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Online dating service for Polish Girlfriend, Dating Online, Meet Polish Women. Register for Free! Polish women tend to be open to dating foreigners Most women in Poland have a great command of the English language, and many also study romantic languages such as Spanish or Italian. Polish women are generally very open to meeting foreign men, even if Polish guys have really stepped up their game in the past 5-7 years. Dating a Polish lady is very similar to dating people from the Czech Republic, in that they share some of the same traditions and both nationalities seem to enjoy chivalry from their men. However, even if you are the most polite man on the planet, there are one or two basic guide lines to follow when dating a woman from Poland. Polish Hearts - Popular Dating Site Is in the UK. Polish Hearts is one of the most famous dating websites where you can find hot and sexy girls from Poland. The variety of women is the biggest on this site, with a photo attached to the profiles of Polish beauties. The Biggest Polish Dating site. Search for free amongst thousands of polish girls. Find polish dating and polish hearts! Beauty is the first thing for Polish dating women to be proud of. Almost all ladies from Poland have good skin, a well-shaped body, beautiful hair, bright eyes, and a charming smile. Furthermore, it is important for them to look sexy and attractive to men. Thus, they spend hours in the gym to look fit and have great shapes. Polish Hearts touts itself as the largest Polish dating site in the world, with more than 1.4 million registered users. Once you join, which is free to do, you’ll be featured in the New to Polish Hearts section, so you should get a good amount of attention. To start finding matches ASAP, use the Quick Search feature.
Men wearing nail polish
2013.04.25 00:14 lituiMen wearing nail polish
A subreddit for men (including cis male, male-identifying, trans men, etc.) to share stories, post photos of their polished nails, and discuss anything related to nail polish or its relation/correlation to gender expression. Those for whom the wearing of polish may also pose challenges (genderqueer, genderfluid, androgyne, trans women, etc.) are likewise welcome.
You can post comics about Helltaker here. Helltaker is a freeware indie puzzle-adventure game with dating sim elements designed by Polish developer vanripper (Łukasz Piskorz), released in 2020 for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is described as "a short game about sharply dressed demon girls."
2016.03.20 00:57 MrDennisPageMeet and Greet people living in Scotland
Hello laddies, lassies, and anyone in-between! Welcome to /ScotlandR4R. A place for people that are living in (or plan on visiting or willing to travel to) Scotland to meet other Redditors. The Scottish alternative to r4! Comments are disabled please PM/Chat directly.
2020.09.22 05:47 callmecheckersA generational haunting - Part 1: Family History
TW: Death, physical harm Hey everyone, this will be the first time I (18f) have ever really talked about this in great detail, but I desperately need to get it off of my chest. I'm going to try and break down this whole thing into three different parts, or chapters if you will, so I can cover everything I know so far about what's going on with my family and I. The first part will be my family history, the second being all about the different experiences I've had throughout my childhood, and my 'dream journals' and what's currently going on. My family tree is messy to put it lightly. I'm half Chilean and part Metis, among other things. My dad's side of the family is Chilean, and from my mother comes the Metis, Romanian, and Polish blood. We'll be focusing on my mothers side of the family tree so I can try and break this down to the best of my ability. The farthest back that we know about was for my great great grandmother, a woman named Crina, but we aren't actually sure if that was her real name. We'll get to that. Going down the family tree is Crina (great-great grandmother), Diana or Bubba as we called her (great grandmother), Colleen (grandmother), my mother, and myself. I won't be sharing our personal names since I'm worried about people coming to bother us, and it's happened in the past when my mother was young. Crina immigrated to Canada some point during the Great Plague of 1738 in Romania apparently, though when she immigrated she burned all of her records for some reason. Everything that would indicate who she was or who her family was, photos, birth certificate, everything. She didn't want to be found, and from what my grandmother told me she refused to really bring it up. Crina was pregnant when she immigrated, and soon gave birth to Diana, a daughter she shared with a Polish father that we never found the name of. Crina had four husbands over her lifetime, two of which died from heart failure, and the other two by age, and she managed to outlive them all. My grandmother often described her as bitter old crab who would ramble about nonsense, but when she was calmer my grandmother also mentioned that she was told all sorts of stories as a kid. Crina always wore a small iron key around her neck and would often tell both her daughter and my grandmother that it was important that they kept passing it through the family, but not to any of the men of the family; instead, the iron key was to be passed down to the eldest daughter of every generation. My grandmother told me that Crina was never seen without the key as far as I knew, and she refused to ever take it off her person. She was often caught singing to herself or humming while holding it, and my grandmother still remembers the song because she heard Crina sing it all the time. The Twisted three are binding treesKeep with me an iron keyKeep me safe the hidden wraithOne to harm one to stayOne to kill and one to playThe twisted three are binding treesBiting cold, binding holdWinter night and darkened sightsTrust your eyes not your earsFor it will feed on your fearsThe twisted three are binding treesThe swamp is deep crows will speakKeep you safe holding faithOne to watch one to seeOne to speak one to beOnly one, binding tree It's been passed down the family tree since then, so I know it too now. Diana had married a native man who took the name Mark (mind you a lot of aboriginal people were forced to take white names), and in the photos you can really tell that he's a native man. My grandmother Colleen had two siblings, Barbra, her younger sister, and David, her baby brother. Crina hated being around children apparently as she saw them as loud annoying and quote 'magnets for danger'. She was particularly awful towards David for whatever reason. When my grandmother was around nine, Barbra (7) and David (3) were playing around outside while their father Mark was working to chop some wood. He and a buddy were getting wood ready to replace some of the floorboards in the old house since they had to tear it out to get some skunks out from there. Barbra and David were playing around some of the stacked logs while my grandmother was picking flowers. From what she described she heard a loud bang and then screaming. Everyone went running. Barbra was scratched up pretty good and David wasn't seen anywhere, and thankfully neither of them saw the aftermath. David was crushed and killed under the logs, and he died instantly from the impact. Diana, their mother, was reasonably heartbroken and traumatized. I've never had children because I'm too young, but I have lots of siblings that I love with all my heart even if they can be asshats sometimes. I can't imagine what losing a kid is like. Because they were a fairly poor family living out in the countryside, it hit the community particularly hard. There was a short funeral and my grandmother described Diana as becoming very distant. Crina was present a lot more after the loss to support her daughter and her grandchildren, Mark had to take a couple weeks off to grieve with his wife and children. My grandmother tells me that she distinctively remembers an argument that broke out between Diana and Crina, and apparently Crina said some really harsh things about how 'they always die, you can't do anything about it'. It made it really difficult for Diana and Mark to grieve properly, and it caused a bit of a rift in the family. Nonetheless, Crina was present, and when Diana wasn't able to bring herself to care for her kids, Crina helped out so Mark could work and still provide money for the family. My grandmother was told many stories from Crina during that time, and one really stuck to her. Crina would constantly tell her about how it was Diana's time to 'carry the key', and when Colleen was old enough, she too would carry the key. But there were very strict rules she had to follow for when she got the key. A rule was to be created for every generation in the family. So Crina had one that was made for her, Diana would have one made for her, etc etc. Crina's rule was this: Never under any circumstance are you to go outside during the winter nights. Not a terrible rule, right? I wouldn't want my kids or grandkids running around outside. When my grandmother asked what her mother's rule was, Crina told her this that her rule was this: Don't trust only your ears, trust your eyes. Little weird, but okay. My grandmother got really annoying with Crina begging to know what her rule would be, but Crina kept saying that Diana would be the one to tell her that. After who knows how long, she relented. She told my grandmother that her rule would be a bit more specific. A murder of crows will fly over the land on August 23rd at 3pm every year, and it it was on a different date or year, she was not to leave the house for a full day. It wasn't brought up much after that, but I will be listing these rules a few more times throughout this post. I promise it will be useful later. A couple months after David's death, the house was as normal as it could be given the loss. And then it got worse. When Mark didn't come back home from work, Diana was freaking out. On the second day of him not coming home she got a visit from the local law enforcement. There had been an accident at the workplace and they needed Diana to come in and identify a body. Crina watched my grandmother and her sister while Diana went out to go with the police. Some heavy equipment had fallen and crushed Mark in some sort of freak accident, and it was ruled accidental. While Diana was out, Crina was talking to my grandmother and her sister and was telling them that they were 'lucky'. "Women in our family live long lives, but men? They go fast." It stuck with my grandmother. It's probably not word for word given she was still fairly young when she was told that, but she didn't forget the general bit. Bad things always happen to boys who are born on my mothers side of the family, so it's never really well discussed. She would tell my grandmother about the key and how it would 'protect' her from harm, how she should keep it close once it was hers. I'll expand on this later. Diana began to decline mentally over the years after that. Not only did she lose one of her kids, but she lost her husband, and the family had no income. It was an ugly and awful situation, and after a year or two after the freak accidents, Crina passed away from natural causes. She was old, but it really didn't help Diana's fragile state of mind at the time. By this point in time Colleen was now around 14, and Barbra was 12. Later when my grandmother became much older she found out that Dementia and Alzheimer's ran in the family, likely from Crina, and it probably didn't help Diana's health after the series of losses. This is a story from my grandmother that happened around this time, so please don't bash me if I don't get it 100%. It's a very unpleasant memory of my grandmother's life and I try not to push it since it causes her a lot of distress, and I hate seeing her upset. Four years after the deaths, Diana was beginning to pick up sleepwalking a lot. She would mutter in her sleep, often wander to the door and bang her head against it, or dig through the closet (or sometimes just any set of cabinets she could find) and hug some of her husband's old clothing when she could find it. She spent the majority of her days mourning and crying, and family friends/neighbors were often coming by to help take care of Colleen and Barbra. Colleen was given the iron key that Crina often wore because Diana couldn't stand it anymore. She hated having it around, but my grandmother didn't want to get rid of it. She didn't have the heart to. Sometime during the winter, Diana got to the point where she was able to push open doors while she was sleep walking. It became a bad enough problem that my grandmother woke up a lot during the night because of it and often had to help her mother back to bed or wake her up. My grandmother describes how one night she couldn't help but feel something was horribly wrong. One night, she found the back door of the house open and footprints in the snow, and she told me that she heard her mother outside calling out her husband's name desperately. She woke Barbra up, told her to grab the gun and call the neighbors, and that she would be right back. Mind you it was the dead of night and winter, and my grandmother was breaking one of the rules given to her. I asked Barbra about it too and she told me she remembered the night well because when her sister, my grandmother, mentioned that their mom was outside, she was 100% sure she was sleeping on the couch hugging one of her dads shirts. My grandmother was sent to the hospital that night to get 32 stitches in her arm. If the neighbors were never called, she would've likely died. She always told me that I have to obey the rules no matter what, no exception, and her scar was punishment for not doing so herself. She's never told me what exactly happened that night, but she still has the scar today and she keeps it covered most of the time. Since then, new rules have been added. The first three remain the same, but new ones are simply added to the list every generation as mentioned before.
Never under any circumstance are you to go outside during the winter nights. (Crina, great-great grandmother)
Don't trust only your ears, trust your eyes. (Diana/bubba, great grandmother)
A murder of crows will fly over the land on August 23rd at 3pm every year, and it it was on a different date or year, you are not to leave the house for a full day. (Colleen, grandmother)
Positively do not go to the 'deadlands' (will discuss soon) and break anything there, you will anger those who live under the dirt. (was supposed to be my mothers rule, will discuss shortly)
Never are you allowed on the land without the iron key; it is the only thing that will keep you safe from harm. (This is my rule, gifted from my grandmother)
My grandmother lives on the land currently with her husband Dave (love my grandparents, but they really do act like the classic boomers sometimes). My grandmother hats having people over on the land, family, friends, anyone. She just doesn't like folks there for whatever reason. When my mother was a teenager, she once convinced my grandmother to let a friend onto the land (this is rarely allowed and considered dangerous, and it took years for her to relent), and they camped out by the 'deadlands'. To summarize, there's certain sections of the land that won't grow anything, not even grass. We got the well water tested for mercury poisoning, nothing came back, and the soil grew plants in a controlled lab so that wasn't it either. Hence the name the deadlands, since nothing would grow there for whatever reason. My mothers friend, we'll call her Kat, tossed a rock into the deadlands and broke an old tree, and spat on the dirt telling my mother not to 'believe such stupid fairytales'. When they went to sleep, my mother woke to her friend screaming. She had serious gashes across her face and against the side of her tent like a bear attacked, and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. We've never heard from her or her family again as they immediately cut all contact and ties with my mother. My mother has tried everything. She talked to classmates, she asked folks in the local town, but from my understanding her friend's family basically packed up that night and left. They never came back and no one that she knows has been in contact with them since. Every once and awhile she still tries to reach out, but nothing's really come from it. Since then my grandmother refuses to let me bring people on the property without seeing them herself, and even then she'll sometimes send them away. I've only ever had one friend over, but she had horrible nightmares and asked to leave, so I called her dad to pick her up the next day. My grandmother told me that the land isn't for the faint of heart and that my friend, while a good person, wouldn't be strong enough to be okay. Basically if I ever want to bring someone over, my grandmother decides whether or not they're actually allowed there. It's not my land, so I can't tell her otherwise. When I was eighteen, I was given the key as a birthday present from my grandmother, and then she gave me my list of rules and sat down with me to talk about the family. The reason my mother wasn't the one to do it was because after the incident with Kat, my mother moved away and lived with a friend so she didn't have to deal with them. She still to this day thinks my grandmother is sick in the head and is trying to pull her into some cult or something, but it's strictly a family thing, and we don't discuss this with others. My grandmother tells me that the song in our family is an omen of sorts to keep us informed of what we need to know. There are three 'entities' in our family. The Trickster, The Guardian, and 'Unnamed'. Names are power, so my grandmother has insisted that the last one should never be provided one, only avoided. My grandmother called The Trickster 'ba-ba', and would often blame any inconvenience of her childhood on them. Toys tossed around in the middle of the night? Ba-ba did it. Barbra crying because her hair was pulled? Ba-ba did it. Door left open on a rainy day? Ba-ba did it. The Guardian was called 'Patri', and my grandmother was often caught by both her mother and her sister singing to 'Patri' or talking to them apparently. The one she never named was the one she's always been afraid of, and has always described them as 'the one in the dirty water', aka, the swamp. (Really it's just an old pond on the property.) It's really difficult for me to bring all this up, but my grandmother has never been forceful with me or anything like that with all of this stuff. She's been insistent that it's important I take this serious since our family is very spiritually sensitive, and she warns me that the more I ignore it, the worse it's going to get. I need to get this story off of my chest because it's very overwhelming and is taking its toll on me mentally. I don't know what to think anymore. The next part that I'll post will be of my childhood and some of the things I've experienced, but it's not just a simple thing. I'll be linking photos in the next post that will be of the land that my family owns, mostly during the summer, and maybe a few during the winter. It's a massive plot of land so it won't cover everything, but there are some things I would like to point out that my grandmother has brought to my attention with the photos. I'll be posting a continuation of this in a couple of days, but between work and my own mental wellbeing, I can't promise anything. Hope this was worth the read, and hopefully I'll have updates soon, and maybe one day clear answers. If you have questions ask away and I'll answer as best I can, but I won't be sharing any personal information of any kind.
2020.09.22 03:13 Simple_AbbreviationsI'm "not allowed" to talk to my best friend anymore
I (male, late 30's) have 2 best friends. One male, late 30's and one female early 30s. I myself am gender queer and asexual and liberal and probably trans I dunno. I know you don't care but this will be an important detail later. My male best friend is a Marine and very macho, hyper masculine and my business partner. He pokes fun at me for being feminine and and I poke fun at him about being macho. We drink beers and joke and build things and lift heavy stuff and put it down. My female best friend was my girlfriend in college before I came out to myself and everyone else, is bisexual, is a stay at home mom of two, is married to an older man, and lives 3000 miles away from me as I moved across the country about 5 years ago. We text memes to each other and talk about fashion and makeup and we are the only two members of our book club. We're always reading the same books as each other and discussing them as we go. She picks one and I pick one. Well, used to. Her husband says we're not allowed to talk to each other anymore at all as of 2 days ago. I mean, I guess I get where he's coming from? But she and I have both told him repeatedly that there's nothing romantic or sexual. We broke up a long time ago because we're not compatible like that, but we were very close friends before we dated and we knew we should have never gone beyond friendship. She was the last person I was with because I realized that I'm not really into that kind of thing, and that was 10-ish years ago. It just really sucks. Like, she's "allowed" to hang out with her girl friends, go to dinner, have drinks, etc. But she's not allowed to text with me anymore. We never communicate outside of text messages. There's a record of everything we've said to each other, every book we've read so far and every meme we've sent. Every photo of a cute sweater or a cute kitten or my nail polish or whatever. It's all there and it's all platonic. She was the feminine yin I needed to the macho yang I have 60 hours a week. Now I feel my life is really unbalanced and I just really miss my friend. Thanks for letting me vent.
2020.09.22 02:20 ImporeoWhy bother with love when you have nothing short term to attract someone?
That's not just code for ugly, which I also am. From what I have seen guys trying to date women need either a face that at the very least doesn't resemble the moon (doesn't have to win GQ bachelor of the year but as long as your missus or potential missus isn't wanting to puke in the morning then you are fine), a lot of money or muscles and frankly if it wasn't for the fact that no matter how often I exercise I seem to be just as exhausted compared with the first time of doing x then that would be the easiest option. Personality? A sense of humour?? Intelligence??? Really those are just bonus features much like what car salesmen would throw in to get you to buy a car. Oh don't get me wrong. I've tried many times whether it be the horde of dating apps one can find which realistically are always the same in the end because it is a business and as one loses clients, the owner just builds a new one which is the same thing with a different name, colour scheme and logo. I have asked people out back when I was in school (currently 34 now so that was awhile ago) at work and at the club (foolish as that seems). You just can't polish a turd. So what do I look like that would be so off putting? From the top my hair grows awkwardly with horrible side burns that I usually have to deal with myself because barbers seem disinclined to get rid of them even when I specifically ask for them to be shaved entirely. My eyes look like Voldemort's except a dull brown. Pock marks courtesy of being raised in a poor family who couldn't afford the good stuff when it came to pimple removal (not Clearasel since that is only good for minor pimple incursions); there were far more important things that money had to be spent on). My teeth look like a dead man's fist because there are so many extra teeth (to the point where dentists are unable to figure out what needs to be done to make my mouth resemble something more normal). Then there are my rounded shoulders to make me look less manly. The inability to grow a proper beard. The rest is not much better but also not something that needs to be fixed. Most of what I have going for me is long term but because it is long term that scares people. Being able to budget and manage finances despite not making much money compared to most people around you just makes you sound stingy. People don't want to know how well you can look after children (even though they are thinking about children when they go for the handsome type because beauty is the way to make a lot of money for little effort). Not being a lazy shit and actually keeping the house tidy rather than occasionally haul a garbage bag to the trash or mow the lawn with my shirt off. It has been about 5 years since I bothered thinking about asking someone out. My former flatmate and his girlfriend did try to set me up with her sister but it was very quickly apparent she was hoping for someone more like my flatmate rather than me. I know there will be a few of you who will go on about looks fading and all that feel good stuff but science and technology has changed all that so that by the time that does happen, well there are a lot of outcomes that could eventuate. Of course there's the more macho approach of "a i wish i was single. you're so lucky". Am I? All welld good if you are handsome and can bed a different woman every other night otherwise I would much rather the company of one even if we argue on the odd occasion because sometimes problems occur and then you work them out. Maybe I should stop trying. Not like I know the signals anyway if someone was interested in me and is just waiting for me to make a move. Maybe I am tone deaf to love. Maybe I am right and some people such as myself are unlovable. I should just carry on with life, watching shows just so I can get a good laugh or dive deep into a book until it feels like you are the characters or watch nature do its thing. Is it worth not sharing my time with someone special?
Note: I had to split this up into three parts because of Reddit's character limit. It's a long read. I'll post the remaining parts in the next few days.
The first person to ever tell me the theory was Iris. It was nighttime in 2015, and we were lying on an old mattress on the roof of a four-storey apartment building in a university town in southern Ontario. A party was going on downstairs to which we’d both been invited and from whose monotony we’d helped each other escape through an ordinary white door that said “No entrance”. It was summer. I remember the heat waves and the radiating warmth of the asphalt. Our semester was over and we had started existing until the next one started in the way all students exist when they don’t spend their months off at home or touring Europe. I could feel the bass thumping from below. I could see the infinite stars in the cloudless sky. The sound seemed so disconnected from the image. Iris and I weren’t dating, we were just friends, but she leaned toward me on the mattress that night until I could feel her breathing on my neck, and, with my eyes pointed spaceward, she began: “What if…” Back then it was pure speculation, a wild fantasy inspired by the THC from the joint we were passing back and forth and uninhibited by the beer we’d already drunk. There was nothing scientific or even philosophical about Iris’ telling of it. The theory was a flight of imagination influenced by her name and personalized by the genetic defect of her eyes, which her doctors had said would render her blind by fifty. Even thirty-five seemed far away. It’s heartbreaking now to know that Iris never did live to experience her blindness—her own genetic fate interrupted by the genetic fate of the world—but that night, imagination, the quality Einstein called more important than knowledge, lit up both our brains in synapses of neon as we shared our joint, sucking it into glowing nothingness, Iris paranoid that she’d wake up one morning in eternal darkness despite the doctors’ assurances that her blindness would occur gradually, and me fearing that I would never find love, never share my life with anyone, but soothed at least by Iris’ words and her impossible ideas because Einstein was right, and imagination is magical enough to cure anything.
I graduated with a degree in one field, found a low paying job in another, got married, worked my way to slightly better pay, wanted to have a child, bought a Beagle named Pillow as a temporary substitute, lived in an apartment overlooking a green garbage bin that was always full of beer cans and pizza boxes, and held my wife, crying, when we found out that we couldn’t have children. Somewhere along the way my parents died and Kurt Schwaller, a physicist from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, proved a grand theory of everything that rather than being based on the vibrations of strings, was based on a property of particles called viscous time force. I never understood the details. To me they lacked imagination. The overriding point, the experts on television told us, was that given enough data and computing power we could now predict the outcome of anything. The effect was that no one wanted to study theoretical physics and everyone wanted to make breakthroughs in data collection systems and biological hardware. Hackers created a version of Linux that ran from DNA. Western Digital released the first working holographic storage drive. The NSA, FSB, BND and other agencies rushed to put their suddenly valuable mass of unprocessed raw spy data to prognostic use. A Chinese bookmaker known only by the nick ##!! wrote a piece of Python code that could predict the outcomes of hockey games. Within a month, the NHL and KHL were scrambling to come up with ways of saving their leagues by making them more unpredictable. They introduced elements of chance: power plays without penalties, a tilting ice surface, fluctuating rules that sometimes allowed for icings and offsides and sometimes not, and, finally, a pre-game lottery by which the names of the players on both teams were put into a pot and randomly drawn into two squads. Given enough variables, the strategy did thwart the code, but the inherent unfairness of the innovations alienated the players, the draft made owners question why they were paying the salaries of superstars who played against them half of the time, and the fans simply stopped paying attention to a league full of teams for which their already dwindling loyalty had bottomed out. Besides, the code was basic. ##!! had room to expand. The KHL folded first, followed by the NHL, and then the other sports leagues, preemptively. They didn’t bother to wait until their own codes were broken. I remember seeing an interview with ##!! while this was still front page news. The reporter, a perpetually smiling big-breasted blonde with blindingly white teeth, asked him if he thought that hockey could be rescued by the creation of roving blue lines that would continually alter the relative sizes of both offensive zones and the neutral zone. ##!! answered that he didn’t know what a blue line was because he’d never watched a hockey game in his life. His voice was cold, objective, and there was something terrifyingly inhuman about the idea that a person with no knowledge of a subject could nevertheless understand it so completely. Content had become a mere input of form. By 2025, mainstream interest in the theory of everything faded, not because the theory was wrong but because it was too right and too abstract and now there weren’t any young theoretical physicists to help explain it using cute graphics on YouTube. We consumed what we understood and passively accepted the fallout while going on with our daily lives. The people who did understand made money, but for the rest of us the consequences were less than their potential, because even with enough time, memory and microprocessors the most we could know was the what and the when, not the why. For the governments and corporations pouring taxes and tax-free earnings into complex models of world domination, that didn’t matter. They weren’t interested in cause. They were in the business of exploiting certainty to gain power. As long as they could predict lightning, they were satisfied. If they could make it, all the better. Away from the cutting edge, however, like ants or ancients, what we craved to know was where the lightning came from, what it meant, and on that issue the theory was silent. As Kurt Schwaller put it in a speech to the United Nations, “All I’ve given you is a tool—a microscope to magnify the minutes, so to speak—with which to investigate in perfect detail the entirety of our interrelations. But the investigations still have to made, ladies and gentlemen. Have a hay stack, look for the needle. Know there might not be one.” In January, my wife and I began a fertility treatment for which we’d been saving for years. It was undoubtedly the reason we became so emotionally involved in the media attention around Aiko, the lovely, black-haired and fashionable Crown Princess of Japan, who along with her husband was going through the same ordeal that we were. For a few months, it seemed as if the whole world sat on the edges of its seat, wishing for this beautiful royal couple to conceive. And we sat on two, our own and one somewhere in an exotic Japan updated by the royal Twitter feed. It strikes me now that royalty has always fascinated the proles, a feeling that historically went in tandem with hatred, respect or awe, but it was the Japanese who held our attentions the longest and the most genuinely in the twenty-first century, when equality had more or less rendered a hereditary ruling class obsolete. The British declared themselves post-Christian in 2014 and post-Royal in 2021, the European Court of Justice ruled all other European royals invalid in 2022, and the Muslim monarchs pompously degraded themselves one-by-one into their own exiles and executions. Only the Japanese line survived, adapting to the times by refusing to take itself seriously on anything but the most superficial level. They dressed nicely, acted politely and observed a social protocol that we admired without wanting to follow it ourselves. Before he died, my father had often marvelled that the Second World War began with Japan being led by an emperor god, and ended with the American occupation forcing him to renounce his divinity. The Japanese god had died because MacArthur willed it and Hirohito spoke it. Godhood was like plaque. If your mother told you to brush your teeth, off it went, provided you used the right flavour of Colgate. Kings had once ruled by divine right. By 2025, the Crown Princess of Japan ruled our hearts merely by popular approval. She was our special friend, with whom we were all on intimate and imaginary terms. Indeed, on the day she died—on the day they all died—Princess Aiko’s was the most friended account on Facebook. That’s why March 27, 2025, was such a joyous occasion for us. In hindsight, it’s utterly sick to associate the date with happiness of any kind, but history must always be understood in context, and the context of the announcement was a wirelessly connected world whose collective hopes came suddenly true to the jingle of a breaking news story on the BBC. I was in the kitchen sauteing onions when I heard it. Cutting them had made me cry and my eyes were still red. Then the announcer’s voice broke as he was setting up his intro, and in a video clip that was subsequently rebroadcast, downloaded and parodied close to a billion times in the one hundred thirty-two days that followed, he said: “The Crown Princess of Japan is pregnant!” I ran to the living room and hugged my wife, who’d fallen to her knees in front of the wall-mounted monitor. Pillow was doing laps on and off the sofa. The BBC cut away from the announcer’s joyful face to a live feed from Japan. As I held my wife, her body felt warm and full of life. The top of her jeans cut into her waist. Her tears wetted the top of my shirt sleeve. Both of our phones started to buzz—emails and Twitter notifications streaming in. On the monitor, Aiko and her husband, both of their angular faces larger than life in 110” 16K, waved to the crowd in Tokyo and the billions watching around the world. They spoke in Japanese and a woman on the BBC translated, but we hardly needed to know her exact words to understand the emotions. If them, why not also us? I knew my wife was having the same thought. We, too, could have a family. Then I smelled burning oil and the pungency of onions and I remembered my sauteing. I gently removed my arms from around my wife’s shoulders and ran back to the kitchen, still listening to Aiko’s voice and its polite English echo, and my hands must have been shaking, or else my whole body was shaking, because after I had turned down the heat I reached for the handle of the frying pan, knocked the pan off the stove top instead, and burned myself while stupidly trying to catch it before it fell, clattering, to the floor. The burned onions splattered. I’d cracked one of the kitchen tiles. My hand turned pale and I felt a numbness before my skin started to overflow with the warmth of pain. Without turning off the broadcast, my wife shooed me downstairs to the garage where we kept our car and drove me to the hospital. The Toronto streets were raucous. Horns honked. J-pop blared. In the commotion we nearly hit a pedestrian, a middle-aged white woman pushing a baby carriage, who’d cut across Lake Shore without looking both ways. She had appeared suddenly from behind a parked transport—and my wife instinctively jerked the car from the left lane to the right, scraping our side mirror against the truck but saving two lives. The woman barely noticed. She disappeared into a crowd of Asian kids on the other side of street who were dancing to electronica and waving half a dozen Japanese flags, one of which was the Rising Sun Flag, the military flag of Imperial Japan. Clutching my wrist in the hope it would dull the pain in my hand, I wondered how many of them knew about the suffering Japanese soldiers had inflicted on countless Chinese in the name of that flag. To the right, Lake Ontario shone and sparkled in the late afternoon light. A passenger jet took off from Toronto Island Airport and climbed into the sky. In the hospital waiting room, I sat next to a woman who was reading a movie magazine with Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s face on the cover. The Cannes film festival was coming up. My wife checked me in at the reception desk. The woman beside me put down her magazine and told me that she was there with her son, as if needing to justify her presence. I affirmed by nodding. He’d hurt his leg playing soccer for a local Armenian junior boys team, she went on. I said I’d hurt myself frying onions and that I was here with my wife. She said my wife was pretty and asked if I liked movies. Without meaning to do it, I tried to guess her age—unsuccessfully—and proceeded to imagine having doggy style sex with her. She had dark eyes that barely blinked and plump thighs. When I started to feel guilty, I answered her question: sometimes I watched movies at home, but I hadn’t been to a theatre in a decade. When my wife sat down, I let the two of them talk about the woman’s son. I was having trouble concentrating. I took my phone out of my pocket and read all the new emails about the royal conception, then stared at the seconds hand going slowly around its digital clock face on my home screen, wondering why we so often emulated the limitations of analogue machines on devices that were no longer bound by them. I switched my clock type to a digital readout. Now the seconds no longer rotated but flickered away. They called my name over the crackling intercom and a nurse led me to one of the empty rooms. “How about that baby,” he said while we walked. I didn’t see his face, only the shaved back of his head. “The things they can do these days, even for infertile couples.” I waited for over thirty minutes for a doctor. When one came in, she inspected my hand for less than ten seconds before telling me that I was fine and hinting that I shouldn’t have wasted her time by coming to the emergency room. She had high cheek bones, thin lips and bony wrists. Her tablet had a faux clipboard wallpaper. Maybe I had only misinterpreted her tone. “How about that baby,” I said. “It’s not a baby yet,” she answered. This time her tone was impossible to misinterpret. I was only repeating what the nurse had said, I told myself. But I didn’t say that to her. Instead, I imagined her coming home at night to an empty apartment, furnished possibly in a minimalistic Japanese or Swedish style, brewing a cup of black coffee and settling into an armchair to re-read a Simone de Beauvoir novel. I was about to imagine having sex with her when I caught hold of myself and wondered what was up with me today. When I got back to the waiting room, my wife was no longer there—but the Armenian woman was. She pointed down the hall and told me a room number. She said that sometime after I left, my wife had gotten a cramp and started to vomit all over the floor. Someone was still mopping up. The other people in the waiting room, which was filling up, gave me tactfully dirty looks, either because I was with the vomiter or because I’d shirked my responsible by being away during the vomiting. Irrationally, I wiped my own mouth and fled down the hall. Inside the numbered room, my wife was sitting hunched over on an observation bed, slowly kicking her feet back and forth. “Are you OK?” I asked. “Come here,” she said. I did, and sat beside her on the bed. I repeated my question. She still smelled a little of vomit, but she looked up at me like the world’s luckiest puppy, her eyes big and glassy, and said, “Norman, I’m pregnant.” That’s all she could say— That’s all either of us could say for a while. We just sat there on the examination bed like a pair of best friends on a swing set after dark, dangling our feet and taking turns pulling each other closer. “Are you sure?” I finally asked. My voice was hoarse. I sounded like a frog. “Yes.” She kicked the heel of my shoe with the rubber toe of hers. “We’re going to have a baby.” It was beautiful. The most wonderful moment of my life. I remembered the day we met and our little marriage ceremony. I thought about being a father, and felt positively terrified, and about being a better husband, and felt absolutely determined, and as I kissed my wife there in the little hospital room with its sterile green walls, I imagined making love to her. I kept imagining it as we drove back to the apartment through partying Toronto streets. “Not since the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup!” the radio announcer proclaimed—before I turned him off. I also turned off my phone and my wife’s phone. No more buzzing. In the underground parking lot, I leaned over and licked her soft neck. I pushed her through the open apartment door and straight into the living room, onto the sofa, and wished I could be the cushions beneath her thighs and the air invading her lungs. Pillow barked a greeting and wagged her tail. The monitor on the wall showed talking heads and fertility experts. I unbuttoned my wife’s blouse. She unbuckled my belt. The picture on the monitor dissolved to a close-up of Aiko’s smiling face. My wife and I took turns sliding off each other’s jeans. I kissed her bare stomach. She ran her hands through my hair. I dimmed the lights. We made love. When we were done it was starry nighttime. My wife bandaged my hand. We turned off the television. The silence was refreshing because people on television too often talk like they’re trying to push you off a ledge. My wife excused me from the duty of making supper because of my ineptness with the frying pan, and handed me a leash instead. I hooked it up to Pillow’s collar and took her outside. While she peed, I gazed up at the sky and identified the Big Dipper. It and the Little Dipper were the only constellations I could identify without using a smartphone app. After Pillow finished, we ducked into a nook and I peed, too. The March sky was amazingly clear of smog. My urine splashed on the concrete and I felt embarrassingly primal. I breathed in, shook out the last drops and zipped up. In the apartment, we ate grilled portabella mushrooms topped with parmesan and parsley and drank brown rice tea. My wife had changed into fresh clothes. I had changed into fresh skin. Every time she said “mom” and “dad”, the words discharged trickles of electricity up and down my peripheral nervous system. We were happy; we were going to have a baby. The whole world was happy; the Crown Princess of Japan of was going to have a baby. The sounds of drunken urban celebrations drifted in through our bedroom window all night like fog, and we barely slept. 2025, Post- Gold is precious because it’s rare. Now close your eyes and imagine that the next time you open them, everything in your world will be golden: your kitchen table, the bananas you bought on the way home from work yesterday, your bottle of shampoo, even your teeth. Now blink. You’re not alone. The market’s flooded. Gold isn’t rare anymore. It’s everywhere. Which means that it’s worth about as much as its weight in mud, because there’s nothing intrinsically good about gold. Can you write on your gold table? It scratches. Surely you can’t eat your golden fruit. Your shampoo’s not a liquid anymore, so your hair’s already starting to get greasy. And if you do find something to eat that’s not made of metal, how long will those gold teeth last before you grind them into finely polished nubs? For two days the Earth glittered. For two days we lived in a daze of perfection. And then, on March 29, a researcher working with lab mice at Stanford University noticed something odd. All of his female mice were pregnant. He contacted several of his colleagues who were also working with mice, rats, and monkeys. All their female animals were pregnant, too. Some of the colleagues had wives and girlfriends. They took innocent-seeming trips to their local pharmacies and bought up all the available pregnancy tests. At home, women took test after test and all of them showed positive. By midnight, the researchers had drafted a joint letter and sent copies of it to the major newspapers in their countries. On the morning of March 30, the news hit. When I checked my Twitter feed after breakfast, #impregtoo was already trending. Throughout the day, Reddit lit up with increasingly bizarre accounts of pregnancies that physically couldn’t be but, apparently, were. Post-menopausal women, celibate women, prepubescent girls, women who’d had their uteruses removed only to discover that their reproductive systems had spontaneously regenerated like the severed tales of lizards. Existing early stage pregnancies aborted themselves and re-fertilized, like a system rebooting. Later term pregnancies developed Matryoshka-like pregnancies nested within pregnancies. After a while, I stopped reading, choosing to spend time with my wife instead. As night fell, we reclined on the sofa, her head on my chest, Pillow curled up in our tangle of feet, the television off, and the streets of Toronto eerily quiet save for the intermittent blaring of far off sirens, as any lingering doubts about the reality of the situation melted away like the brief, late season snow that floated gently down from the sky, blackening the streets. On March 30, the World Health Organization issued a communique confirming that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all female mammals were pregnant. No cause was identified. It urged any woman who was not pregnant to step forward immediately. Otherwise, the communique offered no guidance. It indicated merely that the organization was already working with governments around the world to prepare for a massive influx of human population in approximately nine months’ time. Most places, including Toronto, reacted with stunned panic. Non-essential workplaces and schools were decried closed. People were urged to stay indoors. Hospitals prepared for possible complications. A few supermarkets ran out of canned food and there were several bank runs, but nothing happened that the existing systems couldn’t handle. Populations kept their nerve. Highway and air traffic increased slightly as people rushed to be with their friends, families and gynaecologists. We spent the entire day in our apartment and let Pillow pee in the tub. Except for the conspiracy theorists, who believed that the Earth was being cosmically pollinated by aliens, most of us weren’t scared to go outside, but we were scared of the unknown, and we preferred to process that fear in the comfort of our own dens. The New York Times ran a front page editorial arguing for an evaluation of the situation using Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything. In conjunction with The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Wikipedia Foundation, a website was set up asking users for technical help, monetary donations and the sharing of any surplus computing power. The project quickly ran into problems. To accurately predict anything, the theory of everything needed sufficient data, and, on April 2, cryptome.org published a series of leaked emails between the French Minister of Health and a high-ranking member of World Health Organization that proved the latter’s communique had been disingenuous at best. Externally, the World Health Organization had concluded that all female mammals were pregnant. That remained true. However, it had failed to admit an even more baffling development: the wombs of all female mammals had inexplicably become impenetrable to all rays and materials that had so far been tried against them. For all intents and purposes, there was no way to see inside the womb, or to destroy it. The only way to revert the body to its natural form, to terminate the pregnancy, was to kill the woman—an experiment that, according to the high-ranking member of the World Health Organization, the French government had helped conduct on unwilling women in Mali. Both parties issued repeated denials until a video surfaced showing the murders. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. They spun their denials into arguments about the necessity of sacrificing lives for the greater good. Reminded once again of the deception inherent in politics, many turned to religion, but the mainstream religions were hesitant to react. They offered few opinions and no answers. The fringe religions split into two camps. Some leaders welcomed this development, the greatest of all known miracles, while others denounced the same as a universal and unnatural punishment for our collective sins of hedonism, egoism and pride. The most successful of all was the Tribe of Akna, a vaguely mystical Maya revival cult that sprang up seemingly overnight and was led by a Guatemalan freelance programmer named Salvador Abaroa. Although it originated in Mexico City, the Tribe spread as quickly across the world as the computer viruses that Abaroa was notorious for creating. On the Tribe’s homepage, Abaroa could be seen striking an antique brass gong and saying in Spanish-tinged English, “Like energy, life is never destroyed. Every one of us plays an integral part of the cosmic ecosystem. Every man, woman and virus.” Elsewhere on the website, you could buy self-published theological textbooks, listen to scratchy recordings of speeches by Alan Watts and read about the hypothesis that Maya thought was deeply connected to Buddhism because the Mayans had crossed the Pacific Ocean and colonized Asia. But despite the apparent international cooperation happening at the highest levels, the first week of April was an atomizing period for the so-called people on the ground. We hunkered down. Most personal communication was digital. My wife and I exchanged emails with her parents and sister, but we met no one face-to-face, not even on Skype. We neither invited our neighbours to dinner nor were invited by them, despite how easy it was to walk down the hall and knock. I read far more than I wrote, and even when I did write, responding to a blog post or news story, I found it easier to relate to strangers than to the people I knew. My wife said I had a high tolerance for solitude. “Who do you know in the city?” she asked. Although we’d been living here together for three years, she still considered Toronto mine. She was the stranger, I was the native. I said that I knew a few people from work. She told me to call one of them I’d never called before. I did, and the next day’s sky was cloudless and sunny and there were five of us in the apartment: my wife and I, my friend Bakshi and his wife Jacinda, and their daughter, Greta. Greta drank apple juice while the rest of us drank wine, and all five of us gorged ourselves on freshly baked peach cobbler, laughing at silly faces and cracking immature jokes. It hardly registered for me that the majority of the room was unstoppably pregnant, but wasn’t that the point: to forget—if only for a few hours? Instead of watching the BBC, we streamed BDRips of Hayao Miyazaki movies from The Pirate Bay. Porco Rosso ruled the skies, castles flew, a Catbus arrived at its magical stop. Then Bakshi’s phone rang, and he excused himself from the table to take the call. When he returned, his face was grey. “What’s the matter?” Jacinda asked him. He was still holding the phone to his ear. “It’s Kurt Schwaller,” he said. “They just found his body. They think he killed himself.”
These were purchased from America, pulled from their stratiegic reserve and are to be outfitted to match the two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates already in service with the Polish Navy. Delivery date set for 2022.
Leopard 2 PL
13 (out of 142)
These are Leopard 2A4s which are upgraded to Polish requirements, with some manufacture in Poland. Progress has ground to a halt for many reasons, the program was intended to be complete by 2020.
Self Propelled Anti-air Artillery
Upgrade of ZSU-23-4 Shilka, with better optics and 4 Grom missiles
Self Propelled Anti-air Artillery
ZUR-23-2KG (ZU-23-2 with twin Grom infrared MANPADS, day-night sight, a laser rangefinder, all on top of an eletricomechanical traversing system.
Self Propelled Surface-to-Air Missile System
These will join the approximately 46 Poprads in service, out of a total order of 77.
Heavy Machine Gun
This is a conversion of the NSV, chambered in .50 BMG.
A modular "assault rifle" capable of conversion between: carbine, assault rifle, squad automatic weapon, and DMR. These 2,500 rifles will join the ~2,000 in service out of an order of ~50,000 rifles.
A pistol chambered in 9mm, replacing the WIST-94 and its variants. These will join the 6,500 Vis-100/PR-15 Raguns in service out of an order of 20k.
Dita’s Secret Boudoir MOODBOARD Dear Repladies, Welcome to my boudoir. Please enter, if you dare... Prior to your arrival, I have prepared three collections for you. Feel free to shop my closet to your heart’s content. And as always, wagooooooonnnssss Love, Dita💋 💄Collection #1 Come-Hither 💄 - Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood Eau de Parfum - YSL Betty Pumps - Dita Sasu Sunglasses Auth - Jomashop.comDHGate - Besame Lipstick in shade “Red Hot Red” - Christian Louboutin Rouge Nail Polish 👠Collection #2 Va-Va-Voom 👠 - Valentino Wrap Dress AuthDHGate - Jimmy Choo Smokey 100 Heels AuthDHGate - Celine Hexagon Acetate Sunglasses AuthDHGate - Dior Lady D-Lite Bag (See review below) - Femme Fatale T-Shirt - Etsy 🌹Collection #3 Oh Là Là 🌹 - Corset Story Black Shirt Dress (Sold Out 😩) - What Kate Did Cuban Heel Steamed Stockings (⚠️ The link may be NSFW, the model is wearing lingerie) - Chicwish Layered Tulle Skirt - Vivienne Westwood Animal Toe Red Heels - Your Beauty Mark book by Dita Von Teese Mini Review Hi guys, this is vintagevangogh speaking from now on! Item - Medium Lady Dior D-Lite Grey Embroidery w/GHW Seller - lzq668668 on DHGate (store is active, but the w2c is dead) Factory unknown Price - $202.40 USD w/ free shipping via epacket Ordered August 3rd Shipped August 5th Received September 1st My Photos My thoughts - Oh my, what a beautiful bag! I’ve compared this bag to the authentic bags on Dior.com , Youtube , and Poshmark and this rep is almost dead on. There aren’t any glaring issues. Cons The packaging was awful. It was chucked into the dust bag then jammed it into the cardboard box—no box or bubble wrap. When the box arrived at my doorstep, there was a nice crater on its side (I wish I had taken a photo, but I’d rather bury the memory). Thus, when I unpacked it, the bag had a dent on its side (see my photos). I stuffed the inside with a thick towel so it’s kind of ironed itself out. If I buy from this seller again, I will definitely request for more thoughtful packaging. A minor flaw is the stitching on the underside of the strap, there are some loose threads and an extra thread between the letters (see my photos). From a distance it’s virtually undetectable and the color of the bag helps camouflage it, but it’s noticeable up close. It’s definitely not calloutable as long as you wear the strap the correct way. I’m thinking about snipping the excess threads, but I fear the embroidery may unravel. Not necessarily a con, as much as a annoyance is the material of the bag. The authentic retails for $4,500 USD, which is an absurd amount for any cloth bag. It’s high maintenance to handle and you’ll definitely have to baby it. It attracts lint easily. I’m constantly picking off random pieces of fluff (thank god I don’t have a dog or a cat 😅). I’ll carry a travel-size lint roller inside the bag and I’ll definitely treat it with fabric spray before I carry it outside. Would I recommend? Yes! Aside from the packaging, the bag is gorgeous and I love the grey and gold together. I communicated with the seller via DHGate and they always replied within 5 minutes and they shipped the bag two days after I ordered. *Note: On the date I ordered, the seller had a really diverse bag catalogue on DHG with lots of positive reviews, but they’ve since deleted 99% of their items. I have their Yupoo, if anyone is interested in seeing their catalogue, they have quite an eclectic selection. I hope you enjoyed reading. I had fun putting this together. Thank you Repladies for this creative idea! 😊
2020.09.22 01:02 ArcticFindsI Found a "Message in a Bottle" From a Lost Arctic Expedition (Part One)
You don’t need to know much about me, other than the fact that I am a microbiologist stationed at the McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS), located on Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, we’re essentially a dozen Canadians stationed to the northwest of Greenland, where we study any range of scientific matters within the polar regions, ranging from climate change to geology, permafrost content...basically anything dealing with the Arctic. Anyway, our mission need not concern you. It merely serves as the bookend to a fantastic find I’ve made, yet kept secret from my associates and superiors. I don’t know what would happen to me if I officially reported it, especially now that I’ve published it here. I like my position in the Arctic, and I look forward to coming back for more research. But I think it important that the world knows this record kept secret for nearly a century. If I had turned it in, it most certainly would have never seen the light of day. While on a jaunt to the southwest coast of the island, which lies along the upper fringes of the long fabled and sought after Northwest Passage, I found a sealed waterproof container. It was stained with muck, encrusted in dead micro-sea life, and had evidently been in the ocean for a very long time. Upon the box lid was inscribed “M.A.E.”. I recognized the container as the type old exploration vessels kept to drop messages into the currents should something go awry with their mission. With my Swiss Army knife, I pried it open and examined its contents. There were several documents, records it seemed. What struck me as odd was that these records were from various different sources. Some appeared torn from diaries or logbooks; others were typed out on loose leaf sheets. A hefty amount were handwritten letters, placed in order of date. Curiosity piqued, I pocketed them and waited until we returned to MARS to make a full examination, lest they be ruined from exposure to the open Arctic air. Before I relate the contents of the canister to you, it’s important to note that the documents in the container claim to be from an Arctic mission conducted on the other side of the world, beyond Wrangel Island in what was, at the time, the Soviet Union. That it drifted this far in a century’s time to be found by me is in itself a miracle of sea current directions. This container had successfully navigated the Northwest Passage that so many previous Arctic explorers had given their lives to conquer. Anyway, here is, in full, the contents of said container. I have them now beside me. I’ll upload them in increments, placed in the order in which they had been sealed. Here is the full known history of the disastrous McEwan Arctic Expedition of 1923-1926. For today, we have two documents: a letter and a diary. *** Document One: Melvin’s Letter 20 January 1926 My name is Melvin. For the past two and a half years, I have served as chief to a corps of engineers that were sent along by the American Navy with a strangely secretive Arctic survey expedition that partially followed a route previously explored by the Jeanette Expedition of 1879-1881, in the direction of Wrangel Island, located above the Eurasian mainland beyond the Bering Strait. They told us the secrecy was due to the tensions between the budding Soviet Union and our own nation. Not wishing to strain relations over property of the De Long islands to the north of the Soviets, at which we would briefly stop to examine, our government chose discretion for this operation. If successful, then we might be announced as heroes to our nation and the world for a truly audacious scientific survey. It is quite clear to me now that such a heroes' welcome shall never be held. While it may be that we were sent to the Arctic in secret for these reasons, a nagging earwig in the back of my mind stresses this is not so, that they knew all along what we were to find here. But I digress; it is all supposition, baseless claims. In truth, I shall never know. I can only ponder. It is all too evident that the remaining survivors of this mission shall never see our homeland again. For that reason, I am enclosing our entire history within the confines of this container and shall cast it adrift in the strongest current I find. I hope that God and providence may deliver it into the hands of the right kind of people, who shall make our fate and objective known to the world. That our loved ones can know where we’ve gone, especially in the case of poor Dr. Innes -- more on him later. Before you begin dissecting these records, some more information is in order: we, a group of thirty-three men, set sail aboard the USS John Hatteras in late March of 1923, departing an uncaring San Francisco Bay without pomp and circumstance. After a passage of a month, we arrived with some difficulty at Wrangel Island, where observations were made. Another month of travel through threatening ice floes found us further to the northeast, where we examined the Jeanette and Henrietta Isles before cutting directly northward to the solid Arctic ice sheet. Twelve men remained behind on the Hatteras to seek warmer water to wait out the winter in safety, while us twenty-one men marched a good thirty miles into the ice, establishing our base: a modest assortment of four tents, five bungalows, and two radio towers. We brought with us, along with food and basic survival amenities, fifteen dogs, five cases of books, a phonograph, and enough grog to shake the icicles from a polar bear’s nose. Water would be provided by melting snow and ice regularly. Now, onto the narratives. At the start of each record you shall find a note from myself, giving a brief backstory to the events related in the respective texts, so that you shall have a full understanding of what transpired. We begin with pages from a diary kept by our expedition’s leader, Commander Edward McEwan of the United States Navy. For a little over a month, he held down the fort, so to speak, at an isolated shack 67 miles north of our base camp in order to conduct experiments of his own. What he found at that strange latitude, however, goes beyond the puerile understanding of our uncomprehending, earth-bound minds. Perhaps you can make sense of it. I know I cannot. *** Document Two: Forward Base Logbook, as kept by CMDR Edward McEwan, USN 20 June 1923 2101 hrs. I have decided to turn my personal diary into a logbook for my one-man station here at what I have come to refer to as ‘Forward Base’. I’ll not bother recording the findings of the instruments here; that will be for the official record keeping. This is merely an outlet for my thoughts and to keep a record of my personal experiences. Originally meant for three men, FB had to be reduced to a lone operation due to, I confess, ineffective time management and preparation on my part. Being preoccupied with the management of an Arctic expedition served to divert my attention from this passion project. Simply put, time was not allotted to properly train anyone to handle the weather equipment and establish a daily routine for making observations until it was too late. Placing two men in isolation here was out of the question; one week alone with another man in the far north would serve to drive one mad. Three is a good number to combat such irksome creepings from the mind, and when three cannot be accomplished, one shall do. Now, it is beyond my right as leader of the expedition to ask any man among my crew to undertake such a spiritual, physically taxing, and mental burden, so I shall do it myself. While I may be inexperienced with the operations of the gear, our meteorologist Dr. Worden has written extensive instructions as to their handling for my benefit. At least I am handy with the wireless telegraph! My second, Dietz (an admirable fellow, one shall never find a man like Dietz, nor be in want of one better than him), along with three sailors from the Hatteras, helped me to tow the supplies for FB sixty-seven miles across the ice. I would have liked to go further, perhaps to a hundred miles, but for all intents and purposes this shall do. Besides, I cannot ask more of the men for this passion project of mine. A week long haul across the ice was enough to win my sympathies and stop short of the goal so that they may return to base camp posthaste. Weather has been fair these past few days; I hope they shall remain so for their trek back. Perhaps if I were skilled like Worden, I’d know the answer to such things. Dietz and the three sailors shall remain here for the night, and set off in the morning. Having a devil of a time keeping the place warm. Inside temperature at seventy degrees of frost (that’s -40 degrees Fahrenheit for you inexperienced chaps). Lord knows what it is outside, but I daren’t start observations now! I shall begin afresh tomorrow. CMDR E. M., USN 21 June 1923 1342 hrs. Saw the men off at crack of dawn. Dietz wished me well. I told him I’d need it! It shall be a terribly lonesome time, I imagine. Such is the price of progress! First readings went well, although it was difficult to open the door to the shack; two feet of snow drift piled against it in the night. Had we more time, I would have liked to sink the shack in the ice so that the roof is level with the surface. Oh well, perhaps some future explorer will learn from my experience. At least it being above ground provides me with the chance for a window! This is a lonesome place at the top of the world. I can already feel the walls of the shack closing in on me. I suspect I shall find myself outside a great deal of time to escape the monotonousness. CMDR E. M., USN 23 June 1923 0936 hrs. Near disaster! While doing an inventory of supplies in a small storage space at the rear of the shack, I suddenly collapsed. Some time later (I suspect fifteen minutes, but it may have been longer) I found myself on the floor, gasping for breath. The place was filled with fumes from the blasted fuel burning furnace! I managed to turn it off, but had a deuced time opening the door to the shack. I suspect the heat of the furnace melted ice that had gathered in the cracks, which quickly froze over after the furnace was shut off, sealing me in. I collapsed a second time trying to free the ice to gain passage. After regaining consciousness, I finally succeeded in opening the door and venting the place out. Examining the ventilation pipe, I found it had been clogged by ice, allowing for a fume backup to take place within the shack. I think I have remedied the problem. This would not have happened as severely with a wood burning stove, but alas that would have required towing logs and kindling across the ice. Liquid fuel it shall be. I have read extensively about carbon monoxide poisoning and must take this seriously. Any real exertion may kill me. I haven’t been able to successfully consume food or water since this happened some hours ago. There is no choice for me but to rest as much as possible. I cannot risk going outside to conduct any experiments until I have ridden this sickness to its end. I hate to begin my endeavor in this manner, but hopefully after a short time I can properly begin my experiments. I have wired base camp to alert them of my predicament. This may be the last time in a while I shall write an entry. CMDR E. M., USN 26 June 1923 This is a good place to learn patience in. 1 July 1923 2015 hrs. After a week of rest, I have recuperated, I believe, to the best of my abilities! I was unable to leave my bed for the first three days and did not succeed in consuming anything without regurgitating it until the fourth day. Though I have not written anything since the 23rd, not much worth noting has happened in the interval. Only a visceral vision I had of a man in the shack with me. I remember he was nude, with a wiry frame not unlike my own, but abominably thin by comparison. His ribs showed distinctly. I only caught a brief glimpse of his face; he was an absolute skeleton. His jowls had retreated into the recesses of his cheeks, and dark circles haloed his eyes. Those eyes...dark as pitch. I wired base camp to ensure they had not sent a relief party, though I knew it impossible on such short notice. Likewise, they assured me they hadn’t. But with an apparition so vivid, I had to be sure. Shall resume experiments tomorrow. CMDR E. M., USN 2 July 1923 1233 hrs. Awoke to the door of the shack slamming back and forth in the wind. Evidently I hadn’t bolted it days before after clearing ice from the ventilation pipe. I’m fortunate that the wind has been fairly calm; I would not have possessed the strength to close it a day or two ago, and likely would have frozen to death. Took a bit of skin off my cheek this morning trying to shave. In my groggy state, I neglected to warm the razor in hot water and the frost lining the blade sealed to my flesh like glue. It’s a devilish time to take care of one’s cleanliness here; the supply man forgot to include a mirror among my stores. I have to use the underside of a polished spoon to see my face, and even that is a warped image. Oh well, there are worse fates than the loss of a mirror. 1401 hrs. Attempted a reading of the instruments outside. Curious depressions in the snow surround the shack, as of footprints made days before. Perhaps a polar bear cub? The drift had rounded them as softly as craters of the moon appear in a telescopic image. It is near impossible to tell what caused them at this point. If a bear, I reiterate my fortune in that the door stayed shut for these few days. I believe I was a tad optimistic in my health assessment. Stomach cramps, headaches, and back pains continue to plague me; all signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Feel sluggish. I’ll attempt a walk later this evening. Hopefully the chill air will boost my health and refresh my systems. Shall plant bamboo stalks along the way to mark my path. You came here of your own free will. By mine you shall remain. 2339 hrs. I believe something of the strangest calibre has occurred here tonight at the top of the world. I have been sitting for the past hour and a half with my hands inside the furnace, just above the flame, to thaw my fingers enough to write this entry. As I said, I went outside for a walk. The air had some effect in waking my lungs from their raspy, poison-induced slumber. I felt invigorated for the first time in over a week. I walked for perhaps an hour into the evening, watching the sunset over rolling hills of Arctic snow dunes. This place is a desert, in point of fact, with all the majesty and simultaneous menacing qualities of the Sahara. After watching the stars for a time in this land beyond artificial light, and counting meteors, I turned back, following the bamboo stalks I had placed in the snow. Now, I distinctly recall walking in a relatively straight direction from the shack on the outset; I followed a specific star to the north. And yet, as I made my way along the trail I marked, I had the unshakeable feeling that I was veering westward, to my right. An hour soon passed, then an hour and a half. Surely, I thought, I should have arrived at the shack? But no matter how many steps further I went into the night, another bamboo stalk appeared from the shadows, illuminated by the beam of my light, steering me ever westward I was sure from the shack. Once I had been walking for two hours, a nerve-wracking doubt had crept into my mind. Something supernormal must be at play here. I continued to collect the bamboo stalks, intending to use them on later hikes, though I doubted very much if I should take another of such length. I began to think perhaps the ice beneath my feet had drifted rapidly between the time I set off and the present. It wasn’t an unnatural thing to suppose. Afterall, it was not really earth beneath my feet, just hundreds of meters of ice susceptible to drift. That seemed to settle my thoughts for a time, until I came to an inescapable realization: I had collected more bamboo stalks than I had planted on my outbound trek! With this thought, I finally cut directly east, not bothering to plant anymore bamboo in the ice. A foolhardy thing to do under natural circumstances, but something told me that if I double-backed to the original trail, I was sure to die, left only as a frozen monument in this land of icy wastes. Adjusting here and there to the best of my orienteering ability, I was at the point of physical collapse before I finally arrived at FB. The lantern that marked the way rose like a benevolent sun; never was there a more beautiful sight in these northern regions. Nature hath no ability like the wick of a Leed Burton lamp. After gaining entry, bolting the door, and thawing my hands in the furnace, I went to write an account of my strange journey, when I noticed something beyond my own comprehension. The pages of my diary had fallen open to the 26th of June. There, I spied an entry I had no memory of writing. “This is a good place to learn patience in.” It is possible that in my delirium from the carbon monoxide poisoning I had written such a bizarre entry, though I knew even then I had lacked the strength to do so. What I know as fact is that I did not write the entry that appears in this very diary only earlier today! “You came here of your own free will. By mine you shall remain.” It is apparent to me that I am not alone here at FB. Someone has gained entry to the shack and written these post scriptums after I had finished my own writings. It occurs to me that both writings took place at periods when the door was unbolted. From this point further, I shall remain in the shack. The experiments are secondary to my survival. However, I will not tell base camp of my predicament. If there is another man here, making such threats, then he is clearly a danger to the expedition, and I will not put my men at risk to pluck me from harm’s way. Besides, the temperature is dropping outside; even if there were no dangerous stranger out there, the elements were enough to make me averse to risking a rescue effort. I’ll keep a sharp lookout, and maintain a ruse via the wireless so that the men suspect nothing. I hope to God that things return to normal very soon, or that I may meet this adversary face to face and put the matter to rest. CMDR E.M., USN 7 July 1923 2011hrs. Not much to report. Licked the mirror problem; my window reflects my face well enough after dark, with the lamplight burning in the background. Significant improvement in shaving ability and hair maintenance. I find cleanliness to be the only uplifting thing here in isolation. If you can’t look good for company, look good for yourself. At first, I hardly even recognized myself. For one thing, my face was no longer ballooned as it had been in the spoon. Jesting aside, my cheeks were sunken, covered in patches of whiskers I had missed over the past few weeks. My eyes were surrounded with grotesque, sharply violet patches and the pupils a depthless black that even the bottom of the ocean could not hope to rival. Hopefully I can better take care of my image now that I can actually see it. CMDR E.M., USN 9 July 1923 2153 hrs. A week has gone by without any sign of my mysterious visitor. Until tonight. I’ve spent the past few days resting, building up my health. My near death on the ice sent me to a relapse of the carbon monoxide poisoning that I almost did not escape. This time, however, I made sure to bolt the door and clear the ventilation pipe regularly. As noted a few days ago, I solved the problem of a mirror. I never like the feel of an unshaven face, especially in the Arctic. Icicles cling to whiskers as stalactites cement themselves to cave ceilings. The larger and boisterous beards are invariably attached to the frigidest faces. I went to the window and began to shave, when I noticed a curious phenomenon that rivaled my supernormal bamboo experience. My reflection did not follow my movement. I was not at first scared, merely perplexed. I raised the razor, and did not see any movement in the window. Then, suddenly, as though it were a delayed reaction, I saw my arm shoot up and hold the same position, sans razor. All at once it dawned on me: the image in the window was not a reflection, for it came from beyond the glass! I yelped with surprise and fell back into my bunk. The man in the window dropped his arm, and only a slight flinch betrayed his statue-like stillness. He watched me -- he, a naked man upon the ice in eighty degrees of frost who unmistakably wore my face! The image is uncanny; those same sunken cheeks, the violet patches...only the eyes are different, for the entirety of them is a cobalt black, deeper than that of the furthest recesses of space beyond the stars. I speak in the present tense for even now, as I write this, his piercing orbs of night perceive me. I have tried talking to him, asking what his intentions are in frightening me, even offering him some clothes, but he merely listens. With bird-like agility, his head swivels on his neck, back and forth, as I tramp about the shack. I think he intends to observe me. Not if I can help it! With some spare boards, a hammer, and nails, I will cover the window. Though I shan’t have much comfort knowing he is still out there. Something tells me he shall last out the night, and many nights to come. So long as he can’t see me, I’ll be fine. I believe. CMDR E.M., USN I sleep in your skin. 17 July 1923 0835 hrs. The boards have been removed from the windows. I did not do it. They were not shattered to matchwood by supernatural ability as an imaginative writer of the macabre might fancy, nor were the boards wrenched inward from the outside. On the contrary, I awoke this morning to find them intact on the floor below the window, the nails as straight as when I’d driven them in the frame. He stands out there, impossibly still alive. His body has ballooned a bit, to approximately my size. No longer is he the skeletal frame I saw in my stupored haze of last month. Nor are his eyes the color of pitch; they are in fact like mine, blue. I know he removed the boards somehow, but I’ll be damned if I know how. Perhaps I am damned. 1122 hrs. By an effort superhuman in will, I looked beyond him to see what I could make of the weather instruments. I don’t know what possessed me to do so, but I’m glad I did. He has tampered with them. I am sure of it. Some of the calibration switches are no longer in the position I left them in on the 2nd of July. What reason could he have for examining the instruments? 2213 hrs. The beast has been inside! Yet again an entry in the log I did not make, about “sleeping in my skin.” But the door has remained bolted all this time. How did he gain entry? From this point, I shall keep my diary on my person at all times. No more entries. I’ve searched high and low for some kind of port, to no avail. When I concluded my search, I turned around and saw him through the window. The fiend was smiling. 22 July 1923 1417 hrs. A breakthrough of sorts. I realized that I had not attempted to talk to him in weeks (Weeks? Is that how long he was been out there?). Something possessed me to try yet again. “Who are you?” I attempted, fully expecting a rhetorical conversation. Then, in a voice that was neither howl nor whisper, it said “Your reflection.” “Where do you come from?” “I do not know.” “Why are you here?” “I do not know for sure...I think I am supposed to replace you.” With that, I placed the boards back upon the window. I care not if he can remove them, I shall place them up repeatedly so long as it means I no longer have to see his face. My face. 25 July 1923 0220 hrs. I awoke outside the shack in the night. It is inside. The door is bolted. By some incredible ability, he has swapped places with me. I suspect this was how he entered days ago without the door open. To force the door open is an impossibility -- it was made to hold off a storm of titanic proportions. A blow from the nor’west has settled in. Nor can I force the window in; I still feel sickly from my ordeal last month and the glass is as strong as the door. I haven’t long before I freeze. Minutes are enough to kill a man out here. When I peer into the frosted window, I can see him, working diligently at the weather log. His head reels and rolls on his neck, blue eyes waving to and fro in their sockets, cracked, frost-bitten lips which mirror mine mumbling. What incoherent, unearthly, blasphemous words he is speaking, I have no idea. What idea I do have is one that shall surely stop him. If he is, as I suspect, made of terrestrial, or at least organic matter, the monster has minutes to live. I’ll leave the diary in a place that shall be easy to spot so that a relief party may know my fate. I hope that I shall be successful. E.M. Post Scriptum: 27 August 1923 It is with heavy heart that I, Arnold Dietz, write this final entry in Commander McEwan’s logbook of the doomed conception that was Forward Base. After nearly a month of no contact via wireless, a rescue group headed by myself has trekked the 67 miles to deduce what has happened to our undoubtedly brave leader. Those scribbled initials indeed marked his final entry. Commander McEwan is dead. We found him frozen in his chair, writing a final entry in the weather logbook, relaying the instrumentation readings of the day. It is evident that he died of carbon monoxide poisoning; the stovepipe atop was inexplicably sealed with chunks of ice. How this careless oversight could have taken place is beyond me, as he made special note here of how he monitored any clogging of the pipe ever since his first run-in with its troublesome nature. It is evident however, from his entries, that he had suffered severely from delusions at the hands of this initial poisoning. It breaks my heart that he should die afraid of his own shadow. Some of the more superstitious men among our party insist I ought to search for a “second body” in the ice; I take it that they mean to insinuate the body in the shack is not Commander McEwan’s, but that of the thing. Such a notion is absurd, and I shall not entertain it. Besides, I have work of my own to do: from here we are to explore further. Professor Alpeine, our expedition’s geologist, is to take a group northward, and I am to head westward. If the commander’s entries are to be believed, perhaps I shall find what the bamboo poles were trying to lead him to. Rest easy, sir. Here I conclude the annals of Forward Base. Lt. A. D., USN
2020.09.22 00:32 dks2611[IC] BOX 75: A 75% Keyboard. A Box that Provokes.
INTRODUCTION Hi all, dks here. BOX 75 is a keyboard that has been in Interest Check phase on Geekhack for a while. I've posted a few renders and prototype pictures on Reddit before, but here's the official late Reddit IC. The following is some basic information, and more details can be found on the Geekhack page. SPECS
Form Factor: Separate Cluster 75%
Type Angle: 7°
Construction: Top Mount/O-ring Burger Mount. Plate and Case Foam (In development)
Case Materials: Anodized or E-Coated Aluminum Body. Mirror-Polished or Black PVD Stainless Steel Accents.
2020.09.21 21:54 DahWizEhConsideration: Developer's Heavy Reliance on Discord skews their view as to who/how people play.
For over a year now, bouncing between the three I've documented a trend. When SAR first rolled out, Pixile did as most upstart/young developers/creators do and answered questions with their best responses. As new moderators were selected and added, some of that changed obviously, as part of the role of Moderators is to distribute the load of public interaction. The issue there, is that the trend I've documented (Yes, spread sheets with dates/times word/phrase matches), is that since the additional recruitment of moderators, questions/discussions in steam chat nearly always re-direct persons there to "Chat with us on Discord." While that's a true answer, and that the Developers/Moderators are most active on Discord, and that Discord appears the most active out of Steam Discussions / Twitter / Reddit / Discord. The issue there is that players of the game, asking about the game, through the game's steam discussion largely read...the steam discussions. That is, if one checks out the 'front page' of steam discussions they'll see the sparse responses/replies/post as well as the trend of "Is game dead" questions. When a potential new player comes to a game, while they may hear of it from youtube, from discord, from reddit, from twitter, they 100% have to go through Steam in order to player SAR. And knowing this, we can count the hoops player would have to jump through to join the discord community (if it's desired.) Yes, Discord is super easy, it has 'personality' with emotes, images, voice chat, etc. It's fan-tastic for those who enjoy the format. (It's like being at a bingo hall, sure people only need a card and stickers, but you'll be hard pressed not to see them with table cloths, music, lights, decorations.) The issue there is that the SAR Discord community's level of interaction is not reflective of SAR's Game community's level of interaction. "So what do you want?" Consideration. I offer no clear answers, just an awareness that may not be present at current among those that have the ability to influence. Pixile, has 0 ability to get people to play. They can only influence. They do this in near limitless ways, with youtube, with reddit, with discord, with updates, even the visuals, sounds, etc. etc. all of that falls under the mega sphere that is 'influence' about SAR. But what Pixile does have the ability to do, is direct and focus of where how that influence is made. "What do you mean?" While Discord is the most lively, the Steam Store/Discussion page is where active players go to first join. Those two pages are reflective of the games player base is it is. Discord, while active and bustling with images, emotes, and reactions, doesn't correlate to the actual players of the game. What more, new players asking about the game in the Steam discussions are almost exclusively asked to 'Join the party over at Discord' as it were. "Well there are more people there, and they talk more, and it's easier." 100% agree, that doesn't prevent the attraction of new players whose first impression of SAR is found on the Steam Store/Discussions page. "Well, come on now, what do you want them to do? They can't make people use Steam, people naturally gravitate towards what works best for them." This, is where Pixile does have the ability to direct their interactions with the public. They're young, and learning (so awesome to watch/participate in). They have polished their ability to release updates, and as far as Public Relations go, the 'guidelines/expectations' given for moderators is pretty evident. Responses from moderators on the Steam Discussion page is consistent, but it's quite lifeless. Ex. Player: "Is this game dead?" Official Reply: "The community is always growing. Come join us out on discord! It's more active there!" Spot on, that would appear to be a proper response. Discord is more active, the community is 'growing'. But that reply, may feel content in their reply since it does everything right...at a surface level. It's not malicious, it's genuine, it wants people to join. BUT, it entirely ignores the nuances of the question, "Is this game dead?" When that question is asked, by a user, it's not from thin air. It's not a Eureka! Moment. It's instead a reaction to what SAR has publicly shown via their Steam Discussions page. Users won't (typically) ask that question if they're not experiencing/hearing those ideas. The official response of "Come join us over here." again, while genuine, is not acknowledging why the question was asked. What more, it doesn't address, in action, how to resolve the issues present that first prompted that question! At the very basic, a new player, with 0 clue about the community of SAR, asking via the Steam Discussions will largely feel the following: "This game is fun. I want to connect with other about this game. Let me try and connect to others through this game." They then use Steam Discussions/Store. It's there they see the lack of active and engaging community. "This is odd, game seems pretty awesome, wonder if anyone is out there. I'll ask." Then a steam discussion is posted, and the response is as shown above "We are active! Come join us over here." Internally the new user asks, "While true, why isn't the community active here? What is wrong with here?" And again, we can list the benefits of Discord and the like, but we can't deny the reality that the lack of active community on Steam Discussions is more concerning than the fact that "Oh, it's over here! No Lie." "So what, what do you want?" SAR to be awesome, already done. Heh. I believe, one strategy that could help this current situation is to increase the cross social platform content. Instead of defaulting to "Come join us on Discord." bring the discussions to Steam. "But we can't force people to chat on there." Nope...you can't, but you can, as moderators, share content from Discord onto Steam. Hell, screen shots of the 'Discord Party', quotes, and replies from discord, anything that shows DISCORD Community, not reacting out, but interacting with the Steam Community. Instead of the reality that is, "Come to discord, or you'll continue to be alone." There have been months of private lobbies, hosted by select individuals in SAR. While mentioned occasionally in Steam Discussions, they are almost exclusively only able to be participated in via hounding the Discord Discussions (Those private lobbies are awesome, but they are, 100% super excluding to the masses.) "What's all this got to do with SAR?" Well, hopefully with the above 'ramblings' those who read can see how that live party on the Discord, they they know is there, with punch bowls and platform shoes, is not on Steam. What more, there is nothing on Steam Discussions that shows this. Only the eeriley similar invites to Discord found there. And all that, being in the Discord SAR community, has created a bubble as to what the SAR community is. Yes, it's the most active, yes, it's the most 'senior'. Just that, shows that it's not the most young, and most inviting. "But we said come join us." yes, just the same as when Someone in a sky scraper 100km away from he says, "The party is on the top floor!", but everyone I talk to wlaking there has never seen the party, met anyone from the party, and really starts to wonder why, "If this party is so inviting, why isn't the party where new people will be?" *laughs* I mean, even collegic social groups 'recruit' on campus, not at their homes to start with. Their social groups are seen where new people are, not just in the house where they reside. Tanks for coming to my "Bob Talk" ~ The Knock-off-arm-chair version of Tedx Talk. Praise Banan.
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2020.09.21 16:04 TheRickingerTI 10 Battlepass Feedback for Valve
Since all the battlepass features are released and the end date of the battlepass is set i thought i would give valve some feedback that is more than just brainless crying and dicksucking. I will work my way through the battlepass announcement and please let me know if i forgot something. Guild system: Great feature to bring prople closer together and grind a lot of BP. We had alighter version in source 1 and the reintroduction was definetly something we needed. I just hope they stay after the battlepass ends, it would be shame to only have this feature for a few months each year. Aghanim's Labyrinth: Probably one of the best gamemodes valve was ever released. The skill tree was a nice addition and kept you playing even after there were no battlepoints to grind anymore. That being said i found it to be a tedious game mode to just grind the weekly levels in, but that might just be my personal opinion. Also this gamemode was the first one available to everyone, not just battlepass owners Double Cavern: For the first time we had 2 caverns with the first one unlocking the second one. i really liked the idea, but after finishing the second one i wan't in the mood to grind through another cavern for even less rewards. having to chose between caverns was also discouraging. just let both caverns run parallel to each other and let us be able to complete both simultaniously Battle Gauntlet: TBH i completely forgot this feature existed. i tried it in the beginning and after a few games i just never touched it again. only being able to queue 1 time per day and the completely disfunctional matchmaking killed it for me and many others. Sideshop: Really fun addition to recycle treasure and maybe even get an arcana. unfortunately it mainly outputs IT1 therefor making it not a good option to recycle higher IT this way. it was a little slow to reroll and spending a lot of gold sometimes felt like a chore to some people. it's also really luck based and people with small amounts of sideshop gold were often fucked by the randomness Bounty Killing: bounty killing was another nice addition to give your teammates some battlepoints. maybe give us a few more charges and reduce the bounty, cause after 2 games i was always out of bounties Community Match Predictions: Kinda random, but a nice feature to have. not much to say here Immortal Treasures: Really nice effects in all 3 chests, just the ingame items were not always the greatest.... too many chunky oversized headpieces Personas: Both were really nice, but lacked a bit of polishing. AM could have gotten some spell icons and a more natural stance, pudge could have used some better cloth textures. but overall well made. Arcanas: I think valve outdid themselves here, all 3 were super polished and definetly worth the levels Terrain, Towers & other Effects/small Cosmetics well done, nothing really special but all nice to have. maybe next time add some creep cosmetics again Chatwheel sounds: Nice selection of voice lines but the level requirements were waaaay too high. i1245lvl for voice lines is just a joke. people were spamming the 3 lowest tier ones and that's it. i never heard any of the older really good ones Things Valve messed up: the entire immortal recycling was a mess, removing the sideshop, reintroducing it, messing with the old system.... having both in place now is really good and fun, but the entire mess before was just unnescessary. wagering was basicly the same. why trade the old working system for some weird streak based system, that barely outputs any lvls at all. the reroll was nescessary as well Delays all over the place. not really an issue and to be expected with covid, but not communicating at all with the community was their own wrongdoing and thebacklash from the community was justified. Conclusion: overall a good battlepass with great rewards. the added time of 4 weeks makes a lot of the rewads more grindable and the overall battlepass less greedy than the community thought in the beginning. i hope valve learns from this battlepass and doesnt try to rework or remove features that were fine(e.g. wagering, recycling). Also please hire a community manager, we need communication, especially in covid times when delays are to be expected
It's well known that Shostakovich rarely failed to acknowledge important dates such as birthdays, and so I have plans to remember his on Friday at 5 pm St. Petersburg time (which is 10 am for me--my scheduled teleconference will have to wait a minute or two) with a vodka toast. I may need to check at a local Polish supermarket to see if there is any canned smoked eel available to go with. (I have smoked herring to suffice in a pinch. Russian friends tell me that smoked fish is often a Russian birthday "thing.") Anyone who would like to join in is more than welcome to do so.
2020.09.21 12:49 krukster86Polish SCW (Scrubbed) Mauser at LGS - Pass?
I was picking up some ammo at the LGS (good thing ammo for the odd-caliber milsurps are available!) and swung by the used rifles section. They had the usual carcano, Mosin Nagant, and extremely overpriced K98k, but they also had a Mauser that immediately was recognizable as Polish, since it had a side-bar sling stock cutout and the squared off stacking rod. I was interested because I am very slowly accumulating a Polish milsurp collection, and finding Polish Mauser rifles is very tough. It was simply marked "K98 $799". It was one of the Spanish Civil War K98's produced by Poland with a scrubbed receiver (no date, no crest or manufacturer), half the numbered components matched, and bore was great. I am guessing that the Spanish re-arsenaled the rifle later as the stock seemed to be refinished and glossy, and all metal parts including the bolt were reblued. From reading a bunch of threads on Gunboards, this rifle is priced about $200 more than it should be, and I decided to pass on it. Unfortunately at this place, they don't negotiate prices. Was I correct to let this one go?
2020.09.21 11:46 viceroy_merkelThings seem to go wrong, too many times.
I am a 21 year old male from the UK who has recently graduated from University, although I did the majority of my final semester, including writing my dissertation, back in my rural home county. Academically, I did quite well, graduating with first class honours, but I am at this moment pretty directionless and feel like I've not made the most of my opportunities. My first year at university was made difficult after the unexpected death of my stepdad via alcohol poisoning. Two weeks prior to this my mum had told me she had left him as she didn't love him anymore. All of this happened whilst I was away studying in a city in the south, and after I returned there after the funeral I shut my family out including my mother, as at the time I blamed her for his death, which I viewed as a suicide due to being heartbroken. So I stayed down at my Uni-town for the majority of my degree, including over Christmases and through the summers. Mentally, I was not doing well, the disruption in first year meant that I failed to make many friends, and I developed a pretty bad binge-drinking problem which would create a lot of disruption for me, i.e. losing my phone, wallet, cards, and more embarrassingly stumbling around the house and quite often barging into someone else bedroom accidentally in the middle of the night and scaring them. Another thing I neglected to do was apply for summer internships and work experience opportunities, which in the UK are usually only open to students in their first or penultimate year at university, which will become more relevant later. It wasn't until the second semester of second year that things got better for me. I started dating my current boyfriend, who is from Poland, and who is quite different from myself. He is very used to personal, emotional, and financial support from his parents, and consequently has a very good self-esteem as well as a great academic and professional record. For example, in the summer after I met him, he partook in an internship at the UN in New York for the Polish delegation, something I would never be able to consider due to it being unpaid, meaning he relied on his parents to support him. Although I would say we are very much in love I would say the our essences are completely distinct and this is based off our upbringings and experiences. He is very much an optimist, and believes anyone can do anything if they put there mind to it. I myself am probably the biggest pessimist and this is where we clash. Sometimes I remind him that not everyone is afforded the same resources at his disposal, although it can get a bit personal as I am inferring people like myself, and I suppose I am jealous of him in a way. Anyways, despite us being different I can say he did change my outlook for the better. Seeing him do all of his impressive extracurricular activities made me conscious of my lack of professional experiences, but by this time it was the start of my final year and it felt like it was a race to get something before graduation. It didn't help that my boyfriend is very keen on one day working for some sort of international organisation (EU or the UN), and I worried about how I could figure in around this and also find a job wherever he might end up. I applied for lots of different things in my final year, (graduate schemes and jobs, summer internships) and at first I could handle setbacks and rejections, as I truly felt that I was learning something even by just applying. Eventually, I started getting acceptances, and I was happy to find out I had gotten a place working as a summer intern for the Ministry of Justice. I also started the process of getting help with my depression by going to my University's health service. I suffer with insomnia also and was given amitriptyline but in a very low dose so not as antidepressant medication but just to help falling to sleep easier. As you will all know, in March COVID restrictions started coming in, and my boyfriend got a last minute flight to Poland, and I eventually went back to my home county, but this time I lived with my Dad. I don't have a close relationship at all with my Dad, I had not lived with him since the age of 4, and we don't have a lot in common least of all me being gay and him being the biggest womaniser ever. As I still had my dissertation to write, and I was used to working sporadically through the night, I set up my PC in his RV outside to minimise noise, and I slept in it also too eventually. I also found that the amitriptyline wasn't working as well so when I ran out didn't bother contacting the doctor's as I would be unable to make an appointment anyway, and for the most part was more concerned with writing my dissertation anyway. So in June, a week before I was due to start work, I was informed that the internship would be cancelled, which was disappointing to say the least as in the back of my mind I was still concerned with my lack of professional experience. The next set-back came when I was approached by a recruiter for a Bank who found my CV online and invited my to apply for this temporary 3 month position. This would have worked out quite well as I had also applied for this scholarship to study a masters at the University of Warsaw financed by the Polish government, due to start in October. I did the video interview and the day after the offered me the job after which followed a 2 week period of acquiring all the necessary documentation, and background checks, very similar to what I had to do with the Ministry of Justice. After I had did all this, I received a call from the recruiter who explained that due to 'company restructuring' they had to postpone my starting for an unspecified period of time. About a week after this, around August 24, I found out that I had received the scholarship off the Polish government to do the Masters and I was ecstatic, although now not having a job created the stress of having to come up with the money needed to move countries. The legal fees to get my diploma legalised and sent over to Poland in time amount to just under £400 and to pay for it I sold my gaming PC, which I was willing to do as it felt like getting this scholarship would single handedly solve all my problems: of not being able to find a job in the post-COVID economy, of the difficult situation of living with my distant father, of being so far away from my boyfriend. However, on Friday I got an email from the University in Poland to say that due to an insufficient number of students my course would not be going ahead, this was two days before I needed to show the Polish scholarship agency my enrolment letter to secure my scholarship. This really destroyed me. Throughout all of these set backs I have tried my best to stay positive, but it got progressively harder with each opportunity. A lot of them demonstrated how people will be prepared to be nice and lead you on, like the recruiter who contacted me, or the admissions at the University in Poland, but will be prepared to drop you at a moments notice when it is no longer convenient for them. I just feel like I spent so much time trying to condition myself out of my pessimistic world view but every time I find myself proven right. The past 6 months have really built up my hopes before tearing them down to even lower than they were before. I've started the binge-drinking again, and the other day I must have alluded to suicidal thoughts whilst video calling my boyfriend, though I don't recall it, as he took it upon himself to add my mother and Facebook and message her about it. I feel like I'm having a breakdown but unsure with how to respond. I am also no registered to a doctor's office in my county, due to being registered with the University Health Service thought I imagine since I've graduated I'm off the books.
2020.09.21 02:35 Hydrox2016I feel desperately sorry for Treyarch. If Activision have any integrity, they will postpone this game and potentially save the franchise.
When I say potentially save the franchise, this isn't hyperbole. It's the truth so hear me out on this one. I feel desperately sorry for Treyarch and by extension every other studio that works on the Call of Duty series. As a result of a mix of gross incompetence and corporate greed outside of their control, they have been dealt an impossible hand. I don't think we will ever know the true extent of the mess this game was in last year, but what we do know is that the situation was so bad in May 2019 that Activision made the executive decision to strip Slegehammer Games of their lead developer role and replace them with Treyarch. https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/05/18/2020-call-of-duty-will-reportedly-now-be-black-ops-5-due-to-alleged-development-shift It goes without saying that the game must have been in a dire state for them to make a decision of this magnitude. Not only have Treyarch been given the colossal task of turning around this project in 18 months but they have also had to contend with a global pandemic and the dawn of a new console generation. It's a situation unlike any other and unfortunately these issues show. I personally do not believe that this Alpha was intended as a marketing tool to entice people to pre-order. The performance on the base PS4 was so unbelievably poor that there's no way this has been released for any other purpose than desperate last minute optimisation in order for the product to actually function. Make no mistake, Black Ops Cold War is stitched together with chewing gum and string and this is truly the state of the project in its current state. Treyarch have inherited a mess. The fact that development of this game has been spread over 6-7 studios is testament to this. Evidently, they have stitched together whatever they have been able to, recycled every asset possible and have been working flat out just to release something playable. If Activision allow this game to release in November, they will be damaging the franchise for years to come. Infinity Ward have now effectively lost a year for the successor to MW and they are now running against the clock for their release in 2021 with the same constraints of the Pandemic still in full effect. It goes without saying that they will not be able to release a product that meets the standard that they were hoping for. I foresee MW2 taking a very similar to the transition between the old MW2 and MW3 with an effective re-skin with new maps being the only viable pathway to success. If Activision have any integrity, they will pull the plug on Black Ops Cold War for the time being and instruct Infinity Ward to join Treyarch and the other teams. While one half of Infinity Ward supports Warzone and Multiplayer, the other half can assist Treyarch port over the entirety of Black Ops Cold War to the Modern Warfare engine. This would be absolutely possible within a year and with the addition of an additional studio, they would be able to polish this game to release in potentially a very good state in 2021. At that point, Infinity Ward can resume development on MW2 and Black Ops Cold War, in its rejuvenated state, can take the brunt of being another 2 year game to allow MW2 to release in 2023 to a high standard. Following this, Raven replace SHG and the whole cycle can resume as intended. In all honesty? Activision have absolutely zero integrity and this simply won't happen. There is no doubt that MW could stand up to taking a 2 year cycle as the main game. Activision could almost certainly placate their shareholders with the micro transaction revenue from weapon skins from that game as well as the myriad of other titles under their umbrella. It's a small price to pay for a franchise to maintain the standard of quality expected, as well as the sanity of their hardworking development teams. TL;DR Releasing this game in November is the wrong decision as Treyarch were given an impossible task. This decision hurts not only this game but Infinity Ward and their next title. MW should remain the main game for another year, Infinity Ward should have one team supporting MW and a team supporting Treyarch for a release date next year.
Hello Fellow Edgelords https://saltedxiv.com/guides/drk Super excited to announce a fully up to date Dark Knight Guide for 5.3+! Written by Ramza Beoulve` (of TankCob Fame as Daddy Ramza) and thoroughly vetted and approved by the tank mentors of the Balance Discord! The Guide is hosted at saltedxiv.com, a work in progress site that aims to be your one-stop-shop for finding any and all community created content - which I will make a post about, at some point, when the site is a bit more polished! Let us know your thoughts!
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2020.09.20 19:00 Jordok[Win 95/XP][1995-2005] Puzzle/strategy with jellymen
I remember playing it as a kid with my family. Probably before I even started to read. Platform(s): It was family computer and I don't remember it ever having pure-dos so it was Win 95 or Win XP Genre: Puzzle/Maze/Strategy - Estimated year of release: I didn't play it after 2005 and probably not before 2000 (I was 5 then). But it was in Poland so there might have been some "delay" so I guess 1995 is also plausible release date. Graphics/art style: I'm pretty sure it wasn't "drawn" so I guess it was 3d but I'm almost sure it was with isometric "bird-eye" view. Notable characters: You controlled a group (1-3) of characters made of mono-chromatic jelly (green?). Thinking about it now, maybe they were not jelly-men but some mono-chromatic aliens? I think "jelly" is in my memory because when one of the little one died, it would leave just a green (or other color?) stain behind. Notable gameplay mechanics: from what I remember you control a group of characters made of jelly (one to three of them on different levels) and need to lead them through a maze with various puzzles. So you have to use one jellyman to press a button and then another one can go through a gate to press another button. Something like that. Other details: * Language: I was too young to care about interface language, so it's possible it wasn't English. Which means it's possible that it was never released in english (i.e. a polish production) - but I think it's unlikely. * Some of your jellymen could wear a colander on their heads for protection (saving them from single "hit" or something like that). * It's possible that there were "enemy" jellies on some level with different color * Sometimes your characters would have to dig something. They would sometimes whistle why doing it. I remember talking to my brother / cousin "he whistles, so it means he is in good mood" - but I don't actually remember anything else about "mood" mechanics in this game it would also not fit the rest of gameplay. So maybe it was a default / random animation while digging. * It might be that this game was just a "mini game" provided on one CD with some other games
2020.09.20 18:03 RandoModBuildBest interface for ademco vista 20p panel? Envisalink vs Alarmdecoder vs Safe by Hub6
I have a Honeywell/Ademco Vista 20p alarm panel. I am looking for an option to self monitor my panel but also have the option to professionally monitor it for ~$10 per month. The reason I am posting this is because I want to see the best option for me for my alarm system. I originally thought I should use Konnected and completely replace the alarm panel, but something about that didn't seem right. I wanted the sole function of the alarm panel to work, that is at least turn on the siren in the event of a break in or CO event. Using the alarm panel with it's simple yet very proven technology seems like the right way to go to ensure the greatest reliability. Now, to interface the panel with the internet to get a cheaper monitoring service. The first product I found was the Envisalink, and it seems like a great solution for me. However, there is one downside, which I have heard but I need clarification on. Supposedly you cannot monitor zones while the system is armed, which is something I would probably want to do for Home Assistant/other smart home system) purposes. Then, I heard of the alarmdecoder. However, their product seems less reliable, because it needs another piece of hardware to work, such as a raspberry pi. Although Pi's can certainly be reliable, I don't want to have to worry about keeping it up to date, or possible exploits in linux. BUT, they say they can use "virtual relays" to get the state of zones despite the system being armed. Again, I need some clarification on this, because I am not sure if the envisalink can actually do that. And finally, the Safe by Hub6. Looks extremely polished compared to the other two. Even includes a cellular backup. HOWEVER, I want this system to last for years. Many of the Hub6 monitoring features seem reliant on the cloud, and while the alarm system would continue to work just fine, if Hub6 went bankrupt, I believe the product would stop functioning as well. As much as I want the cellular backup and nice polished app, unless it has some element of local control (such as an API like the envisalink or alarmdecoder) then it may be a dealbreaker for me. If Hub6 was older in this game, I may trust them more, but I am a little dubious. At least the envisalink can be controlled locally via an API with home assistant in case the company goes down the drain later. Does anybody have any experience with these? Thanks!
2020.09.20 11:09 kuocakuola[QC] JLC Master Compressor Navy Seals on Rubber Bracelet from JTime
Hi everyone - this is my first rep but I've spent a lot of time on here trying to understand the game and how it works. What an amazing community this is! I was hoping I could maybe get some help evaluating these QC photos:
Dealer name: JTime (Li)
Factory name: N00B
Model name (& version number): JLC Master Compressor Navy Seals on Rubber Bracelet
2020.09.19 21:25 Crafty_Pop_8423I have had a crush on this guy for years and don’t know if I like him anymore after quarantine or what to do about it
This gonna be long Td;lr or whatever: I might this boy but both me and him are extremely shy and I don’t know what to do because I don’t know if me and him are even friends and we’re extremely bad with social anything so it’s hard to get clues and he might have a girlfriend in collage ( okay just to clear this up, me and my crush met at the beginning of senior school when We were 11 and so was he, but my birthday is in September his is in December, I’m now in year 9 and 14 on Monday and I know I’m young but can you not just comment your young you’ll probably forget him because ,although you are probably right, it doesn’t actually help). Ok so I met this guy at school 2-3 years ago and immediately had a crush. He isn’t ‘hot’ in the traditional sense, but I have a thing for shy dudes (aka guys with severe anxiety) but that’s for another day lol. Anyway he’s also super smart and tall which I like also. Anyway we spent a lot of time together every day at the school library (which is basically a trailer as they were renovating the library) so we talked often, but we were also in many of the same classes though we didn’t talk much except for the classes where he would often whisper jokes. I don’t know if this was flirting. (I would like to note this is currently bringing up a lot of feelings, oh no). In the library we would just talk about random stuff, my sister also came to the library and like 2 other regulars who well call Jer and Emily. A bit to know about Jer, he shared a few common interest with my crush. Such as anime, physics (as I said my crush is smart lets call my crush K from now on) and some other things like manga and stuff idk. Jer was also rude and selfish he often makes fun of people but you can tell it’s because he’s going through a rough time ( his dad cheated on his mum and they got a divorce, his dad now has a new wife or girlfriend and baby boy, he’s also might be gay and is not doing okay with it). Either way Jer is a dick but kinda K’s best friend. Now Emily. Emily is 16-17 (she was 15-16 then, Jer is 15 now but 14 at the time me and my crush were like 12-13) she started coming in the library at the beginning of my year 8 year. At first I barely noticed her. I have been going to school with her younger sister since I was 5 so I knew her a tiny bit previously. She came to the LGBTQ+ club on Friday (she’s bi) but she started coming on other days. She’s a really good writer btw. So we are at the beginning of year 8 and my crush was stronger then ever. Like creepily. (Something to know about me is I used to think I was asexual because tmi I’m not really sexually attracted to many people or then at all except my crush lol). Anyway Emily starts saying that she’s ‘scared of K because he’s tall’ (insert rolling eyes) until one day Emily had a panic attack and K sat next to her and didn’t say a word. He was just there for her. Emily started to become a bit more flirty and fast forward a couple of months there playing footsie and holding hands. Weirdly this didn’t effect me much. K still made little jokes in lessons and my friends were even starting to expect I had a little crush on him. And also ,this is gonna sound weird, I was actually kinda relived to find out he wasn’t gay. I did feel like my heart broke a little when they were together but I was starting to question weather my crush was just for the sake of having a crush or if I actually liked ~him~ and not just the idea.
So it’s a couple months into the school year and k is polish so he goes to Poland for like a year and I’m not gonna lie my life felt a little empty. K had been gone a few days when I bring up that K is not here. This is where my life becomes a shitshow. Jer is talking about K and remember I said about Jer being gay, yeah......just yeah. Jer brings up that Emily and k always hang out, Emily blushes ( k and Emily were too scared or something to call themselves a couple) and is just like ‘we’re not that close’ LIES anyway. And Jer is like ‘ I’m kinda Jelly of you two’ (he didn’t say jelly but ya know’) they talk a little more than Jer is like ‘I like K’s hair it’s kinda sexy’ this is where my brain sets of alarm bells. So we have 2 people with crushes on this not very attractive person and one that might be dating him. Now just to sound not mean, there are 6 people in this library (including the librarian) and 3 of them like this same dude that’s why I’m so surprised. Then I go down a spiral. -what if those jokes weren’t flirty and I’m just an idiot- - what if K is bi and likes Jer and Emily but not me-. Anyway it was a rough time. Now a new person enters the story, Fay. Fay is bi and in the same year as Jer and my sister. She comes to the library like 2 times a week and we walk home with her. I don’t like her but I don’t hate her. We were walking home talking about how it’s weird a 13 yo and a 16 yo go out and how it’s basically illegal if they have sex and the I was like ‘but there probably not doing that though so I guess it’s not’. And then Fay says that 6 mounts ago her and Emily had sex a few times after Emily broke up with her boyfriend. That was hard for me to hear. Although I’ve never even shown K that I’m even a little interest I’d always imagined that at the end of senior school I’d ask him out and that he would be my first boyfriend and we’d be together for 2 years and we’d be eachother’s first’s.
But idk I’ve always struggled with expressing my feelings and I guess my sexuality. Going off topic here a little but I think I was maybe sexually abused by my female neighbour when I was 6, she was only 3 years older then me so I don’t know if it really counts and then I just found out this week that when I was 3 my female could tried to sexually assault me when she was 6 as a result of her abuse but I am kinda messed up by that. It’s weird because I think that led to me thinking I was bi because up until I found that out the only male ive even remotely been attracted to is K and I would always think ‘oh that girls pretty’ but I’m now realising that’s not the same ya know. Anyway I was kinda broke by what Fay said. Then quarantine happened. I thought about K probably a total of 24 hours throughout quarantine. Everything that mentioned love I would think of him and weather I liked him. We’ve just come back to school and this whole time I’ve been trying to avoid him at all costs. Especially looking at him because then I fall down the rabbit whole. He was sat right In front of me in science so how could I not. Remember I said that Emily had a sister in my year, well K was looking at her in science as if he wanted to say something to her. Idk what happened with them through quarantine because she’s now in college and the new library that was renovated is finished but it’s shut. This is the last story lol. I was placed next to K in Spanish and I’m not kidding the first 2 lessons we did not even look at each other. K has been diagnosed with social anxiety and although I haven’t been diagnosed I’m ‘shy’ and by shy I mean I find it hard talking to people that don’t live in my house and get panic attack everyday some so bad I can’t feel my legs. Anyway we both are to awkward and scared to talk to each other. Except Friday when he whispers a joke in the middle of lesson and looks at me. Which wouldn’t be sick a big thing except it’s been 5 months since we have last spoken and 2 days where we were literally sharing a desk and haven’t said a word. He said a second joke in the lesson and asked to borrow my glue. This sounds so lame as I’m writing it but I was starting to think he hated me. Anyway I have no idea how I feel about him or him me and am struggling. I really miss him and his robot like voice and don’t know what to do. And before you say ‘ask him out, what have you got a to loose’ remember what I said about my anxiety. I have never shown interest in any other person but him and it’s scary so help what do I do. Btw I can’t start hanging out with him only in lessons because we are not in the same sort of social circles and I don’t even know if I like him. But I guess I cared enough to spend 50 mins on this.
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