Best cargo carrier for ford expedition
ANA RTW Booking Report - My Learnings & Suggestions
2023.06.05 01:57 CosToCoast ANA RTW Booking Report - My Learnings & Suggestions
I recently completed a RTW award on ANA and wanted to share my experience to help others with this amazing award. I spent a long time researching before going through with booking --Hope this can help the next person! I did make a few mistakes/learnings along the way hope some can take into consideration. Overall, I spent 125,000 points transferred from Amex MR & ~$950 for 8 segments going East from the US in Business.
DEN-YYZ-LHR, VIE-BKK-SIN-DPS-SIN-HND-SFO - can paste into GCMap which results in a total of 21,526 mi; within the 22,000 Business Category.
|Routing ||CarrieClass |
|DEN (Denver) - YYZ (Toronto) ||AC (Air Canada) / Economy |
|YYZ (Toronto) - LHR (London) ||AC (Air Canada) / Business |
|VIE (Vienna) - BKK (Bangkok) ||BR (Eva Airways) / Business |
|BKK (Bangkok) - SIN (Singapore) ||SQ (Singapore) / Business |
|SIN (Singapore) - DPS (Bali) ||SQ (Singapore) / Business |
|DPS (Bali) - SIN (Singapore) ||SQ (Singapore) / Business |
|SIN (Singapore) - HND (Tokyo) ||NH (ANA) / Business |
|HND (Tokyo) - SFO (San Francisco) ||NH (ANA) / Business |
The total portion of my time is about a month, with a majority of my time spent in Europe between LHR and VIE, a small portion of time in Bali to break up flights, and about a week in Japan before flying home.
I had been targeting Spring/Early Summer 2024 for this award for awhile but hadn't nailed down a particular date. I wanted to travel during shoulder season to maximize value, crowds, and decent weather across these regions. I was just waiting for the award calendar to open up for most of the carriers. I started looking about a month out (April) and doing some random searches/looks to see what flights were coming available and possible routings. In my research I found that most flights leaving from the US to Asia booked up fastest right after being released at the edge of the booking window (ex: ANA opens up bookings on its metal 355 days out; and within say 3-4 days of release most of these flights are snatched up and go into Waitlist status in Business). I had originally been planning on flying West from the US and starting in Asia, however, after doing a few mock bookings this soon became apparent it would be near impossible (Especially since Japan in spring is peak season with the Cherry Blossoms, festivals, etc). I would occasionally find a random flight departing from the US to Asia within a month of the edge of the booking window; and try to plan flights around that going westward, but it would disappear extremly quickly and my plans would be spoiled. As a result I found for this time of year it would be easiest to go east from the US through Europe first, and then ending in Asia and snatching my return flights at the edge of the booking window when ANA's flights opened/other carriers.
I would definitely recommend being flexible and don't have your heart set on going one direction originally due to concerns about time in the Air vs. Jetlag etc. I had been reading a few articles/discussions about the best direction to take and really had my heart set on going westward originally; but would say after going through this process to ignore choosing a direction initially and try to do a few samples in either direction to see what is easiest. I think I wasted a-lot of time/frustration originally trying to go westward rather than just seeing what was easiest with the most connection opportunities.
Another research point is that domestic US Business availability/North America is extremly hard to come by. United basically was only offering Economy segments domestically; I didn't see any J fares. AC Departures from US up to Canada was nearly the same thing. I did randomly see consistent J availability from SMF - YVR on a CRJ AC was offering nearly every day, and from ORD on a few dates but didn't think going out of my way was worth it. It was at a bad time and on a relatively undesirable (IMO) CRJ so I could see why that route had wide open availability. The problem was once you made it to YVR; you usually had to connect to YYZ or YYC internationally and I had the same issue finding J space domestically in Canada; so it was a dead end. I ended up just booking my first segment in Economy on AC up to Canada - didn't want to waste valuable hunting time looking for a short segment in J domestically when the biggest fish looking for space was internationally. Don't obsess over having every segment in J especially your first flight. If space opens later you can always switch into a higher class on the same flight.
For research and booking I used FlightConnections to get routing ideas based on Star Alliance carriers. I then used United's monthly award calendar (without being logged in) to see Saver availability, and then confirmed this on ANA's website. I was going to use some other tools but didn't find them useful. I paid for a day trial of point . me but found it slow and cumbersome without the filtering I needed. I didn't find Aeroplan that useful either. If I was to do this again I would explore paying for ExpertFlyer Pro and using that to search more easily.. would have probably been faster. The trial wasn't long enough to be that useful for when I was researching/booking, but it did give me some ideas - and looking back I would have easily paid for a month or two of Pro Membership to speed up my searching. Overall though, I just stuck to FlightConnections + United + ANA confirmation.
The time had come to where the edge of the booking window was approaching the dates I wanted. I had a few routings in mind and had saved multiple variations targeting the 22,000 mileage cap. I had a few options but nothing nailed down; so I started the process to transfer 125,000 points from Amex to ANA. Even though as a "best practice" most say to not transfer until you have the flights chosen or held, I had read some conflicting points online stating ANA does not do holds, so didn't want to risk this. I was confident based on my research I would be able to piece something together as I had a-lot of backup options chosen. I attempted to transfer late on a Friday afternoon online but got the message the transfer was unsuccessful and had to call Amex; did that early Saturday morning and they completed the transfer for me manually. Turns out I didn't have a "Call Center Pin" setup; so make sure you go into your account and set one before trying and the transfer online should go through, according to the agent. This ordeal added to my stress during the process -- if you are going to be transferring MR please make note!
I was on edge waiting for the points to deposit the entire weekend, and kept tabs on my various options. US - Europe had a-lot of options on AC; and I also had a few backup options on TAP. The "riskiest" flight for me was VIE-BKK as I really needed to get out of Europe to Asia; and there weren't many options since I was booking really close to the edge of the booking window. I couldn't see any long haul availability on Turkish/Ethiopian/other European Star Alliance carriers; so I was pretty much banking on EVA with my backup as Egyptaiothers. I noticed that Singapore seemingly doesn't publish any saver J availability to partners on long haul flights; but it does have pretty decent availability in J on short haul interasia flights. It seems like the cutoff is around 4.5 hr; but found good availability from some cities in India and even Dhaka in Bangladesh to SIN I could have used to connect to with a mix of EgyptAir / Air India / Singapore if EVA didn't work out but honestly this was a last resort and I didn't want to; but at least I had a plan. During the weekend my original VIE-BKK flight selection disappeared; but luckily they had another flight the next day I was able to book into instead. They also had other options within Europe I could have fallen back on like LHR and AMS. I didn't want to depart from LHR unless absolutely necessary as the UK Departure tax would have been ~200 pounds; something that can be avoided if possible. Definitely look into 5th freedom routes for "hidden gems"; I know Ethiopian offers some too. Apart from this; within Asia there were alot of options, and I wasn't concerned about getting back to the US from Japan because I was purposefully booking on the edge of the booking window for ANA to ensure I had availability.
Points were finally deposited early Monday morning sometime between 1am - 9am EST. I saw them in my account when I woke up early which was perfect as I was targeting calling the ANA Call Center around then, some posters online had said calling around this time resulted in the shortest wait. I waited about 1.5 hours and got a nice agent who helped me. Of note; when I called the very first thing she confirmed was my point balance. It seems like they won't even entertain booking something for you (or at least this agent in particular) if you have 0 points; so I am glad I transferred my points before. She was very helpful in quickly researching and confirming the flights -- at the same time I was on the ANA website with the multi city booking tool confirming the space was there too alongside her. She questioned at first about me backtracking by going from SIN - DPS - SIN but realized I had to do this to connect with SIN - HND as there weren't any direct flights from SIN and was fine with it. At the end of feeding her the flights she said the routing I desired was greater than 22,000 miles (~23,5000 miles) and would trigger the next bucket to be 135,000 points -- my heart sank.
This is where my mistake came in... Originally I had 2 inter-european segments, and also wanted to fly from HND - IAH instead of HND - SFO. The entire time I had been researching with gcmapper to get the distances; I had been using nautical miles (nm) in the calculations rather than statute miles (mi)! The nautical mile calculation had been below 22,000 so I thought I was in the clear the entire time. The agent was super helpful and understood my mistake and I did some research in the background for a few minutes. I ended up dropping the inter-european segments and switching from HND-IAD to HND-SFO which made my routing 21,526mi which was below the 22,000 threshold according to gcmapper. She came back to me and quoted 21,523mi, so we were pretty close in our distances after this... 3 mile difference hah. Disaster averted.
After she confirmed all the segments had availability she put me on hold and calculated the taxes and fees ~($950). The majority of the taxes and fees were from the 2 ANA segments at the end of my trip; with fuel charges. I got sent to an automated phone system to input my card info, and returned back to her (don't hang up!). She told me that she had to have the fare desk ticket the itinerary and I should be getting an email or callback. Sure enough ~2 hours later she called me back and said I had to re-enter my card info as they had some issue with their system; the flight hadn't yet been ticketed. I took the opportunity to change one of the segments during this callback to a better time I had found and she helped me change it since It hadn't yet been ticketed -- I was flustered on the first call when she said the milage was too high.
Something interesting I noted is during the time between calls I was able to see the reservation on the ANA App; and an alert said "Complete Payment by *date*" which was 3 days from the present. So it looks like technically they will "hold" a reservation for up to 3 days while waiting for card payment. It sounded like the Agent was willing to work with me as well when I needed 135,000 points instead of 125,000 points; but I didn't want to spent more or risk the timing with transfers. I wouldn't bank on this at all. Just FYI though. After this second call I got an email about a half an hour later with my receipt and ticket/itinerary and PNR. I was able to select seats and finally relax after the ordeal.
After all of this, I probably spent about 12 hours spaced out during 3 days of the booking process plus my previous research over about a month. Definitely set aside some time for yourself during booking and research.
Something I hadn't seen much of online was the process for making a change to an existing RTW booking - I ended up doing this as well, so hopefully this can help some.
About a week after booking I noticed one of the flights opened availability from SIN-HND on ANA at a better time. I was originally flying overnight but wanted to fly during the day to help minimize jetlag, and jumped at the chance. Also I wanted to spend more time in Singapore so this helped. Note you can only change the date + time of a flight; it must be the same routing and carrier and class (except you can move up a class if one becomes available and your original ticket allows for that class). I called around 2PM EST and it only took about an hour to get through this time. The agent simply told me I would owe the difference in taxes/fees for the change. There wasn't any penalty or call center charge assessed for this. I had read somewhere that apparently you'd be charged a 1,000 point fee for the change but this wasn't the case for me. The difference amounted to some small amount around a dollar or so which I happily paid. The agent shared something helpful to me -- she asked I save a card on the ANA website to my account rather than doing it on the phone. This would help the Fare Desk charge faster without needing to call me back like last time, I guess they have issues with their credit card system on the phone with some credit cards. I ended up doing this with her on the phone guiding me and she confirmed she could now see my card. The change ended up going through an hour later with a new ticket/itinerary and recipient emailed to me; no second call necessary.
According to the fare rules denoted on my PNR; you can do a similar change with date/time only up to 4 days (96 hours) before departure - also during the trip itself I believe as well. (full endorsements/restrictions on the ticket: NO MILEAGE CREDIT/NH FFP/NON END/RRT/DT CHNG UPTO 4DYS B4 NEW FLT)
TLDNeed to know Tips
- Successfully booked ANA RTW in Business at 125,000 points transferred from MR ~950 in taxes/fees. ANA was the culprit for majority of costs with fuel surcharges on 2 segments I flew.
- Don't have your heart set on going a particular direction upfront - go with what is easiest to book, and be flexible!
- Make sure you have Call Center Pin set in Amex if using MR before transferring to ANA to avoid issues.
- ANA seems to not hold for RTW for point transfer time if you have no points; I was asked upfront if I had the points before the agent would assist me. I had to transfer before.
- You can store a card online in ANA's system before calling which can help the Fare Desk/agent speed up processing to avoid callbacks/payment issues. You can store up to two cards. They were willing to hold itinerary up to 3 days awaiting card payment, and possibly for more points (but not with 0 points in my account) - did not test this. Use this info at your own risk. I wouldn't bank on it with points -- risky.
- Used United's award calendar without being logged in + FlightConnections; consider paying for ExpertFlyer too, also be savvy about the booking window(s) of carriers and book against the edge for the best availability especially with ANA.
- When calculating distance with gcmapper use statute miles (mi) not nautical miles (nm)!
- You can change flight(s) after booking as long as its simply a date+time change - no change in routing/carrier. Class change upwards is allowed if your original ticket allows for it. I was not assessed a penalty/fee for the change like some claimed online - could depend though.
I hope this was helpful - pardon the length - just wanted to be as detailed as possible and give back to the community after all the help I received. Since this is all fresh in my mind please feel free to ask questions and I'll try to answer. I sincerely feel all the effort was worth it for the value I received - best of luck booking!
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2023.06.05 01:02 ukmatty73 Delivering unpacked logs
Hello, kind of a noob here with a question about delivering sets of unpacked logs
Got onto my first logging mission (black river Michigan - first map). I got some tips from a friend involving using log crane and 5 slot sideboard trailer.
Anyway, I've loaded up 3 lots of logs (9 large logs total) into the large sideboard semi from the logging camp (unpacked). I've driven these over to the lumber mill now, however I'm unable to actually deliver them (saying no cargo to unload on the cargo management screen). As I understand it, this is because the cargo is unpacked right?
The only way I see around this would be to put the log carrier front and log carrier rear onto a truck, load 3 at a time using the crane, pack them properly and unload. I'm wondering if there is an easier way to do all of this (ie. Can I just grab 3 and drop them somewhere at the lumber mill for a manual unload type of thing?)
PS. If i can only do this with the log carrier front/rear - is it better to just manually load long logs into the carrier in the first place? I was imagining that these logs would just fall out if they're unpacked though.
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to snowrunner [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:37 SamPaxton97 Call of Duty: Eternal [COD]
I'd like you to imagine that, in 2017, Activision did not publish Call of Duty: WWII
but instead Call of Duty: Eternal
. This is a story which is very much the same as what Call of Duty: WWII
transpired as but with a couple of significant differences. For a start, it's not set during World War Two - it's set in a fantasy world with a 1940s/50s level of technology. A global war is raging between mankind and Orks, with the Orks having conquered great tracts of the world, and the story opening with the efforts by humanity to retake "Albion" from Ork occupation. I like to imagine the faces of Call of Duty
fans when the first trailer came out and, seeing what looked like D-Day, got excited that at last the franchise was going back to its roots - only to see that the enemies are Orks and the main character is a Lenape woman.
To help with this imagining - below you'll find the full script for the first mission of Call of Duty: Eternal
, based on the first mission of Call of Duty: WWII
. The rest will gradually follow.
You might find it useful to follow along using this video - a walkthrough (no commentary, thank God) of the actual first mission in Call of Duty: WWII
to help with visualising it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7y1bDQBEhA Call of Duty: Eternal Mission 1 X-Day Text slowly appears on-screen: The world is bathed in flames. The Ork clans, united for the first time in centuries, are on the march. Man faces extermination. A human skull is shown before an Ork boot comes down on it, shattering it. Radio broadcast
: With unmatched ferocity, the Ork war machine has launched its onslaught against the world… mankind faces the abyss. The camera pans up on the Ork boot to show an Ork soldier as, behind him, Ork soldiers and tanks move through a devastated city. Radio broadcast:
As we brace for our darkest hour, we must summon our strength to be the bulwark against oppression. Ork bombers are shown bombing London, recognisable for the Thames if not for the architecture. They are four-engine bombers, like B-17s, and the camera closes in on a propeller which shifts to a ceiling fan. Radio broadcast:
The Ork onslaught will be the greatest test we'll ever face. The camera pans down from the ceiling fan Mona Kanti, a young Lenape woman and the protagonist, is shown joining the Imperial Armed Forces. She stands in a line in a recruitment office as a recruitment officer stamps her papers. Radio broadcast:
But face it and defeat it… we must. To punctuate the “we must,” a sudden cut to black with the sound cut out. Then, we hear the voice of the Ork Primarch. A speech plays, meant to mirror FDR’s D-Day Prayer, with shots of the Ork war machine we’ve been hearing so much about. Primarch
: With this war we set upon a mighty endeavour. Fade from black to show huge lines of Ork soldiers in formation, like big Nazi rallies, are shown. Primarch
: A struggle to restore our civilization… Ork soldiers on one knee in this rally are shown, closer up, dressed in battle gear and their faces daubed in war paint. Primarch
: …and to set free a suffering people. A view from the rear of the rally, with the vast architecture of the Primarch’s palace shown looming over it all, resembling the Palace of the Soviets. Primarch
: Our Sons. Pride of our Clans. Another panning shot of the assembled Orks, this time from the side. Primarch
: May the Mother lead them straight and true. An Ork mystic, on the balcony overlooking the assembly, blesses the troops with hands raised to the sky. Primarch
: The road will be glorious. Men's souls will be broken with the beauty of war. A shot from behind the mystic, seeing the assembled troops stretching towards the horizon. Primarch
: In this time of fire and blood… The face of one Ork soldier is shown up close. Primarch
: …we shall prevail. With the slightest of grimaces, the Ork uses a knife – and, in the background, we see the others doing the same – to ritualistically slice his forehead and let blood trickle down. The cutscene then shifts to the Imperial Navy ships, including battleships of a scale similar to the Super Yamato, that are heading for the beaches of Albion. Mona Kanti is writing a letter to her sister, Luna Kanti, and we hear her voice-over as we view shots of the fleet. Kanti (narrating):
Luna. Oh, I wish you could see this, sister. An armada from one horizon to the next. I turned sixteen too late to help free Ériu. But not Albion – and it’s gonna be tougher. Much tougher. You know, I think I could bear the blood, and the misery… and the Orks. But the waiting… well, that’s a whole other battle. Inside the troopship living quarters. We are now in first-person as Kanti. Kanti is sat at a table, hanging out and talking with her squad-mates Kinsi Rei (female Somali; shaved head), Thea Adlai, (female Swedish; ginger, freckles, glasses) and Ren Tao (male Chinese). Ren Tao is eighteen – the others are all sixteen. Bunks are stretched out behind them and other soldiers, of all ethnicities and sexes, walk by throughout. Rei is holding court while playing with a knife, every now and then jabbing between her fingers. Rei:
So she asks me for my watch and I'm thinking, "what in the Nether do you want my watch for; your parents make like fifty times mine!" But I turn around, and I felt this punch. And it's cold like ice. Some of the dialogue is drowned out by Kanti’s narration. Every now and then, Kanti glances down at her fingers as she snaps them, but whatever she’s trying to do with that isn’t happening. Kanti (narrating)
: Believe it or not, I managed to make some half-decent friends in Basic. All scared as can be. But nobody’s letting on. Rei keeps playing her knife game as she talks. Kanti (narrating)
: I hated Rei when I met her – and now she's my best friend. Funny how that works. She's always looking for trouble. If there wasn't already a war on she'd be off trying to start one. Rei offers her knife to Thea Adlai and, though we can’t hear her given the narration, seems to be asking her if she wants to try the knife game. Adlai refuses
: Besides, I gotta keep all my fingers if I'm gonna take photo of the year. Kanti (narrating)
: Adlai says she's gonna be a photographer for a fashion magazine. She’s got a good eye. Except when she takes off her glasses – then she can’t see shit. Rei offers her knife to Kanti and Kanti turns to Ren Tao. Kanti (narrating)
: Tao's the vet but, if I’m honest, he's what kokomi would call “a bit of a bumpkin.” Ren Tao is tempted to play Rei’s knife game. Tao
: Okay, okay. Let's make this interesting. Rei:
It’s not interesting? Kanti – what’re you doing? She says this in reference to Kanti’s finger-snapping. Kanti (narrating):
I swear I used to be able to do this… Tao:
So you keep saying. Tao take off his talisman and dangles it in front of Rei. Tao
: Xu Yaling. Spirit of war. Adlai:
And sex, right? Tao:
Sssh. (Rei and Adlai laugh
) He's had my back since Sabha. And, yeah, that’s real
gold. (drops the talisman down on the table
) Rei, three times in ten seconds, and he's all yours. (Sits back down) Rei
: I don't know. Tao
: Oh, you could always wimp out. That’s a choice, too. Kanti
: My money's on Rei. Rei
: Okay. Okay, I'm in. Adlai
: I can't watch. Tao:
I can. Rei looks to Adlai. Rei
: Just time me when I tell you. Back to my story – me and my girls, we muscled our way into this chess game that the wrestling team had going. We had a bona-fide genius among us – but it was me playing. We worked out a system where she can signal to me what moves to make. You should have seen the Head Girl’s face when I took that pot. (To Adlai)
You ready? That's what happens when you try to hustle a hustler. Now… Rei plays the knife game while Adlai times her and wins the bet in a few impressive seconds. Rei
: Checkmate! Tao
: There ain’t no way! Kanti (narrating)
: Tao had enough fight in him for two men. Rei
: Much obliged. Rei offers to shake hands with Tao. Tao
: My mother told me never touch a Nube. Rei doesn’t flinch but you can tell she’s ready to throw hands. Instead… Rei
: That's not what she said last night. Rei winks and Tao shakes her hand. Kanti (narrating)
: And enough bigotry for six. Tao
: Meh, who needs a stupid talisman anyway. Rei
: Apparently, you did. Here, have it back. Tao:
You won it. Rei:
It’s fake gold. Tao:
What? No, no, no, that’s as real as you or I. Rei:
A hustler always knows. Tao
: Ah, whatever, if it’s fake I don’t want it. I'm gonna get something better. A real trophy. You'll see. Rei:
Good luck with that. Kanti snaps her fingers and finally produces what she wanted – a finger of flame, like a lighter, appears. Kanti:
I did it! Look, look, I did it! Rei:
Well, by Baphometh, isn’t that something? Tao:
That’s very pretty, Kanti. You’re ready to take on the Primarch, I should think. Rei:
She was always ready. Right Kanti? Tao:
You got any healing spells we could use or is it all evil magic with you? Kanti:
Oh, go on, tell him, Kanti! Tell him about that thing you can do! Adlai:
What thing? Rei:
And there’s no such thing as good and evil magic. Just good and evil people. Kanti:
It’s not that I can do it; it’s just that it happens sometimes. When someone’s dead I can kinda, you know, see into their past. But they have to of died recently. And I can’t do it with most people. Tao:
Well, we’re invading Fortress Albion, my friend. Good time to find yourself some corpses. Rei:
Maybe even your own. Adlai:
Hey, Kanti, do that spell again for the camera. Adlai raises her camera then, seeing her watch, realizes that they are late for the mission briefing. Adlai:
Oh! Never mind, briefing’s at 18:00; we're gonna be late! Adlai jumps up and runs from the room. The others also stand. Tao:
Run, little mouse. Rei
: I got us covered Kanti; don't worry about it (Showing the pendant to Kanti and winking
). It is
real gold. As Kanti and Rei leave the living quarters, they encounter Khand, their turban-wearing sergeant, and in terms of personality very much a cranky sergeant stereotype. Khand
: Briefing's about to start; what in the Nether are you idiots doing? Kanti (narrating)
: Then there's Sergeant Khand. He’s a sweetheart. Khand
: Oh, you think you're special, huh? The Orks are gonna eat you alive. Rei
: No, not me, sergeant. I’m high in salt. Khand
: Watch your lip, Rei. On me. Khand leaves. The other two move to follow. Rei
: Since I'm obviously on a lucky streak, whatever happens, stay close. First Albion, then the Great Pale, then home in time for tea and medals. We got this, Kanti. Scene fades out. All of the 66th Infantry Division troops are on the deck of the ship as the rain pours down and Colonel Kitwana, a Swahili man, gives his pre-battle speech. As he does, we see the soldiers assembled watching him. Kitwana:
Today… we embark on an operation of unparalleled importance. To establish a beachhead in Albion… and roll back the Ork horde... that has terrorized the world since before many of you were born. We are all that separates the world from darkness. This is so much more than a chance to be heroes in our own lifetimes. If we prevail… our triumphs will be etched into the hearts and minds of a grateful world for untold generations. I'm talking about glory. True glory. Kanti narrates her letter to Luna and soldiers begin to climb down the cargo net on the side of the ship into landing craft. These craft start making for the Albion coast. Kanti (narrating)
: Colonel Kitwana can give a nice speech. His pep talk reminded me of the one Coach Pakwa gave us on our Mother’s Night game against Susquehanna. I'm sure you remember we lost by 67 points. (Focuses on Sokolov and Khand
) Always looking over Khand’s shoulders is Lieutenant Sokolov. He's got him on a tight leash. But if Khand breaks free, we'll all get bit. Ever since I found my gift, I wanted to be like you, Luna. You've always been a tough act to follow. But I'll do my best. Gameplay
We are now in first-person again as Kanti. Kanti (narrating)
: It's now or never. Kanti is writing in her notebook, the photo of Luna pinned to a page, as their landing craft drives for the Albion shore. Kanti is interrupted by Rei. Rei
: Hey! I wish I was coming home to her! Kanti:
That’s my sister! Just wait ‘til we hit Lutetia. Enough girls for the rest of your long life. Rei
: I’m starting to realise how far away it is. Kanti take a quick glance at her notebook and closes it before tucking it into her pack. Sokolov:
Remember. No digging in at the shore. You advance. You need to stay low and do not bunch up. Stick to your training and you're gonna make it through. Khand:
Most of you, anyway. Medium bombers pass by overhead, resembling the Junkers Ju 88 (in this universe known as Dragons) on a heading towards Albion. Tao
: Alright! Give em hell, boys. Text appears across the screen. X-DAY Lùnastal 17th, 397 NE Rheged, Northern Albion Rei
: The beaches are meant to be flattened, right? Khand
: You sound scared, Private. Rei
: No, sir. Khand
: You should be. Driver
: Hey, you! You! Kanti turns to look at the landing craft’s driver behind her. Driver:
Got a light? Kanti
: Sure thing. Kanti snaps her fingers a couple times and produces the flame again. Driver:
Oh – you’re one of them
Never trust a witch. As the driver lights his cigarette on her finger, a bullet hits the boat’s machine gunner in the throat; he falls, flailing, with blood spurting out of his neck like in a Tarantino film. Shells start to fall. Driver:
: Everyone down! Rei:
This is it! Ork artillery lands in the grey ocean all around, spraying the craft with water. Kanti crouches with the rest of the troops. Soldier
: Watch out! Bullets bounce off the landing craft’s armour. Soldier
: This isn’t fun! Driver
: Five hundred yards! Another shell lands nearby and sprays the craft with water. Kanti trips but is held up by Khand grabbing her arm. Driver
: We’re gonna have to pull off! Sokolov
: No, we stay on mission! You're taking us in! Driver
: We must have drifted! I can't see the landmark! Khand
: You heard the lieutenant. Full speed! Sokolov
: Incoming! An artillery shells blows up the neighbouring landing craft. Soldier:
By the Gods! Sokolov:
Hold tight! An artillery shell, again, lands near the boat. Kanti
: Damn it! Driver
: Two hundred yards! Looking up, a Dragon bomber is visible coming down with an engine on fire. Driver
: Twenty seconds! Sokolov:
Remember the plan! Get to the seawall! Khand
: Ceres! Aradove! Get the bangalore to the wire, fast! Everyone ready? Here we go! Sokolov
: Drop the ramp! Driver
: There's no cover! Khand
: That was an order, damn you! Drop it! The ramp drops just as a landing craft consumed with flames comes crashing into theirs. Rei:
Oh, shit! Kanti is knocked off her feet by the impact. Looking up, she watches as machine gun fire from the clifftops chops down a number of soldiers on the boat now that the ramp has been dropped. One has his head blown off and his neck is left spouting blood over Kanti as others are also cut down. Sokolov
: Over the sides! Now! Now! Kanti follows as the survivors climb over the boat’s side. She stays underwater for a few seconds before being helped to her feet by Sokolov, spluttering. Sokolov:
I got you, child! Just behind him, the beach is consumed by fighting and the noise of war is deafening. Sokolov
: Get your head down and keep moving! Sokolov leads Kanti out of the surf, a burning soldier falls screaming from another landing craft and into the water, while carnage reigns all around. Bodies are floating all about and the water is red with blood. Sokolov:
Kanti; on me! Running through the sand as explosions go off all around, artillery can be seen curling from the Ork lines towards the beach. Sokolov and Kanti hit the deck in front of some Ork tank traps. Sokolov
: Demolition team is dead! Take the bangalore and get to the seawall! We need to clear a path to the bunkers! Kanti temporarily looks away, back to the water, and witnesses the bloodshed of soldiers dying, and a number running out of a landing craft on fire, while a warship close to shore opens fire on the coastal defences. Sokolov gets Kanti’s attention. Sokolov
: Kanti! An explosion goes off nearby, half-soaking Sokolov’s face with gore. Someone just blew up. Sokolov:
This is your job! You got that?! Now pick up the banger! Kanti moves the severed arm of a dead soldier to retrieve the bangalore. She looks upon the dead soldier’s corpse and, suddenly, her vision fades away and she sees his memories. This is the first of the Internal Vortex collectibles which can be found throughout the game, whereby additional lore is provided through Kanti’s ability to tap into the memories of certain corpses (human and Ork). In this case, the accessed memory tells a brief story of the soldier (Private Omid Afshani) and how he was part of a traditional military family and all his brothers have already fallen, told he would be a general someday, how he was born on a ship evacuating Persia (which goes some way to explaining why the Imperial military is so multiethnic – the whole world evacuated to the Americas) and how his last letter home from the ship told of how “I can’t wait to hear the birdsong again.” Afterwards, she returns to lucidity. Sokolov
: Kanti! Kanti! You with me?! Kanti:
You can do this! Sokolov stands and starts running up the beach. Kanti watches after him. Kanti
: I hope so, sir! Kanti looks at the dead soldier that was carrying the torpedo bangalore, and with one hand closes his eyes. Kanti
: Sorry. Kanti takes the body’s R7 Remi rifle (comparable to the M1 Garand) and proceeds up the beachhead, trying not to get killed. The machine gun nests in the clifftop fortifications will open fire on the soldiers then wait for a few seconds to reload. This will be the player's chance to move up to avoid taking damage. The player moves from cover to cover – tank traps, the wreckage of vehicles such as half-tracks and light tanks, and shell craters, mostly. Khand
: Hurry before they reload! Move it! Sokolov
: Kanti! This way! Hurry! Stop and you’re dread! Tao
: Shit! Sokolov
: Those MGs are killing us! Get off the beach! Khand
: Private Kanti – get to the seawall! Rei
: Get to the seawall! I’ll meet you there! A couple of armoured vehicles – light tanks resembling Soviet BT-7s, here called LT-5 Termites – are now also moving up the beach and providing fire support. One blows up. Sokolov
: Keep low. When there’s a break in the fire, run for it! There’s a break in the fire – you run for it. Sokolov
: Kanti, get the bangalore! When Kanti reaches the seawall, which is made up of a big mound of sand lined at its top by barbed fire and burning gasoline, she falls against it. Her fellow soldiers fall in alongside her or are already there. A lot of wounded are also there, being treated by medics as machine gun fire flies over their heads. Rei falls next to Kanti, her face covered in dirt and blood. Rei
: Kanti! Use the banger; I'll cover you! After we breach, keep pushing toward the bunker! Kanti:
You’re covered in blood. Rei:
It’s not mine. Focus! Kanti sets up the torpedo bangalore, made up of two cylindrical rods, with the second able to fit inside the first. Her handling is shaky and she drops one rod. Rei picks it up for her and gives it back. Rei:
We're nearly there! Kanti pushes the torpedo bangalore into the seawall. Rei:
Pull it! Pull it! Kanti
: Fire in the hole! Kanti scrambles backwards and the bangalore explodes, tearing a hole in the seawall for the soldiers to pour through, dirt pouring down like rain. Sokolov
: Weapons ready! Fix bayonets! Kanti fumbles for her bayonet and fixes it to her rifle. You can now use this as a melee weapon against enemy infantry. Rei:
Ready to see your first Ork? Sokolov
: Attack! Sokolov leads the troops through the hole – and many, though not Sokolov, are cut down. Rei:
Let's go! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go! Sokolov
: Push forward! After passing through the hole, you are faced with a clearing sprinkled with tank traps and barbed wire. After that, trenches, and then the bluffs with fortifications spitting machine gun fire. Rei:
Into the trench! Hurry! Soldier:
Orks! You now face your first Ork drones as you push towards the trenches. Once you get into the trench, you slowly clear it and a mortar position, presumably losing Health as you do. Once done, you turn a corner deeper into the trenches where Rei is located. Rei:
That wound looks bad! Here, take this! Rei throws a health pack to Kanti. The player can now call on Rei, when the squad meter fills, to add a pack for a total of four. Kanti
: Many thanks! The player moves through the trenches, clearing out Ork drones. Friendly troops leap across the trenches. The player then gets to the end of the trenches and reaches the bluffs covered by Ork fortifications. A slope goes uphill between the bluffs but machine gun fire pins the friendly troops down and makes it impassable. Khand
: We can't advance with those MGs firing on our position! Sokolov
: Hold tight. Fire support incoming! Khand
: Kanti, mark the target! Khand throws a canister to Kanti. Kanti catches it and throws it uphill towards the Ork bunkers. Red smoke emanates. Sokolov is shouting into a radio. Sokolov:
Kestrel, target is lit up! Hit it now and hit it hard! Radio:
Roger, we have your smoke visual. Attack run inbound. Explosions hit the MG bunker as rockets from a trio of dive-bombing jets which resemble de Havilland Vampires (in this universe called Banshees) come in and obliterate the fortifications. The jets pass by close overhead. Tao
: That's it! Let 'em have it! Adlai
: MGs are dead! Kanti
) They tore them to shreds! Sokolov
: Get to the top! You and your squad move up the hill – a wounded Ork, both arms missing, stumbles from the smoke and still tries to fight by biting at Sokolov. Sokolov shoots it down. Sokolov:
Crazy bastards. More Ork infantry advance. Ork:
I shall wear your hide as a coat! After defeating these Orks, the player advances to the top of the hill through which additional trenches burrow. Sokolov
: Kanti; I need you and Rei to take point and clear those bunkers! Go! Rei:
Had to be us! You move in with your squad. There are five bunkers to clear. The first has a clearing full of mortar positions, where Ork infantry defend, and there’s more firing at you from inside the bunker itself. Sokolov
: Orks are dug in. Kanti, get a grenade in that bunker! You break into the bunker and clear it out, including the machine gun post covering the beach. Rei:
First one’s down! Sokolov:
Bunker’s clear – everyone out. You move on. Taking the adjoining trenches, you come across an Ork Officer – larger and more heavily armoured than the Drones you’ve been fighting so far – holding a human soldier by the neck. Assuming you shoot him in the head, the only non-armoured part, he’ll go down and the soldier is saved. Soldier:
Thanks! I owe you! If not, and your bullets bounce off the Officer’s armour, he crushes the man’s neck in his hand and comes for you. After that, you drive on through the trenches, killing a few more Orks, before turning and entering an underground bunker. Inside, the entry is covered by a machine gun post. Khand
: MG's pinning us! Someone toss a smoke! You can do that, or you can perhaps kill the machine gunner. Up to you. Afterwards, you drive on through the underground bunker. It’s a bit of a catacomb full of dormitories and a radio room. Eventually, you clear it. Khand
: Bunker's clear. Let's go! Sokolov
: Everybody out, bunker's clear! You head back outside, 2 of 5 bunkers complete. You continue through the trenches, meeting fresh Orks. Rei:
There’s artillery hitting the beach! The next assault wave won’t make it! Khand
: Keep pushing! That artillery is hammering our ships! Kanti
: On it, sir! Yeah, I can do this, I can do this… You carry on through the trench. Some Banshee jet fighters screech overhead. Reaching the entrance to the next bunker, you see a friendly – Corporal Lieu – with an F3 Inferno – a backpack flamethrower. He fires it down the bunker at unseen enemy troops before being gunned down. Kanti
: I'm going in! Rei:
Careful! You enter the bunker – you can pick up the F3 Inferno as you do, which doesn’t last long but which is fun to use. Ork:
Come, little men! You clear the bunker. As you reach the machine gun post, you enter into a quicktime moment. Kanti gets ambushed around a corner by an Ork soldier, who grabs her by the throat and pins her to the wall, but she jams her combat knife into his neck. Falling from his grasp, she sees the machine gunner just as a shell from a ship offshore hits the bunker dead-on and blows it, and him, to smithereens. Rei appears from the dust and helps Kanti to her feet. Rei:
Shit! Fucking Navy. Don’t they believe in us? Returning from the machine gun nest, some Orks have shown up to try and retake the bunker. Take them out and then the bunker’s cleared. The next bunker is just a hop from this one – you enter, at first finding nobody, before discovering an Ork pinning an Imperial soldier to the wall. Soldier:
Somebody help! You, I should hope, kill the Ork. Soldier:
Thanks! Oh, hey, a girl… Kanti:
You wish. You drive into the bunker, in the heart of which is a mortar position, and take out the Ork defenders. With that, the bunker is cleared. Khand:
Move up, move up! Everyone rallies at the big steel door at the end of the bunker. Khand
: Adlai. Tao. With me. Kanti, you and Rei clear the next bunker. Rally at the top of the bluff, and for fuck’s sake try not to get yourselves killed. You interact with the big steel door and open it, before going with Rei down some more trenches. Kanti
: Alright, Rei. One more! Rei:
We got this! You turn a corner into a clearing before the bunker. There’s Orks both defending it on the ground and a sniper on top of the bunker itself. After dealing with this, you head inside, Rei behind you. As you enter the bunker, Kanti is ambushed by an Ork Major – she is thrown to the floor and the Ork stands over her, pulling out a knife. Ork:
Never did fear smell so sweet. Rei jumps onto its back and holds onto him around the neck. The Ork manages to throw Rei onto the ground before stabbing her through the belly. Kanti
: Rei! Oh, shit, no
! The Ork soldier leaves the wounded Rei, knife still sticking from her stomach, and approaches Kanti. Ork:
Stand and face me, woman. Show some honour. Kanti stands and fights the Ork, which through its superior strength easily ends up on top of her, taking away her knife and now pushing it down towards her with both hands. Then, Kanti’s hands light up and the flames return – her whole hands are on fire. The Ork roars in pain and surprise and backs away, looking at its burned hands, before Kanti runs at him as the flames go out and tackles him to the ground. The Ork is still stronger and goes back to throttling her – but they’ve fallen near Rei, who yanks the knife out of her belly and jams it into the Ork’s chest. Ork:
The glory… The Ork dies. Kanti climbs off and approaches Rei, who suddenly brandishes a pistol. Kanti:
Whoa, Rei… Rei:
Duck! Kanti does so and Rei shoots the unseen Ork which was behind her. Kanti looks back to Rei, who is dealing with quite a lot of pain. Kanti
: Come on, you’re okay, you’re okay. Rei:
I can't walk. Kanti pulls up Rei’s uniform to see her stomach – the wound is gushing blood. Kanti
: Oh, shit… Rei:
That bad? Kanti:
It’s not great
Would you mind getting me out of here? An explosion, presumably artillery – Kanti looks down the bunker to see it shudder, rubble falling from the ceiling. Kanti
: Yeah, course, no problem Kinsi, just stay with me, okay? Can you do that? Rei:
I’m gonna have to try. Pulling that knife out was pretty fucking stupid, huh? Kanti:
No comment. Come on. The player starts dragging Rei out of the bunker and outside. Across a pretty dangerous clearing are friendly lines. Kanti
: We've gotta get back to friendly lines! Kanti starts dragging Rei across the grass Rei:
On your left! Kanti shoots the Orks which appear from the left with her pistol and keeps going. Rei:
You’re gonna… have to tell me… how you did that fire thing. Kanti:
I will when I figure it out myself! They keep going. Kanti:
Not much further. Just keep pressure on that wound. Rei:
I’m trying! Kanti drags Rei to a wall of sandbags and clambers over them. Kanti
: We gotta take cover! Rei, in what is pretty clearly a painful endeavour, follows suit and lays in the mud. With her pistol, Kanti faces the Orks now coming for them. Ork:
Tasty, salty man-flesh! Rei:
How many? Kanti
: Too many! Once the Orks are dispatched, Kanti looks back down at Rei. Kanti
: We're clear! Come on! Kanti starts dragging Rei through the mud. Rei:
You call that fuckin' clear? They skirt the edge of the trenches – an Imperial soldier with a flamethrower is dousing a group of Orks in fire. They continue along the edge of the trench, which is lined with barbed wire and so inaccessible, at least for Rei. Rei:
I'm losing too much blood. I think. You need more than half, right? Kanti
: Just hang in there! I gotta find a clearing to get in the trench! Kanti places Rei down as smoke canisters pop, obscuring the next Ork wave to come their way. Ork (from somewhere in the smoke):
The clan will feast on you! Kanti
: Keep your head down! Rei:
Did you get 'em? Kanti
: They keep coming! How many of these fuckers are there?! After taking out four or five, Kanti turns back to Rei. Rei:
Watch out! Rei, with her sidearm, shoots down an Ork drone running at them from behind. Rei:
Still got it. Kanti:
Now’s our chance! Kanti keep dragging Rei along the edge of the trench, smoke from the Ork canisters obscuring everything. As she goes, an Ork grenade lands at her feet. Kanti:
Fuck! Kanti throws grabs it and throws it away. She sees an open area in the trench. Kanti:
Bingo! Kanti jumps down into the trench, up to her ankles in mud, then turns back to Rei. Kanti:
I got you! Rei rolls off the edge of the trench and lands in the mud at Kanti’s feet. A few more Orks appear from the smoke and Kanti shoots them down. She then looks down at Rei, who’s on the edge of losing consciousness, and then looks down the trench where more Ork infantry are coming at them. Kanti:
Oh, give us a break! Kanti takes them out. Then, she turns back to Rei and starts dragging her down the trench. Rei:
Oh, wow, I'm actually bleeding out. Kanti
: Just keep pressure on it! Rei:
I’m trying! I’m trying! Kanti:
Almost there! They reach some concrete steps – a friendly soldier is at the top. Soldier:
Come on up here! Move, move! Kanti starts dragging Rei up the stairs – the soldier runs down and helps. Soldier:
I got you! Two Orks come around the corner – someone on the top of the stairs shoots them both down. They reach the top of the stairs and find themselves in the middle of a friendly improvised triage centre. Kanti lays Rei down, whose face is very dazed, as she flicks off her helmet, blood trickling from her mouth. Kanti:
Okay. Stay with me. Healer! Nobody comes – everyone’s busy. Rei:
I need morphine. All the morphine. Kanti takes out a syringe of morphine, pulls off the cap with her teeth, and injects Rei in the thigh. Rei’s breathing is strained and painful. Kanti puts a hand under her head as a pillow. Kanti:
You gotta hang on. Those girls in Lutetia are waiting for you. Rei:
Of course. Rei:
I… uh… how about another look at your sister? Rei manages a smile, sniggering through the pain, and Kanti laughs, too. Kanti:
You’re infuriating. Rei:
It's okay. I can't see shit. I'm just gonna rest right here. Rei’s eyes close. Kanti:
No, no, no, you need to stay awake. Hey. Kanti puts her hand against Rei’s face, slapping her awake, and Rei’s eyes open. Rei:
I'm here. Rei makes eye contact. Rei:
Help me. Kanti:
I need a fucking Healer! A Healer finishes treating a wounded soldier and rushes over, taking over from Kanti in trying to stop the bleeding. Healer
: I got this! Go! Kanti looks back down at Rei. Kanti:
But… but I… Sokolov appears, standing over them. Sokolov
: Kanti! He'll take care of her. I need you with me. (to others
) Listen up! There's an Ork cannon just a little up the road. It's tearing up the beach – we’re gonna stop it. Let's roll! Kanti looks back down at Rei, who’s reaching out to her. Kanti takes her hand for a moment. Kanti:
Just stay alive, okay? For a moment, with Rei on the very edge of death, little flickers of her memories flash before Kanti’s eyes. We see her mother telling her she’s a disappointment, Rei sitting in a prison cell, and then being told by a recruiting officer that “the Army’s running out of men – we need some ladies ready to be heroes.” Then Kanti returns to lucidity and Rei’s face. Rei:
I promise. Their hands part and Kanti stands, grabbing a rifle, and joins the rest of the squad. Sokolov
: Check your ammo and grenades! Khand
: You heard him! Up the road, now! Kanti and the rest of the squad move out of the top of the bunker, along a field pock-marked with craters, then go onto a dirt road leading towards a farm. Kanti:
Moving up! Khand
: Let's move! Sokolov
: Be ready – these Orks don’t look like the surrendering type! You keep moving up the road, finding some dead cows as you go. Khand
: Move fast! They're shelling the beach to shit! You reach the target – a machine-gun nest is set up in a half-destroyed farmhouse and starts shooting at you as you appear. Sokolov
: MG in the hay loft! Take cover and take it out! After taking out the machine gun, you keep moving up to fight Orks among the farmhouses and hay bales. A large artillery cannon is in the centre and you move to clear it and secure the area, moving in a couple of the farmhouses to do so. Adlai:
Where’s all the civilians? Khand:
In the Ork’s stomachs, probably! Once you’ve cleared everything, silence seems to fall. Soldier:
Orks coming in from the south! A lot of them! Sokolov
: They’re gonna try to retake the cannon! We gotta hold this position! Khand:
Not a step backwards! The squad defends the position as a couple waves of Orks swarm towards them. You can use the machine gun posts in the upper floors of the farmhouses to help fight them off. Adlai:
There’s too many of them! Khand:
Hold! Have courage! Still the Orks swarm the field to the south – until explosions start to blow them away. Termite tanks appear from the left, their 45mm guns tearing through the Orks, which are either slaughtered or flee. Tao
: Our boys are coming in! Adlai
: Look at them scatter! Sokolov:
Alright, everyone. We mopped them up good. I don’t think they’ll be back. Khand:
Clear! Destroy that cannon! Kanti goes to the cannon and crouches down behind it. An Imperial soldier appears next to her. Soldier
: Thermite! The soldier carries a number of thermite charges inside his helmet like a bucket and empties them out in front of Kanti. Kanti lights one of them. Kanti:
Fire in the hole! Everyone backs away – you probably should too – and the thermite explodes. The cannon is destroyed. Sokolov:
Excellent work, Kanti. Alright, everyone, rally on me to the assembly point. Khand, I'll need a casualty report. We lost so many. Khand
: But we took the beach. Sokolov:
What a price. At the rally point, Rei is on a stretcher on the ground, a cigarette in her mouth as Tao is knelt next to her. Rei
: Kanti... Rei tries to sit up and Tao puts out a hand to encourage her to lay back down. Given the pain on Rei’s face, that’s probably a good idea. Tao
: Man, I thought I'd seen everything… Kanti:
She gonna be okay? Tao
: Yeah. They taped her up pretty good. Rei
: I should’ve stayed on the boat. Tao
: Oh, now she tells us. Kanti:
Hey, what you did back there… I owe you. Big time. Rei
: I’d say we're even. Kanti:
We'll see this through. Rei smiles. Rei
: To the end. I guess. Kanti:
Whenever that may be. Sokolov and Khand walk by behind Rei; Sokolov addresses everyone. Kanti glances up at them, then back at Rei, who just gives her a knowing nod, then stands as she looks back at their superiors. Sokolov:
Beachhead's secured. We'll bivouac at the second hedgerow after the ridge. It’s not over, everyone. Behind them, a couple of dead Orks are being examined. Adlai is taking photos of one while a soldier gently kicks the head of another. Soldier:
Stop kicking it. Soldier #2:
I don’t wanna. Khand regards Kanti. There’s blood in his beard. Khand
: Welcome to the Smiling Sixty Sixth. You're a long way from home, farm girl. Khand walks off. Sokolov watches Kanti, then approaches when Khand is out of earshot. Sokolov:
That’s his way of saying he’s grateful. You did well. Not bad for your first day. Kanti:
Thanks, sir. I, uh… Sokolov puts a hand on Kanti’s shoulder. Sokolov:
You'll be alright, child. Kanti:
Yes, sir. Sokolov pats her shoulder, nods, then walks off. Kanti looks down at her hands, covered in dirt and blood, which hold each other before slowly separating. Kanti:
Course I will. The level ends.
submitted by SamPaxton97
to CallOfDuty [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:32 bfwolf1 I booked an ANA RTW
I've been pretty deep into the credit card/points game since 2014, but I've just booked my first ANA RTW for next April/May. It cost me 145K miles and about $810.
|From ||To ||Carrier ||Class ||Length of Stay |
|AUS ||IAH ||United ||Economy ||Overnight layover |
|IAH ||MEX ||United ||Economy ||4 days |
|MEX ||NRT ||ANA ||Business ||6 days |
|KIX ||TPE ||EVA ||Business ||6 days |
|TPE ||DPS ||EVA ||Economy ||7 days |
|DPS ||SIN ||Singapore ||Business ||14 days |
|BKK ||VIE ||EVA ||Business ||7 days |
|TLV ||WAW ||LOT ||Business ||Layover |
|WAW ||ORD ||LOT ||Business || |
I've been planning this for quite a while and it pretty much worked out as well as I could've hoped. I had the extra challenge of needing to be in DPS on specific dates as I'm meeting a buddy there to go to Komodo Island, and he already had his ticket. I'm also meeting a friend in TLV with some fairly strict time constraints. And I had to fit it all in between the solar eclipse on April 8 which I'm seeing in Austin and getting back by the end of May because I'm hiking the Grand Canyon with my brothers.
1) Going west is tricky because the transpac flights are so competitive, but for my itinerary, it was the only way it was going to work based on my friend's availability for meeting me in TLV. Plus west is easier on the jet lag. As I saw transpac availability getting eaten up quickly, I knew it wouldn't last until 355 days from my transatl flight. So I took aggressive action and booked the only available transatl left as a roundtrip MEX-NRT-MEX. When it was finally time to book the RTW, I asked the CSR if there was anybody on the waitlist behind me on the MEX-NRT flight. There wasn't, so I had him cancel it (AFTER building the rest of my RTW and making sure everything I wanted was available), and fortunately the flight went back into inventory and the CSR grabbed it.
2) Speaking of CSRs, everybody says it but it's true: ANA CSRs are the absolute best. They know the program inside and out. I had called in just to talk things out with them one time about a week before my transatl flights would be available. I was really concerned about somebody nabbing the BKK-VIE flight during that time and I was planning on buying a roundtrip with that flight in it too just like I did with MEX-NRT. But through my convo with the CSR, I realized the best option was to just book the RTW with dummy LOT flights leaving from TLV the same day I arrived in VIE, and then changing the dates on those flights a week later when the dates I really wanted became available. LOT's J seat release is dependable and not that popular (for good reason as it's below average) so I was confident I could move the date and I was right.
3) The 3 tough flights are transpac, transatl, and Asia to Europe/Africa. You've generally got to build your trips around those. The rest of the flights tend to have good availability and if they're short-ish, economy is always an option.
4) It's good to know going in that some flights just don't exist as options. I knew Singapore Air long-haul J was not bookable via ANA points, so I didn't waste any time on that. It also turns out that Thai wasn't showing up with ANA, even short haul Y KUL-BKK--I am not sure that's a permanent thing but it's a thing right now. The EVA 5th freedom flights from BKK to LHR, AMS, and VIE are really good options for getting from Asia to Europe, but the latter 2 do not fly everyday.
5) I was concerned ANA might consider landing in VIE and then flying out of TLV to be backtracking, especially given that they are not in the same region, but it was not an issue.
6) ANA's taxes are really a weird beast and a total black box. When I booked it I paid about $780 in taxes which was around what I expected. But then when I changed my LOT dates, I owed an additional $37 in taxes even though it was the exact same flight numbers, just a week later. Huh?? Anyway, obviously small potatoes so I didn't care.
7) When you book the RTW, you don't pay the taxes immediately. They have to do some fancy corporate calculation on it for some reason, so they basically put the itinerary on hold and then call you back some hours later to tell you the taxes and allow you to pay it. It's a little unnerving having to wait for the call, but it worked out. When I called a week later to change my LOT dates, it was the same situation, only they didn't call me back some hours later. So the next day I called in and the CSR was able to get corporate to calculate the tax difference while I was on the phone and I paid it. Which is good because:
8) Hold times are really long. I called 4 times in total. The first time was a 2 hour wait. The other 3 were 75-90 minutes. When you call doesn't seem to impact that. But as I was trying to book stuff 355 days out and new availability comes out at 9 am Japan time, I typically called at 8 am Japan time so that we were ready to go as soon as I got through. I know there are some people who will call in even earlier and then BS with the CSR if they get through before 9 am Japan time so that they can grab stuff right when it hits 9 am....fortunately I was reasonably confident that my flights wouldn't be nabbed in the first hour of availability so I didn't have to resort to that.
Major highlights of the trip I'm especially looking forward to are Komodo Island (from DPS) and Borneo (from SIN).
Happy to answer any questions about booking a RTW.
submitted by bfwolf1
to awardtravel [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:15 laurahas7cats Cat Behaviorist AMA tonight from 7-9 pm EST
Hi all! I am opening up comments now for an official Ask Me Anything! I’ll be responding live starting at 7 pm EST.
I am a certified cat behavior consultant specializing in all things cat. I know all the things about litter box issues, aggression between cats, destructive and annoying behavior, and more. I can train your cat to take medication voluntarily or walk right in his carrier. I love bitey cats and angry cats. They are my favorite.
Want to know my credentials? Check out my website, Pawsitive Vibes Cat Behavior and Training
. Take advantage of my free AMA here today or book a private consult via Zoom for more individual feedback.
Ask your questions below and I’ll do my best to answer.
submitted by laurahas7cats
to CatAdvice [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:08 thumos_et_logos What modern prepping fiction doesn’t… suck?
Hear me out a second. I found that I really enjoy prepping fiction. Not necessarily about peppers but really a look into day to day life after a catastrophic event, and how the characters deal with it and live on.
I read Day by Day Armageddon and was hooked. It’s a zombie book but in the early parts the character stockpiles some food then has to just deal with things as they come. It’s less about the zombies and more about the guy, and later the group.
There’s also the classics - “Alas, Babylon”, earth abides, and Lucifer’s hammer are the ones that come to mind.
But holy crap. I have read:
- EMP - equipping modern patriots
- Black autumn
- the apocalypse crusade
- American reset and the rest of Mark Goodwin’s series that are pretty much the same
- when the power is gone
- fight like a man
- the long road
- extinction survival
- zombie fallout
- the mountain man
- 299 days (this one is my least favorite)
And a million others, and they are all “bad” to my judgement.
I would also say I’ve read some I’d categorize as “alright but not great”:
- world war z (fine I just got bored)
- going home (honestly other than the anti government special forces chapters this book is fine)
- the borrowed world (fine but they turn into like badass insurgents about halfway though the series, not my thing. The rest of Franklin Hortons series i’d mostly put into the “bad” pile. Seems like boomer self insert fiction mostly, maybe im too young).
- one second after. Honestly solid overall but I didn’t really like how blatant the author self inserted then made himself so important and venerated by everyone around him. Plus the views on college girls that the main character had creeped me out given that I know he’s a professor at the same college the main character is a professor at. Also strongly a Christian work, which I am not. I’d recommend this books still having said that.
It seems like most prepper fiction is very much author self inserts, except in the story they have some multi million dollar survival compound and a group of 8+ like minded anti government special forces veteran types plus they are 6’4” and jacked plus their wife is a 10/10 beauty who does whatever they are told to do plus also hates the government.
Always the country folk are “right all along” and the stupid liberals in the city are evil and hate guns farmers and the American way. Plus they’re responsible somehow for an EMP being detonated above America but don’t worry, just an EMP no other nuclear devices that would disrupt any survival plans.
Or it’s some prepper daughter is the main character and she literally thinks, in written text, “oh gosh daddy you were right all along and I was wrong - how I wish I had listened to you instead of being ashamed!”
Like come on! They are all the same too, it blows my mind. I mean half of them start in an airport terminal for some reason. I downloaded two on kindle this weekend and both started with airplanes crashing into an airport terminal after an EMP hit.
Some things I appreciate:
- veterans who aren’t combat bad ass special force zombie killers. I have a lot of veteran friends and none of them would find the “prepper veteran” characters relatable.
- people with minimal or no preps, or who have spent a few thousand on preps over the years but not re-oriented their entire life to live on an off grid compound because they “just knew this would happen”
- the characters do not take part in an anti government special forces style insurgent movement. Honestly I don’t really have an issue with the idea, got to keep things interesting somehow, but the “evil government” always behaves the way a middle schooler would think an evil government behaves. They are always so ridiculous that I’d rather not see it. “Oh an EMP hit, time to arrest any former “tea party” podcast hosts”. Sure.
- no mention of globalists
- actual impacts of starvation and desperation. For some reason in these books the good guys are always morally good and their advisories are always morally bad. In real life SHTF situations people end up in adversarial relationships not because of morality but because of starvation and so on.
- husband wife dynamics that are… normal? Like my wife is an actually smart, resourceful, and useful person. She’s not around just to tell me how awesome I look in cargo pants.
- no EMPs. I honestly can’t picture a situation where there would be an EMP but there wouldn’t be a full blown nuclear exchange. For some reason I find the idea more absurd than zombies, because at least with zombies the author also knows it’s complete fantasy.
To be clear, I’d probably be described best politically as right wing but damn if these books just take it to such an absurd place. I can’t even finish most of them. So I’m not just attacking them for political purposes, they’re just not good in my opinion due to other things that bother me. Though I also know other people do enjoy them.
What am I looking for:
Really I just want to enjoy some fiction that can spark my mind on “hm what would I do in this catastrophic situation”. And I can enjoy reading and watching the characters go through them without getting stuck on something being obviously way too ridiculous like a cartoon evil government or multi millionaire 250lb special forces commando Super Prepper Man.
I know it sounds like my standards are quite high, given all the complaining I just did, but realistically I read a lot of trash fiction so hit me with anything and I’ll check it out.
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2023.06.05 00:08 CryptographerWeary64 thoughts on spectrum mobile?
Just out of curiosity what is everyone's thoughts of spectrum mobile, I my self love it considering it uses verizon which has some of the best coverage, pretty low cost for "unlimited" (more on that later) and their support is 10x better than any other carrier in my past experience. Now they say their unlimited plan is unlimited , but i noticed after 20gb of data usage they throttle the hell out of you. I know most if not all carriers do this but at a much higher data usage amount such as 50gb which I think thats what verizons throttle point is. I just wish they bummed it up to even just 25 or 30 on the regular unlimited and say 35-40 on the unlimited + plans as i very often find my self hitting the throttle point monthly even with "moderate" daily usage. Those are just my thoughts, what are yours?
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2023.06.05 00:06 NumberF1v3 2016 CX-5 GS 16k (CAD) or older RAV4s or CR-V?
In my area the 2016 CX-5 and the 2010-2013 RAV4s and CR-Vs are the same price and can be found for 16k.
My wife and I are looking to replace our 2013 Ford Focus Titanium hatchback that gas been giving us so many problems.
Which of these SUVs would be the best for our 16k budget?
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to whatcarshouldIbuy [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:06 CryptographerWeary64 what is everyone's opinion on the mobile service?
Just out of curiosity what is everyone's thoughts of spectrum mobile, I my self love it considering it uses verizon which has some of the best coverage, pretty low cost for "unlimited" (more on that later) and their support is 10x better than any other carrier in my past experience. Now they say their unlimited plan is unlimited , but i noticed after 20gb of data usage they throttle the hell out of you. I know most if not all carriers do this but at a much higher data usage amount such as 50gb which I think thats what verizons throttle point is. I just wish they bummed it up to even just 25 or 30 on the regular unlimited and say 35-40 on the unlimited + plans as i very often find my self hitting the throttle point monthly even with "moderate" daily usage. Those are just my thoughts, what are yours?
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to SpectrumMobile [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:46 JulianSkies Blackriver Cases - Season 5 “Exotic Pets” - Episode 2 “Night’s Touch”
[ [FIRST] [NEXT>]
Season 5 “Exotic Pets”
Episode 2 “Night’s Touch”
He stares at her as Keya’s voice starts to slowly grow louder “I know you have people who can deal with this. This is supposed to be a priority line, as well!” her tone was still flatter than it should be, it was loud but lacked inflection giving it a false impression of cold anger.
“We have arranged previous protocols for similar situations”
“You can’t possibly be so unwise as to not be ready for nonstandard behavior”
“Please find someone with authority or at least knowledge of the situation”
“Yes I am the-”
“I am very much aware of the limitations of our deal, I am asking about a similar but new situation”
“The chief of an exterminator precinct is calling you because an endangered exotic animal requires some form of acceptable solution. I am calling you despite a clear lack of protocols in this specific situation. I am calling you because I have no real solutions and if there’s one species, one government left in this brahking galaxy that CARES it’s you so please, please give me something, ANYTHING” it was disturbing, incredibly so, to watch her inflection just waver and shift like that.
“Very well, I will put you on speakers” finally a reprieve from hearing a one-sided conversation, Keya sets down her holopad in the table at the center of the couches. Santos comes closer, still with one of the hensa snugly stuck inside his shirt while Orran slowly walks over to look, but he doesn’t sit, still holding the female protectively.
In the screen is another human, she is dressed in a very plain black suit with a necktie that’s been loosened and her short hair is disheveled. Clearly, Keya’s conversation had managed to stress her out. The dark-skinned woman scans her light blue eyes through the three visible people across from the call, her direct sight quickly stopping on the small beast in Orran’s grasp “They’re like tiny panthers” she says, softly
After a few more moments she continues “Alright, call me Janice. As I’ve told your boss” she says, presumably trying to aim her gaze at Santos, which isn’t quite possible through a video call “We might have a good solution. But that’s a maybe on the good solution, depends on if I can call on people here. And we have an okay solution, but that depends on what you’re willing to do, Mister…”
At that, the yotul recognizes it’s his turn to speak “Orran, my name is Orran”
“Mister Orran. So, here are the two possible solutions. The worst of them is to simply arrange a transfer for them to Leirn, but that is not an optimal solution. Not only would it take time, as we don’t currently have the logistic means to expedite transport in official vessels and we do not have the funds to find a quick and safe civilian willing to make the trip, we currently have no ongoing deals with the planetary government regarding fauna returns”
“I’m sure I could find a good transport to get there, ma’am.” Orran interrupts “I got them here, I can get them back if I need to”
“That might be true” the woman on the video continues, waving dismissively as she visibly slumps down on the seat “But we still have no official deals with their government regarding wildlife rescues. We have ongoing negotiations but nothing concrete, so in order to get your little fuzzballs over there we’d need to divert personnel we do not have available at the moment to secure a proper location, hopefully a wildlife shelter or similar”
“I could-” Orran tries but he’s interrupted
“Yes, you could go and uproot the entirety of your life again for the sake of those. Which is what we’d ask of you in this case, the best we could do for this worst-case scenario is some bureaucratic facilitation for your travel.” then she moves closer to the camera and puts her elbows on, presumably, the desk and rests her chin on her hands “But we might have a better solution”
“You better not be about to rope this man into some weird quasi-legal scheme” Santos interrupts “Your track record has been real spotty when dealing with anything at this scale”
Janice sighs, rubbing her eyes as she pulls a holopad off from the side “Yes, yes I know. You would fucking know wouldn’t you, Mr. Exterminator. But no, no, the plan is to take advantage of an ongoing research project to find far safer shelter right here on Venlil Prime.” she returns to her slacked pose as she brings her pad up with her, sharing her attention between the two “There’s a variety of projects researching the possible introduction of new species to this planet to increase the resilience of the biomes near the core of the habitable zone, an offshoot of the Cradle restoration research, as well as a bit of a hare-brained little project researching the feasibility of shipboard pets to increase soldier morale” she offers a hand to the camera “We can have your hensa housed in the facilities of any of such projects. This way we don’t need to redirect any voidborne assets, which as you know are all completely committed to the ongoing war, and you don’t need to give up your life here, Mr. Orran”
Santos turns to watch the yotul, who now has a contemplative look. It was always weird when he realized he could read alien expressions that well, a closed eye with the head slightly tilted the same direction and both ears flat towards the same direction read the exact same way as a human looking upwards in thought, apparently he’d grown accustomed to them very much. “And what would being housed here require, and how would they be treated”
Janice takes a deep breath, and can be seen pulling a second holopad from somewhere offscreen “IF I can make this work, and this is an if because it depends on finding a receptive project lead, for now they’d just be housed in the animal shelters those projects have for their studies. Currently the studies are only observational in how they relate to local species, with periodic medical checkups, being held in a few biome-isolation facilities. Should they prove suitable for the goals, and hell that depends on the projects being feasible to begin with, then they’ll be added to acclimated breeding programs.”
Orran looks down at the heavy female on his arms, then looks back at the screen “And should they not be?”
Janice grins “That’s the trick. At that point the UN will have taken over responsibility for them, and now they have an endangered species on hand and a million and one laws on how to treat them. So they’ll be forced to keep them in a wildlife shelter until they can be safely relocated to their natural environment. Which is something that will likely only happen after the end of the war given how bureaucracy works” then she looks down at the holopads and types something down in one of them “And if the war takes longer than that to end, I don’t think any of us will be around to worry anymore, so”
“Isn’t that a bit pessimistic” Santos adds with a raised eyebrow
“You would be, sitting here in this chair” she retorts
He looks at Orran, ultimately the choice is his, given it’s both his little creatures and his life in the line. The yotul spends a few moments thinking “Then please see what you can do. How long until we have an answer?”
“Hah!” Janice exclaims triumphantly, startling all three “I wouldn’t be in this job if I couldn’t multitask this well. I already have an answer, seems like the local fauna reintroduction project has shown interest. Can’t have only one pestkiller species in the same niche, it seems they want to have some competition to keep populations controlled or something” she still has a wide smile when she directly addresses Orran “If that project pans out, your kitties’ descendants will wind up in a competitive space with ours. But that’s for multiple generations from now, it seems. Currently, those two would wind up in an observation shelter to see how they interact with a population of voidpins as well as how they interact with terran cats. Is that acceptable or should I try to find another project?”
At that Orran laughs lightly “Ooh, nightside? That’d be perfect, most hensa are twilight creatures but nightweavers are nocturnal, that’d be the best for them” he gently caresses the feline in his arms “Hear that Lodestar? You get to have some darkness again”
Janice nods on the screen “Alright, then… Let’s see… Oh, oooh that’s convenient” she is tapping at the holopad “How much time do you need to prepare them for a trip? Would you like to come along for the handoff? CnT Freight -that’s an unfortunate name- seems to have a pickup of carbon in the next town over for us, we can have someone take advantage of the trip and come pick your kitties up”
Santos tilts his head to the side “Carbon? That might be over in Long Cliff if I remember the surrounding towns correctly. That’s almost a two hour trip”
Janice nods “Yep. I’ve sent a message to that project’s lead, they’ll get someone in our already-scheduled resource pickup trip and they’ll meet up with you. But we’re working with already existing schedules so… They should be over there in, let’s see… Fifteen hours or so” she takes a deep breath “So if that’ll be all? I got more calls in the queue”
“This will be enough” Keya’s voice is still weird
And with that the other human unceremoniously ends the call “That’ll be around three claws, Orran” Santos offers “I hope you don’t mind if we wait over here?”
The yotul is surprised, taking a step back “W-wait here? Why?”
Santos sighs “Three things. You already panicked once, and fled an entire planet over it” he gives Orran a side glance, which now that he thinks about it wouldn’t read the same for an alien would it? “Don’t want to risk you panicking again and messing yourself up”
Orran looks sheepish for a moment “Second, I want to have a look outside for some things. This place was the location of something very suspicious a few paws ago and this is the only chance I have to properly look for evidence around here” he gives the yotul a shrug “None of it is your fault, to clarify. I just want to figure out where that nixa came from”
And finally, he stands up and grabs Keya by the shoulders “And third, this woman did not sleep and is five seconds away from a mental breakdown” he lifts her off the ground with great effort, takes a couple of steps to the side and forcibly shoves her into the largest couch “And I want her to try to get a full rest before we need to deal with the delivery, because we will invariably be involved”
Despite the annoyed position of her ears and thrashing tail, Keya doesn’t move from the position she’s been put into “Santos, I’m fine”
“No you’re not, you started screaming an hour into your sleep cycle and never went back to bed. Try to get some sleep, I’ll be here” he turns over to Orran “Yes, I’m taking a bit of advantage of your situation, I’m sorry.”
If the yotul had eyebrows, he’d be raising one of them right now “I take it this isn’t a normal situation. If that’s why you need to stay around it’s fine.” he takes a deep breath “Turns out I owe her, apparently, so consider yourselves guests”
And so they waited. It did not take long for Keya to fall asleep, meanwhile Santos sat down on the couch and started fiddling with his holopad. It wasn't a random distraction, however, as he was reviewing the calls on Orran’s little project. Maybe it was just human pareidolia speaking, but something about the calls had been nagging him. It did eat at him doing this to Orran, however. The man was already stressed out enough as it was, and here he was taking complete advantage of what is essentially a hostage situation so his boss could sneak some sleep during a work shift.
As the hours passed he'd periodically get pulled out of his work as he watched Orran come and go, doing whatever his job was. Turns out an agriculturalist’s job also involves a lot of paperwork, it seems, for the man at some point had three holopads out doing who knows what, presumably data comparison. Himself, he eventually found what his instinct had been nagging him about. All of the calls on those little beasts, aside from the very first, were not made from within Blackriver. If his understanding of comms-codes in this planet was right, and if he wasn’t just seeing patterns where they did not exist, those anonymous calls were all from a number in a nearby town. But before he could start making more connections he heard something he was hoping not to hear. He hears Keya’s breath quickening.
He quickly sets down his pad and, after a bit of effort, manages to dislodge the two alien felines that had decided his lap was the correct place for a nap. Then he heads over to Keya and kneels down beside her, causing Orran to focus on him. “Don’t do anything, Orran” he instructs
“What? What’s going on?” he sounds worried, as he should be
“I was hoping she’d wake up to a normal nightmare but it seems like it’s a bad one again” he stares at his boss, whose breathing is getting faster and faster. She opens her mouth and starts making a noise.
Orran steps closer “Shouldn’t you wake her up?”
It’s now that Keya starts screaming, familiar screams of fear “No, not yet. Wake her up too early and she’s going to be in a state of panic for multiple claws.” Keya’s screams start getting worse as she grabs at the couch and digs her claws in, her legs and tail thrashing wildly as if she were running. And suddenly her creaming stops with a choked noise as she brings her hands up to her chest.
Orran takes a step back as the next stage of Keya’s nightmare makes itself manifest in her noises, a choked scream that brought a chill down his spine, a scream that was eerily reminiscent of the sounds he’d heard in an ‘instructional’ video about the greys a long time ago. “Wake her up too late and she’s not going to have any of her emotions left” the human comments, as the venlil frantically claws at her own chest.
She screams for just a little while longer, until Santos forcibly puts his hand over her chest “Boss, I’m here” he says with an authoritative voice “The only predator in this room is me, listen to my voice” he puts pressure in her chest “You’re alive, listen to me” he lowers his body closer to her “Wake up and listen”
The distressed hensa had been staring up at the venlil from the ground, emitting a low, bassy growl all this time in a sign of worry. But when Keya sits up suddenly they both run back behind Orran “I… Am awake” she says mechanically.
Santos sighs, stares at her for a while, then stands up and offers his hand. Keya ignores him and stands up, looking around the house “Cold bastard woke up this time, eh?”
Santos and Orran watch as Keya ignores the question as she looks around, eyes seemingly staring off into the distance. She finally stops “Yes” and then turns her entire body towards a small desk near the front door, and turns her head to face it.
Santos raises an eyebrow at her motion, and he notices Orran’s tail started lightly thumping on the floor and his body was shaking slightly. He’d seen people getting unnerved at the cold bastard, but he had the feeling that if he were a human right now he’d be sweating bullets. He follows the direction Keya is facing, that was such a blatantly human motion she had performed it was obvious what she intended, and sees something.
“Haven’t seen a proper paper letter in a long, long time” he comments a technical lie, a few seconds after Orran had moved to pick up said letter from the desk and shove it into a drawer. But he had already seen what Keya wanted him to.
“Y-yeah I’m… Still fond of some traditional things” the man says, still looking nervous.
He takes a deep breath. He’d already seen it, in the letter, the mark of three crossed leaves. “Alright… Me and Keya are going to go outside to check something. And when we come back, you’re going to tell me the truth, right?” he stares directly at Orran
“What do you-”
“AFTER we’re back” he interrupts “Because this is either nothing worth worrying about, or you were saved from death by the power of ignorance” but he doesn’t let Orran answer as he and Keya step out into the yard.
He looks around at the yard, already predicting this would be a difficult mission. A physical letter with a familiar symbol, Orran mentioned he had a way to bring his felines to this planet and could use it as a way out, those were carnivores as far as he knew so he had to get food somewhere, and the man had those kept in here since before humanity’s first contact so it wasn’t some cloned meat he was using.
Keya grabs his shoulder and turns him towards the shed, every house in this place has the same general structure, including the shed in the backyard. The two of them start heading over there and study it. Those are wooden windows, closed, barring any sight from the inside and the front door had a lock in it, but it was slightly ajar. He looks at Keya, who seems to not notice his stare, and then gently opens the door.
The light from the outside streams in, and the sight is somewhat heart wrenching. This was, at some point, pretty much a cat house. There were shelves along the walls with nothing in them for them animals to walk about, wooden towers and other acrobatic toys, there were plastic toys scattered around and most tellingly some bowls on the ground. He kneels beside the bowls, there’s a tiny scattering of kibble indicating which ones were likely kibble and which ones were likely water, but they were marked with the same signs as the rest of the toys and furniture, deep marks of a nixa’s claws.
“Here” Keya’s toneless voice calls him out, and as he arrives he finds the proof of what he expected. There’s a rather crude metal box sitting there, full of scratch marks and bloodstains, inspecting it closer he finds tufts of dark fur and… Fabric.
Before he can inspect closer Keya hands him something- A plastic bag “Always prepared aren’t you?” he kneels closer to look at it, it’s definitely fabric, torn fabric in fact, with a fragment of the nixa’s claw attached to it. Gingerly he puts it in the plastic bag, looking at it.
“It is not good for my mental health, but it is useful in situations like those” Keya offers, before turning to the door to leave.
Santos stands up and takes a deep breath. Those calls all came from outside, and everything’s starting to make sense. He speeds up to move ahead of Keya as they enter Orran’s house, to find the yotul sitting on a couch, seemingly staring at something but in truth his eyes were distant in thought. “Alright, Orran. The first question, where did you get food for your hensa?”
Orran nearly jumps out of his skin, before turning an eye to Santos “I… I have an offworld contact. They, uhm… They can get some stuff shipped from Leirn for me”
Santos nods, and sits beside the man. Keya, on the other hand, walks behind him and simply looms over, causing the agriculturalist to shrink “Next question. Who brought you here?”
“It… It was the same people”
He crosses his arms “I’m going to take a wild guess and say that your hensa have suddenly decided that they don’t want to leave the house anymore since a few days, I mean, paws ago, right?”
At that Orran gasps “How did you know?”
He leans back on the couch “Your little ones saved your life, just so you know. Whoever it is you’ve got your trip, and the food from… You still owe them, right? And they’re the kind that comes collect” he’s looking at the ceiling right now
“C-collect? What do you mean?” he can see Orran trembling in his periphery
“Fifty seven of the calls on your hensa were from outside town” he turns his head slightly to give Orran a side-eyed stare “And we figured out where whoever it was dropped a very angry and very hungry nightside predator a few paws ago. You know, at the same point in time where I can only imagine your little friends stopped going to their playground out back”
“Wait” Orran seems frozen “That… That was because…”
Santos shrugs “I don’t know who they are. I doubt they’d like it if you talked, so i’m not asking. I’m just going to ask, how much do you owe them?”
The yotul looks down “Five hundred and twelve thousand credits… But I’ve been paying, I swear-” he grabs at Santos’ arm
“Chill out” he takes a deep breath “None of us are related to them in any way, before you get the wrong impression”
“It should be doable” Keya has brought up her datapad, causing the other two to look up at her “It is possible that I can organize a donation drive able to reach the nearby towns. Coupled with a secondary source I have available it is plausible acquire the amount of credits to clear his debt”
Orran stands up quickly in surprise “Y-you’d do that for-”
“Those people have shown themselves capable of causing serious collateral in their attempts at punishment and have shown to be a threat to the safety of the town.” she continues with a toneless voice “You, also, are part of this town. A group capable of smuggling contraband across planets is not a group we are capable of protecting the town from, therefore, the only measure left is appeasement.” she explains like it was a lecture, causing Orran’s ears to droop.
“The condition of this aid is as follows. You will hand over that letter, as I recognize it is their method of contacting you. You will, also, follow the humans to wherever the delivery will take place and you will only return to this town once I have contacted you to do so and you have paid your debts.” she turns her head sideways to direct one of her eyes at the yotul, he takes a step back cowering from the icy stare in a way Santos could never cause “If they make any further attempts at you, they will not endanger this town”
Santos sighs “Yeah, that looks like a wise choice” he pats Orran gently on the shoulder “I know the cold bastard is a lot but that’s a good plan. We’ll help you out, get your kitties a safe new home and nobody gets hurt”
To say the mood in the residence was soured by the experience was an understatement. And yet they were forced to wait even further in the collective company, Santos gently trying to coax some unrelated small talk out of Orran for the sake of the man’s sanity while he could not keep himself from continually building up more and more stress as he watched Keya silently stare down at her datapad nearly motionless.
Ultimately, Santos breaks the stress spiral by convincing the yotul to prepare for the trip. The lack of clothing articles, he noticed, made packing very much easier than it would be for a human. But a few cleaning articles, the remaining kibble for the hensa, a carrier cage that was uncleverly hidden under the bed and a few more moments spent preparing some travel snacks and there’s a knock on the front door.
Who’s behind the door is a distressingly short little Nevok, sent as the person to pick up the hensa. It took a bit of convincing, but under the cold gaze of Keya the woman eventually relents to allow Orran to accompany his animals, just to facilitate the handoff and to ensure the team’s knowledge of them is correct.
Santos and Keya see the two off, but as they return to the car that had been waiting for them for hours, she stops him. She opens the driver’s seat and points him there, takes the back seat herself and immediately brings out her datapad. Santos looks at the strange car, bites down his lower lip in thought and sighs. There’s no use discussing with the cold bastard.
[Excerpt from the social site Bleat]
#BadParents - A thread for bad parents with unruly pups
[email protected] - Hey guys, I need some help. The guests’ kids brought some weird candy home, what do I do
[email protected] - What kinna candy, is it tasty?
[email protected] - Does it smell funny?
[email protected] - Try it, it’s real good. I think I know what it is. Your kids are gunna get real loud about it.
[email protected] - hay guys, one of the neighbors broke some of the other guys’ toys and now he has to pay it back. But i’m kinda broke, you know how dad is, so I can’t help out. Can we get a pot rolling here?
[email protected] - Oh dear, think I can just give one of my toys up to make up for it? It wouldn’t be a bother.
[email protected] - I can help out, i’d ask my pups to help out too but they haven’t been listening to me for a while.
[email protected] - Same deal but at least I can get something going, I think the guests here would be up to help.
[email protected] - Oh, oh, I think I can get my pups to help, i’ll help out too. They’ve been trying to do good!
[email protected] - Me and the pups can help out too, they’ve been behaving a lot since last time.
[email protected] - Sorry guys, gotta sit out of this one. You know why.
[email protected] - It’s fine, it’s fine. Only help if you can. And no need, [email protected], just help out with the pot.
What? Did you thinking smuggling a pair of little predators off a planet currently ongoing purge across the stars and keeping carnivores fed in a planet where the mere mention of that kind of food could get you killed was possible without the aid of people you don't want to cross?
Sometimes you do what you have to do.
This is the end (mostly) of the "Exotic Pets" season! Thankfully our little hensa get a proper home, and maybe their descendants might help save a planet. This isn't the last adventure involving a pet, however, but the next season "Fighting Fire" might not end quite as peacefully.
Also I know I got zero schedule, never pretended i'd ever have I know myself. But don't expect anything next week, life sure is hard.
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2023.06.04 23:35 SilveredFlame Should I pull the trigger or wait?
I've been drooling over the Lightning since Ford announced them. Well, the other day the stars mostly aligned and I can get almost everything I want.
Dealer is cutting $7,500 off (they said Ford just put it in place Friday). This is for a 23 Lariat.
I think the only thing the truck doesn't have that I want are the max towing package (so it only tows 8,000lbs vs the 12,000 with max), and the built in scales. It's also not the color I want, but it's my 2nd choice color.
Everything else that matters is there (I can get the bed liner and such easily enough), it's an extended range Lariat, with the options I want.
But it's still Hella expensive, no tax credits (dealer said the lack of tax credit eligibility was why Ford was doing the $7,500 rebate), and I'm just not sure if I should wait.
Chevy announced their electric Silverado had a range of 450 miles, and Dodge's electric Ram is supposed to get up to 500 miles.
Right now Ford has the best priced electric truck on the market (Rivian and Hummer are way more), and so they have effectively no real competition in this space right now. That's going to change very soon with GMC/Chevy and Dodge getting ready to release their trucks.
Now I don't particularly want one of their trucks (though it's hard to argue with those range numbers), but I'm indecisive.
If those trucks drop at a price point comparable to the Lightning or even slightly above, nothing really changes and next year models will probably be more than current ones. The increased competition could also push prices lower and it might be that the 24/25 model years get more range at a lower price.
But they're offering a pretty incredible deal, plus giving me what I wanted for my trade (which is at the top end of what is worth), and I can make the numbers work.
But I'll feel like an idiot if Ford announces that the 2024 trucks will get 450 miles or there's a 10k reduction so that they qualify for rebates.
Gah I'm so indecisive. I want to get off of gas vehicles and this is pretty much my dream truck and I don't want to wait, but the reality is I could wait, and I don't really lose much by waiting (other than not having the truck I really really want).
What do y'all think? What would you do?
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2023.06.04 23:30 khoafraelich789 Driven: 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Proves Mid-Size Trucks Don’t Have To Suck
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The redesigned Colorado combines a good ride with a nicer interior as well as an all-new turbo engine
Trucks are as American as apple pie, but most of the attention has been focused on the full-size segment. It’s been that way for decades, but smaller trucks have finally stepped into the spotlight.
The Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz revived the long dormant compact segment, while 2023 is shaping up to be the year of the mid-size truck thanks to new entries from Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, and Toyota. That’s a ton of new blood and we haven’t even mentioned the Jeep Gladiator and Nissan Frontier, which are still relatively fresh.
We’re kicking the year off with the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado, which features a fantastic new design, an upgraded interior, and an all-new turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. However, the biggest news might be value as the truck starts at $29,200 and you can get one with four-wheel drive, adaptive cruise control, a bed liner, and a ton of safety features for under $37,000.
A Sporty And Stylish Design
While there’s a lot going on, there’s no better place to start than styling because designers knocked it out of the park. The model has “big truck energy” and sports an all-new design that echoes the Silverado. However, this is no scaled down copy as the Colorado has a more youthful and athletic appearance, which combines sharp lines with subtle curves.
The resulting design is great and the Colorado is arguably better looking than its larger counterpart. That’s high praise and each trim has a slightly different aesthetic. The entry-level WT is the most basic of the bunch as it sports black components and 17-inch steel wheels. This look is shared with the all-new Colorado Trail Boss, which builds on the WT but adopts a 2-inch (51 mm) lift, a wider front track, and 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 32-inch all-terrain tires.
The Colorado LT is more traditional as it wears body-color components and 17-inch aluminum wheels, while the Z71 combines creature comforts with moderate amounts of off-road capability.
The news isn’t all good as the Colorado is offered exclusively in a crew cab configuration with a 5’ 2” bed. This is a bit of a disappointment as the outgoing model offered extended and crew cab configurations as well as a larger 6’2” bed.
That being said, the redesigned Colorado has a few tricks up its sleeve and one of the most interesting ideas is a lockable, watertight compartment that is integrated into the tailgate. With the tailgate down, you push two levers aside to gain access to a compartment that measures 45 inches (1,143 mm) wide and 4 inches (102 mm) deep. It can be a bit tricky to open, but there’s a decent amount of space and owners could easily stash tow straps and other off-road equipment there.
While the compartment is a little gimmicky, it’s hard to argue with eight standard tie-downs, integrated motorcycle tire grooves, and an available 110-volt power outlet in the bed. The tailgate can also be positioned midway down to aid in transporting longer items, while a dampened EZ-lift and lower tailgate is also available.
An Interior That Doesn’t Scream Cheap
Mid-size trucks are far more affordable than their larger counterparts and this cut-rate pricing is often reflected in the interior. However, the Colorado bucks this trend as drivers will find a significantly improved cabin with better equipment.
The changes are immediately apparent as driver sit behind a chunky steering wheel and find themselves looking at an all-new 8-inch digital instrument cluster. It comes standard and features an assortment of informative displays including an off-road focused setup, which shows pitch and roll as well as the steering angle and current transfer case setting.
Speaking of screens, there’s an 11.3-inch infotainment system with Google integration as well as wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’s a massive improvement over the old 7- and 8-inch displays, and the system is fast, responsive, and largely intuitive. That being said, we did experience a few hiccups including an instance where music was blasting at startup and the system initially refused to respond to attempts to lower the volume or mute.
Putting the screens aside, the cabin sports a modern design with classy switchgear, gloss black trim, and metallic accents. The amenities vary by trim and things are pretty basic in the WT and Trail Boss. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but the models eschew a lot of the bright work, padding, and details that make higher-end variants look and feel special. It’s also worth mentioning that, regardless of which trim you get, black plastic is abound and it’s of the hard variety.
Despite being a rough and tumble pickup, the Colorado can dust off its cowboy boots for a night on the town. In particular, the model can be equipped with two-tone heated and ventilated leather front seats as well as a heated steering wheel. While it’s not as fancy as the upcoming GMC Canyon Denali, it’s pretty darn nice for a mid-size truck.
Speaking of the seats, the front chairs are perfectly comfortable and spacious while also offering a good amount of support. Furthermore, the entry-level WT doesn’t cheapen out too much, although a front center console is an optional extra.
The rear seats are less impressive as they’re not terribly spacious. While there’s a good amount of headroom, legroom is limited as occupants will find a mere 34.7 inches (881 mm) of space and that’s 1.1 inches (28 mm) less than last year’s crew cab pickup. The experience reminded me of the compact Maverick and Santa Cruz, which actually have more rear seat legroom on paper. That being said, the seats seem to be competitive for the segment, although not as generous as those found in the Gladiator.
A Turbo Four With V8 Levels Of Torque
The streamlining continues under the hood as the Colorado’s engine lineup shrinks from three to one. As a result, every single model is equipped with a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder.
The engine has been powering the Silverado for years and it’s available in three different outputs. The entry-level variant produces 237 hp (177 kW / 240 PS) and 259 lb-ft (351 Nm) of torque, which is a sizable improvement over the old 2.5-liter four-cylinder that developed 200 hp (149 kW / 203 PS) and 191 lb-ft (258 Nm).
The entry-level engine comes standard in the WT and LT, and offers respectable performance. There’s plenty of power for cruising around town, although we wished for a little extra oomph when it came to merging onto the highway.
The mid-level engine comes standard in the Trail Boss and Z71, where it produces 310 hp (231 kW / 314 PS) and 390 lb-ft (528 Nm) of torque. Customers can also opt for a high-output version that develops 310 hp (231 kW / 314 PS) and 430 lb-ft (582 Nm) of torque. The latter figure is insane as the engine has more torque than the 5.0-liter V8 in the Ford F-150. It also bests the Silverado’s 5.3-liter V8 by 47 lb-ft (64 Nm), despite having half the number of cylinders.
The high-output engine comes standard in the range-topping Colorado ZR2, but Trail Boss and Z71 customers can order a high-output calibration for an additional $395. That seems pretty reasonable as it delivers an extra 40 lb-ft (54 Nm) of torque, which will be appreciated if you tow on a regular basis.
While the base engine is fine, the upgraded versions transform the truck from good to great. As you’d expect, responsiveness improves significantly and there’s plenty of power throughout the band. Chevrolet hasn’t released detailed performance specifications, but officials we spoke to said all three versions of the engine enable the truck to accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in less than seven seconds.
Speaking of the engine, it seems relatively refined and engineers told us it was “designed like a diesel.” As a result, it sports a rigid cylinder block casting, a fully forged bottom end, and a stiff crankshaft – among other things. While that’s just scratching the surface, the engine has been subjected to countless torture tests and was designed to withstand years of heavy use.
The engine is connected to a capable eight-speed automatic transmission, which worked well on- and off-road as shifts were perfectly timed and well executed. Rear-wheel drive comes standard on the WT and LT, but the rest of the lineup has four-wheel drive.
EPA ratings haven’t been released, but the Colorado has an engine start/stop system and active fuel management technology. As a result, we can expect the truck to surpass the Silverado’s rating of 19 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined. It’s also worth mentioning that all of the engines run on regular gasoline, even the high-output variant.
A Capable Truck That Doesn’t Ride Rough
One of the most surprising things about the 2023 Colorado is how well it drives. Body-on-frame trucks aren’t typically known for their refinement, but Chevy’s entry exceeded our expectations.
While the ride can get a little bumpy on rough roads, it’s not uncomfortable and can best be described as truck-like. However, those incidents were few and far between as things settle down significantly on smooth roads and the Colorado proved to be a comfortable highway cruiser, despite having a solid rear axle and leaf springs.
The good news doesn’t end there as handling is good for a body-on-frame pickup. Cornering was secure and predictable without any hints of drama until the truck was pushed hard. The experience can also be somewhat entertaining on the right road, although you’ll want to keep your expectations in check.
Given this is a truck, it’s not surprising to learn the steering is a little heavy and slow. We didn’t have any problems with the heft, but we wish the truck offered a sport mode with a more direct response as traversing twisty mountain roads required an almost comical amount of turning.
Speaking of driving modes, the Colorado offers Normal, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, Terrain, and Baja settings. Terrain mode might be the most notable as it was designed for low-speed rock crawling and it enables you to travel at a leisurely pace with subtle throttle responses.
The truck also offers a cool off-road performance display as well as up to 10 different camera views including underneath the truck. Speaking of off-road goodies, the Z71 and Trail Boss come standard with a limited-slip differential and hill descent control. The Trail Boss is also notable for featuring the aforementioned lift and wider stance.
Back on pavement, wind noise can be pronounced at highway speed, but otherwise the truck is fairly quiet. The model also sports an impressive amount of standard safety equipment including Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and IntelliBeam automatic high-beams.
Customers looking for more safety tech will find an assortment of affordable packages that offer Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Park Assist, and Rear-Cross Traffic Braking. They’re joined by Blind Zone Steering Assist, Rear Pedestrian Alert, and an HD Surround Vision system.
Colorado owners like to tow and most versions of the truck have a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 lbs (3,493 kg). This bests the Frontier, Ranger, and Tacoma while also matching the mightiest Gladiator.
Sticking with towing, customers can get a package that adds a receiver as well as an automatic locking rear differential, an integrated trailer brake controller, and a trailering app on the infotainment system. We’d also be remiss to mention the truck has a maximum payload capacity of up to 1,684 lbs (764 kg).
Mid-Size No Longer Means Half As Good
Mid-size trucks have often felt like half-hearted efforts, but that’s clearly not the case with the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado. Designers and engineers poured blood, sweat, and tears into the model and the end result is truly impressive as it looks great, drives well, and features an impressive new engine.
On top of that, the Colorado boasts a significantly improved interior, more upscale equipment, and a new Trail Boss trim that should appeal to off-roaders on a budget. Speaking of which, Chevy managed to keep pricing affordable and this means you can get a nice truck for around $42,000.
While there are a few tradeoffs, the Colorado is a solid pickup and the one to beat. Of course, there’s no shortage of challengers on the horizon and we’ll learn more about them in the coming months.
2023.06.04 22:34 Purtle [PIL] #961 6/4/2023
Purtle's Internet Lineup for June 4th, 2023 4:36pm Pics: Clips: Videos Articles/News/Other
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2023.06.04 22:13 LordNutterButter2 US - Chernarus - PC - DayZ Insanity- PVE/PVP Zones/Missions/Helis/parachutes New AI / Quests
Server Name: DayZ Insanity Midwest US (PC)
Server IP: 188.8.131.52:27840
DayZ insanity is a Midwest server perfect for people looking for a middle point ping. Great for west coast players and East coast players to get together. Although not everyone is expected to live past the coastal highway. Our players wanted something a little more challenging but not out of the scope of DayZ lore. We at DayZ insanity do our best to provide it. You start out with a custom load out. Looting and crafting is a must if you want to survive. There is a large variety of items to scrounge but we are not boosted. We have extra recipes for making your own repair kits, leather clothes and more.
DayZ insanity uses airdrops, missions, and DNA keycards to creat an ongoing treasure hunt to keep you busy. Customized traders, helicopters that fly smooth, a big list of area appropriate cars, and deadly PVE encounters to keep you fully involved. Base enhancements like R22R base fortifications, building fortifications mod and BoomLays craftables and things to furnish it. That’s just the beginning of our PVE with PVP zones server.
New server AI!!!
Mods * RemoteDoors * Ammo Making * Survivor Animations * Dayz_Insanity_Server * Airdrop-Upgraded * PVEZ Reloaded * Bed-Respawning * Building Fortifications * The Complete Ghillie Pack * RUSForma_vehicles * Community Framework * PvZmoD The Dark Horde * Lightsword * PvZmoD Customisable Zombies * AdvancedBanking * Trader Mod * DNA Keycards * WindstrideClothing * Helicopter Mod * Admirals Parachute Mod * Stalker Snork * RaG_Viking_Pack * LIGHTS * Ear Plugs * Tactical Flava * DayZ Dog * Mask Models * Animals_Upgrades_Brutal * AJs Creatures * BoomLay's Things * COCAs_NoVehicleDamageMOD * CodeLock * CannabisPlus * R22R_Mechanics_PUBLIC * R22R_Base_Fortifications * Basic Territories * MuchCarKey * Doc's Car Fixes * FlipTransport * dbo_grip * dbo_surfaces * CJ187-RandomFuelpumps * SchanaModParty * ArmA 2 Props Pack * VPPAdminTools * AmmoMakingSDump * CJ187_Public
DayZ Insanity server pack
- Trader Container
- CS Map Objectives
- Nehr Stuff
- Unknown Beer Pack
- Zen’s Artillery Strike Grenades
- TF:Battery Meter
- Tanned Pelt Mod
- Helicopter landing pad
- GAREA Leaderboard
- Item Info
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2023.06.04 21:58 Schlachterhund Climate activism of the elect
[This is a translated excerpt from Clemens Traub’s “Future for Fridays?”. It’s a reflection about his time as an activist in “Fridays for Future” – the German branch of “School Strike for Climate”. The specific problems of western environmentalism adressed therein is germane to the issue of dysfunctional leftism often discussed on stupidpol and as far as I can tell nothing of this unique to Germany. The book is from 2020 and by now the movement “Fridays for Future” basically defunct. Meanwhile, the preferred tactic of current activists is it to glue themselves on main roads during rush hour. This protest method obviously affects working class people most, who usually have to physically show up at work (and often have to use cars to do so), and is less disruptive for the WFH email caste. The result of this is, surprisingly, a staggering 80+% disapproval rating for the climate organization “Last Generation” which is doing this.]
I know the typical milieu of most “Fridays for Future” protesters well. In a way, it's my own and that of my current circle of friends: metropolitan, left-liberal, hip. A space for the daughters of doctors to meet the sons of lawyers. Gin tasting and discussions about plastic-free shopping and zero waste are equally high on the agenda. Veganism is as much part of the unspoken code of being trendy as frequenting second-hand shops. And the organic grocery store around the corner naturally enhances the location of your own home.
The offspring of the professional class keep to themselves. Does the climate movement represent a cross-section of society? Not even close! Fridays for Future is the rebellion of the privileged, and the movement offers them the perfect opportunity to flaunt their own cosmopolitan lifestyle and talent.
Many of my climate-concerned friends are questioning whether the social background of the demonstrators matters at all. Isn't that absolutely unimportant? The main thing, they are convinced, is that the earth is saved. It doesn't matter by whom. The population has been silent for long enough, and now it is finally time to stand up.
I admit that the consistency of this chain of thought was extremely appealing to me and that using social origin as an argument against a group is of course nonsensical. The outlined combative spirit also enthralled me at first. At the beginning of my participation in "Fridays for Future", saving the world was the only thing that counted for me. It didn’t matter who stood by my side. And it still wouldn’t matter for me today.
But what matters to me is the behavior and reasoning of the people protesting with me. And here the circle closes, because the social background reveals more about the movement than the demonstrators would like to admit.
In fact, I take the view that the exclusive social background of the young protesters is the actual birth defect of "Fridays for Future". But because the movement was far too homogeneous, far too elitist and correspondingly far too aloof right from the start, its members remained oblivious to it. Ultimately, only those who are doing well in material terms have the time and leisure to consider climate protection as the most important and also the only political issue of our time and to subordinate everything else to it.
Located in its ivory tower, the movement doesn't even notice that its criticism is leveled at the lifestyle of many economically disadvantaged people, who for financial reasons do not always have a choice. They are denounced as climate sinners because they don't shop in health food stores but at discounters. It never occurs to the demonstrators that there are people whose worries about ever-increasing electricity bills and rental charges make a discussion about forgoing air travel irrelevant from the outset.
And how could they? In their sheltered world, all of that is very far away. But that is exactly what makes the movement a risk, because it jeopardizes the already fragile cohesion of our society. For a large part of the population, however, other, more pressing everyday concerns prevail. For those who are afraid of being affected by job cuts in view of the announcements by the industry, the slashing and burning of tropical rain forest is currently of secondary importance.
Likewise, the extinction of exotic animal species is very far away for someone who worries every day about their tenuous retirement arrangements. That doesn't mean that everyday worries should completely obscure the problems of climate change, but it does explain why climate change is not the first priority for people with existential concerns.
It also explains why measures to save the climate must take economic concerns into account. And it explains why more and more people are wondering whether protesters will finally also take to the streets to deal with their everyday distress: lack affordable housing, declining pensions... plenty of issues exist.
The entire political discourse, both between the parties and outside of parliament, on the street, completely ignores the reality of life for many people in Germany! And I can well imagine that that's not a good feeling for many. The public discussions, which are often far removed from everyday life, exclude less privileged people. The result: we are all sitting on a social powder keg.
I don't originally hail from this metropolitan milieu, but grew up in a region that is often dismissed as "rural backwater". Publications such as "Landlust" and "Landleben" [trendy magazines promoting life in the country side] fulfill the longing of city dwellers for pure nature, but this dream only seems to apply to those people who consciously decide to have a weekend house in the forest. However, anyone who grew up in a rural environment will hardly benefit from this.
My parents live in the Palatinate. I grew up there too. My heart clings to the region, it is scenically beautiful with rows of wine-growing villages. But for an urbanite in pursuit of self-actualization it has to be the worst nightmare. In case your are unfamiliar with Palatinate’s culture: Schlachtfest
instead of whiskey tasting. Very few apartments are actually furnished in this “country style” featured in the magazines. My home village isn’t shooting location for documentaries about gentrification. Maybe a camera team will get lost in one of our many hamlets at a Saumagen
-centered village festival. But that would be pretty rare.
Drowsy villages provide the perfect backdrop while growing up. An ideal, idyllic world. But the older I got, the more I was drawn to the big city. I longed for a place that was more vibrant than the Palatinate and which could offer me more adventures and opportunities on the way to adulthood. Precisely this big, wide world I longed for. And I today I indeed enjoy its advantages. Whenever I drive home today, I have a feeling that two worlds that don't really have much to do with each other are colliding.
Shortly after attending my first Fridays for Future rallies, I paid another visit to my old homeland – these are becoming less and less frequent. When I enthusiastically told my acquaintances there about my experiences at the recent "Fridays for Future" demonstrations, I quickly realized how little they were interested. Out of pure friendship and politeness, they listened to me with half an ear.
I was quite surprised by that. What was the most hotly debated topic of recent weeks in my university town was met with absolute indifference among my old school friends here. They were more interested in the last day of the Bundesliga match or their last Tinder date than in the great climate revolution.
To be honest, I was initially disappointed and then increasingly angry at this lack of interest. While we young people in the big cities are trying to save our planet, the people in my home village are letting us down, I thought. Don't they understand that they too only have one planet at their disposal, just like us from "Fridays for Future"? Luckily, out of politeness, I kept those thoughts to myself.
In the days that followed, I started hearing disparaging comments about Fridays for Future with increasing frequency. In the eyes of my old friends, the movement was an "eco-sect", the self-promotion of big-city, left-wing weirdos. Someone called Greta Thunberg a "deranged menace". In addition to insults, they appeared to become increasingly bothered by the patronizing demeanor of many Fridays for Future protesters, who seem to perceive ICE-car drivers and meat eaters as second-class citizens.
The more often this happened, the deeper the wedge was driven between my current city life and my origins in my home village in the Palatinate. Between my old and my new world. For the first time in my life, I was just happy when I was able to drive back to the big city: finally the ideal world again, even if it was on the verge of collapse.
Ever since that visit, I've been quite hypersensitive whenever my enthusiasm for "Fridays for Future" wasn't shared 100 percent. In my eyes, there were simply only climate heroes on the one hand and climate sinners on the other. The absolute good or absolute bad – and nothing in between! It was only later that I realized how much I was already influenced by the “Fridays for Future” movement.
At first I could only offer my my old acquaintances reproaches. I accused them of being apolitical and uninformed about the world anyway. A mechanism of exclusion that is very common in "Fridays for Future", as I later realized. After all, at university I even mocked my old acquaintances as provincials, something I had always hated myself when my new metropolitan friends teased me about it.
But it was so much easier to just dismiss them as uninformed "provincials" than to argue with them and take them seriously. I didn't ask why my friends from my old home country saw "Fridays for Future" as arrogant or aloof, I didn't care at the time. Possible self-doubts could not arise in the first place.
I didn't anticipate, that this would actually fiercely play up in me over the coming weeks! I thought more and more about the experiences in my home country. It just wouldn't let me go. Where does the rejection of “Fridays for Future” come from, I asked myself. Where does the indifference in the face of urgent global climate problems come from? How could it be that my friends didn't see those and that they didn't comprehend the seriousness of the situation? I looked for answers but couldn't find any.
For several weeks, every Friday, there was no longer any plastic dishware in the university cafeteria. This gesture, following the "Fridays for Future" demonstrations, was intended to set an example for environmental protection. What should have caused storms of enthusiasm in theory, however, meant a very special kind of chaos in practice: balancing a piece of raspberry cake on your bare hand without a plate is more difficult than it might sound. Once the first piece of cake hit the floor, a discussion about the plastic boycott quickly broke out in the canteen.
It immediately turned out that the cashiers could only laugh at what they considered to be an idiotic ban on plastic. Their statements shocked many of my fellow students, who are big "FfF" fans. Instead of relaxed humorous small talk, my fellow students reacted with deadly seriousness. In the heat of the moment, the cashiers were even treated with extremely condescending insults. I will never forget how my fellow students lost all human decency that day in the supposed fight for climate protection. For the first time I noticed how fanatical and arrogant many of my "FfF" acquaintances had long since become.
After that event, something actually changed in me. But I didn't want to admit it to myself at first. But the more often I demonstrated at "Fridays for Future", the more alien the movement became to me. Today I know: It took an event like the one in the university canteen or a stay in my old home country to open my eyes and to realize how important sincerely attempting to understand other realms of experience before applying crude labels to people. Due to its exclusionary megalomania, “Fridays for Future” is incapable of this realization. But only a person who approaches other people, takes them seriously and wants to understand their everyday lives will be listened to. Only those people can actually affect something. They might even, in the best case scenario, save our planet!
While "Fridays for Future" was unable to make inroads my home village’s community, the media was showed more interest. Interviews with activists became more and more frequent on television. The talk shows couldn't get enough of them. "Markus Lanz", "Anne Will" or "Hart aber Fair": All of them had at least one "FfF" activist to visit. The more I saw them there, the more their arrogant demeanor bothered me. I suddenly switched off people who I still saw as inspiring personalities a few months ago. They kept raising their index fingers admonishingly. Looking down from the ivory tower at anyone who disagreed.
Finger wagging was slowly but surely becoming the hallmark of the movement. Their image of the enemy was crystal clear. Their worldview is dangerously one-dimensional. My big city friends suddenly fought everyone they saw as being complicit in the misery of the world: the meat eaters, the plastic bag carriers, the ICE-car drivers, the short-haul fliers, the long-haul fliers, the cruise tourists, the farmers, and of course the evil SUV owners. But honestly, don't we all belong to one of these groups from time to time?
Once they suddenly started cursing anyone who accidentally commits a tiny climate sin, even if it's just incorrect sorting of trash, I felt like they were in the ultimate battle against the rest of humanity. Elitist hubris everywhere I looked. In their moral arrogance they were (and still are) completely unaware of how many "normal" people they alienated by doing so. My assessment that "Fridays for Future" is primarily a movement of socially privileged young people has now been backed up by corresponding figures. The Berlin “Institute for Protest and Movement Research” got to the bottom of the social composition of the climate movement. On March 15, 2019, it surveyed “Fridays for Future” protesters at rallies in Berlin and Bremen. The study was financed by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen-affiliated "Heinrich Böll Foundation".
The study’s results were illuminating: More than 90 percent of those surveyed stated that they had at least completed their Abitur (or advanced technical college entrance qualification) or were currently striving to do so. An overwhelming majority of 90 percent! Not even 1 percent of the demonstrators attended secondary schools [which prepare pupils for non-academic vocational training]. Almost two-thirds of the students considered themselves to be in the upper-middle class. Even before that, I had no doubt that "Fridays for Future" is a movement of the affluent. But what I read in this study surpassed my estimated. "Fridays for Future" does not in any way represent a cross-section of society, as has often been claimed.
I was surprised how little the sobering result of the study was then discussed. Society had to be informed about the privileged background and the resulting aloofness of the young protesters. Doesn't this change the entire perspective on the defining social debate of the last few months?
The figureheads of the movement in particular all come from the “most bourgeois” background. For example, we have Luisa Neubauer, the best-known German "Fridays for Future" activist. She grew up in the relatively expensive Elbe suburb of Iserbrook in Hamburg. Everyone in Hamburg knows: Not exactly a residential area that is known for its social housing. She did her Abitur in Hamburg-Blankenese. It is Hamburg's villa district par excellence. Sightseeing buses now offer tours through the district to present the magnificent villas to curious tourists. She is a scholarship holder of the party-affiliated foundation Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and is also a member of the party. So nothing stands in the way of a career in politics, she says so herself. "I don't want to rule out a career in politics," she told Zeit Campus, for example. [Neubauer is, in fact, a scion of the oligarchical Reemtsma clan; so is her cousin, another figurehead of the movement]
It’s less a rebellion from below and more a case of perfect self-marketing. But now cracks do appear in this underdog stage production. Today Luisa Neubauer can only be reached via her management. Demonstrators as pop stars! And of course you can't just talk to them on the street when you're demonstrating together. At least not with “Fridays for Future”. Please, what a naive notion! Although there are also critics of the excessive portrayal of people within the "Fridays for Future" movement, there is no real change in sight.
In the meantime, the climate movement has become one thing in particular: a career springboard for ambitious young elites. "Fridays for Future" is the perfect stage to make a name for yourself. Many of the educated offspring of academics are of course aware of this. The more media attention, the more attractive it is to be in the front row. Supposedly idealistic activism can now be marketed very well.
But not only the figureheads like Luisa Neubauer want to get some of the public spotlight. More and more "Neubauer disciples" are trying their luck in the "Fridays for Future" profiling machine. There we have, to name just a few examples, Linus Steinmetz, Carla Reemtsma or Sebastian Grieme.
Getting an appearance on a talk show or at least being able to read your name in the newspaper - all of this can become an opportunity of a lifetime. Being in the front row not only feels incredibly good, it is also a kind of free ticket for later professional life. And as if that wasn't enough: A flood of new Instagram followers is of course also a fantastic side effect. With this in mind: full speed ahead!
Who could object? Everyone is looking for recognition. Doesn't everyone want to take advantage of the opportunities in their life? And finally, every society needs ambitious young people who will later enrich politics, business and culture.
At best, people who want to be the center of attention also bear responsibility for themselves and others. So far no problem, you might think at first.
But how will many people with limited financial resources feel when those rebels who constantly lash out at the lifestyles of others take advantage of it for themselves? While many citizens have to accept new climate costs in their everyday lives, they also experience how Luisa Neubauer is offered a position on the supervisory board at Siemens. In view of this, the suspicion of many people that climate activists are making careers at the expense of other citizens is all too understandable.
I have other concerns as well. In our time, the frustration with the elites is growing. The "enraged citizen phenomenon" has become one of the most discussed topics of this decade. Intellectuals around the world are concerned about the cause of this worrying development. Our society is currently experiencing a "rift" between two major population groups. In an anthology they edited, the political and social scientists Wolfgang Merkel, Ruud Koopmans and Michael Zürn differentiate between “cosmopolitans” and “communitarians”.
There are those who benefit from the future and are therefore relaxed about it. Above all, they see opportunities in it and view the globalization of our world with optimism. This group is referred to as cosmopolitans. But many people are also afraid of change. They believe that the future will not hold anything good and, potentially, only the ever-possible economic decline. Given the "opening" of the world, communitarians see the dangers in particular. They often have the feeling that they are not really noticed by society's elite.
The well-known distinction between “anywheres” and “somewheres” by the British journalist and author David Goodhart supports this finding. Goodhart distinguishes "anywheres" who are educated, wealthy and will feel at home in their circles around the world, and "somewheres". They belong to completely different social milieus and are relegated to a specific place where they work, live, have their friends and struggle to assert their status.
Most "Fridays for Future" activists know: the future belongs to them. Many have the classic biography of a cosmopolitan. Because of their social background, they were born with everything they needed to benefit from our system. Everything is just right: the appearance, the social environment and of course the education.
Although they face the end of the world as a constant threat, their future does not scare them. Why? The doors are wide open for them. They master the complicated rules of our individualized knowledge society very well. You will do your internship in Brussels and not in Bottrop. Better the EU Commission than retail, a sector without future anyway. And also: cultivate connections! Your English vocabulary is usually larger than German. Perfectly prepared for the future, come what may - because they are the elite of tomorrow. The dangerous thing about it: most of the demonstrators are not even aware of this.
The well-trained "Fridays for Future" activists prefer to see themselves as misunderstood outsiders in society. Being an outsider is what makes rebellion sexy. At the same time I say to myself: What must a socially disadvantaged person think when suddenly wealthy cosmopolitans like to play the role of the outsider! And they don't just like it the role. No, they are really putting effort into staging it.
The classic distribution of roles between "perpetrator" and "victim" in the social context is thus turned upside down in a negligent manner: no longer the single mother and multi-jobber is seen as a victim of the existing social conditions, but the climate-conscious scholarship holder who has to experience how the consumption of affordable meat endangers our environment.
But that's not all: instead of listening to the concerns of hard-working people, they blame them for their environmentally unfriendly diesel car, which they need for their daily commute to work.
Instead of considering questions of justice with "Fridays for Future", the movement reduced itself from the start to questions of lifestyle. In my circle of friends, too, the extinction of species is simply cooler than poverty in old age and the issue of gender is hipper than low basic pension.
Above all, the privileged know the social code of the new “morally good” life. The new green-bourgeois bearing regulates the friend-foe scheme of the climate debate. A mechanism of exclusion that often pushes fellow citizens who are already worse off even further aside. A good person has long been only someone who can show an ecologically sound certificate of good conduct. The existential feeling of many that they just have to somehow make ends meet does not exist in the living environment of the (upper) bourgeois offspring. In the climate debate of the last few months, worlds have collided that couldn't be more different. Worlds that are moving further and further apart.
[The author doesn’t mention it, but the social milieu that makes up the bulk of the climate movement is also very fond of importing Anglo-inspired race discourse. Towards the end of its decline, they were increasingly caught in purity spirals. For example: should white musicians with dreadlocks be allowed to play during happenings?
The study from “Institute for Protest and Movement Research” also examined ethnicity of the protesters: they are predominantly of ethnic German stock, much more so than the average German citizen. Who could have known?]
submitted by Schlachterhund
to stupidpol [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 21:50 UnEazyNoid Seriously considering this.
2023.06.04 21:48 Steffenmand [WTS] 💥💥Warbond Central💥💥 50+ Warbond/Cost Saving CCUs - Save vs RSI 💥💥 Various OC 💥💥 All Ships available as CCU'd with LTI 💥💥 Crazy Warbond upgrade deals - Save BIG! 💥💥 All standard upgrades available - jusk ask! 💥💥 Special Paints 💥💥 Buy 3 or more upgrades and save further 10%
Lots of warbond CCU's, ships and paints available - get the same ships, just at reduced prices!
Looking for something specific? Ctrl+F and search for it quickly!
|From ||To ||Comment ||Savings vs RSI ||Your Price |
|Terrapin ||Constellation Andromeda || ||$ 10 💥 ||$ 10 |
|Vulcan ||Scorpius || ||$ 22.50💥 ||$ 17.50 |
|Mercury ||Redeemer || ||$ 22.50💥 ||$ 42.50 |
|Vanguard Harbinger ||MOLE ||120m Insurance ||$ 12.50💥 ||$ 12.50 |
*Exempt from extra 10% discount
💥💥Best in Show
|From ||To ||Comment ||Your Price |
|P-52 Merlin ||Argo MPUV-1C ||IAE 2951 (Blue Paint) ||$ 15 |
|Prowler ||600i Explorer ||IAE 2951 (Blue Paint) ||$ 115 |
|Vulcan ||Scorpius ||IAE 2952 (Red Paint) ||$ 50 |
|Cutlass Steel ||Mercury ||IAE 2952 (Red Paint) ||$ 40 |
|M2 Hercules ||Carrack ||IAE 2952 (Red Paint) ||$ 125 - Last One |
|MPUV Cargo ||C8X Pisces Expedition ||IAE 2952 (Red Paint) ||$ 25 |
|Aurora LX ||C8X Pisces Expedition ||IAE 2952 (Red Paint) ||$ 25 |
Need any upgrades to reach any of those above? - Reach out, I have them available as well.
Special & Warbond CCU's
(and other cost-saving CCUs)
Need any upgrades to reach any of those below? - Reach out, I have them available as well.
|From ||To ||Comment ||Savings vs RSI ||Your Price |
|Prowler ||600i Explorer ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 30 |
|Carrack ||A2 Hercules ||120m Insurance ||$ 10 ||$ 140 |
|Hurricane ||Ares Inferno || ||$ 5 ||$ 35 |
|P-52 Merlin ||Argo MPUV-1C ||120m Insurance, Best in Show 2021 ||Not purchaseable ||$ 15 |
|Arrow ||Avenger Warlock || ||Same ||$ 10 |
|Cyclone MT ||Avenger Warlock ||120m Insurance ||Same ||$ 10 |
|F7C-S Hornet Ghost ||Ballista ||120m Insurance ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|RAFT ||Ballista ||120m Insurance ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|MPUV Cargo ||C8X Pisces Expedition ||120m Insurance, Best in Show 2022 ||Not purchaseable ||$ 25 |
|Aurora LX ||C8X Pisces Expedition ||120m Insurance, Best in Show 2022 ||Not purchaseable ||$ 25 |
|M2 Hercules ||Carrack ||120m Insurance, Best in Show 2022 ||Not purchaseable ||$ 125 |
|Starfarer ||Caterpillar ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 25 |
|Eclipse ||Caterpillar ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 25 |
|Hull A ||Centurion || ||$ 5 ||$ 15 |
|Terrapin ||Constellation Andromeda || ||$ 10 ||$ 10💥 |
|Defender ||Constellation Andromeda || ||$ 5 ||$ 15 |
|Defender ||Corsair || ||$ 5 ||$ 25 |
|Terrapin ||Corsair || ||$ 5 ||$ 25 |
|Nova ||Cutlass Red ||120m Insurance ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|125a ||Cyclone MT ||120m Insurance ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|F7C-M Super Hornet Heartseeker ||Defender || ||$ 5 ||$ 20 |
|Blade ||Eclipse ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 20 |
|Retaliator Bomber ||Eclipse ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 20 |
|Vanguard Sentinel ||Eclipse ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 20 |
|Cutlass Red ||Freelancer MAX || ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|Mantis ||Gladiator ||120m Insurance ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|Freelancer MAX ||Gladiator ||120m Insurance ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|Cyclone MT ||Gladius || ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|Arrow ||Hull A || ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|F7C-M Super Hornet ||Hurricane || ||$ 10.00 ||$ 25 |
|Cutlass Red ||Mantis ||120m Insurance ||$ 2.50 ||$ 12.50 |
|M2 Hercules ||Merchantman || ||$ 10 ||$ 120 |
|Cutlass Steel ||Mercury ||120m Insurance, Best in Show 2022 ||Not purchaseable ||$ 40 |
|Cutlass Steel ||Mercury ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 20 |
|Vanguard Hoplite ||Mercury ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 20 |
|Vanguard Harbinger ||MOLE ||120m Insurance ||$ 5 ||$ 20 |
|C2 Hercules ||Prowler || ||$ 10 ||$ 30 |
|Mercury ||Redeemer || ||$ 20 ||$ 45 |
|Vulcan ||Scorpius ||120m Insurance ||$ 15 💥 ||$ 25 |
|Vulcan ||Scorpius ||120m Insurance, Best in Show 2022 ||Not purchaseable ||$ 50 |
|F7C-M Super Hornet Heartseeker ||Scorpius Antares || ||$ 5 ||$ 35 |
|Mercury ||Starfarer || ||$ 7.50 ||$ 32.50 |
|Mercury ||Vanguard Harbinger || ||$ 5 ||$ 25 |
|Constellation Andromeda ||Vanguard Warden || ||$ 2.50 ||$ 17.50 |
|Scorpius ||Vanguard Warden || ||$ 2.50 ||$ 17.50 |
|F7C-S Hornet Ghost ||Vulture ||120m Insurance ||$ 7.50 ||$ 42.50 |
|Cutlass Red ||Vulture || ||$ 5 ||$ 35 |
|Freelancer DUR ||Vulture || ||$ 5 ||$ 35 |
|Razor ||Vulture || ||$ 5 ||$ 25 |
Need any upgrades to reach any of those above ? - Reach out, I have them available as well. Original Concepts Standalone Ships
CCU'd Ships (LTI)
|Ship ||Comment ||Your Price |
|Pioneer ||120 Months ||$1100 |
|Orion ||LTI OC ||$995 |
|Starfarer ||LTI OC ||$290 |
|Starfarer Gemini ||LTI OC ||$355 |
|Banu Defender ||LTI OC ||$220 |
|Retaliator Heavy Bomber ||LTI OC ||$315 |
|Caterpillar ||LTI OC ||$375 |
|F7C-M Super Hornet ||LTI OC ||$225 |
|Freelancer ||LTI OC ||$130 |
|Endeavor Discovery-Class ||LTI OC ||$675 |
|Hull E ||LTI OC ||$1450 |
:I can do all ships just reach out - the few below just reflects a few examples.
|Ship ||Comment ||Your Price |
|400i || ||$215 |
|600i Explorer || ||$415 |
|A2 Hercules || ||$545 |
|Apollo Triage || ||$215 |
|Ares Inferno || ||$215 |
|Ares Ion || ||$215 |
|Blade || ||$235 |
|Corsair || ||$225 |
|Crucible || ||$285 |
|Endeavor || ||$305 |
|Hammerhead || ||$525 |
|Hull C || ||$285 |
|Merchantman || ||$455 |
|Mercury || ||$225 |
|Nautilus || ||$525 |
|Polaris || ||$545 |
|Scorpius || ||$205 |
|Vanguard Warden || ||$225 |
All ships available - so just reach out for a price regarding anything else Endeavor Components
|Components ||Comment ||Your Price |
|Telescope Array Pod ||LTI ||$200 |
|Supercollider Pod ||LTI ||$200 |
|Paints ||Comment ||Your Price |
|Invictus Paints ||All of them available ||ASK |
|Lovestruck Paints ||All of them available ||ASK |
|Fortuna Paints ||All of them available ||ASK |
|Auspicious Red Paints ||All of them available ||ASK |
|Skull and Crossbones ||Cutlass Black Pirate Paint ||ASK |
|Concierge Paints ||A lot of them ||ASK |
Before you reach out please beware that:
* I only trade with Verified accounts
and PayPal verified
* You have to PM me
to initiate trading. Please do comment with PMd in the comments
* I will send out a PayPal Invoice after an agreement has been made in dollars ($), I pay the fees
* I only gift to the same e-mail as your paypal
* The gift will be sent after
payment is received
* I expect us both to verify the exchange afterwards with +trade/+verify (currently down)
Let me know if you are searching for something specific - because i might have it. Backer since 2014.
submitted by Steffenmand
to Starcitizen_trades [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 21:39 Less-Act-8258 Approved without interviews
| || |
I would like to thanks this group and give you all the best for who still waiting. My case got approved without interviews after expedited 2 times. Decisions came after expedited 2 days PD date Oct,19,22. New York,NY 228 days of waiting submitted by Less-Act-8258 to USCIS [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 21:21 KiKiKittyNinja Office Politics with a Kevin: Part 1
Greetings fellow beard scientists!
It's, uh… It's been a hot minute since I last posted a story here. Like, nearly a year. I've been trying to write up a story of some bronies that got banned from a comic store I used to volunteer at as well as some of the stories of my childhood of being raised by a legbeard, but… 2022 was not a kind year. In fact, if you like, starting with my next part, I can go into what happened to me last year since it does weirdly tie into how I was forced to work with the specimen of this series. After all, what is life if not a strange series of domino effects leading to greater outcomes that no one would have ever expected? My tale may be tragic, but Kevin's is tooth-grindingly dripping with schadenfreude.
So, let's fucking go!
Story 1: A Proto-Kevin Story 1, ironically, will not feature Kevin. Instead, it features a Proto-Kevin I will call Devin. I though of calling him Kemo, like Kevin Demo, but I was scared that ReddX would pronounce it like Chemo and though interacting with Devin sometimes felt as excruciating as slow dripping poisons directly into your veins– at least chemotherapy serves a purpose. Devin would prove to be a disaster of a person to such a caliber no one could predict, and has caused issues that I am still fixing nearly 3 months later.
Back in mid-January, I was working hard to train some of my coworkers to know how to do my job. At this point in time, I was the only buyer in my company and I had been since October. Even before my senior buyer moved onto greener pastures, I had been the one largely in charge of placing orders, chasing down items, and doing expedites, and anytime I had been out for more than 2 days the whole office would creep to a stop with people freaking out as to what to do without me. Now, I know that sounds like not-so-humble bragging, but when the top of the food chain comes halfway across the country to thank you personally for handling an issue with a military project that could have gone really badly had we not saved a paper trail showing that we were not to blame for the 4 month delay of a project that could have cost us a quarter million, you start to realize what sort of pressure you've willingly put yourself into. As such, I was making a step-by-step slideshow on how to place orders or customer supply orders since I was about to go out of town the following week to go on a week-long trip with my family. It was as I was explaining how to submit info into Purchase Advisor that the production manager, let's call her Fae, walks into my cubicle with a troubled expression.
"Hey Kitty. Do you have a moment?"
"Yeah. Just working on the slides like you asked. What's up?"
"Well…" Fae pursed her lips for a moment, looking a little frustrated, before finding her words. "You know how we've been looking for a new buyer ever since Sergeant left?"
"Yeah. I know you've had a lot of people coming in…"
"Well, the good news is that we found someone." I must have made a face, because Fae reluctantly followed up with, "Well, Caligula hired this new guy. I actually never got to meet him."
Ah, and there was the rub. Caligula is our location manager. Caligula had already been a little bit of a narcissist, but without Sergeant to openly defy him he had straight up gone into a power trip where he felt like he had to prove what a capable leader he was! Hell, on the day of the company Christmas Cookie exchange/ ugly sweater party, he made a female employee cry and then proceeded to passive-aggressively shame her in front of the whole team via a "mandatory group meeting" with a 30 minute speech that could be summarized into the phrase, "If you hate working here so much, then leave!" Three employees quit within 2 weeks of this incident. Stupid prizes, I suppose.
The reason for my concern had to do with the fact that Caligula was clearly trying to take some short-cuts in solving the issue of putting a 29 year old woman with a year of experience and a crumbling personal life in charge of keeping an entire company's finances. This shortcut included putting Fae in charge as a supervisor to my department, that way I was answering to someone, but that just meant yet another thing on Fae's plate. To top it off, he was going behind our backs when finding a new employee just as Fae and I were getting on the same page and learning to truly communicate, which showed he wasn't interested in knowing what purchasing needed since clearly Caligula, King of Cables, knew what was best.
I sighed a little, but gave Fae a small smile, "Well, hey! Maybe this is a good thing! I mean, it would have been nice if he asked for our input, but what can you do? Did he say anything about our new buyer?"
"All I really know is that he was a buyer for for about 15 years as a freelancer of sorts. And Devin is supposed to start the Monday after you come back from your vacation." She then gave a little bit of a playful smirk before saying, "Are you sure you need to go for a whole week?"
I gave a small snort before rolling my eyes and turning back towards my computer. "After all the bullshit this divorce has put me through, I need to get the hell out of town for a week. Besides, I don't think even Walt Disney himself could keep my mom from dragging me down to Florida at this point. I've just about finished this slide on how to use the Suggestion List to place your orders while I'm gone. I'll start the slide on how to manually input POs, and if I have time I'll also make one for Customer Supply parts. If I hear anything about that list you gave me, I'll let you know."
"Thanks, Kitty! Keep me posted." With that, Fae walked off, and the rest of the week proceeded more or less as usual.
Fast forward two weeks. I walked into the office, expecting to meet my new colleague. I was told he'd be in the cubicle next to mine, but it was distinctively empty. Weird, but whatever. It wasn't my place to worry about if someone was on time or not, so I shrugged it off and proceeded to mind my own business. Some odd twenty-something minutes later, the doorbell rang. I went to the door, and there stood who I would soon learn was Devin.
Devin was a scraggly and worn down individual. I'll short cut my description of him by saying this– you know how in Japanese dramas you tend to have that one office worker character who looks like he's working on a combined total of 5 hours of sleep this week and is only being kept alive via canned coffees and 3 packs of cigarettes a day, all while looking longingly to the stairs that lead to the roof? So picture this poor, barely kempt, husk of a man whose dreams died long before the blade of his razor blade dulled too much to tackle the whisper of whiskers on his upper lip, and put him into khakis and a sloppy dress shirt. He stood a little hunched over, almost like he was uncertain if he was in the right place. He gave a wry and nervous little smile before speaking up.
"Uh… I'm looking for… Ah, they're a manager? I think their name starts with an A?"
I felt my face scrunch up as I thought this over. Now, even if I am using altered names to protect the bearded, the innocent, and my job, we don't have any managers whose name starts with an A. Fae's real name could sound like it starts with an A if you missed the first letter, but I proceeded to press.
"Did you happen to speak to someone before you came over?"
"Do you happen to know if it was a man or a woman you spoke to?"
He gave the human equivalent to the dial-up tone, and I smiled politely to him.
"Tell you what, why don't you come in, and I'll see if I can find either Fae or Caligu–"
"Maybe her, but Caligraphy hired me." I blinked for a moment. Caligula's irl name might be slightly unconventional spelled, but it's phonetic enough not to mess it up. This guy completely whiffed our boss's name. Still, he was new, and I suck at remembering names, so who am I to judge?
I returned the polite smile to my face. "Ah. So you're the new purchasing team member? Nice to meet you! I'm Kitty. Fae said you'd be next to me, so I'll show you to your cubicle so you can settle in, and then I'll go find her."
He did not return the greeting, nor did he give me his name.
I showed him to his desk before I scurried off, and I let Fae know that our newest team member was here. You'd think she'd be thrilled, but she furrowed her brow before checking her watch. "He only just came in? He said he'd be here at 7:30, and it's past 8:20." She stood from her desk in the warehouse and asked that I join her and the new guy in the meeting room so that we could all be introduced properly.
The first meeting itself was pretty uneventful. Besides Devin reiterating what we already knew--15 years of purchasing experience, his last job being with Major Airline Company, and being hire by Caligula– I also got his name about halfway through the meeting (his name was asked at the beginning, and it took Fae asking him at 3 separate points to, ya know, answer that basic question), learned he was married with a kid, that his wife had threatened to divorce him if they continued to both work at Major Airline Company, that Devin has a hard time separating from work and personal life, and how he's thankful to be back to working in an office. He asked about my commute time, and when I relayed that I have to drive 40 minutes just to get to the office, Devin scoffed and said, "I would never work that far off again. I'm so glad I work just 5 minutes down the road!"
Now, this got a look from Fae and I. The obvious is because this dude was nearly an hour late to work on his first day, despite being 5 minutes down the road. The other reason was because Fae knew this was a bit of a sore spot for me. I had been only 15 minutes away, but with me being mid-divorce and paying off some hefty medical bills… Well, there was a reason I was now stuck with an hour+ commute back and forth 5 days a week. This new dude obviously didn't know that though, and I winced up a smile to politely say, "Oh! That's pretty lucky for you. Hopefully I'll be in the same boat soon."
The rest of the meeting went uneventful, and as we all left the room, Fae did pull Devin aside to chide him for being so late before asking him to follow me to my desk to learn how we do things in our company as well as some of my tips and tricks to get our system to work since Devin had never worked with our OS before.
This pseudo training ended up being a different kind of uneventful. You see, Devin had brought a notepad and pen to learn how the system worked…. Both went completely unused. I'd check in with him to ask if he had any notes or questions and he just replied with, "No. This seems pretty basic," and, "This seems easy enough." Alrighty. I'll admit my job usually isn't too complicated, but he was definitely far more interested in babbling on about his life to the point he'd interrupt me in order to talk about his family. He reiterated that he and his wife had worked at Major Airline Company together for several years and how she threatened to divorce him if he didn't quit his job and seek employment elsewhere. He spoke a lot about his son while revealing nothing about his kid outside of general good feelings towards his child. I heard a lot about his life story, and he never once asked me any questions. Not about life. Not about work. He just wanted to talk about himself endlessly while saying nothing at all.
By the end of the day, Fae asked what I thought about Devin.
"He's friendly…. He likes to socialize."
"Did the training go well?"
"Um… hard to tell. He didn't take any notes or really ask any work related questions. After a while, I just ended up doing my usual work while he chatted in the background. He said he understood what was going on, but when I asked if he wanted to try any of the things I was showing him he said nah, I'm good and kept chatting."
Fae pressed her lips in concern and took note.
For the next few weeks, Devin would show up whenever he could. You might think I mean that in the sense that things would come up and he'd call out. No no. He'd roll into the office at whatever time he felt like. He was confirmed for a 7:30 start time, but there were many mornings I'd get to the office long before him and he'd have some half-assed excuse for being late. At one point, Caligula did a company meeting praising Devin, despite Devin having done literally nothing. In fact, as I was looking over some of our recent orders, I was noting a pattern. Any order placed with Devin were unconfirmed, prices were all over the place, he was sending requests to the wrong vendors (think ordering fans from a place that specializes in wires despite our suggestion list listing someone else).
Eventually, corporate decided to bring Devin into headquarters for a week's worth of training since they realized he was causing a lot of issues. Two days after coming back from his corporate training, he tried having me order a military-grade item for a government contract off of Amazon saying, "This part isn't available anywhere else, and Kitty is the only one with the authority to buy off of Amazon in the office!" He had been given the task of buying this 1 item and spent 4 hours trying to find this part. As he whined to Fae about the impossibility of finding this part, I managed to find, purchase, and confirm shipping from the vendor we had in the vendor's list. The look on Fae's face was almost on par with Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star.
Two days later, Fae pulled me into the meeting room to inform me that Devin was no longer a part of the team. This man, who had been brought in to be the head of my department, lasted 2 and a half weeks. In that time, he attempted to do some work… but mostly he just caused more issues than he solved. I was still cleaning up his mistakes 3 months after his departure. Fae also took this time to let me know that she was pushing for me to become the head of my department. I'd be lying if I didn't say this had me super excited. After nearly 4 months of managing the purchasing department alone, it'd be amazing to be paid a living wage that could turn my life around. Plus, I like validation. I'm not ashamed to admit sometimes a little "Good job kiddo!" is all it takes to string me along on whatever bullshit I've been dragged into. I beamed for the entire rest of the day, excited for the possibilities that lay ahead of me…
And that is when Kevin entered the arena with a company-wide email declaring that corporate decided he was "now in charge of handling purchasing."
Welp, I'll leave it there for now. I have a few other stories I want to write up, but I promise to get in some Office Kevin stories as soon as possible. I've only been dealing with him since February, but dear God the amount of insanity I've had to deal with has been wild. I also apologize if this lost steam towards the end. Current Kevin has been a drain on my mental energy, so it has taken me a lot longer than I'm proud to admit to get even this much out. In the meantime, be good to each other.
Remember that you are loved, and you deserve to be loved.
submitted by KiKiKittyNinja
to ReddXReads [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 21:12 shari2600 2021 Lincoln Nautilus Sound System
For anyone that is interested, my Nautilus came with the Revel Ultima Audio System. I am a bit of an audiophile. I put an 8 inch subwoofer with a 500 watt amp in the cargo area (secured with bungee cords). I was going to go bigger, but I didn't want to take up that much room. This is now the best nearly stock sound system I have ever had in a vehicle. Very easy upgrade with an amazing result. Well done Revel!
submitted by shari2600
to lincolnmotorco [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 20:44 yashg New acquisition review and question about Dior Sauvage
| || | submitted by yashg to DesiFragranceAddicts [link] [comments]
Got 3 new fragrances in the last couple of days https://preview.redd.it/pwukmo59q14b1.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=bb0ca6ff7a79bacd4acd9c92be6b72ec8610e04f Nautica Voyage
- 1,950 from Tata Cliq Luxury (expensive, I know). Smells fresh. Found it better than Cool Water. Barely projects for half an hour though. Disappears completely within couple of hours. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
- 4,071 from Myntra after all discounts (75ml). Sweet. Vanilla and mildly spicy. Different kind of fragrance. Have never experienced this kind of perfume. Got it mainly for the bottle. Since I am just getting started with designer fragrances, decided to go with the OG of the JPG Le Male line. Alhambra Woody Oud
- 1,683 from Amazon after 10% CC discount (80ml). Clone of Tom Ford Oud Wood. I had not tried any Oud perfume before. Smells like kesar peda
in the beginning. After it dries down, gives a sweet woody vibe. Intense, overpowers everything. Not sure if I like it yet.
Have two orders in the pipeline with Imran Farooqui. Bvlgari Wood Essence and Armaf Club De Nuit Intense Pure Parfum. Wood Essence I have tried earlier and have liked it. CDNIM is a blind buy based on all the praise it has received in this sub and on YouTube. Imranbhai suggested Pure Parfum over EDT. Looking forward to receiving them hopefully next week.
I am also looking for the best deal on Dior Sauvage EDP or Parfum. I have liked both. EDP I found to be more versatile than Parfum. Parfum is stronger and has sandalwood notes upon dry down, which is long lasting and pleasing. EDP is richer and fresher in the opening. EDP is more spicy, Parfum is more woody. Yet to take a final call on which one to get. Which one would you recommend - Sauvage EDP or Parfum?
2023.06.04 20:43 Lycid Trip report: Spain honeymoon for 2 weeks in May 2023 (first time flying J)
This was my first "big boy" award redemption I've done and it couldn't have gone better. Before, I've booked Hyatt rooms overseas and gotten the companion pass so been doing award travel for a while, but this was the first time we flew in J and first time being able to realize a "bucket list" trip thanks to award travel.
Here was our itinerary (started in SFO):
Barcelona -> Granada -> Cordoba -> Seville -> Ronda -> Setenil de las Bodegas -> Malaga (only to fly out of).
Planning began last summer, and the flights were booked then. Since this was the first time we've ever flown in J and it was the honeymoon, I wanted to make sure we spent a little extra for a nicer European carrier, and I wanted to try two of them. So on our flight there we flew KLM into Barcelona via Schiphol, and for the flight out we flew Air France from Malaga via CDG. We opted against doing TAP or Ibera for two reasons despite them being more direct: the product/service is apparently not as nice, and for Iberia it would have required a positioning flight into LAX. Next time we do Spain though, I definitely would give them a shot. Points and cost break down
We did a LOT of research on the best programs and flights to do this trip and ultimately landed on Flying Blue. For one, while they do have fees, they were not exorbitant. For two, their products were very well reviewed. I'll get more into our actual experience in the review section below. But also crucially, there just happened to be a point transfer bonus going on at the same time from Chase that boosted our points by 25%.
- Total Points on flights spent: 205,000 + ~$1000 in fuel charges for 4 J one way tickets (+25% transfer bonus totalling to 247,000 points booked)
- SFO -> BCN 128,000 + $500 for x2 J on KLM
- AGP -> SFO 119,000 + $500 for x2 J on Air France. [We had originally planned on getting back to Barcelona or perhaps connecting up through Madrid to fly back home, but we discovered Malaga had ridiculously cheap redemptions out of Malaga this time of year for AF. Don't be afraid to not always go for the biggest cities to fly out of! We booked our flights first and figured out our plans later, so this ended up determining the overall itinerary we ended up taking.]
Other travel costs, all booked in advance about 1-2 months out:
- BCN -> GRX: $220 for x2 tickets on Vueling (paid for the checked luggage in advance). [This was the only other flight we did as the train from Barcelona to Granada would have taken all day, while this flight is only an hour. It would have been cheaper to fly into Seville or Malaga but we chose to follow a "better" route for our itinerary to correctly time some festivals we wanted to experience.]
- Renfe high speed rail: $~30-40/pp, each leg. [We did this from Granda -> Cordoba -> Seville]
- Bus: Only real way to get to Ronda and Setenil from Seville. $~30/pp for a (miserable) 2hr bus ride from Seville -> Ronda (we showed up late and the bus was cramped). $~11/pp for a 45 min ride from Ronda -> Setenil. $~25/pp for a 1.25 hr bus ride from Setenil -> Malaga.
We only booked one hotel on points and it was in Barcelona. Overall, we found mom & pop run B&B's and AirBNB's to be a far better value than traditional hotels in most of Spain. But, Barcelona had some good options for some redemptions. Ultimately we decided on:
Reviews and other notes
- Barcelona - Wittmore Hotel. 116,000 Hyatt points for 4 nights (29,000/night, which was their peak season rate that had just kicked in for May).
- Granada - AirBNB Riad $466.40 USD for 2 nights. [We kind of overpaid on this, but the property was gorgeous and we really wanted to stay in a well located riad which this place was.]
- Cordoba - Patio del Posadero. $168 for one night + $35/pp for their optional breakfast. [Absolutely fantastic place and the breakfast, while being an upcharge, was well worth it.]
- Seville - AirBNB rooftop apartment. $613 for 3 nights. [Again, slightly overpaid for this compared to other options. But, the location was flawless and the rooftop view of La Giralda was impossible to beat.]
- Ronda - AirBNB apartment. $50 for one night
- Setenil de las Bodegas - vacation 3 story rental cave house. $120 for one night. [We really wanted to sleep in a cave house and this rental company (not associated with AirBNB) had a great selection for stupid cheap prices. We didn't need all the space but why not?]
- Malaga - Barcelo Malaga. $159 for one night. [Picked mostly because it was right next to the transit terminal.]
- SFO lounge of choice was the Delta Skyclub, in a different terminal from our flight. The KLM lounge was closed for renovation, and they were having people go into China Airways lounge instead. That looked terrible, so we decided to just deal with going through security twice. With CLEAR + Precheck, it was a non-issue. Getting into Skyclub took a bit of work. We had to show the receptionist the policy on Delta's website that says any Flying Blue J tickets gain access (not just Delta) as their scanner can only recognize Delta tickets. Even still, we were denied - until they manually looked up our ticket using their terminals. Only then did we get in. Overall, the Skyclub was great. Not too busy, free (basic) cocktails, and the food + showers were good. Loved the view too. We were there for breakfast and lunch.
- KLM business class was fantastic, but they screwed up our seats during an unannounced plane change so everyone's seats got scrambled and none of the couples were sitting together in the honeymoon configuration (my spouse was directly in front of me). While disappointing, it didn't impact our experience of the flight much. All of the food and drink was great. We especially liked their house Negroni. The seat itself felt quite new, and offered a lot of privacy which I loved. The cabin did run a bit hot though, which made it hard to sleep. I thought with lie down seats I'd be able to enjoy sleeping on the plane more but because we had a 2pm take-off my brain just wasn't having it so it was more like a sleepy nap. Still, I'm officially spoiled. The best part though was the service. ALL of the attendants were sociable, attentive and very kind. They even gave us a cute little gift for our honeymoon (and of course the ceramic houses).
- At Schipol, we had a 5 hour layover that we split between went to two of KLM's flagship lounges, one on the schengen and non-schengen sides. The non-schengen lounge was absolutely incredible. Two levels, including an outdoor patio! The food options were great, seating was plentiful. The only thing we didn't like is that they were charging for drinks here (at full price...) unless you went to some tiny tucked away bar where they would only serve you basic beer and wine. There was a completely unused restaurant on the second level too that felt like a big miss. We took a shower, which was fine - but the shower was a little small for my liking. On the schengen side, the lounge was much more modest but perfectly functional. Again, not much to drink... except for the G&T dispenser, which we made liberal use of.
- When flying out, we went to the Malaga lounge as it opened at 5am. We weren't here for long but it was perfectly adequate. It was neat being able to see out on the tarmac on one side while on the other side seeing a zen garden + the airport interior below.
- We connected to CDG, and went to the Air France lounge on the non-schengen side. Wow, CDG is as much of a shitshow as they say to connect through, but as long as you follow the signs we managed just fine. We only had 45 minutes inside the lounge here, and found the lounge to be quite disappointing overall, especially compared to KLM's offerings. It was small and crowded, thrown into a basement with no view and only had one buffet section that was also crowded and constantly being drained of food. Your only drink options outside of coffee were to pour yourself some wine.
- Air France was by far, much worse than I was expecting (I only learned later that they JUST introduced a totally new business class product a month before our trip). The boarding experience was a complete shit show - they just had all groups, 1-4 line up at the same time, and then had to have everyone stand aside on the long catwalk to let in the wheelchairs that they forgot to let board first. The plane was at least 30 years old and showed. My seat's footrest was completely detached from the seat. The seat itself was far less functional in how it used its space compared to KLM's and it was much less private feeling. I get it, I don't need to be on a super new plane every time but things were pretty in disrepair. Our toilet on our side of the plane was completely out of order, which I didn't learn about until after I had already used it (they knew about it before and didn't bother to tell me). I paid for Wifi, which then did not work at all for the entire flight. Food was pretty good, and I liked how many courses there were compared to KLM. But again, like at the lounge, drink options outside of wine were quite bad, pretty much the only thing they could make us cocktail wise was a basic G&T. The service was overall quite bad. Everyone was super nice and put on a good face, don't get me wrong. But outside of meal service, you pretty much had to track down an attendant for anything. Nobody ever responded to attendant calls and the expectation was to just go up to the mini-bar and help yourself to something (which I liked in concept but in reality they mostly just had apples and crackers and water there). Overall, it wasn't bad. The food was good and it was a lie down seat. But compared to KLM, it was no comparison.
Total out of pocket costs
- The Wittmore hotel was initially only picked because all the cheaper Hyatt's in the area were booked out. By oh my god, am I glad I went with them. By FAR the best experience we've ever had at a hotel. If you visit Barcelona, just go here. It's that good. The service was spot on from the moment we walked in and were treated to complimentary cava to the moment we left and they let us eat breakfast before opening time while they booked a cab for us. The hotel itself looks gorgeous, and they have this lovely interior courtyard many of the rooms look out onto that you dine in. It's tucked away in the heart of the gothic quarter in this charming little alleyway. An area that we later learned was THE place to be for Barcelona at night. All within a 5 minute walk were some of the best tapas we had and some of the best bars we went to. The room itself was fantastic - super comfortable bed, good bathroom and gorgeous finishes. The minibar is completely free and doesn't cheap out - it includes fixing for making gin & tonics, cheese boards, nice water and was restocked every day. Breakfast is, somehow, completely free every day - and it's a full service 3 course breakfast where every dish we tried was fantastic. I don't know how they make money doing that, but it was sure an awesome value addition. On top of ALL of this, there was a lovely rooftop pool with gorgeous views of Barcelona that we could order drinks up to.
- I'll skip reviewing the airBNB's since they are so seasonal & can't be booked with points, but we enjoyed staying at each one. Not an airBNB but we especially loved Patio del Posadero in Cordoba. Definitely book this one with cash if you're visiting Cordoba. Similar experience and level of service as Wittmore Hotel, but in a tiny 8-room B&B that a couple runs. Wittmore + Posadero really made us feel like we were in an episode of BBC's Poirot, which absolutely tickled us.
- 320,000 UR points
- $~1000 fuel charges
- $~3000 all other food, airfare, travel, lodging, souvenirs
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