Indian grocery stores open near me
2008.09.08 02:21 Vegetarian
Welcome to vegetarian, the community for anyone interested in a vegetarian diet. You don't need to be vegetarian to participate, but please respect that most of us are by keeping on topic and refraining from encouragement of non-vegetarian food. We are mostly US-based & follow the definition of vegetarian here which may include dairy and/or eggs. Please read the rules & learn about Reddiquette before posting. Recipes are required for all posts involving photos of home-cooked meals.
2023.06.02 17:17 Weirdblack Kill phone addiction Guide!
Hello People, I have no Idea how to start this Post because I don't often write, but since I have the opportunity to help some people, I figured I will make a quick one. I was struggling with being addicted to my phone, I was wasting away too much time and later feeling guilty about it . After much research, I did it , I killed my addiction. Its been 6 months since I have deactivated my Instagram account. I apologize in advance but this guide doesn't work on iPhone Devices as of now. - Phone 1. Download Lock me out from Play store 2. Open Chrome and go to this website
that will give you a randomly generated Password that you can use ! (Now that you have your password, open the app) 3. Create a Lock me out Timer Profile with the apps that you want to lock and set a timer, for example 4:00 PM- 3:59 PM) this way your phone will me locked for 23 Hours and 59 minutes . 4. Open settings and tick the following box. Require Password to Access/open Lock me out.(This is where you write the password) (This feature is for paid users but its very cheap and its worth it as its 11$ for lifetime access I believe, also this is not an ad of some sort.) 5. Now that you are done with all of this and have successfully locked every possible form of distraction. You have to make sure you locked them all before moving on because there's no way to turn back !!! 6. I hope that you still have your password. Now go to Futureme .org, create an account, and create a letter, pick a date that you want to end the lockout aka(a date when you want the access the blocked apps again ) 7. Write the password on the letter, pick the receiver (aka YOU ) make sure you have typed the receiving email correctly, and also add another email just to be sure. 8. Click send. your email is on its way to a future date containing the password you used to lock the distracting apps.
If you want further help , write a comment!
submitted by Weirdblack
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2023.06.02 17:16 Fuschia_apple AITAH for walking behind a car as it was backing up?
Hi all, this just happened and I’m a little frazzled! Wanting to know if I was in the wrong.
Earlier this morning, I (22F) was walking out of a department/grocery store after shopping. These types of stores have very large parking lots, and I was parked off to the side of the store. The store was not busy at the time.
As I was waking out, minding my own business, I walked past a car that was idling in its spot. All of a sudden, it started backing out right as I was starting to pass by it. I was startled, and sped up to get past it, while muttering to myself that is was ridiculous that they clearly didn’t look behind them before backing up. I was almost to my car, when the aforementioned car pulled up next to me. The woman (50s?F) driving put down her window and yelled “I don’t know about you, but my mom taught me not to walk behind cars that are backing up, b****!”
I was shocked and kind of frightened - I ignored her and got into my car. She stayed idling BEHIND MY CAR for a moment, then thankfully drove away. I still think she was kind of crazy, but I did technically walk behind her car and I know that is scary for drivers, and I don’t really know parking lot etiquette when it comes to things like that. AITAH here, or was she overreacting?
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2023.06.02 17:13 demondork224 [F4GM] Oide Yo! Welcome to Mizuryuu Kei Land U.S.A's Grand Opening Week!!
I’m 18+ and all characters and participants must be 18+
"Oide Yo! My name is Honoka~! And it is my great pleasure to welcome you all to Mizuryuu Kei Land U.S.A's Grand opening~!!" A very busty, pink haired woman appeared on the screen at the front of the transportation bus. The only thing she was red heart shaped pasties over her nipples and pussy, a red armband that read "cast", and matching elbow length gloves and thigh high stockings.
"As Mizuryuu Kei Land U.S.A's first ever guests, we have many great surprises in store for you all~! Unfortunately I can't talk about them, you all will just have to see them for yourself~. But what I can talk about is all of the amazing "worlds" that Mizuryuu Kei Land has!
Starting with the Beginner Area, this part of the park is the first thing you see once you leave the gear area. In Mizuryuu Kei Lands original location in Japan. This is the area where our shy guests spend their time. Mizuryuu Kei Land is all about sexual freedom, and sometimes that can be very scary. For guests that aren't as open with their sexuality as others. But that's OK! For most guest all it takes is one ride on the "Meet N Fuck FerrisWheel" to break them out of their shell. Apart from the Ferris wheel, the Beginner Area also has other attractions for both men and women. The Dildo Carousel, and Glory Mystery Wall are both very popular attractions.
The Urban Jungle is a place where our guest can live their exhibitionist fantasies. Built to look like New York City. Guests here can live out their wildest public sex fantasies. Sure fucking in public is what the park is all about. But there is something special about fucking in a city environment. And in the Urban Jungle there is a place for every fantasy. From bars and clubs, to all types of store recreations, and of course all types of dirty alleys and public restrooms. It is a guarantee that you will never have the same experience when you visit the Urban Jungle.
From Urban Jungle to actual Jungle. Where the Wild Whores Are, is the ultimate pet play experience. Men and women alike can live out their most depraved fantasies of living as fuck pets. The area is divided into several "habitats". A tropical jungle, a pet walking park, and "the zoo". So if you want to let out your wild side, or want to know what it feels like to own your own fuckpet come on down to to Where the Wild Whores Are.
There are many more areas inside of Mizuryuu Kei Land. So many that I am unable to inform you about all of them in such short amount of time. Unfortunately due to legal reasons I am also unable to discuss what goes on inside of areas like our Raceplay World, and Land of Beasts. You will just have to experience those places for yourself hehe~.
Now I'll leave you all by letting you know that as our lucky week long guests. You all have the ability to switch hotels at any point during your stay for free. There are many themed hotels inside of the parks areas. And we want you all to be able to experience as many of our facilities as you can~!
Other than please enjoy all the amazing attractions, restaurants, facilities, events, and both staff and guest contest. Your ride is now at its end. Welcome to Mizuryuu Kei Land U.S.A!
Hello dear pervs :3. And thank you for reading my Mizuryuu Kei Land roleplay idea. Based off of the original doujinshi, I want to create a story that severely expands on the world that wonderfully depraved doujinshi created.
So I did not emphasize a "main character" during the prompt. That is because there are many different characters that we can choose from for this rp.
There is Honoka, the current peppy mascot of Mizuryuu Kei Land U.S.A. Who gets to live in the park and do all sorts of fun events for the guest. Unfortunately she did not read her contract to well. And now she has to fight for the right to keep her job as the parks mascot. Or be replaced by another slut.
There is also Natalia, a college student who's friend was somehow able to score 3 tickets fo the theme parks grand opening week. As a closet pervert Natalia was basically dragged along by her friends. In an attempt to get her to loosen up. Oh if only they knew the bitch in heat they unleashed in the park.
Another option is Stephanie, a 30 year old single mother who was given a ticket by her best friend as a birthday present. She didn't really want to come, as she felt the idea of the park was disgusting. But accepted to go anyway as it was a gift from her friend. The question is will Stephanie be able to come out of the park as the same woman she was when she got there? Or will the depravity of the park turn her into a shameless slutty milf?
And finally there is Evelyn, a recently graduated journalism major and self proclaimed artist. Who infiltrated the park by getting a job as a staff member. As she is trying to launch her career as a real journalist. By exposing Mizuryuu Kei Land as a corrupt cesspool of depravity, and misogyny. Created by the "Patriarchy" to force a narrative that women are nothing but sex objects. Will Evelyn be able to find enough evidence to prove this? Or will the parks influence and its "secret board of directors" turn her into the thing she hates the most, a whore?
The park is basically a sandbox, where we can create anything we want. The only limit for what story we can create is literally our imaginations! So as my GM you will have a lot of creative freedom for what ever lewd attraction, event, store,etc. You want to add to the park.
As for what I am looking for in a partner? I'm looking for someone literate, creative, who can match my writing. Be it multiple paragraphs if the need arises, or just short replies. Really just someone as excited as I am for this prompt. So if my prompt interested you, then please message me at Demondork on Kik. Chat will be ignored, and long detailed replies will get my attention first.
Kinks and limits list:
Kinks: cum, cum eating, cum food, cum play,bukkake,cream pie,bdsm, bondage, forced, body writing, spanking, cuddling, degradation, rough partners, sizeplay, dominant partners, toys, multiple partners, spit roasting, mating press, full Nelson,frenching,rimming,body oil,bestiality,water sports,wax play,sex machines,being filmed,cosplay,NTR,petplay,exhibitionism,biting and pretty much anything that isn’t my limits
Scat,gore,vore,hyper sizes,necro and vomit
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2023.06.02 17:11 Jurydutyy Why does my 3 year old insist on sleeping on the floor at her bedroom door?
So we have a 3 year old daughter who insists on sleeping on her floor, specifically at her door, with the door open, with a baby gate in the door way, every night. She also insists on having the laundry room light on because the room is right outside her room. On top of that, we also have a white noise machine in the hallway, a night light in her room, and then another night light/white noise machine combo in her room all going. And she insists they all be on.
This happened when we transitioned from crib to a "big girl bed". The demand to have the door open also is new. When she slept in her crib, she always had the door shut. Now she insists on it being open. She used to want one of use to lay in the hall way until she fell asleep.
I have read a little bit online about it, and it seems like it is common. But looking for ways to get her to sleep in the bed. If we lay on the floor beside the bed, she will attempt to lay in her bed, and sometimes fall asleep. But normally if she wakes up and sees we have left the room, she will move down to the floor.
I have tried different ways to persuade her to sleep in her bed. Such as like saying i will reward her in different ways. But thinking maybe this isnt the best route. We also started a "pinky promise" where I ask her if she pinky promises to sleep in her bed and then we lock pinkis, but not working either lol. But thats expected with a 3 year old.
So just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this? The combination of insisting on the door being open, sleeping in the door way, insisting the baby gate be up, light needing to be on, and other little things, have me concerned that there is some kind of fear she is battling.
My initial thought was sleeping at the door way was her wanting to see whats going on out in the hall way or down at our room. So with that thought, I rearranged her room so her bed was near her door way and she can see down the hall way from her bed. But that did not seem to help.
Just looking for input/suggestions. Thanks!
submitted by Jurydutyy
to Parenting [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 17:11 mcarterphoto Memory lane: small and one-man business video shops, what were your big game-changers?
I've had a few conversations lately about the game-changing events for the smaller video producers. I'm not talking big-cinema-crew productions - this is the guys that shoot small biz to big corporate stuff, we tend to own everything vs. rentals and it's often one-man-band or an assistant. Here's my list: The Panasonic DVX-100B/Canon XL2 era.
16x9 cameras with a more "cinematic feel", excellent color science and controls, XLR ins and good preamps. The DVX is what moved me from being a stills shooter to offering video around 2004 or so. This was the start of an explosion/arms race of video cameras - from tape to (remember those P2 cards?), to a sort of faux HD to full HD. The spinner era
- anyone remember 35mm lens adapters
? This was an odd minute in history - even pro camcorders struggled with shallow DOF and bokeh; but what if you could take a fast camera lens, project it onto a spinning or vibrating ground glass, and shoot the projected image with your camcorder and a closeup diopter? Some crazy-expensive solutions came from this idea, followed by cottage-industry tools in the $1-$2K range, along with a big and obsessed DIY contingent trying different things. It was pretty much killed by… The DSLR revolution
- everyone remembers the 5D, but that little Rebel T2i (550D)? It really blew the market open, and lots of good work was done on that cheap body - I used one with adapters for my Nikkors until Nikon finally caught up with video quality, maybe around the D7100 era. (I still pull out the Rebel for charity gigs where I need a third or fourth shooter. It's still very pretty video when you have decent light). Manufacturers embrace the DSLR crowd.
From major players to one-man "cottage industry" players in Asia with access to CNC milling tools, before 3D printing went mass market. (Remember the "Indian Matte Box?" I've yet to replace mine; $300 and everything I need in a 2-stage box). The Rode blimp, the Fotga DP-100 follow focus ($160), and every cheese plate and rod system component you could imagine for rigging, all on Amazon. We went from vehicle-TV panels repurposed for video to really competent, full-featured small monitors for a couple hundred bucks. The Kessler KC-8 Crane
- for about a grand, a very sturdy, all-metal 8' jib that setup in minutes. Suddenly some hollywood-style moves are in your SUV or van, and it was a client-impresser. Affordable gimbals mean it's now more of a motion-time lapse rig for me, but I still use mine with the 5' tip for product stills and video, it's the most versatile, fast-change "tripod" I've ever owned. The end of tungsten and the evolution of LEDs.
Man - a COB LED that's a 575 HMI equivalent and will run on a pair of v-mounts? If someone told you that was coming 15 years ago? I still have lots of tungsten fixtures, but they're rarely used. Remember how pricey tungsten softboxes were? Remember Kino Flo's ownership of the market, then the Asian Biax knockoffs? And it seems like overnight, LEDs came of age. Are any of you guys still packing biax flos? Gimbals and drones.
I was shooting a project in a big studio facility that was also a top rental house, when I saw my first gimbal. That thing was like $10k or $20k or something? Now a capable gimbal for a Mirrorless rig can be had for a couple hundred bucks. Remember struggling to master a knockoff Steadicam and realizing it was as big a skill as shooting was? And while there's still so much distracting drone footage ("look, I'm a drone shot!!! Wheee!"), we've got really capable and affordable drones when we want what were once helicopter or giant-crane shots. I don't even own one, since I can hire a capable guy with the gear for a couple hundred a day. After Effects and camera tracking.
Seems like this is more a specialty thing, but I've got a rep as the guy who can "fix anything" in footage, and camera tracking has joined motion tracking as a repair tool - and gives us fantastic creative options and can make stock footage into custom footage. We're about to hit a new era with machine learning that may make facial blemish repairs, removing spots and stains, logos on warped and moving surfaces, and compositing even faster. Mirrorless.
4K and 6K and 8K, big frame rates, a built-in EVF for shoulder shooting, and the real biggies in my opinion - actually usable and reliable AF with face and eye detection
, and fantastic low-light capability. Come on guys, remember when 600 ISO was pushin' it and you had to run everything through NeatVideo? Now 2-3k ISOs are no problem, and we're getting high bit rates or even ProRes to the card. And as a stills shooter, man - eye detection is the shit
. Machine Learning.
This is gonna impact the hell out of us, in unpredictable ways. But the big mind-blowegame changer for me has been a cheap and simple little audio plugin - Waves Clarity VX. It just "knows what a voice is", it requires no noise sample or audio lead-in, you turn a freaking knob and on-set noises just go away
. It takes even the "air" sounds from footage, but leaves the "airiness" of voices. And it's under fifty bucks
. I've stopped giving a shit about HVAC and passing traffic in audio. It's had a huge impact on my workflow (I really, really want voices that are "present" and silky, and I want compression to not be lifting room sounds along with voices - even the better NR plugins can make a voice sound like ass). Maybe the end-game of this tech is SkyNet nuking all our cities (or some guy in India taking a still of the CEO and making a killer video interview) but for now? Bring it!!!
So - what's your list?
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2023.06.02 17:10 r3dsca Obscure subreddit posting - The Branding Issue of Democrats from the 90s to Now
This was posted in the AngryObservation
subreddit (that I stumbled on two seconds ago)
Essay posted by u/dcmetro7 https://www.reddit.com/usedcmetro7/ Democrats have a branding problem : AngryObservation (reddit.com)
Democrats have a branding problem 😴 Long Observation 😴
I was inspired by u/Randomuser1520
's post about the Democratic Party's seemingly weak bench of future potential presidential nominees.
A lot of the problems trace back to 2016, but I'd argue the Democrats' branding woes go back even further. Think all the way back to the last time the Democrats had a consistently strong electoral record as a party -- the 90s, where the only truly bad year for Ds was 1994. Bill Clinton had successfully rebranded the party under the 'Third Way' label that Dems at any level could embrace and benefit from, and he had a clear successor in Al Gore. But Gore loses narrowly in 2000, and the problems for the Dems' brand begin.
'Yes We Can'
After 9/11, the electorate supports Bush and they support war. Dems' brand takes a hit and they lose the 2002 midterms. In 2004, John Kerry is successfully painted as an out-of-touch Ivy League liberal, disengaged from 'real America.' Dems lose and their brand suffers further.
But by the end of Bush's term, most Americans are disillusioned with Dubyaism. They wanted change, and one man promises to lead them to it with posters that proclaim 'HOPE' and cries of 'Yes We Can,' heralding in a new age of politics. Barack Obama and the Democrats are swept into a trifecta in Washington.
And we certainly got a new age of politics. When Obama was inaugurated, pundits speculated about the 'emerging Democratic majority', and how the GOP may literally go extinct in ten years. By the end of Obama's second term, those same pundits are surveying the absolutely decimated state of the Democratic party at all levels of power. Dems had lost the Senate, the House, most governorships, and most state legislatures. Control of the state legislatures makes the GOP's hold on the House even stronger. Control of the Senate effectively leads to control of the Supreme Court.
While Obama certainly can't be blamed for everything the GOP threw at him, I feel like it's safe to say his
rebranding of the Democratic party failed in the long run. The 'Party of Hope' was sunk into the quagmire of a slow economic recovery, some of the most cynical politicking ever, and some of the most dysfunctional White House-Congress relationships in the history of the country. Obama's signature healthcare legislation would languish in the 30s approval-wise until after he left office. By 2015, no one was talking about the Democrats as the Party of Hope anymore. Even the guy who designed the original 'Hope' poster said he was frustrated by the lack of progress under the Obama admin. I'd argue that the Republicans were responsible for the clear majority of this dysfunction, but if their goal was to muddy the waters between the parties, they succeeded. And with the Tea Party, they were better at rebranding themselves even when they were in the opposition.
And none of this was helped by the face that Obama seemed extremely reluctant, even uninterested, in stepping into the role of party leader. Congressional Democrats were frustrated at the way he kept his distance from them, making it hard to solidify the policy goals they'd implemented in his first term. This article (https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/us/aloof-obama-is-frustrating-his-own-party.html
) sums it up well, with this prescient quote sticking out:
In interviews, nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers and senior congressional aides suggested that Mr. Obama’s approach has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.
And sure enough, Obama's legacy was in peril before he even left office.
In 2016, Democrats didn't plan for a primary, they planned for a coronation. Hillary Clinton had been locking up all the support she could get from the Democratic establishment while Obama was serving his second term. Biden would seem like the clear establishment successor, but by the time he was able to turn his attention from VP duties to the primary he realized Hillary had completely boxed him out. She had already corralled all the big donors, operatives, and endorsements into her corner, and Joe was checkmated before he even sat down to the board. Thus, he turned down the opportunity, likely burying his long-nurtured presidential ambitions.
But then the coronation gets bumpy. Sanders challenges her from the outside, and immediately begins putting her on the spot as to why she's running. In other words, what does she envision for the Democratic brand? Hillary herself doesn't know. Is it a third term of Bill (whose star was starting to fade among everyone whose name doesn't rhyme with Shames Scarville), a third term of Obama (whose Hope posters have since become landfill), or an all-new thing?
To Hillary's credit, she couldn't portray herself as a total break from the past, both because she had been was strongly anchored to the national political landscape for the last thirty years, and because she could hardly attack Obama's record too harshly. In the end, she also struggled to brand both herself and the party. Consider the slogans most associated with her campaign; 'Forward Together' and 'Stronger Together' sound like the slogans of a centrist third party with no concrete policy ideas. They just attempted to project a feeling of unity onto a people who were united only, if the candidacies of Sanders and Trump meant anything, in the feeling that 'establishment' politicians like HRC had failed. And, of course, 'I'm with Her' was barely a rebrand at all, simply associating the party with its uncharismatic yet seemingly unstoppable frontrunner.
In the meantime, Trump had done the opposite, rebranding himself and the GOP as the party of 'America First populism.' What that meant exactly in terms of policy seemed to change from day to day But as a brand, as a forceful statement of intent, it worked, especially when contrasted with a seemingly rudderless HRC campaign that failed to answer the age-old question: 'Why are you running for president?'
'For the People'
After the 2016 fiasco, the Democrats were decimated and leaderless. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had passed his leadership position to Chuck Schumer and passed on soon after Trump took office. Tim Ryan led a mutiny against Nancy Pelosi, blaming her in part for the party's plunge from ascendance to irrelevance in the House. Hillary Clinton disappeared into the woods of Chappaqua. Obama started making a docu-series for Netflix. Joe Biden entered semi-retirement and wrote a book.
But in all of this, they found something they had been lacking. A brand.
Not the one they would have preferred, but one that would work nonetheless for winning elections. House Dems would embrace the (once-again) vague slogan of 'For the People' ahead of the 2018 midterms, but the aim was clear. The Democrats were now the Opposition; the Anti-Trump party.
Trump's approval rating was not just low, but incredibly sticky. People tended to have very firm opinions on him, and so his approval rating barely escaped the 35-45% range, with him almost hitting 50% before the pandemic hit. Thus, running on opposition to Trump would be fine electorally. In 2018, the Democrats had a blue wave year based mostly on opposition to Trump, retaking the house. Ironically, a big policy motivator for voters was backlash against the GOP's effort to repeal and replace Obamacare -- a promise that had driven Republican electoral gains since the bill was passed into law. Republican branding and messaging had been so successful that, for the better part of the decade, people trusted them to 'fix' the ACA until the very last minute before the replacement was signed.
'Battle for the Soul of the Nation'
But the problem remained for 2020 -- who would lead them? This was a difficult decision even before the pandemic. And Democratic primary voters were treated to a veritable buffet on angles on how to rebrand the party to beat Trump.
Should the party embrace democratic socialism under Sanders, or heavy consumer advocacy under Warren? Should it embrace a young, charismatic up-and-comer like Harris, Buttigieg, or O'Rourke or someone just as 'establishment' as Hillary, like Michael Bloomberg? Old-school liberalism with the Klob? Whatever Andrew Yang was doing?
But as the polls drew near, the Democrats seemed to conclude that beating Trump was simply more important than charting a new course for the party. If they could get elected or rebrand, they'd choose the former. And so all the other more moderate candidates dropped out to consolidate the vote around Biden, as the safe, expected pick who could stay the course. Biden and his surrogates began adopting the slogan 'Battle for the Soul of the Nation,' an epic and apocalyptic phrase that is still fundamentally reactive in tone, implying that the biggest motivator to vote for Democrats that fall was not to pass any specific agenda, but to put a stop to the GOP's plans.
Biden wouldn't govern
in this way, but he would campaign this way -- as the normal, capable candidate who could lead the country's post-covid recovery in opposition to Trump's perceived incompetence. Biden won, but Democrats didn't get nearly the boost they wanted from covid, and House candidates underperformed Biden nationally, leading to a surprising loss of seats in the House. And after the effort to throw out the election failed, Trump left office with severely damaged standing with independents. The anti-Trump brand had delivered Dems a trifecta; now it was time to use it; hopefully to establish a new brand for a new decade.
'Building Back Better'
Upon taking office, Biden and the Dems lay out their agenda; the 'Build Back Better' plan, which centers on a three-pronged approach; a pandemic relief bill, an infrastructure bill, and a social policy bill. Passing such plans will involve all 50 Senate D's on board in some cases, and a bipartisan filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators in other cases.
People laugh, think back to 2010, and begin arguing whether a prediction that the GOP will control 55 Senate seats by 2023 is too conservative. Nancy Pelosi is trying to manage a mere five-seat majority in the house. Mitch McConnell, who once feasted on the Democrats' lost hopes the way a hungry turtle devours a plate of juicy strawberries, still held enough sway in the Senate to hold up any significant policy not related to budget reconciliation. Even then, Schumer must wrangle mavericks like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Dramatic divisions still rip across the fabric of American society. But then, something truly strange happens.
The 117th Congress ends up being one of the most productive sessions ever.
Whether or not you think any or all of the 117th's acts were good policy, it's undeniable that this was an unusually politically efficient session, especially considering the last decade of hardball politics. Bipartisan majorities drive the infrastructure act, a gun control act, a tech-manufacturing promotion act, and even a somewhat-legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide. Plus, Schumer and Pelosi navigate their tiny majorities toward passing partisan priorities, like the pandemic relief act and the scaled-down Build Back Better social policy bill, rebranded as the Inflation Reduction Act or IRA. McConnell drops his trademark stonewalling and collaborates with Biden on the bipartisan bills, and 'Yea' votes roll in even from deep red states -- Republican senators from Mississippi, West Virginia, and North Dakota get these bills over the line. Bipartisanship returns to Congress in fleeting glances -- something that I feel confident in arguing absolutely no one
expected Biden or the Dem leaders to be able to do.
Of course, no one has forgotten 2010, and 2022 looks to be another rough year. Inflation soars, and Biden's approval rating drops. Dems brace for impact. The Dobbs ruling happens, but polls repeatedly suggest that the economy is the top issue on voters' minds, and they don't like Biden's handling of it.
But while these things are true, they ignore a crucial factor -- the GOP is embroiled in an identity crisis of its own. The leader of the party is claiming to be the legitimate president of the United States, which is a bit of a hard issue to ignore. Trump loyalists beat out 'establishment' Republicans in the primaries, and bring their hard promotion of the MAGA brand to the general elections. And they lose.
I think it's fair to say that the GOP lost most of the key races of the 2022 midterms, rather than Democrats winning them. Swing state Republican parties chose candidates who adhered so closely to a brand so toxic that independents still chose the Democrats, even in some cases where they were dissatisfied with the party. Republicans who have managed to establish a brand for themselves -- DeSantis, Kemp, and DeWine among them -- soar, while the Trumpiest candidates fall flat. McConnell remains in the minority, and McCarthy becomes the head of a very, very dysfunctional family.
Will Brandon's Rebrand Stand?
So, coming off an unusually strong midterm, where does the party go in 2024? Probably, as u/Randomuser1520
said, back to Biden. When your party wins one of the most fiercely contested elections in American history, has a productive legislative session, and then massively overperforms in the midterm, you don't usually change horses regardless of what approval polling says. If Biden were just 10 years younger and the health concerns were off the table, there would be no question in anyone's mind who to nominate.
The establishment and progressive wings of the party seem to be behind him if he runs, meaning challenges will only come from real outsiders like Marianne Williamson and Robert Kennedy Jr. The DNC will probably work to make those challenges as unviable as possible.
2024 is tricky to predict. Trump is favored on the Republican side, and as said before, his brand is so toxic that Biden can probably glide to reelection barring any massive economic downturns or serious health problems. I won't get too much into 2024, because it seems pretty clearly on the path to becoming another referendum on the GOP's brand, not the Democrats'. Biden's second term (and the rest of his first term) may be defined as much by implementation of the legislation they passed during the 117th as much as by new legislation, if not more.
So the question becomes this -- where does the party go in 2028? Or, in other words, what will Democrats take away from the Biden presidency, and how will Biden shape the party's brand going forward? Who they choose to lead the party next will tell, and Biden's presidency may already be laying out a blueprint.
In his 1996 State of the Union address, Bill Clinton declared 'the era of big government is over,' essentially conceding that Reagan and his vision of a small role for the federal government in domestic affairs had won out for the time, and that Democrats would need to work within that political reality in order to win elections. Obama's efforts to change that status quo resulted in an avalanche of backlash from Tea Partiers, self-proclaimed champions of fiscal conservatism. Hillary Clinton's failed campaign strategy arguably rested more on that understanding of the political climate than anything else, causing her to miss a series of growing frustrations with Reaganism at times channelled by Sanders and, at times, Trump -- at decimation of the manufacturing sector, at the growing gap between rich and poor, at China's seemingly unstoppable three-decade rise at the expense of the U.S.
Biden's approach to American industry and government is a strong repudiation of Reaganism, based around the idea that it is the government's job to fortify and guide the economy in ways that are necessary where the free market has little incentive to. It argues that the issues of infrastructural decay, manufacturing decline, and the growing need for green energy in the face of climate change will only be solved if the government directs the power of the private sector towards those goals at great upfront cost. And free trade, long held as the unassailable source of America's prosperity, must now only be employed in moderation -- if the U.S. has to arguably break international law to lure foreign investment into the U.S. through generous subsidies, it will be worth it, even if it earns the fury of our economic partners. This may be the groundwork of Bidenism.
These plans may fail. The money may be wasted by incompetent or corrupt administrators and the American people may become even more jaded at the thought of big government. But movement within the GOP may suggest a broader shift in the American mind towards this kind of economic interventionism is already in progress. Promising to reverse the decline of manufacturing through tariffs and other measures would have been political anathema twenty years ago, but it has become a core Republican plank. Florida Republicans' punitive measures towards Disney and the GOP's growing support for government action against Big Tech companies suggests openness towards not just using state power to guide the economy, but also to reshape the social landscape by manipulating the private sector. It may well be that the era of small government is over.
I've sorted some potential 'brands' and some of the people who might be nominated in 2028 / become party standard-bearers should the Democrats go in that direction. These lists aren't exhaustive; I'm just trying to establish a general vibe. The 'Biden Blueprint':
Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Gina Raimondo
These are members of the Biden admin who have been given great power (and great piles of money) to enact the legislation of the 117th. If American sentiment towards big government changes as quickly as I think it could, a Cabinet secretary could have a decent shot in 2028. Harris would be the natural successor as the VP, but Transportation Sec Buttigieg and Commerce Sec Raimondo, who were empowered to implement much of the Infrastructure Act and the CHIPS Act respectively, could become standard-bearers for this new vision of technocratic governance if they administer these programs well (and in a way that makes headlines). If Energy Sec Granholm were a natural-born citizen, she would definitely fit here as well, considering how much power the IRA gave her department. The 'New New Deal':
Amy Klobuchar, Catherine Cortez Masto, Mark Kelly, Tammy Duckworth, Raphael Warnock
Liberal senators who are capable of working across the aisle to achieve compromise could be a strong bet if Democrats want to recreate the success of the 117th Congress in the future. There's always an argument that effective legislators won't necessarily make for effective executives, but these choices would help with Democrats' goal of rebranding the Democratic party as the party you vote for if you want Washington to function properly and anticipate constituents' needs. Such a ticket could brand itself as the path to bipartisan yet assertive solutions on familiar and emerging issues like immigration reform, federal protection for abortion, the housing shortage, and the drug crisis. The 'Bulwark':
Roy Cooper, Laura Kelly, Andy Beshear
I'll admit that when I began writing this post, I had a more favorable opinion of the above three governors and politicians like them as presidential nominees and the potential 'future of the party.' I no longer feel as strongly about them, however, because I don't believe they do enough to change the brand of the Democrats and the political environment as a whole. These governors are best known for winning races in red states; for holding the line against the most conservative policies while finding areas of compromise, especially on kitchen-table issues.
But this brand of Democrat is fundamentally reactive, even defensive -- it assumes that most of the job will be obstructing right-wing legislation from a red legislature. In other words, it is a kind of strategy you use when you're trying to hold ground, not gain it. It works well when your opponent's
brand is toxic (as the GOP's has been since 2016), but this I suspect this brand of 'competent normality' will struggle if the opposition ceases to actively repel voters. If Trump and his acolytes continue to hold a strong grip on the party through 2024 and beyond, this brand may not be a bad bet short-term, but long-term Democrats want to be the ones establishing the rules of the game, not just beating your opponent at theirs.
That's what a successful political brand does. While Dems in similar situation should definitely look to these governors for guidance in running their campaigns (and hopefully, their administrations), I would caution at this point against basing the national party's brand on their model.
I think somewhere between these three groups lies a successful path forward for the Democrats that towards becoming the dominant party in U.S. politics at the federal level. There are some other interesting currents in the party; like how Democratic governors like Whitmer, Evers, and Walz have rebuilt D strength the Midwest after a rough 2010s, and how Western Dems like Jared Polis, Mary Peltola, and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez have found unexpected electoral stength by embracing a form of libertarianism. However, these currents may be regional, and Democrats shouldn't necessarily try to nationalize every idea that works in one part of the country. Creating different regional 'flavors' of Democrat would be necessary to keep the party relevant in all parts of the country.
Regarding the 2020 primary runners-up, I don't think most of the visions laid out then work post-2024, and for this reason I tend not to give too much weight to current Democratic primary polling, because it assumes these same people would be running again.
Assuming Biden ends his term without catastrophe, I don't think the party needs to place all their faith in a young, charismatic Obama wannabe like O'Rourke or Swalwell, nor does it need to drastically pivot to the center, nor does it need to proclaim itself the party of 'outsiders,' nor does it need to give the reins to the progressive wing. If everything goes right, they can remain ideologically where they are now (roughly) and establish a solid brand for the first time in a generation.
The Democrats been losing the branding war since the days of Nixon. They may currently have all the tools they need right now to change that, and set the expectations for the next fifty years of politics. Let's see how they do.
This is my first big write-up, so I almost certainly missed some stuff and made some assumptions. Let me know what you think.
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2023.06.02 17:10 Wapulatus Respect Beast I, Goetia (Fate/Grand Order)
"Then I shall show you. The end of your journey. The demise of human history that will redo this planet. The moment my great undertaking is completed!" ♫ Shikisai ~The Time of Parting Hath Come~ ♫
This thread is a collaboration with InverseFlash
, who helped with feat-gathering, as well as Proletlariet
, who helped with formatting. Thanks!
Background Beast I. One of the Seven Evils of Humanity, possessing the principle of "Pity".
The King of Mages, Solomon, gathered 72 demons in his life that he fashioned into "a system to promote reason in humans"--a sort of magical logic network. After some time, the demons gained self-awareness and merged into a collective being.
This being, the amalgamation of the 72 Demons, became known as Goetia.
When Solomon died, the demons were sealed away inside his corpse. The awakened Goetia at first assumed Solomon's identity. Through his eyes, they witnessed the extent of human suffering that Solomon, for all the king's vast power, had failed to address. They became disillusioned with their host, and hatched a plan to remake the world without its imperfections by travelling back in time.
Source Guide Hover over the feat to view the story chapter the feat is from.
Elements of Goetia's in-game profile and Fate/Grand Order material IV entry (translated by castor212) are freely quoted in this thread to help explain abilities that might not show up explicitly in the series very often.
"Plead for help. Raise your mewling voice. For it is the time for you to drown in the sea of anguish! Behold this festival of flame that set ablaze the altar, rendered in its resplendence!" ♫ The Time of Coronation Hath Come ♫
Prior to revealing himself, Goetia posed as King Solomon while possessing his corpse..
Controlling Solomon granted Goetia a variety of abilities, namely the class container of "Grand", which allowed him to outclass any normal Servant by virtue of this.
It has been said that Solomon's clairvoyance can see through the past and the future.
Because Clairvoyance is a skill furnished on the flesh, Goetia can also use it.
Magecraft / Magic Offensive
Evil Eye Curse
"Well, I will rid myself of the title "King of Mages.” ♫ Shikisai ~The Time of Parting Hath Come~ ♫
"There's no more need for deception. I had no name, but if you want to call me something, call me this:"
"I am the one who shall attain true wisdom, as was desired of me. I am the one who shall devour you to reach a new height, and create a new planet."
"I am the one who shall gather 72 curses, and set flame to all of history. I am the Ritual for the Incineration of Humanity."
"I am Goetia, the King of Demon Gods."
The form Goetia takes after he abandons Solomon's corpse partway through the final battle.
His body is a central core surrounded by the 72 "Demon Pillars" that comprise him.
Collective General Power and Information
The Beast Class
The entire space of Solomon's temple gives Da Vinci the same Beast Class reading she saw from Tiamat.
Individual Demon Pillars Power
Demon Pillars attack in a number of ways:
These attacks are threatening to a variety of named servants:
- One takes a bullet from Francis Drake and continues to fight Mash, Ritsuka, and allies, although it loses the overall battle
- Li Shuwen has trouble injecting them with chi attacks, mostly due to their size
- Robin Hood's 'Yew Bow' and Elizabeth Bathory's weaponized singing don't do anything to them
- Tesla's Noble Phantasm, 'System Keranos', doesn't appear to do much to them, neither does a combined attack from Tesla and Edison's Noble Phantasms
- Lancer Li Shuwen breaks his spear on one
- Cursed Arm and Serenity have no means of harming them, even with Serenity's poison
- Oda Nobunaga's special attacks and bullets have no effect on Demon God Pillars
- Takes a hit from three bullets fired from EMIYA Alter and doesn't seem bothered by it moments later
- A Demon Pillar in its humanoid form take a blast of magic from the Queen of Sheba and is fine
- Takes fire produced by Chacha's abilities and fights Ritsuka, Okita, Nobunaga, and Hijikata, although it ultimately loses the fight
- A recreation of the Demon God Pillars gets bombarded with meteors from outer space by Astrea's Noble Phantasm, and continues to fight with Grey and Astrea, with Astrea commenting it was just as strong as the originals
"The Demon Gods have burned away. My temple is destroyed. My grand plan for the Incineration of Human Order dies with me. But, I will at least deny you this final victory. Let us begin... Master of Chaldea. I shall annihilate you, and all you've achieved, with my own hands." ♫ GRAND LAST BATTLE ♫
Despite Ars Nova ending Solomon's spell that bound the 72 Demons together, Goetia manages to linger long enough for one last fight. However, in this weakened state he can be defeated by a punch from Ritsuka.
Ars Almadel Salomonis: The Time of Birth has Come, He is the One who Masters All
"Then I shall show you. The end of your journey. The demise of human history that will redo this planet. The moment my great undertaking is completed! Third Noble Phantasm, deploy. The Time of Birth has Come, He is the One who Masters All. Now, burn up like trash!"
"Ars Almadel Salomonis!"
Goetia's third Noble Phantasm. The "" of original sin. A belt of light that announces mankind’s demise.
- Rank: EX
- Type: Anti-Unit/Anti-Human Order Noble Phantasm
- Range: ?
- Maximum target: ? person
Goetia is able to manipulate this belt of light in order to collect, accelerate and converge portions of it, travelling through the timestream or otherwise influencing it.
For his plan to work, Goetia needed to make cause and effect stop working, so he can set fire to multiple periods of time in history at the same time.
He enables this by destabilizing human history with Singularities. These are turning points in human history that he's sent Holy Grails (powerful magic artifacts) to change important historical events.
Reference of what Holy Grails can do
Incineration of Human History
Once human history is destabilized, Goetia 'sets fire' to every moment of it and lets it burn. The energy is then collected as "Spiritrons" (magical energy) and raw heat.
Of course, this has catastrophic affects on the timeline.
Bands of Light
Finally, this energy is then channeled into Goetia's temple, and refined into bands of light that he can control and release at will. Either as weapons, or as fuel to for his ultimate goal: time travel to the creation of the Earth.
Ars Paulina: The Time of Crowning has Come, He is the One who Begins All
A Reality Marble that Goetia fabricated by amplifying the remains of King Solomon, forming a magical workshop in "void space" that exists outside the normal flow of time.
- Rank: A
- Type: Anti-World Noble Phantasm
- Range: 999
- Maximum target: ? person
Reality Marbles are essentially self-contained dimensions that 'paint over the world' in a given area. Here's a better schematic explaining what they do.
Physical Structure and Location
Goetia: Light Band Convergence Ring
- Rank: D
- Type: Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm
- Range: -
- Maximum target: 1 person
Solomon: The Time of Parting has Come, He is the One who Lets Go of the World
Individual Demon Pillars - Unique Abilities While it's likely that Goetia possesses all these abilities as the composite of all Demon God Pillars, some of his components developed wills of their own and gained unique abilities before and after his destruction at the hands of Chaldea.
Andras After separating from Goetia, Andras gained a self-awareness and will to live, and escaped from the Temple of Time near-death, but died afterwards. Even then, its 'vindictive desires' remained as a corpse that could maintain a being by fusing to a Heroic Spirit, summoning and doing so with Chacha and Hijikata to create a singularity-like space.
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2023.06.02 17:09 WitnessInteresting Advice for an unexpected senior level R&D interview?! (recent MET grad)
I graduated from Purdue University earlier this year with a B.S. in MET (3.96 GPA), and currently work as a development engineer for an insulation manufacturer. I completed an internship with the company, and so far, they have been extremely loyal to me.
Long story short, I visited the corporate technical center last summer and made it my goal to work there someday. Fast forward to now, and it could be happening. I applied for an internal associate research engineer position in April, and finally received an email yesterday (after nearly 2 months of nothing). This surprised me as the resume I submitted was far from complete, heavily emphasizing academic accomplishments over real world experiences. In hindsight, not proud of that resume at all.
Anyways, the hiring manager explained that the associate level position was no more, but a senior level R&D position had potentially opened. He forwarded my information to the VP of R&D, and shortly after, scheduled a Teams call for next week.
What should I make of this? I doubt that I am qualified for the position given my lack of experience and the senior level designation. I am also unsure of which position I will be ‘interviewing’ for as no other details were provided. I am extremely confident in my abilities as a young engineeresearcher, but I can’t help but feel like a fraud. Don’t get me wrong, I really want this to work, it’s very exciting! The opportunity to interview for a dream position in a dream location, it’s beyond anything I could have imagined as a new grad. I’m just not sure how I should prepare as I was not expecting this scenario.
I would love to hear other thoughts on this and what you might do in my situation.
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2023.06.02 17:08 Interesting-North-48 He wants us (30M & 36F) to move in together, but he also wants to experiment with men
Since a few years I'm dating a great guy. A while ago he suggested we should move in together. At first I was excited, but lately I'm having doubts. I myself had 2 relationships before this one and enjoyed my single life well, experimented with women etc. For him it's different. I'm his first serious partner and he wishes to experiment with men someday (not now or in the near future, but someday). I understand this, but still I find myself having a hard time with it. We've talked before how we look at open relationships. He sees this as an option for the future, when we've been together for a long time. But that's not an option for me. On the one hand, I've never actively thought of growing old together with someone. I always looked at relationships like: it's fun as long as it lasts. If things end, that's life. But now it's guaranteed that it will end between us sooner or later, it makes me sad. Growing old together is not an option apparently. So now what? I have a fantastic cheap apartment, great location, that I will never be able to find again. But it is too small for 2 people. I could move in with him even though I know this will stop when the routine sets in and he wants to experiment with men. Or I can stay in my nice apartment and enjoy the time with him for as long as it lasts. Any advise? (I don't want kids btw) Besides this practical dilemma, I just feel sad. I never thought about 'staying together forever' with anyone, but now I already know for sure that that's not going to happen I feel shitty. I notice that I've been a bit distant towards him last week and I hate that...
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2023.06.02 17:07 RyanHido New to dropshipping. Have a couple questions. Please help.
If you open a store or account on shopify. Now how do I get the product on my store? Do I have a plug in to connect my shopify account to my vendor? Also will I have to notify the vendor for each sale? I'm still trying to do research and learn about all of this and all of this is new to me.
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2023.06.02 17:07 childfreeentry I hate that I love Creed Aventus for Her
I initially sprayed this in store, I wasn’t wowed by the opening so I fobbed it off as another uninteresting “freshie”. I decided to give it a full days wear a few days ago and grew obsessed! I’m in love with the green apple note and musky, woody goodness in the dry down. It’s so beautifully blended and couldn’t stop smelling myself. This is how I want to smell! I think I’ve found the perfect summer scent for me but the price tag is a killer!
So before I bite the bullet, I was wondering what your experiences are with this scent, good or bad observations if any? Has the purchase or experience been worth the price tag for you? If not, why? X
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2023.06.02 17:06 Akfanboy project poppy ch 1
I sighed. So I'm gonna get reassigned huh? I'm not apart of the c.i.a's gun running, drug peddling, and the guerilla warfare division anymore eh? I guess I'll miss air america flights. I then recalibrated my prosthetic right arm using a Philips head screw driver. Open close. Open, close.
After a couple of seconds my arm was finally done recalibrating. I'm gonna miss my friends. But I'll never miss the humid areas of laos, Vietnam, and some parts of china. The golden triangle is so goddamned hot. Honestly I don't know if it's secretly a promotion or a demotion. Or possibly I'm gonna get fired, and killed.
I'll get my name scraped out of the national files. If I get fired the chances of getting dragged into a blacksite is high, and I'll get tripped by the guys on one of the blacksites.
Oh god. I remember the LSD torture. It's like being awake but not in control. It's like being stuck as a backseat driver as people do unspeakable stuff to me. Oh boy if the public knows about the MK ultra test 2 oh boy. The people are gonna riot. It's already 2040.
The world is on edge, and under foreign influence for over a decade now. From the end of the 20's intergalactic travelers, and companies came, and control most of the world's nations within just a span of two years. They have the guts to exploit our resources, and don't give a damn about what happens to us. They care about profits. Except for the 8 major powers most of the world is under alien control. The only nations that aren't under alien control are russia, china, The U.S.A, great Britain with their manpower advantage given Australia is a British vassal state, France, Canada, Israel, and lastly an unlikely power the African union made out of 7 of the most powerful nations in Africa before the arrival of the outsiders are the only remaining independent countries.
Most of the intelligence agencies are currently working together dealing drugs with the outsiders who visit us, giving weapons to guerilla fighters, and getting weapons from the outside. Ships from an unlikely ally an independent economic alliance of nations named the syndicate allows to us to get some weapons. As long as we sell them drugs, and perishables from earth. It turns out the syndicate likes drugs, coffee, and other stuff native to earth.
Some of our intelligence guys are chatting with the aliens. The guys who are exploiting our resources are called the consortium. They are a consort of companies, and a league that agrees on how to manipulate markets. These guys are basically the more unhinged version of the wall street guys, and a mix of the c.i.a.
I sighed. "This is gonna be a long day ahead of me."
I then smoked a cigar. The cigar calmed my nerves as I inhaled the nicotine. The addictive substance relaxes me. Plus lung cancer isn't a problem anymore considering we now have a solution on how to cure it. The alien companies gave us some of their tech to show their so called sympathy before they flooded economies with consumer goods from their companies, and controlled almost all of earths economies.
"So agent smith. This is your new partner." A c.i.a handler said to me.
I spat out some ash from my mouth, and complained. "The fuck are you giving me a newbie as a partner? And what the hell am I gonna to do to need a new partner. Rodriguez already was fine yet I'm stuck with a newbie?"
The handler laughed. "Oh heavens no. This is an a.i. Codename poppy. She's your new partner in crime. Because we are gonna send you as a diplomatic bodyguard to the syndicate."
"Oh hi! I'm poppy I'm an artificial intelligence created by the c.i.a, m.i.6, the g.r.u, the s.s.m, mossad, and the s.s.a." The human looking robot said.
The voice kinda sounds synthetic, and the tone is too happy. I kinda hate it. I hate that it gives off happy go lucky vibes. I don't mean to be a grouch but the happy go lucky guys always die first. It's kinda ironic in a fucked up way.
So this thing is an a.i kinda like g.w. An a.i made by the c.i.a. G.W have made the internet more tolerable, and friendly due to context. People back then always manipulated facts into their political goals, and ideals. People get the facts misconstrued for political reasons.
G.W was made after a game character that was so prophetic about the world in the future. M.G.S 2: Sons of liberty. It has the same function as g.w from mgs2. It gives facts in a non biased way. In a way where people don't get their feelings hurt when something is given to them in a factual, and non biased ways.
People used to manipulate facts for political correctness. Hiding the fact that they misinterpret the meaning of those words. The internet used to be a toxic, and a fucked up place before g.w. Like Jesus Christ the goddamn internet was filled with incels, and attention seekers using facts and misusing them for internet clout. It was a place where no one is invalidated but nobody was right. G.w put an end to that era. G.w is now living in a secluded server thanking us for it's creation. It was phased out after it asked to be replaced by another one because it was sick, and tired of correcting people that get the facts misconstrued. It got to the point that it begged the c.i.a, and annoyed the c.i.a to the point that it wanted to be put in a secluded server so it could live it's remaining days in relative leisure just because it begged the c.i.a director so many times that he would get spam calls from the a.i using his official phone number even in the middle of the night for three straight years.
Anyways back to discussion.
"So you're one of those advanced a.i's like g.w?" I asked just to be sure I'm not paired with a dumb a.i.
"Yup. I even passed the Turing test in flying colors. I can feel emotions, do something out of spite or anger, and can think for myself." Poppy said with a dog like innocence.
"So what can you do?" I asked.
"Well. I can fly planes, use guns even those that people can't use due to physiological differences, and hack computers without being near the target. I'm basically just an a.i that can be a jack of all traits if given a chance." Poppy said.
"Fine. But you'll do it my way or the high way." I told poppy with a commanding tone.
Poppy laughed. "Okay boomer."
I sighed. This is gonna be a long day. I'm old as shit but not a boomer.
"Woah. You guys are already going along greatly. Great for you." The handler snickered.
He then left, and left me with poppy.
I'm fucked. "So I'm gonna brief you about the world poppy. Through a song."
I then sang bo burnham's how the world works song.
"Hey, kids Today, we're gonna learn about the world The world that's around us is pretty amazing But how does it work? It must be complicated The secret is the world can only work When everything works together"
"A bee drinks from a flower And leaves with its pollen A squirrel in a tree spreads the seeds that have fallen Everything works together"
"The biggest elephant, the littlest fly The gophers underground, the birds in the sky And every single cricket, every fish in the sea"
"Gives what they can and gets what they need That is how the world works That is how the world works"
"From A to Zebra To the worms in the dirt That's how it works Hey everyone"
I then pulled out a sock, and made it into a puppet.
"Look who stopped by to say "hello" It's Socko Hey! Where you been, Socko?"
"I've been where I always am when you're not wearing me on your hand In a frightening, liminal space between states of being Not quite dead, not quite alive It's similar to a constant state of sleep paralysis"
"Socko, we were just talking about the world and how it works!"
"Boy, that sounds complicated! Do you have anything you'd wanna teach us about the world?"
"I wouldn't say anything that you Probably haven't already said yourself"
"I don't know about that, Socko How about you give it a try?"
"The simple narrative taught in every history class Is demonstrably false and pedagogically classist Don't you know the world is built with blood? And genocide and exploitation"
"The global network of capital essentially functions To separate the worker from the means of production And the FBI killed Martin Luther King Private property's inherently theft"
"And neoliberal fascists are destroying the left And every politician, every cop on the street Protects the interests of the pedophilic corporate elite"
"That is how the world works (really?) That is how the world works Genocide the Natives, say you got to it first"
"That's how it works"
"That's pretty intense?"
"No shit Sherlock."
"What can I do to help?"
"Read a book or something, I don't know Just don't burden me with the responsibility of educating you"
*It's incredibly exhausting"
"I'm sorry, Socko I was just trying to become a better person"
"Why do you rich fucking white people Insist on seeing every socio-political conflict Through the myopic lens of your own self-actualization?"
"This isn't about you So either get with it, or get out of the fucking way"
"Watch your mouth, buddy"
"Remember who's on whose hand here"
"But that's what I- Have you not been fucking listening? We are entrenched in a way (all right, all right)"
"Wait, wait, no please! I don't wanna go back, please, ugh, ugh, ugh I can't go, I can't go back Please, please, I'm sorry!"
"Are you gonna behave yourself?"
"Look at me"
"That's better That is how the world works That is how the world works I hope you learned your lesson"
"I did and it hurt That's how it works"
Drags sock puppet into a pocket like some introvert getting dragged into socializing in bars by extroverts.
"So do you understand know?" I asked poppy.
"That everything is made under the blood of billions, and we shouldn't make their deaths be in vein?" Poppy said.
"Correct. And we shouldn't let outsiders make our choices for us. We should kick them out." I said like some isolationist American during the 1920's.
"Ironic isn't it smith. The c.i.a used to be anti socialist but look how the circumstances turned the American government into. A social democracy/merit based democracy where politicians are based in merit rather than popularity. Politicians are insentivised to change the world than burn it down like some of the old presidents did. Ironic that america became something it hated. A weird mesh of meritocracy, democracy, republican, liberaterian, and market socialist ideals. Some sort ideological mesh made by idealogs"
"And it's working with it's remaining two Allies, and former enemies just to defeat a foreign threat. How poetically ironic isn't it? I mean the CIA used to go schizo mode when they hear communist, and socialist ideals or hearing the word russians, and chinese are plotting something. Now the country it help grew became the very thing it sought to destroy. Morbidly ironic isn't it?" Poppy said with a meloncholic under tone.
"Yeah. Specially the stuff we do now." I said agreeing to the statement.
"But that's how the world works. Everything must change. Either you adapt or die." I said with a meloncholic under tone.
"So do you know where we are going?" I asked poppy.
I then puffed up my cigar. Sweet sweet nicotine.
"Back to america. In the space port in Austin Texas. I'm already done contacting the contact the handler gave to me. E.T.A 7 hours. Now let's go to the laostian military base 7 miles north from here. Our air america flight is waiting for us." Poppy said.
I sighed. "Come ride with me. I have a motorcycle a hundred meters from here."
We walked towards my motorcycle. I then puffed up my cigar smelling the nicotine.
So my life is about to change huh? Eh. I'm just gonna adapt. After all in this world it's either adapt or die.
Click, click, click
Motorcycle engine starts rumbling.
Poppy then held my waist. It's hands are cold as steel. Colder than even corpse. I sighed.
The highway was almost empty. Everyone was working a 10-8 job in one of the corporations that control laos. There was no land vehicles transporting goods because the aliens are using their tech to transport them underground. The road was almost abandoned except for the guys who have motorcycle hobbies. Anyways it doesn't matter. After all there's no traffic anymore.
The fresh breeze calmed my nerves. It made me feel alive. A motorcyclist drive by me and waved hello. I waved back at the motorcyclist. It's good to be on the road.
After a twenty minute drive we arrived at the military base. Another CIA agent greeted us, and escorted us to the flight.
"So you guys are the diplomatic bodyguards?" Asked the agent.
"Yup. That's what my handler told me." Poppy said.
"So your one of the newer a.i models eh. Ok. Just step right in. Plus the flight is rather boring. Just sleep while on flight to save energy." The agent told me.
I sighed. I threw away the cigar, and slept through the flight.
A few hours later...
I woke up arriving at Austin executive airport. Poppy just sat there watching me sleep like some sort of creep. It made me a little bit paranoid at the unflinching eyes that was watching me. But I ignored my instincts, and went outside.
After that I ate something for breakfast. A couple of pancakes, and chicken wings. Poppy looked at me with envy. I sighed.
"Can you eat? Do you need food to survive?" I asked.
"Well.... I need glucose to recharge my batteries. I can also use a charger but it would be suspicious. So the glucose to energy converter was made for special missions so that I wouldn't blow my cover."
Figured. Those guys in the CIA RnD team are making contengencies for every eventual event. I then ordered a plate of syrup covered pancakes.
Poppy looked at me smiling. I sighed.
An hour later...
We arrived at the space port. People walked around buying nicnacs, waiting for their flight, and just waited around for their family members that were coming back.
Another agent came up to me, and gave me two tickets.
"Here's the tickets. Also have this. You'll need it."
The agent then gave me some sort of high tech phone. Then out of knowhere something exploded.
I was knocked unconscious for a couple minutes. When I woke up I was getting dragged by poppy along with the agent that gave me the tickets. She shot back at incoming enemies using alien tech.
"Ugh..." As I said that I began coughing blood. I looked down I was bleeding. My left leg was missing. It was slowly bleeding due to a tourniquet, bandages, and some sealing foam. It was still bleeding but isn't bleeding as badly as to kill me in just a couple seconds.
Gunshots echoed in the space port. Agents shot back at the alien attackers. A fierce firefight began. Bright lights like something akin to RGB lights but in a epileptic way we're seen down the isles as screams of both alien, CIA, fbi, and fully kitted out port guards were slaughtered one by one.
Poppy dragged me, and the other agent to a bathroom. "Sit rep." I asked poppy.
"It seems to be a terrorist attack. I don't know why but they looked like alien mercenaries. The question is that did the consortium hired them to kill our diplomat. Good thing the diplomat hasn't arrived. I checked the agency message boards, and they said that good thing the diplomat was sick after getting food poisoning this morning. They are already talking about it. Some of them are even suggesting that the consortium did this attack." Poppy said.
"So the diplomat got lucky. But why the fuck would they attack our diplomat to the syndicate? I mean it's counter productive. We don't need their goods or services considering the people here would rather choose human companies rather than alien shady companies. I guess they must've know about our deals with them, and decided to start a shadow war. A war in the shadows. The companies of the consortium vs the remaining independent government's. Who ever wins controls all the resources in the world." I told poppy.
She nodded. "Good guess but no one really knows. It's so sudden. We need more info before we act against them."
"I'll patch you up in the meantime. I hurried the medical assistance I gave you a couple minutes ago. I was hurrying because this guy is saying we need to leave after he suffered minor bruises. You blunted most of the damaged for him because you were in front of the explosion. He was saved because you were blocking him from getting hit by shrapnel. I cut you're leg off. Sorry. It can't be saved considering it was barely hanging on the leg. Plus I was running out of time so I had to cut it before you bled out."
I sighed. "Okay. Just get my hk UmP 45 inside my arm. It's in second the compartment a secret compartment. In the upper arm. I have a few mags of it inside the compartment. Here's a screw driver to remove the lid."
I then gave poppy a screw driver hidden in my pants, and saw her unscrew the lid off. A ump 45, and fully loaded 4 mags came out dropping loudly on the floor.
"Now carry me to the danger. I would rather die than suffer for years being reminded of the sad reality that I lost an arm, and a leg every time I wake up." I morbidly joked to poppy.
"Are you sure? You're injured! Are you fucking suicidal?" Poppy, and the agent said.
"Did I stutter?"
The two of them sighed.
Poppy then carried me in her back, and the other agent used poppy as meat shields. The agent held a Barretta 93r. A burst fire weapon.
"Ready?" I said.
"Ugh. You're lucky I accepted your request dumbass."
I was being piggy back carried by poppy while the agent followed us.
"Tango 15 meters to the left." Poppy said.
I then activated burst fire, and shot at the direction given. When I saw an enemy I aimed for the center mass. But I instead hit the thorax killing the alien instantly.
"Kill confirms. Enemy is k.i.a."
"Tango 20 meters ahead."
I then aimed straight forward, and saw a bolt of light strike near me. It was close enough to feel the heat of the round. I shot back, and killed the alien instantly by hitting the alien in the lungs, and heart.
"Enemy is k.i.a"
Then I heard a three round burst coming from a Barretta. I looked back, and saw the agent kill an incoming enemy.
"Thanks. So what's your name?" I asked.
"Oh I haven't properly instroduced myself. My name is agent Carter." The agent/Carter said.
"Thanks Carter. My name is agent smith."
"No problem agent smith. We CIA agents got each other's backs. We must stick together."
"Guys tangos incoming coming from the left. ETA 20 seconds."
We then aimed our Guns, and waited for the enemy to arrive. When they eventually arrived we moved them down with burst fire. After that a couple national guard guys came up to us. They were probably chasing those aliens.
"Thanks." One of the national guards said.
We continued, and after two minutes of walking we walked into a firefight. I smiled.
"You know what to do." I said smiling.
"Third party them?"
I then turned on full auto, and began to spray, and pray.
After a few seconds of pulling the trigger my gun ran out of bullets. Carter also ran out of bullets in his magazine, and reloaded. 3 confirmed kills, and multiple missed or slightly injured.
Oh crap. Then a bolt of light past near me. Enough to the point my right cheek got minor burns.
I then began to be dragged by poppy into cover. Carter also looked for cover, and dived into the nearest cover. I quickly reloaded the mag, and started shooting at the aliens again. I changed the selector back to burst fire to conserve ammo.
I aimed center mass at the enemies. A loud burst of .45 ACP rounds was heard as an enemy was hit in the thorax.
I continued, and shot enemies in either the arms, legs, the thorax, or the chest.
After three minutes the firefight ended.
"Other sectors secured. All area's are currently in our control. Over 700 people died, 1720 were injured, and some were missing. Military and government casualties are 124 KIA'd, 24 severely injured, 57 mildly injured, and 38 MIA'd." Poppy said smiling.
Then paramedics rushed into the scene. People were rushed into nearby hospitals while I was dragged by a undercover CIA paramedic to a government safe house along with poppy, and Carter.
A week later…
I was standing in the military cemetery in Arlington national cemetery. Where soldiers who died without any identifications are buried. I saw burials around me. Soldiers who died without any family members, soldiers disowned by family, and other such things. But hey it's just the life of a soldier. That's what I know at least. From ranger grunt to c.i.a grunt. I was disowned by my parents who were conservatives, and highly religious because I was going to sacrifice my place in heaven to save some heathens from the middle east. I never regretted my actions. I saved lives, and ended some. No guts no glory after all.
Some of the people getting buried got medal of honors. Saving comrades in need of dire help in exchange for their lives, soldiers who rescued civilians in exchange for their own lives, and soldiers who honorably fought on to save others even faced with hard decisions.
I saluted the unknown soldiers for their bravery, and honor. In the background poppy, and Carter were talking. But that wasn't important. Bagpipes, trumpets, and drums play as the unknown soldiers get burried with their medals. The grave sentinels saluted while burying the dead. Gunshots in the honor of the dead was heard as the unknown soldiers got buried while being watched by the people who those soldiers saved.
After that I returned to head quarters with a prosthetic leg, and talked to my handler. Poppy, and Carter went back to the safehouse just to talk.
"Oh hi smith." My handler captain david said.
"Here's another purple heart medal, and a bronze star medal." David then tossed the medals towards me.
"That's your what? 22nd and 23rd medal? Bravo congrats smith."
"I'm gonna ask you sometime David."
"Ask away smith."
"When will i get sent as a diplomatic bodyguard?"
"About three weeks from now. Also agent Carter is gonna be one of your partners for the mission."
I sighed. Figured.
"So who was behind the terror attack David?"
"Honestly. The CIA search the crime scene, and saw that the consortium blatantly did that. The mercenaries worked under one of the companies in the consortium. But for the public it's gonna be announced tonight that a rogue consortium PMC did that so we wouldn't provoke them too much."
"It's gonna be a long day smith."
Then David gave me a cigar.
To be continued…
submitted by Akfanboy
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 17:06 ohbutlike Behind My Perfect
I had never fallen in love before; the idea disgusted me. But when I first saw her, I found out that mythical butterflies do, in fact, flutter in one’s belly. I always thought that our society just had an unhealthy relationship with soda pop, but there they were.
She was beautiful! She wasn’t the cookie-cutter beauty that your fashion magazine manufactures; her eyes twinkled naturally like store-bought moissanite. Her bushy, deep dark eyebrows looked like they'd been shampooed with brand-name self-care products. It wasn’t just her pink glazed donut lips or her flowy dark hair that stole my heart; it was her essence. She glowed like those aftermarket LED headlights on my nightly drive back home. And those eyes… those dreamy eyes!
I started cleaning on Friday afternoon as soon as I got home from work. Charlene, my desk mate, had misplaced my favorite pen and became gradually paler as she silently watched me erupt into a volcano without having to pay a subscription fee. It was given to me by my late father, a stickler for rules who failed his “how to show empathy” class up until the very last second of his miserable life. He stared hauntingly into my eyes as he drew his last breath. Her eyes were different; they smiled when she did and rolled when we bantered that one time I cornered her in our local convenience store. She was buying tampons, and I snuck behind and whispered, “bloody murder!” She was startled at first, jumped even, but her face softened as her glassy green eyes laid on me. I felt those damn butterflies again, practicing rain dancing as my heart exploded in my chest. She joked around that she was getting them as earplugs to drown out her noisy neighbor. I told her a shovel would work just as well. It was courting at its finest.
I woke up early on Saturday with the morning light and gingerly started cleaning the kitchen floor. Armed with my favorite dirty cleaning rag, I got down on my knees and found every nook and every cranny. My momma called me on her new iPhone to remind me about my aunt Vicky’s birthday later that day. She was upset that I wasn’t coming. I told her that I had plans with a mortician and whether I should put in a good word for her, but she didn’t find that funny one bit, so she lashed out like I knew she would. Her yell pierced through the phone like a messy SWAT raid, and after that, I heard as much as I cared to listen. She said something about how I always find a way to disappoint her. She reminded me of how that mouth of mine caused me to lose my previous job. Somehow it always comes back to money with her, and it used to make me cry, but this is her insecurity — not mine. Ever since I could remember, she was always keeping face around her more successful older sister who married into wealth. She dragged me to beauty pageants as early as five, and then to modeling castings after that, but I guess I was not good enough to be her golden egg.
The second time I officially met her was in the barely maintained suicidal elevator of our building complex. The maintenance date on the sticker had long expired, and every time those doors closed, it truly was a gamble of whether my laziness was worth the odds of me falling to my death in there. She had forgotten about me and our mesmerizing tampon talk at the nearby store, but I took no time to remind her of our lovely first encounter. “Ah!” she said, like a cliched mad scientist who had just solved aging, pointing an accusatory finger to the heavens. I asked her if she "took care" of her neighbor and extended her a wink. She pouted her juicy lips and started thinking for a bit while I mind surfed down her long, thick dark hair. Then suddenly, I saw excitement and joy building up inside of her and exploding out her bright, hypnotizing eyes. She tried to contain it and with a muffled chuckle, she said, "I won't say a thing, but don't you go looking in the rubbish downstairs!" Somehow, the conversation turned to famous serial killers and crime shows, so I did the thing and asked her to watch some series together sometimes.
The first time we did was last Saturday. I out-thrifted my local thrift stores and was fashionably late. She greeted me in sweatpants that failed to conceal the contour of her hips, and she coughed quite a bit before telling me that I smelled nice. I raided my momma's vanity earlier that day for brand-name perfumes and accessories. She always has the latest stuff. I told myself that I wouldn't overdo it, but I overdid it. She took a good look at me as I was heading out, fixed my hair, and asked, "Who's the lucky man?"
My gorgeous neighbor lived in apartment 31B, the one with the off-red door, and it was disgustingly perfect. I thought that since we lived in the same building complex, her place wouldn't be so different from mine, but it was. I don't think it was even the layout that made it better. It was the furniture arrangement, the attention to detail as if she had her masters in color theory. It was her. She gave me the tour, and I was amazed at how every room looked like someone's pinned Pinterest board. The whole place looked staged for viewing, but the way she flowed through her space made me realize that this was her norm. It was so clean that I started to wonder if she did kill her now eerily quiet neighbor. It wasn't until we sat down on the couch together, and she wrapped us in her silky vanilla blanket, that my anxiety flew away. But those damn butterflies persisted. I sat beside her, far enough to be cold but close enough to fill my fantasies and ask myself what this was. It came as no surprise, then, that we had an awkward goodbye when it was all over, and I stood at her door not knowing what to say or do. She held onto the door and said, "Next Saturday then?"
By the time Saturday evening arrived, it had been hours of me mindlessly cleaning and endlessly rearranging my furnitures around. The same anxiety that I felt at her place came back raging, and no amount of YouTube or Pinterest made me feel any better. But then, there came a knocking at the door. I wasn't expecting her this early, so naturally, I freaked out like a bomb had gone off in my head, and I started running all over the place, getting dressed like a chicken with its head cut off. I smeared perfume all over my body and opened the door with unrepentant puffy messy hair. It was momma. She looked fancy. She was rocking this beautiful light blue cocktail dress with cape sleeves. It screamed, "I overpaid for this dress”, and I wanted to puke—I loved it!' She gave me this 'check me out' look before she pranced in without any invitation. She saw how tired I looked and asked me if I ate anything, but she must have noticed the change in my apartment and didn't bother to let me answer. There was this glimmer in her eyes when she asked, 'Well, well, you smell nice! Who's coming over?'"
I swear I'm better than this, but in that moment of pure exhaustion, I just let my guard down and told her the truth—that I was having a girlfriend over to watch a show. I knew instantly that I'd messed up as soon as the words left my mouth. Her eyes blinked at a thousand miles per hour, like she was looking for the least hurtful way to explode, but there's nothing kind about her outbursts. She yelled, "You're missing out on your aunt's birthday to watch a show with a friend??" I watched her face get redder with anger and felt tears at the ready, edging the corner of my puffy eyes, and I felt the kind of muffled anger that a 30-year-old adult woman would have to explain to her mother what adult choices made her happy, but I couldn't say anything. No matter how angry I was, I couldn't tell her to just let me be. I let out a weak but defiant "Yeah?" And she unleashed on me about just how much she was disappointed in me. She slammed me about how little I cared for my family, so I yelled back at her, saying that I didn't care about a who's who party where we must rent out a fancy dress to be welcomed. "I bought this damn dress!" she yelled in pure anger, oblivious to the point that I was making. I retorted that she was doing a good job hiding the price tag to return it later then, and that's when the palm of her hand found my face. I stumbled onto the ground, and in an attempt to regain balance, I held onto the big standing mirror behind me and dragged it to the floor with me.
I sat on the floor and finally justified crying; a bit of blood painted my right hand. Her left hand covering her mouth, she fumbled a reactionary apology and made her way to the door avoiding the pieces of glass on the floor. She stumbled out in tears just as my green-eyed neighbor was about to knock. She looked back at my fleeing mother in shock and ran to the kitchen to get me a wet paper towel. When she finally joined me on the floor, my face had turned red, but my tears had dried. It was then that I saw this piece of broken mirror shattered perfectly in half, but not separated. You could see the crack going all the way down.
The reflection was of both of us, each of us on different sides of the crack. She was perfect. I would have written a sonnet from the cadence of her hips. I would have written a haiku on her lips, but we were from different worlds, and I was tired of expectations. I was tired of having to validate what my happiness should look like.
So, I reached in.
submitted by ohbutlike
to Controlfreak [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 17:05 TekAzurik I desperately need a hose recommendation
Hello folks, I don’t garden a ton but I’ve been trying to do more and I’m really struggling with hose selection. My hose hookup is near the front of my house and I primarily need to keep my hose at the back of my house, so I’ve been buying 100’ lengths, running a length to the back of the house and coiling up the rest. During the warm months (I live in the north east) I have the valve open so I don’t have to walk all the way to the front to turn the hose on. This of course puts wear on the hose and my big issue with conventional hoses was trouble coiling them when full, they would eventually kink and break. So I bought a flexihose. This one lasted all summer like this and was great but I didn’t do a great job of storing it for the winter and it got leaks. I bought another one, a third party one because flexihose wasn’t on Amazon when I looked. This one has only lasted like 2 months and now has a hole in it. I would love something that’s tough enough to withstand being full of water for 6 months but flexible enough that I can coil and uncoil it without a lot of effort. Does such a product exist? Can one patch a flexihose? Thanks!
submitted by TekAzurik
to gardening [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 17:05 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in ID Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in id. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by SchlesingerMindy323
to Idahojobs [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 17:03 Middle_Mine_7246 How to process rebalance orders?
New store here...
Before we opened, nearby stores sent us "rebalance orders" to help fill in inventory. They are sitting there in COE, but do not allow me to process them. It just says the orders have been transferred to the other stores, as if I requested the material and I'm just waiting on them to push it through.
The thing is, the other stores do not show these rebalance orders for them to process. They are still showing that they have the inventory, but so am I, as if I have already received it.
Just not sure how to process so we're all good?
submitted by Middle_Mine_7246
to sherwinwilliams [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 17:02 endersgame69 Kayobi's Days Off C14
The car dropped me off the middle of downtown, the neon lights and billboard videos were everywhere, it was a little flashy for my taste, honestly. I like some things about the city, but the mass crowds, mobs, really… they just don’t suit me. Maybe because I’m a swapper? Maybe because it’s just too busy, and it doesn’t fit with my desire to do nothing.
I craned my head back and looked up at the high tower where my target lived and probably worked. ‘I have to hand it to this country, they’re very precise.’ I mused, the exact number of his residence… I briefly considered a dramatic entrance, sprouting wings and shooting up from the ground like a superhero and smashing into the window in the form of an avenging angel.
But that… no. ‘Everybody in this country has a camera. Sooner or later I’d have to explain it, then goodbye vacations to Earth for at least a hundred years.’ I dismissed my melodramatic thought and went about it another way.
There wasn’t much I knew about Yakuza types, but odds are they owned the building he was living in. They’re a pretty efficient organization, all things considered.
That meant… “Alright they’ll have security.” I mumbled, ‘Invisibility is so boring!’ I cursed under my breath when I realized how easy that would be. I began tapping my feet on the curve as thunder rumbled overhead and clouds began to threaten rain, lightning flickered in the sky, it wouldn’t be long before I’d get drenched standing here… ‘Then I’ll have to do laundry…I hate laundry.’
I really wanted to be dramatic and make a point… ‘Fine.’ I rolled my eyes.
I walked through the front of the building, the glass doors, clean and perfect, slid open, and true to my expectations not only was there a slender woman working behind a computer, the elevator controls were not ‘by’ the elevator.
They were on the wall behind her alcove where a very large man in a black suit stood wearing a sword on his hip. ‘Huh, and I thought that was just for the movies… the gun laws here are stricter than I thought.’
Even if I couldn’t do things quite the way I wanted, I could do something else. I was an unusual sight at least, and that curious look that I drew from the pair became cautious. Her hand reached beneath her desk, while the large fellow by the elevator controls squared off to face me.
I pulled out the wallets and watched the two relax.
“Excuse me, I’m so sorry to bother you, but I came to return these. ‘Wait, if nobody catches me… did it really happen?’ I had to wonder. It wasn’t like anybody ever checked… and these guys were scum, nobody would care…and if they were out of the way?
Obviously I couldn’t do anything to the whole building. And that was overkill even in my line of work.
“They were dropped at the Toriyama store in the Shinjai district.” I explained, and the relaxed air was gone as what I said sank home.
“Floor one zero six.” The woman said, and I could swear she looked at me with pity.
“Oh… but um, the addresses on here are-” I fluttered my eyelashes at the pair and put on a nice, innocent voice.
“She said what she said.” The musclehead interrupted.
I put on a pouty face, “Oh… OK, but can’t you…?” I stopped when he hit the elevator control for me and the golden doors slid wide open.
“Alright… I’ll… I’ll go.” I darted my head over my shoulder like I was thinking about leaving, maybe making a run for it, then clutched my purse and scurried through the door.
I’m not a half bad actress if I do say so myself. I smirked and cracked my knuckles as I went up to the very top floor.
I was fairly sure I would have a welcoming party for me, and as I went up, I realized that the die was cast. ‘If I’m defending myself…’
[E’grahcrevo rettahs dna tlem] I cast the spell with my hand behind my back and against the elevator, and an electrical pulse went up and down the building, frying the electronic components just as the elevator came to a halt. I did not envy whoever had to try to fix those later.
The lights shattered, plunging everything into darkness. With no cameras, no lights, no nothing, I had no reason to fear getting caught.
So… I swapped. My arms thickened and the mana of my body began to expand around my core self, greatly increasing my size, from a human woman slightly over a meter and a half tall, to a nine and a half foot tall creature of the Fletosian wastelands, with razor sharp claws and a gigantic maw that could bite a man in half… it was a good look.
I could hear them shouting, asking for answers…answers I would give them, but that they wouldn’t need.
I let out the roar of the Fletosian warbeast, and shoved my hands through the metal elevators in one clean thrust. Light began to stream in, and screams of alarm went up.
I’m sure they were expecting a small woman that could be intimidated into answers.
But it was my answers that were the intimidation.
I stepped into the room, hard, cracking and shaking the floor as tore the elevators free and stepped into view. Screams went up, and a shot went off.
‘Alright so a few of them have guns.’ I chuckled and backhanded the nearest of the set, they were stepping back, their guns blazing, the flashes giving brief glimpses of my horror as I stalked toward them one after another. I was in front of the exit. There was no way out.
They were trapped in here with me. The doors were electronic, and there wasn’t even any backup power, I’m sure the lower floors, at least a few down, heard it all, for all the good it would do.
My claws ripped through another, who toppled with a howl.
I will spare you the details.
It wasn’t hard to figure out who the one in charge was, he was the oldest, backing away while the younger ones tried to defend him and themselves. All the while I was wondering… which is more likely to get me caught? Leaving them alive, or dead? That’s what the question came down to… if they were dead, the human authorities might investigate, and I was seen in my normal disguise…
‘Damnit… in your desire to not get wet and to play the Queen of the stage, you made a mistake, Kayobi… if they’re alive, it’ll stay nice and unofficial. Just a warning.’ I told myself, and one by one I picked them up and smashed them against the wall, if they moved or got up, I picked them up, squeezed out a scream, and smashed them there again.
Until there was one old man left with a balding scalp and surprisingly quick hands digging through a desk. He pulled out a handgun and leveled it at my chest with trembling hands.
I stopped as if the desk were a real obstacle. “Shoot me.” I said in a gutteral echoing monster voice that I borrowed from some old movies.
The gun went off. “Again.” I ordered him.
Again he shot, his lips were trembling so much I could see his teeth reflect each flash as his noise of fear became a high pitched whine, and I waited until he emptied the entire clip to no avail.
I held out the wallets and dropped them on the desk between the two of us. He looked down.
“Take them.” I said, and one hand came away from the weapon which… he was still dry firing at me as if a bullet would magically appear.
He then took the wallets and shoved them in his pocket.
‘I forgot to come up with a cool name for myself?! How did I do that?! How do I forget the cool nickname?!’ I cursed myself and just breathed hard and heavy, the hot breath kissed his sweating face, my open maw was like a chasm of doom just waiting to swallow him up.
“Shinjai. Belongs. To the Devil of Shinjai. Never. Come. Again. Or next time, I will paint this room with your blood.” I said, my bright amber eyes gleaming down at him, my grayish blue flesh gave me an almost ghostly look as the lightning outside that began in earnest, flashed and reflected against my body.
He nodded, numb, disbelieving… he was making noises that might have been words, but they didn’t want to come out.
I reached up to his gun and closed my hand over his, each finger was as thick as his whole hand, and a hundred times as strong. I began to tighten my grip, and he yanked his hand away while I crushed the weapon like tissue paper and dropped it on his desk.
“Never.” I warned him one more time.
“N-ever.” He vowed and looked at the heap of battered and broken yakuza.
I could read his face like a book, he was wondering if they were alive.
They were. But they’d be worse for wear and probably need a lot of stitches.
Wings began to emerge from my back, and I went to the wall full of windows and smashed them open, the high, howling winds blew papers around everywhere and rain began to seep into the building, I gave him one more lingering look… and jumped, spreading my wings, I began to fly home, watching his dumbfounded, stupid expression as I began to shrink into the distance.
He was probably already questioning everything about what happened, but he couldn’t very well report it to the police, and the injuries were real. With no record, and nobody willing to talk, it would be a drunken rumor and nothing more… and my little home away from home would be quite peaceful.
I made a mental note, ‘Make sure those bills get paid tomorrow, then I need to contact Celia… I’ll need her help next.’ I thought, and yawned as I realized it was late, and I still needed to eat, then sleep… then get up the following morning and…
‘Oh my… this is going to be a lot… I might need help after all.’ I shivered to think of all the shows that I might miss, but then on the other hand…
‘It’ll be a great day for binge watching.’ I thought with a smile as my place finally came back into view, and the rain began to pour.
submitted by endersgame69
to TheWorldMaker [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 17:01 endersgame69 Kayobi's Days Off C13
“There you go.” I said and smiled a little as I handed the bag to the customer. He gave me a shy little bow and headed for the door. I was actually impressed he could bring himself to do that much. Chiefly because his purchase was one of the dirty magazines from the center aisle. His ‘friend’ clearly lacked the same courage and was standing there just on the other side ‘reading’. If you want to call it that, that is.
I had to admit, Suki knew how to arrange her store, I never thought about it before, but the aisles with ‘that’ material was facing ‘away’ from the register and had another pair of parallel aisles on either side of it, and two running perpendicular thus affording the patron some small degree of ‘privacy’ by letting them feel like they’re boxed in.
Those who visited that aisle as the day went on seemed to buy ‘those’ magazines roughly eight times out of ten, an exceptional ratio. I knew it was exceptional because tragically I have sometimes been forced to run errands for myself. When that does happen, I’ve seen what people do in the stores, I’ve seen those naughty magazines here and there, and I’ve seen young people walk by, eyeing those anxiously, desperately even.
But seldom did they buy even though they wanted to, they didn’t have the courage to look, so they couldn’t take the next step. It’s funny how that works, it really is.
Suki got them to look at it, and therefore usually got them to buy.
My estimation of my friend went up another notch. I smiled when I thought about her, she was always offering me work. Always a kind word. Always encouraging me. ‘You’re a smart girl, you could do anything you want with your life. You don’t have to just lie around and wait for life to happen, come work at my store, that way you can take care of yourself better.’
Of course there were rumors that I was rich, I was after all, a foreigner living in this country with no job, there’s no way I was getting public assistance. It was hard not to like Suki’s motherly attitude toward me, who she saw as a wayward young woman frittering away her days.
But I had no idea Suki was so savvy about her business, right down to where she put the naughty things that Jin probably snuck looks at whenever he could, like most boys his age.
The ding of a new customer caught my ear and I looked over to see a slew of students stroll in, then darted my eyes to the clock. ‘Really? That long?’ I asked myself, somehow the day had just slipped past without my noticing.
Maybe because there was always something to do, check the shelves, wipe up a spill, process a transaction… The time had slipped past with hardly a blip, and now it was later in the afternoon and school was out. I looked past the gaggle of young boys and girls to the clear day outside. Jin wouldn’t be with them, he’d be spending at least a few hours in cram school. I normally wouldn’t see him, if at all, for a few more hours.
You’d think he’d get more help with his math and other subjects there, but? For some reason he liked to ask me.
I waved to the students coming in and listened while they chattered away about whatever school drama had them occupied today. “Welcome to Toriyama’s.” I said, and then my brow furrowed not one minute later when Jin Toriyama walked in with the look of a stunned bunny on his face.
“Wha- why?” He asked, and then his eyes caught me behind the counter.
“Kayobi?!” He exclaimed and strode swiftly over the floor to stand across from me.
I snorted. “Yeah. That’s my name. Can I help you find something?” I couldn’t resist the urge. I wanted to mess with him a little.
“Wh-What are you doing here?” He stumbled over his words as he rushed them out.
“Would you believe I’m counting how many dirty magazines I see young boys buy?” I asked with a smirk, and as he turned red in the face I added, “So, what’s your number? Or do you just sneak peaks at them?”
“Ah, wha- I don’t… you can’t… this isn’t-” He stammered and stuttered and shook as he was flustered, and I did all that I could to restrain myself from laughter.
“Some of those were words. But you need to put them together right, come on, you can do it, you’re a big boy!” I clapped my hands to urge him on.
“I… why are you here?!” He demanded, his voice going up a bit in pitch as his flusteredness overtook him.
“Because here is where I take the money for the stuff people want to buy, dummy.” I said with a smirk, “Surely you’ve worked here long enough to know that.”
“That’s not what I mean, you…” He stopped, he searched for something to call me, “you!” He finally finished.
“Brilliant retort. This is why you shouldn’t be quitting cram school.” I said with a straight face.
“But… but how did you get the key?” He asked and put his hand into the pocket of his dark pants like he was checking to see if his copy was still there.
“I went by to see your mom, she gave it to me, I offered to handle the place until she gets out. She gave me her copy.” I answered, “What, did you think I broke in here?” I smirked a little, losing my deadpan expression and I struck a prowler pose, hunched over with fingers turned down and pantomimed some creeping steps. “Yes, you caught me, my secret identity is Kayobi the catburglar, and I’m so good at breaking and entering that I don’t even need a toolkit. I just teleport.”
“But…” He paused, looked over his shoulder to see that the other students who went in before him were busy elsewhere in the store, then leaned toward me and said, “How is she paying you.”
“Wait… we’re supposed to get paid? Is that why people work?” I asked and covered my open mouth with one hand, “I am shocked. Just… shocked… nay, dumbfounded! I have found the dumb, so stunned am I.”
All he could do was blink at me, so I finally showed the poor boy some mercy, “Relax, I told her I’d do it for free. When she gets out of the hospital she can just do my laundry and make a few meals and we’ll call it square.”
“I-I-I didn’t expect to find my Buddah in hell today…” He stammered, but I just shrugged it off.
“I just don’t want to do chores. So don’t worry about it. Go on and head back to cram school, you’ll be late, but just tell them you’re late because you got bitten by a stray dog or something.” I said, and he blinked at me again as he processed what I said.
“That’s… not how that expression works… not exactly, anyway.” He muttered and I reached up and flipped my orangish hair back with one hand to remind him I’m not from here.
Some of my colleagues asked me once why I don’t disguise myself as somebody who looks like everybody in the neighborhood and whatnot. And the answer is pretty simple. From my colleagues' perspective, if you look like everyone else, you blend in perfectly.
But that’s why I’m better than all of them at my job. It’s not enough to look like people, you have to act like them too, and cultural norms touch everything. On one world, when you’re about to enter a room you’ve never been to, you always tap your foot three times to let the spirits inside know you’re coming. Don’t do that, and people will know you’re a fraud, or at least you’ll stand out in a negative way.
On another world, every first meeting between strangers involves an extensive discussion of ancestry to try to find some common ground and minimize the chance of violence. If I were to go there disguised as one of those, I’d fall flat and get into trouble fast.
But when you’re obviously foreign, people excuse your ignorance as, ‘Well they’re not from here, of course they don’t know better.’
So misusing an expression slightly draws no notice. Thus I blend in by standing out.
Yeah, I’m the best. “Whatever.” I smirked at Jin and gave him a gentle punch on the shoulder, “Hurry up and get back, University waits for no one, and neither do the teachers here, I’ll lock up tonight when I’m done.” I promised.
Jin’s entire body shook, his lower lip quivered, “If you’re not going to buy something, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
His eyes were full of tears, and he shouted, “Thank you!” He then bowed at the waist, turned, and ran out of the store as fast as his feet could carry him.
Various heads turned toward me, he’d come in after the others rather than with them, so it didn’t seem like they realized who he was, and his voice had such an emotional crack to it he must have sounded like a stranger.
I snorted, “It’s nothing, I just promised not to tell his mother about the dirty magazine he bought.”
I recognized some of the kids in the story, and I saw relief flood the faces of the young males who promptly flocked to ‘that’ section now that they knew I wouldn’t be telling on them.
And the rest of my first day passed without incident.
The sun was descending and it was getting darker by the minute. I locked the doors when the last customer left, closing myself inside, and went behind the counter to where the two pairs of pants lay crumpled in a heap where I’d kicked them before.
I crouched down and bit my tongue while I searched the pockets for what I sought.
A pair of wallets. Wallets stuffed with cash. I pocketed that immediately, shoving it into my purse. “Lucky me.” I thought, “I’ll buy myself a few things here before I go.”
A few dozen bento boxes, sushi platters, and some ready to eat meals and lots of sodas.
I made a list in my head, then pulled out the I.D. cards of the two twits, just like I expected, there were addresses in place, I wonder how they explained themselves to their colleagues later. ‘That must have been hilarious.’ I thought and let out a long, loud laugh as I tried to picture their confused answers.
I stowed their wallets in my purse too, put their pants under one arm, and quickly spent their money on what I’d need for my fridge and the like for the better part of the next week.
I had bags loaded down with stuff, and then with a flash, I was gone and standing in front of my door. From there, I vanished again and reappeared just inside.
I dropped my stuff on the mess of a coffee table, picked up my phone, and began to check the locations on these identification cards. I whistled. ‘Downtown? Wow, pricey.’ I thought, and unfortunately, it was also very busy.
“Great. So it’s going to be a chore.” I muttered and looked longingly at the television. I was going to marathon watch a show about a wolf goddess falling in love with a mortal human as they traveled together.
But no… I have to spend at least an hour or two on these twits. “Getting between me and my NEET time… unforgivable.” I growled and called for a car to come pick me up.
‘Oh well… maybe I can find some way to make this at least a little bit fun.’ I thought, and tried to stay positive about it as I walked back out of my apartment again.
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2023.06.02 17:01 WhatevsMcGee I wish I was someone who could do public confrontation…
… because I would’ve ripped the lady who parked in the “customers with children” spot (without a child) at the grocery store a new one. Meanwhile, I’m 8 months pregnant and trying to wrangle a 2.5yo and had to park further away because this lady pulled in front of me and took the spot. I gave her as much stink eye as I could muster, but I’m not a public confrontation person, and the look on her face showed she clearly didn’t GAF about my dirty looks. She was just chatting away on her phone, enjoying her short walk through the parking lot.
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2023.06.02 17:00 _call-me-al_ [Fri, Jun 02 2023] TL;DR — This is what you missed in the last 24 hours on Reddit
If you want to receive this as a daily email in your inbox, you can now join at this link 5,000 New Species Identified at Site of Planned Deep-Sea Mine Comments Link Japan vending machines to automatically offer free food if earthquake hits Comments Link Seven of the nine thresholds that allow for human life on earth have already been crossed: A new report quantifies the climatic, natural and pollutant limits that ensure the safe and orderly maintenance of civilization Comments Link Georgia gun shop owner shutters store after mass shootings targeting children
Florida man points gun at woman, threatens to kill her after friend backs into wrong driveway
Biden falls at US Air Force Academy graduation ceremony - ABC News
Makers of PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ Covered up the Dangers
Astrophysicists confirm the faintest galaxy ever seen in the early universe
Coral reefs host millions of bacteria, revealing Earth’s hidden biodiversity
Pentagon awards SpaceX with Ukraine contract for Starlink satellite internet
Russians claimed they were not trying to reach the Moon first, but in 1989 a group of American aerospace engineers went to Moscow and finally saw the Soviets’ failed lunar-landing craft for themselves
Boeing finds two serious problems with Starliner just weeks before launch. Launch delayed indefinitely.
A catatonic woman 'awakened' after 20 years. Her story may change psychiatry. (No Paywall)
US births in 2022 didn't return to pre-pandemic levels
North America is now the growth leader for new battery factories. Incentives offered by the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are the catalyst for the surge. China is still the leading battery cell manufacturing hub, but its share will decline in “coming years.”
[NSFW] People who have found a dead body, what's the story?
What is something that blew your mind once you realized it?
What’s better than sex?
TIL The Navy contacted the Village People to use "In the Navy" in an advertising campaign for television and radio. They gave the rights to the song for free on the condition that the Navy help them shoot the music video. The Navy provided them with a warship, several aircraft, and plenty of seamen
TIL A Dominican man survived nearly a month at sea with nothing but ketchup and seasonings.
TIL: The snack Pringles can't legally call themselves "chips" because they're not made by slicing a potato. (They're made from the same powder as instant mashed potatoes.)
[OC] Trust in Media 2023: What news outlets do Americans trust most for information?
[OC] Population size comparison between nations with and without nuclear weapons (reposted because it was taken down)
[OC] The Carbon Footprint Of Nearly Everything
If onion, bell pepper and celery is the holy trinity of Louisiana cuisine, what are some other trinities you can think of for other cuisines?
What food safety knowledge did you learn late in life?
Favorite dish to cook and drop off for others (besides lasagna)?
[Homemade] Ramen w/ Leftover Char Siu Pork
[homemade] Italian hero
[homemade] lasagna and garlic bread
Oppenheimer gets surprising R rating
'Bullet Train' (2022) is an extremely entertaining and the cast shines, led by Brad Pitt at his magnetic best.
Official Discussion - Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse [SPOILERS]
The Great Sound Wave Off Kanagawa, Claydoh/Me, woodburning and stain, 2023
Public Figure! Influencer #verified, Raoof Haghighi, Graphite on paper, 2021
Girl with a pearl earring, Loren Miller, oil, 2023
Netflix Shareholders Reject Executive Pay Packages, Days After Writers Guild Urged “No” Vote
‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 4 (Final Season) Wraps Filming
CNN Is Shedding Anchors, Producers. Rivals Keep Picking Them Up
During my first spacewalk, a colleague took a photo of me photographing him!
My 91 year old mother's apartment is just 200 meters away from Rammsteins main stage. 😬
The Face of the Statue of Liberty - 1800’s; Before Being Attached to Body
2 big koi?
14th Century bridge construction in Prague
Chickens come running to greet their human when she returns home
Making of Vennetta
This book titled Uncle Willys Tickles
These birds used a ribbon for their nest
A number 1 license plate
UK double-decker bus racing
Leaked audio of what an ejection looks like in MLB
1970 hot dog cooker
*It's never a veterinarian that they are looking for *
Dads can’t seem to remember how to skip
I get it now
Cat loves being buried in sand
Contagious red fox laughter which will make your day.
Kitty provides complimentary massages to her owner’s clients as they receive eyelash services.
Get this as a daily email!
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2023.06.02 16:59 endersgame69 Kayobi's Days Off C12
The early part of the day was very quiet. Two people rushing in with panicked expressions raced in and snagged travel sewing kits meant for quick repairs. The relief on their faces… well, it felt pretty good to be able to provide what they needed on the spot. I smiled, pointed to the card reader, and wished them luck.
I got some funny looks, as well I should, given that they lived in this complex. The pair, one young man, one young woman, each wearing old suits that didn’t quite fit with the times or fit with their bodies, had clearly borrowed the clothes for job interviews and saw disaster in the form of a sudden and unexpectedly discovered tears in the old cloth.
If the Toriyama store hadn’t been there? Well, I doubt their day would have gone as smoothly. ‘No wonder she likes running it.’ I thought with a little smile on my face while I watched the wall clock continue to move forward one minute at a time.
I stopped clockwatching to go wipe down the counter by the bento. There was a sink and a soft cloth there waiting for use, and given the circumstances I figured… ‘Why not? What else is there to do?’ There were no customers for a fair bit, which wasn’t that surprising given the hour.
Kids were at school, most functional adults were at work, and nonfunctional ones tended not to have much in the way of money. The warm water felt good on my hands and before long the clean counter was cleaner than before.
From there I thought… ”Now what?” And I put my hands on my hips to look around the store. I looked toward the doors. ‘Still nobody.’ I thought, and went to check the inventory of things that were currently on the shelves. Dried seaweed was low… so I went to the back room behind the register to check the stock of goods… and frowned.
‘Alright… that’s not good. No, that’s bad, that’s very, very bad.’ The thought ran through my head as I looked within what was clearly the storage area for restocking… which was instead a sad sort of place, clean, like the rest of the store.
But that is what made it sad. See, I’d never held a real job on Earth, but I did know enough from movies, t.v. and manga that if you wanted to show that a place was dying, whether it be a restaurant or a store or whatever, the best way to do that was to show that it was damn near empty. ‘I’m out of… we ran out of… sorry, we don’t have…’ Whenever you heard that phrase in entertainment media, it was meant to show that a place was not doing well for itself.
There should have been multiple big boxes on pallets stacked way up, with just… all the snacks, not to mention all the cleaning supplies and prepackaged food and…
I had a sinking feeling. This was just the dry goods, the stuff that was plastic wrapped and packaged and so on.
There was a side door in this area, heavy and metal, it opened into the freezer. I cracked that door open and went inside, the icy chill hit my skin all at once and I wrapped my arms around my body and gave an audible shiver. “Brrr!” I said to myself as I ventured within.
This place should have had stacks of meat and drinks meant for the refrigerated section, all the basics that kept people going through that last hour or two.
But instead there were only a handful of boxes along the wall, none were higher than two deep up and two deep out, each aligned according to the product on the shelf.
But most of the produce shelf had just plain nothing.
My mind turned back to the two thugs who’d come into the store, and I spun on my heel, striding out of the deep freeze and venturing back to the register.
Still nobody was coming in, so I opened the register, checked for the paper envelope and cracked it open. There, I started counting.
Human money confuses me to no end. Every country has its own, and every country values every other country’s currency at a different rate from their own. Even the rate at which they valued their own currency didn’t actually match what was written on their damn stupid pieces of paper.
All I could do while I counted was grumble. “Damn stupid confusing inefficient barbaric primitive nonsensical absurd ridiculous daft temple to madness, forget why… how in all the hells of all the gods in all the Universe does anyone do anything this way?!”
I managed to get a count of the money within and tried to work out the relative cost compared to what I spent on things.
“So… let me work this out…” I mumbled and began drumming my fingers on the counter next to the register, “I pay that for a pizza… and this is like a few hundred pizzas so…”
My mouth dropped. “This is like a thousand pizzas?!” I shrieked with shock and horror… “No way?!” I couldn’t believe my own math, so I went to the far office. I’d seen through there sometimes when the door was open, and I knew Suki had a desk in there.
I tried the handle, it turned, it wasn’t locked. The wooden door swung inward when I pushed, and my eyes were greeted by a dizzying array of scattered papers, notebooks open with various numbers that were just… just dizzying to behold.
It was the exact opposite of the neat and orderly existence outside. I hesitated, fingers still curled around the doorhandle, my NEET brain screamed ‘Flee! This is an unholy land filled with math and confusion!’ But I did not flee.
I did not turn away.
I did. Not. Run.
I stepped within, leaving the door open at my back to both hear incoming customers and to ensure I could easily flee if the numbers assaulting my brain began to overwhelm me.
I did feel a little guilty, enough so that I couldn’t bring myself to actually sit in the cracked leather chair. The poor thing had clearly seen much better days, it was tilted slightly where one wheel was broken, once smooth brown back was tilted in such a way that suggested it was probably broken and couldn’t be leaned back in without it falling apart entirely.
There was one thing that perhaps saved my brain from a meltdown.
When you’re late paying a human organization, they really want you to know it. So a lot of the papers I saw were stamped ‘late notice’ or some variation thereof.
‘If she’s paying protection money to some yakuza baddies… no wonder she can’t pay her bills.’ My frown deepened as I began looking at one paper after another, just what was in that one single envelope was enough to pay most of the bottom numbers on the bills I picked up, and based on the dates, these were cumulative months.
“With that? She’d be just fine…” I mumbled and dropped the papers to fall like feathers in the breeze back down to the desk. I narrowed my eyes down at the desk.
Nobody needs to tell me that I can be sort of lazy. That’s the whole point of my vacations. But I really, really, like being a Painter. It’s not just that I’m good at it, I really see value in what I do. I hate dictators, they don’t just take lives, they take happiness. From where I’m sitting… standing, that is, these guys are just small scale dictators, leeches.
They were exactly the sort I do not like.
I heard the ding of the door as a customer walked in and hastened out to meet them. “Welcome to Toriyama’s.” I said with a smile as I stood in front of the register. I kicked the pants of the two petty tin pots out of my way, and started planning what I would do when my day was done.
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2023.06.02 16:58 hey-mr-curiosity 常見佛教冥想修行 Q&A Common Q&A on Buddhist Meditation Practice
佛陀所指的開悟究竟是什麼？ What exactly did the Buddha mean by enlightenment?
開悟是指透過冥想來解脫一切潛意識對顯意識的束縛，包括本能、情緒和慾望等等後， 最後達到對自己意識有極致的覺知和平等的境界，因腦中分泌大量DMT後進入一種特殊意識狀態， 名為「涅槃」。超越涅槃後可證名為「阿羅漢果」的境界，而佛陀也是這個境界。
Enlightenment refers to the liberation of all subconscious bindings on conscious awareness through meditation, including instincts, emotions, desires, etc., ultimately achieving ultimate awareness and an equal state of mind. This is achieved by entering a special state of consciousness called “Nirvana” after the secretion of a large amount of DMT in the brain. Beyond Nirvana is a state called “Arhat,” which is the same state that Buddha achieved. 正確原始佛法修行目的與方向－「阿耨多羅三藐三菩提」亦即是「無上正等正覺」The correct purpose and direction of original Buddhist practice is to attain “Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi”, which is also known as “supreme perfect enlightenment and equality”
禪修是思想或邏輯上的活動，還是身體或意識層面的活動？ Is meditation a mental or logical activity, or a physical or conscious activity?M
Conscious activity 正確原始佛法修行目的與方向－「阿耨多羅三藐三菩提」亦即是「無上正等正覺」The correct purpose and direction of original Buddhist practice is to attain “Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi”, which is also known as “supreme perfect enlightenment and equality”
比如我邏輯上可以接受或相信，我們所看到的世界都是幻想，世界的真相也許就是類似《黑客帝國 Matrix》的世界。但我沒有身體上的感受，也沒有看到或感受到那個我認為的真實世界，這樣算不算開悟？ For example, I can logically accept or believe that the world we see is all an illusion and that the truth of the world may be similar to the world in The Matrix. But I don’t have the physical sensation, nor have I seen or felt the reality that I think exists. Would this count as enlightenment?
Understanding the concept that all things in the world are illusory requires not only logical comprehension but also perceptual understanding. This understanding and perception is meant to help solve issues encountered during meditation and mindfulness practices, such as letting go of attachment through a realization of the emptiness of the world. All principles and thought tools are simply meant to aid meditation and mindfulness practices. Enlightenment can only be achieved through meditation and mindfulness practices. 「大道至簡」: 禪修就是單純對意識的理解與體會的融合
冥想（打坐）是否能開悟？ Can meditation lead to enlightenment?
Certainly. The “Oneness” referred to in the Tao Te Ching and the Tai Ping Jing, the “Zuo Wang” of Zhuangzi, and the “Samadhi,” “Vipassana,” and “Samatha-Vipassana” of Buddhism, all refer to “meditation,” and suggest that through meditation, one can liberate oneself from the attachment and influence of the subconscious on the conscious mind. 正確原始佛法修行目的與方向－「阿耨多羅三藐三菩提」亦即是「無上正等正覺」The correct purpose and direction of original Buddhist practice is to attain “Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi”, which is also known as “supreme perfect enlightenment and equality” 原始佛教的本質 The Essence of Primitive Buddhism — 唯一正確摩訶般若波羅密多心經詳解 A detailed and correct explanation of the Heart Sutra of Prajnaparamita
冥想（打坐）的目的是什麼？ What is the purpose of meditation?
The purpose is to allow the conscious mind to gain complete control while the subconscious mind is emptied. Eventually, one surpasses the final resistance from the subconscious mind, leading to a state of near-death (Nirvana, which is considered a test of death), and becomes an awakened one (Arhat). This state is similar to the ultimate stillness referred to in the “Qing Jing Jing” (Sutra of Pure and Tranquil Mind). 正確原始佛法修行目的與方向－「阿耨多羅三藐三菩提」亦即是「無上正等正覺」The correct purpose and direction of original Buddhist practice is to attain “Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi”, which is also known as “supreme perfect enlightenment and equality” 原始佛教的本質 The Essence of Primitive Buddhism — 唯一正確摩訶般若波羅密多心經詳解 A detailed and correct explanation of the Heart Sutra of Prajnaparamita 《太上老君常說清靜經》The Classic of Always Being Pure and Tranquil (Qingjing Jing), Spoken by Laozi of the Highest Clarity－正統原始道教冥想修行之法 The Meditation Method of Authentic Primitive Taoist Practice
神通是否存在？ Does supernatural power exist?
Supernatural power only exists in the realm of consciousness and will only manifest when one is detached from the physical body. 認識禪修冥想當中可能出現的意識訊號 （副作用）和極大地提升情緒控制和禪修冥想效率的方法Understanding the consciousness signals (“side effects”) that may arise during Zen meditation and greatly improving emotional control and the efficiency of Zen meditation.
神通更類似於禪定中的幻覺？ Is supernatural power more like an illusion in meditation?
It is a side effect. The various illusions that appear during meditation are only some unnecessary signals in the brain, which may cause one to become stagnant in their practice due to self-satisfaction from illusion. 認識禪修冥想當中可能出現的意識訊號 （副作用）和極大地提升情緒控制和禪修冥想效率的方法Understanding the consciousness signals (“side effects”) that may arise during Zen meditation and greatly improving emotional control and the efficiency of Zen meditation.
神通是自己大腦偽造出來的嗎？ Is supernatural power something that the brain creates?
It depends on the situation of the individual. It could be an illusion, but since it is impossible to distinguish, it is best to abandon these seemingly illusory feelings. 認識禪修冥想當中可能出現的意識訊號 （副作用）和極大地提升情緒控制和禪修冥想效率的方法Understanding the consciousness signals (“side effects”) that may arise during Zen meditation and greatly improving emotional control and the efficiency of Zen meditation.
如何能看到或感受到佛教所指的「真實」？How can one see or feel the “truth” that Buddhism refers to?
不被潛意識影響， 讓顯意識完全顯露。超越本能和潛意識對顯意識的限制 （情緒、慾望甚至對死亡的恐懼）。
By not being influenced by the subconscious mind and allowing the conscious mind to fully manifest. To transcend instincts (limitations of emotions, desires, and even fear of death). 原始佛教的本質 The Essence of Primitive Buddhism — 唯一正確摩訶般若波羅密多心經詳解 A detailed and correct explanation of the Heart Sutra of Prajnaparamita
透過冥想（打坐）實現開悟的唯一條件是「抛棄掉所有感官與思維的干擾」？ Is the only condition for achieving enlightenment by meditation is “abandon all interference from the senses and thoughts”?
Yes, it is to completely abandon all interference from the senses and thoughts in a purely conscious realm. 原始佛法本為「意識學」為何佛法卻常常被誤解成「哲學」或「心靈雞湯」甚至「宗教」Why is it that the original Buddhist teachings, which were meant to be a study of consciousness, are often misunderstood as “philosophy”, “inspirational literature”, or even “religion”? 原始佛教的本質 The Essence of Primitive Buddhism — 唯一正確摩訶般若波羅密多心經詳解 A detailed and correct explanation of the Heart Sutra of Prajnaparamita
冥想（打坐）初學者常常感受到自己被自己的思維束縛，並未進入潛意識世界，甚至感受不到潛意識的存在，該如何理解潛意識對顯意識的束縛？Beginner meditators often feel that their thoughts are holding them back from entering the subconscious world, and may not even sense the presence of their subconscious. How should we understand the subconscious’s hold on the conscious mind?
In fact, this is a misunderstanding and a misjudgment that arises from a lack of profound understanding of one’s own consciousness. Being “held back” by thoughts is actually not related to the conscious mind (reason), but rather a “force” that drives and influences the conscious mind to think. For example, if your subconscious keeps giving you thoughts, and you keep investing in thinking about them, and then releasing some emotions and desires (feeling good, curiosity, attachment to the unknown, etc.), these emotions and desires will encourage you to keep thinking. This situation is equivalent to your conscious mind being driven and controlled by the subconscious mind behind the scenes. The subconscious mind disguises itself as the behavior of the conscious mind, making it difficult to sense its presence, because the subconscious mind is most afraid of being “aware”. To understand the relationship and operation between the subconscious and conscious mind, one must first detach and observe the inner consciousness from a third-person perspective, try to separate the attachment of the subconscious to the conscious mind, and then observe them separately to gain insight. 認識禪修冥想當中可能出現的意識訊號 （副作用）和極大地提升情緒控制和禪修冥想效率的方法Understanding the consciousness signals (“side effects”) that may arise during Zen meditation and greatly improving emotional control and the efficiency of Zen meditation. 避免陷入因對世界的過度好奇而產生的思考消耗與疲勞 Avoid the mental exhaustion and fatigue that comes from being overly curious about the world
冥想打座會否「走火入魔」？ Will meditating lead to “possession by spirits” (or being “crazy”)?
坊間流傳有很多種冥想方法， 不論古時流傳在各種宗教經典當中的方法， 例如原始道教中的「守一」、莊子的「坐忘」、佛教的「定慧」（或稱「止觀」）、《清靜經》的內觀方法和《太乙金華宗旨》提及的「回光之法」等等，現代在互聯網上也有很多各式各樣的自我催眠或者冥想方法，例如「阿卡西紀錄」冥想法、薩滿心靈動物冥想法、氣功觀身冥想法、神像觀修法、「地獄旅遊」等等新興的冥想甚至「通靈」方法，例如基督靈恩教派的「聖靈擊倒與方言」、巫術宗教文化的「僮身法」等等。 的確， 有部份人沒有了解過自己的意識運作之前就嘗試各式各樣的冥想方法最後導致出現一些嚴重的精神問題，甚至出現被認為是「鬼附」的現象求助各類型宗教的法師為其作出驅鬼行為， 甚至因此流傳冥想打座前需要設定「結界」或進行一些宗教儀式如曬聖水、在一個受神保護的地方進行冥想等等，不然就如打開身體的「門」後被鬼所附體。導致這些意識上的問題其根本原因是「錯誤的冥想方法和動機」。
There are many types of meditation methods that have been passed down through various religious scriptures throughout history, such as the “guarding the one” method in original Taoism, the “sitting and forgetting” method in Zhuangzi, the “samadhi and prajna” (or “stopping and seeing”) method in Buddhism, the introspective method in the “Qingjing Jing,” and the “method of returning light” mentioned in the “Taiyi Jinhua Zongzhi,” etc. Nowadays, there are also many different self-hypnosis or meditation methods available on the internet, such as the “Akashic Records” meditation method, the shamanic animal spirit meditation method, the qigong visualization meditation method, the statue contemplation method, the “hell travel” meditation, and even “mediumship” methods e.g. the “falling of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues” in the Pentecostal denomination, and the “possession ceremony” in witchcraft religious culture, and so on. However, some people who have not understood how their consciousness works have tried various meditation methods without proper guidance, resulting in serious mental problems and even phenomena believed to be “possession by spirits,” leading them to seek help from various religious masters to perform exorcism rituals. Therefore, it is said that one needs to set up a “boundary” or perform some religious rituals such as sunning holy water or meditating in a place protected by gods before meditating, otherwise, one may be possessed by spirits like opening the door to one’s body. The root cause of these conscious problems is “wrong meditation methods and motivations.”
根據本人了解，很多所謂「錯誤的冥想」行為導致精神失常的情況大概有以下幾點： Based on my understanding, there are several factors that can lead to mental disorders caused by so-called “wrong meditation” practices:
- 帶著過度的情緒慾望和一些不切實際的期待和執著進行冥想行為。例如為了看見死去的親人、為了到地獄旅行、為了開自己的「第三眼」、為了知道自己的所謂「心靈動物」等等奇怪的目的進行冥想打座行為。帶著大量的情緒慾望和執著去冥想打座是非常危險的行為。 Engaging in meditation with excessive emotional desires and unrealistic expectations and attachments, such as meditating to see deceased relatives, travel to hell, open one’s “third eye,” or know one’s so-called “spirit animal.” Meditating with a lot of emotional desires and attachments is a very dangerous behaviour.
- 過度投入到自己潛意識的幻象。即使身體出現一點點「異常（副作用）」也會對其異常執著；也會有人看到很多潛意識所提供的「畫面」， 並主動地投入和窮追一些在冥想期間潛意識製造的虛幻的處境當中， 不能自拔。 Overly indulging in illusions of one’s subconscious mind. Even if the body experiences a little “abnormality (side effect),” some people will be extremely attached to it. Some may see a lot of “images” provided by their subconsciousness and actively immerse themselves in and pursue some illusory situations created by their subconsciousness during meditation, unable to extricate themselves.
- 在冥想打座期間一遇到任何問題馬上主動放棄顯意識的控制，完全交出自己意識的所有控制權給潛意識，導致潛意識當中儲存的「垃圾」大量湧現，例如童年陰影、情緒慾望等等。在冥想期間完全放棄顯意識對潛意識的覺知和平等心，甘願被潛意識吞噬是對自己非常不負責任和消極的行為，這也是大多數人冥想後出現精神異常的主要原因。 Giving up conscious control at the slightest problem during the meditation period and completely surrendering all control of one’s consciousness to the subconsciousness, leads to a large amount of “garbage” stored in the subconsciousness emerging, such as childhood shadows, emotional desires, etc. Completely giving up the awareness and equanimity of the conscious mind towards the subconsciousness and willingly being swallowed up by the subconsciousness is very irresponsible and passive behaviour oneself, and it is also the main reason why most people experience mental abnormalities after meditation.
Meditation is a practice that trains the conscious with equanimity and mindfulness, to get rid of subconscious attachment to conscious. It is like sailing on the ocean, where thoughts, emotions, and desires are like various conditions on the sea. Sometimes there are calm winds and smooth sailing, while other times there are storms and rough waters. Through this practice, we train ourselves to face the changing conditions of the sea with equanimity and mindfulness, so that we do not capsize and sink into the ocean. This is meditation. 正確的禪修狀態必然是顯意識活躍，人會進入異常清醒明朗和極度專注的狀態，潛意識在這期間的控制權會被大大削弱，所以是完全沒有理由需要擔心任何外來或內在的原因導致因冥想而突然精神失常 。
The correct state of meditation necessarily involves active consciousness. People will enter a state of abnormal clarity and extreme focus, and the control of the subconscious will be greatly weakened during this period. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason to worry about any external or internal factors causing sudden mental illness due to meditation. Before starting meditation, do not have high expectations for it, such as wanting to gain supernatural powers and wisdom, or expecting meditation to bring you peace and joy. This will lead to attachment in your practice. Meditation has ups and downs; you may not notice significant personal changes even after months of practice. Don’t be too attached to the results or past meditation experiences. Persist in taking it one step at a time, quietly observing the blossoming of flowers and experiencing every moment in your practice. 原始佛教「止觀雙運」(或稱「定慧雙修」）冥想打坐和控制情緒慾望方法詳解 In-depth explanation of the primitive Buddhism’s “Samatha-Vipassana” meditation, emotion and desire control 認識禪修冥想當中可能出現的意識訊號 （副作用）和極大地提升情緒控制和禪修冥想效率的方法Understanding the consciousness signals (“side effects”) that may arise during Zen meditation and greatly improving emotional control and the efficiency of Zen meditation. 正確原始佛法修行目的與方向－「阿耨多羅三藐三菩提」亦即是「無上正等正覺」The correct purpose and direction of original Buddhist practice is to attain “Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi”, which is also known as “supreme perfect enlightenment and equality”
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