Hotels near bayfront park miami fl
2023.06.02 07:13 PM_ME_YOUR_SPECS_PLS FAQ Megathread
In an effort to cut down on repeat question posts I am creating this thread with answers to many FAQ’s I have seen within the last couple of days. Question posts aren’t going to get removed or anything, but I think having all of this in one area will help to reduce repeat questions. We may start removing low effort questions. We'll see how this helps first.
1) When is the lineup coming out?
: We have no idea, but typically it drops in August, a general sale will drop with the lineup.
2) Who will be on the lineup? Again, no idea. We do have a speculation thread which can be found here.
3) What are the Camp Flog Gnaw Crowds like? Think of a mixture of the Coachella crowd and the Rolling Loud crowd. For mosh-worthy artists there will most definitely be mosh pits, and for laid back sets it will be chill. Discussion Sets you can find on YouTube to get a feel for crowd levels
: Taco 2019
// FBZ 2018
// Tyler 2019
4) Is there camping? No. The festival is held in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium, book a hotel or airbnb.
5) When should I buy tickets? If you're set on going, buy the presale to save yourself some money and get a cool little souvenir. Otherwise, wait until the lineup drops.
6) Should I buy GA or VIP? This is completely up to you, VIP is worth it for me, but it may not be for you. VIP has a separate viewing area at the stages that is a lot less crowded than GA, I find it worth it for that alone. The merch is the extra cherry on top. Ragers maybe consider sticking with GA
7) Will 'GA/VIP/SVIP sell out?' Probably. Buy your ticket if you want to go, you can sell it through Lyte or a different website later and take a hit if you can't make it.
8) How fast does presale sell out? 2019 sold out in 15 minutes. Do with this information as you will.
9) What is the Game Pass / Is it Worth it / Will it sell out? It is a separate wristband that lets you play the carnival games unlimited times, you win merch from the games. It is worth it if you are planning to play the games a ton, I have won a ton of merch from these games and it is very worth it in my opinion. Yes it will sell out. Discussion
. RIDES ARE FREE
10 Is it worth it to get VIP if a friend is just getting GA?
11) Service fees pricing
? You can find that information here.
tldr; Gen: $26 Vip $36 Svip $51 Game $6.50
12) Hotel Recommendations? The website will update with close properties, but here
is the list from 2019.
13) When should I book my hotel? IMO The sooner the better. Most hotels have a cancellation policy where you can cancel up to 48 hours prior to you arriving to the hotel.
13) How is Parking? Discussion
14) When do set times come out? Like two days before the festival.
15) My friends dont want to come with :( Should I go alone? Yeah. Join the Camp Flog Gnaw Discord Here and make some friends, or keep an eye out for group chats closer to the fest date. Flog Gnaw's crowd is super friendly, and you will have a great time by yourself regardless. Remember, you're all at the fest for the same reason! Solo Thread
16) Food Options? Discussion Here
. Basically expect food trucks and artist-theme popups (2016 had Action Bronson's FTD popup, 2019 had 'Taco's Tacos'). Yes, they are very pricey.
17) How is merch handled? VIP/SVIP merch will probably ship AFTER the festival, you can buy merch at the festival however the lines are long, so arrive early or expect to wait at minimum 60 minutes.
18) Can I refund my ticket if I can't go? No. You can resell on a third party or through Lyte, which should be announced later. The 2019 Map for reference can be found here Feel free to add any extra questions or tips in the comments, I will add them to the main post.
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2023.06.02 04:45 Gameran Dexter Flux Presents: Sound-Off! - Part One
Previously unannounced press conference, May 31, 2023.
Cameras are rolling as the owner of Mann Corporation, Shay D. Mann, hair in a perfectly put-together part, adorned in a navy suit and white tie, steps forward to a podium, in front of a WiR backdrop, microphone in hand. Mann
: My name is Shay Duncan Mann. And I am the new owner and proprietor of Wrestling is Reddit. I can assure you that your beloved Allen Paisner will be returning in the future, however, he could not make tonight's show due to some…
Mann smirks. Mann
: Legal complications. But fear not, I’ll be taking his place in the booth tonight.
The crowd erupts with applause and cheers, eager to witness the rebirth of their beloved wrestling promotion, even without Paisner for the evening. Mann
: Tonight, we embark on an exhilarating journey, as WiR takes a bold leap forward. I stand before you not just as the owner, but as a “fan”—a fan who understands the passion and dedication that this community shares for the world of wrestling.
Mann tries to hide a grimace as he proclaims his “fandom”. The crowd anticipates Mann’s next move Mann
: For too long, WiR has been dormant, unable to proceed, some of the talent trapped in Europe with no way home. But this, is no more! Today, we resurrect the spirit of WiR, bringing it back to life with a bang! And what better way to open things up by “Sounding Off"! Presented by the one and only, Dexter Flux
The crowd gives an actual cheer with genuine enthusiasm at the mention of Flux, their sort of god-king. Mann
: "Sound Off" isn't just a name; it's a rallying cry! It's a call for all of you, the WiR faithful, to voice your opinions, to express your passion, and to join us in this incredible journey. This event will be a celebration of everything that makes WiR special—the wrestling, the community, and the shared experiences that bring us all together.
The press conference crowd, whose papering becomes increasingly obvious the more Mann talks, is enthusiastic, as they eagerly hang onto Shay D. Mann's every word, perhaps a little too eagerly. Mann
: Tonight, in this very ring, our talented roster will ignite your imagination, deliver jaw-dropping performances, and create moments that will be etched in your memories forever. Sound Off! will leave you on the edge of your seats, craving for more.
The crowd roars with the excitement of a hair dryer pop. Mann
: But this is not just a show; it's a community. Together, we'll embrace the highs and lows, the victories and defeats. We'll share our opinions, engage in spirited debates, and build something truly remarkable. WiR is your platform—your voice will be heard! The crowd erupts once again, their cheers echoing through the arena, showcasing their dedication to WiR, or getting paid to be there Mann
: So, my friends, get ready to immerse yourselves in the magic of WiR once again. Open your hearts, open your minds, and let the exhilaration of "Sound Off" wash over you! Tonight, we begin a new era—one that will redefine the landscape of this sport. Welcome back to WiR, my friends. Because Wrestling… is Revived.
With a sly smile, Shay D. Mann raises his microphone high, signaling the start of the show, as things fade to a video of Dexter Flux. His face is slightly out of frame as the camera points to his chest and chin. Crowd
: YEEEEAAAHHHHHH WE LOVE FLUX! WE LOVE FLUX! Flux
: Hey, it’s me, Dexter Flux. Welcome, uh, welcome you know, back to wrestl- Ugh, sorry, something was like, in my throat. Wrestling is Reddit. Welcome back to Wrestling is Reddit. This is House Party.
Knott's Berry Farm, June 1st, 2023.
With that rousing introduction, we now cut back to the day of, with a drone shot of the ring set up at Knott’s Berry Farm, fans on makeshift stands in the berry field, a parking lot and farmhouse off in the far distance, before [off brand royalty free music] begins to play! Crowd
Through the makeshift curtain, Tony “The Milkman” Stevens appears
, wearing a pair of off-blue tights with cow white print, a single blue elbow pad on the left side, with a pair of gloved hands- in which, he holds a pristine white umbrella
. The Milkman points his umbrella right down the lens of the camera… Milkman
: Good to be back, fellas, and good to see you, Mr. Cameraman! Been a while. Mann
: And here comes the Milkman, and a huge ovation from this crowd! But no Horde jacket with him! Woodbridge
: Or any jacket. But we’re in Anaheim, its hot out Mann
You’re right. But he did prepare for rain.
The Milkman hands off his umbrella to a fan at ringside, before sliding under the bottom rope, and ascending the left hard camera turnbuckle, firing up the crowd, before doing a backflip off the top rope, and into the ring! Crowd
The Camera cuts back to the entranceway, as the music changes, to Skillet Crowd
: BOOOOOOOOOOO Jericho Styles
appears on the ramp, adorned in an Allen Iverson Nuggets Jersey
. He blows off a fan’s high five attempt, before sliding into the ring and taking a position opposite of Stevens. Babaganoush
: WiR fans… welcome to Anaheim California, the beautiful Knotts Berry Farm! Welcome! To Sound Off! Presented by Dexter Flux. Crowd
: W-I-R! W-I-R! W-I-R! W-I-R! Banaganoush
: Our opening contest is scheduled for one fall to a finish. Introducing first, to my right… wrestling out San Jose California, weighing in at 217 pounds, Jericho… Styles! Crowd
: BOOOOOOOOO Babaganoush
: And his opponent, to my left. Weighing in at 208 pounds… Crowd begins to rise Babaganoush
: Wrestling out of… Brooklyn, New York! Tony… “The Milkmaaannnnnnn” Stevens! Crowd erupts into indiscriminate cheers DING DING DING
The Milkman and Styles circle each other as the bell rings, before Styles takes the initiative with a lock up attempt, which he quickly transitions to a rear waist lock. Milkman thinks on his feet, and grabs the arm of Styles lifting it above his head, and turning to break the lock, before using it to get behind Jericho, who uses his size advantage to overpower Stevens and apply a hammerlock, using the position to turn Stevens around, and take him down to the mat with an arm drag, maintaining control of the arm, which he quickly leverages into a pinfall… ONE
Milkman gets his free shoulder up! Crowd
: Yay! Woodbridge
: JZ leveraging some technical skill here in the opening moments of this one, but can’t keep the Milkman down! Mann
: Only one count for Styles
Styles refuses to relinquish his grip on the arm, and as Stevens gets up, pushes him back into the corner before he can balance himself. Styles whips Stevens across the ring to the other corner, before charging in and being met with Milkman’s knee! Stevens capitalizes on his newly made opening by delivering a sharp kick to the chest of Styles, before whipping him against the ropes. Styles charges back, and tries to use his momentum to catch Stevens with a hip toss, but can only get Stevens a few inches of height off the ground before the Milkman lands on his feet, lifts and Styles up for an atomic drop, which forces him to let go of Stevens. With his arm now free, The Milkman plants himself, and delivers a [devastating lariat]. With what self-preservation he has left, Styles rolls to the outside, and onto the grass. Woodbridge
: And The Milkman just leveled Styles with that lariat! Mann
: Not something we’re quite used to seeing from Stevens, some hard strikes early in this one that really seemed to throw Styles off his game.
Styles pulls himself up by the barricade, to the direct ire of front-row fans who continue to heckle him. Back in the ring, Stevens throws himself off the far-end ropes, charges in for a dive… before Styles ducks down to avoid being hit. Stevens doesn’t change speed, and instead, throws himself between the ropes for a 6-1-9 that hits nothing but air, launching himself back into the ring, and landing on his feet. After this feat of dexterity, and with Styles on the ground outside, The Milkman takes a bow for his efforts. Crowd
: YEEEAAHHH!! Four dues in front of the hard cam
: WE LOVE MILK! WE LOVE MILK!
At a count of eight, Styles, returns to the ring, and the two wrestlers square off again. Styles gets the better of the two on the lockup, delivering a stomp to Stevens’ foot, before kneeling him in the stomach. Styles lifts Stevens up for a suplex, but Stevens shifts his weight and lands on his feet behind him! The Milkman attempts a German suplex, but Styles throws a firm elbow to the jaw and repositions behind Stevens for a German attempt of his own. Stevens gives Styles a receipt with a firm, calcium-hardened elbow of his own, before bounding over to the ropes, and attempting a lionsault to a standing Styles! Styles catches him, but Stevens slips free, pushes Styles into the corner, and he takes a chest-first bump. Stevens harnesses his agility once more to get into poison-rana position on the shoulders of Styles, but Styles uses one arm to flip Milkman off balance and send him tumbling to the ground. Quickly, Stevens attempts to transition to a sunset flip but has to abandon ship as Styles tries to poke him in the eyes, jamming his finger into the canvas as a result. Stevens uses the moment to leap up to Bret’s rope, turn around, and deliver a dropkick to Styles! Stevens then rolls to the apron, and pumps up the crowd with a wave of his hand… Crowd
: YEEEAAAHHH WOOO!! Guy already 4 cheap beers in
: I hate this Styles guy!
…and delivers another springboard dropkick, this one from the top rope! Stevens flexes for the crowd, before rolling into a cover… ONE TWO
Styles gets a shoulder up! Mann
: Does The Milkman seem a bit different to you, Woodbridge? Woodbridge
: Milkman definitely wants to show off early, he looks like he hasn’t lost a step! Mann
: Maybe even gained one, and it almost feels like he’s being a bit disrespectful of his opponent, don’t you think? Woodbridge
: And what are you insinuating? Mann
: Well, maybe performing in front of a WiR crowd again has him a little more amped than usual! Trying a lot of those high-risk maneuvers early- we’re only a few minutes into this one, folks!
After the Kickout, Stevens signals to the cheering crowd, runs off the ropes, and attempts a wheelbarrow bulldog, but as he pushes himself up, Styles swivels his hips, and Stevens face plants into the mat. Mann
: And Stevens’ showing off cost him there!
Styles knees Stevens in the stomach, before putting his head between the legs, and sets up for the Styles Clash! He can’t lock in Milkman’s arms, and Stevens uses them to push off the mat to sit up above Jericho! Stevens tries throwing a punch at Jericho’s head, but he pivots his plan, and adjusts to deliver a powerbomb! As he releases, Stevens adjusts his body and manages to mitigate some of the damage by landing awkwardly on the back foot, stumbling back into the ropes. Mann
: If Styles hit that, it could have spelled an early end for Stevens!
Stevens pulls himself back to his feet using the ropes and charges back in with a clothesline attempt, but Styles sees it coming, grabs the arm and uses it to shift the momentum, and lifts Stevens for a tilt-a-whirl Backbreaker! Crowd
: BOOOOOO Mann
: And Styles seems to be in control here. Woodbridge
: Stevens took some early momentum, but Styles has had a counter for everything Stevens has thrown at him.
Styles pulls Stevens up to his feet by the hair, before casually flipping one of Stevens’ arms over his shoulder for a uranage position before holding his arms out to the crowd! Crowd
Styles smirks at the boos incoming, and throws Stevens with a t-bone suplex. Once Stevens is planted, Styles stomps the stomach to force him to sit up, before stretching the arms behind for a surfboard stretch! Styles
: I’m a technical wrestler now, assholes! Mann
: Styles slowing things down here, grounding the Milkman Woodbridge
: Not a bad strategy, we saw how The Milkman was in control with a faster pace! One guy holding up a sign with Goku
: WE-LOVE-GOKU! WE-LOVE-GOKU! Everyone else in the crowd is deafeningly silent Styles
: AND WHAT WOULD GOKU DO HERE, STUPID IDIOT? Styles breaks his hold and approaches the hard camera ropes to yell at the fan more Styles
: Dragon Ball is overrated trash! Styles kicks Stevens back to the mat Styles
That one was for you, fucking weeb!
As Stevens once again rises to his feet, Styles punches him and he falls back to the mat, just for Styles to pick him back up, and line up against the ropes, for an irish whip. As Stevens returns to sender, Styles throws him straight up in the air… and football punts him in the chest on the way down! Styles
: Hey weeb guy! This one’s for you too! I saw a Japanese dude do it once!
Styles lifts Stevens up, sets him up with the arms behind the back… and delivers a slow, sloppy [tiger driver], before placing a single foot on the chest, and flexing ONE TWO
: YEEEAAAHHHH Woodbridge
: Well, he didn’t quite get all of it.
Styles takes time to put Stevens in a Camel Clutch. Mann
: And it seems Styles didn’t want to get left out of showing off! Woodbridge
: Well, he certainly nailed Milkman with that kick, but the Tiger Driver left a lot to be desired. Mann
: Styles seems to have control of this match when it’s slowed down, wearing Stevens with this technical wrestling prowess. Woodbridge, reaching under the desk for a paper bag
: Everyone wants to be a hero in front of the first crowd in two years
Styles releases Stevens from the hold by battering him in the back of the head with a forearm, picking him up by the scruff, and bouncing him off the ropes for an Irish whip and hitting him with the kitchen sink! But Stevens wastes no motion, and grabs the leg, turning Styles over for a rollup! ONE TWO THR-
: BOOOOOO Woodbridge
: He almost got him with that rollup! From out of nowhere!
The Milkman tries to capitalize, but Styles returns the favor with a boot to the stomach. Styles
: I’ll show you to make a damn fool out of me!
Styles hoists Stevens up for a vertical suplex, before taking two steps and chucking him across the top rope! The Milkman bounces off the top rope, makes a deflating noise as the air is forced out of his lungs, and flops down to the floor outside! Mann
: Styles with some kind of inverted lawn-dart maneuver! Woodbridge, do you know what that’s called? Woodbridge
: Nope. Crowd
: BOOOOOO Styles
: Come on, milk boy, you have anything else for me?
Stevens crawls back into the ring, holding onto his ribs, before Styles once again kicks him in the stomach, and applies a chin lock in the ring. Mann
: Styles has found his target! If Stevens can’t breathe, he can’t fight! Woodbridge
: The young Styles showing some veteran instinct here, Mann, if Stevens has the wind knocked out of him, he can’t perform those high-flying moves he was nailing Styles with earlier!
Styles turns to the side, and locks Milkman in a body scissors, using his legs to apply pressure to the ribcage. Stevens tries to use his free legs to push both men closer to the ropes, but can only move them a few feet. Stevens smacks the mat with his free hand, and a guy in the crowd does it to the barricade. Stevens smacks the mat again, and a few more fans join in. Crowd Smacking the barricade
Stevens pushes towards the ropes again, making more progress. Styles sees this, and releases the hold, grabbing Stevens by the hair with one hand, tights in the other, and pulling him up to his feet. Styles
: You want the ropes so bad, here, have them!
Styles runs over to the ropes with the Milkman, and hurls him between the middle and top rope, dumping him to the outside where he lands with a noticeable thud. Styles follows him to the outside, taking his time to savor the boos of the crowd, before delivering a knee to a rising Milkman, and lifting him for a vertical suplex on the grass! Styles rolls into the ring… and back out again to break the count. Despite the present beating, Stevens once again pulls himself to his feet. Crowd
And Styles knees him in the ribs. Crowd
Styles rolls Stevens back into the ring before taking a moment to confront the drunk fan who jeered him earlier. After his verbal exchange, Styles delivers a scoop slam to Stevens to keep him down, and the pressure on the body, before sliding into a cover. ONE TWO
: Forcing Stevens to exert more energy there on the kick out, after continuing his assault on the ribs. A very solid strategy by Styles in this one.
Styles picks The Milkman up once more and prepares another vertical suplex, but the Milkman slips free! Stevens lands behind Styles, hooks his arms, and goes for a crucifix pin! ONE TWO THRE-
Styles barely escapes! The Milkman wastes no motion as Styles rises back to his feet, bouncing off the hard camera ropes, and forcing Styles to drop back to the mat to avoid a strike. Stevens bounces off the opposite end, and Styles barely avoids him once more, this time with a slide-step that sees him almost lose his balance. Styles tries to save his momentum by charging at Stevens as he bounces off the ropes a third time, but Stevens pulls down the top rope, sending Styles to the apron! Stevens kicks Styles in the knee, before going through the middle rope to meet Styles on the apron. Styles tries to sweep out the leg of the Milkman, knocking himself down to one knee on the attempt, but Stevens jumps over it, and catches Styles with a Calcium Kiss Superkick
that sends Styles to the grass below! Crowd
With his foe grounded, Stevens looks to the crowd, positions himself in the middle of the ring, and before Styles can discover where he is, Stevens takes flight, springboarding off the middle rope with an Asai Milksault
! On the landing, Stevens’ left knee awkwardly hits the uneven yard, and he visibly grimaces before falling backward. Mann
: And both men are down after that! Stevens with a ferocious comeback attempt, but he may have hurt himself! Woodbridge
: Someone hasn’t been taking care of their lawn.
Stevens hears the air exit the crowd, and pulls himself up, giving them a reassuring thumbs up, before using the leg he landed on to kick Styles in the back of his knee, before throwing him back into the ring. Stevens puts one leg into the ring through the middle rope, before looking into the crowd- and deciding to ascend the turnbuckles instead! The Milkman leaps, and delivers a diving hurricanrana
! As Styles tries to roll to the ropes, Stevens uses their good leg to stomp on his chest, before pulling him back to the middle of the ring, and hitting a Standing Milksault
! Stevens maintains the cover! ONE TWO THR-
Styles gets a shoulder up! Woodbridge
: And Stevens throwing everything into this assault on Styles, but it still wasn’t enough to put him down! Crowd
: Let’s Go Milk-man! Let’s Go Milk-man!
Stevens picks Styles up, and lifts him onto his shoulders… Woodbridge
: He’s going for the Milky Way!
…But the injured knee can’t hold up the weight, and both men crash to the mat. Entrance Music begins to play as a small, skinny wrestler in a leather jacket waltzes towards the two downed competitors Crowd
: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Mann
: And that’s Raven Van Loupe! Van Loupe is here at Sound Off! Woodbridge
: These two formed an alliance last time we saw them! But will it hold after the time off?
Van Loupe enters the ring, despite the protests of WiR official Tai Ni Wong, and glances at the pair as both try to pull themselves up, Stevens using the ropes, Styles on his own. Van Loupe looks back and forth… before kicking Stevens in the injured knee! DING DING DING Babaganoush
: And here is your winner…
Van Loupe helps Styles to his feet, and the pair begin to lay the boots on Stevens. Babaganoush
: By disqualification as a result of interference, and striking a WiR official…
Styles takes the knee of the downed Milkman, and lifts it above his head, before thrashing it against the canvas. Babaganoush
: At a time of…
Van Loupe has Styles lift Stevens by the hair once more, before she runs to the ropes, jumps off the second rope, and Styles pushes The Milkman into the cutter
: Ten minutes and twenty-three seconds…
Styles and Van Loupe stand over Stevens, and Styles prepares to deliver the finishing blow as he signals to the crowd that he is looking for the Styles Clash! Banaganoush
: Tony “The Milkmannnnnn” Stevens!!!!!! Van Loupe
: Are you done?
Van Loupe gives Styles a thumbs up, but as he goes to finish off Stevens, a mighty howl plays over the speakers as a short, scruffy man runs to the ring. Woodbridge
: That’s The Werewolf! Mann
Johnny, A Werewolf, is here! And he’s rushing to the ring!
Styles lets Stevens flop back down to the mat, holding his knee, and turns to face the incoming Werewolf as he slides under the ropes and into the ring. Styles steps before Vna Loupe to intercept, but the fresh Werewolf knocks him off his feet with The Pounce
. The Werewolf comes face to face with Van Loupe in the center of the ring! Crowd
: AWOOOOOO Mann
: Pandemonium has broken out in the first match of Sound Off! And the fans are loving it! Crowd
: WE LOVE WERE-WOLF! clap clap clap clap clap
WE LOVE WERE-WOLF! Woodbridge
: The Pack Wolf and the Werewolf facing off in the center of the ring! Mann
: And these two have unfinished business! The Lifeblood exists because they took issue with being left behind for signings like Werewolf!
Johnny feints left, before throwing a right jab! The Werewolf unleashes Pack Tactics on Van Loupe! As he stops throwing punches, and signals for another pounce, Styles kips up, and levels the werewolf with a lariat! Crowd
Van Loupe and Styles begin to wear down the Werewolf, delivering blow after blow to Johnny as the boos rain from the crowd. Van Loupe delivers a stomp to the knee of The Milkman to keep him down before they and Jericho set up to finish off styles…
When an Italian Flag appears on the video screen, and an absolute guido of an Italian-American, hair dripping with greaseslowly walks out from behind the curtain, wearing a Shohei Ohtani jersey!
…A Shohei Ohtani… New York Mets jersey. Crowd
: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Mann
: That’s The Apex! Arturo Stiglione! Stiglione is in the yard!
Stiglione slowly scopes out the scene on his way to the ring, seeing the downed Milkman on the left of the ring, the downed werewolf on the right, and the standing Lifeblood members in the middle. He slowly ascends the stairs and stands across from Van Loupe and Styles. Wodbridge
: And The Apex, not a fan of Johnny, a very terse relationship between these two. Apex
: Hell ova job ya done hea’ Van Loupe
: If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stand aside, and maybe we won’t hurt you. Apex
: Dont’cha mind me, just monitoring the situation.
Styles pulls Van Loupe aside, and the two have an impromptu conference, before nodding along, and continuing their attack on Werewolf. Crowd
With The Lifeblood’s backs turned Styles looks down at his fist. He looks down at the blue and orange he’s adorned in, and loosens up his arm. He points to the back of Styles, who senses the crowd rising, and turns around… to be met with a spinning backfist!! Crowd
: YEEEAAAHHHH Mann
: Styles has made his choice! And he chooses to stand against The Lifeblood!
Van Loupe hears his body hit the canvas, and turns around, to be met with the sight of a downed Styles! The Apex takes off his Mets jersey… to reveal an Angels
jersey! The Werewolf is back on his feet, and he and the Apex come face to face! Van Loupe rises back up at the wrong time, as the two share a nod, and deliver a double clothesline! Seeing the situation turn against him, Styles slinks to the outside, and grabs a chair from under the ring, before sneaking back in behind the Werewolf and Apex, who have turned to the hard camera. Styles raises the chair to strike…
...And gets blasted by a Calcium Kiss from The Milkman! Crowd
The three faces are all back on their feet in the middle of the ring, standing tall! As the three begin to celebrate… “It’s a Psychobilly Freakout! Mann
: That’s the music of Mason Saunders! But where is he?
Saunders’ music plays, but the entranceway remains empty. Woodbridge
: He’s behind us, Mann! He just jumped the barricade! Mann
: But he’s outnumbered, Woodbridge, both his allies are down!
Undeterred by the numbers disadvantage, Saunders slides behind the faces, and as they recognize the trap, Saunders is already in the ring! The Werewolf approaches first and throws a jab that almost seems to bounce off the chin of Saunders. Saunders simply stares, and when the Werewolf tries a second one, Saunders swipes it aside with a tree trunk arm, before launching into action and dropping the Werewolf with a right hook, which catches the Werewolf cleanly on the jaw, who slumps backward onto the canvas. The Milkman tries to charge to his aid, but Saunders delivers a pump kick to put him back on the canvas. The Apex tries to make a move while Saunders’ back is turned facing Stevens, but he fails to do any damage and is swiftly thrown aside. Saunders drops the Milkman again, before turning around to face Apex… who turns around, and flees the ring as fast as possible! Crowd
: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Mann
: And Stiglione, getting out of dodge as soon as he can! Woodbridge
: And turning tail and running, Stiglione is out of here!
As Stiglione flees up the entranceway, the rest of the Lifeblood begins to pick themselves up. Saunders puts the Werewolf pack down on the canvas with a scoop powerslam, and boots him out of the ring. The Lifeblood stand united, and face the hard camera, Stiglione and Werewolf removed, and the Milkman down on the opposite end of the ring. JZ ascends to the second rope of the left turnbuckle, Van Loupe to the right, and the three all pose for the hard camera! Mann
: And the Lifeblood, although not victorious in the match, is victorious here in the aftermath! Woodbridge
: But wait, The Milkman is trying to get back up! Mann
: Stevens of course, left for the picking, as other members of The Horde are all the way on the other side of the Farm preparing for their match later!
Stevens struggles to pull himself up to his feet, knee buckling under him. Saunders perks up, and stops his pose. Stevens staggers to his feet, and before he can get very far, Saunders turns, and with blinding speed nails Stevens with a disgusting lariat
that nearly takes his head off! Woodbridge
: And the Milk has gone spoiled.
The Lifeblood circle the downed Milkman like vultures, and Van Loupe drops to one knee, and picks up the Milkman’s head by the hair! JZ gets down as well, and the two strike a pose, with Milkman’s body as the centerpiece! Mann
: A statement made, by the Lifeblood Woodbridge
: To me, Mann, it looks like the statement was made by Saunders, Van Loupe, and JZ just picked up the scraps! Van Loupe, holding up Milkman to the Camera victoriously
: Take a look, WiR, this is the future! We are the Lifeblood of this company, and don’t forget that! The camera pans out to JZ and Van Loupe celebrating over Milkman’s body, while Saunders stares from behind, before fading out to a commercial break. Javier:
The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL, with a 20 minute time limit. Your referee for this contest is Mia So Hung. Introducing first, from Montreal, Canada, weighing in at 119 pounds...... GIGI♥ V! Crowd:
BOOOOOOOOOOOOO! A significantly smaller but incredibly loud section of the crowd:
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! Music begins to swell in the background
, and the crowd continues their jeering (and occasional unbridled simping) until Gigi steps out, running her hands down her body to the lewd Ashnikko verse. Mann:
Gigi here, surrounded by her legion of fans, who are then surrounded by a legion of people who absolutely despise her. As it should be here in WiR.
Gigi saunters to the ring, taking vaguely suggestive selfies with her ravenous fans on the front row, and generally seeming uncaring about the forthcoming match. Woodbridge:
And given her successes recently, it’s gonna be easy to overlook a competitor like Li Xiao, which very easily could prove fatal.
Gigi steps into the ring, as Javier starts his announcing again. Javier:
And her opponent, from Hong Kong, weighing in at 105 pounds... LI XIAO!!! A unfamiliar metal song
blasts out from the speakers, and a rather familiar hyperactive martial artist bounces out from behind the curtain! Crowd:
Xiao charges down the ramp with a head of steam, hyped and ready to fight. Mann:
Xiao has some of the most devastating offense in this company, and if she’s able to keep momentum, it could very well shatter Gigi’s plans of making a statement here! Woodbridge:
Yeah, sure, but Xiao’s a tag team specialist first and foremost. She comes in to deal damage and then gets out before she takes too much abuse.
Xiao hops into the ring, and the referee pats both competitors down, before gesturing for the bell. DING DING DING
In an interesting turn of events, Gigi and Li Xiao start off with a collar-and-elbow tie up in the center of the ring. Gigi takes quick advantage of her height and weight advantage to gain leverage and force Li Xiao backwards into the ropes. Mann:
Gigi starting off with the basics here, knowing Li Xiao is nothing if not an incredibly explosive fighter. Woodbridge:
That’s right, Xiao wrestles like my grandpa used to make moonshine, god rest his soul!
Gigi sets herself, and when Xiao tries to push off the ropes and get Gigi off, Gigi directs the momentum into a modified biel, throwing Li Xiao across the ring! Gigi takes a moment to smirk and pose for the fans - a mistake, as Xiao rolls through the throw and hits the ropes on the opposite side of the ring! Mann:
Incredible strength from Gigi!
Gigi turns around into a sprinting palm strike from Xiao, staggering backwards into the ropes yet again, and Xiao follows up with a big kick to the gut! Gigi’s doubled over, and Xiao drops her with a DDT! Woodbridge:
Xiao’s fired up, and she’s quite possibly looking to end this match before it even gets started!
Xiao with the cover! 1! 2!
Gigi kicks out right at 2, and rolls up, obviously shocked and dazed. The crowd in attendance is split, with the wrestling fans excited to see Gigi on the ropes, and the Gigi fans absolutely in shambles. Xiao is up quickly, as Gigi staggers to her feet - Xiao hits the ropes, springboards, and catches Gigi with a beautiful headscissors! Crowd:
Gigi rolls through, runs the ropes, and comes back with a head of steam! Xiao dodges a clothesline attempt, shoves Gigi to the other rope, and gets ready for the comeback - Gigi catches the ropes! Xiao charges in to press the advantage, and eats an officially branded Gigi♥ boot to the face! Xiao is absolutely rocked, staggering backwards, and this time Gigi takes the initiative and absolutely levels Xiao with a clothesline! Xiao spirals to the mat, and Gigi blows a kiss to the fans in attendance! Gigi:
I am your future champion, and this is the match I’m booked in?
Gigi catches Xiao with a boot to the back of the head! Xiao rolls over, and Gigi drops a knee onto her throat, before going for the cover! 1! 2!
Xiao muscles out of the pin, clutching her head! Woodbridge:
We got two high fliers here, these women make a livin’ out of dodging attacks. Anything that lands here is going to be devastating! Mann:
And right now, it looks like Xiao is barely conscious after those blows to the head!
Gigi gets up, and winks at her fans in attendance and watching live throughout the world. Crowd:
Gigi saunters over to Xiao, and plays up the boot she’s about to give - SMALL PACKAGE! SMALL PACKAGE! 1! 2!
Gigi kicks out, and her mood instantly changes. Xiao is staggering to her feet, and takes a full on slap to the face! Crowd:
What a slap from Gigi, obviously assisted by her official Gigi♥ gloves, sponsored by Fairtex! Woodbridge:
now, and you could hear that slap all the way in Los Angeles!
Xiao clutches her face, and Gigi follows up with a huge kick to the gut! Xiao falls to one knee, and Gigi finishes the trifecta with a roundhouse to the head! Crowd:
Xiao collapses to the mat! Mann:
And Xiao’s down! What a kick! Woodbridge:
That kick nearly took her head off, Shay! I don’t know if she’s even conscious down there!
Gigi’s prepared, and is looking to finish this, climbing to the top rope! Xiao is flat on her back on the mat, and Gigi takes the leap, flipping forwards with a swanton! Xiao is still conscious, though, and rolls away in the nick of time, leaving Gigi high and dry! Crowd:
YAAAAAAY! KUNG PAO! KUNG PAO! KUNG PAO! Mann:
I... feel like that’s problematic, somehow. Woodbridge:
Nah, ‘sfine, don’t worry about it.
Xiao grabs for the ropes, pulling herself to her feet, but is obviously still dazed from the kick! Woodbridge:
Xiao’s hurt! Mann:
You see this a lot in Li Xiao singles matches - she’s got an incredible offense, but she’s fragile at best in-ring!
Gigi is holding her back, and glares at Xiao in frustration! Gigi:
You were supposed to stay down!
it was going on Tiktok!
Gigi charges forward, ready to avenge her mistake, but takes a knee to the gut! Gigi staggers for a second, only to get a chop to the neck! She’s reeling! Xiao with a forearm! Xiao with a elbow strike! Crowd:
Xiao takes a step backwards, and lets out a KIAI, before charging forward with a roundhouse - NO! SCHOOLBOY FROM GIGI! 1! 2!
Xiao kicks out at 2.6, rolls to her feet, and is immediately back on the offensive, catching Gigi with a kick to the gut! Mann:
Xiao was going for her trademark flurry of blows, and that roundhouse could very well have ended this match! Woodbridge:
Sure, but it doesn’t look like Gigi’s in a better spot right now anyway!
Xiao measures, as Gigi slowly gets back to her feet, and steps through the ropes, stalking her opponent! Gigi’s up, and Xiao leaps onto the ropes, going for a springboard - GIGI HOOKS HER LEG! Crowd:
Xiao loses her footing, and falls neck-first onto the ropes, before collapsing to the outside of the ring! Mann:
Gigi with a lightning-quick reversal! Woodbridge:
Xiao might be seriously hurt down there!
Gigi regains some of her confidence, and gives the crowd an innocent smile, completely ignoring the competitor she might have seriously injured. As the count reaches six, Gigi finally springs into action, rolling out of the ring, and grabbing Xiao by the hair! Gigi:
That’s what you get for ruining my moment!
Gigi pulls Xiao up to her feet, and throws her into the ring. Gigi rolls in as Xiao fights to one knee, then to her feet! Gigi smirks, and stands in front of Xiao, posing for the crowd - WHAM!
Xiao with a JKD backfist! Woodbridge:
River City Knockout! That’s Biff’s move! What a moment to strike!
Gigi is staggered - falls to one knee - then gets back up, just in time to eat THE CRANE KICK Crowd:
CRANE KICK! CRANE KICK!
Gigi is down! Xiao is staggering after landing the crane kick, and collapses to a knee herself! Xiao takes a moment to collect herself, then throws herself into the cover, hooking both legs! 1! 2! 3! NO!
Mia hits the three count, and Xiao rolls off, sure she’s won the match, but Gigi’s right hand is on the ropes! Crowd:
Mia explains to Xiao, who is obviously
frustrated, but nods. She takes a moment to kick Gigi’s wrist, knocking her hand off the ropes, before climbing to the top rope! Xiao steels herself - leaps - corkscrews through the air! Woodbridge:
Gigi gets her knees up! Xiao lands back-first onto Gigi’s knees! Xiao bounces halfway across the ring, clutching her back and neck, and lands on her chest! Crowd:
And Gigi has just enough in the tank to get that counter in!
Gigi, with what seems like massive effort, rolls over, before crawling towards Xiao, who seems to be completely out of it. She crawls over Xiao, with a knowing smirk, before hooking her legs around Xiao’s head! Mann:
Gigi looking for the Paywall, this modified figure four choke! Woodbridge:
And half the audience is looking at something else right now.
Gigi torques Xiao’s already injured neck back, cutting off all airflow! Xiao struggles for a moment, but is trapped in the center of the ring! She crawls forward, but Gigi leans back, torquing her neck even further! Xiao swings back with an elbow, then another, but her arm is caught by Gigi’s free hand! After a moment of struggling, Xiao finally relents, and taps in the center of the ring! DING DING DING! Javier:
And your winner, at a time of 7:53.... GIGI!
Gigi rolls out of the ring, obviously the worse for wear, clutching her neck after the crane kick to the skull! Mann:
And Gigi with a hard-fought win after these two threw everything at each other in a absolutely brutal short match! Woodbridge:
Xiao’s not a singles competitor on her own, but she showed just how brutal her brand of offense is when it needs to be - if Biff has the same resilience he used to have the tag division might need to be on notice!
submitted by Gameran
to wrestlingisreddit [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 04:32 MightyBucket Confused about the MagicBand and purchases
My teen and I are going to FL for a sports tournament later this summer, and spending an extra day to go to Magic Kingdom. Once at the park, he and his teammates will likely go off on their own while I do the park at a more leisurely pace. I have heard the Magic Band allows for it to be tied to a credit card and can make purchases.
We will not be staying at any of the Disney hotels. The FAQ on their website says: "Use it to enter the parks (with valid admission and park reservation), unlock your Disney Resort hotel room, redeem Lightning Lane selections, and charge food and merchandise purchases to the payment card on file, at your Disney Resort hotel during your stay." Does that mean it doesn't work for basic food/drink purchases while at the theme park itself?
Trying to figure out the best way where he'll have an easy way to get food and drinks during the day and whether a MagicBand would work for that.
submitted by MightyBucket
to DisneyPlanning [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 03:08 JJiaMM Off-campus housing 5 MINUTES FROM UCF
11614 Shilpa Ct, Orlando, FL 32817
2/2 Duplex townhouse for rent near UCF, fresh walls, newly remodeled kitchen, and bathrooms; close to UCF, Research Park, Waterford Lake Shopping Center, 417 and 408. Large living room, full-size washedryer hookups. Tenants are responsible for utility, cable, internet, and lawn care. No pets, good credit. $1,849
submitted by JJiaMM
to UCFstudenthousing [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 02:33 4blockhead Weekend/Virtual Meetup Thread
Here are some meetups that are on the radar, both physical and virtual:
- Sunday, June 4, 9:00a MDT: Thrive, casual discussion on zoom verify
- Sunday, June 4, 10:30a MDT: Idaho Falls, casual meetup at Panera Bread at 2820 South 25th Street E. verify
- Sunday, June 4, 11:00a MDT: Pocatello, casual meetup, location dependant on weather
- Sunday, June 4, 10:00a PDT: Portland, casual meetup at Coava Coffee Roasters at 1300 SE Grand Ave
- Sunday, June 4, 10:00a MDT: North Utah County, casual meetup at Harmons at 1750 W Traverse Pkwy in Lehi. Combining AF/Saratoga Springs/Lehi meetups at new location; check link for notes.
- Sunday, June 4, 10:00a MDT: Provo, casual meetup near the Starbucks inside of the Marriott Hotel at 101 West 100 North verify
- Sunday, June 4, 10:00a MDT: Utah Valley, casual meetup at Vineyard Grove Park 350 N 100 E. in Vineyard. Check link for notes.
- Sunday, June 4, 1:00p MDT: Salt Lake Valley, casual meetup at Bingham Junction Park at 1085 River Reserve Court in Midvale.
- Sunday, June 4, 1:00p MDT: St. George, casual meetup of Southern Utah Post-Mormon Support Group at Switchpoint Community Resource Center located at 948 N. 1300 W. verify
- Sunday, June 4, 2:30p MDT: Davis County, casual meetup at Harmons at 200 Station Pkwy in Farmington. Meet in the cafe upstairs. verify
Upcoming week and Advance Notice: JUNE 2023
- Saturday, June 3, 10:00a MDT: Rock Springs, casual meetup at Starbucks at 118 Westland Way verify
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Beginnings of a FAQ about meetups:
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submitted by 4blockhead
to exmormon [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 01:52 Drty994 Whiskey Tango Ep # 1 Pilot
INT. AIRPLANE - DAY
A young man, JAKE (25), is sleeping in his seat, wearing a wrinkled shirt and a tired expression. He has a small suitcase and a laptop bag with him. A voice over the PA system announces that the flight from London to Miami is about to land.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are now approaching Miami International Airport. The local time is 9:22 a.m. and the temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Please remain seated with your seatbelts fastened until the seatbelt sign is turned off. Thank you for flying with us and enjoy your stay in Miami.
Jake opens his eyes and rubs them. He looks out the window and sees the blue sky and the ocean. He sighs and stretches his legs.
I can't believe I'm doing this. Flying across the Atlantic for a job interview that could make or break my career. A job that involves wrestling and TV. Two things I love more than anything. Well, almost anything.
He takes out his phone and turns it on. He checks his messages and sees one from his girlfriend, LUCY (24).
Hey babe, how was the flight? Did you get any sleep? Good luck with the interview, you'll do great! I miss you so much. Call me when you can. Love you xoxo
Jake smiles and texts back.
Hey love, flight was long and boring. Got some sleep but not enough. Thanks for the good wishes, I need them. Miss you too. Will call you later. Love you more xoxo
He puts his phone away and looks around. The plane is full of passengers, mostly tourists and business people. He sees a couple of kids running up and down the aisle, a woman reading a magazine, a man watching a movie on his tablet.
I wonder what they're all here for. Vacation? Work? Family? Maybe they're all going to the same place as me. The Whiskey Tango Studios. The home of the hottest wrestling show on TV. The show that I've been watching since I was a kid. The show that I've been dreaming of working for since I was a teenager.
He takes out his laptop and opens it. He has a folder with his resume, portfolio, and samples of his work as a writer and producer for various TV shows in the UK.
I've worked hard to get here. I've paid my dues in the industry. I've written scripts for soap operas, sitcoms, dramas, reality shows. You name it, I've done it. But none of them gave me the satisfaction that wrestling does. Wrestling is more than just entertainment. It's art. It's storytelling. It's passion.
He clicks on a file that shows a video of him interviewing one of his favorite wrestlers, THE ROCK (45), at a press event in London.
This was one of the best moments of my life. Meeting The Rock in person and asking him about his career, his movies, his advice for aspiring wrestlers and writers like me.
The video plays on his laptop screen.
JAKE (ON VIDEO)
So, Rock, what would you say to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and become a wrestler or a writer for wrestling?
THE ROCK (ON VIDEO)
Well, first of all, I would say thank you for being a fan and for having such passion for this business. Second of all, I would say you have to work hard, be humble, be hungry, and be respectful of everyone who came before you and who will come after you.
The video cuts to Jake nodding and smiling.
JAKE (ON VIDEO)
That's awesome advice, Rock.
THE ROCK (ON VIDEO)
And third of all...
The Rock leans closer to Jake and raises his eyebrow.
THE ROCK (ON VIDEO)
...you have to know your role...
Jake gasps in excitement.
THE ROCK (ON VIDEO)
...and shut your mouth!
The Rock laughs and Jake joins him.
JAKE (ON VIDEO)
Oh my God! You just did it! You just did the catchphrase!
THE ROCK (ON VIDEO)
Of course I did! It's what I do!
The video ends with Jake shaking The Rock's hand and thanking him profusely.
That was amazing. He was so cool and nice to me. He even gave me his autograph and took a selfie with me.
He closes his laptop and puts it back in his bag.
But that was just a taste of what I want to do for real. I want to write for Whiskey Tango Wrestling. I want to create stories and characters that will make people laugh, cry, cheer, boo, feel something.
He looks out the window again and sees the plane descending towards the airport.
And this is my chance to do it. This is my shot at making my dream come true.
He fastens his seatbelt and takes a deep breath.
Whiskey Tango Wrestling...here I come.
EXT. MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - DAY
The sun is shining brightly over the busy airport. A large passenger plane lands on the runway and taxis to the gate.
INT. PLANE - DAY
JAKE COHEN, 25, a scruffy and weary-looking man in a wrinkled suit, wakes up from his seat as the plane comes to a stop. He rubs his eyes and checks his phone. It's 9:32 AM.
He grabs his small cabin case from the overhead compartment and slings his laptop bag over his shoulder. He mumbles a "thanks" to the FLIGHT CREW as he shuffles off the plane.
EXT. PLANE - DAY
William steps out of the plane and is hit by the Miami heat. He squints as he adjusts to the bright sunlight. He follows other passengers down the flight steps and onto the runway.
INT. CUSTOMS - DAY
JAKE waits in line at the customs booth. He looks nervous as he approaches the CUSTOMS OFFICER, who scans his passport and asks him a few questions.
What's the purpose of your visit, sir?
How long are you staying?
Just a couple of days.
Do you have anything to declare?
The customs officer nods and stamps his passport.
Welcome to Miami, Mr. Cohen.
JAKE breathes a sigh of relief as he walks away.
INT. BATHROOM - DAY
Jake enters the bathroom and washes his face at the sink. He tidies his hair and sprays some deodorant and cheap aftershave on himself. He brushes his teeth with a travel toothbrush and toothpaste. He looks at himself in the mirror and grimaces. He should have packed another suit or shirt, or something.
INT. ARRIVALS LOUNGE - DAY
Jake exits the bathroom and walks into the arrivals lounge of the airport. He scans the crowd for a sign with his name on it.
He spots three burly LATINO MEN standing together near the exit. One of them is holding a sign that reads "JAKE COHEN". The other two are wearing sunglasses and earpieces.
The three men notice JAKE and approach him with smiles. They shake his sweaty hand one by one.
RICARDO FUENTES DIAZ, 50s, a well-dressed lawyer and accountant, introduces himself.
Senor Cohen? I'm Ricardo Fuentes Diaz, I'm the lawyer and accountant for Mr. Alejandro Rivera. Mr. Rivera has arranged for you to be staying at The Villa Casa Casuarina down on South Beach for the duration of your visit.
Nice to meet you, Ricardo. And these are...?
Oh, these are Mr. Rivera's associates. This is Carlos and this is Miguel.
CARLOS and MIGUEL nod but don't say anything.
I see. Well, thank you for picking me up.
It's our pleasure, senor. Mr. Rivera is very eager to meet you and discuss business with you. He's expecting you at his office at noon.
Shall we go then?
Sure, let's go.
Ricardo leads Jake to the exit, followed by Carlos and Miguel.
EXT. AIRPORT - DAY
Ricardo, Jake, Carlos, and Miguel walk out of the airport and head towards a black SUV parked outside.
Ricardo opens the passenger door for Jake.
Please, get in.
Jake gets in the SUV and buckles up.
Ricardo closes the door behind him and gets in the driver's seat.
Carlos and Miguel get in the back seat behind Jake.
Ricardo starts the engine and drives away from the airport.
INT./EXT. SUV - DAY
The SUV speeds along the highway
“No! No issues at all Mr Diaz. Isn’t that the former Versace Mansion?” I quizzed him. Ricardo seemed taken aback by my knowledge and started smiling.
“Indeed it is Mr. Cohen. Please don’t take offence. but I can see you’re a man of champagne taste, and beer money?”
I started chuckling at the comment. “None taken. I’d say more beer taste, and lemonade money.”
“Ah, I see. Well, I’m sure what was arranged with yourself over the phone, but Mr Rivera has mentioned that he will cover your expenses during your time here in Miami. Now, if you will follow me to the car. I’m sure we can stop off at a tailors along the way to get you a new suit. Mr. Rivera will be arriving at your suit around 4pm this afternoon. So when you get back, relax. Eat. Sleep.” replied Ricardo as he led me out of the airport and in to an immaculate deep red Bentley Flying Spur as we drive to the nearest tailors
Scene goes to commercial
INT. HOTEL SUITE - DAY
COHEN, a handsome but weary-looking man in his early twenties, is dressed in a charcoal suit. He checks himself in the mirror and adjusts his tie. He walks to the living room area of the suite, where a laptop and a coffee maker are on a table. He pours himself a cup of coffee and opens the laptop.
I've never been a man of luxury. I grew up in a rough neighborhood, where you had to fight for everything you wanted. But when Alejandro Rivera called me and offered me a job as the head writer for his new wrestling company, I couldn't say no. He said he was impressed by my work as a journalist and a podcaster, and he wanted me to help him create something different. Something edgy. Something that would shake up the wrestling world.
He types "Alejandro Rivera" on Google and hits enter.
The only problem is, I don't know much about him. Who is he? What is his story? What is his vision? He said he would explain everything in person, at this fancy hotel in downtown Miami. He booked me a suite and paid for my flight. He said he had some other guests he wanted me to meet. He said it was all part of his plan.
He scans the search results, but before he can click on anything, there is a knock on the door. He closes the laptop and walks to the door.
Well, I guess this is it. Time to find out what this is all about.
He opens the door and sees BEN, a cheerful bellboy with a cart full of drinks and menus.
Good afternoon, Mr. Cohen. Sorry to bother you, but we tried calling you on your cell phone. Your guests have arrived.
Oh, really? That was fast.
Yes, sir. They're waiting for you downstairs in the lobby. Shall I bring them up?
Sure, sure. That would be great.
Very well, sir. I'll be right back with them. And here are some menus and drinks for you to enjoy.
Thank you, Ben.
You're very welcome, sir.
BEN smiles and leaves with the cart. COHEN closes the door and takes a deep breath.
Okay, Cohen. You can do this. You've been in this business for over a decade. You've interviewed some of the biggest names in wrestling. You've written some of the most controversial stories. You've got this.
He walks back to the living room and picks up one of the menus.
Besides, how bad can it be? It's just a job interview. With some mysterious billionaire and his entourage. In a luxury hotel suite. In FL.
He flips through the menu and sees some expensive dishes and drinks.
What could possibly go wrong?
He puts down the menu and picks up his coffee cup.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...
He takes a sip of coffee and makes a face.
...this is decaf.
INT. HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT
WILLIAM COHEN, a young and ambitious TV writer, enters the luxurious suite with RICARDO DIAZ, a slick and charming producer. They are greeted by BEN, a friendly hotel employee.
BENWelcome to the penthouse suite, gentlemen. I hope you enjoy your stay.
RICARDOThank you, Ben. You're very kind.
BENCan I get you anything? A drink? A snack?
RICARDONo, thank you. We're fine.
BENAlright then. I'll leave you to it. Have a good night.
BEN exits. RICARDO turns to WILLIAM and smiles.
RICARDOWilliam! Good to see you again.
He shakes WILLIAM's hand warmly.
WILLIAMHello, Mr. Diaz.
RICARDOMr. Cohen, I would love to introduce you to my boss, Mr. Alejandro Rivera.
WILLIAM's eyes widen as he waits for the big reveal. He hears a door open and turns to see ALEJANDRO RIVERA, a short and chubby man in a bright pink Hawaiian shirt, beige pants and brown shoes. He is wearing a fedora and sunglasses and is followed by two muscular bodyguards.
ALEJANDROAhh, Mr. Cohen. What a pleasure to finally meet you!
He takes off his sunglasses and hat and hugs WILLIAM tightly.
ALEJANDRO (CONT'D)How was the journey?
WILLIAMMr. Rivera! The pleasure is all mine. The journey was fine, thank you.
He tries to hide his disappointment and confusion.
WILLIAM (V.O.)This is the guy? The king of Miami? The visionary behind Whiskey Tango? He looks like a tourist who got lost on his way to Disneyland.
ALEJANDROI must admit, I'm very grateful for the suit, the room, and the generosity you've shown me already!
He releases WILLIAM and shakes his hand firmly.
ALEJANDRO (CONT'D)Is it OK to call you William?
WILLIAMThat's absolutely fine, Mr. Rivera.
ALEJANDROPlease, please. My name is Alejandro. Come on, let's sit and we can talk and order some food.
He leads WILLIAM and RICARDO to the living room area, where one of the bodyguards pours whiskey into glasses.
They toast and drink.
ALEJANDRO (CONT'D)So, let's cut to the chase, William. I'm a man who has a lot of pull in this beautiful city. I'm well respected. I love the bright neon lights. I love the beautiful Miami sunset. It takes me back to being a kid where I would see similar sights on the TV with Miami Vice, and even wrestling. Mi madre also loved telenovelas back then and I was hooked in. The glitz. The glamour. The violence. The storytelling. That's me, man. Yeah I watch wrestling now, but it's not the same. I want all three entities and mix them up. I saw the stuff you sent to me.
He pulls out a script from his bag and hands it to WILLIAM.
ALEJANDRO (CONT'D)This is brilliant, William. This is exactly what I'm looking for. Whiskey Tango is going to be the next big thing on TV.
ALEJANDRO: (smiling) My brother, Dario, once told me that running a wrestling company was easy. He said all you need is passion, vision and guts. Well, he was wrong. He's gone now, and he running a company in Mexico, and I'm the only one left to carry on our father's legacy. (He gestures to the table) That's why I hired you, Jake. You're the best writer in the business. You have a flair for creating compelling stories and characters. You have a knack for making wrestling exciting and unpredictable.
JAKE: (nodding) Thank you, Mr. Rivera. I appreciate the opportunity. I've always admired your work. You have a reputation for being innovative and daring. You're not afraid to take risks and challenge the status quo.
ALEJANDRO: (clapping) Exactly! That's what I like to hear. You see, Jake, I have a vision for a new wrestling company. A company that will revolutionize the industry. A company that will combine the best of both worlds: the athleticism and skill of USWF, and the drama and spectacle of WWA. A company that will appeal to fans all over the world, especially in Latin America and Europe.
JAKE: (intrigued) Wow. That sounds amazing. What's the name of the company?
ALEJANDRO: (grinning) Lucha Libre Elite.
JAKE: (impressed) I like it. It has a nice ring to it.
ALEJANDRO: (leaning in) And you know what else? I want you to be my head writer. I want you to be the creative force behind this company. I want you to work with me and help me make this dream a reality.
JAKE: (stunned) Me? Really?
ALEJANDRO: (nodding) Yes, you. You have what it takes, Jake. You have talent, passion and vision. Just like me.
RICARDO: (clearing his throat) Excuse me, boss. Jake. If I may interject for a moment.
ALEJANDRO: (annoyed) What is it, Ricardo?
RICARDO: (nervous) Well, boss, I don't mean to rain on your parade, but we have to be realistic here. We have money, yes, but we don't have unlimited resources. We have to be careful with how we spend it. We have to be smart and strategic.
ALEJANDRO: (sighing) Ricardo, Ricardo, Ricardo. Always so cautious and conservative. Don't you see? This is our chance to make history. This is our chance to change the game.
RICARDO: (shaking his head) Boss, I'm just trying to look out for you. For us. You know how tough the competition is out there. You know how ruthless they can be.
ALEJANDRO: (glaring) Who? Who are you talking about?
RICARDO: (swallowing hard) You know who I mean, boss.
JAKE: (confused) Who? Who are they talking about?
ALEJANDRO: (turning to Jake) Jake, let me ask you something. Have you done any research on me? Have you Googled me or read anything about me? Do you know who I am?
JAKE: (hesitant) Well...no...not really...Mr. Rivera.
ALEJANDRO: (laughing) Good! Good! That's good! Because ignorance is bliss, my friend. And trust me, you don't want to know too much about me or my family.
JAKE: (curious) Your family?
ALEJANDRO: (standing up) Yes, Jake. My family. The Cuetos. The most powerful and dangerous family in the world of wrestling. And now...you're part of it too.
(He hugs Jake tightly)
ALEJANDRO: Welcome to La Familia de Cueto. Welcome to Reyes del Mundo, and your the prince of this kingdom, while I reign, as its beneficiator behind the scenes.
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2023.06.01 22:03 mlbVis San Diego Padres (10) > Miami Marlins (1) 6/1/2023 @ loanDepot park, Miami, FL Joe Musgrove (W) > Jesus Luzardo (L)
2023.06.01 21:59 ScarletBurn An American's crazy living-situation. Yes, I've moved 6 times in 9 months. Here's how
I moved a grand total of 6 times during this time period. Some by choice, others by — well — not by choice.
So, after finishing University in my hometown, Florida, I became very bored of the mundane "work, eat, sleep" life. So, I sporadically booked a flight to the sunniest place in Germany — Freiburg im Breisgau. I took a German class in highschool, so I thought why not learn another language while I'm out and about in a place I've never been before. I enrolled in a language school, where they would provide me a visa that lasted 1 year. Now here's where things get juicy.
I arrived by plane (obviously) and was escorted by the language school to my 'family'. I chose to live with a host family because I wanted to learn about German culture, and I wanted to really get into the whole "language speaking" thing. When I arrived, a woman greeted me at the door. She was in her mid 50s, and very tiny. I greeted her and quickly found out that she didn't speak any English. Like, at all. But that was okay with me because that means that I'd be forced to speak German. The issue is that she didn't really speak much German either. Well, somewhere between A2 and B1. Better than me, but... you know. I made myself comfortable in my room and went downstairs for dinner.
Two other students joined us. I asked through Google translate why they were here, because I was informed that I would be the only student. She said that Turkish would be better for her because she didn't understand the question when it was presented in german. It turns out that I was the only student from MY language school. She was working with other language schools, and hosted up to 6 students at a time. Okay, cool. I respect the grind!
I quickly befriended a few people at the language school. These students also had host families, and rambled on about how wonderful they were. Evidently, these hosts made breakfast for the students. It was in the contract, but I assumed that it was optional for the host to provide breakfast. I asked my host 'mom' why I didn't have breakfast and she replied that she didn't want to get up that early, because work for her starts at 10am. ( I leave the house at 8am) I asked if it would be possible for her to provide me with some sort of salami or cheese for breakfast every now and then. She begrudgingly agreed, and the next day I was provided with the worst quality salami I've ever seen in my life. (No offence to Netto) Keep in mind I'm paying this woman 990 euros a month for an 8m² room that includes breakfast and dinner. Yikes.
I offered for her to pay me back a few euros so I could make my own breakfast. She told me that she wasn't able to do that, because she needed the money. So, I had to buy my own things for breakfast. One day, she told me that I was taking up too much fridge space. I didn't understand exactly what she meant because her Turkish accent was very hard to understand, so I nodded my head and moved all of my things to the corner of the fridge. (It was 4 items: salami, cheese, mayo, and mustard) She raised an eyebrow at me, sighed, and left the room. One of the students who was sitting in the kitchen at the time told me that she told me to remove my things from the fridge altogether because they were taking up space and it was disrespectful. Oh man. Okay. I just threw everything away because I was so frustrated.
She also had these weird "rules" I had to follow.
- Doing laundry was 5 euros per load.
- I was not to open the window at night. It was SO hot at night and I would wake up at 4am with my bedsheets drenched in sweat. She said that if I wanted to wash my bedsheets more than once very other week, I would be charged accordingly.
- If I had a friend come over, it was 30 euros if they stayed past 9pm.
- No meat was to be eaten unless it was a Friday.
- No alcohol (I'm 23 years old???)
But I sucked up these rules becuase at the end of the day, it was HER house. I just thought that because I was paying a large sum for so little, I'd be allowed a little more control.
Anyway, a week or two after me moving in, my host mom asked me to come with her to meet her friends. I felt like we got off on the wrong foot so I thought I'd tag along. Keep in mind this is August, so it's about 28C outside. I wore a tank top and some pants. When I greeted her outside, she looked me up and down and told me to change. Politely, though. I changed into one of my sleeveless turtlenecks. When she saw this, she sighed and handed me her jacket. Weird, I thought, but it was a friendly gesture — right? Hmm. We drove to a park nearby our village and there was a large group of people waiting for us. They were all dressed rather modestly for the weather, but I thought nothing of it. She then explains to me that she's a Jehovah's Witness, and that this is a Jehovah's Witness meeting. Oh, okay. I have no issues with religion, but MAN. I'll spare you the details. Everyone at the meeting was incredibly kind, but they kept on trying to talk to me about God and the Bible.
They added me to a groupchat and told me to meet with them every Friday. If I wasn't able to make it in person, then I could join on Zoom. I didn't know what to say. It was around this time that I got a message from the school saying that they were going to move me to a new host family. Just my luck! This was because she was going to see her mother for 3 months in Turkey.
A few days after I got the notice, I was scheduled to be picked up and driven across the village by my new host 'dad'. He was a German man in his late 60s. He seemed to be kind although kinda' standoff-ish. My room was above his. Great! It was nearly 28m², and I had tons of light flowing into my room. He told me the rules of the house. Pretty basic and very understandable. However, there was something that stuck out to me. I had to ring the doorbell every time I wanted to use the kitchen.
I asked him why. He said "I'm a nudist, so I must make myself presentable when you come down." Oh god, okay. It's HIS house, ya know? I asked him about midnight snacks, because I occasionally come home late (over the weekend) and during the week I generally eat later. He said that it wouldn't be possible for me to use the kitchen past 10pm. He added that no snacks were allowed in my room. Sternly, he told me that my "late nights" would have to come to an end. Hah! I asked my German friends if this was normal and they said he was "just being German".
There was a butcher shop about a 4 minute walk from the house, so I thought I'd get him a "welcome" gift. I knew he ate meat, because for dinner we ate weinerschnitzel. I picked out a nice link of salami and handed it to him the next time we sat down for dinner. He seemed to be pleased. He asked where I bought it from, and I told him it was from the nearby butcher shop. When I say the atmosphere changed, it CHANGED. He looked down on me with a slight glare and said "I do not want such a thing. Do you know where this meat is from? I do not know. That shop probably treats the animals horribly. I do not support that." Well, the rest of dinner was awkward.
There was an instance where two Italian students were staying with us, and we had dinner with them. They spoke B2 German, and I was still at A1 (if that, honestly). They were chatting up a storm and I sat quietly and tried to listen. One of the Italian girls asked me in German if I was shy and I told her that I wasn't but I just couldn't keep up with the conversation. The host 'dad' laughed and told them in English that I "refused to speak German" because "[my] German was embarassingly bad." Hmm, that didn't feel too good. I didn't speak to him in German ever again and till this very day I struggle with speaking because I keep hearing him in my head. Ah!
Now, around this time (about 2.5 months in) I've been making more local friends and they've been telling me that I can easily rent my own apartment for the amount of money I'm paying the school. The thought of independance got me excited, so I called up the school and said HEY, refund me all the money for the host families — I'm moving into my OWN place! I hopped on WG Gesucht and found a room with a guy right in the city center of Freiburg. Hell yeah! 350 Euros a month, too. The lease was limited to about 3 months, though.
The man was in his early 30s and he told me that he preferred to keep a quiet household. Totally fair, as I literally lived in the livingroom and there wasn't much space for guests. Throughout my whole stay, he probably spoke a good 30 combined minutes to me. Like, in total. These 30 minutes consisted of him telling me to limit my bath time to 5 minutes. I'm not saying he would stand outside the bathroom and count the seconds I was in the tub, but he would coincidentally knock on the door and tell me that my 5 minutes was up whenever he was home. When I told him that I wouldn't mind sending him extra money for the water usage, he said "Oh, would you like to support the Russian government?" Uh, what? I gave up on showering/bathing when he was around. He charged me 70 euros extra anyway, and said that he didn't have the water bill on paper but that these costs were correct.
While all of this was taking place, my language school friends convinced me to download Tinder. Sure, why not. After a few dates with some kind men, I met this German guy "Steve" and we clicked pretty well. He unfortunately had a ski trip planned for when I moved out, so I wasn't able to stay with him in his apartment while I searched for my own.
Anyway, I went back on WG Gesucht in an effort to find another room/flat to stay in. And I did! Oh, it was lovely. A 1 bed 1 bath, 70m right next to the Alt Stadt. I could finally have privacy! I spoke with the landlord and she gave me the greenlight to rent till August of 2023. Perfect! I was to sign a contract 2 weeks before the move-in date. When the sign-date arrived, I got a call from her saying "actually we decided to give this to a different tenant. Thank you for your time!" Ooookay, so I'm basically homeless in 2 weeks. I spoke with my current landlord, and he told me I could stay an extra 2 weeks till I found a place. Great! I went back on the WG-Gesucht grind again. I found an even BETTER apartment closer to the city center, and the landlord seemed to be lovely. Just 3 days before I moved in, I got a text from the current landlord saying that they were unable to offer me the apartment due to an "unforseen circumstance". Bro. What? I'm going to be homeless in 3 days. Are you serious? I signed a contract and everything.
Well, it turns out that the contract wasn't valid because they weren't the landlords. They're tenants. And their "landlord" IS ALSO A TENANT. Apparently the actual landlord found out that they were subleasing illegally, so they were being evicted. How fun!
So at this point, I'm pretty desperate. The friends I made were gone, because guess what. It's almost December, and everyone flew back home. My German friends are all students so they went back to their little German villages in the middle of nowhere and couldn't take me. I desperately put ads up on Kleinanzeigen and WG Gesucht, but to no avail. Everyone is on vacation! Hotels were 100+ Euros a night, but it seemed that that was the only option. I found an Airbnb that charged only 650 euros for 15 nights, which should give me enough time to find another room. So I booked my stay. Just a day before I moved out, I recieved a message on Kleinanzeigen. A room in Waldkirch — a village about a 25 minute train ride away. Fine. I'll take it. When I tell you I RAN into that apartment, I was literally shaking the landlords hand with teary eyes telling her how much I appreciated it.
I canceled my AirBnB, but they didn't give any refunds. Yeah, it was in the description before I made the purchase, but I'd rather live in my own little room in the mountains than some 12m room shared with absolute strangers. So, I'm out 650 bucks — BUT I HAVE A PLACE! My current landlord charged me 45 euros because I begged for one extra night. He didn't even have anyone moving in my room for another 2 weeks, but oh well.
Back to Waldkirch. Now, this cute little place was in an Altbau tucked between the mountains. It was wonderful. The kitchen was all cute and old, Edeka was a 1 minute walk away, there was a local market that was open every Saturday and Sunday... the people around me were all 60+ and smiled when I attempted to speak German to them. God, I loved it. My landlord also would cook for me when she had free time. I had my own little bathroom and I had a castle view from my window. My room was also nearly 30m²!
Unfortunately, the landlord told me that I had to be out by Feburary. However, I was becoming closer with Steve, the Tinder guy. He had a temporary job in Freiburg and because it was coming to an end and he was going to start Med school in Berlin, things seemed pretty gloomy. But I had this crazy thought. Because my language school was in two locations, Freiburg and Berlin, I could just switch schools and still legally reside in Germany. I could just... live with him. Crazy? Crazy. My parents and friends threw a fit. Anyway, I packed my bags and moved in with him to Frankfurt, where his parents stayed. Best month of my life. I made sure everything was okay at my language school, and we made the switch.
So, now we had to hunt for an apartment in Berlin. And man, let me tell you guys. That's HARD. After a while of searching, we finally landed a place in Moabit. March, April, and May have passed. Unfortunately for us, our lease ends in August. So guess who's moving again! Me! At least now I have someone with me to hold my hand through this stressful process. (If anyone has any long-term flats for rent... help!)
I've fallen too in love with this man because I'm now about to apply for the self employment visa so I can stay in germany until his med school finishes. It's been a crazy ride, but I'm so glad I came to Germany. Maybe I'll make a post about all of the other crazy non-housing related German stories!
submitted by ScarletBurn
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2023.06.01 21:52 mlbVis San Diego Padres (10) > Miami Marlins (1) 6/1/2023 @ loanDepot park, Miami, FL Joe Musgrove (W) > Jesus Luzardo (L)
2023.06.01 21:45 fidelityportland TriMet's problems are exponentially worse than anyone is talking about
Public opinion of TriMet's decisions have been pretty mixed, mostly because TriMet's decisions are so convoluted that they can be a real challenge to understand. In reality, Metro and Portlanders need to have a bigger civic conversation about the future of TriMet, looking at the big picture. We have 3 looming existential crises of TriMet to be concerned about that are bigger than revenue dips, crime, or homeless people.
Civic leaders and the public are focused on a quick "fix" for TriMet revenue drops - even though we've seen this coming for a long time, it's very predictable that TriMet's Board of Directors acts at the last minute. Also, very predictably, TriMet's Board opted for a fare increase because over the previous 20 years that's been a go-to answer to every problem (except for that one time they killed Fareless Square). The politically appointed boards of TriMet and Metro lack the unique specialized knowledge of the issues I'll bring up here. If TriMet knows about these larger issues, they're obviously burring it from public view. In the short term, increasing fares is like putting fresh paint on a house that's on fire; in this situation, that paint is HIGHLY flammable.
First - fare hikes as a tactic is a brain-dead move. Just the most utterly stupid and self-sabotaging response to a looming budget shortfall. I'm dwelling on this because it illustrates their terrible decision-making, which is functional proof they have no idea what they're doing. Some of the core reasons for this:
- Increasing fares reduces utilization. Higher cost means fewer people ride, which will decrease the ridership revenue. It will also marginally increase the number of people who won't pay (funny story, some of those who don't pay actually can't afford to). TriMet isn't a monopoly or inelastic service, and plenty of other choices exist that didn't exist 20 years ago: an actual bike share, scooters, electric bikes, UbeLyft, shared vehicles, and more bike paths. Before the pandemic, it was common that I would bus into downtown for work and then take a Lyft home because it wasn't all that expensive, like $8 more than a bus ride - TriMet's price increases make a system that wasn't very competitive simply less compelling.
- Across Portland we need to go through a process of austerity and downsizing government. I absolutely support Wheeler putting a pause on rate increases, but for God's sake, we have far too much largesse in every layer of government. If you need to learn what I'm talking about, read my old article on Parks & Rec. So many divisions/agencies have doubled their staff while reducing service levels. It's bonkers. Cutting throats needs to be an imperative. This is because the great majority of public sector employees in Oregon and Portland are incompetent, redundant, and only exist because Oregon and Portland have been reluctant to use automation. And I don't mean the cutting-edge AI stuff, I'm talking about people who still handle business processes as if they're paper forms. I could tell so many stories from my professional experience - but you'll have to take my word for it for now: culling this bureaucracy is the right move, and until there's a significant downsizing, the political class is taking none of the financial crisis or cost of living situation seriously.
- TriMet's operating budget/revenue is primarily Payroll Taxes, not passenger revenue. About 20-30% of TriMet's budget comes from people buying fares, whereas the bulk of money TriMet needs comes from payroll taxes that businesses pay directly. Because of this, transit activists (including myself) have been proponents of increasing the payroll taxes marginally to make TriMet free for riders. Of course, fareless transit comes with a wide variety of new and different problems (that's an article for another time). Still, when you understand that only a sliver of revenue comes from fares, increasing the fare simply results in a marginal increase in revenue. The much bigger problem is going to businesses investing outside of Metro, and changing workforces that 1) won't pay payroll taxes reliably, 2) don't need people to go into the office. Think about the longer-term game here: is TriMet's board going to increase fares as utilization drops and payroll taxes continually diminish? (See my point above about how their default answer is "yes" because it's the only politically expedient answer.)
Reading comments about the fare hikes, most of the public thinks TriMet is dealing with a safety or utilization issue. Both of these are 100% true: soft-on-crime progressives have wholly obliterated the working class perception of TriMet safety - there are so many different ways this has happened, but we should thank so many people in the media and political class: Ana del Rocio's crying wolf about racism in fare inspections (and the media entertaining it), or Mike Schmidt deinstitutionalizing of the justice system, or Legislature's inability to act on the massive mental health crisis and drug addiction crisis in Oregon. No matter the underlying cause, we have a system where deranged violent mentally ill tweakers can be disruptive on the train, but working-class people face a $250 fine if they can't afford a
($2.80) ticket. TriMet is less safe, especially the light rail and bus lines. We could hypothetically talk about various policy and infrastructure changes, such as turnstiles and security guards - but pragmatically, this won't do shit when our society has adopted a philosophy of transforming the urban core into an open-air insane asylum and opened the doors to the prisons. This safety issue is well beyond TriMet's scope, and even if there was consensus among TriMet and Metro to solve this, the entire justice system and Legislature is still broken.
Fare Hikes and Utilization is the Red Herring - Let's talk about TriMet's future
In reality, multiple design choices made decades ago set us up for failure. But we also have to thank brain-dead progressive lunatics and corrupt politicos who have steered our transit decision-making into the ground.
There are three specific issues I'm going to talk about, with each becoming more consequential and disastrous for TriMet:
- Hub and Spoke Design and the need for a redesign of the entire system to fit new commuting/transit patterns
- Portland Light Rail's short cars are a capacity problem not worth the price tag to fix
- Autonomous vehicles are here, and it's just going to get worse for TriMet
The strategic design of TriMet's system is broken, and it's been broken before.
If you looked at a map of TriMet's bus and rail system, you'd see a design pattern often referred to as a "Radial Design" or sometimes a "Hub And Spoke" design. The Hub and Spoke strategy is building our transit system around centralized locations to connect to other routes. For Portland the idea is to go downtown (or sometimes a Park and Ride) where you can connect to your next destination. This is why the majority of bus routes and all the max routes go downtown, to our Transit Mall and Pioneer Square.
Downtown planning was a smart idea in the 1960s when it was coupled with Main Street economic theory and prototype urban development zones - all of this wrapped up in the 1972 Downtown Plan policy. During these decades, the primary economic idea of urban revitalization was that downtown cores could provide better business climates and shopping districts that amplify economic activity synergistically. In other words, packing all the office jobs and luxury shopping in one area is good for workers, business, and civic planning.
All very smart ideas in yester-year, so TriMet became focused on serving the downtown business community myopically. This myopia became so paramount that it was considered illegitimate (actually taboo, borderline illegal) if you used a Park & Ride facility to park and NOT ride downtown. Amanda Fritz once explained that we couldn't expand Barbur Transit Center because that would result in students parking at Barbur Transit Center and riding the bus to PCC Sylvania. This view implies that TriMet exists only to service downtown workers, not the students, not the impoverished mom needing to go to a grocery store.
How does TriMet's hub and spoke design represent its purpose?
Portland's unspoken rule of transit philosophy is that jobs pay for the system (remember, business payroll taxes pay for most of it), so TriMet should be focused on serving people utilizing it for their job - employers pay for it, and they get value out of it. But this is both unspoken (never said aloud) and largely unobserved. The whole idea of TriMet as a social service to serve low-income people, to help impoverished people - well, those ideas were just lukewarm political rhetoric that is tossed out as soon as some Undesirable
with tattered clothing reeking of cigarettes gets aboard - then Portlanders jump right back "this is for workers only!" Sadly, there hasn't ever been a public consensus of why TriMet exists because I could equally argue that TriMet's purpose isn't serving the working class; it's actually vehicle emissions reductions - but here, too, reality contradicts that this is the purpose for why we operate TriMet. TriMet's real purpose seems to be "Spend money on lofty capital projects" and if we want to be cynical about it, we can elaborate "…because large capital projects enable grift, embezzlement, and inflating property values for developers.
We haven't always depended upon a hub and spoke design. A great article from Jarrett Walker written in 2010 on his Human Transit blog explains in "The Power and Pleasure of Grids
Why aren't all frequent networks grids? The competing impulse is the radial network impulse, which says: "We have one downtown. Everyone is going there, so just run everything to there." Most networks start out radial, but some later transition to more of a grid form, often with compromises in which a grid pattern of routes is distorted around downtown so that many parallel routes converge there. You can see this pattern in many cities, Portland for example. Many of the lines extending north and east out of the city center form elements of a grid, but converge on the downtown. Many other major routes (numbered in the 70s in Portland's system) do not go downtown, but instead complete the grid pattern. This balance between grid and radial patterns was carefully constructed in 1982, replacing an old network in which almost all routes went downtown.
Over the years the grid pattern was neglected in favor of a downtown-focused investment strategy. To a real degree it made practical sense: that's where the jobs were. But again, this is the presumption that TriMet and Mass Transit ought to service workers first, and there's not much consensus on that. But while we can't decide on TriMet's purpose, we can absolutely agree on one important thing: Downtown is dead.
No 5-star hotel is going to fix it. (As of writing, I'm not even convinced that this mafia-connected bamboozle of public fraud will open.) No "tough-on-crime" DA to replace Mike Schmidt, like Nathan Vasquez, will fix downtown. It's not JUST a crime problem: most of the problems we deal with today mirror the problems facing Portland in the 1960s, especially our inability to invest in good infrastructure people actually want to use. That's on top of crime, vandalism, and an unhealthy business ecosystem. IF
we want to maintain TriMet (and that's a big IF, for reasons I'll explain below), then it will be focused on something other than downtown. We need to move back to a grid-design transit system, as this is a much easier way to use transit to get around the city, no matter your destination. If TriMet continues to exist and operate fleets in 20-30 years, this is the only way it exists - because it will just be too inconvenient to ride downtown as a side quest to your destination, especially as we look at 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now.
Of course, we can only transform some parts of the transit infrastructure this way, and there are no uplifting and moving train tracks here. So light rail doesn't have a future in the grid system - but even without the grid system, light rail is doomed.
The fatal flaws of light rail in Portland.
I want to preface this by saying I like light rail as a strategy
, it's not a bad system or bad civic investment. I could write another 5,000-word essay on why Seattle did an excellent job with light rail and the specific decisions Portland made wildly incorrectly. In transit advocacy the wacktavists inappropriately categorized skeptics of Portland's light rail as some soft bigotry - as if you're racist if you don't like Portland's light rail - even though, ironically, most light rail systems tend to be built for the preference of white culture and white workers, precisely what happened here in Portland and most cities (but this is all a story for another time). Portland's light rail system has a capacity problem and has dealt with this capacity problem quietly for the last 20+ years.
When you see the capacity problem, you can quickly understand this light rail system won't work in the future. All the other smart cities in the world that designed light rail realized they needed big long trains to move many people. Portland decided to limit the train car length to the size of our city blocks to save construction costs - and this has always been a fatal flaw.
Portland's highest capacity train car is our Type 5, according to Wikipedia
it has a seating capacity of 72 and an overall capacity of 186 per
train car, meaning each train can accommodate up to 372, but even these numbers seem unreliable
(*edit). Let's compare:
- Washington DC has 6-car trains capable of carrying 120 passengers per car, or 720 per train.
- Salt Lake City has a 4-car train capable of carrying 230 passengers per car, or 920 per train.
- Seattle's Link system has a 3 or 4-car train, each capable of carrying approximately 200 passengers per car, so 600 to 800 per train.
Portland's light rail lines have roughly the same people moving capacity as a single lane
of a highway, maybe marginally more, maybe marginally less. These other cities have a light rail system that can move the same amount of people as an entire 3-lane highway.
You might suspect that Portland could simply run trains more frequently - but nah, that's impossible because the trains run through the central core of downtown Portland, and they're blocked by the real interfaces with road traffic and bottlenecks. TriMet/PBOT/Metro has offered rosy ideas that we could hypothetically run cars every 90 seconds, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, or 6 minutes (depending upon who you ask) - but these are garbage numbers invented out of thin air. For example, you could stand at Pioneer Courthouse Square at 4:50pm on a Wednesday in 2016 - there was a train opening doors to load passengers, and you could visibly see the next train at Pioneer Place Mall pulling into the station behind. Trains were running at approximately a 3 to 4 minute at peak - but on paper, TriMet will claim anything, as they don't give a shit about lying to the public. But the bigger problem is that trains were full.
You might have to wait 90 minutes to find a train that offers a seat. And god forbid you had a bike.
I'm not making this very real capacity problem, Metro even acknowledges
At the busiest hours of the day, 40 light rail trains must cross the river and traverse downtown – one train every 90 seconds. As the region grows and the demand for light rail increases, the region will need at least 64 MAX trains through downtown every hour, more than one train each minute. Our current system can't support that change.
Suppose you're silly enough to trust government propaganda. In that case, you can read the details of Metro study on this in 2019
. If we assumed their numbers added up, it's just fucking impossible to run 62 trains per hour, because passenger loading and unloading can take a full minute (sometimes longer). So unless we want to apply substantial g-forces onto the passengers, the train isn't accelerating out of the stops fast enough. Not to mention how unreliable this whole system would be if a sole tweaker, bike rider, or person with a stroller held up the system for 2 minutes.
This is why the bottom line needs to be upfront about capacity - quoting Metro's study here:
Today MAX is limited to 2-car trains because of the length of downtown city blocks. A tunnel could allow for longer trains if the stations outside the downtown core are retrofitted. In the long-term, this could greatly increase MAX capacity.
Do you see that trick? Build a tunnel, yes - but the entire system has to be retrofitted. Literally every light rail station would need to be redesigned, the lines themselves recalculated for larger heavier trains - and extending platforms at Willow Creek might be simple enough, but how in the living fuck is Metro going to afford to expand the Zoo stop? Doubling the size of that platform would cost $500 million alone.
If the city weren't full of cheap dipshits, we would have elevated or buried our light rail lines in the 1980s or 90s, enabling longer train cars to run. Yes, we all knew back then that it was the best practice not to have light rail running on the street - it's less safe, less reliable, runs slower, and limits train car size. Oops.
Just to keep TriMet's own bullshit inflated utopian vision, it would mean spending another billion dollars just to unfuck downtown, bypass an aging bridge, and potentially allow a marginally higher volume of trains - which again is a band-aid on a mortal wound.
The real buried lede is that to add extra train cars means retrofitting all the stops in the system
- that's tens of billions of dollars
. You can argue costs, but Metro knows we need to do this. It means shutting down the system for a year or years while construction and retrofits happen. It's fucking outrageous. Is this system worth of people per line worth 20, 30, or 40 billion dollars? Fuck no, it ain't. Again, if we had a raging metropolis of industry and commerce downtown, we could reasonably entertain the idea for a moment - but we don't and never will again.
Some folks might argue that if we kill off the light rail system we'd lose out on all those lucrative Transit Oriented Developments. Originally the public was told that Transit Oriented Development strategy would cause a massive infusion of private investment because the light rail was so damn lucrative and desirable for Richard Florida's Creative Class. Turns out the Creative Class is now called today the Laptop Class, and they don't give a flying fuck about street cars, light rail, or walking scores - because most can't be bothered to put pants on during their "commute" from bed to desk. TOD was all a fantasy illusion from the beginning, as multiple studies about Portland commuters showed that college-educated white folks riding Max were equally comfortable riding their bike as a substitute for the same commute. All of these billions of dollars was to accommodate white fare-weather bikers. So here's my hot take on transit: pave over the rail lines and put in bike lanes, and boy, then you'd have a bike system to give folks like Maus a hardon. But of course, Bike Portland would complain because their focus isn't biking; they exist only to favor all poorly thought utopian transit ideas.
Another group of Max/TOD advocates would claim that TOD is better for disabled and impoverished people. And yeah, there's truth there, but see my entire argument above about the Hub & Spoke design of TriMet being the antithesis of transit as a social service. If you believe that TriMet should serve low-income people, you must advocate for a bus-centric grid design.
But even if you're a die-hard believer in light rail - there's another inevitable reality coming that is the nail in the coffin.
Autonomous vehicles will replace mass transit faster than the automobile replaced the horse.
I work in advanced technology, and the thing about tech is that the public and politicians deny that it's going to be there until the majority of the public finally experiences it. You could say this about personal computers, internet, cloud compute, electric cars, smartphones, distributed ledger (cryptocurrency), AI, and driverless vehicles.
Schrodinger's technology doesn't exist until it's measured in an Apple store or your mother asks you for tech support.
No one thought AI was really
real until ChatGPT did their kid's homework, and today most people are coming to terms with the fact that ChatGPT 3.5 could do most people's jobs. And that's not even the most advanced AI, that's the freeware put out by Microsoft, they have paywalls to access the real deal.
In 2018 I rode in my colleague's Tesla in self-driving mode from downtown Portland to Top Golf in Hillsboro. We started our journey at the surface parking lot on the west side of the Morrison Bridge. He used his phone to tell the car to pull out of the parking spot and to pick us up. Then he gave the car the address, and it drove us the entire way without any human input necessary. The only time he provided feedback was to touch the turn signal to pass a slow car on the highway. People think self-driving isn't here - but it is - and it's gotten exponentially better and will continue to do so. People will complain and moan about idealized, utopian, pedantic "level 5" full self-driving, how none of it exists or could exist, as a Tesla passes them on the road and the driver is half asleep.
Of course, Portland and every major city have also thought deeply about self-driving technology, and a few places have implemented self-driving solutions - but so far, none of these are really at scale. Though it will be a short time before cost-conscious cities go all-in.
TriMet kicked around the idea of using an autonomous bus for a leg of the trip of the Southwest Corridor project, connecting a segment of the light rail route to the community college. It was bafflingly stupid and short-sighted to think they could use it in this niche application but that it wouldn't open the floodgates for a hundred different applications that eviscerate TriMet's labor model. The simplest example of autonomous operation would be to operate the light rail systems - because they don't make turns, all we need is an AI vision service to slam on the breaks if necessary - that technology has existed for 20+ years. We could retrofit the entire train system in about 3 to 6 months - replace every Max operator with a security guard, and maybe people would ride the Max again? But I digress. Let's speculate about the far-future, some 5, 10, or 20 years from now:
your transit options will expand significantly. The cost will decrease considerably for services using automated vehicles.
You'll look at your options as:
- Drive to work: fastest, takes $100+ worth of gas a month, but you also need $50+ for insurance and $500+ for the monthly car payment, plus those surprise maintenance and broken windows. Also, do you pay for parking? Pick a number for how much it costs to drive your personally owned and manually operated vehicle to work each month.
- Autonomous vehicle service: price TBA, but think of how much an Uber costs when you don't have to pay the driver, you don't have to pay for gas. An Uber that runs for $20 today would likely be $10 or less. So, to and from work 20 times a month, $200. $300? Ok, let's just say it's $400 a month. It's still all cheaper than owning a car and driving it to work. No parking fees, and it picks you up quickly enough that it's not a nuisance.
- Mass Transit: $150 per month, but ugghhh it's slow, it smells like piss, a guy jacked off in your hair, and you can't schedule a meeting for the first 30 minutes of your anticipated workday in case you miss a connection - and it breaks so often the government actively hides the reliability data from the public and media.
Just a few years into this future we'll see a brand new trend, one that already exists: a shared autonomous vehicle like a privately operated bus. For example, Uber Bus - it already exists as a commuter option in some cities, it's just not autonomous yet. The significant benefit of an autonomous bus is that these shared vehicles will utilize HOV lanes very commonly, and commuting in an autonomous vehicle will be as fast as driving to work in your manually operated car while also being less expensive.
Simultaneously automobile accidents in autonomous vehicles will be virtually non-existent, and insurance companies will start to increase prices on vehicles that lack AI/smart assisted safety driving features. Public leaders will see the value of creating lanes of traffic on highways dedicated explicitly to autonomous vehicles so that they can drive at much higher speeds than manually operated traffic. Oregon won't lead the way here, but wait until Texas or one of the Crazy States greenlights a speed limit differential, and self-driving vehicles have a speed limit of 90, 120, or 150 miles per hour. You might think "accidents would be terrible and deadly" but there will be fewer accidents in the autonomous lane than in manual lanes. At this point, it will be WAY faster to take an autonomous vehicle to your work.
Purchasing power of consumers will decrease while the cost of vehicles will increase (especially autonomous vehicles), making ownership of any vehicle less likely. Frankly, the great majority of people won't know how to drive and will never learn to - just like how young people today don't know how to use manual transmission. However, fleets of autonomous vehicles owned by companies like Tesla, Uber, and Lyft will benefit from scale and keep their autonomous bus fleets operating at low cost. This will lead to a trend where fewer and fewer people will own an automobile, and fewer people even bother learning how to drive or paying the enormous insurance cost.... while also depending upon automobiles more than we do today.
Eventually, in the distant future, manually driven vehicles will be prohibited in urban areas as some reckless relic from a bygone era.
Cities and public bodies don't have to be cut out of this system if they act responsibly. For example, cities could start a data brokering exchange where commuters provide their commuting data (i.e., pick-up point, destination, arrival time). The government uses either a privatized fleet or a publicly owned fleet of autonomous vehicles to move as many people as possible as often as possible. Sort of a publicly run car-pool list - or a hyper-responsive bus fleet that runs for the exact passengers going to exact locations. A big problem companies like Uber, Lyft, and Tesla will have is that they'll lack market saturation to optimize commuting routes - they'll be able to win unique rides, but the best way they can achieve the lowest cost service model is these super predictable and timely commuter riders. The more data points and riders, the more optimization they can achieve. These companies can look at the data for as many people as possible and bid for as many routes as possible - optimizing for convenience, time, energy usage, emissions, etc. The public will voluntarily participate if this is optimized to get the cheapest ride possible. If the government doesn't do this, the private sector will eventually.
As a parallel, no one today even considers how Metro runs garbage collection. No one cares. And if you didn't like Metro's trash service, if you needed a better service for unique needs, you go procure that on your own. Likewise, you wouldn't care about the quality of the commuting trip as long as it's up to some minimal standards of your class expectations, it's reliable, nearly as quick as driving your own vehicle, and it seems reasonably affordable.
If the public ran this data exchange, fees could subsidize lower-income riders. This is a theory on what a TriMet like system or mass transit system could look like in a primarily autonomous world where most people don't own their own or drive an automobile.
This system would be far from perfect, opening up all sorts of problems around mobility. However, it's hard to see how autonomous vehicles will not obliterate the value proposition of mass transit.
Another narrative on the same story.
As the working class moves to autonomous vehicles, transit agencies will collect fewer and fewer fares - prices and taxes will rise, creating a cycle of failure. As a result, some cities will make buses self-driving to cut costs. It could start with Tokyo, Shanghai, Oslo, et al. Again, it's unlikely that Portland or Oregon will be the first movers on this, but when cities start laying off hundreds of mass transit operators and cutting fares to practically nothing, there will be substantial public pressure to mimic locally. It will be inhumane
, it will be illiberal
, to make those impoverished bus-riding single mothers pay premiums. As most of the fleet becomes autonomous, responsive, and disconnected from labor costs, the next question arises: why do we still operate bus routes? Why big buses instead of smaller and nimble vehicles?
This alternative story/perspective leads to the same outcome: we figure out where people are going and when they need to get there - then dispatch the appropriate amount of vehicles to move that exact number of people as efficiently as possible.
But our local government getting its act together on all this is outside the world of possibility.
In a practical sense, we're going to see history repeat itself. Portland's mass transit history is about private and public entities over-extending themselves, getting too deep in debt on a flawed and outdated idea. As a result, the system collapses into consolidation or liquidation. Following this historical pattern, TriMet/Metro won't respond to changing conditions fast enough, and laughably stupid ideas like cranking up taxes or increasing ridership fares will continue to be the only option until the media finally acknowledges these groups are insolvent. I just hope we don't spend tens of billions of dollars propping up this zombie system before we can soberly realize that we made some mistakes and these vanity-laden projects 20 and 30 years ago need to die.
You see, the biggest flaw with TriMet isn't the design, it needs to be outpaced by technology, it's that the people making decisions at TriMet and Metro are going to make the politically expedient decisions, not the right decisions. They won't redesign, and they won't leverage technology for cost savings, so this charade will just get going along until the media simply declares they're insolvent.
Back to fares for a second - the media happily reprints TriMet's horseshit take about "The higher fares will bring in an estimated $4.9 million in annual revenue starting next year, the report says.
" Just sort of amazing to me there's no skepticism about this number - but most spectacular is no media considerations about alternative solutions. For example, I could tell TriMet how to save $9,548,091
next year - a useless program primarily utilized by white middle-class folks who own alternative methods of transport - and this would inconvenience way less transit-dependent people than raising fares. But, that's off the table - we're not even developing a decision matrix for when we kill the blackhole of money known as WES.
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2023.06.01 20:28 Lurky-Lou Xbox Showcase Movie Theaters
Fathom Events will air the Xbox Showcase in 25 movie theaters. If you signed up to FanFest, you'll get ticket instructions tonight.
AMC Westgate 20 Glendale, AZ
Century San Francisco Centre 9 and XD San Francisco, CA
Regal Natomas Marketplace 16 Sacramento, CA
Regal Denver Pavilions 15 Denver, CO
Regal Citrus Park 20 Tampa, FL
Regal Kendall Village 16 Miami, FL
Regal Waterford Lakes 20 Orlando, FL
Regal Perimeter Pointe 10 Atlanta, GA
Regal City North Stadium 14 Chicago, IL
AMC Assembly Row 12 Somerville, MA
Regal Rockville Center 13 Rockville, MD
AMC Livonia 20 Livonia, MI
AMC Rosedale 14 Roseville, MN
Regal O'Fallon Stadium 14 O'Fallon, MO
Regal Birkdale Stadium 16 Huntersville, NC
Regal Brier Creek Stadium 14 Raleigh, NC
AMC Empire 25 New York, NY
Cinemark Cuyahoga Falls and XD Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Regal Lloyd Center 10 Cinema Portland, OR
Cinemark Monroeville Mall and XD Monroeville, PA
Cinemark University City Penn 6 Philadelphia, PA
AMC Northpark Center 15 Dallas, TX
Regal Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24 Houston, TX
AMC Tysons Corner 16 McLean, VA
Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas Bellevue, Washington
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to XboxSeriesX [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 20:08 jimbobbypaul Ranking the Top 131 FBS Programs of the Last 40 Years: 85. Louisiana Tech
Main hub thread with the full 131 rankings
Louisiana Tech’s got an incredibly rich football history that I couldn’t believe while researching them. These are just a few of the players they’ve had in the last 30 years, not even 40. NFL Hall of Fame OL Willie Roaf (1989-92). WR Troy Edwards (1995-98) won the Biletnikoff Award in 1998. QB Tim Rattay (1997-99) finished his career with the 2nd most passing yards in NCAA history, in just 3 years. P Ryan Allen (2010-12) won the Ray Guy Award twice (2011, 2012). RB Kenneth Dixon (2012-15) broke the NCAA record for career TDs with 87. DE Jaylon Ferguson set the NCAA record for career sacks with 45. They even had LB IK Enemkpali (2009-13), who revitalized Geno Smith’s NFL career by punching him in the New York Jets locker room. And before the cutoff of this series, NFL Hall of Famers QB Terry Bradshaw and DL Fred Dean played for them.
Best Seasons and Highlights
1. 2012: 34. Louisiana Tech: 9-3 (12.042) 2. 1997: 26. Louisiana Tech: 9-2 (9.545) 3. 1999: 27. Louisiana Tech: 8-3 (9.149) 4. 2014: 39. Louisiana Tech: 9-5 (7.613) 5. 2019: 37. Louisiana Tech: 10-3 (6.188) 6. 1990: 35. Louisiana Tech: 8-3-1 (4.552) 7. 1991: 34. Louisiana Tech: 8-1-2 (4.549) 8. 2015: 48. Louisiana Tech: 9-4 (4.066) 9. 2016: 50. Louisiana Tech: 9-5 (0.236) 10. 1989: 44. Louisiana Tech: 5-4-1 (-1.569) 11. 2005: 47. Louisiana Tech: 7-4 (-2.989) 12. 2011: 53. Louisiana Tech: 8-5 (-3.475) 13. 2001: 59. Louisiana Tech: 7-5 (-7.855) 14. 2018: 68. Louisiana Tech: 8-5 (-8.212) 15. 2008: 62. Louisiana Tech: 8-5 (-9.691) 16. 2017: 66. Louisiana Tech: 7-6 (-9.923) 17. 1996: 57. Louisiana Tech: 6-5 (-12.911) 18. 2004: 65. Louisiana Tech: 6-6 (-13.772) 19. 1998: 63. Louisiana Tech: 6-6 (-14.167) 20. 1992: 64. Louisiana Tech: 5-6 (-15.760) 21. 2020: 89. Louisiana Tech: 5-5 (-17.370) 22. 2003: 79. Louisiana Tech: 5-7 (-20.759) 23. 2010: 80. Louisiana Tech: 5-7 (-22.310) 24. 2009: 91. Louisiana Tech: 4-8 (-26.877) 25. 1995: 76. Louisiana Tech: 5-6 (-28.345) 26. 2007: 90. Louisiana Tech: 5-7 (-29.165) 27. 2002: 89. Louisiana Tech: 4-8 (-32.400) 28. 2021: 109. Louisiana Tech: 3-9 (-38.713) 29. 2022: 118. Louisiana Tech: 3-9 (-41.486) 30. 2013: 102. Louisiana Tech: 4-8 (-41.915) 31. 2000: 99. Louisiana Tech: 3-9 (-44.020) 32. 1994: 95. Louisiana Tech: 3-8 (-44.390) 33. 1993: 103. Louisiana Tech: 2-9 (-52.842) 34. 2006: 114. Louisiana Tech: 3-10 (-55.710) Overall Score: 9632 (85th)
- 206-196-4 record
- 2 conference titles 7-3-1 bowl record
- 3 consensus All-Americans
- 33 NFL players drafted
Out of 34 seasons played, 17 have been winning records, with 3 more .500 seasons. Not only that, they’ve won at least 4 games in 28 seasons, so 82% of the time they’re guaranteed at least a 4-8 record. That is remarkable consistency, especially for a team that’s never finished in the Top 25. LT’s always been “good” and never “great”, save for perhaps a few years in the late 90’s when they had an offensive explosion. Their 3 consensus All-Americans are Willie Roaf (1992), Troy Edwards (1998), and Ryan Allen (2012).
Top 5 Seasons Worst Season: 2006 (3-10 overall, 1-7 WAC)
QBed by Zac Champion, the 2006 Bulldogs were anything but. Despite winning 3 games, they ranked as the 6th worst team in football, averaging just 18.6 PPG while giving up an NCAA-worst 41.7 PPG. They were feeling generous, providing most teams with their biggest margin of victory of the season. LT lost 7 games by 30+ points, and finished with a 23-50 L to 3-8 New Mexico State. The offense did have a few really good games. A 48-35 win over Utah State prevented LT from being last place in the WAC, thanks to 4 TD from Champion. WR Jonathan Holland caught 35 passes for 503 yards and 3 TD, and was drated in the 7th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. 5. 2019 (10-3 overall, 6-2 Conference USA)
In the opener against Texas, LT lost 14-45, but may have actually had the more talented defensive backfield than the Longhorns, who insisted on calling themselves “DBU”. CB Amik Robertson and S L’Jarius Sneed were both drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and combined for 8 INTs in 2019. DB Michael Sam added 3 more. After the loss, LT went on an 8 game winning streak to get to 8-1, although only 1 of those teams they beat finished with a winning record; Southern Miss at 7-6. After dropping a game to Marshall, they played 7-3 UAB for a spot in the C-USA title game, but down to their backup QB, LT could only manage 14 points in a 14-20 loss. A win over UTSA finished off the regular season at 9-3. In the bowl, despite a win, Louisiana Tech was not the focus of headlines, it was the ineptitude of Manny Diaz’s Miami (FL) offense, which completed just 15/34 passes for 227 yards and 2 INT in a 14-0 loss. The game was 7-0 up until the final 1:30, when LT QB J’Mar Smith ran in an 8 yard dagger. This was the first time EVER a G5 team shut out a P5 team in a bowl game. Smith finished a solid career, earning 1st Team All-CUSA with 2977 passing yards 18 TD 5 INT with 264 rushing yards and 4 TD. Amik Robertson was named a 1st Team All-American by FWAA. 4. 2014 (9-5 overall, 7-1 Conference USA)
This is what we call an up and down season. Armed with an unknown, but in hindsight stacked, offense and a feisty defense, LT would flip flop between big win and head-scratching loss throughout the year. Just a 2-3 start included a win over eventual 9-4 UL Lafayette, and losses to #4 Oklahoma and #5 Auburn, but also a 27-30 loss to FCS Northwestern State. They were fine in the C-USA, DESTROYING 7-6 UTEP 55-3, 8-5 Western Kentucky 59-10, and 8-5 Rice 76-31. The Rice win clinched a spot in the C-USA championship game, where LT posed a unique threat to 11-1 Marshall. Marshall had just lost to Western Kentucky, who LT beat by nearly 50 points earlier in the year. Up 23-16 at the start of the 4th, Louisiana Tech saw their defenses fall to a really good Marshall offense, who won the game 26-23 and won the C-USA title. The season ended on a high with a 35-18 win over Illinois in the bowl. Senior QB Cody Sokol finally got his chance to start after spending the previous 3 years at community college and Iowa, throwing for 3436 yards 30 TD 13 INT. His offensive weapons turned out to be LOADED. RB Kenneth Dixon had 1684 yards and 28 TD from scrimmage, and would break the NCAA record for career TDs with 87. WR Trent Taylor would lead the nation in receiving yards 2 years later with 1803, and WR Carlos Henderson would lead the NCAA in receiving TDs that same year, going for 1535 yards and 19 TD. Both were drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. 3. 1999 (8-3 overall, Independent)
Gone were All-American WR Troy Edwards and coach Gary Crowton, but QB Tim Rattay still remained after throwing for 4943 yards and 46 TD to just 13 INT a year prior. What was the plan? Throw the ball, throw the ball again, and then throw the ball some more. Going full air raid, they averaged 52 passes a game compared to just 23 rushing attempts per game. After an expected 1-2 start, they headed to #18 Alabama to go to 1-3, except Rattay had other plans. Down 22-28, Rattay led LT to the Alabama 20 with just 1 minute left to play. Except, on the very next play he was sacked and went out with an injury. Fast forward a few plays later, backup QB Brian Stallworth was on for 4th and 23(!), lobbing up a pass for the 6’4 Sean Cangelosi who came down with the TD 28-28, with just 3 seconds to go! It wasn’t even over yet, as kicker Kevin Pond had missed 2 extra points in the same game, but nailed this one to win it 29-28. Alabama would go on to win the SEC title, while LT won 8 of their last 9 games to finish 8-3. Rattay finished 10th in Heisman voting, throwing for 3922 yards 35 TD and 12 INT, leaving as the NCAA’s 2nd all-time leading passer. WRs Delwyn Daigre, Sean Cangelosi, James Jordan, and RB John Simon had 1000+, 900+, 800+, and 700+ receiving yards, respectively. LT would go on to join the WAC and win the conference title just 2 years later in 2001. 2. 1997 (9-2 overall, Independent)
Tim Rattay took over the reigns at QB in 1997, and quickly found his favorite target in WR Troy Edwards. Rattay led the nation in passing yards, throwing for 3881 yards 34 TD 10 INT, while Edwards had almost 50% of the team’s receiving yards, catching 102 passes for 1707 yards and 13 TD, also ranking 3rd on the team in rushing with 190 yards and 3 TD on just 15 carries! Louisiana Tech had a 41-34 win over Cal, and 26-20 win AT Alabama, with the only losses coming to SEC runner-up Auburn and 13-17 to Arkansas. This was a young, but dangerous Bulldog team. Edwards would win the Biletnikoff the next year, having arguably the best season by a WR in college football history with 140 catches for 1996 yards and 27(!!!) TD in just 12 games. Not to mention, he also had 227 rushing yards and 3 TD on just 21 carries. Oh, and a punt return TD as well. That’s 2223 yards from scrimmage and 30 TD by a WR, who was also 4th in the nation in punt return average with 18.1. 1. 2012 (9-3 overall, 4-2 WAC)
This was during the swan song of the WAC, 2012, when everyone popped off to have their best years ever. Utah State and San Jose State’s best years were both 2012 as well, and both finished above LT. While those Rattay-Edwards teams had some great offenses, 2012’s was in another stratosphere, and might be the best offense you’ve never heard of. The 2012 Louisiana Tech team averaged 51.5 PPG, most in the nation. Yes, you heard that right, 51.5 PPG. That’s the 3rd highest since 2000, which is the furthest back CFB Reference’s team offense data goes. After a 5-0 start, they played against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in a game you might remember, where LT nearly came back from down 23-46 to lose just 57-59 after a failed 2 point conversion. Manziel had 576 total yards and 6 TD while LT QB Colby Cameron had 475 and 5. After a 9-1 start, the defense let them down against fellow WAC contenders Utah State and San Jose State, losing 41-48 and 43-52. The defense ended up being 6th worst in the nation, giving up 38.5 PPG.
QB Colby Cameron won WAC Offensive POTY, completing 69% of passes for 4147 yards and 31 TD to just 5 INT. RB Kenneth Dixon won WAC Freshman POTY, rushing for 1194 yards and 27 TD on 6.0 YPC. RB Ray Holley was a capable backup with 1064 yards and 8 TD from scrimmage, earning 2nd Team All-WAC. WR Quinton Patton was Cameron’s favorite WR, going for 1392 yards and 13 TD. The best player though, was punter Ryan Allen, who was a consensus All-American and won his 2nd Ray Guy Award, averaging 48 yards per punt, not that they were punting often though.
Where does the 2012 offense rank among the best offenses in college football history in your opinion? Was it better than the Rattay-Edwards offenses? Why didn’t Rattay and Edwards work in the NFL? What do you remember about the Louisiana Tech teams listed above? And what does the future look like for a Louisiana Tech team that’s been facing stiff in-state competition from UL Lafayette and Tulane in recent years? If you appreciate the effort, please consider subscribing on substack!
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to CFB [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 19:46 DenjaX First time travelling to Japan fumbles/bloopers trip report
I wish I found this subreddit sooner so I could expand my research prior visiting Japan. I only found this subreddit after I returned from the trip so after reflecting upon the trip I will write my mistakes that I made and things that I have learned so I can perhaps help other first time travellers going to Japan. It will be also useful for me in the future. PS: forgive my grammar, English is not my first language. Also a late report + numerous trip fumbles ahead so please be kind xDD
Me (30M) and my gf (25F) went on a trip to Japan April 24 - May 11, 2023. This was our first time travelling to Japan and our first time travelling in a different country by ourselves in general. We both had no experience travelling without family/experienced travellers with us so it was a bit stressful but we still had fun in general. What we learned:
What saved us the trip:
- Get a very good shoes for extensive walking/hiking. I cannot stress this enough. Man, I returned with bunch of callouses on my toes+heels and blisters on my pinky toes that turned into some sort of stage 2 pressure sore. It was not fun walking with pain that I feel bad for unable to keep up with my gf. I had to sit many times to give first aid and end up buying some products for my feet. Was still able to complete all itineraries but it could have been prevented. No more Sketchers for me.
- 1 month prior to flight, my vegetarian gf attempted to become omnivore for the trip. She was sick for a couple of weeks for eating meat but she braved through it because she did not want to miss out on food while in Japan. She adapted in the end although she had nauseous from eating meat at times. In the end, there were actually numerous vegetarian options for her that she did not have to adapt in the first place.
- We needed more time to prepare for the trip. Our trip was kind of spontaneous and we booked the flight ticket around late March so we have to pay hefty amount of money more. The itinerary was too much than we could have accounted for. We should have given ourselves free time in between destinations and not clump them like there is no tomorrow.
- Check the weather forecast. Preparing for the itinerary while considering the weather can be very difficult as the weather in Japan fluctuates very easily. Good thing we group our itineraries that can be done indoors vs outdoors so would switch up the plan depending on the weather. I also did not know cherry blossom forecast was a thing. I visited places expecting some cherry blossoms and they turned out to be green when we get there. This is a good thing to consider while visiting during spring season.
- Be flexible for the trip. Our trip was supposed to be Osaka -> Kyoto -> Nagoya -> Kawaguchiko -> Tokyo. Then we switched up Tokyo and Kawaguchiko due to price increasing during the Golden Week. We visited within the Golden week period (we did not know this event was a thing) and we realized the price of hotels skyrocket within this period. I wanted to experience some high end ryokans in Kawaguchiko with a view of Mount Fuji but then the price was like 3-4 times the price during the Golden week, hence, we switched up the places. We saved money for lodging because of that.
- Popular restaurants + Tourist trap places can have long lines. If you have tighter schedule like we did, I highly suggest making reservations or come earlier to get into the lines. Even a lot of restaurants that open at 11am, I saw a line already around 9:30am. I did not have time for that that we end up visiting not so pupular places and yet still experience delicious food. Tourist trap places tend to be overrated and expensive. It is a good thing that we went to try other places. Our restaurant policy if there are more locals eating vs tourists eating, it is good and most likely cheap. Some restaurants also do not appear on google maps due to not adapting to the English language so you can usually find hidden gems here and there.
- I think it is better to check in a hotel with breakfast services as most restaurants open around 11am. We had hotel with breakfast service and some have dont. We end up buying food at combini and also got lucky with Denny's near our first hotel as it opens at 6am.
- Note for type of train traveling within your station. I only realized this during the middle of our trip. There is Local, Rapid, Express. Local stops station to station, rapid seemed to skip some stations, and express seemed to only stop at key stations. It is good that the stations have English translations and even the train pre recorded voice also had English parts.
- Check exchange rate before withdrawing money from ATMs. The currency exchange fluctuates but it is not a huge difference. It is still good to win as much money in the exchange to have more cash in hand. The money I lost due to the exchange were minuscule at first but they accumulate since I did not check exchange rate until I returned.
- I should not have been afraid to ask for help. I had this impression that Japanese people don't like to be bothered and they seemed resourceful themselves to not bother themselves asking. At least I learned this the second day of the trip. Hotel receptionists are good resource to ask.
Brief trip report:
- Being an anime fan/hololive fan helped me with the language. I watched so many animes that it surprisingly helped improve my vocabulary and I was able to understand people speaking in Japanese. Although I cannot read their language(thank god google image translate), I was able to hold conversation even though I speak like a toddlekindergartener. It is almost funny that some anime characters speak unnatural that I even used their kind of speech at times. I am ever so proud when some people told me "Nihonggo Jouzu"-d 4 times during this trip. Some people take that as an offense but I was so delighted when I received that.
- Booking online for reservation. We avoided spending more for this trip since we did not go to theme parks and focused on temple visiting as we preferred. We only had few reservations to do without much competition.
- Renting wifi device. I was about to use roaming but it was too expensive for a 17 day trip. Thank goodness for renting. Things would have been a disaster without my internet. Everyone should get their internet access as their priority.
- Get a power bank device. Since I use my phone all the time, the device dies easily. There are charging stations around but if you want to keep moving, bring your own and charge them while you walk. I had my 20000mah power bank and it is more than enough for charging 2 phones, 1 tablet, 1 wifi device for the day. I just charge the power bank while I sleep.
- Getting a Suica pass. This is self explanatory. I almost got into the hype of getting a JR pass too but I thought it was too expensive for me. I did not need a JR pass. With the help of google maps and Suica pass, I was able to go to my destination. I am amazed they put the price of the transport that I was able to choose which method of transport should I be getting. No taxis for me in this trip since I heard they tend to be expensive.
- Buying unlimited day pass also saved us some money for transport during the trip. It is a good practise to calculate your itinerary beforehand before deciding whether an unlimited day pass is a good option. There were days we did not buy unlimited pass.
- Putting Akihabara near end of trip than early. I would have ran out of money to spend for other places if I went there first.
- Day 0 (April 25) - Arrive to Osaka after Layover from Narita around 8pm. Checked in the hotel and ate combini food before turning in for the night.
- Day 1 - Osaka Castle (entered with an entrance fee) -> Izakaya Toyo (watched the episode on netflix and decided to visit) -> Sumiyoshi Taisha -> Nagai Park (it was at this part I realized about the Golden Week as we saw construction of stalls as preparation) -> Team Labs Botanical. The botanical experience was underwhelming for me. I was only impressed with the blue lights on the foliage.
- Day 2 - Yoshino. This is the part where I wished I knew about the Cherry blossom forecast. I checked google to see where in Japan has best place for cherry blossom and it recommended Yoshino. The cherry blossom was already over but the place was still very nice and visited some temples there. I will definitely come back for the actual cherry blossom viewing. At least the Blue Symphony train was a cool method of transport to Yoshino. Then spent the rest of the day/evening at Tsutenkaku.
- Day 3 - Shittenoji Temple (they were building stalls for the festival? got few good pictures due to stalls within sights) -> went to Kobe and tried their Kobe beef from a golden cow plate restaurant in Kobe -> cable car to Nunobike Herb Garden -> hang around BE KOBE sign -> Dotonbori for the rest of the evening (VERY CROWDED).
- Day 4 - Nara. Rented bike there and went to various places. Nara Deer Park -> Sage Ike pond -> Kasuga Taisha shrine. Feeding deers everywhere. -> Todaiji temple (entrance fee) -> Kofukuji temple -> Higashimuku Shopping Street -> returned bike then train back to Osaka-> going first time trying bath house in Solaniwa.
- Day 5 - Checked out hotel. Used Kyo Train Garaku to Kyoto. Used a coinlocker since check in starts at 3pm. -> Jonangu Shrine (entrance fee for garden) -> Fushimi Inari Taisha. Attempted to climb up but my poor feet were screaming. We turned back after reaching the second station before Mount Inari. -> Gion for the evening before checking in to the hotel.
- Day 6 - Arashiyama Bamboo Forest (I was underwhelmed by this place as it was small. Make sure to come early as it gets crowded later on) -> Nearby Temples (Nonomiya, Mikami, Jojakkoji, Nisonin) -> Tenryuji Temple (entrance fee but most impressive garden I have visited this trip) -> Tenryuji Shigetsu to experience their vegan cuisine -> Sagano Romantic Train to Kameoka -> train back to shop around Arashiyama -> Kinkakuji Temple -> Nishiki Market for the rest of evening.
- Day 7 - Kiyomizu-dera (entrance fee) -> Sannenzaka (they have Starbucks in tatami there, also my gf visited "My Only Fragrance" shop and made her own perfume there). -> Yasaka Shrine (there were numerous food stalls everywhere I think this is how they celebrate Golden Week and I ate good) -> Heian Temple (entrance to garden). They also had numerous food stalls and a concert stage and I ate good -> Kodaiji Temple (entrance fee but they had a nice light show there during the evening).
- Day 8 - Nijo Castle (Expensive entrance fee compared to other entrances. Imo, there are other better places that should be more worth the fee compared to this place). -> Kyoto Imperial Palace (free entrance) -> Rokusonno Shrine -> Higashi Honganji Temple (free entrance. More stall constructions) -> Gion for the rest of evening.
- Day 9 - Check out Hotel. Used Hinotori express train to Nagoya. Always wanted to try capsule hotel and checked in to 9 hours hotel. -> Visited Nagoya Castle (entrance fee but I was disappointed we could not enter the castle itself compared to Osaka Castle). There were also numerous food stalls inside and I ate good. -> Visited their Malls -> Slept at the capsule hotel. To be honest, I slept really well compared to other hotels we have booked. It was surprisingly comfortable despite the random fire alarm that woke me up during that night.
- Day 10 - Checked out Hotel. Used Shinkansen to Tokyo. Checked in at the next hotel. -> Teamlab Planets (way better than Teamlab Botanicals) -> Dinner at Gonpachi (Kill Bill reference). The movie was old and it is the theme of the restaurant. Their food was mid though. It is just a nice ambiance where noise seemed to be welcome here.
- Day 11 - Suga Jinja (Your Name reference). Still surprised there are still visitors there due to that movie. Did some cringe Your Name photos. -> Meiji Jingu -> Explored Harajuku (visited Aoyama flower market tea house) -> Shibuya Crossing (ate good food there). Visited Tower Records + Don Quijote + Miyashita Park. Wanted to do Shibuya Sky but they sold out their tickets. End up getting lost among the crowds for the rest of evening.
- Day 12 - Nezu Shrine -> Sensoji Temple (It was raining too hard that day so we decided to come back another time. -> Shopping at Asakusa ROX + tried their conveyor belt sushi -> Akihabara (spent quite a lot of money here for anime merch). Anime store hopping + visited maid cafe for the first time.
- Day 13 - Sensoji Temple (better weather) -> Ate at Happy Pancake (I find it overrated but I still enjoyed their pancakes) -> Visited a big Muji store in Ginza -> Akihabara part 2 (more anime merch).
- Day 14 - Check out hotel. Left all check in baggages in a coin locker for 3 days prior heading to Kawaguchiko. Used bus from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko station. Took shuttle bus to hotel. Check in at ryokan with a bath house + footbath on their rooftop with nice view of Mt. Fuji. Walked around the lake + view of Mount Fuji. Found myself a waifu Kawaguchiko-san seemed to be the mascot of the town since I see the character on various tourist spots. Had myself a mini scavenger hunt to find all of her cut outs around the town and I found them all!
- Day 15 - Shopping for souvenirs around. -> Took the boat going around the lake with nice view. Took car cable up to have a better view of Mount Fuji. Walked up more higher to have better vantage point. Proposed to my GF, now I have a fiancée.
- Day 16 - Check out Hotel. Bus back to Shinjuku. One more stop at Akihabara for merch. Retrieved coin locker baggages. Train to Narita Airport then flight back to Canada.
EDIT: post formatting
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2023.06.01 18:18 omnired44 Looking forward to our 1st ever trip to Cedar Point!
Thanks for providing so many great tips and advice on this sub! I've read through many of these in the lead up to our 1st trip ever next week. Any advice that anyone can provide on the following questions as I finalize plans for our weekday
trip next week would be greatly appreciated!
As background, we do have platinum passes and this will be our 4th CF park after Kings Dominion, Carowinds, and Kings Island. So, parking and ERT are a couple of benefits that we already have. We will have at least 2 half days + 1 full day at Cedar Point (2nd half of day 1; full day; 1st half of day 2). If my work schedule allows, it will be two full days and then a half day on getaway day
- Is there any benefit (other than walking to park instead of driving) to staying at a CP hotel for someone who already has platinum passes?
- Has anyone stayed at the Best Western? It has a 4.0 out of 5 review on tripadvisor. However, there are not a lot of written reviews over the past 6-12 months, and many of those have fairly negative comments.
- We are ideally looking for room(s) with 3 beds with the 3rd being an actual bed and not a couch or futon. The Best Western 2 connecting room suite is $150 cheaper per night than the next lowest CP hotel option that I can find. It's about $50/night cheaper than some of the cheapest VRBO options.
- If we stay offsite, does Cedar Park Dr backup significantly before the parking lot opens? Best time to get in line for parking.
- What are the lowest/slowest capacity rides? For example, at Kings Island when we head back to Area 52 (Orion and Flight of Fear), we've been getting on Flight of Fear first and then Orion 2nd. Most folks head to Orion first and FoF 2nd. However, Orion chews through crowds faster than FoF can handle. If you do Orion 1st (15 minute wait), FoF is already at a 30-60 minute wait if you ride it 2nd. If you do FoF 1st (15 minute wait), your wait for Orion is still typically only 15-20 minutes.
- If yesterday's wait times are representative to what we would see next week, it looks like Maverick, SteVe, and Wild Mouse generally will have 45-60 minute waits all day w/o the FLP. I'm guessing it's best to start with Wild Mouse ERT, Millenium Force ERT, and then hop in line for SteVe is the best way to go about it?
- I've read the FLP doesn't cut as much out of the line for SteVe as it does for other coasters. About half the wait?
- Does cooler temperatures (mid-70's next week) impact wait times by having fewer people split off to the water park?
- Can you hop in a long line 5 minutes before close or do they try to cut off lines so that rides are finished near closing time? For example, if the park closes at 8pm, and there is a 1-hour wait for SteVe, are they cutting off the SteVe line at 7pm or can you hop in line at 7:55pm?
Thanks again for all the great comments and advice!
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2023.06.01 18:14 BottomShelfVodka Stranded in Alabama.
When we walked back to the SUV, we noticed Connor had the seats laid flat as he stretched out taking a nap. I honestly forgot we left him in the parking lot during the duration of that visit. We adjusted the seats, he hopped back into the front, and we hit the road. Devon handed him some cool pocket snacks he smuggled out of the reception.
Around the time we crossed into Alabama, other drivers around us began waving us down. Damn, Alabama is weird. What could it be?
I rolled down my window and learned that apparently our '98 Ford Explorer with the fancy seat warmers was smoking. Devon drove another few feet forward to pull over into the shoulder, and the entire vehicle lost balance. Now, I don't know shit about cars, but I've played my fair share of GTA. I was not about to be found anywhere near a smoking vehicle. I was ready to tuck and roll the moment smoke was brought to my attention.
We were still in a hurry to get back to base. We really didn't have time to spare for such inconveniences, and we certainly didn't have the money to repair whatever was wrong with it. We were still about 4 hours away from home. Nobody would be willing to tow the vehicle that far for us without it costing an arm and leg. What the fuck do we do now?
"No, we don't need to panic.", Devon calmly replied after I didn't realize I had said that part out loud.
"We have AAA. We'll call them and see what our options are first." he continued.
I got AAA on the phone. They said they would be able to tow our vehicle to the nearest mechanic, which happened to be Pep Boys. Pep Boys said it looked like a ball joint issue and they would not be able to have it repaired same day since they needed to order parts.
"Now we panic.", I said jokingly. "Yes, now we panic a little.", Devon replied.
We had been recklessly spending like drunken sailors, living paycheck to paycheck since Devon came back from deployment. We had enough money for gas and food to get us this far, but we couldn't afford to rent an unexpected hotel room for a night.
I called my mom and explained the situation. I continued mentioning the urgency of us getting home soon. It was Saturday evening, so we did have the time to stay in a hotel for one night, but we could not afford to financially. My mom managed to borrow money from Nana to lend to us so we could take a break for the night while the mechanics figured out the SUV situation.
Our motel room had two queen beds for the three of us. The place reeked of mildew and...what is that? Spoiled milk? It didn't matter. I guess I was just thankful to have a place to stay for the night.
Connor stepped outside to smoke a cigarette while Devon and I stayed inside mindlessly scrolling through TV channels. After about 15 minutes, Connor walked back into the room...with a cat in his arms. "Look at what I found out there. This little guy just wanted love and attention."
The cat shamelessly hopped up onto the bed like he owned this particular motel room. He took turns rubbing his face and body all over the three of us, enjoying the affection, and leaving behind little remnants of fur everywhere as he passed by. Then, he sprayed the motel TV stand.
"Nope, sorry, friendly stray kitty needs to go back outside." I said.
Now, we get to enjoy the lovely smell of ammonia for the night. I'm so fucking ready to go home.
We hung out in the room long enough to call Pep Boys for an update when they opened the following morning. Unfortunately, there was far more wrong with the vehicle than just the ball joints. It was looking like it would be at least another two days to fix the issue. We didn't have two days to wait. We had to get back to base. Today.
Out of desperation, Devon called a couple of his military friends to ask for help. We needed someone to give us a ride from Alabama back to Mississippi. Thank god Devon had some solid friends back then. One of the guys from his shop was willing to help out and get us back home in time.
We're still going to need to go back to fucking Alabama to pick up the vehicle when it's ready though. God, I'm sick and tired of being on the road.
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2023.06.01 18:02 katefeetie Trip Report: 2 Weeks in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Koyasan and Kanazawa
Since this sub was so helpful in planning, I wanted to share my itinerary and trip report! We had an incredible first time in Japan and I can't wait to go back. Couldn't fit our (very detailed) itinerary in this post, but if you'd like to download it's here.
Medium article version with photos + itinerary is here
And our shareable Google map is here
. About us:
Some overall learnings:
- We’re New Yorkers in our 30s who have been planning this trip for about 6 months.
- My bf has been learning Japanese for about a year, and I’ve been learning for about 5 months (a mix of Pimsleur and Duolingo).
- Boyfriend is into history and baseball, I'm into skincare and nature, but we’re both big on food so that was our number one priority.
- He has a peanut allergy and avoids all nuts. He learned to say that in Japanese (私はピーナッツアレルギーがあります - "Watashi wa piinattsu arerugī ga arimasu”), and every restaurant and hotel was understanding and careful. Luckily most cuisine is nut-free anyway, but we managed not to have any close calls in 2 weeks which is amazing.
Hotel Reviews: Tokyu Stay Shinjuku Eastside (Tokyo):
- If I were planning this trip again, I think I would skip Kanazawa. It was a lovely town and the food was amazing, but we wished we had spent that time with a night or two in Osaka instead of just making it a day trip from Kyoto.
- Even if you’re not a baseball fan, Japanese baseball games are so much fun. I’ve never experienced anything like it.
- I packed a suitcase and brought a fold-up duffel bag, and halfway through the trip I moved my clothes to the duffel and just used the suitcase for souvenirs. It was a great idea but we ended up buying an extra suitcase at Donki our last day anyway.
- We both felt a bit underdressed compared to locals, especially in Tokyo. I wish I’d packed more dresses, skirts and trousers and fewer jeans and tees - the only people I saw wearing sweats, athletic wear or cutoffs were other tourists. Obviously you can wear what you want, just be aware you’ll stick out! Also, women are generally more covered up, even on warmer days, to protect their skin from the sun.
- If you go clothes shopping, take your shoes off in dressing rooms. I made a right fool of myself.
- Clothes sizing is wildly different in Japan. Know your cm measurements! Your size here may be hurtful to your ego.
- People line up to get on the train (check the ground for a guide of where to stand) and let everyone off before they get on. This seems obvious, but I’ve been living in New York so long that I wanted to weep tears of joy every time.
- If you’re new to sitting showers: there are two buttons. One is to fill up a bowl of water, and the other is to turn on the handheld shower head. Both automatically turn off a minute after you turn them on, but you can also turn them off manually. You sit on the little stool and there’s usually a mirror in front of you, which is… a humbling experience. There are usually also scrubbing washcloths.
- The worst train station toilet was still nicer than a goddamn Nordstrom bathroom. It was a pleasure to have IBS in Japan.
- At many European and American historical sites, you pay a hefty flat fee to see everything. In Japan, you can usually get into the temple grounds for free, then pay for each individual building you go into. Most were 400-700y/person, which felt really reasonable.
- We came at an almost perfect time (mid-May) weather-wise. Most days it was clear or sunny with a high in the mid-seventies. We definitely got some rain, but less than we were expecting (maybe 3-4 rainy days and 5-6 rainy nights).
This was a great basic hotel, close to plenty of transportation and right on the edge of Kabukicho. The buffet breakfast was the highlight - a great mix of Western and Japanese breakfast options, including a great miso soup.Hakone Airu (Hakone):
Mixed review here. On the one hand, the in-room onsen and public onsen were both wonderful, and the service was extraordinary. On the other hand, the mix of Balinese and Japanese didn’t quite work, and dinner and breakfast were more confusing than enjoyable.Hotel Alza (Kyoto):
By far our favorite stay. I can’t recommend this place enough, and it was definitely worth paying a little extra. They brought us an amazing bento breakfast in our rooms every morning, they had every amenity we could need (they even re-upped the free sheet masks every day), and the micro-bubble bath at the end of a long day of walking was amazing.Koyasan Syukubo Ekoin Temple (Mt Koya):
This was a great temple experience. Koyasan in general is obviously pretty tourist-y, but Eko-in still made it feel authentic, and dinner and breakfast were both amazing. Your stay includes a meditation class, morning prayers and a morning fire ritual, and you can pay to attend a cemetery tour, all of which were great.Utaimachi (Kanazawa):
We were only here for two nights, but this place was pretty good. Very close to the Higashi Chaya area, where we didn’t actually end up spending much time. Always love tatami mat flooring, and the washedryer was a nice bonus, but we were also right next to the lobby and right under another room so there was some noise.The Gate Asakusa (Tokyo):
A great and very Westernized hotel with amazing views of Shinso-ji and the surrounding area. It’s on the top floors of a building right in the middle of all things Asakusa, but is still pretty quiet. And has a wonderful, deep soaking tub with free bath salts.
Tuesday: Arrival, Shinjuku 1 PM: Arrival at Haneda
We got customs and immigration forms to fill out on the plane and everything went fairly quickly. Picked up some cash and Suica cards, went to see about taking the Airport Limousine bus ($10/each) but we should have booked in advance because there wasn’t one for another hour. We ended up taking a taxi (about $50) to our hotel in Shinjuku. 4 PM: Arrival at hotel - Tokyu Stay Shinjuku East Side
We dropped our luggage and went to a nearby eel restaurant, Shinjuku Unatetsu. The eel was incredible and not too filling. Wandered Kabuki-cho for a bit, I dragged my bf through all 4 floors of Don Quijote (I had a list of beauty items to pick up), then rested at the hotel. 7 PM: Dinner in Shinjuku (Tsunahachi)
We went to Tsunahachi for dinner and got some amazing tempura (I wish we had sat at the bar to watch it being made!) and then crashed by 9 pm, because we are young and cool.
Wednesday: Harajuku, Meiji, and Shibuya 7 AM: Hotel breakfast
Up early for hotel breakfast, which has convinced bf to start making miso soup every morning. 9 AM: Shinjuku Station - Pick up JR Passes
We went to Shinjuku station to pick up our JR passes, then spent 30 minutes finding the place where we could get them before 10 AM. There was a long line (staff shortage) so we waited about an hour but we got them and headed to Harajuku. 11 AM: Meiji Shrine & Yoyogi Park
We walked to Meiji Shrine, stopping at the gardens along the way (well worth the 500y entrance fee, especially on a beautiful day). We were lucky to come across a wedding at the shrine. Then we walked around Yoyogi Park a bit. 1 PM: Lunch (Gyoza Lou)
Walked into Gyoza Lou and were seated right away. Incredible gyoza as well as beer and bean sprouts with meat sauce - maybe 10 bucks total for 2 people. 1:30 PM: Shopping/museums in Harajuku
We split up so I could do some shopping in vintage stores - Flamingo, TAGTAG and Kinji (my favorite), and bf could go to the Ota Memorial Museum for their Cats in Ukiyo-e exhibit (which he loved). I walked down Takeshita street to meet him and managed to get a green tea, strawberry and red bean paste crepe from Marion Crepes. 3 PM: Shibuya Scramble & Hachinko Statue
We grabbed the train to Shibuya, saw the scramble and the Hachinko statue, then entered the maze that is Tokyu Hands. I got some onsen powders for gifts and some more cosmetics. My boyfriend checked out the Bic camera store and I went to Gu, which is like the love child of Uniqlo and Primark. I immediately undid all the “light packing” I did with new clothes. 7 PM: Dinner Reservation - Shinjuku Kappu Nakajima
I got us a reservation a few months ago at Shinjuku Kappu Nakajima. It was probably one of the best meals of my life. The omakase came out to less than $100usd each, which felt like a steal. 9 PM: Golden Gai bar (Bar Araku)
We wandered Golden Gai and went into a bar where the entrance fee was waived for foreigners called Bar Araku. It was very small but had great vibes, highly recommend. I drank too much sake, which will be a theme.
Thursday: Shinjuku 4 AM: Earthquake
The phone alerts are insanely loud! We rushed down to the hotel lobby and the only other people there were fellow foreigners - apparently Japanese people at the hotel knew a 5.1 is okay to sleep through. 9 AM: Shinjuku Gyoen
We strolled around in the sun taking photos for about 3 hours. Today is a lot less planned than yesterday - I kind of wish I’d switched the itineraries after how long getting the JR Pass took. We did go to the fancy Starbucks, of course. 12 PM: Lunch (Kaiten Sushi Numazuto)
We tried to go to a nearby sushi place but it was full, so we walked up to Kaiten Sushi Numazuto. We were a little disappointed it wasn’t actually conveyor belt sushi (the conveyor belt was for show and you ordered from the staff). Stopped in Bic camera afterwards for a bit. 2 PM: Ninja Trick House
We tried to go to the Samurai museum but learned it closed a few weeks ago. A good excuse to go to the Ninja Trick House instead. You’re thinking: “Isn’t that place for children?” Yes. Yes it is. And we loved every minute. I now have a camera roll full of myself being terrible at throwing stars. The dream. 3 PM: Don Quijote
More Don Quijote, mostly to get out of the rain. Got my last few beauty products I really wanted and a few souvenirs. An overstimulating heaven. 6 PM: 3-hour Shinjuku Foodie Tour
We signed up for a 3-hour “foodie tour” of Shinjuku that stopped at a sushi place, a Japanese bbq spot with insane wagyu beef, and a sake tasting spot. It was great, and we loved our guide, but wished it had stopped at a few more spots to try more things. 9 PM: Walk around Shinjuku
We attempted to play pachinko, got very confused and lost $7. Tourism!
Friday: Hakone 7 AM: Set up luggage forwarding to Kyoto with hotel
Luggage forwarding is brilliant. We did it twice and it went so smoothly, for about $10 USD per bag. Highly recommend. 9 AM: Transit to Hakone
We got to experience Japanese transit at rush hour. I can’t believe I have to go back to the MTA after this. We took the subway to Tokyo station and then the Shinkansen to Odawara, then a train to Hakone-Yumoto. The hotel was only a 20-minute walk away, so we decided to take a more scenic route - which turned out to be a forest hike straight up switchbacks most of the way. 11 AM: Lunch in Hakone (Hatsuhana)
We stopped in a soba place called Hatsuhana with a system of writing your name down and waiting outside to be called in. They skipped our names because they weren’t in Japanese, but let us in when they realized their mistake. The soba was made and served by old aunties so of course it was insanely good and well worth it. 1 PM: Hakone Open Air Museum
We took the train down to the Hakone Open Air Museum, which lived up to the hype. I’m not normally into sculpture, but seeing it in nature, and the way the museum is laid out, made it incredible. And obviously the Picasso exhibit was amazing. 3 PM: Owakudani, Pirate Ship, Hakone Checkpoint
We took the train to the cable car to Owakudani, then the ropeway to Togendai, then the pirate ship ferry to Motohakone. We were running behind so unfortunately had to rush through the Hakone Checkpoint, which was empty but very cool. 6 PM: Dinner at hotel
Back to our hotel for our kaiseki meal. The staff spoke very little English and Google struggled with the menu, so we had no idea what we were eating half the time, but overall it was pretty good. 9 PM: Onsen time
Experienced my first public onsen, followed by the private onsen in our room. The tatami sleep did wonders for my back.
Saturday: Travel to Kyoto, Philosopher’s Path, Gion 8 AM: Breakfast, travel to Kyoto
Took the train to Odawara and then the Shinkansen to Kyoto station. We booked all of our Shinkansen seats about a week in advance but you can also book them on the day, I believe. 1 PM: Lunch in Gion
Our Kyoto hotel let us check in early, and then we went looking for lunch. Quickly learned that most every place in the Gion area has a line outside and closes at 2! We eventually found a tiny spot with insanely good ramen. It also had chicken sashimi on the menu but we weren’t brave enough. 2 PM: Philosopher’s Path, Ginkaku-ji
We took a bus over to the Philosopher’s Path, which was not busy at all because of the rain. It was pretty, and I could see how great it would look in cherry blossom season. We had to kind of rush to Ginkaku-ji, which was gorgeous nonetheless. 4 PM: Honen-in, Nanzen-ji
Stopped by Honen-in (which we had completely to ourselves, thanks rain!) and then Nanzen-ji. My bf is a big history guy and he went feral for the Hojo rock garden. It was very pretty and I’d love to see it in better weather. 6 PM: Food Tour of Gion & Pontocho
This food tour stopped at two places (an izakaya and a standing bar) with a walking tour of Gion and Pontocho in between. We also stopped at Yasaka shrine and caught a rehearsal of a traditional Japanese performance. 10 PM: Pain
My feet hurt so bad. Bring waterproof shoes, but make sure they don’t have 5 year old insoles. I tried some stick-on cooling acupuncture foot pads I picked up at Donki and they were bliss.
Sunday: Arashiyama, The Golden Pavilion and Tea Ceremony 8 AM: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
The forecast was for heavy rain all day, but we lucked out and only got a few drizzles here and there. We headed to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in the morning and it wasn’t too crowded. We did have an amazing bamboo dish at dinner last night so now bamboo makes me hungry. 10 AM: Tenryu-ji, Iwatayama Monkey Park
Headed over to Tenryu-ji, which was very nice but very crowded, and then to one of the things I looked forward to most on the trip, the Iwatayama Monkey Park. It’s a 20 minute hike up there but it is worth it. Oh my god. Getting to feed a baby monkey made my whole week. 12 PM: Lunch near Arashiyama (Udon Arashiyama-tei)
Headed back down to the main road and got duck udon at a little place called Udon Arashiyama-tei. I know I keep calling everything incredible but… yes. 1 PM: Ginkaku-ji
Ran into some bus issues (the first time we experienced anything public transit-wise not running as expected!) but eventually got over to Ginkaku-ji. It was also very crowded (seems like Japanese schools are big on field trips, which I’m jealous of) and not my favorite temple, but beautiful nonetheless. 3 PM: Daitoku-ji
We were ahead of schedule so we got to spend some time at our meeting place for the tea ceremony, Daitoku-ji. It ended up being our favorite temple, especially Daisen-in, a small and very quiet spot with a great self-guided tour. The monks showed us a section normally closed to non-Japanese tourists with beautiful calligraphy. 4 PM: Tea Ceremony (90 mins)
The tea ceremony we booked said it was in groups of up to ten, but it ended up being just us. It was very nice and relaxing, plus we got a little meal. 6 PM: Dinner (Gion Kappa), Pontocho Alley
We both nearly fell asleep on the bus back so we took it easy for the night. Went to an izakaya called Gion Kappa which had the best tuna belly we’d ever eaten, then did a quick walk around Pontocho Alley, got treats at 7-11 and went to bed early.
Monday: Fushimi Inari, Nishiki Market, Kyoto Imperial Palace (kinda) 9 AM: Fushimi Inari
Our plans to get up super early to beat the crowds to Fushimi Imari were hampered by the fact that we are no longer in our 20s. It was packed by the time we got there, and the amount of littering and defacing done by tourists was a bummer. 11 AM: Tofuku-ji
We had planned to go to the Imperial Palace at 10:30 for the Aoi Parade, but decided instead to get away from crowds by hiking from Fushimi Inari to Tofuku-ji, which was beautiful (I’d love to see it in the fall). 12 PM: Nishiki Market, lunch (Gyukatsu)
Grabbed lunch first at Gyukatsu (wagyu katsu - delicious) then wandered Nishiki a bit. It’s touristy, but fun. 2 PM: Kyoto Gyoen, Kyoto Handicraft Center
It was supposed to rain all day but ended up sunny, so we went back to the hotel to drop off our rain jackets and umbrellas. Stepped back outside and within ten minutes it was raining. We went to Kyoto Gyoen and saw the outside of the imperial palace; it was closed because of the parade earlier and half the garden was blocked off because the former emperor was visiting. Without the palace, Kyoto Gyoen is kind of meh. We walked over to Kyoto Handicraft Center which was also meh, but we picked up some nice lacquerware. 7:30 PM: Dinner at Roan Kiku Noi
We had a reservation at Roan Kiku Noi where we had maybe the best meal of our lives. Amazing that it only has two Michelin stars, honestly. Had fun trying to decipher the pain meds aisle at a Japanese pharmacy afterwards and then called it a night.
Tuesday: Day Trip to Nara 8 AM: Travel to Nara
We took the subway to the JR and were there in about an hour. 9 AM: Nara Deer Park
Two things about the Nara deer. One: if you bow to them, they bow back, and it’s very cute. And two, if you buy the 200y rice crackers to feed to them, do it somewhere where there aren’t very many of them. I got mobbed by like 15 deer and bitten 3 times. My fault for having skin approximately the shade of a rice cracker. 10 AM: Kofuku-ji, Nara National Museum
We saw Kofuku-ji and then the Nara National Museum, then stopped at a random little cafe for rice bowls with some kind of regional sauce (I can’t find it now!). 12 PM: Isetan Garden
We spent a long time finding the entrance to the Isetan garden only for it to be closed on Tuesdays. 2 PM: Giant Buddha
Saw Nandaimon Gate and the Daibutsu (giant Buddha), which are both every bit as enormous and glorious as advertised, as well as very crowded. 3 PM: Kasuga-taisha Shrine
Wandered over to Kasuga-taisha shrine, which is famous for its hundreds of lanterns and thousand-year-old trees. There’s a special inner area (paid) where you can see the lanterns lit up in the dark. 4 PM: Wait for the emperor
We got held up by a procession for, guess who, the former emperor again. Stalker. 5 PM: Nara shopping and snacks
Walked around Higashimuki Shopping Street and Mochiidono Shopping Arcade, bought a nice sake set and an amazing little hand-painted cat, ate some red bean paste pancakes and headed back to Kyoto. 7 PM: Dinner in Kyoto
Walked around Pontocho searching for dinner and landed on Yoshina, where we got even more kaiseki. Finished the night at Hello Dolly, a gorgeous jazz bar overlooking the river.
Wednesday: Day Trip to Osaka 7 AM: Depart hotel
Started by taking the subway to the JR. Took us about an hour altogether, though it would have been faster if we’d caught the express. 9 AM: Osaka Castle
We got to Osaka Castle in time for it to hit 85 degrees out. The outside of the castle is gorgeous, but the line to get in was long and I don’t know if the museum parts were worth the wait, especially with the crowds. The view from the top is nice, though. 12 PM: Okonomiyaki lunch (Abeton)
We went to an okonomiyaki spot in Avetica station called Abeton that was full of locals and absolutely bomb as hell. 1 PM: Shitteno-ji, Keitakuen Gardens
We headed to Shitteno-ji (our oldest temple yet) which was nice, though the climb to the top of then 5 story pagoda wasn’t worth the sweat. Then we walked over to Keitakuen Gardens, a small but gorgeous garden in Tennoji Park. Had a nice sit in the shade to digest and plan our next moves. 3 PM: Ebisuhigasbi, Mega Don Quijote
I am a crazy person, so I had to go to the Mega Don Quijote. We walked around Ebisuhigasbi for a while first, and while I was buying gifts in Donki, my boyfriend entered a sushi challenge for westerners (which turned out to just be “can a white boy handle wasabi”) and won a bunch of random crap! Now we own Japanese furniture wipes. 5 PM: Dotonbori & America-mura
We took the Osaka Loop to the Dotonbori area, which was super crowded as expected. We walked around America-mura and enjoyed seeing what they think of us. There are great designer vintage clothing shops here if that’s your thing. 6 PM: Dinner (Jiyuken)
We tried to get into Koni Doraku, a crab restaurant, but they were booked up, so we went to a tiny spot called Jiyuken for curry instead. I would do things for this curry. It was the platonic ideal of curry. It was served by old Japanese aunties from a very old recipe, so we knew it was going to be good, but it exceeded our wildest expectations… for <1000y each. 7 PM: Return to Kyoto
My feet were feeling real bad (the Nikes may look cool but they cannot support 25k steps a day) so we headed back to Kyoto and packed for our early morning tomorrow.
Thursday: Travel to Koyasan, Temple Stay 8 AM: Bus from Kyoto to Koyasan
The transit from Kyoto to Mt Koya is complicated, so we ended up just booking a bus directly from Kyoto Station to Koyasan (which barely cost more than public transit!). We got there bright and early for the 3 hour trip - if you take a bus out of Kyoto Station I definitely recommend giving yourself extra time to navigate to the right bus. 11 AM: Arrive at Eko-in, lunch
We arrived in Mt Koya and checked in to our temple, Eko-in. The quiet and the beauty hit me hard and I fell asleep for a few hours. We got a nice lunch at Hanabishi in town. 4 PM: Meditation class, dinner
The temple offered a meditation class, which was lovely, followed by a vegan dinner in our rooms. I can’t explain how peaceful this place was. 7 PM: Okuno-in Cemetery
We signed up for a monk-led tour of Okuno-in, which was definitely worth it. Came back for some public baths and fell asleep to the sound of rainfall.
Friday: Travel to Kanazawa, Higashi Chaya District 7 AM: Service & ritual at Eko-in
The day started with a religious service and a fire ritual at the temple. Both were stunning. I did wish that my fellow tourists had been a bit more respectful by showing up on time and following directions, but luckily, no one has more patience than a Buddhist monk. 9 AM: Travel to Kanazawa
We took a taxi through some sketchy mountain roads to Gokurakubashi Station, took two trains to Osaka Station, and then the JR Thunderbird to Kanazawa. 1 PM: Arrive at Kanazawa, Lunch (Maimon)
We got into Kanazawa station and went straight for a sushi spot called Maimon, which was delicious. Struggled a bit with the bus system and eventually got to our hotel, Utaimachi. 4 PM: Higashi Chaya District
Wandered the Higashi Chaya district a bit. It seemed kind of dead, but maybe we are just used to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo/Kyoto. 7 PM: Korinbo, dinner (Uguisu)
Walked down to the Korinbo area southwest of the park and found a tiny ramen spot called Uguisu. Incredible. Some of the best broth I’ve ever tasted plus amazing sous vide meats. 9 PM: Bar in Korinbo (Kohaku)
Went to a little upstairs whiskey bar called Kohaku. Boyfriend got Japanese whiskey and they made me a custom cocktail with sake, pineapple and passion fruit that was just insane. They were very nice and talked baseball with us for a while.
Saturday: Omicho Market, Kanazawa Castle, 21st Century Museum 9 AM: Kenroku-en Garden
We walked over to Kenroku-en Gardens, which were as beautiful as advertised. I was hurting pretty bad (crampy ladies, just know Japanese OTC painkillers are much weaker than ours, BYO Advil) so we’re moving slowly today. 12 PM: Omicho Market, lunch (Iki-Iki Sushi)
Walked to Omicho Market and ate little bits from different stalls, then waited about an hour to get into Iki-Iki Sushi. It was worth it. Some of the best, freshest sushi of my life. 2 PM: Kanazawa Castle, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
We walked around Kanazawa Castle a bit, then walked over to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. It was packed and the line to get tickets to the special exhibits was crazy, so we looked at the free ones and then headed back. Along the way we stopped in a few little stores and bought some handcrafted lacquerware from a local artist. 6 PM: Onnagawa Festival, dinner (Huni)
As we walked towards the restaurant, we came upon the Onnagawa Festival on the Plum Bridge, which included a beautiful dancing ceremony and lantern lighting. We went to Huni for dinner, our first “westernized Japanese” restaurant, and it was fantastic. 9 dishes served slowly over 3 hours at a table overlooking the river. Highly recommend if you’re in Kanazawa. 10 PM: Why does the bathtub have a phone
We went back to our hotel, struggled with the automated bathtub, and enjoyed our last night on tatami floors.
Sunday: Travel to Tokyo, Tokyo Giants Game, Ueno Park 7 AM: Travel to Tokyo
Grabbed a taxi we arranged the night before to Kanazawa Station - it would have been an easy bus journey but our number of bags has increased - and boarded the Shinkansen for Tokyo. 12 PM: Travel to Tokyo Dome and Tokyo Dome Park
Dropped our bags at our hotel in Asakusa, then headed for Tokyo Dome. We got there a little early to look around - there’s basically a full mall and food court and amusement park there. We grabbed some beers and some chicken katsu curry that was delicious. 2 PM: Tokyo Giants vs Chunichi Dragons
Japanese baseball games are so. much. fun. This was a random mid season game, and the stadium was full and people were amped. I’ve been to many American baseball games and never seen fans this excited. We also scored some fried cheese-wrapped hot dogs on a stick and a few more beers and had the time of our lives cheering for the Giants. 5 PM: Ueno Park
After trying and failing to find the jersey we were looking for, we walked to Ueno Park and looked around a bit. It was lovely, but we were exhausted and full of too many beers, so we headed back to Asakusa. 7 PM: Dinner in Asakusa
There was a festival all day around Shinso-ji and there were a ton of street vendors and day-drunk people when we arrived in the afternoon (as a native Louisianan, I approve) and it seemed like the partiers were going on into the night. We ducked into a restaurant for some buckwheat soba (never got the name, but it was only okay) and tucked in early.
Monday: Tsukiji Food Tour, Kapabashi Dougu, Akihabara 8 AM: 3-hour Tsukiji Food Tour + lunch
We started the day with a Tsukiji food tour, which ended up being my favorite food tour of the 3 by far. The guide was great, and we stopped by a dozen food stalls and sampled everything from mochi to fresh tuna to octopus cakes. We finished with lunch at Sushi Katsura, where our chef prepared everything in front of us. 12 PM: Imperial Palace, Don Quijote
We were planning to spend the afternoon exploring the Imperial Palace and Edo Castle Ruins, but it was hot and the palace was closed, so we walked to Taira no Masakado's Grave, then headed back to Asakusa for, you guessed it, Don Quijote. I did not intend for this trip to be “guess how many Don Quijotes I can visit” but here we are. We bought another suitcase and I filled it with food and gifts to bring home. 3 PM: Kappabashi Dougu
We walked Kappabashi Dougu and browsed kitchenwares while wishing we had a bigger kitchen, an unlimited budget and a way to get a hundred pounds of porcelain home in one piece. 6 PM: Akihabara dinner + games + drinks
We took the train to Akihabara, got dinner at Tsukada Nojo, then played games in a few arcades and ended the night at Game Bar A-button, which lets you play vintage handheld games while you drink.
Tuesday: Senso-ji, Flight 9 AM: Breakfast, Senso-ji
We got breakfast pancakes at Kohikan, then walked around Senso-ji and the surrounding shopping streets for a while. 12 PM: McDonald’s
Look, I couldn’t leave Japan without doing it, okay? I got the Teriyaki Chicken Burger (too sloppy and sweet) and bf got the Ebi Filet-O (he said it tasted exactly like a Filet-O-Fish). It was not great but I deserve that! 3 PM: Cab to the airport
I caught the flu on the flight home and have now been in bed for a week! Welcome back to America, baby.
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2023.06.01 17:41 gemino1990 Just got back home- here’s my review
My family of four stayed at the Conrad which is really close to Akumal for 6 days and then one night in Cancun before we left.
We rented a car from easyway which was no problem at all except I am still waiting to get the deposit back. I was really paranoid about being pulled over after reading some posts on here but we never had an issue. Renting a car was nice, but driving into Tulum was kind of a nightmare with the car. Parking was extremely hard to find and the cops at the beginning of town really made me nervous. The other drivers in Mexico are really aggressive so you have to pay close attention to avoid accidents.
The resort we stayed at was beautiful and the seaweed really wasn’t an issue until a storm came in on one of our last nights and then we could really see what everyone was talking about. There was tons of seaweed floating and the water looked brown instead of the pretty blue that we saw all the days before. We did have an issue at checkin where our room wasn’t ready at 6pm which was extremely frustrating considering we had been traveling since 3am that morning and we were wearing sweatpants and tennis shoes. We also brought a 12 pack of beer to the resort and the staff misplaced it. I had to ask about it and then they figured out where it was and brought it to our room. Our problems were resolved with a $100 credit to our bill. The restaurants and alcohol on our resort were extremely expensive. Luckily the 2 adults got free breakfast every day and we mostly went off the resort to stock up on booze and snacks and sometimes ate a late lunch in town.
We visited Akumal and I loved it much more than Tulum. It was much less stressful to park and we took the snorkel tour with the turtles and the beach was nice there.
We also went to casa tortugas cenotes which was a really great experience just make sure you bring a waterproof cellphone case and cash rather than card.
On our way back to Cancun we stopped at playa del Carmen which was really beautiful and had tons of shopping. Lots of people thought we were Canadian and we constantly trying to pull us into their shops placing necklaces on my daughters and pressuring us to buy shit we didn’t want. We ended up avoiding 5th avenue on the walk back to our car so we wouldn’t get hassled.
Cancun was actually really awesome because everything was so convenient. ATMs were easy to find and the hotel we stayed at was walking distance from all the cool stuff.
Not following advice on how to convert money was super annoying. We found ourselves searching for a working atm multiple times and we were paranoid about using the random ones in Tulum. Our hotel had two machines but the pesos machine was out of order and the usd machine charged us nearly $30 to take out $200. I got ripped off $20 at a money exchange in playa del Carmen where the lady said I gave her $20 less than I did and then when I called her out she said “no ingles” I realized I shouldn’t have tried to convert as much money as I did and that would have helped in that scenario.
Also got ripped off at the gas station. I gave the guy a $20 and turned around and he had $1 in his hand instead. At the time I didn’t realize what had happened so I didn’t know until we got back to the hotel and I read the post on here and realized that’s a common scam.
In Cancun we were set on eating tacos and we found this little taco shop that we had to go get money out for. We came back and sat down and started to order and the lady told us all the prices on the menu were actually 20 pesos more than what was listed. It was a slap in the face but we paid it anyway.
And the last downside is that because we did eat off the resort a few times, my husband and I are suffering from diarrhea still.
Overall we had a great time but it does feel shitty being taken advantage of because I’m a white tourist. I want to support these Mexican vendors but found myself sticking to shops where prices are listed to avoid being haggled and ripped off. Oh an we never had any moment where we didn’t feel safe.
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2023.06.01 17:34 cruisingNW Foundations of Humanity 27 (New Horizons) - an NoP fanfic
Foundations of Humanity 27 (New Horizons) - an NoP fanfic
Thank you u/SpacePaladin15
for establishing the Nature of Predators Universe, and for allowing Fanfics to flourish!Thank you again, u/Braquen
, and last but not least u/Liberty-Prime76
for proofreading! Also, thank you u/Frostborne
for your blessing on my Gojid City name! This is my side of the Nature of a Giant crossover
Also Star Tours is a Disney copyright which I use in good faith and humor under fair use please don’t hurt me capitalist mouse daddy. First
-- Next Memory transcription subject: Valek, Venlil tourist Date [standardized human time]: Sept 11th, 2136. Middle of 3rd Claw
I watched Maeve find an open station and investigate the helmet while I asked, “Do Humans have Visor arcades?”
“Oh, absolutely! There’s an entire League for VR!” Maeve awkwardly slipped into the seat and found the controls; after a moment the seat started to adjust itself to size, the sudden movement causing Maeve to jump.
Alvi spoke up beside me, “Maeve has a book that talks about it. It talked about headsets and digital worlds like what we have, over a hundred years ago!”
“A hundred years ago?” I couldn’t help but be skeptical. “Are you really saying that our tech is a hundred years behind yours with VR?”
“Eh, not exactly,” Maeve tilted her head as she thought, “with things like visors, there was an upper limit to how to design them. Most of the innovations were on how realistic the visors could make the media. We got video down pretty quickly, and surround-sound was pretty much figured out by then. We experimented with scent and that did not
go well. Really most of the progress has been in processing, and you guys still have us beat on that!”
She picked up the viewing device. There were three kinds of stations with different sized helmets for each. The first she investigated were Dossur to Zurulian sized, but it only took a moment to find a Sivkit to Gojid size. “Looks like these could fit me. Can you two wait long enough to see if this works with humans?”
I flicked my ears in amusement and posed myself overdramatically. “I’m sure that I, your poor starving mate, can continue starving while you enjoy yourself.” I giggled while Alvi slapped me with her tail. “Go on, have fun! I’m also curious to see if the program would work with your eyes.”
With a look around to ensure no one was watching, Maeve switched her veil for the helmet, after only a few moments of effort. The collar thickness was adjustable to help the foam complete a clean seal against the jaw. I touched my pre-paid band to the tap pad, and the machine shifted colors to show it was occupied. The helmet was designed for snouted species, and so hung somewhat past Maeve’s chin, allowing us to see light reflected off her skin.
A screen beside her lit up with the mask, and we could see what she saw while she played. Alvi and I walked her through the tutorial and calibrator, and Maeve chose Jewels of the Federation at my suggestion; a simple walking simulator showcasing highlights of Federation homeworlds.
The simulator starts us in the same arcade, in the same booth! A well-groomed Venlil stands beside her and reminds Maeve of her private tour. Maeve ‘walks’ while still seated and lifts her virtual self from the digital booth, following the guide to a launch pad that didn’t previously exist. Alvi and I stopped in shock for a moment when a noticeably younger Captain Sovlin walked down the gangway of our destination shuttle; though judging by Maeve’s lack of reaction, she seemed not to recognize him; Alvi met my eye and pointedly flicked her ears. The simulated Gojid pilot wags their ears genially as they throw their arms wide in welcome.
“Good waking, citizen of the Federation! Star Tours has invited me to escort you on an introduction to the astounding marvels of our great peoples! Every species has made wondrous contributions to the enlightenment of the Federation, but the strayu is in the oven, so we’ll only get the time to visit your own Venlil Prime, The Cradle, and Nishtal today. Follow me and we can begin!”
Maeve followed Sovlin into the cockpit of the stylized shuttle and took the copilot seat; Maeve’s head was on a swivel and she took in everything around her. “Wow, this is so cool! Your whole helmet is a screen! Our VR is only in front of our eyes, tricking our brains into seeing three dimensionally.” Her voice echoed around the helmet, muffling her words before they could reach us..
The shuttle lifted gently and Maeve’s chair tilted back with it. Coming up, we could see that this arcade was in the Capitol, and they did a flying pass to show its glass spires and bustling spaceport. Sovlin spoke up beside Maeve, “The Venlil Homeworld is in a strategic position within the Federation, and you make your people proud by fulfilling your duty to the Herd; in spite of your weakness and timidity!!”
The shuttle started to pitch to the open center of the city, and a large park came into view. “But, as I-” Sovlin’s voice caught in his throat, before he cleared it and spoke with firm authority, “As we all
know: Duty sometimes comes with Sacrifice. And we honor and remember that… sacrifice
with the beautiful Cattle Memorial!”
The vines of Morning Light catch the sun, and I feel my ears fall as I remember my own family’s sacrifices. Alvi caught my distress, and curled her tail around me as the simulation continued, “Here we remember the lives lost from the ruthless barbarity of the Greys. We hope that this Shining Beacon may guide their bodies and souls back to the Herd.” The shuttle kept flying straight toward the ground, but the shuttle surroundings started to disappear as Sovlin and Maeve joined the mourners and wellwishers. The breeze played gently with unopened letters and fresh bouquets. Sovlin spoke softly, in respect for visitors, “It is open all claws, and many leave their remembrances. Make sure to show your
support, next time you’re in the Capitol.”
After several moments of contemplative silence, the shuttle pulled up into the upper atmosphere, and Maeve’s seat began to shudder. I spoke up a little louder so she could hear me through the helmet, “Set your head back. The next part might make you a little queasy.
Maeve did as bidden just before Sovlin hit the warp jump, and the screen was awash with a rainbow of colors streaking to the outer border.
We fall out of Warp just above The Cradle, its capital continent in view surrounded by great oceans, while other landmasses curve around the planet and out of sight. The camera quickly descends through the atmosphere and we pull into the great city of Vala’s Embrace
, with its shining spires and sprawling seaports. We fly down through the airspace busy with cargo freighters and I see Maeve involuntary flinch after a close miss. “The Gojid are a proud and fierce people, but also industrious! Our Cradle and Colonies are a major food source for the rest of the Federation, in addition to the significant extractions performed by our colonies and outposts.”
The camera flies into the center of the city where stands a grand Cathedral to the Protector, Her robed form guiding believers to the grand entryway. “But my People are renowned for our stalwart loyalty to our faith and to the Federation. Our great houses of worship are monuments of our devotion to protecting the Herd from the Predator Menace!”
After a pass around the building highlighting its traditional stonework and heraldry, the camera joins the throng of worshippers, coming in low like a child beside their parent, and we see the full glory of The Church.
Our view pans up from the crowd to a ceiling decorated with murals of inlaid wood and metals. Vibrant colors, textures, and shining light tell the story of Vala driving out the Predators and forming the first Herd. Stained glass windows cover the congregation in pools of color almost as varied as the congregants themselves. A silver Gojid passes from behind us, towering tall with the kind eyes of one who knows their faith, and is safe in its love. They lay a paw on Maeve’s shoulder and guide her to a bench only a few rows from the front, with a seat on the aisle. The Priest stands before their podium and begins a sermon of service to the Herd, and one’s role within it.
The priest’s voice fades into the background as we fly backward out of an open window like a bird; words of Predators at our doorstep fading on the wind. We rise to re-exit the atmosphere, Maeve’s chair buzzing as the hyperdrive spins up.
We warp into a field of defensive space stations, glittering proudly in the Nishtalian Sun. Below, we see a planet with a great many islands, webbed with weaving waterways and small seas. Maeve pressed herself further into the seat as we entered their thicker atmosphere, the seat vibrations causing the helmet to rattle against it.
“And here we have the vibrant marshes of Nishtal!” We broke through the clouds to see massive arbors climbing back into them. We approached the Nishtal Capital sprawled across dozens of kilometers of archipelago, held above the water by meta-material supports.
“Nishtal is well known for its punishing environments, which helped to mold the Krakotl into Pan-Galactic Heroes! From Captain Kalsim, to Merchant Captain Malins, to Chief Exterminator Estela
. Each renowned for holding the line against the predator taint, through fire or rail! And this
is where their mettle was tested!”
The shuttle flies around a flat paved area, surrounded by landing pads as warships lift and land. In the center was a platoon of Krakotl performing training exercises. The shuttle again falls away as we start walking behind a Commander, Sovlin walking beside him as he speaks over his shoulder, “The Krakotl have been an instrumental force in maintaining our peaceful way of life. If you think you have what it takes, be sure to register for the JEOTC so you
can help make the galaxy a better place!”
Sovlin met the eye of the Krakotl commander beside him, “Thank you for your service, Sir
We split off from the commander, and our walking transitioned back to our shuttle before firing off back into the sky.Through the vibrating chair, Maeve stuttered out, “M-M-Man Y-You-u-u Guys-z-z-z’re R-R-Real-l-ly into this-s-s W-W-War, huh??”
Suddenly the chair threw Maeve forward, almost unseating her as she suddenly fell out of warp, “We have Grey contacts! Time to turn tail and get out of here! I’ll stay on the guns and when I say Go, you push that throttle as hard as you can! OK…!” A Metallic handle started to glow in front of her, and Maeve reached out with her controller to grab it. It took her a moment, but Sovlin never gave the signal… Until she grabbed on. “GO!
” Maeve rocked her body forward and slammed the throttle to its limiter, the seat beneath her rumbling with renewed vigor.
After only a moment, a Kolshian Capital Ship dropped from subspace in front of us and fired a volley of Everything
in the direction behind us. Our ship slowed and Sovlin cheered from the pilot’s chair, “HaHa! The Vanguard has arrived! Thank you for your help gentlemen!”
A portrait feed popped up on and above the control panel, showing General Kalsim’s distinct banding on his beak. “This is General Kalsim, Commander of the Federation Vessel Inatala’s Will
. Star tours, have you suffered any damage?” The portrait squawked as the General’s feathers puffed with pride.
“Negative General, thank you for the save!”
“Understood, let’s get you home, Star Tours.”
“We would be very grateful, General! Protector guides you.”
The chair beneath Maeve vibrates and tilts back as the hyper-drive charges up again, the screen flashing to show the sprawling oceans of Aafa, glittering brilliantly in the shining sun, dotted by its giant floating cities and lush tropical islands. A flock of broad chirping seabirds adorned with vibrant colors gliding on the calm ocean breeze flanking the shuttle. The capital of Aafa grew on the viewscreen, the sprawling Governance Center of the Federation dominating the city, swooping lines and a singular towering dome marked the chambers of the Federation senate.
“Isn’t that a beautiful view? This is what we fight for, this is the Cradle of the Federation, the very heart of our enlightened civilization. This
is what we protect.”
The camera pans low, the shuttle falling away, sweeping along the streets of the capital.
The dome grew ever larger in the background until the camera began to soar over busy diplomats entering the senate floor, the camera like a very lost Flowerbird. Chief Nikonus was delivering an impassioned speech to the gathered representatives, declaring the grand aims and lofty goals of the Federation to spread peace and safety to all Prey peoples. The camera panned around the room, showing representatives listening to the speech with focused ears and attentive eyes, pausing on the Venlil Representative, swaying their tail in pride and determination. As the camera finished its rotation it exited through the rooms wide glass panes, rising up and over the city as the shuttle reformed once again, breaching through the atmosphere and up into the stars.
Maeve’s seat rumbled as the hyperdrive spooled again, the screen clearing to show the Capital of Venlil Prime once more, soaring down to the arcade the adventure had started in. Captain Sovlin’s voice echoed from the speakers.
“Thank you for joining me today on Star Tours! Be sure to visit your nearest Federation recruitment center today and do your
With fading fanfare, the seat returned to a neutral position and Maeve took off her helmet to meet our eyes. “That… was definitely a thing. It had a lot of… uh… ho boy.”
“Yeah, uh.” I shifted my weight awkwardly, “Watching that as an adult is… Stars, I remember wanting so badly
to sign up. But my mom stopped me.”
“I’ll have to thank her when we get home.” Alvi sighed with exaggerated relief.
“You and me, both.” Maeve said through a relieved chuckle, “You guys want a turn? I’d like to do something more chill; cleanse the palate.”
Alvi and I politely declined, before I offered, “Actually I wanted to show you something. I don’t know how you guys have fun, but Shipper is really good.”
I guided Maeve to the catalog and pointed out the correct one. As the game started up and Maeve got the ship moving, she snorted and muttered to herself, “Of course
you have Trucking Simulator In Space. Why am I even surprised.”
Maeve was making great progress, and had made two deliveries before the low fuel warning began trilling at her.
“Nah, see, you gotta watch your fuel too! The more you haul the more fuel you use, and you still gotta make it to your drop-off.”
“Wow, you guys do not
mess around with these work simulators. We actually had a whole era of these a wh- Hey!”The screen locked up, telling us our 30 minutes were up.
“W-What does it say?”
“It says it's time to stop and get some food!”
“Ahh, man I was just getting the hang of it.”
would like to get a hang of some Mel Root wedges. Come on!” Alvi chimed with a playful whine.Maeve rolled out of the station, and after a moment for her legs to remember what walking was, donned her veil and we continued to the food court. Pushing the doors open we saw a veritable swarm of Venlil of all ages, though many of the younger were already sitting while their parents fetched their meal. A child near the door caught sight of us and squeaked in surprise, alerting their parents to our presence.
Conversation died like a wave across the open expanse. Maeve stood stock still, and so did we, trying very very hard to avoid a panic and stampede.
I spoke in barely a whisper, “Maeve?”
She returned my quietness, “Yes, Valek?”
“I don’t want to do this to you, but I think it is best if we find a seat first… Then Alvi or I can get the food.” My tail began to sway in slow caution while my ears kept on a swivel.
“Yeah. Yeah, I think you’re right. Can you see any open tables?”Alvi flicked her tail at the balcony, “I see stairs there, and the balcony looks pretty clear.”
Maeve started to nod reflexively before catching herself, then back to keeping her head low and unfocused.
Alvi and I guided her gently around the outer perimeter of the court, slowly working our way to the stairwell while all eyes and ears were locked on us the whole journey. We stepped up the stairs and conversation slowly built up again, though not to the same exuberancy as before. We found our seat just outside the stairwell on the 2nd floor. We tried to avoid scaring what few families remained on the balcony, but despite our efforts, those few almost immediately grabbed their belongings and moved. It was almost comical how little they tried to hide it. Yet also surprising in that there hadn’t been any screams or stampeding. It left a strange feeling in the air. One that felt somehow both better and worse than if they had screamed.
This tension was not lost on Maeve, as she muttered to herself, “Plague bearer, or horrific monster. Decisions, decisions.”
I took her hand in my paw in a feeble attempt to offer what comfort I could. Alvi was the first to speak, “Well, Valek you got the Gravity room and Visor game, so I’ll handle food. Anything the two of you desperately want?”
We gave her our orders and she stepped down the stairs, leaving Maeve and I alone on the balcony.
I hoped to loosen the tangle of this horrid tension. “Sooo…. Biblical
As I had hoped, the sudden change snapped Maeve out of her stormcloud and laughter bubbled from her like the Sun! “UUh… That’s uh. Complicated. There’s a good thousand years of linguistic context that makes that word mean what it meant the way I used it. The Bible is a book of faith for a significant portion of people on earth. Not all, and not even a majority; hell, even that is fragmented because no one can agree on what it really means. This Bible teaches a great many things, some good some bad, but one of its teachings is how to… legitimize relationships. Get married, basically.”
Maeve leaned closer to me on the off chance the balcony was less empty than we believed, “And one of the more serious ways to officiate these pairings was with sex; or ‘mating’. As this faith quickly became one of the more influential faiths on our planet, most of humanity learned and still has complicated feelings about sex and intimacy. So, we talk around it. ‘Sleeping together’ ‘Do the nasty’ ‘The beast with two backs’ and more to the point: ‘To know someone biblically’.”
“So when you said…”“I was saying I had sex with one of you, yes.”
I focused my ears in feigned shock, while my tail swished with mischief, “I was that one, right?”
Maeve lightly shoved my shoulder while she straightened to her normal posture, but I stayed low. “Hey,” I whispered, nodding my head for Maeve to come closer, and she did so. I reached my paws up to her white veil, and brought it up and over her face, revealing her brightly blooming face which my lips eagerly met. Pulling away, I asked, “Perhaps once we get back to the hotel, we could… know each other biblically?”
She pulled my face back to hers, returning my affections with equal vigor, “Only if we can get Alvi out of the room. I want you all to myself.”
Alvi. Right. She’s… she’s here. Staying with us. And we would be… kicking her out. The one she admitted feeling for would be kicking her out to mate with someone else. But she understands! Right?
“Oh, looks like Alvi got us some food!”
My ears snapped behind me as Maeve looked over my shoulder.
--- Memory transcription subject: Alvi, Venlil tourist Date [standardized human time]: Sept 11th, 2136. Middle of 3rd Claw
I stepped lightly up the stairs while balancing the trays within my arms. There were so many options! Cresting the top of the stairs, Valek stood to assist. While I covered the menu.“Ok we got all of our favorite fruit, I know how much you love starberries, Maeve.” Who smiled broadly under her now-open veil. “I was able to get us some Sunbreeze, but most of the food stands had long waits and I was hungry, so I just got a plate of fried veg and called it good. This one is the fried Deeproot, and powdered lakeseed dough balls, and some mel root wedges. The arcade’s mel root is a little heavy on the firefruit.”
“Thank you, Alvi!” Maeve picked up one of the larger wedges and broke it in half with me. We lifted our pieces in celebration and bit down at the same time. Immediately my mouth was alight with bright heat and my lips stung blissfully, but after only a moment the sweet and full flavor of the mel root complimented perfectly with the cleansing fire.
Maeve beside me scrunched her face and gasped, “Whoo!” She hooted, “That is spicy! Mm! That potato is really good though. What do you call this?”
I wagged my tail, happy to see that she appreciated the- wait. “Potato? That’s Mel Root. What’s a Potato?”
Maeve licked her fingers before taking another wedge, “It’s a root tuber; a staple food from earth. Mel root, or, well, cooked mel root, has a really similar consistency to potato! Makes sense since they’re both roots.” She took a bite of her wedge and immediately made that same face, “Ooo that was a mistake, I should have finished talking.” a few quick breaths through her mouth before she continued, “Your mel root is denser, closer to a carrot, but still really starchy. The fry really brings out a lot of sweetness; I’ll admit, it goes really well with the firefruit. Good choice Alvi!”
The praise set my tail to wagging as I bit into my food. So spicy! So good! I am so glad we came to this food court!
Speaking of, “I haven’t seen Tarlim or his human. I hope they haven’t changed their minds on meeting here.” I spoke through a masticated root.
“Wouldn’t blame them if they did,” Valek grumbled, tail curling between his legs, “I was just like everyone who’s been running from us…” He trailed off sinking into his chair.
“You could have handled it better, but so could he.” I sighed, remembering that chair. “From what I’ve heard of those places though, I can’t say I blame him.”
Maeve set down a piece of deeproot and looked at Valek. “What are those places? You guys got really scared when he said he got out of one.”
Valek was the first to speak, “They are places where we put people who are a danger to themselves or the Herd; people with Predator Disease.”
My fur flared at the mention of my almost-diagnosis. Maeve noticed and flattened the fur along my spine, “You’re not a predator Alvi. There is nothing wrong with you.” She says while you continue stuffing your face like a hun--SHUT UP!! I AM NOT!! I AM LOVED!! I AM IN A HERD! THAT KNOWS AND STAYS! SHUT UP!
Maeve watched Valek while she continued to comfort me “And… how does one get
Valek continued his lesson, while I tried desperately to slow my spinning mind.
“Well… the federation tells us it can be spread by ‘predator taint’, or spending too much time around or with predators. I’m… I’m not sure I believe that. But we know it can be inherent. Sometimes symptoms begin as early as an infant. As well, it can appear randomly or be carried within family lines.”“And how does one get diagnosed?”
I thought about when my teacher first called the Exterminators. I remembered the Exterminators coming to my foster family. They talked them down, but it wasn’t long after that that they ‘couldn't take care of me’.
My voice left my mouth unbidden, “Well those born with it… they tend to get diagnosed early, but sometimes Predator Disease can come out later in life. If someone is reported for Predator Behavior, they have a chance to argue their case to the exterminator on duty. If the exterminator confirms the case, they are taken in to be diagnosed. And if it’s a yes, they are taken to a Correctional Facility to be taught how to be in a herd.”
Valek tapped his claws against the table as his tail shook with desperate hope. “See? There’s several checks on the way to a diagnosis. The system is designed to avoid false positives. If Tarlim was diagnosed, I am sure it was with good cause.”
Maeve shook her head, “I’m not so sure. By my count, there were only two people in that chain, three if you count the person reporting it, and at best only one of them was a medical professional, unless I’m misunderstanding the concept of exterminators. Setting that aside, I think I’m missing something. What is Predator Disease?”
“It’s when someone is a Predator in the body of a Prey. We can see them when they don’t work within a herd, or they don't understand our tail signals. These people are a danger to the herd, both passively and, if left unchecked, directly, so we try to teach them how to be Prey.” Valek looked desperately at Maeve after spouting the information, almost as if by rote. Like he was quoting an exterminator textbook.
“Wait, wait… so it’s a behavioral disease? They can’t grasp body language, or other people’s feelings?” Maeve was appearing more confused, more… afraid. Was predator disease so terrible among humans? Then why would she want me around? Because she doesn’t know, stupid! But she's about to! They never stick around once they find out!
Valek was adamant. Maeve needed to know this, I know she did. “It’s not just that, they can’t even get themselves to be part of a herd! They always sit or move with nobody around them!” but once she did… “Well then. What would that make me?
My eyes froze in their sockets and my legs refused to flee.
The Night called us. First
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2023.06.01 16:45 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in FL Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in fl. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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2023.06.01 16:36 ohwowverycool69 Might see Dead & Co at Hollywood Casino. Never been to the area. Need advice for where to get a hotel for proximity to the concert and to go sight seeing in St. Louis.
As the title states I plan to go see Dead & Co at Hollywood Casino on June 7th. I'm scanning the map of hotels in the area and I see there are plenty of hotels at reasonable rates in St. Charles by I-70/Missouri River and some off I-270 near Maryland Heights. I had a few questions regarding the area:
1) Are these hotels close enough for me to get to Hollywood Casino with a reasonable Uber cost?
2) Does Hollywood Casino have a lot of parking for bigger shows? Is it a massive headache trying to leave a show?
3) I can look at a map, but not really have a grasp for how bad the commute is if I were to go to downtown St. Louis. If I had a hotel in this area would I be able to St. Louis easy/hit the tourist spots?
4) I might spend the Thursday poking around St. Louis. If you had a morning/afternoon to explore what would you recommend to a tourist from MN?
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2023.06.01 15:56 Salty_Invite_757 [Kings Island][Kentucky Kingdom] Trip Report 5/30-5/31
Just got back from a 3 day trip to Ohio/Kentucky. My son and I planned on hitting King's Island for a day then a quick stopover at Kentucky Kingdom on the way back home. Our first stop was the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, and while it isn't related to roller coasters it was an absolute delight to see all of these birds up close. The XB-70, SR-71, B2 and Memphis Belle were highlights!
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Mason, a decent and well-kept hotel with free breakfast - always a big plus in this economy. We spent one whole day at Kings Island on Tuesday. It was hot but manageable. We had a free meal included in our tickets and split a burger at the Brewhouse; it was good! Not the best but definitely not the worst theme park food I've had. We left around 2PM to take it easy so we could recharge for the run-up to park close. We got back to KI around 6 and had a blast for the rest of our day! We snagged the last night ride on The Beast before they shut down the line at 9:30, AND we timed our last ride on Mystic Timbers with the fireworks so as we were leaving the ride the show started up immediately - it felt like some Disney-level theme park magic. Seeing the drones spell out Kings Island in the sky left our jaws on the floor. Overall a fantastic park with a welcoming and warm vibe, and some of the best ops in the industry.
Kentucky Kingdom was a quick (and I mean QUICK) stopover on our way back home. We got there early on Wednesday and I got 4 more credits before calling it a day. We stayed for a little over an hour and I feel like we got our money's worth from Lightening Run and Storm Chaser alone. We enjoyed our hour at KK, but all of the coasters felt like "one and dones", and I really just drove here for the credits (and the fridge magnets…I used to collect smashed pennies but I didn't know what to do with them, then shot glasses but then I stopped drinking, so now its magnets from our trips that we are covering our fridge with). The park itself has a very odd layout and kind of feels slapped together in places, but the ops were great and everyone was friendly.
Here's my breakdown of the rides themselves:
Flight of Fear x1: 8/10, Great launch, theming and first half. Like I told my kid before we boarded, its like Space Mountain on crack.
Orion x1: 9/10, Outstanding speed, airtime and pacing. Just wish it had 1-2 more elements to round it out.
Backlot Stunt Coaster x1: 8/10, Fantastic punchy launch and fun theming. Got some serious laterals on that parking garage helix!
The Beast x4: 10/10, DAMN this this is a BEAST. Thanks to this subreddit we stuck with Row 17 and it was butter-smooth the whole time (I'm getting too old for the jostling that normally comes with wooden coasters) which allowed us to enjoy the scenery and the forces. That banked drop into the final helix is such a rush, hitting the bottom of that hill is a top tier roller coaster moment. FANTASTIC night ride, the only thing that's come close for me is Outlaw Run at night.
Mystic Timbers x3: 8/10, We thought this was kinda mid in the daytime, but it hits different at night. I think the stuff with the shed was ill-conceived, but it could be utilized during Halloween (I'm assuming they have scare actors around that time of year? The floor seemed to accommodate foot traffic, but I could be wrong). Its fast and frenetic but like Orion its missing 1-2 elements, especially given its speed once it hits the brakes.
Flying Ace Aerial Chase x1: 5/10, We rode this after eating and thought it would be a nice ride to do while our food settled. It was an average family ride, a bit rougher than it looks but fine for what it is. One train ops made it a slog to wait for.
Adventure Express x2: 8/10, Probably my favorite Arrow mine train. Cheeky theming, long layout and a great troll at the end. Transitions were rough but that added to the theme.
The Bat x1: 8/10, Fast, scenic and intense! An enjoyable albeit brief flight through the woods in a well-shaded corner of the park.
Banshee x1: 10/10, B&M inverts are some of my least-favored coasters due to the utter lack of visibility on any row but the first, but luckily we got to ride this bastard in the front row. WAY more intense than any other B&M invert I've ridden, and that's including the Dueling Dragons. It's an all-timer!
Invertigo x1: 8/10, A solid boomerang with a couple of fun gimmicks. I was expecting a ton of head rattle due to the manufacturer and restrains, but it was fine. A lot more intense than it looks, pretty underrated ride.
Diamondback x1: 10/10, Everything here is fantastic, the pacing, airtime, speed and location put this one near the top for B&M hypers. I still prefer Mako and Goliath, but Diamondback gives them a run for their money!
Racer x1: 7/10, An enjoyable classic! Didn't feel painfully rough (but was the roughest woodie of the trip for sure).
Lightening Run x1: 9/10, This little guy packs a PUNCH! Airtime out the wazoo and doesn't let up for a second! I thought it destroyed my thighs, that is until I rode…
Storm Chaser x1: 8/10, Almost too much of a good thing - that good thing being ejector airtime. The layout is unconventional in that RMC kind of way, and that first drop is all kinds of weird. But the ejector became painful, knocking it down a peg. The very definition of a "one and done".
Thunder Run x1: 9/10, A great underrated woodie! It was not nearly as rough as I was expecting - still some jackhammering here and there, but all manageable. I didn't have to brace myself as much as the previous two coasters, which was a welcome experience after being assaulted like that.
Roller Skater x1: 6/10, A fine family coaster. Not much to say about it really, just rode it for the credit (and since Kentucky Flier was down).
Overall a very enjoyable trip! 3 days, 2 theme parks, 1 museum, 850 miles and 4 states. With this trip my coaster count is up to 95, while my son doesn't have one because he thinks it's weird and lame that I keep track of things like that. Teenagers. But I know he enjoyed himself based on the reserved amount of "teenage angst" he experienced during this trip. I think the short lines and quick pace kept him entertained throughout. Which is what it's all about!
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2023.06.01 15:06 uracowman Hotels with free parking in downtown?
Posted this over in the Austin subreddit, but was recommend to ask here.
By any chance, would anyone here have any insights on hotels downtown that offer free overnight parking for motorcycles?
I’ll most likely be riding up later next month for a wedding, and I know some properties don’t charge for motorcycles. Preferably, something that is a Marriott or Hilton property near the convention center, but so far the only luck I’ve had is the Tommie in terms of offering free parking in their garage.
Thanks in advance.
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