look the one week in this competition, where I feel somewhat confident! Fleur Look
Morgs: BAM, on the runway i'm coming out, skinny, beautiful, and a bad girl. this is a total different direction than morgetha franklin you saw during the challenge. i have some devily horns on too, obviously decked out with chains, matching the rest draped AWL over my body. i look stunning, i feel stunning, and if someone happened to wear this before i wore it better Morgs Look
Steph: mama i am all chained up bc i am a crazy bitch who LOVES the chains. Bitch this is fashion and I want to show that I can be kinky and serve up some rich ho realness honey!! Steph Look
Sue: Tonight I am serving you gothic bad ass biatch. She is a huntress on a mission to obliterate all the men who did her dirty. Sue Look
Whorechata: Tonight on the runway I am representing what many conservative folk would say is “my culture”. I am giving orange is the New Mexican tonight mawma. She got the ball and chain and limping on this runway… but tbh that’s not a new thing for chata on the runway. Whorechata Look
Wren: Trying to make my own runway this was a truly humbling experience, sometimes things dont go as planned and that’s ok. However, if I’m going to go with something I didn’t make myself I want to make sure it’s one of the best things you’ve ever seen. This look wowed me from the moment I first saw it and it is absolutely gorgeous, stunning, and conceptual. Zendaya truly devoured, as always. Wren Look
Zodya: For this runway, I wanted to do something a little bit different. While most people would probably have the chains wrapped around their bodies or hanging off, I’m going for this chain pattern in this exquisite, high-fashion executive realness look. I feel extremely opulent in this moment, like I’m about to buy out a large company! And if you don’t like that? Chained to the walls of the company dungeon!!! Zodya Look Critiques
Micro: Thank you ladies. Tonight, you all really blew me away!
Jords: I need to echo that. AMAZING job on the stage tonight. You all did amazing and it will be very hard to be choosing the placements. Very honored and excited to be judging tonight!
Micro: So tonight, you will each be receiving critiques.
Micro: First up, Anthyy!
Jords: BESTIE! So excited to see how far you‘ve come after Season 1. For your look, this is definitely one of the looks I‘m liking the most. It‘s giving me very much warrior. You know those games we used to play back in the day in that castle and there was like a fighter holding you from entering the other room? Yeah, that‘s you in new edition. And for your Musical performance… you ate that. I think the song choice is very um… UNIQUE. Sorry, I don‘t really connect good things with that name. Anyway, I found your lyrics smart and memorable, I kinda got stuck with what parts you were relating to, but then I got the hang of it and then loved it even more.
Micro: Anthyy baby, you might have just outwrote Beyoncé. Well, I don’t know if she writes her own stuff but if she does, you did that! I thought the flow was amazing, and you had so many call backs to your original season, and such a smart song choice for this Unieke moment! My one critique would be that it felt like certain lines were condensed in a way that really fit the flow, but weakened the line itself by removing certain little transition words. On the runway, this is sensational. I love the hip cutouts and the shoulder pieces. One of my favorite looks from you ever!
Micro: Next, Blondie!
Jords: Hey Blondie! On the look, I like how the chains connect the whole look. It starts from your foot to the head and roses, so I really found that cool. Your musical performance, I think you started really strong. The song was a little something else from what the others have presented I think, you served a lot of comedy. There‘s some little, very little things I would change, but overall I think you did a good job.
Micro: Imma be so real, my expectations for what you could do this week were a little low. You weren’t exactly a rapstress on Season Six, but this was so well done. This song has a lot of little moments within it that you were able to capitalize on. And it had splashes of humor and controversy that you’re known so well for. On the runway, I think this look is beautiful, and the commentary gagged me a bit. I thought you were in your apology era but then you went right back to serving cunt, we love to see it. Great night for you.
Micro: Next up, Fleur!
Jords: Hey Fleur! With this runway look, you are so rich and you are representing the girls. It just ate. You have clear taste, we been knew. Your musical verse. I‘ll say it was a good attempt. It was a verse that was really deep, but it wasn‘t that special for me.
Micro: The vibe of this song has such a dark and melancholy feel to it, which worked so well for this challenge, and the feelings of reliving that loss. It really told the journey of who you were back on Season One, and then how you had that redemption moment on Season Four, but ultimately falling short of the crown. All the boxes are checked, this was a great performance. On the runway, this connects with me so hardcore. The draped chain look, the big headpiece and sculpted hair, the fur coat, it’s a dream look for me. For me, your best week so far!
Micro: Next, Morgs!
Jords: Morgs! I‘m very impressed by you. This chains look is just so advanced and so beautiful. You went full force. As well as in the musical. I imagined it very well, you performing with that song playing. I like what you had brought tonight.
Micro: Morgs, you are such an incredible writer, and I could tell that this week was a moment for you to break out of that safe streak and really shine. First off, the song choice was amazing. And you stayed true to what the challenge asked for with the references to your season and elimination, not going too far into that bitch track territory. You played off of all the subtleties and syllables of the original to pack this full of great content. On the runway, this is a gorgeous look. Having this cage element made of chains, it’s a clever and high fashion moment.
Micro: Next up, Steph!
Jords: Steph, Steph, Steph. Your runway with the chains, chains everywhere! I like it. But your verse… it didn‘t stick out to me, I‘m sorry. It didn‘t fullfill my expectations, I got the hang of what you were trying to do, but I didn‘t really get through the whole performance without asking myself „Why“ like, 3 times.
Micro: Steph, you made me so proud this week!! I know your elimination on Season Three wasn’t the best time for you, but I do think it has pushed you in this competition to perform at a really elite level. You sold the vibe and the fantasy of what that challenge was and your thought process through your elimination. There’s not much else I can really say, you killed it. If I have to nitpick, I’d say that the end loses steam a little bit, but only because the first half is so strong. On the runway, I think this is maybe the best you’ve looked! It’s simple but executed flawlessly. Great work.
Micro: Next up, Sue!
Jords: Moving on to Sue! Your chains look, it was kind of different and it had something that made me memorize it well. Your performance… I kind of found it hard to keep up. It was a good song choice, I did see you performing it, don‘t worry. But I think you could have done even more.
Micro: Sue, let me start off with this song choice. Choosing the song you were eliminated on during Season Four, how did nobody else think to do that?! It was a really smart move. I can tell you were comfortable with this challenge, because every line had that natural flow and swagger to it. The lyrics were so true to you and your spirit, and the rhythm of the song kind of played into that feeling of running away from elimination and trying to save yourself. And on the runway, this is amazing. I love the movement that the chains bring in, and this skeletal corset vibe is next level. I’m not the biggest fan of the purple veil, but this is a great look.
Micro: Next, Whorechata Grande!
Jords: Hey, Whorechata! This look looks like it‘s self-drawn. I think the story behind it is very smart and very easy to think about what it could mean. Perfect, that‘s it. And for the musical, girl, you turned it into a party. I was in my seat like… twerks
Micro: Whorechata, you are like a chicken. I take you out of the freezer, and you start to thaw. Last week, you warmed up, and this week, you were burning hot. This was start to finish, an incredible week for you. Every beat was hit, the flow was immaculate, and you balanced being able to hype yourself up, but also get real about your time on Season Five. On the runway, this look is so so good. The heavy chains around the ankles especially, that really works for me. If I had to nitpick, I think the hair color throws me off a little bit, and I wish she had a chain necklace or earrings to kinda tie the top half to the bottom half, but this was truly your week.
Micro: Next up, Wren Wyvern!
Jords: Wren, Wren, Wren. I‘m going to start with the runway. Let‘s break it down. When you see A first, you remember it. Then comes B. And when B is very similar to A, you like one more. That‘s exactly what it is between you and Anthyy. You both did armor-related looks. This look from Zendaya, my queen 'till the day I collapse, is very iconic. But I think this is one of the looks I like the least tonight. This verse made me think you used AI. Because you used some words that Jesus didn‘t even hear before he got crucified, Amen. I found it very funny, and you gave us something to run with, so good job on that.
Micro: Wren the rap star is back! You have a great understanding of music and verse writing, and are able to execute challenges like this phenomenally. The rhyme structure of the original song isn’t all that simple, it has little quirks, and that’s tough to write around. But you managed to pull it off, and pull it off really well. On the runway, this isn’t my favorite. Objectively, it’s a beautiful look. I will say though that MET Gala looks for me tend to just come off as a little expected. At this point in the competition, I have to pick at the tiny things.
Micro: Last but not least, Zodya!
Jords: Zodya! Well, while others used chains that were actually build into their look, you used it as a pattern. And I actually would have liked it more had you used a look that did so as well, because it gives it more a better vibe. I liked your verse a lot. It was so good. Nothing more to say, like damn she ate that.
Micro: Zodya, back with the Gaga! You are an incredible verse writer, undefeated so far. Tonight was no exception. Your lines all hit, and there was not a single error in the flow of it. Picking at the tiny things, I think the chorus didn’t give you many chances to change it in a major way. Such a small issue, but every little detail is being looked at under a microscope right now. On the runway, this was a really unique take. Opting to go for a chain pattern instead of actual chains, I don’t know how I feel about it! It’s something I haven’t seen before and I love that it gives you this polished look. Maybe I’m missing that industrial and metal vibe that real chains would’ve brought in, but it’s great for what it is.
Micro: Thank you queens. Based on your performances tonight, I've made some decisions. When I call your name, please step forward.
Micro: Anthyy, Blondie, Fleur, Steph, Sue, Wren, and Zodya. Great work this week, you are all safe.
🏁Fleur CF: Wait...what?
Micro: Morgs, Whorechata. Congratulations, you are the top two queens of the week! the queens congratulate Morgs and Whorechata while looking shocked over everyone being safe
🏁Morgs CF: Well oh my gosh, I won!! And for it to happen on a week where I just let loose completely, it makes me feel so good. If you want the real me, here it is!
🏁Whorechata CF: My win era has arrived, it feels right!
Micro: Now, I hate a non-elimination week. You all know this, I know this, the lady down the street knows this. But when you deliver at a level like this, you leave me no other choice. I want to see more from each and every one of you. However, there will still be a lipsync. The winner of the lipsync will receive a significant advantage in the next challenge. Trust me, you want this one. Head on back to Untucked and get ready, I'll see you shortly! Untucked the queens enter Untucked
Morgs: Oh my damn, oh my damn!
🏁Morgs CF: I won my first challenge! This is my first time being in the top since the first episode. The risk to do Aretha paid off, and I'm so glad I made that decision. And it's honestly the perfect week to win, because I don't need to worry about making someone mad at me. I need to do a little happy dance or something, this is the best feeling!
Steph: Somebody better quit to make these numbers go down!
Wren: I felt that.
Sue: I was really doubting myself this week, so getting positive feedback and being safe, such a relief.
Anthyy: I feel that way, just flipped a little bit. I felt really good about my verse, and love my runway. But the critiques were a little shaky. I'm so grateful for everyone being safe, I'm not ready to land in the bottom!
Wren: Anthyy, Zodya. This is nothing against the two of you, but-
Zodya: Here we go.
Wren: It is a little frustrating that the week where you finally get mixed critiques, there's no bottoms. It feels interesting to me, that's all!
🏁Wren CF: I believe that there was some tricks going on behind the scenes this week. I thought Zodya was the weakest, and by quite a lot to be honest. But she's won three challenges already, Micro can't risk her going home. It feels all too convenient that this was the week for nobody to go home.
Zodya: I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't in the best headspace this week. We've been here for awhile now, it got to me.
Wren: I think it mainly annoys me because just based off of critiques, I think I was next in line to be in the top. But now we're all safe, and it puts me and you on the same level.
Zodya: Is that a bad thing? Micro and Jords both said how well we all did.
Wren: I disagree with me being placed the same as everyone else, that's it.
Zodya: You can't just say "that's it" and expect the conversation to be over.
Wren: Well, I would like it to be over.
🏁Zodya CF: If Micro gave me a free pass this week, then let me just say a quick thank you and get back to the competition. But based on the critiques, I don't think that's what happened. When Wren wins the challenge, the judging makes total sense. But whenever she doesn't win, there's some conspiracy behind it. I know we've been here for a long time, but are the fumes getting to you?
Anthyy: I don't have anything else to say about that. We all slayed, we can just move on!
Sue: I do want to ask Fleur about her part in the musical. Was that actually how you feel?
Fleur: I mean...maybe a little.
Sue: Even on Season Four, I didn't know how much pressure you put on yourself after Season One.
Fleur: I came into that season so confident, but I gave up on myself. When you feel people cheering for you, and you can't take it all the way, it makes you feel like you disappointed them.
Anthyy: You didn't disappoint anyone on Season One!
Fleur: No, I know I disappointed myself at least.
🏁Fleur CF: I take what I do very seriously, and I really care about the legacy I leave behind. If I don't live up to the expectations I set for myself, it makes me feel like it's not even worth trying.
Fleur: I'm scared of that following me. I want people to see me for who I am now, not what I was doing then.
Blondie: You have no idea how much sense this is making.
Blondie: Absolutely. The thing is, people will feel how they feel, and you can't change that. But when you start living in the moment and start this new path for yourself, they'll have no choice but to see you for who you are now. If you don't want them to focus on the past, you can't focus on it either.
🏁Zodya CF: And that is what we call a breakthrough! the queens return to the runway
Micro: Welcome back ladies! Will the top two queens please step forward. Morgs Lipsync Look Whorechata Lipsync Look
Micro: Morgs, Whorechata. Prior to tonight, you were asked to prepare a lipsync performance of “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKjZuykKY1I
Micro: This is your chance to impress me, and earn an advantage in the next challenge.
🏁Morgs CF: Eek, the nerves are starting to show up! I wasn't exactly a lipsync assassin on Season Three. But I've been working on my moves, and I think I can put up a good fight. Hope for the best!
🏁Whorechata CF: Finally, this is a song I can perform to! If y'all would've given me Fifth Harmony again, I would've walked out that door and never looked back.
"Can't explain all the feelings that you're making me feel
My heart's in overdrive and you're behind the steering wheel" Morgs struts on out commanding the stage, she's got a REAL bad girl energy in her and you can tell it from the way she walks to the nasty glare in her eyes. She positions herself in the center of the stage and lip syncs like a preoccupied teenage boy Whorechata does a little shimmy, feeling the music
"Touching you, touching me
God, you're touching me" Morgs starts to shift from bratty to sultry as she looks over and attempts to grasp the air over to her opponent. She then feels her freaky pigtails sizzling it up. She then reaches over to her opponent again, then Morgs jiggly body starts to move to the rhythm, matching up to the beat Whorechata does a little shimmy, feeling the music
"I believe in a thing called love
Just listen to the rhythm of my heart
There's a chance we could make it now
We'll be rocking 'til the sun goes down
I believe in a thing called love, hoo-ooh" Morgs jumps into the air landing knee first on the ground and bobbing her head along. She spreads her legs open across the stage and shakes her hands enthusiastically near her heart area. She then shifts her body to the side as she drags herself across the stage doing a high kick in the air as she jumps back up on her feet. She then shimmies herself down to the ground with a sensual ‘shh’ motion to her lips. On the last line she does a fierce back bend as the loveee line progresses and she then reaches for her guitar for the solo. Its a freaky guitar btw, bright pink Whorechata does a little shimmy, feeling the music
🎶Guitar solo🎶 Morgs plays her guitar matching the solo as it plays. She gets freakful to the music and moves across the stage truly making her stage presence known as she does some stunts throughout this like some back leans to the side and high kicks. She makes eye contact with her audience. throughout and they can tell that Morgs is NOT here to play games. She ends the guitar solo by making it look like she’s playing it with her tongue (very good at that) as rolls her tongue against it’s strings before throwing it back on her back Whorechata does a little shimmy, feeling the music
"Touching you, touching me
God, you're touching me, ohh" Morgs feels the sultry sensual rhythms again as she scurries off, she's such a bad bad girl and its showing in her whole aura. Morgs then makes her body jiggle by pumping it in line with the beat. Morgs then bawls her hands in a fist a pulsates them in a motion close to her heart, she then moves her hand down to her freakum as she vibrates her hand in that area making the ohh motion as she goes into a backbend in which she just barely touches the ground Whorechata does a little shimmy, feeling the music
"I believe in a thing called love
Just listen to the rhythm of my heart
There's a chance we could make it now
We'll be rocking 'til the sun goes down
I believe in a thing called love" Morgs then back flips up into her original position with her two feet on the ground (also a trained gymnast). She beams along to the music, feeling the rock star moment as she moves herself across the stage on all sides and to the back to the other queens watching as she interacts with them a little bit. She shakes her head hard along to the music. Morgs then grabs the guitar from behind her back as she is still in the back of the stage Whorechata does a little shimmy, feeling the music
🎶Guitar solo🎶 As the solo starts Morgs, now holding the guitar, slides from the back of the stage all the way to the front playing the guitar violently and excitedly as she bangs her head along. As the song comes to a close with the breakdown, Morgs destroys the guitar by banging it all in one place on the stage in a rapidfire motion and as the last beat plays, she falls into a hard front facing split with her head on the ground and she points to the sky with her right index finger as she has finished putting on a concert for the girls. From the guitar holds a paper that says “Sharris was robbed” with a wink she goes back to her spot Whorechata does a little shimmy, feeling the music
Micro: Whew, rock on!! That was a great performance...from one of you. I've made my decision.
Micro: Morgs, you're a winner, baby! You have won a significant advantage in the next challenge.
Morgs: Thanks a bunch!
Micro: Whorechata, you are safe.
Whorechata: Did all that just to be safe, just say you hate me!
Micro: Nine queens remain, and you all are the best of the best. Keep up the momentum, and give it your all. From here on out, at least one of you will be going home each week. Do not get comfortable. Now, let the music play! "Banjo" by Bebe Zahara Benet plays Next Time on Micro's Drag Race: All Stars
🏁Wren CF: I wouldn't say that I necessarily want to recite the entire Book of Mormon. It's more of a need. What is my life!? Morgs notices a box on her workroom station that holds her advantage for the challenge
Sue: This is just me getting everything I could possibly want. You get a Kylie, you get a Kylie!
Lily: This was in really poor taste, and it went entirely too far. Track Record Cast Shot w/ Placements
2023.06.04 22:43 Blubbpaule Lore Theory - The future of hyrule and the continuation of the birth of a gerudo male every 100 years.
TL;DR: Who says that the discontinued cycle which was on hold due to ganondorf existing doesn't "catch up" with time. The moment ganondorf left this plain of existence, a new gerudo male could be born by a random Vai.
So, we know that in breath of the wild, and the total time of the different calamities, no male gerudo has ever been born since ganondorf. Creating a champion states : " According to Gerudo records there has not been another male Gerudo leader since the king who became the Calamity. "
Which would make sense, because based on the gerudo-something-magic a male is born every 100 years, destined to be king by birth.
This does only work if the predecessor has ceased to exist, and thus no male gerudo has been born for multiples of thousands of years. Leaving the real ganondorf to literally rot below hyrule castle and spawn the calamity every so often.
But now we have, after eons of time, dispatched of ganondorf... this means the cycle which was frozen and/or halted is able to continue again.
Who says that the discontinued cycle which was on hold due to ganondorfs being doesn't "catch up" with time. The second ganondorf left this plain of existence, a new gerudo male has been born by a random Vai. Where could this go? The male would be king by birth. But everyone would be confused what they should do. Call the baby ganondorf? As if. But what if this baby too thirsts for power?
submitted by Blubbpaule
to tearsofthekingdom [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 19:48 maybe_elio alize softy vs bernat blanket
i make plushies and currently use primarily bernat blanket yarn. i've really been liking how alize softy yarn looks online, but i'm worried about investing money in some skeins if they aren't similar in size. i know they're both a weight 6 yarn, but parfait chunky also claimed to be weight 6 and it is much thinner than bernat blanket. is alize softy plus or mega similar?
submitted by maybe_elio
to YarnAddicts [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:46 moishepesach [RO][HR] Sincerely
Sincerely Ba-doh, ba-doh, ba-doh, ba-doh-ba Sincerely, oh yes, sincerely 'Cause I love you so dearly, please say you'll be mine -The Moonglows Part I - The End This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. If I keep saying it maybe it will be true.
But it was happening. Tough times. Humpty Dumpty times. Out of gas in the desert with no bars times.
And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than a Tijuana root canal; she walked in. Out of the sweltering Mexican heat, into the dim bar, she came; the only thing standing between me and the blinding light. I heard a couple of gunshots somewhere in the distance.
I still remember how the sun illuminated my 2pm rise and shine, shit-faced full of no caffeine afternoon after, hair of the dog; tequila shot and beer. Like I said, tough times on the Ponderosa, Hoss.
Every time I think of that moment, I stand transfixed in time. Unable to move, frozen in-place tighter than a suckered kid’s tongue to a Chicago lamppost in a February ice storm. Maggie had long ago won my heart’s devotion only to betray both me, and it, in ways still inconceivable to my sauce pan of a brain.
So, a couple of months ago, my life in post-apocalyptic ruin, I did what any red-blooded American would do; I flew across the border to CDMX to drown my sorrows in tequila and cheap living. And now, incomprehensibly, here she was; back, again like the September monsoon. Had the bitch air tagged me?
It seemed with Maggie my heart’s devotion was not enough. Everything she wanted and received soon became a dull knife; just ain’t cutting. Mags had to have it all, all the time. And I thought she had gotten all of me and more. Who’d think she’d want to pick at the carcass? But inexplicably, there she was like my constant migraine, the one that never really left the base of my skull.
Without a word Mags swooped in close like she missed me and now hadda kiss me.
Then, quicker than lightning showing off, she plunged her delicate-boned hand deep into my chest. She then removed it with even greater alacrity holding it high above her jet-black mane. She waved it for all the bar to see, my still beating corazón in it, color-coordinating against it’s will with her manicure, making what looked like vague Italian gestures.
Nobody in the bar paid us any mind.
I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but avert my horrified gaze into my now exposed chest cavity, only to witness darkness within darkness gazing back at me.
,” a voiceless voice greeted and saluted.
I looked up at Maggie. She took the seat opposite mine. Then reaching over with her free hand commandeered my tequila and knocked it back quick. Her encore was to grab my beer and drain it with all the mud she could muster into my eye. Then, with a satisfied look she dropped the now emptied bottle on the wooden table hard enough to make a thud.
Maggie then met my stare. My cardia beating peripatetically in her freshly manicured right-hand she made an elaborate shrug, her face smug as a tyrant’s fart.
I remembered wondering what the fuck was keeping my cardio so vascular. It sure as fuck wasn’t clean living. Then, that voiceless voice had yet more to say. “Now what, Spenser?” it asked.
Now, it was now my turn to shrug. Surprisingly, despite being a now certifiably heartless son of a bitch, I, too, had something to say. So, I said it.
“You’re fucking diabolical, Maggie.”
My words of judgment echoed clear, permeating deep into the abyss, then back again at Maggie. She caught my words easier than a kitten catches smiles. She just shrugged again. It was starting to get annoying.
“You ruined me,” I added just to be doing something.
The shrug undulated down from her tan and toned shoulder through her arm, finally coming to a full stop at her finger’s tips.
Waving my heart at me with more vague Italian gestures Mags asked, “How can you be so sure, Spenser?” Part II – The Middle Sincerely, oh you know how I love you I'll do anything for you, please say you'll be mine
This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. My new mantra wasn’t working.
Six months ago, I thought Maggie was the answer to my dreams.
Swooping down like an angel to shower me with attention and affection. Dinners with wine. Hot sex. More hot sex. No strings attached. Getting to know you pillow talk.
Now, there’s one thing I need to add. I met her through a dating app but as it turned out we both worked for the same nonprofit. We didn’t know each other as it’s a fairly big company but it turned out I supported the code for both her projects. This turned out to be one of many coincidences.
We both hated our jobs. We both liked writing short stories but never could sell a thing despite writing dozens and dozens. We both could dance salsa, on 1 and 2 and loved to hablar en español que no era muy guapo.
We both wanted to run away to Mexico city and live the Bohemian life.
Coincidences like we both grew up in NYC and had issues with our respective families of origin. And while she was Chinese-American and I was Russian-American both our fathers were born in the same year and were obsessed with Woody Allen. We both had much younger siblings we didn’t speak to.
Yeah, we had both grown up with weak fathers and selfish narcissistic mothers in common. And worser still, we had both experienced unstable living situations in high school. In my case, I was kicked out of the house for smoking weed.
In Maggie’s case, I never really was sure what went down but the best I could get out of her was at 13 she got pissed at her mom for cheating on her dad and left the house with nowhere to go. She ended up with family friends or relatives but the details were always murky and I was not the nosey type.
Her words to me were, “My mother’s emotional IQ is low. I raised myself.”
Impressively, she had made it through the Ivy League and seemed to be someone down to earth I could spend time with. But truth be told from the minute I saw her profile picture I was hotter than a Texas chili sprout for her.
It was some kind of primal attraction I thought I was long past entertaining. It wasn’t lust. It wasn’t love. It was like the thought of coming home to a family I never knew I had or that even could exist.
This shit made old me feel like young me again. But, as oft is the case in life, there was a problem. I was old, broke and probably about to lose my job. I was in IT and I was having problems with my manager being a psychopath; for reals.
It wasn’t mere conjecture as he had a reputation of getting people fired, or worse, making their lives so miserable they would quit; even with no prospects. I had been the focus of his sabotaging efforts and it had been having a bad effect on my mental and physical well-being.
This had taken a turn for the worse and I was catching a lot of passive aggressive hostility on the project Maggie supported.
Anyway, she was the bright spot in my otherwise mostly solitary and emotionally bleak life. And she lived nearby. She had an ex and kids and shared custody but I never met them and she didn’t really talk much about it except to say once, “You should need a license to have kids.”
I never had quite known what to make of some of the things she said, but like I said, I was under her spell. And I liked it.
And the icing on top? I had a dominant kinky side and that was a fire Maggie poured gasoline on every chance she got. She was worse than an arsonist in Underoo Town.
One weird thing about Mags was her knitting habit. If we weren’t fucking or eating she was knitting. Even at restaurants and bars.
One day in November, with the sun golden in a sky so blue you thought you could touch it I asked, “What are you knitting?”
Maggie gave me a wry look. She got out of her chair and seemed to be examining my bald head which I had shaved just that morning.
“A hat,” she replied.
But as the holidays rolled around things started to change. One Sunday morning as we were having coffee Maggie looked around the crowded steamy café.
“Everybody’s hooking up for the holidays,” she remarked.
I didn’t really know what to do with that one so I let it be.
But as the days went on there was a change in the weather. Fewer texts. Less sex. Maggie going out of town to some vague destination. Sending me sexy pictures of herself in Santa outfits after I caught the flu during Christmas.
A few days after Christmas I got a text late one night.
“Is it okay if I come by?”
“Very okay,” was my reply.
Maggie showed up with chocolate, red wine and the hat she had been knitting. Orange Afghani wool softer than a golden retriever’s fur. She put the hat on my head and then removed all my clothes.
“Let’s celebrate Christmas, Spenser.”
And, we did.
When we were done and lying head-to-head, I said, “I love my hat.”
Maggie said, “I made it especially for you. No matter what, don’t lose it.”
It was another one of those weird Maggie things she said, like, “I used to shoplift,” and shit like that.
“Promise me you’ll hold on to your hat, Spenser.”
Maggie observed my face, then nodded as if confirming something to herself.
Then we did that thing again.
That was the pinnacle. Things quickly went downhill for no reason I could discern. Texts unanswered and when answered; kind of abrupt-like. Being unavailable. Stuff with her kids. Time away in Connecticut for some vague reason. After that I began feeling like the weakest card in a gambler’s hand.
But Maggie kept shoe horning me in at odd times, giving me just enough crumbs to keep me on the hook. And as we rode the roller coaster down everything always seemed to center around alcohol. And sex. More and more debauched sex. Finally, by New Year’s Eve things were getting straight-up weird no chaser.
“You know that thing we talked about?”
By her tone I knew what she meant. I nodded cautiously.
“You want to try it?”
Maggie dropped a smile on me that would have had the serpent in the garden applying for unemployment.
“Yes,” she said.
So, we did.
I thought I had been imagining things. I thought we were back at the pinnacle. I could feel the love drug course through my veins. Things couldn’t be better. Or, so I thought.
Oh Lord, won't you tell me why
I love that girlie so
The Following Monday
The next Monday I was called into what turned out to be the most fucking bizarre moment of my fifty-eight years on this planet; and I’ve had some bizarre fucking moments growing up in south Brooklyn in the 1970’s; believe you me.
The company’s CIO, compliance officer, head of legal, head of HR and my evil manager, Conte Rugen were all in attendance, cameras ROLLING.
It appears I was being dismissed after 8 years loyal service for sexual assault, extortion, harassment, hate speech, insults to farm animals and every fucking other offense against God and man one could commit in these holiest of holy United States of America.
And just who had I… who had I.. victimized? Who had I preyed upon? Harassed? Gone full nutso on?
They had the goods. Recordings. Video. Ropes. Whips. Chains. Bad Spanglish. Maggie screaming, “No, papi! No!!!!”
I believe I was, what is known in legal parlance as, summarily fucked.
Nobody wanted to hear my side. How things were taken out of context. Things we had mutually consented to out of exciting and bonding trust and exploration.
“Did I have consent agreement?” I parroted back in shock to the head of legal.
“Did you get one when you fucked your mother in the ass before she shat you out?” I added just to keep my mouth from puking.
I was in bombshell shock. Maggie was my angel. Our situationship was supposed to be fucking healing from our abused childhoods and here I am now some kind of Tarantinoesque, Mr. Fucking Rapist? And my fucking manager once bragging about throwing a cat out a window when he was a juvenile delinquent?!?
There would be charges pressed. I would need an attorney. I might be arrested.
And it all happened faster than you can say, “Blue Monday, How I hate Blue Monday”.
And then Maggie sued the company. Take no fucking prisoners, Maggie. Disco-fucking-inferno burn that mother down we don’t need no water let the motherfucker burn Maggie. I wondered if her ex had been left on food stamps after the divorce.
A few months and my life savings and retirement account after that the criminal case got pleaded down to misdemeanor assault and I was able to arbitrate with my employer and Maggie’s lawyer leaving me with some clothes, my passport and precisely enough plastic to fly into the sweltering Mexican heat. So, fly into it I did. Part III – The Beginning Sincerely, oh you know how I love you I'll do anything for you, please say you'll be mine Oh Lord, won't you tell me why I love that girlie so She doesn't want me But I'll never never never never let her go
“I wish you’d stop waving that thing at me,” I said gesturing at my heart with my chin.
“You’re still upset,” Maggie said. It wasn’t a question.
“You fucking abused me. You fucking eviscerated me. Yeah, you could say I’m a little perturbed.”
“But you’re still wearing the hat,” she said smiling.
“It’s a bad ass hat,” I said. It was after all. Why cut off your nose to spite your face?
“I put a lot of time and thought into it,” she said. My heart continued to beat in her hand. ... Oh Lord, won't you tell me why I love that girlie so She doesn't want me But I'll never never never never let her go ...
“Look,” she said waving my heart at me.
“I really wish you wouldn’t wave that around like that.”
The voice in the abyss in my chest spoke. It said, “Wait for it.”
Maggie said, “Spenser, you poor fucking sap. You hate your fucking job. You try to do the right fucking thing and speak up and you get kicked around like a dog. You try to love hard and you get beat up and left in an alley. You try to write books and start businesses and you end up bankrupt or dead.
And now look at you! You don’t have a care in the fucking world. You don’t have a shitty job. You are in beautiful Mexico City with the girl of your dreams. You say your heart was hardened? Well, I say it feels pretty fucking soft and sweet to me. Like the hat I knitted you. With the pom pom. And you know what?”
“What?” I heard myself murmur?
The abyss in my chest said, “Yeah, what?”
“Well, one the fucking pom pom has a beacon so I knew where you were the whole fucking time you sap. So I can tell you this true. And I will. So here I am in fucking Mexico sweating my tits off. And I am telling you this," she said nodding at my cardio, "is a very good heart. And I am putting it back where it belongs.
There is nothing wrong with it and now nobody can hurt it again. And if you want to write a book now you have something, and someone,” she added with a wry smile, “to write about.”
Then lightning quick Maggie put it back in my chest and removing her hand made a quick flourish gesturing for the waitress.
“Botella de tequila, por favor!”
I looked down at my chest. Everything seemed to be the way it had been before she ripped out my heart. Only different.
I was about to speak. Maggie raised a hand.
The waitress appeared like a wraith and put down a bottle of Don Julio and two fresh shot glasses and two cold ones.
Maggie poured two shots and pushed one at me with the hand that had been holding my cardio captive. She then fished around in her pocket and found her phone.
“What the fuck, right," that's what your thinking, Spenser. Yeah, what the fuck is right. Look at this baby boy,” she said and then pushed her phone next to the shot glass.
I was looking at what appeared to be a bank balance that appeared ready, willing and able to face fuck an extraordinarily tall giraffe. I felt the migraine disappear like a bad dream.
Maggie gave me a wry smile.
She pushed the shot glass closer to me and picked hers up. I felt my elbow bending. It felt okay.
She tilted her shot at me and said, "Here's looking at you, kid," and took the shot. I drank mine.
We put our glasses down.
“You can negotiate anything," she said, then added, "sincerely.”
And then, then she kissed me. Oh say you'll be mine Oo-eee, oo-eee-oo, ooi-ooi-ooo Sincerely
submitted by moishepesach
to shortstories [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 16:48 facetime010101 Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder
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It's important to remember that these evaluations are guides to potential health concerns and not definitive measures of a product's safety or efficacy. They are based on individual ingredients rather than any negative effects the final product may have.
The way ingredients interact in a formulation can influence their potential impact, and the presence of a specific ingredient does not automatically equate to harm when used in a product. It's always crucial to do your own research, consider the product as a whole, and keep in mind that personal reactions can vary greatly. When making decisions about personal care products, it is recommended to consult with healthcare professionals.
: This baby formula appears well-rounded with a comprehensive blend of macronutrients, micronutrients, and beneficial additives such as 2'-O-Fucosyllactose, a human milk oligosaccharide, for gut health. However, the first ingredient, lactose, might not be suitable for babies with lactose intolerance. The formula also contains palm olein oil, which in some infants can cause harder stools and reduce calcium absorption. Moreover, Vitamin A Acetate is included - while essential, excessive consumption could lead to vitamin A toxicity, although this is unlikely given strict regulatory guidelines for infant formula. Lastly, soy is present, which could be a concern for babies with a soy allergy. It's always advisable to consult with a healthcare provider when choosing an infant formula to ensure it meets the child's specific needs.
Lactose, Vegetable Oils (Palm Olein, Soy, Coconut, High-Oleic Safflower Or High-Oleic Sunflower), Whey Protein Concentrate (Reduced In Minerals), Nonfat Dry Milk, And Less Than 2% Of: Soy Lecithin, Calcium Citrate, Potassium Citrate, Corn Maltodextrin, Potassium Chloride, 2'-O-Fucosyllactose, C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpinaoil, Calcium Phosphate, Choline Bitartrate, Sodium Ascorbate, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Hydroxide, Nucleotides (Cytidine 5'-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine 5'-Monophosphate, Adenosine 5'-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5'-Monophosphate), Inositol, Ferrous Sulfate, Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Mixed Tocopherols, Ascorbyl Palmitate, L-Histidine, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, B. Lactis Cultures, L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Citric Acid, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12
Typical ingredients description and side effects
- Soy Lecithin
- Soy lecithin is a common ingredient found in various food products, including baby formulas. It is derived from soybean oil and is used as an emulsifier, helping to blend and stabilize the ingredients in the formula. Soy lecithin is generally considered safe for consumption, but like any food ingredient, it can have potential side effects or considerations.
- Potential Side Effects:
- Allergies or Sensitivities: Soy is one of the top food allergens, and some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to soy products, including soy lecithin. Allergic reactions can vary in severity and may include symptoms such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or digestive issues. If your baby has a known soy allergy or shows signs of an allergic reaction after consuming a baby formula containing soy lecithin, it is important to discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
- Digestive Sensitivities: Some individuals, including babies, may have digestive sensitivities to soy-based products. This can manifest as symptoms like gas, bloating, colic, or diarrhea. If your baby experiences any of these symptoms after consuming a baby formula containing soy lecithin, you may consider discussing alternative formulas with your pediatrician.
- EWG Skin Grade: 4
- Potassium Hydroxide
- Potassium Hydroxide is commonly used in the food industry as a pH regulator or a food stabilizer. It helps to maintain the acidity or alkalinity of food, which is important for flavor, preservation, and food safety. In baby formula, Potassium Hydroxide is used to adjust the pH to make it as close to human milk as possible, to ensure optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Potential Side Effects:
- Irritation: Potassium hydroxide is known to be caustic, meaning it can cause irritation or burns if it comes into direct contact with the skin or eyes in its pure form. However, in food products like baby formula, it's used in very diluted quantities that are safe for consumption.
- Digestive Issues: If consumed in large amounts, potassium hydroxide could potentially cause digestive issues such as nausea or vomiting. However, the small amounts used in food products are unlikely to cause such effects.
- EWG Skin Grade: 5
- Ferrous Sulfate
- Ferrous sulfate is a type of iron supplement that's often added to baby formulas. Iron is an essential nutrient that's necessary for the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. It's also worth noting that some infants may have difficulty absorbing iron from supplements like ferrous sulfate, which can potentially lead to issues such as iron deficiency anemia. However, most infants can absorb and utilize the iron in baby formula without issue.
- Potential Side Effects:
- Gastrointestinal Issues: These can include nausea, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach upset.
- Iron Toxicity: Though very rare and typically associated with accidental ingestion of iron supplements, iron toxicity can be serious, causing symptoms like dizziness, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, fever, and in severe cases, can lead to organ damage.
- Interference with Nutrient Absorption: Excessive iron can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients, such as zinc.
- EWG Skin Grade: 4
- Tocopheryl Acetate
- Tocopheryl Acetate is a form of vitamin E that is often added to baby formula, skincare products, and various other products. Vitamin E is an essential nutrient known for its antioxidant properties. It plays a crucial role in protecting cells from damage, supporting immune function, and promoting healthy skin and eyes. In the context of baby formula, tocopheryl acetate is generally safe and unlikely to cause side effects when consumed at levels that are within the recommended dietary allowances for infants. However, like any nutrient, it could potentially cause side effects if consumed excessively.
- Potential Side Effects:
- Bleeding: Vitamin E has mild anticoagulant properties, meaning it can prevent blood clots. While this is typically a good thing, in large amounts, it could potentially increase the risk of bleeding.
- Nausea, Diarrhea, Stomach Cramps: Some people may experience digestive upset from consuming too much vitamin E.
- Rash: Some individuals may have a skin reaction to topical use of tocopheryl acetate, though this is less relevant for its presence in baby formula
- EWG Skin Grade: 3
- Zinc Sulfate
- Zinc sulfate is a mineral that is frequently used in dietary supplements and baby formulas. Zinc is an essential nutrient that supports various body functions, including immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. It's particularly important for babies as they grow and develop.
- Potential Side Effects:
- Gastrointestinal Issues: Excessive intake of zinc can cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
- Zinc Toxicity: While rare, severe overconsumption can lead to zinc toxicity, with symptoms including loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. Long-term excessive intake could potentially interfere with the body's absorption of other essential minerals like copper and iron.
- EWG Skin Grade: 6
- Vitamin A Acetate
- Vitamin A Acetate, also known as retinyl acetate, is a form of vitamin A that's often added to food products, including infant formula, due to its essential role in supporting vision, the immune system, and overall growth and development. It's generally safe for use in such products, but as with any nutrient, too much can lead to adverse effects. It's important to note that these side effects are generally associated with excessive intake over a prolonged period, not normal dietary consumption.
- Potential Side Effects:
- Vitamin A Toxicity (Hypervitaminosis A): This can occur if an infant is given too much Vitamin A over a long period of time. Symptoms can include nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, and even hair loss in severe cases. However, it is extremely rare and typically associated with over-supplementation, not food sources.
- Birth Defects: Consuming extremely high levels of Vitamin A during pregnancy can potentially lead to birth defects. However, this is not relevant to baby formula but rather a concern for pregnant women.
- Interactions with other nutrients: High levels of Vitamin A can interfere with the absorption and utilization of other vitamins, such as Vitamin D and Vitamin K.
- EWG Skin Grade: 9
- Manganese Sulfate
- Manganese sulfate is a mineral that's often used in dietary supplements and food products, including baby formula. Manganese is an essential nutrient that supports many body functions, including bone development, metabolism, and brain function. As of my knowledge, manganese sulfate is generally considered safe in the quantities typically found in food and formula, but excessive intake can lead to adverse effects
- Potential Side Effects:
- Neurological Effects: High levels of manganese exposure have been associated with neurological issues, but this is generally associated with environmental exposure (like inhaling manganese dust), not dietary intake.
- Interference with Iron Absorption: Manganese can interfere with the absorption of iron. This is generally not a problem with the levels of manganese found in baby formula, but it could potentially be an issue with very high levels of intake.
- Digestive Issues: As with any mineral, consuming excessive amounts could potentially cause digestive issues like nausea or diarrhea.
- EWG Skin Grade: 3
- Phylloquinone is another name for Vitamin K1, an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in the body's blood clotting process. It's naturally found in foods like leafy green vegetables, and it's often added to infant formulas to ensure babies get an adequate amount of this nutrient. In the amounts typically found in infant formula, Phylloquinone is generally considered safe and side effects are rare. It's important to understand that these side effects are usually associated with very high doses of the vitamin, typically from supplementation, and not from dietary intake like in baby formula.
- Potential Side Effects:
- Allergic Reactions: Some people may be allergic to Phylloquinone. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. However, such reactions are extremely rare.
- Interference with Blood-Thinning Medications: High doses of Vitamin K can interfere with the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications. This is not typically a concern for infants consuming baby formula but may be relevant in certain medical conditions.
- Hemolytic Anemia or Jaundice in Newborns: Extremely high doses of Vitamin K can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia or jaundice in newborns, especially those with a condition called G6PD deficiency. However, the amount of Vitamin K in infant formula is well below the level that could cause this condition.
- EWG Skin Grade: 4
- Sodium Selenate
- Sodium selenate is a form of selenium, an essential trace mineral necessary for many bodily functions. Selenium is important for DNA synthesis, reproduction, metabolism of thyroid hormones, and protection against oxidative damage and infection, among other things. For infants, selenium is crucial for normal growth and development.
- Potential Side Effects:
- Selenosis: Selenium can have adverse effects if consumed in excess. Selenium toxicity can lead to a condition called selenosis, which can cause symptoms such as hair loss, gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, irritability, and nerve damage.
- Digestive Issues: In large amounts, selenium might cause digestive issues like nausea or diarrhea.
- Skin Rash: In some cases, overconsumption of selenium can lead to skin rashes.
- EWG Skin Grade: 8
The grading system used by EWG in the Skin Deep database is as follows:
1 to 2: Low hazard
3 to 6: Moderate hazard
7 to 10: High hazard
2023.06.04 16:37 TrainingSecretary619 Ready to snuggle up a new baby!
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Pattern is the Love Squared Blanket and the yarn is Red Heart Super Saver in the colors Frosty Green, Aran, Buff Fleck and Cafe au Lait, plus an additional forest green tweed-y yarn from my stash (label fell off, but it may be Lion Brand?). Ready for my friend's daughter's baby shower in 2 weeks, hope she loves it for her Jungle theme nursery! submitted by TrainingSecretary619 to knitting [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 14:34 Dirtclodkoolaid AMA RESOLUTION 235
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AMA RESOLUTION 235 November 2018 INAPPROPRIATE USE OF CDC Guidelines FOR PRESCRIBING OPIOIDS (Entire Document)
“Resolution 235 asks that our AMA applaud the CDC for its efforts to prevent the incidence of new cases of opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose deaths; and be it further, that no entity should use MME thresholds as anything more than guidance and that MME thresholds should not be used to completely prohibit the prescribing of, or the filling of prescriptions for, medications used in oncology care, palliative medicine care, and addiction medicine care: and be it further, that our AMA communicate with the nation’s largest pharmacy chains and pharmacy benefit managers to recommend that they cease and desist with writing threatening letters to physicians and cease and desist with presenting policies, procedures and directives to retail pharmacists that include a blanket proscription against filling prescriptions for opioids that exceed certain numerical thresholds without taking into account the diagnosis and previous response to treatment for a patient and any clinical nuances that would support such prescribing as falling within standards of good quality patient care; and be it further, that AMA Policy opposing the legislating of numerical limits on medication dosage, duration of therapy, numbers of pills/tablets, etc., be reaffirmed; and be it further, that physicians should not be subject to professional discipline or loss of board certification or loss of clinical privileges simply for prescribing opioids at a quantitative level that exceeds the MME thresholds found in the CDC Guidelines; and be it further, that our AMA encourage the Federation of State Medical Boards and its member boards, medical specialty societies, and other entities to develop improved guidance on management of pain and management of potential withdrawal syndromes and other aspects of patient care for “legacy patients” who may have been treated for extended periods of time with high-dose opioid therapy for chronic non-malignant pain.
RESOLVED, that our American Medical Association (AMA) applaud the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its efforts to prevent the incidence of new cases of opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose deaths
RESOLVED, that our AMA actively continue to communicate and engage with the nation’s largest pharmacy chains, pharmacy benefit managers, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Federation of State Medical Boards, and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in opposition to communications being sent to physicians that include a blanket proscription against filing prescriptions for opioids that exceed numerical thresholds without taking into account the diagnosis and previous response to treatment for a patient and any clinical nuances that would support such prescribing as falling within standards of good quality patient care.
RESOLVED, that our AMA affirms that some patients with acute or chronic pain can benefit from taking opioid pain medications at doses greater than generally recommended in the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and that such care may be medically necessary and appropriate, and be it further
RESOLVED, that our AMA advocate against misapplication of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids by pharmacists, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, legislatures, and governmental and private regulatory bodies in ways that prevent or limit patients’ medical access to opioid analgesia, and be it further
RESOLVED, that our AMA advocate that no entity should use MME (morphine milligram equivalents) thresholds as anything more than guidance, and physicians should not be subject to professional discipline, loss of board certification, loss of clinical privileges, criminal prosecution, civil liability, or other penalties or practice limitations solely for prescribing opioids at a quantitative level above the MME thresholds found in the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids.””
Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force - Draft Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations Official Health and Human Services Department Released December 2018
“The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016 led to the creation of the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (Task Force), whose mission is to determine whether gaps in or inconsistencies between best practices for acute and chronic pain management exist and to propose updates and recommendations to those best practices. The Task Force consists of 29 experts who have significant experience across the disciplines of pain management, patient advocacy, substance use disorders, mental health, and minority health.”
In addition to identifying approximately 60 gaps in clinical best practices and the current treatment of pain in the United States, HHS PMTF provided recommendations for each of these major areas of concern. In alignment with their original charter, the PMTF will submit these recommendations to Congress to become our ‘National Pain Policy’. The 60+ gaps and inconsistencies with their recommendations will serve to fill gaps in pain treatment at both the state and federal level; and the overwhelming consensus was that the treatment of pain should be multimodal and completely individualized based on the individual patient. The heart of each recommendation in each section was a resounding call for individualization for each patient, in regards to both non-pharmacological and pharmacological modalities; including individualizations in both opioid and non-opioid pharmacological treatments.
While each of the gap+recommendation sections of what is poised to become our national pain policy is extremely important, one that stands out the most (in regards to opioid prescribing) is the Stigma section. Contained in this section is one of the core statements that shows our Health and Human Services agency - the one that should have always been looked to and followed - knew the true depth of the relationship (or lack of) between the overdose crisis and compassionate prescribing to patients with painful conditions:
“The national crisis of illicit drug use, with overdose deaths, is confused with appropriate therapy for patients who are being treated for pain. This confusion has created a stigma that contributes to raise barriers to proper access to care.”
The recommendation that follows - “Identify strategies to reduce stigma in opioid use so that it is never a barrier to patients receiving appropriate treatment, with all cautions and considerations for the management of their chronic pain conditions” - illustrates an acknowledgment by the top health agency of the federal government that the current national narrative conflating and confusing compassionate treatment of pain with illicit drug use, addiction, and overdose death is incorrect and only serving to harm patients.
Since March of 2016 when the CDC Guidelines were released, advocates, patients, clinicians, stakeholders, and others, have began pointing out limitations and unintended consequences as they emerged. In order to address the unintended consequences emerging from the CDC Guidelines, this task force was also charged with review of these guidelines; from expert selection, evidence selection, creation, and continuing to current misapplication in order to provide recommendations to begin to remedy these issues.
“A commentary by Busse et al. identified several limitations to the CDC guideline related to expert selection, evidence inclusion criteria, method of evidence quality grading, support of recommendations with low-quality evidence, and instances of vague recommendations. In addition, the CDC used the criterion of a lack of clinical trials with a duration of one year or longer as lack of evidence for the clinical effectiveness of opioids, whereas Tayeb et al. found that that was true for all common medication and behavioral therapy studies.
Interpretation of the guideline, in addition to some gaps in the guideline, have led to unintended consequences, some of which are the result of misapplication or misinterpretation of the CDC guideline.
However, at least 28 states have enacted legislation related to opioid prescription limits, and many states and organizations have implemented the guideline without recognizing that the intended audience was PCPs; have used legislation for what should be medical decision making by healthcare professionals; and have applied them to all physicians, dentists, NPs, and PAs, including pain specialists.441–444 Some stakeholders have interpreted the guideline as intended to broadly reduce the amount of opioids prescribed for treating pain; some experts have noted that the guideline emphasizes the risk of opioids while minimizing the benefit of this medication class when properly managed.”
“The CDC guideline was not intended to be model legislation for state legislators to enact”
“In essence, clinicians should be able to use their clinical judgment to determine opioid duration for their patients” https://www.hhs.gov/ash/advisory-committees/pain/reports/2018-12-draft-report-on-updates-gaps-inconsistencies-recommendations/index.html
HHS Review of 2016 CDC Guidelines for responsible opioid prescribing
The Pain Management Task Force addressed 8 areas that are in need of update or expansion with recommendations to begin remediation for each problem area:
Lack of high-quality data exists for duration of effectiveness of opioids for chronic pain; this has been interpreted as a lack of benefit Conduct studies Focus on patient variability and response for effectiveness of opioids; use real-world applicable trials
Absence of criteria for identifying patients for whom opioids make up significant part of their pain treatment Conduct clinical trials and/or reviews to identify sub-populations of patients where long-term opioid treatment is appropriate
Wide variation in factors that affect optimal dose of opioids Consider patient variables for opioid therapy: Respiratory compromise Patient metabolic variables Differences in opioid medications/plasma concentrations Preform comprehensive initial assessment it’s understanding of need for comprehensive reevaluations to adjust dose Give careful considerations to patients on opioid pain regimen with additional risk factors for OUD
Specific guidelines for opioid tapering and escalation need to be further clarified A thorough assessment of risk-benefit ratio should occur whenever tapering or escalation of dose This should include collaboration with patient whenever possible Develop taper or dose escalation guidelines for sub-populations that include consideration of their comorbidities When benefit outweighs the risk, consider maintaining therapy for stable patients on long term opioid therapy
Causes of worsening pain are not often recognized or considered. Non-tolerance related factors: surgery, flares, increased physical demands, or emotional distress Avoid increase in dose for stable patient (2+ month stable dose) until patient is re-evaluated for underlying cause of elevated pain or possible OUD risk Considerations to avoid dose escalation include: Opioid rotation Non-opioid medication Interventional strategies Cognitive behavior strategies Complementary and integrative health approaches Physical therapy
In patients with chronic pain AND anxiety or spasticity, benzodiazepine co-prescribed with opioids still have clinical value; although the risk of overdose is well established When clinically indicated, co-prescription should be managed by specialist who have knowledge, training, and experience with co-prescribing. When co-prescribed for anxiety or SUD collaboration with mental health should be considered Develop clinical practice guidelines focused on tapering for co-prescription of benzodiazepines and opioids
The risk-benefit balance varies for individual patients. Doses >90MME may be favorable for some where doses <90MME may be for other patients due to individual patient factors. Variability in effectiveness and safety between high and low doses of opioids are not clearly defined. Clinicians should use caution with higher doses in general Using carefully monitored trial with frequent monitoring with each dose adjustment and regular risk reassessment, physicians should individualize doses, using lowest effective opioid dose that balances benefit, risk, and adverse reactions Many factors influence benefits and risk, therefore, guidance of dose should not be applied as strict limits. Use established and measurable goals: Functionality ADL Quality of Life
Duration of pain following acute and severely painful event is widely variable Appropriate duration is best considered within guidelines, but is ultimately determined by treating clinician. CDC recommendation for duration should be emphasized as guidance only with individualized patient care as the goal Develop acute pain management guidelines for common surgical procedures and traumas To address variability and provide easy solution, consideration should be given to partial refill system
Human Rights Watch December 2018 (Excerpt from 109 page report)
“If harms to chronic pain patients are an unintended consequence of policies to reduce inappropriate prescribing, the government should seek to immediately minimize and measure the negative impacts of these policies. Any response should avoid further stigmatizing chronic pain patients, who are increasingly associated with — and sometimes blamed for — the overdose crisis and characterized as “drug seekers,” rather than people with serious health problems that require treatment.
Top government officials, including the President, have said the country should aim for drastic cutbacks in prescribing. State legislatures encourage restrictions on prescribing through new legislation or regulations. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has investigated medical practitioners accused of overprescribing or fraudulent practice. State health agencies and insurance companies routinely warn physicians who prescribe more opioids than their peers and encourage them to reduce prescribing. Private insurance companies have imposed additional requirements for covering opioids, some state Medicaid programs have mandated tapering to lower doses for patients, and pharmacy chains are actively trying to reduce the volumes of opioids they dispense.
The medical community at large recognized that certain key steps were necessary to tackle the overdose crisis: identifying and cracking down on “pill mills” and reducing the use of opioids for less severe pain, particularly for children and adolescents. However, the urgency to tackle the overdose crisis has put pressure on physicians in other potentially negative ways: our interviews with dozens of physicians found that the atmosphere around prescribing for chronic pain had become so fraught that physicians felt they must avoid opioid analgesics even in cases when it contradicted their view of what would provide the best care for their patients. In some cases, this desire to cut back on opioid prescribing translated to doctors tapering patients off their medications without patient consent, while in others it meant that physicians would no longer accept patients who had a history of needing high-dose opioids.
The consequences to patients, according to Human Rights Watch research, have been catastrophic.”
Opioid Prescribing Workgroup December 2018
This is material from the Board of Scientific Counselors in regards to their December 12, 2018 meeting that culminated the works of a project titled the “Opioid Prescribing Estimates Project.” This project is a descriptive study that is examining opioid prescribing patterns at a population level. Pain management is a very individualized process that belongs with the patient and provider. The Workgroup reviewed work done by CDC and provided additional recommendations.
SUMMARY There were several recurrent themes throughout the sessions.
Repeated concern was voiced from many Workgroup members that the CDC may not be able to prevent conclusions from this research (i.e. the benchmarks, developed from limited data) from being used by states or payors or clinical care systems to constrain clinical care or as pay-for- performance standards – i.e. interpreted as “guidelines”. This issue was raised by several members on each of the four calls, raising the possibility that providers or clinical systems could thus be incentivized against caring for patients requiring above average amounts of opioid medication.
Risk for misuse of the analysis. Several members expressed concerns that this analysis could be interpreted as guidance by regulators, health plans, or clinical care systems. Even though the CDC does not plan to issue this as a guideline, but instead as research, payors and clinical care systems searching for ways to reign in opioid prescribing may utilize CDC “benchmarks” to establish pay-for-performance or other means to limit opioid prescribing. Such uses of this work could have the unintended effect of incentivizing providers against caring for patients reliant upon opioids.
…It was also noted that, in order to obtain sufficient granularity to establish the need for, dosage, and duration of opioid therapy, it would be necessary to have much more extensive electronic medical record data. In addition, pain and functional outcomes are absent from the dataset, but were felt to be important when considering risk and benefit of opioids.
...Tapering: Concerns about benchmarks and the implications for tapering were voiced. If tapering occurs, guidance was felt to be needed regarding how, when, in whom tapering should occur. This issue was felt to be particularly challenging for patients on chronic opioids (i.e. “legacy” patients). In addition, the importance of measuring risk and benefit of tapering was noted. Not all high-dose patient populations benefit from tapering.
General comments. Workgroup members noted that most patients prescribed opioids do not experience adverse events, including use disorder. Many suggested that further discussion of opioids with patients prior to surgery was important, with an emphasis on expectations and duration of treatment. A member suggested that take-back programs would be more effective than prescribing restrictions.
Procedure-related care. Members noted that patient factors may drive opioid need more than characteristics of a procedure.
Patient-level factors. Members noted that opioid-experienced patients should be considered differently from opioid-inexperienced patients, due to tolerance.
It was noted that anything coming out of the CDC might be considered as guidelines and that this misinterpretation can be difficult to counter. There was extensive discussion of the 50 and 90 MME levels included in the CDC Guidelines. It was recommended that the CDC look into the adverse effects of opioid tapering and discontinuation, such as illicit opioid use, acute care utilization, dropping out of care, and suicide. It was also noted that there are major gaps in guidelines for legacy patients, patients with multiple diagnoses, pediatric and geriatric patients, and patients transitioning to lower doses.
There were concerns that insufficient clinical data will be available from the dataset to appropriately consider the individual-level factors that weigh into determination of opioid therapy. The data would also fail to account for the shared decision-making process involved in opioid prescribing for chronic pain conditions, which may be dependent on primary care providers as well as ancillary care providers (e.g. physical therapists, psychologists, etc).
Patient-level factors. Members repeatedly noted that opioid-experienced patients should be considered differently from opioid-experienced patients, due to tolerance.
Members noted that the current CDC guidelines have been used by states, insurance companies, and some clinical care systems in ways that were not intended by the CDC, resulting in cases of and the perception of patient abandonment. One option raised in this context was to exclude patients on high doses of opioids, as those individuals would be qualitatively different from others. A variant of this concern was about management of “legacy” patients who are inherited on high doses of opioids. Members voiced concerns that results of this work has caused harm to patients currently reliant upon opioids prescribed by their providers.
Acute Non-Surgical Pain
Patient-level factors. Members felt that opioid naïve versus experienced patients might again be considered separately, as opioid requirements among those experienced could vary widely.
...Guidelines were also noted to be often based on consensus, which may be incorrect.
Cancer-Related and Palliative Care Pain
It was noted that the CDC guidelines have been misinterpreted to create a limit to the dose of opioids that can be provided to people at all stages of cancer and its treatment. It was also noted that the cancer field is rapidly evolving, with immunotherapy, CAR-T, and other novel treatments that affect response rates and limit our ability to rely upon historical data in establishing opioid prescribing benchmarks.
Concern that data would not be able to identify all of the conditions responsible for pain in a patient with a history of cancer (e.g. people who survive cancer but with severe residual pain). Further, it was noted that certain complications of cancer and cancer treatment may require the least restrictive long-term therapy with opioids.
The definition of palliative care was also complicated and it was suggested that this include patients with life-limiting conditions.
Overall, it was felt that in patients who may not have long to live, and/or for whom returning to work is not a possibility, higher doses of opioids may be warranted. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/pdfs/bsc/NCIPC_BSC_OpioidPrescribingEstimatesWorkgroupReport_December-12_2018-508.pdf
CDC Scientists Anonymous ‘Spider Letter’ to CDC
Carmen S. Villar, MSW Chief of Staff Office of the Director MS D14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, Georgia 30329-4027
August 29, 2016
Dear Ms. Villar:
We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors. Others see it and turn the other way. Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have representatives from across the agency that witness this unacceptable behavior. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units. These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health. We would like to see high ethical standards and thoughtful, responsible management restored at CDC. We are asking that you do your part to help clean up this house!
It is puzzling to read about transgressions in national media outlets like USA Today, The Huffington Post and The Hill. It is equally puzzling that nothing has changed here at CDC as a result. It’s business as usual. The litany of issues detailed over the summer are of particular concern:
Recently, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) has been implicated in a “cover up” of inaccurate screening data for the Wise Woman (WW) Program. There was a coordinated effort by that Center to “bury” the fact that screening numbers for the WW program were misrepresented in documents sent to Congress; screening numbers for 2014 and 2015 did not meet expectations despite a multimillion dollar investment; and definitions were changed and data “cooked” to make the results look better than they were. Data were clearly manipulated in irregular ways. An “internal review” that involved staff across CDC occurred and its findings were essentially suppressed so media and/or Congressional staff would not become aware of the problems. Now that both the media and Congresswoman DeLauro are aware of these issues, CDC staff have gone out of their way to delay FOIAs and obstruct any inquiry. Shouldn’t NCCDPHP come clean and stop playing games? Would the ethical thing be to answer the questions fully and honestly. The public should know the true results of what they paid for, shouldn’t they?
Another troubling issue at the NCCDPHP are the adventures of Drs. Barbara Bowman and Michael Pratt (also detailed in national media outlets). Both seemed to have irregular (if not questionable) relationships with CocaCola and ILSI representatives. Neither of these relationships were necessary (or appropriate) to uphold our mission. Neither organization added any value to the good work and science already underway at CDC. In fact, these ties have now called into question and undermined CDC’s work. A cloud has been cast over the ethical and excellent work of scientists due to this wanton behavior. Was cultivating these relationships worth dragging CDC through the mud? Did Drs. Bowman and Pratt have permission to pursue these relationships from their supervisor Dr. Ursula Bauer? Did they seek and receive approval of these outside activities? CDC has a process by which such things should be vetted and reported in an ethics review, tracking and approval system (EPATS). Furthermore, did they disclose these conflicts of interest on their yearly OGE 450 filing. Is there an approved HHS 520, HHS 521 or “Request for Official Duty Activities Involving an Outside Organization” approved by Dr. Bauer or her Deputy Director Ms. Dana Shelton? An August 28, 2016 item in The Hill details these issues and others related to Dr. Pratt.
It appears to us that something very strange is going on with Dr. Pratt. He is an active duty Commissioned Corps Officer in the USPHS, yet he was “assigned to” Emory University for a quite some time. How and under what authority was this done? Did Emory University pay his salary under the terms of an IPA? Did he seek and receive an outside activity approval through EPATS and work at Emory on Annual Leave? Formal supervisor endorsement and approval (from Dr. Bauer or Ms. Shelton) is required whether done as an official duty or outside activity.
If deemed official, did he file a “Request for Official Duty Activities Involving an Outside Organization” in EPATS? Apparently Dr. Pratt’s position at Emory University has ended and he has accepted another position at the University of California San Diego? Again, how is this possible while he is still an active duty USPHS Officer. Did he retire and leave government service? Is UCSD paying for his time via an IPA? Does he have an outside activity approval to do this? Will this be done during duty hours? It is rumored that Dr. Pratt will occupy this position while on Annual Leave? Really? Will Dr. Pratt be spending time in Atlanta when not on Annual Leave? Will he make an appearance at NCCDPHP (where he hasn’t been seen for months). Most staff do not enjoy such unique positions supported and approved by a Center Director (Dr. Bauer). Dr. Pratt has scored a sweet deal (not available to most other scientists at CDC). Concerns about these two positions and others were recently described in The Huffington Post and The Hill. His behavior and that of management surrounding this is very troubling.
Finally, most of the scientists at CDC operate with the utmost integrity and ethics. However, this “climate of disregard” puts many of us in difficult positions. We are often directed to do things we know are not right. For example, Congress has made it very clear that domestic funding for NCCDPHP (and other CIOs) should be used for domestic work and that the bulk of NCCDPHP funding should be allocated to program (not research). If this is the case, why then is NCCDPHP taking domestic staff resources away from domestic priorities to work on global health issues? Why in FY17 is NCCDPHP diverting money away from program priorities that directly benefit the public to support an expensive research FOA that may not yield anything that benefits the public? These actions do not serve the public well. Why is nothing being done to address these problems? Why has the CDC OD turned a blind eye to these things. The lack of respect for science and scientists that support CDC’s legacy is astonishing.
Please do the right thing. Please be an agent of change.
CDC Spider (CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research) https://usrtk.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/CDC_SPIDER_Letter-1.pdf
January 13, 2016
Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027
Re: Docket No. CDC-2015-0112; Proposed 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
Dear Dr. Frieden:
There is no question that there is an opioid misuse epidemic and that efforts need to be made to control it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is applauded for its steps to undertake this lofty effort. However, based on the American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP’s) review of the guideline, it is apparent that the presented recommendations are not graded at a level consistent with currently available evidence. The AAFP certainly wants to promote safe and appropriate prescribing of opioids; however, we recommend that the CDC still adhere to the rigorous standards for reliable and trustworthy guidelines set forth by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The AAFP believes that giving a strong recommendation derived from generalizations based on consensus expert opinion does not adhere to evidence-based standards for developing clinical guideline recommendations.
The AAFP’s specific concerns with the CDC’s methodology, evidence base, and recommendations are outlined below.
Methodology and Evidence Base
All of the recommendations are based on low or very low quality evidence, yet all but one are Category A (or strong) recommendations. The guideline states that in the GRADE methodology "a particular quality of evidence does not necessarily imply a particular strength of recommendation." While this is true, it applies when benefits significantly outweigh harms (or vice versa). When there is insufficient evidence to determine the benefits and harms of a recommendation, that determination should not be made.
When evaluating the benefits of opioids, the evidence review only included studies with outcomes of at least one year. However, studies with shorter intervals were allowed for analysis of the benefits of nonopioid treatments. The guideline states that no evidence shows long-term benefit of opioid use (because there are few studies), yet the guideline reports "extensive evidence" of potential harms, even though these studies were of low quality. The accompanying text also states "extensive evidence" of the benefits of non-opioid treatments, yet this evidence was from shorter term studies, was part of the contextual review rather than the clinical systematic review, and did not compare non- opioid treatments to opioids.
The patient voice and preferences were not explicitly included in the guideline. This raises concerns about the patient-centeredness of the guideline. https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/advocacy/prevention/risk/LT-CDC-OpioidGuideline011516.pdf
The Myth of Morphine Equivalent Daily Dosage Medscape Neuro Perspective
For far too many years, pain researchers and clinicians have relied on the concept of the morphine equivalent daily dosage (MEDD), or some variant of it, as a means of comparing the "relative corresponding quantity" of the numerous opioid molecules that are important tools in the treatment of chronic pain.
...And, most unfortunately, opioid prescribing guideline committees have relied on this concept as a means of placing (usually arbitrary) limits on the levels of opioids that a physician or other clinician should be allowed to prescribe. Although these guidelines typically bill themselves as "voluntary," their chilling effect on prescribers and adaptation into state laws makes calling them "voluntary" disingenuous.
Although some scientists and clinicians have been questioning the conceptual validity of MEDD for several years, a recent study has indicated that the concept is unequivocally flawed—thereby invalidating its use empirically and as a tool in prescribing guideline development.
The authors used survey data from pharmacists, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to estimate daily morphine equivalents and found great inconsistency in their conversions of hydrocodone, fentanyl transdermal patches, methadone, oxycodone, and hydromorphone—illustrating the potential for dramatic underdosing or, in other cases, fatal overdosing.
Patients with chronic pain (particularly that of noncancer origin) who are reliant on opioid analgesia are already sufficiently stigmatized and marginalized to allow this type of practice to continue to be the norm.
Although the use of MEDD in research and, to a greater extent, in practice, is probably due to unawareness of its inaccuracy, we posit that the use of MEDD by recent opioid guideline committees (eg, the Washington State Opioid Guideline Committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline Committee) in the drafting of their guidelines is based more heavily on disregarding available evidence rather than ignorance. Furthermore, their misconduct in doing so has been more pernicious than the use of MEDD by researchers and individual clinicians, because these guidelines widely affect society as a whole as well as individual patients with persistent pain syndromes. We opine that these committees are strongly dominated by the antiopioid community, whose agenda is to essentially restrict opioid access—irrespective of the lack of data indicating that opioids cannot be a useful tool in the comprehensive treatment of carefully selected and closely monitored patients with chronic pain.
Above 100% extracted from: Medscape Journal Brief https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/863477_2
Actual Study https://www.dovepress.com/the-medd-myth-the-impact-of-pseudoscience-on-pain-research-and-prescri-peer-reviewed-article-JPR
Are Non-Opioid Medications Superior in Treatment of Pain than Opioid Pain Medicine? Ice Cream Flavor Analogy...
In the Oxford University Press, a November 2018 scientific white paper was released that examined the quality of one of the primary studies that have been used to justify the urgent call to drastically reduce opioid pain medication prescribing while claiming that patients are not being harmed in the process.
The study is commonly referred to as ‘the Krebs study’. “The authors concluded that treatment with opioids was not superior to treatment with non opioid medications for improving pain-related function over 12 months.”
Here is an excerpt from the first paragraph of the design section (usually behind a paywall) from the Krebs study that gives the first hint of the bias that led to them to ‘prove’ that opioids were not effective for chronic pain:
“The study was intended to assess long-term outcomes of opioids compared with non opioid medications for chronic pain. The patient selection, though, specifically excluded patients on long-term opioid therapy.”
Here is an analogy given in the Oxford Journal white paper to illustrate how the study design was compromised:
If I want to do a randomized control study about ice cream flavor preferences (choices being: vanilla, chocolate, or no preference), the results could be manipulated as follows based on these scenarios:
Scenario A: If a study was done that included only current ice-cream consumers, the outcome would certainly be vanilla or chocolate, because of course they have tried it and know which they like.
Scenario B: If a study was done that included all consumers of all food, then it can change the outcome. If the majority of study participants do not even eat ice-cream, than the result would certainly be ‘no preference’. If the majority do eat ice-cream it would likely be ‘chocolate’. Although this study is wider based, it still does not reflect real world findings.
Scenario C: In an even more extreme example, if this same study is conducted excluding anyone who has ever ate ice-cream at all, then the conclusion will again be ‘no preference’ and the entire study/original question becomes so ludicrous that there is no useful information to be extracted from this study and one would logically question why this type of study would even be conducted (although we know the answer to that)
Scenario C above is how the study that has been used to shift the attitudes towards the treatment of pain in our nation's medical community was designed. “One has to look deep into the study to find that they began with 9403 possible patients and excluded 3836 of them just because they had opioids in their EMR. In the JAMA article, they do not state these obvious biases and instead begin the explanation of participants stating they started with 4485 patients and excluded 224 who were opioid or benzo users.” That is the tip of the iceberg to how it is extremely misleading. The Oxford white paper goes into further detail of the studies “many flaws and biases (including the narrow focus on conditions that are historically known to respond poorly to opioid medication management of pain)”, but the study design and participant selection criteria is enough to discredit this entire body of work. Based on study design alone, regardless of what happened next, the result would be that opioids are no more effective than NSAIDs and other non-opioid alternatives.
The DEA Is Fostering a Bounty Hunter Culture in its Drug Diversion Investigators
A Good Man Speaks Truth to Power January 2019
Because I write and speak widely on public health issues and the so-called “opioid crisis”, people frequently send me references to others’ work. One of the more startling articles I’ve seen lately was published November 20, 2018 in Pharmacy Times. It is titled “Should We Believe Patients With Pain?”. The unlikely author is Commander John Burke, “a 40-year veteran of law enforcement, the past president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, and the president and cofounder of the International Health Facility Diversion Association.”
The last paragraph of Commander Burke’s article is worth repeating here.
“Let’s get back to dealing with each person claiming to be in legitimate pain and believe them until we have solid evidence that they are scamming the system. If they are, then let’s pursue them through vigorous prosecution, but let’s not punish the majority of people receiving opioids who are legitimate patients with pain.”
This seems a remarkable insight from anyone in law enforcement — especially from one who has expressed this view in both Pain News Network, and Dr Lynn Webster’s video “The Painful Truth”. Recognizing Commander Burke’s unique perspective, I followed up by phone to ask several related questions. He has granted permission to publish my paraphrases of his answers here.
“Are there any available source documents which establish widely accepted standards for what comprises “over-prescription?” as viewed by diversion investigators?” Burke’s answer was a resounding “NO”. Each State and Federal Agency that investigates doctors for potentially illegal or inappropriate opioid prescribing is pretty much making up their own standards as they go. Some make reference to the 2016 CDC Guidelines, but others do not.
- “Thousands of individual doctors have left pain management practice in recent years due to fears they may be investigated, sanctioned, and lose their licenses if they continue to treat patients with opioid pain relievers.. Are DEA and State authorities really pursuing the worst “bad actors”, or is something else going on?
Burke’s answer: “Regulatory policy varies greatly between jurisdictions. But a hidden factor may be contributing significantly to the aggressiveness of Federal investigators. Federal Agencies may grant financial bonuses to their in-house diversion investigators, based on the volume of fines collected from doctors, nurse practitioners, PAs and others whom they investigate.
"No law enforcement agency at any level should be rewarded with monetary gain and/or promotion due to their work efforts or successes. This practice has always worried me with Federal investigators and is unheard of at the local or state levels of enforcement.”
Commander Burke’s revelation hit me like a thunder-clap. It would explain many of the complaints I have heard from doctors who have been “investigated” or prosecuted. It’s a well known principle that when we subsidize a behavior, we get more of it. Financial rewards to investigators must inevitably foster a “bounty hunter” mentality in some. It seems at least plausible that such bonuses might lead DEA regulators to focus on “low hanging fruit” among doctors who may not be able to defend themselves without being ruined financially. The practice is at the very least unethical. Arguably it can be corrupting.
I also inquired concerning a third issue:
- I read complaints from doctors that they have been pursued on trumped-up grounds, coerced and denied appropriate legal defense by confiscation of their assets – which are then added to Agency funds for further actions against other doctors. Investigations are also commonly announced prominently, even before indictments are obtained – a step that seems calculated to destroy the doctor’s practice, regardless of legal outcomes. Some reports indicate that DEA or State authorities have threatened employees with prosecution if they do not confirm improper practices by the doctor. Do you believe such practices are common?”
Burke’s answer: “I hear the same reports you do – and the irony is that such tactics are unnecessary. Lacking an accepted standard for over-prescribing, the gross volume of a doctor’s prescriptions or the dose levels prescribed to their patients can be poor indicators of professional misbehavior. Investigators should instead be looking into the totality of the case, which can include patient reports of poor doctor oversight, overdose-related hospital admissions, and patterns of overdose related deaths that may be linked to a “cocktail” of illicit prescribing. Especially important can be information gleaned from confidential informants – with independent verification – prior patients, and pharmacy information.”
No formal legal prosecution should ever proceed from the testimony of only one witness — even one as well informed as Commander John Burke. But it seems to me that it is high time for the US Senate Judiciary Committee to invite the testimony of others in open public hearings, concerning the practice of possible bounty hunting among Federal investigators.
C50 Patient, Civil Rights Attorney, Maine Department of Health, and Maine Legislature Collaborative Enacted Definition of Palliative Care
One suggestion that our organization would like to make is altering the definition of “palliative care” in such a manner that it can include high-impact or intractable patients; those who are not dying this year, but our lives have been shattered and/or shortened by our diseases and for whom Quality of Life should be the focus. Many of our conditions may not SIGNIFICANTLY shorten my life, therefore I could legitimately be facing 30-40 years of severe pain with little relief; that is no way to live and therefore the concern is a rapidly increasing suicide rate.
This is a definition that one of our coalition members with a civil rights attorney and the Maine Department of Health agreed upon and legislators enacted into statues in Maine. This was in response to a 100mme restriction. This attorney had prepared a lawsuit based on the Americans with Disability Act that the Department of Health in Maine agreed was valid; litigation was never the goal, it was always patient-centered care.
A. "Palliative care" means patient-centered and family-focused medical care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering caused by a medical illness or a physical injury or condition that substantially affects a patient's quality of life, including, but not limited to, addressing physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs; facilitating patient autonomy and choice of care; providing access to information; discussing the patient's goals for treatment and treatment options, including, when appropriate, hospice care; and managing pain and symptoms comprehensively. Palliative care does not always include a requirement for hospice care or attention to spiritual needs. B. "Serious illness" means a medical illness or physical injury or condition that substantially affects quality of life for more than a short period of time. "Serious illness" includes, but is not limited to, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, lung disease, cancer, heart, renal or liver failure and chronic, unremitting or intractable pain such as neuropathic pain.
Here is the link to the most recent update, including these definitions within the entire statute: https://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/22/title22sec1726.html?fbclid=IwAR0dhlwEh56VgZI9HYczdjdyYoJGpMdA9TuuJLlQrO3AsSljIZZG0RICFZc
January 23, 2019
The Board of Pharmacy has had an influx of communication concerning patients not able to get controlled substance prescriptions filled for various reasons, even when signs of forgery or fraudulence were not presented. As a result of the increased “refusals to fill,” the board is issuing the following guidance and reminders regarding the practice of pharmacy and dispensing of controlled substances:
- Pharmacists must use reasonable knowledge, skill, and professional judgment when evaluating whether to fill a prescription. Extreme caution should be used when deciding not to fill a prescription. A patient who suddenly discontinues a chronic medication may experience negative health consequences;
- Part of being a licensed healthcare professional is that you put the patient first. This means that if a pharmacist has any concern regarding a prescription, they should attempt to have a professional conversation with the practitioner to resolve those concerns and not simply refuse the prescription. Being a healthcare professional also means that you use your medication expertise during that dialogue in offering advice on potential alternatives, changes in the prescription strength, directions etc. Simply refusing to fill a prescription without trying to resolve the concern may call into question the knowledge, skill or judgment of the pharmacist and may be deemed unprofessional conduct;
- Controlled substance prescriptions are not a “bartering” mechanism. In other words, a pharmacist should not tell a patient that they have refused to fill a prescription and then explain that if they go to a pain specialist to get the same prescription then they will reconsider filling it. Again, this may call into question the knowledge, skill or judgment of the pharmacist;
- Yes, there is an opioid crisis. However, this should in no way alter our professional approach to treatment of patients in end-of-life or palliative care situations. Again, the fundamentals of using our professional judgment, skill and knowledge of treatments plays an integral role in who we are as professionals. Refusing to fill prescriptions for these patients without a solid medical reason may call into question whether the pharmacist is informed of current professional practice in the treatment of these medical cases.
- If a prescription is refused, there should be sound professional reasons for doing so. Each patient is a unique medical case and should be treated independently as such. Making blanket decisions regarding dispensing of controlled substances may call into question the motivation of the pharmacist and how they are using their knowledge, skill or judgment to best serve the public.
As a professional reminder, failing to practice pharmacy using reasonable knowledge, skill, competence, and safety for the public may result in disciplinary actions under Alaska statute and regulation. These laws are:
AS 08.80.261 DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
(a)The board may deny a license to an applicant or, after a hearing, impose a disciplinary sanction authorized under AS 08.01.075 on a person licensed under this chapter when the board finds that the applicant or licensee, as applicable, …
(7) is incapable of engaging in the practice of pharmacy with reasonable skill, competence, and safety for the public because of
(A) professional incompetence; (B) failure to keep informed of or use current professional theories or practices; or (E) other factors determined by the board;
(14) engaged in unprofessional conduct, as defined in regulations of the board.
12 AAC 52.920 DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES
(a) In addition to acts specified in AS 08.80 or elsewhere in this chapter, each of the following constitutes engaging in unprofessional conduct and is a basis for the imposition of disciplinary sanctions under AS 08.01.075; …
(15) failing to use reasonable knowledge, skills, or judgment in the practice of pharmacy;
(b) The board will, in its discretion, revoke a license if the licensee …
(4) intentionally or negligently engages in conduct that results in a significant risk to the health or safety of a patient or injury to a patient; (5) is professionally incompetent if the incompetence results in a significant risk of injury to a patient.
(c) The board will, in its discretion, suspend a license for up to two years followed by probation of not less than two years if the licensee ...
(2) is professionally incompetent if the incompetence results in the public health, safety, or welfare being placed at risk.
We all acknowledge that Alaska is in the midst of an opioid crisis. While there are published guidelines and literature to assist all healthcare professionals in up to date approaches and recommendations for medical treatments per diagnosis, do not confuse guidelines with law; they are not the same thing.
Pharmacists have an obligation and responsibility under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations 1306.04(a), and a pharmacist may use professional judgment to refuse filling a prescription. However, how an individual pharmacist approaches that particular situation is unique and can be complex. The Board of Pharmacy does not recommend refusing prescriptions without first trying to resolve your concerns with the prescribing practitioner as the primary member of the healthcare team. Patients may also serve as a basic source of information to understand some aspects of their treatment; do not rule them out in your dialogue.
If in doubt, we always recommend partnering with the prescribing practitioner. We are all licensed healthcare professionals and have a duty to use our knowledge, skill, and judgment to improve patient outcomes and keep them safe.
Professionally, Richard Holt, BS Pharm, PharmD, MBA Chair, Alaska Board of Pharmacy
FDA in Brief: FDA finalizes new policy to encourage widespread innovation and development of new buprenorphine treatments for opioid use disorder
February 6, 2018
Media Inquiries Michael Felberbaum 240-402-9548
“The opioid crisis has had a tragic impact on individuals, families, and communities throughout the country. We’re in urgent need of new and better treatment options for opioid use disorder. The guidance we’re finalizing today is one of the many steps we’re taking to help advance the development of new treatments for opioid use disorder, and promote novel formulations or delivery mechanisms of existing drugs to better tailor available medicines to individuals’ needs,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Our goal is to advance the development of new and better ways of treating opioid use disorder to help more Americans access successful treatments. Unfortunately, far too few people who are addicted to opioids are offered an adequate chance for treatment that uses medications. In part, this is because private insurance coverage for treatment with medications is often inadequate. Even among those who can access some sort of treatment, it’s often prohibitively difficult to access FDA-approved addiction medications. While states are adopting better coverage owing to new legislation and resources, among public insurance plans there are still a number of states that are not covering all three FDA-approved addiction medications. To support more widespread adoption of medication-assisted treatment, the FDA will also continue to take steps to address the unfortunate stigma that’s sometimes associated with use of these products. It’s part of the FDA’s public health mandate to promote appropriate use of therapies.
Misunderstanding around these products, even among some in the medical and addiction fields, enables stigma to attach to their use. These views can serve to keep patients who are seeking treatment from reaching their goal. That stigma reflects a perspective some have that a patient is still suffering from addiction even when they’re in full recovery, just because they require medication to treat their illness. This owes to a key misunderstanding of the difference between a physical dependence and an addiction. Because of the biology of the human body, everyone who uses a meaningful dose of opioids for a modest length of time develops a physical dependence. This means that there are withdrawal symptoms after the use stops.
A physical dependence to an opioid drug is very different than being addicted to such a medication. Addiction requires the continued use of opioids despite harmful consequences on someone’s life. Addiction involves a psychological preoccupation to obtain and use opioids above and beyond a physical dependence.
But someone who is physically dependent on opioids as a result of the treatment of pain but who is not craving the drugs is not addicted.
The same principle applies to replacement therapy used to treat opioid addiction. Someone who requires long-term treatment for opioid addiction with medications, including those that are partial or complete opioid agonists and can create a physical dependence, isn’t addicted to those medications. With the right treatments coupled to psychosocial support, recovery from opioid addiction is possible. The FDA remains committed to using all of our tools and authorities to help those currently addicted to opioids, while taking steps to prevent new cases of addiction.”
Above is the full statement, find full statement with options for study requests: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/FDAInBrief/ucm630847.htm
Maryland’s co-prescribing new laws/ amendments regarding benzos and opioids
Chapter 215 AN ACT concerning Health Care Providers – Opioid and Benzodiazepine Prescriptions – Discussion of Information Benefits and Risks
FOR the purpose of requiring that certain patients be advised of the benefits and risks associated with the prescription of certain opioids, and benzodiazepines under certain circumstances, providing that a violation of this Act is grounds for disciplinary action by a certain health occupations board; and generally relating to advice regarding benefits and risks associated with opioids and benzodiazepines that are controlled dangerous substances.
Section 1–223 Article – Health Occupations Section 4–315(a)(35), 8–316(a)(36), 14–404(a)(43), and 16–311(a)(8) SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows: Article – Health Occupations (a) In this section, “controlled dangerous substance” has the meaning stated in § 5–101 of the Criminal Law Article.
Ch. 215 2018 LAWS OF MARYLAND (B) On treatment for pain, a health care provider, based on the clinical judgment of the health care provider, shall prescribe: (1) The lowest effective dose of an opioid; and (2)A quantity that is no greater than the quantity needed for the expected duration of pain severe enough to require an opioid that is a controlled dangerous substance unless the opioid is prescribed to treat: (a.) A substance–related disorder; (b.) Pain associated with a cancer diagnosis; (c.) Pain experienced while the patient is receiving end–of–life, hospice, or palliative care services; or (d.) Chronic pain
(C.) The dosage, quantity, and duration of an opioid prescribed under [subsection (b)] of this [section] shall be based on an evidence–based clinical guideline for prescribing controlled dangerous substances that is appropriate for: (1.) The health care service delivery setting for the patient; (2.) The type of health care services required by the patient; (3.) and The age and health status of the patient.
(D) (1) WHEN A PATIENT IS PRESCRIBED AN OPIOID UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION, THE PATIENT SHALL BE ADVISED OF THE BENEFITS AND RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE OPIOID.
(2) WHEN A PATIENT IS CO–PRESCRIBED A BENZODIAZEPINE WITH AN OPIOID THAT IS PRESCRIBED UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION, THE PATIENT SHALL BE ADVISED OF THE BENEFITS AND RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE BENZODIAZEPINE AND THE CO–PRESCRIPTION OF THE BENZODIAZEPINE. (E) A violation of [subsection (b) OR (D) of] this section is grounds for disciplinary action by the health occupations board that regulates the health care provider who commits the violation.
4-315 (a) Subject to the hearing provisions of § 4–318 of this subtitle, the Board may deny a general license to practice dentistry, a limited license to practice dentistry, or a teacher’s license to practice dentistry to any applicant, reprimand any licensed dentist, place any licensed dentist on probation, or suspend or revoke the license of any licensed dentist, if the applicant or licensee: (35) Fails to comply with § 1–223 of this article.
8–316. (a) Subject to the hearing provisions of § 8–317 of this subtitle, the Board may deny a license or grant a license, including a license subject to a reprimand, probation, or suspension, to any applicant, reprimand any licensee, place any licensee on probation, or suspend or revoke the license of a licensee if the applicant or licensee: (36) Fails to comply with § 1–223 of this article.
14–404. (a) Subject to the hearing provisions of § 14–405 of this subtitle, a disciplinary panel, on the affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum of the disciplinary panel, may reprimand any licensee, place any licensee on probation, or suspend or revoke a license if the licensee: (43) Fails to comply with § 1–223 of this article.
16–311. (a) Subject to the hearing provisions of § 16–313 of this subtitle, the Board, on the affirmative vote of a majority of its members then serving, may deny a license or a limited license to any applicant, reprimand any licensee or holder of a limited license, impose an administrative monetary penalty not exceeding $50,000 on any licensee or holder of a limited license, place any licensee or holder of a limited license on probation, or suspend or revoke a license or a limited license if the applicant, licensee, or holder:
(8) Prescribes or distributes a controlled dangerous substance to any other person in violation of the law, including in violation of § 1–223 of this article;
SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect October 1, 2018.
Approved by the Governor, April 24, 2018.
2023.06.04 11:28 IacovHall pi based mobile baby video monitor?
for my vacation I do not want to tag my two piece baby monitor along becausr in the evening I will sit in the room the very next door, yet I still want to be able to have a look if everything's alright without risking waking my child up
my favorite solution would be a pi zero (2)w based, powerbank powered camera with something like motioneye OS, connected to my travel router, viewed via my smartphone
since motioneye OS is practically discontinued... what would be a lightweight solution for my purpose? I read about shinobi and zoneminder... would one of them fit or are they overkill for this one or two times in a year use case?
submitted by IacovHall
to selfhosted [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 06:44 felixthegirl Overwhelmed
I feel like I just need to vent.
I am feeling so overwhelmed with the job. I work in a high acuity single coverage site, I am a year out of training. Sometimes I love my job, sometimes it is so overwhelming and unsafe I can't breathe.
I have faced so many fears this year and become such a better doctor, but phew I am tired.
Today I saw the sickest baby I have ever seen. He came in grey and mottled and covered in petechiae. I thought he was going to die. He didn't, barely. He might still, but he flew away from my little shop to a big hospital.
At the same time he was trying to die a little girl came in seizing for the first time and not breathing, desaturating and almost needed an airway.
My shop is single doc coverage with 2-3 PAs, unless overnight when the doc is alone for 6 hours. We see an average of 100 per day.
Last week I had two codes at once. I dropped a tube in a crashing patient, handed it to the nurse and walked to the other code, ran it, called it, walked back to my other patient who was now coding. Got her back, spent the next hour juggling expanding her pressers, abx, trying to think straight about what might be killing her, while juggling an exploding room.
I had a patient with AMS, stridor, anisicoria, a decannulated trach that was placed 1 month prior and hypercarbia. ENT said he had a full day of clinic and wouldn't come in. He suggested I put something in the trach. I could only fit a 4.0 ETT but I could not ventilate, so then I intubated from above with a 6.5 and coordinated pulling the 4 out while I passed the 6.5
I have never met an otolaryngologist or an orthopedist in person. I have never seen an anesthesiologist. I have seen an CRNA once.
The first pediatric airway of my life and career was on an overnight shift, alone (I am always alone) where I had a miller 1 direct and an LMA. That is all. Nothing else. No back up. I got it... because I had to, what was the other option?
On slow days we have 20 in the dept at one time and I can breathe. On a busy day 30-40.
We see patient's in the WR. I work for corporate medicine. No one waits. I'm only a year out. I haven't even started paying my loans. I feel like I can't keep doing this. Is this what it is like other places? I feel like my situation might be on the extreme side, but it's all I know.
Despite the already slim coverage, they are cutting our overlap even more moving forward. Patients will and are getting hurt in order to minimize physician hours and maximize profit. Fuck corporate medicine.
submitted by felixthegirl
to emergencymedicine [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 04:52 edust1958 Bought as a lark from Facebook
| || | submitted by edust1958 to fountainpens [link] [comments]
I fell for one of the many ads that show up on my Facebook feed for fountain pens... it looked like a "poor man's" vanishing point pen.
It took a while for it to get to me from China but now that it is here I thought I would post my thoughts about it.
The pen is a little like what would result if a Parker 51 and a Pilot Vanishing Point had a "baby." The nib is fine but it doesn't protrude from the body when deployed like the Vanishing Point pens. I was impressed that it wrote immediately after putting in an ink cartridge. The pen does come with a converter if you want to use bottled ink rather than the proprietary cartridges.
You will want to keep the protective cap that the pen is shipped with. I think keeping that cap on it when the nib is retracted will help keep the nib ready to go. Otherwise, I think the nib will dry out because there isn't a "door" that would seal the nib (like a cap on a traditional fountain pen). The higher-end retractable nib fountain pens like the Vanishing Point that have that little door that closes after you retract the nib. (Take a look sometime, it is a rather impressive mechanism).
When I unpacked the bubble envelope and saw the cartridges that I purchased with this pen, I immediately thought of another budget liquid ink pen -- the Zebra V-301 fountain pen (Zebra also had a rollerball pen that used the same cartridge, but I don't see it on their website -- maybe discontinued). I have included a photo that shows the proprietary cartridge that I purchased with this pen, the included converter, and a Zebra cartridge for comparison. I think the Zebra cartridge will fit this pen -- but I also noted that they are "out of stock" on the Zebra website.
It is a very light weight pen with all plastic construction except for the pocket clip that looks like it has a "Lamy" look to it. I wonder how it will stand up to use over a year or so... I will report back... You will want to keep that little plastic cap... The nib does not come out as far when extended compared to a Pilot Vanishing Point. Unlike the Vanishing Point or other higher-end retractable nib fountain pens, there is no protective \"door\" that the nib is stored behind when the nib is retracted. Hopefully a better view of there being no \"protective door\" when the nib is retracted. When I saw the cartridges that I purchased with the pen, I immediately thought of the Zebra liquid ink pen cartridges. So, I compared the two (the Zebra cartridge is labeled \"V-301\") -- I was right. I think if you want cartridges for this pen, you can substitute the Zebra cartridges. Here is the nib extended.
2023.06.04 04:28 chbmg Easy Fixes To Make Survivors and Demons Happy – Saber, Please Read
NOTE: This is a very long post. There’s a tl;dr summary at the bottom Background:
This is coming from a long-time lurker, first time poster, and an Evil Dead fan for decades. For background, I have previous game dev experience, including Unity and Unreal, so I’m (mostly) not talking out my ass, and I've played both sides of this game roughly equally for more hours than I’d care to admit (primarily solo q, sometimes survivor with friends, and otherwise just playing demon when survivor queue times are high, as they have been many times since release). Usually, I just play whichever side has the lowest queue time.
Despite its flaws, this has been one of my favorite games of all time. The original development team was clearly passionate about the Evil Dead. The art, audio, and overall atmosphere are excellent and have superb attention to detail. I love all the random chatter from my survivor, the feeling of rushing through the woods as the Kandarian demon, and the intensity of a close game regardless of who wins. However, most of us would agree that this game has been held back by very poor "balancing" patches since release, as evidenced by polls on this subreddit confirming it is indeed the most frustrating problem.
We've endured shemps duping, brokenly OP characters, fear looping, and many other game-breaking exploits throughout. Bugs can be tolerable and are even to be expected, but the "fixes" almost always cause new issues and take far too long. It is painfully obvious that there has been very little time or effort expended on these issues by the post-release support team. Some patches have been so bad that they shouldn’t even make it to QA, let alone production – I’d be ashamed, esp. given that some of these issues can be fully and precisely patched in a few lines of code. I don’t need to see the source code to know that – even a rat’s nest of blueprints and disorganized C++ code can’t justify it.
I can only hope the skeleton crew that's continuing support for this game will take a few hours to address these issues. More importantly, I hope someone higher-up will recognize that this game still has millions of copies floating around and a lot more opportunities for profit, so it’s worth it to invest just a little time/thought into balance to keep new players and veterans happy.
Frankly, each issue could be hammered out in minutes by someone familiar with the codebase, but I know it takes some time for building and testing across multiple platforms - days is fine, weeks/months is insane, esp. given the current state of the game.
I think it is important to first precisely define how the game is unbalanced, and how this imbalance can ruin the fun of many matches. Based on previous posts and my own personal experiences playing with friends and family at various skill levels, the following pattern becomes clear:
3+ Bad/Low-Level Survivors – Essentially 99% Demon Win
2+ Bad Survivors, All Others Decent to Excellent – Heavily demon-sided (~90% Demon Win)
1+ Bad Survivor, All Others Decent to Excellent – Somewhat demon-sided (~70% Demon Win)
All Survivors Decent, Not Very Cooperative/Sharing – About Equal (~50/50 on Win)
All Survivors Decent, Mostly Cooperative – Somewhat survivors-sided (~70% Survivor Win)
All Survivors with Good Skills/Teamwork/Knowledge – Heavily survivors-sided (~90% Survivor Win)
All Survivors with Excellent Skills/Teamwork/Knowledge – Essentially 99% Survivors Win
Note: Skills/teamwork/knowledge are not necessarily related to prestige level nor gameplay style, though usually survivors with prestige levels have stuck with the game long enough to at least be “decent” (even if they’re still not perfectly cooperative/sharing/etc.). This pattern is only somewhat altered by the demon’s skill level – new/low-level demons skew much more to higher survivor win rates in every scenario, and excellent high-level/prestige demons playing the current “meta” demon skew toward higher demon win rates. Any level 45+ demon that’s decent to good and usually plays non-meta demons like the current versions of Warlord or Necro (that’s me) will likely not skew these results.
I believe my personal experience is a microcosm of the overall balancing issue, and we’ve seen posts on this subreddit that consistently confirm the above pattern. It should be painfully obvious by now to anyone who’s played both sides long enough, and it should also be even more painfully obvious to any developers/publishers pouring over analytics data for the game. What adds insult to injury is that, at the more extreme ends of the pattern, a lot of toxicity emerges. Many survivors go into flashlight-clicky mode when they have the upper hand, and many demons retaliate by dancing with possessions over corpses or other means, whether it’s in the current match or against some innocent victims in the next match (I’ve sometimes been guilty too – I usually just take a break when toxic matches get to me and I turn toxic, but I’m truly sorry to anyone who’s had to deal with any of this crap from me)
Anyway, what will happen if the above pattern continues over time? Well, newer players who are consistently getting absolutely destroyed and possibly taunted at the same time (as either survivor or demon) will either (a) quit the game, or (b) get better. Now, run through that scenario while looking at the pattern and assume the game remains roughly in the current state. There will be more and more new/”bad” survivors quitting the game entirely, and a smaller portion that will only stick with the game if they level up and “git gud” over many hours (becoming good to excellent players). The same thing will happen to demon players. What happens when all we have left are good to excellent survivors and good to excellent demons? Well, check the chart again. Every match will be at least heavily survivor-sided if not a guaranteed win. Survivors get bored, even most masochistic veteran demon players give up, queue times for survivors reach new heights, and the game “dies.” This sequence of events has happened at various times in the game’s lifecycle, but I fear it’s headed toward extremes that will eventually make the game unplayable.
Obviously, it’s no fun to win virtually every time and it’s no fun to lose almost every time. Competitive games are most fun when you have close matches – ideally, there’d be a win rate of about 50% for either side. “But wait,” you say, “the pattern above indicates that there already IS a roughly 50/50 balance for that scenario!” And yes, that’s true. But how many matches are actually like that? How many matches have you personally played that felt close and competitive the whole time? It certainly wasn’t common when we had strong SBMM, and it isn’t common without SBMM either. Why? Because players who stick with the absolutely brutal intro to this game today are almost guaranteed to at least become good/high-level players with solid game mechanics/knowledge (though some will still become toxic/uncooperative teammates or toxic demons). Those who don’t become competent players are virtually guaranteed to quit in frustration, some after just the first several matches where they are either getting consistently annihilated by all the veterans, or clearly being “allowed” to win if the other side takes pity. In essence, the game is just plain brutal for HOURS on end for newer players and can become stale for solid veteran players. For veterans, we have survivors who team up with 3 other veterans (boring due to easy wins, low challenge), demons who can only win by repetitively attacking an inanimate stationary book (boring due to minimal ability to challenge survivors throughout match), or demons who see 2+ bad survivors and have to decide whether to let them win or immediately stomp them to move on (both of which can be boring due to low challenge, and frankly feel bad if harassing beginners). I absolutely LOVE any close matches, win or lose, but they are unfortunately exceptionally rare.
Clearly, the goal of balancing patches should be to make as many matches as close as possible. How? Well, it’s very simple – give beginners a chance and give veterans a challenge. Specifically, force or incentivize gameplay that elevates beginners, challenges veterans, prevents toxicity, and basically “evens the playing field” so that the chart above reads more like “20% through 80%” win rates for survivors rather than 1% through 99%. Thus, the fixes below mostly take aim at mechanics that are abused by veterans of the game or seek to better prepare beginners. Additionally, nearly each of the fixes below can be implemented with the equivalent of just a few lines of code.
I fully believe that this game can achieve a decent balance as a 4v1 asymm. It only seems impossible because the patches for balancing have often failed to address root causes and/or caused new issues. The game can be more welcoming for newcomers (both survivors and demons alike) while still having a lot of the same learning curves and leveling systems to reward higher level play without it becoming outright oppressive to either side.
Anyway, based on a lot of previous posts and my own observations, here are some easy fixes for the next patch: 1. Revert demon traps to their previous behavior (i.e. make it so possessed survivors can be walked into a trap) and fix the fear looping mechanic for SchemeBaal specifically
The latest "fix" for this had a workaround from the community within hours to fear loop survivors anyway and nerfed all other demons for no reason.
This can be easily resolved by reverting to the previous code/blueprints/whatever (or hell, going back to the previous build if necessary), and then implementing a simple solution for Schemer. This solution requires a scalpel, not a sledgehammer, so it should apply ONLY to Schemer. I can think of two easy possibilities, either of which would only need a few lines of code.
First possibility: If a survivor has set off a trap that was set by using the Schemer's special ability, then that trap now has a normal cool down and cannot be "reset" again by Schemer's current use of the special ability. This would allow Schemer to set a trap manually, possess a survivor, run them into it, get the trap reset immediately by their special ability, but then only run the survivor into the same trap a 2nd time. Thus, Schemer would still be the demon associated with traps and fear, but wouldn't be able to loop a survivor in one spot endlessly. A survivor that's slightly separated wouldn't necessarily immediately die, but a demon could still down a lone wolf by harassing, lowering health, raising fear, and then doing this method.
Second possibility: The trap setting special ability of Schemer could be disabled when Schemer possesses a survivor. This may nerf Schemer specifically a tad bit too heavily, but is still a far better fix than what we've got. It's also super easy to program with something like the following pseudocode:
If (demon.ability == true && demon.name
== "Schemer" && demon.possessing == true)
demon.ability = false; 2. Implement a stamina cost for vaulting windows/railings (e.g. the stamina cost could be the same as dodging)
This helps keep gameplay fair for both sides. It's clearly unfair and unfun to have a demon that can easily fear loop a survivor to death even if their teammates aren't far away, and the same holds true for a survivor that can "loop" a demon and never die. Survivors can still use objects, dodges, and other means to postpone death if they're alone (as I've done myself and seen done as demon) but it's at least possible for a demon to get in an occasional hit and whittle down health (i.e. it cannot be done indefinitely, at least if vaulting also uses stamina). Alternatively, at least give demons the ability to vault all the same objects as survivors, such as railings, so a 1v1 chase is fair – it just doesn’t feel great when a survivor jumps over a porch railing and looks back to flashlight click your possessed unit, knowing that there’s somehow zero threat in this 1v1 encounter in a 4v1 game due to a simple exploit. Personally, I think just adding a stamina cost would be fine to try at least, and many others in this community seem to agree. Plus, it should again only be a few lines of code to adjust the stamina bavariable of a survivor whenever he/she vaults. 3. Edit the text for the "hints" when a match is loading. There are absolutely no CLEAR tips about giving the right resources to the right players, nor hints about any newer demons (i.e. the hints have never been updated)
Regardless of which side we've played, we all know solo q for survivors is a total crap shoot. None of us started playing this game knowing that we should be gathering supplies for ourselves AND our teammates, dropping shemps for support, dropping ammo for hunters, etc. Many players quit before learning these things and there is no in game explanation for them (besides one single vague tip I can remember about how you can share resources with teammates, but no clear indication of sharing based on class
I think the lack of instructions for basic team play is one of the major causes of low player retention for the game. The tutorials are helpful for basic controls, but there needs be a lot more emphasis on the basics of this game that many of us on this subreddit take for granted.
I’d start by making sure the following tip text is the first to be shown to all players for a few matches after this is patched in:
“Stay close to your teammates and focus on the current objective to survive. Going off to loot alone is very dangerous”
(yes, veteran players can often get away with this, but man, it feels terrible playing on either side and watching someone just wander off to loot the whole game)
The other tips could be a lot more direct:
“Players should stay within the blue aura of leaders whenever possible to get additional buffs”
“Warriors should generally be given the best melee weapons but do little ranged damage”
“Hunters should generally be given the best ranged weapons but do little melee damage. Drop ammo for them if they ask”
“Support players are generally weakest, but can heal or shield all their teammates by using shemps and amulets near them. Drop spare shemps for support”
Now, the above “tip texts” at the loading menu are super quick and easy to add to the game. However, if the developers would like to go a little above and beyond, it would be amazing to add some additional text boxes within the game to warn players about bad choices. For example, there could be blinking text in the center bottom half of the screen for awhile if you’re carrying another survivor’s specialty weapon and they don’t have one (or if yours is a higher rarity). Also, there could be similar warning text that you’ve wondered more than, say, 100m from your team. Again, just trying to give simple, clear instructions to beginners (and those that are somehow still selfishly playing after reaching level 25+). And yeah, there are always arguments and exceptions to be made about how to play optimally, but some updated/clear tips could go a long way. 4. Implement a bonus XP on the results screen after a match is over that gives each side a bonus based on how many points the other side gained. Also, fix demon leveling based on survivodemon level
This one sounds a little weird and complicated, but it's really not. What I'm saying here is that veteran survivors should be rewarded for taking it easy on a baby demon, and a veteran demon should be rewarded for taking it easy on baby survivors.
Basically, regardless of which side you play or if you win or lose, I believe you should get a bonus XP based on how the other side did. For example, let's say you're a veteran pup player that gets matched to novice survivors and down them all with a power possessed basic before they even get the first map piece. In this case, those survivors will have very little points after the match (maybe even under 1000 per person) and the demon should get no bonus reward. The survivors here should at least get a bonus for enduring the slaughter and staying in the match. Let's say the demon takes it easy on them though, let's them progress, maybe even just throws AI at them (hell, I've personally spawned a boss and walked them to good crates when they're clearly new and can barely take on bots). Let's say they get 10k points per player this way - the demon now gets bonus XP for good behavior.
I'd say that there should be a bonus XP for each player if the other side reaches a certain point threshold, say 30k, or if the survivors are wiped before first objective (as in, survivors get a bonus for enduring such a match and demon gets no bonus). This would help discourage immediately stomping new players and help retain them (remember everyone, this game will die if it's just a few hardcore people with long queue times all doing cheesy strats and stomping anyone who dares try joining as a newbie).
Anyway, in psuedocode, something like this could work:
If (survivor.totalscore >= 30000)
demon.bonusxp = 3000;
If (demon.totalscore >= 30000)
survivor.bonusxp = 3000;
[Loop thru survivors to apply bonus to each - obviously, these values can be tweaked]
Obviously, you may have survivors or demons who go AFK and then it may make it impossible for the other side to get a bonus. Therefore, there could also be some basic code for checking if someone is AFK (i.e. hasn’t not moved more than a certain small distance in a decent amount of time, hasn’t set a trap or possessed anything in a certain time, etc.). Frankly, I have no idea how we still don’t have AFK checks – just about any other online game I’ve ever played automatically disconnects you if you’re not playing.
As a bonus idea to this bonus idea, you could also cancel ALL XP points for a player for a round in which he/she is toxic, such as a check for repetitive flashlight clicking. I find this irritating whether I'm a survivor or a demon (and I def didn't deserve a bunch of XP the few times I've been guilty of it when I felt a demon was being toxic). I don't think there's an easy way to detect all toxic demon behavior with code, but it would be trivial to keep track of flashlight clicking in code. Maybe if a demon is "hovering" (dancing) directly over a dead body too long with a possessed unit or survivor, then they also have their XP completely canceled for the round - that would also be easy to check via code. The key to promoting good, non-toxic behavior would be to implement these checks without specifying precisely how many flashlight clicks count or how long dancing over a corpse counts – just note that specific toxic behavior will result in zero XP for the round for the offender and automate it in code.
Finally, as another incentive for fair play, the leveling up of demons should be dependent on the level of the survivors they are harassing AND on the demon’s current skill tree level. In other words, there should be modifiers so that new, low-level demons get leveled up more by the same actions as high-level demons, such as downing a player, and there should also be modifiers so that high-level demons cannot get leveled up as much by harassing low-level survivors, such as constantly downing a newbie, but can get slightly more leveled up by downing a high-level survivor. This goes back to the idea of elevating beginners and challenging veterans, esp. since it’s incredibly frustrating to be constantly singled out as a brand-new survivor. This could be something like:
Lvl 1-24: x1.5 for demon leveling up
Lvl 25-44: x1.3 for demon leveling up
Lvl 45: x1.1 for demon leveling up
P1+: x1.0 for demon leveling up
Survivor (being attacked, hitting traps, or otherwise affected by demon):
Lvl 1-24: x0.5 for demon leveling up
Lvl 25: x1.0 for demon leveling up
P1+: x1.1 for demon leveling up
Lvl 10 demon somehow downs a P3 survivor – demon levels up 1.5 x 1.1 = 1.65 times as much as now
Lvl 45 demon downs a Lvl 4 survivor – demon only levels up 1.1 x 0.5 = 0.55 times as much as now
P5 demon downs a P5 survivor – demon levels up 1.0 x 1.1 = 1.1 times as much as now 5. Disable the ability to start both the dagger and pages objectives at the same time
This "split cap" method is usually only used by high-level teams and can be almost impossible to counter by anyone who isn't a very experienced demon, at least on certain maps or when these objectives are at certain locations. I've managed to counter it myself most of the time as demon, but it can be very hard to deal with, esp. given that survivors are resurrected after either objective finishes. Depending on the map and RNG (esp. light sources at objectives and other variables), it can be impossible to counter.
Basically, if the timer is running on either objective, it should be impossible to start the other objective. This still allows creative play by high-level coordinated teams (e.g. maybe Pablo hides at the next objective waiting to kick it off immediately while waiting for others to race there by car). It also feels a lot more fair, particularly to less experienced demons.
Again, this could be fixed in just a couple lines of code. Literally, just check if a timer is running for daggepages and if so, don’t allow interaction with the other objective. 6. Add a call out in the in-game communication wheel to say "demon is on me” or “I need help” for survivors
We know from polls on this sub that most people are dropping into solo q most of the time (I’m sure Saber’s own analytics could prove this too). Also, many people don't have or don't want to use a headset. These are just common facts for most online games.
I know some people have resorted to using the "need matchsticks" chat option to indicate they're being attacked by a possessed unit but this is frankly absurd. We need a simple chat option for survivors for this. Honestly, if the text for “I need matchsticks” were simply replaced with “I need help!”, I'd be satisfied because I often need help fending off a possessed unit or boss a lot more than I need matchsticks in solo q.
This should be easy to add to the game (it’s more than a few lines of code and would require minor image/text adjustments and possibly kicking off existing voice lines, but should still be doable). I’m pretty sure that most characters already have a voice line recorded that could work (I picture Scotty already literally saying “I need help”) and if not, we’ve already been shown that voice lines don’t really have to match their context anyway (I picture Mia saying “fire’s lit. Anybody needs fire, it’s here” when turning on her flashlight – so hell, just make that what she says when she uses “I need help” on the wheel – we’ve already accepted she’s crazy anyway and the text would be clear at least). 7. Keep car possessions consistent on all maps. Demons either can't possess them until they "spawn" when survivors are near (like Castle Kandar) or they can possess them at any time anywhere
Personally, I think that it should only be possible to possess cars when survivors have "spawned" them by being close to them like on the Kandar map. The method of flipping all cars on a map at the start of a match is generally only used by a few high MMR demons and feels cheesy to me (I also feel it's cheesy to drive 3 cars to each objective, but cars are always going to be divisive and they can also be used to cause a lot of damage at objectives at least).
I think car possession should've followed the lore of AvED, kept survivors inside, and done something different like having both driver and demon fighting for control of the vehicle, like maybe survivor controls keep randomly reversing while demon controls it normally and the driver tries to counter the demon driving until infernal energy runs out - survivors take a little damage whenever the car crashes. However, this idea is complex, so I'll stick to easy fixes.
No matter what, it just seems like the ability to possess cars should be consistent across all maps and it should be easy to implement, esp. since there's already code/logic for the two scenarios. 8. Add a single menu option at the main menu when choosing a game mode to select "random"
This could immensely help queue times. I know there are others like me who just want to play and don't care about whether they're survivor or demon.
This may take a tiny bit more work to implement than some of the pieces above (e.g. need a little artwork for the button, menu programming, some matchmaking programming, etc.) but it would help queue times, which have been problematic at various times in this game's life cycle. 9. Adjust RNG based on the overall levels of survivors
Again, this goes back to elevating beginners and challenging veterans. I’ve been in too many games with all prestige survivors that can split up and loot a large portion of the map without fear of consequence until each character has his/her own purple/gold specialty weapon (which also goes back to looping/vaulting endlessly and depends on map, demon character, etc.) – those games are a wash for demon. On the other hand, I’ve been in too many solo q matches where people are bringing grey weapons to defend the book and hobbling in without shemps knowing it’s just a slaughter. I’d really like to be in more balanced matches where veteran teams don’t all have perfect weapons for an easy win, and novice players don’t all hobble around with garbage for a guaranteed loss.
As a simple fix, it would make sense to simply increase the odds of chests being purple/gold if 2 or more survivors are under P1, and decrease those same odds if all survivors are P1 or above (in all other cases, odds can remain the same). And yeah, I know prestige does not perfectly equal pure skill, but odds are you’re at least “decent” at the game if you’ve made it that far (if not good or excellent). This RNG adjustment for chests could be multiplied by whatever Ed brings to the table. For example, if the decrease for all prestige players is to have 0.75x the amount of purple/gold chests and the increase Ed brings is 1.5x, then there would still be slightly more purple/gold chests on the map than normal even for all prestige players (and a lot more good chests for new players, who definitely could use the boost). 10. Give out more XP/SP – we need more double XP/SP events and there should be a bonus given to any low-level players (say, anyone who hasn’t gotten a single character to P1) to get and retain new players
This last point shouldn’t need much explanation. The community obviously overwhelming voted to have more double XP/SP events. It would take such an incredible number of hours to P5 every single character that I’d imagine only those who have literally played non-stop for thousands of hours since release could have done it already. For some, like me, who only took a brief hiatus from the game since release, it feels like a herculean task to even get 1 or 2 characters to P5 on either side. Such events literally help with balance by elevating beginners and they also give a reason for veterans to return. Queue times were noticeably lower during the last event, even though it was poorly announced, clearly timed to try and mess with TCM (which is just a bad look, esp. since there was nothing for this game’s own anniversary), and wasn’t even VISIBLE in the game menus. Despite all this, it was still a success. Saber, unless you’re actively trying to eliminate your player base, it makes no sense to not do these regularly. And since you timed it to try to pull attention away from TCM, it would seem as though you want to retain players (or you’re just petty, but I’m guessing you’re more motivated by profits than such emotional considerations).
Anyway, more XP/SP please. Also, please put some kind of indication that an event is planned and/or is actively occurring in your game. I mean, it could literally be a freaking sprite on the main menu screen with some text announcing a double XP event and the duration – this is really basic stuff.
Finally, I don’t think anyone here would argue with giving away a large number of spirit points to every newish player the next time they open the game. I think a one-time bonus of at least 100K would be very reasonable for anyone who has not reached P1 for any character. I personally know several people IRL who would be back to playing the game if this were done (and almost certainly give you money for DLC when they get a chance to actually enjoy the game in a semi-competitive way) – these people just don’t have the time or patience to grind through hours of straight losses to even have a chance. Closing thoughts:
I know there are a lot of other great ideas from the community on future content for the game (maps, characters, etc.) so I've just tried to stick to simple, easy to implement fixes for the developers.
Saber, this game could still generate a lot of (mostly passive) revenue if you support it well. There are many of us who are ready to throw money at any random DLC or cosmetic (myself included as a huge Evil Dead fan). However, the fans will only stick around to throw money at the game if the basic fundamental gameplay is somewhat balanced and glaring exploits/bugs are addressed. Seriously, if it's tweaked to feel good to play either side without major exploits being used by anyone, I (and many others) would keep throwing money at literal outfit accessories that could be crafted by a single 3d artist - it should more than pay for servers and labor, at which point you're just watching the money roll in.
Anyway, I've tried to stick to easy fixes that could improve the game for both novices and veterans. It would be easy to just say "buff the other side" whenever queue times are long for one side. At this time, it's obvious that average to excellent demon players are at a disadvantage when compared to equally skilled survivor players (as evidenced by queue times). I also remember times when demon queue times were long and I just played survivor because a certain demon was overturned or using cheesy exploits, so more people wanted to play demon.
However, I've been honestly sad that playing either side has just not felt good lately. It doesn't feel good to sit in a long queue for survivor, and it definitely doesn't feel good to crush noobs or get crushed by full prestige teams on coms. I can count on one hand the number of fun/close matches I’ve played in the last several dozen – I’d love to play more like those. Even if none of the changes above happen, I'd at least enjoy receiving some love for the older demons so they're at least fun to play and a challenge to go against (Plaguebringer Witch getting her original movement speed back, Necro and Warlord getting some minor buffs in any areas since they're pretty universally considered weak right now, etc.) – I mention these buffs in case you want to fall back on the tired old “just buff the other side” method. Saber, please implement some quick and easy fixes for this game . Even if you're just in it for the money at this point, I'm literally here wanting to throw more money at this game, but only if some basic balancing changes are made. If the next patch surgically tweaks some major pain points rather than bludgeoning fundamental gameplay elements, then I'll be here waiting to throw money at any random DLC you've got. Otherwise, I'll sadly have to find another game (as many others have or will, given the overall sentiments after this latest patch and some patches before it). You can still turn the ship around - you have 3 million copies of this game floating around. That's literally millions of fans who likely want to return to the game and throw money at DLCs if the gameplay experience is fun. It's up to you now. Tl;dr Summary:
The game can be balanced by elevating novices and challenging veterans. Here’s how…
- Revert demon traps to their previous behavior (i.e. make it so possessed survivors can be walked into a trap) and ACTUALLY fix Baal specifically
- Make vaulting cost stamina
- Edit/create hints for new players at the match loading screen that are clear and direct
- Give out a bonus XP for "good behavior" (not demolishing newbies), cancel XP for “toxic behavior” (flashlight clicking as survivor, dancing on corpses as demon), level up demon based on levels of victims
- Do not allow dagger and pages objectives to run simultaneously
- Add a call out in the in-game communication wheel to say "I need help" for survivors
- Keep car possession rules consistent on all maps
- Add a "random side" menu option to be able to play either survivor or demon, whichever happens to get matched first
- Adjust chest rarity RNG based on the overall level of survivors
- More XP/SP events. Also, give a bonus 100K+ SP to anyone with zero prestige characters
submitted by chbmg
to EvilDeadTheGame [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 04:00 Kazevenikov Cryptid Chronicle - Chapter 31
Thanks and Credits in the Comments Section due to LONG chapter.
Chapter 31: A Whale of a Tale and it’s All True
“IT’S FUCKING J-POD!”
Kalai watched in shock and awe as the two humans collectively lost their minds, hopping up and down and letting loose a series of high pitched vocalizing as she, Papa, and Mama Sakalbi stared in confusion at the two ecstatic aliens.
Andy turned and ran back to where Kalai and her parents were still staring in amazement and held his hand out, face alight and happier than she’d ever seen him before. “Binoculars! Quick! I want to see who’s out there!” Mama Sakalbi tentatively held them out, and he took them with a nod of thanks before rushing back to the bow. Kalai started as he jumped up on the bow and balanced against the roller horns to spot the black and white whales that were swimming fast towards the net.
“Eyes on Mama Shachi! Look, over there, see her?” Kalai approached cautiously as Andy pointed in the direction of a cluster of porpoising black shapes that were coming nearer.
“Eyes on! I got Grammie Slick out there too; the WHOLE POD’S HERE!” Jackie cut loose an undulating cry and waved her hands as little geysers of water and air shot out from the water on the other side of the net.
Kalai nearly jumped when a miniature version of the Orcas from the clone tank at Headquarters breached the water, leaping almost twice her height into the air before splashing back down in a massive wave.
“Look at that! Butterball’s getting some good air these days!” Andy crowed as he hopped back down from the bow and passed the binoculars to Jackie.
“Butterball?” Mama Sakalbi asked as she and Papa joined them. Kalai stared as the Orcas formed a line and charged at the middle of the ‘S’ bend in the net before diving down in front of it, sending a wave that pushed the corks back. She saw the spouts and the dorsal fins rise again for another charge at the net.
“He’s the baby, only about four years old. Grammie Slick’s taking the family hunting, see how they’re flattening the net out? We’re about to have a great fucking day
!” Andy took Jackie’s shotgun and took it back to the cabin as Kalai and her parents crowded the rail.
“What are they doing?” Mama Sakalbi’s question was directed at Jackie and the woman turned to answer with a gigantic smile.
“Herding! See the ones circling around the net?” Jackie pointed to the two dorsal fins that were almost invisible in the fog that was starting to burn off in the morning sun that had started to clear the eastern mountains. “They’ll be starting to round up small schools of salmon once they’re done turning our net into a reef. Right now, they’re running along the line and probably seeing what they have to work with.”
Mama Sakalbi did a double take, “You must be joking, that level of intelligence would almost be-”
“Human?” Jackie interrupted with a smile, “Yeah, that’s our original teachers out there. We learned to fish from them
“I was going to say ‘sentient’, but I take your point. What I want to know is, what are they doing
?” Mama Sakalbi gestured out at them, with a bewildered look on her face.
“They’re using the net as a sea wall. Thing is, the net’s hard to see in the water, but the fish can feel it. They’ll put their heads into the net, but that doesn’t catch them. They’ll try to swim around it so that’s why we put an ‘S’ bend. That’s where most of the fish get tangled.” Andy returned and picked up the explanation. “See in the center of the line? That fin with the black and white little checkmark behind it? That’s Grammie Slick, the Matriarch. She’s around sixty now, and grew up out here LONG before you all came down. They don’t always do this, but I guess with you all keeping the fishing fleets docked, she saw the net and wanted a big meal for the family. They’re going to keep pushing the net until it’s in the shape of a crescent and herd a bunch of small schools into a big baitball with pickets to keep the fish pinned in the middle. You watch, there’ll be salmon jumping all over in the middle as they school up.”
“That’s when you’ll see them charge up the center and take big old mouthfuls of salmon. It’ll be a smorgasbord for ‘em!” Jackie pulled up Andy’s omnipad and started recording.
“Wait, but you hate seals for competing with you for food, why are you this excited about Orcas who take so much more?” Papa asked as he also took out his omnipad and started recording as the pod of Orcas finished repositioning their net just as Andy described.
“Because they’re using the nets as a reef to trap the fish! See? Look! There they go! The wolves are out scaring every salmon in the area here!” Kalai dug her own omnipad out at Andy’s words and watched as the dorsal fins sank below the waves, with only a faint and fading wake to tell where they’d gone.
“Now watch ‘em set pickets! They’re going to start patrolling the outside of the net. When they get enough salmon in the middle, they’re going to charge. When they do, watch the entire
middle section of our corks go under from the salmon trying to get away. They get whole heaping mouthfuls of food and we get a full
Kalai watched the Orcas swimming in circles around the net like Helix Sharks, and felt a pang of fear seeing the big predators that seemed so gentle and inquisitive in the tank. “But what if they get caught in the net?”
Jackie suppressed a laugh before sweeping an arm out at the net. “I’ve never seen that happen before, and I haven’t even heard of it happening before… at least not here in the Salish Sea. All our Orcas grew up around these nets, so they’ll either avoid them or use them like they are right now.”
“I think it’s because they can see them and the fish can’t. Either way, we’re in for a show!” Andy patted Kalai on the back before pushing Kalai and Mama Sakalbi forward.
For a long while, the surface was calm, save for the circling Orcas as they all watched. Then, by degrees, there was movement on the surface of the water as fish the length of Kalai’s arm started to jump and kick in the baitball. Kalai watched, fascinated, as Orcas seemed to appear and disappear along the edges but never approached the middle of the net.
All the fins disappeared from the surface and an eerie stillness settled over the water. Suddenly, the water in the middle of the crescent erupted, with hundreds of fish shooting out of the water and a sudden surge that hit and pushed the corks outward before they sank completely out of sight. Jackie and Andy started vocalizing those strange undulating cries again, raising their fists in the air before shouting something in their language. From as best as Kalai could guess, it was encouragement as the Orcas started breaching and jumping. In those moments, Kalai could catch glimpses of their mouths full of salmon.
Kalai watched as the terrified fish swarmed towards the net, and watched as many seemed to jump over it and swim away as the Orcas gorged themselves on the enormous school of salmon they had trapped. It was an awe inspiring sight to see, and Kalai lost herself in the moment watching the amazing display of symbiotic hunting and fishing between them and the Orcas.
The engine of the boat turning over broke the spell they were all under as Andy moved the boat at a dead slow pace back towards the net. “Alright, let’s haul it in and reset for ‘em! Jackie! Get on the bow with the billhook!” Jackie whooped in agreement and gently pushed passed Kalai to grab a long pole with a small metal hook at the end.
“We’re gonna have to work fast. They’re hungry, and we all want salmon today,” Andy called over the sound of the engine as they approached the giant buoy that marked the end of the net. “Doc! Open that hatch back there and watch your step! Mrs. Vaida, stand clear in the cabin; I want no accidents today, and three on deck’s going to be a crowd with how many fish we’re going to be taking in. Kalai, I want you back in the-”
Kalai shook her head as she put her omnipad away. “I can do it! Let me help!” she was riding the high feeling of watching the Orcas, and seeing Andy and Jackie preparing to go to work while she was to be just a passenger galled her.
Kalai saw Andy give Jackie a look that she couldn’t quite interpret. “Alright, but you’ll work with me picking fish. Jackie, you’re on the Drum; trade places with me!”
Kalai saw Jackie huff and give Andy a piercing look as she handed off the billhook. “Watch out for jellies, they tend to explode,” the native woman muttered to Kalai as she took over at the net drum’s controls. Kalai was about to volunteer to grab the line with the hook, given her longer reach, but Andy had already leaned almost all the way over the side. Kalai had a momentary scare as Andy seemed to dip forward, seemingly in danger of falling overboard, until he seemed to almost levitate himself using his lower legs back into the boat and pulled the line over the roller horns. She stood there for a moment, unsure of what to do when Andy braced a foot against the side and began to pull on the line and feed it back towards Jackie. “Way, haul away, we’ll hang and haul together! Way, haul away, haul away Joe!”
Though she didn’t understand the words, Kalai knew a sailing song when she heard one and didn’t wait for any instruction. She moved forward opposite Andy and lent a hand, pulling the heavy line in to the cadence of his chant. After two verses, Kalai heard the whine of hydraulics and the slack in the line behind them went taught.
“Stand back! Here we go!” Andy called to her and the line began pulling the net back aboard. Kalai looked back to see that Jackie had wrapped the line around the center pole of the drum, with the wheel turning to pull the line and net in out of the water. A small set of guide poles that moved when Jackie twitched the controls kept the line evenly distributed on the drum as the first corks and the dripping wet net began to appear out of the water.
“Put your hoods up!” Andy yelled at her over the noise of the machines, and demonstrated the motion. “It’ll keep the water, seaweed and Jellies out of your face and eyes, and take this!” Andy tossed her what appeared to be a handkerchief and he mimed the act of tying it around her face like a mask.
“What about you? You’re sleeveless!” Kalai’s voice was slightly muffled from the cloth as she tied it around her face before pulling up both hoods.
Andy didn’t respond, except to grin at her as he leaned out to watch the net coming up out of the water before it got pulled aboard.
From behind her, Kalai heard Jackie start singing another human sailing song. It was a bit fast paced, and Andy joined in for the chorus. On the third time she heard it, she joined in too. “Blow ye winds in the mornin’, Blow ye winds, high ho! Haul away your running gear, And blow ye winds, high ho!
“Coming up!” Andy shouted as there were several loud thunks before six large salmon appeared in the giant fluorescent green tangle of the net. The drum stopped, bringing the fish to a halt as Andy pulled on the corkline and scurried his hands back and forth, gathering the net up as he did until he reached the first fish. Kalai watched in awe as he seemed to magically pull the fish from the tangle and shake it out onto the deck. The second one seemed to be resting on top of the tangle and he flipped it over the corkline and shook the fish out onto the deck.
“Just watch these first few. When you get a feel for how I’m doing this, jump in. Until then, slide these beauties back towards the stern. Jackie’ll pitch ‘em into the hold.”
Kalai nodded and watched Andy’s movements intently. It looked like sorcery, with how fast he moved his hands and zeroed in on a fish. As soon as he was done, he’d whistle to Jackie, who kept singing the cadence out to pull more of the net in, only to stop when more fish were pulled up and over the horns.
The song changed twice before Kalai felt confident enough to jump in. She almost got tangled in the net herself trying to pull out her first fish, but Andy gave the net a quick tug and she was free again. Maddeningly, the fish had simply fallen out of the net without any help from her, and she fumed just long enough for Andy to point to one that was closer to her. “Hoist up the thing, batten down the whatsit! What’s that thing spinning, somebody should stop it! Turn hard to Port! That’s not Port, NOW I GOT IT! Trust me, I’m in control!”
On the second refrain, Kalai managed to dig her first fish out and drop it to the deck. She let out a whoop, and Andy paused for a moment to give her a quick applause.
“That’s one, girl! There’s a thousand left if we’re lucky!” Jackie called out as Andy sang a verse and tackled another fish in the net.
“Keep an eye on the lead line; make sure it doesn’t go over the corks!” Andy called as Kalai ran down her second fish and was about to throw the excess net over the other side. She stopped, and Andy helped her get the fish without tangling the net.
It took until the end of the song for Kalai to find her rhythm, and soon she and Andy were running down fish in the net in a crisp and quick manner. Kalai felt like she could go faster, but Andy had cautioned her to keep pace with the songs, as there was still a lot of net to go. When Kalai spared a glance at the length of net still in the water, she saw that Andy wasn’t kidding. It looked like they hadn’t even really started to reel it all in. Ok, it’s hard work, but so is sailing, and he’s my size so I should be able to keep up with him. If he can do it, I can do it! “Haul away you rollin’ kings! Heave away, Haul away! Haul away you’ll hear me sing, We’re bound for South Australia!”
Andy was impressed. Kalai had jumped in without complaint, and she was very coachable. He could feel himself start to flag as they were starting to come to the last third of the net, but Kalai’s persistence, even though she was sweatier and more haggard than he was, kept him going.
The pile of salmon was almost as deep as their calves, and the deck was getting slick with fish slime. For that matter, so was Andy. In a momentary lull in the fish coming over the horns, Andy caught a glimpse of himself shimmering with all the scales that had flown off the fish as they scraped against the net to hit the deck, flopping. He took a big gulp of air and Kalai groaned as she straightened up, cracking her back as she twisted and bent to relieve her aching muscles.
Andy groaned a bit and looked back towards the stern. It was getting hard to see over the amount of net they’d pulled back in, but he could see Doc and Mrs. Vaida doing their best to help throw and shove the piles of salmon into the hold. Everybody’s getting their hands dirty today. Andy smiled and heaved a happy sigh. This, this is what I want. Being out on the water and doing good, hard work.
“SHIT, JELLYFISH!” Kalai shouted as she twisted away to hide her face behind her rain slicker hood. Andy blinked just in time as a wet squelching sound sent a spray of disintegrating jellyfish exploding all over the bow as the net bunched up and got squeezed together.
Andy felt it splatter all over his arms, neck, and face, before he felt it start to slide down his shirt to his chest. Almost immediately, he started to feel the burn. His arms, neck, and chest he could stand, but the blossoming pain on his lips, eyelids, cheeks, and most horribly the inside of his nose overwhelmed all his conditioned pain tolerance.
“FUCK!” Andy screamed. “FUCKING FUCKER! RIGHT IN MY FUCKING FACE! GOD FUCKING DAMNIT! FUCK!” Andy only barely avoided bringing his hands to his face. It was a hard fought thing to deny his instinct to try and scrape it off, but he felt his boots loose purchase and his feet slide out from under him. He hit the pile of fish that surrounded him hard. He was aware of Kalai yelling for her father and Mrs. Vaida, while Jackie’s braying laugh carried over everything else.
Andy felt Kalai trying to grab him, but her gloves were too slick to get a grip and all she did was spread the stingers more evenly over his arms. Andy kept his eyes squeezed shut as he heard Jackie start to direct the confused and panicking aliens.
“Hold your breath, cuz, vinegar incoming!”
Andy felt the bitter stinging splash as Jackie poured a steady stream of vinegar out from what he assumed was the giant jug he kept for these occasions underneath the little kitchenette in the cabin. Though nothing about the intensity of the burn changed, in the back of his mind, Andy knew that it was killing the stinging cells.
“Alright, Kally, take that bucket and fill it with seawater from over the side, then dump it on him.”
Andy sputtered a bit and spit as he scrabbled onto his knees. He steadied himself with one hand on the rail beside him and the other which found the corkline. He kept his eyes shut and growled as the burning spread from his hairline down to his navel. A sudden bracing splash of cold water nearly bowled him back over. Without warning, Andy hadn't had time to get a breath and he sputtered and yowled as the water soaked down under his rain gear.
Andy shook his head like a dog, whipping his braid back and forth before daring to open his eyes. “Son of a BITCH!” Andy growled as he got a look at Kalai holding an empty bucket, while Jackie was shoo’ing Mrs. Vaida and Dr. He’osforos away to give him some room.
“Jesus, quit your bawlin,’ you big baby, you’re acting like you’ve never been stung before!” Jackie called back to him as Andy ripped the gloves off his hands and plunged them over the side to clean off the stingers.
“It’s in my fucking nose you horse’s ass!” Andy shouted back as he splashed his face. A few strings of purple stingers fell into the water and Andy reared back aboard. “Ugh, get another bucket of seawater! I can still feel this shit!”
“Andrei, as a medical professional, I advise you to cease work and-”
Andy looked over as Dr. He’osforos spoke but waved him off mid sentence. “I appreciate it Doc, but I’ve had it far worse than this. There’s a brown and yellow bottle in one of the drawers under the bench that says ‘Motrin’. Get me the bottle or enough to tranq a cow, and I’ll go back to work just fine.”
Kalai let loose a piercing scream and Andy looked over just in time to see her rocketed herself backwards, dropping the bucket over the side. The Doctor caught his daughter before she fell into the hold, but he too had a look of fear plastered on his face. Andy and Jackie moved to the side to see what had scared her so badly, and the two of them couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
Grammie Slick and two of her daughters were there, sticking their heads out of the water with their mouths open, while Butterball was playing with the bucket.
Jackie laughed and stuck her hand out, rubbing the Orca matriarch on the snout. “Raggedy Andy’s fine, Grammie Slick! He’s just milking it for sympathy from these gullible hwun’eetums!”
“What in the Balance of Nature is going on here?” Mrs. Vaida’s shocked voice caused Andy and Jackie to look at her as she stared dumbfounded at the Orcas that were gathering alongside the boat.
“Oh they’re just saying ‘hi.’” Andy shrugged with a smile, despite the burning.
“More like ‘What the hell, cousins, you still got fish to pick. Quit loafin’ around and get another set in!’”
“Jackie, Motrin… NOW!” Andy growled at her. Jackie blew a raspberry at him before diving into the cabin.
“They’re pretty friendly, if you’d like to be introduced,” Andy held out a hand and motioned for Kalai and her father to step forward. Andy dipped his hand in again to make sure it was clear of any stinging cells, before he gently guided the hesitant Kalai to stick her ungloved hand out toward Grammie Slick.
One of the daughters blew a spout before sliding back under water, but Grammie gave a few clicks before briefly touching Kalai’s outstretched hand. “Kalai, this is Grammie Slick, Matriarch of J-Pod. Grammie, this is Kalai… a purple hwun’eetum.” Andy laughed a bit at the look of incredulity on Kalai’s face and the concern on her father’s.
There was a series of shutter clicks from behind Andy, and he turned to see Sakalbi snapping pictures as fast as she could. Kalai was clearly torn between fear and wonder as she held perfectly still and silent for Grammie, who was letting her touch her before she slid back under the water herself. Andy laughed as several clicks and whistles from the pod reverberated through the hull of the boat and he leaned back in.
“Alright, break’s over,” Andy called as he caught the flying bottle of pills Jackie threw at him. He popped two and swallowed them dry before washing the gloves off and putting them on. The extra rinse would have to wait, and he’d have to tough it out until they got back to shore. His boots squelched as he picked his way through the fish on the deck to get back to his station and nodded for Jackie to restart the drum.
It was another twenty minutes before the last of the net was pulled aboard and they were able to clear away all the fish into the hold. Andy stuck his head in and smiled. In a single set, they’d filled three quarters of it, and they had more than enough fish for the gathering and to feed another ten to fifteen families besides. The spouts and the clicks of J-Pod hanging around the boat, however, told Andy that they wanted their reef back and were still hungry.
Andy ordered them to prep the net for another set and helmed his boat again, only to bomb out in a straight line and let J-Pod take care of the fishing from that point on. Once they’d finished, Andy moved the boat out of the Orcas’ way and stood outside the cabin with Jackie while the three aliens crowded the bow, watching and recording the whales going to work a second time.
“Ok, I think we might get a moment to talk,” Andy muttered to Jackie in Salishian. “New orders from the Council. There’s going to be a raid.”
Jackie sucked in a breath and looked at him, all levity gone. “Cambrians, Militia, or the Dummy Bunnies?”
“Militia and the Interior.”
Jackie whistled softly in surprise as her eyebrows shot up. “Really poking the bear, cuz… When and where?”
“Uncle Willy wants us to hit the Militia Supply Depot out by Tanner on Saturday,” Andy growled quietly as he watched Kalai pointing to Grammie Slick’s dorsal as she swam out on the picket around the net.
“You mean the one close to the Snoqualmish?”
“Yeah. Full raid, we’re to hit it and take any supplies, especially military, that we can and destroy what we can’t. The messier we can make it the better. We’ll meet up with the Resistance on the old Bessemer Logging road by Hancock Creek and they get half for taking the credit. Me and Chuck’ve been assigned to ‘lead’ you.” Andy nodded and tried to flick some of the fish scales off himself, but got nowhere.
Jackie sat down on the rail with a groan before looking back up at him with a smirk. “You mean babysit on overwatch while we do the real work.”
Andy pursed his numb lips together and considered the ramifications of folding his arms on the jellyfish burns that had started to go quiet thanks to the Motrin. “Grandma and the Council want me to ‘get my hands dirty.’” He gritted his teeth in frustration.
“What? I’m sorry, that sentence made zero sense.” Jackie shook her head like she’d just been slapped.
Andy couldn’t keep the frustration and anger out of his tone when he spoke. “Apparently there are doubts about my loyalty to the tribe and whether or not I’ve lost my way.”
Jackie huffed in amusement. “Everyone knows the Council’s fucking stupid, but this is a new level of dumb. You got us land back, you got them to allow you to break the rules to feed our people, they’re fixing the fuck ups on our waterways because of you and they think you’ve gone to the dark side?” Jackie started laughing at the nonsense of the politics.
“Last time we talked, you thought I was playing with fire and-” Andy started to throw back at her before she snorted loudly.
“Results talk, cuz. Three of our Hatcheries returned, and my whole family drawing good money in Imperial Credits? Fuck, even if you had sold out, we need more Clan Heads doing the same thing.” She smiled as she nodded towards their guests on the bow.
“They still don’t trust that I know what I’m doing,” Andy growled as he folded his arms unconsciously and immediately regretted it.
Jackie snorted. “Of course they don’t. You didn’t talk to them or get their permission first. Hell, I’m surprised your grandma didn’t chuck you out on your ear for even suggesting that you should work for the dummy bunnies.” Jackie stretched and hopped up and around Andy to grab a water bottle. “But it’s working out. There’s land being returned, money in our hands, and food about to be on our table. You’re doin’ what a Chief is supposed to do.”
Andy scoffed and started to object. “I’m no Chief-”
Jackie gave his shoulder a slap and grinned evilly as a starburst of pain and burning cut through the painkillers, shutting Andy up mid-protest. “You keep saying you aren’t, but that don’t make it true.” She resumed her seat as Andy fought the yowl of pain back so as not to give her the satisfaction. “I mean, case in point, what are you going to do with all these fish Grammie’s catching for us right now?”
Andy blinked a few times as he regained his composure and thought seriously about his answer. “We’ll pull fifteen for the gathering they got invited to… Then all the fish you can pack into the truck goes to the Exiles. The rest? I’ll call Chuck and get some folks from the Council to claim the rest and distribute it to the families that need it.”
Jackie deepened her voice and adopted a cowboy drawl. “He never eats until he sees the pots are full of meat in the lodges of the widows and orphans-”
“That’s Comanche Law, not Salish, and that’s from a John Wayne movie, you ass.” Andy huffed and Jackie giggled wickedly, flipped him off.
“Still haven’t refuted my point, cuz.” Jackie’s singsong voice caused Andy to glare spitefully at her, until she raised her hands defensively. “Alright, you’re not a Chief. So, Not Chief Tsu’titsi’uqw; you need to get your hands dirty and lead a raid. I’ll scrape up what we need and scout the target. You just meet up with us Saturday night at the Snoqualmish Casino and I’ll put a gun in your hands. Don’t worry, we’ll only get dirty enough to make the Council happy.”
“I’ll be a bit late; I’m escorting them to the Hwatcom Family Gathering on Friday.” Andy took a step back as Jackie stood up and twisted a bit to stretch out.
“No surprise there, grandpa’s an old school traditional Indian. They’re dummies, but they’re trying to do right by us, finally. Again, thanks to you, Chie-” Andy slapped the back of her head hard and growled at her, but she just started laughing, making him even madder.
“Alright, enough. Let’s get on the bow and not look like we’re sketchy Indians plotting to attack an Imperial fort.” Andy snarled, shoving her past him while she just kept laughing.
Andy stomped forward, aware of the wet sounds his boots made as he walked. Kalai turned and smiled at him as he moved to stand beside her and her father. “So how are they doing out there?”
“They just started their attack. This is fascinating! Their coordination, their ingenuity, and adaptation to human activity is astounding! I wish I had brought observation drones!” Sakalbi was glued to the binoculars and holding her omnipad up while she muttered observations into the speaker. Andy was content to watch as the pod put on a repeat performance and the net sagged again until they all came up and started swimming lazily around the net and the boat. All of them except Butterball and one of his older brothers. The two seemed to be getting into a jumping contest.
“He’s feeling a bit hyper. Must be nice to be full,” Jackie commented as the two whales took turns jumping out of the water and twisting in the air. Andy smiled and nodded and felt a hand go to his shoulder. He looked down and saw it was Kalai making eyes at him. Andy hid the grimace at the burn and gave her a wink.
“That one’s getting closer, should we be concerned?” Andy looked over at Dr. He’osforos and Kalai quickly moved her hand as they watched Butterball getting closer and closer with each jump.
Jackie hopped up and straddled the railing as Andy and Kalai shared a concerned look. Jackie hooked a hand around one of the roller horns and peered down into the water. “I don’t think so, I mean he knows we’re-”
The sudden appearance of a flying adolescent Orca only a scant few feet away from the boat right next to the lot of them cut Jackie off. Most of them only had enough time to watch the little playful bastard hang in the air for a moment before he twisted to almost shoulder punch the water as he came back down. Andy had just enough presence of mind to pull Kalai and her father down, and braced himself as the plume of water rose from where Butterball landed.
“Oh shi-” Andy heard Jackie say before water cascaded down on them and drenched them all, sending the boat rocking violently.
It took a moment for Andy to recover and he helped the two Shil back to their feet. “Quick check, is everyone alright?”
“HEY! WHAT THE HELL, BUTTERBALL! GRAMMIE! YOU HAVE A TALK WITH YOUR GRANDSON! HE’S GONNA GET SOMEONE KILLED ONE OF THESE DAYS!” Jackie screamed at the water, shaking her fist.
A camera shutter sounded and a dripping wet Mrs. Vaida stood, wide eyed in fear, staring out over the water.
Andy started laughing at the sight of his boss soaked to the bone, her hair and her fur a dripping mess. “That picture right there? You can title it: ‘Angry Native Woman Yells at Whale.’”
Kalai looked like she was on Krek’s doorstep. Akil’eas knelt next to her as he finished his examination and was looking over the readings on his omnipad. His daughter sat in front of the cabin on the little step, legs splayed out in front of her while she leaned against the railing on the side of the boat. Her father stood next to her as he finished a quick check of her vitals and her viral load.
“Unsurprisingly, you’re a bit elevated, but given your numbers over the last week, that’s saying that you’ve come back up to your normal levels.” Akil’eas had been worried. When they’d hauled in the net the second time, Kalai had stayed on the bow with the boy, Andy, while Akil’eas’d stood over the human woman’s shoulder and studied the controls.
Akil’ieas had also pitched in and helped fill the hold, but when he and Sakalbi could no longer stuff them in, they’d given up and stood out of the way. His old friend and colleague had spent the rest of the time recording, either the large predators that continued to circle and play around the boat, or the seemingly inefficient fishing practice of Andy and his people. No wonder he was so big, and his brother had been that strong. It beggared belief that their people worked at that backbreaking pace for so long, but there Andy stood, proud and tall at the end of it, while he and Sakalbi struggled to stay standing.
Akil’eas had to focus on keeping his hands from shaking and retrieved another water bottle for his exhausted daughter. Andy had them moving at a slow pace back towards a different harbor from the one they’d left that morning. They’d stopped briefly at the pier they’d started from to allow Jackie to disembark. The two humans packed all the fish that couldn’t fit in the hold up to Jackie’s truck and filled the bed of it without any help. She drove off with close to a hundred fish.
Now with the deck cleared, Andy told them they were on their way to the harbor most of his Band used. The trip had been slower going than the morning had been, but only because they were riding much lower in the water than they had been.
“King Triton’s farewell,” Kalai muttered looking up. Akil’eas followed his daughter’s gaze up to see a flock of white and gray seabirds calling out loudly as they kept pace with the boat as it headed towards the docks.
“It means work’s almost over. It’s a great sound, isn’t it?” Andy called out from the cabin where he sat at the helm.
Kalai shifted herself with great effort to look around the door to the cabin. “It sounds amazing.”
The smile Andy gave Kalai caused Akil’eas to have a pang of fatherly protectiveness, and only fatigue kept the scowl off his face. “Just wait, we’ll clean a few once we’ve off-loaded to the families. Fresh salmon tonight for everyone, and I’m cooking! Doc, we’d love to have you, too.”
“I’d love to but-”
Kalai grabbed his arm and stopped him. “Trust me, Papa, you don’t want to miss it.”
Akil’eas chewed his tongue for a moment, looking from Andy to Kalai. Sakalbi caught his eye and nodded emphatically. “Alright, if you’ll allow me to help. You must be exhausted.”
Andy beamed at Akil’eas, “You won’t hear me turn down free help.”
“Vaascon fellas don’t have no frills, Haul away, haul away! They’re plain and skinny as a lodthfish gill, And we’re bound away for Vaasconia!”
Kalai sat back and started singing between sips of water. Akil’eas sat down next to her and joined in the chorus for a Vaascon sailing song. It was strange to think that these humans also sang to their sea gods to placate them and coordinate the work. What else could you expect from a sailorman? Some things call to the soul across time and evidently even the gulf space and peoples.
“So heave him up my Turry Turry girls, Haul away, haul away! Heave him up and let the sails unfurl! And we’re bound away for Vaasconia!”
Andy’s voice joining in on the chorus startled Akil’eas and Kalai and they both turned to look back at him.
He gave them another wide grin, “I started learning some of the sail songs after Kalai told me about sailing on Shil.”
“Akil’eas, a word?” Sakalbi motioned with her head towards the bow and offered him a hand up. He followed her to the bow, leaving the two children singing together.
The harbor mouth was coming up fast, and between the noise of the engine and the net drum keeping them out of sight, there was some privacy. “I’ve heard some rumors about your feelings toward humans…” Sakalbi leaned against the railing, giving him the look that every teacher and professor had when questioning a belligerent student. When Akil’eas didn’t answer her, save to throw her back his own look, she continued. “Kalai is quite taken with Andy. It’s been quite a refreshing thing to see her come out of her shell.”
“It’s a vacation romance, nothing more.” Akil’eas felt his stomach clench and couldn’t stop himself from looking back.
“I don’t think so, Akil’eas. This is the first time I’ve seen her so on thorns and thistles around anyone, much less a male. She’s been very keen around him.” The smile she gave him was a bit galling, but he had to admit, he didn’t really know Kalai as well as Sakalbi and her spouses.
“He is… I’m sure he is a very nice young man, but as a fit consort for a soon to be Duchess? No, and I’ve yet to meet a human that is.” The thought of a human becoming the next Duke He’osforos was absurd. Sure there had been the occasional non-Shil Kho-liebhaberin or even the one Duke Aurar’ian He’osforos who was a Triki, but a human? “They’re far too individualistic and self centered to rise to the responsibilities of the Peerage.”
“That’s not exactly as large a sample size as you think it is, Leas. If you had Andy in your class, or on your crew, disregarding the fact that he’s human, what would your read on him be?”
Akil’eas locked his jaw and pursed his lips, defiantly. “I don’t know.”
“Come on, Leas, you’re better than me at reading people, and I’m damn good at it.” He hated how Sakalbi’s eyes flashed and her right ear would twitch when she thought she had the upper hand in an argument. He huffed a sigh and decided to play her little game, just to humor her enough so that she’d drop the subject.
“Dependable, fastidious and competent, judging by the state of his equipment and his boat. Self sacrificing, diligent, hard working, given what I’ve observed today. He’s got a temper, but it takes a bit to get there, and he’s carrying some pretty heavy emotional scars.” He’d not seen very much of Andy, but the old Sailing Master and Professor in him started to come out and assess the boy just as he would any of his students or junior sailors.
“That’s my read, too. Doesn’t sound so individualistic and self-centered to me. Blighted Nature, Leas, from what I’ve learned about him and his people, he broke with several of their traditions and customs to help us. He’s stuck his neck out far further for us than we would have for him and his people, for no other reason than to try and save his homeland. Were he an Erbian on Myr or even back home in Vaasconia, there’d be Groom-War over his hand.”
Akil’eas was a bit piqued about her statement, “What about your daughter? Kalai made no secret about little Sitry mooning after him, and her disapproval of their courtship.”
“She thinks she’s in love, and it very well might be that she is, but Kalai’s disapproval should tell you what it tells me, given your own rather astute assessment of the man.”
“HEY DOC! TAKE THE WHEEL, I GOTTA DRUM US IN!” Andy’s voice cut their conversation short as Akil’eas turned to look back around the drum. Andy waved him back as he slowed their approach to come in. “Take us to Dock 5, straight back and to port.”
“Straight back and to larboard, aye!” Akil’eas rattled off as he traded places with Andy at the helm.
Kalai heaved herself up to stand as Andy grabbed a large leather circle and ran forward to jump up on the bow. As Akil’eas piloted the boat into the harbor and made the turn, he saw a large crowd of humans gathered on the pier and the shore. As soon as they were in sight, he watched as Andy, standing tall, began to drum a beat and vocalize, projecting his voice over the water to those on shore. Akil’eas sputtered a bit in surprise as he guided the boat slowly towards the open mooring.
“That’s their call. His family’s song lets the people on shore know who he is and that he’s friendly.” Kalai looked back at Akil’eas before moving inside the cabin to stand next to her father. “All the families know it, but only he is allowed to sing it. It’s their version of a family crest and coat of arms. Elder Hwatcom taught us about those. There’ll be a reply in a second granting us permission to come ashore.”
There was indeed a response of drumming and singing from the assembly of humans as many started to crowd forward carrying what appeared to be coolers. Andy reappeared and took the controls back and reversed to kill their forward momentum as Sakalbi threw out their mooring lines to the waiting humans. Andy killed the engine and moved quickly out of the cabin to speak in a language that Akil’eas did not recognize. There seemed to be a bit of confusion from those gathered on the dock, but Andy opened the hatch to show the hold full of fish.
“Don’t thank me, thank them. Sockeye and Kings to all comers, courtesy of the Vaidas and the Vaida Warren!” Andy shouted happily in Vatikre as he pulled two giant fish out by their gills and handed them off to the applauding humans.
Sakalbi managed to shoot Akil’eas a smug look before she plunged her hands into the mass of fish and began helping Andy hand them out to the people.
Possible Late Post Due to Vacation. I will try to post on time, but it may be as late as 6/12/23
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2023.06.04 03:36 TinManTony 35 Piece Mini Ratchet Set Solution
2023.06.04 03:20 grapesseductive Hello fellow lymphies!
Hello! I know this sub isn’t super active but I just found it so I wanted to share a little of my story.
I’m 33f, diagnosed when I was 14. Luckily, we knew pretty quickly that it was lymphedema because my grandma also has primary lymphedema (however, she was diagnosed in her 40s).
We found a MLD therapist very quickly and I saw her every two weeks until I went to college. That’s when things took a turn for me - I wasn’t wearing my compression as often as I should and wasn’t taking care of my leg.
After college I met my now-husband and got back on it. We would drive an hour and a half every two weeks to see my old therapist (she was the best, like a second mom, and worth the drive). Oh and I was wearing my compression every waking moment.
I had LVA surgery in.. 2016? With Dr. Champaneria in Vancouver, WA. He made 4 connections but honestly it didn’t do much for me in terms of reduction.
So I kept at it with therapy, compression, elevating whenever I could. I got married, had a baby, and moved to MA when he was a newborn. We left my entire family… but it was probably hardest leaving my therapist!!
Our kiddos are 19 months apart so I’ve been BUSY obviously, and I couldn’t find a therapist here within a reasonable distance. Then COVID, so I put that on the back burner and continued my self care (massage, wrapping a few days a week, compression whenever I’m up).
SO now I did find someone local, wildly she was right under our noses. I’ve started wrapping my leg every night before bed - I’ve noticed I sleep better and it’s a lot easier for me to get up this way so I can start tending to my littles and making breakfast (vs compression and such).
OH also - I always have my toes wrapped. Always. They have been discontinued but I have toeband wraps that are sacred to me. So much better than caps and whatever the f that mole stuff is. They’ve somehow lasted FOREVER (which is perhaps why they stopped making them).
I order 3 sets of fresh wraps every 3 months and new compression garments every 5 months or so (I usually get 3ish depending on the time of year, sometimes more).
I’ve never had a cellulitis infection, I’m healthy, happy, and doing the very best I can with self care while managing two littles - plus I was officially diagnosed with ADHD in January so I’m proud of myself for being as organized as I am with my self care. I’m solidly in stage 2, still pitting, but possibly stage 3 especially at the back of my calf.
I do have a pump but based on what I’ve learned and experienced, good ol fashioned wraps are where it’s at for me.
Again, I know this community isn’t super active but I’m not super active on FB so I figured why not.
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