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2009.11.13 23:01 Actual Lesbians!

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named actuallesbians because lesbians is not really for or by lesbians--it was meant to be a joke. We're not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!
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https://preview.redd.it/46tlqim1xxn51.jpg?width=300&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=38b6374fa0704317d86ab5b23bfcbbfcac409bf7
submitted by IdolA18Sep1l to u/IdolA18Sep1l [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 19:16 pbuyle Get BAN for showing of your pet

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take a picture of your pet(s).
That's right folks, no need to subscribe, register or signup to any shady app/site/whatever. Show off your pet(s) and get BAN for it.
Comment with a picture of your pet(s), a hand drawn Banano logo and handwritten date. And at some point next Monday, I'll rain my entire Reddit Tipbot balance to those who posted pictures of their pets.
The idea is to get picture of your pet(s), so keep the logo and date discreet.
You can provide multiple photo of your pet(s), but I'll tip you only once.
submitted by pbuyle to bananojobs [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 18:35 rudexvirus Comatose

Hi! This was written for a horror contest earlier in the year. I haven't had much luck with it, and thought it might do to get crits for a rewrite/learn how to make the next one better ;D

Comatose

Callie’s head fell against the chair’s faded blue upholstery. “Today marks the second anniversary of our first date, Hannah. Last year you waved your hands around for 15 minutes telling me it was the wrong day.”
She listened to the ventilator across the room for a moment and scoffed. “You know… I remembered our anniversary. I remember it took you six months to agree that we were official, and another three to let me meet your family.”
Silence. “You would never admit the truth to me, but I always suspected I was your first.” A frog jumped down her throat, causing a lump too big to continue. The entire reason she sat in the rotting hospital furniture was to talk to her, and when she couldn’t do that through the sobs… feeling useless was an understatement.
“Do you remember how long we sat there in that corner booth? The light bulb blew, and it took another half an hour for our waitress to come by and notice.”
The frog moved as she swallowed. Guilt, grief, nostalgia -- uncomfortable emotions coming out of nowhere, making it difficult to function. She wanted to cry, and her heart raced.
Instead, she laughed. A shallow, joke-less, air-filled laugh. Even as she walked through the motions of having a comatose girlfriend, her memories were too scattered to handle at that moment. Every time she took a breath, she lost the thread of where she was going, and her thoughts jumped to a different place; a different thing she had always meant to say.
“I love you, Hannah.”
Callie snuck out of the room before the nurses came by. They tried to thank her sometimes, but it was just another reminder of everything they both had lost.
She shook her head and forced her feet to continue walking through the faded hospital hallway.
Tomorrow was another day. It was the last thought she gave the yellow-lit, claustrophobic, dying room, and the thought melted away as the sunlight hit her face. Bright and warm and alive.
She needed all the warmth that the world offered since people and their emotions zapped so much from her. She basked in the summer sun and tried to do ‘normal’ things to re-energize.
A movie. Dinner. A restless night’s sleep.
Instead, her body ended up in the sinking chair again. She watched as an older, stern-looking nurse took vitals and wrote in Hannah’s ever-thickening chart. The corners of her mouth turned downward and wondered for a moment how the nurses slept at night. Probably like logs, having shed all their stupid problems at people like Callie.
The older woman squinted at her before leaving. Something about that generation. The generation that had glared every time the couple had held hands; the generation that had shoved her to the side the night Hannah had come into the hospital. That generation could go screw themselves. It wasn’t like any of them did the things Callie made time to do.
They didn’t sit here every day talking to the shell of what used to be a vibrant woman. They didn’t wade around impolite conversation so that if she ever woke up, she would remember the quality times and not the fights.
Or the accident. God help her if Hannah woke up and remembered the accident.
A sigh filled the room.
“I remember the first day I saw you.” Callie smiled. It was one of their best memories. Before the fights. Before things progressed too far to turn back. “You took my breath away.”
One leg crossed over the other, and her eyes lost focus as she daydreamed. “You distracted me so thoroughly that I stopped mid-walk and forgot where I was going. After we spoke, I ended up going back home, only to get a phone call hours later.”
Callie had never told Hannah where she had been going that day, even though the question had come up.
Her eyes refocused, scanning her surroundings.
The dim room that would have been her day that fateful afternoon wasn’t unlike this one. It sat in silence with a paler, meaner, and much sicker woman laying in it.
Callie felt a tug at her chest, realizing she had never gone back to that other room at all. “I knew I loved you soon after that. Did you know that before you slipped away?”
Callie slid into the lemon smelling chair, burnt coffee threatening to spill out of its cup as she did so.
Muted sounds came from around the cafeteria. The scrape of a fork against glass. A cup settling onto a tray. Chairs being pushed against the fading tile floor. The ice machine groaned.
Finally, a peal of laughter.
It was smooth, and light, and feminine, and it caught her attention so fast she startled. Her head whipped in its direction, pulling a muscle in her neck. Still distracted, Callie set her cup of boiling hot coffee on the table and missed.
It tipped, landing along her legs, and before she could think again, she was screaming in pain. She felt watched as she tried to wipe away the burning liquid. What stopped her was someone pulling on one arm, and whispering in her ear about third-degree burns, and saying she would need to lose her pants, and all remaining thoughts evacuated.
Except for a single inappropriate thought about a beautiful stranger with the name Rachel sewed on her scrubs.
“There was August.”
Callie watched a young, handsome nurse walk through the door, and decided not to let him stop her. Not when she had just found the strength to get going. “We went to pet stores every single day. You would pick the smallest dog at every pound to hold.”
He drew blood, wiped down her IV site and changed her pillow.
The staff would come to turn Hannah later. Once upon a time, she would help; but now it was easier to stay out of the way, and she rarely witnessed the event.
“They knew what we were doing, you know. They never stopped us, though. It probably made some poor thing’s day whenever we came in.”
The man glanced her way as he walked out of the room, raising an eyebrow.
Sometimes it seemed as if they could see straight through her facade, and lately —
Well.
She wasn’t sure the last time one of them had acted grateful that Hannah was getting a visitor. They didn’t understand why no one else came by. They’d never had to listen to her, though.
They wouldn’t understand what a chore the whole thing was.
Silence sat in the room for a quarter of an hour before Callie followed the nurse out of the room. Her strength came back as fast as it disappeared. Rather than leave the hospital, however, she took the elevator down 2 floors and wandered into the cafeteria. She filled a small cup with diet coke, and sat down in the far corner so she could watch the door, and scope out the room.
I just need energy, she thought on repeat.
She needed energy, and space, and light.
When she spent long enough in the hospital, the cafeteria could feel like a bunker. It didn’t exactly offer those things, but that day it was enough. Time in a different room was enough. Her eyes could focus on different things, and it soothed the ache in her temples.
As she watched a group of nurses walk through the door, smiles on their faces, she felt the ball in her stomach grow a little smaller. Watching people feel things on the outside — it helped. Hearing laughter and knowing there was someone who would watch out for her, instead of how she handled her comatose girlfriend…
It helped.
Rachel held a glass in both hands, looking down at the melting ice before meeting Callie’s gaze again. “You go every day?”
The words hung between them. Ambient room noises, and the obnoxious drunk across the bar, ate the actual noises, but the meaning stayed behind.
“Yeah. I guess I just feel like I owe it to her.”
Callie pulled her shoulders back, straightening and stretching her spine. She had leaned over the slab of wood for far too long. She had gone through three shots of whiskey and one with a diet coke because regular hurt the front of her teeth. To be honest, she wasn’t ready for this conversation, and she hadn’t known what to say.
How much of the truth do you tell someone on the first date? What might scare them away? How long would she have waited for the cheating wench to wake up?
So instead she told the woman just enough. Callie’s eyes slowly grazed over the curves of the woman next to her. “I owe it to her, but to be honest, I’m tired.”
Rachel swallowed the liquid left in her glass and then nodded. “I’m sure you are.”
A smile came across the woman’s face that sent Callie’s heart racing in her chest, beating against her ribs, and then leaping into her throat. She was certain that not a soul existed who could have resisted that smile, and here she was, at the receiving end.
The pair swallowed one more shot each before throwing a small pile of cash on the bar and walking out the door. It was windy and cool outside. Weather trying to turn into early fall, with rain on the horizon, but neither of them pulled their sweaters closer, or acted like they cared at all.
The weather disappeared behind the whiskey, the blush, and the prospects of climbing into bed for the first time with someone new.
Callie stood next to Hannah’s hospital bed. Her mouth opened and closed repeatedly until she reached out and grabbed a clammy hand, holding it off the hospital bed to do so. She took a deep breath and pushed the words past the ever-present frog in her throat. “I’m sorry.”
There were footsteps outside the door, nurses and doctors and patients oblivious to the quiet heart that was breaking inside room 317.
Another deep breath and she continued. “I hope someday the doctors tell you how long I tried to wait. I hope someone tells you I came by every single day until…”
An airplane flew by above the hospital, giving the room the slightest vibration, interrupting her thoughts for just a wavelength.
“I hope when you wake up someday, you remember all the good times, and none of the bad. I hope you remember what I did for you, before and after you got here.”
Hannah didn’t stir. Her arm fell with a blanketed thump.
Before anyone else could come in and look sideways, Callie walked back out the door. She was on her way to have a brand new key made for a woman. A woman who could sit up, and speak, and respect her.
A woman who was waiting for her to make a very special drink and spend a very special night. They were about to spend a lot of quality time together. The moment Callie’s body crossed the threshold of the hospital into the afternoon air, a smile flew onto her face.
Today was indeed very special, and it was her very favorite part of a new relationship.
Well, she thought to herself as she made her way to her car, Maybe the second favorite. Or maybe third. There was the first kiss and the very first time in bed. The third was the day she made them understand their place in life.
The day they went from controlling little bitches to a brand new puppet. The day they learned about respect.
Hannah had been too weak and ended up a vegetable. So many of them had been weak, but this time would be different.
This time she would get it right and be able to take care of her possession at home.
submitted by rudexvirus to WPCritique [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 20:07 Rumored17 Refutations for Every Main Pro-Pit Argument

1."It's all how you raise them."

And more:
• ⁠Lockwood, R. A. N. D. A. L. L. (2016). Ethology, ecology and epidemiology of canine aggression. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour & Interactions with People,, 160-181.
• ⁠Abrantes, R., Site, A., Camp, S., Diving, F. A. Q., Camp, G. P., Pages, M., ... & User, C. C. (2016). Aggressive Behavior—Inheritance and Environment.
• ⁠van den Berg, L. I. N. D. A. (2016). Genetics of dog behavior. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People, 5, 69.
• ⁠O'Neill, D. G., & Packer, R. M. (2016). The First Canine Behavior and Genetics Conference: Summary and recommendations for future directions in canine behavioral science. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 16, 6-12.
• ⁠Sørensen, M. (2016). Breeding aggression: Review of recent literature concerning the influence of genes on aggressive behaviour (Doctoral dissertation).
• ⁠Schilder, M. B., van der Borg, J. A., & Vinke, C. M. (2019). Intraspecific killing in dogs: predation behavior or aggression? A study of aggressors, victims, possible causes and motivations. Journal of Veterinary Behavior.
These studies all show that genetics play a large role in dog behavior. Most are related to Pit Bulls or aggression, but some just show that there are noticeable differences between dog breeds based on their breed. Here are some anecdotal sources to support the claims that Pit Bulls are born with a tendency to be aggressive:
In addition, "it's all how you raise them" goes against the very existence of dog breeds. If someone is arguing this, they are saying a Labrador Retriever will have the same instincts as a Border Collie, which will have the same instincts as a Doberman, which will have the same instincts as a Great Pyrenees, which will have the same instincts as a Dachshund, etc. This is observably and demonstrably false. Humans created different dog breeds with different temperaments and physical and behavioral traits through selective breeding. This is why dog breeds exist, this is why breed standards exist, this is why people can reasonably and accurately predict how a dog will act based on breed. Are there exceptions? Of course. However, that is just what they are- exceptions. Different dog breeds have different traits and tendencies dependent on what they were selectively bred for.

2. "Chihuahuas are more aggressive."

This is just a disingenuous attempt to derail the conversation. Even if Chihuahuas are more aggressive, they don't/can't kill people. If Chihuahuas were as large as Pit Bulls, perhaps this would be a conversation worth having- seeing as this is not the case, there is no argument to be had here.
I try to emphasize that the issue with Pits is how many people and pets they kill. Pit Bulls are not just biting people- they are killing, severely maiming, and mauling people. There is a huge difference, and it is important to recognize many Pit fanatics will try to lump in all dog bites with the maulings Pit Bulls are responsible for. They are not the same. This is similar to the "Labs bite more" argument- again, we are not just talking about bites. Keep the discussion focused on severe maulings, maimings, and deaths, because that is what BSL targets.
From 1982-2020 no Chihuahua has ever killed anyone. This source breaks down attacks by breed, child or adult victim, and death or maiming.

3. "There's no such thing as a Pit Bull." and "Pit Bulls can't be identified."

A good way to avoid even getting to this apologist bingo point is by using the phrasing "Pit Bull type dogs" as opposed to Pit Bulls. However, you can also just explain that "Pit Bull" is an umbrella term for four closely related dog breeds- the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. The American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are actually so similar they can be dual registered as an AmStaff with the AKC and a APBT with the UKC. Until recently, most dog DNA tests would not even separate AmStaff from APBT due to the extreme similarities. This is also just another deflection technique- everyone knows what someone means by "Pit Bull" just as everyone knows what someone means by "Golden Retriever." This is what "pit bull" means legally.
Now, because "Pit Bull" does refer to 4 dog breeds rather than one, Pit apologists will often cry "well of course 4 dog breeds will kill more people!" but keep in mind that these 4 dog breeds have killed more people than 300+ other dog breeds combined. The Pit Bull umbrella kills more people than every other group or type of dogs and more than every other dog breed combined.
Regarding Pit Bulls being unidentifiable:
Pit Bulls have just as many obvious identifying characteristics as other dog breeds. There is no reason to believe Pit Bulls suffer from misidentification more than other dog breeds. There is reason to believe Pit Bulls are intentionally mislabeled as other breeds when in shelters, however. In addition, when discussing fatal Pit Bull attacks specifically, more often than not there are photos of the Pit Bulls involved so anyone can verify for themselves if they were Pit Bull type dogs. Genetic testing is not required for breed identification- anyone who argues this is being disingenuous. Another point is that we are constantly inundated with Pro-Pit propaganda; there is simply no way we can have Pixar shorts such as Kitbull and a new Dodo video every week about Pit Bulls and still be expected to believe the average person cannot visually identify a Pit Bull.

4. "Pits are no more dangerous than other dogs."

The statistics also support our side here- Pit Bulls have killed more people than all other dog breeds combined. Pit Bulls are not the largest, nor the strongest dogs out there. They do not have the strongest bite force. They are more deadly than other dog breeds because humans selectively bred them to be as deadly as possible. They are deadly due to the nature of their attacks and the behavioral traits they display when attacking such as gameness and a bite style mentioned in some of these studies, along with their physical traits.

5. "It used to be Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds that people wanted to ban!"

Pit Bulls have killed more people than those three breeds ever did, even at the height of their popularity, even combined. There is also no evidence supporting this claim, and in fact, quite a lot of evidence showing it's completely false.
It is important to note as well that none of these breeds have an entire lobby supporting them. They do not have communities dedicated to attack victim harassment, misinformation, and lies, unlike the Pit Bull has. Something interesting to consider is the bias online when looking at these breeds and other restricted breeds vs pages about Pit Bulls. Wikipedia in particular is very obviously being manipulated by Pit Bull fanatics.
None of this manipulation is occurring on the pages for Dobermans, Rottweilers, or German Shepherds. These three breeds never reached anywhere close to the level of suffering and carnage Pit Bulls are responsible for. There has never been a concerted effort to ban these breeds, although some are targeted by apartment restrictions due to insurance issues. There is also no lobby supporting the misinformation and misrepresentation of these breeds.

6. "Dogsbite.org is biased and unreliable."

Dogsbite is completely open and transparent about their data collection strategies. They provide identification photographs and have all of their citations publicly listed. Citations and Photographs
Here is a challenge I like to give to people who claim Dogsbite is unreliable, although I have yet to receive a legitimate response:
Have you actually looked into dogsbite.org yourself? You do know that dogsbite tracks every fatal dog attack, regardless if it's a Pit or not? It appears anti-Pit because most fatal dog attacks are done by Pits. They're not only posting Pit attacks- there are just so many more fatal Pit attacks than other breeds it appears they are. Here's a proposal for you: Go to 2020 and late 2019, a time frame for which news reports are still abundantly available all over the internet, and fact-check ANY FOUR DOG-BITE FATALITIES OF YOUR CHOOSING, two where the killer dogs are said to be pit/mixes, and two cases where the killer dogs are not said to be pit/mixes:
  1. Did DogsBite accurately name the person killed?
  2. Did DogsBite accurately summarize the circumstances in which the person was killed?
  3. Did DogsBite accurately identify the breed(s) of the killer dog(s)?
  4. Did DogsBite provide a photo or photos of the killer dog(s) so you can judge for yourself what type of dog(s) you think did the killing?
DogsBite and Wikipedia both provide links to news stories about these fatal attacks. If you don't want to use the news links provided by DogsBite, then use the ones on Wikipedia that cover the same stories. DogsBite also provides links to autopsy reports, police reports and 911 calls, so you can compare these primary sources with the summaries on the DogsBite page and assess whether those summaries are accurate.

7. "Human aggressive Pit Bulls were culled!"

This is a myth. While human aggression was not something that was typically selectively bred for it is a myth that most human aggressive Pits were culled. That was not the case, and it still is not the case today. One look at shelter descriptions of Pits with bite histories and severe aggression issues shows these dogs are not being euthanized, and there are several instances of Pit Bulls who have killed people being bred.
There's no evidence whatsoever that dog fighters routinely destroyed human-aggressive dogs and refused to breed them. u/NorthTwoZero wrote at length about why it's a myth here, and this blogger put together a documented list of famously human-aggressive fighting dogs who not only weren't "culled" but were bred so often that they produced over 1,200 known, registered offspring:
"The man-biters were culled and the pit bulls were not bred for human aggression myths were created from thin air, complete fabrications. There is not a sliver of truth in the myth that dogmen culled man-biters. Not only weren't human aggressive pit fighters NOT culled, but a talented man-biter was heavily bred, his stud services were in high demand and the stud fees commanded a premium. The progeny of man-biters are still sought out long after he or she has passed away. This Italian game-dog website lists their choice for the Best Ever fighting dogs, three of the five are known man-biters and the other two trace their origins to the others on their "Best" list. Some famous man-biters have their own facebook fan pages. If you happen to be a 10x winner with 3 kills and scratching on the carcass, people tend to overlook a little thing like the danger she poses to people and she is also likely to be nominated for the cover of this month's International Sporting Dog Journal. Some famous man-biters not only have a facebook fan page, they have their own promotional merchandise too."

8. "Pit Bulls were nanny dogs!" or "Pit Bulls were America's dog!"

First, I usually ask questions that demonstrate out how absurd that claim is. What is a nanny dog? What duties does a nanny dog perform? Why would a dog type be called a "Pit Bull" if it nannied? Where does the name "Pit Bull" come from? Why is it necessary for Pits to have such large, gaping mouths and extremely muscular bodies if they were nannies? Then here is some actual info:
The first appearance of the term "Nanny Dog" dates from a 1971 NYT interview with the then president of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, Lillian Rant, who called Staffordshire Bull Terriers "nursemaid dogs" for no apparent reason (other than to attempt to re-brand fighting dogs as family pets).
BAD RAP shared a link. It's Dog Bite Prevention Week. Did you know that there was never such thing as a 'Nanny's Dog'? This term was a recent invention created to describe the myriad of vintage photos of children enjoying their family pit bulls (see link for details about vintage photos). While the intention behind the term was innocent, using it may mislead parents into being careless with their children around their family dog - A recipe for dog bites!
Regarding Pits being "America's dog": Bronwen Dickey (author of incredibly biased and unscientific book "Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon") and other pit bull advocates argue that pit bulls were historically beloved in the U.S. until the dogs became associated with urban people of color in the 1970s, so Pit Bull stigma is really about being racist toward black and brown people.
But pit bulls were not historically beloved in the U.S. nor were they popularly regarded as a positive symbol of plucky can-do spirit. Joseph Colby, in his lifetime one of the world's leading authorities on the Pit Bull Terrier, wrote in 1936 that "The general public is under the impression that this breed is carnivorous, vicious, and, fed on a diet of raw meat, will devour a human being" and "When the pit bull terrier was introduced into America, he was more commonly found to be owned by prize fighters, saloon keepers and habitues, sporting men and the like. From the start the breed earned an unjust reputation due to his fighting ability and the character of the owner. To this day he is still trying to live down an unjust and undeserved reputation."
Sometimes Pit people will randomly mention how Sergeant Stubby, a decorated war hero dog, was a Pit Bull. He was not. Primary (contemporary) sources most often describe Stubby as a Boston Terrier or Boston Terrier mix (this breed was sometimes called the Boston Bulldog). He is sometimes said to be a Bull Terrier (the egghead dogs) mix but he obviously resembles a Boston Terrier significantly more than a Bull Terrier. Stubby is never said to be a Pit Bull in primary sources.

9. "Pit Bulls scored 2nd highest on temperament tests and better than most family dog breeds!"

This is always referring to the ATTS, or the American Temperament Testing Society. It is refuted thoroughly in the BanPitBulls FAQ, but this is what I usually say as well:
The test was developed to test working dogs, specifically dogs meant for schutzhund work. It has never been, nor ever purported to be about testing companion animals or a breed's suitability as family pets. Scoring actually favors dogs that bite, in some cases. Breed specific temperament, aggression, and each dog's training is taken into account when scoring. This means that if a relatively untrained Lab bites a "threatening stranger" it will score far lower than a German Shepherd that bites a "threatening stranger." According to the ATTS itself, "95% of dogs who fail do so because they lack confidence" NOT because they bite. Dogs that exhibit avoidance behaviors will fail. Dogs that bite do not automatically fail. The ATTS also states that comparing scores with other dogs means nothing- the pass/fail rates cannot be compared. Different dog breeds that behave the same exact way on the test will get hugely different scores due to the fact they take inherent breed tendencies into consideration. The test is not designed to test for breed aggression, according to the ATTS website. It is more of a test of bravery for individual dogs. Timid dogs will always fail. Dogs that bite will not always fail. If anything, you could argue that the reason Pits have a high passing rate is because they bite or show aggression, although that is speculation and not proven. Either way though- the test does not test breed aggression, passing rates cannot be compared, and the test absolutely does not test for suitability as a family pet. More info here: What the ATTS is really showing.
It is also worth mentioning that the only dogs that participate in the ATTS testing are dogs brought in by their owners- it is not a random sample or scientific study of any kind. Considering the evidence showing the existence of an actual Pit Bull lobby, it would not be a reach to say these results have been intentionally manipulated (if they did even matter, which they don't).
Also, a controlled temperament test found that 13 percent, or one out of seven, pit bulls tried to bite or attack during a one hour test simulating a neighborhood walk. One out of seven pit bulls tried to bite in the span of just one hour compared to only one out of 70 golden retrievers. Note that this study was funded and authored by anti-breed ban activists: They found "no significant difference" between breeds when the definition of aggression was watered down to include even whining or crying. But pay close attention to Table 5 on page 138: out of all the breeds tested, pit bulls were markedly the worst when it came to the percentage of dogs that reached a more serious level of aggression.

10. "It's racism for dogs!"

Humans are not dogs, and dog breeds are not analogous to human races.
In addition, one cannot compare a race of people to a breed of dogs for a multitude of reasons. Dog breeds were selectively, intentionally bred for specific characteristics and traits by human beings. Humans created dog breeds based on what physical and behavioral traits we wanted them to have. (Spaniels for flushing, retrievers for fetching prey/birds without damage, livestock guardian dogs such as Great Pyrenees for protecting livestock, Huskies for endurance and energy, Pointers for pointing, etc. Different dog breeds have different behavioral tendencies because humans selectively bred them to have those tendencies). Dogs also do not suffer from cultural differences, institutionalized racism, or socioeconomic disparities. Humans are also not as heavily influenced by our instincts as dogs are. Dogs behave based on their instincts and training. Humans behave mainly on their "training." Humans also have far more complex thought processes and the ability to make complex decisions. Dogs do not. You could go on and on but that is the basic overview there- dogs were selectively bred and rely mainly on their instincts. Humans were not selectively bred and are capable of making complex and rational decisions.
Post continued in the comments due to the character limit.
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2020.09.17 18:22 SaintRidley Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Apr. 11, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
• PREVIOUS •
1987
FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE:
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988 2-8-1988 2-15-1988 2-22-1988
2-29-1988 3-7-1988 3-14-1988 3-21-1988
3-28-1988 4-4-1988 * *
  • Dave has results from the poll he put up before March 27. Out of 532 responses, 504 enjoyed Clash more, with only 20 liking Wrestlemania more, and 8 rating them roughly equally. 489 voted for Clash as having the better card, while 39 picked Wrestlemania’s card, and 4 thought the cards were equal in quality. Only two picked a Wrestlemania match for match of the night, with Ted DiBiase vs. Randy Savage and DiBiase vs. Don Muraco each getting a vote. FlaiSting got 245 votes for match of the night while Midnight Express/Fantastics got 242 votes, and the NWA tag title match got 36 votes.
  • Anyway, it’s a really slow news week. So with the complete lack of anything interesting happening, Dave is gonna hit us with a bunch of semi-organized thoughts and such.
  • Hulk Hogan and Sting are the two guys coming out of Sunday with the most buzz. The level of response Sting has been getting cements him as the #2 babyface in the country, jumping past Savage and the Road Warriors quite quickly. Sting’s a guy who never had a big push before a couple months ago, had never gotten a clean pin on a major star, he’s never even won a singles title in NWA. He’s good for his experience level, but he’s very unpolished, and he’s not a good talker. But the man has some kind of charisma and fans have latched onto it, and Sting/Flair is now the most viewed match in modern NWA history and potentially the most viewed match in U.S. cable tv history. Ric Flair deserves a lot of credit for the match turning out and for giving Sting the rub, but you can’t get over off a rub like that if you don’t have something to you. Unfortunately, they don’t have a lot of options for sustaining his push and keeping his momentum going. He’s worked Flair for four months now, and there’s no other heel he can have a meaningful feud with without cooling off. So Dave worries they’re going to whiff and fail to catch lightning in a bottle with Sting.
  • Wrestlemania’s numbers may be down, but ppv kept it from being a flop financially. Roughly 585,000 homes paid $19.95 to watch Wrestlemania IV, roughly a 6% buyrate (maybe as high as 6.5%), which means a gross of $11.7 million. With closed circuit, live gate, and the site fee Trump paid, the total take is an estimated $16.3 million, with WWF pocketing roughly $7 million. Merch may get them another million. We’ll see the real success or failure when WWF returns in a month, because they’re taking four weeks off. So we’ll have to see if it’s profitable to off-set other losses of income - house show revenue leading to Wrestlemania was down from the same period as last year, and the summer slump is coming.
  • Clash drew an overall 5.8 rating and 12.6 share, being viewed in 2,561,000 homes in an average quarter hour. It’s not quite Royal Rumble ratings, but interestingly the audience grew every quarter hour. You’d never see that in a modern Raw, that’ for sure. FlaiSting topped out at a 7.1 rating/15 share with 3,138,000 homes on average, with the final 15 minutes having just under 3.5 million watching. Quite possibly the most watched slot of wrestling ever on cable tv. No matter how you slice it (ratings services assume a household means 2.2 viewers, based on their averages). Dave figures for wrestling the number may be closer to 3 particularly for ppv, but no matter how you slice it Wrestlemania didn’t have near as many viewers as Clash.
  • Dave thinks there’s a criticism of Wrestlemania that isn’t really just: the card was too long. For what was billed (16-18 matches), it wasn’t too long, and the card only went 3 hours 40 minutes with a 12 minute intermission. Most matches were under 6 minutes, and cutting time would have made them even shorter. The card may not have been good, and it may seem long because of its badness, but any shorter and all the complaints would have been about the lack of wrestling.
  • For Clash, Dave thinks the criticism of there being too many commercials is a bad one. Seeing that quality a show for free? You can live with commercials and let the advertisers foot the bill. And they didn’t break any match up with commercials. Sure, the breaks were longer than usual, but they avoided cutting off the action so it’s all good.
  • For the most just criticisms of both shows, Dave thinks the Wrestlemania crowd and judging for FlaiSting take the cake. The crowd at Wrestlemania was papered with non-fans who didn’t know the characters and stories, and even WWF operates at a level of complexity above the ability to just grab a random off the street and expect them to grasp everything and react appropriately with no background knowledge. As for Clash, they botched the judging completely. Nobody clarified if a judges’ decision could cause a title change. Having one judge be a Penthouse Pet on Ric Flair’s arm the day before on tv strains credulity to the breaking point. They promised a winner and gave a draw. They never made clear that Jason Hervey and Ken Osmond weren’t actually judges and were just sitting at the judges’ table as celebrities. If Flair and Sting had been average or even bad, this judging stuff could have completely ruined the show in Dave’s opinion.
  • Dave thinks the best swerve related to either show happened the week before in Springfield, Illinois. Santana and Martel came out wearing the WWF tag titles for a match scheduled to air after Wrestlemania, which made Dave expect them to keep the belts. Turns out they got into it with Slick and chased him to the back, and the ring attendant brought the belts to the back, then they re-entered without the belts and the cameras didn’t start rolling until the second entrance. Clever work by WWF there.
  • Martel and Santana getting booed at Wrestlemania remains the most puzzling thing about the night for Dave. Even at the closed-circuit sites Dave got reports from, fans there booed them. At first Dave assumed it was because Demolition are kind of Road Warrior knockoffs, but reports Dave got indicate that they got booed a lot too, so Dave has no clue why fans aren’t feeling Strike Force.
  • WWF and NWA each have a candidate for “best case of assuming fans have memory loss” with their shows. WWF gets theirs for the evil twin Hebner angle. A few weeks back it was being hailed as a great angle, but once it became clear the tournament was flopping as an angle, they dropped all mention of it. Never got brought up at Wrestlemania, and Earl Hebner even refereed several matches in the tournament without any mention of his name, Dave Hebner’s name, or any referee even being named. Meanwhile, NWA’s handling of Steve Williams returning gets a mention as well. Not only is he no longer mentioned as UWF champion, they’re acting like the UWF championship has never existed. And we thought McMahon was the worst when it came to ignoring wrestling history. They also forgot his heel turn from before he quit and his feud with Barry Windham, since he and Windham are teaming on the April 17 WTBS Main Event show.
  • WWF still wins the PR game, even if they had less than a third the viewership on Sunday. All news media converge of the weekend in wrestling was about WWF. Even CNN, owned by Ted Turner, gave five minutes coverage to Wrestlemania and ignored the Clash, and several outlets went along with WWF’s claim of having 10 million U.S. viewers. USA today went so far as to claim 50 million. The lesson is obvious - NWA will be ignored in the media unless they start lying, and lying huge, just like WWF. And don’t blame WWF - until the media calls them on it, they’ve got no reason not to lie.
  • So back to USA Today and their claim of 50 million viewers in 38 countries, that’s just not true. 36 of those countries have to be fictitious, because the U.S. was the only country getting Wrestlemania on ppv, Canada was the only other country with closed-circuit, and no other countries had it on free tv. They’ll probably be on free tv in about a year in the Middle East (Dave’s comedian brother toured over there last year and WWF is big there, but they’re about 11 months behind on tapes). For Wrestlemania to have had 50 million viewers would require an average of about 90 people at every home that bought it on ppv.
  • Compared to previous Wrestlemanias, Wrestlemania was pretty bad on all fronts. The card was the worst yet by a large margin. It drew the worst on closed-circuit, only drawing half the numbers of Wrestlemanias 1 and 3. Due to the increased reach of ppv this year, it’s probably similar overall to Wrestlemania 3 in terms of overall money from ppv, but the buyrate was only a little over half the previous buyrates.
  • Most Quickly forgotten major attraction: The Rock and Roll Express.
  • Ric Flair gets spot of the night. At the 43 minute mark, he flipped into the turnbuckle and landed on his feet on the apron before going over to the other corner to come off with a flying body press that Sting reversed for a near fall.
  • Hogan wins the best smartass remark. When asked by a reporter whether him not winning the tournament meant he’d be going to the movies, he said “Yeah, I’m going to see Fatal Attraction.”
  • George Steele getting that green gets a note here for the best ratio of getting paid to doing work. Steele never even got in the ring or laid hands on anyone during the battle royal. Nevertheless, he surely got a handsome check. Get paid, Georgie.
  • Wrestlemania wasn’t supposed to be available on satellite, but was. Dish owners got the show descrambled, just without audio. Honestly, it’s probably an improved experience.
  • Dave poses a question and provides his own analysis: would Crockett and McMahon trade places? Crockett would surely take a $16 million gross for a show that is objectively an artistic failure, no doubt about that. Would McMahon prefer to have a great show that sabotaged his competition, even if he made less money? Very probably.
  • Dave makes a snide remark about what WWF can sell to counter the Four Horsemen vitamins (which he calls a total joke). For $39.95 you’ll get the perfect system you can use to calm “hyperactive children and put them to sleep, and help your own insomnia late at night.” Wrestlemania IV the video tape.
Watch: there's so little this week, so here, watch Wrestling With Wregret's review of Wrestlemania IV
  • Dave gives himself the worst analysis award. His read that Crockett couldn’t hurt WWF and that Wrestlemania would gross $25 million was so wrong it’s laughable, and his only solace is that he didn’t make the most ridiculous projections. That award goes to WWF. What this weekend really proved is that fans pretty much only care about personalities and belts mean nothing.
  • Big props to the Fantastics, because they worked their asses off.
  • Duggan being unable to have a good match with DiBiase is the saddest sight of the two shows for Dave. Especially sad considering the match they had in August that was pretty good, despite Duggn weighing over 300 lbs and blowing out his hamstring and blowing up within two minutes. And that was still a better match.
  • Dave says Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Bam Bam, and the Road Warriors all lost steam on Sunday. Savage is particularly notable, being the first guy to lose steam while winning a world title.
  • For years, Flair has lost a lot while Hogan wins all the time, which would make the average mark think Hogan is better. A mark watching both shows this past Sunday may well come away thinking Flair is a better wrestler.
  • Does this mean the wrestling boom times are over? Well, we’re down from the peak and wrestling is overexposed nationwide. Smaller promotions are not going to survive, and the big ones are drawing smaller crowds. Wrestlemania is probably just a stubbed toe for WWF. It’ll hurt for a short bit, but things will go back to normal soon enough.
  • Finally, Dave looks to the future. Crockett is undoubtedly the big winner on March 27 and they’ve turned momentum around by proving they can present a show right and give quality matches that lead to a show that WWF’s glitz can’t match. They won’t surpass WWF to become number one, but they don’t need to. Their success does not depend on WWF. Their success depends on their audience, and the enthusiasm of their audience has breathed life into them once again. And yet, they’re still making unforced errors. Saturday after the Clash, they have Flair and Sting headlining matches in both Baltimore and Philadelphia, having to rush a match in one city, drive to the other quick, and do it again. It’s a recipe for two bad shows. And as long as they keep doing stuff like that which makes their live shows bad, they’re going to fail to be what they can be and they’ll start to slide again. And they have a lot of potential. Given their ratings for Clash, they may not have as many fans as WWF, but for all WWF’s advantages NWA is far closer to WWF than you’d think they would be. They’re real competition at this stage, and it’s ironic because until Vince decided to pick a fight on Thanksgiving and again in January, they simply were not any kind of competition to WWF. Vince forced Crockett to have to retaliate, and it gave Crockett the motivation to take steps he never would have taken before. Still, we’re back to NWA being the Dusty Rhodes show. Every heel talks about Dusty in their promos and half the faces as well. It’s what hurt them last year, putting all their eggs in Dusty’s basket, and just as they begin having some success, they go right to the poisoned well again. Then again, their most recent main event show was really good, so maybe they are on the right track.
  • Nobody in Hollywood knows anything about any Hulk Hogan movie. So that whole biopic that we’ve been talking about for months? Yeah, that doesn’t seem to be a thing and won’t be for over 30 years when they cast Hulk Hogan properly: as a beautiful Australian man with the body of a Norse god. Anyway, Hogan’s definitely taking time off, what with his child being born soon. As for any momentum lost, WWF will probably mitigate that issue with clever sound editing to make Wrestlemania look like a success. What matters to WWF is image, not substance. If they can make their fans believe the show was a success, it will cease to be a failure. They’ve got some truly magical powers there, but there are problems they need to overcome. And the biggest is that nobody except Hogan is truly over. They spent months building angles that flopped (such as Heenan vs. Matilda) and nothing they’re hyping next has any kind of box office potential. Do you think after what we got at Wrestlemania people are going to want to see Rude vs. Roberts? JYD vs. Ron Bass? Duggan vs. Andre? Savage vs. DiBiase won’t mean anything.
  • In closing, Dave says the moral of the story is that WWF made good short-term moves that came back to bite them big. They destroyed Crockett on Thanksgiving, costing Crockett over $2 million of their potential for Starrcade and keeping them off ppv in a big way. On January 24, they ran a free show against the Bunkhouse Stampede to sabotage the show. Crockett’s retaliation in March, however, showed they have a cable audience nearly as large as WWF’s and they cost Wrestlemania several million dollars in lost revenue. It may be a lucky day for them. Maybe it’s a turning point for wrestling as a whole that we’ll be talking about years from now. But the main takeaway is Vince has nobody to blame but himself. Live by the sword, die by the sword, what goes around comes around.
  • As we all know, WWF ran an ad during Clash of the Champions. Apparently they bought five ad slots under a fake company name. Four of them were caught, but one made it to air.
  • Wrestlemania V is scheduled for March 19, 1989. That's all Dave knows.
  • Financial News Network has begun airing weekly main events from Memphis on Saturday nights. The April 2 show had Eddie Gilbert and Jerry Lawler from March 28, while next week will be Curt Hennig vs. Jerry Lawler in a stretcher match. NWF is scheduled to do a tv taping later this month for FNN which will debut in that timeslot, but for now Memphis will continue airing.
Watch: Eddie Gilbert vs. Jerry Lawler, parking lot brawl
  • This past Sunday NWA debuted their NWA Main Event show and it was good. The show was taped on March 31 and had a super invested crowd and it showed on tv. It really helps matches to have a crowd that’s going crazy for every spot (looking at you, Corpus Christi). Some production issues aside, it’s becoming a lot of fun to watch the NWA. Road Warriors squashed Super Destroyer and Larry Zbyzkso, Dusty beat Ivan Koloff for the U.S. title in a surprisingly good 6 minute match, and FlaiBlanchard/Anderson beat LugeWindham/Sting in an excellent match.
  • [AJW] Chigusa Nagayo and AJW toured Thailand two weeks back and drew big during their visit. Crowds ranged from 8,000-11,000 and the Bangkok newspaper called them “The new craze of Thailand.” Not everybody’s quite so impressed, though, Dave notes. One Thai reporter wrote this: “I didn’t know that women’s wrestlin[g] was drawing so much attention in Thailand. The visit of the Japanese wrestlers has created tremendous interest and according to promoter Sombhop Srisomwongse, a record crowd is expected tonight at the National Stadium. How surprising it is that a few women with about two months of training and especially big framework, a few flying kicks and some TV exposure could be a draw here when traditional Olympic sports like Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling failed to find a foothold.”
  • [All Japan] When Brody won the International Title from Jumbo Tsuruta on March 27, he went into the crowd and started hugging the fans. It got him over huge as a babyface. Brody’s one of the smartest guys in the business, seriously.
  • During an All Japan press conference with Tiger Jeet Singh and Abdullah the Butcher, Singh went nuts and started attacking reporters (?). I think it’s reporters. Dave wrote “reports” but the context of a melee makes me think reporters. Anyway, Butcher did stuff too once things got out of hand and wound up throwing a glass, which hit the head of a Gong Magazine reporter hard enough that he bled and needed two stitches.
  • The Malenko brothers met Mike Tyson when they were in Japan. Tyson’s “all the rage” over in Japan, and he thought they were the British Bulldogs. The Malenkos went along with it and pretended to be the Bulldogs until he asked if he could pet Matilda.
  • WCCW’s financial issues have caused significant cutbacks to tv tapings. They’re running shows in Fort Worth every third week now, a cutback from every other week and a far cry from the weekly shows they used to run dating all the way back to the 40s, and these shows are four hour tv tapings. The regular tv show is also taping only every three weeks.
  • WCCW may move the May 8 Parade of Champions show to the Cotton Bowl from Texas Stadium. Nothing certain yet, but there’s talk of some kind of triple cage gimmick.
  • The Penthouse Von Erich story has been dropped from the July issue. No reschedule has been announced.
  • Fabulous Lance still hasn’t shown up in WCCW because he extended his South Africa tour, where he’s a babyface. He’s even using the Von Erich name down there. There’s legit heat between him and Kevin and Kerry due to all the stuff that went down when he left and Fritz’s burial of him, and Dave just wonders how bad a Lance vs. Kevin match would be in the best of circumstances, never mind if they can’t stand each other enough to cooperate.
  • Not much details about the March 28 Memphis card, but Lawler threw fire in Eddie Gilbert’s face. The Bruise Brothers (Harris brothers) won the Southern Tag titles from Gary Young and Max Pain. The crowd had 5,500.
  • Memphis dropped ticket prices for students to $1 for the April 4 show to ensure good turnout for Jerry Lawler vs. Curt Hennig in a non-title stretcher match. Eddie Gilbert is also putting up a $25,000 bounty for anyone who can break Lawler's leg. Gilbert’s gone from the territory, but he’s supposedly going to keep sending promo tapes in to keep the bounty thing going as part of a working arrangement between Memphis, Continental, Jerry Blackwell’s Georgia promotion, and the Florida promotion Steve Keirn and Jerry Jarrett are talking about starting. Also, Missy Hyatt will be managing Hennig in the Lawler match.
  • WWF has announced a bunch of post-Wrestlemania shows with Savage/DiBiase headlining through the end of May, at the very least. No sign of Hogan anywhere through that period.
  • All of the letters are reactions to Sunday’s shows. Some choice quotes presented without other context:
“If someone had spent millions of dollars on an anti-wrestling propaganda piece, he couldn’t have approached the job that Vince did on himself this weekend.”
“Crockett smashes. Titan crashes.”
“$17 for pay-per-view and $20 for pizzas, pretzels and chips. And what did I get for it? Nothing. Wrestlemania was a bore, plain and simple.”
“Vince has sucked me into my last PPV. Never again.”
”The Crockett wrestlers put on one hell of a show. It was better than Titan’s They had to. They’re number two. But the booking still left a lot to be desired.”
”Titan usually learns from its mistakes.”
”I thought Wrestlemania IV was better because of superior atmosphere and the fact that the guys all tried to work hard.”
”Vince went for flash and name dropping. Crockett went for good wrestling. Crockett succeeded.”
  • Ron Simmons may be headed to New Japan in May.
  • Verne Gagne has started showing lots of pre-1984 tape of WWF main guys like Hogan, Ventura, etc. Why? To build his tv ratings by showing that he used to have the guys who get the ratings now. It’s a clear sign he’s pretty much giving up on house shows and is looking to keep alive through small sold shows enough to keep producing tapes for ESPN. The death of the AWA is a slow, pathetic thing that already feels really drawn out, and there’s still years left.
  • [NWA] The Dusty Rhodes suspension has been delayed and won’t be announced until this weekend’s television, and will go into effect April 16. The reason is to allow him to wrestle April 15 in Boston Gardens. They’ve already got Midnight Rider appearances booked for some shows, though.
  • Nikita Koloff will face Ric Flair on night two of the Crockett Cup. Sting would make the most sense, given how hot he is. Luger or Steve Williams would be hot, since they’ve never had the opportunity. Even Windham would at least guarantee a fantastic match. But Dusty’s giving the match to Koloff. Whatever reasons he has, they have little to do with making sense.
  • Magnum T.A. is being sued by Charlotte Memorial Hospital and Charlotte Rehabilitation Hospital for $56,692 in back medical care. His medical expenses have gone over $100,000, and his insurance coverage only covers $25,000. Related, a Toronto spinal cord expert has proposed an operation which he claims will give Magnum full use of his bad limbs and even a slim chance of returning to the ring.
  • Syndicated ratings for the week ending March 13 have WWF in 4th place with a 10.7 on 248 stations. Crockett ranks 6th with a 7.8 on 178 stations, and All-Star Wrestling (AWA, GLOW, etc.) ranks 9th with a 7.2 on 174 stations.
  • There’s a planned wrestling movie with Roddy Piper for a Christmas release. Nothing comes of this. But it’s nice that Piper has so many movie role ideas being thrown at him.
  • [All Japan] The thing with Tenryu and Hansen has made Stan Hansen’s popularity surge in Japan. They worked the shoot all the way to Tenryu’s hotel room, with Tenryu leaving the arena early and Hansen looking for him in the dressing room and later going to Tenryu’s hotel to try and find him, but Tenryu wouldn’t leave the room. Fans in Japan now believe Tenryu, the hottest wrestler in the country, is afraid of Hansen, which puts Hansen in that upper echelon of guys who come off as “real” like Brody and Akira Maeda.
  • Jim Shyman’s 976 wrestling hotline in L.A. was rated top 976 number in an L.A. publication. It’s the first time Dave’s seen anything pro wrestling top any chart in any category.
NEXT WEEK: Akira Maeda announces new UWF, another shoot in New Japan, WWF reveals internal Wrestlemania projections, and more
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2020.09.16 02:58 koreanadian Recommended Food for Cats - My Thoughts

I’ve been doing a lot of independent research on different food options specifically for adult cats (1-10 years). In doing so, I looked at the brands’ recall history, association with the (primarily canine) DCM report published by the FDA, consulted several databases (CatFoodDB, Catological, AllAboutCats, PetDiet, PetFoodReviewer, ConsumerAffairs, etc.). I did look at boutique blogs as well but I personally don’t put too much weight into them. That being said, here are my thoughts and opinions.
*Disclaimer: I am not associated with any of these brands or sites mentioned, nor is this a comprehensive list. Do your own due diligence on your chosen foods.
General: - While cats can be fed on a kibble-only diet, it’s recommended to supplement with wet food due to its moisture content (can be up to 80%). As a reminder, cats, particularly males, are susceptible to developing UTIs. - Free-feeding (dry) is not recommended for adults, particularly if your cat is indoor-only due to the risk of developing obesity. - Supplementation of diets with pumpkin (make sure there are no additives if feeding human-quality) is recommended as it will help to regulate their bowel movements. - A basic understanding of label literacy is always recommended. - Grain-free diets remain controversial at this point, due to its fairly recent popularity. However, see the FDA study above re: DCM, as this relates to grain-free diets. I personally do not differentiate products based on this. Similar to ‘Indoor Cat’ specific formulations.
Do Not Feed: - Any foods found at the grocery store/general supermarket (if you are able). Including but not limited to: IAMS, Whiskas, 9Lives, Fancy Feast. - Food with particularly well-known recall/problematic history (such as Blue Buffalo). - Food formulated for kittens, due to differing caloric needs. - Royal Canin, Purina, Hills Science Diet: I have found that ingredients commonly found in these popular brands are poor in comparison to other brands, and while they may be recommended by some vets, I personally believe these should be avoided.
Best Wet:
Note: I specifically looked at canned varieties, and did not consider pouch or packets. ‘Comparables’ are similar products within the same brand.
First Place Budget: Nutrience Prairie Red Pâté - Why: Nutrience is a reputable brand line created in 1988, with no recall history to date, and sources ingredients from North America. It is also selected as the mid-range option for best dry foods (see below). - Things to Note: Due to the diversity of red meats in this product which is rare (majority are white meats), some cats may not take to this as easily as others. - First 5 Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, beef broth, pork, lamb. - Comparables: Fraser Valley Pâté
Runner Up Budget: Simply Nourish Tender Salmon Morsels in Gravy - Why: Simply Nourish has no recall history to date, and is primarily made with animal proteins. There are no artificial food colouring dyes, and can be readily found at PetSmart, who owns and manufactures this product. - Things to Note: Fish should be fed in moderation, and should act as a supplementary protein to others which are better suited for a cat’s diet, such as chicken or turkey. - First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, salmon broth, water, chicken liver, chicken.
2nd Runner-Up Budget: FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Cage-Free Chicken Formula - Why: FirstMate is another brand with no recall history to date, founded in 1989 and headquartered in Canada. As this product prominently features chicken, it is one of the safer options for cats with allergies to other proteins. - Things to Note: Water is the secondary ingredient followed by potato, which makes it relatively higher in carbohydrates than the others. - First 5 Ingredients: Boneless chicken, water, potato, calcium carbonate, sodium chloride.
First Place Mid-Range: Canada Fresh Red Meat Formula - Why: With a 9% guaranteed carb analysis, this product contains much less carbohydrates than the average, which is recommended for cats as it emulates their natural diet. Neither CF nor the parent company (PetKind Pet Products) have been recalled to date. - Things to Note: As a recently launched line (September 2017) in Canada, it may not be as readily available in some US states/other areas around the world. - First 5 Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, beef broth, lamb, tri-calcium phosphate. - Comparables: Beef Formula, Lamb Formula
Runner-Up Mid-Range: Nulo medalseries Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken and Chicken Liver Recipe - Why: Nulo is a newer company (founded in 2009) quickly gaining speed within the premium market, thanks to its many high-profile ambassadors. They have never been recalled. - Things to Note: They do not provide detailed production information (therefore lack of manufacturing information). The Medalseries line is (AFAIK) exclusive to PetSmart locations. The comparable Freestyle line may be easier to find, depending. - First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, ground flaxseed, cassia gum.
2nd Runner-Up Mid-Range: Halo Holistic Chicken, Shrimp and Crab - Why: Halo is committed to products without “meat meals”, GMO-free, with a variety of high-quality offerings. They do not source any ingredients from China. They also have a history of donating to local shelters. - Things to Note: They have not issued any non-voluntary recalls (Spot’s Stew in 2015 due to reports of mold). This product is not recommended for those with seafood allergies. The brand is co-owned by Ellen Degeneres, since 1986. - First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, shrimp, crab. - Comparables: Grain-Free Chicken, Salmon Recipe
First Place Premium: Farmina Pumpkin Feline Venison - Why: It is one of the highest quality brands, with their wet foods being reviewed the most consistently (positively). With this variety, the already-included pumpkin will be favoured for those with sensitive stomachs or GI upset, provided no allergies. The company’s partnership with an Italian university allows it to publish research in scientific journals. Further, their manufacturing, which is located in Europe, is subject to more stringent regulations than in the US. - Things to Note: It is one of the most expensive brands, so many choose to supplement their cat’s diet with additional, lower-cost options. For those seeking food for health conditions, Farmina is one of the most recommended, OTC options. - First 5 Ingredients: Venison, chicken, herring, eggs, pumpkin.
Runner-Up Premium: Tiki Cat (Varieties: Hanalei Luau Wild Salmon, Napili Luau Wild Salmon and Chicken, Hookena Luau Ahi Tuna and Chicken in Chicken Comsomeé, Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken, Hana Grill Ahi Tuna with Crab in Tuna Consomeé - Why: According to ‘AllAboutCats’, it’s recommended as the best wet food brand for weight loss. They have a great variety of flavours to choose from, so will benefit a pickier cat. - Things to Note: Tiki Cat is primarily manufactured in Thailand, though owned and distributed in the US.
Best Dry:
Budget: Simply Nourish SOURCE Adult Cat Food, Rabbit and Chicken Recipe - Why: Simply Nourish has no recall history to date, and is primarily made with animal proteins. There are no artificial food colouring dyes, and can be readily found at PetSmart, who owns and manufactures this product. - Things to Note: Although its first three ingredients are meat (or meals), the next two are primary carbohydrate sources. - First 5 Ingredients: Rabbit, chicken meal, turkey meal, dried potato, dried pea.
Mid-Range: Nutrience Grain-Free SubZero Freeze-Dried Beef and Wild Boar (Prairie Red) - Why: This product contains proprietary NUTRIBOOST freeze-dried raw nuggets, for those seeking the advantages of freeze-dried foods at a lower price point. - Things to Note: Nutrience’s ingredients within its dry food offerings are of a higher quality than the average, but the nutritional quality remains average or below. - First 5 Ingredients: Deboned beef, deboned lamb, deboned wild boar, beef liver, lamb liver. - Comparables: Freeze-Dried Poultry and Fish (Fraser Valley).
Premium: Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Recipe - Why: A high quality, protein-packed (59% crude in its guaranteed analysis) dry food with 81% of the food being animal products and oils, with no animal by-products or artificial ingredients. - Things to Note: Dr. Elsey’s food line was launched in 2017, with no recalls to date. Due to its high protein content, the quantity of this food must be strictly regulated, no more than 1/2 cup/day for cats <11lbs. Further, eggs are a source of high cholesterol, so this food would be best suited as a topper, particularly given its price point (~$70/& less than 7lbs). - First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, dried egg product, pork protein isolate, gelatin, chicken fat. - Comparable: With Salmon
Honorable Mentions: - Nulo medalseries Indoor Adult Cat Food: Suitable for those seeking specific formulations, see more details about the brand within the wet food selections above. - Acana Grasslands/Regional Ranchlands: The brand was founded in 1975 with no recalls to date, with ingredients being regionally sourced. Acana has, however been named within the FDA report (see above) regarding DCM. Similar products include Orijen Cat and Kitten, Fit and Trim, Regional Red Cat and Tundra formulations. - Petcurean Go!Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey and Duck Formula: This company’s Go!Solutions line is very favourably reviewed, with a particular standout accompanying product being the Fit and Free Chicken, Turkey, Duck Pâté Recipe (Wet).
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2020.09.16 01:34 OTSPOKN 8ight After: if you don't believe, then you have nothing to fear -- Part 1

Part 2

Night #1

Thursday October 3, 2019
Things got serious the day I installed surveillance cameras. That night, after I kissed my wife, Deanna, goodnight, I retired to my home office to edit a video for YouTube.
Just after 1 a.m., a high pitch shriek fills the house and jolts me out of my chair. I immediately run to Deanna, toward the scream. As I dash down the hall I'm hoping she is just having night terrors.
Later, when I watched the surveillance video, I saw something different. I saw something pulling her leg. Intently, I watch, waiting for it to happen again.
I see the gentle rise and fall of Deanna's breaths as she sleeps soundly. She tosses and turns a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary. She snuggles into our waterbed with her right leg hooked around the comforter exposing her foot. Suddenly, her leg kicks as if it were yanked. She's startled, but tries to fall back to sleep.
Our surveillance cameras have audio, so I could hear her grumble, "Vince, don't pull my leg. I'm trying to sleep."* I must admit, messing with her is something I regularly do, but not that night.*
Moments later, Deanna is forcibly pulled to the end of the bed. Jarred awake, she clings to the sheets trying to fight it off. It lets go, freeing her to scurry back to the headboard. She gasps and balls her limbs around her body like a child.
Surveillance Footage capture of Deanna pulled to the foot of the bed.
She scans the room attempting to make sense of what just occurred. Gaining a presence of mind, she creeps toward the foot of the bed to investigate. Slowly, she approaches the edge, grasping a fistful of the comforter for safety. She peers over but sees nothing. Relieved, Deanna rubs her face as she reassesses the room. She turns to my side of the bed and gulps, it must be there. Cautiously, she peeks over that edge, but again finds nothing and breathes a sigh of relief.
As she lingers over my side, the bedroom door behind her creaks. She turns and sees the door closing. Quickly, she sits up to glare at it. The door moves again. In a panic, with revved-up breaths, she calls for me. A hushed gasp at first, until she builds up the nerve to scream, "Vince!"
I fly out of my chair, blaze past the dogs and down the hall. Deanna shields her face in fear as I rush in spouting out a million, "What, what, what's!" I kneel at her side and grab for her; she jumps.
Voice cracking, she mutters, "Do you see it?" She drops the covers a bit to peek.
"See what?" I ask.
"There's someone behind the door." Fixated, she whispers, "Its shadow is right there."
I look over my shoulder, but I see nothing. Then, chillingly, Deanna cries, "She's looking right at us!"
Her words cause my hair follicles to rise, even though I still don't see a thing.
I stand up to approach the door. Deanna begs for me not to. I proceed, not knowing what she expects of me instead.
Once at the door, a cold draft flows over my body and I realize the door movement must be from an open window breeze. I look back to Deanna, she exclaims, "Oh my God. She's right behind you!" Frozen, I slowly turn; then with a sudden whoosh, the door slams! Deanna screams.

Introduction

Before I go any further, I should rewind a bit, to a simpler time -- a time before the security cameras were installed, because the story doesn't start or end here.
My name is Vince Rocca. I'm 46 years old. I have hippie shoulder-length, nearly black hair and brown almond shaped eyes. I also rock an awesome goatee. I'm in decent shape, but I could stand to lay off the donuts.
My wife Deanna is six months older than me, but is often mistaken for a much younger age. She has long brown hair and brown eyes. She is tall and leggy, with a slim build, and tries to workout six nights a week.
I'm a reality television editor. I routinely mold piles of mundane footage in to fun entertainment. I can assure you that reality television is not fake. Sure, the story is sometimes guided, but it is definitely real. In general, people naturally do front a hyper-realized version of themselves for the cameras. But even with the best, guided, most sensational character, it can often take 10-hours of footage to produce a good 3-minute segment.
Vince sitting in front of a computer edit desk.
Deanna is a Registered Veterinary Technician at the Los Angeles Zoo. Her duties involve everything from anesthesia to X-rays. She has done it all, from darting tigers to elephant trunk washes. Her favorite task is caring for the hospitalized animals. Be it a harbor seal or a vulture, she prides herself on finding ways to make their stay enjoyable.
Deanna drawing up a syringe in front of a zoo Gorilla enclosure.
We met in the eighth grade. I vividly recall the moment I first saw this stunning brunette. The leaves were turning in the warm autumn sun at our California junior high school. She crossed the quad in a pink Town & Country shirt as her long, tan legs jutted out from under a white miniskirt. I wish I could say I locked this down immediately, but we didn't start dating until two years later at the age of 16. We have since been inseparable and are blessed to celebrate 30 years together, with 21 of those as husband and wife.
I've heard people describe Deanna as shy, reserved, and quiet. However, she's always game to ham it up in the silly videos we post on the Internet. I, on the other hand, am often described as outspoken, boisterous, and loud. You could say opposites attract, but I really think we're the same person.
We live in Granada Hills, California. It's a lovely suburban community adjacent to Northridge, which became famous in 1994 as the epicenter of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake.
In 2009, we purchased an awesome 2700 square foot 3 bedroom 3 bath home that was originally built in 1965. The house was a bank repossession and sat empty for nearly a year as the previous owners had succumbed to the subprime mortgage collapse.
Exterior photo of the house from across the street.
Because of that recession, we were able to afford this huge house that even includes a den/game room. The house sits on a hill, with neighbors on each side and government land behind it. Bordering that land and us is a ravine with the dry Los Angeles River at the bottom. The large property includes a pool and a six-car parking lot, all nestled behind a sixteen-foot tall gate.
We are kidless, sans for the two fur-babies, which probably lends to our low-stress, youthful spirit. At the very least, being without kids definitely gives us the freedom to travel the globe and enjoy our vacations.
Back in 2014, I started editing our vacation videos as if they were reality TV shows and posted them to YouTube. This was before VLOGS were commonplace, but looking back, that's exactly what these were: Travel VLOGS. For those not up on the term, a VLOG is a Video LOG, much like a BLOG is a written weB LOG.
As time went on, we traveled more and uploaded more, shooting everything became routine. I point this out so you understand that it's not unusual for me to always be filming.

1 YEAR before Night #1

Monday October 22, 2018
We started a little home improvement project, a project that would eventually turn out to have dire consequences on our relationship.
The whole front of our house is brick, but under our bedroom window is a weird wood accent. The wood looks like a headboard surrounded by molded wood trim. I assume this exists because a patio door was an option when the house was first built. Today, we're going to exercise that option and install a French door.
The wood accent under the front window.
Deanna enjoys smashing the glass into pieces. She even takes charge of the sledgehammer to blast holes between the studs so we can get our hands in to leverage the drywall out. I happily run the camcorder, as she pounds and sweats.
Deanna swings a hammer into the drywall.
One particular opening catches her eye. She peers into the wall and declares, "There's something in there." She quickly reaches in and pulls out a little wooden box.
I snatch the box from her and hear a rattle inside. There doesn't seem to be a hinge or an opening. It appears to be two pieces of wood magically joined together by triangular teeth. The box measures about two inches square and one inch thick with a religious cross chiseled into the lid.
Closeup of the box.
Deanna immediately identifies it as a puzzle box, then declares, "I think you're supposed to give it a whack." I figure she' joking, so I hand her the box. She takes a moment to inspect it, then with a WHACK she slides the box open.
Deanna whacking the box on her left palm.
Frankly, the box alone blows my mind. There is a metal ball that engages a magnet and binds the box closed. Take a whack at it, and the ball shifts to another magnet allowing you to slide the box open. It's pretty ingenious.
Detail shots of how the box opens.
More exciting than the box, is the contents. Deanna joyfully inspects a shiny silver necklace with an angled cross charm dangling from it. The cross is unlike a normal cross, but it isn't a sinister upside-down cross either. It hangs at a tilt, almost like an italicized lowercase t.
Deanna immediately exclaims, "It's a Portate cross!"
My head rattles, "What the hell is a Portate cross?"
"A Portate Cross is a wooden cross that the accused drags over their shoulder to the crucifixion site. As you watch the accused drag this cross, it is at an angle, or portate."
Deanna holds up the angled Portate cross as Vince VLOGS.
I'm literally taken aback. I don't know why she knows that. I don't know how she knows how to open the box. I look to her for answers. She smiles coyly at my bewilderment and seems pleased with herself.
I take a closer look at the cross. The necklace looks well-made and could possibly be white gold. I wonder aloud if the cross could pay for our renovation. Deanna scoffs at this notion. I roll my eyes; as if she knows everything.
She snatches the treasure out of my hands and walks off with it.
I ended up making two VLOGS out of the renovation. You can see them here:
Replace a window with a French door Part 1 VLOG 118
Replace a window with a French door Part 2 VLOG 119

3 WEEKS before Night #1

Thursday September 12, 2019
Eleven months have passed. The year was good but nothing too remarkable happened. I spent most of my time editing back-to-back TV shows. We did manage to take a quick trip to Florida for a veterinary conference. I was able to eke out a single VLOG from that trip on Gatorland. Over the next few months I cranked out a few more Daily VLOGS and How To videos, but I stalled around May and spent my Summer hanging out with Deanna, floating around our pool.
I came across that wooden box; it had fallen behind some shoes in the back of our closet. I took both the cross and the box to a pawnshop for appraisal. The shop clerk confirmed that Deanna is right, it ain't white gold.
The guy identified the box as an Impossible Dovetail Puzzle Box. Apparently it's a pretty common puzzle, but Deanna has never been the puzzle type, so I still don't know how she knows its secret.
Tonight, while eating dinner, Deanna recounts the events of her day. I look down at her chest and see the Portate cross around her neck. I ask, "What's with that?" sparking a religious debate.
Now might be a good time to mention that we're both atheists, or at least, I thought we both were. I should also clarify -- as there is often judgment when I say I'm an atheist -- I don't worship the devil, and I don't hate God. I just don't believe in either God or the devil for that matter. I also don't believe in ghosts, goblins, spirits -- none of that stuff. I have nothing to fear. I sleep soundly at night.
Have you ever noticed that the devil only attacks the God-fearing folk? I've never heard of an atheist being haunted. I don't have anything against those who subscribe to religion, but if you believe in one, you fear the other; and that fear is what gets you. If you don't believe, there is nothing to hurt you, so you're safe, and you've got nothing to fear.
Anyway, I find it odd that Deanna, whom I've known my entire life, is wearing a trinket that epitomizes religion. Her defense is, "I think it's nice," so I guess what harm could it do?
As the night sets in, I leave Deanna home alone while I venture off to a filmmaking mixer. I go to a couple of these a month. Some are educational events about new technologies; others are just drinks and chats. Tonight's event is the drinking kind.
At tonight's mixer, I meet Christina. She's an attractive 24-year-old Hispanic girl who is a fan of my VLOG and an aspiring Assistant Editor.
Assistant Editor types tend to be introverted, dorky by-the-numbers nerds. Add booze, and they can be very unique. Christina is just that, dorky and tipsy. We immediately hit it off. I mean, she is a fan of my VLOG, and I tend to like people who like me, because obviously they have great taste.
Back at home, Deanna isn't having as much fun. She wakes from a nap on the living room couch to the sounds of whispers coming from the kitchen. Frightened, she flips on her phone camera video light and proceeds to investigate. Slowly, she tiptoes across the dining room, as the whispers increase in volume. She can see through the dark kitchen into the game room on the other side. The dim moonlight illuminates something in the doorway. She can barely make it out, then it becomes clear: on the other side of the kitchen, in our game room, stands the silhouette of a person swaying in the dark. Startled, Deanna flicks on the light, and it disappears.
Unnerved, she turns on all the lights in the house and double checks to ensure the security alarm is set. It is armed and shows no faults. Realizing she has succumbed to an overactive imagination, she makes an attempt to VLOG in the kitchen while she prepares some comfort food. She removes a bowl from the cabinet and turns back toward the camera to pour in cereal. Behind her the cabinet drifts open and a cup falls out, plummets to the ground and shatters.
Deanna jumps while holding cereal box as cup flies out of cabinet.
Our cupboards have magnetic closures because 50-year-old cabinets have weak hinges that tend to drift open. In addition, Deanna often double stacks the coffee cups in an unstable manner. We both assumed this combo led to the broken cup.
But now, when I look back at the footage, it clearly looks like the cabinet door is completely closed with the magnet engaged. The door then pops open on its own, and the cup doesn't fall out, but flies out, almost like it's thrown.
Startled, Deanna laughs off the broken cup. She acknowledges for the VLOG audience that it is probably from double stacking the cups. She sweeps up the shards of ceramic and takes them out back to the trash. She even VLOGS the whole adventure.
As she approaches the trash bins, she freezes and turns toward the pool, straining to listen. She turns back, then to the pool again. Blood drains from her cheeks, out of nowhere with a sudden burst, she runs back to the house. She trips and falls. Her phone camera goes black as it flies through the night air, then slides across the pavement before coming to a dead stop.
The phone picks up her distant whimper as she repeats, "Oh my toe, oh my toe." She comes into view hovering over the camera and reaches down to pick it up. The phone is still recording and shows glimpses of her foot as she limps. Her right big toe is messed up pretty bad.
I mentioned before that Deanna is an animal nurse. Her primary job is at the zoo, but sometimes she is needed in the field for freelance clients. Because of this she has a toolbox of stuff at home, which consists of various drugs, medicine, and needles.
I could have never done this, but Deanna possesses a courage that puts me to shame. She draws up a syringe of Lidocaine and shoots it into her toe to numb it. She even VLOGS the whole thing.
Deanna is about to insert the tip of a three inch needle into her right toe.
She actually films a massive three-inch needle as she stabs it into her foot. Three INCHES! I asked why the needle was so big, she said she had a surplus of them and didn't want to waste a smaller needle in case she needed one for an animal injection. Bless her heart, her toe is mangled, she's in pain, and she still puts the critters before herself.
The video shows Deanna inject herself in three places. She then taps her toe to confirm numbness. Once satisfied, she takes a pair tweezers and gives the nail a gentle pull. It breaks away like the separation of Velcro. She pulls her nail completely off her toe exposing a bloody mess of skin underneath. This is disgusting, and I have no idea how she did it.
What happens next is the icing on the cake. Deanna settles down on the living room couch to VLOG a summary of the evening. She explains to the camera that she's freaked out, but she is just going to watch TV while she waits for me to arrive. She leans forward to grab the television remote off the ottoman. When she falls back into the couch, there's a woman sitting next to her. Deanna screams, jumps to her feet, and staggers away from the couch. She turns toward the woman: nothing is there.
Ghost on couch scaring Deanna.
I arrive home to a brightly lit house. She gives me the rundown, illustrating with videos. I laugh incredulously as I watch a video of our game room. She claims a dark figure stood in the doorway. I see nothing. She also claims a ghost sat next to her on the couch. I play the video back and watch her scream like a lunatic for no reason. It's silly.
She's angry that I don't believe her. To placate her, I stifle my laughter, listen, and nod. I don't believe in ghosts. But if you tell me you saw a ghost, I do believe that you believe that you saw a ghost. I just never thought Deanna would be the one telling me she saw a ghost, or how she describes it, "A shadowy figure that glows in a ghostly fashion with steam rising softly from her body."
Friday September 13th, 2019
I regularly journal. The inspiration came from a Robert Rodriguez book, which ultimately led me to write the filmmaking book "Rebel without a Deal." If you're interested, it's available on Amazon, not that this is a sales pitch. The book's subject matter has nothing to do with the events I'm recounting here; I only mention this so you don't judge me as a sissy for keeping a diary.
In celebration of Friday the 13th, I decide to digitally insert a ghost into Deanna's couch video as a fun VLOG treat.
I called Christina from last night's networking event. She lives nearby and I know she is between gigs. She comes over, and I film her on the couch acting like a ghost. I edit her in to Deanna's couch video and I even make her transparent with a ghostly mist.
Detail image showing how the ghost was composited into Deanna's video.
After Deanna gets home from work and settles in, I show her my creation, expecting to get a laugh of approval. I totally misread the situation though.
Deanna is still pissed that I don't believe she saw a ghost. I don't understand why. I mean, there is video footage showing nothing there. She insists that I should believe that there was a shadowy figure of a legless woman sitting right next to her. I chuckle again at the thought of a legless woman, responding with, "She would be easy to run from."
Deanna retaliates and accuses me of something with Christina. This is absurd. So what if Christina is cute? I've been with Deanna for 30 years, and there's no reason not to trust me. Besides, I think Christina might be slow.
As I mentioned before, Assistant Editor's are unique. Some people might define them as being on the autistic spectrum. Well, Christina seems to fit that bill. What I had mistaken for inebriated behavior turns out to be "special" behavior. I'm not sure if Deanna believes me, but in hindsight, she might be thinking that she's been with me for 30 years so there's no reason for me not to believe her.
Saturday September 14, 2019
After 10 years, the ceiling fan in our bedroom finally made its last revolution. Michael came over to help me swap the fan out and film the installation of a new one.
Michael is my best friend. He's been in the VLOG before and regularly does the podcast "GetConVinced" with me. He is a teacher of special needs kids but is best described as a Jesus look-a-like.
Michael helping install fan.
Michael is outside the French door gathering tools when Deanna enters the room. She broke the chain on the Portate cross and asked me to fix it. I tell her to throw the necklace out. This sets her off.
She now claims she isn't an atheist. She says she was always unsure and only identified as one to appease me. I have no clue where this came from. We've been together our whole lives. There has never been any indication that she believed, or that I would judge her for believing.
Michael reenters the room and cuts our conversation short.
YouTube enables you to upload a video today and set the premiere for a later date and time. This allows me to finish a video in the middle of the night and upload the file, but not notify viewers of it at two-thirty in the morning when they are probably asleep.
I set this video to premiere on Sunday, September 22 to start the week, but later I discovered that I mistakenly chose October 22 instead.
How To Replace and Install a Ceiling Fan
I understand if you're asking, What does a ceiling fan have to do with this story? Unfortunately, that will make sense soon.

Pool Party!

Saturday September 21, 2019
The pool is 98 degrees, and it's a warm, sunny California day. So before winter sets in, we're having people over for an end-of-summer BBQ.
To my delight, Deanna's friend Amy brought her 18-year-old daughter Jenna and three of Jenna's girlfriends to the BBQ. These bikini clad hotties frolic around the pool and really bring on the sorority vibe. Not that I'm complaining, as it's a fine sight to see.
Four Bikini girls wave for Vince.
I show a group of our friends the ghost I comped into Deanna's couch footage, and they laugh. Deanna seems to have lightened up and recognizes the humor in the video. I think she might be okay with me using the footage in a VLOG.
My buddy, Marty proposes the idea that we have a seance tonight. He is a hardcore Metal Head and a die-hard Horror movie geek. He even owns a company, PlayItByFear.com that sells horror paraphernalia. So it's no surprise to any of us that he suggests a seance. He assures us it is safe and fun. Deanna recoils at the idea, but Amy is onboard, stifling any objection Deanna might have had.
As the festivities wind down and the younger girls leave, we move the party into the house. I set up four cameras around the living room and have my phone attached to my three-axis gimbal. Everybody seems up for the seance, even Deanna, but Tom is totally against it.
Tom is a stand-up comedian and an actor. In 2003 I cast him in my first movie, Kisses and Caroms. He has been on numerous TV shows and most recently in the Progressive Motaur commercial. Tom loves to joke, so I'm not sure if this anti-seance stance is just a routine.
Also, Tom lost his father a few years ago, and later, when Tom was under anesthesia for an operation, he claimed his dad visited him. So Tom's spiritual beliefs may have fluctuated recently.
Tom Ayers rejecting the seance.
Tom and Amy get into a bit of a back-and-forth debating God, ghosts, and religion. I don't know if I'd call it an argument, but it is a bit heated. Just as Amy is gaining ground on Tom, Deanna shushes everyone. She hears something. I hear it too. It's a whisper.
Being the man of the house, I get up to investigate. I creep down the hall toward the whisper. I can almost make the hushed noise out..."I like your..." is what the words sound like. I realize that everyone else stayed seated in the living room and I have no one backing me up. I'm alone in the hall. My heart is hammering out of my chest. Still, I press on down the dark corridor. The light switch is on the opposite end from me. Even if I could reach it, I don't know if I would turn it on, for fear of seeming like a wimp in front of everyone.
The end of the hall splits in three directions. To the left is another hall that leads to our other bedrooms/home offices. Straight ahead is a guest bath, and to the right is a second doorway to the game room.
I freeze a few feet shy of this junction. The light switch is still a good foot out of reach. I again hear the whisper coming from the left hall. I can make the words out now. It whispers, "I like your dogs." I white knuckle my gimbal. Everyone in the living room is silent. Everything is silent as I listen intently. Then with a sudden, "Boo!", Bill jumps out from the right side and scares the crap out of me.
Bill sitting between Deanna and Amy on the living room couch.
Bill is our neighbor. He's also an actor most famously from Comedy Central's "Workaholics". Those who are fans of the show will be delighted to know that in real life, Bill is very similar to his character on "Workaholics". He's strange, but he also seems to get the joke. Bill is the kind of guy in a horror movie that the girl mistakes as a creep, but turns out to be the nice guy trying to help her.
After scaring the crap out of me, Bill graces us with a story. He claims that one night before we moved in, he heard noises coming from our house. He looked over the wall and saw a bunch of cops. He overheard one officer say that the guy who lived in my house, Jose, shot his wife, Patricia, in the kneecaps, then hung himself.
Bill explains Jose shot her in the knees so her hobble would always remind her of that day, but instead, Patricia bled out and died.
In the moment, I play along with the story. It's fun and it's freaking Deanna out. Tom seems to buy into it too, asking me how I didn't know this when I bought the house. I quickly pass that off by explaining, the house was a bank repossession, and the bank doesn't have to disclose anything; you buy the house as-is.
Truth is, I'm not buying Bill's story at all. For one, how would the police know the reason Patricia was shot in the kneecaps? If they arrived before she died, would that really be her last words? Most likely, Bill is playing off Deanna's ghost video; he was in the mix when I showed it earlier while joking that a legless ghost would be easy to run from.
Bill also couldn't remember the date. That seems like a pretty traumatic thing that would remain etched in your brain. Granted we've been in this house for 10 years, so if this happened, it happened over a decade ago, but these were Bill's nextdoor neighbors that he knew by name. So I'm not buying his story.
Monday September 23, 2019
I finish the vlog of Deanna's couch ghost and upload it. Since this VLOG is in the Halloween spirit, I set the premiere date for October 11th.
Summer Bikini Pool Party Daily Vlog 132
Tuesday September 24, 2019
I decide to prank Deanna for a follow-up video. Over the last few days I've teased her with Bill's story. I've been telling her the ghost of Patricia is haunting our house.
Tonight, I'm going to crank it up a notch. It's one in the morning, and Deanna is sound asleep in our bedroom. I creep in and set up a couple of cameras and a small light. Next, I open the French door. The fall temperature is about 60 degrees outside, which is a good 15 degrees cooler than the house, providing just enough of a chill to be eerie.
I slide into bed and Deanna rolls over toward me, but doesn't open her eyes. I poke her head to wake her up. She groggily asks, "Why'd you open the door?"
"I didn't open the door, did you open the door?"
"No, I was sleeping."
"I was sleeping too. I woke up and the door was open."
Deanna is now at full attention, trying to suss out the situation. I rev-up my breathing into a labored pace. We both gaze at the open door waiting for something to happen then, "Boo!" She jumps, I laugh.
Deanna rolls away mad, but I'm not finished yet. I impersonate a decrepit woman's voice to scare her even more. I groan, "I'm coming for you, Deanna."
Deanna wincing in bed, her back is to Vince and the open French door is behind them.
She winces and begs, "Don't do that voice. It's creepy. Stop."
Slowly, I inch my finger toward her face. I can feel her squirm and twitch. I tap her cheek, and she explodes with a scream.
I antagonize her with a belly laugh, but my celebration is stopped short by a knock at the front door. I'm confused because the driveway gate prevents people from getting to our front door. Deanna sits up, as I quickly lock the French door. My phone is already recording and rather than fumble with its light I grab a flashlight off my end table.
Deanna cowers into the comforter as I proceed toward the foyer. I peek around the corner into the hall. To my shock, the front door is wide open. "Hello?" I muster. "Hello?" No response. My heart tightens at the thought of someone in the house. I don't want to step any further in fear that a person is hiding around the corner in the living room with an axe. I contemplate grabbing Deanna and escaping out the French door. I don't know what to do. The silence is broken by the "thwock" of a ball as it bounces in through the door. I jump back. My throat knots up. Who the hell threw that? What the hell is going on? I'm petrified. I can't take my eyes off the door.
The open front door from Vince's iPhone VLOG camera.
Our dog, Pismo darts in and grabs the ball. I literally feel my throat fall to the floor and I almost collapse, but I regain my composure to put on a confident front for Deanna. Pismo doesn't seem bothered, so there can't be any danger, right? I mean, dogs are supposed to have a sixth sense about this stuff. At least that is what every movie depicts. I push the front door closed, secure the deadbolt and set the alarm.
I figure Pismo got out through the French door, ran around, found her ball, and pushed open the front door. Our front door is 50 years old and never had a traditional latch. Instead, the door uses a ball catch latch, which is a ball bearing that can be easily pushed open or closed.
Front door knob and ball catch.
Wednesday September 25, 2019
I cut together last night's prank video. The addition of some music and sound effects really sweeten it up. I'm able to pitch shift my creepy woman's voice to sell the scare. I think it turns out pretty well.
Changes with YouTube algorithms have caused video views to suffer, so I decide to premiere this one a couple weeks after the last video. That will put this closer to Halloween and give the last one a chance to rack up some eyeballs.
Halloween Prank Daily VLOG 133

Stalker

Friday September 27, 2019
I take the dogs for a walk, and standing in my driveway is Christina. I didn't call her, but I ask how long she's been here? She never breaks focus on the dogs, and responds, "not long." I suppose it's possible she just arrived as I walked out.
Christina squatting on the sidewalk petting Pismo.
Today, her intellect really shows. She riles up the dogs yelling, "Chase me, chase me. Come on," and keeps skipping in front of them. She acts like a child. I feel bad. She's a sweet girl and means no harm but she is odd and annoying too.
Tuesday October 1, 2019
Sixteen security cameras and two DVRs were delivered today. Deanna has been against outfitting the house with cameras. She feels like they will be watching her. I think they'll be great to watch the dogs and capture any spontaneous silliness that might occur to make for a good VLOG video. Plus they're a good way to combat potential stalkers like Christina.

Night #1

Thursday October 3, 2019
Today I finished the security camera install. When Deanna gets home, I show off the cameras to her. She's not pleased. I anticipated this, so I present her with the repaired Portate cross. I came across the broken necklace while I was running wires. One of the chain loops had split so I gave it a quick mend. This turned out to be just what I needed to soften her stance on the cameras.
Later that the night, I pass out on the couch. I'm sound asleep when something slides down my forehead between my eyes and onto my nose. It feels like a feather caressing my skin, but then it settles on the bridge with pressure. It comes into focus. It's a long, dirty, brittle fingernail. The rough frayed edges press harder digging into the bridge. I begin to feel the collapse of my septum. The pressure causes the nail to bow, then snap, the nail breaks off. My eyes pop, I see her hovering over me, I fly off the couch and almost hit the ceiling.
Deanna laughs, "I bet you're glad we have video cameras now!"
I'm disorientated; I expected to see the owner of the dirty nail, but I quickly conclude what transpired. It was Deanna dangling a plastic spider on my face. The finger was a dream.
"Funny. Ha ha," I groggily reply. "You wanna step up the game? It's on now."
Deanna laughs it off as she heads to the bedroom.
This is the night Deanna's leg is first pulled, and the door slammed. I recounted that event at the beginning of this story and see no reason to copy and paste it here.
Surveillance Footage capture of Deanna pulled to the foot of the bed.
After the door slam, I try to explain to Deanna that the wind blew it shut, but she doesn't believe me. She rocks in bed and begins to pray. I've never seen her pray. I know as a kid she attended a private Christian school, but I understood that was because her mom taught at that school. This meant Deanna got to go for free and her mom could watch over her. I didn't realize the prayer had stuck.
I finally set Deanna at ease by getting into bed with her to watch Friends with the lights on. At some point, she nods off. Around 3 a.m. I turn the volume down and close my eyes.
Friday October 4, 2019
Deanna is about to leave for work. Normally, I would sleep later in the morning, but I want to touch base about last night. We briefly chat in the kitchen over coffee. She appears fine and seems to realize that last night was silly. I joke that she needs more Sexy Time. She responds, "Sexy Time tonight?" It's a date.
After Deanna leaves, I pull up the security camera footage on the computer to review last night. I also watch her spider prank. It's pretty good. I fly off the couch like a scaredy-cat. After getting a good laugh at myself, I take off to meet Tom for lunch.
I chat with Tom about his beliefs, and what Deanna might believe. I postulate, can an atheist and a zealot be married? Isn't it like a vegan and a meat-eater? They're too fundamentally different to be together. Tom insists vegans and meat-eaters can be together and I shouldn't compare them. He concludes with the revelation that I'm a knucklehead.
I begin to wonder. Deanna's one of the smartest people I know. She even made the Dean's List in college. Maybe I am wrong? Maybe there is a God. I don't verbalize these notions to Tom, because I think he'll eat them up.
Deanna gets home from work early for date night. We split a pizza and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. She really pounds the wine like water. After dinner, she leads me into our bedroom. I'm able to gauge that she isn't really that drunk. She's just drunk enough to do a bit of a cabaret dance, but not so drunk that she falls over. After her dance, she charges me and tackles me onto our waterbed.
I've got my hands all over her, as we kiss and make out. Suddenly, she loses interest in me and looks to the door like something is there. I try to get her to refocus on me. She's receptive, but a moment later she looses interest again.
I explain it's just the dogs, and regain her attention. A moment later, I hear something too. We both stop and gaze at the door. I can make out a whisper, or possibly a grumble -- noises that can't come from the dogs. I'm about to push Deanna's half-naked body off me to investigate, when CRASH! The ceiling fan tumbles down on us.
Debris falls everywhere as we both scurry out of the way. I'm aghast. I know I securely mounted this thing to the ceiling. How could it fall? Deanna shushes me. "There's something in this room. I can feel it," she insists. Suddenly, she grabs her pillows and declares she is not sleeping in here and storms down the hall.
She spends the night in the spare bedroom, which is also her office. I throw the fan off the waterbed and momentarily consider getting the ladder to inspect the ceiling, but decide I'm too drunk for that. Instead, I fall back into bed and spend the night alone.
I decide to assemble Deanna's leg-pull footage into some previously unused VLOG footage. Some days I start to VLOG and don't finish. Some days, only one interesting thing happens, but it's only a small bit that doesn't end up anywhere. I'm now going back to assemble those stray bits into what I think will be an awesome Halloween VLOG that can end with Deanna's leg pull.
This is creepy! Daily VLOG 134
submitted by OTSPOKN to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 23:50 Snoo52682 Incel ... or solo poly?

Instead of trying to be a "normie," people trying to escape loneliness and the incel mentality would do well to look into polyamory/kink communities (online and off). It's not, like, some intimidating variant that you only graduate to after a vanilla monogamous relationship. It's more like intimacy without all the unspoken rules and qualifications.
I'm putting all forms of ethical non-monogamy and kink together here, which is a broad brushstroke, and of course there are shitty exploitative abusive people in these communities as well. But with these caveats in mind: Poly/kink is where INTJs get laid. And it's where a strong alternative to both the incel mentality and the "normie" standards exists.
--Very clear communication about desires and boundaries is a core value. You aren't supposed to "just know" anything or be able to read your partner's mind.
--People with unusual sexual histories or preferences are not mocked (unless that is what they are into). You won't be judged for when your sexual milestones did or did not happen.
--Sexual appeal is believed to be a skill people learn, not an attribute they possess or don't.
--Lots of introverts. A regular joke in poly circles is that introverts want to be poly so they can farm their extroverted partners off on someone else and get a quiet night at home.
--Huge overlap with geek/STEM interests. Polyamorists invented Google calendar.
--A big online presence, which is great during a pandemic. Poly and kink groups are still hanging out online, welcoming new folks, writing things, playing games.
--Realism about money, health, scheduling, and family problems. They're not living in a fantasy land. Except during RenFaire.

Poly.Land is a great blog/group to follow, and there are Poly-Geekery groups on FB for most regions. I don't know what the subs on Reddit are like. Fetlife is popular and apparently more than just a dating site, you can publish things and so on, so more like LinkedIn with actual chains? (I kill me.)
If you are into RPGs, Stars Trek or War, computers, anime, pets that live in glass containers, fanfic, board games ... you know kink and poly people. Throw the term "exploring solo polyamory" around and see what heads pop up from the gopher holes.
submitted by Snoo52682 to IncelExit [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 23:29 Rumored17 Refutations for Every Main Pro-Pit Argument

1."It's all how you raise them."

And more:
• ⁠Lockwood, R. A. N. D. A. L. L. (2016). Ethology, ecology and epidemiology of canine aggression. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour & Interactions with People,, 160-181.
• ⁠Abrantes, R., Site, A., Camp, S., Diving, F. A. Q., Camp, G. P., Pages, M., ... & User, C. C. (2016). Aggressive Behavior—Inheritance and Environment.
• ⁠van den Berg, L. I. N. D. A. (2016). Genetics of dog behavior. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People, 5, 69.
• ⁠O'Neill, D. G., & Packer, R. M. (2016). The First Canine Behavior and Genetics Conference: Summary and recommendations for future directions in canine behavioral science. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 16, 6-12.
• ⁠Sørensen, M. (2016). Breeding aggression: Review of recent literature concerning the influence of genes on aggressive behaviour (Doctoral dissertation).
• ⁠Schilder, M. B., van der Borg, J. A., & Vinke, C. M. (2019). Intraspecific killing in dogs: predation behavior or aggression? A study of aggressors, victims, possible causes and motivations. Journal of Veterinary Behavior.
These studies all show that genetics play a large role in dog behavior. Most are related to Pit Bulls or aggression, but some just show that there are noticeable differences between dog breeds based on their breed. Here are some anecdotal sources to support the claims that Pit Bulls are born with a tendency to be aggressive:
In addition, "it's all how you raise them" goes against the very existence of dog breeds. If someone is arguing this, they are saying a Labrador Retriever will have the same instincts as a Border Collie, which will have the same instincts as a Doberman, which will have the same instincts as a Great Pyrenees, which will have the same instincts as a Dachshund, etc. This is observably and demonstrably false. Humans created different dog breeds with different temperaments and physical and behavioral traits through selective breeding. This is why dog breeds exist, this is why breed standards exist, this is why people can reasonably and accurately predict how a dog will act based on breed. Are there exceptions? Of course. However, that is just what they are- exceptions. Different dog breeds have different traits and tendencies dependent on what they were selectively bred for.

2. "Chihuahuas are more aggressive."

This is just a disingenuous attempt to derail the conversation. Even if Chihuahuas are more aggressive, they don't/can't kill people. If Chihuahuas were as large as Pit Bulls, perhaps this would be a conversation worth having- seeing as this is not the case, there is no argument to be had here.
I try to emphasize that the issue with Pits is how many people and pets they kill. Pit Bulls are not just biting people- they are killing, severely maiming, and mauling people. There is a huge difference, and it is important to recognize many Pit fanatics will try to lump in all dog bites with the maulings Pit Bulls are responsible for. They are not the same. This is similar to the "Labs bite more" argument- again, we are not just talking about bites. Keep the discussion focused on severe maulings, maimings, and deaths, because that is what BSL targets.
From 1982-2020 no Chihuahua has ever killed anyone. This source breaks down attacks by breed, child or adult victim, and death or maiming.

3. "There's no such thing as a Pit Bull." and "Pit Bulls can't be identified."

A good way to avoid even getting to this apologist bingo point is by using the phrasing "Pit Bull type dogs" as opposed to Pit Bulls. However, you can also just explain that "Pit Bull" is an umbrella term for four closely related dog breeds- the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. The American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are actually so similar they can be dual registered as an AmStaff with the AKC and a APBT with the UKC. Until recently, most dog DNA tests would not even separate AmStaff from APBT due to the extreme similarities. This is also just another deflection technique- everyone knows what someone means by "Pit Bull" just as everyone knows what someone means by "Golden Retriever." This is what "pit bull" means legally.
Now, because "Pit Bull" does refer to 4 dog breeds rather than one, Pit apologists will often cry "well of course 4 dog breeds will kill more people!" but keep in mind that these 4 dog breeds have killed more people than 300+ other dog breeds combined. The Pit Bull umbrella kills more people than every other group or type of dogs and more than every other dog breed combined.
Regarding Pit Bulls being unidentifiable:
Pit Bulls have just as many obvious identifying characteristics as other dog breeds. There is no reason to believe Pit Bulls suffer from misidentification more than other dog breeds. There is reason to believe Pit Bulls are intentionally mislabeled as other breeds when in shelters, however. In addition, when discussing fatal Pit Bull attacks specifically, more often than not there are photos of the Pit Bulls involved so anyone can verify for themselves if they were Pit Bull type dogs. Genetic testing is not required for breed identification- anyone who argues this is being disingenuous. Another point is that we are constantly inundated with Pro-Pit propaganda; there is simply no way we can have Pixar shorts such as Kitbull and a new Dodo video every week about Pit Bulls and still be expected to believe the average person cannot visually identify a Pit Bull.

4. Pits are no more dangerous than other dogs.

The statistics also support our side here- Pit Bulls have killed more people than all other dog breeds combined. Pit Bulls are not the largest, nor the strongest dogs out there. They do not have the strongest bite force. They are more deadly than other dog breeds because humans selectively bred them to be as deadly as possible. They are deadly due to the nature of their attacks and the behavioral traits they display when attacking such as gameness and a bite style mentioned in some of these studies, along with their physical traits.

5. "It used to be Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds that people wanted to ban!"

Pit Bulls have killed more people than those three breeds ever did, even at the height of their popularity, even combined. There is also no evidence supporting this claim, and in fact, quite a lot of evidence showing it's completely false.
It is important to note as well that none of these breeds have an entire lobby supporting them. They do not have communities dedicated to attack victim harassment, misinformation, and lies, unlike the Pit Bull has. Something interesting to consider is the bias online when looking at these breeds and other restricted breeds vs pages about Pit Bulls. Wikipedia in particular is very obviously being manipulated by Pit Bull fanatics.
None of this manipulation is occurring on the pages for Dobermans, Rottweilers, or German Shepherds. These three breeds never reached anywhere close to the level of suffering and carnage Pit Bulls are responsible for. There has never been a concerted effort to ban these breeds, although some are targeted by apartment restrictions due to insurance issues. There is also no lobby supporting the misinformation and misrepresentation of these breeds.

6. "Dogsbite.org is biased and unreliable."

Dogsbite is completely open and transparent about their data collection strategies. They provide identification photographs and have all of their citations publicly listed. Citations and Photographs
Here is a challenge I like to give to people who claim Dogsbite is unreliable, although I have yet to receive a legitimate response:
Have you actually looked into dogsbite.org yourself? You do know that dogsbite tracks every fatal dog attack, regardless if it's a Pit or not? It appears anti-Pit because most fatal dog attacks are done by Pits. They're not only posting Pit attacks- there are just so many more fatal Pit attacks than other breeds it appears they are.
Here's a proposal for you:
Go to 2020 and late 2019, a time frame for which news reports are still abundantly available all over the internet, and fact-check ANY FOUR DOG-BITE FATALITIES OF YOUR CHOOSING, two where the killer dogs are said to be pit/mixes, and two cases where the killer dogs are not said to be pit/mixes:
  1. Did DogsBite accurately name the person killed?
  2. Did DogsBite accurately summarize the circumstances in which the person was killed?
  3. Did DogsBite accurately identify the breed(s) of the killer dog(s)?
  4. Did DogsBite provide a photo or photos of the killer dog(s) so you can judge for yourself what type of dog(s) you think did the killing?
DogsBite and Wikipedia both provide links to news stories about these fatal attacks. If you don't want to use the news links provided by DogsBite, then use the ones on Wikipedia that cover the same stories. DogsBite also provides links to autopsy reports, police reports and 911 calls, so you can compare these primary sources with the summaries on the DogsBite page and assess whether those summaries are accurate.

7. "Human aggressive Pit Bulls were culled!"

This is a myth. While human aggression was not something that was typically selectively bred for it is a myth that most human aggressive Pits were culled. That was not the case, and it still is not the case today. One look at shelter descriptions of Pits with bite histories and severe aggression issues shows these dogs are not being euthanized, and there are several instances of Pit Bulls who have killed people being bred.
There's no evidence whatsoever that dog fighters routinely destroyed human-aggressive dogs and refused to breed them. u/NorthTwoZero wrote at length about why it's a myth here, and this blogger put together a documented list of famously human-aggressive fighting dogs who not only weren't "culled" but were bred so often that they produced over 1,200 known, registered offspring:
"The man-biters were culled and the pit bulls were not bred for human aggression myths were created from thin air, complete fabrications. There is not a sliver of truth in the myth that dogmen culled man-biters. Not only weren't human aggressive pit fighters NOT culled, but a talented man-biter was heavily bred, his stud services were in high demand and the stud fees commanded a premium. The progeny of man-biters are still sought out long after he or she has passed away. This Italian game-dog website lists their choice for the Best Ever fighting dogs, three of the five are known man-biters and the other two trace their origins to the others on their "Best" list. Some famous man-biters have their own facebook fan pages. If you happen to be a 10x winner with 3 kills and scratching on the carcass, people tend to overlook a little thing like the danger she poses to people and she is also likely to be nominated for the cover of this month's International Sporting Dog Journal. Some famous man-biters not only have a facebook fan page, they have their own promotional merchandise too."

8. "Pit Bulls were nanny dogs!" or "Pit Bulls were America's dog!"

First, I usually ask questions that demonstrate out how absurd that claim is. What is a nanny dog? What duties does a nanny dog perform? Why would a dog type be called a "Pit Bull" if it nannied? Where does the name "Pit Bull" come from? Why is it necessary for Pits to have such large, gaping mouths and extremely muscular bodies if they were nannies? Then here is some actual info:
The first appearance of the term "Nanny Dog" dates from a 1971 NYT interview with the then president of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, Lillian Rant, who called Staffordshire Bull Terriers "nursemaid dogs" for no apparent reason (other than to attempt to re-brand fighting dogs as family pets).
BAD RAP shared a link.
It's Dog Bite Prevention Week. Did you know that there was never such thing as a 'Nanny's Dog'? This term was a recent invention created to describe the myriad of vintage photos of children enjoying their family pit bulls (see link for details about vintage photos). While the intention behind the term was innocent, using it may mislead parents into being careless with their children around their family dog - A recipe for dog bites!
Regarding Pits being "America's dog": Bronwen Dickey (author of incredibly biased and unscientific book "Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon") and other pit bull advocates argue that pit bulls were historically beloved in the U.S. until the dogs became associated with urban people of color in the 1970s, so Pit Bull stigma is really about being racist toward black and brown people.
But pit bulls were not historically beloved in the U.S. nor were they popularly regarded as a positive symbol of plucky can-do spirit. Joseph Colby, in his lifetime one of the world's leading authorities on the Pit Bull Terrier, wrote in 1936 that "The general public is under the impression that this breed is carnivorous, vicious, and, fed on a diet of raw meat, will devour a human being" and "When the pit bull terrier was introduced into America, he was more commonly found to be owned by prize fighters, saloon keepers and habitues, sporting men and the like. From the start the breed earned an unjust reputation due to his fighting ability and the character of the owner. To this day he is still trying to live down an unjust and undeserved reputation."
Sometimes Pit people will randomly mention how Sergeant Stubby, a decorated war hero dog, was a Pit Bull. He was not. Primary (contemporary) sources most often describe Stubby as a Boston Terrier or Boston Terrier mix (this breed was sometimes called the Boston Bulldog). He is sometimes said to be a Bull Terrier (the egghead dogs) mix but he obviously resembles a Boston Terrier significantly more than a Bull Terrier. Stubby is never said to be a Pit Bull in primary sources.

9. "Pit Bulls scored 2nd highest on temperament tests and better than most family dog breeds!"

This is always referring to the ATTS, or the American Temperament Testing Society. It is refuted thoroughly in the BanPitBulls FAQ, but this is what I usually say as well:
The test was developed to test working dogs, specifically dogs meant for schutzhund work. It has never been, nor ever purported to be about testing companion animals or a breed's suitability as family pets. Scoring actually favors dogs that bite, in some cases. Breed specific temperament, aggression, and each dog's training is taken into account when scoring. This means that if a relatively untrained Lab bites a "threatening stranger" it will score far lower than a German Shepherd that bites a "threatening stranger."
According to the ATTS itself, "95% of dogs who fail do so because they lack confidence" NOT because they bite. Dogs that exhibit avoidance behaviors will fail. Dogs that bite do not automatically fail.
The ATTS also states that comparing scores with other dogs means nothing- the pass/fail rates cannot be compared. Different dog breeds that behave the same exact way on the test will get hugely different scores due to the fact they take inherent breed tendencies into consideration.
The test is not designed to test for breed aggression, according to the ATTS website. It is more of a test of bravery for individual dogs. Timid dogs will always fail. Dogs that bite will not always fail.
If anything, you could argue that the reason Pits have a high passing rate is because they bite or show aggression, although that is speculation and not proven. Either way though- the test does not test breed aggression, passing rates cannot be compared, and the test absolutely does not test for suitability as a family pet.
More info here: What the ATTS is really showing.
It is also worth mentioning that the only dogs that participate in the ATTS testing are dogs brought in by their owners- it is not a random sample or scientific study of any kind. Considering the evidence showing the existence of an actual Pit Bull lobby, it would not be a reach to say these results have been intentionally manipulated (if they did even matter, which they don't).
Also, a controlled temperament test found that 13 percent, or one out of seven, pit bulls tried to bite or attack during a one hour test simulating a neighborhood walk. One out of seven pit bulls tried to bite in the span of just one hour compared to only one out of 70 golden retrievers. Note that this study was funded and authored by anti-breed ban activists: They found "no significant difference" between breeds when the definition of aggression was watered down to include even whining or crying. But pay close attention to Table 5 on page 138: out of all the breeds tested, pit bulls were markedly the worst when it came to the percentage of dogs that reached a more serious level of aggression.

10. "It's racism for dogs!"

Humans are not dogs, and dog breeds are not analogous to human races.
In addition, one cannot compare a race of people to a breed of dogs for a multitude of reasons. Dog breeds were selectively, intentionally bred for specific characteristics and traits by human beings. Humans created dog breeds based on what physical and behavioral traits we wanted them to have. (Spaniels for flushing, retrievers for fetching prey/birds without damage, livestock guardian dogs such as Great Pyrenees for protecting livestock, Huskies for endurance and energy, Pointers for pointing, etc. Different dog breeds have different behavioral tendencies because humans selectively bred them to have those tendencies). Dogs also do not suffer from cultural differences, institutionalized racism, or socioeconomic disparities. Humans are also not as heavily influenced by our instincts as dogs are. Dogs behave based on their instincts and training. Humans behave mainly on their "training." Humans also have far more complex thought processes and the ability to make complex decisions. Dogs do not. You could go on and on but that is the basic overview there- dogs were selectively bred and rely mainly on their instincts. Humans were not selectively bred and are capable of making complex and rational decisions.
Post continued in the comments due to the character limit.
submitted by Rumored17 to BanPitBulls [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 18:25 Widow_Bee Escaping my BPD Mother-In-Law: A Long Success Story.

I've been following this sub/community for a while, and I think this is the best place to share my story. This one is VERY LONG, and if you're stuck in an abusive relationship with a BPD/uBPD dependent parent, be it your own or your partner's, this one is for you. First time posting, so bear with me.
The players (names changed):
Myself (Maiden), 31F. My Husband (Marty), 26M. Marty's BPD Mom (Sandy), 45F.
Husband and I are active duty Navy.
The story:
I started dating my husband a little over a year ago, in the early Summer. I knew that his mother lived with him, and I was very impressed at the lengths he went to to make sure she was cared for, it's one of the many reasons I love him so much. Her husband, Marty's father, had passed away about three years prior to us meeting, and she is disabled- a slew of physical and mental health issues (to include BPD and Bipolar). The government gives her a pittance to survive off of, and her medical bills are astronomical, so Marty cares for her. She was very nice and kind to me, full of sadness, and I immediately warmed to her, as I have had a lot of bad experiences with my own mother (a story for another day), and her painful past made me feel so bad for her. She was upfront about her troubles, which seemed to be completely under control with medication and therapy. We all got along, and I was madly in love with her son to boot. I invited her along on several of our dates, because she had no job and was stuck at home and wanted company. I didn't mind, as it was on my terms and she was an inviting person. It was all an act, as I found out later, but I digress.
I started noticing issues when Marty would come stay at my apartment. His phone was constantly buzzing, either with calls or texts, and he was quick to jump and respond. I knew it was his mom, and that she was lonely, so I didn't pry. He showed me the contents, many moons later, of those texts- stuff like "have a good night, I'll be here alone" and "when are you coming back" when we had told her repeatedly what time we were coming back. A red flag for sure, definite passive aggressive abuse, but I like to put myself in other people's shoes- if I were her, I would miss him too. She moved to our state to stay with him and had no friends and no support. I didn't approve of her tone, but I let it pass and let him bear the burden, he insisted, she was always like this and it didn't bother him. We never stayed at my place for more than one night at a time, as a courtesy to her. She had also told me on several occasions that her and Marty's lives were completely separate despite their living together (a lie, as I came to find out).
In the fall, Marty's mom tried to date someone in another state. She drove up to meet them and called constantly during the drive. The person of interest got weirded out and told her to kick rocks. On the drive back, Sandy called Marty to tell him not to be home when she arrived. He knew what this meant- another suicide attempt. She averages about one per year, but always puts in place a failsafe call to Marty to make sure he is there to save her. Not surprisingly, when she arrived at home, she had OD'ed on insulin, so Marty called 9-1-1 and she was under mental care for several weeks.
During these weeks, I found out I was pregnant. Marty and I were overjoyed- while it was unexpected, we both wanted to be parents and the news made us the happiest people in the world. This is when the problems started- I conjecture that Sandy realized she didn't have to hide her problems from me anymore to keep me dating her son, since I was pregnant and here to stay, and could start treating me like "family," which I honestly wouldn't wish on anyone.
Marty deployed in the late fall after asking me to marry him. I was on shore duty on pregnancy orders, so it fell to me to keep her company. In Marty's previous years, she would sit at home all day alone while he was at work/deployed, so I volunteered to keep her company. This is when the texts started. "Why aren't you coming over today" "oh, so I'll have to wait to see you til next week? that's fine, have a good weekend" "can you come over right now" when I had said I had made plans, stuff of that nature. I am very susceptible to guilt, so I would often go out of my way to keep her company. I visited her often to check on her and spend time with her, but when I didn't, she would come after me very passive aggressively. I took her to places she could go to entertain herself, but she wouldn't do anything on her own- she just sat at home and moped until I showed up to entertain her. Had a car, had money, all her physical medical problems never precluded her from being able to go out, she just wouldn't go. I stopped spending time with her because I wanted to, and started doing it because I had to. It became our "new normal."
Fast forward to Marty's return from deployment early this year. Once again, we started spending time together away from her- once or twice a week, and the texts and calls continued. Only to him though. One night in early February, we went out to see some friends and came back about an hour later than normal. All the lights were off, so we went straight to bed. She texted Marty from her room and said "thanks for saying goodnight" and I saw it and flipped out and Sandy and I had a screaming match. Marty, in a fit of panic, drove us out a few blocks away from their apartment, to have a calm mediated conversation (and so we wouldn't start a domestic disturbance call). I told her she can't treat her son like that, she told me I was selfish and it was "the Maiden show" and I didn't care about anyone but myself. I stormed back towards the apartment and that's the night I found myself in tears, pregnant, wandering my way on public streets trying to figure out where I was. Traumatizing. Marty found me and drove me home. Sandy apologized and promised therapy and change, and we believed her. I think about that night often and am filled with rage. That's when I learned standing up to her on Marty's behalf wasn't going to work. Marty wanted to keep the peace because this is all he had ever known, I was an outside force trying to initiate healthy change.
Fast forward a few weeks later. Marty and I stopped going out because she would pout and stomp and huff around and passive aggressively attack us if we tried to do anything without her. This had actually been happening for a while, but I really started noticing it after the text incident. It became, again, a "new normal." I also found out she was trash talking me to her family and therapist and Marty and anyone else who would listen, when I did things she didn't like, like ask her to stop vacuuming and slamming dishes around at 7 am. I also didn't change my last name to theirs when Marty and I got married, for personal reasons that she didn't respect, but she wouldn't say anything to ME about it, just anyone else who would listen. She didn't like that I made more money than Marty and therefore I would buy more things. This kind of thing happened A LOT, over and over again. She was kind and sweet to my face, said repeatedly how good I was for Marty and how glad she was that we were together and how much she loved me, and then I would hear how she really felt through other avenues. Her sister sometimes came after us when Sandy would tell her the "Sandy" version of the truth, and we would have to set the sister straight. Sandy was always the victim, and we were always the abusers.
I decided to stand up for myself. I made a list of everything I wanted to address, I sat everyone down, and I begged for change, everything from the stomping and trash-talking and attacking and the lack of boundaries to the smallest things, like her poor hygiene. She got angry at Marty for snitching on her (she liked to complain about me to him the most), then got angry at me for violating her "mother-son" confidentiality. Eventually she agreed to, surprise, more therapy and change. I started hanging out at my apartment instead of heading straight to their after work at this point as well- being near her was awful.
About a week later, she convinced me to go to family therapy with her and Marty. She and her therapist proceeded to thrash me for the entire hour about how I had treated her, how I shouldn't have made a list and tried to handle it all at once, how she had mental disorders and I wasn't being understanding as I should be. She told me she does the things she does because she "has to protect her son from me" when I do things like buy major appliances. I also think about that day very often, and am filled with rage. I backed down because I was in shock and she had a medical professional on her side to boot. Being pregnant and married, Marty and I decided that moving into a house and our daughter's impending arrival would give Sandy something else to focus on. She needs to feel needed, or has no purpose, and with me in the picture, Marty didn't need her anymore. She didn't like that.
During all this time, she did not attempt to support herself in any way, and we gave her loads of art projects and subscriptions to the YMCA and dating sites and a million other things. Marty and I became her personal entertainment devices and she wouldn't do anything for herself except go to medical appointments. She treated Marty like some combination of a 12 year old and a dog that just shit on the carpet (you know, that sound you make when a pet does something bad, NUH-UH! Don't you do that!). When he tried to stand up for himself, she immediately played the waif/victim role and "how can you treat me like this" and "I'm just trying to help." I've never been able to REALLY talk to her, because she never actually listened to any of the words I said, just picked and chose what she wanted to hear so she could feel victimized and tell people what a monster I am. She also is addicted to waste- smokes two puffs of a cigarette and tosses it, takes two bites of a meal and throws the rest away. Our food was getting thrown away when she deemed it "old" or if there was only a little bit of something left. She wasn't paying for anything, and there would always be more of whatever she tossed when we went shopping. She was using the allottment of money we gave her to go buy dumb stuff on payday, and then would beg Marty for money in hushed tones when she ran out- one of the key markers for BPD is excessive and wasteful spending and she has it BAD.
We all moved into a house that Marty and I bought, and the abuse continued and was worsened by COVID. Even going on walks (well, I was waddling) together, myself and Marty, was an issue. I was suffering from ante-partum depression and the thought of pretending to be nice to her to keep her happy every day was absolute hell. I was a prisoner in my own home, and Marty was too. She continued, even though we asked her to stop, to make lots of noise while we were sleeping, her poor hygiene ran rampant, and some of my things were starting to end up broken, particularly on days we went out without her (she would nap or wait at the door for us to come back). In her head, I took her son away from her, so she passively let me know even though when confronted, she preached love and adoration for me. She did these things because she felt safe to do so, we would never make her live out on the street. With her having such a painful past and no way to support herself, how could we? There was no way out. I was helpless and hopeless. This woman ran our lives with her passive aggression and made our home unlivable when we had "wronged" her. There was always the looming threat of the next suicide attempt if we did something she REALLY didn't like.
She started trying to date again in late May (I was due in the beginning of June). At one point, she snuck a stranger into our house while she thought we weren't home and turned pale white when they walked in and she realized we were. We were forced to participate in a few previous dating attempts (not worth mentioning) because she was "worried about being alone with someone" so that enraged us both. In early June, while I was waiting for the call to be induced since our daughter didnt want to come out on her own, the person Sandy was seeing got weirded out and told her to leave them alone (she had shown up unannounced after one date and called them repeatedly). She drove home and decided to take a bunch of her pills (no idea which ones) and drank a bunch of Marty's vodka. She then positioned herself on the floor of the bathroom and waited for Marty to find her (I had a feeling she was up to something so I was listening- no "whump," just a soft settling sound, like someone lying down gently). This literally happened while I received the call to be induced since the hospital had a bed open up. At Sandy's sister's behest (over the phone) we determined that she was just fine and the sister said she would stay on the phone with Sandy, and that I needed to go give birth. Sandy, when realizing no one was going to call 911 for her, called it herself so she could get the attention she wanted. I say this flippantly, because the doctor later told us that there was barely anything in her system. So, for our daughter's arrival, Sandy was once again in mental care, then went to visit the sister cross-country so we could get used to life with our daughter.
I KNOW THIS IS LONG, ARE YOU STILL READING?? IT'S ALMOST OVER, I PROMISE!
After Sandy came back, therapy and change was promised, and a new normal was yet again imposed. We couldn't go out and when we did, she would do the usual pout/slam things and silent treatment or some variation thereof. We would only invite her because we had to, on walks, or occasionally to visit COVID-free friends. A gift I bought for Marty ended up mysteriously broken. Marty and I talked extensively about her condition, and I became increasingly agitated about having to live like this. We read a book together on the BPD mother and we realized the level of abuse had become too much, it had become too much a long time ago, but when a new normal is imposed in a gradual way, it's hard to notice, especially when the abused is a gaslighter and a "victim."
What initiated her departure was an incident in August when I decided to take my daughter upstairs in my home (where Sandy doesn't like to go because of her knees), and I played videogames for the afternoon without running it by her. She started about by giving me the silent treatment (her usual reaction) and then she confronted me when I came downstairs, hands on hips, physically blocking my way, and snippily asked me if I was going to avoid her and not talk to her all day. She then complained about me to her sister (who has finally realized that Sandy is full of crap and doesn't side with her consistently anymore) and pouted when she told Sandy off. It was the last straw. I am 31 years old, and this is my house. I had decided not to participate in her routine and instead did my own thing for once and she came after me for it. IN MY HOUSE. Additionally, I had asked her to wear a light jacket and wash her hands after smoking (she smokes a pack a day) and she wasn't following the rules, especially when she thought I wasn't looking. My daughter was getting HELLA second hand smoke and I confronted her regularly about it. I could barely stand up for myself or my husband, but I would stand up for her all day every day.
I told Marty that we had do something and that he was going to lose me if something didn't change. Throughout this whole story, he has taken very much of a backseat and I have been at the forefront of the "Do Something about Sandy" movement, as I call it. I called on him to handle his mom without using me as an excuse, and he did. I was so proud of him. He told her about the abuse and how it affected him before AND after I showed up in the picture. In her head, I was pulling his strings like a marionette this whole time because he doted on her so much before I showed up, and I "changed" him, but he let her know that HE was the one making this call, it was a long time coming and non-negotiable. I backed him up at every turn. She tried every trick in the book, begging and guilt-tripping and bribing, but he stayed firm. She took a mother's day card we had given her and tore it so we could see what it was and gently placed it on top of the trash for our viewing pleasure. I laughed- there was an end in sight, and there was nothing she could do.
We cut a deal with Sandy's sister. She agreed with us wholeheartedly, that we were being used and manipulated, and they rented a U-Haul and moved her across the country. I have never felt so free. We support her financially, and I send her pictures and videos of our daughter regularly, but that's the extent of it. I've got LC and Marty has gone LC as well. She started out once she left by regularly messaging me "love you and miss you" but I told her please to not do that, it made me uncomfortable, and she hasn't tried it again. Marty and I are happy and healthy, we are both going to therapy, and our daughter is an absolute delight. Life is good. He's installed a boundary of two calls per week (for us, this is LC, believe me) and it's going to drop from there. She doesn't like it. I don't care. My husband has gone through a lot of realizations and emotional growth over this last year and for him to install boundaries and to handle the situation like he did makes me a proud wifey.
As I've written this, I feel as though a reader who stuck it out through the whole story would say "here's where you should have realized something was wrong" or "here's the point where you should have said something." In retrospect, there were many times that I should have done things, but I must reiterate- it was gradual. It's only obvious to me now what was happening. At the time, we were trying to make her life better, but she took it and ran too far, gave us no space or privacy to be ourselves, and knew that we were susceptible to guilt and used it as a tool.
If this story sounds like yours, or if you're in a situation that is similar, do not hesitate, do not make bargains with yourself or them, do not plan for future events in the hopes that they will change things for you. Do the hard thing. Say the words. Get your life back on track on YOUR TERMS, because if you don't, the uBPD/BPD in your life will smell weakness and take advantage. We have a saying when it comes to Navy things- no one is going to look out for you like you look out for you. I post this in the hopes that it will help at least one person who is worried about hurting feelings and waffling about what they need to do. If I had known about this community within the last year, I believe that I would've gathered the courage to handle my situation much earlier and saved myself a LOT of heartache. Your health and happiness are waiting for you!
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2020.09.15 15:39 cdf21882 I Find Things (Part 2)

( Note: This story was originally titled 'I Found a Healthy Respect for the Outdoors')
My name is Jack. I find things. Usually, I find things like keys and other random shit for people, but recently I have branched off into more unusual items. Case in point, when I helped my new GF Kara look for her grandmother’s locket. I found it alright, but I also found the pissed off, child, ghost of her Great-Aunt Patricia too.
Speaking of Kara, what a little vixen. For those of you wondering how things with her are going, they’re great. We’ve been spending lots of time together, and now that her house is free of angry spirits, she has decided that it would make an awesome B&B, and I can’t agree more. Can you believe Great-Aunt Patricia is even on board with the idea?
Let me tell you, that kid, she has really turned over a new leaf. If only someone had given her a shiny, new pretty sooner. Am I right? She and Kara are like two peas in pod now. Kara says she’s like the little sister she never had, which is weird considering she’s her aunt and a ghost, but stranger things, right?
So, enough about all that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned at the end of my last post how I had figured out I could use my talent to find more than just everyday items. Followed by a statement about helping anyone find things, just to let me know and all that. Well to be perfectly frank, I kinda made that declaration in jest. I know, assy move. It’s not that I don’t want to help you guys, but after the locket debacle, I really just wanted to stick to finding mundane stuff. I said what I did, just trying to be nice since you put in the time and effort to read my post, but like Jeff Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.” Let’s just say it found a way to bite me in the ass for making false statements, and it used my sweetheart Kara to do it.
Apparently, she’s on reddit too, and she has a huge following. Well, long story short, Kara came across my post, and not only took my words to heart, but thought it was really sweet how I put myself out there like that to help people. Then, supportive gf and all, she went on to share my post with all of her reddit friends and followers, FB friends, and well you can see where this is going.
When Kara told me what she had done, and how proud of me she was, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was only being nice, so I sucked it up, owned my mistake, and here we are; a second post. That’s right, I have more scary shit to tell, and guess what? It’s a camping story.
I will put this out here right now, I am not an outdoors kind of guy. I respect the outdoors, and people that are outdoorsy, but it isn’t for me. As you know, I recently found out that ghosts are real, and if they are real, there is no telling what the hell else is real, especially in the outdoors.
So, a few days ago, Kara caught me in the break-room at work. She was smiling really big and looked kind of excited, so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She has a great smile by the way. She told me she had some good news. I asked her what it was, and when she told me, let’s just say my warm fuzziness disappeared pretty damn quickly.
She told me she has a friend on reddit named Dale, and he owns a public campground a couple of hours away. Before she could go any farther, I told her no way I don’t do camping or anything else in the out of doors.
“But Babe, I love camping,” she said all doe-eyed. “Besides, Dale needs you to help him find something.” I looked at her with my best “do I have to” face, but her expression told me this was an argument I wasn’t going to win. I let out a big sigh. “Okay, what does he need me to find?” Victorious, she smiled wryly. “He said he would fill us in when we got there this weekend.”
Word of advice for all of you guys out there, stay single, women can be trouble.
I stuck my tongue out her and went back to my desk.
In all honesty though, I wasn’t mad at Kara for pushing me to help Dale. She is one of the best people I know, and as I’ve said before, I would do anything for her. Besides, who could stay mad with that amazing smile of hers, I’m just saying.
Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of Kara’s house. As I got out of the car, I noticed Aunt Patricia looking down at me from one of the second-floor windows. We waved to one another, and I headed up the walk and went inside.
Kara was in the kitchen making coffee, and she was in full blown camping mode. She wore a pair of khaki shorts that were rolled up at the legs, and what I can say was the most disturbingly, appropriate t-shirt I could have imagined for a camping trip; a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt.
She greeted me with a kiss. “Morning handsome. You ready for your first camping trip?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Interesting wardrobe choice by the way.” She grinned maliciously. “I thought you would appreciate the humor of my shirt.” I rolled my eyes. “I swear, if your friend mentions anything about looking for missing campers in the deep, dark woods, I’m out.” “Poor guy,” Kara said with a pouty face. “I’ll protect you from the big, bad monsters in the woods.” She busted out laughing. I just stood there mentally updating the list of deal breakers for my next girlfriend.
Before long, we had the car loaded and were on our way to Dale’s campground. It was our first extended car ride, and it was a blast. We spent a while playing Guess That Tune. For anyone that has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie, just know, our game at least, didn’t end with a horrible death, just Kara winning nearly every round. Besides playing car games, we found we both have a passion for car karaoke, and just so you know, I’m the better singer.
Around noon, we arrived at our destination. I took one look at the sign and shook my head; it read Crazy Acres Camping. Kara, on the other hand, was amused and said she thought it was a cute name. The thing ladies think are cute, I swear.
We drove down a winding, tree-lined road and parked in front of a rustic looking building. The sign hanging above the door read Camp Office. Kara and I were just getting out of the car, when a man rode up on a four-wheeler.
He was in his early to mid-fifties, and he wore the quintessential camp uniform: boonie hat, khaki shorts, and olive drab polo with the camp name on the pocket. “If this wasn’t Dale,” I thought. “I would eat tree bark.” The man dismounted and held out his hand. “Afternoon folks. Thanks for coming. I’m Dale.”
Nailed it.
We both shook hands with him, and then he showed us into the office. The inside was just as rustic as the outside, and the walls were adorned with all sorts of woodsy items, the grandest of all being a massive moose head mounted above the desk.
Being a reddit friend, Kara and Dale only had a passing acquaintance, so we spent the first little while making general chitchat. Dale was obviously a nice guy, and he exuded a sort of crazy uncle vibe. Who doesn’t love a crazy uncle?
The property had been in Dale’s family for a long time, but it wasn’t until he took it over, that it became a public campground.
“I grew up loving the woods, and loving camping,” he told us. “It was only natural for me to share that love with as many people as I could.” Kara said she understood completely, but I didn’t get it at all. I guess I was just too fond of AC and indoor plumbing. There was a little small talk, then we got down to brass tacks.
Over the last couple of months, Dale had received numerous reports from campers who had things come up missing from campsites in a certain area of the grounds. It started out as food, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary due to the amount of wildlife in the surrounding woods. “Raccoons can be some damn crafty SOBs,” Dale told us. Then things escalated. Entire coolers filled with food, drinks, etc. started disappearing, and after that, everything from hammocks, sleeping bags, water containers, and even tents themselves joined the growing list of missing things.
“Beat any damned thing I ever saw,” Dale finished, leaning back in his chair. “But that’s still not the worst of it. There used to be rumors of a hermit living in the deep woods around here. Well about a week ago, I made the mistake of mentioning this to my assistant manager, Rick, and being the great woodsman, he sees himself as, the damned fool decided he would go looking for the ole bastard. Ricks an okay guy, but he’s young and full of himself, and he knows about as much about surviving in the woods, as I do about being a brain surgeon.” “Did he find anything?” Kara asked Dale. The man took off his hat and rubbed the top of his head. “Well let’s just say Rick’s been added to that list of things that have gone missing around here,” he said wringing his hat in his hands. “And if I don’t find him, who knows what will happen to this place.
Kara and I looked at each other. I was getting a sinking suspicion that I knew what it was I was here to find.
“What exactly is it you want me to find Dale?” I asked him hesitantly.
He laid his hat on the desk. “If you can, I would like for you to find my missing employee, and maybe while you’re at it, find where all the missing stuff is going.” I looked at the man then looked at Kara. Her eyes told me she understood exactly what I was thinking. This was far beyond anything I had ever done with my talent, and I had to be honest with Dale.
“Look Dale, I want to help you, but I don’t think you really understand what it is I do,” I told him. “I find lost wallets, misplaced jewelry, or other random items for people, and the only time I have ever looked for anything outside, was when my cousin lost his wedding ring in the back yard while he was ogling the neighbor’s wife while she was sunbathing, which is a whole story in and of itself by the way. The point is, I think this is a job for law enforcement, not an office worker with a talent that is probably more luck than anything.”
The poor man still just sat there looking at me with his hopeless expression. “That’s the thing Jack, the cops are just as baffled as I am, and some of them are better in the woods than me. I’m at the end of my rope here, and if you say your talent is just luck, well I can use a little bit of that right now.”
I didn’t really know what else to say. I felt for the guy. I really did, but I wasn’t sure if I could help him, and God only knows I wanted to. In the end, it came down to two things. One, there was a person lost in the woods, or worse dead. Not only did Dale need to know where Rick was and if he was ok, but the same went for Rick’s family. The second this was I didn’t want to disappoint Kara. She had thought enough of me and my talent, to shout it to the extremes of the internet, and I had step up for her.
“Alright Dale, I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t promise you anything,” I told him. He considered this for a moment. “Fair enough,” he said finally. “I can live with that.”
He pulled out a map of the grounds and showed us where everything had been happening. The vastness of the area only added to my despair, but I pushed the thought out of my mind. After we finished studying the map, Dale mentioned that it would probably be a good idea for us to setup camp in the affected area, so that maybe the thief would make an appearance, being that we would be the only campers in the vicinity.
With a game plan made, Kara and I headed back to the car, and drove to the site Dale had picked out for us. “I’m sorry I got you into this,” she told me. “If I had known what this was all about, I would never have let it get this far.” I smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Kara,” I said to her squeezing her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. Besides, it’s not that I don’t mind helping Dale, I am just unsure of my ability to do it.” “I believe in you Jack,” she reassured me. “I know you’ll do your best.”
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see something at least was in my favor. Instead of a tent, Dale had set us up with a small cabin. We parked the car, and got out to inspect our accommodations for the night.
The structure wasn’t much bigger than a large tent, but it was hardened on three sides, with the fourth side being mostly screen. Inside were two cots and hanging from the ceiling, was a gas lantern. “This doesn’t look so bad,” I said looking around the cabin. Kara grinned, “I’ll remember that statement when you need to use the bathroom tonight and have to walk out into the woods.” I looked at her with disdain while she laughed like a mad woman.
We finished unpacking the car and setup a late picnic lunch. Once we were done eating, we began searching the woods in the immediate vicinity of camp.
I tried to be thorough, but there was just too much area, and everything looked the same. After a couple of hours, I was beginning to feel like all I was doing was wasting time. I sat down on a fallen long.
“This is no use,” I told Kara exasperated. She sat down next to me. “You can do this Babe,” she said putting her arm around me. “Trust me and believe in yourself. I believe in you.” She leaned in to kiss me, and as I leaned in to meet her, I saw it.
It was a faint trail beaten into the forest floor. “I think I have something,” I said excited. “Look.
I pointed to the trail. “Jack you did it,” she said kissing me. I have said before that I feel like my talent is more luck than anything, this was why. I would have never seen the trail if I hadn’t sat down on the log.
We inspected the trail for a few minutes. In one direction, it led back towards camp, and we were both fairly confident that this was the trail the thief had been using to get to the campground.
We followed the trail deeper into the woods. After another little while, we came to a massive cliff face.
“Looks like the end of the road,” Kara said looking up at the top of the cliff. It went off in both directions for as far as we could see, and rose above of us at least sixty feet straight up. There didn’t look to be many handholds, so climbing it was out of the question. “Let’s look around,” I said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky again.”
We started down one direction, finding nothing but sheer rock on one side, and forest on the other. After a while, we went back the other direction and it wasn’t much better. My lifted spirits from my discovery of the trail, were starting to crash and burn.
I picked up a stone. “Damnit,” I yelled as I hurled it at the rocky face of the cliff. It hit with a loud report. “Is someone out there?” a faint voice called.
Kara and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?” we both asked in unison. “Hello out there,” came the voice again. “I need help.” The voice was coming from a little further up the way. “Hold tight,” I called back. “We’re coming.”
We followed the sound of the voice, and after a couple of minutes, we arrived at a large group of boulders, bunched at the foot of the cliff. “Hello, we’re here,” Kara called out. “Where are you?” “In the cave,” the voice replied. “You have to climb up and over the boulders. The entrance is behind them.”
“Maybe you should wait right here,” I told Kara. “That way, if someone really does live here, you can keep a lookout for them.” She shook her head. “What if you need me?” she asked. “I’ll call you, but until then, stay here and keep watch. I would hate to be blindsided by some creepy ass mountain man.” She sighed, disappointed. “Alright, but be careful.” I kissed her, then climbed up the boulders.
Once on top, I saw that there was a hollow space behind the rocks along with the entrance to the cave. It was almost like someone placed the boulders there to purposely hide the cave from passers-by. I climbed back down and approached the entrance. It was dark as shit in there, and I hadn’t even thought to bring a flashlight. The light on my crappy iPhone would just have to do. I turned it on and entered the darkness.
I walked for about a minute when I started to come across empty food wrappers, then as I entered a large chamber, I found the rest of the missing hoard of camping items. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed looking at it all. Dale sure wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of stuff had went missing. “Hey over there,” the voice said. “Get me out of here.”
I walked to where the voice was. There was another chamber, but the entrance was blocked off by a large rock. “Please tell me you’re Rick?” I said to the man behind the rock. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s me. You search and rescue?” I grinned. “Something like that. How in the hell did you get in there?” “Damned bitch grabbed me while I was in the woods, then trapped me in here. Look man, if I were you, I would make this quick. If she comes back and finds you here, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”
I used the phone’s light to survey the rock. While I did this, I wondered who the “she” was that had brought Rick here. “I might be able to tip this rock over, but I am going to need help,” I told him. “Hold on.”
I dialed Kara. Considering I was in a cave, the call surprisingly connected. I told her the situation, and she said she was on her way. In the meantime, I would try to get some more answers from Rick.
“So, you’re telling me some lady abducted you and trapped you in this cave? You sound like a pretty big guy based on Dale’s description of you. She must have been some woman.” Rick chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. How much longer till your friend gets here. I really would like to be gone before she comes back.” “She should be here soon,” I told him.
Shortly, I heard footsteps coming from the entrance of the cave. “I’d say you found the missing stuff.” Kara’s voice said from behind us. Look at all this shit. Is that Rick?” “Yes it’s me,” the voice on the other side of the rock said impatiently. “Now can we move this thing? I’m telling you guys, we do not want to be here when she comes back.” Kara looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “She? Who is she?” I shrugged. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” “Guys please. Can we do this already?” “Right,” I said. “We need some rope or something to put around the top of the rock.” “I got you,” Kara said.
In a moment she returned with a length of tie down strap. I positioned it around the top of the rock and Kara and I pulled both ends tight. “Okay, we’ll pull, and you push Rick,” I called. “Hopefully this works. On the count of three, one, two, three.” We pulled hard. At first there didn’t seem to be any movement, but then it started to tip. “It’s going,” Rick shouted. “Hope you guys are out of the way.” We let go of the strap and moved out of the way of the falling rock.
Rick’s large frame crawled out of the opening and joined us. In the light from the phones, I could see his clothes were fairly ragged, and he looked like he’d had his ass kicked. “A woman did that to you?” Kara asked him. “Later,” Rick told her. “Let’s go ASAP.”
We turned to leave the cave, but were stopped dead in our tracks. Rick’s mystery “she” stood there blocking our way.
Rick had said I wouldn’t believe him about his captor, and as I stood there looking at the huge, hair covered, seven foot tall figure, I wasn’t sure to feel disbelief, or just be plain scared shitless. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Kara said from beside me. “It’s an effin sasquatch.” It was an effin sasquatch, and she looked pissed off. “Oh shit,” Rick said. The creature roared with rage. Yep, she was definitely pissed.
I didn’t have a clue what to do here. I had just barely found out ghosts were real, and at least there was a way to reason with a ghost, but there didn’t appear to be any reasoning with this thing. She just stood there roaring. “Rick, you’ve spent some time with her, what do we do?” Kara asked him. Rick scoffed. “Look at me. Does it look like we had afternoon tea and shit?” Rick was right. He looked more like he’d been worked over by madam big-foot.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the thought of a big burly guy like Rick getting man handled by a female sasquatch, was kinda funny. She probably just wanted some loving, and he was the closest thing she could find to mister big-foot, but before I could ponder on the image any further, the lady of the hour picked up a cooler and hurled it at us. The three of us scrambled out of the way of it, and beer, lunch meat, pickles, etc. went everywhere.
“She’s acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Kara yelled. “What’s her problem?” I looked in Kara’s direction. I have always heard women see things that men don’t sometimes, and what she had just said, made me return to my previous thought. I had thought it a funny joke that Rick had been the victim of a lonely, amorous lady-squatch, but what if that was exactly the case?
“Rick,” I yelled at him. “Was she violent with you from the beginning?” He didn’t answer at first. “You know,” he said. “She started off nice, hugging on me and rubbing me like I was a damned dog or something, but it was when I tried to leave, that she got mad and locked me up. I figured she was trying to keep me as a pet.” I shook my head. Dale was right about Rick. He didn’t know crap about the outdoors, but apparently he didn’t know crap about women either. “She wasn’t trying to make you her pet you nimrod,” I yelled at him. “She was trying to mate with you.”
It must have taken a moment for this to sink in for Rick, because it was a good bit before he responded. “You mean she wanted to screw me?” he asked shocked. “That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Kara told him. “And apparently she didn’t take rejection very well.” “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said.
I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation right now. A pissed off ape lady was about to rip us all to pieces, and we were discussing domestic issues, but something was coming to me. “I think I have a plan,” I said. “Rick, since she sees you as her boy toy, we’ll try and get her attention long enough for you to get by her. Then once you do it, get her attention and see if she will follow you out. After that, we’ll leave. Once everyone’s out of the cave, maybe we can all make a run for it.”
“I don’t know if I like that idea,” he said. “She’s pretty quick.” “Well hopefully your desire to not play sugar daddy for a sexually frustrated big-foot for the rest of your life, will cause you to be quicker,” I told him. “It’s all I got so take it or leave it.” Rick thought on it. “Fine,” he said finally. “Let’s do it.”
I found Kara’s hand, and squeezed it. “Ready?” I asked her. She laughed nervously. “Not really,” she said. “But what can you do?”
Together we approached the creature, yelling and screaming at her. I hoped the creature wouldn’t kill us, but luck was on our side. She turned her full attention on us and moved to meet our approach. As planned, this opened up things up for Rick to be able to get around her, but that’s where the plan went to shit.
Instead of getting around the creature and gaining her attention so that he could lead the sasquatch away from us, Rick just bolted. The big-foot took one passing glance at him, and returned her focus on us, me in particular. “What the hell?” I asked Kara. “Why isn’t she following him?” “I think we screwed up,” she replied. “She saw Rick run away like a coward, and because you showed aggression to her, she’s decided you’re the better mate.”
I just stared at her, jaw on the floor. “What can I say?” she said to me. “She has good taste.” I personally didn’t see any humor in the situation, but we had to get away, and I think I knew what to do. “Kara, you said she was acting like a crazy ex, well let’s play that up. I’ll give her what she wants, and then you play crazy new girlfriend and confront her.” She looked at me skeptically. “How is that supposed to work?” she asked. “She could use me as a toothpick. How am I going to intimidate her?” I smiled at her. “You’ve been possessed by an angry ghost, and let me tell you, if you had any cognizance during that, you know how to be intimidating.” Kara rolled her eyes. “I’m not too sure about this, but I’ll try.” I smiled at her. “You can do it, besides the worst case scenario is I live in a cave for the rest of my life and learn to braid sasquatch hair.” Kara was still not amused. “Well here goes,” I said.
I approached the creature. “Hey sweetheart, I’m Jack. Aren’t you a gorgeous lady?” The big-foot looked at me confused, then she looked back at Kara and uttered a warning grunt. I motioned for Kara to stay back. “Don’t worry about her darling, you’re the one I want.” I was now standing within arm’s reach of the sasquatch. She looked at me, still unsure. “Come on, it’s okay. I just want to give you a big ole hug.” I reached out and put my arms around her. She stiffened at first, but then she relaxed and put her arms around me. She started making a cooing sound as she stroked my back. I patted her back in return. “You’re so sweet,” I told her with my best lovey voice.
For all of you that have seen Harry and the Hendersons, this must sound funny as hell, but it was freaking terrifying. One wrong move, and this furry lady could squash me like a bad zit, but I kept up the act. I should have gotten an Oscar for my performance. I had her eating out of my hand. Now it was time for Kara to join the show. I gave her a thumbs up.
“Get your hands off of him you hairy BITCH,” she yelled from behind me. The lady-squatch raised her head in Kara’s direction, making a confused sound. “You heard me,” she yelled at us. “He’s mine.”
Something whizzed over my head, hit the creature between the eyes, and fell to the floor. It was an unopened beer. The creature touched its head, looked down at the can, then looked back at Kara. She roared as she threw me aside, then stormed off towards my girlfriend. I looked at Kara. I could see the terror in her eyes, but there was also determination. She threw another beer at the sasquatch. It hit her in the chest and fell to the floor, exploding from impact with the ground. The sudden bursting of the beer surprised the creature and she stumbled backwards, falling over the scattered camping gear. I used the opportunity to grab Kara and we started for the cave exit.
The big-foot roared with fury, got to its feet, and began to come after us. As hard as she could, Kara threw her last beer at the creature’s feet. Its explosion drove the sasquatch back once again as we made the exit. Without even skipping a beat, we scaled the boulders and jumped off the other side.
We continued running in the direction of the campground, but I took a moment to look back. I know, this goes against everything they teach you in horror movies, but I had to.
She stood on top of the rocks watching our escape, and I swear she had a look of sorrow on her face. I have to admit, I felt bad for her. She was just a lonely creature who wanted a companion. I felt the same way before I started dating Kara, although I would have never abducted someone, but hey I’m not a sasquatch either.
Needless to say, she didn’t follow, and when we eventually got back to the campground, Dale and Rick were waiting on us.
“Glad to see you guys got out,” Rick said to us grinning. “No thanks to you,” Kara told him. She looked at Dale. “Your assistant here took the first chance he got, to escape, rather than help us all get away. We could’ve been killed by her.” Dale turned to Rick. “What’s she talking about?” he asked him. Rick shook his head. “They’re just mad I made it out before they did.” I couldn’t believe this guy. “No, we’re mad because we saved your ass from being a lifetime concubine to a horny ape woman, then left us there to deal with her once you had your chance to bolt.”
Rick scoffed. “Whatever,” he said. “You weren’t the ones that spent days trapped in a cave by a damned monster. What did you expect me to do?”
“That’s enough,” Dale said before I or Kara could say anything in response. “Rick, get your shit together and leave my property. These good folks put their lives on the line to help me, not to mention save your ass, and you didn’t even have the decency to stick by them when they needed you. I want you gone now.” Rick threw his hands up. “Fine, I didn’t need this job anyway,” he said.
We watched as he walked to his truck and sped off, slinging gravel. After a minute, we went with Dale back to his office and told him the whole story. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “My daddy always said they were real, but we all just thought he was about halfway crazy. Question is, what am I going to do about her?” I looked at Kara, who shrugged. She wouldn’t be any help with this, so I stepped out on a limb.
“I don’t think she wants to hurt anyone,” I said. “She’s just lonely. Maybe you should make friends with her.” They both looked at me like I was crazy, but I pushed on. “For whatever reason, she’s alone in this area, and being alone sucks for anyone, man or sasquatch. I think she started taking things out of hunger at first, then out of curiosity. As far as Rick goes, he’s a big hairy guy, she just mistook him for one of her own kind. So take her a gift once in a while and make friends with her. Eventually, maybe she can become a valuable asset to your campground.” Dale thought it over for a moment. “Well I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. “Anything is better than having to close this place down.”
With things settled, Kara and I left the office to go back to our campsite. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the great outdoors, and that night we did a fair amount of star gazing. Other than our brush with the lady-squatch, I could see what Kara loved so much about camping. There’s a lot of beauty out there.
On the ride home the next morning, we played more car games, sang, and laughed about our time with the hairy woman of Crazy Acres Camping. Kara said she was looking forward to the next camping trip, and that with my talent, there was no telling what we would find next time. I laughed and told her I planned to stick to finding the easy stuff from here on out, but as I have said in the past, I think my days of finding the easy things, are over.
My name is Jack, and I find things. Key’s, jewelry, the occasional ghost, even a sasquatch, I find it all, but this time I found out I kinda like camping. Yeah I know, who would have thought.
submitted by cdf21882 to realhorrifying [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 00:30 halfwhiteNnerdy I Kinda wanna stay fat to stop from being hit on

So yeah. I'm fat. It's unhealthy and of course it is, I should really make an effort to just MOVE more, but at the same time, I don't want to? You hear about assault, and harrasment, and all that and I have experienced it for sure, but not as much as more fit women. There's obviously those people who are totally into women of my size. Which that's fine, you do you, so long as you're not a creep. But I'm more comfortable than most women out in public or in some uncomfortable situations.
Being Demi, being hit on is just the grossest thing to me. Don't call me baby, beautiful, honey, sweetheart, nothing. That to me insinuates you trying to take ownership of me in some way, or even worse just taking what you see of me as all there is. Flatter me by getting to know me. Now of course, there's no way a person in real life is going to know this about me.
I recently joined a dating site, as I figured lock down was a great opportunity to have the perfect excuse to chat with guys and have complete agency over how we interact, and they know what I'm about before they hit send. I of course included full length pictures of me, I'm no catfish. I put in my bio, do not call me any pet names or I will not respond, right at the top. Yeah it makes me sound cold, but screw off if you think I want to be, for lack of a better word, objectified. The amount of guys who have still messaged with beautiful, cutie, honey, baby, etc is ASTOUNDING... Yeah ok maybe not that surprising.
That alone, the fact that they can't be bothered to read a short blurb about me, before they virtually lean over at me and start putting their hands on my person, which is what it feels like, makes me become even more of a lump on my couch and want to shove 20 bags of chips in my gob. I wanna stay fat so I NEVER have to deal with that in person as I rarely have any men who will say or do anything like that in person, but boy Howdy will they do that online.
That being said, maybe its because I put myself out there, you could argue I am opening myself up to it, but you can make your intentions known with words that aren't going to make me immediately want to block you. Tell me, hey I'm looking for a romantic partner, you seem like you could be a good fit, tell me about your day. You're an adult, speak to me as one as well.
I have met some wonderful people on this site as well, of course. And that feeling of knowing they want to get to know me is a delight in of itself. (You could classify this as the obligitory "not all men" aside).
submitted by halfwhiteNnerdy to demisexuality [link] [comments]


2020.09.14 20:04 Asshole_from_Texas My (M33) Niece (F6) is causing me to lose my god damn mind and I don't know if I'm in the wrong.

I moved in with my sister and her family for each group to save up money for separate houses.
My sister is 3 years older than me and has two children, 17yo son and a 6yo daughter. I helped raise the son from 6 months to 8+ years old. He was conceived in Kuwait and his mother got medically discharged. After he was born, she decided to make "real money" in Iraq as a contractor. She left the baby with his father and sent home the money to him. The father took the money, spent it all on porn and dating sites where he met his new wife. The baby wasn't being properly cared for so he went to live with his Grand Parents and me. I've been an all but constant father figure to him since 6 months old. My favorite memories are of him.
7 years ago, after getting remarried, my sister decided she wanted to try for a girl. They got pregnant within a few months and my niece was born. She's not had me or my parents in her life like her brother did.
My Niece is showing signs that are scaring me. She's cruel to the family pets, tying shit around the dogs throat and trying to drag it. Holding her down where the dog can't move, and hitting/poking it with shit. (It's an abused pit mix so I'm worried that it's going to get fed up, bite her and we're going to have to put down the dog who was tired of being strangled, smothered and hit with shit.) She's also horrible to their cat but the cat did give her a warning bite a few weeks ago. My cat has made it clear he will fuck her up and doesn't give a damn. He tolerates everyone else in the house to touch him after a few weeks to warm up to them, except for my niece who is hissed and lunges at when she's near. All the animals hide in my room because she's scared of my cat. My cat is literally defending the dog and the other cat from her.
She also doesn't have a problem with lying, She doesn't know who broke the switch and she didn't get into her mothers makeup. She hasn't started to try to blame others but she has no problems telling bold face lies to anyone. This is something her mother struggled with growing up and led to me getting abused my my step father, her biological father. She would come in and beat the fuck out of me. I would eventually defend myself, and she would then "call her daddy" and tell him I beat her so that her dad would come home from work and beat the fuck out of me for hitting a girl. Her lying sends my anxiety off the charts because of flashbacks of getting beat with a belt because I was tired of being hit in the face with a wooden spoon.
Most of all, she runs shit here. She decides what we're doing, if we don't do what she wants she will cause problems until we do what she wants. Tantrums, constant interruptions, and other forms of preemptive psychological warfare to which her parents finally relent. It's not enough that she's doing what she wants to do, she wants them doing what she wants them doing. It's like that Twilight Zone episode. She's convinced I will throw away all her crap if she messes with me too much.
Her brother is all but raising her in their parents absence. (which mainly consist with him sleeping and ignoring her.) Her mom just lets her run rampant and thinks the defiance is funny and fun. "asshole_from_texas, that's the one person who thinks she's going to be able to take me someday." Thankfully her mom is still pretty absent because she's a workaholic but every time her father and I start to make progress on some front whether it be the lying, not sleeping in her own bed, the animal abuse, not respecting others, her mother gets a day off and my niece regresses back into the feral wildling.
I'm starting to get concerned about myself because I hate abuse, it sends me off the deep-end, especially when it's against animals. I scared everyone 2 weeks ago because my sister bought her this toy arrow set and she had stuck to of the suction cup arrows together and was jabbing the dog in the neck and face with it. I went into fugue state and apparently snatched her by her arm (didn't leave a bruise) took the toy and threw it down the hallway while yelling "STOP!"
I had such high hopes that we'd have fun with this short time living together but she's just a fucking monster. I've gone from wanting kids someday to absolutely despising them. My sister and I just got into it where I alluded that she's raising a sociopath and she's telling me "She's just six." I don't remember going through this shit when my nephew was six, worse he did was try to sneak ice cream, cookies and candy and wanted to watch only one show only. Is this really just a 6 year old girl thing?
submitted by Asshole_from_Texas to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.09.14 08:52 TheAtomicEsquire LEVIATHAN Rising: A Spacedy Pleblore Project [Part I: Intro and ZE GERMANS]

Introduction to LEVIATHAN Rising: A Spacedy Pleblore Project
So, what is all this then? It is the out-of-control Kudzu Worldbuilding of a bona fide space cadet who simply loves trying to answer narrative questions about "how?" and "why?". Though that doesn't answer much. Probably best to start at the beginning.
LEVIATHAN Rising began as a submod idea for adding Space Race content for the other American presidents who are not John Glenn. It wasn't long before I could see that that was never going to happen, because I had no idea how to make my ideas mechanically meaningful nor any no good reason why, if I was just writing a story, why it had to be in HoI4 rather than a medium which didn't require me to learn to do some coding. It's since grown a bit in scope since then, with the goal of trying to reasonably detailed and (hopefully) workable space programs that are each unique and interesting in their own way.
The initial target of the project is to produce four installments -- like the one below -- addressing the origins up to 1962 of the space programs of the four nations that either are supposed to be part of the Space Race or who have events that establish them as having a mature launching capability: Germany, Japan, the United States, and Italy. (I will probably break my own rule and take Italy past 1962, as it's the odd duck whose becoming a space-launching power is the one that occurs in-game.) That should provide, at the very least, a resource for anyone who might be pondering these questions themselves and maybe even provide some inspiration to someone.
Whether I finish is another question entirely. And given that we haven't even gotten to the titular LEVIATHAN Plan yet, well...
Part I: Those Stupid Jetpack Nazis and a (Not So) Brief History of Der Mondflug
The Origins of the Ten-Year Plan and Reichsparteitag Mission Architecture
Unlike its American and Japanese counterparts, the origins of the German space program can be traced directly to the actions of just two men: Werner von Braun and Hermann Goering. The former, the father of the German ballistic missile program, had always seen his work at Peenemunde as merely a first-step on the long road towards mankind’s expansion into the great expanse beyond our world. Braun would never be shy about evangelizing on the subject of space or using the immense pool of aeronautical talent assembled over the years at Peenemunde to tackle the problems associated with sending men to the stars. This penchant for, as the Heer’s and Luftwaffe’s mandarins called it, “misappropriating official resources” earned him no kudos with the military bureaucracies, who in turn were apt to write-off his calls for a lunar expedition as a fool’s errand as much because of the proposer as the proposal itself.
Sometimes, however, only one friend is necessary, if sufficiently high-ranking. And there were few men higher-ranking in the Reich than Hermann Goering. Spaceflight, by its very nature, spoke to Goering’s technophilic sensibilities and love of great machines doing even greater works. The exploration of space would also give the Luftwaffe a new frontier of its own to conquer, a project on the scale of Atlantropa or the colonization of the Slavic East, at a time when the German air force was distinctly lacking an animating mission beyond strafing untermenschen for fun and profit. So it was that, in May 1952, Goering requested that Braun conduct a design study on the feasibility of placing a man on the Moon by the end of 1963. Goering further requested that, if such was possible, Braun develop a plan for doing so which could be presented at the 23rd Reichsparteitag (Party Congress) the September of the coming year. The Reichsmarschall also promised Braun all necessary support in obtaining a “favorable report”.
With Goering’s backing, Braun finally had the freedom and resources to tackle the task he had wanted to for his entire professional life. And tackle it he and his team at Peenemunde did. In just under nine months, they produced An Introductory Primer on and Ten-Year Proposal for a Lunar Mission, an eight-volume, 3,000-page report that was equal-measures high-concept study and mission reference document. Braun confidently predicted that the Reich could land a man on the Moon by 1963 and outlined his steps for a lunar expedition:
1) Developing a three-stage Earth Ferry Shuttle (“EFS”) to provide access to orbit, with each stage being piloted and returning to the launch site after deployment of the payload, allowing each stage to be refurbished and reused;
2) Building a Large Space Station (“LASS”) in near-Earth orbit, to gain experience in building things in orbit in space, provide an environment to learn how humans adapt to zero-g, and provide a jumping-off point for the eventual lunar expedition;
3) Assembling a fleet of three Moonships at the LASS from payloads boosted into orbit by several squadrons of EFSes. The combined payload of the Moonship fleet would be 50 people and 250 tonnes of payload.
4) Mounting the expedition when the Moonships are built and their crews delivered from Earth. The expedition will spend 6-8 weeks on the surface of the Moon, before returning to the LASS via the Moonships.
Bold and ambitious, The Ten-Year Proposal represented more than a decade of accumulated watercooler discussions, off-topic thought exercises, and piecemeal research, plus half-a-year of frantic design work by a half-dozen newly created working groups. Its attempt to be a comprehensive treatment of the subject were admirable, though its eclectic breadth and wildly varying levels of detail attested to where the specialties of the team at Peenemunde were, with the most work going into the sections related to rocketry. (More esoteric topics addressed included the mechanical difficulties of using the bathroom in non-standard gravities, the potential inclusion of ships’ pets for morale purposes on a long and dangerous journey, and theoretical considerations for human reproduction beyond Earth’s magnetosphere.)
The Ten-Year Proposal was everything that Goering had asked for, and more much more besides. A draft was prepared for circulation to the Fuhrer – removing, for example, such potentially seditious discussions of human sexual relations on the Moon – for his approval, which came immediately. Hitler’s interest was so stimulated that it was decided that the theme of the 23rd Rechisparteitag would be “The New Order on All Worlds”, celebrating the twin great works of National Socialism: The forging of the new continent Atlantropa and Germany’s impending conquest of the heavens themselves. By the 33rd Reichsparteitag, it was to be announced, there would be a swastika on the Moon!
And so, with the Fuhrer’s blessing came the resources of a continent, as the Reich’s bottomless reserves of capital, both fiscal and intellectual, were furnished to make the dream of a man on the Moon a reality. Neither Braun nor Goering had given much thought to the seemingly mundane task of naming the program that would take on a life of its own over the next decade. That came in September 1953, when the Fuhrer, in his dedication of the Reich Institute on Spaceflight at Peenemunde (RIS), stated: “The Ten-Year Program, carried out with wondrous machines of the sort shown to the Reichsparteitag, is a sacred duty and obligation entrusted to you. And there is no higher calling than performing such duties and fulfilling such obligations.”
And in the language of the Reich, the Fuhrer’s message was equally clear: The Ten-Year Program and Reichsparteitag Architecture would succeed. Failure was not an option. At least if the Ten-Year Program’s leadership wanted enough of themselves left for their families to bury.
“Die Glückliche Zeit”: Excelsior and Pride Goeth
Veterans of Peenemunde – both before and after the formation of the RIS -- would recall the period from the middle of 1953 until the start of 1957 as the “Happy Time”, when life was good from the seemingly infinite budgets and near-daily breakthroughs as Peenemunde became the site of the greatest scientific endeavor of the age. Werner von Braun had been named RIS Director at its founding and, at the helm of a major national project blessed by the Fuhrer himself, bestrode the political scene like a colossus. It was a time of Olympian propositions, in which nothing could not be done if the RIS just put its mind to doing it. Of course – as Dr. Heinz Schlicke never tired of reminding his new colleagues – the “Happy Time” that was being paid homage to ended rather badly for the Kriegsmarine, and emulating would not be desirable.
Contrarians like Schlicke aside, Braun happily counted himself as one of the contented at RIS. Everything was by no means perfect, as the start of the Happy Time was bookended by the young program’s first major security breach. Three months before the Institute’s founding, it was discovered – rather embarrassingly – that somehow the CIA had gotten ahold of a copy of The Ten-Year Proposal, when detailed (and nominally highly classified) technical diagrams appeared in a Collier’s article entitled “Man Will Conquer Space Soon!”. The resulting organizational debriefing by the SD was not pleasant, but for the whole of the Happy Time that followed, the Ten-Year Program’s contact with the Reich’s security services was incidental and nonintrusive, which was about as much as could be hoped for given the amount of public money and classified information were involved.
Work on the design of the EFS, LASS, and Moonships occurred in parallel from the inauguration of the RIS into 1955. The center of the project remained the EFS, to be powered by the Ragnarok family of rocket engines, from – as one junior engineer put it – “the feeling that the world is ending when they’re fired.” The first-stage would be powered by between five and seven of these R-1s, with each generating 750,000kgf of thrust. The second-stage would use a variant tuned for specific impulse rather than thrust, while the third would use smaller-still variants for final ascent and in-orbit maneuvers. Payload was expected to be 40 tonnes to LEO.
As it evolved, the EFS simplified in conception: The boosting stages became unmanned and, while work remained ongoing to make them fully reusable, the brutal time-table mandated by the Ten-Year Plan brought about a working assumption that least the first production models would be expendable. The third-stage, meanwhile, evolved into a spaceplane -- the Planetary Descent Orbiter (“PLADO”) -- due to the easier technical hurdles to clear as opposed to its originally envisioned tail-sitter configuration. These changes were, on the whole, to be expected as this sort of highly experimental project evolved. By March 1955, the EFS was complete enough to begin building assembly prototypes, as the testing on the various engines to be used was already underway.
While the Ten-Year Program’s principal booster was sorting itself out, it became increasingly necessary to sort-out the greatest physical impairment to the Reichsparteitag Architecture’s success. Quite simply, the existing facilities at Peenemunde were grossly insufficient for the task envisioned and basic geography prohibited it from ever being an appropriate launch-site. Situated at more than 54°N Latitude, its orbital inclination was useless and consumed precious delta-v performing maneuvers to reach equatorial orbits. Further, its launch corridor took rockets flying over the Reich and Ostland as they ascended, unless further in-flight maneuvers were carried out to track the Baltic, which further ate into payload capacity. If the Ten-Year Plan was to stay on schedule, a new launch site would need built.
Braun outlined the needs to Goering for a launch site that was compliant with the vehicles of the Reichsparteitag Architecture. What was ideally needed was a place near the Equator with coastal access to an expansive body of water to its east. Goering believed that either of Reichskommisariats Ostafrika or Madagaskar would likely have a suitable location. As the Foreign Ministry was briefed on the need to handle the diplomatic niceties, a rather unexpected turn of events occurred: They had a counterproposal! Both the Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Industry had long sought to foster greater scientific and economic cooperation within the Einheitspakt. And, in light of Mediterranean – specifically Italian – discontent owing to the Atlantropa Projects, that the Ten-Year Program’s needs provided an opportunity to kill three birds with one stone. As the Equator runs through Italian East Africa and the Somalian coast has a number of sparsely populated ports eminently suitable appropriation. Extending such a prestigious honor would also do much to placate the Italians and provide a nexus for scientific cooperation between all of the nations of the Einheitspakt. Goering’s violent reaction to this “Speerite subterfuge” did little to scupper the Foreign Ministry’s proposal, which was elevated to the Fuhrer for consideration. And, much to the Reichsmarschall’s chagrin, it was approved over his objections.
Much of the next eighteen months would be spent building the Goering International Space Center in Hermannstadt – as the port of Kismayo was renamed in a concession to assuage Goering’s wounded pride – in equatorial Somaliland. The joint Italo-German enterprise would consume, by most estimates, a billion Reichsmarks to build the most expansive spaceport in the world in one of the most underdeveloped corners of the world and on a taxing schedule, as everything in the Ten-Year Program was. The Goering Space Center was officially inaugurated on December 17, 1956, with the shakedown launch of the first all-up A17 “Loki” rocket. Composed of two stages, the A17 was powered by a single R-1 engine in its first-stage and a single R-2 in its second, representing the first flying accomplishment of the Ten-Year Plan.
1957: The Year of the Black Sun
The beginning of 1957 buzzed with the news that the Space Race was finally heating up: After half-a-decade or more of talking about going into space, technology had matured enough to actually allow attempts to be made. Both Japan and the United States were allegedly to be sprinting to be the first to orbit an artificial satellite, which was believed to be capable of happening as soon as the summer. For the RIS, such notions were quaint, as the Reich had no such plans. After all, why should the world’s premiere space program be concerned with the lobbing of a few dozen kilograms of electronics into orbit when it was planning on to send a man into orbit and bring him back in a capsule massing thousands of kilograms? And to launch such by the last week of February, no less?
There was, indeed, a confidence that permeated Peenemunde that the uncharitable might have considered hubris. Certainly no one noticed sudden spike in missed deliveries from contractors as winter 1956 gave way the new year. Nor was any heed given to the alleged murmurings of friends and loved-ones in RK Moskowien about ominous rumblings from the Russian Wastes. But when a summons came from Germania, summoning the RIS Director to brief Goering on the status of the Ten-Year Program’s finances, it was clear that something was deeply, deeply troubling was going on.
For, as of January 25, 1957, no one at RIS knew the exact state of the finances of the Reichsparteitag Mission Architecture or the Ten-Year Program. They were projects blessed by Fuhrer: With such things, requests – or demands – were made for whatever was needed to accomplish them, and that was invariably produced if the security services or Heer was not to be involved. What monies were involved were always handled later on RIS’s behalf by the Luftwaffe or other governmental functionaries who were, in general, loathe to discuss such with Institute personnel.
With no small amount of trepidation, Braun and a team from RIS made their way to Germania. And were shellshocked when they were informed that the Fuhrer had, in light of the Reich’s many earthbound concerns, determined that the Ten-Year Program was not a worthwhile investment of the Reich’s resources. Which was why it had been decreed that the RIS would suspend all operations related to the Reichsparteitag Architecture effective immediately and prepare a detailed report on the most cost-effective way to accomplish the Ten-Year Program’s core goal of placing a man on the Moon by the end of 1963. Braun protested vociferously that, if there were concerns about the value of the work being done, a mere six weeks would be enough time to demonstrate its worth to the Fuhrer. Goering, however, brooked no objection, just as the Fuhrer had when Goering had lobbied him for precisely what Braun wanted. And if anyone did have problem with that, he’d ensure they were issued a rifle and sent to Moscowien to die in the snow fighting Soviet remnants.
And thus a thick malaise descended upon the RIS, as efforts that should have been focused on beginning manned flights were forcibly rerouted into inventorying what might salvageable from the Ten-Year Program, if it was salvageable at all. Gone were the LASS and Moonships, as they required far too much mass – and cost too much besides – to keep. So too was PLADO, for without the LASS to fabricate, what purpose was served with a big and heavy spaceplane cutting into orbital throw-weight? The Ten-Year Program, if it was to put on a man on the Moon, would have to embrace cramming men into tiny spacecraft “like spam in a can”, as the baleful lament went. The Loki at least guaranteed a working base for boosting payloads and the A20 “Thor” – the full-stack of the EFS – had been expected to be ready for preliminary full-up trials by the first-quarter of 1958 with a third-stage that provided a simple ballistic return capsule while the PLADO had finished prototyping. A low-energy, low-payload (“LELOP”) manned mission with a time on the surface measured in hours was probably technically feasible within the timeframes available.
The LELOP concept evolved into what was deemed a workable design for a three-man mission, assembling a moonship in orbit, consisting of two components, each lofted into a parking orbit as the third-stage of a Thor: The Lunar Transit Rocket (“LUTR”) and a Lunar Expeditionary Ascender-Descender (“LEAD”). The crew would ascend into space aboard the LUTR and, upon reaching orbit, dock with the waiting LEAD that had previously been launched. The moonship would then boost to the Moon, where two of the crewmen would transfer to the LEAD and detach, making a powered soft-landing on the Moon. At the completion of the lunar activities, the two men on the surface of the Moon would board the Ascender capsule of the LEAD, detach it from the Descender landing system, and boost back into orbit, where it would dock with the orbiting LUTR. The reunified moonship would then boost for Earth, where the crew of the spacecraft would board the Ascender capsule and detach from the LUTR, engage in a kick-down maneuver into the atmosphere for aerobraking, and splash-down with the Ascender capsule somewhere in the Atlantic.
Determining that not all hope was lost should have been a cause for cautious optimism; the more irrationally exuberant might have even hoped that the thoroughness with which RIS had embraced its mandate might earn it goodwill with the Fuhrer sufficient to not have to make all of the cuts contemplated. As the RIS’s progress was being inventoried, however, it became increasingly clear the scale of the crisis in which the Reich was embroiled, as the Berlin Stock Market collapsed on Black Monday leading to a financial meltdown that destroyed the Reichsmark and soon contaminated the whole economy. While, within the fortnight, word arrived that the latest resurgent Soviet remnant – the West Russian Revolutionary Front – had declared war against RK Moscowien and launched a general winter offensive from the Arctic to the Caspian. With the domestic situation in freefall as winter turned to spring, it was clear that there would be no salvation of the Reichsparteitag Mission Architecture. The only question was whether the Fuhrer would see fit to allow for the Valkyrie Program – as the LELOP mission design was styled – would be given permission to resume.
The Report on the State of the Ten-Year Lunar Program was transmitted to Germania in April. It would sit until October, when Germania found itself in the dire predicament of not only being in a Space Race, but having fallen behind, with the Japanese Asagataningen-1 becoming the world’s first artificial satellite. The crisis precipitated by the Asagataningen-1, however, was in short-order swept away by the Reich’s announcement shortly thereafter of its intent to impound all further payments to and from the Einheitspakt’s Atlantropa Adaptation & Mitigation Fund, sparking a diplomatic rupture with the Iberians and Italians, which culminated in the dramatic withdrawal of the Iberian Union and Italian Empire from the Einheitspakt. And, disastrously for the German space program, the seizure and nationalization of the Goering Space Center.
As 1957 drew to a close, the German space program had been brought to its knees as the Reich was gripped by a wave of crises not seen in decades. But the lunar program had endured the year’s body blows. That was more than can be said for many ambitious projects – including the Atlantropa Projects themselves – and would, hopefully, prove to be enough.
By Hook or Crook: Valkyrie Ascendant
As 1958 commenced, the Valkyrie Program was in a shambles. Much of the Reichsparteitag Architecture it had meant to build on was in disarray, as contractors had moved onto new projects over the past year and key personnel, such as the original astronaut class that had been selected, were reassigned back to line service with the Luftwaffe. To say nothing of the total loss of the physical infrastructure that had been built specifically for the Ten-Year Program, as the Italians steadfastly claimed the Goering Space Center and its half-dozen Loki rockets in various states of assembly and the prototype full-up Thor as “compensation” for the Reich’s refusal to honor its obligations from the Atlantropa Adaptation & Mitigation Fund.
The news was not all bad, however. Desperate fighting had, over the winter, appeared to check the West Russian Revolutionary Front before the gates of Moscow. And the Russians’ withdrawal had turned into a rout as the WRRF disintegrated as the web of alliances between its various warlords came undone in the retreat. That would mean, in theory, there could once more be a pool of suitable astronaut candidates. But that meant little without a place to launch from: Either a suitable replacement complex would have to be built or there would have to be significant modification of the facilities at Peenemunde, to say nothing of the changes needed to vehicle design to accommodate the atrocious inclination angle.
Ironically, it would be the Foreign Ministry that would put forward a possible solution to the problem that, for many at RIS, was their fault to begin with. With the “West Russian War” over – or at the very least with the Soviets effectively scattered and incapable of offensive action– the Reich needed to reassure the world that it remained a superpower. A significant international construction program was just what was needed! And, given the disposition of the political leadership of RK Ostafrika, a show of goodwill and the Fuhrer’s primacy was necessary after Himmler’s abortive coup to ensure the RK remained in the fold. The Foreign Ministry could ensure that the resources were found to build at least a minimally satisfactory launch site if it were to be situated in RK Ostafrika. And, from the last time the subject was raised, Pemba Island in Zanzibar was considered a suitable site! Whatever skepticism Braun might’ve had was assuaged by the reassurance that Reichskommisar Huttig can be very…convincing when it comes to motivating the local workforce to meet deadlines. And the grim fact that the challenges of shipping rockets around the Cape of Good Hope to Zanzibar is still significantly less complicated than trying to make a lunar mission launched from Peenemunde work.
With the promise of a new launch site and renewed funding, the Valkyrie Program finally could begin putting its house in order. Had Braun and the rest of the RIS leadership known much of America’s national pastime, they would have concurred that 1958 promised to be a “rebuilding year”, even if their overly optimistic plans held. It had been hoped that a crash modification of one of the launch pads at Peenemunde, as well as upgrading the mission control suite, could be completed by July and allow the formal commencement of the manned Space Operations and Skills Project (“SOSP”) that had been delayed since the suspension of the Ten-Year Program. SOSP had been intended to be the first steps of learning how to operate in orbit and start acquiring the skills necessary to build the LASS; it would still be needed even with Valkyrie’s much less grandiose plan, which still called for several orbital dockings in both Earth and lunar orbits.
As it was, the economic waves caused by collapse of the Reichsmark and the removal of some of Europe’s most productive industrial zones by the creation of the Ordenstaat Burgund meant that it would be well into 1959 before the necessary modifications were made to Peenemunde to handle the launch of the Loki rocket which was intended to be used for SOSP missions. The delays imposed by the modifications to Peenemunde were, in their own way, a blessing: They allowed the drag-chute to be pulled and RIS, as an institution, to fully acclimate itself to the Valkyrie Program and conduct some badly needed operational planning relating to it, when previously most of the work done amounted to taking the relevant bits of the Ten-Year Program and/or Reichspartei Architecture and then attempting to repurpose them on the fly. The full mission reference document for the Valkyrie Program was finally written-up and a full launch time-table for SOSP was developed, with 16 SOSP flights between 1959 and 1963, as well as six flights – manned and unmanned -- shaking down an otherwise full-up Thor mission-stack, with a tentative lunar mission date to coincide with the 33rd Reichsparteitag, much to the delight of both the Fuhrer and Goering.
Unfortunately for the Valkyrie Program, it would not be allowed to keep its footing for long. For despite having finally developed a feasible operational plan for reaching its objectives and actively moving into terrestrial field testing of all major subsystems to achieve those objectives, it was due to once more be beset by the Reich’s tumultuous politics. On April 12, 1959, the Reich once more found itself upstaged in the Space Race, when the United States’ Pioneer 1 succeeded in making John Glenn the first man to orbit the Earth. This was the second time that the Reich had been humiliated in a field that, by all rights, should belong to the Aryan race. There was no active war or acute economic crisis to blame this embarrassment on this time. It could, in the Fuhrer’s learned judgment, only be the fault of the management of the Valkyrie Program. A way must be found to restore the Reich’s honor. And, to ensure that sufficient motivation was had by both the Luftwaffe and RIS, the SS would be conducting a top-to-bottom audit of the program to identify potential areas for improvement.
The SS’s audit, despite its ominousness, was surprisingly gentle on the Valkyrie Program, finding that no meaningful changes could be made in the mission architecture to facilitate a faster Moon-landing. (Just where the SS found a pool of spaceflight experts not associated with RIS was, unfortunately, not one of the topics remarked upon.) What the audit did recommend was a radical restructuring of the finalized mission calendar, finding – based upon comparable American and Japanese protocols – that a mere six SOSP launches should be necessary, as well as a manned full-up test of the Thor followed by the launching of the lunar mission. If done, and the New Equatorial Launch Site on Pemba Island became available by July 1961, the program could have an Aryan on the Moon by the end of that same year. The Valkyrie team objected strenuously to what it perceived as wanton corner-cutting with the lives of German astronauts, to which the SS auditors merely recommended that, if the Luftwaffe could not find astronaut-candidates willing to trust the engineering prowess of the Aryan race with their lives, the SS certainly could. Even more distressingly, the Fuhrer adopted the recommendation, ordering the recommended adjustments to the mission calendar under threat of transfer of the whole Valkyrie Program to the SS.
The rest of 1959 and the whole of 1960 would prove to be reminiscent of an earlier, happier time at the RIS, before the dreams of the Ten-Year Plan were shattered by the Year of the Black Sun. Work proceeded steadily as the first four SOSP missions were flown, final ground-testing was completed on the rebuilt Thor prototypes and the Valkyrie moonship was deemed ready for man-rating. As the finish line was increasingly within view, however, the question of what came next haunted the corridors of power at RIS. Because of the long lead-time on certain key items, especially things like large rocket engines, potentially years of foreknowledge and planning would be necessary to keep RIS’s production pipeline flowing. As early as the dark days of 1957, the question of what would come after the first lunar landing was being investigated by an Ad Hoc Committee on Future Manned Missions, with the general conclusion of RIS that while the adaptation of the original Reichsparteitag Architecture to the systems created by the Valkyrie Program and continued pursuit of the Ten-Year Plan was the best course of action, at the very least a continued program of lunar exploration was required if only to justify the immense sums invested in both the Ten-Year and Valkyrie Programs, as well as better define future requirements and needs for manned spaceflight beyond Earth and its immediate environs. Both the Goering, however, flatly rejecting financing for further Valkyrie Program mission-planning for at least a period of at least 18 months after the first lunar landing, though the flying of smaller Loki-based missions were not prohibited.
That another funding cliff loomed was disappointing, but by no means was it even one of the five-worst faced by RIS since the inauguration of the Ten-Year Plan. Thankfully, while the Luftwaffe had curtailed the flight-testing program for Thor, there had been no cancellation of the four Thors on order for the cancelled test-flights. The production lines for the Reich’s heavy-lifter could, with a little creative structuring, be kept open during the moratorium on Valkyrie mission-planning. Given that the Valkyrie Program had already had to restart the Thor production line once already, avoiding having to deal with the arduousness of that again would save the program headaches in the future, should the political climate change and allow for more ambitious spacefaring.
1961 brought further delays to SOSP-5 and SOSP-6, though in a pleasant change of pace, for positive reasons. For a given definition of “positive”, at any rate. RK Ostafrika announced to the Foreign Ministry that it had completed the New Equatorial Launch Site a full three months ahead of schedule and would be ready to christen it in mid-April. The whole world, unfortunately, knew that the New Equatorial Launch Site was ahead of schedule, as the rather loud murmurings about the hellacious treatment of the native workforce building the Site were noteworthy for the intensity of the alleged brutality, even by the rather disturbing standards of Reichskommisar Huttig’s fiefdom. Nonetheless, juggling the schedule to allow SOSP-5 and -6 to launch from the Frederick Barbarossa National Launch Complex – as the Fuhrer insisted on naming it – would allow for greater acclimation to the facilities prior to the all-up manned Thor flight. Such juggling would prove invaluable, as the breaking in of Barbarossa National would throw back the flight of Valkyrie 5 from an initial mid-July launch to a mid-October one.
What is most amazing about the Barbarossa National break-in missions – SOSP-5, SOSP-6, and Valkyrie 5 – was not that they were as successful as they were, but rather that they were successful at all, given under the crushing schedule and active mandating of cutting corners from on-high. With a recipe for a massive explosion on the launchpad, the break-in missions not only didn’t get anyone killed, but functioned well enough to be called successes. It would be, for many at RIS, their finest professional moment and a testament to the thoroughness of German engineering. Less charitable – and almost invariably American or Japanese – engineers would also note the rather healthy amount of luck involved, given the risks taken. And that observation would not be incorrect, either.
Valkyrie 5 would set a record for the longest continuous presence in orbit, at just under 45 man-days for the three-man crew, as a whole lunar transit was simulated while orbiting Earth. At the conclusion of the mission, Braun advocated for allowing the more or less fully-loaded Valkyrie 5 to remain in orbit, in the hope that it might serve as the basis for a low-cost second Moon mission at some point in early 1962. As on the subject of mission-planning, he was overruled, though this time on the basis of national security, as it was unknown whether another mission would be mounted and a more or less fully intact Valkyrie would be a tempting espionage for the other superpowers. When the Ascender capsule detached and kicked into the atmosphere, a kick-down burn was remotely engaged, plunging the whole of Valkyrie 5 into an orbit that would see its burning wreckage scattered across several dozen square kilometers of the Indian Ocean.
The rest of 1961 would be spent going over the technical data gathered from the full-up dress rehearsal flight and ironing out what glitches remained. The accumulation of delays led to the amended mission calendar’s original launch date of December 20, 1961 – which would have placed a man on the Moon during the Winter Solstice – to slip. But all systems appeared to be go for Valkyrie 6 to lift-off on January 1, 1962, to ring in the new year with a demonstration of the Reich’s long-fermenting capability to dominate space…
Author's Comments
TNO is a mod that loves its alternative history to rhyme. That is, for story beats (such as historical events) to happen in ways or at times which evoke OTL, but which are nonetheless creatures of the allohistorical work. I'll admit that I just couldn't help going whole-hog with the rhyming history here. I blame the fact that the rocket in the New Start screen is very obviously a Totally Not Saturn V, even though that makes precious little sense in context.
For those who are not as unheathily familiar with the history of space exploration as I am, let me explain. Most of what's discussed here is, in fact, 100% OTL with the roles inverted. Between 1952 and 1954, Werner von Braun wrote a series of articles for Collier's magazine -- the first, of course, being called "Man Will Conquer Space Soon!" -- that featured a lavish vision of an expedition to the Moon, and a process to get there consisting of building a rocket with a reusable spaceplane final stage, which would build a space station in orbit, that would assemble a fleet of moonships to take a massive expedition to the Moon. He found no real support for his ambitions, but did eventually get a job putting a man on the Moon, though the Apollo Program was a radically different beast with radically different philosophies than the Collier's project.
At any rate, here, Braun gets an infinitely deep pocket to build his Collier's project, and then, when forced to pare himself back to...Apollo, as Loki is the Totally Not Saturn I(b), Thor the Totally Not Saturn V, LUTR the Totally Not Apollo Command and Service Module, and LEAD the Totally Not Lunar Module. The guy just can't catch a break in either timeline.
If I Were A Rich Man Deep One Modder...
Consider this an idea that would make an interesting submod unto itself, but for which I certainly don't have the skill or chops to create. Who knows, maybe someone will get some mileage out of it.
Reichskommisariat Raketeland
Following the onset of the German Civil War, many RIS members -- including its director -- fled the Reich for Pemba Island in RK Ostafrika in the hopes of finding a safe port in a raging storm. While the Afrika-Schild was embroiled in its war with South Africa, Pemba Island was far removed from the fronts and OFN aircraft gave wide berth to the Barbarossa National Launch Complex, lest a provocation be caused that might draw the ire of the Reich. With the war drawing ever-more of RK Ostafrika's resources southward, Pemba Island is increasingly left to govern itself, and with a well-established leadership hierarchy from RIS and a battalion of regular Luftwaffe Fallschirm-Panzergrenadiers, it might just be able to do so/
submitted by TheAtomicEsquire to TNOmod [link] [comments]


2020.09.14 05:58 Sweettdee Small successes make me hopeful

This is my first post to relative dogs. I have to say that it was hard for me to admit that my puppy could be reactive. Here is my story: I purchased my puppy in Novemeber (pre-pandemic), he was born Dec 26th and we picked him up March 5th. He came from a big farm in Indiana with very loving people whom I am still in contact with. He was 10 weeks old when we brought him home and we were so excited, this was our first dog. I read 4 different books on his breed (Aussiedoodle) and had already started an online training coarse. Then COVID happened and socializing became difficult. We still tried, took him to Home Depot, took beach walks (carrying him <16 weeks), and online training. As soon as he was fully vaccinated we started taking him on walks to the beach where other dogs and people were, we also entered him in private training lessons. He started a Saturday puppy class where they learn commands and have agility but no onteraction with each other. When the puppy parks opened back up we took him to have play sessions. It all sounds great right? Well fast forward to 6 months of age when he was attacked by an unleashed dog on the beach. He was not bitten but the dog penned him down and clamped his mouth around my pups neck all the while the owner was saying how “this never happens, my dog is always so playful and nice”. This one incident ruined all the hard work that we had put into our pup over the coarse of being with us. Unfortunately it happend a second time (these are leash only beaches). After that my puppy was on anxiety defense mode, he acted super reactive to everyone and anything on our walks. It was an emotional nightmare with every walk that we took. There were times that I wanted to cry, the looks from other people, the remarks people made, it has been awful. My husband and I tried working with our trainer to help with the :”barking and lashign out” but nothing was working. Then I found this site on Reddit and it has changed our life. I started reading the testimonials and advice from all of you and it was eye opening. I could actually put a name to what my pup was feeling, fear aggression, and it totally made sense. You see, anytime I would describe what was occuring people would tell me that I had an aggressive dog and I needed a certain kind of training, which we tried and it wasnt working. I never felt like I had an aggressive dog because if we werent on a walk he was perfect, even with other dogs and people. On play dates he would greet another dog by laying down and putting his belly up in the air, not aggressive but submissive. So I started reading all the advice you all out out there on fear aggression. I started implementing the techniques about 3 weeks ago. I started paying attention to the little signs he would give me that said his anxiety was rising. We stopped walking on the beach and started only walking where there was less stimuli. When a stimulus was getting closer, I watched for when he would enter a posturing state and I would have him sit and look at me offering a treat/reward for the calm state and attention. It wasnt easy and there are still days that his anxiety seems higher than others. We have progressed back to one beach walk a day but we go early in the am when there are fewer stimuli. I want to say thank you for all your stories, encouraging words and even sharing your bad days. Knowing that other people were having the same feelings and issues was a relief because I didnt feel alone. It also relived my feeling that I had done something wrong as a pet parent. Although I can tell that this will be a journey that will take some time, I believe that we are catching it early (he is now 9 months) and hopeful that we will be able to. Thank you all so much!!!!!!❤️
submitted by Sweettdee to reactivedogs [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 22:44 pan_kayke How I got my dogs

Dr. Beck was well-known by nearly everyone in this small town. At least, he was known by everyone who owned pets. Hell, even I brought my dog to him from time to time. The veterinarian was held in high esteem in a community that was particularly pet-friendly. It was because he was so watched by the public eye that everyone knew about his first divorce.
Dr. and Mrs. Beck were heard squabbling one night, reported neighbors. The next week, there were moving trucks in the driveway, and a few days after that, both the trucks and her Camaro were gone. We as a community couldn’t help but gossip. Some (the ones who especially enjoyed prying) even went to his home under the guise of gifting baked goods, but what they really wanted was to know the whole story. However, Dr. Beck became quite reclusive save for going to work. He never spoke long to those who delivered him offerings of homemade food, never let them in. He was rarely seen outside of work, and he had his groceries delivered to his doorstep every week so that he didn’t have to show his face at the supermarket. Perhaps this was because he knew that everyone was already whispering and wondering about him. The only information we could get out of him was that Mrs. Beck, now Ms. Halton, moved to New York to chase her dream of being a writer. She posted on her social media every once in a while, but other than that, none of us ever heard from her again. We felt sorry for him for having become so miserable after the love of his life dropped him so easily, which is why the town seemed to light up when Dr. Beck started dating again.
Every few weeks there was a new girl on his arm, until he finally seemed to be settling down with one woman named Ms. Horton. A few months later, I and several others were invited to the wedding. I know it may seem like they were moving too fast, but everyone could tell that she brought out the best in him. We were so happy for them that it struck us incredibly hard when the new Mrs. Beck disappeared.
The police, of course, investigated the Dr. first, to no avail. By the time they gave up searching for her, Dr. Beck’s hair had turned completely gray. All he had left were his two dogs and a broken heart. As I am the owner of the busiest funeral home in town, I figured I could spare the loss of a few thousand dollars in order to provide a free service in his wife’s honor. I was one of the only people in town that he let into his house. He was quick with making arrangements, and I could tell he was uncomfortable with having a stranger inside his hermit house. His two pups seemed to be the only happiness left in his life, and he spent what little time we had chatted talking about his other pair of old dogs that had recently passed. For a moment, a light flickered behind his eyes. And then, just as suddenly, it was gone. He didn’t show up at Mrs. Beck’s funeral.
Dr. Beck’s presence at the vet’s office was sparse after that. He became even more of a hermit than he had been before. His lawn grew into an unruly green mass so that even the neighborhood bakers found it hard to access his door. Soon enough, the only visitor he had was the old woman who brought him groceries every week. She never stayed long, just in and out with the groceries. It was a wonder she worked for him as long as she did, the poor frail thing. It came to the point where she struggled to carry the heavy bags to his door. When the woman, whose name was Marelys Goodman, stroked out, nobody was very surprised. It was a sweltering summer day at high noon when she died doing the heavy grocery lifting. Had I been there, I would have helped her with the large load, but unfortunately, I was only hearing the information second-hand from the police and doctors.
I was the one to call to handle these delicate matters, so when I, the funeral director, pulled up to hospital morgue, I began to perform my duties. Ms. Goodman was incredibly light when I moved her onto the mortuary cot. Her eyes were peacefully closed, which wasn’t common in the majority of corpses I dealt with who usually stared with their dead eyes at the ceiling. Ms. Goodman looked like she met death without resistance, and I thought her quite brave for doing so. I checked her ID tag one more time before zipping the body bag closed. Once I got around to the van, I threw the velvet cot cover over her dainty figure and loaded her in.
Ms. Goodman’s arrival at the funeral home was unceremonious. She had no friends or family, unless she considered Dr. Beck a friend. I wondered if I would see him at her funeral. I tugged the cot out of the back of the van and the wheels came down and locked in place. I rolled her through the back doors into the embalming room- the backmost room in the funeral home. I unzipped the bag and took out Ms. Goodman’s arm to examine her hospital bracelet. When I touched her skin, I noticed that she must not have been in the morgue refrigerator for very long. Her skin was cold, but not I’ve-been-sitting-in-the-fridge-for-hours cold. I placed her arm back at her side and wheeled her up next to the side of the porcelain embalming table. I turned down the sides of the body bag and, with a great heave, I pulled her legs over the ledge and onto the table. Once I got her rear end on the table, the rest came easily. I noticed a second peculiar thing: her limbs were flaccid. They didn’t have the stiff rigor mortis I had expected. Her time of death was approximately seven hours ago- rigor should have set in by now, at least a little bit. I shook it off. Every body is different, it’s not unheard of that the occurrence of rigor should vary time-wise.
I looked down at her wrinkled face. She had died with a full face of makeup- you know how some old women really cake on makeup to recapture their image in youth? Ms. Goodman wore a bold shade of blue eyeshadow with long, winged lines of eyeliner. Her natural eyebrows seemed to have disappeared in her old age, and what was left was a thin line of brown pencil that left a surprised expression on her face. Her cheeks and lips were rouged and her sparse eyelashes were curled upward and covered with a mascara that gave her lashes the appearance of spider legs. I blinked and shook my head to clear it, then I got to work. First, I undressed her washed her body gently. It wasn’t uncommon for elderly folks’ skin to slough off, it being so thin and fragile. Then, I mixed up the perfect amount of embalming fluid. My eyes and nose burned from the formaldehyde fumes.
I pulled my silver rolling table up to Ms. Goodman’s left side and searched the metal tray atop it for a scalpel. The first step of embalming (after creating the proper mixture of embalming chemicals) is to make an incision at the site of a major artery and vein. Most embalmers go for the carotid, but I found it easier to use the femoral artery and vein. I felt the top of her thigh to locate the spot where I needed to make the incision. I jumped backward as I felt something like a small “pop” coming from the incision site. I cocked my head and looked closely at the pale flesh of her thigh, waiting to see if anything moved. Nothing did. I shrugged off the experience and brought the scalpel in my other hand up to her skin. Then, with some pressure, I pushed the blade through the fat and skin and created a small opening between the thigh and the groin. The corpse let out a groan. Surprisingly, I wasn’t taken aback this time. It’s fairly common for bodies to make noises as gas and liquid start to build up inside the body after death.
I dug my fingers deep inside the opening and poked around for the artery I was looking for. Something felt…off. Nevertheless, I found and raised the artery, then I went to slice a small hole in the artery into which I would insert a metal tube called a cannula that would pump embalming fluid from the embalming machine into Ms. Goodman’s vascular system. But I fucked up.
I chalked it up to my lack of sleep due to late shifts, but my fingers slipped and I accidentally cut straight through the artery.
“Shit,” I cursed, then I turned to my table to look for a needle and thread. When I turned back, I saw a sight that made me scream. Not only was the artery bleeding bright red profusely, which does NOT happen after death, but Ms. Goodman’s eyes also flew open.
“What the fuck?!” I shrieked like a little girl and stumbled backward into the rolling table. My tools clattered to the floor as Ms. Goodman gasped for air and narrowed her eyes at me. For a moment, I was frozen. We stared into one another’s shocked and confused eyes, and I swear I almost passed out. I steadied myself with my hand on the counter, but all I could do was to blink dumbly at her. Then she screamed, and that made me scream, and we screamed together for a solid thirty seconds. Ms. Goodman’s screaming grew weak, and I shook my head in disbelief.
“M…Ms. Goodman? I thought you were dead! The doctors said you were dead! YOU WERE DEAD!” I yelled, panicking.
“Listen…” she whispered.
“Ms. Goodman, we have to call an ambulance! Here, here! Cover it with these, put pressure on them.” I tossed her an armful of towels, but the pool of blood continued to pool and slide down the embalming table’s drain. She was too frail to apply proper pressure, but I didn’t have time to help her. I had to get to the phone up in the front of the funeral home and get help. I quickly gave the authorities my address, but I gave them few details as I was in a rush to go back and save Ms. Goodman.
When I got back to her, she was covered in red. Drenched in her own blood. Her breath came in short gasps as I leaned over her and slapped my hand and some towels over the bleeding gash in her thigh.
“Listen…above the fire…” she said again. My heart was racing and hers was slowing. I glanced around for anything that I could use to mend the situation, but I was an embalmer, not a doctor.
“Rusty, woody urns…the urns….” she said wearily.
“What? What about the urns?” I didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me.
“They’re not… rusty or woody…” She was delirious and her words had stopped making sense. I realized tears of frustration were rolling down my cheeks. She gasped once more and locked eyes with me, and I watched as the light left her eyes dead and cold. Ten minutes later the sirens came, and they were too late. She was dead by the time they reached the hospital.
That night, the night before the autopsy, I was brought in for questioning. I told them everything that happened, and they ended up letting me go and went forward with interrogating the doctors that had initially pronounced her dead, when she was, in fact, still alive. But the fact was, I had fucking killed somebody. Dr. Beck was called upon next, but he apparently wouldn’t be back in town until the morning. He was shocked and horrified to hear of Ms. Goodman’s death. In the meantime, the police got a warrant to investigate his home.
The cops didn’t seem to understand Ms. Goodman’s peculiar last words- they thought perhaps she was indicating that she wanted to be cremated. But something was wrong. There’s no way a doctor would mistakenly pronounce death after a stroke. Something had happened to Ms. Goodman before she came to be in my care (or rather lack of it). All night I spent my waking hours pondering the significance of her peculiar dying words. It wasn’t until the next morning that the meaning of the words finally clicked for me, and as they did, my eyes grew wide with horror.
What little time I had spent with Dr. Beck involved a passionate discussion about his now-deceased dogs. Two dogs named Rusty and Woody. She mentioned “urns above the fire.” I recalled the image in my mind of two handsome urns displayed on the mantle of the fireplace with collars displaying the two dogs’ names set atop. Goodman said that they were not Rusty or Woody. By the time I put two and two together, the phone began to ring. The cops wanted to speak to me again.
In the interrogation room, they presented me with the two urns with the dogs’ names ensconced on the front. They looked at me expectantly.
“Well, go on, open them. What do you see?” I slowly opened each box. In either box lay a bag of ashes and a smaller bag filled with different-colored fur.
“I see…I see two human-sized bags of cremated remains,” I said bluntly. They looked at each other and nodded.
“And what else?” I looked closer at the bags of fur.
“This isn’t fur, is it? It’s their hair.” They stared at me with grim expressions.
“Bring out the third one,” whispered one to another. A third urn was brought out. It was much lighter than the other two, and there were no ashes inside. Only a bag of coarse, gray hair. Ms. Goodman’s hair.
“That looks like Marelys Goodman’s hair,” I said, a tremor creeping into my voice. They nodded again, then the shorter one spoke.
“The pet crematory operator down the street admitted to giving Dr. Beck secret access to the cremation machine. The autopsy was completed this morning. The cause of death was ultimately hemorrhaging, but they found something else in her blood. Pentobarbital.” I raised my eyebrow at them, then the taller one clarified.
“Pentobarbital. The medication used to euthanize dogs.” She had been so deeply medicated that the doctors could not detect a heartbeat or breathing and mistakenly pronounced her dead. The hair samples provided a positive ID for Dr. Beck’s two ex-wives and Ms. Goodman. A stockpile of pentobarbital was found in his refrigerator. Had he not included the hair samples, there would have been no way to identify the cremated remains, as DNA is destroyed in the cremation process. The police had all they needed to nab him.
But by the time he was supposed to “come back to town,” he had already landed in Europe. Despite this unfortunate outcome, two positive things were left behind. As much as Dr. Beck seemed to love his dogs, he didn’t love them enough to take them with him. So, I took them in. They were truly amazing additions to my life, and Sadie the pug actually loves to come in to the funeral home and spend her time greeting guests and sleeping beneath my desk. Milo the Akita is more of a homebody. I know how to love because of them. And as for Dr. Beck? He knows how to love someone to death.
submitted by pan_kayke to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 18:46 Darthfuzzy Megathread: Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sally

What is Damp May Never Dry!

This thread has been updated as of 3pm on 9/14
A storm is in the gulf and might be headed our way. As such, it's time for a megathread!
In order to make it easier and provide current information to individuals, please keep the conversations surrounding the storm to this thread. We are trying to consolidate the more serious conversations/information to this thread. It is highly recommend that you sort comments by new given the changing environment
For the time being, memes and funny-ish posts can be standalone posts. This is subject to change depending on how the situation evolves. Despite all the humor surrounding it, please take this event seriously and make plans based upon your needs.
Below is some general information/advice, but should not be taken as official recommendations. Please listen to local/national authorities in determining your next course of actions. I will try to update this post with current information when I can.
Once the storm gets closer to landfall, we will switch from this standalone post to the /TropicalWeather live thread as it's a great resource to get up to date information on the storm.
P.S. If you believe something should be appended/amended to this post, please let me know and I'll be happy to consider it.

What is happening?

Hurricane Sally is off the SE Coast of Louisiana and is anticipated to keep moving NW towards the Louisiana/Mississippi Gulf Coast over the next 48 hours. The storm is projected to reach hurricane force winds before making landfall sometime between very late Monday night/Tuesday morning. Most models are now predicting a Cat 2-3 landfall.
This storm is not necessarily going to be a huge wind concern - but due to the slow moving nature of the storm, this is expected to be a major rain event with up to 10" anticipated over the next week.
As of 2:40pm on 9/14, the storm has moved slightly more east and we're expecting an Gulfport/Biloxi landfall. We're still not out of the woods yet, but it looks like we might get some western rain bands (as dry as the western side looks). Expect the worst, hope for the best.

Where can I get more information on projected paths, evacuation notices, and general preparation information?

As always, we recommend paying attention to local and national media forecasts. Here are some official government links for you to monitor:
And some local news sources as well:

I'm a weather junky and I need my fix, what do you recommend?

Again, please take advice of your local and national government when making decisions. However, like you, I like knowing what the Euro, GFS, UKMET, HMON, HWRF, COAMPS and Navy models are all doing at all times. For these people:

Should I evacuate?

Please refer to the above local/national section when making your evacuation plans. Every person's situation is different. Please begin making preparations 3-4 days out. I will attempt to monitor and post evacuation updates below, but please refer to this article by WWLTV for more up to date information:
Mandatory Evacuations (As of 9/13):
Voluntary Evacuations (As of 9/13):

Cat 3 then flee, otherwise I'm staying.

Cool. Good For You! Some people aren't so lucky and can't afford to stay. However, here's some general advice for those of us who are new to those whole hurricane thing:

What should I buy?

/TropicalWeather has a fantastic mega-thread on this that I am stealing. I highly recommend visiting this link and making sure that you have all of these things in your household.
Also pop-tarts. All the pop-tarts. Brown sugar for life though.

How much alcohol should I stock up on?

Yes.

What about public transportation? Will it still be operational?

While a lot of people don't have reliable alternative transportation, always make sure you have a plan. In general, you shouldn't expect public transport to operate during a hurricane. Don't rely upon it. Make plans to move to a safe location or a shelteevacuation center prior to the storm.
Should you need evacuation notices and/or assistance, please review the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority's website for further information on public transportation and and out of the city in the event of a mandatory evacuation.
Update as of 9/13 from RTA:
In preparation for expected impacts of Hurricane Sally to the Gulf Coast region, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will suspend all bus and streetcar service beginning at noon on Monday, September 14th. Ferry services will be suspended after normal operations on Sunday, September 13. Services will remain suspended until further notice.

What schools will be closed?

Schools will likely be closed the day before the storm. Depending on the extent of the damage and various other factors (power, water, etc.) it's unknown for how long the schools will be closed for.
It's recommended that you monitor your local parish's school district websites for up to date information on school closures. That being said, we'll post information as it becomes available. WWLTV tends to have a good up to date listing that's available here. Most private institutions abide by the local Parish's closures, but please refer to your specific school for up to date information.
For universities, please refer to your university's individual emergency guidance.
Orleans Parish
Jefferson Parish
St. Tammany Parish
Plaquemines Parish
St. Bernard Parish
Lafourche Parish
Terrebonne Parish
St. Charles Parish

Sandbags?

There is a complete list available from WWLTV. I will be publishing some of the major parishes below.
Orleans Parish:
Sandbags will be available beginning 8am on Sunday for Orleans Parish Residents:
St. Bernard Parish:
Self sandbagging will be available Sunday morning beginning at 8 a.m., going on until sand runs out. Residents can fill their sandbags at the following locations:
Plaquemines Parish:
Beginning at 10 a.m., parish-wide sandbag locations will be open, but residents should bring their own shovels and only take what they need. Bags will be provided. Residents can fill their sandbags at the following locations:
St. Tammany Parish:
St. Tammany Parish Government will open six self-service sandbag locations beginning Sunday. All locations will have sand and bags provided. Residents are asked to bring their own shovels in case all shovels provided are in use. residents are asked to limit the number of sandbags to 15 per vehicle. There will be someone on-hand to help the elderly and/or disabled at each location.
The locations will be open Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Can you sharpie this situation away?

Neither NOAA nor FEMA recommends this. It doesn't work.

What is Damp May Never Dry!

submitted by Darthfuzzy to NewOrleans [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 16:34 ADarkSpirit 31 [M4R] WI - Adulting sucks. Help.

Hi. Thanks for checking this out. I'll start out by saying I don't need help adulting; I need help dealing with adulting. Life gets so monotonous. Anyways, I'm starting my 4th year teaching, and it's... something. I love my job, but man, it takes a lot out of me. Especially with this pandemic, I fully expect that my life is going to be on repeat a lot. On weekends I spend my time catching up on sleep and housework, and grading (and streaming! lol). It's awful (the housework and grading, not the job). Work can definitely feel like groundhog day. Things run into each other and weekends are far too short to really enjoy anything. I'm developing a few negative habits already and want to nip 'em in the bud. Maybe you guys can help!
I'm just looking for some ways to pass the time and expand my social horizons. Have some positive interactions. Think deeper and gain some new perspectives. If you're far away, I'm happy to make an online friend (I do play some games, so maybe we can interact that way as well). If you're closer, I'm perfectly comfortable meeting up at some point when covid blows over. Also willing to move to texting or some other form of communication (just let me know what your preference is- I don't use every avenue of social media under the sun though!), or we can stay messaging here.
I'd consider romance (I am single, after all...) but by no means am I looking for it- just hoping to find some people to interact with- male, female, or other. Preferably no lizard-people but I'll try not to judge. I do try to teach compassion to my students, after all.
About me: Like the title says, I'm 31 and I'm starting my fourth year of teaching HS science. I really like what I do, but I'm pretty introverted so it's really exhausting work- being "on" 8 hours a day can definitely be a struggle. It's been hard to make friends as my city is not great for young singles- lots of older folks and married couples. Yucko. It's been like pulling teeth just trying to find people to hang out with! I love to cook, I like playing videogames (I basically spent my summer streaming), I garden/take care of my outdoor space (you know, when the ground isn't frozen...), I take care of myself (physically speaking), I enjoy a good beer or an old fashioned, and I talk to my cat (I promise he talks back). I'm pretty personable- which is weird for an introvert- and I enjoy talking about all sorts of things: science, philosophy, technology, games, work, life, love, happiness, whatever. Content to meet you at whatever level you're comfortable. Maybe you just want to trade memes- I'm down.
About you: You're interested in having lengthy conversations (or at least not stunted ones), willing to respond with reasonable frequency, and willing to entertain a real friendship if we click. Maybe you're near me and looking for a partner, or just someone to spend some quality time with. It's fine to be bored and want to chat for a while but please don't leave me hanging, that's a huge pet peeve. If you just want somebody to talk to for one night or whatever, just be honest tell me! I'll still chat. You're open and honest and can tolerate quirkiness and (occasionally dark or deprecating) humor. You aren't too judgmental (though I swear I'm not a weirdo). You're willing to share your individual, unique thoughts and aren't a walking cliche (dating sites are a giant dumpster fire in that regard, ugh).
I promise to put an honest effort into extending conversation, but that goes both ways- the couple of messages I've gotten from other people in the past tend to wane after a few days, and I find that really frustrating. I won't do that to you- I'll at least say that I'm very busy or that I'm not feeling it or whatever, but I won't leave you hanging! After all, I'm going to want to spend my limited free time doing something positive. Hope to hear from all kinds of people, since that's what keeps life interesting. Please let me know what you're interested in and comfortable with in your first message!
submitted by ADarkSpirit to r4r [link] [comments]


2020.09.10 01:43 China_Hawk Community Update and Wildfire Resources

9/9/2020
Good afternoon,
The past few days have been extremely difficult for our community and the State of Oregon. We know some of you may live in affected areas and our thoughts are with you. Please take care of yourselves and your families. We are working with our partner organizations to provide current information and support.

Information and Resources

See the following official sources for the most current information:
*Sign-up for local emergency notifications

Lane County Non-Emergency Call Center

Residents who are affected by the McKenzie Fire are welcome to call Lane County’s non-emergency call center at 541-682-3977 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. After-hours calls will be transferred to the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency phone line.

McKenzie Fire (aka Holiday Farm Fire) Updates and Evacuation Notices

Air Quality Updates and Information

Water and Power Information

City of Eugene Updates

Road Conditions

Additional Resources

City Opens Clean Air Day Centers for Individuals with Respiratory Issues

The City of Eugene is opening two community centers for individuals who have compromised respiratory systems and need respite from the wildfire smoke. Petersen Barn and Hilyard community centers will serve as daytime Clean Air Centers, opening today, Sept. 9. These centers will have limited capacity because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Appropriate safety precautions, including physical distancing and sanitation, will be taken to keep patrons and staff safe. No showers, food or supplies are available at the Clean Air Day Centers but charging of electronic devices will be available. These day centers will remain open for the next two days and may be extended if needed. Please check the City’s website for daily updates. Also note anyone wishing to donate supplies should contact the Red Cross.
Additionally, Lane County is opening a day center at the Lane Events Center.

Eugene Locations

Willamalane Temporary Smoke and Fire Shelters

Additionally, Willamalane has opened the following temporary rescue shelters for community members who have been evacuated or lost power.
These sites will have capacity limits, adhere to social distancing requirements and include other regular sanitation protocols as required with current health guidelines. Willamalane can't offer showers right now, but that status may change as the situation progresses. Willamalane won't be charging any fees for people to use its facilities for temporary shelter. The Bob Keefer Center parking lot is allowing RV parking. There are limited spaces available.

Safety Tips

Fire


Smoke

Driving During Heavy Smoke and Wildfires

The Oregon Department of Transportation has shared the following tips as we may see additional smoky conditions in the weeks ahead. Remember to avoid driving in these conditions if at all possible. If you must drive, be alert, don’t drive distracted and remember you play a big part to help avoiding wildfires.
Tips for safe driving if you encounter heavy smoke:

COVID-19 Information/Resources

Practice the 4 Ws

It’s up to all of us to do our part. Help protect yourself and others:
  1. Wear a face covering – indoor and out, it’s a statewide requirement
  2. Watch your distance – stay 6 feet apart from those outside your household
  3. Wash your hands – often with soap and water for 20 seconds throughout the day
  4. Wait it out – stay home if you are sick

Answer the Call – Contact Tracing is Important to Stop the Spread

If you get a call or voicemail from a Public Health contact tracer, please answer or return the call. Contact tracing is critical to our community’s ability to continue limiting the spread of COVID-19. People who participate in contact tracing are actively helping to keep their community safe by helping public health officials track the virus. For more information from Lane County Public Health on contact tracing please visit their contact tracing webpage. The State of Oregon’s contact tracing web page also offers useful information and resources.

More Resources

See a list of Community Resources for physical and mental health, food, housing, businesses, employees, schools and children, as well as information in Spanish.
Also learn how you can help. Our partners have a significant amount of information available online. Please visit these resources for the most up to date information:
Lane County Call Center: Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 541-682-1380
submitted by China_Hawk to Eugene [link] [comments]


2020.09.09 09:01 thejokerofunfic Anyone ever play Arcane: Online Mystery Serial? Featuring my fanmade restoration of said game

As per the title, I'm curious if anyone else knows this one. An old browser Flash game series from the late 90s / early 2000s, Arcane was a point and click loosely based on and set in the Lovecraft mythos, which used to be playable for free on the Warner Bros website. I personally have a lot of nostalgic attachment to it (all other things aside, it was my gateway drug to both point and clicks and to HPL and the genre he pioneered). A lot of aspects of it are quite dated by today's standards, but several elements have aged surprisingly well imo, and while it's not on the level of the point and clicks major studios of the day were putting out, it's ridiculously ambitious and well crafted for a simple Flash game series, I'd say. Well worth at least a little look if you're into Lovecraft and / or adventure / puzzle games.
The reason I'm posting about this game now, specifically, 20 years after its original release, is because I recently finished work on a pet project of mine- after the original host site went down some 15 years ago, the only builds of the game available anywhere on the web were all incomplete or broken versions of the game (most notably saving didn't work, which made it a nightmare if you died late in a chapter). So I took it on myself to do some asset gathering and some programming to create a restored version of the functional build. So for anyone who wants to check it out- or anyone else who played it back in the day and wants to experience it again "correctly"- this restored build is the way to go. Pending a better solution that can outlive Flash's death later this year, it's temporarily being hosted at http://arcaneonlinegame.epizy.com/Arcane/Start.htm
(Yes, it's ugly. I am a backend programmer, not a CSS guy).
Would love to hear if anyone else remembers this or anyone new checks it out.
submitted by thejokerofunfic to Lovecraft [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 23:48 SuperHotUKDeals Scottish Highlands 4* Tulloch castle one night stay - inc breakfast for 2 people - £47.20 with code (new account) @ Groupon

The following description is not provided by this sub or any of it's contributors.
£47.20 - Groupon
One or two nights break for two people to the Scottish highlands (Dingwall) staying in the 12th-century Tulloch castle. Works out at £47.20 for 1 night with breakfast or you can get 2 nights for £111.20 including daily breakfast and £40 dinner food and drink voucher, October to April availability (date booking matrix on site). To get this price use code WELCOME (new account). Google reviews 4.2/5. Price comparing other sites, the cost looks to be more than double elsewhere so a good saving for this break away. Free cancellation if you change your mind.
Tulloch castle hotel - stay for 2 people
  • One nights' accommodation in a double room with Scottish breakfast £47.20 with code WELCOME
  • One nights' accommodation in a double room with Scottish breakfast and £40 dinner and drinks credit £71.20 with code WELCOME
  • Two nights' accommodation in a double room with Scottish breakfast and £40 dinner and drinks credit £111.20 with code WELCOME
  • Late checkout by midday included
  • Free parking
  • Pets are allowed for £10 per pet per stay
  • Overlooking Cromarty Firth and the Black Isle, Tulloch Castle Hotel is housed in a 12th-century chateau nestled above the ancient town of Dingwall.
  • Reading some of the reviews looks like you may get a ghost tour included
  • Guests may also practice their swing on the nearby golf courses, spot dolphins on the Moray Firth or enjoy long walks and treks in the surrounding countryside.
    This deal can be found on hotukdeals via this link: https://ift.tt/3hQ93QR
submitted by SuperHotUKDeals to SuperHotUKDeals [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 23:09 cdf21882 I Found a Healthy Respect for the Outdoors.

My name is Jack. I find things. Usually, I find things like keys and other random shit for people, but recently I have branched off into more unusual items. Case in point, when I helped my new GF Kara look for her grandmother’s locket. I found it alright, but I also found the pissed off, child, ghost of her Great-Aunt Patricia too.
Speaking of Kara, what a little vixen. For those of you wondering how things with her are going, they’re great. We’ve been spending lots of time together, and now that her house is free of angry spirits, she has decided that it would make an awesome B&B, and I can’t agree more. Can you believe Great-Aunt Patricia is even on board with the idea?
Let me tell you, that kid, she has really turned over a new leaf. If only someone had given her a shiny, new pretty sooner. Am I right? She and Kara are like two peas in pod now. Kara says she’s like the little sister she never had, which is weird considering she’s her aunt and a ghost, but stranger things, right?
So, enough about all that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned at the end of my last post how I had figured out I could use my talent to find more than just everyday items. Followed by a statement about helping anyone find things, just to let me know and all that. Well to be perfectly frank, I kinda made that declaration in jest. I know, assy move. It’s not that I don’t want to help you guys, but after the locket debacle, I really just wanted to stick to finding mundane stuff. I said what I did, just trying to be nice since you put in the time and effort to read my post, but like Jeff Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.” Let’s just say it found a way to bite me in the ass for making false statements, and it used my sweetheart Kara to do it.
Apparently, she’s on reddit too, and she has a huge following. Well, long story short, Kara came across my post, and not only took my words to heart, but thought it was really sweet how I put myself out there like that to help people. Then, supportive gf and all, she went on to share my post with all of her reddit friends and followers, FB friends, and well you can see where this is going.
When Kara told me what she had done, and how proud of me she was, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was only being nice, so I sucked it up, owned my mistake, and here we are; a second post. That’s right, I have more scary shit to tell, and guess what? It’s a camping story.
I will put this out here right now, I am not an outdoors kind of guy. I respect the outdoors, and people that are outdoorsy, but it isn’t for me. As you know, I recently found out that ghosts are real, and if they are real, there is no telling what the hell else is real, especially in the outdoors.
So, a few days ago, Kara caught me in the break-room at work. She was smiling really big and looked kind of excited, so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She has a great smile by the way. She told me she had some good news. I asked her what it was, and when she told me, let’s just say my warm fuzziness disappeared pretty damn quickly.
She told me she has a friend on reddit named Dale, and he owns a public campground a couple of hours away. Before she could go any farther, I told her no way I don’t do camping or anything else in the out of doors.
“But Babe, I love camping,” she said all doe-eyed. “Besides, Dale needs you to help him find something.” I looked at her with my best “do I have to” face, but her expression told me this was an argument I wasn’t going to win. I let out a big sigh. “Okay, what does he need me to find?” Victorious, she smiled wryly. “He said he would fill us in when we got there this weekend.”
Word of advice for all of you guys out there, stay single, women can be trouble.
I stuck my tongue out her and went back to my desk.
In all honesty though, I wasn’t mad at Kara for pushing me to help Dale. She is one of the best people I know, and as I’ve said before, I would do anything for her. Besides, who could stay mad with that amazing smile of hers, I’m just saying.
Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of Kara’s house. As I got out of the car, I noticed Aunt Patricia looking down at me from one of the second-floor windows. We waved to one another, and I headed up the walk and went inside.
Kara was in the kitchen making coffee, and she was in full blown camping mode. She wore a pair of khaki shorts that were rolled up at the legs, and what I can say was the most disturbingly, appropriate t-shirt I could have imagined for a camping trip; a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt.
She greeted me with a kiss. “Morning handsome. You ready for your first camping trip?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Interesting wardrobe choice by the way.” She grinned maliciously. “I thought you would appreciate the humor of my shirt.” I rolled my eyes. “I swear, if your friend mentions anything about looking for missing campers in the deep, dark woods, I’m out.” “Poor guy,” Kara said with a pouty face. “I’ll protect you from the big, bad monsters in the woods.” She busted out laughing. I just stood there mentally updating the list of deal breakers for my next girlfriend.
Before long, we had the car loaded and were on our way to Dale’s campground. It was our first extended car ride, and it was a blast. We spent a while playing Guess That Tune. For anyone that has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie, just know, our game at least, didn’t end with a horrible death, just Kara winning nearly every round. Besides playing car games, we found we both have a passion for car karaoke, and just so you know, I’m the better singer.
Around noon, we arrived at our destination. I took one look at the sign and shook my head; it read Crazy Acres Camping. Kara, on the other hand, was amused and said she thought it was a cute name. The thing ladies think are cute, I swear.
We drove down a winding, tree-lined road and parked in front of a rustic looking building. The sign hanging above the door read Camp Office. Kara and I were just getting out of the car, when a man rode up on a four-wheeler.
He was in his early to mid-fifties, and he wore the quintessential camp uniform: boonie hat, khaki shorts, and olive drab polo with the camp name on the pocket. “If this wasn’t Dale,” I thought. “I would eat tree bark.” The man dismounted and held out his hand. “Afternoon folks. Thanks for coming. I’m Dale.”
Nailed it.
We both shook hands with him, and then he showed us into the office. The inside was just as rustic as the outside, and the walls were adorned with all sorts of woodsy items, the grandest of all being a massive moose head mounted above the desk.
Being a reddit friend, Kara and Dale only had a passing acquaintance, so we spent the first little while making general chitchat. Dale was obviously a nice guy, and he exuded a sort of crazy uncle vibe. Who doesn’t love a crazy uncle?
The property had been in Dale’s family for a long time, but it wasn’t until he took it over, that it became a public campground.
“I grew up loving the woods, and loving camping,” he told us. “It was only natural for me to share that love with as many people as I could.” Kara said she understood completely, but I didn’t get it at all. I guess I was just too fond of AC and indoor plumbing. There was a little small talk, then we got down to brass tacks.
Over the last couple of months, Dale had received numerous reports from campers who had things come up missing from campsites in a certain area of the grounds. It started out as food, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary due to the amount of wildlife in the surrounding woods. “Raccoons can be some damn crafty SOBs,” Dale told us. Then things escalated. Entire coolers filled with food, drinks, etc. started disappearing, and after that, everything from hammocks, sleeping bags, water containers, and even tents themselves joined the growing list of missing things.
“Beat any damned thing I ever saw,” Dale finished, leaning back in his chair. “But that’s still not the worst of it. There used to be rumors of a hermit living in the deep woods around here. Well about a week ago, I made the mistake of mentioning this to my assistant manager, Rick, and being the great woodsman, he sees himself as, the damned fool decided he would go looking for the ole bastard. Ricks an okay guy, but he’s young and full of himself, and he knows about as much about surviving in the woods, as I do about being a brain surgeon.” “Did he find anything?” Kara asked Dale. The man took off his hat and rubbed the top of his head. “Well let’s just say Rick’s been added to that list of things that have gone missing around here,” he said wringing his hat in his hands. “And if I don’t find him, who knows what will happen to this place.
Kara and I looked at each other. I was getting a sinking suspicion that I knew what it was I was here to find.
“What exactly is it you want me to find Dale?” I asked him hesitantly.
He laid his hat on the desk. “If you can, I would like for you to find my missing employee, and maybe while you’re at it, find where all the missing stuff is going.” I looked at the man then looked at Kara. Her eyes told me she understood exactly what I was thinking. This was far beyond anything I had ever done with my talent, and I had to be honest with Dale.
“Look Dale, I want to help you, but I don’t think you really understand what it is I do,” I told him. “I find lost wallets, misplaced jewelry, or other random items for people, and the only time I have ever looked for anything outside, was when my cousin lost his wedding ring in the back yard while he was ogling the neighbor’s wife while she was sunbathing, which is a whole story in and of itself by the way. The point is, I think this is a job for law enforcement, not an office worker with a talent that is probably more luck than anything.”
The poor man still just sat there looking at me with his hopeless expression. “That’s the thing Jack, the cops are just as baffled as I am, and some of them are better in the woods than me. I’m at the end of my rope here, and if you say your talent is just luck, well I can use a little bit of that right now.”
I didn’t really know what else to say. I felt for the guy. I really did, but I wasn’t sure if I could help him, and God only knows I wanted to. In the end, it came down to two things. One, there was a person lost in the woods, or worse dead. Not only did Dale need to know where Rick was and if he was ok, but the same went for Rick’s family. The second this was I didn’t want to disappoint Kara. She had thought enough of me and my talent, to shout it to the extremes of the internet, and I had step up for her.
“Alright Dale, I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t promise you anything,” I told him. He considered this for a moment. “Fair enough,” he said finally. “I can live with that.”
He pulled out a map of the grounds and showed us where everything had been happening. The vastness of the area only added to my despair, but I pushed the thought out of my mind. After we finished studying the map, Dale mentioned that it would probably be a good idea for us to setup camp in the affected area, so that maybe the thief would make an appearance, being that we would be the only campers in the vicinity.
With a game plan made, Kara and I headed back to the car, and drove to the site Dale had picked out for us. “I’m sorry I got you into this,” she told me. “If I had known what this was all about, I would never have let it get this far.” I smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Kara,” I said to her squeezing her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. Besides, it’s not that I don’t mind helping Dale, I am just unsure of my ability to do it.” “I believe in you Jack,” she reassured me. “I know you’ll do your best.”
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see something at least was in my favor. Instead of a tent, Dale had set us up with a small cabin. We parked the car, and got out to inspect our accommodations for the night.
The structure wasn’t much bigger than a large tent, but it was hardened on three sides, with the fourth side being mostly screen. Inside were two cots and hanging from the ceiling, was a gas lantern. “This doesn’t look so bad,” I said looking around the cabin. Kara grinned, “I’ll remember that statement when you need to use the bathroom tonight and have to walk out into the woods.” I looked at her with disdain while she laughed like a mad woman.
We finished unpacking the car and setup a late picnic lunch. Once we were done eating, we began searching the woods in the immediate vicinity of camp.
I tried to be thorough, but there was just too much area, and everything looked the same. After a couple of hours, I was beginning to feel like all I was doing was wasting time. I sat down on a fallen long.
“This is no use,” I told Kara exasperated. She sat down next to me. “You can do this Babe,” she said putting her arm around me. “Trust me and believe in yourself. I believe in you.” She leaned in to kiss me, and as I leaned in to meet her, I saw it.
It was a faint trail beaten into the forest floor. “I think I have something,” I said excited. “Look.
I pointed to the trail. “Jack you did it,” she said kissing me. I have said before that I feel like my talent is more luck than anything, this was why. I would have never seen the trail if I hadn’t sat down on the log.
We inspected the trail for a few minutes. In one direction, it led back towards camp, and we were both fairly confident that this was the trail the thief had been using to get to the campground.
We followed the trail deeper into the woods. After another little while, we came to a massive cliff face.
“Looks like the end of the road,” Kara said looking up at the top of the cliff. It went off in both directions for as far as we could see, and rose above of us at least sixty feet straight up. There didn’t look to be many handholds, so climbing it was out of the question. “Let’s look around,” I said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky again.”
We started down one direction, finding nothing but sheer rock on one side, and forest on the other. After a while, we went back the other direction and it wasn’t much better. My lifted spirits from my discovery of the trail, were starting to crash and burn.
I picked up a stone. “Damnit,” I yelled as I hurled it at the rocky face of the cliff. It hit with a loud report. “Is someone out there?” a faint voice called.
Kara and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?” we both asked in unison. “Hello out there,” came the voice again. “I need help.” The voice was coming from a little further up the way. “Hold tight,” I called back. “We’re coming.”
We followed the sound of the voice, and after a couple of minutes, we arrived at a large group of boulders, bunched at the foot of the cliff. “Hello, we’re here,” Kara called out. “Where are you?” “In the cave,” the voice replied. “You have to climb up and over the boulders. The entrance is behind them.”
“Maybe you should wait right here,” I told Kara. “That way, if someone really does live here, you can keep a lookout for them.” She shook her head. “What if you need me?” she asked. “I’ll call you, but until then, stay here and keep watch. I would hate to be blindsided by some creepy ass mountain man.” She sighed, disappointed. “Alright, but be careful.” I kissed her, then climbed up the boulders.
Once on top, I saw that there was a hollow space behind the rocks along with the entrance to the cave. It was almost like someone placed the boulders there to purposely hide the cave from passers-by. I climbed back down and approached the entrance. It was dark as shit in there, and I hadn’t even thought to bring a flashlight. The light on my crappy iPhone would just have to do. I turned it on and entered the darkness.
I walked for about a minute when I started to come across empty food wrappers, then as I entered a large chamber, I found the rest of the missing hoard of camping items. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed looking at it all. Dale sure wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of stuff had went missing. “Hey over there,” the voice said. “Get me out of here.”
I walked to where the voice was. There was another chamber, but the entrance was blocked off by a large rock. “Please tell me you’re Rick?” I said to the man behind the rock. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s me. You search and rescue?” I grinned. “Something like that. How in the hell did you get in there?” “Damned bitch grabbed me while I was in the woods, then trapped me in here. Look man, if I were you, I would make this quick. If she comes back and finds you here, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”
I used the phone’s light to survey the rock. While I did this, I wondered who the “she” was that had brought Rick here. “I might be able to tip this rock over, but I am going to need help,” I told him. “Hold on.”
I dialed Kara. Considering I was in a cave, the call surprisingly connected. I told her the situation, and she said she was on her way. In the meantime, I would try to get some more answers from Rick.
“So, you’re telling me some lady abducted you and trapped you in this cave? You sound like a pretty big guy based on Dale’s description of you. She must have been some woman.” Rick chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. How much longer till your friend gets here. I really would like to be gone before she comes back.” “She should be here soon,” I told him.
Shortly, I heard footsteps coming from the entrance of the cave. “I’d say you found the missing stuff.” Kara’s voice said from behind us. Look at all this shit. Is that Rick?” “Yes it’s me,” the voice on the other side of the rock said impatiently. “Now can we move this thing? I’m telling you guys, we do not want to be here when she comes back.” Kara looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “She? Who is she?” I shrugged. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” “Guys please. Can we do this already?” “Right,” I said. “We need some rope or something to put around the top of the rock.” “I got you,” Kara said.
In a moment she returned with a length of tie down strap. I positioned it around the top of the rock and Kara and I pulled both ends tight. “Okay, we’ll pull, and you push Rick,” I called. “Hopefully this works. On the count of three, one, two, three.” We pulled hard. At first there didn’t seem to be any movement, but then it started to tip. “It’s going,” Rick shouted. “Hope you guys are out of the way.” We let go of the strap and moved out of the way of the falling rock.
Rick’s large frame crawled out of the opening and joined us. In the light from the phones, I could see his clothes were fairly ragged, and he looked like he’d had his ass kicked. “A woman did that to you?” Kara asked him. “Later,” Rick told her. “Let’s go ASAP.”
We turned to leave the cave, but were stopped dead in our tracks. Rick’s mystery “she” stood there blocking our way.
Rick had said I wouldn’t believe him about his captor, and as I stood there looking at the huge, hair covered, seven foot tall figure, I wasn’t sure to feel disbelief, or just be plain scared shitless. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Kara said from beside me. “It’s an effin sasquatch.” It was an effin sasquatch, and she looked pissed off. “Oh shit,” Rick said. The creature roared with rage. Yep, she was definitely pissed.
I didn’t have a clue what to do here. I had just barely found out ghosts were real, and at least there was a way to reason with a ghost, but there didn’t appear to be any reasoning with this thing. She just stood there roaring. “Rick, you’ve spent some time with her, what do we do?” Kara asked him. Rick scoffed. “Look at me. Does it look like we had afternoon tea and shit?” Rick was right. He looked more like he’d been worked over by madam big-foot.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the thought of a big burly guy like Rick getting man handled by a female sasquatch, was kinda funny. She probably just wanted some loving, and he was the closest thing she could find to mister big-foot, but before I could ponder on the image any further, the lady of the hour picked up a cooler and hurled it at us. The three of us scrambled out of the way of it, and beer, lunch meat, pickles, etc. went everywhere.
“She’s acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Kara yelled. “What’s her problem?” I looked in Kara’s direction. I have always heard women see things that men don’t sometimes, and what she had just said, made me return to my previous thought. I had thought it a funny joke that Rick had been the victim of a lonely, amorous lady-squatch, but what if that was exactly the case?
“Rick,” I yelled at him. “Was she violent with you from the beginning?” He didn’t answer at first. “You know,” he said. “She started off nice, hugging on me and rubbing me like I was a damned dog or something, but it was when I tried to leave, that she got mad and locked me up. I figured she was trying to keep me as a pet.” I shook my head. Dale was right about Rick. He didn’t know crap about the outdoors, but apparently he didn’t know crap about women either. “She wasn’t trying to make you her pet you nimrod,” I yelled at him. “She was trying to mate with you.”
It must have taken a moment for this to sink in for Rick, because it was a good bit before he responded. “You mean she wanted to screw me?” he asked shocked. “That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Kara told him. “And apparently she didn’t take rejection very well.” “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said.
I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation right now. A pissed off ape lady was about to rip us all to pieces, and we were discussing domestic issues, but something was coming to me. “I think I have a plan,” I said. “Rick, since she sees you as her boy toy, we’ll try and get her attention long enough for you to get by her. Then once you do it, get her attention and see if she will follow you out. After that, we’ll leave. Once everyone’s out of the cave, maybe we can all make a run for it.”
“I don’t know if I like that idea,” he said. “She’s pretty quick.” “Well hopefully your desire to not play sugar daddy for a sexually frustrated big-foot for the rest of your life, will cause you to be quicker,” I told him. “It’s all I got so take it or leave it.” Rick thought on it. “Fine,” he said finally. “Let’s do it.”
I found Kara’s hand, and squeezed it. “Ready?” I asked her. She laughed nervously. “Not really,” she said. “But what can you do?”
Together we approached the creature, yelling and screaming at her. I hoped the creature wouldn’t kill us, but luck was on our side. She turned her full attention on us and moved to meet our approach. As planned, this opened up things up for Rick to be able to get around her, but that’s where the plan went to shit.
Instead of getting around the creature and gaining her attention so that he could lead the sasquatch away from us, Rick just bolted. The big-foot took one passing glance at him, and returned her focus on us, me in particular. “What the hell?” I asked Kara. “Why isn’t she following him?” “I think we screwed up,” she replied. “She saw Rick run away like a coward, and because you showed aggression to her, she’s decided you’re the better mate.”
I just stared at her, jaw on the floor. “What can I say?” she said to me. “She has good taste.” I personally didn’t see any humor in the situation, but we had to get away, and I think I knew what to do. “Kara, you said she was acting like a crazy ex, well let’s play that up. I’ll give her what she wants, and then you play crazy new girlfriend and confront her.” She looked at me skeptically. “How is that supposed to work?” she asked. “She could use me as a toothpick. How am I going to intimidate her?” I smiled at her. “You’ve been possessed by an angry ghost, and let me tell you, if you had any cognizance during that, you know how to be intimidating.” Kara rolled her eyes. “I’m not too sure about this, but I’ll try.” I smiled at her. “You can do it, besides the worst case scenario is I live in a cave for the rest of my life and learn to braid sasquatch hair.” Kara was still not amused. “Well here goes,” I said.
I approached the creature. “Hey sweetheart, I’m Jack. Aren’t you a gorgeous lady?” The big-foot looked at me confused, then she looked back at Kara and uttered a warning grunt. I motioned for Kara to stay back. “Don’t worry about her darling, you’re the one I want.” I was now standing within arm’s reach of the sasquatch. She looked at me, still unsure. “Come on, it’s okay. I just want to give you a big ole hug.” I reached out and put my arms around her. She stiffened at first, but then she relaxed and put her arms around me. She started making a cooing sound as she stroked my back. I patted her back in return. “You’re so sweet,” I told her with my best lovey voice.
For all of you that have seen Harry and the Hendersons, this must sound funny as hell, but it was freaking terrifying. One wrong move, and this furry lady could squash me like a bad zit, but I kept up the act. I should have gotten an Oscar for my performance. I had her eating out of my hand. Now it was time for Kara to join the show. I gave her a thumbs up.
“Get your hands off of him you hairy BITCH,” she yelled from behind me. The lady-squatch raised her head in Kara’s direction, making a confused sound. “You heard me,” she yelled at us. “He’s mine.”
Something whizzed over my head, hit the creature between the eyes, and fell to the floor. It was an unopened beer. The creature touched its head, looked down at the can, then looked back at Kara. She roared as she threw me aside, then stormed off towards my girlfriend. I looked at Kara. I could see the terror in her eyes, but there was also determination. She threw another beer at the sasquatch. It hit her in the chest and fell to the floor, exploding from impact with the ground. The sudden bursting of the beer surprised the creature and she stumbled backwards, falling over the scattered camping gear. I used the opportunity to grab Kara and we started for the cave exit.
The big-foot roared with fury, got to its feet, and began to come after us. As hard as she could, Kara threw her last beer at the creature’s feet. Its explosion drove the sasquatch back once again as we made the exit. Without even skipping a beat, we scaled the boulders and jumped off the other side.
We continued running in the direction of the campground, but I took a moment to look back. I know, this goes against everything they teach you in horror movies, but I had to.
She stood on top of the rocks watching our escape, and I swear she had a look of sorrow on her face. I have to admit, I felt bad for her. She was just a lonely creature who wanted a companion. I felt the same way before I started dating Kara, although I would have never abducted someone, but hey I’m not a sasquatch either.
Needless to say, she didn’t follow, and when we eventually got back to the campground, Dale and Rick were waiting on us.
“Glad to see you guys got out,” Rick said to us grinning. “No thanks to you,” Kara told him. She looked at Dale. “Your assistant here took the first chance he got, to escape, rather than help us all get away. We could’ve been killed by her.” Dale turned to Rick. “What’s she talking about?” he asked him. Rick shook his head. “They’re just mad I made it out before they did.” I couldn’t believe this guy. “No, we’re mad because we saved your ass from being a lifetime concubine to a horny ape woman, then left us there to deal with her once you had your chance to bolt.”
Rick scoffed. “Whatever,” he said. “You weren’t the ones that spent days trapped in a cave by a damned monster. What did you expect me to do?”
“That’s enough,” Dale said before I or Kara could say anything in response. “Rick, get your shit together and leave my property. These good folks put their lives on the line to help me, not to mention save your ass, and you didn’t even have the decency to stick by them when they needed you. I want you gone now.” Rick threw his hands up. “Fine, I didn’t need this job anyway,” he said.
We watched as he walked to his truck and sped off, slinging gravel. After a minute, we went with Dale back to his office and told him the whole story. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “My daddy always said they were real, but we all just thought he was about halfway crazy. Question is, what am I going to do about her?” I looked at Kara, who shrugged. She wouldn’t be any help with this, so I stepped out on a limb.
“I don’t think she wants to hurt anyone,” I said. “She’s just lonely. Maybe you should make friends with her.” They both looked at me like I was crazy, but I pushed on. “For whatever reason, she’s alone in this area, and being alone sucks for anyone, man or sasquatch. I think she started taking things out of hunger at first, then out of curiosity. As far as Rick goes, he’s a big hairy guy, she just mistook him for one of her own kind. So take her a gift once in a while and make friends with her. Eventually, maybe she can become a valuable asset to your campground.” Dale thought it over for a moment. “Well I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. “Anything is better than having to close this place down.”
With things settled, Kara and I left the office to go back to our campsite. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the great outdoors, and that night we did a fair amount of star gazing. Other than our brush with the lady-squatch, I could see what Kara loved so much about camping. There’s a lot of beauty out there.
On the ride home the next morning, we played more car games, sang, and laughed about our time with the hairy woman of Crazy Acres Camping. Kara said she was looking forward to the next camping trip, and that with my talent, there was no telling what we would find next time. I laughed and told her I planned to stick to finding the easy stuff from here on out, but as I have said in the past, I think my days of finding the easy things, are over.
My name is Jack, and I find things. Key’s, jewelry, the occasional ghost, even a sasquatch, I find it all, but this time I found out I kinda like camping. Yeah I know, who would have thought.X
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