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IT'S WHAT YOU WANT: The Yankees defeated the Dodgers by a score of 4-1 - June 04, 2023 @ 07:10 PM EDT
2023.06.05 03:47 Yankeebot IT'S WHAT YOU WANT: The Yankees defeated the Dodgers by a score of 4-1 - June 04, 2023 @ 07:10 PM EDT
Game Status: Final - Score: 4-1 Yankees
Links & Info
| ||Yankees Batters ||AB ||R ||H ||RBI ||BB ||K ||LOB ||AVG ||OBP ||SLG |
|1 ||Torres - 2B ||4 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||1 ||1 ||.258 ||.333 ||.422 |
|2 ||Rizzo - 1B ||3 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||2 ||2 ||.293 ||.365 ||.484 |
|3 ||Stanton - DH ||4 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||2 ||2 ||.271 ||.306 ||.593 |
|4 ||Calhoun, W - LF ||2 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||.241 ||.314 ||.380 |
| ||Cabrera, O - LF ||1 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||.199 ||.249 ||.314 |
|5 ||LeMahieu - 3B ||4 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||3 ||3 ||.239 ||.301 ||.396 |
|6 ||Bauers - RF ||4 ||1 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||.238 ||.342 ||.524 |
|7 ||Kiner-Falefa - CF ||3 ||1 ||1 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||.222 ||.269 ||.341 |
|8 ||Higashioka - C ||4 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||2 ||.209 ||.258 ||.363 |
|9 ||Volpe - SS ||4 ||1 ||2 ||2 ||0 ||1 ||1 ||.193 ||.268 ||.363 |
| ||Totals ||33 ||4 ||5 ||4 ||4 ||10 ||12 || || || |
|BATTING: 2B: Stanton (4, Phillips, E). HR: Volpe (9, 9th inning off Ferguson, 1 on, 2 out). TB: Bauers; Kiner-Falefa; Stanton 2; Volpe 5. RBI: Cabrera, O (17); Higashioka (15); Volpe 2 (26). 2-out RBI: Volpe 2. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: LeMahieu 2; Stanton; Volpe. Team RISP: 1-for-8. Team LOB: 6. |
|FIELDING: Pickoffs: Peralta, Wa (Smith, W.D. at 1st base). |
| ||Dodgers Batters ||AB ||R ||H ||RBI ||BB ||K ||LOB ||AVG ||OBP ||SLG |
|1 ||Betts - RF ||4 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||1 ||.257 ||.362 ||.532 |
|2 ||Freeman, F - 1B ||4 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||1 ||.331 ||.402 ||.558 |
|3 ||Smith, W.D. - C ||3 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||.308 ||.411 ||.521 |
|4 ||Muncy - 3B ||4 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||2 ||0 ||.203 ||.333 ||.513 |
|5 ||Martinez - DH ||4 ||1 ||1 ||1 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||.276 ||.316 ||.621 |
|6 ||Peralta - LF ||3 ||0 ||2 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||.242 ||.277 ||.348 |
|7 ||Vargas, M - 2B ||2 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||1 ||.227 ||.330 ||.414 |
|8 ||Taylor, Ch - SS ||3 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||2 ||2 ||.211 ||.279 ||.474 |
|9 ||Outman - CF ||2 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||1 ||0 ||.230 ||.319 ||.454 |
| ||Totals ||29 ||1 ||4 ||1 ||3 ||8 ||5 || || || |
|BATTING: 2B: Peralta (6, Germán). HR: Martinez (14, 7th inning off Germán, 0 on, 2 out). TB: Martinez 4; Peralta 3; Vargas, M. RBI: Martinez (41). 2-out RBI: Martinez. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Taylor, Ch; Freeman, F; Vargas, M. Team RISP: 0-for-3. Team LOB: 4. |
|FIELDING: E: Muncy (6, fielding); Graterol (2, throw). |
|Yankees Pitchers ||IP ||H ||R ||ER ||BB ||K ||HR ||P-S ||ERA |
|Germán ||6.2 ||4 ||1 ||1 ||1 ||6 ||1 ||99-71 ||3.69 |
|Holmes (W, 4-2) ||1.0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||2 ||0 ||17-12 ||2.84 |
|Peralta, Wa (S, 4) ||1.1 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||18-9 ||2.84 |
|Totals ||9.0 ||4 ||1 ||1 ||3 ||8 ||1 || || |
|Dodgers Pitchers ||IP ||H ||R ||ER ||BB ||K ||HR ||P-S ||ERA |
|Miller, B ||6.0 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||2 ||7 ||0 ||86-57 ||1.06 |
|Graterol ||1.0 ||2 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||2 ||0 ||16-13 ||1.82 |
|Phillips, E (L, 1-1) ||1.0 ||1 ||1 ||1 ||1 ||0 ||0 ||20-12 ||1.99 |
|Ferguson ||1.0 ||1 ||2 ||2 ||1 ||1 ||1 ||23-13 ||2.14 |
|Totals ||9.0 ||5 ||4 ||3 ||4 ||10 ||1 || || |
|Game Info |
|WP: Ferguson. |
|Pitches-strikes: Germán 99-71; Holmes 17-12; Peralta, Wa 18-9; Miller, B 86-57; Graterol 16-13; Phillips, E 20-12; Ferguson 23-13. |
|Groundouts-flyouts: Germán 9-1; Holmes 1-0; Peralta, Wa 2-1; Miller, B 8-2; Graterol 1-0; Phillips, E 2-0; Ferguson 2-0. |
|Batters faced: Germán 24; Holmes 4; Peralta, Wa 4; Miller, B 22; Graterol 5; Phillips, E 5; Ferguson 5. |
|Inherited runners-scored: Holmes 1-0. |
|Umpires: HP: Ryan Blakney. 1B: Marvin Hudson. 2B: Hunter Wendelstedt. 3B: John Tumpane. |
|Weather: 72 degrees, Partly Cloudy. |
|Wind: 6 mph, Out To RF. |
|First pitch: 4:10 PM. |
|T: 2:35. |
|Att: 52,816. |
|Venue: Dodger Stadium. |
|June 4, 2023 |
|Inning ||Scoring Play ||Score |
|Top 7 ||Kyle Higashioka grounds out, shortstop Chris Taylor to first baseman Freddie Freeman. Jake Bauers scores. ||1-0 NYY |
|Bottom 7 ||J.D. Martinez homers (14) on a fly ball to left center field. ||1-1 |
|Top 8 ||Oswaldo Cabrera grounds out, second baseman Miguel Vargas to first baseman Freddie Freeman. Anthony Rizzo scores. Giancarlo Stanton to 3rd. ||2-1 NYY |
|Top 9 ||Anthony Volpe homers (9) on a fly ball to left center field. Isiah Kiner-Falefa scores. ||4-1 NYY |
| ||1 ||2 ||3 ||4 ||5 ||6 ||7 ||8 ||9 || ||R ||H ||E ||LOB |
|Yankees ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||1 ||2 || ||4 ||5 ||0 ||6 |
|Dodgers ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||0 || ||1 ||4 ||2 ||4 |
TB 6 @ BOS 2 - Final
TOR 6 @ NYM 4 - Final
BAL 8 @ SF 3 - Final Next Yankees Game
: Tue, Jun 06, 07:05 PM EDT vs. White Sox (1 day) Last Updated: 06/04/2023 10:42:46 PM EDT
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2023.06.04 23:21 Vulgar-vagabond Later Gator Crematorium placed 2nd.
2023.06.04 09:35 lautaromassimino Elite season 4 (second) rewrite [following suggestions from my original post, a few days ago]
Okay, so... a few days ago I posted about a rewrite of all Elite seasons, dividing it into two parts (part 1: S1, S2 & S3, and part 2: S4, S5 & S6). It was a rewrite that I did about a year ago, and only a few days ago it occurred to me to upload it here without further ado, but several comments on the post from the last three seasons told me that they felt a little disconnected from the rest, that last seasons didn't had a general harmony between the characters and the story itself, and the truth is, you were right. So, since I had nothing better to do at home, I began to think of some way to accommodate that, and well, this is what I came to ^-^ This is only the S4 rewrite, and I want to clarify this retains most of the things I mentioned in my original post, but in a better order, and with several additions I took from the comments on that post, which really made this version a 100/10. I leave you the link of the original post, where you can read the first complete idea: https://www.reddit.com/EliteNetflix/comments/13yr1r6/fixing_netflix_elite_season_46_english/ I'll be making the new parts 5 and 6 in a few of these days, and uploading them to my profile as well. When I have them, I will leave those links in the comments of this post. \
***************************************************************************************************************************) S4: the main focus of this season would be on excesses, specifically, on the consequences of drug abuse.
- The story of this season should have followed the consequences of Polo's death for our characters, the weight of the pact of silence regarding Lu, and the non-hypersexualized harmony that the first three seasons had between the characters.
- In addition, from this season several things about the school itself raised in previous seasons seem to have been forgotten just like that:
Initial setting for this season: (in my post about the first three seasons) I made clear my idea for Christian's character at the end of season 3 (I decided to keep the character in the show, for plot reasons of season 2):
- Las Encinas is a bilingual school, but we never see another teacher speaking English (French in the English dubbing) again.
- The school competition with the Ivy League prize that Nadia and Lu compete for during the first three seasons is not mentioned again, when it is supposed to be something that is done every single year.
- In addition, from this season almost all the scenes are located almost exclusively inside the school, and we see very little about outdoor scenes, or the private lives of the characters. This is also a serious mistake, since that was what best allowed us to know each other's backgrounds, and create empathy with them.
Ari, Patrick and Mencía:
- Christian has pleaded guilty to the crime against Polo, partly to protect Lu (with whom in this version he would have had a romantic backstory) but also because he knew he would not bear to have another murder charge on his conscience (in this case, Polo's) after everything that happened with Marina. It was like his way of making himself pay for keeping silent, and at the same time understanding the reasons that Carla had had to protect Polo all that time: for the people you loved, you are willing to do anything; Carla had done that for Polo, and now he was doing it for Lu.
- At the end of the previous season, at graduation, we would very briefly met a new character who happened to be Carla's younger brother. That character (Felipe) will be one of the new main ones of this season and will be a completely modified version of Phillipe's character (who as such does not appear in this version).
- Nadia, Carla, Lucrecia, Cayetana, Ander, and Malick would have successfully graduated the previous season, and would no longer appear in this one. In this version, Omar would not appear anymore either, since he would have gone to the US with Malick, accompanying Nadia and Lucrecia.
- Samuel, Guzmán, Rebeka and Valerio would be the characters repeating the course and staying for one more season. Cayetana would also stay, but as in the original version, she would do so as the new school janitor.
- Guzmán and Mencía become close friends this season, based on how much Guzmán would see Marina in Mencía [For those who didn't know, Mencía was written as a reformulation of Marina's character, adapted to the needs of the new environment with this "new gen"].
- We would find out that they are adopted children of Benjamin.
- The three of them + Felipe would enter the third year of school, that is, a course below the one that Samuel & company are repeating (making Felipe, Patrick and Ari two years younger than them, and Mencía three, since they originally tell us that she is one year ahead).
The father of the new trio, and the new principal in Las Encinas, after Azucena's dismissal. He is actually Polo's uncle
(his late wife was Begoña Benavent's sister).
Felipe Rosón Caleruega.
- Benjamín would have come to Madrid to help his sister-in-law regarding her son's trial, and to try to obtain information about this, by infiltrating the school, since apparently, despite Christian's guilty plea, there does not seem to have been direct evidence implicating him as the killer, beyond the romantic bond he shared with Polo, so police say it's quite possible he'll be released for lack of evidence.
- They tell us that Benjamin asked his three children for "help" to try to find out what really happened with Polo. However, Ari is the only one who accepted his request for help. Patrick and Mencía try to act as if that doesn't happen. Neither of the three mentions that Polo was their cousin.
- Apparently, he had spent all those years attending a sister private school of Las Encinas located in Argentina, called Los Olmos, and when we got to know him properly this season we would discover that it was not his idea to return to live in Madrid, but rather a decision made by his parents. We would later learn that he had actually been expelled from his last school, and that there is something about his past in Argentina that he is trying to keep secret [Remember that he is a new version of what Phillipe was, so he must have something shady behind him].
- Felipe's "dark past" is based on having anger management problems: a video is revealed in which he is seen together with a group of students attacking another boy. There is a heavy complaint against him, and the case is still on trial, and only thanks to the influence of his parents was he able to avoid being arrested.
- Related to the second main plot of this season, which in the future would become the main plot for later seasons:
⠀⠀⠀ → His father, Theodoro Rosón plans to rebuild a public school again on top of the ruins of San Esteban's (Samu, Nadia & Christian's old school), this time by "legal means" to avoid the same fate as Ventura (Guzmán's father, who was arrested in S1), but still solely for the economic purposes that would result from such construction, and a new scholarship program that this new school would have with Las Encinas.*
⠀⠀⠀ → During the next season, the construction of this new institution would have finished, and we would have new scholarship recipients in Las Encinas, coming from this new school. This would be part of the "reboot" that the next generation would mean for Elite. They make us believe that Rebeka (not Ari) is the main victim of this season... but she is not.
- From the first episode, we begin to have flashforwards at the beginning and at the end of each episode, where we see, to begin with Rebe in a coma in the hospital, intubated, letting us know that apparently and for some reason (which we still don't know at that moment, but you know, we here are from the future so we can already say that this reason was Armando) her life hangs by a thread. One of the flashforewards of the following episodes before the end shows us a scene of the police closing the closure of a funeral bag with a corpse inside, followed by another scene of Cayetana crying, hugging Felipe... apparently, Rebeka is dead...
- In the end, we find out that Rebeka would end up in the hospital because of Armando, after finding out what Mencía was going through all season, and having confronted him to defend her, but ending up severely beaten in the process.
- For the final episode, we finished understanding that the one in a funeral bag was actually Valerio...
- Valerio dies of an overdose, "completing circle" in his drug addiction plot, but not forcing murder into the season.
Characters' subplots this season:
- HE IS NOT KILLED BY GUZMÁN. Seriously, how did the writers come up with the idea that the character we met SEEKING JUSTICE FOR THE CRIME AGAINST HIS SISTER would become the new criminal face, not facing the consequences and ending his story with him running away to avoid charges?
- Armando is imprisoned: During the last episode we see Mencía crying in the hospital, blaming herself for the possibility of losing Rebe because of her. She finally comes clean; Not with her father, not with Ari, not with Patrick... but with Guzmán. Guzmán is the only person she trusts enough to admit the truth about Armando. Just at that moment, Rebeka wakes up. The rest is simply a competent action on the part of justice.
- So that the public is left with a pleasant taste in the mouth... Armando is murdered in prison? Maybe.
Characters relationships this season: Samuel + Ari
- The fact that Mencía is one year ahead of her siblings tells us that she has a fairly high intellectual level, which apparently at first would mark her as the new best in her class, and they tell us that if so, she could be the new candidate to win the prize for which we saw Nadia and Lu competing in the first season. However, as her plot with Armando develops, her grades begin to drop, which creates some concern in her teachers, but leaves Felipe as the second candidate for the award, being the second highest grade in the class. This does not create a rivalry between them two: Mencía is affected enough by her own problems to care, and also, we don't want to textually rewrite Nadia and Lu's plot with other characters, but to maintain the coherence of the traditions that we were previously told that the school had.
- Being that Carla and Marina had been best friends as girls, we discovered that Felipe actually knew Marina, although he doesn't remember her very well. He did not know Guzmán at all, however we see him approaching him anyway to offer his belated condolences on his sister's death. Perhaps in this same scene we discover that Felipe also knew Polo, and in fact had once been "close" to him: he was his sister's first boyfriend (with whom, in the first season, we were told that she had dating since age twelve). This means that Felipe was less than ten years old when he met Polo. Talking to Guzmán, Feli remembers how he used to enter the living room where Polo and Carla were, making her angry, although Polo always defended him and offered to play video games with him at the end of the afternoon. Felipe looks grieved over his death, even though he clearly doesn't know anything about what really happened to him.
- After everything that happened with Polo the previous season, Cayetana is at a point in her life where she is not capable of being in another relationship. Her plot remains only in the way that she wants to change her future and focus on her design career, perhaps having aftermath of everything that happened with Polo, making her start having anxiety attacks (but treating the subject delicately, with her beginning to see a specialist by Rebe's obligation). We would see how Caye tries to seek support from Valerio, because of "Polo's issue" and the connection that Valerio also had with him, but she is frustrated when she realizes that Valerio seems to have coped with all this issue through the use of drugs. Another possible plot for her would be her attempt to help him (parallels to her original attempt to help Philippe). Cayetana would be an easy second target for Ari, in her attempt to find information about Polo for her father. However, she would not achieve much due to the gap between them throughout the season.
- Felipe begins to become friends with Valerio (note: in my rewrite of season 3, I mention that Yeray and Carla's drug plot I gave up to Valerio, causing him and Carla to start having some kind of sex-romantic tension plot as client/dealer, before Carla decided to end that relationship in good health). Feli doesn't know about his sister's past with Valerio, nor does he care much either. He, however, although occasionally accepts to get high with Valerio, doesn't fall in the same game as Carla and is one of the people, along with Caye, who try to get Valerio out of his addiction.
- As for the Blanco siblings, Mencía's plot would continue as is, without too many changes (ie: Armando). We would see Ari mostly as her father's informant, initially her going through Samuel's cell phone as she started hanging out with him, seeing if she could find any information related to Polo's death. As for Patrick, his plot this season would be basically the opposite of Ari's: the pressure he has on him due to his father, and the guilt Benjamín blames him for not taking care of Mencía the night of their mother's accident. Throughout the season we would see him begin to despair more and more because of this, these being the bases of the approach that he would have with Valerio (where he would begin to try to get away from his problems through drugs), which would end in their future relationship [see below].
- Christian would appear as a recurring character. His scenes are based on visits given to him by Samuel, or even perhaps Guzmán, in prison. His permanence this season would be used to generate tension for the public, especially since (as mentioned at the beginning), the police would end up releasing him, due to lack of evidence against him. Let's say they take his statement as a result of the alcohol he drank at the party. It is his potential (and definitive) release from prison, which causes the arrival of the Benjamins in Madrid, with Benjamin trying to seek justice for the family of his dead wife.
- The love triangle was a pretty dire plot that only increased the public's hatred towards Ari for having separated Nadia and Guzmán, and for being the reason for the loss of all the development that Guzmán and Samu's relationship had had for three seasons.
- Only Samuel remains her love interest, setting up that possible future "fatheson" connection between him and Benjamin.
- Guzmán, for his side, would continue to have a long-distance love relationship with Nadia through video calls, and towards the end of the season, she surprises him with a visit to Madrid.
Samuel and Ari's relationship would not be there just as one more of the season, but would serve as an element for the plot: Ari would have approached Samuel after learning that he was Christian's close friend (the accused in Polo's murder) to try to obtain information
. However, her feelings towards him would become true over the course of the season, thus seeing a kind of development in her character, which would allow the public to empathize with her.
Rebeka + Mencía:
- At some point near the season finale, Samuel would learn of Ari's and her family's connection to Polo's family, and the real reasons she had reached out to him. He would break up with her right then.
- Ari finally confesses the rest of the story, filling in the puzzle pieces that Samuel was missing. He claims that it hadn't all been fake, not for her: she had really fallen for him.
- As a possible redemption ending for the character, Ari vows not to tell her father about the truth after Polo's death, guided by the love she had come to feel for Samuel.
Patrick + Valerio:
- I don't want to make changes to their relationship, because what they showed us about them this season was very beautiful and well developed. As a general rule of the season, they would also fall into the category of "no unnecessary sexualization of characters", which would mean getting rid of scenes like the one with the melted chocolate...
- We know that, aside to Rebeka, Mencía has her own plot with Armando, which is what triggers Rebeka's attack that leaves her in the hospital.
Felipe ... + Cayetana?
- "Replacement" for Ander-Patrick-Omar's love triangle idea, without the drama and toxicity that this trio represented. Ander and Omar are gone. Valerio and Patrick? Both are wild partiers with drug-abusing tendencies. Let's match them up and watch them explode and burn, because that would be very funny.
- Later it could be revealed (or not) that Patrick would have approached Valerio at Ari's request, to try to obtain some information regarding Polo's case, at the insistence of their father.
By season finale, Guzmán drops out of school: he decides to join Nadia in the US.
- Since Felipe is a modified version of Phillipe, it would make sense for Caye to take the same position on wanting to help him despite his past, just as she did with Phillipe. Although this season I have said that I want to focus more on Caye's psyche after Polo's death, and that I don't know if she would be in the best place to want to be in a romantic relationship... In this case, maybe in this version we could reverse the roles of this couple...
- The rapprochement between them would (probably) take place thanks to the fact that they would now both have Valerio as a person in common: they both know each other thanks to him, and apparently they feel sympathy for each other when they meet. This could give us shared scenes of them at school, with Felipe defending Caye from Ari's teasing for her being a janitor (as an example).
- The real rapprochement between the two would occur at the moment when Felipe realizes that Cayetana doesn't seem to be in her best moment. He tries to get closer to her, to help her. We see him also trying to talk to Rebeka, to see if she knows what is happening to Caye, and it is Rebeka who, after several attempts, ends up revealing to him that Cayetana used to be Polo's girlfriend, along with Valerio. This was all the explanation that Feli needed.
- That night, Felipe would go to Cayetana's house to try to talk to her, to comfort her. We would see a scene of a brief kiss between them before Cayetana separated from him, crying. Finally Caye had snapped. She would be the person who would finally break the pact of silence: she would reveal to Felipe that she knew who had killed Polo, and that it had not been Christian. The scene would end at that moment, tacitly implying that she would have revealed the whole truth to him, although making him swear that he must not tell anyone.
- This confession would be what Cayetana needed to do so as not to fall into madness, so as not to continue feeling guilty. After that, her anxiety attacks would apparently start to subside, little by little. We would see her less nervous, although several times she would go to Felipe repeating that he must not tell anyone the truth, fearing what others could do if they found out that she had broken the silent pact.
- By the season finale, she would finally face Felipe, and the question of "What is this we have?". She apologizes to him, but tells him that it wouldn't be fair to let whatever they had go any further if she wouldn't end up being fully there for him. She was in no condition to have another relationship. Not after Polo... (and for the final ending of the last episode... not after Valerio). He gets it. They both end up on good terms, hugging each other. They are both crying over Valerio's death (this would be the flashforeward scene we would have seen in the first episodes).
- It's reveal that he feels guilty for getting away from everyone, especially because of what he has just discovered about Mencía. Her “brotherly instinct” tells him that he must stay to protect her, but in the end they show us a scene of both saying goodbye to each other in peace, and Mencía crying, thanking him for having put Armando in jail.
- There would be a farewell scene between him and Samuel, closing their plot as "brothers".
***************************************************************************************************************************) So, that's it! My second take on a season 4 rewrite. Those who read my original post will have noticed that several things were literally a copy and paste of the original post. But I feel that it is the additions that I made thanks to the comments on that post that really end up giving the seasoning to this version ^-^
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2023.06.04 06:17 BuilderTomorrow Please critique my education-focused road trip in the US south/southeast!
I'm in the process of planning a road trip for July that is education-centric -- specifically space/astronomy and US History. This is my first time planning a road trip with so many stops, so I would very much appreciate feedback from those who are more experienced.
I've set a goal of trying to have no more than 7 hours of driving in any one day. and wrapping up all the driving before it gets dark. Otherwise, I'm trying to be pretty flexible.
I'd welcome any thoughts! I especially like short "stretch your legs" roadside stops. If you know of any on this route, please let me know! Day 1
Drive to Memphis
Check out Beale street for Dinner
National Civil Rights museum in Memphis
Drive to Buffalo National River
Set up camp and take an evening hike, do some stargazing
Canoe trip down the Buffalo National River
More stargazing and spend the night at camp
Drive toward Houston, TX
Stop in Little Rock to visit the Little Rock Central High School national historic site
Stop somewhere north of Houston for the night
Finish drive to visit Space Center Houston
Spend the day at Space Center Houston
Drive a little further south and spend the night in Galveston
Visit the Galveston Naval Museum and Fishing Pier
Take the Galveston ferry
Drive to New Orleans with a possible stop to see the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge depending on timing
National World War II Museum in New Orleans during the day
Sightseeing in NOLA that night
Spend second night in New Orleans
Guided history tour in New Orleans
Drive to Selma, AL
Stop in Mobile along the way to see the USS Alabama
Selma to Montgomery historical trail with various sights along the way
Visit the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery
Drive on to Birmingham to spend the night
Walking tour of major Civil Rights landmarks in Birmingham
Drive on to Huntsville to spend the night
Visit US Space and Rocket Center
Spend night in Huntsville
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2023.06.03 02:50 TheBonesOfAutumn In the 1970’s, two unrelated deaths occurred within the confines of a small home that once stood along Lawrence County, Indiana’s Ramsey Ridge Road. Referred to by locals as “The Mysteries of Skin Ridge,” this is the story of the unusual deaths of Dennis McArthur, and Gerry Lee.
Nestled in northern Lawrence County, Indiana, just six miles from Bedford, lies Ramsey Ridge Road. Just under three miles in length, the rural pathway once referred to as “Skin Ridge'' winds through the sparsely populated area’s dense woods atop a hill overlooking Little Salt Creek and nearby Bartlettsville. In the 1970’s, two completely unrelated deaths occurred within the confines of a modest green house that once stood along the ridge. Referred to by locals as “The Mysteries of Skin Ridge,” this is the story of the unusual deaths of Dennis McArthur, and Gerry Lee.
On April 11, 1976, 44-year-old Pearl McArthur returned home after a lengthy stay at Madison State Hospital. Pearl, who would later be diagnosed with schizophrenia, had committed herself to the hospital in early December, leaving her 18-year-old son, Dennis, to care for the house in her absence. Accompanied by her 23-year-old daughter, April, who lived in nearby Bedford with her husband Gary, Pearl made her way inside the small two-story farmhouse.
Inside, Pearl and April found the home in complete disarray. Trash laid strewed about, lamps and furniture were overturned, and the stove was caved in, its exhaust pipe torn from the wall. It was unusually cold inside as though no heat had been recently used, and a strange smell permeated the air.
Alarmed, Pearl and April began to frantically search for Dennis. As they made their way over to a small couch located in a bedroom on the second floor, they noticed a pile of blankets lying on the sofa. As Pearl peeled back the layer of quilts, she was met with a horrific scene; Dennis’s decomposed body lay beneath the bedding. They immediately summoned police.
Dennis was found in a fetal position on the couch, facing inwards. Although covered by quilts, he was nude from the waist down. The coroner estimated he had died one to two months prior, however the cold weather had, in part, delayed the decomposition process making it difficult to give an exact time of death. During an autopsy, it was discovered that Dennis was severely emaciated, to the point of starvation. No evidence of external or internal injuries were found.
Police discovered several bottles of pills in the home; vitamins used for energy, an antidepressant, and a drug used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. All of the pills were prescribed to Pearl, and were still relatively full. A toxicology test was conducted and proved negative, however the state pathologist who performed the test admitted that the test was incapable of detecting substances such as LSD. He also explained due to the amount of time that had passed since his death, the tests might not be one hundred percent accurate. Dennis’ cause of death was listed as malnutrition and exposure.
Investigators found several clues at the scene that struck them as odd. Although the cabin appeared ransacked, nothing seemed to be missing, including a small amount of money that was found within the disheveled home. Along with money, a small amount of, now spoiled, food was found in the cabinets and refrigerator. An upstairs window was found to be broken from the inside. Also upstairs, investigators discovered several large pools of blood, including one beside the couch where Dennis’ body was found. They also found blood on the backside of the couch, on a rug, and on the kitchen door frame, along with splatter on a wall. Testing confirmed the blood to be human.
Dennis was well known to both police and the county’s social workers. His mother, Pearl, was frequently in and out of mental institutions leaving Dennis and his two siblings to fend for themselves. The children’s father, Walter, had abandoned the family and moved to Georgia years prior. In 1972, Dennis was arrested for theft and truancy. That same year, he was expelled from school and never returned.
He was again arrested in 1973, this time for driving without a license, fleeing from police, possession of alcohol, and curfew violation. After his release, Dennis was sent to live with a man named Al Hagopian, a case worker for the Youth Services Bureau. Al was quoted as saying; “Finding him a place to stay was hard. The house where he had been staying was pretty grubby, and the state thought he was too young to live alone. His mother was in and out of hospitals a lot and he worried about her constantly. He didn’t want to return home, but said he had to go back to help care for his mother.”
Al discovered that Dennis “read and wrote backwards,” and was “practically illiterate.” After reviewing Dennis’ school records, he found multiple instances where teachers labeled Dennis as having disciplinary problems when it came to schoolwork, however not once did they mention he had a clear learning disability. Al further explained that attempts to secure employment for Dennis were nearly never successful. Aside from being unable to read or write, he had no vehicle. He also had no stable address or phone number and was oftentimes dirty and dressed in near rags.
Dennis’ unfair hand he had been dealt did not stop him from trying to act like an average kid most of the time, Al added. He explained that Dennis had an interest in cars, enjoyed hanging out with his friends, and was always chasing girls. He had also told Al he wanted to someday save up enough money for a new guitar, as he loved to play music. Al admitted that Dennis was also into the “street scene” and had dabbled in drugs and alcohol. Dennis returned home after two months of living with Al.
In 1974, after another arrest and his subsequent release from a youth detention center, Dennis went to live with his father for a short time. Dennis’ arrest had made headlines when it was learned the young man had been kept with adult men for a long period before being transferred to the youth detention center. Dennis and Walter reportedly couldn’t get along, however, and Dennis ran away to Florida. He lived there for a few months, washing cars to make money, before returning to the home on Ramsey Ridge in Indiana in 1975. He was again arrested, this time in Bloomington, Indiana for carrying a concealed weapon, alcohol consumption, and curfew violation. At the time of Dennis’ death, the charges against him were still pending.
According to his sister, April, she had gone to visit Dennis at the home on Ramsey Ridge on Christmas Eve. April said Dennis was sitting on the couch, playing his guitar. He also showed her a new rug he had purchased for the home. According to her, he seemed his usual self and the home was clean. April offered him some money, however Dennis refused claiming he had enough to get by.
Lucy Lively, an aunt of Dennis’ who lived “within hollering distance,” claimed she entered the home on February 1st to turn off a lamp that had been left burning. While she did not see Dennis, she claimed the home's interior was in normal order. Joe McArthur, Dennis’ paternal grandfather who also lived nearby, said it was not unusual for Dennis to disappear for long periods, so he thought nothing of the youths' absence as of late.
When Walter, Dennis’ father, was informed of his son's death, he informed police that Dennis, along with two male friends, had come to visit him in Georgia in mid December. He gave a description of the two teens and told police they had been introduced to him as “John Boy'' and “Blonde John.”
Police were able to track down “Blonde John” who was identified as 18-year-old John Fonk of Bloomington, Indiana. John told investigators that he and Dennis had driven to Florida together in October, not December, as Walter had stated. John explained they had stopped by Walter’s home in Georgia on their way back home. He was confident in the date as he had joined the Air Force in December. He also explained that “John Boy” had been a hitchhiker they had picked up along the way. According to John, “John Boy” rode back to Indiana with the pair, but he had not seen him, or Dennis since. He described him as being in his mid 20’s. After learning of the discrepancy in Walter’s story, police again tried to contact him, however phone calls and letters went unanswered. Unfortunately, they were never able to identify “John Boy.”
Further questioning of social services showed that Pearl had filled several grocery orders provided by state services, however the orders ceased when she had been again hospitalized. Eventually the Lawrence County Welfare Office had taken control and promised to look in on Dennis, however they could provide no evidence they had followed up on the case. They suggested that Dennis, overwhelmed with his impoverished lifestyle, had simply starved himself to the point of being comatose, before succumbing to the harsh cold of winter. They were quoted as saying “We were aware of him of course, but he never came to us. We don’t go looking for people if they don’t come to us for help. Now if he had, we would have done something.”
The local sheriff as well as members of Dennis’ family were unsatisfied with Dennis’ listed cause of death and continued to pursue the investigation for several months. Unfortunately due to a lack of funds, more elaborate tests that may have presented some clue as to how Dennis died could not be conducted. Sheriff Robbins was quoted as saying, “This is a very disturbing mystery, because even if someone confessed to killing him, I doubt we would have the evidence to prove it. But it sure is hard to believe he could kill himself like that, by just laying down and dying. We aren’t closing the case, it will remain open. But until we have something more to go on, there’s not much more we can do at this point.”
Dennis was laid to rest at Heltonville’s Gilgal Cemetery. Few attended the modest closed casket funeral and subsequent burial. One journalist gave a last description of Dennis’ final resting place,
“The dogwood trees are in full bloom on the hillsides of Gilgal Cemetery, and though Dennis’ body now rests peacefully beneath a carpet of fallen petals, his soul will surely never rest until the reasons behind his death are discovered.”
Pearl, Dennis’ mother, passed away in 2000 at the age of 67. Walter, Dennis’ father, died in 1988. His sister, April, passed away suddenly in 2006 at the age of 53. Dennis also had an older brother, Gordon, who passed away in 1994 at the age of 42.
On the evening of May 28, 1978, police were again summoned to the little green house on Ramsey Ridge. The home was now occupied by 27-year-old Gerry Lee, a divorced self employed carpenter, and his roommate, 25-year-old Michael Davis. When police arrived, Michael informed them that Gerry had committed suicide.
Gerry was found hanging from a maple tree located 20 feet from the home's front porch. The rope had been tied off to a branch approximately 10 feet above the ground and fashioned into a noose. His feet were found to be touching the ground, and his knees were bent. Blood was discovered on Gerry’s hands and pants, despite having suffered no visible wounds. An autopsy would reveal that Gerry had died of asphyxiation as a result of a fracture to his cricoid cartilage located at the base of his larynx. The coroner stated this was not an injury normally associated with suicidal hangings, but instead blunt force trauma to the throat. Inside, more blood was found on a television set, the phone, and on the kitchen floor. A window on the home's back door had been broken from the outside, leaving shards of glass lying on the kitchen floor.
When questioned, Michael gave an explanation for the unusual findings. He claimed that he, Gerry, and two other friends, Mike Oakly and Roberta Chandler, had spent the day in nearby Bedford before the foursome returned to the home on Ramsey Ridge. There, Michael told police that he and Gerry got into a “friendly scuffle” that resulted in Michael falling into the window in the kitchen. He suffered a deep laceration to his forehead that left him bleeding profusely.
According to Michael, Roberta and Mike accompanied him to seek medical treatment in Bedford, while Gerry stayed behind at home. Michael returned home alone from the hospital, having left Roberta and Mike in town. It was then he discovered Gerry’s body and summoned police. He added that that evening Gerry had threatened to shoot himself multiple times with one of the loaded guns kept in the home.
When Roberta and Mike were taken in for questioning, they gave similar accounts of the night's events. Both were released. Aside from having a visible wound, medical staff confirmed Michael had been to the hospital that evening, having sought treatment for a laceration to his forehead.
Still, both the prosecutor and the county coroner stated they were not entirely satisfied with a verdict of suicide. The coroner stated “Some things have not fallen into place like they should with a suicide case. Although it looks as though it could be a suicide, there are so many angles that do not fit in with the suicide verdict.” The prosecutor agreed, “I’m not satisfied with how the investigation was handled,” he said, “and there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Several months later, Gerry’s case was brought before a grand jury who ultimately returned a verdict of “probable suicide.”
Gerry was laid to rest in Bedford’s Breckenridge Cemetery. Despite his death being declared a suicide, many locals, including Gerry’s friends and neighbors, continued to believe that something more sinister may have happened that evening, and the suicide was in fact staged. The community’s more superstitious elders shared a similar belief, however adding that a “strange ethereal force” inhabited the room where Gerry once slept, and where two years prior the body of Dennis had been discovered.
Whatever your opinion may be, it seems for some the books will never fully be closed on “The Mysteries of Skin Ridge.”
Newspaper Clippings, Death Certificates, Photos- https://imgur.com/a/4kQ3rEl
Find a Grave Dennis- https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/63100083/dennis-scott-mcarthur
Find a Grave Pearl- https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/254365281/pearl-m-mcarthur?createdMemorial=Yes
Find a Grave Walter- https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/80652726/walter-rufus-mcarthur
Find a Grave Gerry- https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47074796/gerry-wayne-lee
National Library of Medicine- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22442828/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20neck%20structures%20fractures%20were,the%20cricoid%20cartilage%20of%2020.6%25.
submitted by TheBonesOfAutumn
to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 15:48 flippenphil (Offer) Dr. Seuss 5 film collection (Request) The Menu, Amsterdam, Babylon
UPDATE: WB killed the Dr. SEUSS code some time in the past 3 weeks
sorry LIST UPDATED 06/04
MA = Movies Anywhere
GP = Googleplay
[?] = unknown definition
= pending trade
If a title is no longer listed = It has been traded COMBO Films
- 2film: My Girl 1 & 2 SD =MA
- 3film: Mall Cop / Zookeeper / Boom SD =MA
- 3film: Night at the Museum: Trilogy SD =MA
- 3film: The Other Guys, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights SD =MA
- 4film: The Magnificent Seven Collection HD Vudu
- 6film: Joe Dirt, Benchwarmers, House Bunny, The Animal, Deuce Bigalow, Master Of Disguise SD =MA
TV Series Marked
- SONY BUFF PASSES (Current) - 1
- Universal Rewards (Current) - 1
- 10 Clover Field Lane HD Vudu only
- 12 Rounds 2 Reload HD =MA
- 101 Dalmations HD =MA
- 101 Dalmations (Googleplay) HD =MA
- 127 Hours (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- 1917 HD =MA
- 2 Guns (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- 2 Guns HD =MA
- 21st Jump Street HD =MA
- 21st Jump Street SD =MA
- 22nd Jump Street SD =MA
- 3 From Hell 4K (Vudu Or iTunes)
- 40 Year Old Virgin HD =MA
- 47 Ronin HD =MA (MA Redeem, Vudu Kills Code)
- 47 Ronin =MA 4K (iTunes Portion)
- the 5th Wave SD =MA
- A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood HD =MA
- A Dogs Way Home HD =MA
- A Good Day To Die Hard HD = MA
- A Good Day To Die Hard (iTunes redeem) SD = MA
- A Haunted House (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- A Madea Christmas HD Vudu
- A Madea Family Funeral HD (Vudu / iTunes OR GP)
- A Million Ways To Die In The West [unrated] (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- A Monster's Call HD =MA
- A Monster's Call (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the A-Team (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- A Thousand Words SD Vudu
- A Quiet Place HD Vudu Or iTunes 4K
- A Walk Among Tombstones (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- About Last Night HD =MA
- Admission (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- the Adventures Of Tintin SD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- After Earth SD =MA
- the Age Of Adaline HD Vudu
- Alex Cross HD Vudu
- Alpha and Omega 3: Great Wolf Games HD Vudu
- Alice Through The Looking Glass HD =MA
- Alien Covenant HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- All the Devil's Men HD Vudu or iTunes
- Alpha SD =MA
- Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chip Wrecked (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- the Amazing Spiderman HD =MA
- the Amazing Spiderman SD =MA
- the Amazing Spiderman 2 HD =MA
- the Amazing Spiderman 2 SD =MA
- Amelia (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- American Assassin HD Vudu/GP/iTunes
- American Made HD =MA
- American Girl: Mckenna Shoots For The Stars HD =MA
- American Hustle HD =MA
- American Hustle SD =MA
- Anchorman 2 HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- And So It Goes HD =MA
- the Angry Birds Movie HD =MA
- Annie (2014) HD =MA
- Annie (2014) SD =MA
- Annihilation HD (Vudu Or iTunes) Split
- the Art of Self Defense HD =MA
- Arrival HD Vudu or iTunes 4K
- Arthur (iTunes redeem) SD =MA
- Arthur Christmas SD =MA
- Assassin's Creed HD (4K If iTunes Redeem)=MA
- Atomic Blonde HD =MA
- Atomic Blonde (iTunes Portion) 4K =MA
- August Osage County HD Vudu
- Avengers: End Game HD (googleplay) =MA
- Avengers: Infinity War (googleplay) HD =MA
- Babylon A.D. (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Bad Boys For Life HD =MA
- Bad Boys For Life SD =MA
- Bad Grandpa HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Bad Moms (iTunes) HD =MA
- Bad Moms HD =MA
- Bad Words (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Bank Job HD Vudu
- Barbie & Her Sisters In A Puppy Chase HD =MA
- Battle Of The Year HD =MA
- Battleship 4K =MA (iTunes Portion)
- Battleship HD =MA
- Baywatch (Vudu-HD Or iTunes-4K)
- Beethoven Treasure Tail (iTunes Portion) HD =MA
- Beethoven Treasure Tail HD =MA
- Begin Again HD Vudu
- Beirut HD =MA
- the Best Man Holiday HD =MA
- the Best Man Holiday (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Big Miracle (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Big Short HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- the Big Wedding HD Vudu Or iTunes
- the Big Wedding SD Vudu
- the Big Year (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Black Nativity [Extended] HD =MA
- Black Swan (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Blackhat HD =MA (iTunes Portion)
- Blockers HD =MA
- Bloodshot SD =MA
- Blue Jasmine HD =MA
- Boo! A Madea Halloween HD V/I/GP
- the Book Of Life HD =MA
- Boss Baby HD =MA
- the Bourne: Identity HD =MA
- the Bourne: Identity (iTunes Redeem) 4K =MA
- the Bourne: Legacy HD =MA
- the Bourne: Legacy (iTunes Redeem) 4K =MA
- the Bourne: Supremacy HD =MA
- the Bourne: Supremacy (iTunes Redeem) 4K =MA
- the Boy [unrated] HD =MA
- the Boy [unrated] HD =MA (iTunes portion)
- the Boy Next Door HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Boyhood HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Braven HD Vudu or GP
- Brian Banks HD =MA
- Bride Wars (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Brides Maids (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Bridge Of Spies HD =MA
- Bring It On: Cheersmack HD =MA
- Bring It On: Cheersmack (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Broken City HD Vudu
- the Butler HD Vudu
- the Bye Bye Man HD =MA (iTunes Portion)
- the Cabin In The Woods SD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- the Cabin In The Woods HD Vudu Or GP
- the Call SD =MA
- the Call HD =MA
- the Call Of The Wild (googleplay) HD =MA
- the Call Of The Wild HD =MA
- Captain Phillips HD =MA
- Captain Phillips SD =MA
- Captain Under Pants: The First Epic Movie HD =MA
- Carrie  (Vudu or GP) HD
- the Case For Christ (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Case For Christ HD =MA
- Casino Royale HD V/GP
- Cedar Rapids (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Change Up (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Change Up Unrated (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Chappie SD =MA
- Chasing Mavericks  HD =MA
- the Choice HD (iTunes, Vudu Or GP)
- the Choice HD (Vudu Only)
- Chronicle HD =MA
- Chronicle (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Chronicles Of Riddick [unrated] (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 SD =MA
- Coal Miner's Daughter HD = MA
- Coal Miner's Daughter HD = MA (iTunes portion)
- the Commuter HD V/i/GP
- Concussion (will Smitch) HD =MA
- Concussion (will Smitch) SD =MA
- the Condemned 2 HD Vudu
- Contraband (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Counselor HD =MA
- Countdown [wwe films] HD Vudu
- Cowboys And Aliens (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Croods (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Cruella HD =MA
- Cruella (Googleplay) HD =MA
- Cult Of Chucky [unrated] HD =MA
- Cult Of Chucky [unrated] HD =MA (iTunes Redeem)
- Curse Chucky (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Curse Of Chucky HD =MA
- Daddy's Home HD Vudu / 4K iTunes (split)
- Dallas Buyers Club HD (iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Danny Collins HD (iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes HD (4K If iTunes Redeemed) =MA
- the Day The Earth Stood Still (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Dead In Tombstone [unrated] HD =MA
- Dead Man Down SD =MA
- Deadpool HD (4K If iTunes Redeemed) =MA
- Deadpool 2 [super dooper cut] HD =MA
- the Descendants (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Deliver Us From Evil SD =MA
- Despicable Me (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Despicable Me 2 (4K iTunes) =MA
- Despicable Me 2 HD =MA
- the Devil Inside SD Vudu
- Devils Due HD =MA
- Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Dictator SD Vudu
- Die Hard: A Good Day To Die (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Dilemma HD =MA
- Dirty Dancing SD Vudu
- Dirty Grandpa SD Vudu
- Disney Nature: Monkey Kingdom HD =MA
- Disney Shorts Collection HD =MA
- Divergent HD Vudu
- Divergent [4k Itunes] or [GP-HD]
- Divergent Series: Allegiant HD Vudu
- Divergent Series: Allegiant SD Vudu
- Divergent Series: Insurgent HD Vudu/GP (iTunes Split)
- Divergent Series: Insurgent SD Vudu
- Django Unchained HD Vudu
- Dom Hemingway HD =MA
- Downsizing HD Vudu & iTunes 4K
- Downton Abbey The Movie HD =MA
- Dracula Untold (iTunes Redeem) 4K =MA
- Dracula Untold HD =MA
- Draft Day HD Vudu/iTunes Split
- Draft Day SD Vudu
- Dragon Heart 3 (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Dragon Heart 3 HD =MA
- Dredd HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Dredd 4K (Vudu Or iTunes) Or GP-HD
- Drive (2011) HD MA
- the Duel SD Vudu
- the Duff HD Vudu
- Dumb And Dumber To (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Dying Of The Light HD Vudu
- E.T. (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA (from bluray)
- E.T. HD =MA
- E.T. SD =MA
- Escape Plan HD Vudu
- Edward Scissorhands HD =MA
- Elysium SD =MA
- the Emoji Movie HD =MA
- Empire State HD Vudu
- End Of Watch (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Ender's Game 4K Vudu/iTunes Split
- Ender's Game HD Vudu/iTunes/GP
- Enough Said HD =MA
- Epic (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Epic HD =MA
- Escape Plan HD Vudu
- the Equalizer HD =MA
- the Equalizer SD =MA
- Ex Machina HD Vudu
- Exodus: Gods And Kings HD (4K If iTunes Redeemed) =MA
- the Expendables 2 HD Vudu/iTunes/GP
- the Expendables 3 4K Vudu
- the Expendables 3 [unrated] HD
- the Expendables 3 HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Extraction HD Vudu
- Fast & Furious 1 (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Fast & Furious 1 HD =MA
- Fast & Furious 2 (4K iTunes) =MA
- Fast & Furious 3 HD =MA
- Fast & Furious 4 HD =MA
- Fast & Furious 4 (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Fast & Furious 5 Extended (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Fast & Furious 5 Extended HD =MA
- Fast & Furious 6 Extended (4K iTunes) =MA
- Fast & Furious 6 Extended HD =MA
- Fast & Furious 7 Extended HD =MA
- Fast & Furious 7 Extended (4K iTunes) =MA
- Fast Furious 8 Extended 4K =MA
- Fast Furious 8 Extended HD =MA
- Fast Furious 8 Theatrical 4K =MA
- Fast Furious 8 Theatrical HD =MA
- the Fault In Our Stars HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- the Fault In Our Stars HD =MA (no Upgrade)
- the Favourite HD =MA
- Fences HD VUDU or iTunes 4K (split)
- Fifty Shades Darker [unrated] (iTunes) HD =MA
- Fifty Shades Darker [unrated] HD =MA
- Fifty Shades Of Grey [unrated] HD =MA
- Fifty Shades Of Grey [standard] 4K (iTunes Redeem) =MA
- the Fighter HD =MA
- Finding Dory (googleplay) HD =MA
- Finding Dory HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Finding Nemo (googleplay) HD =MA
- the Finest Hour HD =MA
- the Finest Hour (googleplay) HD =MA
- the Five Year Engagement (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Flight HD (Vudu / iTunes Split)
- Footloose (2011) SD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- Frank & Lola HD =MA
- Fright Night 2 UR HD =MA
- the Front Runner SD = MA
- Frozen HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Frozen (googleplay) HD =MA
- Frozen (sing Along Edition) HD =MA
- Frozen (sing-along Edition) (googleplay) HD =MA
- Frozen Ground HD Vudu
- Fury HD =MA
- Fury SD =MA
- G.I.Joe Retaliation HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- the Gambler HD (Vudu / iTunes Split)
- Gemini Man HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Get On Up (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Get The Gringo (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Ghost In The Shell  HD Vudu Only
- Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance SD =MA
- Ghostbusters HD =MA
- Ghostbusters: Answer The Call & Extended HD =MA
- Gifted HD =MA
- the Girl In The Spidersweb SD =MA
- the Girl On The Train =MA 4K (iTunes Redeem)
- the Girl On The Train =MA HD
- the Giver HD Vudu
- Gladiator Vudu or iTunes 4K
- Glee The Concert (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- God's Not Dead 3: A Light In Darkness HD =MA
- Gods Of Egypt HD Vudu (and iTunes 4K split)
- Gods Of Egypt SD Vudu
- Grace Unplugged HD Vudu
- the Grand Budapest Hotel HD =MA
- the Great Wall (iTunes Portion) 4K =MA
- the Great Wall HD =MA
- the Greatest Showman HD =MA
- the Grey (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Grown Ups 2 HD =MA
- Grown Ups 2 SD =MA
- Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 1 HD =MA (no 4K Upgrade)
- Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.0 (googleplay) HD =MA
- Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.0 4K =MA
- the Gunman HD =MA
- the Gunman (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Hacksaw Ridge HD Vudu iTunes Or GP
- Hail, Caesar! HD =MA
- Hail, Caesar! (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Halloween Kills Extended HD =MA
- Hammer Of The Gods SD Vudu
- Hansel & Gretel [unrated] HD Vudu / HD iTunes (split)
- Hands of Stones HD Vudu
- the Hangover (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Hardcore Henry HD =MA (iTunes redeem)
- Harvey (1950) (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Hateful Eight HD Vudu Or GP
- the Haunting In Connecticut 2 Ghosts Of Georgia HD Vudu
- the Heat HD =MA
- the Heat (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA (will Send First)
- Heaven Is For Real HD =MA
- Heaven Is For Real SD =MA
- Hell Or High Water SD Vudu
- Hellboy (2019) 4K Vudu/iTunes/(GP HD)
- Here Comes The Boom SD =MA
- Hidden Figures HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Hillsong: Let Hope Rise HD =MA
- Hocus Pocus (googleplay) HD =MA
- Holiday Inn (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Home Again HD =MA
- Home Alone 4K =MA
- Home Alone HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Home Alone 2: Lost In New York HD =MA
- Homefront (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Homefront HD =MA
- Honey 2 (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- Honey 2 HD =MA
- Hop (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- Hop HD =MA
- Hope Springs HD =MA
- Horton Hears A Who (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Host (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Hostiles 4K Vudu/iTunes/(GP HD)
- Hotel Transylvania SD =MA
- Hotel Transylvania 3 SD =MA
- Hours SD Vudu
- House With A Clock In Its Walls HD =MA
- How To Train A Dragon 2 HD =MA
- the Hundred Foot Journey (googleplay) HD =MA
- Hugo SD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- the Hunger Games HD Vudu
- the Hunger Games: Catching Fire HD Vudu
- the Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 HD Vudu
- the Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2 HD Vudu
- I See You HD Vudu (no itunes)
- I, Frankenstein HD Vudu/iTunes/GP
- Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Ice Age: Dawn Of Dinosaurs (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Ice Age: the Great Egg-Scapade HD =MA
- Identity Thief (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Ides Of March HD =MA
- In Time (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Incarnate (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- Independence Day Resurgence HD =MA (no Upgrade)
- Independence Day Resurgence HD (4K if iTunes Redeemed) =MA
- Inferno HD =MA
- Inglorious Bastards (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Inside Out HD (4K If iTunes Redeemed) =MA
- Inside Out (google Redeem) HD =MA
- Insidious Chapter 2 SD =MA
- Insidious: the last key SD =MA
- Internship (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Interview HD =MA
- the Interview SD =MA
- Into The Spider-verse SD =MA
- Iron Man 3 (googleplay) HD =MA
- Iron Man 3 HD (4K If iTunes Redeemed) =MA
- Jack Reacher SD Vudu
- Jack Reacher HD Vudu (4K itunes split)
- Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit HD Vudu Or iTunes
- Jarhead 2 [unrated] HD =MA
- Jarhead 2 [unrated] HD =MA (iTunes portion)
- Jarhead Law Of Return HD =MA
- Jason Bourne HD =MA
- Jason Bourne 4K =MA (iTunes portion)
- Jaws HD =MA
- Joe SD Vudu
- John Wick 4K (Vudu,iTunes Or HD-GP)
- John Wick SD? Dvd (Vudu/iTunes/GP)
- John Wick : Chapter 2 HD (Vudu,iTunes Or HD-GP)
- John Wick 3 4K (Vudu,iTunes Or HD-GP)
- Joy HD (4K If iTunes Redeemed) =MA
- Joy HD =MA
- Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle SD =MA
- Jumper (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Jungle Book  (preorder) HD =MA
- Jungle Cruise (googleplay) HD =MA
- Juno (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Jurassic Park (4K iTunes) =MA
- Jurassic Park HD =MA
- Jurassic World (4K iTunes) =MA
- Jurassic World HD =MA
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom HD =MA
- Just Wright (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Justin Bieber: Never Say Never HD VUDU / iTunes (split)
- Keeping Up with the Jones (4K if iTunes Redeem) = MA
- Kevin Heart: Let Me Explain HD
- Kickass 2 (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Kickass 2 HD =MA
- Kidnap HD =MA
- Kidnap (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Killer Elite (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Killing Them Softly HD Vudu
- Kin HD Vudu/iTunes/GP
- the Kingsman: The Golden Circle HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- the Kingsman: The Secret Service HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- the Kingsman: The Secret Service SD (Vudu) =MA
- Knight And Day (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Knocked Up (iTunes redeem) HD =MA
- Kung Fu Panda 3 HD =MA
- the Last Exorcism Past2 SD =MA
- Last Knights HD Vudu
- the Last Stand HD
- Last Vegas SD =MA
- the Last Witch Hunter SD Vudu
- the Legend Of Hercules HD Vudu
- Les Miserables  HD =MA
- Les Miserables  (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- Les Miserables  HD =MA
- Let's Be Cops HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Life HD =MA
- Life As We Know It (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Knight And Day (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Life Of Pi HD (4K iTunes Through Foxredeem) =MA
- Lightyear (googleplay) HD =MA
- the Little Mermaid HD =MA
- the Little Mermaid (googleplay) HD =MA
- Little Women (2019) HD =MA
- Lockout (unrated) SD =MA
- the LOFT (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Logan HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Logan Lucky HD =MA
- Logan Lucky 4K (iTunes) =MA
- the Lone Ranger (googleplay) HD =MA
- the Lone Ranger HD =MA
- Lone Survivor HD =MA
- Lone Survivor 4K (iTunes Redeem) =MA
- the Longest Ride HD ( 4K If iTunes Redeemed) =MA
- the Longest Week HD Vudu
- Looper SD =MA
- the Lorax (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Lorax HD =MA
- the Lord of The Rings: Return Of The King HD =MA
- the Lords Of Salem HD Vudu
- Love Actually (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Love Actually SD =MA
- Love & Mercy HD VUDU
- Love & Other Drugs (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Machete (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted HD =MA
- Madea's Neighbors From Hell The Play SD Vudu
- Madea's Witness Protection HD Vudu Or iTunes
- Madea's Witness Protection SD Vudu
- Maggie HD Vudu Only
- Maleficent (googleplay) HD =MA
- Maleficent HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Maleficent: mistress of evil (googleplay) HD =MA
- Mall Cop 2 SD =MA
- Mamma Mia! (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again HD =MA
- the Man With The Iron Fists (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Marauders HD Vudu
- the Marine 4 HD Vudu
- the Marine 6: close quarters SD =MA
- Marley & Me (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Martian HD (4K If iTunes Redeem)=MA
- Mary Poppins HD =MA
- Mary Poppins (googleplay) HD =MA
- Mary Poppins: Returns (googleplay) HD =MA
- the Maze Runner HD (no Upgrade)
- the Mechanic: Resurrection HD Vudu, GP HD Or iTunes 4K
- the Mechanic: Resurrection SD Vudu
- Megan Leavey (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Megan Leavey HD =MA
- Men In Black 2 HD =MA
- Men In Black 3 HD =MA
- Men In Black 3 SD =MA
- Middle School: The Worse Years Of My Life HD Vudu/GP or iTunes split
- Midway 4K Vudu/iTunes or GP
- Mike & Dave Need A Wedding Date HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Minions (4K iTunes) =MA
- Minions HD =MA
- Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children HD (4K iTunes redeem) =MA
- Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children HD =MA (Vudu Redeem)
- Mission Impossible: Fallout HD (Vudu or iTunes)
- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal Dvd (Vudu)
- Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (HD Vudu Or iTunes 4K)
- Mom's Night Out SD =MA
- Moneyball HD =MA
- Monte Carlo (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Monuments Men HD =MA
- the Monuments Men SD =MA
- Moonlight HD Vudu
- Monster's University (googleplay) HD =MA
- Mortal Instruments SD =MA
- Mostly Ghostly: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend? (iTunes Portion) HD =MA
- Mostly Ghostly: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend? HD =MA
- the Mountain Between Us HD ( 4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Mr. Holmes HD Vudu
- Mr. Peabody & Sherman HD =MA
- Mr. Popper's Penguins (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Mud HD Vudu
- Mulan Original Cartoon (googleplay) HD =MA
- the Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Muppets Most Wanted (googleplay) HD =MA
- Muppets Most Wanted HD =MA
- My All American HD =MA
- My All American (iTunes redeem) HD =MA
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 HD =MA
- My Life As A Zucchini (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- Nebraska HD Vudu
- Nerve SD Vudu
- Night At The Museum Or Night At The Museum: 2 [pick One] HD =MA
- Night At The Museum 2: Battle Of The Smithsonian (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Night At The Museum 3: Secret Of The Tomb HD ( 4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Night School [extended] HD =MA
- No Country For Old Men HD Vudu Or GP
- No Escape HD Vudu
- Noah HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Non-stop (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Non-stop HD =MA
- Norm Of The North HD (iTunes Or GP)
- Norm Of The North HD Vudu Only
- Now You See Me 4K Vudu/iTunes/GP
- Now You See Me HD Vudu
- Now You See Me HD Vudu/iTunes/GP
- Now You See Me 2 SD Vudu
- Oblivion HD =MA
- Office Party HD VUDU or iTunes (split)
- Olympus Has Fallen SD =MA
- the Oranges (itunes redeem) SD =MA
- the Other Woman HD =MA
- Ouija: Origin Of Evil (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Overcomer SD =MA
- Oz The Great And Powerful (googleplay) HD =MA
- Oz The Great And Powerful HD =MA
- Pacific Rim: Uprising HD =MA
- Paddington HD Vudu
- Pain & Gain HD Vudu Only
- Paranormal Activity 2 HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- Paranormal Activity 3 SD Vudu (try iTunes at your own risk)
- Paranormal Activity 4 HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimension HD (Vudu or iTunes)
- Parental Guidance HD =MA
- Parental Guidance (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Parker HD =MA
- Parker SD =MA
- Passengers HD =MA
- Patriots Day HD Vudu (or 4K iTunes)
- Paul [unrated] HD =MA (iTunes Redeem)
- Peanuts Movies HD ( 4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Penguins Of Madagascar HD =MA
- Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters HD =MA
- Perks Of Being A Wallflower HD Vudu Or iTunes SD (split)
- Peter Pan 2: Return To Never Land (googleplay) HD =MA
- Peter Pan 2: Return To Never Land HD =MA
- Philomena HD Vudu
- Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (googleplay) HD =MA
- Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales HD =MA (iTunes kills code)
- Pirates! Band Of Misfits SD =MA
- Pitch Black [unrated] (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- Pitch Perfect HD =MA
- Pitch Perfect [iTunes redeem 4K] =MA
- Pitch Perfect 2 HD =MA
- Pitch Perfect 2 HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Pitch Perfect 3 HD =MA
- Pixels SD =MA
- Planes (googleplay) HD =MA
- Planes HD =MA
- Planes Fire And Rescue (googleplay) HD =MA
- Planes Fire And Rescue HD =MA
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles HD (Vudu or iTunes)
- Playing For Keeps SD =MA
- Pompeii HD =MA
- Pompeii SD =MA
- Possession HD Vudu (SD iTunes)
- Predators (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Premium Rush SD =MA
- the Prince HD Vudu
- Prometheus HD =MA
- Prometheus (iTunes Redeem) [?] =MA
- Promised Land (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Protector 2 SD Vudu
- Public Enemies (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Public Enemies (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Purge (4K iTunes) =MA
- the Purge HD =MA
- the Purge: Anarchy HD =MA
- the Purge: Election Year HD =MA
- Queen Of Katwe (googleplay) HD =MA
- Queen Of Katwe HD =MA
- R.I.P.D. (redeems In iTunes) 4K =MA
- R.I.P.D. HD =MA
- Ralph Breaks The Internet (googleplay) HD =MA
- Rambo HD (Vudu,iTunes4K Or GP)
- Rambo: Last Blood 4K (Vudu,iTunes Or HD-GP)
- Ramona And Beezus (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Rango HD Vudu Or 4K iTunes (split)
- Real Steel (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Reasonable Doubt HD =MA
- Red 2 HD Vudu
- Red Sparrow HD =MA
- Redemption HD Vudu
- Reprisal HD Vudu
- Resident Evil: Retribution HD =MA
- Resident Evil: Retribution SD =MA
- Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City HD =MA
- the Revenant HD =MA
- Ricki And The Flash SD =MA
- Riddick [unrated] HD =MA
- Riddick [unrated] (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- Ride Along (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Ride Along HD =MA
- Ride Along 2 (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Rio HD =MA
- Rio (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Rio 2 HD =MA
- Rise Of The Guardians HD =MA
- Rise Of The Planet Of Apes (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Risen SD =MA
- Robin Hood (1973) [Disney-animation] (googleplay) HD =MA
- Robin Hood (2018) Vudu/GP HD or iTunes 4K
- Robocop 2014 HD Vudu Or GP
- the Rocker (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Rocky Horror Picture Show HD =MA
- Runner Runner HD =MA
- Rush HD =MA
- Safe HD Vudu Only
- Safe House (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Safe House HD =MA
- Same Kind Of Different As Me HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Samson HD =MA
- Santa's Little Helper HD =MA
- Sausage Party HD =MA
- Savages 4K (iTunes Redeem) =MA (unsure Which Version)
- Saving Mr. Banks HD =MA
- Saving Mr. Banks (googleplay) HD =MA
- Scarface 4K (iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Scarface HD =MA
- Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark 4K Vudu/iTunes or (GP HD)
- Schindler's List =MA HD
- the Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption HD =MA
- the Scorpion King 4: Quest For Power (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Scorpion King 4: Quest For Power HD =MA
- Seal Team 8: Behind Enemy Lines HD (Vudu Or Googleplay)
- Search Party HD =MA
- Search Party (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- the Secret Life Of Pets HD =MA
- the Secret Life Of Pets (4K iTunes) =MA
- the Secret Life Of Pets 2 HD =MA
- the Secret Life Of Walter Mitty HD =MA
- See No Evil 2 HD Vudu
- Seeking A Friend For The End Of The Earth (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Selma HD (redeems In iTunes) HD =MA
- Seventh Son (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Seventh Son HD =MA (iTunes Portion)
- Sex Tape SD =MA
- the Shack HD Vudu Or iTunes (split)
- Shrek: Forever After (the final chapter) HD =MA
- Showdogs HD =MA
- Sicario HD Vudu
- Sicario 4K Vudu (or HD GP Or iTunes)
- Silver Linings Playbook HD (Vudu Or Googleplay)
- Single Mom's Club HD
- Sisters [unrated] (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Sisters [unrated] HD =MA
- Skin Trade HD Vudu Redeem
- Skyfall HD (Vudu Or Googleplay)
- Skyfall SD (iTunes)
- Skyscraper HD =MA
- Sleepless (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Slumdog Millionaire (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Smurfs 2 HD =MA
- the Smurfs 2 SD =MA
- Snitch HD Vudu
- Snow White & The Huntsman (4K iTunes) =MA
- Snow White & The Huntsman HD =MA
- Snowden HD =MA
- Snowden (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Son Of God HD =MA
- Sonic The Hedge hog 2 4K (Vudu or iTunes)
- the Spectacular Now SD Vudu
- Spectre 007 HD Vudu/GP/iTunes
- Spider-man: Far From Home HD =MA
- Spider-man: Far From Home SD =MA
- Spider-man: Homecoming HD =MA
- Spider-man: No-way Home SD =MA
- Split HD =MA
- the Sponge Bob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water HD Vudu / iTunes (split)
- Spy [unrated] HD =MA
- St. Vincent HD Vudu
- Stand Up Guys HD Vudu
- the Star SD =MA
- Star Trek  HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- Star Trek  Into Darkness HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- Star Trek  Beyond HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- Star Wars: Force Awakens HD =MA (Vudu - No Upgrade)
- Star Wars: Rise Of The Skywalker 4K =MA
- Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker (googleplay) HD =MA
- Step Up Revolution HD Vudu Or (iTunes Quality Unknown)
- Straight Out Of Compton (iTunes Redeem) 4K =MA
- Straight Out Of Compton [unrated] HD =MA
- Strange World (googleplay) HD =MA
- Street Kings (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Super 8 HD Vudu Portion
- Super Buddies (googleplay) HD =MA
- Super Troopers 2 HD =MA
- the Sword In The Stone (googleplay) HD =MA
- Taken (theatrical slip) SD =MA
- Taken (Extended slip) SD =MA
- Taken 2 HD =MA
- Taken 3 (extended) HD =MA
- Ted (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Ted [unrated] HD =MA
- Ted 2 (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles HD Vudu/iTunes split
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows HD Vudu/iTunes split
- Temptation HD Vudu
- Temptation HD Vudu or Google Play (ask for this one for GP)
- Terminator Dark Fate HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- That Awkward Moment SD =MA
- That's My Boy SD =MA
- the Theory Of Everything (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Think Like A Man SD =MA
- Think Like A Man Too SD =MA
- This Is 40 (iTunes Portion) HD =MA
- This Is The End HD =MA
- This Is The End SD =MA
- Thor Love And Thunder 4K =MA
- Thor Love And Thunder HD =MA
- Thor Love And Thunder (googleplay) HD =MA
- Thor Ragnarok (googleplay) HD =MA
- Thor Ragnarok HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- the Three Stooges [the movie] (iTunes redeem) SD =MA
- Tinker Tailor Solder (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Tinkerbell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast HD =MA
- Top Gun HD Vudu & Unknown iTunes (split)
- Total Recall (1990) HD Vudu
- Total Recall (2012) [theater & Extended] HD =MA
- Total Recall (2012) SD =MA
- Tower Heist (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Toy Story 4 (googleplay) HD =MA
- Tracers SD Vudu
- Trainwreck (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Transformers: Age Of Extinction HD (Vudu Only)
- Transformers: Age Of Extinction SD Vudu
- Transformers: Dark Of The Moon HD Vudu
- Transformers: Dark Of The Moon SD Vudu
- Transformers: The Last Knight (digital Cut) HD Vudu Or iTunes 4K Split
- the Transporter (iTunes) SD =MA
- Trauma Center 4K Vudu/iTunes/GP
- Tremors 5: Bloodlines HD =MA
- Tremors 5: Bloodlines (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Tremors 6: A Cold Day In Hell HD =MA
- Trolls HD =MA
- True Grit HD Vudu (iTunes Split)
- Trumbo (iTunes redeem) HD =MA
- the Trust SD Vudu
- Turbo (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Turbo HD =MA
- Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt 2 HD
- Unbroken (iTunes) HD =MA
- Unbroken HD =MA
- Underworld: Awakening SD =MA
- Underworld: Bloodwars HD =MA
- Unfriended HD (iTunes Portion) =MA
- Unfriended HD =MA
- Unknown (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Unstoppable (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Vampires Suck (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets HD Vudu
- Venom HD =MA
- Venom SD =MA
- the Vow SD =MA
- Walking With Dinosaurs HD =MA
- Wallstreet 2: Never Sleeps (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- Wanderlust (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- War Of The Planet Of The Apes HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- War Room HD =MA
- War Room SD =MA
- Warcraft (4K iTunes) =MA
- Warcraft HD =MA
- Warm Bodies HD Vudu
- Warm Bodies HD Vudu/GP/ iTunes (4K iTunes Split)
- the Watch HD =MA
- Water For Elephants (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- We Bought A Zoo (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Wedding Ringer SD =MA
- Werewolf: the Beast Among Us UR HD =MA
- Wanderlust (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Wanted (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- What Happens In Vegas (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- What To Expect When You're Expecting HD
- Whats Your Number (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- When The Game Stands Tall HD =MA
- When The Game Stands Tall SD =MA
- White House Down SD =MA
- Why Him? HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- Widows HD =MA
- Wild Card HD Vudu
- Winchester HD Vudu/GP/iTunes
- the Witch SD Vudu
- the Wolf Of Wall Street HD Vudu (and 4K iTunes Split)
- the Wolfman (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- the Wolverine (iTunes Redeem) [SD?] =MA
- the Wolverine (unrated) HD =MA (must redeem on MA)
- the Woman In Black SD =MA
- Won't Back Down HD =MA
- Wonder HD (iTunes, Vudu Or GP)
- Woodlawn HD =MA
- Woodlawn (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- World War Z HD (Vudu Or iTunes)
- X Men Apocalypse HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- X Men Days Of Future Past HD (4K If iTunes Redeem) =MA
- X Men Days Of Future Past HD =MA
- X Men First Class (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- X Men Origins Wolverine (iTunes Redeem) SD =MA
- XXX: Return Of Xander Cage HD Vudu (or iTunes Split)
- Yesterday HD =MA
- Young Adult HD Vudu
- the Young Messiah (iTunes Redeem) HD =MA
- Zero Dark Thirty HD =MA
- Zero Dark Thirty SD =MA
- Zootopia (googleplay) HD =MA
- Nurse Jackie Season 6 HD Vudu
- Orange Is The New Black Season 1 SD Vudu
- True Detective Season 3 HD Vudu
ITUNES Only MOVIES - No Port - Marked
- Game Of Thrones Season 1 HD iTunes Only
- Game Of Thrones Season 2 HD iTunes Only
- Game Of Thrones Season 3 HD iTunes Only
- Game Of Thrones Season 4 HD iTunes Only
- True Detective Season 3 HD iTunes Only
CANADIAN CODES: GOOGLE PLAY / ITUNES MARKED
- Abduction SD (iTunes)
- the Act Of Valor SD (iTunes)
- the Adventures of Tin Tin HD (iTunes)
- Alex Cross SD (iTunes)
- All Eyez On Me HD (iTunes)
- Annihilation HD (iTunes)
- Bankok Dangerous SD (iTunes)
- the Bank Job SD (iTunes)
- the Big Wedding HD (iTunes)
- Book Club 4K (iTunes)
- Brooklyn's Finest SD (iTunes)
- the Corrupted  (iTunes)
- Criminal 4K (iTunes)
- Daybreakers SD (iTunes)
- the Dictator HD (iTunes)
- Divergent 4K (iTunes)
- Divergent Series: Allegiant 4K (iTunes)
- Divergent Series: Insurgent 4K (iTunes)
- Don Jon SD (iTunes)
- the Expendables [first movie] SD (iTunes)
- the Expendables 3 [unrated] HD (iTunes)
- Family Guy Its A Trap (iTunes)
- Forbidden Kingdom (iTunes)
- G.I.Joe The Rise Of The Cobra (iTunes)
- Gamer iTunes SD (iTunes)
- Ghost In The Shell 4K (iTunes)
- Gods Of Egypt 4K (iTunes)
- Hansel & Gretel [unrated] HD (iTunes)
- the Happytime Murders (apple Tv)
- the Haunting In Connecticut (iTunes)
- Hot Tub Time Machine SD (iTunes)
- House At The End Of The Street SD (iTunes)
- Hercules 4K (iTunes)
- Hot Tub Time Machine (iTunes)
- the Hunger Games [4k Itunes] or [GP-HD]
- the Hunger Games: Catching Fire [4k Itunes] or [HD GP]
- the Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 [4k Itunes] or [HD GP]
- I Feel Pretty (apple Tv)
- Jack Reacher 4K (iTunes)
- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back 4K (iTunes)
- John Wick 4K (iTunes)
- Immortals (iTunes)
- Interstellar 4K (iTunes)
- La La Land 4K (iTunes)
- Labor Day HD (iTunes)
- the Last Witch Hunter 4K (iTunes)
- Limitless (iTunes)
- the Lincoln Lawyer (iTunes)
- Machine Gun Preacher (iTunes)
- Mission Impossible: Fallout HD (iTunes)
- Monster Trucks HD (iTunes)
- Movie 43 (iTunes)
- Noah HD (iTunes)
- Office Christmas Party 4K (iTunes)
- One For The Money [Bluray] (iTunes)
- Pain & Gain HD (iTunes)
- Paranoia (iTunes)
- Paranormal Activity 2 HD (iTunes)
- Paranormal Activity 3 HD (iTunes)
- Paranormal Activity 4 HD (iTunes)
- Paranormal Activity 5: The Marked Ones HD (iTunes)
- Pet Sematary 2019 4K (iTunes)
- Pink Panther 2 (iTunes)
- the Raven SD (iTunes)
- Red Dawn SD (iTunes)
- Rogue Warfare HD (iTunes)
- Safehaven (iTunes)
- Same Kind Of Different As Me HD (iTunes)
- the Shack HD (iTunes)
- the Spirit SD (iTunes)
- Star Trek SD (iTunes)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars SD (iTunes)
- Step Up Revolution (iTunes)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (tmnt1) 4K (iTunes)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of The Shadows 4K (iTunes)
- Terminator: Dark Fate 4K (iTunes)
- Texas Chainsaw  (iTunes)
- Titanic (iTunes)
- Transformers: Age Of Extinction 4K (iTunes)
- Transformers: Dark Of The Moon 4K (iTunes)
- Transformers: the Last Knight 4K (iTunes)
- Transporter 3 SD (iTunes)
- Warm Bodies SD (iTunes)
- What to Expect While Expecting SD (iTunes)
- Wonder 4K (iTunes)
- Xxx Return Of Xander Cage 4K (iTunes)
I do not know any of these port
WANT LIST Titles I am looking for
- Black Water (GP) Can. (NOT MA)
- Hitman Agent 47 (GP/iTunes) Can.
- Kingsman: the Golden Circle (GP/iTunes) Can.
- the Wolverine (GP/iTunes) Can.
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2023.06.02 04:50 funeralclient McReynolds Nave and Larson Funeral Home
Welcome to McReynold’s-Nave & Larson Funeral Home
For more than 100 years, McReynolds-Nave & Larson Funeral Home in Clarksville, TN has been serving the families of greater Montgomery and Houston county. We are one of the many funeral homes in Clarksville, TN who understand the importance of offering quality services. From start to finish, your family can trust that our caring and knowledgeable staff will be here to assist you every step of the way. We offer affordably priced funeral
, and memorial services
that are designed to meet your family’s needs and budget.
With two locations to serve you, our funeral homes in Clarksville, TN and Erin, TN can help you honor your loved one and say goodbye. Each year we help hundreds of families in the area say meaningful goodbyes to their departed loved ones.
Our staff is comprised of some the most experienced, knowledgeable, and caring funeral professionals in the industry. We understand that the loss of a loved one is a difficult time for a family. Our compassionate team will work hard to help you arrange a service that not only celebrates the legacy of your loved one but also provides your family with the closure and goodbye you need. From the first call to long after the service has ended, our team will be here to provide you with the resources and guidance you need.
We pledge to honor your loved one with dignity, respect, and personal attention to every detail. With two beautiful facilities, 24/7 service, and caring and knowledgeable staff; we are confident your family will have peace of mind in knowing that our family will be here for you when you need us.
To learn more about our funeral homes in Clarksville, TN and Erin, TN, please browse our site. Throughout it you will find helpful resources and information to help you cope with loss and say goodbye. If you have any questions about our services or how we can assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached by phone or email at any time.
What Makes Us Unique
We are proud to embrace traditional values, diversity and innovation in honoring the spirit and life of each person we serve. We offer a full selection of:
- Funeral and memorial services, ranging from traditional to uniquely innovative and personal
- Burial services and cremation options
- Celebrant Services
Letting go of a loved one is usually a very difficult process. In order to provide your family peace-of-mind, our funeral home offers complete care, so you can focus on comforting each other as you prepare to say goodbye to someone dear to you.
Our Complete Funeral Service Package
In most cases, a family will choose to hold a complete funeral service to honor their loved one. This is commonly referred to as a traditional funeral service and includes a visitation, funeral service, committal, and reception.
For this funeral arrangement, guests will have the opportunity to host a visitation the evening prior to the service and up to the hour of service on the day of the funeral. After the visitation, a funeral service will be held at either the funeral home or a church the deceased held membership with. Immediately following the conclusion of the funeral service, the remains will be transported to a local cemetery for burial. Following the funeral service, guests are encouraged to stay for a reception where they can offer condolences and share memories of the deceased over refreshments and snacks.
Our affordable funeral service pricing for this package includes everything mentioned above. Please keep in mind that your family will be responsible for additional expenses like the casket, grave liner and monument. If you have any questions about our funeral service pricing or payment options, a member of our staff would be happy to assist you.
Our caring and professional staff would be happy to meet with you and discuss the different packages we have available. From there, we will work with you to personalize the funeral arrangements and pay tribute to the deceased with dignity and respect.
Our funeral service professionals can tailor services to suit any specific desires or needs of the families we serve. For further information or specific pricing, please consult with one of our funeral directors by visiting us or by calling us. Click Here to Learn More > > >
Why Choose Burial?
One of the most common questions we get asked is “why choose burial over cremation?”. If you are undecided we have provided a list of benefits of choosing burial to help simplify your decision. There is a wide variety of reasons why someone would choose burial, however the reasons listed below are what we have found to be the most common. Click Here to Learn More > > >
Part of making funeral arrangements on behalf of a loved one involves choosing between burial of the body, or cremation. Certainly this is a big decision, based on any number of factors: religious or spiritual beliefs, finances, or ecological awareness are just some of the reasons we’ve heard for choosing cremation. Before you can make the choice, you need to know exactly what it is you’re considering. If you’re wondering “what is cremation?”, you can learn the basics below. If the content here raises additional questions for you, please give us a call. One of our cremation specialists will address any of your inquiries or concerns. Click Here to Learn More > > >
Celebration of Life Services
More and more families are choosing to hold ceremonies that celebrate the life and personality of their loved one. A celebration of life
ceremony acts as an alternative to a traditional funeral
ceremony. It achieves the same purposes as a traditional funeral by gathering family and friends to pay tribute to the deceased. A celebration of life has a more uplifting atmosphere that reflects on positive stories and memories that involved your loved one. The major benefit of a celebration of life is that it allows you the freedom to best display your loved one’s personality, values, and passions, in whichever way you see fit.
The best way to start planning a celebration of life is to begin doing so while your loved one is still with you. This way you have the chance to ask them, “how do you want to be remembered?”, “what are you most passionate about?”, and “what would you like your celebration of life to include?”. This way you are not left guessing what your loved one would’ve wanted when it comes time to plan the celebration of life service.Contact Our Funeral Home in Clarksville, Tennessee McReynolds-Nave & Larson Funeral Home
Address: 1209 Madison Street Clarksville, TN 37040 Phone: 931-647-3371
Email: [email protected] Nave Funeral Home
Address: 4639 West Main St. Erin, TN 37061 Phone: 931-289-4277
Email: [email protected]
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2023.06.02 02:38 ATTAKcATHRAK April and May 2023 watchlist
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I like that some people have been posting about what they’ve watched each month, and I want to see more of it, so I wrote some blurbs on my recent watchlist. Probably wrote too much. The Eurocrypt(s) of Christopher Lee:
Like many classic horror fans, Christopher Lee is one of my favorite actors. However, I wasn’t especially looking forward to these sets, since I thought they would just be offcuts that Severin couldn’t unload as single releases. I’m pleased to say I was wrong. There are a few misfires among them (Challenge the Devil, Mask of Murder, Secret of the Red Orchid), then some mediocre ones (Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, Castle of the Living Dead), but finally some really enjoyable films. Crypt of the Vampire and The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (the latter in lurid color) are genuinely creepy and eerie, with looming gothic shadows and ruined castles. Dark Places has a kind of standard “man descends into madness” plot but a fantastic cast including Lee, Joan Collins, Herbert Lom, and Robert Hardy. Murder Story really surprised me! It features a couple of teenagers who befriend Lee (as a writer) and uncover a vast conspiracy while doing research for a novel. The dynamic between Lee and the kids is fun, and although the plot doesn’t really come together, the characters are strong enough to carry it. Finally, Dracula and Son, which I was truly dreading - a French comedy about Dracula and his rebellious kid’s wacky hijinks, with that cover (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71yHrbovNIL._RI_.jpg
)? But it turned out to be very enjoyable, not quite laugh-out-loud funny, but quirky and charming. Again, the characters make it. Al Adamson: The Masterpiece Collection:
What’s to say about this one? Adamson’s approach to making films (if you make a stinker, reshoot, recut, and rerelease until you like it) and his entire life (murdered and buried under his floor by a live-in contractor who seemed to be assuming his identity) are fascinating. Even when he makes a kids’ movie it’s bizarre, idiosyncratic, and mesmerizing. Al did it all - sci-fi zombie mashups, go-go crime capers, blaxsploitation, sexsploitation, historical sexploitation, regular exploitation, borderline pornos, sci-fi sex musical epics, rape-and-revenge, stupid comedies, kung fu, teen movies, family movies, fantasies, and more I’m probably forgetting. To anyone who has the cash on hand to get a copy now that it’s OOP, please do and don’t blame me if you hate it. You’ll probably make your money back if you sell. Favorites of mine include Psycho a Go-Go, Angels’ Wild Women, Dracula vs. Frankenstein (which I remember renting from Blockbuster at maybe 8 years of age), The Dynamite Brothers, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Black Samurai, Cinderella 2000, and Nurse Sherri. Also be sure to check out the documentary that comes with it. It’s film school in a box! Bill Rebane
: This filmography was something of a disappointment coming off the Al Adamson set. If you’re going to confine all your characters to a very limited location where nothing happens, you’d better make sure you have an interesting script. And none of these do. Also pretty disappointed in the image quality of the box set. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that The Giant Spider Invasion (the only Rebane film I have not part of the box) was the highest quality and the rest just happened to have no better source materials available, but I don’t know. The Giant Spider Invasion was also the best of his movies that I’ve seen, because it seemed to be the most passionate (and had that badass actual giant spider model). The documentary on the Arrow set was not great either. Made during the height of the pandemic, everyone was on Zoom and Rebane himself was only in it for about 5 seconds. However, it led me to his Twitter (https://twitter.com/billrebane?lang=en
) and website (https://billrebane.com/
), which are a trip. Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J. Warren, 1976-1987
: The last director-centric box set I watched recently, and one I already had some experience with. Satan’s Slave was featured on one of those 50-movie Mill Creek sets that I picked up when I was younger and watched before I should have. Satan’s Slave is genuinely well-made in my opinion, with a creepy setting, plenty of twists and turns, and enough gore to keep me interested. Prey is also awesome, despite being mostly uneventful. It’s very pleasant for being a film about an alien who comes to each to find a new source of food. Then we get to Terror and Inseminoid, both of which are awful, the latter being one of the most boring Alien ripoffs I’ve ever seen. But Warren brings it home with Bloody New Year, which is completely bonkers and a lot of fun. Night Gallery Season 1:
Maybe I was expecting too much from this. The TV movie that acts as a pilot for the series is excellent, perhaps because each segment seems like it could have been a Twilight Zone episode. Most of the rest of the season is… fine? A couple of better stories and a couple of worse ones scattered throughout. At the very least they all have good casts. However, the first segment of the last episode, “They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar”, made up for the blahness of the rest of it. It’s one of those quintessential Rod Serling scripts about lost innocence and the nostalgia of youth that really crush me, a lot like the TZ episodes A Stop at Willoughby and Walking Distance. I don’t plan to watch it again soon, yet I can’t speak highly enough about it. Exorcist II and III
: Who’s the real Exorcist II; The Heretic? It’s me. I didn’t think the second movie was nearly as bad as its reputation - especially the sequences in Africa, which I found to be pretty eerie and dreamlike. The story doesn’t make much sense, but that’s OK with me. And here comes the real heretical opinion - the third one is better than the first, which I’ve always appreciated but never been a huge fan of. The Exorcist III has a clinical coldness that draws me to it, and I really enjoyed the relationship (though I wish it was longer) between Kinderman and Father Dyer. I’ve heard about the studio fiddling with the ending for the theatrical cut, but honestly it’s a good thing they did, as the original is incredibly anticlimactic. Deadly Prey
: “Who am I? A little man who's spent 27 years of his life as a cop trying to put big shots like you away. 27 years in the filth and the dirt of the streets, and there ain't no music down there. You watch the people on the streets, killing, raping each other, pumping dope through their veins, while big men like you sit in the fancy penthouses. And yet the poor slobs rot in hell. I know about you. As long as it puts money in your pocket. Today the nobodies who made you rich are gonna win. Die, you son of a bitch.” Foes
: This was a real hidden gem. I stumbled across it on the recommendation page for another movie on RateYourMusic, and the poster immediately fascinated me. I looked up the Blu-ray release and discovered it was out of print. Then only a week later I found a copy at The Archive for a great price and watched it right away. I’m glad I did. It’s perfect late-night viewing, hallucinatory and dreamlike. I’m going to guess the script was probably around 5 pages. If you like movies where nothing really happens and lots of ambience washes over you, seek this out, but be sure to watch the 72-minute director’s cut. The longer studio-assembled version is awful. Death Wishes
: The first one is something of a classic, and it’s easy to see why it resonated with audiences as crime exploded in the 70s. It tries to play a ridiculous premise and execution as straight as possible, which hurts, especially in comparison to the Cannon-produced sequels and ripoffs that followed. Vigilantism and capital punishment without trial are heavy subjects, and Bronson, who can’t express convincing emotion, is not a good fit. I didn’t dislike the first one since I love all movies about 70s NYC, but it wasn’t great. The second one is a rehash with an updated setting and terrible score by Jimmy Page. The third is where it gets great, finally embracing the innate ridiculousness of the premise and taking it to new heights, backed by a great cast and a simple but effective script. Don’t remember the fourth one except it’s an inferior retread of the third. Serpico
: Another 70s NYC crime movie! This one is great. Though never to the magnitude of Frank Serpico, I’ve been stuck in seemingly similar situations before, where you just feel like you can’t talk to anyone about anything, and it sucks. The film is full of beautiful shots of the desolation of the city and this poor outsider who just wants to do a little something to improve it. Highly recommended! Food of the Gods / Frogs / Empire of the Ants / Jaws of Satan:
Here we have three classic 70s nature-gone-wild films, plus Jaws of Satan, which is from the 80s so has a slightly different feel. There’s something I really like about these kinds of movies, in all their static, flat, stilted glory. Maybe it’s because they’re kind of a revival of the monster movies of the 50s I enjoy so much. I’m probably not making a good case for them, but they’re comfort food for me, and I know one of you will understand! Others that have the same energy include The Incredible Melting Man, Night of the Lepus, The Devil’s Rain, and Kingdom of the Spiders.
2023.06.01 08:02 Lordofthe305 CPWA Octane 5-31-23
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We open with a recap of last week's main event featuring Keith Yang and the Jordans (Elijah, Deron "Ron", and Cedric) taking on "The Number One Pick" LeJuan Jones and Ivan Markov. LeJuan announces the names of the other competitors for his team, who are revealed to be General Wade and Guerrilla God, the Soldiers of Misfortune. A brawl ensues throughout the main event, leading to a low blow from Ivan Markov and Brother Julius running a distraction, allowing LeJuan Jones to win the match with a Game Winner on Yang. After the match, General Wade and Guerrilla God double-team Keith Yang and double-powerbomb him through a table. General Wade, Guerrilla God, along with LeJuan Jones and Ivan Markov stand victorious over the prone Keith Yang.
The moment of silence ends and we open with a 30-second intro highlighting all of the stars of CPWA as The Roots' "BOOM"
plays in the background. The intro ends with Shelton Jordan holding the CPWA Heavyweight Championship belt over his head. Pyro goes off in the arena for a few seconds, followed by cheering from the crowd.
Brian Kinsley: We welcome to CPWA Octane! We are coming to you live from Seattle, Washington! Brian Kinsley, Anthony Harris, and Sir Samuel Stewart, and we have a fantastic show for you tonight! We continue with the Super Junior Carnival, plus The Mortician will be in tag team action, and our main event, Shelton and Deron "Ron" Jordan take on General Wade and Guerrilla God, the Soldiers of Misfortune. Let's get right to the action!
We cut to the ring.
Announcer: The following contest is scheduled for...
Crowd: ONE FALL! GACKT's "Redemption"
plays in the arena
Announcer: Introducing first, from Osaka, Japan, she is Shiori Yoshimura.
Brian Kinsley: Shiori Yoshimura won the CPWA Women's International Championship from "The Iron Maiden" Mary Addams at Fatal Alliance in what seems to be the end of their rivalry.
Sir Samuel Stewart: Just because you say it's the end of something, doesn't mean it won't pick back up. I'm sure "The Iron Maiden" will be waiting to get her shot again, even if she has her sights set on going for the CPWA Women's Championship. Johann Sebastian Bach's Air on G String
plays in the arena.
Announcer: And her opponent, from the posh hills of the Hamptons, she is Priscilla Pierce.
Brian Kinsley: We haven't seen Priscilla Pierce in a few months, and that's because she was touring Japan and Puerto Rico.
Anthony Harris: She could've sent us a postcard or two about her time away from here, but now she's got a big test ahead of her.
Match 1: Shiori Yoshimura vs. Priscilla Pierce
A decent, if not solid opener that saw Priscilla Pierce get some offense early, but Shiori shrugged it off, went on the offense herself, and didn't look back. Give Priscilla credit for weathering the storm and even trying to fight back, but it wasn't enough as Shiori ended the match with a Spinning Bison Bomb.
3 out of 5 stars.
We cut backstage and we see Kevin Meyers interviewing Rory Irvine. Rory says that his first-round victory against Kelly Lawton was no fluke and he plans to go all the way just to prove that he belongs with the best in the Cruiserweight division. Rory then heads out for his match.
We cut to the locker room area and we see Brother Julius approaching the Soldiers of Misfortune. Brother Julius tells General Wade and Guerrilla God that he has the plan to eliminate the Jordans and Keith Yang altogether, courtesy of "The Number One Pick" LeJuan Jones. General Wade tells Brother Julius that he and Guerrilla God are all ears.
We cut back to the ring.
Announcer: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is a quarterfinal match for the CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament. The O'Reillys and Paddyhats' "Barrels of Whiskey"
plays in the arena.
Announcer: Introducing first, from Dublin, Ireland, he is Rory Irvine.
Brian Kinsley: Rory Irvine has been riding a high wave of momentum ever since beating CPWA Kelly Lawton in the first round of the Super Junior Carnival.
Sir Samuel Stewart: The young lad definitely is feeling himself as the youth would say, but let's hope it doesn't come back to bite him. 80s Synth Track Nightscapes
plays in the arena.
Announcer: And his opponent, from Los Angeles, California, he is one-half of StarrVice, Mark Starr.
Brian Kinsley: Mark Starr and MAGNUM Koyama had a decent match but it was ruined by the interference of Silver Eyes.
Anthony Harris: Then after that, Silver Eyes and MAGNUM Koyama were brawling thereafter. I'm sure these two are gonna bash in the ring again.
Match 2: CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament: Quarterfinal:
Rory Irvine vs. Mark Starr
Another decent match that saw some high-flying, technical holds, and a lot of hard-hitting striking. Mark Starr had control of the match, keeping Irvine grounded. Irvine started to make some offense of his own, but Starr kept him at bay. As the match ramped up, CPWA Cruiserweight Champion Kelly Lawton looked to get even against Rory, only to knock out Starr by accident. Rory would get the upper hand on Lawton, knocking him out and hitting the Celtic Crucifix Pin on Starr to win the match. Rory Irvine advances to the semi-finals where he will take on Money Mark or Owen Benoit-Jericho.
3 out of 5 stars.
We cut to a graphic hyping the other quarterfinal matches of the Super Junior Carnival Tournament, including "The Korean Idol" Han Sang-Hoon taking on Steve Odenkirk, Ricky Vice taking on Devon Gatlin-Tyson, and Money Mark taking on Owen Benoit-Jericho, which is next.
We come back from commercial break and we see Kelly Lawton groggily walking backstage. He bumps into Lord Phillip Byron IV, who scolds him for not getting his payback on Rory Irvine. "The Iron Maiden" Mary Addams approaches Kelly and tells him better luck next time.
We go to the locker room area and we see Shelton and Deron "Ron" Jordan getting ready for their main event tag match. Shelton says that he wants payback for what the Soldiers of Misfortune did to Keith Yang. Ron agrees and says that the Soldiers of Misfortune will get beaten up tonight.
We cut back to the ring.
Announcer: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is a quarterfinal match for the CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament. Almighty 3's "To The Other MC's"
plays in the arena.
Announcer: Introducing first, from Opa-Locka, Florida, he is Money Mark!
Brian Kinsley: Money Mark pulled off a miracle against Adam Odenkirk last week on Octane. He managed to survive the onslaught from the first round.
Sir Samuel Stewart: Unfortunately, there is more onslaught on the way, and it's not gonna be pretty. Blood Brothers' "Replica"
plays in the arena
Announcer: And his opponent, representing The Commonwealth, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, he is Owen Benoit-Jericho.
Brian Kinsley: Owen Benoit-Jericho had one of the best matches, if not the best match of the first round as he defeated Angel Vega.
Anthony Harris: That was a hard-hitting match and it could've gone either way. Let's see how this match pans out.
Match 2: CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament: Quarterfinal:
Money Mark vs. Owen Benoit-Jericho
This was the match of the night so far, and perhaps the best match of the quarterfinals. Owen took control of the match, using his amateur grappling and technical skills to ground Money Mark. Owen then used his submission holds to weaken Money Mark, only for him to survive and reach the ropes. Owen's relentlessness continued with German suplexes, but Money Mark managed to flip out of the fifth German suplex, leading to his offense. Money Mark was flying all over the ring, hitting Owen with a series of dropkicks, hurricanranas, and head scissor takedowns. Owen tried to go for the cross-face, but Money Mark hit the Moneymaker to get the win. Money Mark advances to the semi-final to face Rory Irvine.
4 out of 5 stars.
We then see a one-minute hype package for The Mortician. The hype package ends and we cut back to the ring.
Announcer: The following contest is scheduled for one fall with a 25-minute time limit. An organ cover to Runaway Casket
plays in the arena.
Announcer: Introducing first, from Resting Peace Funeral Home, he is the CPWA Television Champion The Mortician!
Brian Kinsley: The Mortician made quite a surprising return at Fatal Alliance when he not only challenged for the CPWA Television Championship, but also won it!
Sir Samuel Stewart: I knew I felt an eerie chill in the arena for some reason and there he was. Hp Boyz - Engineers.
plays in the arena.
Announcer: His tag team partner, from Maui, Hawaii, he is Kahuna Maiavia.
Brian Kinsley: Kahuna Maiavia has kept busy in his native Hawaii, training local wrestlers and touring New Zealand.
Sir Samuel Stewart: He told me he found some promising trainees in Christchurch and Auckland. Hope to see them in CPWA one day. Nu Breed's "Florida"
plays in the arena
Announcer: And their opponent, introducing first, accompanied by his alligator Sunshine, from the Sunshine State, he is the CPWA Television Champion, "Florida Man" Gary Strange
Gary Strange takes out a microphone.
Gary Strange: Now before I go in that ring and make mince meat out of the both of you to feed Sunshine, I have a tag team partner that I think you are familiar with, Mortician, and just like me, he's seeing red.
The lights in the arena suddenly turn red as Aka-Manto Chase Theme
plays in the arena. Aka-Manto rushes through the crowd and attacks The Mortician.
Match 4: The Mortician and Kahuna Maiavia vs. "Florida Man" Gary Strange and Aka-Manto
This felt more like a tornado tag team match rather than an actual tag team match as all four competitors brawled all through ringside. Gary Strange would isolate Kahuna Maiavia away from Mortician, allowing Aka-Manto to beat the living daylights out of him. After an utter brawl throughout ringside, Aka-Manto won the match with Redrum on the Mortician to get the win.
3 out of 5 stars.
After the arena lights go out and we hear an ominous female voice.
Ominous Female Voice: Pretty Boy...oh Pretty Boy...punish...them...all! Glitter Wasteland's "Cold War (Nightcrawler Remix)"
plays in the arena as Pretty Boy makes his way to the ring. Pretty Boy glares at Aka-Manto and then at the prone Mortician. Pretty Boy and Aka-Manto viciously assault Mortician. Pretty Boy then performs a chokeslam and tombstone piledriver on Mortician.
We cut to a graphic hyping the other quarterfinal matches of the Super Junior Carnival Tournament, including "The Korean Idol" Han Sang-Hoon taking on Steve Odenkirk, Ricky Vice taking on Devon Gatlin-Tyson, and the main event between Shelton and Deron "Ron" Jordan taking on the Soldiers of Misfortune.
We come back from commercial break and we see Elijah and Cedric Jordan talking to each other as they are on their way to meeting Shelton and Ron. Brother Julius approaches them with a "message" from LeJuan Jones. Brother Julius slaps Cedric as he and Elijah chase Brother Julius. The Soldiers of Misfortune ambush Elijah and Cedric, knocking them out.
We cut to the ring.
Announcer: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is a quarterfinal match for the CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament. Rain's "It's Raining"
begins to play in the arena
Announcer: Introducing first, from Seoul, South Korea, he is one half of the CPWA Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions, "The Korean Idol" Han Sang-Hoon!
Brian Kinsley: "The Korean Idol" Han Sang-Hoon put on a stellar match against Mexico's El Colibri in what was surely a high-flying battle.
Sir Samuel Stewart: I swore if I blinked even once, I would've missed something crazy. Those two put on a tremendous match. Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out"
plays in the arena.
Announcer: And his opponent, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he is Steve Odenkirk.
Brian Kinsley: Steve Odenkirk put on a masterful performance against Sharnaz Khan in the first round and looks do so again.
Anthony Harris: He's got skills on the mat, and he can even surprise you with his high-flying. Watch out for him if he makes it all the way.
Match 5: CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament: Quarterfinal:
"The Korean Idol" Han Sang-Hoon vs. Steve Odenkirk
There were lots of technical exchanges between the two competitors, a bit of anything you can do, I can do better. It was evenly matched early in the contest, but "The Korean Idol" took over the match and didn't look back. Han Sang-Hoon hit the K-Pop Drop on Steve to get the win. "The Korean Idol" Han Sang-Hoon advances to the semi-finals where he will take on either Ricky Vice or Devon Gatlin-Tyson.
3 out of 5 stars.
Backstage, we see Shelton and Ron getting past several referees and road agents as they look at the prone bodies of Elijah and Cedric. Shelton and Ron ask the referees and road agents what happened, to which none of the referees and road agents knew what occurred. Unbeknownst to everyone, "The Number One Pick" LeJuan Jones and Brother Julius were standing in the background, watching everything unfold.
We cut to the ring.
Announcer: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is a quarterfinal match for the CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament. 80s Synth Track Nightscapes
plays in the arena.
Announcer: Introducing first, from Los Angeles, California, he is one-half of StarrVice, Ricky Vice.
Brian Kinsley: Earlier, Mark Starr could not reach the semifinals, but Ricky Vice may have a chance to do so.
Anthony Harris: I think he has what it takes, but so does his opponent. Leo Arnaud's "Bulger's Dream"
plays in the arena
Announcer: Introducing first, representing The Olympians, from Jacksonville, Florida, Devon Gatlin-Tyson.
Brian Kinsley: Devon Gatlin-Tyson is still making a big statement that he belongs at the top of the Cruiserweight division. He defeated "The Hi-Fli Kid" Jerome Evans in the first round, albeit with help from Miles Orozco and Chip Day.
Sir Samuel Stewart: There you go speaking hearsay, Brian. Jerome Evans got distracted and that allowed DGT to get the victory. He does allow me to call him DGT right?
Match 6: CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament: Quarterfinal:
Ricky Vice vs. Devon Gatlin-Tyson
Earlier in the night, Money Mark and Owen Benoit-Jericho had a stellar match, but this one stole the show. Both Ricky and DGT were pulling off hurricanranas, poison ranas, headscissor takedowns, and even diving planchas on each other. The intensity was truly ramped up by the number of striking and counterstriking attacks both competitors were pulling off. Ricky looked to have the match won the Vice Lock, but Miguel Sandoval Jr. distracted the referee on behalf of DGT. This allowed Gatlin-Tyson to comeback and surprise Ricky with a cradle pin attempt, leading to a split-second DDT to get the win. Devon Gatlin-Tyson advances to the semifinals, where he will face "The Korean Idol" Han Sang-Hoon.
We cut to a graphic hyping the main event between Shelton and Deron "Ron" Jordan taking on the Soldiers of Misfortune.
Brian Kinsley: Next week, CPWA will be in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for Octane. The semifinals for the CPWA Super Junior Carnival Tournament are set as Rory Irvine takes on Money Mark, and "The Korean Idol" Han Sang-Hoon takes on Devon Gatlin Tyson. Plus, The Mortician will be in tag team action as he teams up with Mangod against Pretty Boy and Aka-Manto.
Announcer: Our main event is scheduled for...
Crowd: ONE FALL!!! Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's "The Creator"
plays in the arena.
Announcer: Introducing first, from Miami, Florida, the team of Shelton, Deron "Ron" The Jordans.
Shyne's "Bad Boyz"
plays in the arena.
Announcer: And their opponents, from the Trenches, the team of General Wade and Guerrilla God, the Soldiers of Misfortune.
Main Event: The Jordans (Shelton and Deron "Ron") vs. The Soldiers of Misfortune (General Wade and Guerrilla God)
As great as the rest of the card was, this match was a blemish in the form of a not so good, but not so terrible match. All four competitors beat the living crap out of each other. At one point, the Jordans had the upper hand, only for Ivan Markov interfered in the match, taking out Ron. This left Shelton at the mercy of the Soldiers of Misfortune as Guerrilla God pulled off Guerilla In The Mist (Modified Gun Stun) on Shelton, leading to General Wade to get the pin.
2 out of 5 stars.
After the match, the Soldiers of Misfortune, along with Ivan Markov assaulted Shelton some more and put him triple powerbombed him through a table as "The Number One Pick" LeJuan Jones and Brother Julius look on in approval as Octane fades to black.
Results from FedSimulator.com https://preview.redd.it/gqtk6z3ckc3b1.png?width=3302&format=png&auto=webp&s=6ddef3d02bff8e7ab760bc779f00eb7886a89296
2023.06.01 03:33 SkaldBrewer Bertram Clutterbuck - Peace Cleric!
Please let me know what you think about this backstory! I think it’s ridiculous but awesome. Wrote it for a character I’m starting this Friday, but wrote it up on a whim about twenty minutes ago and need some opinions. Thanks!!!
Bertram WAS your friendly neighborhood cleric; peace cleric to be exact. He liked long walks by the river, the latest in fashion and style, helping those in need, healing the sick and those too poor to seek or afford help by their own coin, and he still enjoys those things more than anything else…
However, Bertram is dead. Or he’s sort of dead. But alive! It all happened on his fortieth birthday when he was visiting the local shrine to Eldath, his favorite peace deity and magically bonded superfriend. After stopping in to give a small yearly tribute and say a few nice words, a bit of a windstorm had gotten to a blustery start outdoors and as he stepped from the threshold of the cathedral, one of the capstones, left unchecked and intended for generations, fell from the top of the spire right onto Betram’s holy head.
Thus ended his bromance with Eldath and started his love-hate relationship of necessity with Kelemvor. Upon waking, Bertram found himself at the edge of the gates of the underworld realms to be judged and weighed. Kelemvor himself greeted him as he was interested to see the to the judgement of fate of a cleric so devoted and began the process of weighing Bertram’s soul. Unfortunately, right as they were getting to the best parts, an agent from the Celestial Department of Weights and Measures descended to inform Kelemvor that the Scales of Justice of the afterlife had not been calibrated in several centuries!
Being an ever cautious and lawful deity, Kelemvor could not in good conscious allow Bertram to be weighed and enter any ethereal plane. Having immense wisdom even for a previously living human, Kelemvor spoke with Bertram for hours; telling him of his own life and how he ascended to become a deity of death and his own views of justice and right and wrong. What was only a few hours in the gateway to the underworld translated to days back on the surface, and Betram’s body was prepped for funeral. The skilled and knowledgeable clerics of the Peace Domain were able to reconstruct his skull and his head to look almost as he was when he was living, but could not prevent the natural process of decay, and was frowned upon as this would be against the natural cycle of life and death, renewal and decay.
Bertram began to understand and see the world from Kelemvor’s point of view during their talk, and no longer living, was no longer bound to Eldath. Understanding that Kelemvor was benevolent but served a very real and lawful purpose, and he accepted him as his new god and they forged a bond that lasts to this day. Performing a rite that only Simone as powerful as a godlike deity could, Kelemvor restored Bertram’s soul to his physical body as he lay on the funeral pyre readied for ceremony. Resurrected as something akin to a Hollow One, Bertram stood up and shouted “Hey Everybody!”.
Despite being surrounded by seasoned clerics who have seen disease, injury, battle, and worse, this was so shocking to all present that several turned in terror while others readied themselves instantly for a fight with the undead, in this instance being Bertram himself. As several of the more war-worn clerics were about to loose a barrage of spells, Bertram cried “Guys! It’s just me! Can’t we just get al……” and as he tried to finish speaking Kelemvor projected himself into the visions of everyone present, along with their god Eldath.
Explaining the entire story and that this was indeed the long walk loving, simple Bertram they had always known. However, the semi-decayed appearance of Bertram’s new form and it’s association with the corruption of the undead has been engrained in the minds of clerics for millennium, and despite not being hostile, Bertram’s previous friends and colleagues simple could not reconcile this new development with their years of experience. Days passed where Bertram tried to return to his community, but his fellow clerics and the village simply could no longer accept him. The sideways glances, parents clutching their children, people turning around or taking other paths as soon as they saw him just rapidly increased, and Bertram would go to his small home and be sad. So so sad.
During this time he found that his body would no longer decay, but he would no longer decay. He was essentially frozen in time at forty years old. He was alive, but dead….maybe? What would happen if he were killed….again. This is when he decided that he would just pour himself completely into healing and helping those in need no matter what the cost, and he would do it while travelling. He would journey far and wide, finding those that needed him; those who weren’t afraid of what he was or that he looked like a zombie. But after seeing all the souls of the dead waiting for judgement in the afterlife he had leaned to find violence even more abhorrent and vowed that he would only use physical or magical means of in the most desperate of situations.
And so Bertram set off on the road. Feet on the ground and fresh flowers tucked in all over his traveling clothes and armor, all in the hopes of finding other in need of help, dude!
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2023.05.31 17:43 m80mike I Was a Foreman at the Grazer Tower Demolition
Summary: A demolition firm struggles to take down a damaged building for their mysterious clients
I Was a Foreman at the Grazer Tower Demolition
By now Grazer Tower has faded as a household name but to some the rumors and madness surrounding it refuse to die. The demolition of the massive three hundred twenty foot octagonal hotel left a gap in the Atlanta skyline but little fondness in anyone's hearts. I have no particular first hand insight into the freak lightning strikes on the 30th floor atrium which killed 13 people but I am willing to tell my side of the story about the demolition effort leading to the botched implosion. I tell this as a full, open, and honest disclosure. The legal maneuvering and ink has dried, all of the dead are buried, and all the bleeding stopped. The scars remain, the pain persists, the things I saw there are burned in my head even after they've been discredited into the conspiracy theory woodwork of the internet. The lightning storm struck on a Sunday afternoon and the next day for all we knew the bodies were still warm when a lawyer representing the owners of Grazer Tower entered our corporate office. I look back on it now with open and clear eyes and realize it was all very strange from the start when my Lead Foreman, Tom, and I were called into the meeting in progress.
The lawyer and now our client, looked like a fairly normal man in his mid thirties aside from his impeccably white suit which was ironed to the point of looking like stone rather than cloth. Beside the white suit his lips were an uncomfortable maroon and glossy. Besides this he spoke in a plain, clear, and disarming manner refraining from legalese and maintaining a firm but not imposing eye contract with whomever he was speaking directly to.
He told us in no uncertain terms he was instructed to contract with our firm to take down his client's building. Tom and I were shocked when we heard this after all, the lightning disaster, while tragic and perhaps undeservedly tarnishing in the short term to the Grazer Hotel's reputation, did not render the structure unusable nor unsafe to its surroundings. The worst damage was that the steel dome of the 30th floor atrium had collapsed into the vaulted restaurant and ballroom of the 29th floor but that's where the structure damage started and ended, in fact aside from the 28th, 29th, and 30th floor, city engineers working overnight already declared the building sound. So while perhaps still time consuming and costly, repairing the building was definitely possible and cost effective but owners, to make an analogy, were basically insisting on totaling a car after a minor parking lot fender bender. They gave us a specific date by which the building needed to be taken down. When our Boss, Jim, rebuffed the lawyer, not only because the date was challenging and soon but also because it was possible we could have it dropped BEFORE the date specified. The lawyer insisted the building go down on the date given – not later and not earlier. Jim swallowed hard and then glanced at Tom and I. Then the lawyer involved the name of the head of the owner's group, a Mr. Rohmer.
Mr. Rohmer, according to the lawyer, was offering our firm one hundred percent of the cost upfront and another twenty perfect of the total cost plus any overruns – stating if the implosion came early or late, it would mean all very little – no, that's no a typo, that's how the lawyer phrased it from his client, Mr. Rohmer. With that detail out of the way, you can see how the car totaling analogy breaks down considering the owners did not stand to profit from it's demolition – in fact quite the opposite.
The lawyer chuckled a bit to break the tension. He explained his clients and Mr. Rohmer in particular were an unorthodox bunch and then even insisted he wear the white suit in any of their dealings. The lawyer produced a tablet PC from his messenger bag and leveled it to Jim. On the tablet was all the banking confirmation codes ready to go for a direct deposit into our firms account alongside a contract. Jim seemed to hiccup or belch in excitement as he hurried around the short side of his desk to sign it since his stubby t-rex arms could not reach across his desk.
The firm was committed, we were committed – I was committed and I started to mentally cramp up over the challenges we all faced. The Grazer Hotel was in the middle of a dense urban grid. It had to be precise drop with virtually no margin for error. Jim poured us a dram of scotch from the bottle hidden under his desk. None of us a second thought about Rohmer's cryptic remark – after all, how often did you get a one hundred twenty perfect no-bid contract walk in off the street, out of the blue?
A combination of exhilaration over the money and anxiety over the work load kept us all from sleeping that night. Jim and Tom ended up going out and having a wild night to celebrate while I went home to mentally prepare not only myself but also my wife and kids. As a family they were staring down a month and a half of late nights and weekends with no dad. My wife was frustrated until I told her about the bonus and then she said she'd fill the lonely time making plans to send the kids to Disney World and then find a place for us to spend alone together. The promise of a much needed vacation after this only super charged the butterflies in my stomach further in anticipation of this challenging season ending.
As the assistant foreman I had office and on-site duties. Most of it was coordinating between the two. This included personnel, setting up site security – including guards and cameras to keep urban explorers and vagrants of out the dangerous site and satisfy OSHA hazardous work place safety requirements. The most challenging duty was site prep which included disposal of furnishings, removal of windows and other flourishes of the structure's facade which could become deadly shrapnel during an implosion. Fortunately, despite all of this, the nagging questions about permits and clean-up contracts were already handled by the lawyer. Rohmer's group also waived any rights to furnishings which means they could be unceremoniously hauled out in any way we chose to and disposed of.
Now I suppose some of these things should have came as red flags to me – or at least some one in the company but we all justified it as the group must have connects and short cuts to permits and it was a relatively new building, only about twenty years old in fact and furnishings – whether old or new probably weren't of any antique or sentimental value. All in all these were blessings since they freed our hands a bit and made a near impossible deadline more possible.
Of course the good news came with some bad news. The city engineers forbade us from working at the 28th, 29th, and 30th floors – unless we brought in a separate crew to stabilize those levels first. This was quite the fly in the ointment for the controlled implosion plan we sketched out. The 30th floor wasn't as much of a problem but the 29th floor ballroom and the weakening of the 28th floor meant we can't inspect for how compromised they were by the steel atrium dome. For all we knew if we blew the 27th floor on down the dome could shift and topple over the top three floors outside of the implosion safe zone, imperiling people and nearby structures.
I raised holy hell about it while Tom stood calm. It could take months to stabilize and clear those floors and far more money than I thought our eccentric client would pay in overruns. Jim waved me off mid sentence and simply told me he'd take care of it. That was good enough for Tom so it had to be good enough for me. I went back to my job – securing site and planning drop.
Although we had a problem with the top floor our saving grace lie in the basements. It had a three story subterranean parking garage, a basement level pool, and a utility sub-basement. We could easily smash the first ten or twelve floors into that deep footprint. Also the utility sub-basement gave us a clean cut off from the grid and a fairly convenient way to protect the surrounding grid without interruption. Still, at least part of our team would take have to take three weeks out of our six and change to handle the utilities.
The first week was hectic, they always were but we hit no major snags. By the end of it were on schedule and all of the parts were coming together. We thought maybe, just maybe, we were well on our way to an early Christmas bonus but nothing could prepare us for what was coming.
If you work on a site long enough and work anywhere on the site security reporting chain you're bound to get a few questionable reports from your night guys. Let's face it, for folks who are wake all night five or six nights a week poking around with flashlights chasing shadows, every building every where is haunted. I've been on the site security chain for thirteen years so it was easy for me to dismiss reports from the night guys about unusual glows on gutted floors and stairwells, elevators which moved on their own with no one calling for them or inside when they opened on a random floor, or the security cameras and cellphones constantly going offline on the 27th floor and the utility sub-basement.
I wasn't convinced anything of concern was going on until I got called on site by the test drilling team. This team was responsible for sampling the support materials to determine where it was best to place the explosives and what explosives would be best to use. They reported the interior supports were designed in an unusual way with a honey comb of unorthodox metals and concrete not reported on the building's records or blueprints. Specifically, they reported the concrete was impregnated by some kind of metal veins which gave off a bright shimmer. I was asked to come identify it but they claimed it disappeared by the time I arrived.
I was irate at the team and their supervisor for having me to come on down on site for something that sounded so wrong to begin with. They showed me a grainy cellphone video and told me they would swear on a stack of Bibles the sparkling compound welled up in the test coring like mercury, turned blood red and bled on the floor before disappearing into the torn up carpet. I chastised them for making this up and threatened to get new sub contractors if they kept wasting my time. I spoke with a separate sample team on the lower levels and they too discovered some unusual metal compositions – ones which were different then the ones found the top floors. One of the engineers speculated that the contrast in metals between the top and bottom floors could be cause the building to hold an electrical charge, like a battery or like a capacitor. Either way, the engineer said it would require more explosives than initially thought to take down the structure.
A couple of weeks later we were painfully behind – glass removal in particular was going slow because those contractors claimed they were constantly losing their toys. They also claimed one night to have cleared the top five floors on the east side of all their glass – only for all the windows to appear fully intact the next morning. I was forced to end their sub contract due to misrepresentation of work accomplished.
The glass wasn't the only thing slowing us down. The wire and plumbing removal was hindered by the wires somehow were fused to the pipes and in some places, the pipes were fused to the load-bearing members – we thought maybe it was due to the lightning strikes but that really didn't make sense since all of the wiring and plumbing otherwise seemed to work fine before we turned off the utilities. The only thing going for us was the helicopter loophole. Instead of accessing the 30th floor through the condemned floors we were able to get work teams on the atrium floor by helicopter. The bodies of the 13 were removed before we started working and before the atrium fully collapsed into the ballroom but the teams working on the roof reported many unusual artifacts including stained glass and Greek letters comprised of unusual amalgams of metal.
All of the strangeness culminated in the disappearance of one of the night time security guards named Phillipe. I say disappear because his girlfriend filed a missing persons report with the police and when they came to investigate Tom was busy with the atrium operations so the job fell to me. I walked the investigator through guard's smart phone filed reports from the previous evenings. Admittedly I was behind on my end approving the reports so I was embarrassed when things in the report took a turn. His reports including the same odd glows the others were reporting in the stairwells and seeing metallic veins throb on the walls.
His last reports stuck in my head: Report: Sub-basement 4 clear, 0312. Report: Sub-basement 5 clear, 0305. Report: Sub-basement 6 clear 0237.
His “all clear” reports documented levels of the building which did not exist and the further he went into the areas which did not exist, the automatic timestamps went backwards in time. It made no sense – unless he was confused as to where he was due to intoxication and there was software glitch with the timestamps. I was forced to give the investigator no firm explanation.
It's easy to write off a high security guard – they're flaky by their nature and have plenty of reasons to ghost a part time gig and even to pull prank on their final reports. I almost wrote it all off until I saw his girlfriend – apparently his fiance, handing out missing persons fliers outside of the site gate one morning. She seemed absolutely heartbroken and I got stabbed in the gut thinking maybe this wasn't a ghosting and prank after all. Seeing is believing and the next week I started to believe. Tom was finishing up on the atrium level. We used some heavy lift choppers to remove the rest of the frame and glass. Now we could get a better look into the section which collapsed into the 29th floor. We started by using a series of video drones to investigate the melted twisted dome through the collapsed roof. We quickly learned that the drones were being interfered with as their feed would cut out or their batteries would die almost immediately upon entering the ballroom.
So, we had to cut some corners, against city regulations, we let Tom and two others rappel in from the roof on secured anchored lines with helicopter over watch support. We needed to do this because we needed make sure that collapsed wreckage would not move and potentially change the implosion direction. Tom got twisted in his gear as he tried to lean into one of the holes in the roof. He slipped and fell in, disappearing from sight. We frantically radioed for Tom as the other two workers abandoned their own attempts to peer in and scrambled to Tom's aid. Tom was pulled out of the section uninjured but he appeared to be in shock, he looked wild eyed and shook as he was put on the helicopter and lowered back to ground level. Within minutes, Jim called us back to the office to discuss the near miss.
Two weeks to go and week behind, a missing guard, and now a near fatal accident. That for Jim, was the last straw. Tom and I had run out the rope Jim gave us to hang ourselves with. Jim slammed his hand on his desk as he catastrophized, red in the face, nearly breathless, he yelled we could very well kiss that twenty percent goodbye with the way things are going. He pressured Tom to go on the record after his dip into the structure that the atrium debris ball in the ballroom posed no threat to the implosion. Tom was elsewhere. He stared off in a thousand yard stare before replying to Jim that it posed no threat. Then Tom headed for the door. Jim screamed at him that he wasn't done chew us out but Tom only said he had to get back to it. I supported Tom and followed him. He and I headed back to the site to secure the night shift changes – another night not at home and having a late dinner.
I asked Tom in the car ride back what he saw in there. Tom was fixed in a trance and barely responded. He said it was wild. When we got back to the site, Tom separated from me through the gate while I strolled across the street to grab us some dinner from a street vendor. As I stood around waiting for two gyros and two cokes I could help but be mesmerized by the gutted tower. It seemed to breath in the spotlights inhaling puffs of the dust and dirt on the site and then exhaling it. A faint glow, barely perceivable against the light pollution, seemed to brighten, dim, and fade from the upper floors with each of the building's breaths. I was transfixed on it and it was the first time the building gave me an eerie feeling.
I got back on the site, food in hand, there was a buzz in their air as the night shift streamed in and the day shift streamed out. I barely had my hardhat seated corrected on my head when the site's emergency alarm blew. The interim foreman tossed me a radio as I was swept with him and our site occupational safety and emergency personnel to the basement.
Our increasingly panicked footfalls blotted out the squawk of the radios but I could hear one name again and again in the equally panicked messages – Tom Tom Tom. Whatever was happening was happening to Tom.
We reached the pool level and a trail of gasps proceeded me into the pool. There was Tom in his vest and hardhat face down in the middle of the pool with crimson oozing out him into the cerulean tiles lining the drained pool. We piled in from the ladders and shallow end to get to him. It was apparent when the first folks reached him that he was dead. They hauled him out on a stretcher and to our shock he looked like he had been dead for much longer than possible and his skin was water logged despite there being no water. He had died of fall trauma possibly despite the pool only being six feet deep. The paramedics also claimed he had water in his lungs. Then I noticed he was wearing his rappelling harness weaved in his vest – but that made no sense – he took it and his vest off when we were getting chewed out by Jim. Why would he put his rappelling gear on again.
I was the assistant foreman no more. Now the buck stopped with me. As they took Tom to the morgue we all knew the show must go on – our client demanded it, Jim demanded it and Tom would have wanted it that way. The same police investigator from the guard's disappearance met with me over Tom's death. They said it was standard procedure with work place deaths. I gave him a copy of the footage on an SD card and left the moment after it left my hand.
I had the recording queued up to the time of the commotion. The video we provided had a poor angle and was focused on the door to monitor access – the comings and goings of people. It was shift change so people were filing in and out Tom was somewhere in the crowd. The pool was one of the areas which required both foot patrols and constant video monitoring. I hit the rewind button on accident and watched his body lie there and lie there and then the timestamp sped past the 1900 hour mark. We were in traffic from meeting with Jim at that time. This was impossible but I kept my finger on the rewind button. Around 1400 the camera shakes a bit and there is slight glow reflecting on the doors so I let it play back to the shake. There is a soft green glow and then could hear a heft thud in the room. I gulped knowing that was Tom falling into the pool around the same time he fell into the hole in the roof. The soft glow turned brighter and brighter like a laser shining into the lens – something that wasn't present on the rewind. There was a flash of an incomprehensible shape or form on the screen. I was physically hurt in my eyes like I had just stared into the sun. I was left dazed with the shaped burned into my eyes with each blink. Then the camera system shorted out and a tiny puff of smoke left the memory module. The cameras blinked off wall to wall, the whole system was dead.
With the cameras fried, regulations required someone high in the company to be on site or we'd have to leave for the night. So I stayed knowing we couldn't afford to lose an hour much less an entire night. I circled the pool between approving payrolls and directing the increased security guard traffic required to monitor more areas. I was thinking about what I would say at Tom's funeral. I was thinking about Tom's family and what they would think about his apparent suicide.
I was forced to patrol the rest of the sub-basements as well since most of the guards were at the site perimeters or higher levels. I would have to follow paths of Phillipe, the disappeared guard, and all of the other guards who had mismatched timestamps on their increasingly strange reports. If not for today's incident and the recording of Tom's death, I would have stood fast to the idea that these reports were the product of night jitters and drugs but now, no.
I gritted my teeth as I exited the pool area to patrol the lower levels. I hated this building I muttered to myself. I couldn't wait to see it all rumble. I thought about which part I'd like to keep from the site to place in Tom's casket – then I realized it probably wasn't going to be an open casket funeral. I was lost in my thoughts and hatred for the building as I roamed through the parking garage into the utilities basement. I lost track of where I was as I weaved down stairwells.
I shown my flashlight on the wall and the floor level sign said “Sub-basement 999”. I stopped cold in my tracks. I was hoping it was a prank but I knew it was no prank. Then I thought maybe I'd have some answers. Maybe I would finally see what all the strangeness was about. But then I freaked out about Phillipe's disappearance and turned to run back up the stairwell. I ran up four levels to what I thought was the lobby and I pushed the door open.
My jaw hit the floor when I saw a black and white galaxy – the stars were black and the space was white with gradations of gray. The whole room was just white outer space and the whole universe swirled fast counter clockwise. I tried to breath and when I did the galaxy shrunk before my eyes until it was the size of a tiny of marble and then even smaller to a speck of dust. I reached out as it floated towards me. I stared at the speck in a cold sweat. As I stared, I was looking deeper and deeper into impossible detail. In the dust I found the milky way galaxy, I found our solar system, I found Earth and then I found North America, and then I found myself back in the pool room dripping in sweat.
Time seemed to skip and space was malleable in that hotel. As we approached the deadline to drop it, some jobs which would take hours took days and some jobs which would take days took minutes. The anomalies seemed to swarm tonight and day and yet we pressed on. Tom was buried and I couldn't go.
We met the deadline and the city came out in numbers to watch us drop the thirty floor structure. They gathered nearly two blocks away clad in ponchos and dust masks bracing for the implosion triggered by half a ton of high explosives.
I was so burned out and demoralized. My mantra became “this is for Tom, this is for Tom” and it was the only thing carrying me to this day. I chalked up all the anomalies and even my own experience on 999th sub-basement level as a reaction to shock, loss, grief, and exhaustion.
We were on the thirty minute countdown and Mr. Rohmer's attorney was designated as the trigger man. He stood there with Jim and I in the command trailer with the detonator remote. The remote triggered a two minute countdown on the charges from a master control station in my command trailer. All the charges had to be hardwired old school style because we were getting too much walkie talkie and radio interference from inside the structure for any other method of trigger to be reliable. I was too tried to make a stink about insisting I do it. I just wanted it to be over but suddenly a freak thunderstorm brewed up over the city. The skies were overcast and we were on the verge of having to abort the implosion until the next day – despite the next day being a day past the deadline. If we didn't abort and went through with the implosion, there was a strong chance the shock waves from the blast would bounce back off the lower cloud base and shatter windows and ears across the city.
I sat in my command chair at the perimeter in dismay, almost in tears as it started to rain. I felt my heart drop into the acid of my stomach as I ordered the suspension of the implosion for the day. The lawyer, surprisingly, did not resist. I watched as the crowds dispersed from the viewing lines and police started to permit traffic back through the streets surrounding the site.
Then a group of unauthorized personnel threw open the door of the trailer. They were a mass of men and women clad in pressed white suits, stoney faces with thin maroon lips, one of them carried a white covered book.
The attorney dropped his eyes and head in deference to elderly man at the head of the congregation. The attorney addressed him as Monsignor. The man introduced himself as Monsignor Rohmer and he placed his hand on his attorney, calling him a cousin of the congregation, stating there will be no postponement and no delay.
Rohmer, a man I judged to be in his late 50's or early 60's was bald and covered it with a white derby hat. He was tall, about six five, and thin, so thin his suit fit him like snake half shedding its skin. His was face long and his cheeks thin and worn like a mountain side. His voice was steady and low like waterfall. Everything he said bloomed with authority and confidence. He ordered the building would be dropped in twenty minutes.
I told him I didn't care if he was the owner, the building could not be blown in this weather and I snatched the detonator out of his attorney's hands. Rohmer, moving faster than I believed humanly possible with some kind of martial arts move swiped the detonator from my hands. Simultaneously, he had two of his followers press Jim against the wall. They put him in a sleeper hold and he slumped down to the floor barely getting a word out. Then Rohmer gestured to his flock to follow towards the building.
They left in a fast deliberate almost choreographed walk like a flock of geese flying in formation. I grabbed the radio to get police help but I realized that was hopeless. I watched as our trailer was shrouded in the same interference we experienced in the building's interior. The CCTV monitors flickered out and the radio squawked static. Then I realized Rohmer had no control over the detonation and no way to contact his followers still with us in the command trailer. So I did what I had to and pulled the master key out of the master detonator in the command trailer and chased after the flock. I needed to know what was happening I needed to see with my own eyes what all of this was all about.
The Congregation had reached the lobby and I saw the trailing end of the clad white congregate into the stairwell. I darted at my best speed to follow them.
I reached the stair well door. I found Rohmer standing on the top step, apparently waiting for me. I was out of breath while he began to speak to me in his booming voice. He explained to me that if the building did not fall in the next twenty minutes, all of Earth would be pulled, sucked, inside out and down through the building into the black and white universe. The entire building, but especially the atrium dome, he continued, was designed and built to create and then temporarily contain an impossible shape, a living form, a 4 dimensional object, a tesseract, when struck by lightning in the presence of thirteen self-sacrificial Congregate members. This shape would slowly expand and cause space and time anomalies before growing so large inside compared to its size would pull us all into place with no life.
The shape was still in the process of forming even as we spoke, he said. It would reach critical mass and dimensional contortion and the only way to stop it was to disfigure and crush it in the hotel's collapse. He led me into the pool level where his entire congregation was sitting cross-legged where Tom fell. A green pulse, like a laser, came down from the ceiling into the group's center, where their white book lay open on blank pages. I had a feeling this glow was being projected down from the ballroom where the dome of the atrium was taking its final fourth dimensional form.
After a loud chant from the white clad followers, the book slammed shut and turned from a brilliant white shimming cover to one black as night. As they passed around book, their white suits turned black and the formed a single file line. Rohmer left my side and pulled the detonator from his suit. He showed it me and tossed it at me. In my panic I reached out with both hands to catch it but I forgot I still had the master key in my sweat slick hand and it fly out and fell at the foot of Rohmer.
I asked what he planned to do with the key without a lock and a jammed detonator. Rohmer bent down and grabbed the key and looked me without a hint of concern. He took the new black book into his hands and opened it facing the wall of the pool. A new green pulse launched from the book and flickered on the tiles. An octagonal outline appeared to frame a hazy image of a tropical beach. One by one Rohmer's congregation walked into the side of the pool, into glow and seemed to arrive safely on the otherside of the beach.
Once all his compatriots were on the beach, he turned a page in the book and reopened it, projecting another octagon portal on the side of the pool. I could see his destination – it was the command trailer. He stepped through portal and yelled to me from the other side that I had two minutes. The portal sealed.
I could hear the warning sirens we installed going off above me. Needless to say, I made it out, just barely. I reached the perimeter fence screaming to anyone who was in ear shot to run away. The building imploded as planned but I was caught in the dust cloud and developed tinnitus severe enough to be comparable with combat veterans.
The shock waves from the explosions were reflected off the cloud base and channeled down the street by other skyscrapers. Virtually every window in a two block radius around the site was shattered and hundreds of people were hurt in the resulting stampede and vehicle collisions caused by fleeing from the flying glass cascade. Parts of downtown looked like a war zone for weeks afterward.
Rohmer and the rest of his group, including the lawyer, had disappeared out of the trailer in another portal leaving a suitcase of gold equaling the twenty percent promised. Our company was fined, sued, and threatened with criminal charges and eventually put of business. There wasn't much left after paying the cities fines and lawyer fees.
Though I was spared any direct sanctions, I forced into an early retirement. I've had time to research Rohmer's group. There are at least six mentions of figures like Rohmer on the deepest parts of the conspiracy web. They seem to show up at a locale experiencing paranormal activity with a white book and then leave with a black book. Their departure usually marks the end of any strangeness. I can't be sure but this congregation seems to be summon demons, which they exorcise, by trapping them in their books. Trapping maybe a poor term to use since, as in the case of the Grazer hotel encounter, they can apparently cleanse the anomalies and then use the book containing them to weaponize a portion of the traits of whatever their unholy creations posses.
I suspect Rohmer and his congregation, now with the ability to teleport, are accelerating their plans, to whatever ends these paranormal means enable them.
Theo Plesha - Sequel to "Flush" by Theo Plesha on The Chilling App
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2023.05.31 16:17 NFCAAOfficialRefBot [GAME THREAD] (3-4) Georgetown @ (2-5) Alabama State
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2023.05.31 13:11 the_toupaie My Tier List (guess my fav album)
2023.05.31 01:24 acm Smartless hosts' relative popularity on Google Trends
2023.05.30 23:28 kasutori_Jack 2023 r/basbeall Power Rankings -- Week 9 : Tuesday Ranks Bring Rangers Threatening Top Spot, Mariners and San Francisco Ride Giant Seas, Cardinals Lose Altitude, If Rooting for Reds Voter They Get +1
— it's time for Week 9
Power Rankings: It may be Tuesday, but still thought about how much we dislike your favorite team 8 Days a Week. Also pool side blackjack is now my favorite part of Las Vegas. John Fisher, please ignore. Every voter has their own style / system and the only voting instructions are these:
"To an extent determined individually, you must take into account how strong a team is right now and likely to be going forward. You must, to some degree, give weight to the events and games of the previous week." TRANSPARENCY
: This link
will show you who voted each team where and has added neat statistics! New Voter Chance: Are you a fan of the Dodgers? Why? We have a new voter oppening. Please check this comment for details.
If something is a little messed up, feel free to
pester me let me know.
Total Votes: 28 of 29. So close.
|# || ||Team ||Δ ||Comment ||Record |
|1 || ||Rays ||0 ||Everyone's favorite myliobatiformes played another good week of baseball with the return of Tyler Glasnow. The Rays took an exciting series against the Dodgers after recharging during a weird mid-series rest day against the Blue Jays. Wander Franco is making his case to be starting SS in the All-Star Game, just make sure you don't accidentally vote for one of his brothers. It's still super weird to watch the offense carry while the bullpen struggles, but with guys coming back it should be f--, wait, Fairbanks is hurt again. ||39-17 |
|2 || ||Rangers ||+1 ||Series wins against both the Pirates and Orioles the last week has the club holding the 3rd best overall record in the majors. Go Stars. We're still having fun. ||34-19 |
|3 || ||Braves ||-1 ||3-4 last week and we started this week off with a loss against the Oakland "Triple A's" which is not good Bob. On the VERY brightside, we saw Soroka pitch from an MLB mound for the first time in almost 3 years. He pitched well and we need him to perform as we are absolutely depleted by injuries. Riley is starting to come to life. We hold a 4 game lead on the scond place MARLINS. Our division doesn't want to take advantage of our recent struggles, that's fine by me. ||32-22 |
|4 || ||Dodgers ||+1 || ||33-22 |
|5 || ||Orioles ||-1 ||A few weeks ago, I said if the Orioles can go at least .500 in May then they are for real. They wrapped up a winning month yesterday and have three games to go. They continue to play well, even though they lost the series against the Rangers, and seem to play better away from Camden Yards. They did, however, send Grayson Rodriguez down this week to AAA. He just has some stuff to figure out. He was getting crushed in his past few starts, and it was the right move to make. This solidifies the fact they need a frontline starter if they are going to make a serious push to get to and make noise in the post-season. ||34-20 |
|6 || ||Astros ||0 ||Jose Abreu finally hit a home run. All is right with the world. Unless the world's name is Lance McCullers Jr., who had another discomforting setback and we have no idea when we will see him this year. I still blame his hair. Anyway, our other Jose hit a grand slam at MMP this weekend. Where have we heard that before? ||31-22 |
|7 || ||Yankees ||0 ||It certainly would’ve been nice to take 2/3 from Baltimore, but it’s very hard to be mad at the Yankees’ month of May. Since May 1, the Yankees are 18-9, a huge turnaround from a .500 April. As we enter the dog days of summer, the top of the AL East is tightening up, but the Yankees don’t face either of the teams ahead of them again until July. The Yankees have to keep playing at this pace, and a Stanton (and maybe Rodon??) return could seriously help that. ||33-23 |
|8 || ||D-Backs ||+1 ||The Diamondbacks had a decent week, barely missing out on a sweep of the Phillies before dropping a series to the Red Sox. The offense gets on base but has been allergic to driving in RISP, and the starting rotation continues to be a merry-go-round, as none of the rookie pitchers on the team seem to be able to string together several good starts in a row without getting blown up once or twice. ||31-23 |
|9 || ||Blue Jays ||+1 ||The Jays' first series win since May 14th pulled us out of a bad-vibes tailspin the likes of which this fanbase hasn't seen since, well, the last time everybody freaked out over a losing streak. The usual suspects' continued confounding slow starts (Manoah, Kirk, Varsho, etc) have dropped us 10 games back from TB, last place in the best division in baseball. And YET, hope springs. Berrios (3 or fewer ER in 8 of his last 9 starts) finally appears to be pitching to the level expected of him when he was signed, and is pumping out quality starts along with Gausman and Bassitt. Kikuchi has slipped as Kikuchi does but has been very solid for a #5. We don't have the depth to send Manoah down for some needed alone time, but he's pushing it. Vladdy has been scuffling, Springer is heating up, and Bichette is an MVP candidate. With a little bit of lucky regression to the mean with abysmal RISP numbers, this team is just a few turns away from being very good. As long as we don't have to play too many games vs AL East teams. That should be fine. ||28-26 |
|10 || ||Twins ||-2 || ||28-26 |
|11 || ||Mariners ||+4 ||Just what the doctor ordered - 6-1 in the homestand so far. Some momentum is just what this team needs before two big series with teams they're chasing for playoff spots. If the M's can handle business over the next week, they'll be right back in the thick of it. Bryce Miller, do your thing. Up next: 3 vs. Damn Yankees, 3 @ Globe Life |Park Field Stadium Gardens Arena Domewhatever they're calling it these days |28-26 |
|12 || ||Red Sox ||-1 ||Scoring four runs total while getting swept by the Angels isn't a great look. This team is in many ways aggresively mediocre, always making sure that every win streak is followed up by an equally painful gut-punch. This is mainly due to the reliance on the offense to carry us to victory (2-17 when scoring <=3 runs), when the bats get cold, you're safe to turn off the game. Whitlock returning from injury and Bello/Sale both stepping up their game in May (2.74/2.42 ERA respectively) are good steps towards this team becoming Actually Good™ though. We'll see what June brings us... ||28-25 |
|13 || ||Brewers ||-1 ||Taking two of three from the Astros was nice. Barely avoiding a sweep from the Giants was not so sweet. Milwaukee has some issues with hitting in "close" situations. The Brewers either lose after having multiple opportunities to tie it up, or get absolutely blown out. ||28-25 |
|14 || ||Angels ||0 ||Did I travel out of state and all the way to Anaheim just to watch the team get swept by the Marlins? Perhaps. Was that objectively worse than what the Reds voter is going through? It's impossible to say. ||29-26 |
|15 || ||Mets ||-2 ||The Mets, who I proclaimed to be "good at baseball" last week, ended up dropping 2 of 3 against the Cubs and doing the same against the Rockies. I just don't know what to believe anymore. The only thing I know for sure is that Francisco Alvarez has got that fucking dawg in him, he's GOATed, he's him, he's on fleek, he's poggers, he's a proper legend, he's got an .885 OPS, he's a top bloke, he's got swag, he's fresh, he's Gen Z Mike Piazza, he's lit, he's making me feel old because he was born after 9/11, he's Francisco Alvarez. ||27-27 |
|16 || ||Gigantes ||+4 ||The Giants won yesterday, but strictly talking about last week, they went 5- 2 on an extremely acceptable road trip without any off days. Defeating two competent teams like the Twins and Brewers should feel good. On both losses, they gave up 7 runs, on every win they gave up 3, 1, or 0 runs. So, they threw two games out of 7 – that’s allowed. In the bad news department, Joc, Joey, and Thairo all not expected back until June 6th. I think we’re okay with more Bailey Patrick and this also means another look at unpredictable slugger David Villar. Slater continues covering for Joc. Let’s look a the numbers: 13th in MLB in Run Diff (+6 spots), 12th in RS / G (+6), 15th in RA / G (+2), 23rd in Bullpen ERA (+5). All of that is good and especially the bullpen is promising recently. The Giants continue at home vs the Pirates and wrap the homestand with 3 against our orange and black brothers in Baltimore. ||28-26 |
|17 || ||Pirates ||-1 ||Would I have been happy to learn on Opening Day that the Pirates would be around .500 at the end of May? Yes. But if you told me they got there after starting 20-8 I would be pretty disappointed. Here's hoping the pendulum swings the other way in June. ||26-27 |
|18 || ||Marlins ||+3 ||Yet another appearance of sweepy, the meme that was promised. After a rough series against the rox, we sweep the angels to settle into the third NL wild card spot. Our starting pitching is coming along after a bumpy start to several of our starters. Eury perez is gonna be a stud, just wanna remind yall. Also, shout out to Jorge Soler, who has been crushing baseballs the last week and change. In other miami sports related news, boston is the first city ever to lose two game 7s at home in both the NHL and NBA playoffs in the same year. Go Heat and go Panthers! ||28-26 |
|19 || ||Phillies ||-2 ||After losing 2 to the Diamondbacks and going down 5-0 in the 3rd game, the Phillies season looked as bleak as it could in late May while only being 4 games under .500. However, the team rallied and Trea Turner tied it in the 9th before going onto win it in 10. Then, they went down to Atlanta and split a 4 game series. It could've gone far worse. The Phillies most pressing need is now seemingly a 5th starter who isn't a guaranteed loss, as this week they trotted out Dylan Covey, who hadn't started a game since 2019. He got 2 outs and gave up 7 runs. He took the spot of Bailey Falter who, after a surprisingly productive 2022, started the season 0-7. Falter is the far better option, but Dave Dombrowski will likely be looking to upgrade until Andrew Painter can finally return. This week, the NL East road trip continues with their first 3 games against the Mets and 3 in Washington. Here's hoping June Schwarber shows up again this year. ||25-28 |
|20 || ||Padres ||-1 ||My Dad tells me it’s ok that the Dad’s lost 2 / 3 to NY; the Dodgers lost 2 / 3 to the Rays! The Pads aren’t in the same stratosphere as the Dodgers right now, though. 5 games under .500, 10th in the NL standings, 3 games out of the last wildcard slot. Of course there’s quite a bit of time to change it, there’s plenty of time to go on a run, or a slow and steady good month to gain ground. With every day that passes however, that goal becomes a bit harder to reach; I don’t think Pads fans were hoping for a wildcard spot by the end of this season, but that’s the position the team has to get to before even thinking of catching LA. The Padres are 4th in the NL West, and only a half game out of last. ||24-29 |
|21 || ||Cardinals ||-3 ||2-2 @ CIN; 1-2 @ CLE; 0-1 v KCR; another struggle week for the Cards. The fandom's been a bit kneejerk because of two good weeks before this. Their mistake. I'll say it a third time, the Cards playing at or beyond their expected level doesn't change the rotten FO. Yeah Marmol's pretty close to being fired, that's not a fix when the problem is John Mozeliak. ||24-32 |
|22 || ||Tigers ||+2 ||The most fun part of this past week has been watching the resurgence of Akil Baddoo. His energy is infectious and adds an exciting dimension to the lineup. As we head into the last few days of May, Baddoo has sported a .302/.405/.508 slash and a 155 wRC+ this month. Although he's still been hitting mostly in the 6 hole, if this keeps up he might find himself much higher in the order real soon. This week: 2 more vs. TEX and 3 at CWS. ||25-27 |
|23 || ||Guardians ||0 ||The Guardians won a series this week. I would like to see them win some games by more than one run, but it's clear this season, we have to take what we get. ||24-29 |
|24 || ||Cubs ||-2 ||Another terrible week for the Cubs, as a promising series win against the Mets was followed up by an embarrassing sweep against the Reds. The starting rotation was terrible, and the bullpen was somehow worse. Fans have had enough of David Ross, and Jed Hoyer is starting to come under pressure. Barring a dramatic turnaround, the Cubs will be sellers for the 3rd trade deadline in a row ||23-30 |
|25 || ||Reds ||+1 ||Okay guys, I’m here to be calm this week. I have been told by my wife’s attorney, Tom, that they are “aware” of my online activity regarding our impending divorce, so today let’s have a nice, calm, relaxing, perfectly fine, good old fashioned talk about Reds baseball. The Reds are just sorta middling. They’re not great but they’re not horrible. Unlike my marriage. Our starting pitching has resgressed, just like my marriage, and it’s very unfortunate to see, because our bullpen has been quite reliable unlike my wife. We still can’t hit home runs for some reason, but overall unlike my marriage the Reds on the upturn. There, are you happy Tom? I didn’t mention all the crap that’s been going on lately. I didn’t mention how I had to leave the Motel 6 I was at because I found a used needle in the bathroom, and by the way Tom, I know that you’re trying to use that as evidence that I can’t take care of my kids. I don’t even know who’s needle it was, it was like wedged behind the toilet. Believe me, I only found it because I dropped my phone while using the toilet. It wasn’t even visible, I had to like get on my hands and knees and crawl behind the toilet to grab my phone. So it puts the image in my head of some heroin addict or whatever sitting behind a toilet at a Motel 6 trying to get high, which honestly that just seems like an even worse situation than the one i’m in. Do I think it’s a coincidence that the day after I left the Motel 6 because of this, you’re requesting a drug test from me before I can see my kids? Huh Tom? How did you know about this incident Tom? The only people that know are the Motel 6 staff I notified, I don’t think any police showed up, so either you questioned them like i’m some criminal, or you’re following me. I know you’re reading this Tom, you’ve made several references to my posts on the baseball power rankings insinuating it’s me writing them, and yeah Tom you’re right it is me, can everybody in the comments give praise to Tom for being a regular Sherlock Holmes? Yeah everybody come on, Congratulations Tom! You’re the man! I’m gonna let you go home and fuck my sister, oh wait Tom I forgot, YOU ALREADY ARE. When you get home tonight tell Caitlin her brother says hi. Alright, I think I got that out of my system. Anyway, I think once more of our prospects are called up, probably around June or July, we may get hot and finish more closely to .500 than initially thought, and if this division stays like it is, and those prospects can deliver on their promise, it's entirely possible we could be in contention for the division. But a lot of this is gonna depend on if our Starting Rotation can get things back under control. Also we swept the Cubs so lol. ||24-29 |
|26 || ||Nationals ||-1 ||Week after week, I expect this Nats team to take a nose dive. I expect them to crumble and slip into a double-digit losing streak but it just isn't happening. They lead the NL in batting average (.267), are third in OBP (.330) and have the lowest strikeout rate in MLB. They still have their own troubles, but this team is alive (4 games out of a WC spot) ||23-31 |
|27 || ||Rockies ||+1 ||I don't have time to write a real blurb this week so you don't have to print this. Actually, you probably don't read these, I'm not sure anyone really reads them anyways besides the Reds guy's life breaking down, and this will probably get printed regardless. ||24-31 |
|28 || ||White Sox ||-1 ||Liam is back. I can't overstate how great that is to hear. He is one of the best people in the game and it's nothing short of amazing for him to be pitching in May. If you missed it, it was recently revealed that he had stage 4 lymphoma, not an early stage. He started treatment just over 3 months ago! Nothing on the field matters for this team, but at least there's that silver lining. ||22-34 |
|29 || ||Royals ||0 ||As of the time that this blurb is being written (Monday at 11:39 AM), only two teams in the majors have a record below .400. Yup, the Royals are there with the A's. I suppose the positive is that the team figured out that they can get rid of useless players in Hunter Dozier, but they still have a lot more work to do. ||17-38 |
|30 || ||Atléticos ||0 ||The A's have given up 10+ runs in a game 7 more times than they've won. It's a mix of bad roster building (the bullpen), under-preforming vets (Ramon Laureano 74 wRC+, Tony Kemp 38 wRC+), injuries (Seth Brown and Paul Blackburn are just now returning), and no fans in the stands since 2019. It's soul crushing to watch and the national media's constant condecention toward this particular poor team and it is even more annoying this year. ||11-45 |
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2023.05.30 01:22 _Revelator_ Clarkson's Columns: 30 Years at the Sunday Times & The Red Trouser Mob Speaks Nimby
30 years of this Motormouth On three decades of cars, controversy, and cow dung at the
Sunday Times (May 28)
By Jeremy Clarkson
Thirty years. That’s how long I’ve been writing for The Sunday Times
. When I joined the paper, back in 1993, John Major was in power, Neil Kinnock was a fan of Ford Sierras, they were still digging coal out of the ground in Yorkshire and other columnists on the paper included AA Gill, Michael Winner and, not long afterwards, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.
I’m the only one left now. Still here. Still bashing away at the keyboard. And still feeling like a fraud. I went recently to a party celebrating the newspaper’s 200th birthday and during a film that had been made to commemorate the milestone, I was left reeling at the amount of truly important stories it had broken over the years. And the journalistic colossuses who’d translated these shapeshifting events into readable, punchy prose.
Me? Well, I got a job in journalism — on the Rotherham Advertiser
— simply because my grandfather, a doctor, had gone out during an air raid in the Second World War and delivered the editor’s first baby. “I’ve always wanted to pay him back,” he said, “so you start on Monday.”
He sent me on a block release course to learn the tricks of the trade and I was terribly shit at everything. I only managed to pass my 110-word-a-minute shorthand exam by using a two-speed tape recorder and very long hair to cover up the secret earpiece. But while there I did meet a chap from the Harrogate Herald
who told me about a great gig. If you could get a motoring column in the newspaper, carmakers would send you a brand-new model every week, fully insured and brimmed with fuel. All you had to do to keep the gravy train running was say how brilliant it was.
So I became a motoring journalist — that’s the profession’s bottom rung, just below being a travel hack. And that was fraudulent too because I had no clue how a car works. Back then my peers and colleagues in the specialist motoring press would talk about gear ratios and steering racks and tread shuffle, and I had literally no clue what they were on about. In my mind you turned the key, witchcraft happened and you moved about. The gearbox? That was pure sorcery.
In some ways this ignorance helped, because if you know how a car works you aren’t all that surprised when it does. With me, I always have a boyish, tinkle-grabbing excitement when I push the throttle pedal and the whole car moves. It excites me. And I don’t think that excitement would be there if I were on some kind of a know-how par with the engineers who’d made it possible.
To get round the problem of not knowing what I was talking about, I wrote mostly about how a car made you look and feel. And that seemed to go down quite well, so pretty soon the gravy train became a foreign junket jus train as carmakers started inviting me to product launches. A lot of product launches. In the mid-Eighties I spent more time in Cannes and Barcelona than I did at home. And all I had to do in exchange for all the private jets and champagne was write a piece saying that the car made me feel and look very nice. And that it would do the same for you too.
At one of these product launches — for the Citroën AX, in case you’re interested — I bumped into a BBC producer who asked me to appear on Top Gear
, and pretty soon I was so busy doing that, I didn’t have time to go to Cannes and Barcelona any more. Which meant I had nothing to lose and could say what I liked.
Many of the carmakers didn’t like me saying what I liked, so an association of car industry press officers despatched a chap from Ford called Harry Calton to speak to my bosses. They told him that my directness was bringing more viewers to Top Gear
and that this was good for the motor industry. Which in turn was good for Ford. He agreed and pretty soon I was rushing about, refusing to review the Vauxhall Vectra because it was too boring. And likening the new Toyota Corolla to a fridge-freezer. And saying that the Ford Scorpio looked like a slightly melted waxwork model of Marty Feldman.
This brought me to the attention of The Sunday Times
, which asked me to do something similar in print. Which is quite an achievement if you think about it. Being asked to write for one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, on a subject about which I knew nothing.
I couldn’t even drive very well back then. This was a bit of a hindrance, because to write about how a car behaves “at the limit” you have to be able to take it to the limit, and to find out where that is you have to go beyond it, which meant doing some kind of skid. It was my old colleague Tiff Needell who taught me how to do that, at Kemble airfield, in a Lamborghini Murciélago.
I still don’t do it properly. Instead of using power to break traction at the back, which is what the professionals do, I use too much speed. I arrive at the corner far too quickly, lift off the throttle to pitch the weight of the car forwards and therefore reduce traction at the back, and then turn the wheel while rubbing some rosaries. It’s messy and smoky and scary sometimes, especially when you’re doing it three feet from the back of a camera tracking car. But it looked good on television, and it convinced millions of people that I was some kind of cross between Ayrton Senna and Adrian Newey, all wrapped up in a sandwich filled with idiotic metaphors and similes.
Soon The Sunday Times
asked me to start writing about other things as well, which is how I ended up with Adrian Gill, in Baghdad, in 2005, reporting on the Iraq War
. I was useless at this as well, choosing to use hyperbole instead of actually finding stuff out. “There were a hundred million soldiers” is so much easier than calling the MoD and finding out how many there really were.
I also had a terrible nose for news. Back in the autumn of 2013 — I did look that up — I was in Kyiv doing some kind of Top Gear
live show when I received a call from a different editor of The Sunday Times
, asking me to go down to Independence Square to see if the protests were as big as he’d been led to believe.
I was thrilled because this was my big chance to be a proper hack, at the pointy tip of a breaking story. So off I went with a notebook and no pen. No journalist ever has a pen. And having talked to the lone policeman and signed autographs for the six rather bored-looking protesters, I called the editor and said the whole Russia/Ukraine thing was a nonstory.
Incredibly, after 30 years on the paper, I’m still here. But will I still be kicking around after 40 years? With cars I think not. I recently borrowed a 2005 Ford GT and, on a beautiful spring evening, I took it from Chipping Norton to Badminton House, along some of the loveliest and quietest and fastest roads that Britain has to offer, and I truly loved it. But in the not too distant future drives like that will simply not be possible. And cars like that will be gone. It’ll all be 20 mph and giving way to cyclists and pulling over for 60 hours to fill up the batteries. And I want no part of that.
I may not know how proper cars work. But at least they interest me. The new breed? I have even less of a clue what makes them move along and I find them all to be more boring than Jane Austen giving a four-hour talk about Chaucer.
When I began doing this columnism lark you could say that the combustion engine was brilliant and that men can’t have babies. These days, though … you can still say those things. It’s just that now people get very angry with you. And I like that because I’ve always liked throwing rocks in ponds. It’s all I’ve ever done, really. Tried to mess things up. It’s been fun.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does the red trouser mob speak fluent nimby? You better you bet
By Jeremy Clarkson
, May 28)
I have some experience of not getting planning permission, and what I’ve come to understand is this: whether you want to build a conservatory, or a funeral home, or a nuclear power station, you’ve got to get the language right. Sustainable. That’s an important word. Your conservatory may feature window frames made from depleted uranium, but that doesn’t matter if you describe it as sustainable. And mental health. That’s critical. You need a sustainable sun room full of eco-plants because it’s good for your mental health. Plus you will empower the local building trade in a way that will be “transformative” to the low-income “community”.
Sadly, however, no matter how well versed you may be in modern government-speak, you will come up against a neighbour in red trousers who knows the even more powerful language of nimbyism. And he’s going to say that your new conservatory will cause more “pollution”, “traffic” and “noise”. That’s the holy trinity for those who worship at the altar of Laura Ashley. And if that isn’t working, they’ll wheel out the trump card: dark skies. They’ll argue that your new conservatory will cause light pollution, and then, I’m afraid, you’ve had it. Especially if there’s even a suggestion that you might harm a bat.
All of which brings me on to the Duke of Beaufort. He recently applied for permission to stage two summer concerts in the agreeable grounds of Badminton House — the Who and Rod Stewart, in case you’re interested. And I’m sure his representatives used all the right words.
They’ll have glossed over the fact that it’s bloody expensive to run a big house and new income streams are necessary, because that sort of argument doesn’t sit well in a country where anyone with a big house is wrong. That’s the law. So the duke’s advisers will have relegated the business angle to page 12 of the application and concentrated instead on how the sustainable, low-impact, green events will empower the low-income rural community and boost the mental health of the region’s bats.
Sadly, though, the duke’s neighbours are not just well versed in the language of nimbyism. They are fluent — they are past masters — in the art of objecting. So they started by pointing out there’d be increased traffic in the area and that noise would “reverberate” in nearby villages — presumably causing many bat deaths and “mental health issues”.
Naturally, they also said the concertgoers would engage in “rowdy behaviour”, even though it’s the Who and Rod Stewart we’re talking about. Most of the audience will be in their sixties, and when Roger Daltrey sings, “The kids are all right”, they’ll turn to one another and say, “They really are. Henry’s a commodity broker now, and Harriet is doing ever so well at Freuds.” Then, when it’s all over, they’ll go back to Stanton St Quintin in their Teslas, and Keith Moon will not head over to the local hostelries to blow up the lavatories because he died 45 years ago.
Fearing perhaps the council might cotton on to the fact the audience are extremely unlikely to drive their cars into the nearest swimming pool, the red-trouser people decided then to open up with sustained machinegun fire. Crime. Disorder. Public nuisance. Emergency services. Road safety. Pandora’s box. This was the Middle England playbook, and if they’d stuck to it, they might have got somewhere.
But they got high on their own supply and became silly, saying, “With 11 to 12 hours’ drinking licences, drunks will camp overnight . . . increasing the potential for a major fire incident.”
Right. I see. So this 65-year-old reveller overdoes it on the noon balloons and the Whispering Angel, puts up a tent he’s somehow smuggled into the venue and then, using some of the kindling he’s brought from the wicker basket in his snug, gets a fire going, which, despite the constant rain that goes hand in hand with British summertime concerts, somehow turns into a major Australia-style inferno that completely engulfs three neighbouring villages and ruins the dark skies for miles.
It’s the most preposterous argument I’ve ever heard. There was, once, a fire at an outdoor gig. It was caused by a faulty light on the stage and was quickly extinguished using stamping and a blanket. No one was injured and Bruno Mars was back at the mike eight minutes later. So the fire argument doesn’t wash.
And I’m delighted to say the duke’s local authority saw it for the nonsense it was and gave the gigs the go-ahead. And before you write in saying, “How would you like it if your neighbour invited the Who to perform in his garden?”, I’d say: “I’d like it a lot. Especially if they bring some lasers and do 'Baba O’Riley'.”
I fear, however, that this is not the end of the story, because now “sustainable” has been balanced out by “traffic”, and “empowering” by “light pollution”, the red-trouser brigade is going to become increasingly desperate in its constant battle to keep Britain as it was in 1957.
Mr Sunak announced recently that planners will be encouraged to look favourably on rural schemes, but they’re going to be up against a tub-thumping army that will quickly recognise that the fire argument was a bit of an oxbow lake and will start to argue that the new housing estate for the low-income community will cause a plague of luminous locusts that will spoil the dark sky. Or that it will attract immigrants who all have ebola. And that your longed-for barn conversion is actually a Russian missile silo capable of turning all of Chipping Sodbury into a nuclear desert for the next 10,000 years.
The Driving website of the Sunday Times
has also published a freely accessible interview with Clarkson
, on his 30 years at the paper. It's part of a larger feature
that also reproduces several old columns.
And here's the Sun
column: "Three things bother us in the UK
Clarkson's columns are regularly collected as books. You can buy them from his boss
or your local bookshop.
submitted by _Revelator_
to thegrandtour [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:38 developmentwomens Women’s Rights in the MENA Region: Progress & Obstacles
| || | submitted by developmentwomens to u/developmentwomens [link] [comments]
A Background to Women’s Rights in the MENA Region
Gender equality is a fundamental human right and an imperative foundation which lays the groundwork for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. The development of women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen much progress and obstacles over the past decade. However, the unequal status of women stands out as a particularly challenging problem.Following“International Women’s Day” last month, this article provides a snapshot of the development of women’s rights in the MENA region as of April 2023. MENA countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.The MENA region has a reputation for struggling with gender equality. Development of women's rights
Therefore, this article focuses on this region. However, it is important to emphasize that the MENA region is not the only place women experience inequality. Gender inequality is also seen in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and North America. Undoubtedly, women continue to face discrimination and significant barriers to fully realizing their rights worldwide.
Any Progress in the MENA Region?
Governments are developing stronger laws and policies to support women’s rights.Significant laws, policies, and programming developments have focused on gender equality within the MENA region. Moreover, women’s representation in government has increased.Many countries in the region have established “national women’s machinery”. This machinery is used in government offices, departments, commissions, or ministries. All these provide government leadership and support in achieving gender equality.Furthermore, there have been notable improvements in education and health within gender-related indices. There has been an increase in specialized programming to support women’s rights and empowerment in this region.Women struggle to uphold their rights in places like Palestine. It is international human rights laws and conventions which are helping women in advocating for and strengthening their fight. Since the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by the State of Palestine in March 2014, civil society organizations and women human rights defenders have publicly advocated for the implementation of the Convention and the passing of a Family Protection Bill, pending since the early 2000s, which would specifically address gender-based discrimination and violence. In turn, this will help to edge women closer towards gender equality in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Women are increasing their role in civil society and advocating their rights
Women are increasing their engagement in civil society. Women’s and youth feminist civil society has started to dominate the political scene in advocating for and securing gains. In Iran, millions of young women took to the street following Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody for improperly wearing her hijab. These women risked their lives to change the system. Many were arrested and beaten and now face the death penalty for speaking out. This demonstrates women’s power in standing up against authoritarian regimes and fighting oppression.Caption: Thousands walk to the cemetery of MashaAmini’s funeral in Iran supporting women’s rights in September 2022.The Iranian government is brutally repressing women’s voices who courageously stand up for their freedom. The UN has called Iran a “gender apartheid” on women.Women’s civil society actively engages internationally with the “Women’s Peace and Security” agenda. Remarkably, women activists have testified before the United Nations Security Council. The UN Women highlighted the gender impact of conflict and occupation on women’s rights.
What Obstacles Hinder the Development of Women’s Rights in the MENA Region?
Women face many inequalities within the MENA society, correlating them as second-class citizens with little to no protection from violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded existing inequalities. Moreover, factors significantly reducing space for constructive civil society engagement with governments include ongoing conflict, the revival of extremist religious groups, and increased political turmoil. These international crises created many setbacks in passing long-term legal change.The 2022 global poverty update from the World Bank reports that the MENA region is the only place worldwide where the extreme poverty rate increased between 2010 and 2020. Poverty has a detrimental impact on women’s rights.Gender-based violence is also one of the main challenges facing women in the region today, with devastating effects on their health and well-being and their economic and civic participation.Women protest for the development of women's rights in the MENA region.Caption: Egyptian women in Cairo protest against violence against women [EPA].Read more: Female Genital Mutilation in Somalia Reflects Deep-Rooted Gender Inequality.A striking example of gender-based violence was in 2022 when the Israeli forces shot dead Al Jazeera’s journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank. Abu Akleh, a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was killed on the 11th of May 2022 while covering Israeli army raids in Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.
Women have no right to nationality in the MENA region
The MENA region has the highest concentration of gender-discriminatory nationality laws. An estimated 50% of the 25 countries in MENA deny women equal rights to pass nationality to their children.Algeria is the only country in the region with nationality laws upholding complete gender equality, including women’s right to confer nationality on their children and noncitizen spouse on an equal basis with men. Thus, gender discrimination in nationality laws is one of the primary causes of statelessness in the MENA region, in addition to causing several other human rights violations.Lebanon, Kuwait, and Qatar deny women the right to confer nationality to their children and spouses in all circumstances. Other States, including Bahrain, Jordan, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), deny women the right to confer their nationality to children in most circumstances.
Malnutrition in women and girls increases by 25%
Malnutrition in women and girls increased by 25% in crisis-hit countries in the MENA region between 2020-2022. Over a billion women and adolescent girls are malnourished in the world. This has detrimental health, economic and well-being impacts. Most women and girls affected by this statistic live in the MENA region. Both local and global crises in 2023 could exacerbate the development of women and girls living there. Rising poverty and inequities increase the chances that people will turn to cheap, ultra-processed, unhealthy foods.ddressing malnutrition in women and girls is essential to reduce the gender health gap”Therefore, the world is making slow progress. Issues like soaring food prices, climate change and the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic risk making the nutrition crisis an even more significant problem in 2023. Nutrition is a widely overlooked issue; coordinated access and policy intervention are urgently needed.Read more: Children’s Rights in Yemen Are Teetering on the Edge of A Catastrophe.
The opinions and attitudes of citizens across the MENA region were recorded in the latest Arab Barometer survey from October 2021 to July 2022. This is the largest publically available survey published since the onset of COVID. Its results were shocking across 12 MENA countries, which collectively are home to 80 per cent of the citizen population in the Arab world. The findings give an unprecedented insight into the everyday lives of these citizens.
2023.05.29 15:00 stonescoldtakes NFL Update: 05/22/2023 - 05/28/2023 - OTAs are Back!!!
— Individual Team News + Stone’s Cold Takes
— Miscellaneous/Other NFL News
— Restaurant of the Week - Washington D.C. Arizona Cardinals:
- Released WR DeAndre Hopkins and he listed out info about what he wants in his next team:
- Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert
- He wants stable management and a great defense
- Some folks in AZ were upset with Hopkins because he sat out the last couple of games
- S Budda Baker says he will be at camp when its time for him to be there
After some decent news the last couple weeks for this organization there wasn’t really anything great from this week besides maybe the fact that if WR DeAndre Hopkins was a distraction to the team he now no longer is one. It will be interesting to see how things play out this year. Atlanta Falcons:
- FB Keith Smith was arrested on traffic charges
- Driving with a suspended license he claims was a misunderstanding
- K Younghoe Koo didn’t ask for money from RB Bijan Robinson to give him his number but asked him to pick a charity at some point down the road to donate to
- Will have joint practices with the Dolphins
It sounds like the situation with Keith Smith should get resolved rather quickly and was more of a misunderstanding than anything else. It will be fun for this young team to have joint practices with Miami and it will be a good way for their defense to get an initial test from an elite offense. I am sure the Dolphins won’t reveal all of their tricks but either way they will have to worry about guarding an elite offense with elite playmakers. Baltimore Ravens:
- QB Lamar Jackson expects a more pass-heavy offense under new OC Todd Monken
- WR Michael Thomas separate his shoulder and could require labrum surgery
- WR Rashod Bateman who just played just 6 games was on the field for OTAs on Monday
- Waived Daelin Hayes
- S Kyle Hamilton excited for expanded role with the team
- Tony Jefferson is retiring and joining the team as a scout
- DL Angelo Blackson
- QB Josh Johnson
It is crazy to think about how just about a month ago the news around the Ravens was all negative and that it seemed like the relationship with Lamar was fractured. Now here we are and Lamar seems about as happy as can be and is excited about the offense that is being installed under new OC Todd Monken. It will be exciting for him as well to have WR Rashod Bateman back who I still think can be a key playmaker on the team. It appears the Ravens could be set for big things even in a tough division. Buffalo Bills:
- No surprise, QB Josh Allen is hyper-focused and wants to win a Super Bowl
- S Damar Hamlin is back out working out on the field
- WR Stefon Diggs did not attend OTAs
- EDGE Von Miller guarantees he will play by week 6 but is not rushing anything
- S Dean Marlowe
- Joel Wilson
Great to see the that S Damar Hamlin was back out practicing. I know it has been some time since his collapse on the field but it still feels like yesterday that I was watching that game in complete shock at what I had witnessed and worry for him and his family. WR Stefon Diggs being absent at OTAs is not a big deal to me. QB Josh Allen has a lot of other guys he needs to get familiar and work in with anyways and a lot of star players don’t attend OTAs to either get rest/recovery or to do their own workouts with their private coaches. I imagine he and Kincaid will be deadly this year and who knows they may even have WR DeAndre Hopkins joining them as the Bills were one of two teams that inquired and had talks about a trade for him. Carolina Panthers:
- TE Hayden Hurst is recovering from sports hernia surgery
- QB Bryce Young is taking most of the first team reps
Not too much news here other than what we saw and heard from OTAs about Bryce Young getting to take most of the 1st team reps. It appears that he looked good and his teammates were saying great things about him. It is tough to judge any quarterback though in the offseason because no matter what folks always say their young or new quarterback is looking amazing and things are progressing nicely. I will say though I have heard the most good things coming out from camps about him and Anthony Richardson of the Colts. Chicago Bears:
- QB Justin Fields excited about the growth WR Chase Claypool had over offseason
- Got permission to begin demolition of Arlington Park racetrack
Good news for Chicago fans who are excited for their move. It seems that things are proceeding nicely with the process of moving to a new stadium. Also, great to hear that Chase Claypool may be able to make more of a difference this year. It would be hard to be less effective than what he was last year for this team. I still believe he can be a major impact player like many expected him to be when he entered the league. It will be key for him to become Fields’ go to receiver over some of the other talent they have on the team. Cincinnati Bengals:
- Want to sign WR Tee Higgins and LB Logan Wilson to long term extensions
- Have made their initial push for QB Joe Burrow
This team has a lot to do in terms of contracts that they need to get figured out. The team view Tee Higgins in very high regard and so does Joe Burrow as they should. They also really want to get Logan Wilson signed. However, what will come out to being the biggest of the contracts they do this offseason is that of Joe Burrow. What will continue to make things tough here is the longer it takes for Justin Hebert to get his deal done because Burrow will likely be the last of the 4 quarterbacks to sign his because it is presumed he will get the most money and has an agent who like to wait til the last minute. Cleveland Browns:
- WR Elijah Moore feels good now that he feels wanted with his new team
- EDGE Za’Darius Smith is excited to be facing the Ravens this year
All good news for Browns fans so far. The team is looking good and their appears to be a lot of good vibes coming out of practice. WR DeAndre Hopkins is even considering coming to Cleveland for the chance to play with his old QB. Also, WR Elijah Moore is looking crisp and at least for the moment it appears he is much happier. It will all depend on if he actually gets the ball thrown to him during the season though. Dallas Cowboys:
- HC Mike McCarthy is keeping offense in Dak’s language despite the changeup in play callers
Not too much news here which is good for this franchise because they are almost always the center of attention. The main thing I took away from this week was just that things seems to be going well with McCarthy and Dak working together on the offense but that there have been some growing pains at least initially getting used to new systems as expected. Denver Broncos:
- Waived Hunter Thedford with injury settlement
- Released K Brandon McManus
- K Brett Maher worked out for the team
- QB Russell Wilson has lost a lot of weight this offseason
- HC Sean Payton excited about what S Kareem Jackson can do to help team
- RB Javonte Williams was limited in OTAs starting on Thursday
- T Cam Fleming to a 1-year $4m deal
- DT Tyler Lancaster
It appeared to shock just about everyone when the news broke about K Brandon McManus getting released because he had become a fan favorite over the years in Denver. QB Russell Wilson has lost a lot of weight and it is evident just from seeing him this offseason. I didn’t think his weight was the issue hindering him last year but hopefully he can feel he is playing at a healthier weight. What I think most Denver fans were excited to see was RB Javonte Williams back on the practice field. He is going to end up being the real difference maker this year and whether this team competes with the top of the AFC or not will largely depend on him making the rest of the offense’s life easy or not. Detroit Lions:
- Former WR Calvin Johnson was at OTAs this week after having been away from the organization following a rough falling out post-retirement
- RB David Montgomery said that losing with the Bears “sucked the fun out of the game”
- WR Jameson Williams says that he didn’t know about the gambling policy; HC Dan Campbell feels he is miles ahead in terms of his talent already
- Traded an undisclosed draft pick for K Riley Patterson
- Signed a 1-year $2.35m deal
- RB David Montgomery and LB Malcolm Rodriguez left practice due to injury
- Team has done their homework on free agent WR DeAndre Hopkins
- NFL is investigation another Lions player about league gambling rules violations
- OL Germain Ifedi
- Max Pircher through international player pathway program
A lot of news here. Let’s start with the bad news. It appears that they may be having more penalties come down on their team/players due to the league’s gambling policy as their is an ongoing investigation into a 5th player from the team. Also, David Montgomery and Malcolm Rodriguez left the field with injuries. It is still early though and they appear to be minor injuries so hopefully it won’t affect them in the long term. Now some good news. It sounds like WR Jameson Williams is progressing nicely and the team got a new kicker in Riley Patterson from the Jaguars who should help the improve there. Lastly and maybe the biggest news is that Calvin “Megatron” Johnson was at OTAs hanging out with coaches and players. Many are hoping those good vibes carry over into the season. Green Bay Packers:
- Cut TE Nick Guggemos
- Will host the 2025 NFL Draft
- HC Matt LaFleur is please with Jordan Love but still need to work on a lot of things
Exciting news that Green Bay will get the draft in 2025! I was thinking they would try and stick to more southern states but they clearly are willing to go North with Detroit and now Green Bay being the hosts of the next two. HC Matt LaFleur appears to be being honest with everything and trying to temper expectations a bit with Jordan Love taking over. This could be to help take pressure off of Love and also just be the flat out truth that with any young quarterback it is going to take some time. Houston Texans:
- Appears DeMeco Ryans may not be too sure about pursuing Jadeveon Clowney
- HC DeMeco Ryans expects the o-line to be a strength for this team
- Currently it is a QB competition between Davis Mills and CJ Stroud
- Other teams have been inquiring about QB Davis Mills
I am not surprised about DeMeco Ryans hesitancy about pursuing Jadeveon Clowney. First of all he just may not want to reveal his cards to others in the league about what he is thinking. The other thing is that he is one that likes for his defense to have an identity and a really good work ethic. I am not saying that Clowney can’t fit that mold but it just makes the selection process for what Ryans wants on defense that much more thorough. The other news that surprised some but something I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is that QB Davis Mills will compete with Stroud for the starting job and is viewed as a desirable QB to other teams around the league. I know his stats haven’t been the best but I am not sure any of the young quarterbacks would have done well with what the Texans organization has been the last couple years. At the end of the day CJ Stroud will end up being the team’s starter due to draft status and probably will be the more talented, better option. Indianapolis Colts:
- No timetable for Shaquille Leonard to resume practicing
- QB Anthony Richardson was running a similar offense to what Jalen Hurts has run in Philly and was very impressive (splitting 1st team reps)
Overall things seems to be good for the organization. The main thing we are all waiting on is when Shaq Leonard will be able to get back out there and start practicing. It makes sense not to have him practicing now since things are optional anyways. The hype has been there for QB Anthony Richardson thus far and it appears he may be closer to starting right away than a lot of people thought. Jacksonville Jaguars:
- Traded K Riley Patterson to the Lions for an undisclosed draft pick
- RB Travis Etienne looking forward to doing some fine-tuning this year
- Signed Brandon McManus
Not too much news out of Jacksonville other than the change at the kicker position. Things got busy and they were able to trade K Riley Patterson to the Lions rather than release like the reports had said prior. Then they went out and got a proven veteran in K Brandon McManus who had just been released from the Broncos squad. This team is going to be interesting this year and will go as far QB Trevor Lawrence can take them. Does not hurt to have the veteran kicker for the big moments that could be coming for this organization. Kansas City Chiefs:
- HC Andy Reid is not a fan of the kickoff rule change hinting at the NFL getting closer to being flag football
- TE Travis Kelce is not happy about it either
- QB Patrick Mahomes addressed contract saying he cares more about Super Bowls
- LB Nick Bolton doesn’t think the defense gets enough credit
- QB Patrick Mahomes says that it has been a smooth transition to new OC Matt Nagy
- HC Andy Reid feels fullbacks have been phased out of the NFL and that the Chiefs will not be using one
HC Andy Reid who normally is pretty quiet and doesn’t get too involved was in front of the media a lot this week it felt like. First, he is not a fan of the new kickoff rule and it appears most coaches are not. Second, he talked about how the team will not be using a FB because they are being phased out of the NFL and he feels that the TEs they have on the team can play the role when needed. Overall it seems things are going well for the Chiefs and things could be a going a lot better here soon as they appear to be a top option for WR DeAndre Hopkins and one the few teams that had trade talks before he was released. Las Vegas Raiders:
- Former QB Tom Brady reached an agreement to be a minority owner of the team
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo had to have foot surgery after signing with the team and there is not timetable for his return - believe he should return before the season
- Things could get interesting depending on how situation with Jimmy G works out
- WR Davante Adams is not happy about the current QB situation with the Raiders
- Adams and team have been sued by the photographer he shoved last year
- Will have joint practices with the 49ers
It appears there is never a dull week with the Raiders. The news this week about Jimmy seem to add context potentially to what Davante Adams’ comments were about recently. With Tom Brady recently joining the ownership group here it makes us all wonder if the injury is not cleared up is there a way for him to un-retire once again…only time will tell. Los Angeles Chargers:
- RB Austin Ekeler to a new deal for this final year that added on up to $2m in incentives
Big news here getting the deal done with Austin Ekeler even if it still only keeps him around for 1 year. Thankfully now he should be semi-happy for that one year before he can go out and chase a big contract if he wants to. Los Angeles Rams:
Not much news here really. Sounds like Matthew Stafford has taken Stetson Bennett under his wing and started to work with him and help him learn more about the transition to the NFL compared to college. Miami Dolphins:
- WR DK Metcalf challenged WR Tyreek Hill
- Will have joint practices with the Falcons
- QB Tua Tagavailoa is wearing a camera on his helmet to help HC Mike McDaniel see what he sees on the field
I loved seeing Tua wearing the helmet cam. I had not thought about it before but it should be great for him to be able to show McDaniel exactly what he is/was seeing out on the field to add context and allow McDaniel to better coach him and understand what is going on. I think this should be something all quarterbacks do and especially the top ones because it could gives coaches that much more information and a better understanding of how to help young quarterbacks in the future. Minnesota Vikings:
- WR from the XFL Lucky Jackson
- DC Brian Flores wants defense to develop an aggressive identity but not reckless
- RB Dalvin Cook could be a June 1st cut
All signs appear to be pointing towards RB Dalvin Cook getting released. In other news it will be good for the defense to develop the aggressive mindset that Brian Flores wants and should bring in the attitude from Miami that wad established during his time there that was so effective and led to them winning games. New England Patriots:
- Got docked 2 days of OTA workouts for violating offseason rules and HC Bill Belichick was fined $50,000 dollars
- Placed LB Raekwon McMillan on injured reserve due to partially torn ACL
The Patriots seems to always be up to something. It sounds like they were penalized the 2 days of OTAs and fined because of a meeting that Joe Judge held that lasted more than the permitted amount of time. Other tough news came when Raekwon McMillan got injured. New Orleans Saints:
- TE Foster Moreau is participating in OTAs
- Being in New Orleans has given QB Derek Carr a breath of fresh air
- Former HC Jon Gruden is working with the team and Derek Carr
What a story. TE Foster Moreau finds out he has cancer in a physical with the team a couple months and gets ahead of things and is now practicing with them at OTAs. Interesting story here about former HC Jon Gruden working with the team because during his time with the Raiders many said that he and Carr did not get along. This team has a big opportunity to take over the NFC South and is probably the bet setup to do it with the team they have. New York Giants:
- Rookie WR Jalin Hyatt wants to get to 190lbs as his playing weight
- TE Darren Waller is happy to somewhere where his opinions are valued
- QB Daniel Jones is enjoying working with TE Darren Waller
- HC Brian Daboll will not speak on contract situations despite currently Barkley situation
It seems that everything is going great except the Saquon Barkley situation. There isn’t much new insight into it either after HC Daboll refused to speak on anything contract related. In good news it seems like TE Darren Waller is really enjoying being with the team and working with QB Daniel Jones. This is a team to me that is going to play inspired football like they did last year no matter what is going on because their HC. New York Jets:
- QB Aaron Rodgers had minor calf strain
- WR Allen Lazard went down during OTAs but supposedly was just a shot to the groin
- Worked out P Matt Araiza
- Chuck Clark was happy to be traded because felt disrespected by the Ravens
- HC Robert Saleh is confident a deal will get done with Quinnen Williams
- Will have joint practices with the Buccaneers
I imagine Jets fans held their breath when they saw Aaron Rodgers get injured as well as Allen Lazard. The good news is that those are not going to be issues in the long run. However, it reminded us all that QB Aaron Rodgers is not a young guy anymore and there is always the possibility that he like any other player in the NFL can get hurt. Hopefully the deal with Quinnen Williams can get done sooner rather than later. I am looking forward to the joint practices with the Bucs because they have a solid defense and it will be fun to hear how they fare in the early phases of implementing a lot of things from both Nathaniel Hackett and Aaron Rodgers. Philadelphia Eagles:
- OL D.J. Fluker worked out for the Eagles
- DL Jordan Davis has made major strides this offseason will take on a larger role
Jordan Davis is going to be a key piece for the team this year in my opinion so it is great to hear he has made major strides. He is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to his sheer size and the more he can be weaponized the better. Pittsburgh Steelers:
- EDGE Markus Golden to 1-year deal
- LB Toby Ndukwe
- Easy decision for QB Mitch Trubisky to sign extension
- Started contract talks with OLB Alex Highsmith
- Released Tae Crowder
- Want to play a regular season game in Ireland
- WR Allen Robinson has been very impressed so far by QB Kenny Pickett
- QB Kenny Pickett had his car stolen with his playbook inside of it
Great move to get Markus Golden. He can be dangerous in this defense and is only one season removed from a double digit sack year. Also, good to see that Robinson and Pickett appear to be getting along. I am curious to see who shakes out to be the #1 receiver on this team but have a feeling it will end up being Pickens because of how good he was last year and the chemistry he and Pickett already have. A QB likes it when his receiver makes life easier and bails him out. Pickens has already done that on multiple occasions for him. San Francisco 49ers:
- QB Trey Lance just wants a chance to compete and never considered being traded
- Raved about this time working with QB Patrick Mahomes
- QB Brock Purdy expected to start throwing next week, be able to go from gripping a towel to an actual football
- QB Sam Darnold will push to start come week 1
- Levi’s will officially get the Super Bowl in 2026
- LB Dre Greenlaw has a thumb procedure and will miss most of the OTAs this offseason
- Will have joint practices with the Raiders
It is official the 49ers will host the 2026 Super Bowl! After speculations and rumors it finally became official this past week. Also, there was a lot of good QB news this week with all 3 of the QBs on the roster. Sounds like Brock Purdy is healing properly and as expected, Trey Lance is looking really good in OTAs along with Sam Darnold. Once again this offseason no one is sure who will be starting for the team come week 1. Seattle Seahawks:
- WR DK Metcalf challenged WR Tyreek Hill
- CB Tariq Woolen had arthroscopic knee surgery and it out til training camp
Good news for Seahawks fan that Tariq Woolen will be back around training camp time after his procedure. Other than that there was not much news here. They got a solid rotational/depth player in Artie Burns though. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
- Video of QB Baker Mayfield making an overthrow went viral on social media
- Will have joint practices with the Jets
- WR Chris Godwin feels like he has a lot of his explosion back
- Team wants to see more consistency out of LB Devin White before offering him the contract he wants
Great to see that Tampa has joint practices with the Jets. They have a tough defense and it will be good for Baker and the offense to get some work against that defense early on. The Bucs have some great weapons on the offensive side of the ball to really compete with those top defenses and if they can all stay healthy this team could be a dark horse team to watch. Overall this should be a good all around team. Tennessee Titans:
- QB Will Levis is putting pressure on Tannehil and Willis in OTAs this far
- S Kevin Byard is skipping OTAs
Interesting to see that S Kevin Byard was not at OTAs after earlier this offseason it was rumored he was asked to take a pay cut. Definitely a situation to watch. The main news that came from OTAs is that QB Will Levis appears to be looking good and some folks think he could be putting pressure on Tannehill early on and moving himself up the depth chart. Washington Commanders:
- HC Ron Rivera said that DE Chase Young understands them not picking up his 5th year option
- New OC Eric Bieniemy has been getting on young QB Sam Howell holding him accountable
- Trademark application was denied due to someone else already having pending applications for the name but the team is confident this issue will get resolved
- It has been good for QB Sam Howell that QB Jacoby Brissett has been in the building
- TE Amani Rodgers tore his ACL and is out indefinitely
- Released Nathan Gerry
- Jamin Davis limited in OTAs after knee procedure
- Financing needs to be adjusted in order for the Josh Harris bid to be accepted
Feels like a lot happened with the Commanders. First off, I think QB Sam Howell is in a great spot to learn and develop this year with mentors like Jacoby Brissett and then his OC Eric Bieniemy. They will hold him accountable like has already been happening and help bring out the best in him. Now it definitely is an organization surrounded by distractions. First off the trademark application for the team’s name was denied and they hope to get something figured out but could lead to another name change. Also, the team is still working through the Josh Harris bid and there need to be some adjustments in order for it to get accepted by the other NFL Owners and the league. These distractions even though they may not always be good for the team they probably do help a young quarterback because he is not the only thing to talk about at this point in the offseason. Miscellaneous/Other NFL News:
- Many believe that Thursday Night Flexing is to cater to Amazon but really could be the future of how deals get done
- Teams have to have 28 days notice and this is currently just a 1 year move
- RB Jeremy Hill who has not played for the past 5 seasons officially retired siting injury issues leading to his retirement
- NFL injury data shows that turf fields are significantly worse for players than grass fields
- The Pat McAfee Show will be taking over Max Kellerman’s the time slot on ESPN
- Commissioner Roger Goodell’s lobbying convinced teams to vote in favor of the new kickoff rules
- Dr. Timoth Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds' physician since 1996, says he sees an "epidemic" of youth injuries on artificial turf
- RB Adrian Peterson will be hanging it up if he’s not back in the NFL this season
- After Goodell’s retirement the NFL could change the structure of management for the NFL combining a traditional CEO with a Commissioner of Football
- Possible a team will play 3 back to back games in Europe in the future
- Devin McCourty will be joining NBC’s Sunday Night Football crew as an analyst
- Officially approved emergency 3rd QB rule
- Investigating further violations potentially of league gambling policy
- DirecTV will still distribute Sunday Ticket to bars and restaurants
- S Tony Jefferson announced his retirement
- Announced growth of global market program
Restaurant of the Week: (Washington D.C. - TACOS 5 DE MAYO)
Don’t really have a great picture of this place but that may be a good thing. Often times I find that the places least advertised and that are holes in the wall is typically where you get the best Mexican food. This place is about a 10 minute drive from the stadium and probably closer to 15-20 minutes on game days depending on the time you go. Personally I recommend the Tacos Al Pastor. Those are basically a marinated pork taco that is slightly spicy with some sweet pineapple flavor in it. You cannot go wrong with Tacos Al Pastor and are by far my favorite. The other thing to keep an eye on is the Pupusas. While Pupusas are from El Salvador this place actually does a pretty dang good job of making them. For those that don’t know what Pupusas are they kind of resemble a stuffed pancake but are made of corn in most cases stuffed with either just cheese, cheese and beans, or cheese and pork. My order here would be 3 tacos al pastor and a cheese and bean pupusa. Enjoy!
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2023.05.28 12:35 teamcrazymatt Defending the Draft 2023: New England Patriots
No one can ever predict a Bill Belichick draft.
When people start assuming he’ll act based on his stereotypes (first-round trade down, OL early, no early WRs, all Alabama players or small school guys or guys from Rutgers), he’ll do the opposite. When the consensus is that he’ll shift away from those stereotypes, he’ll lean right into them.
So in observing mock drafts, both full and team-centric, there was a lot of accord that he would follow those stereotypes. (Adam Korsak, both a punter and from Rutgers, was EVERYWHERE.)
But then the end of April came.
Before then, New England had suffered a 2022 season full of embarrassment, from Matt Patricia and Joe Judge’s ineptitude at running the offense to a team that seemed to find new ways to lose in humiliating fashion (a certain ill-fated lateral sequence peak among them). The Patriots went from their dynastic reign as a team which would trounce their opponents in laughers to the team that everyone pointed and laughed at. Mac Jones’ Patricia- and Judge-sparked regression along with impressive cameo appearances by ‘22 rookie Bailey Zappe split the fanbase into Mac and Zappe camps, with sports media fueling the flame by spreading or outright fabricating rumors
of Belichick shopping Mac, rumors which lasted through the first day of the draft. It was an ugly season and an uglier start to the offseason.
The franchise clearly needed to make changes in 2023, and changes started near the top. Patricia and Judge lost their roles, the former joining the Eagles coaching staff and the latter moving to lead special teams, a necessary move as this Belichick-led squad had plummeted to the lowest-ranked third unit. (More on that later.) Patricia had filled the dual roles of de facto
offensive coordinator and facto
offensive line coach, and filled both roles with the acumen of me designing plays in Backyard Football 2002
, except I could actually design plays that resulted in touchdowns. Judge had manned the quarterbacks room, and given that Daniel Jones finally broke out for the Giants once Judge had been booted from mentoring him, you can guess how that went for Mac and the Pats. In his new role in charge of special teams, he has already cost the team two OTAs and Bill Belichick $50,000 for an offseason meetings violation, and has elevated his 2022 title of Co-Most Hated Man in Foxboro to Single Most Hated Man in Foxboro.
Anyway, New England needed to fill their old roles, and brought in: Bill O’Brien, Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach
A long-time friend of Belichick’s, O’Brien returns for his second stint as Pats OC, having dictated the offense in Rob Gronkowski’s record-setting 2011 season. Additionally, O’Brien comes by way of running the offense and the QB room at the University of Alabama, which spawned Mac Jones. Mac regressed in 2022 after an impressive 2021, but recall that 2022 was under the abysmal leadership of Patricia (calling his plays) and Judge (his direct coach), a situation in which no one could develop. By bringing in O'Brien, Mac has been put in the best possible position to develop in ‘23, a position which will much more clearly give fans a vision of his future as an NFL quarterback. (And the playcalling will be legitimate! It’s been but a year and we have already forgotten what creativity, route concepts, and misdirection have looked like!) Adrian Klemm, Offensive Line Coach
Belichick’s first draft pick after taking the helm in New England in 2000, Klemm has joined the team after coaching at Oregon last year. He comes with a strong reputation at that coaching position, having headed a Ducks O-line that allowed just five sacks in 2022. Last season, the Patriots saw a regression from their veterans on the line, most notably in Trent Brown’s newfound flag-happiness, and first-round rookie guard Cole Strange put forth a mixed performance. Bringing in an actual offensive line coach gives the team the best chance to fix any issues that showed in ‘22 and to develop their young linemen.
Of course, coaching was not the only issue last season, as New England was criticized for their lack of talent on the roster. Of New England’s high-cash free agent class of 2021, only edge rusher Matthew Judon shined in both his seasons in Foxboro: neither tight end Jonnu Smith nor wideout Nelson Agholor ever got off the ground, tight end Hunter Henry regressed after a solid ‘21, and wideout Kendrick Bourne found himself suddenly in Patricia’s doghouse and off the field. Moves needed to be made as the calendar turned to free agency. Notable Departures S Devin McCourty (retired)
The most prominent departure from the ‘22 squad, McCourty is one of many who can be termed a quintessential Patriot. A first-round cornerback out of Rutgers in 2010, D-Mac made the switch to safety in 2012 and locked down the position for the next decade. When he was on the verge of leaving the team in free agency in 2015, even reaching out to Belichick to say goodbye, Belichick signed him to a top-valued safety contract and kept him in red, white, and blue. His leadership and personality made him a joy to watch on the field and off, his personality showing itself especially well recently through interactions with his twin brother Jason, who played alongside him for the Patriots from 2018 to ‘20. Statistically, D-Mac ends his career with 35 interceptions, one shy of the franchise record, and 4 touchdowns (two picks, a kickoff return, and a blocked field goal return). We miss him already. P Jake Bailey (released; signed with Miami)
What a drop. After an All-Pro season in 2020, Bailey signed a four-year extension in 2022 only to become the worst statistical punter in the league. After he was injured, the Patriots brought in Michael Palardy, who managed to be even worse (personally, I blame the team’s curse that comes with the jersey number 17). Neither punter remains with the team, Bailey joining an AFC East rival in the Dolphins and Palardy currently unsigned. TE Jonnu Smith (traded to Atlanta)
There is a strong case to be made that Smith is the worst free agency signing Belichick has made as Pats GM. In the two years since inking a 4-year, $50 million deal, Smith totaled just 55 catches for 539 yards and one touchdown, and a ‘22 restructure of his contract meant that Smith appeared to be a monetary albatross the Patriots would not be able to shake loose. What led to Atlanta agreeing to take on his whole contract, sending New England a seventh-round pick to get the player, I have no idea, but I think every Pats fan would agree that Smith didn’t work out in the least and a change was best for all sides. WR Jakobi Meyers (signed with Las Vegas)
Meyers’ departure was somewhat shocking, as the 2019 UDFA had worked his way up to the top of the Patriots’ wide receiver depth chart. More of a big slot guy than an outside #1, Meyers had a minor role in his rookie season and started 2020 at the bottom of the depth chart, but injuries to the players above him got him onto the field, and a 12-catch, 169-yard performance against the Jets that November meant he wasn’t leaving it anytime soon. While not possessing top-tier speed or explosiveness, Meyers was the team’s best route runner and separator, and his departure left another void that needed to be filled. QB Brian Hoyer (released, signed with Las Vegas)
Hoyer was third on the depth chart, Zappe having shown enough to take the #2 spot. While a fine veteran mentor, the Patriots chose to go a different direction with that third QB role. WR Nelson Agholor (signed with Baltimore)
Agholor was given a two-year contract in 2021 with the anticipation of his being the #1 receiver, something which did not happen due to his unreliable hands and separation abilities. For those two years and $22 million, Agholor produced 68 catches, 835 yards, and five touchdowns. Not worth it. RB Damien Harris (signed with Buffalo)
By far the most productive member of the Patriots’ atrocious 2019 draft class, Harris was good in New England but had been passed on the depth chart by sophomore Rhamondre Stevenson midway through 2022. Couple that with Belichick’s predilection to let running backs walk instead of giving them second contracts, sprinkle in a dash of two ‘22 draft picks (Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris) who will get more opportunities in 2023, top it off with the return of Ty Montgomery II from injured reserve, and it’s no surprise that Harris is no longer a Patriot. T Isaiah Wynn (signed with Miami)
Another former first-round pick, Wynn was all right as a left tackle though was criticized for frequent injury problems; with his fifth-year option picked up for ‘22, he was inexplicably switched to right tackle, where he was very bad. He never really earned the role of franchise tackle, so it was expected that the Patriots would let him walk.
But on the upside, the team now has: Additions WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (via Kansas City)
After Meyers signed with the Raiders, the Patriots worked quickly to bring in his replacement in the slot. Smith-Schuster revived his career in Kansas City and is now in position to be a primary target for Mac for the next three seasons, possessing more explosiveness and speed than his predecessor. The biggest concern with JuJu is his durability, but I believe the Patriots have made preparations in the draft (spoiler) in case that becomes a significant problem. The fanbase is excited for Smith-Schuster on the field in Foxboro, and deservedly so. RB James Robinson (via New York (the green side))
A one-time breakout UDFA in Jacksonville, Robinson’s role diminished with the rise of Travis Etienne Jr.; after being traded to the Jets, Robinson never got settled into a role. In New England, Robinson is likely first in line for the #2 RB spot behind Stevenson, an important role given that Stevenson’s overwork saw his productivity decline as last season came to an end. Robinson also possesses the pass-catching versatility that Belichick loves, a role Harris was never used in but Stevenson is, further suggesting he can have a significant spot on the field for the Pats. TE Mike Gesicki (via Miami)
As Smith never worked out as the co-#1 TE, here comes Gesicki. A pure pass catcher at the position, Gesicki has the size and hands to be a reliable target in the red zone, and should pair nicely with Henry for a potential TE-heavy formation as the team approaches the goal line. T Riley Reiff (via Chicago) T Calvin Anderson (via Denver)
While neither comes with the contract expectation of being a long-term solution at either tackle spot, the hope is that Reiff (expected to start at RT) will be an upgrade over Wynn, while Anderson serves as a reliable swing tackle who can start if needed. LB Chris Board Jr. (via Detroit)
Remember that awful special teams unit? Board is one of the NFL’s top special teamers, a player Belichick singled out when New England faced the Lions last year. It’s unsurprising he brought in such a veteran to help solidify the unit after… just all of last year. QB Trace McSorley (via Arizona)
By bringing in McSorley in Hoyer’s stead, the team is showing a bit of a shift in philosophy with how it is using its backup QB spots. Both Mac and Zappe are pocket passers; McSorley does most of his work outside the pocket and can run with regularity, a trend more common among top-level quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. At minimum, he’s worth a camp spot, and that’s fine. P Corliss Waitman (via Denver)
Following the implosion of Bailey and Palardy at punter, the Patriots were on the verge of entering the draft with none on the roster. Waitman is a veteran addition there, but pretty much everyone expected New England to add a punter either as a draft pick or UDFA. (Another spoiler – my bad.)
After this free agency, many saw the Patriots as still having holes at the top of their depth chart at wideout, tackle, and cornerback. Tight end was also considered a need as New England, despite adding Gesicki to pair with Henry, does not have a tight end signed beyond 2023, entering the draft with only Matt Sokol and Scotty Washington behind their name duo.
Then they went on the clock, entering the draft with:
1-14 2-46 3-76 4-107 4-117 4-135 6-184 6-187 6-192 6-210 7-245
Here’s how it all went down. Draft Picks TRADE: 1-14 to PIT for 1-17 and 4-120
Although this trade was criticized for receiving too little back from Pittsburgh, it was not a major loss in capital according to the Rich Hill value chart
(325 points to PIT, 320 to NE), and it came with enough high-level talent on the board that the Patriots were sure to get one of their targets. The way the board fell, fans most wanted Christian Gonzalez, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, or Broderick Jones; when the Steelers took Jones, it became clear that the Patriots were not interested in him (reports came out that the Patriots had not been interested in Jones at all due to coachability concerns), but they were sure to land an exciting player after moving down only three spots rather than the seven-plus many mockers had predicted. Additionally, the Steelers landing Jones appeared to knock the Jets’ war room for a loop (though later video has shown that the Jets were expecting the trade), and the only thing New England fans love more than a victory is an opportunity to screw over the Jets. 1-17: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Patriots’ selection of Gonzalez received universal acclaim, and it’s easy to see why. Despite having strong CB depth, the Patriots lacked a true #1 corner; Gonzalez has the ability, length, and athleticism to be that from Day One. The first-round pick via Colorado and Oregon was widely projected as a top-10 selection, so for New England to land him at 17 is a tremendous coup. From his interviews and his play style, Gonzalez seems like a quiet guy off the field who wants to shut the opponent down when on the turf. He’ll be fun to watch. 2-46: Keion White, ED, Georgia Tech
White is another player falling under the new Patriots draft umbrella under Belichick and Matt Groh: as athletic as can be. While he is raw, White has the athleticism to play three downs along the defensive line and the versatility to move inside when the situation calls for it. The Patriots thought so highly of him that he was a player they were considering drafting in the first round, even considering a move back into the last picks of the round to snag him, but landed him at 46 anyway. How much he will play as a rookie is uncertain as New England has a very good edge duo in Matthew Judon and Josh Uche, but even if White has to take a year to get acclimated to the NFL, that’s not unheard of in Foxboro and has produced success for highly-touted picks: neither Nate Solder (first round) nor Trey Flowers (fourth round) took on long-term starting roles as rookies (though Solder filled in at right tackle plenty), but were established starters in their second years. Similarly, Uche (second round) started off as an occasionally-used part of a pass rushing rotation before hitting double-digit sacks last year, his third season in the league. And if White earns significant playing time in 2023, all the better. 3-76: Marte Mapu, LB, Sacramento State
Here’s that small-school selection that detractors tend to point at regarding Belichick, but Mapu has elite potential. I got tipped off to Mapu late in the pre-draft cycle, and watching film of him I was reminded a lot of Kyle Dugger, another small-school Day 2 player who has turned into an excellent Patriot. Mapu is going to play linebacker, likely his best position, and fill the role of coverage ‘backer that New England has lacked for several seasons. He’s also athletic and scheme-versatile, having spent time at safety and linebacker while at Sacramento State, so he will be able to move around the defensive formation if the situation calls for it. Add to that his tackling, his closing speed, and his containment, and you’ve got yourself a potential stud. 4-107: Jake Andrews, C, Troy
The Patriots need their future long-term center with David Andrews now 31 and having an injury history, and Jake Andrews (unrelated) is set up perfectly to be that guy. Andrews the Younger is built in the same mold as Andrews the Elder: both exited college as smaller in stature than other centers but able to get a push on defensive linemen from below, meaning Jake can easily learn specific bits of technique from David. While not expected to play the role immediately, [anagram: Ned Was a Jerk] is now in position to spend time behind [anagram: Swan Diver Dad], preparing himself to take over at center in the near future. TRADE: 4-120 and 6-184 to NYJ for 4-112 4-112: Chad Ryland, K, Maryland
This is not the first time Belichick has selected a kicker in the fourth round, selecting Stephen Gostkowski with pick 118 in 2006; with the Patriots in desperate need for a strong player at the position, moving up to make sure they could land him makes sense (especially with Jake Moody being selected by the 49ers at 3-99). And Ryland is what Nick Folk is not: a big-legged kicker with kickoff ability. Folk has been appreciated in New England for his accuracy, but his distance and accuracy notably declined in 2022, and when forced to kick off, his lack of touchback distance led to trouble, the Patriots surrendering a league-high three kick return touchdowns (including two in the season finale). It’s clear an upgrade at kicker was a requirement this offseason; with Moody gone, giving up a sixth to move up eight spots is absolutely fine. In doing so, New England has hopefully landed their kicker for the next decade. 4-117: Sidy Sow, G, Eastern Michigan
At this point, it may be considered confusing for the Patriots to have drafted a left guard in Sow when last year’s first-round pick Cole Strange is entrenched there and Mike Onwenu mans right guard at an elite level, but Groh’s post-draft comments indicated the team would give Sow opportunities at left tackle as well. And not only does Sow have experience at left tackle, he has the size at 6’5” and 326 pounds. New England’s projected starting tackles are veterans Trent Brown and Riley Reiff, both of whom are over 30 and are in contract years; if Sow returns to the position, the former mauling EMU Eagle (heh, two birds) offensive lineman could ease the need at tackle for next offseason. TRADE: 4-135 to LV for 5-144 and 6-214 5-144: Atonio Mafi, G, UCLA
Another interior lineman? Yes. Mafi is a guard whom the Patriots worked with at the Shrine Bowl, and has the versatility to move between left and right guard. As the aforementioned Onwenu is in a contract year, Mafi has a clear path to a potential starting job in 2024, and the most important thing right now for the development of Mac Jones is keeping him upright. By selecting three offensive linemen – using a quarter of their 12 selections on the offensive trench – Belichick and Groh have signaled their intent to do just that. From all accounts, Mafi, who met with New England in a pre-draft visit, is thrilled to join the team
; now it’s about proving it on the field. 6-187: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Boutte is the epitome of a boom-or-bust prospect, his elite 2020 and ‘21 being overshadowed by a disappointing 2022 that dropped him from clear first-rounder to a middle-of-Day-3 selection. As a freshman and sophomore, Boutte looked to follow in the footsteps of highly-drafted LSU wideouts such as Odell Beckham Jr., Justin Jefferson, and JaMarr Chase, showing a complete package of agility, speed, and route running. Unfortunately, an injury plus conflicts with his new coach Brian Kelly led to underperformance, and a poor combine performance cemented his draft stock as having drastically fallen. But if he can get back to his earlier form, where his talent and athleticism led to a combined 83 receptions, 1244 yards, and 14 touchdowns in his first two college seasons, Boutte could become the steal of the draft. 6-192: Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan State
While New England had signed Corliss Waitman so as to have a
punter on the roster heading into the draft, none assumed he was the long-term answer; when the Patriots made Baringer the first punter taken in the 2023 draft, it became clear who was. A walk-on turned cut turned best punter in college football, Baringer has a booming leg that showed itself in an average punt length of 49.0 yards in ‘22; he also holds the Michigan State record for career punting average at 46.0 yards. As a bonus, he worked with Ryland at the Senior Bowl, so the two have already begun to develop chemistry in the holding game. As another bonus, he wore No. 99 in college, and that is awesome. 6-210: Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty
When one imagines a typical Patriots slot receiver – small, shifty, and explosive with the ball in his hands – one might well be imagining Douglas. The five-foot-eight Liberty product can absolutely fly, moving all around the formation and catching balls at all levels of the field. New Englanders got a preview of what Douglas’ game might look like when rookie cornerback Marcus Jones began to take snaps on offense last year; Jones was often put in motion before the snap, worked out of the backfield, and assigned touches where his elusiveness was the spark to gain yards. Douglas has said he models his game after Jones, a claim that demonstrates itself when one views his collegiate tape. I had a third-round grade on Douglas, so the Patriots landing him at 210 is a thrill. (Even though the Giants took one of my draft crushes in Tre Hawkins III the pick before, for which I’m still irked.) 6-214: Ameer Speed, CB, Michigan State
The unknown about Speed is whether he will develop on defense; that is not his skill at the moment. There are three things known: his size (6’3”, 210 lbs.), his speed (4.34s 40), and his special teams prowess. With longtime special teams captain Matthew Slater likely entering his last year, the Patriots need to develop a new crop of special teams standouts, long a hallmark of Belichick’s Patriots from the time of Larry Izzo. Last year’s UDFA Brenden Schooler looks like one of those players already; Speed will certainly be given every chance possible to be another. 7-245: Isaiah Bolden, CB, Jackson State
More tall athletic cornerbacks! The only HBCU selection in the 2023 draft, Bolden is an incredible athlete who likely earned his way to a draft selection by lighting up his Pro Day. Though just a role player on defense, Bolden has developmental traits that any defensive coach would love, and has also been a top collegiate kick returner, leading all of college football in 2021 with a 36.9-yard average on kickoff returns. I don’t see the two late-round cornerback selections as “throw players on the field and see who sticks” à la the ill-fated dual tight end picks of Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in 2020’s third round, but selecting players who might have longer chances to succeed, but if they do succeed can truly shine.
Though Bolden was the last of the Patriots’ 2023 draft picks, that did not conclude their rookie class as the period of UDFA signings immediately began. The Patriots have had an undrafted rookie make the Week 1 roster every year since 2004; with just a four-man class this season, chances are slim. They’re not impossible – their only
2021 UDFA, kicker Quinn Nordin, made it – but they’re definitely slimmer. Here are the four who can continue that streak. Undrafted Rookies Malik Cunningham, QB, Louisville
The most expensive ($200,000) and well-known of the quartet, Cunningham’s slight build and arm as a quarterback led to piles of speculation of his switching positions. However, he has started off his Patriots tenure as a quarterback in rookie minicamp, so he remains a quarterback until further notice. Throughout college, Cunningham’s most intriguing asset has been his supreme athleticism at the position, something which showed up in testing, and it remains to be seen how the Patriots will use that athleticism to help the team. (It may be a good while until outside sources get a look, as minicamp and OTAs have thus far been closed off to the media.) Johnny Lumpkin, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette
After foregoing using a selection on a tight end in a deep draft class (another Belichick trend), New England instead brought in Lumpkin, who projects as a blocking tight end in the NFL. This offsets the biggest negative, his age (he’ll be 26 to start the season), as the Patriots lack a true blocker at the position. Whether Lumpkin can take advantage of this path to a roster spot remains to be seen, but his road to making the team as an undrafted rookie seems easiest at the moment. Jourdan Heilig, LB, Appalachian State
Like Board and Speed, Heilig joins the Patriots as a special teams standout, playing minimal defense as a Mountaineer (three snaps in 2022) but standing out in college on the third unit (210 snaps in 2022). He’ll have a chance to follow in the path of Schooler as a UDFA who makes his mark as a core special teamer. Justus Tavai, DL, San Diego State
The middle of the Tavai brothers (older brother Jahlani is a Patriots linebacker, younger brother Jonah signed with Seattle as a UDFA), Justus played alongside Jonah on the Aztec defensive line in 2022. While Jonah put up eye-popping numbers with double-digit sacks, Justus was a steady contributor as well, putting up 3.5 sacks and intercepting a pass. Tavai is the ninth man on the Patriots’ defensive line right now, so he has a difficult path if he wants to make the team.
He’s not an undrafted rookie, but the Patriots have also brought in veteran free agent Anthony Firkser, TE
to compete with Lumpkin, Sokol, and Washington for the third tight end spot, the roster spot opened with their losing reserve Raekwon McMillan, LB
to a partially torn Achilles tendon. Projected Offseason Depth Chart
(italics = rookie
, (in parentheses = exclusively or primarily a special teamer)) (Note: the Patriots assign temporary jersey numbers in the offseason starting with 50 based mainly on draft position.) QB
10 Mac Jones 4 Bailey Zappe 19 Trace McSorley 64 Malik Cunningham RB
38 Rhamondre Stevenson 3 James Robinson 14 Ty Montgomery II 35 Pierre Strong Jr. 36 Kevin Harris 42 J.J. Taylor WR
1 DeVante Parker 7 JuJu Smith-Schuster 84 Kendrick Bourne 11 Tyquan Thornton 58 Kayshon Boutte 60 Demario Douglas
82 Tre Nixon (44 Raleigh Webb) (18 Matthew Slater) TE
85 Hunter Henry 88 Mike Gesicki 86 Anthony Firkser 87 Matt Sokol 17 Scotty Washington 65 Johnny Lumpkin T
77 Trent Brown 74 Riley Reiff 76 Calvin Anderson 75 Conor McDermott 64 Andrew Stueber G
71 Mike Onwenu 69 Cole Strange 54 Sidy Sow 55 Atonio Mafi
63 Chasen Hines 62 Bill Murray C
60 David Andrews 53 Jake Andrews
65 James Ferentz 66 Kody Russey DL
90 Christian Barmore 92 Davon Godchaux 91 Deatrich Wise Jr. 93 Lawrence Guy Sr. 95 Daniel Ekuale 98 Carl Davis Jr. 96 Sam Roberts 70 Jeremiah Pharms Jr. 67 Justus Tavai ED
9 Matthew Judon 55 Josh Uche 51 Keion White
58 Anfernee Jennings (97 DaMarcus Mitchell) 51 Ronnie Perkins LB
8 Ja’Whaun Bentley 48 Jahlani Tavai 52 Marte Mapu
30 Mack Wilson Sr. (45 Chris Board Jr.) 43 Calvin Munson 59 Terez Hall 47 Olakunle Fatukasi (66 Jourdan Heilig) CB 50 Christian Gonzalez
31 Jonathan Jones 13 Jack Jones 25 Marcus Jones 27 Myles Bryant (61 Ameer Speed) 63 Isaiah Bolden
37 Tae Hayes 26 Shaun Wade 34 Quandre Mosely 39 Rodney Randle Jr. S
23 Kyle Dugger 5 Jabrill Peppers 2 Jalen Mills 21 Adrian Phillips 24 Joshuah Bledsoe (41 Brenden Schooler) (22 Cody Davis) 29 Brad Hawkins K 62 Chad Ryland
6 Nick Folk P 59 Bryce Baringer
15 Corliss Waitman LS
49 Joe Cardona 46 Tucker Addington Conclusion
Is this a perfect Patriots team? No. There are still long-term holes at offensive tackle and tight end, and there is a question mark as to who can be that pass catcher whom defensive coordinators have to plan for, a player the team has lacked for several seasons.
But is this an exciting Patriots roster, a team who has a chance to exceed their middling projections and expectations, a team worth watching and cheering for? Absolutely. Belichick and company have stabilized the coaching staff; added explosive, athletic players at nearly every position; brought in a new crew of players to take over special teams; and begun their draft with three players who could not only start in the NFL but have the potential to star. I fully believe that this is not an 8-9 caliber team, even in an AFC East with three other teams that have added big name after big name.
As Bill Belichick might say, we’re on to 2023.
We’re on to victory.
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2023.05.27 22:43 FYREFLi_KNG My ideas for a Coven spinoff!
I am a massive fan of the Coven and have always wished that Ryan would make a spin-off series devoted to the coven. I came up with a few ideas for what the show could look like, let me know what you think!
- American Coven Story: Pilgrimage
The origins of the Supreme, spanning from the late 1500s to the early 1600s. Scathach is already a several hundreds of years old powerful witch, surrounded by myth and legend. The old gods who bestowed her powers onto her are displeased with her wavering faith during an outbreak of witch trials, and offer her an ultimatum: Take pilgrimage to new lands and practice in their name; or lose her powers. She accepts the pilgrimage and flees to the New World, where she spends the next century on her pilgrimage while facing the rise of Puritanism.
- American Coven Story: Revolution
Prudence Mather is the Supreme. It’s the height of the Salem Witch Trials. The coven has managed to avoid suspicion of being witches, but their luck is running out. One of their own is caught and hanged by the townsfolk of Salem, and a traitor within their ranks is suspected responsible of betrayal. The coven must do everything that they can to avoid further suspicion and survive the witch trials. By the end of the season, Salem has become too dangerous to live in and the witches flee in search of a new home.
- American Coven Story: Hollow
In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, the coven has relocated to the Hudson Valley, settling just outside of Sleepy Hollow. The townsfolk are welcoming of the coven, but at the same time unnerved - upon their arrival, a headless horseman has started to roam the streets and surrounding lands at night in search of soldiers. He is Death, the horseman of the apocalypse, sent forth by Satan at the behest of Benedict Arnold to wage war against Washington and the newly formed USA - and the coven itself.
- American Coven Story: Civil War
Set during the Civil War. The supreme is a traitor. She presents as an abolitionist and friend and ally to the union, but is in turn using her powers to help the confederacy and provide slave holders new slaves. Future supreme Mariann Wharton and a few other witches defect from the coven in an effort to take out the current supreme, allying with voodoo queen Marie Laveau to accomplish this. By the end of the season, Miss Robichauxs is established and Marie declares a life long feud between her tribe and the coven.
- American Coven Story: Visions
Set in the late 1800s to the early 1900s, during the height of the Spiritualism movement. A trio of witches arrive in San Francisco, under the belief the city is sitting on the source of magic which they wish to harness for themselves. The eldest opens a funeral home, where she performs experiments on necromancy. The middle sister opens a brothel that employs succubi. The youngest runs an apothecary, whose clients range everywhere from the poor to the social elite. The supreme and her Coven are called to San Francisco to combat the sisters before the trio succeeds in their plot for supremacy.
- American Coven Story: Crisis
Set after the events of Apocalypse. Mallory has successfully reset the timeline and the birth of the Antichrist has been delayed - but the existence of a second Supreme witch and her her actions has caused a disruption of the Supremacy line and a gradual breakdown of magical laws - ordinary people are able to preform small bursts of magic, rifts into other dimensions opens, and Madison Montgomery has returned from the dead with full knowledge of the other timeline. Together, Cordelia, Mallory, and Madison must work together to find the true cause - and source - of these bursts of magic chaos before they become out of control to the point of another apocalypse.
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2023.05.26 18:08 TheGooseGirl Pictures of Tina Turner
To my knowledge, there exist only TWO pictures of Tina Turner within the Ikeda cult context:
This is the ONLY image I'm aware of with her and Ikeda together: From 1987
This one is from the September 1986 Seikyo Times
In the front row in the black and white patterned skirt
sitting next to SGI-USA (then NSA) General Director George M. Williams - just look
at all those Japanese faces!
That page includes a picture from "Soka University" at the Malibu Training Center - which intimates that it's obviously a nice California vacation for the privileged Soka Gakkai princelings and princesslings. Yet another benefit for the Japanese.
In contrast, California had 269,000 Japanese Americans constituting 1% of the state's population, with the overall Asian population, 1,247,000 constituting 5% of the state's population (Gardner et al., 1985). - JSTOR, Phylis Cancilla Martinelli, Richard Nagasawa, "A Further Test of the Model Minority Thesis: Japanese Americans in a Sunbelt State", Sociological Perspectives, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Jul., 1987), p. 268.
For the Tina Turner picture group to represent a cross-section of the population of California, there would be only ONE Japanese person in the group, tops, instead of MOST
. SGI has always
been a Japanese religion for Japanese people.
So BOTH of those images are from BEFORE the Ikeda cult's excommunication from Nichiren Shoshu, and Ms. Turner carefully acknowledged "The Liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu" (the title of the pre-excommunication gongyo book) in the dedication of her book "I, Tina"
- NOT Ikeda or SGI! In fact, re: her latest
book from ~3 years ago:
Interestingly she still describes her practice as "Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism" and says nothing about the SGI, let alone President Ikeda. Source
Must've slipped her mind ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Here is an image of Tina Turner with Amp Elmore on the right
- I think it's from the late 1970s but I'm not sure. World-champion kick boxer Amp Elmore, a celebrity in his own right, now an outspoken critic of the Ikeda cult over at his Proud Black Buddhist site, was still "in" at this point, but as you can see, this wasn't at an Ikeda cult "activity" or show - the Ikeda cult here in the US has never
featured advertising like the Pepsi banner behind them. Here's a picture of Tina Turner in front of her altar
- see the BIG NONO
behind her?? And a SGI-USA top Japanese expat leader threw a fit
hung 2 large antique Nichiren Shu gohonzons
in an out-of-the-way place in her home where any visiting SGI members would be unlikely to even see
them! WHY did no one show the strict compassion
to explain to Tina Turner why STATUES ARE EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN
)??? As Greg Martin
pointed out, the art angle simply wasn't a valid reason when something was BAD and EVIL!
Perhaps it's because Ms. Turner had already distanced herself
from the Ikeda cult so none of its meddling-busybody-bullying "leaders" could "home visit" her for a scolding - and tell HER "You need to chant until you agree with me
Of course idolatry
is perfectly FINE
when it's Ikeda 🙄
In fact, after we were informed (misleadingly) that we'd ALL been insta-excommunicated at the same time as Ikeda (not true - the laity weren't excommunicated until 6 years later), I was told by the highest-ranking local leader that, since I was an SGI leader
, I NEEDED
to have a picture of Ikeda on my altar!
After 15 years, the 74-year-old self-described Buddhist-Baptist has reemerged to lend her voice to three songs on an album of Hindu prayers, traditional Indian music and Christian hymns, according to Noise11.
Turner contemplates herself a Buddhist-Baptist. Source
Tina Turner considers herself Christian FIRST AND FOREMOST
. She just added the chanting on top of that without ever dropping the Christianity. I'll bet she'll be having a CHRISTIAN funeral.
Q: Are you finished now with the Christian religion?
TT: No, up until this day I pray ‘our father’. Buddhism, though, was a new dimension in my spiritual life, it touched a different spot inside, the subconscious.
On this CD we have Tina chanting Baptist prayers from her childhood and imparting the overall spiritual message "love within"... Source But NOT the SGI's magic chant, you'll notice. Is Tina Turner a member of SGI? And DOES IT MATTER?
Doesn't matter NOW - she daid ☠️
submitted by TheGooseGirl
to sgiwhistleblowers [link] [comments]
2023.05.26 15:42 litcityblues Dreams of Hope
“I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope”
IT WAS JUST PAST sunrise on Herenveen Prime and Charlotte Elizabeth Mackenzie-Nanda, Queen Consort of the Herenveen Staats-Republic, was still enjoying her coffee when she heard the distant rumble of a sonic boom that indicated an arriving shuttle had entered the upper atmosphere, bound for the spaceport. She set her cup down on the small table next to her.
“Yes ma’am?” Her ever-present steward stepped forward.
“Do you have the omnioculars close at hand?”
“Always ma’am,” he replied. He stepped over to a small cabinet on the far side of the terrace, opened it, and, retrieving the omnioculars, brought them back to her. “Here you are, ma’am.”
“Thank you, Grimsby,” she said. Raising the omnioculars to her eyes, she began to scan the skies. Let’s see, she thought to herself. I’m on the eastern side of the palace, overlooking the gardens and that means the approach vector to the spaceport in Herenveen Town should be about… there. There was a faint trail of exhaust. She pressed a green button on top of the omnioculars and the readout confirmed her findings. There was a ship and it was- the readout directed her to move to the right and she did so, hoping that she would be able to catch a glimpse of the arriving ship before it disappeared behind the Palace and-
She froze and pulled back from the omnioculars. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t- she made herself look again. There was no mistaking it this time. It was a clipper ship, one of the ultra-fast pickets that the Star Union’s defense contractors were marketing to every buyer from here to the rim. Along its prow was its registration number (SU-76463) and its name, the Star Clipper. None of that was particularly of note. What was, however, was the red, white, and blue roundel of the Star Union’s space force and, she noted, the golden gryphon symbol of the Duchy of New Georgia underneath it.
She set the omnioculars down on the table and picked up her coffee again, staring out at the Palace Gardens. She was not ill-informed, of course. Even now, after decades in exile, she still had friends in the Star Union. She had heard about the failing health of her Grandfather, the King-Emperor, and- there’s only one reason why they would send a clipper ship. The thought whispered to her. Only one.
A step forward. “Yes ma’am?”
“Where is she this morning? She usually tells you, doesn’t she?”
“I believe Her Majesty was convinced that the roses needed some attention this morning, ma’am.”
“Ah yes, Grimsby, but which roses? She has so many.”
“The Austins I believe were her primary concern, ma’am. She is worried about how they are adapting to our soil after the long journey from Terra.”
“Very well.” She made herself sit and finish her coffee, drinking in the view and soaking up the peace and serenity of the early morning. There was no better view than she could think of and if she was right- but what if you’re not? The Star Union has plenty of clipper ships. It could be anything.
Keep telling yourself that, she told herself, but no good news comes early in the morning. She drained the last of her coffee, placed the mug on the saucer and stood up, walking towards the edge of the grand staircase that lead down into the gardens, Grimsby just behind her, a constant presence at her side.
Decades before, she had been too young to know what was going on in the Star Union. She had been carefully shielded from the politics of it all. She knew the history. Everyone knew the history, but… she remembered the hands shaking her, waking her in the night. Urging her to get up, quickly, there was no time to pack. She remembered her mother’s face, creased with worry and realizing that she was afraid, seeing her fall behind on her little legs and sweeping her up into her arms. She was safe there. She was happy there.
There were only flashes of memory now, The sound of shoes echoing on the deserted hallways of the Palace. The night sky, so warm, so clear, the stars shimmering above her. She was placed in the transport, near the window and soon they were lifting off. The city was half cast in darkness, flickers of fire and columns of smoke dimly visible, split by the sinuous line of the River Nanda, running through the capitol city.
She remembered her face, pressed against the window, clutching her stuffed gryphon, Archie close as they reached the terminator line between night and day and she caught one last glimpse of the beautiful oceans and the green land of Astralis Prime, heart of the Star Union and then…
Then it was exile and her family had gone back to the Potentate of Cosmara once again, barely a generation after the First Restoration of their dynasty back to the great throne of the Star Union.
A delicate cough interrupted her train of thought. “Ma’am.”
“The roses are… that way,” Grimsby nodded to her left.
“Thank you, Grimsby,” she replied, annoyed at her absent-mindedness. It’s because it’s early, she told herself. No good news comes early in the morning. Father would say it all the time. Mother believed it. You believe it too, she admitted to herself.
Finally heading in the right direction, it was the work of a few moments before she finally came around the well-manicured hedge, ducked under a delicate moongate and stepped into the rose garden. There, she caught sight of her wife, Chief Stadtholder and Queen of the Herenveen Staats-Republic, Chief Executive Officer of it’s associated trading conglomerates and companies, Juliana Beatrix Oranje-Nassau, Fifth of her name.
“You bloody thing, I don’t know where you’re coming from, but I will find you and I will-” Juliana was on all fours, gloved hand buried deep into a rose bush, trying to trace back an offending weed of some kind. Charlotte stopped and just watched for a long moment. They were both getting older now. Their children were grown and in the case of their son, Eduardo had just secured the line of succession and made them both grandmothers. Even with the prolong treatments, streaks of grey were creeping into her hair now, but still-
“Enjoying the view?” Juliana asked archly, turning her head to notice her for the first time.
“You know I always do,” she replied. “You also do know that we have gardeners that can do things like this.”
Juliana growled and gave the offending weed an almighty pull before pulling her gloved hand out of the rose bush and holding it up triumphantly.
“We pay them quite a bit of money, you know,” she continued idly as Juliana stood up. “They’re experts at-”
“I know, Charlotte,” Juliana rolled her eyes. “It’s just, I like to sneak out-”
“-leaving me alone in our bed-”
“-and just get some gardening in before the tedious business of the day begins,” Juliana continued.
Charlotte smiled fondly at her wife, fully aware of how quickly she would abdicate should the Staats-General ever get around to deeming Eduardo to be a worthy successor to her. Juliana was a creature of nature, more than anything, far more at home puttering about the Palace gardens or strapping on big, practical waterproof boots to go tramping through fields. She was happiest getting her hands dirty. “I love you, wife.”
Juliana’s face softened and she stepped towards Charlotte, slipping her ungloved hand into hers and leaning forward to kiss her firmly on the lips. “And I adore you, my queen.” She creased her eyebrows, realizing something. “What brings you out into the gardens at this hour, anyway? You should be eating your breakfast still.”
“I started early when I woke to find an empty space in my bed,” Charlotte replied somewhat tartly.
“But, I came looking for you when I heard the ship coming in.”
“Is that what that was? I wondered, but I was…” Juliana raised her gloved hand, still clenched around the offending weed and looked a little sheepish.
“Preoccupied?” Charlotte finished.
“Yes, let’s go with that. So, a ship? It’s a little early for a ship.”
“I thought so as well, so I tracked it with the omnioculars.”
“It was from the Star Union,” Charlotte said. “One of their new ultra-fast pickets. It…” she sighed. “It had the livery of the Duchy of New Georgia on it.”
“Your cousin. David, no, Dean, no-” Juliana frowned in irritation.
“Drake,” Charlotte supplied.
“Yes, him. That’s the one,” Juliana said. “Has he sent any messages? Any word that he’s coming?”
“No,” Charlotte admitted.
“So, it could be just another ship on urgent business for anything, right?” Juliana said. “There might be no need to worry at all.”
“Maybe,” Charlotte said. “But-”
“No good news comes early in the morning.” Juliana finished. She pulled the glove off of her hand and tossed it next to the pile of weeds she had placed to one side along with the garden implements. “Would it ease your mind if we went and find out what the ship wanted?”
“It would, my love, but…” she glanced pointedly at the mess and Juliana flapped her hand dismissively with a mischievous grin playing about her face. “The gardeners can get it.”
“Juliana!” Charlotte sounded scandalized.
“As you pointed out, my love, we do pay people- experts, some of them, to take care of things like this,” Juliana slipped her arm into Charlotte’s and with Charlotte rolling her eyes, but smiling as well, the two of them began to walk arm in arm back out of the gardens and toward the Palace, Grimsby an ever-present shadow in their wake. Charlotte was just about convinced that maybe Juliana was right and maybe she had nothing to worry about, but just as they turned the last corner and the terrace came into view, her heart sank. There was Mr. Vanderbeek, Juliana’s chief secretary, waiting at the top of the stairs for them.
Juliana felt her stiffen and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. “Pieter,” she called as they made their way toward the steps. “Good morning!”
Mr. Vanderbeek bowed. “Good morning, your majesties.”
“You’re up early,” Juliana noted as they reached the bottom of the steps and climbed up onto the terrace. “What brings you to the Palace at this hour?”
“A delegation from the Star Union has arrived, your majesty. They’re requesting to meet with Queen Charlotte most urgently.”
“Did they say what about?” Charlotte tried to make the question sound casual but realized she probably failed at that and shook her head ruefully.
“They did not, your majesty,” Mr. Vanderbeek said. “But I am told that his Grace, the Duke of New Georgia is the head of their delegation.”
“Drake?” Charlotte broke in, surprised. “He’s here himself?”
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Who else?” Juliana asked.
“Intelligence is working on that,” Mr. Vanderbeek said. “But so far, we have identified the Archbishop of Astralis Prime, the Earl of New Shaftesbury and a Parliamentarian we believe to be Beatrice Boothroyd.”
“When do they want to meet?” Charlotte asked.
“As soon as possible, they say, your majesty,” Mr. Vanderbeek replied.
“Has the government been informed?” Juliana asked.
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Very well, since they’re still renovating Noordiende, we’ll have to receive them at the Voorhout Palace. See to it, please and prepare a ground car for her majesty and myself. We won’t keep them waiting long,” Juliana ordered.
Mr. Vanderbeek bowed. “As you wish, your majesty.” He retreated the requisite five steps, taking care not to turn his back on either woman before, having reached the appropriate distance, he turned and hurried away to make the arrangements.
Receiving an official delegation from a foreign power required more of the Queen than it did the Queen Consort, so while Juliana allowed herself to be herded away by various functionaries and ladies in waiting to be cleaned and dressed, Charlotte was left to her own devices. Having decided on a sonic shower over the more decadent option of a water shower, she soon found herself opening the door to her closet, robe wrapped tightly around her.
It was less of a closet and more of a room, but that was the privilege of being a Queen Consort. There were dresses and suits and uniforms for every occasion. The chattering classes tended to notice if she wore the same dress twice, which had bothered Charlotte when she was younger, but now, she no longer cared. Dresses could be worn more than once. She had done so throughout her childhood on Cosmara if for no other reason than her family's reduced circumstances had made it a necessity.
She walked down the length of the closet, lightly running her hands along the dresses, wondering what she should wear. Cousin Drake, the Archbishop, the Earl of New Shaftesbury, and whoever that Parliamentarian is… there is only one reason to send a delegation like that to see me. Her hand stopped and, reaching up, she pushed the dresses back to reveal a simple, unadorned red dress.
Even with the prolong treatments, humanity was not immortal. Her father’s cancer had advanced, inexorably, resistant to every treatment they had tried.
Grandfather even sent his personal physician, she remembered. The Doctor arrived in secret, towards the end, in the dead of night, and tried her best, but… Juliana, always so careful to never even give the appearance of asking for favors or getting special privileges had made a quiet call to the government and bundled her onto the fastest ship Herenveen Prime had. It had not been enough. She arrived an hour after he had gone, quietly, without much fuss, as was his way.
He had not wanted an elaborate funeral. Juliana had brought the children. Cousin Drake had arrived as well, which had been a surprise at the time. All of them, clad in their funeral red, on the lip of the hillside of their small farm, the towers of Cosmara City in the distance, watching as the flames of the funeral pyre climbed higher and higher.
She ran her hands over the red mourning dress, remembering. She had not worn it since that day. It seemed a lifetime ago, but there was only one reason they would be sending a delegation like this. Charlotte took the dress down out of the closet and carried it back into the bedroom laying it across her bed. Then she went back into the closet and walked all the way to the back where the jewelry was kept. She did not hesitate this time. Opening the top drawer, she pulled out her mother’s sapphire necklace, the famous Star of Astralis, the one thing she had taken from the Palace when they had fled into exile.
Charlotte held it up to the light and, leaning forward blew some offending dust from it before nodding to herself in approval. “Yes, this will do quite nicely.”
Half an hour later, Charlotte made her way down the grand staircase to the main entrance of the Palace, where Juliana was waiting for her. She was dressed more modestly- in her usual grey suit with a simple string of pearls and a matching purse, but her lips pursed appreciatively as she watched Charlotte descend, Grimsby behind her as always.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Juliana smiled at Charlotte and then said, “Grimsby?”
“Yes, your majesty,” Grimsby stepped forward.
“Can you check to see where our ground car has gotten to?”
“At once, your majesty,” Grimsby inclined his head and then crossed over to the front doors of the palace and, opening them, slipped through.
Once they were alone, Juliana, cocked an eyebrow at Charlotte. “Red? That’s the color of mourning in the Star Union.”
“There’s only one reason I can think of for them to send an urgent delegation to meet with me,” Charlotte replied. “If my Grandfather has finally died, I will not show anything less than the utmost respect for his memory.”
“Well, you look lovely,” Juliana said. “Every inch an exiled Princess of the Star Union.”
“I hope so,” Charlotte replied.
Grimsby was returning and Juliana stood up as they both walked over to meet him. “You said you can only think of one reason,” Juliana noted.
“What else could it be?” Charlotte asked.
Juliana looked as if she was about to say something, but instead, shrugged and gave Charlotte a reassuring smile. “You’re right,” she said. “Let’s go see what they have to say.”
It was half an hour later when they finally arrived in the grand hall of the Voorhout Palace. That wasn’t entirely unexpected. They were both Queens (well, Juliana was the Queen, Charlotte was the Queen Consort,) and as the two of them, arm in arm, walked out of the antechamber onto the dais of the Throne Room, Charlotte had to admit that they both looked the part. Juliana guided Charlotte to her throne at Juliana’s right, before stepping up onto the main dais and taking her place on the Oranjetanuki Throne.
Mr. Vanderbeek was already in place off to Juliana’s left and after a moment to smooth out her skirt, she nodded to him Mr. Vanderbeek stepped down off the dais and walked the length of the throne room before opening the door and vanishing for a moment onto the other side. Charlotte felt her heart begin to beat faster and forced herself to take a slow deep breath to calm down. Juliana is right. Let’s see what they have to say. Another slow, deep breath and she became irritated with herself. Why are you acting like a spoiled Princess? You’re a grown woman and Queen Consort
The doors opened and Mr. Vanderbeek lead the delegation into the throne room and walked about halfway down before stopping, bowing, and then saying: “Your Majesties, an urgent delegation from the Star Union wishes an audience.”
“Their request is granted,” Juliana replied.
Mr. Vanderbeek stepped smoothly aside and the delegation advanced. As they came closer, Charlotte recognized her cousin, Drake. He was grown now, of course, but even behind the beard, she could still recognize him. The delegation advanced and went down to one knee as both Charlotte and Juliana rose to greet them.
“Your majesty,” Drake said. “We bring sad tidings. Your grandfather, the King Emperor of the Star Union is dead.”
Even though she had been expecting the news, the words fell like a hammer blow and Charlotte was surprised at the surge of emotion she felt. After the Revolt that sent her family into exile, her grandfather had been dragged out of retirement as the only acceptable option to both warring factions in the Star Union. Quietly, he had done what he could to make sure her family was comfortable in exile but had never once contacted them. Her only memories of him were happy ones, from her childhood, before they were exiled. She couldn’t bring herself to resent the old man, even now– and if either of her parents had harbored any bitterness towards him, they had never shown it.
“These are sad tidings indeed, cousin,” Charlotte replied. “I appreciate you coming all this way to tell me in person, but a vid-message or a tight beam would have been just as welcome.”
“Your majesty,” Drake said. “While those tidings are the official reason for our visit, we have another purpose here. A purpose of great urgency and import.”
Charlotte frowned. “What other purpose could bring you here so urgently, cousin?”
“We are here to offer you the Crown of the Star Union.”
If the news of her grandfather’s passing had been a hammer blow, this was news that nearly made her stumble and Charlotte felt herself swaying in shock, her mouth open in astonishment. Suddenly, Juliana was there beside her, gently tucking her arm into hers and steering her safely back into her seat. Charlotte smoothed her skirts out, trying to compose herself as she grappled with the enormity of what Drake had just said.
Juliana stood beside her, hand on her shoulder. “On whose authority do you make such an offer, your Grace?”
“Your majesty, with me I have representatives from the nobility, the church, and the commons. Our common desire is that which her majesty’s father and those who came before fought for and represented: a Monarch who governs in the name of the duly elected Parliament of the Star Union.”
“And how is that different from what you have now?” Juliana asked. Charlotte was dizzy with shock, but still managed to nod in agreement, still not trusting herself to speak. This had to be a joke, a prank, something- whatever it was, it couldn’t be real. The Crown? Her?
You could go home. A whisper from deep inside of her.
Drake grimaced. “The succession is contested. My Uncle Phillip-” Drake smiled knowingly as he saw the expression of disgust flash across Charlotte’s face, “-believes that he has the strongest claim. He is opposed by my cousin Hubert-” and his smile was genuine now as Charlotte covered an incipient laugh with a well-timed if artificial cough. “Your majesty, may I…” he shifted uncomfortably. “May I speak freely to my cousin for a moment, not the Queen Consort of Herenveen Prime?”
Juliana glanced down at Charlotte who nodded her assent.
“Cousin, I understand your skepticism and even your hesitation, but…” Drake sighed. “Invite me to dinner tonight. We can have a real conversation about what this actually means.”
Charlotte and Juliana exchanged glances for a long moment before Charlotte nodded and Juliana looked at Drake. “Your grace, it will be our pleasure to have you join us for dinner tonight at our residence at Het Loo. Seven o’clock, sharp.”
Drake inclined his head. “Thank you for your most gracious and kind invitation, your majesty.”
“We will withdraw then and make preparations,” Juliana said slipping her hand from Charlotte’s shoulder. She stood and the two of them left through the entrance they had come in, arm in arm once again.
Charlotte felt like she was in a daze, but allowed Juliana to lead her back towards their ground car. Mr. Vanderbeek was waiting at the courtyard entrance. “Mr. Vanderbeek, I take it you heard?”
“I did, your majesty.”
“If you would inform the Prime Minister and ask him for a full briefing later tonight. I would like to know the government’s opinion of this… unexpected offer.”
“Yes ma’am,” Mr. Vanderbeek replied. “Will the two of you be returning to Het Loo?”
“Yes, we will. The Duke of New Georgia will be joining us for dinner as well,” Juliana said.
“Very well, ma’am.”
“Thank you, Mr. Vanderbeek.”
He bowed and then stood as still as a statue until they had both walked out into the courtyard proper and reached their ground car. Charlotte slid into the seat, still trying to process the offer that Drake had made back in the throne room. The crown? Me?
You could go home, that whisper again, tinged with hope. But where is home? Charlotte replied in the silence of her head as the ground car manuevered out of the courtyard and onto the city streets. She watched as they made their way down the row of embassies from across the galaxy and then a thought occurred to her.
“Did you know?” Charlotte said. “When I said I could only think of one reason why they would want to see me…”
Juliana said nothing for a long moment before finally taking a breath. “I wondered.”
“But did you know?”
“No,” Juliana replied. “I didn’t. I about fell over when he made his offer..”
Charlotte chuckled. “That makes two of us.” She pursed her lips again and stared out the window, the brief burst of amusement leaving her. “I just wish I knew how real it was.”
Juliana reached over and took her hand. “My love, as soon as we are back at Het Loo I am going to be making all kinds of vid-calls to all kinds of people to see if I can get you an answer to that question.”
It was much later. Juliana had withdrawn after the main course, informing them she had some late calls to make. The stewards cleared away the last of the dessert and Drake leaned back in his chair and emitted a loud groan. “God, that was excellent food. I haven’t eaten that well in years.”
“The position does have some privileges,” Charlotte smiled. “We pay our chefs very well.”
“How well?” Drake asked. “That chocolate mousse was to die for.”
“Hands off,” Charlotte said with mock ferocity. “You can’t have him.”
Drake raised his hands in mock innocence. “All right, I surrender,” he said. Charlotte pushed back her chair and stood up, making her way to a small cart of liquor bottles at the side of the dining room. “Shall we adjourn to the terrace?” Charlotte asked.
“With whiskey, one hopes?” Drake sounded eager but pushed his own chair out to stand up.
“Of course,” Charlotte said. She unstoppered a decanter and poured out two generous measures into a pair of elegant crystal glasses before putting the stopper back in the decanter and turning back to Drake. She held out a glass to him and he closed the distance between them and took it from her, Grimsby having heard her proposal and waiting patiently, holding open the door to the terrace, the two of them walked out onto the terrace, and the warm summer night. Charlotte lead them to a pair of lounge chairs and gestured for Drake to sit down before smoothing out her skirts and sitting opposite him.
Charlotte took a sip of whiskey, unsure of how to begin. Happily, Drake did it for her.
“Ask me the question, cousin.”
“What question?” Charlotte asked, a picture of innocence.
Drake snorted in derision. “The one you’ve been wanting to ask me all night. The one we’ve been dancing around through an appetizer, two main courses, a dessert, and now a glass of whiskey.”
“Direct as always, Drake,” Charlotte smiled. “But, very well.” She took a sip of whiskey. “Why me?”
“Why not you?” Drake leaned back in the chair. “Your claim is just as strong as Phillip’s and it’s certainly stronger than that idiot Hubert’s. You have just as much right to the throne as they do if not more.”
“That’s not enough of a reason,” Charlotte replied. “My family has been in exile from the Star Union for a lifetime now. My children grew up here. My life is here. To the people, I would be a historical relic trotted out to serve some political agenda at best and at worst… a foreigner.”
“You say that your life is here now, but you knew the news we were bringing you and still wore your funeral red. Your sleeves hide them well, but you wear the bidari bracelets as well. I’m willing to bet if asked your children, they would tell me of the food and the traditions you still practice as well-”
“So, we celebrate Diwali and Christmas,” Charlotte said. “What of it? There is a thriving emigrant community here and on a dozen other worlds as well. Maintaining and honoring my heritage doesn’t mean I’m fit to lead a country I haven’t seen in decades.” She took another sip of whiskey. “You need to work on your pitch, Drake. I’m not persuaded.”
Drake considered that for a moment, taking another sip of whiskey. “You could secure your father’s legacy, once and for all.” He sat up straight. “Grandfather’s health had been failing for the past five years. Phillip has been defacto regent the entire time and his regency has not been a happy one. Your father was ousted for backing a government that at the time was seen as dangerously radical.”
“I know the history.”
“Yes, but what you don’t know is that your father was ultimately right,” Drake said. “Back then, he knew the Radicals were right. The tax avoidance of the entire nobility was a weight around the neck of the Star Union. The people resented it. The government was drowning in debt because of it, but when the Radicals tried to move their bill through, it was blocked in the Lords, and the only remedy they had to get it through after the second reading was-”
“The Royal Prerogative?” Charlotte asked, surprised.
Drake nodded. “It was a risk, but one he felt worth taking- unfortunately the nobility disagreed- but after the banking crisis a decade back, even the most diehard of the Lords was forced to concede that the tax exemptions were fiscally ruinous and it ended up being a Conservative government that suspended them.”
“And what of it?” Charlotte asked. “My father took on the Star Union’s political elites and it touched off a rebellion that cost him his throne.”
“Phillip has made it clear that he views the suspension as temporary. More importantly, he’s indicated that he doesn’t believe Parliament has the authority to overrule him on the question of taxation and many are beginning to be concerned that he doesn’t believe in the necessity of a Parliament at all.”
“So he’s a would-be Dictator in the making?” Charlotte grimaced.
“That’s what I’m afraid,” Drake said. “But you, on the other hand, would be untouched by the politics of the Star Union. Your father is remembered with affection amongst the common people and Grandfather, to his credit, did nothing to discourage that. You would be able to preserve the Union without plunging us headlong into either an economic crisis or worse, a Civil War.”
“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” Charlotte sighed. “You’ve fitted me for a crown that I have yet to agree to take and already my head itches at the thought of it.”
“It doesn’t have to be forever,” Drake said. “With prolong treatments these days you could a decade or two, secure your family's legacy, and then step aside for someone else. You could even unify the crowns of Herenveen and the Star Union if you wanted to.”
“Do you ever find the notion of crowns and all this frippery to be a bit ridiculous in this day and age?” Charlotte asked. “Humanity has become a space-faring civilization. We’re spreading further and further out every year, terraforming as we go, and yet they still want us to put crowns on our heads. I’m surprised we haven’t grown beyond it yet.”
“Human society organizes itself somehow into strata. Doesn’t matter what flavor or ideology. We have the titles we have merely because our family was amongst the first stakeholders of the original colony of Astralis Prime. Doesn’t make us better than anyone, not anymore.” Drake drained the last of his whiskey.
“Well said,” Charlotte chuckled.
Drake grinned ruefully. “I’m not selling you on this, am I?”
Charlotte said nothing for a long moment before she too drained the last of her whiskey. “Do you remember that summer lodge Grandfather had down by the coast? Near the village with the funny name?”
“Etretat?” Drake said.
“Yes, that’s the one… named after some old Terran painting.”
“I saw it once when we went to Terra,” Drake said. “The cliffs near that village look nothing like the ones in the painting. And they pronounce it differently too.”
“How do they pronounce it?”
“Etret-ah,” Drake said. He shrugged. “Some weird quirk of an old Terran language. They were surprised that the locals pronounced the ‘t’ at the end.”
“Anyway,” Charlotte said. “Do you remember the hill, right by the beach?”
“I remember it being more of a vertical climb,” Drake said. “But yes, I do.”
“I loved the view from the top,” Charlotte said. “It’s one of the clearest memories I have. You could see that whole stretch of the south coast…” she trailed off, lost in the memory.
“And?” Drake prompted.
“I think,” Charlotte said slowly. “I think it would be nice to climb that hill again.”
Drake smiled. “So you are thinking about it?”
“I might be,” Charlotte said. She stood up and Drake stood with her. “But now, cousin, I need to go to bed.”
“Until tomorrow, cousin.”
Charlotte slept better than she expected and still managed to slip out of bed the next morning and make her way out onto the terrace where Grimsby awaited her with her usual morning coffee. She wrapped her robe around her tightly, for the cool of the evening still hung in the air. In the light of the day, she was forced to admit the uncomfortable truth to herself: she didn’t know what to think.
Part of her was tempted: she hadn’t been lying to Drake last night and even though he had shamelessly tried to trade on her nostalgia for her childhood at first, his arguments about her father’s legacy had been more persuasive than she wanted to admit. Phillip would be a disaster for the Star Union and if several members of the extended Royal line were suddenly afflicted with terminal illness or enough of them dropped dead that Hubert’s claim went from punchline to reality, he might be an even worse choice for the Star Union.
There were others, of course, but no one had a stronger claim than she.
On the other hand, this was home. This was where she and Juliana had built a family, raised the children, and- the sound of footsteps behind her broke her reverie.
“Now it’s your turn to leave me alone in our bed, I see,” Juliana smiled as she pulled her robe tightly around herself and sat down in the lounge chair opposite her. Grimsby produced another cup and held it up questioningly for a moment before Juliana nodded and he poured a cup, placed it on a saucer, and handed it over to her.
“I was up late enough and still didn’t hear you come in,” Charlotte replied. “What were you up to last night?”
“Meetings,” Juliana replied. “Too many to count, I’m afraid. Did you and Drake talk?”
“I don’t know,” Charlotte said. “It’s tempting. But-” she gestured around her. “We built all this together. It’s our life. Our home. I’m not sure I want to leave it, however tempting it might be.”
“Would it help to know that his offer does appear to be genuine?” Juliana asked. “Our intelligence people were working all night to confirm it, but they’ve got enough sources to be sure that he’s on the level.”
“That doesn’t solve the question of how we do it.”
“The General Staff is of the opinion it wouldn’t take much. Their best plan calls for a lightning-fast surgical strike. You isolate and blockade key points, proclaim yourself, and proceed to Astralis Prime to take the throne.”
“Oh, that easy, huh?”
Juliana shrugged. “That’s what they tell me, anyway. The government also doesn’t hate the idea and is frankly enthusiastic about the possibility of gaining more direct access to their markets.”
“But what about you?” Charlotte asked. “I can’t go to rule the Star Union by myself and leave you here alone. I would… miss you.”
“As I would miss you, my darling,” Juliana replied. “That’s why, if you decide to do this, the government would convene the Staats-General and appoint Eduardo regent in my absence. It’s well past time he was given some real responsibility, anyway, and that way- what? Have I done something-” Juliana looked concerned because Charlotte’s eyes were full and the first tears were beginning to roll down her cheeks.
“You would…give it all up? For me?” Charlotte asked, in a voice thick with emotion.
“Of course,” Juliana replied. “I love you, after all. For decades now, you’ve stood by me, had children with me, and been the best Queen Consort I could have wished for. It is more than past time for you to be Queen in your own right.” She smiled. “Besides, I hear the royal gardens on Astralis Prime are a mess. Your grandfather evidently did not have the greenest of thumbs.”
Charlotte smiled. “I think the real expert was my grandmother, to be totally honest.”
“The only question, my love, remains the biggest one of all. Our children are grown. I have been looking for an excuse to give Eduardo some responsibilities mainly so I could tend to the roses here, but I could just as easily fix up the gardens on Astralis Prime. Drake’s offer appears to be genuine. We can bring the military force to bear quickly enough and easy enough to put you on the throne. So, what do you want to do?
“It seems absurd. I haven’t been back there in decades. I’ve lived in exile my whole life. This is home.”
“It’s not absurd. It also doesn’t have to be forever.”
“Drake said that too,” Charlotte said. “Also said we could unify the crowns if we wanted to.”
“So you are thinking about it?”
Charlotte nodded. “Do you remember the first time we met?”
Juliana smiled. “How could I forget? I chased you up a hill near the University on Cosmara. There was a beautiful view at the top.”
“I loved that hill because it reminded me of a hill along the coast near my grandfather’s summer lodge,” Charlotte said. “If I- no, we do this… will you climb it with me?”
“Yes, my love, I will,” Juliana said. “I won’t ask you to decide now but know this. I think it is well past time for you to be Queen in your own right on a throne of your own. I think the people of the Star Union would welcome a ruler who will respect the government they elect and actually advocate for their welfare. I think everyone who lives in exile harbors a secret dream, a hope of returning home someday. But, my love, my home is with you. Wherever you go.”
It came down to that in the end. That one simple sentence decided it. Charlotte Elizabeth Mackenzie-Nanda, Queen Consort of the Herenveen Staats-Republic looked over at her wife, Juliana Beatrix Oranje-Nassau Chief Stadtholder and Queen of Herenveen Staats-Republic, Chief Executive Officer of it’s associated trading conglomerates and companies. She reached over and took Juliana’s hand in hers. “My Queen, my love, my life,” Charlotte said. “I think I would like to go home again.”
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