Speed ​​Dating Texas

_i-sn6SNo0I

2020.10.18 18:00 discoskyline _i-sn6SNo0I

DRL the drone racing league twelve of the world's best fpv pilots battle each other across the longest most complex forces ever seen for maximum season points of world champion this is throw racing [Music] welcome to the 2019 DRL Allianz World Championship the premier international drone racing circuit and has been a wild ride this season with the most intense competition the sport has ever seen after six levels of racing several pilots differentiated themselves but none more than those of Vanover coming into the season all 12 pilots had the desire and hope if not expectation that they would become the world champion I want to win this year more than any other year because I know I can do it I've proven that I can consistently out fly everybody I just want to make it happen to be honest I don't really care about winning like one level I want to get to championship I'm not here to podium that's all great and definitely will feel good about it but I'm here with one goal in mind that's win this championship at each level only the podium finishers earn season points by four first two for second and one for third the pilot with the most points at the end of seven levels becomes the 2019 DRL Allianz world champion thanks for joining us we look back on levels one through six the season started in Miami Florida we're at Hard Rock Stadium home to the NFL's Miami Dolphins for level one our six finalists take their place in the cockpit where they'll race six regular heats to qualify for the winner-take-all golde haters included in this group is nurtured in green the defending 2018 TRL world champion the biggest perk that I have of being world champion in the offseason was throwing out the first pitch for a Diamondbacks game at Chase Field in Phoenix Arizona this is crazy to be in front of a 10,000 people and threw a strike so I can't complain also in this group are jet and gab who have had the most storied rivalry in DRL the semis gab and I were neck-and-neck and that was honestly to be expected this field also has a new face 19 year old rookie band over I can't believe I'm really sitting like next to you guys this sounds so cheesy but like watching it on the show from third person and then sitting here and like looking left and like seeing the backdrop and everything is like freaking me out right now it's awesome it's gonna be fun this is so cool my it's super weird though hello everybody I'm Craig Hummer here alongside drone racing pilot Tony Knittle Tony Vancouver sounds like a fanboy but look where he's city handovers in the first seat which means he's the top seat coming out of the semi-finals he won an extraordinary five heats in a row and over would continue that streak winning the first three heats of the finals it is ban over in the flashing drone trying to go three for three in this final and he dies three for three baby two-time world champion jet one heat for [Music] [Applause] then it was time for heat five the next heat will be very interesting we know Vanover constraint wins together but can he recover from a loss and win again regression to the mean and tell myself right now I want to push but I'm just saying I keep doing my thing tech ops are almost finished prepping the drones for the next race we know fan / and jet are in the gold heat but there are only two heats left in these finals which means only two more chances for the other pilots finals by they all head down the main floor to the square game we heard some contact on the ground rotating into the helix five man over in the lead jet red and second these guys are pushing it so hard that's why you're skipping the ground that guy laid back to the tiny bit Vanover in the flashing drone she's up and over into the stadium dive dab in yellow pushing jet for that second place jab doing a great job taking the inside line that's why he was able to catch up there the top three through the dangerous watch date back to the main floor Vanover jab and check in a chuckle that's the first time we've really seen him off his line that gets jetan red the opportunity followed by gavin yellow a great job by man over a game composure and hold on while he made that mistake final lap jet through the diamond game up and over leading as they go into the stadium bag but banned overs come back Shetty first Vanover at second the dangerous watch meet again then the over stakes can be had here some more contact you can hear it but that doesn't affect chef he's looking for a second win this is the run and the fight per second was legitimate too close to call but remember the wind is what matters and jet wins for the second time dude we were way too much throttle we all bought like slowly sinking oh it's getting close in close we are maxing these rigs out yeah I was full throttle and it just I hit the ground like and over he did that dodo that was good Vanover led from the start until his first real mistakes of these finals jet got close its first swatched feet but Vanover held him off until the very end of lap 1 when he overcorrected through the gate and hit the floor he did a great job saving it but fell to third behind jet gap jet held the leaps to rest of the way in while cabin Vanover had an epic dogfight for second Vanover gap in the helix climb then pulled away in the stadium dive gab caught man over at the swatch gate and the two were neck and neck all the way in with gaff taking second by half a drone lane [Music] the Racing's there we got a lot of challenge this is what we want this is why we're here this is the only place you're gonna get fish Racing gap set er L is the only place they get this kind of racing absolutely TRL's proprietary technology allows for the longest most diverse courses have ever seen and more importantly their spec racing with the racer for DRL redesigned this drone from the ground up and built over 500 for this event they perform identically which levels the playing field and means the only difference is how each pilot flies racer 4 is TRL's next generation drum it's a professional high-end racing machine made for a global sport hoods already rather the rest it's made for competition today [Music] the racer four is the most special racing drones that has ever been developed it's super unique no one has built a drone like this that looks this good and goes this fast we want a drone that's going to inspire the world and excite them something that you can follow at home something that's high performance something that looks beautiful to be as amazing as it can be the race of four has lots of new technology in it that the last racers didn't have there are a lot more powerful easier to fly more spectacular to see it has a thousand LEDs on it high voltage power train it has a gigantic battery to fly far away and a very advanced radio system they're all identical it's this even playing field I think that's part of what makes great racing everyone's why exactly the same specs so it makes it 100% about the body which pilot is the most scale which pilot actually the best performer and that's exciting racer the best pilots on the edge of what's possible racer four is the manifestation of that gab 77 people on to win the final regular heat of racing setting up a three pilot showdown in the winner-take-all going it's finals go 803 up van over in that pole position platform he should be first to the square of Dayton in the helix fight he is she can't miss the flashy drone Jenna red in second gap off to a rough start skipping the ground that's gonna get in his head just a little bit he said hip hop fitness for taped all scenario you've got in front first time through the dangerous watch game makeovers through Jen's Roo we heard some contact though been over back to the main floor he's in front jet in second in the red everyone still up as we start left to Vanover just a little faster than these guys through these turns he's got it dialed the rest needs a styled airline in Vanover trying to put the puzzle chat with contact he looked to be down that's more space for Vanover into the stadium dive damn right they're trying to stay close vinegars got one more time through the swatch gate [Music] as well say hello to the future it has a ride in the form of a 19 year old from Texas well duh oh man I tried to cut the helix too tight can I like lay down yeah that first lap I was full sent it over led from the start but all three were in contention until the second helix climb Jets approach was good but he simply didn't pitch down and up at the top of the climb hitting the gate and taking himself out gap flew a great race but fell just 4/10 of a second short gap beat the previous course record by half a second but Vanover flew the race of his life gap got close reentering the main floor on the sprint to the finish but Vanover was too quick destroying his previous course record by nearly a full second Vanover after the golden heat you secured the win and you said I did it we know that you won the level but what does it mean to you it means everything to me I'm doing this for my dad he's watching up in heaven he he's a champion and this is just the first step to getting there and I'm really just so great grateful so blessed to be here for me this is 10 years flying anything RC and even more flying drone racing and to be on TRL again is incredible and to pull off the win it's just something I've been wanting to do ever since I watched the first year I'll race ever that broadcasted I wanted to to be in that position I want to feel that energy and I wanted to to prove to myself that all the hard work I put into here was worth something and to do it is just it's amazing so the rookie proved he was legit and over dab and jet stood on the first podium of the year turning five two and one season points respectively Vanover would get his second chance for more season points at level two Hard Rock Stadium a second event of the doubleheader the drone racing league brought to you by Allianz global leaders in asset management investments and insurance by the US Air Force aim high and by swatch welcome back to our review of the first six levels of the 2019 DRL Allianz World Championship season we're in Miami Florida for the finals of level 2 our Rock Stadium five of our six pilots enter the arena with the goal of redeeming disappointment from level one the 19 year old rookie ban over who made history winning his first PRL event CPUC I don't really feel the pressure of being a rookie your youngest pilot in a way though I do feel the pressure to do well because I have a reputation especially winning level one so now it's time to go show people that it wasn't a fluke these pilots are the six best from the level two semi-finals Toki what a field we have here absolutely as you said Vanover is coming off the tremendous level one win newark nub and gab finished one-two-three at the 2018 World Championship these guys all know what it takes to win big races to win level 2 would be redemption for not doing as well as I wanted in level 1 I'd love to get into that golden heat to battle it out to lay it all on the line I'm very relieved to be in the finals somehow the pressure is higher this year I don't know everyone's been practicing very hard and everyone's really fast in the 2018 season as a rookie the fact that I was able to come out and put myself up and put myself above the other veterans was a really proud moment for me each heat is two laps in and around the stadium each lap starts with a long straightaway into the critical helix climb it's another long straight to the dramatic stadium dive next is the ascent through the inimical swatch game and back to the main floor for the end of the lap more sprint to the finish level once winner ran over one the first heat but then got beat by nub inherent and each two and three each securing a spot in the winner-take-all golde heat Tony - very distinct camps you've got the three pilots that are in and of course the three pilots that have struggled in are down to their last chance yeah these guys have only one key and what they really need to do right now is hit the reset switch to get out of that mind space that they're in to get their composure back to win a race we're down to the last regular heat before the golden heat finals heat six [Music] they all know how to do this so dramatic run to the square gate up in the hill it's fun you're King breed right there you got bent over and gaps episode and contact get gap benefit he's out in front he needs this win gap 707 through the diamond gate up and over into the stadium dive loosely followed by the flashing throw to banner these three are staying close no one's letting up gab 707 makes it cleanly through all the top three are cleanly through back to the main floor gap 707 in yellow still in front staff 707 student great job holding on to the front but he needs to find a way to create some distance out of these three gaps 707 in yellow is the only one that needs this win to assure himself was spotting the golden heat and he's doing everything he can he's gotta press on this next turn Vanover coming in trying to put the pressure on he's going [Applause] I am this swatch game will determine it all since he's out vandals ritenour oh and dirt goes down nineteen-year-old wonderkid tiny boys Stasi Newark finishes in six go to let's go to heat now ready for the golden heat back Vanover I've got one question two back-to-back heat wins going into the golden heat what does that do for your confidence it's where I want it to be it's not too high because I know that it was still a close heat the good news is the pilot gaps some of the seven who was the most worried about made a mistake and regardless I still would have had him on the pass so I feel better I know I can beat Newark I know I can beat Noah but I just need to do I did the last two heats and there's no chance they can beat me I'm just in my rhythm so as long as I launch good get out in front and just tell myself to fly my own race don't make any dumb mistakes I think it's mine short and concise Vanover short and concise yeah he talks too much maybe not all of the pilots are fans of the rookie sensation but love him or hate him they are all paying attention to him Vanover is kind of a new wild card I think he's got a few eyes on him at the amateur level he's very well known to be one of the fastest out there I have to give him respect because he has a lot of dedication he gets out he puts in the time and he trains like no other I know personally that I can be a these pilots out here on any of these tracks any quad doesn't matter any radio goggles I just need to focus on what I needed you personally told everything else out and go win but at the same time he is very arrogant and I don't appreciate that Vani Vani Vani Vani the bigmouth brat I see an insecure little boy with Vani he wants reassurance from the rest of the guys I grew up in the south where you have to be humble and he doesn't seem to feel that way we are getting ready for the winner-take-all golden eat started with six pilots and work down to three Newark Vanover and up the winner of this next team will be the level two champ earning a critical five season points in his quest to become the 2019 DRL Allianz world champion Vanover in the flashing disco drone nub in purple and Newark in green finals expected to pay off it'll be the square gate and then the heel expired van over and for eight launched by turf to keep it close - pilots nerf chasing dirt closing the gap this is for the level to win the swatch game for the first time up and thrill every close pressing the base no stand over keeps the lead but just barely pressing Vanover is not used to be fast [Applause] on the table over a little turn but sandover's not letting him get away [Applause] yeah Newark a nail-biter of a golden heat what does it mean to you to take this level win it's I mean it's it's redemption from level one that's for sure it's a continuation of last season it's it's it's a little bit more confirmation that I'm where I need to be that I can hang with the best in the world and come out here and get a get a course win early in the season I'm super psyched about that after two levels the rookie fan over sits on top with seven season points Newark since second but five gap is in third with two while jet nub each have one after Miami everyone headed to the Twin Cities of Minnesota for levels three and four they're a very different track presented unique opportunities and challenges for the pilots our look back on the 2019 season continues this is DRL the throw racing league [Music] [Music] welcome back to our review of the DRL Allianz World Championship season the brand new dazzling Allianz Field is our host for level 3 twin cities the top six pilots out of the semis now take their place in the cockpit where they'll race 7 heats around the stadium each eat here at Allianz Field is two laps with two critical switchbacks and the sky gates course is absolutely amazing out of all the drone courses I've flown over the last few years it's the best track of our flock it's a little bit of a mix it's wide open where it needs to be and then it's got spots where every single pilot is trying to take a different line figure out what's faster we have made it to the golden heat of the level 3 finals three pilots are here and now it is winner-take-all we started with six pilots now fan over Gavin Duncan remain to race one heat to determine the level champion it's the Battle of smooth versus raw it's the battle right now yeah but you don't want to be facing Duncan wings on fire all your guns I don't know that's scary the keys to victory Tony let's just go down the line let's start with Vanover what does he have to do that over has proven that when he flies his race from start to finish he wins so what he has to do is make sure that when the tone sound he's completely ready no other thoughts about winning or celebrating let's switch to gap what are his keys gap needs peak performance gap is the most consistent pilot at 98% he needs to push it to a hundred percent with flawless execution and I feel like our third and final pilot is definitely the wild card Duncan absolutely he's proven that he's the fastest on this course here and no one's gonna take that away from him so if he could do that now when it counts to the boat he'll get that win finals and over from the first podium but it's gap first number one man over in gamut of light jumping right there as well this is the first switchback man over with that traditional straight line has given him a slightly look at these do they're that big bag Gavin Duncan right there Vanover Gavin yellow Duncan and white in third the concourse the fastest murder to lose up to the sky gates this is Duncan's favorite spot it's still banned over in front along the western run they'll drop down once again to the swatch deep in or still maintains that position [Applause] so this cap cap gone up already making the push along the top course no you take it I think so I don't know I couldn't see I think I wonder you take it I never saw anyone in front yeah yeah good he took it you took it all yeah good job Annie yeah level three and he is able to put his stamp on this level Duncan's body in one but it wasn't the case Wow motional when you race I'm like did he somehow beat me I was like all right you want to talk about a close race giving fans exactly what they came for that was it in the final there oh no absolutely I had a great first lap I'm kind of known as in like level one I had an excellent first lap and I always kind of slowed down a bit a lot too I think that's just mentally me telling myself my heart starts beating it's like okay we're in front let's not mess up right and watching the replay I didn't realize how close gap got to me he made one mistake and that was it he probably would have beat me to that finish his line was looking really good but a nail-biter ever finished so much fun I love these guys so much because three different flying styles but three great pilots who are all pushing the limits what we can do out here well it's a lofty goal but right now you can celebrate another level win congratulations this one's also for my dad too we're getting there yeah we're going I was giving it everything I I could have just do close to that light pole tough luck I would have items' Vanover now has a significant lead in the season standings with 12 points nerf remains in second with five and gabon third with three Gavin Duncan fell short in level three but they would get another shot in the second event of the doubleheader at Allianz field level four next this is er L a drone racing lead [Music] welcome back to Allianz field here in st. Paul Minnesota we are down to our final regular heat in the finals of level 4 for pilots already in the gold key tour trying to earn their way there and one man has two wins that's fan over Vanover had a rough start here and we wondered if you'd be able to turn it around well he did great launches tight lines and no mistakes the last two heats let's go back to gap he was right behind Vanover last teeth but couldn't close out the win now that's become a theme for him for nearly two years gab has been the so close but not quite pilot since winning level two in 2017 he's finished on the podium eight times but never on the top step this is a dry spell he's burning to end you know life's unfair sometimes and it's one of the things that you know defines a bit who you are how I've performed in the last few seasons I know that I can consistently be faster than everybody I've just not been very lucky I'm not getting pushed down by it or anything I know it's how you can step up from that that really makes a decision on who you are and how things evolve for you I want to win because I know I can do it I have the ability to beat everybody so it's just a matter of keeping my training regiment going it's usually two parts of the training that have to come together for example when you go play a poker game you get your two cards at the start for me that's the amount of practice that I can do the more I practice the better my cards when I start the game but then once you're playing there's a bit of luck there's a bit of reading your opponent's see what they're gonna play if you need all those three parts to get there you need luck you need skill at the start and you need to make the right choices it's something that it's in my reach I just need to reach out and you know grab it gab is already in the gold heat a win here would give him a better start position freely and flexy it's win or go home finals eat six last chance were flexi inert metal this first gap right behind it we've seen this before in the switch that number one it starts with the swatch game Vanover with the cleanest line again to the square gate drops through the Pentagon game and on this respect number two you have inert looking for a chance to catch up but it's just not happening so far it's hard to catch up against the lead and a pilot like that Vanover through the sky game second he's going for it on the west run wow that was amazing but fan over passes right back look at this [Applause] - over the last time they were in this position can you do it again Vanover to the sky gate that dive through the finish Vanover get that gap second it is it sir you did yep good do you I was just right on you came that second lucky pasty good race and then you came up out of nowhere man heck yeah good race employs the regular heats of the level for finals have been completed we know there will be four pilots in the gold meet ban over gab 707 Duncan and Shaggy have one more heat to determine the level four champion was the pace on that no that was another record-setting heat he's not gonna have how many of those in a row no you just did three hours over the neuro four pilots the winner of this next heat is the level four champion Vanover starts on podium one gap 707 on podium for Duncan otome five shaggy six finals the other pilots have some real estate to make up against anima being over definitely versus already card is over [Music] [Applause] what an emotional win or gab 7:07 wait for that unforced error from Vanover and he capitalizes on that mistake holds on to the wind all the way through the drought is over gab you're known as one of the most consistent pilots in drone racing but the last level win for you was in 2017 level 2 atlanta aftermath how does it feel to be back on top you know I can't believe this you know I might just gratitude at this moment I can't you know thanks so much to everyone who's believed in me thanks and my girlfriend family it's been so long coming and people have been telling me you know you know you deserve this you got to get you got to get it and to finally make it I just can't why do you believe that you deserve it um I don't know two years ago I was leader in the season overtook me at the last possible moment and beat me last year I was feeling strong I had the course record on the track and the golden heat just went over in a snap like this and I know I have the speed I know I just need to keep it together and find the right formula for me I've worked actually really hard I found a new way of training I will admit and I think that was really really determining a factor for me tonight and that's huge on behalf of all your fans and us here at DRL we're all very proud of you and congratulations and we can't wait to see what's next thanks so much whoa an emotional win for gab that was two years in the making and bumps him up in the season standings after four levels Vanover remains in first with 13 points dabbe moves into second with 8 and Newark sits in third with five the TRL season heads to Phoenix Arizona and the largest crowd ever for a drone race level five Chase Field coming up this is TRL puts roam racing lead [Music] this is the URL Allianz World Championship welcome to Chase Field where we've turned an iconic baseball stadium into a high-speed three-dimensional racetrack we've made it to the gold needs at level five Chase Field four guys are in it no gap 707 Luxy and Vanover each heat is two half mile loops through port to gates position iein whoa Criss crossing the stadium and this course TK is a significant factor it truly is because it's so open the pilots need to focus on carrying momentum through the turn more than carving tight lines the smoothest pilots here will rise to the top the switchback has been a key differentiator here all night take us through this critical maneuver the switchback is a complex double u-turn requiring precise timing the goals are minimize distance flown while maximizing exit speed from each you turn the keys to the first u-turn are making a single turn while staying as close to the diamond gate as possible pilots pitch up slightly as they roll and yaw right they must time the turn so that they line up the diamond and square gates in a straight line the keys to the second u-turn are beginning to turn prior to the square gate and a peck seen as close to the gate as possible they pitch up slightly as they roll right with minimal yaw if they don't line up the two gates in the first u-turn they must make additional corrections which is slower if they don't begin the second u-turn early enough they extend their line path the square gate which is slower mistiming either turn causes them to hit the diamond gate or the square game if you want to win a level you need to first make the golden e and now we know our four pilots and their colors nuf in purple gap 707 yellow flux e the swatch pilot red and white and Vanover the flashing disco drum final [Music] winner-take-all fantastic start from Doug he's got climbing to the sky gate gab and fan over chasing him look at these guys ducks in a row Craig not doing a great job keeping in that day though as he just wonderfully dropped down little switch back to the first time now I'll be able to accelerate out of the square gate but gap is keeping it blue there on the right side of the course around the right-field pole back to the Pentagon gate and the start of last number to sub in the lead these guys behind a bit of a bobble there goes down he's blows again gap has closed the distance to switch back yet again gaps running at a time there was a bump that drop snap back the sweeping left Oh [Applause] fantastic launch off the podium getting to the front of the group and not letting go a tiny bit knocks back the wind and sends a message of his own now first off congratulations on a tremendous accomplishment can you put it into words what does it mean to you it means everything getting these points getting real points up on the board it shows these other pilots that I have what it takes still to stand up there on the podium at the end of the season and come back for another year before now what was holding you back that you overcame on this level I think it was a combination of things I wasn't getting a ton of practice I was in my own head a lot I wasn't thinking very positive I was dwelling on all of these negative things it would happen to me during a race and this time I just let it all go and just kept on flying my race so how do you take that how do you bottle it up and use it for the future levels that we have in front of us it's just an extreme confidence boost I've shown the guys hey I'm here I'm staying and you're not getting rid of me well once again congratulations you earned every bit of it thank you the overall season standings are getting interesting Vanover misses his first podium of the year but remains on top with 13 points gab is now just three points back with 10 and with this win now moves into third with six level six here in Phoenix would give the pilots another shot at season points with huge implications in the world championship title race next the drone racing league brought to you by aliens global leaders in asset management investments and insurance by the US Air Force aim high and by swatch welcome back to our review of the first six levels of the 2019 TRL Allianz World Championship season getting set for Heat number four of our finals here at level six Phoenix fan overs one two heats he's at the gold meet that's why training for gap just won the last teeth joining Vanover in that gold deep well I'm not gonna lie not do a little stretch a little bit less stress there by yourself winning Heat no I I'll give you a bit of confidence you know right no way to get by yourself people don't like being my team so anything that just gave me more confidence knowing I can make that make up that time on you out of all people I stay the last one Gabon Vanover have really separated themselves from the others here tonight TK what are you seeing that they're doing better you know that's a good question I don't think it's one thing in particular more everything all of them know the track inside and out and the best line through each element but Vanover and gab are executing those lines almost perfectly for two laps when the others make even a small misstep at any turn they fall behind they're up and away the left turn to the Pentagon Kade Vanover with the hole shot through the watch be built slime bin over in front cap 707 and yellow and jet conserve that was an aggressive turn out of a swash beat by gathers like two different clothes that distance to the top and he's always great on this drop here he goes this is the switchback Vanover gab jet they exit but gab stay right there with it over that's usually where he flips a gap in get this ringing a little wide out of that switchback that slows it down over there see this watch me so climb again jab is going for it there he goes on the drop he excels here and it's proving it right there gab momentarily passing Dan over but the swing back again gap slightly in front [Applause] [Music] [Applause] thank God dang it I don't know how to catch you guys that's your bedtime or what yeah it's true good job good racin gab how fun is it for a pilot of your level to race at this level you know this is the stuff that we all dream about we all think when we go out on the field let's say we practice together we'll get it heat like that and then we go to the next one and then nothing happens again it's one of those you just get one of them but we just did two of them in a row so I think we got something going here it's time for the golden heat flux e's last-second victory heat six means he joins Vanover and gap the stakes are huge if Vanover wins this heat he will have enough season points to clinch the world championship title if gabber flux ii win the entire season podium frame he determined in level seven all three away game over first to the Pentagon cave he'll be first to the slicing oh yeah kiss the swatch gate and is done fan over through the sky gate luck she's gonna have to play catch-up now into the switchback set up van over this is one of those maneuvers confidence in every heat well flux he's in a bad position here he's got to play catch up but that's not good for him if he could do this on every single one of these turns and changes a little bit of ground he can have his fighting chance he needs to figure it out remember these guys know each other's flying very well it was camped ban over weeks ago where they were together spending hours upon hours each other's tricks in treats but you have to believe but over the lightness [Music] unbelievable one little mistake like that costume give that to van over the crown has been passed all hail band over the season is his captain VIN over finally some smiles but also a lot of emotion that we saw just now what does it mean to be not just the level champion but now the world champion of the 2019 season I'm doing this for my dad and I love you that like this is for you you were a world champion and you inspired me it's this is this is for him this is for you he's watching up in heaven and my lord and everything just the support and everything this is hopefully the first of many but for me right now this is just probably the best one in my entire life I feel like I've I've served a purpose that I maybe can't grasp just yet but I hope these guys see it and I really hope that they see the motivation the passion in my faith and everything behind the scenes because that's also why I'm here I'm here to serve Him and not to serve myself or other people it's incredible you've racked up quite a trophy case here in your rookie season looking back at what you've accomplished what are you most proud of just my improvement in my dedication I've really focused so hard on this season trying to be the best pilot and that was it and just trying to not just be the best pilot for myself and my Lord and my dad who I'm serving but to show all these other guys that hard work and show everyone at home I was I wanted to be on D role and I put in the work to be here and then they get to world champion you can do it yourself that's what I'm here to show and that's my biggest proud moment is that anyone can do it it doesn't matter what obstacles what people call crazy that's great because I want to prove crazy to be right and that's just incredible it's so much to take in right now on behalf of the fans congratulations let's go to the overall season standings Vanover with that win now has a seven-point lead over gab 707 which means he has clinched the season win Vanover is your 2019 world champion
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2020.10.17 17:30 Watchdogs66 Our "Drive to 245": The Twenty-Fifth Step (Second Quarter)

The Drive To 245: Deprive the GOP In 25
 
In 2014 and with 234 House seats, the NRCC launched the “Drive to 245” campaign for the 2014 midterms, which focused on securing 245 seats for the 114th Congress. At the close of the midterms, they ended up picking up 13 seats, putting their new majority to 247 seats, 2 seats above the goal. For the majority of this election cycle, we had at least 234 House seats to start with, until a turncoat in disguise switched to the GOP in December 2019 (get fucked Jeff Van Drew) and we lost one of our districts in a May 2020 special election (get your act together Christy Smith). Despite these setbacks, getting to 245 seats in the next election is possible for us to achieve, if we are smart about it.
 
In late November 2018, I began by compiling an initial list of 25 potential districts that could give us the necessary gains for us to make the necessary net gain of 10 seats to fulfill our “Drive to 245” campaign goal. I then outlined the state representatives and state senators that we have on our side that live within (or at least represent a good portion of) the identified districts in the second step, which was split into parts one and two. These local officials are often our first line of offense when it comes to selecting appropriate candidates to flip GOP congressional districts, as these people often start out with significant amounts of name recognition (at least compared to most political novices), developed campaign infrastructures, and established donor networks to draw on. In the third step, I explored four different ways that these state representatives and state senators can help promising candidates build a solid platform to flip these 25 districts, even if we are not able to recruit any of these seasoned individuals themselves. I then proceeded to identify every individual local county Democratic organization within in each of these 25 districts to determine how much of a viable network exists towards flipping any of these districts, and whether any of them appear to be fledgling and underfunded, which was split into parts one, two, and three. I then proceeded to draw up rough battle plans to recruit the best candidates that are suitable towards making the necessary gains for the proposed 245 House seats, which I covered in parts one, two, and three. Since then, I updated my list of 25 districts to better reflect the developments that have occurred since November 2018, as well as the candidates from our end that have filed in those districts. After that, I covered updated game plans for the updated 25 districts, which was again split into parts one, two, and three. Another comprehensive update to the list was conducted in early July to account for the GOP retirements, lack of Democratic candidate recruitment for several districts, and other remarkable events that have occurred, all of which have been documented in said update. From there, more detailed plans were made that illustrated the overall status of the Democratic campaigns for each of these districts, which can be found in parts one, two, three, and four. These plans also highlighted which candidates appeared to have the most organized campaigns for each district, and which ones out of these strongest candidates needed the most assistance in terms of fundraising. Donation plans were also made that could sufficiently help out these struggling candidates, if every active user of this subreddit took part. After that, I provided a detailed plan for defending our 5 most endangered Democratic incumbents for this cycle. I next discussed the different methods that volunteers can help out a campaign, and what good campaigns should provide in such activities to optimize their voter outreach effectiveness, both of which can be found in parts one and two. In October 2019, I then provided another comprehensive review of the 25 districts that are the most likely to flip blue and the ideal strategies to accomplish that goal, which can be found in parts one, two, three, and four. After that, I provided an update on the overall status of our top 5 most endangered incumbents, and posted a rescue plan to help out the least financially stable campaigns, both of which can be found in this post. My next step provided day-by-day calendars highlighting volunteer events within the targeted 25 districts that helped participants develop vital Democratic infrastructure in those areas. These calendars, which ran from October 31 to January 15, can be found in parts one, two, three, and four. In late January, I gave a third update on the top 5 incumbents to defend this cycle. At the start of February 2020, I gave a fresh analysis of the 25 districts with the best chances of going blue, which are provided in parts one, two, three, and four. I then jumped to a day-by-day calendar of volunteer events of congressional campaigns operating throughout the 25 districts, which was originally planned to be released in four parts. However, the quickly deteriorating COVID-19 situation has forced this series to be suspended halfway through this step. The two calendars provided in this step, which ran from February 7 to March 19, can be found here and here. In April 2020, I provided an updated study of the 25 districts with the highest chances of flipping as well as the optimal strategies for each of these districts, which was delivered in parts one, two, three, and four. Later in May 2020, I provided another update on the top 5 incumbents to defend this cycle and their performances. I subsequently proceeded in June 2020 to provide a list of the competitive state house and state senate districts that overlapped one of the 30 congressional districts that this series targeted or defended, which was delivered in parts one, two, three, and four. Starting in late July 2020, I provided an updated perspective of the 25 districts with the highest chances of flipping as well as the optimal strategies for each of these districts, all of which were provided in parts one, two, three, and four. Shortly thereafter in August 2020, I provided a fresh update on the campaign status of the top 5 incumbents to defend this cycle. From there, I supplied a fresh view on the status of our campaigns in competitive state house and state senate districts that overlapped one of the 30 congressional districts that was targeted or defended by this series, which was given in parts one, two, three, and four. Next, I provided a calendar highlighting the important dates for the congressional campaigns operating within the 30 districts targeted and defended by this series.
 
This step will provide a final comprehensive review for each of the 25 districts that this series is targeting in the 2020 elections. As of now, the Democratic nominees have been selected for each target district. This review’s main objective is to gauge the progress of each nominee’s general election campaign. During the months that have transpired from the series’ last comprehensive review, excellent overall progress has been made in the target districts, which currently cover regions located throughout fifteen states. These districts are sorted by state, then ordered by priority, which is roughly based on factors such as whether there is an important up-ballot statewide race (Presidential or Senate) to support, the overall flippability of the districts in question, how soon within the 2020 cycle Democratic organization began within these relevant areas, and the overall quality of the Democratic nominees. Given the overall length of these strategies, this step will be split into four quarters. In the first quarter of this step, game plans were elaborated for districts located in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
This second quarter will go over the best strategies to follow for districts situated in Texas, Ohio, New York, and Virginia. For each district, the nominee’s campaign website, the amount of money he or she has raised so far according to the 2020 Q3 reports, and their campaign donation page will be listed. The fundraising numbers of the GOP opponent and an analysis of the Democratic nominee’s campaign will also be provided.
Some nominees are indicated with a minus or a plus, which indicates the overall quality of their campaign websites according to criteria that was listed in the second half of the eleventh step of this series. If a hash symbol (#) is indicated next to a candidate’s fundraising haul, it means that the figure was taken from the raw 2020 Q3 electronic filings for the candidate’s campaign committee. Fundraising figures from raw filings are not always up to date, meaning that they should be treated with caution. All districts listed on this post have their PVI and the bluest rating given by the political pundits at the time of this writing.
 
TX-10 (Michael McCaul, R+9, Lean R):
Democratic Nominee: Mike Siegel (+) Fundraising Numbers: $1,953,616 Campaign Website: https://siegelfortexas.org/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/siegel-for-congress
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Michael McCaul: $3,334,483
Mike Siegel is still running behind the GOP incumbent, Michael McCaul, in terms of fundraising. What further complicates things is that Mike Siegel came off of a lengthy runoff that shortened his general election campaign time, leaving him behind Michael McCaul in the latest polls for this district. However, his campaign website is pretty well organized in recruiting volunteers, and he is actively reaching out to help voters that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, we do have some promising signs that the district could flip our way, as recent reports have indicated that Democratic efforts in Colorado County have improved, with the Democratic county party there having secured more footholds and support than it did in August 2019. The priority right now is to improve voter outreach in several high impact counties that the district at least partially covers. For starters, Harris and Travis Counties are critical areas to organize, as both of these counties overlap with multiple districts that are covered in this series. Harris County has covers parts of TX-22, while Travis County covers areas of TX-21, and volunteering in those areas would help us flip multiple districts in Texas for the same amount of effort. Efforts in Lee and Waller Counties should also get some sizable assistance as the local Democratic parties in these areas continue to be underfunded (or at least lacking in the latest web design).
TX-21 (Chip Roy, R+10, Tossup):
Democratic Nominee: Wendy Davis (+) Fundraising Numbers: $7,809,356 Campaign Website: https://www.wendydavisforcongress.com Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/dav_website
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Chip Roy: $4,186,407
Wendy Davis has continued to raise obscene sums of money over the past several months, and is vastly outraising the GOP incumbent Chip Roy. Her website is pretty well organized with respect to recruiting volunteers, and she was a former state senator, so she definitely has gone full speed ahead with her campaign. However, the latest polls for this district show her slightly behind Chip Roy. Still, I am rather keen to see if she can kick out Chip Roy, who definitely needs to go because of his efforts to continuously block various bipartisan efforts such as disaster aid and the coronavirus response bill. Oh, and his stunts that he pulled in the name of supporting the House Freedom Caucus is just horrible. Like TX-10, the district has several high impact counties where we should step up our organization. Bexar and Travis Counties cover regions in TX-23 and TX-10 respectively, making them ideal for improving our odds in multiple districts for the same amount of work. Organization should also focus on Bandera and Real Counties, as the Democratic county party organizations are underfunded and could use some grassroots support.
TX-22 (OPEN, R+10, Tossup):
Democratic Nominee: Sri Preston Kulkarni (+) Fundraising Numbers: $4,671,339 (#) Campaign Website: https://sri2020.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kulkarniforcongress
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Troy Nehls: $1,343,215
Sri Preston Kulkarni’s campaign is definitely a lot more professional this time around. For one, his website has a well-organized place for potential volunteers to sign up. For another, his campaign is getting volunteers to reach out to voters in over 15 languages, which is really helpful in bringing out the Asian vote at record levels, which is necessary to improve our margins in the Sugar Land area. There is also the fact that the GOP nominee, Troy Nehls, is drained of resources from the expensive runoff, which gives Sri Preston Kulkarni a head start in the general election. And finally, Sri Preston Kulkarni is tied with Troy Nehls in the latest polls for this district. I once again stress the importance of Harris County, as it also covers parts of TX-10, giving us the benefit of improving our chances in flipping two districts for the price of organizing in one county.
TX-23 (OPEN, R+1, Lean D):
Democratic Nominee: Gina Ortiz Jones (-) Fundraising Numbers: $5,754,382 Campaign Website: https://ginaortizjones.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ginaortizjones
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Tony Gonzales: $1,160,880
Gina Ortiz Jones is continuing to raise huge sums of money for her campaign. This is perhaps the easiest pickup on our end for this cycle, if we do not count those from the North Carolina redistricting victories. The main focus for this district is to volunteer and improve our voter outreach as much as possible. Local reports say that infrastructure in El Paso County and Maverick County have improved since January 2019. However, every other county in the district except Bexar County (which should also be focused on to provide additional support for TX-21) and Medina County has an underfunded Democratic county party, meaning that grassroots efforts are heavily needed to revitalize these corresponding areas. An additional factor in our favor is that the GOP nominee, Tony Gonzales, got off of a bloody recount that has drained him of resources and campaign time. As a result of all of this, Gina Ortiz Jones has established a clear lead over Tony Gonzales in the most recent polls for this district. So provided that we can focus our grassroots efforts in the areas where the infrastructure is weak, the district should turn blue this time around.
TX-24 (OPEN, R+9, Lean D):
Democratic Nominee: Candace Valenzuela Fundraising Numbers: $3,561,892 Campaign Website: https://candacefor24.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/cd24
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Beth Van Duyne: $2,648,410
Candace Valenzuela is now significantly outraising the GOP candidate Beth Van Duyne. That in itself is a small yet notable victory, considering that Beth Van Duyne is one of the GOP candidates that the national Republicans are pushing hard for, as she is branding herself as one of the members of the “Conservative Squad”, who was highly touted by Fox News in late 2019. Candace Valenzuela is running neck and neck with Beth Van Duyne, according to the latest polls conducted for this district. Finally, Candace Valenzuela is widely viewed to be on the progressive wing of the Democratic challengers that have been nominated this cycle. All of this means that turning out the Democratic base is the top priority here, as this particular race will be one of the most nationalized congressional elections in this year’s cycle.
OH-01 (Steve Chabot, R+5, Tossup):
Democratic Nominee: Kate Schroder (-) Fundraising Numbers: $3,173,089 Campaign Website: https://www.kateforcongress.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/k4c-site
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Steve Chabot: $2,717,307
This particular race has significantly moved our way, as Kate Schroder is now outraising the GOP incumbent Steve Chabot. The most recent polls in this district have indicated that the race is now a dead heat. There’s also the fact that Steve Chabot’s former campaign consultant has been under investigation since last year for stealing campaign funds, which has given us more openings for this particular district. However, Kate Schroder’s volunteer page has declined in quality since it now redirects to her campaign’s MoblizeAmerica page, which is far less professional in signing up volunteers, in my opinion. At this point, the main objective for Kate Schroder is to continue to increase her name recognition and inform the electorate about her background, as an early DCCC general election poll indicated that voters were more likely to support Kate Schroder if she did so.
NY-01 (Lee Zeldin, R+5, Lean R):
Democratic Nominee: Nancy Goroff (+) Fundraising Numbers: $5,400,156 Campaign Website: https://www.goroffforcongress.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/goroff-website
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Lee Zeldin: $7,065,195
This district is certainly going to be very expensive to compete in, as Nancy Goroff has raised a very sizable seven-figure sum. However, she is still behind the GOP incumbent, Lee Zeldin, by over $1.7 million in fundraising, although that gap has slightly closed since the last comprehensive review. Recent polls suggest that Lee Zeldin still has a clear advantage, although it is certainly in the single digits. Local reports say that the Democrats in that particular district have quickly united against Lee Zeldin and directed appropriate support and voter outreach in the areas that are receptive to Nancy Goroff’s messaging. Nancy Goroff’s volunteer page has also improved over the past several months, as it now includes a space listing specific activities that potential volunteers can choose to engage in. Suffolk County is a very important county to concentrate voter outreach efforts on, as it overlaps with NY-02.
NY-02 (OPEN, R+3, Tossup):
Democratic Nominee: Jacqueline Gordon Fundraising Numbers: $3,550,230 Campaign Website: https://jackiegordonforcongress.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/jackiegordonsite
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Andrew Garbarino: $1,260,624
This race has a surprisingly high victory potential for us. Jacqueline Gordon has a lot of potential as a Babylon Town Councilmember, a veteran, and a woman of color, meaning that she possesses a strong ability to turn out the minority vote as well as well-established political connections. Her GOP opponent, Andrew Garbarino, is experienced some slight delays in getting his campaign off the ground due to his state Assembly duties as well as some coordination issues with Peter King, the district’s current (and retiring) GOP incumbent. Garbarino’s kickoff did not start until August, which gave us a slight head start in making our case to the district’s voters. Another advantage that we have is that Jacqueline Gordon is currently blowing away Andrew Garbarino in the fundraising department. However, her campaign volunteer page has slightly deteriorated over the past several months, as it connects potential volunteers to her MoblizeAmerica page, which is less efficient in signing up potential volunteers, in my opinion. I would like to repeat the emphasis that efforts should be made to organize in Suffolk County, since that county also covers parts of NY-01.
NY-24 (John Katko, D+3, Tossup):
Democratic Nominee: Dana Balter Fundraising Numbers: $2,443,168 Campaign Website: https://electdanabalter.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/balter-website
GOP Fundraising Numbers: John Katko: $3,329,771
Dana Balter is still being outraised by the GOP incumbent, John Katko, although the cumulative fundraising gap has slightly closed since the series’ last comprehensive review. The volunteer page on her campaign website has also slightly deteriorated since then, as it also now connects to a customized MobilizeAmerica webpage, which is less efficient in signing up potential volunteers, in my opinion. However, Democratic internal polling shows that Dana Balter is currently running close with John Katko. In this particular Democrat-leaning district, voter persuasion is going to be very important, as there are thousands of voters in this district who are currently plan to split the ticket between Joe Biden and John Katko in November. This finding, which has been confirmed in several polls conducted for this district, means that we should focus our voter persuasion efforts in Auburn, Syracuse, and Skaneateles, as that is where most of these split-ticket voters are located in. Additional outreach efforts should also be concentrated on strengthening our base in Cayuga County, as the local Democratic party there is relatively weak in funding.
VA-05 (OPEN, R+6, Tossup):
Democratic Nominee: Bryant Cameron Webb (+) Fundraising Numbers: $4,077,969 Campaign Website: https://www.drcameronwebb.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/cameronwebb
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Robert Good: $984,809
Oh boy, has this race quickly received a lot of recent attention, as all of the stars seem to be aligning in this particular race. First of all, there is a divided GOP electorate from the nominating convention that ejected the district’s incumbent, Denver Riggleman, from the nomination. Next, Bryant Cameron Webb has some serious potential of supercharging the minority vote in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Then, Robert Good, the GOP candidate, is at a serious disadvantage when it comes to fundraising, as his cumulative fundraising figures remain much lower than Bryant Cameron Webb’s are. Also, the most recent polling for this district indicates that Bryant Cameron Webb is running very close to Robert Good. Finally, recent reports say that the Democratic infrastructure in Appomattox and Campbell Counties have improved since January 2019. Our primary goal in this district should be to increase our voter outreach efforts, as quite a few Democratic county parties are underfunded and in need of grassroots support. These counties are Brunswick, Buckingham, Cumberland, Danville City, Halifax, Lunenburg, and Prince Edward Counties. Needless to say, there is a lot of work cut out for us to flip a solid red district that voted for Corey Stewart in 2018.
 
And thus we come the end of this step’s second quarter. The third quarter will describe ideal procedures for flipping target districts in Illinois, Florida, Indiana, and California. After that, the final quarter will cover optimized tactics for districts within New Jersey, Colorado, Nebraska, and Montana. So stay tuned! Any corrections or comments are welcome.
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2020.10.17 01:33 Watchdogs66 Our "Drive to 245": The Twenty-Fifth Step (First Quarter)

The Drive To 245: Deprive the GOP In 25
 
In 2014 and with 234 House seats, the NRCC launched the “Drive to 245” campaign for the 2014 midterms, which focused on securing 245 seats for the 114th Congress. At the close of the midterms, they ended up picking up 13 seats, putting their new majority to 247 seats, 2 seats above the goal. For the majority of this election cycle, we had at least 234 House seats to start with, until a turncoat in disguise switched to the GOP in December 2019 (get fucked Jeff Van Drew) and we lost one of our districts in a May 2020 special election (get your act together Christy Smith). Despite these setbacks, getting to 245 seats in the next election is possible for us to achieve, if we are smart about it.
 
In late November 2018, I began by compiling an initial list of 25 potential districts that could give us the necessary gains for us to make the necessary net gain of 10 seats to fulfill our “Drive to 245” campaign goal. I then outlined the state representatives and state senators that we have on our side that live within (or at least represent a good portion of) the identified districts in the second step, which was split into parts one and two. These local officials are often our first line of offense when it comes to selecting appropriate candidates to flip GOP congressional districts, as these people often start out with significant amounts of name recognition (at least compared to most political novices), developed campaign infrastructures, and established donor networks to draw on. In the third step, I explored four different ways that these state representatives and state senators can help promising candidates build a solid platform to flip these 25 districts, even if we are not able to recruit any of these seasoned individuals themselves. I then proceeded to identify every individual local county Democratic organization within in each of these 25 districts to determine how much of a viable network exists towards flipping any of these districts, and whether any of them appear to be fledgling and underfunded, which was split into parts one, two, and three. I then proceeded to draw up rough battle plans to recruit the best candidates that are suitable towards making the necessary gains for the proposed 245 House seats, which I covered in parts one, two, and three. Since then, I updated my list of 25 districts to better reflect the developments that have occurred since November 2018, as well as the candidates from our end that have filed in those districts. After that, I covered updated game plans for the updated 25 districts, which was again split into parts one, two, and three. Another comprehensive update to the list was conducted in early July to account for the GOP retirements, lack of Democratic candidate recruitment for several districts, and other remarkable events that have occurred, all of which have been documented in said update. From there, more detailed plans were made that illustrated the overall status of the Democratic campaigns for each of these districts, which can be found in parts one, two, three, and four. These plans also highlighted which candidates appeared to have the most organized campaigns for each district, and which ones out of these strongest candidates needed the most assistance in terms of fundraising. Donation plans were also made that could sufficiently help out these struggling candidates, if every active user of this subreddit took part. After that, I provided a detailed plan for defending our 5 most endangered Democratic incumbents for this cycle. I next discussed the different methods that volunteers can help out a campaign, and what good campaigns should provide in such activities to optimize their voter outreach effectiveness, both of which can be found in parts one and two. In October 2019, I then provided another comprehensive review of the 25 districts that are the most likely to flip blue and the ideal strategies to accomplish that goal, which can be found in parts one, two, three, and four. After that, I provided an update on the overall status of our top 5 most endangered incumbents, and posted a rescue plan to help out the least financially stable campaigns, both of which can be found in this post. My next step provided day-by-day calendars highlighting volunteer events within the targeted 25 districts that helped participants develop vital Democratic infrastructure in those areas. These calendars, which ran from October 31 to January 15, can be found in parts one, two, three, and four. In late January, I gave a third update on the top 5 incumbents to defend this cycle. At the start of February 2020, I gave a fresh analysis of the 25 districts with the best chances of going blue, which are provided in parts one, two, three, and four. I then jumped to a day-by-day calendar of volunteer events of congressional campaigns operating throughout the 25 districts, which was originally planned to be released in four parts. However, the quickly deteriorating COVID-19 situation has forced this series to be suspended halfway through this step. The two calendars provided in this step, which ran from February 7 to March 19, can be found here and here. In April 2020, I provided an updated study of the 25 districts with the highest chances of flipping as well as the optimal strategies for each of these districts, which was delivered in parts one, two, three, and four. Later in May 2020, I provided another update on the top 5 incumbents to defend this cycle and their performances. I subsequently proceeded in June 2020 to provide a list of the competitive state house and state senate districts that overlapped one of the 30 congressional districts that this series targeted or defended, which was delivered in parts one, two, three, and four. Starting in late July 2020, I provided an updated perspective of the 25 districts with the highest chances of flipping as well as the optimal strategies for each of these districts, all of which were provided in parts one, two, three, and four. Shortly thereafter in August 2020, I provided a fresh update on the campaign status of the top 5 incumbents to defend this cycle. From there, I supplied a fresh view on the status of our campaigns in competitive state house and state senate districts that overlapped one of the 30 congressional districts that was targeted or defended by this series, which was given in parts one, two, three, and four. Next, I provided a calendar highlighting the important dates for the congressional campaigns operating within the 30 districts targeted and defended by this series.
 
This step will provide a final comprehensive review for each of the 25 districts that this series is targeting in the 2020 elections. As of now, the Democratic nominees have been selected for each target district. This review’s main objective is to gauge the progress of each nominee’s general election campaign.
Before this step proceeds to the official review, however, an important change to the list of 25 targeted districts will be announced, as well as the reasoning. Back in the beginning of the sixteenth step of this series, I announced that there would be no further changes to the list of target districts. The one exception that I gave to that statement was if any of the eventual Democratic nominees were found to have a serious scandal. This was fortunately not the case for any of the nominees running in the districts targeted in this series. The reasoning behind the announcement was that there was very little time to get newly added districts up to speed with the needed information, infrastructure, and grassroots support to provide them with realistic chances of success. I believed that my “expertise” would be better served by further expanding the knowledge that I have acquired in these 25 districts, as the great majority of the gains that are needed to get to 245 House seats in January 2021 would come from these districts.
However, several unique circumstances have occurred since then which have compelled me to make an exception to this announcement, which I will explain in the below sections. As with previous instances where changes to the target list were made, I've maintained the number of districts to a constant 25 to keep to the mnemonic listed in the title.
 
No longer on the list:
TX-31 (John Carter, R+10, Likely R): The Democratic nominee, Donna Imam, has posted some very lackluster fundraising numbers, with her total fundraising haul currently at $762,706. All of the other Democratic nominees in this series have cumulatively raised solid seven figure sums, which is generally the baseline for a winning congressional campaign to achieve. Several reports that I consulted have revealed that Donna Imam’s campaign is exceedingly disorganized. The infrastructure that MJ Hegar built in her 2018 run there is not getting translated to Donna Imam, since the Senate race against John Cornyn is getting all of the political oxygen there. Also, several Democratic operatives in TX-31 are frustrated with Donna Imam’s erratic campaign decisions, lack of steady communication channels, and inconsistent messaging. They have complained about the campaign’s substandard voter outreach efforts, social media handling, and participation in key local organizations. Several of them have decided to triage this district and take their efforts to TX-10 and TX-21. The district that I will be adding to replace TX-31 needs more of our attention and support at present at once, and I do not think that there will be too many objections to this late change.
New districts added to the list:
CA-25 (Mike Garcia, EVEN, Tossup): There has been a lot of criticism and frustration directed at Christy Smith, the Democratic nominee for this district, as well as the Los Angeles County Democrats and Ventura County Democrats for their poor organizational efforts. I provided a litany of the mistakes which were made in the special election, and caused us to lose a ton a momentum that we painstakingly built since the 2018 midterm elections. Unfortunately, several months of deep diving in this district have revealed that not all of these problems have been resolved as of now. Christy Smith is viewed as damaged goods among a good number of Democratic donors and operatives because of the magnitude of her loss in a district that went for Clinton by 6.7 points in 2016. She was significantly outraised by Mike Garcia in the quarterly reports that have been released since the special election, and the local organizational groups, especially the Los Angeles County Democrats and the Ventura County Democrats, are still operating at substandard levels. Because of all of this, Christy Smith is still running behind Mike Garcia in the polls. Unless Christy Smith receives additional assistance and coordination, which adding this district to the series’ target list will help provide, we will lose this district in November as well.
 
So now that the change to the list has been announced and explained, this step will now begin the final comprehensive review for the 25 districts that are currently on this series’ target list. During the months that have transpired from the series’ last comprehensive review, excellent overall progress has been made in the target districts, which currently cover regions located throughout fifteen states. These districts are sorted by state, then ordered by priority, which is roughly based on factors such as whether there is an important up-ballot statewide race (Presidential or Senate) to support, the overall flippability of the districts in question, how soon within the 2020 cycle Democratic organization began within these relevant areas, and the overall quality of the Democratic nominees. Given the overall length of these strategies, this step will be split into four quarters.
In the first quarter of this step, game plans will be elaborated for districts located in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. For each district, the nominee’s campaign website, the amount of money he or she has raised so far according to the 2020 Q3 reports, and their campaign donation page will be listed. The fundraising numbers of the GOP opponent and an analysis of the Democratic nominee’s campaign will also be provided.
Some nominees are indicated with a minus or a plus, which indicates the overall quality of their campaign websites according to criteria that was listed in the second half of the eleventh step of this series. If a hash symbol (#) is indicated next to a candidate’s fundraising haul, it means that the figure was taken from the raw 2020 Q3 electronic filings for the candidate’s campaign committee. Fundraising figures from raw filings are not always up to date, meaning that they should be treated with caution. All districts listed on this post have their PVI and the bluest rating given by the political pundits at the time of this writing.
 
GA-07 (OPEN, R+9, Lean D):
Democratic Nominee: Carolyn Bourdeaux (+) Fundraising Numbers: $4,169,721 Campaign Website: https://www.carolyn4congress.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/carolyn_website
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Richard McCormick: $2,168,122
Carolyn Bourdeaux continues to raise an impressive amount of money for her second run and is very well-positioned to flip the district. Her website is also well organized with respect to recruiting volunteers, especially for those wishing to participate in canvassing and phone banks. The most recent polling shows Carolyn Bourdeaux slightly leading in the polls against her opponent, Richard McCormick, which is another good sign. This district is an important one for us, since it is not only one of our most likely pick-ups, but also helps boosts Democratic turnout up the ballot for the two Senate races that are taking place this cycle, as well as helping us put Georgia in the presidential blue column for the first time since 1992!
MI-03 (OPEN, R+6, Tossup):
Democratic Nominee: Hillary Scholten (+) Fundraising Numbers: $2,510,892 Campaign Website: https://www.hillaryscholten.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/helphillary
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Peter Meijer: $2,664,444 (#)
Hillary Scholten is definitely getting some serious fundraising strength and has continued to build up momentum over the past several months. Her campaign is up to the point that it can be truly competitive with that of her GOP opponent, Peter Meijer, although she is currently trailing him in the latest polling. Definitely consider supporting Hillary Scholten’s campaign, as we need the turnout boost from a traditionally conservative area to help improve our chance of winning the Presidential and Senate races there. Organizational efforts should concentrate towards Ionia and Montcalm Counties, as the local Democratic Party counties there are underfunded and could use some support from the grassroots.
MI-06 (Fred Upton, R+4, Lean R):
Democratic Nominee: Jon Hoadley (+) Fundraising Numbers: $2,425,505 Campaign Website: https://jonhoadley.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/website-form
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Fred Upton: $3,028,491 (#)
Jon Hoadley is a fairly good candidate, as he is a current State Representative and has posted solid fundraising numbers. He also has a very well designed website for attracting and recruiting volunteers. However, his ground game, get-out-the-vote operations, and name recognition still needs work, as his performance in the Democratic primary was rather underwhelming. He is also trailing the GOP incumbent for this district, Fred Upton, by a considerable amount in the latest polls. According to recent reports, Democratic efforts in St. Joseph County have improved, with the Democratic county party there being much more funded and developed than it was in December 2018. This is a good thing, as we need every boost that we can get in Michigan for the Presidential and Senate races there.
PA-01 (Brian Fitzpatrick, R+1, Lean R):
Democratic Nominee: Christina Finello (+) Fundraising Numbers: $1,425,176 Campaign Website: https://www.finelloforcongress.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/christina-finello
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Brian Fitzpatrick: $3,780,911 (#)
We are working behind the eight ball for this district due to the chaos of several Democratic candidates dropping out of the race earlier in the cycle. Christina Finello’s main disadvantage in her campaign against the GOP incumbent, Brian Fitzpatrick, is of course the fundraising gap. Fortunately, Christina Finello’s campaign has narrowed the gap in the past several months, as it managed to outraise Brian Fitzpatrick’s campaign in the Q3 period. However, she is still trailing Brian Fitzpatrick by a noticable margin in the latest polls. Adding to the district’s strategic importance is that PA-01 is located in a crucial area for turning Pennsylvania back to blue in the 2020 presidential election.
PA-10 (Scott Perry, R+6, Tossup):
Democratic Nominee: Eugene DePasquale (+) Fundraising Numbers: $3,345,492 Campaign Website: https://eugeneforcongress.com/ Donation Page: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/depasquale-for-pa-1
GOP Fundraising Numbers: Scott Perry: $3,237,416 (#)
The Democratic nominee, Eugene DePasquale, is now leading the GOP incumbent, Scott Perry, in the cumulative fundraising and the polling departments. In order for this district to get to the Lean D category (which I believe that it has a real shot of reaching by the end of this month), Eugene DePasquale needs to ramp up volunteer efforts in Dauphin County, as that is where he posted his weakest numbers in the June primary. Another reason why PA-10 should be front and center of our radars is that the district itself another crucial area that we need to close the GOP margins in order to turn Pennsylvania back to blue in 2020.
 
And thus we come the end of this step's first quarter. The second quarter will go over the best strategies to follow for districts situated in Texas, Ohio, New York, and Virginia. Then, the third quarter will describe ideal procedures for flipping target districts in Illinois, Florida, Indiana, and California. After that, the final quarter will cover optimized tactics for districts within New Jersey, Colorado, Nebraska, and Montana. So stay tuned! Any corrections or comments are welcome.
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2020.10.15 15:53 HeyitsyaboyJesus Nebraska 2021 Recruiting Class Review: 10/15/2020

I spent my off time this week taking a hard look at the recruits of this class. I’ve compiled our current commits below and done my own evaluation and what I see in each recruit- the good and the bad. I’ve made determinations on how I think they should be rated and compare that to their 247 rating.
I’m a complete amateur at evaluating recruits and have no experience other than watching film and seeing what the experts take into account and how they rate players. This was an exercise for me and I gave a brief bio about each player. The heights and weights are taken from 247 and from what I’ve seen on film as some of the weights were not up to date. I followed 247’s rating explanations as a guide.
Koby Bretz - Omaha, NE
6’2” – 185lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 50.74 Miles
Profile: 88 247 – 5.6 RivalsHudl
Current Position: S/WR
Recruitment Position: S/Field OLB
Koby Bretz plays for Omaha Westside in Omaha, Nebraska. Last year Westside played Bellevue West for the state title but came up short. This year, they and Bellevue West are again the favorites to play in the state championship. The currently are undefeated sitting at 7-0.
Bretz is a tall, powerful, athletic Safety that shows great speed and angle recognition when coming downhill. While not the strongest looking player, he brings a level of physicality to Westside’s defensive backfield, capable of forcing fumbles on devastating hits. He has highlights of him coming between gaps and through blocks to make tackles. His playmaking highlights at safety much of the time is in run support, but in the games I’ve seen of him this year he has been able to recognize pass plays and make some high caliber PBU’s. At wide receiver he has shown that he can go up and make plays on balls while showing above average straight-line speed (this also shows up in his pursuit as a DB).
Bretz has all the tools to be a great player- of this class, he has one of the highest ceilings. He is someone that will need a year to learn hone his skills as a DB, get stronger and learn the playbook. His frame looks like it can hold another 20-30lbs comfortably- however he will need to work hard to develop himself. I think he starts out as a Safety before moving down to the field OLB. I think he can be a force at this position- he is a gifted tackler. Additionally, if the staff felt like they needed him at ILB, I feel as though he could play this position as well.
Bretz is rated an 88 by 247. I think his rating is appropriate. Depending on how he has looked this year, I could see him rise. Unfortunately, he has not posted any of his gameplay from this year on hudl.
Marques Buford – Oakdale, CT (Cedar Hill, TX)
6’0” – 195lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 1274.04 Miles
Profile: 87 247 – 5.5 RivalsHudl
Current Position: ATH – DB/WR
Recruitment Position: DB
Marques Buford plays for St. Thomas More Preparatory School in Oakdale, CT. Buford is a two-time state champion with his high school team at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, TX.
Buford is an excellent all-around athlete playing at Defensive Back. He was a top camp performer multiple times in high school. He is agile, he is fast, he has great hands and a solid frame. He can lockdown receivers in man coverage and go up for balls just as well. He has solid play recognition ability and tackling ability. With a year at Prep School, he will be in a similar position to Alante Brown this year and have the opportunity and come in and help the DB room immediately.
When viewing his film, Buford does not have any immediately recognizable deficiencies. He will need to continue working hard and improve his body and skills as a DB.
Buford is rated an 87 by 247. I think Buford is underrated here and should be a borderline 4* at an 89 or 90. He is the best prep school player in the country.
James Carnie – Firth, NE
6’5” – 223lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 19.8 Miles
Profile: 86 247 – 5.6 RivalsHudl
Current Position: TE/OLB
Recruitment Position: TE
James Carnie plays for Norris High School in Firth, Nebraska. His team finished 7-4 last year and currently sits at 6-1 this year.
Carnie is an athletic Tight End/Outside Linebacker standing a 6’5” 223lbs. During the summer Carnie caught eyes with his 32.5” vertical and 4.6- 40 yard dash time at the Warren Academy Showcase. He is regarded by some as the best tight end in the state of Nebraska. This season he has shown that his athleticism in camps shows up on the field. He is a physical blocker and pass rusher, capable of pancaking DBs/LBs and coming off blocks to chase down QBs/RBs. Carnie has been able to show his speed and explosiveness on the field as a tight end, getting free from DBs and winning footraces to the end zone. He has shown ability to go up for 50/50 balls and yank them out of the air. His hands have improved greatly from last season and over the course of this season.
He is a physical player that will need to improve his body position going into contact. Carnie can run through people with poor tackling now, but if he lowers his shoulder, he should be able to blow through better tacklers. He has shown that he can drag tacklers and spin out of waist tackles.
Carnie will need to improve his route running ability, while decent now, he needs better breakouts and crisper routes. He also needs to improve his general elusiveness and on-the-field speed slightly, it appears that not all the speed he gained during the offseason has translated.
When he gets to Nebraska, he must maintain the same mentality he had over the summer and this season, working hard, and proving he can be a great player. He will need to continue to gain lean muscle and explosiveness to be a physical blocker and pass catcheroute runner.
Carnie is rated an 86 by 247. I believe this is the correct range for him to be in, however, I could see him improve to an 88 with his performance over the season and into the playoffs.
Gabe Ervin – Buford, GA
6’0” – 200lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 834.65 Miles
Profile: 84 247 – 5.7 RivalsHudl
Current Position: RB
Recruitment Position: RB
Gabe Ervin plays for Buford High School in Buford Georgia. Buford High School won the 5A state title last year in a come back victory and moved to the 6A division currently sitting at 3-1 this season. While the school is not filled with P5 athletes, the school executes its offense and defense at a high level to control and win games.
Playing at the Running Back position, Ervin is one of the most intriguing prospects of Nebraska’s class. He appears and is capable of being a 3-down back that runs downhill, makes quick cuts and breaks tackles. However, Gabe Ervin’s athleticism is more than being a downhill bruiser and he has shown he can be shifty in the backfield and bounce the football outside the tackles this season. Ervin is capable of getting down the field in a hurry and if a seam opens up in the middle of the field he will hit that seam and take it to the house- he is capable of accelerating and hitting his stride as soon as he reaches the second level.
Ervin’s vision and ability to read defenses is at a high level coming out of high school and I think this is attributed to the system he plays in and the coaching he has received. In game film I have seen him make reads on linebackers and use footwork while he is in the backfield to get LB’s to bite on the wrong gaps- in a particular play that he did this he turned what would have been a 7 or 8 yard gain to a 40 yard gain.
Ervin’s shiftiness is not given enough credit, he has been able to put DB’s and LB’s on skates with his footwork. He has shown that he can put defensive players at bad angles to make tackles and then break them- shedding them off his hips or with a stout stiff arm. His balance is very impressive and has shown great resilience on going down on ankle tackles. Last year Ervin averaged ~6.7 ypc. He seeks to improve his YPC and has done a good job, rushing for 178 yards on 10 carries in his most recent game.
Ervin is rated an 84 by 247. I believe Ervin deserves at least a 4-point bump. Ervin’s running style is akin to what Devine Ozigbo’s looked like his senior season. Strong downfield runner with unexpected elusiveness, but Ervin’s ability to bounce the ball outside the OT’s this season has been his biggest improvement and it has surprised a lot of people- me included. According to “Tracking Football” Ervin scores a 4.6 out of 5.0 on their athleticism scale when looking at his height, weight, and track times. This is considered “exceptional”. If I were to describe Ervin’s running ability and approach to the game in one word it would, “professional”.
Thomas Fidone – Council Bluffs, IA – US Army All American
6’5” – 225lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 54.1 Miles
Profile: 95 247 – 6.0 RivalsHudl
Current Position: TE
Recruitment Position: TE
Thomas Fidone plays for Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He is an Army All American Tight End. Thomas Fidone is the best Tight End in the nation of the 2021 class. He is the best route running and pass catching tight ends I’ve ever seen at the High School level. If you were to look at all the recruits this cycle and ask for the best route runners and pass catchers (RB’s, WR’s, and TE’s included) Fidone would still be at the top of the list. His breakouts are exceptional, his footwork is exceptional, his hands are exceptional. He stands at 6’5 225 and runs a 4.63 – 40-yard dash with a 37” vertical, all of which shows up on the field, winning in foot races to the endzone and showing elusiveness and acceleration.
He is a physical player and wins jump balls and sells his body out to make great catches. He drags defenders and puts them in the dirt with stiff arms. He is a capable and physical blocker. He is an extremely hard worker that wants to be the best.
Fidone is rated a 95 by 247. He has had a fantastic season so far. He has a shot at becoming a 5* player by 247, but I believe much of that decision will come down to how he plays at the All-American Bowl.
Mikai Gbayor – Irvington, NJ
6’2 – 220lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 1172.70 Miles
Profile: 87 247 – 5.6 RivalsHudl
Current Position: ILB
Recruitment Position: ILB
Mikai Gbayor plays for Irvington High School in Irvington, New Jersey. His school lost in the semi-final for the state championship. His team is off to a 2-0 start this season.
Gbayor plays Inside Linebacker and is a physical presence in the center of the field. He has solid play recognition, appears to be a sure tackler and often is a decleator. He has multiple highlights of him destroying RB’s and QB’s. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a ton of hudl film for me to look through. He is best as a run stopper and is fast enough to hit gaps he needs to. He has a long frame and appears to be able to put on a good bit more weight and muscle. His lateral movement needs to improve as does his pass coverage and acceleration. However, I do think he has the athleticism to pull this off- he will need to dedicate himself to the S&C program and to improving technique.
Gbayor is rated an 87 by 247, I think this is a fair assessment. I do think his skill is in the 85-87 range. If he can show this season that he has improved his acceleration, ability to get off blocks and pursue sideline to sideline he will be a force to be reckoned with.
Kamonte Grimes – Naples, FL – US Army All American
6’2” – 205lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 1324.77 Miles
Profile: 88 247 – 5.5 RivalsHudl
Current Position: WDB
Recruitment Position: WR
Kamonte Grimes plays for Palmetto Ridge High School in Naples, Florida. His team went 4-6 overall in 2019, but are off to a 3-0 start this season. He is an Army All American.
Grimes is both a Wide Receiver and Defensive Back at his high school but was recruited as a WR by the Huskers. He spent the offseason becoming a better athlete and really worked on his body. Over the summer he accepted an invitation to play in the Army All American Bowl. Grimes is another unique prospect. The way that he runs makes him look slower and less elusive than he is, but he can create separation and outrun pursuing players. He glides and is a smooth route runner. He can go up for balls and break tackles made with poor angles. He’s a willing blocker. I think the biggest parts of his game he needs to improve upon is his explosiveness and route running.
Grimes is rated an 88 by 247, I find this to be a fair rating. I found the invite to the Army All-American Bowl particularly interesting as I don’t see him as an elite receiver. I think his performance at the AA Bowl will tell us a lot about how good he is.
Heinrich Haarberg – Kearney, NE
6’5” – 185lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 119.43 Miles
Profile: 88 247 – 5.6 RivalsHudl
Current Position: QB
Recruitment Position: QB
Heinrich Haarberg plays for Kearney Catholic in Kearney, Nebraska. His team finished 7-3 last year and currently sits at 5-1 this season.
Haarberg is a tall athletic and raw Quarterback. He has a lot of untapped talent and if he can hone his skills, he can be dangerous. Haarberg makes throwing 50-yard bombs and 20-yard lasers look easy. He’s adept at using his body and hips to generate power on his throws and can make strong throws while on the run and across his body. Haarberg is a boon in the QB run game, an area his team has relied on a lot this season. He can run through tackles and likes to play physically- he lowers his shoulder into contact. If Haarberg gets into the open field he can win footraces, having run a sub 11.0 100m.
Haarberg will need to spend time with Verduzco to improve as a QB, but understands he needs work. I’m not super familiar with looking at and evaluating QB’s, but I can tell he has poor footwork when he drops back in the pocket. If Haarberg spends a lot of time in S&C, he can become a force in the QB run game that no player wants to tackle. I can see him getting up to 235lbs and still retain his speed.
Haarberg is rated an 88 by 247. I think this is an appropriate rating. He has a very high upside and athletic ability, he just needs to develop and harness it.
Shawn Hardy – Kingsland, GA
6’3” – 190lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 1086.47 Miles
Profile: 85 247 – 5.6 RivalsHudl
Current Position: WR
Recruitment Position: WR
Shawn Hardy plays for Camden County High School in Kingsland, Georgia. His team finished 8-3 last year and sits at 4-2 this year.
Hardy is a taller receiver that excels in his ball tracking ability and ability to go up and win 50/50 balls. He has solid speed to take the tops off defenses on go routes with his long stride. He plays a physical game when jumping up for balls and routinely rips the ball from defenders’ hands. He has surprising elusiveness for his size, and it has really come out this season with being able to accelerate around blocks and make strong cuts. While his route running is solid, there is always room to improve. His top end speed, elusiveness and acceleration only need a slight improvement to take him from a good receiver to an elite receiver. He has already improved his acceleration markedly.
Hardy is rated an 85 by 247. I think Hardy is underrated and would consider him our best receiver of the class when looking at this film. He plays against a high level of competition in Georgia 7A football- he finished with the 2nd most receiving yards in his conference and is on pace to surpass his previous years number. I would give Hardy a 2-point bump to an 87, maybe a 3 point bump to an 88.
Randolph Kpai – Sioux Falls, SD
6’3” – 185lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 189.39 Miles
Profile: 90 247 – 5.7 RivalsHudl
Current Position: LB
Recruitment Position: ILB
Randolph Kpai plays for Washington High School in Sioux Falls, SD. Last year his team finished 4-7 and is currently 3-4 on the season.
Kpai is one of the most athletic Linebackers in this class and it is apparent on his film. Kpai can accelerate to gaps and lay the wood on whatever offensive player is unlucky enough to get hit by him. He doesn’t have any official testing numbers but just watching his film you can see his ability- he moves at a different speed than everyone else on the field. Kpai could be either a Field OLB or WILL ILB and be effective in either position. He is fast coming off the edge and closing in on ball carriers to make tackles. He strikes blocks hard and can chase RB’s and WR’s laterally. He’s everything you want athletically at LB.
Kpai remains slight at 6’3, but he should be able to add a lot of good weight to his frame and become a dangerous player. He will need time to learn assignments and continue getting experience at one of the toughest positions to learn in football to become a great ILB.
This season Kpai leads his team in Solo (25) and Assisted (35) tackles. He is second on the team in TFL’s with 6.0. He sits at 1.5 sacks this season. Kpai has forced a total of 7 turnovers (4 INT, 3 Fumbles) in the 7 games he has played and has recovered 1 fumble. He has a total of 60 yards after interceptions. He already has two touchdowns scored on turnovers. He has performed very well throughout this season.
Kpai is rated a 90 by 247. I think this is an… adequate rating. Kpai could manage to see a slight bump. A total of 7 forced turnovers and 2 defensive touchdowns to his name, as a linebacker, is nothing short of impressive. I could see Kpai deserving up to a 2-point bump. I think he is one of most overlooked guys of the class by fans.
Henry Lutovsky – Mount Pleasant, IA
6’6 – 330lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 269.38 Miles
Profile: 87 247 – 5.7 RivalsHudl
Current Position: OL
Recruitment Position: OL
Henry Lutovsky plays for Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Last season his team finished 6-3. They currently sit a 3-3 on the season.
Henry Lutovsky plays on the Offensive Line and has seen himself move around from OG to OT- usually to match up against a defensive line’s best player. In his first game he played against TJ Bollers, a 4* DE committed to Wisconsin. He started slow and had a tendency to over pursue at OT, but as the game went on he got more comfortable and prevented Bollers from making an impact on the game- him finishing with only 3.0 tackles for the night and no TFLs/Sacks (albeit the Panthers schemed away from Bollers).
Lutovsky is strongest at the offensive guard position and maintains good hip position and feet movement while driving through blocks and maintaining pass protection. At this level, his strength is overwhelming and rarely sees himself challenged- regularly pancaking his competition. He stands at 6’6, 330lbs and carries his weight extremely well. There are videos of him moving and jumping that are impressive to see at his size. Lutovsky will continue to need to develop and hone his game, but at his size and with his ability he would easily be a starting OG at the G5 level as a true freshman.
Lutovsky is rated an 87 by 247. I find his rating quite low for his ability. I think the biggest thing holding Lutovsky back from seeing a ratings bump is a lack of activity in camps and not seeing better competition. I really would have liked to see him get an invite to the All-American Bowl and see how he stacks up against elite competition. It’s hard to justify more than a 2 or 3-point bump for Lutovsky because he simply has not played against good enough competition, but I think he deserves to be in the low 4* range at a 89-91. I think I’m able to justify that rise alone in his performance against Bollers, at a position that he normally doesn’t play.
Lutovsky is one of my favorite recruits of this class, he has been a peer recruiter for this cycle and carries one of the most impressive OL frames this cycle. I think Lutovsky will be an elite offensive lineman for this team and an eventual NFL draft pick.
Seth Malcom – Tabor, IA
6’3” – 195lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 54.51 Miles
Profile: 83 247 – 5.6 RivalsHudl
Current Position: LB/RB
Recruitment Position: LB
Seth Malcom plays 8-man football for Freemont-Mills High School in Tabor, Iowa. Last year his team finished 8-2. His team currently sits a 2-1 for the season.
Seth plays both Linebacker and Runningback in 8-man football making him particularly difficult to evaluate. The game between 11-man football and 8-man changes quite a bit, but I can comment on what I’ve seen from him on his junior film in terms of athletic ability.
His best feature is how hard he plays and how tough he is. He plays with a chip on his shoulder like he’s got something to prove. He’s a patient linebacker that will wait for a play to develop before filling his gap- this can be a bit of a double edged sword- but may be a result of 8 man football since the game has a lot more space and one missed tackle can be a touchdown. He’s pretty nimble on his feet and you can see that in his RB highlights.
He needs to improve his lateral speed, general explosiveness, and striking/coming off blocks. He will need to dedicate himself as a student of the game and work closely with Barret Ruud and Luke Reimer (a former 8-man playing in Kansas) to learn 11-man football. He’ll need to spend equal time in the weight room, developing his body. If the staff can develop Malcom into a starter at Nebraska, it will be a major accomplishment.
Malcom is rated an 83 by 247. It is difficult to just a higher rating for Malcom and I found it strange that the staff took his commitment. Malcom has a lot to prove and the odds stacked against him.
Latrelle Neville – Missouri City, TX
6’3” – 195lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 775.97 Miles
Profile: 85 247 – 5.8 RivalsHudl
Current Position: WR
Recruitment Position: WR
Latrelle Neville plays for Hightower High School in Missouri City, Texas. Last year his team finished 6-5 and they currently sit at 0-1 this season.
Latrelle is a large Wide Receiver that can operate as a punishing blocker and tremendous leaper. Latrelle can go up for balls and snatch them out of the air. He received high flying evaluations his sophomore year of High School, before dropping off to his current rating.
Neville is difficult to evaluate because the QB play at his High School has been atrocious. His QB barely threw a .500 completion rate and threw half as many picks as TDs. Many times, his QB had to settle for shovel passes. It’s been difficult to evaluate Latrelle for me because there simply isn’t much of him. Between his Sophomore and Junior year there was a drop off in his play due to the QB situation and due to the weight he gained. He played heavier his junior season than he is now in his senior season. In the short film that I’ve seen of his senior season he is faster and more agile than he was last year, his routes look crisper, but it is really hard to say.
Neville is rated an 85 by 247. I think this is an appropriate rating. I don’t think we will know what Neville can do until he gets here or manages to put up more film- but with his QB returning from last year, I don’t think we’ll get to see much.
Patrick Payton – Miami, FL
6’5” – 205lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 1405.29 Miles
Profile: 89 247 – 5.7 RivalsHudl
Current Position: OLB
Recruitment Position: OLB
Patrick Payton plays for Miami Northwestern High School in Miami, Florida. His team has yet to play this season. Last season he played for Miami High School and finished 8-4.
Payton is a lengthy, lean, athletic Outside Linebacker that uses his speed and agility to come off the edge, rush the passer and get into the backfield. Payton understands his reach and can make arm tackles and trip up ball carriers when pursuing at disadvantageous angles. He’s skilled at using his hips and hands to get around blocks. He’s shifty and slippery enough to get linemen to pursue blocks on him and slip around them. He had a productive season last year, accruing 17.5 sacks.
Payton is rated an 89 by 247. I think this is an appropriate rating. His biggest detractor is simply his weight and strength. At 205lbs, he isn’t big enough to compete at the P5 level. If he can gain the weight and strength, he instantly becomes a lot more dangerous.
Teddy Prochazka – Omaha, NE
6’8” – 300lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 50.74 Miles
Profile: 88 247 – 5.9 RivalsHudl
Current Position: OT
Recruitment Position: OT
Teddy Prochazka plays for Elkhorn South High School in Omaha, Nebraska. His team sits a 6-1 this season after finishing 7-4 last season.
Prochazka plays Offensive Tackle. He carries a hulking frame while maintaining a high level of athleticism and mobility. He suffers from the same problem that plagues Lutovsky in that the competition level he is up against is just not good enough to test his skills. I find that Prochazka’s form is not as polished as other offensive tackles, getting out of position and standing upright at times- technique is something that he will need to attack when arriving on campus.
Prochazka is rated an 88 by 247. I think his athleticism and size could justify him seeing a slight bump a point or two- but his technique really holds him back. The coaching he’ll receive from Austin should help him make that leap to the next level.
AJ Rollins – Omaha, NE
6’6” – 220lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 50.74 Miles
Profile: 86 247 – 5.6 RivalsHudl
Current Position: TE/DE
Recruitment Position: TE
AJ Rollins plays for Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska. Last year his team finished 6-4, this year his team currently sits a 6-2.
Rollins carries a sizeable frame with the ability to put on ~25-35 more pounds on comfortably. From his film it appears that he’s quick out of his 3-point stance and that is where he is able to create the most separation and get open. It doesn’t appear that he has top end speed or agility- an area he will have to work on to compete with the other tight ends joining him in this class. When the ball is thrown his way he’s able to jump and extend upwards, high pointing his catches. His physicality as a blocker is a strength and he can stand up against edge rushers and engage LBs downfield.
His breaks on his route running are decent and he’s able to create separation, but like Carnie, needs to improve his route running.
Rollins is rated an 86 by 247. I think this rating is appropriate. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a lot out of him this season and I don’t think it’s possible he rises. His QB’s play has been poor and has had trouble getting him the ball. It’ll need to be a year where Rollins focuses on his blocking and making the most out of the catches he gets.
Lardarius Webb Jr. – Jackson, MS
5’10” – 170lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 690 Miles
Profile: 84 247 – 5.5 RivalsHudl
Current Position: CB
Recruitment Position: DB
Lardarius Webb Jr. plays for the Jackson Academy in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the son of former Baltimore Raven Lardarius Webb. His team sits 5-3 this season. Last season his team finished 7-5.
Webb is a tough prospect for me to judge adequately, I feel that DB film is tough to evaluate well. From what I’ve seen Webb is a tad undersized and will need play a role similar to what Dicaprio Bootle does where he accelerates and sticks to receivers, getting his hands in where balls are thrown. Webb has a decent number of TFL’s (4) as a CB for the season and seems to be capable of reading when screens are coming and breaking to the receiver. He plays hard and throws as big of hits as he can, but he will need to put work in the S&C room to get where he needs to be- he also needs to improve his tackling form and wrap up appropriately. From his training film, what I find most impressive about him is his hips. Webb has very fluid hips and can whip them around to follow receivers’ changes of direction- however, he will need to increase his speed and acceleration breaking to the ball once his hips are aligned.
Webb is rated an 84 by 247. I think this rating is appropriate and I’m a little surprised it’s not lower. There isn’t much film on him and I wish that DB’s put more film of them covering receivers rather than them going for the big hit or big play, because there isn’t much to learn from those.
Malik Williams – Buford, GA
6’0” – 187lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 834.65 Miles
Profile: 81 247 – 5.6 RivalsHudl
Current Position: DB
Recruitment Position: DB
Malik Williams plays for Buford High School in Buford, Georgia. Buford High School won the 5A state title last year in a comeback victory and moved to the 6A division currently sitting at 3-1 this season. While the school is not filled with P5 athletes, the school executes its offense and defense at a high level to control and win games.
Williams is a rangy, strong corner that jams receivers at the line of scrimmage. He is solid at accelerating and breaking to receivers with the ball, but alike Webb, doesn’t have a lot of film of him operating in coverage. From what I’ve seen he seems to play off receivers slightly too much and allows them just enough room to be hit with a pass. I’m unsure if that is a factor of him not being able to keep up with receivers and being beaten on go routes or if it’s him not understanding how far off the receiver he needs to play. For a CB, however, he is strong and long enough to come off blocks and make tackles- this is an area I think he is particularly strong in. I think he will be capable of playing safety or cornerback at Nebraska.
Williams is rated an 81 by 247. I think this rating seems a tad low, however, alike Webb there isn’t much to justify him seeing a rise. I do think Williams is a better DB than Webb though. If Williams puts up film of him in coverage locking down receivers, making tackles, breaking up passes and making interceptions, I expect to see him rating rise (you can say this with just about any DB- but if your coverage is so good QB’s won’t throw the ball to your area, you need to show that). He plays for a great team in one of the larger classes in Georgia. You don’t start on a championship team in Georgia without being a good player.
Branson Yager – Grantsville, UT
6’7” – 332lbs
Distance to Lincoln: 824.28 Miles
Profile: 83 247 – 5.7 RivalsHudl
Current Position: OT
Recruitment Position: OT
Branson Yager plays for Grantsville High School in Grantsville, Utah. His team currently sits at 5-5. Last season his team finished 10-3.
Yager plays offensive tackle; he can be punishing with his blocks and pancake guys that line up across from him. He was matched up against an All-American Defensive end last year and played okay. His frame, although massive, needs work. He will need to spend a lot of time in the S&C program, breaking himself down and building himself back up – he needs to improve his agility, speed off the line and flexibility. He has trouble at times getting across laterally to make blocks on rushing defenders. He has the poor tendency to lurch forward while trying to make blocks, causing him to miss them at times.
Yager is rated an 83 by 247. I think this an accurate rating. I think Yager could see a 2-point bump if his overall athleticism has improved, but looking at his senior film, he looks about the same as he did last year with slight improvements in blocking form. If Yager arrives on campus, drops weight to 300 and rebuilds himself from there, I think we could be looking at an interesting prospect at offensive tackle. Yager understand he needs time to develop, however, he needs to hit the ground running.
In Review
Nebraska’s 2021 recruiting class is not as star studded as our previous classes, but it contains a lot of athletes that have low floors but high ceilings. It is a much more local class than previous classes with 9 recruits coming from the 500-mile radius and an average distance to Lincoln of 583.2447 miles. I think this can be attributed to both COVID and the talent that seems to be on the rise in Nebraska.
I would describe this class as developmental. If the coaching staff can develop these players, it will be a very solid class. There are still some additions that the staff needs to make at DL to make this a complete class.
Notes/Fun Facts
Our highest rated recruit of this class is Thomas Fidone, rated as the #1 Tight End in the country at a 95. Our lowest rated is Cornerback, Malik Williams at an 81. I would consider the most underrated recruit of this class to be Gabe Ervin, rated an 84 or Henry Lutovsky, rated at an 87.
The farthest from Lincoln is Patrick Payton at 1405.29 miles, while the closest recruit is James Carnie at 19.8 miles.
submitted by HeyitsyaboyJesus to Huskers [link] [comments]


2020.10.14 08:39 neil_mccauley [Review][Positive] lanbosarmory.com - Lightning fast shipping

I ordered a few magazines from a post on /gundeals the morning of 10/12. I got a shipping confirmation later that day and the magazines showed up today (10/13). I don't know how they shipped from Texas to the West coast in a day (via FedEx), but they did. Very happy with my purchase.
The Website is a little dated, but you can't beat the prices and shipping speed. Very satisfied.
submitted by neil_mccauley to gundealsFU [link] [comments]


2020.10.13 06:18 FullmetalSage DJ/Music Production/Livestreaming PC

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
Extra info or particulars:
submitted by FullmetalSage to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.10.12 23:09 usernameusernamez Speeding violation Help Needed

I was traveling to school from Texas to Tennessee in mid-August 2020 and I got caught early morning in a speed trap (which I felt was unreasonable in the first place) near Lake Charles on I-10. The officer used an unsharpened pencil and had pretty bad handwriting, so I had a hard time figuring out the name of the court and also my court date.
Anyway, I waited for a paycheck to come on the 1st of September and I used a highly-suggested website called nCourt to process my payment to the court in Louisiana. I received an email saying the website successfully processed the payment, but I needed to wait for the court to accept or reject it.
Fast forward over the next 40+ days and I’ve heard nothing from the site or the court in Louisiana. I called nCourt twice, and both times I was assured the court had received my payment, but was waiting to accept or reject. I’ve tried calling dozens of court-related numbers in the area and waited for many weeks, hearing nothing. I also attempted to send an email; no response.
Regardless of my interpretation of which exact court date it may have been (either 10/14 or 10/19), those dates are coming up very soon. I cannot simply drive the hundreds of miles during a school week and show up for court. I have many jobs and courses to be responsible for here.
Am I at fault for submitting a payment to a fraudulent website, even though it was recommended in many places and much nicer to use than anything else? Is the court ignoring my requests for an acceptance or rejection?
This is my first time getting a ticket of any kind, and I don’t want a bad record because of this issue, or have a warrant for my arrest if I don’t appear.
Does anyone know what I should do?
UPDATE: I called the first recommended number today, and I was able to speak with the first government representative in 7 weeks. I was told all of the region’s offices and courts are closed due to consecutive hurricanes, and that my court date is being automatically pushed back.
The other news is that I was notified that I hadn’t actually payed the full amount (unpaid court fee). Before the can process my full payment, I will send in the remaining amount because sadly, I cannot physically go to contest the ticket.
Thank you all for your suggestions and quick responses.
submitted by usernameusernamez to legaladvice [link] [comments]


2020.10.07 23:04 digital4kcollector (Offer) my codes (request) your codes

Hey new username, formerly littlejohn04
**4K Disney/Marvel*\*
**HD Disney/Marvel/Star Wars*\*
**collections*\*
**HD unless noted as 4k*\* ​

**Standard Definition Movies*\*
**XML CODES*\*
Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter / avengers / Broken City / Captain America First Avenger / Chronicle / Despicable Me / diary of a wimpy kid 3 dog days / die hard 5 / Family guy it's a trap / Fast And Furious / Fast And Furious Tokyo Drift / Green zone / Hitchcock / ice age / Inglorious Basterds / iron man 2 / jumper / kung fu panda 2 / life of pi / Lincoln / Mamma Mia! / Monsters Inc / parental guidance / Rio / percy Jackson sea of monsters / percy jackson the lightning thief / Prometheus / the proposal / Puss in Boots / rio / Skyfall / The Fast And The Furious / The Hangover / the heat / the town / Trainspotting / the town / walking with dinosaurs / Xmen First Class / Xmen the wolverine
TV shows*
Screen passes list
https://www.reddit.com/usedigital4kcollectocomments/hiq066/screen_passes/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
**REQUESTING*\*
New releases 4k preferred Itunes preferred if not MA
submitted by digital4kcollector to uvtrade [link] [comments]


2020.10.07 20:40 Trainwrecck LIST OF VARIOUS ITEMS 3(ALL INCLUDE REVIEWS)

What’s happenin! I’m back with another list for y’all and of course, they all include picture reviews. Unfortunately, da Gate has taken away many picture reviews for shoes, so this list won’t have as many shoes as the previous lists:(NOTE: I have NOT bought any of these items.
Shirts/Hoodies/Jackets
Gosha Longsleeve
OW T-Shirt
Travis Scott x Virgil Abloh T-Shirt
Box Logo?
LV Bag Shirt
LV T-Shirt
Fendi Sweater
FENDI
Palm Angels Bear T-Shirt
The North Face
North Face Puffer Jacket
The North Face Statue of Liberty
The north face Jacket
TNF Jacket
TNF Vest
Commes Des Garcons T-Shirt
Commes Des Garcons Button-Up
Commes Des Garcons Polo
Commes des garcons T-Shirt
Designer Bodysuit/romper
Polo Ralph Lauren Knit Sweater
Polo Bear T-Shirt
Ralph Lauren Polo
Ralph Lauren Polo Zip-up
Polo Ralph Lauren Shirt
KAWS Longsleeve
Givenchy T-Shirt
Givenchy T-Shirt
Adidas Jacket
Adidas Jacket
Adidas Sweater
Kenzo Sweater
Basic Turtleneck
Burberry Sweater
Burberry Sweatshirt
I love Texas Vlone
Graffiti Vlone
Vlone T-Shirts
Vlone Friends Hoodie
Vlone Jail Jacket
$11 KITH T-Shirt
ASSC T-Shirt
ASSC T-Shirt
Dior x Daniel Arsham T-Shirt
Christian Dior Paris Longsleeve
Christian Dior T-Shirt
Christian Dior T-Shirt
CP Company Jacket
Moschino Hoodie
Moschino Sweatshirt
Gucci Polo
Gucci Common Sense Crewneck
Gucci T-Shirt
Canada Goose Sweater
Canada Goose Parka
Canada Goose Jacket
Canada Goose Parka
Stone Island Hoodie
Stone Island Crewneck
Stone Island Longsleeve
Stone Island Jacket
Stone Island Half zip
Stone Island Vest
Stone Island T-Shirt
Stone Island T-Shirt
Nipsey Hussle Hoodie
Hugo Boss Collared T-Shirt
Vetements Small Logo
Vetements Purple T-Shirt
Vetements Scribble T-Shirt
Balenciaga Hoodie
Balenciaga Small Logo
Balenciaga Campaign T-Shirt
Balenciaga Campaign Crewneck
Balenciaga I <3 Paris T-Shirt
Bape Crewneck
BAPE x Undefeated
BAPE Shark Hoodie(Store has a ton of BAPE)
Bape x Coach Jacket
BAPE NBA T-Shirt
FOG Nike
Nike x Various Soccer teams
Balmaim Paris T-Shirt
Versace T-Shirt
Versace Jacket
Moncler x Valentino Jacket
Moncler Jacket
Another Moncler Jacket
More Moncler
Even More Moncler
Mastermind Jacket
Outfits
Gucci Outfit
Lacoste Outfit
Polo Ralph Lauren Kid Outfit
North Face Outfit
Givenchy Outfit
Ellesse Outfit
Philliph Plein Outfit
Balmain Outfit
Under Armour Outfit
Fendi Tracksuit Outfit
BOSS Outfit
Bape x Adidas Outfit
Adidas Outfit
Adidas Outfit
Nike Outfit
Accessories/Various
Mont Blanc Cardholder
Mont Blanc Belt
Various Cardholders
Graffiti Hat
Travis Scott Rodeo Hat
Saint Laurent Ring
Band-Aid Heart Chain
KAWS Rug
Murakami Plush
Vans Beanie
Trasher Beanie
Cheap Rolex
Rolex for the gf or bf
Designer Bonnets
Ray-Bans
Icey Chain
Cross Necklace
Moschino Necklace and Earrings
Oakley Sunglasses
Different Oakley Glasses
Another Pair Of Oakley Sunglasses
Snapback hat
Fendi Keychain
Fendi Belt
Fendi Hat
OW Rug
More OW Rugs
Off white Keychains
Off-White Belt
OW Belt
OW Belt
Cartier Glasses
Cartier Glasses
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Lego Minifigures
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Jordan Beanie
Jordan Keychains
Nike Visor
Nike Socks
More Nike Socks
LV Necklace
LV Metal Bracelet
LV Lock Necklace
LV Cardholder
LV Keychain
LV Belt
LV Simple Belt
LV Holder
LV Cardholder
LV wallet
Supreme x LV Keychain
LV Coin Pouch
Another LV Coin Pouch
And Another LV Coin Pouch
LV Sunglasses
Tommy Hilfiger Belt
Hermes Belt
Hermes Belt
More Hermes Belts
Hermes Scarf
Salvatore Ferragamo Belt
Ferragamo Belt
Versace Sunglasses
Versace Beanie
Versace Ring
Prada Beanie
Prada Visor
Gucci Neckrest
Gucci Bee Cardholder
Gucci Visor
Gucci Bracelet
Gucci Steering Wheel Cover
Gucci Glasses(Might buy myself one)
Gucci Ring
Gucci Dog set!
Gucci Airpods Cases
Gucci Socks
Gucci Socks Again
Gucci Belt
Gucci Belt
Gucci Belt
Womens Gucci Belt
Chanel Headband
Chanel Case
DOPE Chanel Suspenders
Chrome Hearts Hat
DOPE Glass Gun
Dab Rig!
B.B. Simmons type belt/cowgirl
Shoes/Slides
Givenchy Slides
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Yeezys
Fantasy and retail color yeezys
NMDs and Human Races
Alexander Mcqueens
Triple S
Balenciaga Runners
Tons of Jordan 11s
Kids Jordan 11s
Uggs for the Ladies
Christian Louboutin Shoes
Bags
Under Armour Bag
Dark Camo Fendi Bag
Fendi Backpack
Women’s Goyard Bag
Goyard Shoulder Bag
Big Prada Bag
Burberry Shoulder Bag
Cool Bag
Nike Fanny Pack
Gucci Fanny Pack
Dior Bag
Christian Dior Bag for the ladies
MCM Fanny
MCM Backpack
MCM Duffel
Lots of different color MCM Bags
Hershel Backpack
Coach Backpack
Travelleopard backpack
LV Backpack
LV Lock Backpack
LV 3D Backpack
LV Big Backpack
Various Sized LV Backpacks
LV Messenger Type Bag
DOPE LV Bag
DOPE LV Backpack
LV Backpack
LV Trunk Bag
LV Duffel
Another LV Duffel
LV Small Bag
LV Bag
Champion Bag
Pants/Shorts
Prada Pants
Burberry Swimtrunks
Essentials FOG Joggers
Essentials FOG Shorts
FOG Shorts
FOG Type Joggers
RHUDE Shorts
DSQUARED Shorts
Gucci Swimtrunks
Robin Jeans
More Robin Jeans
Snake Amiri Jeans And More
Hurley Phantom Shorts
Various Sports Teams Shorts
SUPREME Shorts
GOLF Pants
Saint/Sinner Pants
Adidas Pants
Adidas Pants
Balmain Jeans
AAPE Pants!
AAPE Shorts
Tech Pants
Nike Techwear Pants
Nike Shorts
Nike Pants
Nike NBA Shorts
Air Jordan Pants
Kobe Shorts
Givenchy Track Pants
Givenchy Shorts
Unbranded Jeans
Black distressed Jeans
DOPE Black Distressed Jeans
submitted by Trainwrecck to DHgate [link] [comments]


2020.10.04 21:39 normancrane Iris [3/3]

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 <-- You are here.

- - -

I awoke to a world without women.
I rolled off the bed into sore thighs and guilt, got up to emptiness that echoed the slightest noise, and left my wife’s clothes on the sheets without thinking that eventually I’d have to pack them into a plastic bag and slide them down the garbage chute. I felt magnified and hollow. In the kitchen, I used the stove top as a table because the actual table had my wife’s tablet on it, and spilled instant coffee. What I didn’t spill I drank in a few gulps, the way I used to drink ice cold milk as a boy. I stood in front of the living room window for a while before realizing I was naked, then realizing that it didn’t matter because men changed in front of each other at the pool and peed next to one another into urinals in public restrooms, and there weren’t any women to hide from, no one to offend. The world, I told myself, was now a sprawling men’s pisser, so I slammed the window open and pissed.
I wanted to call someone—to tell them that my wife was dead, because that’s a duty owed by the living—but whom could I call: her sister, her parents? Her sister was dead. Her father had a dead wife and two dead daughters. There was nothing to say. Everyone knew. I called my wife’s father anyway. Was he still my father-in-law now that I was a widower? He didn’t accept the connection. Widower: a word loses all but historical meaning when there are no alternatives. If all animals were dogs, we’d purge one of those words from our vocabulary. We were all widowers. It was synonymous with man. I switched on the television and stared, crying, at a montage of photographs showing the bloody landscapes of cities, hospitals, retirement homes, schools and churches, all under the tasteless headline: “International Pop”. Would we clean it up, these remnants of the people we loved? Could we even use the same buildings, knowing what had happened in them? The illusion of practical thinking pushed my feeling of emptiness away. I missed arms wrapping around me from behind while I stared through rain streaked windows. I missed barking and a wagging tail that hit my leg whenever I was standing too close. Happiness seemed impossible. I called Bakshi because I needed confirmation that I still had a voice. “They’re the lucky ones,” he said right after I’d introduced myself. “They’re out. We’re the fools still locked in, and now we’re all alone.”
For three weeks, I expected my wife to show up at the apartment door. I removed her clothes from the bed and stuffed them into a garbage bag, but kept the garbage bag in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall. I probably would have kept a dead body in the freezer if I had one and it fit. As a city and as a world, those were grim, disorganized weeks for us. Nobody worked. I don’t know what we did. Sat around and drank, smoked. And we called each other, often out of the blue. Every day, I received a call from someone I knew but hadn’t spoken to in years. The conversations all followed a pattern. There was no catching up and no explanation of lost time, just a question like “How are you holding up?” followed by a thoughtless answer (“Fine, I guess. And you?”) followed by an exchange of details about the women we’d lost. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends, friends, cousins, aunts, teachers, students, co-workers. We talked about the colour of their hair, their senses of humour, their favourite movies. We said nothing about ourselves, choosing instead to inhabit the personas of those whom we’d loved. In the hallway, I would put on my wife’s coats but never look at myself in the mirror. I wore her winter hats in the middle of July. Facebook became a graveyard, with the gender field separating the mourners from the dead.
The World Health Organization issued a communique stating that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all the women in the world were dead, but it called for any woman still alive to come forward immediately. The language of the communique was as sterile as the Earth. Nobody came forward. The World Wildlife Fund created an inventory of all mammalian species that listed in ascending order how long each species would exist. Humans were on the bottom. Both the World Health Organization and the World Wildlife Fund predicted that unless significant technological progress occurred in the field of fertility within the next fifty years, the last human, a theoretical boy named Philip born into a theoretical developed country on March 26, 2025, would die in 93 years. On the day of his death, Philip would be the last remaining mammal—although not necessarily animal—on Earth. No organization or government has ever officially stated that July 4, 2025, was the most destructive day in recorded history, on the morning of which, Eastern Time, four billion out of a total of eight billion people ceased to exist as anything more than memories. What killed them was neither an act of war nor an act of terrorism. Neither was it human negligence. There was no one to blame and no one to prosecute. In the western countries, where the majority of people no longer believed in any religion, we could not even call it an act of God. So we responded by calling it nothing at all.
And, like nothing, our lives persisted. We ate, we slept and we adapted. After the first wave of suicides ended, we hosed off what the rain hadn’t already washed away and began to reorganize the systems on which our societies ran. It was a challenge tempered only slightly in countries where women had not made up a significant portion of the workforce. We held new elections, formed me boards of directors and slowed down the assembly lines and bus schedules to make it possible for our communities to keep running. There was less food in the supermarkets, but we also needed less food. Instead of two trains we ran one, but one sufficed. I don’t remember the day when I finally took the black garbage bag from its resting place and walked it to the chute. “How are you holding up?” a male voice would say on the street. “Fine, I guess. And you?” I’d answer. ##!! wrote a piece of Python code to predict the box office profitability of new movies, in which real actors played alongside computer-generated actresses. The code was only partially successful. Because while it did accurately predict the success of new movies in relation to one other, it failed to include the overwhelming popularity of re-releases of films from the past—films starring Bette Davis, Giulietta Masina, Meryl Streep: women who at least on screen were still flesh and blood. Theatres played retrospectives. On Amazon, books by female authors topped the charts. Sales of albums by women vocalists surged. We thirsted for another sex. I watched, read and listened like everyone else, and in between I cherished any media on which I found images or recordings of my wife. I was angry for not having made more. I looked at the same photos and watched the same clips over and over again. I memorized my wife’s Facebook timeline and tagged all her Tweets by date, theme and my own rating. When I went out, I would talk to the air as if she was walking beside me, sometimes quoting her actual words as answers to my questions and sometimes inventing my own as if she was a beloved character in an imagined novel. When people looked at me like I was crazy, I didn’t care. I wasn’t the only one. But, more importantly, my wife meant more to me than they did. I remembered times when we’d stroll through the park or down downtown sidewalks and I would be too ashamed to kiss her in the presence of strangers. Now, I would tell her that I love her in the densest crowd. I would ask her whether I should buy ketchup or mustard in the condiments aisle. She helped me pick out my clothes in the morning. She convinced me to eat healthy and exercise.
In November, I was in Bakshi’s apartment for the first time, waiting for a pizza delivery boy, when one of Bakshi’s friends who was browsing Reddit told us that the Tribe of Akna was starting a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to buy the Republic of Suriname, rename it Xibalba and close its borders for all except the enlightened. Xibalba would have no laws, Salvador Abaroa said in a message on the site. He was banging his gong as he did. Everything would be legal, and anyone who pledged $100 would receive a two-week visa to this new "Mayan Buddhist Eden". If you pledged over $10,000, you would receive citizenship. “Everything in life is destroyed by energy,” Abaroa said. “But let the energy enlighten you before it consumes your body. Xibalba is finite life unbound.” Bakshi’s phone buzzed. The pizza boy had sent an email. He couldn’t get upstairs, so Bakshi and I took the elevator to the building’s front entrance. The boy’s face was so white that I saw it as soon as the elevator doors slid open. Walking closer, I saw that he was powdered. His cheeks were also rouged, and he was wearing cranberry coloured lipstick, a Marilyn Monroe wig and a short black skirt. Compared to his face, his thin legs looked like incongruously dark popsicle sticks. Bakshi paid for the pizza and added another five dollars for the tip. The boy batted his fake eyelashes and asked if maybe he could do something to earn a little more. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I could come upstairs and clean the place up a little. You two live alone?” Bakshi passed me the two pizza boxes—They felt hot in my hands.—and dug around in his wallet. “It’s not just the two of us,” I said. The boy smiled. “That’s OK. I’ve done parties before if that’s what you’re into.” I saw the reaction on Bakshi’s face, and I saw the boy’s grotesque caricature of a woman. “There’s condoms and lube in the car,” the boy said, pointing to a sedan with a pizza spray-painted across its side parked by the curb. “My boss says I can take up to two hours but it’s not like he uses a stopwatch.” I stepped on Bakshi’s foot and shouldered him away. He was still fiddling with his wallet. “We’re not interested,” I said to the boy. He just shrugged. “Suit yourselves. If you change your mind, order another pizza and ask for Ruby.” The elevator dinged and the doors opened. As we shuffled inside, I saw Bakshi’s cheeks turn red. “I’m not actually—” he mumbled, but I didn’t let him finish. What had bothered me so much about the boy wasn’t the way he looked or acted; in fact, it wasn’t really the boy at all. He was just trying to make a buck. What bothered me was how ruthlessly we’d already begun to exploit each other.
For those of us who were heterosexual, sex was a definite weakness. I missed it. I would never have it with a woman again. The closest substitute was pornography, whose price rose with its popularity, but which, at least for me, now came scented with the unpleasantness of historicity and nostalgia. Videos and photos, not to mention physical magazines, were collector’s items in the same way that we once collected coins or action figures. The richest men bought up the exclusive rights to their favourite porn stars and guarded them by law with a viciousness once reserved for the RIAA and MPAA. Perhaps exclusivity gave them a possessive satisfaction. In response, we pirated whatever we could and fought for a pornographic public domain. Although new pornography was still being produced, either with the help of the same virtual technology they used for mainstream movies or with the participation of young men in costume, it lacked the taste of the originals. It was like eating chocolate made without cocoa. The best pornography, and therefore the best sex, became the pornography of the mind.
The Tribe of Akna reached its Kickstarter goal in early December. On December 20, I went to church for the first time since getting married because that was the theoretical date that my wife—along with every other woman—was supposed to have given birth. I wanted to be alone with others. Someone posted a video on TikTok from Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront, dubbing over Marlon Brando’s speech to say: “You don’t understand. I could’a had a piece of ass. I could’a been a school board member. I could’a been a son’s daddy”. It was juvenile and heartbreaking. By Christmas, the Surinamese government was already expelling its citizens, each of whom had theoretically been given a fraction of the funds paid to the government from the Tribe of Akna’s Kickstarter pool, and Salvador Abaroa’s lawyers were petitioning for international recognition of the new state of Xibalba. Neither Canada nor the United States opened diplomatic relations, but others did. I knew people who had pledged money, and when in January they disappeared on trips, I had no doubt to where. Infamy spread in the form of stories and urban legends. There’s no need for details. People disappeared, and ethicists wrote about the ethical neutrality of murder, arguing that because we were all slated to die, leaving the Earth barren in a century, destruction was a human inevitability, and what is inevitable can never be bad, even when it comes earlier than expected—even when it comes by force. Because, as a species, we hadn’t chosen destruction for ourselves, neither should any individual member of our species be able to choose now for himself. To the ethicists of what became known as the New Inevitability School, suicide was a greater evil than murder because it implied choice and inequality. If the ship was going down, no one should be allowed to get off. A second wave of suicides coincided with the debate, leading many governments to pass laws making suicide illegal. But how do you punish someone who already wants to die? In China: by keeping him alive and selling him to Xibalba, where he becomes the physical plaything of its citizens and visa-holders. The Chinese was the first embassy to open in Xibalban Paramaribo.
The men working on Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything continued working, steadily adding new variables to their equations, complicating their calculations in the hopes that someday the variable they added would be the final one and the equation would yield an answer. “It’s pointless,” Bakshi would comment after reading about one of the small breakthroughs they periodically announced. “Even if they do manage to predict something, anything, it won’t amount to anything more than the painfully obvious. And after decades of adding and subtracting their beans, they’ll come out of their Los Alamos datalabs like groundhogs into a world blanketed by storm clouds and conclude, finally and with plenty of self-congratulations, that it’s about to fucking rain.”
It rained a lot in February. It was one of the warmest Februaries in Toronto’s history. Sometimes I went for walks along the waterfront, talking to my wife, listening to Billie Holiday and trying to recall as many female faces as I could. Ones from the distant past: my mother, my grandmothers. Ones from the recent past: the woman whose life my wife saved on the way to the hospital, the Armenian woman with the film magazine and the injured son, the Jamaican woman, Bakshi’s wife. I focused on their faces, then zoomed out to see their bodies. I carried an umbrella but seldom opened it because the pounding of the raindrops against the material distorted my mental images. I saw people rush across the street holding newspapers above their heads while dogs roamed the alleyways wearing nothing at all. Of the two, it was dogs that had the shorter time left on Earth, and if they could let the rain soak their fur and drip off their bodies, I could surely let it run down my face. It was first my mother and later my wife who told me to always cover up in the rain, “because moisture causes colds,” but I was alone now and I didn’t want to be separated from the falling water by a sheet of glass anymore. I already was cold. I saw a man sit down on a bench, open his briefcase, pack rocks into it, then close it, tie it to his wrist, check his watch and start to walk into the polluted waters of Lake Ontario. Another man took out his phone and tapped his screen a few times. The man in the lake walked slowly, savouring each step. When the police arrived, sirens blaring, the water was up to his neck. I felt guilty for watching the three officers splash into the lake after him. I don’t know what happened after that because I turned my back and walked away. I hope they didn’t stop him. I hope he got to do what he wanted to do.
“Screw the police.” Bakshi passed me a book. “You should read this,” he said. It was by a professor of film and media studies at a small university in Texas. There was a stage on the cover, flanked by two red curtains. The photo had been taken from the actors’ side, looking out at an audience that the stage lights made too dark to see. The title was Hiding Behind The Curtains. I flipped the book over. There was no photo of the author. “It’s a theory,” Bakshi said, “that undercuts what Abaroa and the Inevitabilists are saying. It’s a little too poetic in parts but—listen, you ever read Atlas Shrugged?” I said I hadn’t. “Well, anyway, what this guy says is that what if instead of our situation letting us do anything we want, it’s actually the opposite, a test to see how we act when we only think that we’re doomed. I mean what if the women who died in March, what if they’re just—” “Hiding behind the curtains,” I said. He bit his lower lip. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that but, as a metaphor, it has a kind of elegance, right?” I flipped through the book, reading a few sentences at random. It struck me as neo-Christian. “Isn’t this a little too spiritual for you? I thought we were all locked into one path,” I said. “I thought that, too, but lately I’ve been able to do things—things that I didn’t really want to do.” For a second I was concerned. “Nothing bad,” he said. “I mean I’ve felt like I’m locked into doing one thing, say having a drink of water, but I resist and pour myself a glass of orange juice instead.” I shook my head. “It’s hard to explain,” he said. That’s how most theories ended, I thought: reason and evidence up to a crucial point, and then it gets so personal that it’s hard to explain. You either make the jump or you don’t. “Just read it,” he said. “Please read it. You don’t have to agree with it, I just want to get your opinion, an objective opinion.”
I never did read the book, and Bakshi forgot about it, too, but that day he was excited and happy, and those were rare feelings. I was simultaneously glad for him and jealous. Afterwards, we went out onto the balcony and drank Czech beer until morning. When it got cool, we put on our coats. It started to drizzle so we wore blue plastic suits like the ones they used to give you on boat rides in Niagara Falls. When it was time to go home, I was so drunk I couldn’t see straight. I almost got into a fight, the first one of my life, because I bumped into a man on the street and told him to get the fuck out of my way. I don’t remember much more of my walk home. The only reason I remember Behind The Curtains at all is because when I woke up in the afternoon it was the first thing that my hung over brain recognized. It was lying on the floor beside the bed. Then I opened the blinds covering my bedroom window and, through my spread fingers that I’d meant to use as a shield from the first blast of daylight, I saw the pincers for the first time.
They’d appeared while I was asleep. I turned on the television and checked my phone. The media and the internet were feverish, but nobody knew what the thing was, just a massive, vaguely rectangular shape blotting out a strip of the sky. NASA stated that it had received no extraterrestrial messages to coincide with the appearance. Every government claimed ignorance. The panel discussions on television only worsened my headache. Bakshi emailed me links to photos from Mumbai, Cape Town, Sydney and Mexico City, all showing the same shape; or rather one of a pair of shapes, for there were two of them, one on each side of the Earth, and they’d trapped our planet between themselves like gargantuan fingers clutching an equally gargantuan ping-pong ball. That’s why somebody came up with the term “the pincers”. It stuck. Because I’d slept in last night’s clothes I was already dressed, so I ran down the stairs and out of my apartment building to get a better look at them from the parking lot. You’re not supposed to look at the sun, but I wasn’t the only one breaking that rule. There were entire crowds with upturned faces in the streets. If the pincers, too, could see, they would perhaps be as baffled by us as we were of them: billions of tiny specks all over the surface of this ping-pong ball gathering in points on a grid, coagulating into large puddles that vanished overnight only to reassemble in the morning. In the following days, scientists scrambled to study the pincers and their potential effects on us, but they discovered nothing. The pincers did nothing. They emitted nothing, consumed nothing. They simply were. And they could not be measured or detected in any way other than by eyesight. When we shot rays at them, the rays continued on their paths unaffected, as if nothing was there. The pincers did, however, affect the sun’s rays coming towards us. They cut up our days. The sun would rise, travel over the sky, hide behind a pincer—enveloping us in a second night—before revealing itself again as a second day. But if the pincers’ physical effect on us was limited to its blockage of light, their mental effects on us were astoundingly severe. For many, this was the sign they’d been waiting for. It brought hope. It brought gloom. It broke and confirmed ideas that were hard to explain. In their ambiguity, the pincers could be anything, but in their strangeness they at least reassured us of the reality of the strange times in which we were living. Men walked away from the theory of everything, citing the pincers as the ultimate variable that proved the futility of prognostication. Others took up the calculations because if the pincers could appear, what else was out there in our future? However, ambiguity can only last for a certain period. Information narrows possibilities. On April 1, 2026, every Twitter account in the world received the following message:
as you can see this message is longer than the allowed one hundred forty characters time and space are malleable you thought you had one hundred years but prepare for the plucking
The sender was @. The message appeared in each user’s feed at exactly the same time and in his first language, without punctuation. Because of the date most of us thought it was a hoax, but the developers of Twitter denied this vehemently. It wasn’t until a court forced them to reveal their code, which proved that a message of that length and sent by a blank user was impossible, that our doubts ceased. ##!! took bets on what the message meant. Salvador Abaroa broadcast a response into space in a language he called Bodhi Mayan, then addressed the rest of us in English, saying that in the pincers he had identified an all-powerful prehistoric fire deity, described in an old Sanskrit text as having the resemblance of mirrored black fangs, whose appearance signified the end of time. “All of us will burn,” he said, “but paradise shall be known only to those who burn willingly.” Two days later, The Tribe of Akna announced that in one month it would seal Xibalba from the world and set fire to everything and everyone in it. For the first time, its spokesman said, an entire nation would commit suicide as one. Jonestown was but a blip. As a gesture of goodwill, he said that Xibalba was offering free immolation visas to anyone who applied within the next week. The New Inevitability School condemned the plan as “offensively unethical” and inequalitist and urged an international Xibalban boycott. Nothing came of it. When the date arrived, we watched with rapt attention on live streams and from the vantage points of circling news planes as Salvador Abaroa struck flint against steel, creating the spark that caught the char cloth, starting a fire that blossomed bright crimson and in the next weeks consumed all 163,821 square kilometres of the former Republic of Suriname and all 2,500,000 of its estimated Xibalban inhabitants. Despite concerns that the fire would spread beyond Xibalba’s borders, The Tribe of Akna had been careful. There were no accidental casualties and no unplanned property damage. No borders were crossed. Once the fire burned out, reporters competed to be first to capture the mood on the ground. Paramaribo resembled the smouldering darkness of a fire pit.
It was a few days later while sitting on Bakshi’s balcony, looking up at the pincers and rereading a reproduction of @’s message—someone had spray-painted it across the wall of a building opposite Bakshi’s—that I remembered Iris. The memory was so absorbing that I didn’t notice when Bakshi slid open the balcony door and sat down beside me, but I must have been smiling because he said, “I don’t mean this the wrong way, but you look a little loony tonight. Seriously, man, you do not look sufficiently freaked out.” I’d remembered Iris before, swirling elements of her plain face, but now I also remembered her words and her theory. I turned to Bakshi, who seemed to be waiting for an answer to his question, and said, “Let’s get up on the roof of this place.” He grabbed my arm and held on tightly. “I’m not going to jump, if that’s what you mean.” It wasn’t what I meant, but I asked, “why not?” He said, “I don’t know. I know we’re fucked as a species and all that, but I figure if I’m still alive I might as well see what happens next, like in a bad movie you want to see through to the end.” I promised him that I wasn’t going to jump, either. Then I scrambled inside his apartment, grabbed my hat and jacket from the closet by the front door and put them on while speed walking down the hall, toward the fire escape. I realized I’d been spending a lot of time here. The alarm went off as soon I pushed open the door with my hip but I didn’t care. When Bakshi caught up with me, I was already outside, leaping up two stairs at a time. The metal construction was rusted. The treads wobbled. On the roof, the wind nearly blew my hat off and it was so loud I could have screamed and no one would have heard me. Holding my hat in my hands, I crouched and looked out over the twinkling city spread out in front of me. It looked alive in spite of the pincers in the sky. “Let’s do something crazy,” I yelled. Bakshi was still catching his breath behind me. “What, like this isn’t crazy enough?” The NHL may have been gone but my hat still bore the Maple Leafs logo, as quaint and obsolete by then as the Weimar Republic in the summer of 1945. “When’s the last time you played ball hockey?” I asked. Bakshi crouched beside me. “You’re acting weird. And I haven’t played ball hockey in ages.” I stood up so suddenly that Bakshi almost fell over. This time I knew I was smiling. “So call your buddies,” I said. “Tell them to bring their sticks and their gear and to meet us in front of the ACC in one hour.” Bakshi patted me on the back. Toronto shone like jewels scattered over black velvet. “The ACC’s been closed for years, buddy. I think you’re really starting to lose it.” I knew it was closed. “Lose what?” I asked. “It’s closed and we’re going to break in.”
The chains broke apart like shortbread. The electricity worked. The clouds of dust made me sneeze. We used duffel bags to mark out the goals. We raced up and down the stands and bent over, wheezing at imaginary finish lines. We got into the announcer’s booth and called each other cunts through the microphone. We ran, fell and shot rubber pucks for hours. We didn’t keep score. We didn’t worry. “What about the police?” someone asked. The rest of us answered: “Screw the fucking police!”
And when everybody packed up and went home, I stayed behind.
“Are you sure you’re fine?” Bakshi asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Because I have to get back so that I can shower, get changed and get to work.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“And you promise me you’ll catch a cab?”
“I’m not suicidal.”
He fixed his grip on his duffel bag. “I didn’t say you were. I was just checking.”
“I want to see the end of the movie, too,” I said.
He saluted. I watched him leave. When he was gone, my wife walked down from the nosebleeds and took a seat beside me. “There’s someone I want to tell you about,” I said. She lifted her chin like she always does when something unexpected catches her interest, and scooted closer. I put my arm across the back of her beautiful shoulders. She always liked that, even though the position drives me crazy because I tend to talk a lot with my hands. “Stuck at Leafs-Wings snorefest,” she said. “Game sucks but I love the man sitting beside me.” (January 15, 2019. Themes: hockey, love, me. Rating: 5/5). “Her name was Iris,” I said.

Iris

“What if the whole universe was a giant garden—like a hydroponics thing, like how they grow tomatoes and marijuana, so there wouldn’t need to be any soil, all the nutrients would just get injected straight into the seeds or however they do it—or, even better, space itself was the soil, you know how they talk about dark matter being this invisible and mysterious thing that exists out there and we don’t know what it does, if it actually affect anything, gravity…”
She blew a cloud of pot smoke my way that made me cough and probably gave her time to think. She said, “So dark matter is like the soil, and in this space garden of course they don’t grow plants but something else.”
“Galaxies?”
“Eyes.”
“Just eyes, or body parts in general?” I asked.
“Just eyes.”
The music from the party thumped. “But the eyes are our planets, like Mars is an eye, Neptune is an eye, and the Earth is an eye, maybe even the best eye.”
“The best for what? Who’s growing them?”
“God,” she said.
I took the joint from her and took a long drag. “I didn’t know you believed in God.”
“I don’t, I guess—except when I’m on dope. Anyway, you’ve got to understand me because when I say God I don’t mean like the old man with muscles and a beard. This God, the one I’m talking about, it’s more like a one-eyed monster.”
“Like a cyclops?” I asked.
“Yeah, like that, like a cyclops. So it’s growing these eyes in the dark matter in space—I mean right now, you and me, we’re literally sitting on one of these eyes and we’re contributing to its being grown because the nutrients the cyclops God injected into them, that’s us.”
“Why does God need so many extra eyes?”
“It’s not a question of having so many of them, but more about having the right one, like growing the perfect tomato.” I gave her back the joint and leaned back, looking at the stars. “Because every once in a while the cyclops God goes blind, its eye stops working—not in the same way we go blind, because the cyclops God doesn’t see reality in the same way we see reality—but more like we see through our brains and our eyes put together.”
“Like x-ray vision?” I asked.
“No, not like that at all,” she said.
“A glass eye?”
“Glass eyes are fake.”
“OK,” I said, “so maybe try something else. Give me a different angle. Tell me what role we’re playing in all of this because right now it seems that we’re pretty insignificant. I mean, you said we’re nutrients but what’s the difference between, say, Mars and Earth in terms of being eyes?”
She looked over at me. “Are you absolutely sure you want to hear about this?”
“I am,” I said.
“You don’t think it’s stupid?”
“Compared to what?”
“I don’t know, just stupid in general.”
“I don’t.”
“I like you,” she said.
“Because I don’t think you’re stupid?” I asked.
“That’s just a bonus. I mean more that you’re up here with me instead of being down there with everyone, and we’re talking and even though we’re not in love I know somehow we’ll never forget each other for as long as we live.”
“It’s hard to forget being on the surface of a giant floating eyeball.”
“You’re scared that you won’t find anyone to love,” she said suddenly, causing me to nearly choke on my own saliva. “Don’t ask me how I know—I just do. But before I go any further about the cyclops God, I want you to know that you’ll find someone to love and who’ll love you back, and whatever happens you’ll always have that because no one can take away the past.”
“You’re scared of going blind,” I said.
“I am going blind.”
“Not yet.”
“And I’m learning not to be scared because everything I see until that day will always belong to me.”
“The doctors said it would be gradual,” I reminded her.
“That’s horrible.”
“Why?”
“Because you wouldn’t want to find someone to love and then know that every day you wake up the love between you grows dimmer and dimmer, would you?”
“I guess not,” I said.
“Wouldn’t you much rather feel the full strength of that love up to and including in the final second before the world goes black?”
“It would probably be painful to lose it all at once like that.”
“Painful because you actually had something to lose. For me, I know I can’t wish away blindness, but I sure wish that the last image I ever see—in that final second before my world goes black—is the most vivid and beautiful image of all.”
Because I didn’t know what to say to that, I mumbled: “I’m sorry.”
“That I’m going blind?”
“Yeah, and that we can’t grow eyes.”
This time I looked over, and she was the one gazing at the stars. “Before, you asked if we were insignificant,” she said. “But because you’re sorry—that’s kind of why we’re the most significant of all, why Earth is better than the other planets.”
“For the cyclops God?”
“Yes.”
“He cares about my feelings?”
“Not in the way you’re probably thinking, but in a different way that’s exactly what the cyclops God cares about most because that’s what it’s looking for in an eye. All the amazing stuff we’ve ever built, all our ancient civilizations and supercomputers and cities you can see from the Moon—that’s just useless cosmetics to the cyclops God, except in how all of it has made us feel about things that aren’t us.”
“I think you’re talking about morality.”
“I think so, too.”
“So by feeling sorry for you I’m showing compassion, and the cyclops God likes compassion?”
“That’s not totally wrong but it’s a little upside down. We have this black matter garden and these planets the cyclops God has grown as potential eyes to replace its own eye once it stops working, but its own eye is like an eye and a brain mixed together. Wait—” she said.
I waited.
“Imagine a pair of tinted sunglasses.”
I imagined green-tinted ones.
“Now imagine that instead of the lenses being a certain colour, they’re a certain morality, and if you wear the glasses you see the world tinted according to that morality.”
I was kind of able to imagine that. I supposed it would help show who was good and who was bad. “But the eye and the tinted glasses are the same thing in this case.”
“Exactly, there’s no one without the other, and what makes the tint special is us—not that the cyclops God cares at all about individuals any more than we care about individual honey bees. That’s why he’s kind of a monster.”
“Isn’t people’s morality always changing, though?”
“Only up to a point. Green is green even when you have a bunch of shades of it, and a laptop screen still works fine even with a few dead pixels, right? And the more globalized and connected we get, the smoother our morality gets, but if you’re asking more about how our changing morals work when the cyclops God finally comes to take its eye, I assume it has a way to freeze our progress. To cut our roots. Then it makes some kind of final evaluation. If it’s satisfied it takes the planet and sticks it into its eye socket, and if it doesn’t like us then it lets us alone, although because we’re frozen and possibly rootless I suppose we die—maybe that’s what the other planets are, so many of them in space without any sort of life. Cold, rejected eyes.”
From sunglasses to bees to monitors in three metaphors, and now we were back to space. This was getting confusing. The stars twinkled, some of them dead, too: their light still arriving at our eyes from sources that no longer existed. “That’s kind of depressing,” I said to end the silence.
“What about it?”
“Being bees,” I said, “that work for so long at tinting a pair of glasses just so that a cyclops God can try them on.”
“I don’t think it’s any more depressing than being a tomato.”
“I’ve never thought about that.”
“You should. It’s beautiful, like love,” she said. “Because if you think about it, being a tomato and being a person are really quite similar. They’re both about growing and existing for the enjoyment of someone else. As a tomato you’re planted, you grow and mature and then an animal comes along and eats you. The juicier you look and the nicer you smell, the greater the chance that you’ll get plucked but also the more pleasure the animal will get from you. As a person, you’re also born and you grow up and you mature into a one of a kind personality with a one of a kind face, and then someone comes along and makes you fall in love with them and all the growing you did was really just for their enjoyment of your love.”
“Except love lasts longer than chewing a tomato.”
“Sometimes,” she said.
“And you have to admit that two tomatoes can’t eat each other the way two people can love each other mutually.”
“I admit that’s a good point,” she said.
“And what happens to someone who never gets fallen in love with?”
“The same thing that happens to a tomato that never gets eaten or an eye that the cyclops God never takes. They die and they rot, and they darken and harden, decomposing until they don’t look like tomatoes anymore. It’s not a nice fate. I’d rather live awhile and get eaten, to be honest.”
“As a tomato or person?”
“Both.”
I thought for a few seconds. “That explanation works for things on Earth, but nothing actually decomposes in space.”
“That’s why there are so many dead planets,” she said.
submitted by normancrane to stayawake [link] [comments]


2020.10.01 21:47 normancrane Iris [4/5]

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Since

Blood, guts and bone shards blanketed the surfaces of the waiting room, making it look like the inside of an unwashed jar of strawberry jam. My wife was gone. Every woman in the room was gone. The space behind the reception desk stood eerily empty. The television in the corner was showing the splattered lens of a camera that a hand suddenly wiped clean—its burst of motion a shock to the prevailing stillness—to reveal the peaceful image of a Los Angeles street in which bloodied men and boys stood frozen, startled…
I was too numb to speak.
Someone unlocked the hospital doors but nobody entered.
The waiting room smelled like an abattoir.
My clothes smelled like an abattoir.
I walked toward the doors, opened them with my hip and continued into the morning sunlight. I half expected shit to rain down from the skies. If I had a razor blade in my pocket I would have slit my wrists, but all I had was my wallet, my car keys and my phone. Sliding my fingers over the keys reminded me how dull they were. I didn’t want to drive. I didn’t want anything, but if I had to do something I would walk. I stepped on the heel of one shoe with the toe of another and slid my shoe off. The other one I pulled off with my hand. I wasn’t wearing socks. I hadn’t had enough time to put them on. I threw the shoes away. I wanted to walk until my feet hurt so much that I couldn’t walk anymore.
I put one foot in front of the other all the way back to my apartment building, waited for the elevator, and took it to my floor. In the hall, I passed a man wearing clean summer clothes. He didn’t give my bloody ones a second glance. I nodded to him, he nodded back, and I unlocked the door to my apartment and walked in. My feet left footprints on the linoleum. A dark, drying stain in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall was all that was left of Pillow. She’d squeezed in and died alone. I took out a mop and rotely removed the stain. Then I took off my clothes, flung them on the bed, which was as unmade as when we left it, took a shower and laid down on the crumpled sheets beside the only pieces of my wife that I had left. My sleep smelled like an abattoir.
I awoke to a world without women.
I rolled off the bed into sore thighs and guilt, got up to emptiness that echoed the slightest noise, and left my wife’s clothes on the sheets without thinking that eventually I’d have to pack them into a plastic bag and slide them down the garbage chute. I felt magnified and hollow. In the kitchen, I used the stove top as a table because the actual table had my wife’s tablet on it, and spilled instant coffee. What I didn’t spill I drank in a few gulps, the way I used to drink ice cold milk as a boy. I stood in front of the living room window for a while before realizing I was naked, then realizing that it didn’t matter because men changed in front of each other at the pool and peed next to one another into urinals in public restrooms, and there weren’t any women to hide from, no one to offend. The world, I told myself, was now a sprawling men’s pisser, so I slammed the window open and pissed.
I wanted to call someone—to tell them that my wife was dead, because that’s a duty owed by the living—but whom could I call: her sister, her parents? Her sister was dead. Her father had a dead wife and two dead daughters. There was nothing to say. Everyone knew. I called my wife’s father anyway. Was he still my father-in-law now that I was a widower? He didn’t accept the connection. Widower: a word loses all but historical meaning when there are no alternatives. If all animals were dogs, we’d purge one of those words from our vocabulary. We were all widowers. It was synonymous with man. I switched on the television and stared, crying, at a montage of photographs showing the bloody landscapes of cities, hospitals, retirement homes, schools and churches, all under the tasteless headline: “International Pop”. Would we clean it up, these remnants of the people we loved? Could we even use the same buildings, knowing what had happened in them? The illusion of practical thinking pushed my feeling of emptiness away. I missed arms wrapping around me from behind while I stared through rain streaked windows. I missed barking and a wagging tail that hit my leg whenever I was standing too close. Happiness seemed impossible. I called Bakshi because I needed confirmation that I still had a voice. “They’re the lucky ones,” he said right after I’d introduced myself. “They’re out. We’re the fools still locked in, and now we’re all alone.”
For three weeks, I expected my wife to show up at the apartment door. I removed her clothes from the bed and stuffed them into a garbage bag, but kept the garbage bag in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall. I probably would have kept a dead body in the freezer if I had one and it fit. As a city and as a world, those were grim, disorganized weeks for us. Nobody worked. I don’t know what we did. Sat around and drank, smoked. And we called each other, often out of the blue. Every day, I received a call from someone I knew but hadn’t spoken to in years. The conversations all followed a pattern. There was no catching up and no explanation of lost time, just a question like “How are you holding up?” followed by a thoughtless answer (“Fine, I guess. And you?”) followed by an exchange of details about the women we’d lost. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends, friends, cousins, aunts, teachers, students, co-workers. We talked about the colour of their hair, their senses of humour, their favourite movies. We said nothing about ourselves, choosing instead to inhabit the personas of those whom we’d loved. In the hallway, I would put on my wife’s coats but never look at myself in the mirror. I wore her winter hats in the middle of July. Facebook became a graveyard, with the gender field separating the mourners from the dead.
The World Health Organization issued a communique stating that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all the women in the world were dead, but it called for any woman still alive to come forward immediately. The language of the communique was as sterile as the Earth. Nobody came forward. The World Wildlife Fund created an inventory of all mammalian species that listed in ascending order how long each species would exist. Humans were on the bottom. Both the World Health Organization and the World Wildlife Fund predicted that unless significant technological progress occurred in the field of fertility within the next fifty years, the last human, a theoretical boy named Philip born into a theoretical developed country on March 26, 2025, would die in 93 years. On the day of his death, Philip would be the last remaining mammal—although not necessarily animal—on Earth. No organization or government has ever officially stated that July 4, 2025, was the most destructive day in recorded history, on the morning of which, Eastern Time, four billion out of a total of eight billion people ceased to exist as anything more than memories. What killed them was neither an act of war nor an act of terrorism. Neither was it human negligence. There was no one to blame and no one to prosecute. In the western countries, where the majority of people no longer believed in any religion, we could not even call it an act of God. So we responded by calling it nothing at all.
And, like nothing, our lives persisted. We ate, we slept and we adapted. After the first wave of suicides ended, we hosed off what the rain hadn’t already washed away and began to reorganize the systems on which our societies ran. It was a challenge tempered only slightly in countries where women had not made up a significant portion of the workforce. We held new elections, formed me boards of directors and slowed down the assembly lines and bus schedules to make it possible for our communities to keep running. There was less food in the supermarkets, but we also needed less food. Instead of two trains we ran one, but one sufficed. I don’t remember the day when I finally took the black garbage bag from its resting place and walked it to the chute. “How are you holding up?” a male voice would say on the street. “Fine, I guess. And you?” I’d answer. ##!! wrote a piece of Python code to predict the box office profitability of new movies, in which real actors played alongside computer-generated actresses. The code was only partially successful. Because while it did accurately predict the success of new movies in relation to one other, it failed to include the overwhelming popularity of re-releases of films from the past—films starring Bette Davis, Giulietta Masina, Meryl Streep: women who at least on screen were still flesh and blood. Theatres played retrospectives. On Amazon, books by female authors topped the charts. Sales of albums by women vocalists surged. We thirsted for another sex. I watched, read and listened like everyone else, and in between I cherished any media on which I found images or recordings of my wife. I was angry for not having made more. I looked at the same photos and watched the same clips over and over again. I memorized my wife’s Facebook timeline and tagged all her Tweets by date, theme and my own rating. When I went out, I would talk to the air as if she was walking beside me, sometimes quoting her actual words as answers to my questions and sometimes inventing my own as if she was a beloved character in an imagined novel. When people looked at me like I was crazy, I didn’t care. I wasn’t the only one. But, more importantly, my wife meant more to me than they did. I remembered times when we’d stroll through the park or down downtown sidewalks and I would be too ashamed to kiss her in the presence of strangers. Now, I would tell her that I love her in the densest crowd. I would ask her whether I should buy ketchup or mustard in the condiments aisle. She helped me pick out my clothes in the morning. She convinced me to eat healthy and exercise.
In November, I was in Bakshi’s apartment for the first time, waiting for a pizza delivery boy, when one of Bakshi’s friends who was browsing Reddit told us that the Tribe of Akna was starting a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to buy the Republic of Suriname, rename it Xibalba and close its borders for all except the enlightened. Xibalba would have no laws, Salvador Abaroa said in a message on the site. He was banging his gong as he did. Everything would be legal, and anyone who pledged $100 would receive a two-week visa to this new "Mayan Buddhist Eden". If you pledged over $10,000, you would receive citizenship. “Everything in life is destroyed by energy,” Abaroa said. “But let the energy enlighten you before it consumes your body. Xibalba is finite life unbound.” Bakshi’s phone buzzed. The pizza boy had sent an email. He couldn’t get upstairs, so Bakshi and I took the elevator to the building’s front entrance. The boy’s face was so white that I saw it as soon as the elevator doors slid open. Walking closer, I saw that he was powdered. His cheeks were also rouged, and he was wearing cranberry coloured lipstick, a Marilyn Monroe wig and a short black skirt. Compared to his face, his thin legs looked like incongruously dark popsicle sticks. Bakshi paid for the pizza and added another five dollars for the tip. The boy batted his fake eyelashes and asked if maybe he could do something to earn a little more. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I could come upstairs and clean the place up a little. You two live alone?” Bakshi passed me the two pizza boxes—They felt hot in my hands.—and dug around in his wallet. “It’s not just the two of us,” I said. The boy smiled. “That’s OK. I’ve done parties before if that’s what you’re into.” I saw the reaction on Bakshi’s face, and I saw the boy’s grotesque caricature of a woman. “There’s condoms and lube in the car,” the boy said, pointing to a sedan with a pizza spray-painted across its side parked by the curb. “My boss says I can take up to two hours but it’s not like he uses a stopwatch.” I stepped on Bakshi’s foot and shouldered him away. He was still fiddling with his wallet. “We’re not interested,” I said to the boy. He just shrugged. “Suit yourselves. If you change your mind, order another pizza and ask for Ruby.” The elevator dinged and the doors opened. As we shuffled inside, I saw Bakshi’s cheeks turn red. “I’m not actually—” he mumbled, but I didn’t let him finish. What had bothered me so much about the boy wasn’t the way he looked or acted; in fact, it wasn’t really the boy at all. He was just trying to make a buck. What bothered me was how ruthlessly we’d already begun to exploit each other.
For those of us who were heterosexual, sex was a definite weakness. I missed it. I would never have it with a woman again. The closest substitute was pornography, whose price rose with its popularity, but which, at least for me, now came scented with the unpleasantness of historicity and nostalgia. Videos and photos, not to mention physical magazines, were collector’s items in the same way that we once collected coins or action figures. The richest men bought up the exclusive rights to their favourite porn stars and guarded them by law with a viciousness once reserved for the RIAA and MPAA. Perhaps exclusivity gave them a possessive satisfaction. In response, we pirated whatever we could and fought for a pornographic public domain. Although new pornography was still being produced, either with the help of the same virtual technology they used for mainstream movies or with the participation of young men in costume, it lacked the taste of the originals. It was like eating chocolate made without cocoa. The best pornography, and therefore the best sex, became the pornography of the mind.
The Tribe of Akna reached its Kickstarter goal in early December. On December 20, I went to church for the first time since getting married because that was the theoretical date that my wife—along with every other woman—was supposed to have given birth. I wanted to be alone with others. Someone posted a video on TikTok from Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront, dubbing over Marlon Brando’s speech to say: “You don’t understand. I could’a had a piece of ass. I could’a been a school board member. I could’a been a son’s daddy”. It was juvenile and heartbreaking. By Christmas, the Surinamese government was already expelling its citizens, each of whom had theoretically been given a fraction of the funds paid to the government from the Tribe of Akna’s Kickstarter pool, and Salvador Abaroa’s lawyers were petitioning for international recognition of the new state of Xibalba. Neither Canada nor the United States opened diplomatic relations, but others did. I knew people who had pledged money, and when in January they disappeared on trips, I had no doubt to where. Infamy spread in the form of stories and urban legends. There’s no need for details. People disappeared, and ethicists wrote about the ethical neutrality of murder, arguing that because we were all slated to die, leaving the Earth barren in a century, destruction was a human inevitability, and what is inevitable can never be bad, even when it comes earlier than expected—even when it comes by force. Because, as a species, we hadn’t chosen destruction for ourselves, neither should any individual member of our species be able to choose now for himself. To the ethicists of what became known as the New Inevitability School, suicide was a greater evil than murder because it implied choice and inequality. If the ship was going down, no one should be allowed to get off. A second wave of suicides coincided with the debate, leading many governments to pass laws making suicide illegal. But how do you punish someone who already wants to die? In China: by keeping him alive and selling him to Xibalba, where he becomes the physical plaything of its citizens and visa-holders. The Chinese was the first embassy to open in Xibalban Paramaribo.
The men working on Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything continued working, steadily adding new variables to their equations, complicating their calculations in the hopes that someday the variable they added would be the final one and the equation would yield an answer. “It’s pointless,” Bakshi would comment after reading about one of the small breakthroughs they periodically announced. “Even if they do manage to predict something, anything, it won’t amount to anything more than the painfully obvious. And after decades of adding and subtracting their beans, they’ll come out of their Los Alamos datalabs like groundhogs into a world blanketed by storm clouds and conclude, finally and with plenty of self-congratulations, that it’s about to fucking rain.”
It rained a lot in February. It was one of the warmest Februaries in Toronto’s history. Sometimes I went for walks along the waterfront, talking to my wife, listening to Billie Holiday and trying to recall as many female faces as I could. Ones from the distant past: my mother, my grandmothers. Ones from the recent past: the woman whose life my wife saved on the way to the hospital, the Armenian woman with the film magazine and the injured son, the Jamaican woman, Bakshi’s wife. I focused on their faces, then zoomed out to see their bodies. I carried an umbrella but seldom opened it because the pounding of the raindrops against the material distorted my mental images. I saw people rush across the street holding newspapers above their heads while dogs roamed the alleyways wearing nothing at all. Of the two, it was dogs that had the shorter time left on Earth, and if they could let the rain soak their fur and drip off their bodies, I could surely let it run down my face. It was first my mother and later my wife who told me to always cover up in the rain, “because moisture causes colds,” but I was alone now and I didn’t want to be separated from the falling water by a sheet of glass anymore. I already was cold. I saw a man sit down on a bench, open his briefcase, pack rocks into it, then close it, tie it to his wrist, check his watch and start to walk into the polluted waters of Lake Ontario. Another man took out his phone and tapped his screen a few times. The man in the lake walked slowly, savouring each step. When the police arrived, sirens blaring, the water was up to his neck. I felt guilty for watching the three officers splash into the lake after him. I don’t know what happened after that because I turned my back and walked away. I hope they didn’t stop him. I hope he got to do what he wanted to do.
“Screw the police.” Bakshi passed me a book. “You should read this,” he said. It was by a professor of film and media studies at a small university in Texas. There was a stage on the cover, flanked by two red curtains. The photo had been taken from the actors’ side, looking out at an audience that the stage lights made too dark to see. The title was Hiding Behind The Curtains. I flipped the book over. There was no photo of the author. “It’s a theory,” Bakshi said, “that undercuts what Abaroa and the Inevitabilists are saying. It’s a little too poetic in parts but—listen, you ever read Atlas Shrugged?” I said I hadn’t. “Well, anyway, what this guy says is that what if instead of our situation letting us do anything we want, it’s actually the opposite, a test to see how we act when we only think that we’re doomed. I mean what if the women who died in March, what if they’re just—” “Hiding behind the curtains,” I said. He bit his lower lip. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that but, as a metaphor, it has a kind of elegance, right?” I flipped through the book, reading a few sentences at random. It struck me as neo-Christian. “Isn’t this a little too spiritual for you? I thought we were all locked into one path,” I said. “I thought that, too, but lately I’ve been able to do things—things that I didn’t really want to do.” For a second I was concerned. “Nothing bad,” he said. “I mean I’ve felt like I’m locked into doing one thing, say having a drink of water, but I resist and pour myself a glass of orange juice instead.” I shook my head. “It’s hard to explain,” he said. That’s how most theories ended, I thought: reason and evidence up to a crucial point, and then it gets so personal that it’s hard to explain. You either make the jump or you don’t. “Just read it,” he said. “Please read it. You don’t have to agree with it, I just want to get your opinion, an objective opinion.”
I never did read the book, and Bakshi forgot about it, too, but that day he was excited and happy, and those were rare feelings. I was simultaneously glad for him and jealous. Afterwards, we went out onto the balcony and drank Czech beer until morning. When it got cool, we put on our coats. It started to drizzle so we wore blue plastic suits like the ones they used to give you on boat rides in Niagara Falls. When it was time to go home, I was so drunk I couldn’t see straight. I almost got into a fight, the first one of my life, because I bumped into a man on the street and told him to get the fuck out of my way. I don’t remember much more of my walk home. The only reason I remember Behind The Curtains at all is because when I woke up in the afternoon it was the first thing that my hung over brain recognized. It was lying on the floor beside the bed. Then I opened the blinds covering my bedroom window and, through my spread fingers that I’d meant to use as a shield from the first blast of daylight, I saw the pincers for the first time.
They’d appeared while I was asleep. I turned on the television and checked my phone. The media and the internet were feverish, but nobody knew what the thing was, just a massive, vaguely rectangular shape blotting out a strip of the sky. NASA stated that it had received no extraterrestrial messages to coincide with the appearance. Every government claimed ignorance. The panel discussions on television only worsened my headache. Bakshi emailed me links to photos from Mumbai, Cape Town, Sydney and Mexico City, all showing the same shape; or rather one of a pair of shapes, for there were two of them, one on each side of the Earth, and they’d trapped our planet between themselves like gargantuan fingers clutching an equally gargantuan ping-pong ball. That’s why somebody came up with the term “the pincers”. It stuck. Because I’d slept in last night’s clothes I was already dressed, so I ran down the stairs and out of my apartment building to get a better look at them from the parking lot. You’re not supposed to look at the sun, but I wasn’t the only one breaking that rule. There were entire crowds with upturned faces in the streets. If the pincers, too, could see, they would perhaps be as baffled by us as we were of them: billions of tiny specks all over the surface of this ping-pong ball gathering in points on a grid, coagulating into large puddles that vanished overnight only to reassemble in the morning. In the following days, scientists scrambled to study the pincers and their potential effects on us, but they discovered nothing. The pincers did nothing. They emitted nothing, consumed nothing. They simply were. And they could not be measured or detected in any way other than by eyesight. When we shot rays at them, the rays continued on their paths unaffected, as if nothing was there. The pincers did, however, affect the sun’s rays coming towards us. They cut up our days. The sun would rise, travel over the sky, hide behind a pincer—enveloping us in a second night—before revealing itself again as a second day. But if the pincers’ physical effect on us was limited to its blockage of light, their mental effects on us were astoundingly severe. For many, this was the sign they’d been waiting for. It brought hope. It brought gloom. It broke and confirmed ideas that were hard to explain. In their ambiguity, the pincers could be anything, but in their strangeness they at least reassured us of the reality of the strange times in which we were living. Men walked away from the theory of everything, citing the pincers as the ultimate variable that proved the futility of prognostication. Others took up the calculations because if the pincers could appear, what else was out there in our future? However, ambiguity can only last for a certain period. Information narrows possibilities. On April 1, 2026, every Twitter account in the world received the following message:
as you can see this message is longer than the allowed one hundred forty characters time and space are malleable you thought you had one hundred years but prepare for the plucking
The sender was @. The message appeared in each user’s feed at exactly the same time and in his first language, without punctuation. Because of the date most of us thought it was a hoax, but the developers of Twitter denied this vehemently. It wasn’t until a court forced them to reveal their code, which proved that a message of that length and sent by a blank user was impossible, that our doubts ceased. ##!! took bets on what the message meant. Salvador Abaroa broadcast a response into space in a language he called Bodhi Mayan, then addressed the rest of us in English, saying that in the pincers he had identified an all-powerful prehistoric fire deity, described in an old Sanskrit text as having the resemblance of mirrored black fangs, whose appearance signified the end of time. “All of us will burn,” he said, “but paradise shall be known only to those who burn willingly.” Two days later, The Tribe of Akna announced that in one month it would seal Xibalba from the world and set fire to everything and everyone in it. For the first time, its spokesman said, an entire nation would commit suicide as one. Jonestown was but a blip. As a gesture of goodwill, he said that Xibalba was offering free immolation visas to anyone who applied within the next week. The New Inevitability School condemned the plan as “offensively unethical” and inequalitist and urged an international Xibalban boycott. Nothing came of it. When the date arrived, we watched with rapt attention on live streams and from the vantage points of circling news planes as Salvador Abaroa struck flint against steel, creating the spark that caught the char cloth, starting a fire that blossomed bright crimson and in the next weeks consumed all 163,821 square kilometres of the former Republic of Suriname and all 2,500,000 of its estimated Xibalban inhabitants. Despite concerns that the fire would spread beyond Xibalba’s borders, The Tribe of Akna had been careful. There were no accidental casualties and no unplanned property damage. No borders were crossed. Once the fire burned out, reporters competed to be first to capture the mood on the ground. Paramaribo resembled the smouldering darkness of a fire pit.
It was a few days later while sitting on Bakshi’s balcony, looking up at the pincers and rereading a reproduction of @’s message—someone had spray-painted it across the wall of a building opposite Bakshi’s—that I remembered Iris. The memory was so absorbing that I didn’t notice when Bakshi slid open the balcony door and sat down beside me, but I must have been smiling because he said, “I don’t mean this the wrong way, but you look a little loony tonight. Seriously, man, you do not look sufficiently freaked out.” I’d remembered Iris before, swirling elements of her plain face, but now I also remembered her words and her theory. I turned to Bakshi, who seemed to be waiting for an answer to his question, and said, “Let’s get up on the roof of this place.” He grabbed my arm and held on tightly. “I’m not going to jump, if that’s what you mean.” It wasn’t what I meant, but I asked, “why not?” He said, “I don’t know. I know we’re fucked as a species and all that, but I figure if I’m still alive I might as well see what happens next, like in a bad movie you want to see through to the end.” I promised him that I wasn’t going to jump, either. Then I scrambled inside his apartment, grabbed my hat and jacket from the closet by the front door and put them on while speed walking down the hall, toward the fire escape. I realized I’d been spending a lot of time here. The alarm went off as soon I pushed open the door with my hip but I didn’t care. When Bakshi caught up with me, I was already outside, leaping up two stairs at a time. The metal construction was rusted. The treads wobbled. On the roof, the wind nearly blew my hat off and it was so loud I could have screamed and no one would have heard me. Holding my hat in my hands, I crouched and looked out over the twinkling city spread out in front of me. It looked alive in spite of the pincers in the sky. “Let’s do something crazy,” I yelled. Bakshi was still catching his breath behind me. “What, like this isn’t crazy enough?” The NHL may have been gone but my hat still bore the Maple Leafs logo, as quaint and obsolete by then as the Weimar Republic in the summer of 1945. “When’s the last time you played ball hockey?” I asked. Bakshi crouched beside me. “You’re acting weird. And I haven’t played ball hockey in ages.” I stood up so suddenly that Bakshi almost fell over. This time I knew I was smiling. “So call your buddies,” I said. “Tell them to bring their sticks and their gear and to meet us in front of the ACC in one hour.” Bakshi patted me on the back. Toronto shone like jewels scattered over black velvet. “The ACC’s been closed for years, buddy. I think you’re really starting to lose it.” I knew it was closed. “Lose what?” I asked. “It’s closed and we’re going to break in.”
The chains broke apart like shortbread. The electricity worked. The clouds of dust made me sneeze. We used duffel bags to mark out the goals. We raced up and down the stands and bent over, wheezing at imaginary finish lines. We got into the announcer’s booth and called each other cunts through the microphone. We ran, fell and shot rubber pucks for hours. We didn’t keep score. We didn’t worry. “What about the police?” someone asked. The rest of us answered: “Screw the fucking police!”
And when everybody packed up and went home, I stayed behind.
“Are you sure you’re fine?” Bakshi asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Because I have to get back so that I can shower, get changed and get to work.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“And you promise me you’ll catch a cab?”
“I’m not suicidal.”
He fixed his grip on his duffel bag. “I didn’t say you were. I was just checking.”
“I want to see the end of the movie, too,” I said.
He saluted. I watched him leave. When he was gone, my wife walked down from the nosebleeds and took a seat beside me. “There’s someone I want to tell you about,” I said. She lifted her chin like she always does when something unexpected catches her interest, and scooted closer. I put my arm across the back of her beautiful shoulders. She always liked that, even though the position drives me crazy because I tend to talk a lot with my hands. “Stuck at Leafs-Wings snorefest,” she said. “Game sucks but I love the man sitting beside me.” (January 15, 2019. Themes: hockey, love, me. Rating: 5/5). “Her name was Iris,” I said.

- - -

Continue Reading
submitted by normancrane to normancrane [link] [comments]


2020.10.01 15:32 nitecrawla Adding to the Wiki soon: "Haunted Lubbock"

For those that have been around awhile know around this time people seem to post looking for "haunted locations" in/around Lubbock. I've compiled a list of the locations as well as what the redditor commented about it. Listed Sources and sites. Still looking for more input & information for the Wiki.

Lubbock High:

La Quinta at Q & the Marsha Sharp

Pioneer Hotel:

Hell’s Gate:

O.L. Slaton :

-https://www.everythinglubbock.com/news/student-found-dead-no-foul-play-suspected-at-o-l-slaton-middle-school/

LP&L Building

Lubbock Cemetery :

http://www.eyeonsoaps.net/angelfeet.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A93U_LE0uJo

Memphis Man-

TTU :

Airport

Old Gay Hill School Luther Texas

“Train trestle that is near the Guadalupe arroyo”

“Yellowhouse Canyon”

“Prison House Legend”

Aliens:

Skinwalkers -

They're fascinating. Too fascinating. I went a little crazy around 2014-2015 and couldn't stop thinking about them. Started having dreams about them scolding me but not actually saying any words. Then my appendix ruptured and I almost died. Was in UMC over night and when I came back I found handprints all over my porch in the snow, but no boot/shoe prints. I was done after that. I took my warning and lived. - u/CrypticCryptid

UMC :

Books :

Links :

Sources :

submitted by nitecrawla to Lubbock [link] [comments]


2020.09.30 18:23 WatchRaffleMod5 [GIVEAWAY] June-July-August Paid Participants ONLY Giveaway

Details: June-July-August Paid Participants ONLY Giveaway
Spot limit per person? MAX THREE PER PERSON, SEE RULES BELOW
Location/Country: USA
Will ship international? Yes. Intl winners are responsible for any extra shipping, insurance, customs, and duties.
Can reraffle? You may not re-raffle without taking possession of item, unless it’s another giveaway. Main/Gold level re-raffle rules apply (see Rule 14)
We are happy to present our giveaway:
BNIB Panerai Luminor Due PAM926 directly from AD
The rules of the giveaway are (READ BELOW CAREFULLY):
  1. The giveaway will be open for one full day (Date 9/30-10/1). There will be no tags for this raffle. It will end officially at noon on the second day, any requests thereafter will be ignored.
  2. If you participated in EACH MONTH (June, July, and/or August), you are eligible for up to THREE random spots total. With ONE TOP LEVEL COMMENT you may request up to THREE random spots and post the permalinks to your PAID spot requests from EACH MONTH (we suggest you visit the last giveaway here, to see how to do this correctly). Find your paid spot request links beforehand and make sure you know the exact date(s) of your participation because Reddit has fooled many users. Freebie participation does not count. Spots in cancelled raffles do not count. Spots that were removed for non-payment certainly does not count. You may donate your spot(s) to someone else, but that person must have participated in June, July, or August. YOU MUST POST YOUR REQUEST AND LINK(S) IN ONE SINGLE TOP-LEVEL COMMENT.
  3. If you are caught calling a spot with an alt or try to cheat in any way or form, you will be perma-banned immediately with no exceptions. Do NOT send modmail to get whitelisted during this period. We are swamped with running this giveaway and approving raffle submissions, so such requests sent during this time will be archived/ignored.
  4. Not following the rules will result in one poop for EACH offense. Examples: if you ask for a spot without a link, post a link to the wrong month, post a link to the raffle itself (and not your specific spot request), or delete/edit your spot request, that will be one poop. If you commit another error afterwards, that will be a second poop (and immediate 1-week ban if 2nd poop, or 1-month ban if it results in 3rd poop and your requests will not be honored for the giveaway and if you were already assigned spots they will be removed). If you post more than one link from the same month you will receive one poop. If you are skipped, that means you made an error and you will be pooped. Make a NEW top level comment if you want to try again. If you realized you participated in all three months but forgot to post links to all three, do NOT delete or edit your original request, but make a NEW top level comment stating that you forgot the month(s) and add the proper link(s). You will receive 1 poop for this infraction and if it results in a ban, then ALL of your requests will be ignored for the giveaway, and you will not be allowed to participate in this giveaway.
  5. Once the raffle window closes, all slots will be SHUFFLED and the bot called for one winner. Winner will send modmail with his info and the watch will be shipped directly from the AD.
It takes a lot of effort on our part to check all the links to make sure that they link to completed raffles and that the dates correspond to the correct months. If you send PMs to any mods or send modmail during the giveaway period on what you did wrong or why you were pooped or why you were skipped, it will be ignored. LEARN HOW TO POST CORRECT LINKS BEFOREHAND.

Tip BoyAndHisBlob
Number of vacant slots: 0
Number of unpaid users: 0
Number of unpaid slots: 0
This slot list is created and updated by The EDC Raffle Tool by BoyAndHisBlob.
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836 bdm105 PAID
837 amnonymous PAID

submitted by WatchRaffleMod5 to WatchURaffle [link] [comments]


2020.09.30 17:29 AbsolutusVirtus [Blue] Breitling Avenger GMT (Ref. A32395101c1x2) - 100 spots at $24.00/ea with NO spot limit.

Item Name: Breitling Avenger GMT (Ref. A32395101c1x2)
Price: $2,400.00
# of Spots: 100 @ $24.00/Spot
Price Justification: Available for sale for $3,163.75
Price Justification: Available for sale for $3,049.99
Price Justification: Available for sale for $2.775.00
Price Justification: Available for sale for $2,759.84
Price Justification: Available for sale for $2,750.00
Price Justification: Apologies but I can not find any sold comps online. If you see anything, please share.
Call spots? Y
Spot limit per person? No
Location/Country: USA
Will ship international? USA ONLY
Timestamp/pics: Timestamp + Album
Escrow: Yes.....I am for liftback
Description: Here we have a LNIB/Unworn Breitling Avenger GMT a32395101c1x2. Full kit including boxes, booklets, chrono paperwork, leather watch roll, and digital warranty card dated 9/9/20. A classic Breitling design featuring Breitling’s COSC caliber 32 automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve.

PayPal Info: [REDACTED]

Tip BoyAndHisBlob
Number of vacant slots: 0
Number of unpaid users: 0
Number of unpaid slots: 0
This slot list is created and updated by The EDC Raffle Tool by BoyAndHisBlob.
1 fazestaynight PAID
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99 fazestaynight PAID
100 Bluebuddyman PAID

submitted by AbsolutusVirtus to WatchURaffle [link] [comments]


2020.09.30 16:42 digital4kcollector (Offer) updated list. Animated DC movies (request) lists, offers

Hey new username, formerly littlejohn04
**4K Disney/Marvel*\*
**HD Disney/Marvel/Star Wars*\*
**collections*\*
**HD unless noted as 4k*\* ​

**Standard Definition Movies*\*
**XML CODES*\*
Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter / avengers / Broken City / Captain America First Avenger / Chronicle / Despicable Me / diary of a wimpy kid 3 dog days / die hard 5 / Family guy it's a trap / Fast And Furious / Fast And Furious Tokyo Drift / Green zone / Hitchcock / ice age / Inglorious Basterds / iron man 2 / jumper / kung fu panda 2 / life of pi / Lincoln / Mamma Mia! / Monsters Inc / parental guidance / Rio / percy Jackson sea of monsters / percy jackson the lightning thief / Prometheus / the proposal / Puss in Boots / rio / Skyfall / The Fast And The Furious / The Hangover / the heat / the town / Trainspotting / the town / walking with dinosaurs / Xmen First Class / Xmen the wolverine
TV shows*
Screen passes list
https://www.reddit.com/usedigital4kcollectocomments/hiq066/screen_passes/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
**REQUESTING*\*
New releases 4k preferred Itunes preferred if not MA
submitted by digital4kcollector to uvtrade [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 16:54 Mazurroo There are no studies done, r..right? Just point out to normies to discuss with someone smarter in this topic than me, you or them. But they won't touch this, I am sure of that.

1.Men's Looks Matter More Than Women Claim, Study Shows. 2.Do Women Care More About Looks Than They Claim To?
Source: Fugère, Madeleine A., Caitlynn Chabot, Kaitlyn Doucette, and Alita J. Cousins. “The Importance of Physical Attractiveness to the Mate Choices of Women and Their Mothers.” Evolutionary Psychological Science (n.d.): n. pag. Evolutionary Psychological Science – Springer. 10 Mar. 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
  1. Physical Attractiveness is the Strongest Predictor of Initial Romantic Interest in Both Sexes; No Evidence Male Personality Plays Any Role for Women; What Leads to Romantic Attraction_Similarity_Reciprocity_Security or Beauty Evidence From a Speed-Dating Study
Source: What Leads to Romantic Attraction: Similarity, Reciprocity, Security, or Beauty? Evidence From a Speed-Dating Study Shanhong Luo and Guangjian Zhang, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, University of Notre Dame
4.Predicting Romantic Interest at Zero Acquaintance: Evidence of Sex Differences in Trait Perception but Not in Predictors of Interest
Source: Olderbak, Malter, Wolf, Jones, & Figueredo, 2017
5.Men liked 61.9% of women on Tinder and women liked a mere 4.5% of men on Tinder; Education Level and Mating Success: Undercover on Tinder
6.Link2 to this research with complete PDF
Source: Education Level and Mating Success: Undercover on Tinder: Brecht Neyt - Ghent University, Sarah Vandenbulcke, Ghent University, Stijn Baert, Ghent University; University of Antwerp; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 2018
  1. Facial attractiveness as a moderator of the association between social and physical aggression and popularity in adolescents; Study finds facially unattractive adolescents lose social popularity when they act aggressively, but facially attractive ones do not lose popularity when they do it
Source: Lisa H. Rosen, Marion K. Underwood, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, PO Box 830688, GR 41, Richardson, TX 75080, USA, 2009
  1. Women are twice as choosy as men when they go speed dating. Men want to see about five women again, while women only choose to see two men again after the speed dating event. n = 3,600
Source: Dating Preferences and Meeting Opportunities in Mate Choice Decisions, Michèle Belot, Marco Francesconi Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin
9.Women want taller men more than men want shorter women
Source: Women want taller men more than men want shorter women,Stulp, G., Buunk, A. P., & Pollet, T. V. (2013).

submitted by Mazurroo to IncelsWithoutHate [link] [comments]


2020.09.28 21:18 normancrane Iris [3/3]

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 <-- You are here.
I awoke to a world without women.
I rolled off the bed into sore thighs and guilt, got up to emptiness that echoed the slightest noise, and left my wife’s clothes on the sheets without thinking that eventually I’d have to pack them into a plastic bag and slide them down the garbage chute. I felt magnified and hollow. In the kitchen, I used the stove top as a table because the actual table had my wife’s tablet on it, and spilled instant coffee. What I didn’t spill I drank in a few gulps, the way I used to drink ice cold milk as a boy. I stood in front of the living room window for a while before realizing I was naked, then realizing that it didn’t matter because men changed in front of each other at the pool and peed next to one another into urinals in public restrooms, and there weren’t any women to hide from, no one to offend. The world, I told myself, was now a sprawling men’s pisser, so I slammed the window open and pissed.
I wanted to call someone—to tell them that my wife was dead, because that’s a duty owed by the living—but whom could I call: her sister, her parents? Her sister was dead. Her father had a dead wife and two dead daughters. There was nothing to say. Everyone knew. I called my wife’s father anyway. Was he still my father-in-law now that I was a widower? He didn’t accept the connection. Widower: a word loses all but historical meaning when there are no alternatives. If all animals were dogs, we’d purge one of those words from our vocabulary. We were all widowers. It was synonymous with man. I switched on the television and stared, crying, at a montage of photographs showing the bloody landscapes of cities, hospitals, retirement homes, schools and churches, all under the tasteless headline: “International Pop”. Would we clean it up, these remnants of the people we loved? Could we even use the same buildings, knowing what had happened in them? The illusion of practical thinking pushed my feeling of emptiness away. I missed arms wrapping around me from behind while I stared through rain streaked windows. I missed barking and a wagging tail that hit my leg whenever I was standing too close. Happiness seemed impossible. I called Bakshi because I needed confirmation that I still had a voice. “They’re the lucky ones,” he said right after I’d introduced myself. “They’re out. We’re the fools still locked in, and now we’re all alone.”
For three weeks, I expected my wife to show up at the apartment door. I removed her clothes from the bed and stuffed them into a garbage bag, but kept the garbage bag in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall. I probably would have kept a dead body in the freezer if I had one and it fit. As a city and as a world, those were grim, disorganized weeks for us. Nobody worked. I don’t know what we did. Sat around and drank, smoked. And we called each other, often out of the blue. Every day, I received a call from someone I knew but hadn’t spoken to in years. The conversations all followed a pattern. There was no catching up and no explanation of lost time, just a question like “How are you holding up?” followed by a thoughtless answer (“Fine, I guess. And you?”) followed by an exchange of details about the women we’d lost. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends, friends, cousins, aunts, teachers, students, co-workers. We talked about the colour of their hair, their senses of humour, their favourite movies. We said nothing about ourselves, choosing instead to inhabit the personas of those whom we’d loved. In the hallway, I would put on my wife’s coats but never look at myself in the mirror. I wore her winter hats in the middle of July. Facebook became a graveyard, with the gender field separating the mourners from the dead.
The World Health Organization issued a communique stating that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all the women in the world were dead, but it called for any woman still alive to come forward immediately. The language of the communique was as sterile as the Earth. Nobody came forward. The World Wildlife Fund created an inventory of all mammalian species that listed in ascending order how long each species would exist. Humans were on the bottom. Both the World Health Organization and the World Wildlife Fund predicted that unless significant technological progress occurred in the field of fertility within the next fifty years, the last human, a theoretical boy named Philip born into a theoretical developed country on March 26, 2025, would die in 93 years. On the day of his death, Philip would be the last remaining mammal—although not necessarily animal—on Earth. No organization or government has ever officially stated that July 4, 2025, was the most destructive day in recorded history, on the morning of which, Eastern Time, four billion out of a total of eight billion people ceased to exist as anything more than memories. What killed them was neither an act of war nor an act of terrorism. Neither was it human negligence. There was no one to blame and no one to prosecute. In the western countries, where the majority of people no longer believed in any religion, we could not even call it an act of God. So we responded by calling it nothing at all.
And, like nothing, our lives persisted. We ate, we slept and we adapted. After the first wave of suicides ended, we hosed off what the rain hadn’t already washed away and began to reorganize the systems on which our societies ran. It was a challenge tempered only slightly in countries where women had not made up a significant portion of the workforce. We held new elections, formed me boards of directors and slowed down the assembly lines and bus schedules to make it possible for our communities to keep running. There was less food in the supermarkets, but we also needed less food. Instead of two trains we ran one, but one sufficed. I don’t remember the day when I finally took the black garbage bag from its resting place and walked it to the chute. “How are you holding up?” a male voice would say on the street. “Fine, I guess. And you?” I’d answer. ##!! wrote a piece of Python code to predict the box office profitability of new movies, in which real actors played alongside computer-generated actresses. The code was only partially successful. Because while it did accurately predict the success of new movies in relation to one other, it failed to include the overwhelming popularity of re-releases of films from the past—films starring Bette Davis, Giulietta Masina, Meryl Streep: women who at least on screen were still flesh and blood. Theatres played retrospectives. On Amazon, books by female authors topped the charts. Sales of albums by women vocalists surged. We thirsted for another sex. I watched, read and listened like everyone else, and in between I cherished any media on which I found images or recordings of my wife. I was angry for not having made more. I looked at the same photos and watched the same clips over and over again. I memorized my wife’s Facebook timeline and tagged all her Tweets by date, theme and my own rating. When I went out, I would talk to the air as if she was walking beside me, sometimes quoting her actual words as answers to my questions and sometimes inventing my own as if she was a beloved character in an imagined novel. When people looked at me like I was crazy, I didn’t care. I wasn’t the only one. But, more importantly, my wife meant more to me than they did. I remembered times when we’d stroll through the park or down downtown sidewalks and I would be too ashamed to kiss her in the presence of strangers. Now, I would tell her that I love her in the densest crowd. I would ask her whether I should buy ketchup or mustard in the condiments aisle. She helped me pick out my clothes in the morning. She convinced me to eat healthy and exercise.
In November, I was in Bakshi’s apartment for the first time, waiting for a pizza delivery boy, when one of Bakshi’s friends who was browsing Reddit told us that the Tribe of Akna was starting a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to buy the Republic of Suriname, rename it Xibalba and close its borders for all except the enlightened. Xibalba would have no laws, Salvador Abaroa said in a message on the site. He was banging his gong as he did. Everything would be legal, and anyone who pledged $100 would receive a two-week visa to this new "Mayan Buddhist Eden". If you pledged over $10,000, you would receive citizenship. “Everything in life is destroyed by energy,” Abaroa said. “But let the energy enlighten you before it consumes your body. Xibalba is finite life unbound.” Bakshi’s phone buzzed. The pizza boy had sent an email. He couldn’t get upstairs, so Bakshi and I took the elevator to the building’s front entrance. The boy’s face was so white that I saw it as soon as the elevator doors slid open. Walking closer, I saw that he was powdered. His cheeks were also rouged, and he was wearing cranberry coloured lipstick, a Marilyn Monroe wig and a short black skirt. Compared to his face, his thin legs looked like incongruously dark popsicle sticks. Bakshi paid for the pizza and added another five dollars for the tip. The boy batted his fake eyelashes and asked if maybe he could do something to earn a little more. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I could come upstairs and clean the place up a little. You two live alone?” Bakshi passed me the two pizza boxes—They felt hot in my hands.—and dug around in his wallet. “It’s not just the two of us,” I said. The boy smiled. “That’s OK. I’ve done parties before if that’s what you’re into.” I saw the reaction on Bakshi’s face, and I saw the boy’s grotesque caricature of a woman. “There’s condoms and lube in the car,” the boy said, pointing to a sedan with a pizza spray-painted across its side parked by the curb. “My boss says I can take up to two hours but it’s not like he uses a stopwatch.” I stepped on Bakshi’s foot and shouldered him away. He was still fiddling with his wallet. “We’re not interested,” I said to the boy. He just shrugged. “Suit yourselves. If you change your mind, order another pizza and ask for Ruby.” The elevator dinged and the doors opened. As we shuffled inside, I saw Bakshi’s cheeks turn red. “I’m not actually—” he mumbled, but I didn’t let him finish. What had bothered me so much about the boy wasn’t the way he looked or acted; in fact, it wasn’t really the boy at all. He was just trying to make a buck. What bothered me was how ruthlessly we’d already begun to exploit each other.
For those of us who were heterosexual, sex was a definite weakness. I missed it. I would never have it with a woman again. The closest substitute was pornography, whose price rose with its popularity, but which, at least for me, now came scented with the unpleasantness of historicity and nostalgia. Videos and photos, not to mention physical magazines, were collector’s items in the same way that we once collected coins or action figures. The richest men bought up the exclusive rights to their favourite porn stars and guarded them by law with a viciousness once reserved for the RIAA and MPAA. Perhaps exclusivity gave them a possessive satisfaction. In response, we pirated whatever we could and fought for a pornographic public domain. Although new pornography was still being produced, either with the help of the same virtual technology they used for mainstream movies or with the participation of young men in costume, it lacked the taste of the originals. It was like eating chocolate made without cocoa. The best pornography, and therefore the best sex, became the pornography of the mind.
The Tribe of Akna reached its Kickstarter goal in early December. On December 20, I went to church for the first time since getting married because that was the theoretical date that my wife—along with every other woman—was supposed to have given birth. I wanted to be alone with others. Someone posted a video on TikTok from Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront, dubbing over Marlon Brando’s speech to say: “You don’t understand. I could’a had a piece of ass. I could’a been a school board member. I could’a been a son’s daddy”. It was juvenile and heartbreaking. By Christmas, the Surinamese government was already expelling its citizens, each of whom had theoretically been given a fraction of the funds paid to the government from the Tribe of Akna’s Kickstarter pool, and Salvador Abaroa’s lawyers were petitioning for international recognition of the new state of Xibalba. Neither Canada nor the United States opened diplomatic relations, but others did. I knew people who had pledged money, and when in January they disappeared on trips, I had no doubt to where. Infamy spread in the form of stories and urban legends. There’s no need for details. People disappeared, and ethicists wrote about the ethical neutrality of murder, arguing that because we were all slated to die, leaving the Earth barren in a century, destruction was a human inevitability, and what is inevitable can never be bad, even when it comes earlier than expected—even when it comes by force. Because, as a species, we hadn’t chosen destruction for ourselves, neither should any individual member of our species be able to choose now for himself. To the ethicists of what became known as the New Inevitability School, suicide was a greater evil than murder because it implied choice and inequality. If the ship was going down, no one should be allowed to get off. A second wave of suicides coincided with the debate, leading many governments to pass laws making suicide illegal. But how do you punish someone who already wants to die? In China: by keeping him alive and selling him to Xibalba, where he becomes the physical plaything of its citizens and visa-holders. The Chinese was the first embassy to open in Xibalban Paramaribo.
The men working on Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything continued working, steadily adding new variables to their equations, complicating their calculations in the hopes that someday the variable they added would be the final one and the equation would yield an answer. “It’s pointless,” Bakshi would comment after reading about one of the small breakthroughs they periodically announced. “Even if they do manage to predict something, anything, it won’t amount to anything more than the painfully obvious. And after decades of adding and subtracting their beans, they’ll come out of their Los Alamos datalabs like groundhogs into a world blanketed by storm clouds and conclude, finally and with plenty of self-congratulations, that it’s about to fucking rain.”
It rained a lot in February. It was one of the warmest Februaries in Toronto’s history. Sometimes I went for walks along the waterfront, talking to my wife, listening to Billie Holiday and trying to recall as many female faces as I could. Ones from the distant past: my mother, my grandmothers. Ones from the recent past: the woman whose life my wife saved on the way to the hospital, the Armenian woman with the film magazine and the injured son, the Jamaican woman, Bakshi’s wife. I focused on their faces, then zoomed out to see their bodies. I carried an umbrella but seldom opened it because the pounding of the raindrops against the material distorted my mental images. I saw people rush across the street holding newspapers above their heads while dogs roamed the alleyways wearing nothing at all. Of the two, it was dogs that had the shorter time left on Earth, and if they could let the rain soak their fur and drip off their bodies, I could surely let it run down my face. It was first my mother and later my wife who told me to always cover up in the rain, “because moisture causes colds,” but I was alone now and I didn’t want to be separated from the falling water by a sheet of glass anymore. I already was cold. I saw a man sit down on a bench, open his briefcase, pack rocks into it, then close it, tie it to his wrist, check his watch and start to walk into the polluted waters of Lake Ontario. Another man took out his phone and tapped his screen a few times. The man in the lake walked slowly, savouring each step. When the police arrived, sirens blaring, the water was up to his neck. I felt guilty for watching the three officers splash into the lake after him. I don’t know what happened after that because I turned my back and walked away. I hope they didn’t stop him. I hope he got to do what he wanted to do.
“Screw the police.” Bakshi passed me a book. “You should read this,” he said. It was by a professor of film and media studies at a small university in Texas. There was a stage on the cover, flanked by two red curtains. The photo had been taken from the actors’ side, looking out at an audience that the stage lights made too dark to see. The title was Hiding Behind The Curtains. I flipped the book over. There was no photo of the author. “It’s a theory,” Bakshi said, “that undercuts what Abaroa and the Inevitabilists are saying. It’s a little too poetic in parts but—listen, you ever read Atlas Shrugged?” I said I hadn’t. “Well, anyway, what this guy says is that what if instead of our situation letting us do anything we want, it’s actually the opposite, a test to see how we act when we only think that we’re doomed. I mean what if the women who died in March, what if they’re just—” “Hiding behind the curtains,” I said. He bit his lower lip. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that but, as a metaphor, it has a kind of elegance, right?” I flipped through the book, reading a few sentences at random. It struck me as neo-Christian. “Isn’t this a little too spiritual for you? I thought we were all locked into one path,” I said. “I thought that, too, but lately I’ve been able to do things—things that I didn’t really want to do.” For a second I was concerned. “Nothing bad,” he said. “I mean I’ve felt like I’m locked into doing one thing, say having a drink of water, but I resist and pour myself a glass of orange juice instead.” I shook my head. “It’s hard to explain,” he said. That’s how most theories ended, I thought: reason and evidence up to a crucial point, and then it gets so personal that it’s hard to explain. You either make the jump or you don’t. “Just read it,” he said. “Please read it. You don’t have to agree with it, I just want to get your opinion, an objective opinion.”
I never did read the book, and Bakshi forgot about it, too, but that day he was excited and happy, and those were rare feelings. I was simultaneously glad for him and jealous. Afterwards, we went out onto the balcony and drank Czech beer until morning. When it got cool, we put on our coats. It started to drizzle so we wore blue plastic suits like the ones they used to give you on boat rides in Niagara Falls. When it was time to go home, I was so drunk I couldn’t see straight. I almost got into a fight, the first one of my life, because I bumped into a man on the street and told him to get the fuck out of my way. I don’t remember much more of my walk home. The only reason I remember Behind The Curtains at all is because when I woke up in the afternoon it was the first thing that my hung over brain recognized. It was lying on the floor beside the bed. Then I opened the blinds covering my bedroom window and, through my spread fingers that I’d meant to use as a shield from the first blast of daylight, I saw the pincers for the first time.
They’d appeared while I was asleep. I turned on the television and checked my phone. The media and the internet were feverish, but nobody knew what the thing was, just a massive, vaguely rectangular shape blotting out a strip of the sky. NASA stated that it had received no extraterrestrial messages to coincide with the appearance. Every government claimed ignorance. The panel discussions on television only worsened my headache. Bakshi emailed me links to photos from Mumbai, Cape Town, Sydney and Mexico City, all showing the same shape; or rather one of a pair of shapes, for there were two of them, one on each side of the Earth, and they’d trapped our planet between themselves like gargantuan fingers clutching an equally gargantuan ping-pong ball. That’s why somebody came up with the term “the pincers”. It stuck. Because I’d slept in last night’s clothes I was already dressed, so I ran down the stairs and out of my apartment building to get a better look at them from the parking lot. You’re not supposed to look at the sun, but I wasn’t the only one breaking that rule. There were entire crowds with upturned faces in the streets. If the pincers, too, could see, they would perhaps be as baffled by us as we were of them: billions of tiny specks all over the surface of this ping-pong ball gathering in points on a grid, coagulating into large puddles that vanished overnight only to reassemble in the morning. In the following days, scientists scrambled to study the pincers and their potential effects on us, but they discovered nothing. The pincers did nothing. They emitted nothing, consumed nothing. They simply were. And they could not be measured or detected in any way other than by eyesight. When we shot rays at them, the rays continued on their paths unaffected, as if nothing was there. The pincers did, however, affect the sun’s rays coming towards us. They cut up our days. The sun would rise, travel over the sky, hide behind a pincer—enveloping us in a second night—before revealing itself again as a second day. But if the pincers’ physical effect on us was limited to its blockage of light, their mental effects on us were astoundingly severe. For many, this was the sign they’d been waiting for. It brought hope. It brought gloom. It broke and confirmed ideas that were hard to explain. In their ambiguity, the pincers could be anything, but in their strangeness they at least reassured us of the reality of the strange times in which we were living. Men walked away from the theory of everything, citing the pincers as the ultimate variable that proved the futility of prognostication. Others took up the calculations because if the pincers could appear, what else was out there in our future? However, ambiguity can only last for a certain period. Information narrows possibilities. On April 1, 2026, every Twitter account in the world received the following message:
as you can see this message is longer than the allowed one hundred forty characters time and space are malleable you thought you had one hundred years but prepare for the plucking
The sender was @. The message appeared in each user’s feed at exactly the same time and in his first language, without punctuation. Because of the date most of us thought it was a hoax, but the developers of Twitter denied this vehemently. It wasn’t until a court forced them to reveal their code, which proved that a message of that length and sent by a blank user was impossible, that our doubts ceased. ##!! took bets on what the message meant. Salvador Abaroa broadcast a response into space in a language he called Bodhi Mayan, then addressed the rest of us in English, saying that in the pincers he had identified an all-powerful prehistoric fire deity, described in an old Sanskrit text as having the resemblance of mirrored black fangs, whose appearance signified the end of time. “All of us will burn,” he said, “but paradise shall be known only to those who burn willingly.” Two days later, The Tribe of Akna announced that in one month it would seal Xibalba from the world and set fire to everything and everyone in it. For the first time, its spokesman said, an entire nation would commit suicide as one. Jonestown was but a blip. As a gesture of goodwill, he said that Xibalba was offering free immolation visas to anyone who applied within the next week. The New Inevitability School condemned the plan as “offensively unethical” and inequalitist and urged an international Xibalban boycott. Nothing came of it. When the date arrived, we watched with rapt attention on live streams and from the vantage points of circling news planes as Salvador Abaroa struck flint against steel, creating the spark that caught the char cloth, starting a fire that blossomed bright crimson and in the next weeks consumed all 163,821 square kilometres of the former Republic of Suriname and all 2,500,000 of its estimated Xibalban inhabitants. Despite concerns that the fire would spread beyond Xibalba’s borders, The Tribe of Akna had been careful. There were no accidental casualties and no unplanned property damage. No borders were crossed. Once the fire burned out, reporters competed to be first to capture the mood on the ground. Paramaribo resembled the smouldering darkness of a fire pit.
It was a few days later while sitting on Bakshi’s balcony, looking up at the pincers and rereading a reproduction of @’s message—someone had spray-painted it across the wall of a building opposite Bakshi’s—that I remembered Iris. The memory was so absorbing that I didn’t notice when Bakshi slid open the balcony door and sat down beside me, but I must have been smiling because he said, “I don’t mean this the wrong way, but you look a little loony tonight. Seriously, man, you do not look sufficiently freaked out.” I’d remembered Iris before, swirling elements of her plain face, but now I also remembered her words and her theory. I turned to Bakshi, who seemed to be waiting for an answer to his question, and said, “Let’s get up on the roof of this place.” He grabbed my arm and held on tightly. “I’m not going to jump, if that’s what you mean.” It wasn’t what I meant, but I asked, “why not?” He said, “I don’t know. I know we’re fucked as a species and all that, but I figure if I’m still alive I might as well see what happens next, like in a bad movie you want to see through to the end.” I promised him that I wasn’t going to jump, either. Then I scrambled inside his apartment, grabbed my hat and jacket from the closet by the front door and put them on while speed walking down the hall, toward the fire escape. I realized I’d been spending a lot of time here. The alarm went off as soon I pushed open the door with my hip but I didn’t care. When Bakshi caught up with me, I was already outside, leaping up two stairs at a time. The metal construction was rusted. The treads wobbled. On the roof, the wind nearly blew my hat off and it was so loud I could have screamed and no one would have heard me. Holding my hat in my hands, I crouched and looked out over the twinkling city spread out in front of me. It looked alive in spite of the pincers in the sky. “Let’s do something crazy,” I yelled. Bakshi was still catching his breath behind me. “What, like this isn’t crazy enough?” The NHL may have been gone but my hat still bore the Maple Leafs logo, as quaint and obsolete by then as the Weimar Republic in the summer of 1945. “When’s the last time you played ball hockey?” I asked. Bakshi crouched beside me. “You’re acting weird. And I haven’t played ball hockey in ages.” I stood up so suddenly that Bakshi almost fell over. This time I knew I was smiling. “So call your buddies,” I said. “Tell them to bring their sticks and their gear and to meet us in front of the ACC in one hour.” Bakshi patted me on the back. Toronto shone like jewels scattered over black velvet. “The ACC’s been closed for years, buddy. I think you’re really starting to lose it.” I knew it was closed. “Lose what?” I asked. “It’s closed and we’re going to break in.”
The chains broke apart like shortbread. The electricity worked. The clouds of dust made me sneeze. We used duffel bags to mark out the goals. We raced up and down the stands and bent over, wheezing at imaginary finish lines. We got into the announcer’s booth and called each other cunts through the microphone. We ran, fell and shot rubber pucks for hours. We didn’t keep score. We didn’t worry. “What about the police?” someone asked. The rest of us answered: “Screw the fucking police!”
And when everybody packed up and went home, I stayed behind.
“Are you sure you’re fine?” Bakshi asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Because I have to get back so that I can shower, get changed and get to work.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“And you promise me you’ll catch a cab?”
“I’m not suicidal.”
He fixed his grip on his duffel bag. “I didn’t say you were. I was just checking.”
“I want to see the end of the movie, too,” I said.
He saluted. I watched him leave. When he was gone, my wife walked down from the nosebleeds and took a seat beside me. “There’s someone I want to tell you about,” I said. She lifted her chin like she always does when something unexpected catches her interest, and scooted closer. I put my arm across the back of her beautiful shoulders. She always liked that, even though the position drives me crazy because I tend to talk a lot with my hands. “Stuck at Leafs-Wings snorefest,” she said. “Game sucks but I love the man sitting beside me.” (January 15, 2019. Themes: hockey, love, me. Rating: 5/5). “Her name was Iris,” I said.

Iris

“What if the whole universe was a giant garden—like a hydroponics thing, like how they grow tomatoes and marijuana, so there wouldn’t need to be any soil, all the nutrients would just get injected straight into the seeds or however they do it—or, even better, space itself was the soil, you know how they talk about dark matter being this invisible and mysterious thing that exists out there and we don’t know what it does, if it actually affect anything, gravity…”
She blew a cloud of pot smoke my way that made me cough and probably gave her time to think. She said, “So dark matter is like the soil, and in this space garden of course they don’t grow plants but something else.”
“Galaxies?”
“Eyes.”
“Just eyes, or body parts in general?” I asked.
“Just eyes.”
The music from the party thumped. “But the eyes are our planets, like Mars is an eye, Neptune is an eye, and the Earth is an eye, maybe even the best eye.”
“The best for what? Who’s growing them?”
“God,” she said.
I took the joint from her and took a long drag. “I didn’t know you believed in God.”
“I don’t, I guess—except when I’m on dope. Anyway, you’ve got to understand me because when I say God I don’t mean like the old man with muscles and a beard. This God, the one I’m talking about, it’s more like a one-eyed monster.”
“Like a cyclops?” I asked.
“Yeah, like that, like a cyclops. So it’s growing these eyes in the dark matter in space—I mean right now, you and me, we’re literally sitting on one of these eyes and we’re contributing to its being grown because the nutrients the cyclops God injected into them, that’s us.”
“Why does God need so many extra eyes?”
“It’s not a question of having so many of them, but more about having the right one, like growing the perfect tomato.” I gave her back the joint and leaned back, looking at the stars. “Because every once in a while the cyclops God goes blind, its eye stops working—not in the same way we go blind, because the cyclops God doesn’t see reality in the same way we see reality—but more like we see through our brains and our eyes put together.”
“Like x-ray vision?” I asked.
“No, not like that at all,” she said.
“A glass eye?”
“Glass eyes are fake.”
“OK,” I said, “so maybe try something else. Give me a different angle. Tell me what role we’re playing in all of this because right now it seems that we’re pretty insignificant. I mean, you said we’re nutrients but what’s the difference between, say, Mars and Earth in terms of being eyes?”
She looked over at me. “Are you absolutely sure you want to hear about this?”
“I am,” I said.
“You don’t think it’s stupid?”
“Compared to what?”
“I don’t know, just stupid in general.”
“I don’t.”
“I like you,” she said.
“Because I don’t think you’re stupid?” I asked.
“That’s just a bonus. I mean more that you’re up here with me instead of being down there with everyone, and we’re talking and even though we’re not in love I know somehow we’ll never forget each other for as long as we live.”
“It’s hard to forget being on the surface of a giant floating eyeball.”
“You’re scared that you won’t find anyone to love,” she said suddenly, causing me to nearly choke on my own saliva. “Don’t ask me how I know—I just do. But before I go any further about the cyclops God, I want you to know that you’ll find someone to love and who’ll love you back, and whatever happens you’ll always have that because no one can take away the past.”
“You’re scared of going blind,” I said.
“I am going blind.”
“Not yet.”
“And I’m learning not to be scared because everything I see until that day will always belong to me.”
“The doctors said it would be gradual,” I reminded her.
“That’s horrible.”
“Why?”
“Because you wouldn’t want to find someone to love and then know that every day you wake up the love between you grows dimmer and dimmer, would you?”
“I guess not,” I said.
“Wouldn’t you much rather feel the full strength of that love up to and including in the final second before the world goes black?”
“It would probably be painful to lose it all at once like that.”
“Painful because you actually had something to lose. For me, I know I can’t wish away blindness, but I sure wish that the last image I ever see—in that final second before my world goes black—is the most vivid and beautiful image of all.”
Because I didn’t know what to say to that, I mumbled: “I’m sorry.”
“That I’m going blind?”
“Yeah, and that we can’t grow eyes.”
This time I looked over, and she was the one gazing at the stars. “Before, you asked if we were insignificant,” she said. “But because you’re sorry—that’s kind of why we’re the most significant of all, why Earth is better than the other planets.”
“For the cyclops God?”
“Yes.”
“He cares about my feelings?”
“Not in the way you’re probably thinking, but in a different way that’s exactly what the cyclops God cares about most because that’s what it’s looking for in an eye. All the amazing stuff we’ve ever built, all our ancient civilizations and supercomputers and cities you can see from the Moon—that’s just useless cosmetics to the cyclops God, except in how all of it has made us feel about things that aren’t us.”
“I think you’re talking about morality.”
“I think so, too.”
“So by feeling sorry for you I’m showing compassion, and the cyclops God likes compassion?”
“That’s not totally wrong but it’s a little upside down. We have this black matter garden and these planets the cyclops God has grown as potential eyes to replace its own eye once it stops working, but its own eye is like an eye and a brain mixed together. Wait—” she said.
I waited.
“Imagine a pair of tinted sunglasses.”
I imagined green-tinted ones.
“Now imagine that instead of the lenses being a certain colour, they’re a certain morality, and if you wear the glasses you see the world tinted according to that morality.”
I was kind of able to imagine that. I supposed it would help show who was good and who was bad. “But the eye and the tinted glasses are the same thing in this case.”
“Exactly, there’s no one without the other, and what makes the tint special is us—not that the cyclops God cares at all about individuals any more than we care about individual honey bees. That’s why he’s kind of a monster.”
“Isn’t people’s morality always changing, though?”
“Only up to a point. Green is green even when you have a bunch of shades of it, and a laptop screen still works fine even with a few dead pixels, right? And the more globalized and connected we get, the smoother our morality gets, but if you’re asking more about how our changing morals work when the cyclops God finally comes to take its eye, I assume it has a way to freeze our progress. To cut our roots. Then it makes some kind of final evaluation. If it’s satisfied it takes the planet and sticks it into its eye socket, and if it doesn’t like us then it lets us alone, although because we’re frozen and possibly rootless I suppose we die—maybe that’s what the other planets are, so many of them in space without any sort of life. Cold, rejected eyes.”
From sunglasses to bees to monitors in three metaphors, and now we were back to space. This was getting confusing. The stars twinkled, some of them dead, too: their light still arriving at our eyes from sources that no longer existed. “That’s kind of depressing,” I said to end the silence.
“What about it?”
“Being bees,” I said, “that work for so long at tinting a pair of glasses just so that a cyclops God can try them on.”
“I don’t think it’s any more depressing than being a tomato.”
“I’ve never thought about that.”
“You should. It’s beautiful, like love,” she said. “Because if you think about it, being a tomato and being a person are really quite similar. They’re both about growing and existing for the enjoyment of someone else. As a tomato you’re planted, you grow and mature and then an animal comes along and eats you. The juicier you look and the nicer you smell, the greater the chance that you’ll get plucked but also the more pleasure the animal will get from you. As a person, you’re also born and you grow up and you mature into a one of a kind personality with a one of a kind face, and then someone comes along and makes you fall in love with them and all the growing you did was really just for their enjoyment of your love.”
“Except love lasts longer than chewing a tomato.”
“Sometimes,” she said.
“And you have to admit that two tomatoes can’t eat each other the way two people can love each other mutually.”
“I admit that’s a good point,” she said.
“And what happens to someone who never gets fallen in love with?”
“The same thing that happens to a tomato that never gets eaten or an eye that the cyclops God never takes. They die and they rot, and they darken and harden, decomposing until they don’t look like tomatoes anymore. It’s not a nice fate. I’d rather live awhile and get eaten, to be honest.”
“As a tomato or person?”
“Both.”
I thought for a few seconds. “That explanation works for things on Earth, but nothing actually decomposes in space.”
“That’s why there are so many dead planets,” she said.
submitted by normancrane to cryosleep [link] [comments]


2020.09.27 02:41 GrootAlert068 Integrated Graphics user NEEDS to switch.

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
School work, flight simulators, Rocket League, CS-GO, Blender, and more along those lines.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
$3,000
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
I would like to build one within the next week or two but it really depends how long the parts take to be delivered.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Everything, the whole setup. I would also need anything to help build the pc like a mod-mat or things like that.
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
I am in Texas, yes but also no. It depends on how big the discounts are (it ia 3 hours away).
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
I might reuse my CPU and Ram. I have a AMD Ryzen 3400g right now and mysterious RAM (I think it is 6GB 2666 speed)
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
I would like to learn (yes).
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
I would like a SSD.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
I would like to use either use a small form factor or use a Thermaltake Core P7 ATX Mid Tower Case (I want to wall mount the pc).
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
Yes, I would like Windows 10 Professional and an anti-virus.
Extra info or particulars: I made this parts list, https://pcpartpicker.com/list/47RQCL but I don't think it is very good.
submitted by GrootAlert068 to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 06:13 TheMidnightArchive The Abduction and Murder of Amber Hagerman

A Trip to The Grocery Store
The late winter in Texas is a mild time usually, with steady wind and a biting chill in the air. The season is one of change, the life force of the previous year is fading away to succumb to a newness imbued by the heat of the Spring and Summer. January 12th, 1996 in Arlington, Texas was no different, the sun was shining, the wind was steady, and the temperature hovered around the mid-sixties. On this day Donna Whitson and her two children, nine-year-old Amber and five-year-old Ricky Hagerman were in Arlington visiting Donna’s parents, Glenda and Jimmie Whitson. The family arrived at their destination around 3pm and upon disembarking Donna’s car the kids asked to ride their bikes, the ones that Donna had her parents keep at their home for them. Donna, without a second thought, assented to the request with the limitation that the kids stay within a block of their grandparents’ home. She wanted them to be safe.
Once astride their bicycles and away from nagging adults, Amber disregarded the boundary set upon her and her brother. Amber led Ricky to the local neighborhood play spot, a shuttered Winn-Dixie grocery store and after approximately 15 minutes of riding around the parking lot and loading dock the younger Ricky was ready to turn back home, whether out of fear of being beyond their boundary or being tired is unknown. What is known is that Amber had elected to stay and ride her bike around the parking lot of the store on her own for a while longer, that Ricky went home alone, and that in the intervening time something horrible would happen to Amber that would shape substance and conscious of the her family forever.
On January 12th, Mr. Jim Kevil was sitting on his back porch looking out over his yard and fence, a view that happened to encompass the next-door Winn-Dixie store’s loading dock and the street it was on. Around 3:15 pm Mr. Kevil saw a lone young girl riding a colorful bike around the grocery store loading dock when a dark colored truck quickly pulled into the parking lot. Jim Kevil would later state that the driver of the truck was either white or Hispanic and between the ages of 25-40, this unknown subject grabbed Amber, who let out a scream and began kicking her abductor. The driver then put Amber in his vehicle before he sped off West bound down Abrams Road. Not just a passive witness, Mr. Kevil called 911 to report the incident to the police and to try to aid in the capture of the kidnapper and the return of the little girl. This would be the last time that anyone would see Amber Hagerman alive.
After arriving home alone five-year-old Ricky Hagerman was sent by his family back to the Winn-Dixie to retrieve his sister. Turning his bike around Ricky did as requested, only to return to an empty parking lot. Only a brief eight minutes had elapsed since he had last seen his sister, but it was too late; Amber was gone. Ricky once again arrived alone to the Whitson home prompting Grandfather Jimmie Whitson to race to the store in his car to search for Amber himself. Jimmie would arrive at the store at about the same time as an Arlington police officer, summoned by Jim Kevil’s 911 call did; the only remnant of Amber was her abandoned bicycle.
Law Enforcement, including the local police and the FBI (involved as a result of the pleas of Amber’s distraught family), coupled with a mass of volunteers began a wide net search for the missing girl, but came up empty. Amber had vanished.
Discovery
January 16, 1996 is a day that Amber’s family will never forget. Four days after she had been taken by an unidentified male from that Winn-Dixie parking lot, Amber Hagerman’s body was discovered in the early morning hours by an anonymous man walking his dog near the Forest Hills Apartment Complex in Arlington, Texas. Her body was found face down in a creek approximately 4 miles from her abduction site. Prior to this, apartment maintenance workers had been in that area and seen nothing, suggesting that the remains were either placed there after the workers had left or moved down stream by a torrential rainstorm that had just occurred. Amber’s family was informed shortly after the discovery, shocked they initially refused to believe the news with her father quoted in a New York Times article written at the time as saying, “She’s still alive” to the reporters covering the case and camped outside the Whitson home.
Amber was discovered wearing nothing but a single sock and the medical examiner would later confirm investigators suspicions, there was evidence of sexual assault and physical abuse, the cause of death: lacerations to the neck and throat. Additionally, the medical examiner stated that there was evidence that Amber had been kept alive for at least two days after her abduction before she was murdered, and her body disposed of.
Investigation Still Ongoing
More than 20 years later the investigation is still technically ongoing, to date the Arlington Police Department (APD) has not formally announced that they have any suspects or persons of interest. APD Detective Ben Lopez stated in a recent interview that the APD still receives tips regularly regarding the case and the department thoroughly investigates each one like it could be the piece of the puzzle that finally gives Amber’s family closure and justice.
An explanation of this unsolved murder most likely lies in the fact that Amber’s body was left in running water for an indeterminate amount of time, coupled with the storm that raised the creek level and most likely moved the body from the dump site, forensic evidence would have been all but erased and any physical evidence diluted or washed away. Not helping the investigation is the fact that there is only one witness to the crime: Jim Kevil was the sole person to come forward with information regarding the abduction, despite the fact that Amber was taken in broad daylight on a residential street. To date no one else has come forward with evidence or statements to aid in the apprehension of the unknown subject. Some reports assert that this is a result of the immigrant community in the area and the traditional apprehension of this population in talking to law enforcement thought that remains unsubstantiated speculation.
It is believed that Amber’s abductor and murderer was a stranger to her given that he took her by force and did not attempt to talk her into his vehicle. With this, I agree with the official narrative. Where I differ is on why Amber was taken. Based on the speed at which the abduction occurred it suggests to me that Amber may have been watched for some time before being taken. As stated previously Amber Hagerman was abducted in a window of approximately 8 minutes from when her brother left and then returned to bring her home. The official narrative is that this was an act of extreme opportunity when the perpetrator just happened to be driving by when he saw her alone. This would suggest that there was an event that triggered sporadic actions in the perpetrator, to quote a popular television show there must have been a stressor that induced this action.
Regardless of the why, the fact of the matter is that Amber Hagerman’s killer is still at large. He has gone unpunished for his heinous actions against this innocent little girl and by extension her family. As a result of chance and a fluke of nature no evidence or additional witnesses remain of what happened on that fateful winter day. Amber’s killer is nameless, and her family is left with no closure or answers, only questions and heartache.
Possible Suspects
Richard Lee Franks
Richard Lee Franks was charged on March 16, 2000 with the aggravated kidnapping of Opal Jo Jennings from Saginaw, a town a few miles north of Fort Worth. On March 26, 1999 6-year-old Opal was playing with her 3-year-old cousin in a vacant lot next to her grandparent’s house when Franks pulled up to the lot in his black Mercury Cougar. He then exited his vehicle and approached the kids feigning conversation with them. When Franks was close enough, he plucked Opal off the ground, punched her in the chest and put her in his car. What happened next was not unlike in Amber’s case, a large-scale search was launched for Opal led by her family and the local police department, it would not be for five years that Opal would be found. Her remains were discovered in a wooded area while two individuals were riding their horses along a remote trail. As a result of the state in which the remains were found, there was little physical or forensic evidence. What was clear was that the cause of death was most likely the result of a blow to the head. Franks would later be charged with Opal’s kidnapping but not her murder as there was no evidence to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Franks had indeed murdered her. In fact, he claimed that he had driven her to a local store to get a drink and left her there. What lends credence to Franks as a potential suspect is the similarity between Amber and Opal, and the way that they were taken. Both were seemingly impulse driven abductions based on the speed in which they occurred.
This link between Opal and Amber was not solely based on the research of internet sleuths. Mark Simpson, an investigating officer in the Hagerman case in an address to the National Children’s Advocacy Center’s 26 Annual National Symposium on Child Abuse to the fact that Franks had prior criminal history involving children, all young, brown haired girls and that Opal’s kidnaping occurred in the same county as Amber’s. Based on proximity, prior history, and similarity in method at the very least one could expect that APD would investigate Franks as a person of interest however, that has not been the case.
Terapon Adhahn
Born in Bangkok, Thailand. Terapon immigrated to the United States as a child when his mother married a U.S. serviceman and he returned to the United States. As he grew older Terapon would become a Buddhist monk as well as follow in his stepfather’s footsteps and join the U.S. Army. Adhahn has been connected to (either directly as the known perpetrator or suspected) multiple offenses, both resolved or unresolved, against children throughout Washington State including rape, kidnapping, and murder. He has also been questioned in connection the Amber Hagerman case by APD though has not been named as an official suspect.
In 1990 Adhahn was charged with sexual assault against a 16-year-old relative. This charge would result in him being forced to register as a sex offender and enter rehabilitation but as a first offense was not enough for him to be deported.
On May 31, 2000 an 11-year-old unnamed (for reasons of privacy) Spanaway County Girl was abducted on her way to school. She was bound and taken to a secluded training field close to the Fort Lewis Military Base where she was repeatedly assaulted over the course of an hour. After the assaults Adhahn left her bound on a road nearby where she would be discovered walking, still bound with her eyes taped over, by a Tacoma City Police Officer.
In December 2005, Adre’anna Jackson would also be abducted on her way to school, she disappeared from Lakewood in Pierce County, Washington and was never seen again. Over a year later, April 2006, skeletal remains were found in a field near her Tillicum neighborhood. Investigators showed pictures of Adhahn to residents who identified him as a known handyman who frequently worked in the area. He is regarded as a person of interest in this case.
On July 4, 2007 Zina Linnik had been watching a firework display with her siblings on a hilltop near her home when her father, Mikhail Linnik, on his back porch presumably also watching the display, heard his daughter cry out. When he arrived at the spot that Zina was taken all that was left was a single shoe she had been wearing, Mikhail also saw a gray Chevy Astro van speeding away and he was able to partially make out the license plate. Four days alter Terapon Adhahn was arrested for the kidnapping of Zina. However, this speedy apprehension was not enough, on condition of prosecution not seeking the death penalty, Adhahn led investigators to the remains of young Zina Linnik. She had been strangled with a zip tie though Adhahn would claim that her death had been an accident.
Additionally, while living in the Tacoma area, Adhahn was responsible for the care of an unnamed (again for the sake of privacy) 12-year-old girl. Her mother allowed the girl to live with Adhahn since she was unable to provide for her daughter, Adhahn only a “friend of her mother’s boyfriend”. Over the course of the next three years Adhahn would subject the young girl to repeated sexual assault, stopping only when she was able to run away after being assaulted at gun point.
Why Terapon Adhahn? It has been reported that, coupled with his extensive and horrendous history with children, Terapon lived for a time with his aunt in the Fort Worth area around 1996. During the investigation, law enforcement noticed striking similarities in the method of kidnapping, assault, and victims in the Adhahn case and with a few officers having been trained in Texas for the Amber Alert System, were familiar with the Hagerman case. Additionally, he used a similar vehicle in the Fort Lewis incident as was seen in Amber’s abduction. Terapon has been question regarding Amber's abduction and murder though not formally named as a suspect or even a person of interest.
Similar Cases
Heidi Seeman – San Antonio, Texas
On August 4, 1990 11-year-old Heidi Seeman was walking home from a sleep-over at a friend house the previous night. Her unnamed friend walked Heidi a part of the way home, to a midpoint between their houses at the intersection of Stahl road and Willow Run Street. Approaching the intersection Heidi’s friend as well as neighbors in the area reported seeing a red car with dark tinted windows pass by the girls slowly, and the driver watching them intently. Thinking nothing much of it, the girls parted ways and Heidi was never seen again. On August 25th, 1990 her remains were found in Hays County, Texas. No additional details were released regarding her death aside from the fact that a medical examiner ruled her death as a result of homicide.
Erica Botello – San Antonio, Texas
Closer in circumstance to Amber Hagerman, 7-year-old Erica Botello was taken on August 23, 1990 from the playground (or road next to depending on source) near her apartment complex. She was not unsupervised or alone the entire time she was playing. Erica was with her Father however he stepped inside for a brief time. When he went back outside, Erica was gone. Her remains would be found on August 25, 1990 in a storm drain about a mile from her home and abduction site. There is little information regarding Erica’s as she was and is eclipsed by the case of Heidi Seeman, a young white girl just a few years older than Erica, a girl of Hispanic dissent, from a wealthier side of San Antonio to the working class area that the Botello family lived in. Any information found on Erica is usually limited to brief sentences and always in tandem to Heidi.
Legacy and Aftermath
What happened to Amber Hagerman is not a mystery, it is known. She was taken from her family, held and assaulted over the course of two days, killed, and her body was disposed of in a creek not far from her abduction site. Her killer did all of these things without leaving any evidence, and slipped away. What isn't known is who did those things to her? Was it someone she knew? Had that person been watching her? Was this all really the result of chance and opportunity? One can hope that these questions, and more, will be answered one day but with each passing day the possibility that they never will be becomes all the more real.
It has been 24 years since Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered yet her legacy lives on.
Amber’s abduction and murder was the impetus for the creation for the AMBER Alert System. This is a coordinated effort between law enforcement, radio, television, and cellphone broadcast systems to alert the general public in the region of an abduction to the incident and any information that law enforcement has on the abduction such as their physical description as well as the description of the vehicle they were last seen with. This system has resulted in the safe return of almost 1,000 children in the United States since its inception as a regional program in 1997, then national (and international) in 2000 however it is also under scrutiny for saving so few and being so annoying as an alert results in an alarm blaring through the device that receives it, and for saving so few. Critics question whether it saving just one life is worth it, is saving so few worth it?
I say yes.

Sources
Amber Hagerman
Arlington police mum about whether DNA evidence exist in unsolved Amber Hagerman case
CRIME HUNTER: Sleep interrupted? Think about Amber Hagerman Toronto Sun
[APD "Missing" flyer for Amber Haggerman, 1996] - Side 1 of 1 - The Portal to Texas History
AA28.pdf
Gale In Context: Biography - Document - Body of Kidnapped Texas Girl Is Found
Body of Girl Who Was Dragged Screaming Off Bicycle Is Found - Los Angeles Times
How Were Amber Alerts Created? The Amber Hagerman Cold Case - A&E
Child abuse symposium speaker tells of similar abduction/murder cases with different endings - al.com
Richard Lee Franks
Medical examiner: Remains are those of missing girl - Plainview Herald
Richard Lee Franks Texas Prison Inmates The Texas Tribune
FRANKS v. STATE FindLaw
Family prepares to bury girl who was abducted five years ago - Midland Reporter-Telegram
FBI, Texas Rangers investigating death of 6-year-old girl in Saginaw Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Terapon Adhahn
Adhahn pleads guilty to murder of Tacoma girl, 12 The Seattle Times
Killer of Tacoma child reveals motive in papers The Seattle Times
Terapon Adhahn pleads guilty to rape, murder of Zina Linnik HeraldNet.com
Child abduction-rape investigation widens - seattlepi.com
Heidi Seeman and Erica Botello
August marks 30 years since disappearances of Heidi Seeman, Erica Botello
1990 kidnapping, murder of two San Antonio girls still unsolved
submitted by TheMidnightArchive to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 06:08 TheMidnightArchive The Abduction and Murder of Amber Hagerman

The Abduction and Murder of Amber Hagerman
A Trip to The Grocery Store
The late winter in Texas is a mild time usually, with steady wind and a biting chill in the air. The season is one of change, the life force of the previous year is fading away to succumb to a newness imbued by the heat of the Spring and Summer. January 12th, 1996 in Arlington, Texas was no different, the sun was shining, the wind was steady, and the temperature hovered around the mid-sixties. On this day Donna Whitson and her two children, nine-year-old Amber and five-year-old Ricky Hagerman were in Arlington visiting Donna’s parents, Glenda and Jimmie Whitson. The family arrived at their destination around 3pm and upon disembarking Donna’s car the kids asked to ride their bikes, the ones that Donna had her parents keep at their home for them. Donna, without a second thought, assented to the request with the limitation that the kids stay within a block of their grandparents’ home. She wanted them to be safe.
Once astride their bicycles and away from nagging adults, Amber disregarded the boundary set upon her and her brother. Amber led Ricky to the local neighborhood play spot, a shuttered Winn-Dixie grocery store and after approximately 15 minutes of riding around the parking lot and loading dock the younger Ricky was ready to turn back home, whether out of fear of being beyond their boundary or being tired is unknown. What is known is that Amber had elected to stay and ride her bike around the parking lot of the store on her own for a while longer, that Ricky went home alone, and that in the intervening time something horrible would happen to Amber that would shape substance and conscious of the her family forever.
On January 12th, Mr. Jim Kevil was sitting on his back porch looking out over his yard and fence, a view that happened to encompass the next-door Winn-Dixie store’s loading dock and the street it was on. Around 3:15 pm Mr. Kevil saw a lone young girl riding a colorful bike around the grocery store loading dock when a dark colored truck quickly pulled into the parking lot. Jim Kevil would later state that the driver of the truck was either white or Hispanic and between the ages of 25-40, this unknown subject grabbed Amber, who let out a scream and began kicking her abductor. The driver then put Amber in his vehicle before he sped off West bound down Abrams Road. Not just a passive witness, Mr. Kevil called 911 to report the incident to the police and to try to aid in the capture of the kidnapper and the return of the little girl. This would be the last time that anyone would see Amber Hagerman alive.
After arriving home alone five-year-old Ricky Hagerman was sent by his family back to the Winn-Dixie to retrieve his sister. Turning his bike around Ricky did as requested, only to return to an empty parking lot. Only a brief eight minutes had elapsed since he had last seen his sister, but it was too late; Amber was gone. Ricky once again arrived alone to the Whitson home prompting Grandfather Jimmie Whitson to race to the store in his car to search for Amber himself. Jimmie would arrive at the store at about the same time as an Arlington police officer, summoned by Jim Kevil’s 911 call did; the only remnant of Amber was her abandoned bicycle.
Law Enforcement, including the local police and the FBI (involved as a result of the pleas of Amber’s distraught family), coupled with a mass of volunteers began a wide net search for the missing girl, but came up empty. Amber had vanished.
Discovery
January 16, 1996 is a day that Amber’s family will never forget. Four days after she had been taken by an unidentified male from that Winn-Dixie parking lot, Amber Hagerman’s body was discovered in the early morning hours by an anonymous man walking his dog near the Forest Hills Apartment Complex in Arlington, Texas. Her body was found face down in a creek approximately 4 miles from her abduction site. Prior to this, apartment maintenance workers had been in that area and seen nothing, suggesting that the remains were either placed there after the workers had left or moved down stream by a torrential rainstorm that had just occurred. Amber’s family was informed shortly after the discovery, shocked they initially refused to believe the news with her father quoted in a New York Times article written at the time as saying, “She’s still alive” to the reporters covering the case and camped outside the Whitson home.
Amber was discovered wearing nothing but a single sock and the medical examiner would later confirm investigators suspicions, there was evidence of sexual assault and physical abuse, the cause of death: lacerations to the neck and throat. Additionally, the medical examiner stated that there was evidence that Amber had been kept alive for at least two days after her abduction before she was murdered, and her body disposed of.
Investigation Still Ongoing
More than 20 years later the investigation is still technically ongoing, to date the Arlington Police Department (APD) has not formally announced that they have any suspects or persons of interest. APD Detective Ben Lopez stated in a recent interview that the APD still receives tips regularly regarding the case and the department thoroughly investigates each one like it could be the piece of the puzzle that finally gives Amber’s family closure and justice.
An explanation of this unsolved murder most likely lies in the fact that Amber’s body was left in running water for an indeterminate amount of time, coupled with the storm that raised the creek level and most likely moved the body from the dump site, forensic evidence would have been all but erased and any physical evidence diluted or washed away. Not helping the investigation is the fact that there is only one witness to the crime: Jim Kevil was the sole person to come forward with information regarding the abduction, despite the fact that Amber was taken in broad daylight on a residential street. To date no one else has come forward with evidence or statements to aid in the apprehension of the unknown subject. Some reports assert that this is a result of the immigrant community in the area and the traditional apprehension of this population in talking to law enforcement thought that remains unsubstantiated speculation.
It is believed that Amber’s abductor and murderer was a stranger to her given that he took her by force and did not attempt to talk her into his vehicle. With this, I agree with the official narrative. Where I differ is on why Amber was taken. Based on the speed at which the abduction occurred it suggests to me that Amber may have been watched for some time before being taken. As stated previously Amber Hagerman was abducted in a window of approximately 8 minutes from when her brother left and then returned to bring her home. The official narrative is that this was an act of extreme opportunity when the perpetrator just happened to be driving by when he saw her alone. This would suggest that there was an event that triggered sporadic actions in the perpetrator, to quote a popular television show there must have been a stressor that induced this action.
Regardless of the why, the fact of the matter is that Amber Hagerman’s killer is still at large. He has gone unpunished for his heinous actions against this innocent little girl and by extension her family. As a result of chance and a fluke of nature no evidence or additional witnesses remain of what happened on that fateful winter day. Amber’s killer is nameless, and her family is left with no closure or answers, only questions and heartache.
Possible Suspects
Richard Lee Franks
Richard Lee Franks was charged on March 16, 2000 with the aggravated kidnapping of Opal Jo Jennings from Saginaw, a town a few miles north of Fort Worth. On March 26, 1999 6-year-old Opal was playing with her 3-year-old cousin in a vacant lot next to her grandparent’s house when Franks pulled up to the lot in his black Mercury Cougar. He then exited his vehicle and approached the kids feigning conversation with them. When Franks was close enough, he plucked Opal off the ground, punched her in the chest and put her in his car. What happened next was not unlike in Amber’s case, a large-scale search was launched for Opal led by her family and the local police department, it would not be for five years that Opal would be found. Her remains were discovered in a wooded area while two individuals were riding their horses along a remote trail. As a result of the state in which the remains were found, there was little physical or forensic evidence. What was clear was that the cause of death was most likely the result of a blow to the head. Franks would later be charged with Opal’s kidnapping but not her murder as there was no evidence to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Franks had indeed murdered her. In fact, he claimed that he had driven her to a local store to get a drink and left her there. What lends credence to Franks as a potential suspect is the similarity between Amber and Opal, and the way that they were taken. Both were seemingly impulse driven abductions based on the speed in which they occurred.
This link between Opal and Amber was not solely based on the research of internet sleuths. Mark Simpson, an investigating officer in the Hagerman case in an address to the National Children’s Advocacy Center’s 26 Annual National Symposium on Child Abuse to the fact that Franks had prior criminal history involving children, all young, brown haired girls and that Opal’s kidnaping occurred in the same county as Amber’s. Based on proximity, prior history, and similarity in method at the very least one could expect that APD would investigate Franks as a person of interest however, that has not been the case.
Terapon Adhahn
Born in Bangkok, Thailand. Terapon immigrated to the United States as a child when his mother married a U.S. serviceman and he returned to the United States. As he grew older Terapon would become a Buddhist monk as well as follow in his stepfather’s footsteps and join the U.S. Army. Adhahn has been connected to (either directly as the known perpetrator or suspected) multiple offenses, both resolved or unresolved, against children throughout Washington State including rape, kidnapping, and murder. He has also been questioned in connection the Amber Hagerman case by APD though has not been named as an official suspect.
In 1990 Adhahn was charged with sexual assault against a 16-year-old relative. This charge would result in him being forced to register as a sex offender and enter rehabilitation but as a first offense was not enough for him to be deported.
On May 31, 2000 an 11-year-old unnamed (for reasons of privacy) Spanaway County Girl was abducted on her way to school. She was bound and taken to a secluded training field close to the Fort Lewis Military Base where she was repeatedly assaulted over the course of an hour. After the assaults Adhahn left her bound on a road nearby where she would be discovered walking, still bound with her eyes taped over, by a Tacoma City Police Officer.
In December 2005, Adre’anna Jackson would also be abducted on her way to school, she disappeared from Lakewood in Pierce County, Washington and was never seen again. Over a year later, April 2006, skeletal remains were found in a field near her Tillicum neighborhood. Investigators showed pictures of Adhahn to residents who identified him as a known handyman who frequently worked in the area. He is regarded as a person of interest in this case.
On July 4, 2007 Zina Linnik had been watching a firework display with her siblings on a hilltop near her home when her father, Mikhail Linnik, on his back porch presumably also watching the display, heard his daughter cry out. When he arrived at the spot that Zina was taken all that was left was a single shoe she had been wearing, Mikhail also saw a gray Chevy Astro van speeding away and he was able to partially make out the license plate. Four days alter Terapon Adhahn was arrested for the kidnapping of Zina. However, this speedy apprehension was not enough, on condition of prosecution not seeking the death penalty, Adhahn led investigators to the remains of young Zina Linnik. She had been strangled with a zip tie though Adhahn would claim that her death had been an accident.
Additionally, while living in the Tacoma area, Adhahn was responsible for the care of an unnamed (again for the sake of privacy) 12-year-old girl. Her mother allowed the girl to live with Adhahn since she was unable to provide for her daughter, Adhahn only a “friend of her mother’s boyfriend”. Over the course of the next three years Adhahn would subject the young girl to repeated sexual assault, stopping only when she was able to run away after being assaulted at gun point.
Why Terapon Adhahn? It has been reported that, coupled with his extensive and horrendous history with children, Terapon lived for a time with his aunt in the Fort Worth area around 1996. During the investigation, law enforcement noticed striking similarities in the method of kidnapping, assault, and victims in the Adhahn case and with a few officers having been trained in Texas for the Amber Alert System, were familiar with the Hagerman case. Additionally, he used a similar vehicle in the Fort Lewis incident as was seen in Amber’s abduction. Terapon has been question regarding Amber's abduction and murder though not formally named as a suspect or even a person of interest.
Similar Cases
Heidi Seeman – San Antonio, Texas
On August 4, 1990 11-year-old Heidi Seeman was walking home from a sleep-over at a friend house the previous night. Her unnamed friend walked Heidi a part of the way home, to a midpoint between their houses at the intersection of Stahl road and Willow Run Street. Approaching the intersection Heidi’s friend as well as neighbors in the area reported seeing a red car with dark tinted windows pass by the girls slowly, and the driver watching them intently. Thinking nothing much of it, the girls parted ways and Heidi was never seen again. On August 25th, 1990 her remains were found in Hays County, Texas. No additional details were released regarding her death aside from the fact that a medical examiner ruled her death as a result of homicide.
Erica Botello – San Antonio, Texas
Closer in circumstance to Amber Hagerman, 7-year-old Erica Botello was taken on August 23, 1990 from the playground (or road next to depending on source) near her apartment complex. She was not unsupervised or alone the entire time she was playing. Erica was with her Father however he stepped inside for a brief time. When he went back outside, Erica was gone. Her remains would be found on August 25, 1990 in a storm drain about a mile from her home and abduction site. There is little information regarding Erica’s as she was and is eclipsed by the case of Heidi Seeman, a young white girl just a few years older than Erica, a girl of Hispanic dissent, from a wealthier side of San Antonio to the working class area that the Botello family lived in. Any information found on Erica is usually limited to brief sentences and always in tandem to Heidi.
Legacy and Aftermath
What happened to Amber Hagerman is not a mystery, it is known. She was taken from her family, held and assaulted over the course of two days, killed, and her body was disposed of in a creek not far from her abduction site. Her killer did all of these things without leaving any evidence, and slipped away. What isn't known is who did those things to her? Was it someone she knew? Had that person been watching her? Was this all really the result of chance and opportunity? One can hope that these questions, and more, will be answered one day but with each passing day the possibility that they never will be becomes all the more real.
It has been 24 years since Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered yet her legacy lives on.
Amber’s abduction and murder was the impetus for the creation for the AMBER Alert System. This is a coordinated effort between law enforcement, radio, television, and cellphone broadcast systems to alert the general public in the region of an abduction to the incident and any information that law enforcement has on the abduction such as their physical description as well as the description of the vehicle they were last seen with. This system has resulted in the safe return of almost 1,000 children in the United States since its inception as a regional program in 1997, then national (and international) in 2000 however it is also under scrutiny for saving so few and being so annoying as an alert results in an alarm blaring through the device that receives it, and for saving so few. Critics question whether it saving just one life is worth it, is saving so few worth it?
I say yes.

Sources
Amber Hagerman
Arlington police mum about whether DNA evidence exist in unsolved Amber Hagerman case
CRIME HUNTER: Sleep interrupted? Think about Amber Hagerman Toronto Sun
[APD "Missing" flyer for Amber Haggerman, 1996] - Side 1 of 1 - The Portal to Texas History
AA28.pdf
Gale In Context: Biography - Document - Body of Kidnapped Texas Girl Is Found
Body of Girl Who Was Dragged Screaming Off Bicycle Is Found - Los Angeles Times
How Were Amber Alerts Created? The Amber Hagerman Cold Case - A&E
Child abuse symposium speaker tells of similar abduction/murder cases with different endings - al.com
Richard Lee Franks
Medical examiner: Remains are those of missing girl - Plainview Herald
Richard Lee Franks Texas Prison Inmates The Texas Tribune
FRANKS v. STATE FindLaw
Family prepares to bury girl who was abducted five years ago - Midland Reporter-Telegram
FBI, Texas Rangers investigating death of 6-year-old girl in Saginaw Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Terapon Adhahn
Adhahn pleads guilty to murder of Tacoma girl, 12 The Seattle Times
Killer of Tacoma child reveals motive in papers The Seattle Times
Terapon Adhahn pleads guilty to rape, murder of Zina Linnik HeraldNet.com
Child abduction-rape investigation widens - seattlepi.com
Heidi Seeman and Erica Botello
August marks 30 years since disappearances of Heidi Seeman, Erica Botello
1990 kidnapping, murder of two San Antonio girls still unsolved
submitted by TheMidnightArchive to u/TheMidnightArchive [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 19:17 Windgesang_ Melee combat only. No ranged unit allowed. (Swire’s guide)

Melee combat only. No ranged unit allowed. (Swire’s guide)
Oh boy. Deep breath
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can I haf those LMD pls

Overview

Swire is a Support Guard. The only two in the game so far. And wow is she in a looooooot of hate and misunderstanding. Her role in game is one that the majority deemed unnecessary and her own effectiveness at that role is also questioned by the people. Is she really that bad? We’ll find out. Swire is a Guard that leans heavily as a buffer instead. Buffer in game are considered unnecessary because the one thing they automatically default to is “jUsT gEt MorE dPS”. Swire main role is to buff ATK and only ATK, so there’s possible argument that she is bland as a buffer too, which is also legit.
Let’s go into the details

Stats:

- Offensive stats:
Swire is a support, so her damage is pretty low. In fact, it’s the 9th lowest of all guards, and is only higher than Brawler Guard who are known to have even lower ATK, and only a few 3-4*. To compensate though, she does have a higher attack rate than others guard (except Brawler), once every 1.05s, don’t ask me why they have that .05s I can’t answer that.
- Defensive stats:
As mentioned with Sesa, supportive units tend to be slightly tankier than usual, but Swire is actually only halfway there. Her HP is quite low and is actually only higher than Midnight and Castle-3. But her DEF stat is one of the best in-game. In fact, it’s equal to a 1* unit at E0 Lv30……… wait a minute. Just kidding lol that’s just Thermal-EX, Swire actually has the 4th highest DEF of all Guards (CN included), and, funny enough, the highest DEF of all Guards if we don’t count trust bonus. However, she has no RES, because she isn’t a Ranged Guard or Arts Guard. So she’s better against physical enemies, and worse against magic.
- Cost:
Her cost is quite low, lower than all other Guard except for… Brawler Guard again. 14 at base, and 16 at E1.

Range:

Actually no. Let’s do Trait, it will all come together anyway.

Trait:

Can attack enemies from range.
This signify that she has a different range from other non-Ranged-Guard Guards, who only have just 1 tile ahead of them. The result is… their range is 2 tiles ahead of them, so just 1 tile more than usual.
She also doesn’t change her range at E1 or E2, like other non-Ranged-Guard Guards, Defenders, and CC Specialists, and some others… so 2 tiles in front are as far as she’ll ever hit.
Unlike Ranged Guard, Swire doesn’t get her attack reduced when attacking from range, but also unlike Ranged Guard, she cannot attack aerial unit, despite the attack animation make it looks like it really should. Also also, her attack animation make it looks like it deals no damage to the enemies directly in front of her, cuz the thingy is at the end lul.
Support Guard range, unchangeable (as of the posting date)

Talent:

Always availableMelee Combat Guidance: Increase ATK of melee allies in the 8 tiles around Swire by 3%.
At E1, the number increases to 6%, and goes to 10% at E2.
Swire is one of the few 5* units to have a talent straight from base, without any promotion. Granted, it’s not huge at base, and barely matters in the early game, and people can just near-instant E1 in the late game.
Also, the game specifically stated that Swire need to be deployed for the talent to work. I don’t think you can have “8 tiles around her” when she’s not deployed so…
Anyway, this talent, and her skills later on, define Swire. That’s her main role, to buff ATK of allies, but only melee allies. This put a limit to her effectiveness as a buffer. However, all buffers have some limitation anyway, so it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things (Sora with weak non% ATK buff and short-ish range, Warfarin with randomness, Aak with… that, Dobermann with 3* only,…).
The allies need to be classified as melee (in their tags) in order to be boosted by Swire. This does not matter where they stand on, so Shift Specialist who can stand on ranged tile can still get the buff because they are all melee.
This is basically an ATK boost, so it only stacks additively with other ATK boosts. But is all calculated before any ATK Multiplier, so it still works well for (melee) allies with those multiplier.
Strangely enough, this talent only affects the allies in Swire’s 8 surrounding tiles, never Swire herself. Which means Swire is literally guiding other to a treasure she cannot possess……………
The amount sounds really small though, just a meager 10% at E2. Well that’s because her kit has something else to go further, which we’ll get to it later.

Skills:

- RIIC skills:
Always available – Princess: When stationed in the Control Center, all Trade Posts gain +7% in efficiency boost.
Available at E2 – Drillmaster: When being the trainer in the Training Room, all operator’s training speed +25%.
The first base skill is amazing. It’s the best base skill for the Control Center too, along with Amiya (because it’s the same effect). Any operator in the CC already provide a -0.05 morale/h to all operators in the entire base, and no CC skill can further improve that, so the CC morale reduction base skill doesn’t really matter that much. It’s 7% to all Trading Posts so it’s a lot, even with just 2 Posts.
The second base skill is also one of the few Training Room skill to affect all classes of operators, and not just any specific one, but as a result, the speed improvement get shanked. Note that a +25% in speed means a 20% reduction in training time. This is something that everyone seems to keep mistaking about, the reduction in time interval is different from the increase in total rate improvement. For example, Saria's S1 at M1 get a 20% less time between use, which lead to 25% more usage over time, not 20%.
Now for her real supportive skillset. All of Swire’s skills are for supporting allies, especially with her talents, with each working a little bit differently.

First Skill: Command and (Conquer) Dispatch

The skill changes nothing but her talent. When active, it expands her talent range and make it 2 times stronger for the duration. At level 1 to 6, the expanded range is similar to Sora’s E1 range, or Texas’ S2 range, and from level 7 onward, the expanded range is similar to Saria’s S2 range or Sora’s S1 range. It also always makes her talent 2 times stronger, regardless of level. The only change with skill level is the duration, cooldown, and the range. At level 7, the skill last 35 seconds, 40s cooldown, has said range above, with an initial SP of 20.
Talent range at Skill level 1-6 (left), and the rest (right)
Her first skill makes her talent 2x more effective, so it’s basically 6%/12%/20% for E0, E1, and E2 respectively. This is when the talent begins to actually be decent, especially the range, she can start boosting melee allies that’s further away and also improve her talent. The improve in talent make those melee allies hit even harder than before, and also heal stronger if we count Healing Defender, especially Saria, who can heal in a large area.
Let’s talk about her second skill so I can talk about both at once instead of talking about each individually.

Second skill: Cooperative Combat

Now this skill offers something slightly different. It increases Swire’s ATK and make her talent a hella lot stronger (like even stronger than her first skill), from 2.1 times to 3! At level 7, the skill gives Swire +50% ATK, and make the talent 2.7 times stronger, lasts for 21 seconds, initial SP of 20, and need 50SP to activate.
With 2.7x her talent, that’s 16.2%/27% at E1 and E2 respectively. Now that’s a hefty amount, especially at E2 which is a waste of material kappa.
I said “need SP to activate” because this is the 3rd offensive recovery skill I ever cover in this series. She gains SP per attack rather than 1SP per second. And this is different because Swire attacks once per 1.05s, which actually make the time she needs to fully recover her skill to 52.5s, and that’s assuming she’s attacking constantly, which as anyone that frequently use operators with Offensive Recovery skills would know, never happens in a regular style play, because of other operators adding to the fight as well as the wave of enemies never being constant.
So those are its tradeoffs, a much better talent boost and self damage boost for the fact that you cannot use it willy-nilly because it’s harder to recharge the skill afterward. In fact, it’s one of the most common negative point about her, because you rarely can use the skill more than 2-3 times per map without battery charger.
Swire’s 2 skills actually complement each other really well. Or more accurately, they are balanced to the point that when one’s weaknesses start affecting you, the other will be there to cover it. You can’t have someone with a perfect skill after all, right? cough
If you want to maximize her S2, you could/should put her in front, of which her longer range and higher DEF do major works to help her staying in the frontline while recover SP faster (do remember that she has lower HP than others). When her skill is up, it also gives her massive (debatable) ATK boosts. The range also allows her to stand behind a different operator and still charging as well, which is actually the main reason Support Guards get this range/trait to begin with. Sitting behind someone does limiting her charging rate too, but it does depend on who she sits behind, if they can deal strong damage, enemies would die faster so Swire get less chance to gain SP, and that’s already not counting any ranged units. This is more brutal when you realised that for most maps, the progression goes from weak enemies to slightly stronger enemies over the course of a run, which means if you deploy your core squad too early, Swire lose her ground because the early enemies dies too fast, and her S2 won't charge fast enough for the time she needs to use it for the big wave.
If you can’t manage Swire’s S2 charge with attacks like at all, her S1 is auto recovery, and is still a 2x multiplier to her talent so it’s not bad either, at least when comparing to a 2.7x, because if you would S2M3 Swire, you wouldn’t be… well let’s just say you have your own goal.
Because her S1 is auto recovery, her position in the front line isn’t really necessary anymore, especially considering that the skill give no form of stats at all, only talents improvement. Because of that, you can focus on truly putting her behind someone and not have to worry about. You can also put her in a way so that her Skill Level 7 range can reach multiple lane a a few different areas, i.e. maps where there’s multiple lanes but also in different area/direction. The problem is that when her skill isn’t up then she can no longer reach anyone with her talent if you put it that way, which is not a good plan.
Again, when you find that you want Swire to also contribute some damage instead of just sitting behind the frontline doing minimal works, her S2 is there. And if you want her to contribute damage, she would have to be in a position to actually attack someone to begin with.
If you want to maximize the talent buff and only that, which is the only way people use her apparently, you will find the complain that people have about her (high SP cost, limited in allies and range,…). Even further, the % increase isn’t huge, but it can reach more than just 1 ally, which, like Sora, needs the number of allies to be more powerful. That I usually considered a strike against them, because you'd have to rework and plan your lineup around her. Generally, at the same skill level, Swire need 3 melee allies in order to match Warfarin’s single buff, number-wise.
It is a valid claim that Swire need a long time to charge her S2 due to its nature, even if you already put Swire on the front-est of frontline. Enemies rarely floods your map, and if they do, Swire still need to perform 50 attacks at skill level 7, and even if we’re counting M3, which is also a huge investment, it’s still a long charge time. So you really have to learn to make everything count with Swire’s S2, since you can only do it like twice a map, maybe 3, without any SP chargers. The thing is, her S1 also exists, and was perfectly fine for those circumstances, as said a couple paragraphs above. If the 0.7x multiplier loss of her talent is enough to make or break your run, then you have 2 choices: actually get a different operator, or git gud with timing (no but seriously though xD).
Swire’s defining aspect is her talent, and everything she has revolves around supporting allies. On the field, she boosts all melee allies’ ATK, which benefits ground comp heavily. Most notably, AoE Guards and Ranged Guard, but for different reasons. Defenders rarely get strong DPS except for the dedicated one, which are fews, and telling people to have to rework a lineup to benefit just one person isn’t quite optimal, except for the Swire’s simpfans out there. She works best with Guards or Specialists, and the Guard’s population and power caps are no joke, as many are aware.
With AoE Guards, they hit 2-3 enemies per attacks, which means whatever buffs they gain is 2-3 times more effective, and for Swire’s buff, it’s also permanent, with a small spike occasionally. That’s huge values especially if her S2 is up, as the slightly higher multiplier is also boosted better. You can still use her S1 because it’s easier to charge for a little less boost in talent. But as stated, if the few differences in her talent’s boost can fail your run, the core problem lies not in your Swire.
With Ranged Guards, they have longer range than Swire, so they can sit behind Swire and still reach the same place. Swire have higher DEF than most Ranged Guard, except for 2, who also seldom need Swire’s buff. Because Swire is in front, she also has more opportunities to deal attack, and just like a few paragraphs before, she can utilize her S2 better that way. Now if you have a line of AoE Guard → Swire → Ranged Guard, well… conga time?
She can also work well with Specialists, who are all melee except for Aak, and some of them can even stand on the ranged tile so they don’t have to compete for other’s spot as well. The Control Specialists also work well with Swire, because they attack unlimited target, and doesn’t block so enemies can still reach Swire. They work better with Swire’s S1 though, because their location tends to be not exactly scattered, but sometime far enough, plus enemies might never reach Swire because of their CC potential and other units. You can actually do Control Specialist → AoE Guard → Swire → Ranged Guard though, extend that conga line bois (use S1 for the reach, but not necessary). Although, at this point, we’re going toward 0 sanity meme-ing, which I do not endorse. And that’s from the guy who made a 39401-damage burst with Firewatch.
Swire is shit on because her role is also unneeded, as with many other Enablers in this game, and outside of ATK boosts that only applies to melee, she has average damage that only become somewhat decent for a relatively short duration. I also noticed that people are also extremely fixated on the high multipliers of her S2 so much, because their complains are about that skill only (seems like they want to put her behind someone strong to boost them even stronger, but then realised that they are too strong so Swire rarely get to land a hit). Just remember that her S1 still exists.
The final reason that Swire isn’t in a positive light is because of what she can offer. She offers only ATK buff to allies, which is bland to say the least, even before we can say if it’s useful or not. A full melee comp isn’t far-fetched, sure, but some other melee units can actually provide something much more than that. Most people only need DPS, so that’s where the typical argument “just get more dps” came from, which is hard to argue against because it's a simple life out there. Some need crowd control, which can provide more opportunities to deal damage than ATK buff, but can also provide more potential survivability, which Swire could never offer. Someone like Nian who can provide a myriad of buffs can also be better and/or more fun, plus Nian herself is also stronger than Swire combat-wise.
Swire herself is not a bad unit. She performs exactly what she is designed to do and performs really fine at it (aside from maybe the high SP cost for both skills). She is also the best at her role, but that’s saying nothing because there are only 2 of her kind so far. Just like Sesa from my last post, units who aren’t offensive focused tends to be struggling with usage popularity, unless their utilities are extremely noticeable. So far, that is for only Ptilopsis, Warfarin, the 6* Medics (as of now), Shamare, Suzuran, and arguably Mastimo. They have many utilities that’s enough to warrant their slot in the squad, while the other Enablers are mainly one-note and/or just not strong enough (like Pramanix, whose debuffs are acknowledged to be extremely potent, just still not enough to replace a full DPS units for a majority of the time in general usage, unless you’re pushing a really high ceiling or is being restrictive in certain ways).
If you want a bit more and different talks about Swire, Nekogitsune made one here (probably did a better job than me at saying where and why she is who she is).
I like Swire, not primarily because she’s an underrated gem or anything, which she is kinda. I like looking at units that people talk negatively about without ever actually seeing them in action for themselves. People just repeat what other said about Swire without ever actually using her, and that’s worth a highlight on how she actually is, and if she is still bad or not needed, then so be it. But to dismiss someone without ever giving them enough chances to prove their worth, that’s not exactly fair. You may be lacking resources to spend randomly on Swire, but don’t dismiss her without actually see her in action first, but also don’t watch any video where a Swire is like E2 lv80 M3 or something, because that is also not a good way to show her typical strength either.
As I was writing this post, Hades left early access, so I get ""slightly"" distracted. I would like to say I managed everything I wanted to say about Swire, but no guarantee, I might have forgot some details or something. I can even flair this as a Discussion too if I missed something huge, but then I can also just edit the post (with due credits ofc). Thanks for reading anyway, and hope to see you next time.
submitted by Windgesang_ to arknights [link] [comments]


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