Central florida front yard landscaping ideas

New to me house can't figure out sprinkler

2023.05.30 22:44 4ast4orward New to me house can't figure out sprinkler

I just purchased a foreclosure house with a built in sprinkler system front and back yard. I'm somewhat familiar with sprinklers and have the control panels figured out but whenever I set the turn on time for zones nothing happens, almost like there's a main water valve not turned on for them. I have scoured the yard trying to find it, so far the closest thing I've found is an inground irrigation station with 4 control valves from the control panel and no inline valve in sight. I did notice next too the control panel there is a water spiket and a 1/4" pvc pipe comming out of the ground. I'm wondering if that's the connection for water instead if plummed into my main water system? Anyone have any ideas?
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2023.05.30 22:19 TheWrongDimension Starry-Eyed (Fan Fiction)

Statemeant of, Estella Freeman, regarding her experiences during an audition for a film rendition of Macbeth. Original Statement given on November 21, 2008. Audio recording by Jonathan Sims, Head Archivist of the Magnus Institute, London.
Statement begins
I appreciate your discretion. I could tell you recognized me the moment I sat down. I'm sure you can appreciate what an actress of my caliber has to deal with whenever I interact with the public. It can be nauseating, people swooning over you asking for an autograph or a picture or what have you. I’ve been an actress for almost 30 years and I can tell you it's really refreshing whenever I can find a moment to just be with other people and not have to talk about what your next big role is going to be, or how I was able to give such a performance in Destiny Walked North.
You're no doubt acquainted with many of my films, A Passage to Burma,, In Search of Sunrise, and of course everyone's favorite, Destiny Walked North. Oh but you don't want to hear me talk about all that. Sigh,but then I suppose I do have to tell you about the little misunderstanding concerning one of my recent auditions. Look, I'm only agreeing to give this statement because my younger sister, Cathrine, insisted I talk to you and threatened to go to the tabloids if I didn't. It really is all just a bit of unpleasant nonsense I can assure you.
The audition in question was an upcoming film version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by Dexter Banks. Dexter had decided he wanted to do a modern rendition of the play and had asked me to audition for the part of Lady Macbeth. Now I don't normally do Shakespeare. I find it the droll labor of lesser theater actors but Dexters a friend and I always try to help whenever I can so I agreed to the audition.
The scene in question is the well known sleepwalking scene that opens act 5 of the play. In it, Lady Macbeth is seen sleepwalking and delivers a powerful monologue wherein her guilt is laid to bare. The audition itself was done as a series of three takes which were all performed and recorded on a small set built to look like the interior of a modern day estate.
Everything started off fine. I had already delivered two flawless takes but Dexter had been unsatisfied. He said that my guilt did not appear genuine and suggested I try and find a memory to draw from for the final take. Now as I mentioned, I’ve been acting for 30 years and I dont need some director, friend or not, telling me how to get into character. Still, I didn't want to make a big deal about it and acquiesced to trying Dexter's way.
So that's what I did. It took a few moments but I suddenly remembered an incident from my childhood. I was about 10 or 11 at the time. One day while mum was out, I had taken some of her makeup to try on. You have to understand at that age I had started becoming interested in looking and dressing like a real woman and not some little girl. Anyway I knew it would make mum furious were she to catch me. I must have spent an hour meticulously applying the primer then foundation, followed by blush, eyeliner, and of course la touche finale: mums ruby red lipstick. Now at some point during all this I must have lost track of time for no sooner had I finished applying the lipstick when I heard the sound of mum’s fumbling with the front latch. I knew there would be no time to properly put back all the cosmetics and clean my face. I was certain I would be caught when I had the sudden idea. I quickly gathered up all the cosmetics and dumped them into my younger sister Cathrine’s room then locked myself in the privy just as mum entered the house.
Needless to say my little scheme had worked perfectly for it was not but a few minutes more when I could hear mum angrily shouting at Catherine. By the time I had cleaned my face and emerged I found my little sister sobbing in the corner.
Sigh, but of course I could barely go a whole day with all that guilt and I eventually confessed. Mum was…well she was pretty tough and lets just say I got what was coming to me.
And so I concentrated on that moment and when Dexter yelled action I began that final take. I put everything I had into that take. The moment when Lady Macbeth looks at her hands for fear of stained blood, I imagined the red stain of my mother's lipstick and thought about the cries my sister had made when mum had throttled her.
At the scene's culmination I made a spontaneous decision to improvise. The scene normally requires Lady Macbeth to exit the stage but I choose instead to throw myself on the floor in dramatic fashion. And so I screamed “What's done cannot be undone.--To bed, to bed, to bed!” and fell to the floor, eyes closed. I lay there for a few moments waiting for Dexter to yell cut but… there was nothing. At first I thought that perhaps my performance had just stunned him and so I waited for a few more moments but still… nothing. Then I opened my eyes to the horror of an empty room. Dexter, the entire crew, they all were…gone. I was alone. I thought at first perhaps it was a joke, that the crew had somehow snuck away in those moments where I had closed my eyes but then I realized something else: There was no equipment, no cameras, no light fixtures, no director's chair. It was an empty set. Now it's possible that maybe Dexter and the crew could have slipped away while I was preoccupied with my audition, a practical joke while I was lost in the performance as it may. But there's no way they could have just moved all that equipment in the span of a one minute scene. I began to panic, calling out for Dexter, for anyone to answer, hoping that at any moment someone would pop out and I would realize it was all imagined, a hallucination perhaps. But no one popped out. There were no responses. No surprises or jokes. Just the sound of my own voice echoing off the walls.
And then I realized something else, something that truly terrified me: I was no longer standing on a small set but in the actual room itself. What I mean is that, as I said before, the set had been constructed to look like part of a room in a modern day estate, it even had a small fireplace for Lady Macbeth to warm her hands by during the scene. The set had been no more than 8 or 9 meters long at most but this…this was an entire room, not a set at all. What I might have called panic moments before had now coalesced into utter terror. I ran to one of the doors and found it opened into a hallway, one typical of any other house of this type, and like most hallways, I could see it led to other rooms. I moved forward down the corridor carefully. A bathroom on the right, a bedroom on the left, another bedroom, and further down, the hallway led into a formal sitting room. This was a house, just like the setting of Dexter's film. I cried out again, begging for someone, anyone to answer, but still nothing.
Then I heard something: A distinct whistle coming from somewhere not far away. I rushed back down the way I came, this time turning down an adjacent hallway toward the sound and emerged into what was clearly the kitchen. And sure enough there, on the stove, sat a steaming tea kettle over the soft glow of the stove's flame. “I know you're there!”, I called out. Clearly the kettle had been set by someone and whomever they were they were nearby. I could feel it. Like someone nearby was watching. Then suddenly I heard a loud thump, back toward the sitting room I had just left. I ran back and found that a fire now burned in the fireplace: The thump I heard was the sound of a smoldering log that had crumbled.
Now I will admit I am not a brave person, and in this particular set of circumstances to say I was terrified would have been an understatement. All the same, I do not enjoy being played with. Whatever this was, whatever was happening, it was clearly someone's idea of a joke. It must have been right? Bolstered by my anger I set out frantically searching the house, flinging open closet doors, searching under beds, all the while screaming, daring my tormentor to reveal themselves. But it was always the same, I would enter rooms that had clear signs of a recent presence: A lit cigarette in an ashtray, a running faucet. I would return to rooms I had left moments before and find objects had moved. A book lay open on a night stand where it had not been 5 minutes before. I started to think I was losing my sanity.
This went on for what seemed like 30 minutes when suddenly I had an impulse. A horrible dread filled me and I rushed over to a window and drew open the curtains. I don't know exactly how to describe what I saw. It looked like the English countryside, but a countryside that had been burned and ravaged beyond comprehension. What might have once been the rolling green hills of Cornwall or Wiltshire were now blackened monoliths of ashen waste. All across were ember colored cracks scared into the earth, littering the landscape like open sores. And when I looked up into that blood red sky where the sun should have been, I saw instead, a viscous orb of the deepest jet. I stared at it, unable to remove my gaze, watching as it would occasionally writhe and pulsate ever so slightly. And when it did, just for a moment, it looked almost like an eye that had blinked, a wretched sentry keeping watch over its wretched wasteland. I screamed. I mean at that point any shred of hope I had that this might be some elaborate hoax or prank was gone. This was a nightmare. A pure terrible nightmare.
It's hard to remember everything that happened next but I recall running through the house in a panic and somehow ending up back in the original room I had found myself in when all this began, the one that matched the set of the film. And when I looked up I saw that there now stood in the center of the room a loan movie camera, mounted on a tripod. It looked just like the ones the crew had used on the set; only this one was unmanned. It was, however , pointed right at me, and I could tell from the faint hum that it was running. We stared at each other for several moments in silence. I say we because I want to make it very clear that this wasn't just a camera, it was….I dunno, the…thing that had been watching me. I was certain. I can't tell you how I knew it but I just did.
Sigh, and then I did the only thing left I could think to do. I slowly, deliberately, got down on my knees, looked right into that camera, and I begged. I begged it to spare me, to show me mercy. To please take pity and absolve my wretched soul of whatever sins I had committed. To witness all the guilt I could lay to bare. But the camera said nothing. It just sat there silently filming, silently watching. I guess I must have collapsed at that point, probably from exhaustion.
When I regained consciousness I was back on the set of the audition, surrounded by Dexter and the rest of the crew. To my surprise everyone was clapping and Dexter was beaming. I thought perhaps it all had been some strange hallucination or day dream and I vaguely remember trying to compose myself before the sudden feeling of everything slipping away.
I assume I had passed out. At least that's what the nurses told me when I woke up in St. Thomas. Something about stress induced psychosis and how I needed to take it easier from now on, and how i wasnt 25 anymore and blah blah blah. I was there for 2 days I think. It doesn't really matter. And I never did get the part. It went to some up and coming twit, you know the one in all the vampire movies. Dexter didn't even bother to call to tell me. The nerve. You know after 5 films, all I've done for him the least that bastard could do was call to tell me he had decided to give the part to some younger harlot he was probably sleeping with.
I haven't done any more auditions. Haven't really got the stomach for it lately. I mean I know I could still get the parts, it's just ...well…I don’t think I could bear to be in front of the cameras. The way they just stare at you, watching, silently taking it all in. I mean I know it was probably all some sorta of stressed induced hallucination or whatever but deep down I don't think it was. You know lately when I am out walking, I stop and look up at the sky, just to check and make sure the sun is still there where it's supposed to be. Anyway I think that's everything
Statement Ends.
Sigh. There's so many things wrong with this statement. Where do I begin? I think the key words here are hallucinations and psychosis. Neither of which forms the foundation for verifiable fact. Then there is the issue of Ms. Freeman’s reliability. A quick IMDB search indicates that Estella Freeman was indeed an actress who appeared in several films including several by renowned director Dexter Banks. However, she was not, as her statement claims, cast in a lead role in any of them. Almost all of her credits are for minor roles, certainly none that would be considered star billing. According to public records that Sasha dug up, Estella Freeman was the oldest of two children born to Robert and Sally Freeman. She did have a younger sister named Catherine but she apparently passed away in an unspecified domestic accident at the age of 7, roughly the time Estella would have been 10 years old. She is listed as having attended the Croydon School of Acting before appearing in several minor film roles over an approximately 25 year period. On October the 13th, 2008 she was admitted to St. Thomas hospital where she was diagnosed and treated for stress induced fatigue and released on her own recognizance after 48 hours. Clearly Ms. Freeman is either suffering from delusions of grandeur or is a pathological liar, but in either case I think this is another dead end. I seem to recall that Dexter Banks appeared in another statement, but given my predecessor's penchant for disorganization, it may be years before I can track down that statement. Still, I’ve asked Martin to keep an eye out for it.
There is one other additional interesting fact. Tim really came through on this one and managed to obtain a copy of Ms. Freeman’s audition tape from that day. I don't know what guy or girl he had to sleep with to get it and I wont bother to ask. I reviewed the tape and it does indeed show Ms. Freeman performing 3 takes of the scene as she described in her statement. The first 2 are uneventful. However during the 3rd take, just as Ms. Freeman goes down on the floor, the tape cuts out to static. When it continues, it appears to show her acting rather hysterically before being assisted off the set by several crew members. Now what's interesting is that the video time stamps indicate only a few seconds elapsed during the time just before and after the cut out but the static itself plays for over 90 minutes. Still, it's not definitive proof of anything “supernatural”. End Recording.
The Magnus Archives is a podcast distributed by Rusty Quill, and licensed under a creative commons attribution noncommercial share alike 4.0 international license. All the characters and settings referenced are the property of Rusty Quill in their entirety.

submitted by TheWrongDimension to TheMagnusArchives [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:06 4668fgfj The Ironic Case For Nazbol

I am specifically referring to National Bolshevism as the term was originally coined, rather than any group of people who may have labelled themselves "National Boshelviks" since. The term predates even the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922, let alone any other 20th century regime. The term was originally used by Karl Radek to describe two member he was expelling as "National Boshelviks". What these people wanted to do was align the revolutionary movement in Germany with that in Russia in mutual opposition to both the treaty of Versailles and the treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
I am specifically defending the prospect of this strategy in particular rather than specifically any person who might have been or could have been advocating for it and any ideas they might have had otherwise, not because it is national, or even bolshevik, but rather because I think it conforms with the idea in the Communist Manifesto of the role of Communists in relation to Proletarians where the Communists do not form separate political programs of their own and instead are supposed to align various proletarians movements together across nationality with respect to the current stage than any of those movements may find themselves in.
In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?
The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.
They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.
They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.
The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.
Therefore the irony of this position I am defending is that it was the one advocated for by people labelled National, which would clearly seem to be contrary to being independent of nationality, and Bolshevik who would seem to be sectarians seeking to mold to proletarian movement. The other irony is that for it to have been possible it would have required overcoming proletarian movements in different nationalities operating independent of one another, in addition to overcoming the sectarianism emerging between all the differing "Communist" movements. In other words this is another call in an endless stream of "stop infighting!" coupled with "everyone except for me is wrong" which just contributes to the infighting by creating a new sectarian divergence but there is very little that can be done about that. Mostly this is just an excuse to discuss a particular moment I find interesting and inner contrarian in me just wants to make the seemingly most insane position seem the most reasonable as a challenge.
Lenin was not in favour of this so it was a bit of a non-starter. In "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder he criticizes people who refuse to recognize the treaties, but in addition to the tendencies of so-called National Bolsheviks, he also criticized the Left-Communists that Karl Radek and the other German Revolutionaries were often members. Here we can start to see a problem emerging as you clearly have two different revolutionary movements in two different countries who are having difficulty working with each other (with the problem of the treaties between these countries not even being the main issue they were squabbling over). Indeed while not around long enough to have become officially a Left-Communist herself, Luxembourg is associated with them as her writings are cited as a major influence on the tendency, and she is notable for criticizing Lenin's Bolshevism.
There was a lot of confusion in this period and numerous tendencies diverging from one another, the reason being is that in the wake of the Russian Revolution and the end of the First World War there was a period of revolutionary activity across the entire world. While Russia and Germany are often the most focused upon due to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany being our core 20th century players and many seeing these revolutions as the origin points of these things with a compare and contrast analysis being done to understand while one failed and the other succeeded, in the light of understanding the world revolution as a wave, looking at just these two revolutions becomes parochial, as there was clearly one singular revolution going on across the world in the same way as during the Revolutions of 1848 where the Communist Manifesto was published.
Indeed Marx and Engels viewed that as a singular revolution and would have viewed the similar wave of revolutions that peaked in 1919 but spanned from 1917-1923 as a singular revolution. While differing in severity there was revolutionary activity in numerous countries ranging from the Two Red Years in Italy to the much less impressive sounding Red Week) in the Netherlands. Even as far away as Canada, Australia, and South Africa there were labour revolts in this period. The case of Canada is a bit emblematic of the obscurity of the scale of these events, as while the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 is well known, much like with only Russia and Germany beings discussed, the strike wave nature of the events in Canada just as in the world tends to fall out of discussion, as for instance this wave actually started with a general strike in Vancouver that was crushed by the military.
In the Preface to the 1882 Russian Edition of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels even suggested in the wake of the assassination of the Tsar Liberator that the impending Russian (bourgeois) Revolution would serve as a signal for the Western proletariat to have their Revolution, and that the Russian Revolution could end up being communist alongside the West.
And now Russia! During the Revolution of 1848-9, not only the European princes, but the European bourgeois as well, found their only salvation from the proletariat just beginning to awaken in Russian intervention. The Tsar was proclaimed the chief of European reaction. Today, he is a prisoner of war of the revolution in Gatchina, and Russia forms the vanguard of revolutionary action in Europe.
The Communist Manifesto had, as its object, the proclamation of the inevitable impending dissolution of modern bourgeois property. But in Russia we find, face-to-face with the rapidly flowering capitalist swindle and bourgeois property, just beginning to develop, more than half the land owned in common by the peasants. Now the question is: can the Russian obshchina, though greatly undermined, yet a form of primeval common ownership of land, pass directly to the higher form of Communist common ownership? Or, on the contrary, must it first pass through the same process of dissolution such as constitutes the historical evolution of the West?
The only answer to that possible today is this: If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting point for a communist development.
Now 1882 didn't turn into a revolution in Russia and there were several false starts like in 1905, but eventually it did finally happen. However seemingly with Lenin's New Economic Policy, both scenarios discussed ended up needing to happen. The Russian Revolution was both Communist and they felt it impossible to transition straight into Communism and thus had to allow some kind of bourgeois property relation to develop, and then later on had to eliminate this thing they created themselves in a rather unfortunate series of events. Additionally while the Russian Revolution did prove to be a signal for the Western proletariat to have their revolution, the proletariat revolution failed. In the spirit of this discussion I'm going to be argue that these were not separate incidents but rather the failure of the western proletariat's revolution is why Lenin implemented the NEP in 1922, in part because of internal rebellions calling for these things and because the international revolution seemingly failed resulting in a loss of hope that the western proletariat would in some way save them, which had to result in some kind of proletarian vanguard party lead bourgeois state emerging on the fly. Stalin would later have to undo this both these consequences in the events he is most criticized for, as in addition to reversing the NEP with collectivization, he undid the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk when as Molotov said "One kick from the German army and another from the Soviet Army put an end to this ugly product of Versailles" in regards to Poland. Polish independence being quite the unfortunate sacrifice here considering how supportive of it Engels was in the 1892 Polish Preface the the Communist Manifesto.
But the rapid development of Polish industry, outstripping that of Russia, is in its turn a new proof of the inexhaustible vitality of the Polish people and a new guarantee of its impending national restoration. And the restoration of an independent and strong Poland is a matter which concerns not only the Poles but all of us. A sincere international collaboration of the European nations is possible only if each of these nations is fully autonomous in its own house. The Revolution of 1848, which under the banner of the proletariat, after all, merely let the proletarian fighters do the work of the bourgeoisie, also secured the independence of Italy, Germany and Hungary through its testamentary executors, Louis Bonaparte and Bismarck; but Poland, which since 1792 had done more for the Revolution than all these three together, was left to its own resources when it succumbed in 1863 to a tenfold greater Russian force. The nobility could neither maintain nor regain Polish independence; today, to the bourgeoisie, this independence is, to say the last, immaterial. Nevertheless, it is a necessity for the harmonious collaboration of the European nations. It can be gained only by the young Polish proletariat, and in its hands it is secure. For the workers of all the rest of Europe need the independence of Poland just as much as the Polish workers themselves.
(The call for "full autonomy in a nations own house" is probably worth explaining. Nations that should be autonomous are nations which can be autonomous all on their own without international meddling. Engels was notoriously against all the south slavs for their pan-slavism because their independence was necessitated by interference from Imperial Russia, in part because he was still mad about the revolutions of 1848 not working out. He was even still mad at them 34 years later when he reaffirmed Polish independence alongside Irish independence as the most crucial national struggles to support. The reason being that Poland rejected pan-Slavism and was instead independently nationalist. That Poland could stand alone (and more importantly that Polish agitation threatened three reactionary imperial monarchies in Germany, Austria, and Russia at the same time. Ireland being important to screw around with the bourgeois British Empire as Marx and Engels increasingly saw the absentee revenues the British ruling class generated for themselves in Ireland as being the key to their parliamentary political dominance in England against both lower class and anti-imperialist challenges which were often the same thing) is why Polish independence was so supported. Standing alone is important because autonomous nations can switch between the rule of various classes without the risk of foreign interference on the part of imperialist reactionaries putting things back the way they were to protect their sphere of influence. The issue is that Polish independence ended up being a thorn in the side of the revolution when Polish independence was granted through Wilsonian liberal internationalism and during the Russian Civil War the Red Army tried and failed to retaliate against Poland when they joined forces with the Entente Liberal Imperialists in the Soviet-Poland War.
For NATO fans the opposition to NATO comes from this concept of being against spheres of influence, with a preference for complete independence. The Soviets or even Russia joining NATO however transform the institution from an American sphere of influence into just some vague "nobody invade anybody else okay guys thanks" treaty which is what it is sold as. So long as Russia is not included in NATO it fails to fulfill its stated purpose, and it must be opposed because it does not protect the independence of the nations within it, rather it makes them subservient to the United States, and the counter-balance of Russia inside the block is sufficient that the nations within it could seamlessly transfer between spheres of influence, or more importantly, not be in anyone's sphere of influence by successfully playing the US and Russia off each other, which puts each nation in a position to pursue development with little risk of the alliance being used to punish them. In fact if say Luxembourg decided to go rogue it could even use the NATO treaty to argue that anyone infringing upon them should be subjected to retaliation by all the other members, and now they have a socialist Luxembourg in the middle of Europe and they can't do anything about it because the treaty guarantees their independence with multiple dozen moving parts so long as Luxembourg doesn't militarily invade anybody. However if the organization is nothing more that an American political block with US bases every where, clearly the US would be able to pressure people into recognizing the socialist Luxembourg as illegitimate in some way and argue it can be invaded without requiring everyone come to its defense. So NATO good if Russia included and US bases removed, an in NATO Russia still isn't a threat to even Estonia if dozens of European countries are required to defend it, and that isn't even considering a late arrival of the US and Canada when they finally cross the Atlantic. The problem with NATO is that it is clearly an unofficial loosely held US empire, it stops being a problem when it is no longer this)
This whole confused mess could have been avoided had the world revolution not failed. This circles back to the Russian and German revolutions and how they were not united. Therefore the position of those labelled Nazbol is attractive merely for the sake that it would have united these two disparate revolutions. The success of either was reliant on the success of the other. The prior Bolshevik position of Peace Without Annexations or Indemnities would permanently lock in the Russian and German revolutions together in a mutual opposition to the bourgeois treaties, a pact of blood to oppose the pacts signed in ink.
Additionally opposition to the indemnity aspect of the treaty of Versailles would have been in fidelity to the revolutionary history of the Paris Commune which inspired the notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat in 1871, which was prompted in part by opposition to the burden of the reparation payments imposed on France by Bismark in response to Napolean III's failed invasion being placed on the people of France by the bourgeois government that signed that treaty. On a global scale while the opportunity for revolution by the proletariat refusing to enter World War One was squandered by the Social Democrats granting their permission, the proletariat could instead refuse to exit World War One by not granting their permission for acceptance of the bourgeois treaties just as the Paris Commune refused to accept Bismark's treaty.
Indeed opposition to the bourgeois Treaty of Trianon served as the basis for cooperation between the Nationalists and the Communists in Hungary, who unlike the Luxembourgists in Germany, were internationally aligned with the Boshelviks in Russia with the establishment of the Hungarian Soviet Republic. The alliance however broke down with the establishment of the Slovak Soviet Republic as the Hungarian nationalists questioned why they were participating in the Hungarian Red Army if they were just going to be liberating other countries, this ended up not even being that relevant of a dispute seeing as Slovakia was never fully captured and the Czechoslovak army ended up recapturing it in a month and so the issue only lasted from June 1919 to July 1919. However it exposed the core obvious problem with the alliance between nationalists and communists, as the full Petrograd formula was "peace without annexations or indemnities, on the basis of self-determination of the peoples" so the nationalists opposed to treaties were not going to like it when the second part got implemented later.
Lenin and Stalin ran into a similar issue when Stalin opposed Georgian self-determination in 1922 and wanted them to instead join Russia, with the comical situation of Stalin calling the Georgian Mensheviks "nationalist-socialists" and the Russian Lenin accusing the Georgian Stalin of being a Russian nationalist-socialist in response. We can clearly see that there are vastly differing views on the questions of nationality all over the place and there was no one line being taken, with Hungary and Germany taking vastly different views in regards to the treaties and cooperation with nationalists, to their own unique sets of problems later on with them.
The vastly different ways everyone was handling these issues is why I argue that the best principle would have been to have no principles at all. The only communist principle in regards to nationality is international cooperation. Indeed while you had Communist revolutions in German, Hungary, and Russia, the common thread uniting them of opposition to the bourgeois treaties would have also united them with the liberal Kemalist revolution in Turkey, thus completing the alignment of all revolutionaries in the central powers and Imperial Russia against the rest of the entente attempting to impose the bourgeois treaties, in effect adding Russia to the central powers after the imperialist war had turned into a civil war in all four imperial monarchies. That Turkey was in a vastly different stage of revolution than the other three would be irrelevant as these revolutions would still be mutually supporting of each other, and the Communists could rest assured safely knowing that while differing countries might be in different stages of revolution, they had the advantage over all others in knowing the ultimate end result of all their revolutions even if the people operating in them might not know it themselves.
The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.
As such the notion that one needs to be politically Communist to participate in the revolution is false. So long as a state of revolution remained the stages of the revolution could continue moving forward. If Turkey was not materially ready for it, that need not matter so long as the Kemalists were willing to join in an anti-imperialist block in the mean time, which they were willing to do until the Soviets later started looking at the straights with desire which eventually pushed Turkey into the arms of NATO where it remains to this day. However at the time the Soviets and Turkey were quite friendly despite their obvious ideological differences merely based on this mutual geopolitical interest in so-called anti-imperialism. This anti-imperialism was selective however, with the "Mountain Turks" and "Mountain Russians" being sacrificed for it, but the benefits of not having principles means you don't exactly have to care about that. Ataturk can make poutine out of the Kurds all he wants if he remains staunchly anti-imperialist on an international level. This gross cynical realism while obviously questionable is still consistent with Revolutionary History as all prior revolutions do not stand up to moral scrutiny when they are viewed in this way. In fact at the twilight of the 1848 revolutions Engels himself called for the Hungarians to wipeout the "counter-revolutionary" Slavs, while this is obviously not something we should want to have happened, and we definitely should not ever do this if we ever find ourselves in a position to make those decisions, it is important to understand the reasoning behind why he was saying those things, that it is the continuance of the revolution itself is both the most important thing, and something that is largely out of anyone's control in the Hegelian sense of Historicism.
The Magyar cause is not in such a bad way as mercenary black-and-yellow [colours of the Austrian flag] enthusiasm would have us believe. The Magyars are not yet defeated. But if they fall, they will fall gloriously, as the last heroes of the 1848 revolution, and only for a short time. Then for a time the Slav counter-revolution will sweep down on the Austrian monarchy with all its barbarity, and the camarilla will see what sort of allies it has. But at the first victorious uprising of the French proletariat, which Louis Napoleon is striving with all his might to conjure up, the Austrian Germans and Magyars will be set free and wreak a bloody revenge on the Slav barbarians. The general war which will then break out will smash this Slav Sonderbund and wipe out all these petty hidebound nations, down to their very names.
The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.
A key fact you will observe is that they are often quite over eager in announcing the impending revolution. For instance The Magyar Struggle was published in January of 1849 in Marx's Newspaper, and Louis Napoleon was elected President of France in December of 1848. It seems as if they might have thought that this would have been more significant than it actually turned out to be. This kind of made sense though because Louis Napoleon's main opponent in the election was Louis-Eugene Cavagnac who lead the army to suppress a worker's uprising in Paris back in the "June Days" of 1848. Additionally the Hungarians did not do this, instead they adopted cultural assimilation policies called Magyarization, and late in the revolution into 1849 while the Russian and Austria Imperial armies were barring down on them they adopted minority right protections to try to win them back. However they were ultimately unsuccessful in repelling the Russian invasion regardless of any attempts at outreach.
What I find notable about this is that Engels essentially predicted the sides of the "next world war" (albeit there was a world war in between) that would wipeout entire peoples, but somehow ended up reversing the reactionary and revolutionary sides, as an Austrian German and the Hungarians did engage in a war against the Slavs, but because somehow the "poles of revolution" did somehow invert and head outwards from Russia like Engels said the Slavs supposedly wanted, that war was against the revolution instead of for it.
There is no country in Europe which does not have in some corner or other one or several ruined fragments of peoples, the remnant of a former population that was suppressed and held in bondage by the nation which later became the main vehicle of historical development. These relics of a nation mercilessly trampled under foot in the course of history, as Hegel says, these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution.
Such, in Scotland, are the Gaels, the supporters of the Stuarts from 1640 to 1745.
Such, in France, are the Bretons, the supporters of the Bourbons from 1792 to 1800.
Such, in Spain, are the Basques, the supporters of Don Carlos.
Such, in Austria, are the pan-Slavist Southern Slavs, who are nothing but the residual fragment of peoples, resulting from an extremely confused thousand years of development. That this residual fragment, which is likewise extremely confused, sees its salvation only in a reversal of the whole European movement, which in its view ought to go not from west to east, but from east to west, and that for it the instrument of liberation and the bond of unity is the Russian knout — that is the most natural thing in the world.
However a lot can apparently change in almost 100 years. Russia was once seen as the bastion of reaction celebrated by the reactionaries everywhere for having invaded Hungary to put down the 1848-9 revolution, but then became the center of revolution, taking that spot from France which didn't really participate in the Revolutions despite the 1917 mutinies defused in June by Philip Petain by reassuring the soldiers by calling off the offensives that were intended to try to reassure the Provision Russian Government from the February Revolution to stay in the war and who launched the "Kerensky Offensive" in July which prompted the unsuccessful "July Days" Bolshevik uprising before the later successful October Revolution.
The absence of French participation beyond this is remarkable given how much they played a role in other revolutions and also remarkable how it was later Vichy leader Petain himself who basically defused the situation by giving the soldiers what they wanted and ending the suicidal offensives. The difference between Petain and Kerensky here and that the Russian revolution had not yet gone proletariat at this point while France was dealing with its own situation coming up from the soldiers and that the Russian version of this happened only a month afterwards should probably be focused on more here, in addition to how the differing approaches countries took on simultaneous and similar events from 1917-1923 should be analyzed like how I am suggesting (Comprehensive Revolutionary History of World War One when? Honestly I might write it at this point, issue is wikipedia as sources is probably not the greatest, and wikipedia article bouncing is how I'm formulating these connections as it requires an extremely shallow understanding of a lot of things that people with deep understandings of those things would all reject because I'm ignoring intricacies, despite ignoring intricacies being the entire point as intricacies are caused by random eddies and chaotic currents, and so must be ignored if you want to get a sense of the overall direction things are going, although admittedly I feel myself getting a bit schizo when I assert random concepts whole cloth that nobody has ever used by anyone besides me as you will see with the term "global political magnetic field collapse")
Since the Russian Revolution the apparent "pole of reaction" where global reactionaries collect as their refuge that Russia represented seemingly shifted to the United States for the Cold War after the pole reversal and global political magnetic field collapse manifesting in the out of place auroral borealis of the inter-war period and world war 2. It would be reasonable to assume that it would be just as possible for the United States to become a new center of revolution in the way Russia took that position from France despite Russia being the most reactionary power of anyone before that happened.
submitted by 4668fgfj to stupidpol [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:04 snakwraps My neighbor is a drug dealer what do I do?

She has a prior conviction involving drugs and money laundering. Found the court proceedings online. Live in a nice neighborhood, have an HOA. She’s constantly got these late night visitors and it’s been the same guy usually so I just thought it was a boyfriend. That is until I noticed it’s always a short visit and he always leaves with some kind of shopping bag. I don’t know what he’s picking up and I wouldn’t have cared if it hadn’t woken me up at 1am every other night. She’s also a bad neighbor. Likes to leave her trash cans in the front, yard is always in disarray, and I thought she sold cars or something but she actually works in healthcare, but there are these mysterious cars that remained parked in front of the other neighbor’s houses instead of in front of hers.
A neighbor had asked me if I knew whose car it was parked in front of their house and I said no so they emailed the HOA and then one day I saw her charging up the car with her car and later that day it was gone so I realized it was her car the whole time. That neighbor told me they saw needles by the car. When I first moved in there was a car parked in front of my place and I had to email the HOA about it too but I had completely forgot about that until the neighbor brought up the mysterious car. Seems like she’s got her hand in a couple shady pots, maybe she rents out the parking spaces?
Anyway, it’s really unnerving that people are shooting up on my street after picking up whatever it is they’re getting from her and it doesn’t make me feel safe. She has no idea the neighbors and I are onto her and she’s gotten in trouble multiple times for things like the parking, etc. She also has this sister that is involved somehow because she also stops by in the dead of night to drop off shopping bags of stuff. The whole thing is just really bizarre. There are kids that live here.
Thinking I’m going to file an anonymous police tip. Anybody have any experience with the process following that? Should I call after filing if I don’t see anything happening and these late night pickups keep going on?
submitted by snakwraps to police [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:02 greentea45 Am I out of touch? Overgrown lawn weeding costs...

So I have a 3000 sqft (approx lawn) at an investment property in central CA. The weeds have gotten pretty overgrown so I was looking for someone to mow them.
Usually I just mow myself, but I've been pretty busy lately... And allergies...
Anyway, I sent a few quotes on Yelp to "landscaping services". Not many replies, but 1 guy comes to the location and tells me $1000?!.
I would have expected something like a quarter of that price... It seems like it'd be a 3 hr max job to me (just run it over with a lawnmower and blow away the weeds, nothing fancy).
Am I just out of touch with prices, or am I approaching this wrong?
Picture of yard in question:
submitted by greentea45 to lawncare [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:02 snakwraps My neighbor is a drug dealer what do I do?

She has a prior conviction involving drugs and money laundering. Found the court proceedings online. Live in a nice neighborhood, have an HOA. She’s constantly got these late night visitors and it’s been the same guy usually so I just thought it was a boyfriend. That is until I noticed it’s always a short visit and he always leaves with some kind of shopping bag. I don’t know what he’s picking up and I wouldn’t have cared if it hadn’t woken me up at 1am every other night. She’s also a bad neighbor. Likes to leave her trash cans in the front, yard is always in disarray, and I thought she sold cars or something but she actually works in healthcare, but there are these mysterious cars that remained parked in front of the other neighbor’s houses instead of in front of hers.
A neighbor had asked me if I knew whose car it was parked in front of their house and I said no so they emailed the HOA and then one day I saw her charging up the car with her car and later that day it was gone so I realized it was her car the whole time. That neighbor told me they saw needles by the car. When I first moved in there was a car parked in front of my place and I had to email the HOA about it too but I had completely forgot about that until the neighbor brought up the mysterious car. Seems like she’s got her hand in a couple shady pots, maybe she rents out the parking spaces?
Anyway, it’s really unnerving that people are shooting up on my street after picking up whatever it is they’re getting from her and it doesn’t make me feel safe. She has no idea the neighbors and I are onto her and she’s gotten in trouble multiple times for things like the parking, etc. She also has this sister that is involved somehow because she also stops by in the dead of night to drop off shopping bags of stuff. The whole thing is just really bizarre. There are kids that live here.
Thinking I’m going to file an anonymous police tip. Anybody have any experience with the process following that? Should I call after filing if I don’t see anything happening and these late night pickups keep going on?
submitted by snakwraps to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 21:29 edmanet South FL tree advice

I just had a rotting Carrotwood tree removed from my front yard and want to replace it with something non-invasive and nicer to look at. I don't want it to get too tall, maybe 30ft tops but I'd like it to be fast growing though. The front of the house gets full sun in the afternoon. Any ideas?
submitted by edmanet to florida [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 20:37 BjornAfMunso Betterment Camp - Part 4

So, here's the fourth chapter. Sorry for releasing it a bit late, I've had some pretty tough finals. The next chapter might be delayed as well but after that I should be able to get back to my normal schedule of once a week or possibly better. And thanks for the support on my last chapter, your upvotes and comments mean the world to me!
Big thanks to u/Rand0mness4 for proofreading my chapter and to u/SpacePaladin15 for creating NoP and its amazing literary universe.
CW: Descriptions of desecrated bodies (just your ordinary sapient cattle farm)
[first] [previous] [next (hopefully out in about a week)]
Memory transcription subject: Oscar Williams, UN Marine
Date [standard human time]: December 3, 2136
With the hum of the cars’ engines tapering off, everything turned quiet, far too quiet. The only sound bar my own breathing was the wind making its way through cracks in the building’s metal shell. Gunfire should’ve been raining down on us by now. The building in front of was at least the size of a football field and going by the faint, but disgusting, smell of the poor victims, the place was packed. There was no way only the about two dozen scalies we eliminated worked here.
Where was the fight? Were all of them hiding inside? We couldn’t have gotten all of them before, right? Well, there’s only one way to find out where the fuckers were hiding.
Richards lined us up next to the large pair of doors separating us from the farm and a soldier from another squad grabbed a handheld battering ram. I doubted the door would hold after just a few hits with a rock but speed was of the essence. The faster we cleared out the arxur infestation, the more people would survive. I wasn’t about to let anyone else die in that hell. My grip around my rifle tightened and time almost seemed to slow down when the first hit was winded up.
We were quietly signaled to step back from the door and with just one hit with the battering ram the lock was separated from the rest of the door. The force from the hit slammed the door open and we promptly stormed in through the opening. But no gunfire met us. The inside was just as deserted as the outside had been. We had entered what seemed to be some kind of warehouse, large crates strewn throughout the floor and deep freezers lining the walls. At that moment I desperately wished I was a mouth breather. The stench, that had previously been contained by the sheet metal walls, was now flooding into my nostrils. Manure, unwashed bodies, and rotten meat. I tried my best to focus on anything but the freezers but every single wall was covered with them. Wherever my eyes darted, more proof of the murders appeared. A dried splotch of blood, some tufts of fur, a bloody machete.
They took pride in it. Pride in this… They’re going to pay.
We crept through the wide open space, making our way from cover to cover. The dirt floor muffled any sound our footsteps would’ve made and we were only exposed for brief moments. If any arxur caught us, we wouldn’t be caught like a deer in headlights. After one of our many rushes between covers, I ended up next to one of the many freezers.
Oh god. My poor nostrils.
The smell had grown even stronger and when I glanced at the freezer I quickly realized why. It seemed to have lost power, going by the fact that it wasn't cold, and that the lid was ajar. The remains of a person, a person who had friends and family, were rotting away inside. My knuckles were turning white from how hard I gripped my rifle and my teeth felt like they were going to crack due to my jaw clenching so hard. I was going to repay them in kind. Those motherfuckers, wherever they were.
When I stood up, en route to the next cover, my eyes caught a glimpse of the inside of the freezer. Pieces of mangled body parts filled the bottom of the box and a swarm of insects swarmed around something in the middle and-
Parts of yesterday’s meal filled my mouth when I realized what was hiding under the swarm. A severed venlil head with empty eye sockets stared back at me. Blood had dripped down from the sockets, painting long streaks of orange in the white fur. The head’s mouth was locked in an expression of terror and pain and the neck looked like it had been ripped off from the venlil’s body. Part of the spine hung limp beneath the neck and, knowing arxur, I doubted the venlil had been dead during the ripping.
As soon as I found out where they were- Where the hell were the arxur?
Realization suddenly flashed through my mind. Of course those cowards had fled. Fled their just punishment that I had sworn to deliver. My grip around my rifle tightened when I thought about the fuckers running this farm. They’d almost certainly escape justice, and there was in all likelihood nothing I could do about it. If only I could convince Olivia to hunt them down like they deserved.
My train of thought was brought to an abrupt end when we reached the other side of the warehouse. The door on this wall was far smaller, clearly just used by personnel. And it didn’t even have a lock. Maybe they decided to take cover behind this smaller choke point. I immediately squashed the idea in my mind as soon as I thought of it. They weren’t disciplined enough to not rush us with nothing but their natural weaponry.
My theory was quickly being proven true when we rushed into the next room. There wasn’t a single arxur in sight, but the sheer amount of victims more than made up for their absence. We had emerged on some kind of raised walkways, overlooking cramped pits filled with aliens sleeping in the most abhorrent conditions. The air reeked of unwashed bodies, feces, and many other disgusting smells I didn’t even recognize. The victims in the pits looked even worse for wear than the rest of this dilapidated building. Several of the harchen in the closest pit were covered in deep gashes and some even missed entire body parts.
Torture, there was no other explanation. Those fucking crocs.
As I looked around at the other pens, it was quickly made evident that the treatment of the harchen was more of a rule than an exception. Over in another pit, several krakotl had been completely plucked, and what I assumed to be words had been branded onto their backs. Despite my deep hatred for most of their governments, I couldn’t find it in myself to be mad at anyone here. They’d more than likely been captured long before they even knew earth was still inhabitable and even if they weren’t, they still didn’t deserve this torture.
This was so much worse than I thought. Of course it would be horrible but this, how-
Nausea quickly filled my thoughts and before I could even bend over, today's lunch spilled out of my mouth, and I wasn’t alone. At least a third of my fellow soldiers had the same reaction as me.
Good to know I’m not the only empathetic person here. Maybe they’ll agree that the arxur deserve to be treated like their prey after this. Oh, what I would do if I caught any of them.
The krakotl’s hoarse scream sent a shiver down my spine. It sounded like they hadn’t used their voice for years. I hastily pulled up my bandana and checked that my visor blocked my entire face. I didn’t dare think about what would happen if they realized we were predators.
“P- P- Please help us…”
The screaming had quickly woken up the rest of the aliens who were looking at us with a mix of bewilderment, fear and hope. My eyes darted around the pens while my mind prayed that they wouldn’t land on anyone that recognized our ‘arboreal’ eyes. After what felt like the longest five seconds of my life, I finally allowed myself to breathe a sigh of relief. If no one had fainted yet, they probably didn’t know we were human.
“We’ve come to rescue you, you’re going to get out of here. Just stay calm.”
Richards immediately took command of the situation, preventing widespread panic from the aliens.
“T- T- Thank you… Is the f- f- federation winning?”
The brave krakotl who asked us for help clearly thought we were from the federation and I silently thanked god everyone else seemed to believe the same thing. If they didn’t there would be pandemonium. Those poor souls must’ve seen arxur bloodshed every single day. I could barely imagine how terrified they would be if our identity was revealed. In their eyes we would be nothing but another species of predators and this was the worst possible place to try convincing them we weren’t.
“We’re just going to make sure there are no arxur left in the building, then we’re getting you out of there. We’ll be back before you know it.”
Avoiding the question. I really hoped Richards didn’t tip off the aliens about us there. At least she didn’t deny that we were from the feds. As long as we got out of there as quickly as possible, everything would be fine.
“I- I- saw them leaving. They were a- a- angry, and before they l- l- left they- they…”
The krakotl lifted their wing and shakily pointed towards a dark corner of the room as their voice faltered. Some kind of poles with clumps in the middle filled the corner but any more detail was masked under the veil of darkness. Carefully avoiding looking at the flickering lamps filling the building with light, I turned on my night vision goggles and as soon as my brain registered what it was seeing, I wished that I had been born blind. The poles were wooden stakes and the clumps were the mutilated corpses of a dozen aliens. Deep gashes stretched across their abdomen and their intestines were pouring out of the holes. Not even their heads were spared. They were nigh unrecognizable from blunt force trauma and one of the victims still had the hammer buried in their face. Disgust and rage flared up within me, almost stronger than I’d ever felt before. I wanted to vomit and chop arxur into small pieces at the same time.
Why do they fucking exist? Why the fuck do I have to fucking see this. How can someone… do something like this? And why did we let them escape? Wait, the faster I clear this building, the faster we can hunt them down.
“You’re safe now, we’re getting you off this planet. Squad, we’re make sure there are no arxur left on the premises.”
Sergeant Richards’ command immediately pushed me to act. While about half our our force moved to clear out the rest of the building, my squad rushed for the back door at the other end of the cattle pens. We quickly made our way outside into a large yard, the dirt ground stretching several dozen meters from the building before slowly morphing into a field. In the distance, several large piles of timber were piled high next to a large, deforested area. The only feasible place for the arxur to hide on this side of the compound was the shack that stood at the edge of the yard. In contrast to the concentration camp, this building actually looked relatively structurally sound. Thick concrete walls, a door made of something other than sheet metal, and a roof with only a few visible holes. That was incredibly impressive for an arxur.
Just gotta check this shack, then we can start chasing the fuckers.
Following Richards’ directions, we quickly began making our way towards the building. Reminding myself there was no time to spare, I sprinted ahead of the others and squeezed through the slightly ajar door. A loud slam emanated from behind me as the door shut behind me and I emerged into something that almost looked like living quarters. Several bedrolls were laid out on the ground, piles of equipment were scattered across the floor, and a large scaly repti-
They hadn’t left. Those fuckers just laid in ambush, waiting for me to let my guard down. Its hideous body sat on one of the bedrolls, radiating bloodlust. I could feel its eyes bore deep into my soul, sending an involuntary shudder down my spine. Every single part of it was tailor made to kill, and nothing else. It could easily rip off my limbs with its massive claws, and then chop them into tiny pieces with its razor sharp teeth if I was careless.
Can’t be careless then. That fucker isn’t going to walk out of here alive. If I’m going down, it’s going down with me.
I instinctively threw myself to the ground, raising my rifle to take out my target. My rifle was aimed directly at the unarmed creature’s head, through the chain-link fence sectioning off the arxur from me. Just before I pulled the trigger, my brain connected the contradictory information, stopping me from firing from sheer bewilderment.
Why the fuck did that thing not have a weapon? And why were they in some kind of improvised prison?
“Hey! Oscar, the door’s locked. What’s your status?”
David’s voice and a loud banging on the door I just passed through snapped me back to reality. I was locked away from my squad in a room full of arxur. The same species that fucking impailed a dozen people out there. And here they were, right in front of me, behind a chain-link fence. Red flashed before my eyes as I realized what was happening.
They were trying to fool us. And those morons thought I wouldn't notice. They put up that barbed wire, trying to exploit our empathy. We’d try to imprison them, and then they’d strike. And they would have succeeded, had I not been alone.
I slowly stood back up, and shuffled backwards until I stood flush against some kind of railing. The multiple arxur that were hiding behind the chain-link looked at me with unreadable expressions but I could noticeably see their eyes widen as I raised my rifle.
Finally realizing the jig is up? They were going to pay for for the people they fucking impailed, for the venlil whose head they fucking ripped of, and for the fucking cradle.
All I had to do was tell the white lie that they attacked me and open fire. Then my squad wouldn’t be murdered and justice would finally be served. The arxur remained quiet as mice as I prepared to enact justice, probably in shock from their stupid ploy being seen through. I was eternally thankful that they were so stupid. The anger that had filled my entire system slowly melted away, being replaced by satisfaction at their imminent demise. Right as I was about to press down on the trigger one of the arxur began speaking but as I looked for the culprit I saw that all their mouths were shut. The voice was high pitched, almost childlike, and it echoed from… below.
What the-
“Hi, what are you? You look really cool!”
Is Oscar being a bit delusional? Should he analyze the situation a bit more objectively? Possibly, but where's the fun in having completely sane characters.
Anyways, the two protagonists are about to meet. Will said meeting remain entirely civil or will Oscar "accidentally" drop a grenade into the pit? We'll find out next time.
submitted by BjornAfMunso to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 20:13 no_quarter_308 Septic tank grading

I'm working on a house built in 1996. It is about 3000 Sq ft and has 3.5 baths. Maybe this gives an idea of tank size. It's in Indiana with our typical dense clay soil once you get past the first 4 in.
The septic tank is in the front yard with 4 lines for the leach field extending out toward the road.
The initial grading was not correct and water enters the basement through the floor on occasion. Between the house and tank the grade is negative, plus there are downspouts that side. I'm planning to pull the highest points from the foundation and regrade away, but I can't get a straight answer on equipment use around the tank and field. If I peel the sod off over the tank with an excavator so there is no weight, would I then be safe to use a small tractor and box blade to redistribute the soil or move it away to where I can get it with a skid steer? I have to move about 8-10in depth off an area about 400 Sq ft.
I know the pros arent doing this woth shovels and rakes, which is what ive seen everywhere. Thanks for any input.
submitted by no_quarter_308 to Plumbing [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 20:00 giantspeck The NHC is monitoring an area of potential development over the central/eastern Gulf of Mexico

Outlook discussion

  • Tuesday, 30 May 2023 – 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT; 18:00 UTC)
Discussion by:
  • Dr. Philippe Papin, NHC Hurricane Specialist
  • Eric Blake, NHC Senior Hurricane Specialist
Discussion text:
An area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms is associated with a surface trough of low pressure interacting with an upper-level trough over the central Gulf of Mexico. Environmental conditions appear only marginally favorable for additional development over the next several days as the system meanders over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The system is then forecast to move across the Florida Peninsula this weekend and emerge into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean by early next week. Regardless of development, the system could produce heavy rainfall and gusty winds over portions of the Florida Peninsula later this week.
Additional information on the rainfall and flooding potential can be found in products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office and Excessive Rainfall Outlooks issued by the Weather Prediction Center.
Development potential:
  • Next 2 days: low (10 percent) ▲
  • Next 7 days: low (20 percent) ▲

Official information

National Hurricane Center

For information regarding the ongoing development of this system and other areas of disturbed weather across the northern Atlantic Ocean.

Weather Prediction Center

For information regarding impacts from tropical and non-tropical storm systems, including rainfall amounts and excessive rainfall alerts.

National Weather Service

For information regarding impacts to your local information, provided by meteorologists working in your area of the country.

Radar imagery

National Weather Service

College of DuPage

Satellite imagery

Regional imagery

Central Atlantic

Forecast models




Tropical Tidbits

submitted by giantspeck to TropicalWeather [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 19:39 brombomb Pre setup help

I am getting ready to receive my Luba AWD 1000. I'm hoping to get some feedback on my intended setup. The teal areas are my yards that I want to mow. Red are physical steps that won't really allow for traversal. The green dot is where I have an electric outlet. The yellow dot is my planned RTK station roof mount. And the white is my idea for front yard to back yard traversal. It is a smooth concrete walk path, that is currently blocked by a swinging gate (brown). I thought I could get a simple push flap, but the bump sensor might not play nice, and then looking at my gate I didn't realize it had a bottom brace which would make installing a pass-through more difficult.

The electric outlet is underneath a deck, and the ground is covered in river rocks. Will charging/navigation be a problem if the charge station is put there, or should I run it out to the path? Thanks in advance for the help.
submitted by brombomb to mammotion [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 19:19 BasicSith2 [RO] Journey to the Treetop

CABIN ROAD is the gateway to paradise. But why does this feel like a path to hell? I smash into a tall pine tree that stands in the middle of the otherwise straight gravel road. I've gone around it hundreds of times before. But now, my fingers are firmly gripped on the steering wheel, disregarding all my commands. Have I become paralyzed? A potato is wobbling on the dashboard, having obviously leaped out of the potato crates in the back seat. Jack gets out and strides to the front bumper. His lips press into a thin line as he appraises the destruction and cost of fixing it. Nothing should hold him back from swearing. But he maintains his composure, anger simmering just beneath the surface. The memory of thirty years of marriage fills my mind. I question whether this man has drugged me. A fleeting thought that he might have crashed the car surfaces, but it seems too much of a stretch. I take a deep breath and try to clear my head. In the rear-view mirror, Jack gets an axe from the trunk. He comes and gazes at me from my window, his eyes looking heavy and weary—like two precious pearls inside their oyster-like shells. I straighten and open the window: “Thank goodness it wasn't worse.” “I'll chop it down.” “That’s a pretty big tree, Jack.” Jack blinks several times. “I do have a chainsaw...” “Yes.” I wonder what stories this tree has witnessed during its lifetime. Will we see the marks of our journey on its rings? There’s always something that gets squeezed in tighter, begging to be unraveled. “I'll drive you to the cabin and grab the chainsaw,” Jack says. “Prepare some coffee while I'm gone.” Our short passage to the cabin around the bend is like shifting through the fog of memory. I'm in the kitchen. My fingers clench around the coffee tin can and spoon. Bewilderment engulfs my brain. I spot Jack with his saw. He slips around the corner, the curve of his bottom visible through his tight work trousers. I feel anxious about the crash. Did I deliberately hit the tree? The measuring spoon slips from my hand. It drops onto the floor along with the tin can. I clean up the mess. Could someone drive into a tree on purpose? Accidents do happen after all. It's fascinating to see him take on this role of being so chivalrous. Far away from his academic duties. As the chainsaw outside whines, I scroll through social media on my phone. People arguing about something or other makes me tired. I pick up a copy of Science magazine from the coffee table and scan through an article titled “Quantum Communication Across Interstellar Space,” authored by Jack. As usual, the details go right over my head. I like to amuse myself with the idea that it speaks about communicating with individuals who have passed away. Billy's message pops up. He asks for money for a fishing trip with his buddies somewhere in Lapland. I am more than happy to support him since he’s enlisting in the army soon in July. My big boy. I tell him about the car crash, and he gives me advice about a car repair store. Jack comes back earlier than expected. He plops into his seat, sweat beading on his forehead and the smell of resin emanating from him. He seems disappointed. I pour coffee to the brim. “Did the saw get stuck?” Jack shakes his head and adds sugar to his mug. “It got shattered under the tree. I stumbled...” Silence descends slowly, like dust. “My helmet cracked.” “Do you want me to buy new parts when I go to the store?” “No need.” “But there's pruning and cutting to do first.” Jack takes a bite out of a cinnamon bun. “I can sharpen the axe.” “Ask the neighbors for help, that's what they're for. You can also mow the lawn while I'm away.” “The grass is already short— it'll die off.” “You don't want ticks taking over! Think about your mother's joint pain. She would roll in her grave if—” “Cremated?’ “Yes!” My answer is like a flyswatter, leaving no room for further discussion or quantum physics. Jack is busy chewing on the bun. His regular coffee breaks, which have become part of his daily routine in his sixties, have honed impressive jowls. We enjoy our coffee and stare at the lake. Calm as a mirror. I have a feeling Jack will soon suggest fishing. As I gather my things to leave, I call to him: “Don't hurt yourself. Should I bring more buns?” “I was thinking of skipping the sugar and wheat...” I simply smile in reply. “Can you refuel the car?” Jack asks. I'm already off. The door slams shut in the middle of his sentence, but Jack knows better than to expect a response. I jump into the driver's seat and immediately notice forgotten potato baskets in the back seat, but my mind drifts away before I can do anything about it. As I pass by our old well, I remember that we need to discuss connecting the cabin to a new water source. No matter what it costs, it needs to be done. Why should I agree to be responsible for our running water anymore? I collide with something hard. Airbags abruptly inflate around me, disorienting me as my vision blurs. Struggling to escape from the tangled mess of seatbelts and inflatable bags, it feels like I'm an old person trying to climb out of a bouncy castle. My gaze rests on the scene before me, but my thoughts can't understand it. I have plowed into a tree stump. The tree stretches over the ditch. Nearby the chainsaw lies crushed. The cutting chain is nowhere to be found. I get back in the car. Should I phone Jack for an urgent call? Inhaling slowly helps me stay calm. Why didn’t he mention the tree stump? Someone taps on my window I jump and my neck stiffens up. I reach for the window switch. “I should have told you about...” Jack says. “The stump?” “Didn't you see the tree on the ground?” “I'm sorry. I was daydreaming.” “Great galaxy, Hazel! You're burning through our last savings as if money grew on trees!” Jack is being truly authentic with me. I stare back at him like some big-eyed exotic species from Madagascar that I can't identify in all this chaos. Jack opens the door and starts to put the cushion back in its place. We turn on the engine, giving the accelerator a test ride. “Let's go to a repair shop. I'm sure our insurance will cover this,” Jack suggests. “We can say that we had an accident with a reindeer.” “You're supposed to report it to the police or game warden if you hit an animal,” I reply. Jack pauses for a moment. He then reverses and drives forward again, but when he looks into the rear-view mirror, he slams on the brakes. “I have a better plan.” He retrieves an orange towing strap from the trunk, a burst of determination on his face. He connects the stump and the tow hook. “Get ready. We’re going to take a quantum leap here.” We buckle our seat belts with a single click as we prepare for the inevitable disaster. We had already made so many mistakes together, starting with raising our children—though sometimes failing was just part of parenting. Jack revs up the engine. A sudden lurch forward, then Jack howls in pain as the stump smashes through the rear window, clambering through the seats and lodging itself onto the gearbox, trapping Jack's hand. He veers off toward the ditch. The Milky Way spins around us, potatoes fly in the air and suddenly, all is quiet. We find ourselves upside down—surrounded by earthy potatoes and broken glass. I try to break the silence: “I just remembered: Billy's friend can repair cars at the vocational school much cheaper.” Jack looks so pale, his face almost white. I guess he’s contemplating the next step. Through the cracked windshield, I see the chainsaw chain lying in the ditch. How did it come to be rusting away? Maybe everything will go back to normal if we sit here and wait. It feels almost as if we are flying in outer space, my nerves slowly calming down. But then a sudden stillness strikes that is anything but soothing. “Jack, I’m feeling a bit dizzy…” No answer. “Jack...” I snap open my eyes and the scene in front of me has changed drastically. It’s like I’ve been sucked into some kind of surreal void. I hear a tapping noise on the window. An apology and then a loud thud; a huge rock has been hurled through the glass. A stench of strong aftershave ferments around me. A burly arm reaches across to release the seatbelt. An elderly man growls something crude, nothing like Jack's usual scout-like words. My eyes close as I'm being cradled away, and visions of Jack's mathematics and symbols flicker around in my mind. Is the soul truly free when there is no force of gravity to pull us down? I don't know who my savior is, but I can sense his worry as his face reddens. He is in military garb. I come to as I feel my head thudding against the rubble. Instantly, I yearn to run away, contemplating that perhaps this experience is only a dream, and I'm back in the cabin chamber, tucked securely underneath a cosy blanket. A blanket that grants me the power to perform heroic acts like disappearing in a puff of smoke. “Are you okay?” he speaks in a familiar voice. Fingers brush over my clothes, picking out pieces of glass. My pocket contains an odd bulge—a potato? Suddenly, everything clicks: an aged Billy, wearing a major's rank insignia. How could he have achieved that rank so fast? “Son, what are you doing on this tree ring?” Billy peers at me from across the way, accompanied by a mysterious female figure. “We came to check on how you're doing,” Billy says. “Do you remember what happened?” I raise my head and look around. There's nobody in the driver's seat of the car. “Where is Jack?” I manage. Billy furrows his brows like a detective would when weighing evidence. An image of the classic TV show Columbo flashes through my mind—he could lull suspects into a false sense of security before dropping the hammer of his sharp intellect on their inconsistencies. But I'm not hiding anything here. Though why are modern shows so bad? That's another mystery entirely. “Mom, what were you doing out here? The road is an absolute disaster zone, with the car smashed up in the ditch.” My thoughts swim haphazardly as Billy reads something from my expression, then casts his eyes towards his new girlfriend for assistance. I try to get up but it hurts too much. Instead, I reach into my pocket and feel a sandy-sharp potato there. Maybe I can still wash it off. “I’m fine,” I reply. “I need to get back to plowing the field... baking buns for Jack... buying a chainsaw...” The darkness returns and I feel my body shiver. I'm in the car, traveling down bumps I've known for quite some time. Soon, I’m settled inside the cabin's living room on the couch. The coffee maker is gurgling in the corner of the room. Billy is on a call with a doctor about how to deal with grief and coping alone; it seems someone had died while cutting down a tree last year. He gets furious and threatens to take away the keys from the person he's talking to. It might be a good idea; many people have too many keys that they don't use anyway. My head is spinning with thoughts about Jack's absence. Where did he go? Someone runs water over potatoes while a pot clatters on the stovetop. My temper rises as I wait for Jack's return. I won't stay here by myself without an explanation from him. I call out for Jack until there's no sound left but my coughing voice. I crave sausage soup, and I know I must go to the store. As I try to move forward, I am wading through tar. They guide me to the coffee table. According to Jack, time runs faster the more hunched your back becomes. Let it be and let us sit here, motionless, gazing at the tips of our shoes. Surely, time has slowed down in this moment. Billy reaches out and takes my hand. A handsome, greying gentleman. His girlfriend also places her hand on top of the pile. Her name is Ewa. A beautiful name, something familiar about her. But did I hear her calling me mother? In the yard, a squirrel hops with a cone in its mouth. It freezes and stares at me. I avert my gaze. My hands suddenly look wrinkled. I summon the inner strength that I've been striving to find for an eternity: “Do we have to leave now?” Billy exchanges glances with Ewa and then looks outside. “You don't have to walk this path alone, Mother.” We finish our coffee without saying another word. The wind sweeps across the lake. A pair of swans take flight, and a duet of gentle honks echo across the water. A shivering cold envelops me. Billy and Ewa take me to the car. The potatoes can wait. The sun blazes brightly above us as we travel the cabin road; shapeless clouds dot the horizon and suddenly I sense a presence—as if someone is waving to me. I surrender. I believe I will be warmly welcomed.
submitted by BasicSith2 to shortstories [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 18:58 moriend Snails in contact chambers

Just recently we thought there was algae on the floor of the contact chambers. Well upon cleaning it there wasn’t algae. The snails were 6” thick at the bottom of the contact chambers. This is the first time we have seen this. Any ideas on why all the sudden all these snails? Located in central Florida.
submitted by moriend to Wastewater [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 18:08 Ratfinks Found in Front Yard. South Central Arkansas. What is this Mushroom?

Found in Front Yard. South Central Arkansas. What is this Mushroom? submitted by Ratfinks to whatisthismushroom [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 17:52 blayzaa Advice/tips for summertime preparation?

Advice/tips for summertime preparation?
I recently bought my first home and do not have much experience with landscaping. The front yard could use some work, but mainly just attention to improving the health of what is grown.
The backyard is my main focus as it's in rough shape... The property backs ~20-30ft into a wooded area where I plan to clear trees/bushes to maximize the yard size. After that, I do not know what to begin working on this summer to prepare to actually grow grass this fall.

Below are some key points + pics for reference:
  • House faces SW and blocks quite a bit of sun during the day
  • There are trees on either side of backyard that block sunlight as it rises/sets
  • The previous owner never took much effort to grow previously, leaving it very weeded.
  • Located in North Carolina; most homes in the area typically go with bermuda or fescue depending on sunlight

This is the wooded area that the property backs into. Will be clearing ~20ft of these bushes and small trees to the edge of the property line.
Need to trim to create space off the house, but thinking of potentially taking out the top half so it stands to be 10-15ft tall. Straw is down in this section as the owner put in a french drain just before listing it for sale.

This tree blocks out the sun as it is setting. I like the privacy it creates, but the yard's health is a higher priority. I have thought about outright removing it, trimming it, or putting in privacy bushes instead.

The yard itself is fairly flat, but will likely need to level out the area I clear in back of the property.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need more info and I'll update accordingly!
submitted by blayzaa to lawncare [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 17:49 Anakin_Solo553 A Plague Tale fanfiction (chapter 2)

Sequel to chapter 1 (link: https://www.reddit.com/APlagueTale/comments/11emqh8/a_plague_tale_family_fanfiction/)
Chapter XVI of A Plague Tale: Innocence, chapter II of this fanfiction.
Bordeaux, Kingdom of France. January 1349 AD.
The first thing both Amicia and Mélie noticed when they approached the city with the boys, was that the change of atmosphere. Back in autumn last year, the two girls infiltrated the Inquisition-occupied city with their own purposes; Mélie was searching for her brother Arthur, back then held captive after helping the de Rune siblings escape the British camp, while Amicia was searching for the local university in order to steal the Sanguinis Itinera, on the way rescuing and befriending Rodric.
Back then, the Inquisition was evacuating the town due to the outbreak of the Bite, forcing citizens out of their homes, while slaughtering the sick. Now, the whole city seemed to be like a ghost town. It was dreadfully silent, only the wind howling as snow flew and fell. As if the town was abandoned, but Amicia knew that the now deserted streets swarmed with the troops of Grand Vitalis Bénévent. As if that wasn’t enough, a sickly yellow fog hung on the air.
“It’s so huge! How are we going to find mommy?” Hugo, whose hand Amicia held, spoke. His eyes were wide as he watched the huge city walls.
“We’ll get her out of there, Hugo.” Amicia assured her brother.
“Right, that’s enough hanging around, let’s do this.” Mélie told everyone. Before the others could answer back, she ran forward, forcing Amicia, Hugo, Lucas, Arthur and Rodric catch up with her.
“We need to catch up with her before she gets into trouble.” Arthur panted with concern, holding his newly-acquired sword.
“We got the kid and the rats. We’re invincible!” Rodric told him.
“Rodric, he’s only five years old.” Amicia chastised the teen blacksmith. They found Mélie quick, standing at the side door both she and Amicia used when infiltrating the town. However, both the girls were devastated when they saw the door being blocked by a rat’s nest.
“Oh shit!” Mélie cursed.
“Mélie, what’s the matter?” Lucas asked.
“Those fucking rats blocked the safest entrance!” the girl complained, on the verge of going hysterical.
“They didn’t mean it, Mélie.” Hugo innocently told her. “They…”
“We don’t have a choice,” the girl cut him off. “We have to use the great door, but watch out.”
“Is she angry with me?” Hugo asked Amicia with fear. Although he tried to whisper, everyone, including the twins, heard him.
“No, she’s just… tired.” Arthur immediately excused his sister. “Isn’t that right, Mélie? You do know that it is not Hugo’s fault?”
As if remembering, Mélie began calming down. “Yes, yes,” she muttered, some guilt in her voice. “I’m sorry, Hugo.”
“It’s okay.”
“It’s just, I am craving for blood of those bastards,” the girl explained. “I just hate them all. I want them dead.”
She charged first and ran down the side passageway. She almost reached the great door when suddenly, she knelt and began sneaking.
“Watch out.” She whispered.
Leaving the safer side door, the rest of the six stealthily crawled towards to the Great Door, which was obviously guarded, by a trio of guards. To make it worse, two of them were heavily armed, fully clad in armour like their now dead, superior, Chevalier Nicholas.
“Eh, do you think it’s already started?” the less-armoured spearman asked.
“I hope so,” one of the heavy troopers answered, holding a torch. “Because there’s more and more of them now.”
“Vitalis knows what he’s doing.” The third guard added.
“Three,” Rodric whispered. “It’s risky.”
“We’re better off using the back door.” Mélie whispered as both she and Arthur donned their cowls to hide their faces.
“Chances are it’s locked.” Amicia argued. “They’re going…”
Both the children and the guards heard the ringing of the nearby bells, high as a thunder, filling the streets of the town. The guards looked into the direction of the town’s centre. Mélie immediately decided to use the opportunity of the three adults being distracted.
“Time to make our move!” she whispered. “Arthur, follow me!”
“Mélie!” Amicia called out as the twins crossed the street and reached the back door.
“Have faith,” one of the guards spoke while Mélie was lockpicking the door. “In the meantime, we have a job to do.”
“Right, I’m going back,” one of the guards in heavy armour told his two comrades. Wishing his comrades to be careful, the heavy guard left and began patrolling the street.
“Oh shit…” Rodric whispered.
“They’ll be seen,” Hugo whimpered in fear. Mélie, meanwhile, managed to finally unlock the door, but by doing so, she caused the noise, attracting the attention of the patrol.
“Hey!” he shouted. The twins instantly dashed through the doorway. “Stop!” the guard demanded as he followed after them.
“I’m going to help him, stay here.” The other guard told the spearman, who was left with a spear in one hand and a torch in the other.
“I hope they make it,” Rodric whispered.
“They know the town, they’ll lead them a dance.” Amicia assured him. “Come on, we have to take advantage. That’s one for you, Rodric.”
“You’re finished.” Rodric sneered at the guard before sneaking up behind him and knocking out the soldier. With the threat now gone, Amicia, Hugo and Lucas joined up with him.
“Well, done.” Lucas praised.
“He won’t be waking up anytime soon, trust me.” Rodric told him, before observing the city. “It’s changed a lot since last time.”
Amicia looked around. Indeed, the buildings were either collapsed, or filled with rat nests. The ground was split in open places, making impassable chasms. On every building, every door and window was blocked by wooden blocks with white crosses painted on them, signifying the presence of the plague. Suddenly, bells were heard thundering once again and the children looked up. The local cathedral in the town square was seen from afar. Amicia suddenly felt Hugo tense and shiver.
“The bells! The cathedral, Amicia! That’s where Vitalis is!” Hugo told his sister.
“Which means, mother is too.”
“That bastard’s gonna get a surprise.” Rodric added.
“First we have to find Arthur and Mélie.” Lucas told him.
“I agree.” Amicia said.
The four ran through the empty and ruined streets before they heard voices and hid. Peeking from their hiding places, the four saw a heavy patrol with a torch.
“I’m gutted I won’t see the Conjuration up close.” One of the soldiers spoke.
“The important thing is that the Grand Inquisitor gets rid of the bite.”
“Yeah, well, let’s pray he does.”
Suddenly, the ground began shaking below four children.
“It’s the rats,” Hugo told his sister and her friends. “They are here, beneath us.”
“So they’re the ones who destroyed everything,” Rodric guessed. “Look at the ground.”
“It’s the Macula.” Lucas stated nodding. Indeed, a small rat nest was on the ground, but a planted torch above it prevented the rats from re-entering the atmosphere. Remembering the tactic they used against Nicholas, Amicia extinguished the torch, and after that, Hugo instantly drew the re-emerged rats onto the patrol. With the soldiers devoured alive, the four passed with any obstacles as Hugo had control over the vermin.
“Wow…” Rodric only said, his jaw collapsing from the shock. As they passed, another patrol was heard nearby.
“No one’s seen Nicholas since the assault on the kid’s hideout.”
“Vitalis didn’t sent anyone looking for him? Strange.”
“The chevalier has always been his protégé.”
“Vitalis has changed since the Carrier arrived”
“Perhaps he’s gone and found himself a new protégé.”
Peeking, Amicia saw that this time, some of the guards had lights and shields. Amicia grabbed her sling and threw rocks at the lights.
“What was that? Intruders!” the shouts immediately filled the estate. Lucas then quickly extinguished the fires keeping the rats at bay before Hugo mentally ordered the horde to attack the guards. The four continued their journey, taking down the patrols on their way. They recently a couple of soldiers who were deeply disturbed by the recent actions of the Grand Inquisitor.
“I wish I was strong like that.” Hugo mumbled after seeing Rodric knocking out another guard, breaking the soldier’s neck.
“I could say the same.” Lucas agreed, while quickly looking at Amicia.
“Mate, you have an army of rats.” Rodric told him.
“I’ll take care of the gates,” he said before turning to them. Using all his strength, the large boy lifted the portcullis, allowing Lucas, Hugo and Amicia to crawl under. Rodric released the portcullis and quickly joined them. The four arrived to a yard with a well and broken carts while rats swarmed around. One of the houses was on fire.
Turning left, they saw Arthur and Mélie, safe and sound, standing tall on the other side of a chasm, waving at them.
“Arthur! Mélie!” Lucas shouted in delight.
“You’re alive!” Amicia happily said. “Listen, Vitalis is at the cathedral!”
“That’s all very well, but a whole battalion is coming this way!” Mélie warned them. “You need to get out of here.”
“Take the stairs!” Arthur pointed at the house with a staircase. “The house has an exit on the other side!”
“Em… the one that’s on fire?” Rodric asked, pointing at the burning building.
“We can’t go back,” Amicia told him before turning to the twins. “Go! We’ll meet you on the other side!”
“Be careful.” Mélie warned them. The four were about to reach the door of the house when the nearby gates opened and more heavy knights appeared. Their weapons were lit with fire, just like the sword Nicholas used.
“Rodric, Lucas, take cover.” Amicia told the two boys. “We’ll take care of them.”
The two boys obeyed reluctantly, while both Amicia and Hugo prepared to fight the knights. Gathering the remaining Extinguis she had, Amicia and Hugo began playing cat and mouse with the guards, dodging their attacks as they passed the rats without obstacles, before Amicia threw the Extinguis at their weapons, leaving them with no fire to protect themselves from the rats that Hugo charged at them. Lucas stared at Amicia with awe while Rodric broke down the door.
Coughing and gasping for breath, the four kids ran through the flaming corridors, desperate to escape the burning house as quick as possible. They tried to cover themselves from the surrounding fire.
“Amicia! We’ll be burnt alive!” Hugo panicked.
“Nothing will happen to you, I promise.” Amicia told him, using Lucas’ fresh Extinguis to put out any fire on their way. “Rodric, are you with us?”
“To hell and back.” The boy answered.
“The ceiling is going to cave in!” Hugo cried.
“Calm down,” his sister cooed him.
“Hugo, you beat the captain of the Inquisition,” Rodric tried to rise the little boy’s morals. “You’re a tough guy! Tougher than I am!”
“I never lie.” Rodric told him. The four finally reached the exit and Lucas opened the door, ensuring that everyone left. Once they were finally outside, the kids heard voices nearby once again.
“Only two catches so far, pretty claim for a day of miracles.”
“You were told that intruders would be tried on spot. This place is quarantined and under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition!”
Amicia, Hugo, Lucas and Rodric hid and saw two swordsmen standing at a cart. Two people, obviously civilians, were standing on their knees in front of the two guards.
“But we’re not sick! Look at us!” one of the civilians argued.
“We only wanted to get our belongings back!” the other one added.
“What do we do now?” Lucas asked.
“Hang on, I’m thinking.” Amicia answered as she approached the four adults closer. Taking out two stones, Amicia took a deep breath before swiftly shooting at the guards, killing the first one and instantly the second one before he could react. The four kids then left their hiding places and approached the captives.
“Oh, thank you,” they said. “Thank you! Lord bless you!”
The two then ran off to a street, only for the kids to gasp in horror when whistles were heard and the two runners were impaled with arrows. Amicia looked up and saw a squad of archers standing on the nearby aqueduct, observing the whole street.
“The archers shoot on sight,” Lucas told them. “We’re stuck here!”
“Rodric?” Hugo asked. Everyone turned and saw the tall boy looking around in a daze.
“I know this street,” he muttered. Before he could add more, he ran off to an alley.
“Rodric wait!” Amicia yelled as the three ran after him. Barely catching up, the three found Rodric frozen at the ruins of what seemed to be a workshop.
“What is it, Rodric?” Lucas asked before it finally got to him. “Oh no.”
“What is it?” Hugo asked.
“It can’t be…” Rodric muttered as he collapsed onto his knees, grabbing his head. His voice was full of sadness and loss. Amicia finally understood, it was the forge where Rodric and his now dead father worked as blacksmiths before the Inquisition, or at least, what’s left of it.
“Did they burn your house down?” Hugo asked.
“It was my father’s forge…” Rodric stammered. “Where I grew up… it’s where…”
“I know how you feel.” Amicia told him, placing her left hand on his right shoulder. “But you’re still alive. And your roots, they can never take that away from you.”
“Amicia is right.” Lucas added. “I was an orphan long before we all met, but Laurentius, my mentor, was also like a father to me, and the rats took him away from me, while destroying our farm. But I’m alive, and I can use the Laurentius’ teachings for good.”
“You’re right,” the teenage blacksmith answered as he stood up. “I know who I am. Come on, we have to save your mother.”
“You’ll see! Mommy is lovely!” Hugo proudly told him.
“We’ll go together, and find another castle.” Amicia added.
“Fine by me.” Rodric answered. Looking at the forge once again, Rodric joined his friends as they returned to cart. The archers were still there, overlooking the street. An idea came to the kids; the cart was large enough to protect them from the archers, but there were no horses to pull it. It had to be pushed, but under the aim of the archers.
“The cart!” Amicia told him. “Rodric, Lucas! If we push it to the portcullis, it will give us cover! Hugo will be protected behind it… Hey!”
Rodric suddenly shoved her away from the back of the cart, back to Hugo and Lucas.
“Leave it, Amicia.” Rodric told her.
“What are you doing?” Lucas asked.
“Stay back with Hugo! I’M pushing!” Rodric ordered.
“Rodric, let us help!” Amicia begged.
“I’ll be fine.” Rodric assured her. “If you want to help, keep an eye out for the guards!”
Amicia turned to Lucas. “Keep Hugo close.” The young alchemist nodded and grabbed Hugo’s hand. “Alright, let’s do this.”
Grunting, Rodric pushed the cart, covering Amicia, Hugo and Lucas. They were instantly spotted by the archers.
“Intruders! Stop them! Shoot them! Fire!”
“Hide, Rodric!” Hugo begged.
“Don’t worry about me, kid,” the young blacksmith answered. Suddenly, one of the archers was hit by something and he fell from the aqueduct.
“What was that?! How’s shooting at us?!” one of the archers shouted. Just then, another archer was hit in the head and he collapsed. The other archers instantly stopped aiming at Rodric and the cart, instead searching for the unseen shooter.
“There! On the rooftops!”
Amicia looked up and saw Arthur shooting stones from his sling, killing a third archer. The archers, all of them, aimed there arrows at him, but suddenly a fourth archer was hit. This distracted the archers, allowing Arthur to change position.
“There’s another one!” one of the archers pointed at one of the towers with the portcullis. Indeed, they saw a glimpse of Mélie with a sling, hiding from the archers, covering Arthur.
“Soldiers! Soldiers ahead!” Hugo cried, pointing ahead. Amicia saw swordsmen, wearing only breaches, no armour, but armed with swords, charging at them.
“Amicia! They’re all yours!” Rodric said, barely dodging an incoming arrow. The archer reached for another arrow when he was shot by Arthur. Amicia took out her sling and began shooting at the incoming troops while Lucas held Hugo close to him.
“Amicia! They almost hit him!” Hugo cried, looking at Rodric with fear.
“Rodric, leave the cart!” Amicia begged.
“No!” the boy refused. “W need it, to reach the portcullis!”
Killing the last soldier, Amicia hoped that the coast was clear for now in their way, while the twins were taking down the archers. Suddenly, Hugo cried.
“Amicia, they’re behind us!”
The girl turned around and cursed when she saw more swordsmen charging at the kids from behind. She prepared to shoot at them too.
“Bastards! You bastards!” Amicia yelled at them with hatred as she killed a few more soldiers.
“We’ve reached the portcullis!” Rodric yelled. “Come quick!”
“Lucas, take Hugo!” Amicia ordered him.
“Amicia!” both Hugo and Lucas called. Amicia reached for another stone, only to discover that she was out of ammunition. The swordsman almost got her when suddenly he was hit by a flying rock in the head. Amicia looked up and saw Mélie nodding at her. Amicia genuinely nodded back.
Rodric hid behind the cart when the few remaining archers fired at him. He quickly ran to the portcullis and raised it up. Thankfully, the kids were out of the archers’ firing rage and so Amicia, Lucas and Hugo quickly crawled.
“Come on! Come on, quick!” Mélie called. Rodric grunted as he was barely holding the portcullis. He was barely crushed by it when he let it go. He collapsed right beside the others. The four kids were finally reunited with Arthur and Mélie.
“Thank you,” Amicia told them. “Thank you for covering us.”
“That…” Rodric panted as he was lying exhausted. “That was close…”
“Oh my God, Rodric,” Mélie gasped as she approached him. She began touching him all over the face. Suddenly, Mélie’s hand smacked across the boy’s face, his head turning with the force of the hit. Amicia, Hugo, Lucas and Arthur were stunned. Ignoring their looks, Mélie raged.
“You stupid fucking idiot!” the auburn girl shouted. “How could you be so foolish in putting your life at risk when we need you the most?!”
“Don’t fucking Mélie me!” Mélie continued raging. “We are going to face one of the most dangerous people in the Church, and we will need your help! I’ve almost lost Arthur back at the chateau, and I cannot lose you, or any of you!”
The others were even more stunned when Mélie pulled Rodric into a hug. Everyone knew that Mélie usually kept herself quite distant from the others, except for her brother, and so they were very surprised when she decided to display concern and affection for everyone. Rodric hugged her back as Mélie began sobbing.
“It’s okay,” he cooed. “I’m alive.”
“Um, Mélie…” Lucas spoke up. “Sorry to interrupt, but we have a journey ahead.”
Mélie looked up, brushing her tears away. “Right, yes.” She looked down at Rodric. “Get your ass off, you self-killer. One more suicide attempt, and I’ll make you pay.” Mélie returned to her usual attitude. Reunited, the six kids resumed their journey, arriving to an alley filled with rats. Amicia was caring Hugo for a while.
“I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE OF THESE BLOODY RATS!” Mélie ranted, throwing a stone at them. “Bastards!”
She was immediately approached by Arthur and Rodric as they tried to comfort her. Amicia, meanwhile, whispered to Hugo and he nodded before being put down onto the ground.
“They’re going to get us through.” Hugo told Mélie.
“Oh really? How?”
“Like this.” Hugo reached out his hand and the rats immediately dispersed, giving the kids a free passage.
“Wow… it’s really happening!” a surprised Arthur exclaimed.
“Hugo,” Mélie turned to the little boy. “Tell me you’re going to help us kill those bastards…”
“Mélie!” both Amicia and Arthur snapped at the girl.
“We’ve got no chance without your brother, Amicia,” Mélie told her. “you get that, right?”
“I will help you. And you’re going to save mommy.” Hugo told her.
“You’ve got yourself a deal.” Mélie smirked.
“Shh, quiet!” Lucas hissed as he kneeled. The others did the same. The six were hiding behind the columns of what seemed to be a market place, which was located at the town square. The cathedral was across the square in front of them. Finally! However, the whole square was filled with guards, who were also armed with torches as they passed through the small hordes of rats. Additionally, piles of human corpses were around the square, with the stone ground drenched in blood.
“It’s a bloody mess.” Mélie muttered.
Keeping Hugo close, Amicia and the others made their plan to attack. Grabbing their slings, the girls prepared to shoot, Lucas prepared his alchemical mixtures, while the older boys prepared for encountering the soldiers in combat, with Arthur drawing out his sword.
On the count of three, they began their attack. Mélie fired at one of the two archers, while Amicia fired at the soldiers, aiming either at their heads or their torches. Those who were better armoured were knocked out by Rodric from behind, covering Arthur as his sword clashed with the enemy blades. Despite barely knowing sword fighting, Arthur has managed to show potential in it. After some time of attempted strikes and defensive blocks, he managed to kill some of the guards, stabbing them. Hugo unleashed the rats at those who had no fire to protect themselves.
Victorious once again, the six approached the centre of the town square when Arthur noticed a manuscript among the belongings of one of the soldiers. He took a quick look.
“Hm. An Inquisition manual.”
“Seriously? There is a manual for this kind of shit?” Mélie incredulously asked.
“It was written before Vitalis.”
“Then let’s hope that they won’t be writing a second volume.”
Amicia noticed that suddenly, Hugo grabbed for his head. Another seizure.
“Amicia.” Hugo’s voice was filled with dread. “Vitalis, he’s going to do something very bad... I can feel it.”
“Bad? Like what?” a concerned Lucas asked.
“Excuse me,” Mélie interfered. “But whatever he’s up to, we’re here to kill him, right?”
“He’s about to start…” Hugo whispered.
“Let’s go, Hugo, mommy’s in there!” Amicia told him and the two went on, being followed by their four friends. Just when they reached the base of the staircase, the cathedral’s gates opened and more Inquisitors came out.
“They were waiting for us!” Rodric yelled.
“So, I hear some children are asking for punishment?” one of the spearmen asked.
“You’ll die if you come down!” Amicia threatened them.
“That doesn’t matter!” another trooper yelled. “We’re ready to die! Are you?”
“Amicia,” Hugo whispered, pulling the fabric of her clothes. “There are rats down there.”
“So tell them to come out, go on!”
“The Lord will strike you down!” one of the guards yelled when the ground began to shake as rats swarmed out into the surface, devouring the guards.
“Serves the bastards right!” Mélie muttered in pride as the slaughter continued.
“Incredible…” Lucas stammered. “Such power…”
“Right, that’s the last of the guards.” Arthur told everyone. “Let’s go inside!”
The six quickly ascended up the stairs, reaching the entrance gates of the cathedral. Mélie was the last one as she turned back at the rats below.
“Some family…” she muttered thoughtfully before catching up with the rest. Once inside, the six children quickly closed the gates before taking a better look at the congregation hall. What they saw horrified them. The whole hall and the cathedral was turned into one massive rat nest. Massive amounts of gnawed corpses of parishioners were within the hall.
“This will get you nowhere!” a feminine voice yelled.
The de Rune siblings looked up and were excited to see their mother, Béatrice de Rune, locked up in a cage hanging from above. Beside the cage stood the Grand Inquisitor himself; Vitalis Bénévent. He was a frail, old man with white hair, wrinkly skin, sharp chin and a thin face. He was wearing a white cassock robe with a black and gold stole over his neck.
“You don’t want to understand Béatrice!” he yelled at the injured and sick woman.
“Mommy!” Hugo cried for his mother, drawing the attention of the two adults.
“Hugo! Amicia!” Béatrice cried.
“Mother!” Amicia cried back.
“My child,” the Grand Inquisitor addressed the boy.
“My God,” Mélie gasped in horror. “Did Vitalis do this?”
“He sacrificed them.” Lucas stated.
“He’s passed the Threshold!” Béatrice yelled. “Get out of here!”
“Oh, for pity’s sake,” Vitalis Bénévent muttered before gesturing for the guard above to raise the cage with the Lady de Rune.
“Hugo, are you ready?” Amicia asked her brother.
“Yes, the rats are here.” Hugo answered, taking Amicia’s hand.
“Then let’s go. Stay close to me.”
“We’re coming too.” Arthur told them as he drew his sword out once again. The six youngsters began approaching the mad Inquisitor, who began gloating about his power while Hugo summoned the rats from the underground.
“Let her go, Vitalis!” Amicia demanded. “This is your last chance!”
“Well, well!” he answered instead.
“Hugo! Your power… you have to be careful!” Béatrice warned her son.
“I’m fine, don’t worry.” The boy assured her.
“Yes! He’s a very gifted student!” Bénévent told her. “Too bad he’s forgotten who taught him everything he knows!”
“Shut up, you old bastard!” Rodric yelled. “We’re here to kill you, not listen to your speeches!”
“And yet look at you,” Vitalis Bénévent gloated. “walking towards me like lost sheep to their shepherd! The Saint!”
“Enough Vitalis!” Amicia demanded as they were closing in. “You are alone! Give us back our mother or…”
“Or what, exactly? I still have things to teach the Carrier and his friends.” Bénévent mockingly asked before laughing, his grey eye on the left being very well seen. “You’re so touching… thank you… Thank you for your candour…”
He then gave a gesture and suddenly, braziers with fire fall onto the floor, drawing the rats away, when more screeching was heard behind Vitalis.
“Do you hear them?” Vitalis asked. “The Angels… The Angels of the New World!”
Amicia, Hugo, Lucas, Arthur, Mélie and Rodric shrieked in horror when hordes of hairless rats appeared, charging at them.
“Get back! Get back!” Arthur ordered.
“The light…” Lucas was stunned. “They…”
“I saw it, come on!” Amicia called him and Lucas followed her. They barely escaped the new threat as the hairless rats devoured the benches and the parishioners on their way.
“Stay here.” Amicia told her friends.
“No,” Mélie objected. “We can help!”
“It’s our blood, Mélie.” Amicia interjected. Taking out the Extinguis, Amicia and Hugo charged. A battle began as Amicia doused out the braziers before Hugo can charge his rats against the Vitalis’ rats. To make matters even more disturbing, the Angel rats began forming twisters, forcing Hugo to form his own rat twisters to block them, inflicting pain on Vitalis. The twins, Lucas, Rodric and Béatrice de Rune watched in horror and tension as slowly, but surely, the de Rune siblings pushed closer and closer to the insane Grand Inquisitor.
Seeing that the siblings were close enough, Vitalis Bénévent raised his hands and his rats began gathering around him.
“Arrgh! You have come to challenge me!” he yelled. “Me! Vitalis Bénévent! Carrier of the Prima Macula! Crowned by blood!”
“Hugo is the true Carrier of the Prima Macula!” Amicia shouted. “You’re just an usurper!”
“Look at yourself Vitalis! You have abandoned your followers!” Béatrice mocked him.
“Watch, Béatrice! Witness the end of what remains your lineage!” Vitalis declared. “The old world must die for the new one to be born! That is why the rats devour it!”
Hugo spoke up. “You know nothing! But the Macula knows everything about you! It’s playing with you!”
“The world you are about to create is the world of chaos!” Béatrice added before turning to her children. “Amicia, he must not abuse his power!”
“We’re going to get you out of here!” Mélie promised her and she and Rodric ran off to free her.
“Hugo,” Vitalis Bénévent called out to the boy. “You feel it too, don’t you? But it scares you… the true power… the gift of Self!”
Amicia!” Hugo cried in fear as the madman covered himself with his rats like an armour.
“I am Unity!” the madman continued to rant. “I am the Blood of bloods… that connects all people! Die! Become one again!”
Amicia watched in horror as Vitalis piled up the rats and began bringing them crashing down on her like a giant’s arm.. The girl barely managed to dodge and not end up killed.
“Move Amicia!” Hugo cried to his sister.
“And my servants shall rise toward the firmament…”
“Run away!” Hugo warned Amicia as another pile was directed at her.
“My Angels,” Vitalis muttered. “I know you’re hungry. Soon, you shall eat.”
“Hugo, now!” Amicia yelled and Hugo sent a rat twister straight at the pile of the hairless rats, causing them to disperse, and revealing Bénévent.
“No!” the madman cried. “My angels! Come back! Come back to me! I need you!”
“He’s helpless, Amicia” Arthur yelled and Amicia instantly hit him with a sling. However, he didn’t die yet, but released a scream full of pain.
“He’s in pain, Amicia!” Hugo cried. “The Macula doesn’t like it!”
“Come to me!” Vitalis called out his rats, gathering them again. “Come feed… the first blood… In certitude and peace… Renewal! No matter where you go… They will find you!”
Covering himself with his rats, Vitalis once again attempted to crush the girl with the piles, while summoning fresh hordes beneath her feet. However, once again, he was out of rats to kill Amicia, which allowed Hugo to attack him with his twisters. Amicia hit him with her sling the second time, but Vitalis was still alive.
“Arrgh!” he screamed in pain, more vicious and mad than ever. “How… How dare you?! This is your last affront! I sacrificed my flesh to become the crucible where everything unites… You cannot kill… that which has been sublimated!”
“The Macula, Amicia! I can hear it screaming in his blood!”
Amicia began dodging the madman’s attacks once again, though this time it was even more tougher than before Hugo launched another attack.
“Take that!” Hugo yelled, dispersing the hairless rats once again. Grabbing the last stone in her bag, Amicia shot and after the third blow, Vitalis collapses and his horde dispersed in defeat. The six children approached him with caution and fear. Rodric held the injured Lady de Rune, while Hugo was held by Amicia in a tight embrace. The boy panted as Amicia soothed him.
With his head bleeding as he died, Vitalis Bénévent looked over at Hugo, who looked back at him with neither fear nor pity. As he released his last breath, the world was now ridden from the mad Grand Inquisitor Vitalis Bénévent once and for all.
submitted by Anakin_Solo553 to APlagueTale [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 17:20 swinging_door Tiny yellow flowers identification.

I have tiny little yellow flowers that appears on my front yard lawn. They look really. I live in Washington State.
1- can you help me identify them? (here’s a pic)
2- is it a good idea to purchase more of these to cover bare patches on my lawn ?
submitted by swinging_door to gardening [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 17:09 StupidInternetFart Tinder Misadventures - Pt1. Seafood Surprise

After years of listening to ReddX, I've decided to throw my story out there for the internet cringe-connoisseurs to feast upon. Cast lists aren't necessary, TLDR is at the end. Let's just get this show on the road.
Tinder is hell. That hasn't stopped me from bludgeoning myself against the towering wall of losers that people swear Prince Charming is hiding among. I do realize that Tinder probably isn't the ideal place to find a real relationship, but I remain optimistic for a reason that I can't fully explain. Maybe it's just for a lack of anything better to do. Perhaps it's fear of dying alone. The people and experiences have ranged from lackluster to outright horrifying, and to start this series off... I will chronicle one of the deepest mental scars for the edu-tainment of any and all internet strangers. Given hindsight, the signs were all there... I should've bailed, but I tried to power through. And I came away with a true tale of terror.
It all started with the swipe, as these things often do. The profile was fairly non-descript as I recall. A bio that was clearly copy/pasted from Tinder and 3 or 4 photos that made it seem like he was someone who knew how to have some fun. He was smiling despite his teeth looking a bit worse for the wear. He was a bit chunky but seemed comfortable with himself. Those are both things that go a very long way for me. I didn't give the swipe very much thought beyond that, but we did match and he slid directly into the messages. His first message was a play on my first name. He said he wanted to wake up to the crack of Dawn or something like that. Not the first time I've heard it. Won't be the last. He might be a fuckboy, but maybe he was just taking a risk to break the ice... I wanted answers, so I decided to dig in and see what he was really all about.
He introduced himself as Dean. The conversation was largely uninteresting, until I mentioned that I'm a baker for work. This led into a long diatribe about how he was a trad alpha male that was looking for a woman who was worth the effort to take care of. He claimed that I'd be a great mother because of my ability to cook, and then went on to describe how cute our kids would look. I stopped responding and let him continue to spin his wheels for a while. He did continue on for much longer than would normally be socially acceptable, but I thought maybe he was just nervous. Eventually he caught the hint that I was starting to disengage completely. Honestly? I should've followed through with the ghosting. But he showed contrition and apologized, so I let the interaction continue.
He managed to keep his human-mask firmly affixed after the almost-ghosting. He was remarkably good at acting like a genuine person. We talked about our life and experiences for around a full month before deciding that we probably should meet up at some point. During that month he wasn't pushy or weird. Dean had taken the unspoken hint and remained on his best behavior. Once a possible date was agreed on, he jumped at the chance to take the lead in deciding where we were going, but then mentioned that he didn't have a car and needed to be picked up. I sighed. It may be that trad alpha males have better things to do than driving a car. They have people for that sort of thing. Barefoot, pregnant people. When he decides to let her out of the kitchen, that is. Obviously that's all hyperbole. I think.
So yes. I should've run. I know I should've run... but remember what I said about hindsight? Stupid me agreed to pick him up. I asked where we were going and he insisted that I was in for a surprise because we were headed to his favorite restaurant. I shrugged and decided to go with the flow. I spent a good few hours getting ready on the day of our date. I wasn't particularly eager to impress Dean, but it had been a little while since I was able to have a night out on the town and I decided to make the most of it. I showed up about 15 minutes early to the date, which is something that I do often. I take that time to decompress and relax and maybe even second-guess myself... Lord how I wish I would've second-guessed myself a little bit harder on this day.
The 15 minutes flies by, and I finally decided to roll up in front of the ramshackle house that he occupies. It looked like a flop-house. The yard was dead where it wasn't completely overgrown, the roof was missing more tiles than not, and there was a curious amount of children's toys strewn around. Dean hadn't mentioned any kids. Regardless of the red-flag parade that was marching before my eyes, I figured that I was already here. I might as well give the guy a chance. So I leaned on the horn to summon Dean. There was no response. Maybe I have the wrong house? Maybe I've been catfished? Maybe I should just go home? ...Yes, I should've just gone home. I didn't though. Instead, I got out of the car to go knock on the peeling paint of that front door, while saying a small prayer that I wasn't kidnapped and sold off into white slavery.
As I slowly crept up the cracked walkway, the weeds reached up from every crevice. They were trying to hold me back from that door, but I persisted in my quest for dating mediocrity. I could hear the screams of children inside. Were they the ghosts of the future I was dooming myself to? Feasibly. Regardless, I reached the door and knocked. A large Armenian woman answered the door. She was built like a refrigerator and about the hairiest woman you can imagine. She raised her upper lip in a sneer, her mustache bunching up enough to tickle the frontal cortex of any lesser being.
"Barev?" she grunted, a few decibels too loud. Our town has a large Armenian population, so I knew that meant hello.
"Hello ma'am. I'm looking for Dean. We're supposed to go on a date tonight." I meekly explained.
She grunted again, spun on her heels and bellowed something that I won't even try to decipher. Presumably she was calling Dean. I wasn't aware that he lived with his parents. As mama legbeard disappeared into the house, she had left the door open. I realized that a small crowd had gathered near the doorway. At least 5 dead-eyed children drinking a dark-colored liquid from bottles that they were clearly too old for were muttering amongst themselves. I waved a greeting but they only retreated further into the darkness of the hovel. I wasn't sure what to do at this point, so I closed the door and walked back to my car.
Part of me wanted to gun it down the street and make a break for it, seeking the comfort of my own relative normalcy... But I didn't. I sat and waited. I doomscrolled on my phone for around 30 minutes before debating if I should knock again. I didn't want to knock. So I leaned on the horn instead. I was giving him 5 more minutes. If he wasn't here at that point, I'd take myself out for a nice meal. That probably would've been the more enjoyable option anyways.
Five minutes passed, and I turned the key in the ignition. What a waste of time, what a bunch of bullshit. I shifted the car into gear, cranked the wheel to pull off of the sidewalk when suddenly... Dean flung the front door open and waddled toward my vehicle. I didn't feel any relief at this. He was at least 50 pounds heavier than he was in his Tinder photos. If it looked like he put any effort into actually getting ready, I might be more understanding about the situation, but it looked like this dude had just rocked up out of bed. It wasn't just his hair that was disheveled. He wore striped pajama pants, stained and threadbare My Hero Academia t-shirt, and the rattiest pair of slip-on Vans I've ever seen.
Again, should've hit the gas. Should've driven myself right into a telephone pole. Any EMT that came to pick me up would be a better alternative, even if our date was just to the emergency room. Instead I stared in shock as this pigman wandered towards my vehicle and let himself in. The car lurched to the passenger side as he plopped down, clearly out of breath from the short trip down his walkway. His heavy breathing carried distinct notes of halitosis, and that fetid breath only combined with the scent of unwashed rotting ballsack as the air he displaced from the seat started swimming around the car. I was speechless. This was not the date that I had signed up for. My stare continued as Dean began his rambling introduction.
"Hey Dawn! Sorry to make you wait. I had a pretty crazy night last night with my gaming crew. I set an alarm for our date, but I usually don't wake up until my mom starts yelling at me. It's good to make a woman wait anyways. They do it to us, so why shouldn't guys do it right back?" he chortled.
Words were still unable to escape my lips. Instead, the only sound that came out was similar to that girl from The Grudge. Seeing that I wasn't going to engage with that, Dean shifted topics.
"Oh, my bad. I probably shouldn't reveal all of my dating secrets. Tonight I will reveal a big one to you though..." he paused pointedly, and I shifted my eyes to stare at the steering wheel instead. He continued "The big secret is the place I take all the girls on our first date. It's my favorite seafood restaurant!"
I didn't really want to eat seafood. I didn't really want to be seen with Dean or even to continue existing near him in any capacity... But sometimes the social contract twists your arm about this kind of thing, particularly if you're a woman who was raised to behave a certain way. All I had to say was "Get the hell out of my car, you absolute wreck of a human being." It could've all been over if I said that. But I didn't. Instead I asked him to put on his seatbelt. He whined, saying that seatbelts were "for little beta bitches." But I refused to be ticketed over an ego so fragile that a seatbelt could bruise it. I told him he could buckle it or get out. Unfortunately, he did decide to buckle up... And the cringe-train rolled onward.
Dean barked out instructions while regaling me with all types of insider knowledge about "what women actually want, and how they don't know what they want, and how it takes a strong man to lead them to water and force them to drink. For their own good, you see?" All I could manage was a series of disinterested "oh" and "okay" and "jesus christ". He did not get the hint. I wanted to just melt away. Why was I in this situation? Why was I letting it continue? How could someone seem so normal and even perceptive online and then reveal themselves as a complete mess in person
I should've questioned him but didn't have much to add to his monologue, since my own inner-thoughts were spiraling out of control... and I couldn't get a word in edgewise anyways. Maybe he could turn it around and we'd have a nice conversation when we got to the restaurant. He's probably just looking for someone to help him become the best version of himself. If this didn't go well, I told myself a thousand times that I'd never find myself in another situation like this again... Isn't it funny how we lie to ourselves?
Anyways, eventually Dean screeched for me to stop and find a place to park. I complied. I didn't have the energy to argue. It might be because of the lack of oxygen. Throughout this 10 minute trip my car had become inundated with Dean's stench. Imagine rotten sour cream wrapped in a piece of moldy Havarti cheese, sprinkled with sweat from a mountain troll. Little did I know, that wasn't the worst of the night though. Not by a long shot.
Finally snapping out of my daze, I looked around to see the secret seafood restaurant that had only been talked about in hushed whispers. I'll give you a moment to guess for yourself what the place was. Not some well-kept secret as he had implied. It wasn't a quaint hole-in-the-wall, it wasn't even a Red fucking Lobster. We had just pulled up into the parking lot... of a Long John Silver's. Have you ever been to a Long John Silver's? Maybe. Have you ever been to a Long John Silver's by choice? Ew. It's fastfood seafood and it is just... The worst "food" that you could possibly put into your mouth. This can't be real life. We have just lost cabin pressure. We are headed directly into freefall. Finally I found my voice. "What the fuck is this?"
Dean unabashedly said "Long John Silver's, duh. It's the best seafood in town by a long shot, the pricing is also pretty good so you can eat as much as you want." He continued barreling through, extolling the virtues of Long John Silver's as I reluctantly followed him inside. He didn't bother holding the door open. It isn't necessary, but it can be a nice gesture. Instead he bounced up to the counter and started rattling off his order to the worker drone stationed at the register. It was a long order. He ordered enough to feed 5 or 6 people. I thought maybe he was ordering for both of us, until he turned and asked "Did you want anything?" I choked out a number representing one of their combo meals, and tried to hand him $10.
He made a great show of refusing the ten dollars, proclaiming that a lady should never have to pay for her own meal. The worker drone stared on, looking about as vacant as I felt. I think Dean expected the restaurant to start clapping at his chivalrous gesture. Instead the drone went back to scrolling on his phone, and I found a place to sit. When Dean flopped into the seat next to me, I asked if he could please sit across from me instead. He ignored that request, extending a flabby arm across my shoulders, rubbing his putrid armpit on the shoulder of a blouse that I really liked, but later had to burn...
"It's a first date. We should get close, y'know. Get to know each other?" he drawled.
"Go and sit over there Dean, or I'm leaving." I finally insisted. "I have no idea how the date got this far. You don't even look like your picture!"
His ego was hurt now. He rambled on about how "the picture was actually him, he just Photoshopped it a little, and girls do it too. Why do these bitches on dating apps have to be so shallow? Probably just looking for a Chad to take them home and rearrange their guts. Women should be submissive and that means not being choosy. They should feel honored that any man would deign to take them on as a responsibility."
Eventually, all I heard was a high-pitched whining in my ears as I had a Vietnam flashback to all the niceguys and neckbeards that I had run across in high-school. It was the same speech they all seem to end up giving, verbatim. I sat with my head in my hands and he didn't stop this auditory assault until our number was called. He fetched his food, came back to the table, made another trip, and then a third... Until finally he flopped down across from me and said "Yours is still up there, if you want it."
I was ready to boil. "I don't want it Dean. I wanted to have a nice date, but instead I ended up at a fucking Long John Silver's with a big FAT fucking catfish." I expected him to come right back at me with all the rage and fury of an incel scorned, but instead he just walked up to the counter. Brought the tray back, and began to ravage the meal that I had ordered. It sounded like rhinoceros crap being sucked down a bathtub plug hole that had been severely clogged with pubic hair that had been matted together by decades of cum spent on myriad anime waifus. I covered my ears. I fumed. I wanted to cry, but I would not allow this creature to break my will.
I hadn't said more than 20 words during this entire date, and I wasn't about to start talking now. Besides, Dean seemed perfectly happy to just hoover up every speck of greasy fried seafood in relative silence. All I could do was sit and glare. My stare had turned into a glare, and there is a subtle difference... But I don't think Dean was equipped enough to detect that shift. For minutes on end I simply watched the spectacle unfolding before me. He chomped and glorped and gobbled until he had decimated everything that lay before him. Then he sat back and unbuckled his belt while patting his engorged stomach. Disgusting.
"Seems like you really enjoyed that." I said sarcastically as I got up and started heading to the car. He jiggled after me outside like a very overfed and very stupid puppy. Again, I said nothing. I got in and started the car. Right as I was going to peel out and let him walk off that greasy feast he had consumed, Dean wrenched the door open and buttslammed into the seat. As he did, he let out a rather large fart and started giggling like a child. "Good thing I didn't let that one rip in the restaurant!" he chuckled. I was not amused. Yeah. Just let it rip in my fucking car instead you abomination. My patience had been stretched to its breaking point, but I didn't say so. I was simply ready to get this dumpster fire over with. Surely the worst of our interaction was over now, right? We could just part ways and never speak again, right? I never expected that my poor car would be left with one more souvenir that fateful night. Something far more disgusting than Dean's stench.
We pulled out and bounced down the road. The windows were promptly rolled down, which I suppose Dean took as an invitation to continue his butt-orchestra. He'd fart and laugh every couple of minutes. I can't begin to fathom the reason. Either he's given up like I have, or he's trying to rebuild bridges in the worst way possible... Either way, I sped down the streets. Freedom was calling my name and I wanted to get this guy out of my car so I could disinfect, sanitize, deodorize, and cleanse not just my car... But myself as well.
We were in the home stretch. Another minute or two and we'd be rid of each other. Then I noticed that Dean had gotten very quiet. His face turning a strange shade of green. I thought he was going to throw up, but it was even worse than that. As we headed down his street, I hit a speedbump. The jolt must have stirred something in Dean, because he let out another fart... This one sounded different than the others however... It was low and wet. It sounded like a choked blast from a tuba that had been stuffed to the brim with congealed mayonnaise.
Dean did not chuckle like before. Instead, his face shifted from green to a blushing red. I slowly looked over at him and the smell hit me. Rancid greasy sick people poop. The kind of poop that comes out of a sick and dying person right before they kick the bucket... My eyes widened as realization dawned on me. I started to scream all of the frustration that had built up over the night right into Dean's stupid fat face. What I said wasn't really words, it was pure emotion. A screech of incredulity, pain, confusion, and of course the disappointment that I'm sure his mother felt every single day of her life.
We were still down the street from his house. Maybe another 50 yards away... But instead I mashed the brakes and continued slamming him with a nonsensical torrent of emotion. Dean wasn't going to sit around for that. He fumbled with the door, let himself out of the car, leaned back in to tell me he had a lovely time before I gave him one more resounding, hate-fueled "FUCK OFF!" And so he did. I watched him waddle his way back home, the greasy brown stain on the back of his pants only growing with each step. I looked down at the passenger seat. It would never be the same again. I hate to go into any more disgusting detail, but suffice it to say... There was splashback. The diarrhea fountain had stained not just the bucket, but it had spurted up the back of the seat as well.
I cried. Sitting there in that disgusting car, I had a long ugly cry with the windows still fully down. I considered approaching Dean's mother for money to get my car reupholstered, but given the state of the house? I'm not sure she had much to give on behalf of her son, even if by some miracle she was willing to do so... No. This was my problem to deal with now. I finished crying. I drove home. I spent weeks having to stare at that stain, but eventually I was able to buy a completely "new" seat from the junkyard. No more ghost-Dean sitting passenger and laughing at his own honking asshole.
I'm still amazed at how this specimen managed to lure me into a date. While I was far too passive, I'm going to mark that down as inexperience. I'd be much more bold in the future. I did tell myself that I'd never get on Tinder again after this experience. It's by far the worst interaction that I've had with another human being. Ever. But eventually the allure of online dating called me back, and I do have even more stories to tell... But those are tales for another day... Thanks to ReddX if he reads this. Please subscribe to him on YouTube if ya haven't. I'll see you again next time my little Tinderlings.
TL;DR After a terrible date, trad alpha male Tinder guy pooped in my car.
submitted by StupidInternetFart to DatingHell [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 16:48 Nana_923 Choosing the Right Excavator Equipment Planet Equipment

Choosing the Right Excavator Equipment Planet Equipment
What are the things to consider when choosing the right excavator? Once you’ve been hired for a new position as a result of a successful bid, it’s time to confirm that you have all the required tools. One of the most common pieces of construction equipment used by businesses to complete new projects is the excavator. Choosing the best excavator might be challenging with so many alternatives available.


Fortunately, this lesson will show you how to pick an excavator that meets your needs. After that, match your excavator to the task’s requirements, the work that has been done, and the job site itself. Make sure you have access to any feature support you’ll need for upcoming assignments.
It’s best to select a knowledgeable partner you can trust to offer the necessary tools and any parts you’ll need for upcoming repairs and upgrades. All of the following requirements should be satisfied by your construction supply company, giving you confidence in your choice.
Deliver on Your Promises The most important element to think about when choosing the right excavator is that it must finish the task. To be sure your future excavator has enough power for your work, look at the hydraulic systems and testing alternatives. There are many of individuals who will brag about how effective their method is and how much they can do in a single workday.
More potent hydraulic systems enable you to increase your production and efficiency since you are supplying the power you require. The best assistance for your assignment is also part of the performance. Therefore, consider all of the tasks your excavator will need to complete while picking your choice.
There are two major support options to think about for your excavator: zero tail swing and zero house swing features. These arrangements allow your operator to operate in close proximity to dig sites, walls, and other obstructions.
The zero-swing tail of the excavator makes it more maneuverable and reduces the possibility of collision with neighboring objects, structures, or machinery. Additionally, it shields your operator from making touch with the excavator’s front and sides during turning.
Zero-swing options are a fantastic option if you are operating in an area with several obstructions on either side. This configuration, however, calls for a huge excavator, which isn’t always suitable for a project site.
Most excavators have an independent boom, which offers them an advantage over conventional backhoes. Your operator can control the machine more effectively and provide a solid foundation with less movement thanks to the boom. You get more visibility and power with more efficient operations.
Make it fit your website. Take into account the needs and risks of the project site while choosing your excavator.
How does your building site look? Imagine it, replete with risks, demands that are right now, and demands that you expect to arise as your project moves through each step. Imagine all of your requirements before making an excavator buy; this is the most practical method.
It’s advisable to select an excavator based on your typical project if you run a large business or want long-term equipment. Different models, for instance, operate better on vast, level plains than in densely populated cities with numerous neighboring structures and barriers.
After taking into account your area, assess the tasks carried out on a normal job site. The ideal excavator for your company must be able to lift, haul, reach, dig, and do a number of other jobs. Examine prior projects and collect precise measurements, such as weights or excavation depth.
When choosing an excavator for your project, keep the following essential requirements in mind:
Engine force. In order to move around your workplace and do your tasks, you’ll need a strong engine. Include the piston stroke and bore in your specifications so you may compare the power of various engines. Weight. Focus on the equipment, operator, and load choices that contribute to the maximum operational weight. You don’t want a big, destructive excavator on your property. Size. Verify that your excavator can fit on the worksite. The standard method for sizing excavators is tonnage, which corresponds to their operational weight. Breakout force grows directly as tonnage does. Dimensions of a bucket Because buckets are one of the most common applications for excavators, be sure to check the types of buckets it supports and the bucket option’s maximum capacity. Size of Excavator Is Important There are several excavators in a range of sizes. While you’re considering your employment requirements and the normal work environment you encounter, start the process of narrowing down your search. First, look at the size and kind of the excavators. Pick a size, such 5 tons, rather than a “small,” keeping in mind that classifications are broad and manufacturer requirements differ. Examine the most typical excavators: little or compact in size. Typically, the smallest excavators are the most mobile. They weigh anything from 2,100 pounds to just about ten tons. A micro is perfect for little jobs and those needing a small workspace, such as those requiring the ability to go around a building or working in areas where there are numerous cables buried in the ground. In addition to consuming the least energy, they also harm the sidewalk, road, and yard the least. Standard. Standard excavators are those that weigh more than 10 tons but less than 45 tons. These are the most flexible excavators, able to perform a variety of jobs and operate in practically any environment. They will be hefty and injure the terrain they must travel since they have a lot of strength. They are strong and portable, but they take up a lot of room. They are fairly widespread in the construction sector. Large. Excavators are categorized as heavy machinery and can weigh up to 95 tons. These devices are the real workhorses of industry. They are not common in cities or in locations where there are many hills close to the construction site, but they are always available to supply energy for large-scale construction projects. There will need to be a significant investment in equipment as well as a trailer to transfer these gadgets to each building site. If you do, you’ll be able to tell if you require this much size and strength. There are many different combinations available for each part. Thanks to contemporary developments, standard and compact excavators are now more adaptable for a range of task scenarios. These include the excavator’s undercarriage’s capacity to retract to fit through narrow openings, such fence gates, and then extend to provide a solid base when the excavator needs one to finish the job. All Depends on Size What Advantages Come With Mini Excavators?
Even while a standard or large excavator’s power is effective for various tasks, it shouldn’t be the only one taken into account. Compared to bigger excavators, mini excavators have a number of benefits, including:
Less of an impact is felt. Because they are smaller and lighter, mini excavators leave fewer track traces and do less damage to the ground. The footprint is more compact. Compact mini excavators are easier to use while working on a small or busy task site, such a parking lot. Transportation is easy. Mini excavators may be loaded into the back of a utility vehicle or a compact trailer for simple transit between job sites. The transport load is minimal. Some Cat mini excavator models may be legal to trailer and tow with a basic Class C California driver’s license since their operating weight is less than 10,000 pounds. For tasks requiring only a small amount of room, mini excavators are ideal. For instance, working in a backyard requires navigating gates and a constrained area. Many of the same duties that a regular excavator can perform, but on a smaller scale, can be completed by a little excavator. Job tasks that would ordinarily need manual digging can be greatly sped up this way. ADVERTISE OUR MINI EXCAVATORS
When ought to one use a mini excavator? What does a little excavator serve? Mini excavators are incredibly flexible since they can be fitted with a variety of accessories. Because of their small size and light weight, mini excavators are more useful than you may imagine. These four tasks are suitable for this kind of equipment. What does a little excavator serve? Mini excavators are incredibly flexible since they can be fitted with a variety of accessories. Because of their small size and light weight, mini excavators are more useful than you may imagine. These four tasks are suitable for this kind of equipment.
  1. Putting in or fixing a utility line The best tool for digging trenches for new or replacement lines is an excavator. When using an excavator, you are trenching behind yourself, however when using a trencher, you are trenching directly into the trench you wish to make. Instead of placing your spoil on the side of the trench, where you might need to move it with another tractor, you can place it where you need it.
2. Demolition When preparing an area for construction, an excavator is a useful tool to have. You may place the material where you want it to be dumped because the excavator can swing 360 degrees. Pool excavation, landscaping, and building pad excavation are tasks that almost exclusively fall within the purview of excavators. When you need to over-excavate a pad for compaction, an additional benefit of excavators is that you may quickly meter the material to the desired thickness for optimal compaction. Another fantastic application for an excavator is to dig the footings for structures like retaining walls or buildings.
  1. Dismantling When tearing down a concrete patio or building, a small excavator might be useful. When pulling out the debris and putting it into the truck or trailer, the machine can be fitted with a hydraulic thumb to hold it in place. Break apart concrete or rocks using a hydraulic hammer or breaker.
  2. Drilling Holes The little excavator is essential for building projects where operators drill holes in numerous places because of its ability to maneuver in limited areas. If workers utilize a small excavator, they won’t have to rely on manual shoveling or other hand tools to drill the holes. You can drill at just about any angle and reach over obstacles using the mini excavator. Additionally, because the drill is hydraulically propelled, you may place it wherever the excavator stick’s end is.
Comfort for the operator is essential. It’s crucial to match the right excavator to your demands while making your selection. Additionally, it’s crucial to pair the appropriate crew with the suitable excavator.
Many varieties have ergonomic seats and controls that are intended with the operator’s comfort in mind. Choose a cab that has ample room and enables quick access to all the excavator’s controls and features. Your operator can work comfortably and adapt to different operators thanks to chairs that are adjustable and have lateral movement.
The heating and cooling system should be taken into account when choosing an excavator as part of the comfort factor. These must have adequate power to maintain the comfort of your space. Controls similar to those seen in cars and trucks are common in modern cabs. Check these out to make sure the controls are easy to use. Look for two vents: one in front of and one behind the operator’s seat.
More comfort should be taken into account as the excavator is used by your operators for extended periods of time. Choose an excavator that will improve performance rather than hamper it.
There are more tools required for the work in addition to an excavator.
When you need to accomplish more than just dig, you’ll need a different excavator. Consider the accessories it can hold if you need a machine that is adaptable. Excavators have access to a wide range of attachments that may assist with a number of jobs, such as the following:
Buckets. With a variety of styles for digging, grading, ditch cleaning, and other tasks, as well as alternatives to match the severity of your work, buckets are your excavator’s most versatile extension.
Couplers. Your excavator can switch tools quickly and without a crew thanks to these accessories. Your machine has the ability to switch between multiple tasks as you move around the job site.
Compaction. Compaction wheels and vibrating plates are useful for pipeline contractors for site preparation.
Rippers. A ripper may dislodge ice on the ground or even hard dirt. These come at different depths and have the ability to support couplers. They are frequently used for trenching and pipeline support.
Hammers. Pavement and building destruction typically involves the use of excavators. Because they can switch between the tool and a bucket using a coupler, hammers are more effective at this task.
ADVANCED OPTIONS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST EXCAVATOR VIEW ASSIGNS FOR OUR EXCAVATORS There are a few other features you should consider when buying an excavator. These might help you compare your top options and help you choose the greatest excavator by providing a checklist.
Some of the more important secondary characteristics include the following:
Included are anti-vandalism features. These options include the capability to lock specific areas and locations on the device, restricting both its use and the removal of anything. These are helpful if you have to leave your excavator at the job site. This shields you from liability if someone is harmed while breaking into your property while also safeguarding your tools and the workplace. power sources There are several power distribution methods available that may provide electricity for your attachments and boom. Some will also include a trick that will give your songs extra force. You can enhance performance in situations where your equipment is likely to be used thanks to these technologies. The controls are hydraulic. Newer excavators feature top-of-the-line hydraulics added in the cab to help with control. It makes the operation simpler and allows your operator to maneuver more precisely. The performance of your operator will also be improved by ergonomic setups. These elements are important to consider while deciding how to buy an excavator. Before making a purchase, get a hold of the excavator and test it out. Get some practical experience with a machine before you hand it any money. This stage is essential in selecting the model of excavator you intend to employ because every excavator is unique.
When assessing a possible excavator, look for the things listed below:
  • Pay attention to how it starts up. Instead of needing to wait for the battery to charge, it is preferred for the engine to start right away.
  • Check the area for smoke or leaks. Even though an AC system might leak water and engines can occasionally produce a small amount of smoke, you should always check to see whether these are normal working conditions for the equipment. Make sure any fluid leaks aren’t coming from a crucial system by looking for them.
  • Check the oil and other fluids in the machine to see how they are doing. These should be brand-new, but it might be a warning sign if someone is trying to sell you a machine that uses out-of-date hydraulic or other oils.
  • Examine the engine and cables right away by opening it up. You want everything to be clean and professional-looking, even the wiring. A lot of electrical tape could be a warning sign.
  • Play around with the tools and features. To verify slew ring wear, lifting the boom and manually rotating the body might be effective. When moving a boom with a swivel, check for excessive movement or obvious wear. Booms with swivels may accept a little wiggle in the swivel mechanism.
  • A thorough examination may help you avoid a lot of hassles, time, and money. The most significant benefit is that it helps you keep your staff safe, which is a need.
  • Choosing the Correct Excavator
  • It takes time to learn how to buy an excavator since you want to be sure you’re covering all of your business’s bases.
Because of its adaptability and value throughout the building cycle, an excavator is a great addition to your equipment. Excavators are always working in the construction yard, grading for your foundation, delivering supplies to your employees, and supplying electricity for demolition.
Your trusted partner since 1919, Interstate Heavy Equipment, can help you make a selection and specify your work requirements. Whether you’re purchasing new or old equipment, the capacity to complete the necessary tasks is the most important aspect to keep in mind. When making your choice, take into account available features, attachment support, space restrictions, and other aspects.
submitted by Nana_923 to equipmentbuyandsell [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 16:03 Impressive-Bad-1500 Landscaper scammed myself and others

Throwaway account.
So, I broke rule number one of hiring a local contractor, in the Norfolk, VA area. I paid more money up front than I should have, roughly 2k. I realize how dumb I am, but that’s what I get for putting any faith in humanity.
Anyways, they came to do a landscaping job, gave me a reasonable quote and said they only required a small down payment to begin. I got a signed quote on paper with the itemized list of things to be done. They began work and knocked off a couple things from the list. Then they left for some more materials and to rent equipment. They asked me to pay the couple hundred-dollar deposit for the equipment, saying the one they had couldn’t fit in my yard. I was skeptical and asked a couple questions and got some pretty dumb answers, but I just assumed they were trying to get their local business up and running and needed a little help so I gave it to them. First big mistake. Because then the person continued to make excuses for other things and tacking on additional money. This whole time he was polite and professional, even calling me to give updates and all that. But it was starting to become more and more bullshit.
So I did what I should have done before even contacting the person to begin with, I looked them up. I had the person’s phone number saved as a contact in my phone, so some social media apps automatically ask you to add them. I’d noticed this person pop up once so I decided to check. The name on the account was different then the name he’s provided me and on his flyers/email. So I was like huh that’s strange, so I looked up the name and sure enough it was him.
Then I looked up their company name. They made it very similar to another bigger company in the area, which had many reviews on google, just to trick people. But I eventually found their reviews on local review sites, and then some scam tracking sites. That’s when I saw multiple people say they’ve done this exact same thing multiple times in the same area in the recent past. For very similar amounts of money. Now what little sympathy I had remaining is all out the door. I called and filed a police report, but the officer said at this point it’s not a criminal offense so they couldn’t do anything. Basically, because they started the work, now they’re just technically "working slow". But then he gave some examples of what I could do next based off some people he knew went through a similar situation. Including small claims court.
The information I know:
- Person used a fake name. Found them on social media
- Business is actually not a licensed business
- Lied about being BBB licensed and insured. Looked it up on their site.
- Found multiple people in same situation online
So my questions are:
- If I take this person to small claims court and win, I’ve seen sometimes that the defendant can literally just say they’re not going to pay up even right in front of the judge. So what’s the point?
- Am I allowed to reach out to the other people who got scammed, and see if they are interested in doing a combined lawsuit? And do the total damages accrue, causing the case to actually go to the district court if they are high enough? I saw somewhere small claims is only up to $5,000 in Virginia but correct me if I’m wrong please.
At the end of the day I’d much rather the person just finish the work, or pay me back. But if not, I would like to know what options I have. Thanks in advance!
submitted by Impressive-Bad-1500 to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:19 Guilty_Chemistry9337 Hide Behind the Cypress Tree (Part 2)

They didn’t tell us the name of the next kid that disappeared. They didn’t tell us another kid had disappeared at all. We could all tell by the silence what had happened. It spoke volumes. I’m sure they talked about it in great detail amongst themselves. In PTA meetings and City Councils. My parents made sure to turn off the TV at 5 o’clock before the news came on, at least in my home. They’d turn it back on for the 11 o’clock news, when were were in bed and couldn’t hear the details.
The strange thing is, they never told us to just stop going outside. They told us to go in groups, sure, but they never decided, or as far as I could tell even though, to keep us all indoors. I guess that sort of freedom wasn’t something they were willing to give up. Instead, they did the neighborhood watch thing. For those few months, I remember my folks meeting more of our neighbors than in all the time previously, or since. Retirees would spend their days out in their front lawns, watching kids and everybody else coming and going. They’d even set up lawn furniture, with umbrellas, even all through the rains of spring. Cops stopped sitting in ambushes on the highways waiting for speeders and instead started patrolling the streets, chatting with us as we’d pass by. Weekends would see all the adults out in their yards, working on cars in the driveways, fixing the gutters, and so on. They had this weird way of looking at you as you’d ride by. Not hostile stares, but it was like they were cataloging your presence. Boy, eight years old, red raincoat silver bike, about 11:30 in the morning, heading south on Sorensen. Seemed fine.
The next time we saw it, it wasn’t in our neighborhood, and I was the one who saw it first. We were visiting Russ, a sort of 5th semi-friend from school. We rarely hung out, mostly owing to geography. His house wasn’t far as the crow flies, but it was up a steep hill. We spent a Saturday afternoon returning a cache of comic books we’d borrowed. The distance we covered was substantial, as we had decided to take lots of extra streets as switchbacks, rather than slowly push our bikes up the too-steep hills.
The descent was going to be the highlight of the trip, up until I saw the Hidebehind. We were on a curving road, a steep forested bluff on one side. The uphill slope was mostly ivy-covered raised foundations for the neighborhood’s houses. That side of the road was lined with parked cars, and the residents of the homes had to ascend steep staircases to get to their front doors.
I was ayt the back of the pack when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Movement, something brown squatting between two closely parked cars. My head snapped as I zoomed past, and despite not getting a good look, I knew it was that terrible thing. “It’s behind us!” I shouted and started pedaling hard. The others looked for themselves as I quickly rushed past them, but they soon joined my pace.
Ralph’s earlier idea of directly confronting the thing was set aside. We were moving too fast, and down too narrow a street to turn around. Then we saw it again it was to our left, off-road, between the trees. Suddenly it leaped from behind one tree trunk to the next and disappeared again. That hardly made sense, the base of the trees must have been thirty feet below the deck of the street we rode down. One of us, I think it was India, let out one of those strangled screams.
There it was again, back on the right, disappearing behind a mailbox as we approached. That couldn’t have been, it must have outpaced us and crossed in front of us. Logic would suggest there was more than one, but somehow the four of us knew it was the same thing. More impossible still, the pole holding up the mailbox was too thin, maybe two inches in diameter, yet that thing had disappeared behind it, like a Warner Bros. cartoon character. It was just enough to catch a better glimpse of it though. All brown. A head seemingly too bulbous and large for its body. Its limbs were thin but far longer, like a gibbon’s. Only a gibbon had normal elbows and knees. This thing bent its joints all wrong like it wasn’t part of the natural order. We were all terrified to wit’s end.
“The trail!” Ralph shouted, and the other three of us knew exactly what he meant. The top of it was only just around the curve. It was a dirt footpath for pedestrians ascending and descending South Hill, cutting through the woods on our left. It was too steep for cars, and to be honest, too steep for bikes. We’d played on it before, challenging each other to see how high up they could go, then descend back down without using our brakes. A short paved cul-de-sac at the bottom was enough space to stop before running into a cross street.
Ralph had held the previous group record, having climbed three-quarters of the way before starting his mad drop. India’s best was just short of that, I had only dared about halfway up, Ben only a third. This time, with certain death on our heels, the trail seemed the only way out. Nothing could have outrun a kid on a bike flying down that hill.
We followed Ralph’s lead, swinging to the right gutter of the street, then hanging a fast wide left up onto the curb, over a patch of gravel, between two boulders set up as bollards, lest a car driver mistake the entrance for a driveway, and then, like a roller coaster cresting the first hill, the bottom fell out.
It was the most overwhelming sensation of motion I’ve ever had, before or since. I suppose the danger behind us was the big reason, and being absolutely certain that only our speed was keeping us alive. I remember thinking it was like the speeder bike scene from Return of the Jedi, also a recent movie from the time. Only this was real. I didn’t just see the trees flashing past it, I could hear the motion as well. Cold air attacked my eyes and long streamers of tears rushed over my cheeks and the drops flew past my ears, I didn’t dare blink. Each little stone my tires struck threatened to up-end me and end it all. Yet, and perhaps worse, half the time it felt like I wasn’t in contact with the ground at all. I was going so fast that those same small stones were sending me an inch or two into the air, and the arc of the flights so closely matched the slope that by the time I contacted the trail again, I was significantly further down the hill.
At the same time, I had never felt more relief, as the thing behind us had no way of catching us now. Somehow, maybe the seriousness of the escape gave us both the motive and the seriousness to keep ourselves under control. Looking back, I marvel that at least one of us didn’t lose control and end up splitting our skulls open.
We hit the pavement of the cul-de-sac below, and didn’t bother to slow down. We raced through the cross-street, one angry driver screeching to a halt and laying on his horn. This brought out the neighborhood watch. Just a few of them at first. Still, we didn’t slow down, our momentum carried us back up the much shallower slope of our neighborhood. Witnesses saw us depart at high speed, and this only brought out more of the watch. We heard whistles behind us, just like our P.E. teacher’s whistle. We figured that was the watch’s alarm siren. Regardless of what happened to that thing, it was behind us. We returned to our homes, shaken, but safe and sound, our inertia taking us almost all of the way there.
Another kid disappeared that Sunday, up on South Hill. We’d suspected it because we could see the lights of the police cars on a high road, surrounding the spot where it would turn out later, one of the kid’s shoes had been found. Russ confirmed it at school on Monday. It was a kid he’d known, lived down the road from his place, went to private school which is why we didn’t recognize his name.
I remember seeing Ralph’s face the next day when he arrived at school. He looked angry. Strong. Like he’d been crying really hard, and now it was over and he was resolved. He said he’d felt guilty because the thing we’d escaped from had gotten the other kid instead. He tried to tell his old man about it, then his mom, then any adult he could. He’d tell them about the monster who hides behind things. They needed to focus on finding and stopping that instead of looking for some sort of creeper or serial killer. Of course, nobody had listened to him. They hadn’t listened to the rest of us either when we’d tried to tell.
So he’d devised a plan. He was calling it the “Fight Patrol,” which we didn’t argue with. If the adults wouldn’t do something, we would. We’d patrol our neighborhood on our bikes, the four of us, maybe a couple more if we could talk others into it. We’d chase it off like that first time, maybe for good, or maybe corner it. Clearly, it could not handle being caught.
Naturally, we brought up the scare on South Hill. He argued that was a bad place. Too isolated, couldn’t turn around easily. We needed to stay on our home turf, lots of visibility, and plenty of the Neighborhood Watch within earshot. Maybe we and the adults working together was the key, even if the adults didn’t understand the problem.
Well, that convinced us. Our first patrol was that afternoon, after school. We watched everybody’s back like hawks. Nothing had a chance to sneak up on us. Nothing could step out from behind a bush without getting spotted. By Friday afternoon there were eight of us. The next week we split up to extend our territory to the next neighborhoods over.
Nothing happened. We never saw anything. Ben thought it was because we were scaring it away. Ralph just thought we were failing, and took it personally. I myself thought the thing had just moved to different parts of town, where the new disappearances were taking place. I told him we should keep it up until the thing was caught.
It was all for naught.
One day, India didn’t show up for school. I asked everybody, the teachers, the office staff, the custodian, my parents. All of them said they didn’t know, and it was so easy to tell that they were lying. That would mark the end of the Fight Patrol.
Ben didn’t show up a couple of days after that. When I got home and collapsed into bed, my mother came in to tell me that Ben’s mother had called. She’d taken him out of school and they were moving elsewhere. I called up Ralph to let him know the news, and he was relieved too.
My last day was Friday, and then I was taken out. Again, I called Ralph so he wouldn’t worry. I guess when there were only two weeks left of school, and it was just grade school, a couple missed weeks don’t amount to much. So I ended up spending the bulk of the summer out in the country, with my grandparents, which was why I brought up my grandpa in the first place.
I suppose I did fine out on their farmhouse. I was safe. There was certainly no shortage of things for a kid to do. I think my mom felt a strong sense of relief too. Things slipped through the cracks.
My grandparents didn’t have cable, too far out of town. They just had an old-school antenna and got a couple of TV stations transmitting out of Canada, Vancouver specifically. I remember one July day, sitting in their living room. My grandmother had just fixed lunch for me and my grandfather and had gone out to do some gardening as we watched the news at noon.
My grandfather was already being ravaged by his illnesses. He was able to get around, but couldn’t do any real labor anymore. He’d lounge in front of the TV in a special lounge chair. He hardly talked, and when he did he’d just mumble some discomfort or complaint to my grandma.
The lead story on the news was the current situation in Farmingham, despite being in the neighboring country, it was still big news in Vancouver, and the whole rest of the region. It seemed the disappearances were declining, but the police were still frantically searching for a supposed serial killer. I didn’t pick up much about what they were talking about, I was a kid after all, but my grandfather was watching intently, despite his infirmity.
He mumbled something, I didn’t catch. I asked him was he said, and as I approached I heard him say “fearsome critters.”
He turned his eyes to me and said again, distinct and in a normal tone of voice, “fearsome critters,” then returned his attention to the screen. “I don’t know why they call them that. Fearsome, sure. But ‘critters?” Makes it sound silly. Like it's some sort of fairy tale that it ain’t. Guess it’s like whistling past the graveyard. Well, they don’t have to worry about them no more, guess they can call them what they like.”
Then he turned to me. “Do you know what it is?” he asked. “Squonk? Hodag? Gouger? Hidebehind?”
“Hidebehind,” I whispered, and he turned back to the TV with a sneer. I had no idea what on earth he was talking about. Remember, this would be years before I learned he spent his youth as a lumberjack. And yet, somehow, I knew exactly what we were talking about.
“Hidebehind,” he repeated. “That will do it. They give them such stupid names. The folk back East, that is. Wisconsin. Minnesota. Ohio. Way back in the old days, before my grandfather would have been your age. Back when those places were covered by forests. They didn’t give them silly names back then, no. Back then they were something to worry about. Then they moved on, though. They all went out West, to here, followed the loggers. So as once they didn’t have to worry about them anymore, they started making up silly stories, silly names. “Fearsome critters,” they’d call them. Just tall tales to tell the greenhorns and scare them out of their britches. Then they’d make them even sillier, and tell the stories to little kids to spook them.”
“Not out here they didn’t tell no stories nor make up any names. It was bad enough they followed us out. I had no clue they even existed until I saw one for myself. Bout your age, I suppose. Maybe a little older. Nobody ever talks about them. Not even when they take apart a work crew, one by one. They just pull the crews back. Wait till mid-summer when the land is dry but not too dry. Then they move the crews in, a lot of them. Do some burning, make a lot of smoke. Drives them deeper into the woods, you know. Then you can cut the whole damn place down. But nobody asks why, nobody tells why. The people who know just take care of it.”
“I guess that’s why they’re coming to us now. All the old woods are almost gone. So they’ve got to. Like mountain lions. I supposed it’s going to happen sooner or later.”
We heard my grandma come into the back door to the utility room, and stomp the dirt off her boots. My grandfather turned to me one last time and said, “Whichever way you look at it, somebody’s just got to take care of it.” Then my grandmother came in from the utility room and asked us how our lunch had been.
Now that I look back at it, that might have been the last time my grandfather and I really had a meaningful talk.
We moved back home in late August. I had been having a fantastic summer. Though looking back, I suppose it could be rough for a still-young woman to be living in her aging parents' house when she’s got a perfectly good husband and house of her own in town.
First thing I did was visit Ralph. He’d been busy. He’d fortified his treehouse into a proper, well, tree fort. He’d nailed a lot of reinforcing plywood over everything. He hadn’t gone out on patrols by himself, of course, but the height of the tree fort afforded him a view of the nearest streets. He’d also made some makeshift weapons out of old baseball bats, a hockey stick, and a garden rake. The sharp rocks he’d attached to them with masking tape didn’t look very secure, but it’d only take one or two good blows with that kind of firepower. He also explained he’d been teaching himself kung fu, by copying all the movies he saw on kung fu movies late at night on the unpopular cable channels. That was classic Ralph.
As for the monster, it seemed to be going away. Its last victim had disappeared weeks previously, part of the reason my mom felt it was time to go back. This had been at night too. What’s more, the victim had been a college student, a very petite lady, barely five feet tall, under a hundred pounds. The news had speculated that their presumptive serial killer had assumed she was a child. I remember thinking the Hidebehind didn’t care. Maybe it just thought she couldn’t run fast enough to get away or put up a fight when he caught her. Like a predator.
At any rate, the college students were incensed. Of course, they’d been hyper-alert and concerned when it was just local kids going missing. Now that it was one of their own the camel’s back had broken. They really went hard on the protests, blaming the local police for not doing enough.
They started setting up their own patrols, and at night too. Marches with sometimes dozens of students at a time. They called it “Take Back the Night.” They’d walk the streets, making sure they’d be heard. Some cared drums or tambourines. They’d help escort people home, and sometimes they’d unintentionally stop random crimes they’d happen across. I felt like this was what the Fight Patrol could have been, if we’d just been old enough, or had been listened to. This would be the endgame for the Hidebehind, one way or another.
I stayed indoors the rest of the summer, and really there wasn’t much left. It doesn’t get too hot in the Pacific Northwest, nobody has air conditioners, or at least we didn’t back then. It will get stuffy though, in August, and I liked to sleep with my window open. I could hear the chants and challenges from the student patrols on their various routes. Sometimes I could hear them coming from far away, and every now and then they’d pass down my street. It felt like a wonderful security blanket.
I also liked the honeysuckle my mother had planted around the perimeter of the house. Late at night, if I was struggling to fall asleep, the air in my bedroom would start to circulate. Cold air would start pouring in over my windowsill, bringing the sweet scent of that creepervine with it, and I’d the sensation before finally passing out.
This one night, and I have no knowledge if I was awake, asleep, or drifting off, but the air in the room changed, and cooler air poured over the windowsill and swept over my bed, but it didn’t carry the sweet smell of honeysuckle. Regardless of my initial state, I was alert pretty quickly. It was a singularly unpleasant smell. A bit like death, which at that age I was mostly unfamiliar with, except a time some animal had died underneath the crawlspace of our house. There was more to it, though. The forest, the deep forest. I don’t know and still don’t know, what that meant. Most smells I associate with the forest are pleasant. Cedar, pine needles, thick loam of the forest floor, campfires, even the creosote and turpentine of those old timey-logging camps. This was none of those smells. Maybe… rotting granite, and the spores of slime molds. Mummified hemlocks and beds of needles compressed into something different than soil. It disturbed me.
So I sat up in bed. I hadn’t noticed before, but I’d been sweating, just lightly in the stuffy summer night heat. Now it was turning cold. Before me was my bedroom window. A lit rectangle in a pitch-dark room. To either side were my white, opened curtains, the one on the right, by the open half of the window, stirred just slightly in the barely perceptible breeze.
Most of the rectangle was the black form of the protective cypress tree. Only the slight conical nature of the tree distinguished it from a perfectly vertical column. To either side was a dim soft orange glow coming from the sodium lamps of the street passing by our house. It was perhaps a bit diffuse from the screen set in my window to keep out mosquitos. In the distance was the sound of an approaching troupe of the Take Back the Night patrol. They were neither drumming nor chanting, but still making plenty of noise. They were, perhaps, three or four blocks away, and heading my way.
For some reason that I didn’t understand, I got up, off of the foot of the bed. The window, being closer, appeared bigger. I took a silent step further. The patrol approached closer. Another step. I leaned to my right, just a bit, getting a slightly wider view to the left of the cypress tree. That was the direction the patrol was coming from.
That was when it resolved. The deeper black silhouette within the black silhouette of the cypress tree. A small lithe frame with a too-bulbous head. It too leaned, in its case, to the left, to see around the cypress tree as the patrol approached. They reached our block,on the other side of the street. A dozen rowdy college students, not trying to be quiet. None of them fearing the night. Each feeling safe and determined, and absorbed in their own night out rather than being overtly sensitive to their surroundings. They were distracted, unfocused If they had been peering into the shadows, if just one of them had looked towards my house, behind the cypress tree, they might have seen the Hidebehind, poking its face out and watching them transit past. But they didn’t notice.
It hid behind the cypress tree, and I hid behind it, hoping that the blackness of my bedroom would protect me. I stood absolutely still, as I had done once when a hornet had once landed on the back of my neck. Totally assure that if I made the slightest movement or made the slightest sound that I’d be stung. I hardly even breathed.
The patrol passed, from my perspective, behind the cypress tree and temporarily out of view. The Hidebehind straightened, ready to lean to the right and watch the patrol pass, only it didn’t lean. Even as I watched the patrol pass on to the right, it stood there, stock still, just as I was doing.
It was then I became aware that my room had become stuffy again. The scent was gone. The air had shifted and was now flowing out through the screen again, carrying my own scent with it. I knew what this meant, and yet I was too paralyzed to react. The thing started to turn, very slowly. It was a predator understanding that it might have become victim to its own game. It turned as if it was thinking the same thing I had been thinking, that the slightest movement might give it away.
It turned, and I saw its face. Like some kind of rotting desiccated, shriveling fruit, it was covered in wrinkles. Circles within concentric circles surrounded its two great eyes, eyes which took up so much of its face. I couldn’t, and still struggle, to think of words to describe it. Instead, I still think in terms of analogies. At the time I thought of the creature from the film E.T., only twisted and distorted into a thing of nightmares. Almost all eyelids, and a little drooping sucker mouth. Now that I’m more worldly, it reminds of creatures of ancient artworks. The key defining feature were the long horizontal slits it had for eyes. You see that in old masks carved in West Africa, or by the Inuit long ago. You see it in what’s called the “slit-eyed dogu” of ancient Japan.
As I watched the wrinkles on the face seemed to multiply. Then I realized this was the result of its eyes slowly widening. It’s mouth, too, slowly dilated, revealing innumerable small razor-sharp teeth. A person, standing in its location, shouldn’t have been able to see in. Light from the sodium streetlamps lit the window’s screen, obscuring the interior. It was no person. It could see me, and it was reacting to my presence. Its eyes grew huge, black.
My own eyes would have been just as wide if not for my own anatomical limitations. I was still watching when it disappeared. It didn’t see it move to the right. I didn’t see it move to the left, nor did I see it drop down out of view. It simply disappeared. One fraction of a second it was there, and then it decided to leave, and so it did. It was not a thing of this world.
There were no more disappearances after that poor woman from the university. I don’t think it had anything to do with me. The media and police all speculated their “serial killer” had gone into a “dormant phase”. There was no shortage of people who tried to take credit. Maybe they deserve it. The thing’s hunting had been on the decline. All the neighborhood watches and student patrols, I think that maybe all that commotion was making it too hard for the Hidebehind to go about its business. Maybe it had gone back to the woods.
Then again, maybe Ralph had been right the whole time. Maybe it really, really, really didn’t like to be seen.
Now I’ve got some decisions to make. I think the first thing I should do is look at social media and dig up Ralph. It’s been a good thirty years since I last talked to him. He ought to know the Hidebehind is back. He’s probably made plans.
Then, there’s the issue of my son. He’s up in his bedroom now, probably still mad at me. Probably confused about why I’d be so strict. Maybe he’s inventing explanations as to why.
I’m not sure, but I’m leaning toward telling him everything. He deserves to know. It’d probably be safer if he knows. I think people have this instinct where, when they see or know something that they’re not supposed to know, they just bottle it up. I think that was the problem with grown-ups when I was a kid. It was the issue with my grandfather, telling me so little when it was almost too late. I think people do it because we’re social animals, and we’re afraid of being ostracized. Go along to get along.
Hell, my son is probably going to think I’m crazy. It might even make him more mad at me. And even more confused. He knows about the disappearances. “The Farmingham Fiend” the media would end up dubbing the serial killer that didn’t really exist. It’s become local “true crime” history. Kids tell rumors about it. It was almost forty years ago, so it probably feels safe to wonder about.
So yeah, I suppose when I say I know who the real killer was, a magical monster from the woods that stalks its prey by hiding behind objects, then impossibly disappears- that I’m going to look like a total nut. I’d think that if I were in his shoes.
Except… people are going to start disappearing again, it’s only a matter of time. The media will say that the Farmingham Fiend is back in the game. Will my son buy that? He’ll start thinking about what I told him, and how I predicted it. Then he’ll remember that he saw the thing himself, he and his friends, even if it was just out of the corner of his eye.
I hope, sooner or later, he’ll believe me. I could use his help. Maybe Ralph is way ahead of me, but I’m thinking we should get the Fight Patrol back together. Father and son, this time. Multigenerational, get the retirees involved too.
Old farts of my generation, for reasons I don’t understand, like to wax nostalgic over their own false sense of superiority. We rode our bikes without helmets and had distant if not irresponsible parents. Yeah, yeah, what a load. I think every new generation is better than the last, because every generation is a progression from the last, Kids these days? They’ve got cell phones, with cameras. And helmet cams. GoPros you can attach to bikes. Doorbell cameras.
It seems the Hidebehind loathes being seen. This time around, with my grandfather’s spirit, my own memories, and my boy’s energy? I think this time we’re finally going to beat it.
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2023.05.30 15:18 holliequ How-to Worldbuilding Part 1: Building Blocks

Welcome one and all! Some of you may remember me mentioning the idea of this series a while ago in the Daily Discussions, and now, many moons later, we’re finally here. Worldbuilding is one of my passions and one of the things that keeps my brain playing with fanfiction, so I’m here to share my dubious expertise. Remember though that these are just my methods and preferences, and if you can find something different that works for you, that’s great! I hope at the very least this series of posts will provide a decent basis for people to develop their own skills and style of worldbuilding.
The goal of this first post is to get you acquainted with some fundamentals of worldbuilding, things that apply to both original fiction and fanfiction, and we’ll to expand on how to apply these ideas in the next post.

First Principles

Back in my younger days in uni, I spent a while exploring the interaction of history and anthropology, which meant I learnt a little about anthropology as well. I’m far from an expert, so if you have actually studied anthropology in any depth, you may have to hold your nose through this section, but I want to stress that this is not necessarily a commentary on anthropology as a discipline, but on what I took away from it as a useful way to think about fictional societies.
Okay, disclaimer done. Broadly speaking, we can talk about two major approaches to analysing the rituals and practises of societies: as symbolic or functional. A symbolic understanding of a society will take the approach of focusing on the, well, symbolic meaning of rituals, essentially having them stand in for something bigger. Functional analyses, meanwhile, will focus on what purpose a certain ritual may serve in a society, which may not necessarily be what it appears to be on the surface.
(“Ritual” is another bit of anthropology speak here: rituals aren’t necessarily religious or virgin-sacrifices-under-the-full-moon (that’s only the fun ones), but can just be shared traditions. For example, singing ‘happy birthday’ could be considered a celebration “ritual” in our society.)
Now, “symbolic” and “functional” reasons can overlap and even be different ways of understanding the same thing. For our purposes, we want to remember that every bit of detail we introduce about a society should serve at least one of these functions in order to feel realistic. If you’ve ever seen an obvious Bad Guy Nation that worships Evil God Bob who regularly demands human sacrifices and puppy kicking and rolled your eyes, it’s probably because these rituals failed to establish symbolic or functional meaning, and thus society felt shallow and unrealistic.
What purpose do the human sacrifices serve? Perhaps those sacrificed are symbolic methods of bridging the gap between the people and their god: by spilling innocent blood, the people grow closer to their god’s power and incorporate some of it into themselves. Or, perhaps those sacrificed are criminals, and thus the function of the ritual is punishment and as a focus for the community’s anger against those who have transgressed social norms or broken laws. Just because a nation is full of bad guys doesn’t mean their society can’t have sensible meaning in it’s rituals.
Symbolic or ritual or both? This question is worth asking yourself as you build your society. Of course, you should feel free to work backwards if you come up with some really cool shit. This is fiction after all: “because it’s cool” is half the point.

Society Load-Bearers

Now that we’ve considered our intellectual starting point, it’s time to consider our pragmatic starting point: the shit that actually makes up “a society”. You could probably make an argument for multiple things to be included here, but I have boiled this section down into what I believe are the three most important elements to consider. These three are: landscape, religion/beliefs, and people.
#1: Landscape
To a certain extent, this list is in priority order, not necessarily because one is more important to consider than the other, but because certain things on the list will necessarily limit what you can do with other parts of your worldbuilding. Nowhere is this more true than with the landscape of your society. The land your people are in will dictate what kinds of foods they can eat, what methods of travel they most commonly use, weather patterns… unless of course you use your Author Fiat Wild Card and declare an exception because of Reasons(tm), but we’ll get into that later.
Let’s say you want to write a pirate story. This means that you have excellent taste because pirates are awesome, but it also means your story necessarily takes place on islands or the coast: the rhythms are a sea are going to be a major part of your characters’ lives, and therefore of your story. Sea travel means you need to think about the preservation of food and water on a ship, hazards that could overcome your characters, and the space on the ship itself, cramped cabins, et cetera, and this will be where you want to focus your research in order to make the “landscape” around your characters feel realistic, even if they’re fighting mythical sea monsters.
In general, knowing the “landscape” of your story is very important, and I recommend having a map, or several maps depending on the number of locations in your story, for your own personal reference. This doesn’t mean you need an epic fantasy style map with detailed illustrations and every river, wood and village named. But having a rough sketch of the area your story takes place in won’t hurt and allows you to keep the areas of your world consistent. This applies to contemporary or science-fiction worlds too! Whether it’s planets in a system or the bus route your main character takes to work, just knowing how your characters move through “their” landscape will make your story feel more real, and allow you put in road blocks (maybe literal, in the case of the bus route) that your audience will understand all the better because of how this landscape has already been established.
#2: Religion/Beliefs
The next most critical element is what people in your society believe. This will guide social norms, relationships, character motivations, systems of government, all of that jazz. This sounds like a broad and complicated category, and it is, but you can simplify development in this area by focusing on one (1) major guiding principle for your society, then adding nuance as you expand through the other parts of the world. You can also, as with the previous example, work backwards from what your end goal to be.
Let’s say for example that you want to build a pseudo-medieval world, but one where gay relationships are completely normal and accepted. To make this work for your society, you might say, okay, let’s set up a society which values individual freedom. The god(s) of your medieval tech society value freedom and love, giving you a culture which puts emphasis on free choice in marriage, regardless of anyone’s gender. Since freedom is a staple of the culture, you probably don’t have a monarchy in this medieval world; instead, perhaps you have something more like the early democracy of some of the Greek city states, with limited numbers of citizens who can vote for representatives. This, again, would play into the individual freedom that was your starting point.
So we have our basics of this society down. But this sounds a bit happy and low on conflict. Here’s where we add the nuance. A society which places a religious emphasis on love puts pressure on people to be in relationships, which is bad for ace and/or aro folks, or for those who simply don’t want to be in a relationship—there could be a character story in this! Similarly, perhaps a society which values freedom also struggles to find reasonable limits on that freedom, meaning that blunt honesty (and hurt feelings resulting) are a norm. People who are more sensitive may find themselves looked down on for not being able to meet societal norms of tolerating others’ freedoms. And a democracy in a low-tech society may be slow to respond to crises (because speedy transport options are limited, slowing communication before you get into group discussion) or troubled by corruption (because it’s difficult to make tamper-proof voting methods)… not to mention those who may not get to vote.
There you go! From a really simple premise we built a pretty decent society and thought of ways its norms might pose problems to characters, whether as internal conflict in character arcs, or external conflict with plot issues. More detail, such as in specific rituals, days of celebration, and so on, will add more depth to this society, but if you’re stuck on this point, you can always go back to your central premise: what sort of things would a society that values freedom celebrate? What religious festivals might there be if their gods that value freedom and love in all forms? (You can try this as a worldbuilding exercise by leaving some ideas in the comments!)
#3 People (or: Movement)
I went back-and-forth on what I wanted to call this part, but in the end settled on ‘people’ because that expresses what I mean better, I think. Anyway, the main point of this society is to remember that your society is made up of multitudes of different people, hundreds or thousands of individuals. You can generalise about values your society might have, just as you can with any modern society – but just like the world we live in today, no society is a monolith. People will push back against their cultural norms in various ways, and even folks who accept cultural norms may participate in norms to different extents, with varying levels of enthusiasm.
As a parallel, think of people who take part in religious festivals like Christmas as a part of their religion, and people who do it as a cultural norm without serious religious elements, or without actively believing in Christianity at all. Those people are participating in the same cultural norm, the same “ritual”, but they aren’t all doing it in the same way. To make the world of your society feel truly alive, you should attempt to show something similar.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t have to be something that you dedicate masses of space to. In fact, generally it’s more realistic if there isn’t one “counter-cultural” character who all questioning or negativity about aspects of the culture is pushed onto. I’m talking about things such as, people who leave a cheering crowd because they’re not interested or disagree with a public speaker, a store owner who doesn’t ask questions about these strangers whilst others in the street blatantly stare at them, various levels of enthusiasm in the major religion, the presence of religious or ethnic minorities. You can tie this into your main story by using it as part of character arcs or subplots, too, to get characters to question their prejudices, beliefs, or generalisations they’ve made because of past experiences.
Another thing to remember about building a society of various individuals isn’t just how they “move” through the space culturally (...you can see why I felt “movement” didn’t really work), but how they move through the space of your world physically.
This is partly covered under ‘landscape’ for things like travel (if you have to teleport people around your continent, keep it subtle, yo) and what food is readily available, but it’s worth thinking about more specifically too, how your society will show, physically, that it has a multitude of people living in it. For example, if your character goes to a city, they should probably see signs of different periods of architecture, rich and poor areas of the city—and if they’re not seeing that, there has to be some reason for it. (There could be an interesting story in that idea!)
Think about the ways people will live in a period of your tech level and how that will make the space around your character feel ‘lived in’. Are the city streets clean? Where do children play? What do people do to celebrate festivals? As a modern example: even though I don’t really follow football (soccer), I always know when England are playing, because people start putting England flags in their windows… and then flags of other nationalities start appearing as well, because no society is a monolith! I hope this example also shows that worldbuilding doesn’t have to be complicated or about elaborate rituals. You can add lots of depth to a society with really simple touches like this, things that you may not even think of as “worldbuilding” because it’s so normal. But adding touches of normal is precisely what makes a fictional society feel natural!
So, that’s u/holliequ’s three major points to remember when building a world. My area of expertise, and hence most of my examples, is in (pseudo-)historical societies, but this doesn’t just work for building pre-modern or pseudo-historical societies! Let’s say that the “society” you’re building is a more modern neighbourhood instead: you can go through the list above in order in a similar way.
For “landscape” here, you’d want to think about urban vs rural communities (or a place where those communities mix, such as at a school), which country or area of the world they’re in (weather, basic patterns of life). Let’s say you want a ‘fish out of water’ story with classism themes, so you pick a rich urban neighbourhood for your main character—someone from a poorer, rural background—to move into.
Now depending on the area of the world you’re in, the urban neighbourhood may not be very religious, but they may have certain sets of beliefs already, such as homeowner’s associations which expect certain standards in the neighbourhood, or just shared assumptions about what ‘people like them’ do and how they act: for example, maybe in this affluent neighbourhood they’re used to hiring people to do housework for them, and so when they see the main character working in the garden, they assume the MC is ‘hired help’.
Lastly, people: even if your character encounters classism or snobbery from some of their new neighbours, not all of them are going to be the same kind of classist. The neighbour who mistook them for a worker, not someone who lived in the area, for example, may have made an honest mistake because of being raised with certain classist assumptions. Other characters may be explicitly hostile to the newcomer, whilst still others might be genuinely friendly and welcoming of different perspectives. In a smaller-scale “society” like this neighbourhood, which of these attitudes is dominant depends on exactly what kind of story you want to tell and there’s a bit less room for generalising than there is when developing a whole country, but as you can see, the principles work basically the same.

On using your Author Fiat 'Get-Out-of-Jail-Free' card

The above is a rough guide to building a society which functions more-or-less on the same principles as our own. But what if you don’t want to build a society that functions like our own? What if you aren’t working with humans, but aliens? Or your society has magic? Or it’s set in the future with some cool science-fiction technology?
This is when you pull out your Author Fiat card to handwave away any of the issues we’ve talked about. (This is also for occasions when you want something to just Be and don’t want to explain it, like “yeah this medievalesque society isn’t sexist. why? it just isn’t ok” but you know… this is a worldbuilding post, so we’re gonna assume you want to do some explaining here.)
For example, you probably need to think about how your characters move around the world, roughly how long it would take to get them from place-to-place with various methods of travel, the distance between stars, etc. Unless you Author Fiat declare there is an element which can make ships travel between solar systems in almost no time at all. (Hello, Mass Effect!) Unless you Author Fiat declare that giant birds can quickly taxi people around the country. (Hi, Pokemon!) Unless you Author Fiat declare that magic lets people teleport, or create gateways between different parts of the world, or… you get the picture, you always have a special ability to say “yup, it is that way because of magic and/or science”.
That said, there are consequences to using your Author Fiat card. If you have a world in which teleportation magic is a thing, then you need to think harder about ways to explain why your characters can’t get to a place: you will lose your audience if you have to resort to explanations like ‘they forgot about teleporting because they were so panicked!’ or ‘this never-before-established way of blocking teleportation magic happened!’ and erode the willing suspension of disbelief.
This is when it becomes necessarily to build probably THE most famous bit of worldbuilding… a magic system! jazz hands Or a sci-fi piece of tech. (A tech system? I guess tech systems can be a thing too.) At its most basic, the idea behind a magic/tech system is to give the audience an understanding of the rules so that things such as “magic that can block teleporting” don’t appear to come out of nowhere. By delivering these explanations early, and keeping to them consistently, you can use them to create tension later when the audience realises that a critical system in the starship is about to fail, or the main character doesn’t have the ability to cast the teleport spell right now, or whatever.
There are two approaches to building magic/tech systems: hard or soft. (Stop that smirking. Stop it now!) You may already know about the distinction between “hard” (scientifically realistic) and “soft” (scientifically plausible-ish, mostly, sometimes) sci-fi, but this can also be applied to magic systems, “hard” magic systems being popularised as a concept by Brandon Sanderson. Essentially, a hard magic system is simply one with more detailed explanations or formulas for how the magic works, giving concrete limitations, whereas soft magic systems may rely on more vague limitations such as “lack of energy” or “magic supply depleted”.
Neither of these is necessarily a better approach than the other, and mainly it’s about what kind of story you want to tell. If you believe Sanderson’s First Law, it’s easier to get your audience to buy characters solving problems with magic if they can understand, as it were, how the magic trick was done, but you may not need this sense of detail in your magic system if the issues faced by your characters are personal, or plot problems that can’t be solved with magic.
There’s not really room in the scope of this post to discuss building magic/tech systems (it’s long enough already!) but in general, unless you really enjoy making these things for their own sake, I recommend building your system backwards, starting with a vague idea of your plot and what kind of issues your characters will need to run into, and then building flaws or limitations into your system that facilitate that. For example, limit the time the character can be in the mech suit without taking brain damage, heightening the tension of the long finale you have planned, or invent some kind of magic rock that blocks teleportation magic, so your villain can have deposited a bunch of it in Plot Critical Location to prevent your heroes just teleporting there to stop them.


One last thing I did want to discuss was, in my opinion, the best way to improve your confidence and ability to worldbuild your own societies: learn about other societies! So to that end I’m going to discuss a some places where you can increase your knowledge and help your worldbuilding :D
The first one is probably an obvious one for writers, which is read widely. Fiction stories are a great resource for improving your writing, especially ones that have in-depth worldbuilding themselves. Some of the books I’ve enjoyed most over the past year from a worldbuilding perspective are Judy I Lin’s A Magic Steeped in Poison, These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, and The Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal, respectively a China-inspired fantasy setting, 1920s Shanghai with supernatural elements, and a sci-fi alternate history of the 1950s and 60s—so quite a wide range! A Magic Steeped in Poison also has one of the freshest and most interesting ‘soft’ magic systems I’ve encountered if that’s to your interest as well.
If we want to learn about societies, though, there is an entire profession that have dedicated themselves to learning about past societies! I keep telling everyone that my history degree comes in very useful for writing >D However, I do realise that getting into historical non-fiction can be a bit intimidating if you don’t have the degree, as history books are not always accessible. What I recommend if you do want to read more non-fiction is to look into books aimed at a popular audience rather than academic works. Two particular accessible recommendations I’ve read over the past year would be Ian Mortimer’s Time Traveller’s Guides series (particularly useful as they cover all kinds of elements of historical life, from religion to clothing to how people greet each other) as well as The Five by Hallie Rubenhold, which goes into great detail about working class Victorian life through the lens of biographies of the five victims of Jack the Ripper.
If you are willing to tackle more academic sources, when it comes to specifics, I recommend Jstor which allows you to make a personal account and access free articles each month. Trust me, some historian has DEFINITELY written something very specific on your area of interest at some point. Outside of that, I would suggest looking for books that are collections of multiple authors, since these are often designed to give a broad overview of the period from multiple historians’ specialities/perspectives. For example, I finished relatively recently Japan Emerging edited by Karl F. Friday, which was a great introduction to Japanese history from the perspective of someone mostly completely unfamiliar with the topic, and the bibliographies of books like this are an excellent starting point for doing more detailed research.
Apart from these “edited by” collections, series that are designed to be a comprehensive history on the topic can be very useful. I’ve been making my way through the Penguin History of Britain series and two books in particular, Britain After Rome by Robin Fleming (covering c. 400-1070AD) and The Struggle for Mastery by David Carpenter (1066-1300ish), stood out for their excellent attention to detail and the amount of ground they managed to cover.
(If you want any other recommendations, feel free to ask me! My best areas of knowledge are probably early modern and modern Britain and Europe, but I’ll see what I can do for any other periods or topics of interest!)
Non-fiction books are not the only way you can learn about societies either, especially for those of you who struggle to find time for books. Historical documentaries can be a great and accessible way to find out more about a particular era – my favourite documentary of all time is Victorian Bakers which is a BBC series available on DVD where bakers from the modern day try out different methods of baking throughout the Victorian era, starting with stone ovens and all the way up to industrialisation. Since bread has been a staple food for most of European history, it’s a really valuable perspective, as well as fun! (And yes, I am the kind of person who has a favourite documentary of all time, lol.)
There are also plenty of youtube series out there talking about history, but do try to find reliable perspectives if you can, particularly people who actually share their sources with you (and even if you don’t want to read the source itself, you can google it to check out the reviews). Some historians are now putting their work online to try to reach a wider audience, and one historian’s blog in particular which has been useful for me is A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry by Brett Deveraux which even has an entire section for resources for world-builders, looking at things such as what do pre-modern cities look like, how do people make clothes, etc.
Now I really have talked for long enough, so I’ll leave it there. I hope you all learnt something from this post, even if it’s just “I don’t like this, so I’m going to do everything the opposite way”. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments as I may consider posting a revised version of this on AO3 at some point.
There is one more post planned in this series. The next one will cover how to apply these worldbuilding concepts to fanfiction in a more direct way (i.e. when you’re not building a world from scratch, but expanding around existing concepts) and how to actually put all this worldbuilding into your story. Look out for that some time in the next week or so!
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