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45 [M4F] Divorced Stag Seeking Curious Single Woman Interested in Becoming a Hotwife or Vixen #Houston

2020.09.28 08:35 sex_yoda 45 [M4F] Divorced Stag Seeking Curious Single Woman Interested in Becoming a Hotwife or Vixen #Houston

Single / Divorced Stag looking to meet like minded women who enjoy being shared.
My last three long term relationships were of the Stag/Vixen variety. Sometimes we would dabble in the Cuck/Hotwife dynamic. My BDSM profile has me listed as a sensual sadist, roperigger, I enjoy the technical aspects of D/s.
I am a successful, affluent corporate executive slowly transitioning into a silver fox Zaddy/Daddy phase of life.
In a previous life I was your dorky IT professional who enjoyed BDSM meetups, munches and RenFest After Hours on nights and weekends. I would talk your ears off about things that interest me and simply walk away from conversations if it did not. I wore discount shirts, dockers, and black sneakers.
I was diagnosed with a very mild Asperger's syndrome five years ago which explained a lot of things. In addition to therapy I made the investment to hire a life/professional coach who helped me with my personal brand at work which has been a game changer. She's taught me a lot of soft skills needed to succeed in the business world and how to read a room. She told me to coach my kids Little League team so that everyone know's I'm a good father, mentor underprivileged kids so that everyone knows I'm a good human being, she taught me how to advocate anti-racist and anti-sexist politics at work and advocate for people who are not like me so that I could transition to leadership track, told me which barbershop to go to and which haircut to get (I did Supercuts from age 10 to 40), how to buy a bespoke suit and handmade shoes and trade in my Corolla for a Tesla.
On the plus side it allowed me to jump from middle management to executive track, it gave me a newfound sense of confidence and prowess and female colleagues and interns will flirt endlessly with me, and many have called me a "low-key Daddy". At lifestyle events I'm not longer the Duff or the load that the other wife has to "take-one-for-the-team" for her husband, single women would approach us in clubs and parties and talk to me directly and with interest.
On the bad side, my then wife hated the new me and filed for divorce.
Now while I've enjoyed my newfound bachelorhood for a year now, I think I'm ready for something more serious but am having a hard time finding the right partner while being discreet. I'm not interested in a temporary thing or even a typical long term arrangement. While I'm reluctant and hesitant to get married again, I know in my heart that I won't ever be getting divorced again.
Ideal woman would be a gorgeous high-sex drive woman who enjoys having sex every day with multiple partners and lovers all the while enjoying all of the perks, benefits, and privilege of being a corporate wife (think Donna Reed, Junior League, and Audubon Society). This isn't for everyone but for the right woman it would check off everything she could ever want. I'm open minded on race, body type would be athletic with curves, natural breasts, non-smoker, education would be college educated, masters preferred. I click well with ambitious women and so while you do not need a high profile career, a track record of volunteerism and community involvement is a plus.
I'm asking a lot but also offering a lot.
Live in the Houston Heights but can entertain in Downtown, Galleria area or City Centre.
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2020.09.27 22:05 I_Wander_and_wonder2 Have we evolved?

I was just listening to some 80s music when on came Whitney Houston belting out, “Saving all my love for you.” I chimed in quickly to the lyrics...
“A few stolen moments is all that we share. You've got your family, and they need you there Though I've tried to resist being last on your list.”
I immediately thought, “oh, I know what she’s talking about!” I know that feeling! I continued to listen and analyze each word carefully. Yes, some I can relate to, but then others left me thinking that affairs have evolved since the 80s.
Affairs used to be about love fantasy, a married man with a single woman (usually), he would promise to leave his wife one day for her. Nowadays, nobody wants to change anyone’s situation. We’re now referred to as affair partners. Although socially still unacceptable, I think the community has certainly grown and evolved.
Thoughts?
submitted by I_Wander_and_wonder2 to adultery [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 23:00 AustralianChrono Virtual Drag Race Season 11: The Premiere Episode 1- Lip Syncing With A Bang, Baby!

Virtual Drag Race Season 11: The Premiere Episode 1- Lip Syncing With A Bang, Baby!
Sophie Srs smiles.
Hey Ladies, Gentlemen, and Everyone In Between...
I'm Sophie Srs.
And...
I am the Host of Virtual Drag Race.
Sophie screeches.
AHH! That feels so GOOD to say!
Welcome to the new Era.
We're starting off...
With a BANG.
Let's meet our next Monarch's...
I wonder if there are any old surprises along the way...
10.
9.
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1!
~
https://preview.redd.it/95gzq5ec3no51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=e7e4e732e61e4aa8235a453da299c54140f03918
Melodrama walks out in a huge ballgown that looks as if it is made of stars. Her hair is huge, glittering and her makeup, upon closer notice... appears to have stars detailed among her face.
"Oh, the drama!" She gasps. "Oh, my... no one here but meeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
Melordrama: "My name is Melodrama, and I dare say I am the most dramatic Queen in the WOOOOOOOOORLD!" Lightning crack effects go on in the background. Melodrama smiles. "I'm a Drag Queen who is obsessed with extravagance. Big, Dramatic, Over The Top... I'm every theatre kid meeting Opera Singer in 1891. I'm known for my looks, the theatrics, and... that mug." Melodrama smiles. "Never anything basic because if you don't catch anyone's eye... why are you a drag Queen?!"
Melodrama sits carefully upon her seat. "NEXT!"
Frida Tits walks out in a big pink showgirl outfit. Feathers everywhere, big blonde hair and glamour galore, she grins. "Let it all in, baby!"
Frida Tits: "I'm Frida, and I'm the Tits!" Frida shakes her chest around smiling. "I'm 21, and from Calabasas...." The screen changes to reveal her age of 23, and that she's based in Vegas... "Whoops." She laughs. "I'm 23... and I'm a Showgirl. I'm known for being one of the best Dancing Diva's of Vegas, and the people KNOW my name. I'm iconic."
"A Drag Queen's Drag Queen!" Melodrama yells and extends her arm. "Melodrama."
"I'm just drama." Frida winks. "Love the gown."
"Love the headdress!"
"It's 1000 Plucked Ostrich Feathers. I hand pulled them myself." Frida smiles.
Melodrama: "Now... I don't know... if she's serious. But I love the theatrics!"
Rita Buk walks in dressed straight out of the 18th Century, in a gorgeous Vintage dress. "Why wait for Mr Darcy..." She smirks. "When you can be him AND Elizabeth!"
"Love a reference." Melodrama smiles.
Rita Buk: "My name is Rita Buk, and I love... to read books!" Rita grins. "I'm 26 and I am the Camp Queen of NYC. My Drag is obsessed with references- fashion forward, but polished, referential and campy... all in one. I'm a comedy Queen, and yes, I love to roast and read to filth. But I do so much more as well. I raise money for causes, I perform my butt off and in quiet times... I write my book, something I've been doing for... the last 10 years?" Rita laughs. "I'm doing this to distract myself from writing."
"Come on Pride and Prejudice!" Melodrama smiles.
"Wah?" Frida looks confused.
"Classic Literary Book..." Rita smiles. "Rita Buk."
"Melodrama." Melodrama smiles.
"FRIDA TITS!" Frida yells.
Rita's face drops. "Oh my!" She laughs.
In a huge latex Tan hat, and Gucci inspired bodysuit, Fame Fontaine struts in with BIG heels. "I'm here to Slay... not Just Play."
Fame Fontaine: "Remember my Name, children!" Fame smiles. "I'm Fame Fontaine, and yes, I'm dancing DIVA. I'm a Gay Man raised in an half African-American, half Italian family.... so yup, GURL." Fame laughs. "My Drag is a love letter to my Momma, 90s RnB inspired, dancing and funky. I love to look good, move well... and bite back like a fierce bitch when attacked." Fame winks.
"Oh, she's serving us VA VA VROOM!" Frida smiles.
"Always, baby." Fame winks.
"I'm Rita.." Rita smiles. "You are?"
"Remember the name. I'm... Fame." Fame winks.
"Love. It." Melodrama yells.
Hangry walks out in a huge, repetillian-esque meets Alien look. "I'm..." Suddenly, a monster bursts from her chest, and Frida yelps. "Here!" She smirks.
Hangry: "I'm Hangry, but some people just call me delicious." Hangry laughs. "I'm Hangry, and I'm a Drag Superstar. My Drag is all about playing with gender and innovation. I'm very dedicated to looks and I live for performing. I'm here because... well, it's time!"
"Welcome welcome!" Frida smiles.
Hangry: "There's some decent looking Queens here... but no one like me."
"It feels good to be here..."Hangry smiles.
"Oh, it's amazing." Melodrama smiles.
Avah Xtreme walks up in a suit made of huge, moving parts. A fishtank appears to go into her skin... it's weird, and it's cool. "They say i'm fishy, but I don't see it."
Avah Extreme: "My name is Avah Extreme, and I am a Club Kid Queen with a Modern Twist. I am 31, and I live in Houston, Texas. My drag is about iconic club kid influences but with a modern twist. I love the visual, because that's where my skills last. Standing still showcasing a look that transforms is just as exciting as lip syncer for your life, I truly believe."
"Momma!" Fame smiles and hugs Avah.
"Darling." Avah smiles.
Avah Extreme: "Oh, I love little Fame. Such a bright spark. She makes me feel old."
"There's some weird Queens this season... I LIVE for it!" Melodrama yells.
Fame Fontaine: "Ms Melodrama is SURE DRAMATIC, chile... It's cute, but a little bit down a notch."
Vebera Ahida walks out in a pair of lingerie, with fishnets on each of her (three!) legs. She touches her beard. "Hmm... Freaky."
"YES!" Hangry yells.
Vebera Ahida: "My name is Vebera Ahida, and I'm a freak, and proud." Vebera smiles. "I am 26 years old, but I've been travelling for years, so my hometown... is Delaware, but really, the road. I suffer from Polymelia, which means... I have an extra leg, and arm. So, you can see the freaky side.." Vebera smiles. "My drag is dramatic, theatrical, performance based, sexy, and always there to trigger reactions. I'm not no ordinary drag Queen."
"Hello friends." Vebera smiles.
"Welcome, welcome!" Frida yells. "You're here!"
"It feels phenomenal to be." Vebera smiles.
"I love the extra arm prop." Frida smiles. "I have one of those too!"
"Oh... it's all real." Vebera laughs.
Frida's face goes bright red. "Oh my..."
Vebera Ahida: "I knew i'd be seen as a bit... weird. Even among drag Queens, i'm the odd one out, I often feel."
Dame Gloria Devereaux walks out in a long shining gold gown, feather boa and a (faux) cigarette around her lips. "Frankly, my dears... I don't give a damn." She looks firmly around the room, looking as if she will transition to a smile... but it never happens.
Rita smiles.
Dame Gloria Devereaux: "My name is Gloria Devereaux, and for exactly forty three years, i've been involved in the drag scene in one way, shape, or form." Gloria smirks. "I am known for my Immaculate Looks, and Dedication to the Golden Age. I am a Master of the Classical forms of Drag. I've thrown my hat in the ring to show when a master of the classical styles of drag enters the competition, they will inevitably find themselves superior to the "lesser" forms of drag."
Rita smiles. "Hi Gloria!"
Gloria looks around, startled at some of the other Monarch's
"Oh, lovely!" Gloria smiles. "A normal one I know."
Rita Buk: "I know Gloria from NYC, she's a legend. She scares the crap out of me, but slowly... I worked out with her. I'd say she tolerates me, even if she's not a fan of my modern literary references.."
"Normal?" Vebera looks puzzled.
"There's just a few of you that... a bit Gauche." Gloria nods.
"Proud freak." Hangry sticks her tongue out.
"Eurgh." Gloria steps back.
Lola Scarlett shows up in a similar showgirl esque look- huge feathers, jewels everywhere... and big brown here. "Let's get lucky... and PLAY IT BIG!"
Lola Scarlett: "I'm Lola, and you're about to get LUCKY." Lola winks. "I'm a Vegas Showgirl who's always DOWN TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!" Lola smiles. "My drag is just... gorgeous. A lot of these Queens are pretty... but I'm prettier. A lot of those Queens are sexy... but I'm sexier. And a lot of these Queens are good... but I'm better."
"Another Classic Showgirl." Gloria nods. "Good to see."
Lola and Frida lock eyes with each other as Lola walks in. "HI!" Frida yells.
"Oooh, so you too know each other?" Melodrama smiles.
"Oh, I sure do know Frida." Lola smirks. "How's it going?"
"Oh, fabulous! I've missed you, Lola!" Frida smiles.
"Little Miss Frida, let's not lie here, in this competition." Lola smiles.
Lola Scarlett: "I know little Frida. She's notorious for being messy, and... thinking she's better than reality. I'm not afraid to call it out... starting with that tacky copy of my outfit."
Sally Bishop enters the werkroom in a gem-incrusted Apostolnik, and smiles and looks up to the roof. "Holy Queens do it better." Sally winks.
Sally Bishop: "My name is Sally, and I'm the Bishop of Drag!" Sally smiles. "I am a Devout Catholic Lesbian Bio Queen." Sally smiles. "I am a performer, inspired by the aesthetics of religious iconography. I love to look sharp, and unlike a lot of expectations of... older ladies like myself, I can MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!"
"Oh, the religious dramatics!" Melodrama gasps.
"What's your name, Miss Glittery Jesus?" Lola smiles.
"Sally Bishop." Sally smiles.
"I love that name!" Rita grins.
"It's actually my birth name." Sally nods.
Gloria scrunches her face.
Gloria: "I just see... a woman wearing makeup now. It's not Drag."
Tribeca Sundance walks out in a gorgeous snake like dress, wrapped like a gorgeous toga. "Darling, I'm here."
Gloria grins.
Tribeca Sundance: "My name is Tribeca Sundance, and I am the Queen of the Theatre." Tribeca smiles. "Tribeca is all about elegance and poise. I'm inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, but I love to put in my culture, and have the Japanese Twist with it. I want to be one of the biggest actors in the world, and to me, Tribeca is the key. She is the Starlet on the Rise... and she's ready."
"Darling... welcome." Gloria smiles.
"Thank you." Tribeca grins.
"I know a theatre Queen when I see one..." Melodrama smiles.
"Marvellous." Tribeca takes out a black fan.
"Oooh, she's just as dramatic as ME!" Melodrama yells.
"Not quite... as much, girl!" Fame laughs.
"DU DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNN!" Fraggot The Clown walks in with long red hair, and a tight bodysuit that shows off all her ass-ets... along with a huge breastplate. She raises a massive sword out of her wig, and turns around... revealing a beard and clown face paint. "SHE'S A CLOWNIN' AROUND TODAY... what's TOMORROW?!"
Melodrama yelps in joy.
Frida grins.
Yet again... Gloria gives stank face.
Fraggot The Clown: "Hi, My name is Fraggot, and today, I'm The Clown. I've been doing drag for... far too long in New York City. Fraggot is a character, first and foremost, and I live for playing that up. I'm a costume designer who loves to transform myself, and Fraggot is reflective of that. Some days, I'm the Clown, others, I'm the Hooker... I love to transform. I can be anything... but at it's core, Fraggot is ALWAYS Comedic. I'd say my best form of Drag is 80s Hevay Metal Clown with Sword. I love a sword."
"Oh, hey Ms Grandma!" Fraggot walks over to Gloria and extends her hand.
"I don't want to shake your hand." Gloria turns her face the other way.
"Oh." Melodrama gasps.
"I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE." Fraggot jumps to the ground. "Wah..." She starts to fake cry. "Oh no..." She turns around. "Where am I?"
"You're on Virtual Drag Race, baby!" Fame smiles.
"Wow." Fraggot gasps. "Wow..."
"I'm just going to sit back and watch..." Tribeca laughs.
Oh, Sophie!
"Oooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh...." Fame grins.
Hello my Gorgeous People!
Sophie Srs struts out.
Tribeca: "I see Sophie walk out, and I go.... UGH... the BEAUTY."
It feels amazing to be here, right now, looking at 12 of the best Drag Monarch's in America in front of me. We're starting with a bang. For your first mini challenge... it's time for a photoshoot with... me!
Everyone grins.
~
Lola Scarlett... darling, you work well with me. You're the winner of this week's mini challenge.
"I'd love to say I'm suprised, but i'm not!" Lola laughs.
My Lucky 12...
For this week's maxi challenge, we're going BIG. It's time for a Lip Sync Bonanza! Every single Monarch here... will lip sync against each other.
"Gasp." Melodrama says.
Each person will pair up and lip sync against one of SIX catergories. R&B Baby, Dance Pop, 80s Classic, Musical Queen, Rockin' Wild and... Country Charmer! Each person will lip sync against someone in a catergory. The Monarchs who win will be safe... and the bottom SIX will lip sync for their LIFE... and TWO will go home.
Frida Tits: "As the Winner of Ms Superstar Eleganza Lipsynka, I have no fear! The stars have foretold... I will win." Frida winks.
Lola... as the winner of this week's mini challenge, you get to choose your opponent.
Lola Scarlett: "Oh, I'm ready. I'm going to pick the old one. She's not a threat. Easy win!"
Gloria... as the chosen Queen... you get to pick the catergory, and who chooses their partner next.
Gloria smirks. "Musical Queen."
You get... 'My Favourite Things' from The Sound Of Music!
"Marvelous..." Gloria smiles.
Lola's face drops. "What is that choice..."
Who do you pick to choose their lip sync oppontent?
"I shall pick one of the nicest dressed Queens... someone I feel like deserves a choice. Miss Buk." Gloria nods.
"I want to pick someone who... looks like me, but for movies! Tribeca...?" Rita smiles.
Tribeca... what catergory do you pick... and who get's to choose next?
"I love a throwback. 80s Classic... and Melodrama, just because I want to see what she does!"
You both get... Gloria, by Laura Branigan.
Both smile.
Melodrama... who do you pick?
"Oh, she has the THEATRICS!" Melodrama raises her hands in the air. "AVAH!"
"Fun fun fun..." Avah nods. "Hmm... Let me go back to my roots. Country Charmer."
You both get... 'Man, I feel like a Woman!' by Shania Twain.
"Yeeeeee Haw!" Melodrama yells.
"I also pick my Country Family, Fame Fontaine." Avah grins.
"I love yeeeee!" Fame smiles. "Who's the fiercest performer? Who loves a show?"
"I love a show." Frida smirks.
"Frida it is then." Fame shrugs.
Frida... your choice?
"Dance Pop, Duh." Frida grins.
You both get... 100% Pure Love, By Crystal Waters.
"Let's do it." Fame smiles at Frida.
Who chooses next, Frida?
"I'm Hangry." Frida laughs. "Now THAT'S a good one."
Hangry...
"I love Clowns, and Fraggot looks fun." Hangry smiles.
"Call me Fraggot the Rockstar!" Fraggot winks. "I choose 'Rockin Wild, baby."
You get, 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' by Def Leppard.
"I need my guitar." Fraggot smiles.
That leaves Vebera Ahida and Sally Bishop.... you both get 'Ungodly Hour' by Chloe X Halle.
"Cute!" Vebera smiles.
"I love Gods." Sally grins.
Now... good luck my Monarch's... and Go Wild!
~
As they prepare for the challenge, Sophie comes to visit the werkroom.
Miss Tits...
"Sophie!" Frida smiles.
How do you feel about this challenge?
"I perform for a living. I know how to do this... in, out and over. I'm honestly feeling like... wow, I'm winning this."
Really?
"Like, I haven't told many people. But my mother received a premonition... when she conceived me." Frida looks at Sophie.
Oh...
"I... fully believe that this week is mine." Frida smiles.
And Miss Fame, your competition...?
"She's going to easily be one of the biggest performance threats. BUT...." Frida smiles. "I feel fine!"
Well, let's hope you meet the mark. I'm excited to see your skills darling.
"Thank you!" Frida smiles.
~
As they get ready for the main stage lip syncs, Gloria, Rita & Tribeca chat.
"So, Tribeca... may I ask where you achieved such..." Gloria turns to Tribeca. "Classical references."
"I was raised on Vintage Films. I acted in traditional kabuki and Noh drama at the Bellevue Japan Fair and doing local theater... my parents were obsessed with the days of old. Golden Age..." Tribeca smiles. "True aspects of Japanese Culture." Tribeca smiles. "We aren't all... POP CULTURE BAM Queens..." Tribeca rolls her eyes.
"I've actually read a book on the Golden Age of Japanese Cinema. Really exciting stuff... I might have it in my diary actually..." Rita turns to her desk.
"Your book?" Gloria looks at Rita.
"I journal. Every day, preemptively, and following. Manifest the positivity-"
"Oh, that manifesting stuff is nonsense, dear." Gloria shakes her head.
"I'd love to hear about it." Tribeca looks at Rita.
"I look at everything. Create my worlds. Reflect. Plan... manifest. Always pictures. It's kinda my cheat sheet to this... journey, here!" Rita laughs. "It's silly."
"If it does you well, it's not." Tribeca nods.
"I must say... upon hearing more details. It's quite smart. I had... a lover who loved to journal." Gloria powders her face. "Anywhom... let's prepare."
"Are you doing a Julie Andrews illusion?" Tribeca turns to Gloria.
"God, no. I would never lower myself to impersonating a celebrity for a profession." Gloria scoffs.
~
Sophie Struts the runway in a Gold Gown.
Hi, I'm Sophie Srs.. and I'm the Host of Virtual Drag Race.
She grins.
This week, our Monarch's will be gagging us in a lip syncing Extravaganza. And by side is an OG... lip sync diva, JUICE!
"The Juice is Loose!" Juice smiles.
Why were you not a lip sync assassin?
"Honestly, I have no idea."
Sophie laughs.
Let's watch. May the best Monarch... win!
~
Hello, my lip syncing Monarch's...
You all look ready to lip sync your butts off.
BUT FIRST...
It's not Drag Race without a little twist, hey?
Sophie smirks.
Bring back my Monarch's.
Our Final 4 Monarch's to be Ru-Vealed of The Season!
Suddenly, Robin Steele in a tight leather harness and short shorts, Mary Handy Tuck in a huge, delicately crafted perfeclty-ready for a Ru-Veal dress, Terri Toris in a beige jumpsuit, and Dr Daina Sora Drag Queen in a Black Inflatable Dinosaur suit all appear.
"Oh. My. GOD!" Melodrama yells.
My Final 4... Introduce yourself.
Robin smirks. "Hey babies. I'm Robin, last placed King of Season 8... Unfortunately."
Robin Steele: "I'm Robin Steele, and i'm the Daddy of Drag. My..." Robin ponders. "Grandmother died around the time of Season 8, and the reality was... I didn't meet the mark. But Daddy's back, and he's here to give a show. Always looking good, always moving... let's do this."
Mary waves. "Hello Children!"
Mary Handy-Tuck: "I'm Mary Handy Tuck, and I am ever so excited to be back! I'm a Queen who at her heart, loves how drag... brings people together. I've grown my roots since my season, and my family has allowed me to shine. I've returned to show the world... Mary is a force."
Terri smiles. "Hiiiii..."
Terri Toris: "I'm Terri! You'd know me from season 10 of Virtual Drag Race. On my season I... let my nerves get in the way. I know I had the talents, it was hard to just... show people. I think I've had time to reflect... work on myself... and now, I'm ready."
"RAWR!" Daina yells.
Dr Daina Sora Drag Queen: "The Doctor... is in! I'm the DINO QUEEN! And I now have a PHD!" Daina smiles. "On the season 9 premiere, I found.. not knowing to sew is a bad idea. I am here with a sewing needle in hand, and the spirit of the dinosaur, ready to take the crown."
I lied. They'll be 8 LIP SYNCS this episode.
Starting with our returning Monarch's... where one of them won't even get to the Bottom 6 Lip Sync.
"3... Eliminations." Lola smirks. "Sure."
We missed a category...
Rap. It. Up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QroUDtpnjn4&ab_channel=DeDeDon
Mary Handy-Tuck, Dr Daina Sora Drag Queen, Robin Steele and Terri Toris.
Prior to tonight, you were asked to prepare a lip sync performance to 'WAP' by Cardi B.
The time has come...
For you to lip sync. FOR YOU LIFE!
Good luck... and don't fuck it up!
THE LIP SYNC EXTRAVAGANZA BEGINS!
Terri Toris: "It's.... so scary to be back here. Lip syncing again... but I'm giving my all."
Dr Daina Sora Drag Queen: "I may not have won my last lip sync... but NEVER again! It's the season of the DINO!"
Mary Handy Tuck: "I know this isn't the song we expect... but... my oh my, this is going to be so much fun! I am going to give the funniest performance in my life. This is ever so fun!"
Robin Steele: "Daddy's here. I know how to give sexy."
~
Who wins our lip sync extravaganza lip syncs?
Spreadsheet
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2020.09.22 04:18 SteveMcQueen36 Playing through the WWF - Part 3 (1988 to 1989 SummerSlam - Wrestlemania V)

I am using games like WWE2k19, 2k20, and Fire Pro Wrestling World to simulate and play through the WWF's PPV's and other events. The outcomes will be different thus forcing me to change story lines. Let me know what you think. This issue covers SummerSlam '88 to Wrestlemania V. When the Mega Powers EXPLODE!!!

WWF SummerSlam - August 29th, 1988 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden

No. Results Stipulations Rating Times Note
1 The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) def. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) Tag team match 92% 18:32 The Rougeaus looked amazing in this match. The crowd hates them but they seem to be fueled by that hate. They fly around the ring with so much skill. The Bulldogs looked... off. It's clear that Davey Boy Smith needs to take some time off for a few months. Jacques won after a Moonsault.
2 Curt Hennig def. Bad News Brown Singles match 88% 15:57 Curt Hennig is a newcomer to the WWF and he is taking on Ted DiBiase's body-guard, Bad News Brown. Bad News plans to make mincemeat out of Hennig. But it's mostly in Curt's favor. Curt Hennig wins after a Fisherman Suplex.
3 Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) def. Brutus Beefcake Singles match 76% 15:44 The match started off with a pose-off with Rude clearly out-flexing Beefcake. Then the match started when Beefer started getting more cheers and Rude clotheslined him to the outside. These two traded blows and moves before Beefcake was opened up outta nowhere. Rude won with the Rude Awakening.
4 The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord) def. The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff) (w/Slick) Tag team match 70% 17:52 The newest dominating tag team in the division is The Powers of Pain. The Warlord and The Barbarian hit hard and don't stop until they get blood. That's what happened in this match. Barbarian was literally biting Nikolai on the forehead. Demolition is on notice. The Warlord won with a Power Slam on Boris Zhukov.
5 The Ultimate Warrior (c) def. Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) WWF Intercontinental Title 79% 18:10 The Honky Tonk Man is great at irritating the Intercontinental Champion. Warrior had been wanting to slap Honky down for weeks! This match was clothesline after clothesline. Honky didn't stand a chance. He was done after a Gorilla Press Slam. The Ultimate Warrior wins after a Gorilla Press Slam.
6 Bam Bam Bigelow & Big Bossman (w/Slick) def. Jake Roberts & Ricky Steamboat Tag Team Match 98% 29:18 Wow! What a tag team match. These guys gave it their all but Slick's team had too much power. For everything Roberts and Steamboat had, Slick's team was ready to knock them down. Bossman pinned Steamboat after a Bossman Slam in the middle of the ring.
7 Demolition (Ax and Smash) (c) (w/Mr. Fuji and Jimmy Hart) def. The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) WWF Tag Team Titles 60% 27:52 A surprisingly dry and boring match from two teams I would have expected more from. It was a back and forth until Demolition really started laying it in thick. Bret Hart was pinned following a Tombstone from Smash.
8 Leilani Kai (w/Judy Martin) def. Wendi Richter (c) (w/Rockin' Robin) WWF Women's Title 72% 13:07 Leilani Kai and Judy Martin have been beating up on Richter for weeks. It started on SNME when they double-teamed Richter after her win over Sensational Sherri. Then it started happening every time she was interviewed. Richter didn't even wait until the ring bell was rung. It was a good match that Richter had in the bag. She was a woman unleashed. Beating Kai all over the ring. That was until a chair from Judy Martin, from the outside of the ring, cost Richter the match. Leilani Kai won with a Backslide.
Main Event The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage) (w/Miss Elizabeth) def. King Kong Bundy and Ted DiBiase (w/Bad News Brown) Tag Team Match 77% 16:34 Hogan and Savage joined forces when it was Randy Savage who saved Hogan from a DiBiase beat down. The two shook hands and it was magic from there. Bundy and Hogan were a treat for the crowd. Hogan wins after the Big Leg Drop on King Kong Bundy. After the match Miss Elizabeth is kidnapped by DiBiase. Savage makes chase.... Hogan poses.
81% 173:06
Total Time: 2:53:06
This was the first Summer Slam and it was a pretty popular one. The Mega Powers were everywhere doing promotions all over the country. Hogan didn't want to be in a big feud since he was filming a movie at the moment. The Ultimate Warrior is getting an enormous pop and he might be poised to be the next in line for the world title. Wendi Richter want's revenge but she needs some time off after the beating she took at the hands of the Glamour Girls.

WWF Survivor Series 1988 - November 24, 1988 - Richfield Township, Ohio

No. Results Stipulations Rating Times Note
1 The Honky Tonk Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel and Greg Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart) def. The Blue Blazer, The Ultimate Warrior, and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) 4-on-4 Survivor Series Match 100% 49:39 The Hart boys looked great but Honky was using chairs and taking everyone into the ringside area. The Ultimate Warrior held his own, but was ultimately beat down before being eliminated first! Blazer went next. The Hart Foundation then eliminated Martel and Bad News Brown, but fell to Rhythm & Blues. Rhythm & Blues were the survivors in this match.
2 The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) and The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) def. Demolition (Ax and Smash) and The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff) 4-on-4 Survivor Series Match 83% 30:39 This match was a knock-down drag-out battle. It was great. All of the teams looked fantastic and worked really well together. The Rockers took out the Bolsheviks, but got smacked by Demolition. It looked bad until Davey Boy Smith eliminated both Ax and Smash on his own. Great show. Davey Boy Smith and Shawn Michaels are the Survivors.
3 Akeem, Bam Bam Bigelow, Big Bossman, and Butch Reed def. Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Curt Hennig, and Don Muraco 4-on-4 Survivor Series Match 86% 41:53 Akeem was eliminated by Don Muraco. Who was teamed up on and beaten down before being eliminated by Bossman. Bossman then went on to deliver two Bossman Slams to Ricky Steamboat eliminating him. Butch Reed overpowers a weakened Jake Roberts to eliminate him. Mr. Perfect was last to fall. There is just too much power on that side of the ring. The survivors are Slick's Squad; Butch Reed, Bossman, and Bigelow.
4 The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) (c) def. Wendi Richter & Rockin' Robin Tag Team Match 82% 12:02 Wendi Richter and LeiLani Kai had a feud to settle and it was settled here. Richter was working much slower in this match. She refuses to take time off. But when Rockin' Robin got in the match really picked up. Robin hit Judy Martin with a really tough running cross-body. But it was Leilani Kai that was the deciding factor. Leilani Kai wins with a Pinning German Suplex to Wendi Richter.
Main Event Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Brutus Beefcake, and Roddy Piper def. Ted DiBiase, Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, and Hercules 4-on-4 Survivor Series Match 93% 58:42 This was an awesome match if your a fan of Hulkamania. It started out with Hercules being eliminated by Beefcake. Then Beefcake by Bundy. Then Bundy by Hogan. Then Rude by Hogan. Savage by DiBiase. Then DiBiase by Hogan with the Leg Drop. The Survivors are Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper who both eliminate Hercules last.
90% 223:35
Total Time: 3:23:55
The Survivor Series is proving to be one of the best PPV's in the company's history. Always consistently good matches. This year we got the Mega Union with not only Randy Savage, but also Roddy Piper and Brutus Beefcake. Hogan really has some great friends. But DiBiase proved to have deep pockets as these guys took a beating for the Million Dollar Man. And it looks like Wendi Richter will be taking some time away from the WWF.

WWF Royal Rumble 1989 - January 15, 1989 - Houston, Texas

No. Results Stipulations Rating Times Note
1D Jim Powers def. Barry Horowitz Singles match 99% 19:45 Jim Powers and Barry Horowitz are enhancement talent that knows how to put on a good match. They didn't tell any one they were going to take advantage of the twenty minute time limit. This is one of the greatest Dark Matches of all time. So much emotion and anger. Jim Powers won with an Electric Chair Slam.
2 Tim Horner def. Sam Houston Singles match 92% 19:24 Tim Horner and Sam Houston are both big names in Texas and this match really got some great cheers. The crowd was still coming into the building, but they got a great show. Horner was dominating for most of the match. Really working over Houston's midsection. Then Horner put Houston away with a Flying Body Press.
3 Best 2-of-3 Falls: The Blue Blazer and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) def. Dino Bravo and The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) (w/Jimmy Hart) Tag Team Match 78% 32:32 The Blue Blazer has been working with the Hart Foundation in a lot of Six-Man tag matches against Slick's Squad in the months leading up to the Royal Rumble. During those matches, The Rougeau Brothers would poke fun during promos against The Hart Foundation. This led up to Bret Hart challenging Jacques to a 1-on-1 match on SNME. But Hart lost after being distracted by Dino Bravo beating up The Blue Blazer at ringside. Now both teams are going to settle their differences in a 2-of-3 Falls Six-Man Tag Match. The match was wonderful. Bret Hart was on point. Blue Blazer was lightning quick. It was a sight to see. Bret won both falls on the Rougeaus with the Sharpshooter on Raymond and Dino Bravo.
4 Leilani Kai (c) (w/Judy Martin) def. Rockin' Robin WWF Women's Title 70.% 13:15 The Glamour Girls are holding all of the gold in the Women's Division. After defeating the Jumping Bomb Angels on SNME for the Women's Tag Titles, Leilani Kai went on to defeat long-time champion, Wendi Richter at Summer Slam. With the help of her partner, Judy Martin. Martin has been integral in helping Leilani Kai keep the Women's Title around her waist. But tonight, Judy Martin is banned from ringside. Can Leilani Kai beat Wendi Richter's best friend? Yes. Leilani Kai and Robin had a great back and forth match with Kai eating a lot of offense from Rockin' Robin. But Leilani Kai is a veteran that knows the ring better than her opponent. It was easy for Kai to pick up the victory after two running power bombs.
5 Harley Race (w/The Wizard) def. Haku (w/Bobby Heenan) King of the Ring Final 80% 18:16 The King of the Ring was a tournament that had taken place across various events leading up to the Royal Rumble. Haku vs. The Blue Blazer on Prime Time Wrestling and Hercules on Saturday Night's Main Event. And Harley Race vs. Koko B. Ware and Butch Reed on Superstars and Wrestling Challenge. Tonight they meetup in the final. A hardened veteran setting out on a new journey in his career. Or the young up-and-coming superstar of the tag division. Haku came out fierce. He attacked Race's forehead and tried to bust him open. But Harley Race beat Haku back. It turned into a bloodbath on the outside. Harley Race wins this hard-fought battle with a bloody Piledriver.
Main Event Bam Bam Bigelow wins the 30 Man Royal Rumble Match Royal Rumble Match 81% 58:53 The final eight are Akeem, Bossman, Bigelow, Piper, Martel, Studd, Savage, and DiBiase. It came down to the newly turned face, Bam Bam Bigelow vs. his former partners, Bossman and Akeem. And the Million Dollar Man. Million Dollar Man threw out Akeem while Bam Bam threw out Bossman. Then Million Dollar Man tried paying off Bam Bam. Bigelow threw Ted DiBiase out last to win the Rumble.
83% 159:05
Total Time: 2:49:05
The Royal Rumble was exciting! Bam Bam Bigelow came out on top of the Royal Rumble vowing to put the WWF heels on notice. Harley Race and Haku had an obviously bloody match. All of that while Hulk Hogan was absent filming a movie.

Wrestlemania V - April 2nd, 1989 - Atlantic City, New Jersey - Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall

No. Results Stipulations Rating Times Note
1 Hercules def. King Harley Race (w/Bobby Heenan) Singles match 70% 11:51 Harley Race had won the inaugural King of the Ring tournament in a finals match against Haku at the Royal Rumble. After that show, Bobby Heenan dropped Haku and picked up King Race to be in his crew. However, Race hadn't foreseen that Heenan's former talent, Hercules, had turned face and would be looking to stop The Heenan Family in anyway possible. At WrestleMania V these two clashed in a 1-on-1 bout that saw Harley Race taken to the limit. Hercules defeated Race after a Football Tackle.
2 The Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Boss Man) & Butch Reed (w/Slick) def. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) & Bam Bam Bigelow Six-Man Tag Match 84% 26:01 Slick's Squad has been a thorn in the side of the WWF baby faces for months now. But tonight Bam Bam Bigelow and The Rockers are going to try and shut Slick up. Bam Bam took the fight to Big Bossman, these two kept just punching each other in the face. It was great. The Rockers got some double offense in, but Akeem and Bossman are too much for the young team. Not to mention Butch Reed dominating them. Akeem won the match for the heels after a Series of Short-Arm Clotheslines. This is Butch Reed's last match in the WWF.
3 Ted DiBiase (w/Bad News Brown) def. Jake Roberts Singles match 100% 25:51 Ted DiBiase left Bobby Heenan just before the new year and purchased the assistance of Bad News Brown, as his personal bodyguard. He has been feuding with Jake Roberts for most of that time. DiBiase tried to pay to get Roberts fired from the WWF. But Jack Tunney wouldn't be swayed. So Roberts put his snake, lol, on DiBiase. This pissed off DiBiase leading to this match. Which was phenomenal. A 5 STAR Banger for sure. These two duked it out for over twenty minutes before moves even came into play. DiBiase had he upper hand for most of the match and he kept it. Roberts passed out in the Million Dollar Dream.
4 The Islanders (Haku and Tama) def. The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) Tag team match 80% 24:51 Haku and Tama are one of the most dangerous tag-teams in the WWF and after some injury leave for Tama. The team is back together. At least they aren't some weird face licking team from Australia that wags their arms up and down. I hate that team. The Islanders though are awesome. Haku wins the match for them with a big Tongan Kick square on Raymond's chin.
5 "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig def. The Blue Blazer Singles match 80% 12:24 The Blue Blazer has been wowing the crowds with his dexterous style. Curt Hennig has been also wowing the crowds with his impressive technical nature. In this exhibition of talent, Blue Blazer and Hennig put all they had on display. It was a fantastic bout that incorporated British, Lucha, and classic Catch-as-Catch-can styles. While Curt Hennig won the match with the Perfect Plex, the match still elevated both superstars.
6 Demolition (Ax and Smash) (c) def. The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord) WWF Tag Team Titles 92% 26:14 Demolition had recently turned face, leaving Mr. Fuji to be beaten-up by The British Bulldogs on Superstars. The crowd loved them and their new badass style. Mr. Fuji, still hated by the fans, picked up a new team, The Powers of Pain. A wreckless, destructive, and powerful tag team that has been running rough-shot in the tag division. Now they are challenging Demolition for the WWF World Tag Team Titles. The match was a brawl. Demolition and The Powers of Pain beat the shit out of each other. There was even a spot with the referee being sandwiched in between Smash and The Warlord. Knocking down the referee and busting him open. Ax won the match after a Shoulder Buster on The Barbarian. The champs celebrated in the ring and rode motorcycles out of the ringside area. Yeah!
7 Leilani Kai (c) (w/Judy Martin) def. Velvet McIntyre WWF Women's Title 83% 14:12 The Glamour Girls are tremendous heels. Cutting promos on various tag-teams and finding new ways to cheat. They have really excelled after leaving manager, Jimmy Hart. The WWF have even sent this dastardly duo to Japan to represent the WWF Women's Tag Team Titles across the world. Velvet McIntyre has been the main face since Wendi Richters departure earlier in the year. Velvet vowed to get the Women's Title around her waist tonight. And while Leilani Kai and McIntyre had a great match. Velvet couldn't get the job done and submitted in a Boston Crab. Putting the WWF Women's Title out of reach. Kai and Martin hugged in the ring and the crowd showered them with garbage.
8 Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) def. The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) (w/Bobby Heenan) Tag team match 90% 27:54 Bobby Heenan debuted the Brain Busters on SNME in October of '88. They instantly made an example of Sam Houston & Tim Horner and then systematically destroyed every jobber team. Now Arn and Tully will show the world their talents and their intentions for the WWF Tag Team Titles. Demolition will be on notice. But Strike Force is being pushed hard right now to try and get Santana and Martel over. The match was great. Everyone looked good. The Brain Busters looked amazing. But it just wasn't in the cards. Tito Santana pinned Arn Anderson, you read that right, after the Flying Cross-Chop. Strike Force... uggh.
9 The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) def. Rhythm and Blues (Greg Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man with Jimmy Hart) Tag team match 71% 17:13 The Hart Foundation have been feuding with Rhythm & Blues for the better part of the year. Bret and Honky have a deep seeded hatred for each other. Unfortunately, that emotion didn't come out in the match. It was a good match with a lot of things that worked out well. But it actually ended up being the worst of the nights tag matches. Bret Hart won with a Piledriver on Honky Tonk.
10 The Ultimate Warrior (c) def. Rick Rude WWF Intercontinental Title 89% 17:32 The Ultimate Warrior has been on a tear since arriving in the WWF. Winning the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania IV and now holding it for over a year. Warrior has been locked in a feud with Rick Rude who has lost in various pose-offs and matches. These two went at it trading blows. Trading clotheslines. Trading Dropkicks. It seemed like Rude would beat Warrior when he choked him with a camera cord. But no. Warrior defeated Rude with a Big Splash.
12 "Hot Rod" Roddy Piper def. Bobby Heenan (w/The Brooklyn Brawler) Singles match 82% 7:23 Bobby Heenan has been angling to get the WWF World Title into the Heenan Family ever since Andre retired. So, Heenan tried to lure in Roddy Piper with a promise of money and a match with Hulk Hogan. But Piper refused to turn on Hogan and vowed to shut the Weasle up for good. And he did, putting Bobby Heenan down on the mat with a Sleeper.
Main Event Randy Savage (w/Miss Elizabeth) def. Hulk Hogan (c) WWF World Heavyweight Title 87% 16:27 The Mega-Powers EXPLODE! Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan have been two of the most dominant champions in WWF history. Savage is in the height of his popularity and has just come off of a record breaking Intercontinental Title run of 771 days. Hulk Hogan held the WWF Title for an uncanny 1093 days before losing to Andre the Giant. However, now in the middle of his second run, Hogan is facing his greatest threat. His best friend. His compadre. His brother, man, whatcha' gonna do? Savage is mad that Hogan made "advances" toward Elizabeth. And he believes that Hogan is too arrogant. The crowd can't wait, this is one of the biggest matches of all time! - Hogan hit the big boot on Savage - Savage hit a huge dropkick on Hogan sending him toppling to the outside - Hogan hit a Leg Drop but Macho was near the ropes and reached them. "Macho Man" Randy Savage defeats Hulk Hogan with the Flying Elbow Drop to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title. Hogan and Savage embrace after the match and Hogan holds Savage on his shoulders.
84% 227:53
Total Time: 3:47:53
Hogan and Savage were deep in a feud when this match took place and the crowd was glad to see them posing in the ring together. Now Hogan is leaving the WWF for a bit to work on some other projects. The Ultimate Warrior is a promising Intercontinental Champion and showed off in a great match with Rick Rude. The future of the WWF looks promising with Macho Man at the helm.

Title History

WWF World Heavyweight Title

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Notes
1 Hulk Hogan 3/31/1984 WWF on MSG Network New York City, NY 1 1093 Hogan is the first WWF champion according to this title history. He won the WWF title in a single night tournament at MSG from The Iron Sheik. Hogan did well promoting the title and defended it quite a bit. However, it was a double-cross from his friend Andre the Giant that dethroned this king.
2 Andre the Giant 3/29/1987 Wrestlemania III Pontiac, MI 1 368 Andre the Giant had been best friends with Hulk Hogan for years before turning on him and joining Bobby Heenan. This partnership would be lucrative since Andre would beat Hogan for the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania III. Thus striking a blow to Hulkamania and weakening the iconic one. Andre would also defend the title quite a bit. He was undefeated until Wrestlemania IV.
3 Hulk Hogan 3/27/1988 Wrestlemania IV Atlantic City, NJ 2 369 Hulk Hogan regained his title from Andre the Giant in front of over 100,000 people in Atlantic City, New Jersey! It was a decent match that also served as Andre's retirement match.
4 Randy Savage 4/2/1989 Wrestlemania V Atlantic City, NJ 1 Randy Savage won the title from Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania V when the Mega Powers EXPLODED! Meltzer would report that Hogan is going on to make some movies in Hollywood before returning to the WWF. Savage is a great face and will be an amazing champion.

WWF Intercontinental Title

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Days Notes
1 Greg Valentine 1/17/1985 WWF on PRISM Philadelphia, PA 1 73 Greg Valentine was the first IC champion that I started the game with. He defeated Pat Patterson for the title, technically making him the second champion. But again, I started my game with him as IC champ. He would lose the title in a very bloody match with JYD.
2 Junkyard Dog 3/31/1985 Wrestlemania I New York, NY 1 258 JYD was one of the most beloved and most punishing champions. His battles were always bloody and always crowd favorites. He dropped the belt to Randy Savage on Saturday Night's Main Event at MSG.
3 Randy Savage 12/14/1985 WWF at MSG New York, NY 1 771 Randy Savage held the WWF Intercontinental Title for an unprecedented amount of time. He was one of the best champions of the eighties. Defeating opponents like Ivan Karloff, Harley Race, Brutus Beefcake, Rick Rude among others.
- Vacant 1/24/1988 WWF Royal Rumble Hamilton, ON - CAN 1 63 Randy had to vacate the title following an injury at the hands of the Honky Tonk Man's guitar shot.
4 The Ultimate Warrior 3/27/1988 Wrestlemania IV Atlantic City, NJ 1 The Ultimate Warrior won the IC title in a one-night tournament defeating Jake Roberts in the final. He has been a terrific champion so far during his feud with Rick Rude.

WWF Tag Team Titles

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Days Notes
1 The U.S. Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo) 3/31/1984 WWF on MSG Network New York City, NY 1 586 The U.S. Express was a great tag team that started the game as Tag Champs. They would lose them to the British Bulldogs at the Wrestling Classic.
2 The British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith) 11/7/1985 The Wrestling Classic Rosemont, IL 1 871 The British Bulldogs vs. The U.S. Express in a fantastic bout. Dynamite and Rotundo were meant to do battle. They have defended against Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, The American Express, The Hart Foundation, The Islanders, and many more during their impressive multi-year run.
3 Demolition (Ax & Smash) 3/27/1988 Wrestlemania IV Atlantic City, NJ 1 While the British Bulldogs were the most popular team in the WWF. No team were turning heads faster than the big, angry, Demolition. Ax and Smash along with their manager, Mr. Fuji, have been running rough-shot over the WWF. They had their eyes set on gold. The Bulldogs are good, but they couldn't best the beasts.

WWF Women's Title

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Days Notes
1 Wendi Richter 3/31/1985 Wrestlemania I New York, NY 1 1,247 Wendi Richter beat Leilani Kai for the WWF Women's Title at Wrestlemania I in 1985 and held it until 1988. It was a tremendous reign that almost no one will be able to beat.
2 Lelani Kai 8/29/1988 SummerSlam '88 New York, NY 1 In 1988 Leilani Kai and Judy Martin changed the face of women's wrestling by taking their tag team out on the world and inspiring many young women wrestlers. Leilani Kai would put the crowning achievement of the Glamour Girls by winning the Women's Title from Wendi Richter at Summer Slam '88.

WWF Women's Tag Team Titles

No. Champion Championship change Event Location Reign statistics Days Notes
1 The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) 3/16/1985 WWF on PRISM Philadelphia, PA 1 1,044 Judy Martin and Leilani Kai are one of the greatest teams in Women's Professional Wrestling. Their work around the world is tremendous.
2 The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno & Itsuki Yamazaki) 1/24/1988 Royal Rumble Hamilton, ON - CAN 1 The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno & Itsuki Yamazaki) were one of the coolest teams the WWF ever let slip though their fingers. Much like the duo of Io Shrai and Kairi Sane.

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2020.09.16 04:49 RobotRedfish AVCT: The Girl Next Door of Cloud Computing

AVCT is basically Velma from Scooby Doo. She's no Daphne but she's the smart choice and you like orange sweaters.
What is AVCT: American Virtual Cloud Technologies. In their own words, “AVCtechnologies makes comprehensive and innovative cloud-based UCaaS (United Communications as a Service), Cybersecurity, and IT solutions simple for over 900 enterprise customers, including 350+ managed service clients.” Their mission is to be the best single destination partner for the white-glove delivery of reliable and secure managed cloud services, hardware, and software.
What makes AVCT special?
• Their executive team includes former executives from AT&T, Panasonic, NSORO, Vonage, MasTech, Compass, and Motorola
• As of 2019, AVCT now owns Computex, the Houston metropolitan area's top cloud and managed services provider and the top cybersecurity player. They have been around for the past 30 years and have grown their reputation steadily while boasting a customer retention rate of over 90%.
• Computex has its own multimillion dollar (NOC) network operations centers in Houston and Minneapolis along with a security operations center (SOC) in Houston, a solutions lab for testing complex technology solutions, and three integration centers.
• They have focused their efforts on capturing the work from home movement. AVCT offers their clients a private cloud. This enables a company’s employees to access sensitive work-specific programs and data from home while offering easy interpersonal communication on a platform built with cybersecurity in mind.
• As of 8/5/2020 AVCT has acquired the Kandy platform as well as its accompanying team from Ribbon Communications. In their own words, “Kandy is a cloud-based, real-time communications platform offering proprietary UCaaS, CPaaS, and CCaaS capabilities. Kandy enables service providers, enterprises, software vendors, systems integrators, partners and developers to enrich their applications and services with real-time contextual communications, providing a more engaging user experience. With Kandy, companies of all sizes and types can quickly embed real-time communications capabilities into their existing applications and business processes.
Why is now a good entry point to invest in AVCT long term?
In early 2019, a blank check company named Pensare was on the hunt for established cloud companies with significant room to grow. In July 2019 the acquisition of a 30 year old cloud service company named Computex DID happen but it wasn’t finalized until April 2020. At the time Computex was bought for 65 million but in a recent job posting they described themselves as a “150 million+ cloud UCaaS and cybersecurity company.” So as of July 2019, Pensare became AVCT, the owner of Computex. On 8/5/2020, AVCT shared that they will be acquiring Kandy along with its team. This led to a temporary hype which drove the roughly 4 dollar stock price to over 11. However, the stock price plummeted on 8/14/2020 when many who had high hopes for AVCT’s first meaningful earnings date were disappointed when AVCT showed lackluster earnings. AVCT is now trading lower than it was before the Kandy news was released, which I have a hard time making sense of.
The Bull Case: This could be an opportunity to get in early on a company with a proven executive team that wants to capitalize on the work from home movement. The executive team has stated publicly that aggressive expansion and acquisition of cloud computing companies will be intrinsic to their vision of becoming the best partner for the white-glove delivery of reliable and secure managed cloud services, hardware, and software. The recent Kandy acquisition is a testament to that.
The Bear Case: The recent 10Q (Quarterly Report) on 8/14/2020 was disappointing to say the least. As of June 30, AVCT only boasted 101 million in total assets and total liabilities of 88 million with 46 million of that being current liabilities. This means AVCT will be fighting the headwinds of substantial debt and share dilution.
Conclusion: If you are interested, I encourage you to look at the following links to get a better idea of the current state of the company as well as the competency of the executive team. Please due your own due diligence. I have also included the link to the last earnings report. Personally, I see AVCT as a company with all the ingredients to explode upwards in the next few years. I don’t think it’d be a great candidate for day trading but since I am bullish on it long term, I have been accumulating shares twice a month since its share price was at 2.25 and warrants were .22. I have absolutely no plans to sell and I will be steadily accumulating even more warrants before the next earnings report in November.
How can I Invest? AVCT share price is currently trading at 3.96 and warrants are trading at .28 (can be exercised at 11.50 with expiration in 2025). I am investing aggressively in warrants but I advise caution to others who might be thinking of doing the same since AVCT has not officially submitted the document to the SEC needed to register the shares for the warrants.
TLDR: AVCT has the makings of a cloud computing/UCaaS company with a great future ahead of it. They want to be the at the helm of the work from home transition. It has a proven executive team and now might be a good time to accumulate for the long term since many investors (including myself) were hoping for more from it too quickly last quarter.
LINKS
Last 10-Q Form: https://dd7pmep5szm19.cloudfront.net/2444/0001213900-20-022051.htm
AVCT About Us Page: https://www.ir.avctechnologies.com/
Good Article with Executive’s Describing their Vision: : https://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/computex-looks-to-grow-acquire-during-covid-19-crisis?itc=refresh
Press Release for Kandy acquisition: https://www.ir.avctechnologies.com/news-releases/avctechnologies-announces-agreement-to-buy-ribbons-kandy-communications-business/
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2020.09.16 04:44 RobotRedfish AVCT: The Girl Next Door of Cloud Computing

AVCT is basically Velma from Scooby Doo. She's no Daphne but she's the smart choice and you like orange sweaters.
Disclaimer: This post is similar to my last post about AVCT but with a brief summary of current updates. I know many of you have kept up to date with this one, so if you see any mistakes, please let me know.
What is AVCT: American Virtual Cloud Technologies. In their own words, “AVCtechnologies makes comprehensive and innovative cloud-based UCaaS (United Communications as a Service), Cybersecurity, and IT solutions simple for over 900 enterprise customers, including 350+ managed service clients.” Their mission is to be the best single destination partner for the white-glove delivery of reliable and secure managed cloud services, hardware, and software.
What makes AVCT special?
• Their executive team includes former executives from AT&T, Panasonic, NSORO, Vonage, MasTech, Compass, and Motorola
• As of 2019, AVCT now owns Computex, the Houston metropolitan area's top cloud and managed services provider and the top cybersecurity player. They have been around for the past 30 years and have grown their reputation steadily while boasting a customer retention rate of over 90%.
• Computex has its own multimillion dollar (NOC) network operations centers in Houston and Minneapolis along with a security operations center (SOC) in Houston, a solutions lab for testing complex technology solutions, and three integration centers.
• They have focused their efforts on capturing the work from home movement. AVCT offers their clients a private cloud. This enables a company’s employees to access sensitive work-specific programs and data from home while offering easy interpersonal communication on a platform built with cybersecurity in mind.
• As of 8/5/2020 AVCT has acquired the Kandy platform as well as its accompanying team from Ribbon Communications. In their own words, “Kandy is a cloud-based, real-time communications platform offering proprietary UCaaS, CPaaS, and CCaaS capabilities. Kandy enables service providers, enterprises, software vendors, systems integrators, partners and developers to enrich their applications and services with real-time contextual communications, providing a more engaging user experience. With Kandy, companies of all sizes and types can quickly embed real-time communications capabilities into their existing applications and business processes.
Why is now a good entry point to invest in AVCT long term?
In early 2019, a blank check company named Pensare was on the hunt for established cloud companies with significant room to grow. In July 2019 the acquisition of a 30 year old cloud service company named Computex DID happen but it wasn’t finalized until April 2020. At the time Computex was bought for 65 million but in a recent job posting they described themselves as a “150 million+ cloud UCaaS and cybersecurity company.” So as of July 2019, Pensare became AVCT, the owner of Computex. On 8/5/2020, AVCT shared that they will be acquiring Kandy along with its team. This led to a temporary hype which drove the roughly 4 dollar stock price to over 11. However, the stock price plummeted on 8/14/2020 when many who had high hopes for AVCT’s first meaningful earnings date were disappointed when AVCT showed lackluster earnings. AVCT is now trading lower than it was before the Kandy news was released, which I have a hard time making sense of.
The Bull Case: This could be an opportunity to get in early on a company with a proven executive team that wants to capitalize on the work from home movement. The executive team has stated publicly that aggressive expansion and acquisition of cloud computing companies will be intrinsic to their vision of becoming the best partner for the white-glove delivery of reliable and secure managed cloud services, hardware, and software. The recent Kandy acquisition is a testament to that.
The Bear Case: The recent 10Q (Quarterly Report) on 8/14/2020 was disappointing to say the least. As of June 30, AVCT only boasted 101 million in total assets and total liabilities of 88 million with 46 million of that being current liabilities. This means AVCT will be fighting the headwinds of substantial debt and share dilution.
Conclusion: If you are interested, I encourage you to look at the following links to get a better idea of the current state of the company as well as the competency of the executive team. Please due your own due diligence. I have also included the link to the last earnings report. Personally, I see AVCT as a company with all the ingredients to explode upwards in the next few years. I don’t think it’d be a great candidate for day trading but since I am bullish on it long term, I have been accumulating shares twice a month since its share price was at 2.25 and warrants were .22. I have absolutely no plans to sell and I will be steadily accumulating even more warrants before the next earnings report in November.
How can I Invest? AVCT share price is currently trading at 3.96 and warrants are trading at .28 (can be exercised at 11.50 with expiration in 2025). I am investing aggressively in warrants but I advise caution to others who might be thinking of doing the same since AVCT has not officially submitted the document to the SEC needed to register the shares for the warrants.
Good luck my brothers
TLDR: AVCT has the makings of a cloud computing/UCaaS company with a great future ahead of it. They want to be the at the helm of the work from home transition. It has a proven executive team and now might be a good time to accumulate for the long term since many investors (including myself) were hoping for more from it too quickly last quarter.
LINKS
Last 10-Q Form: https://dd7pmep5szm19.cloudfront.net/2444/0001213900-20-022051.htm
AVCT About Us Page: https://www.ir.avctechnologies.com/
Good Article with Executive’s Describing their Vision: : https://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/computex-looks-to-grow-acquire-during-covid-19-crisis?itc=refresh
Press Release for Kandy acquisition: https://www.ir.avctechnologies.com/news-releases/avctechnologies-announces-agreement-to-buy-ribbons-kandy-communications-business/
submitted by RobotRedfish to SPACs [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 04:41 RobotRedfish AVCT: The Girl Next Door of Cloud Computing

AVCT is basically Velma from Scooby Doo. She's no Daphne but she's the smart choice and you like orange sweaters.
What is AVCT: American Virtual Cloud Technologies. In their own words, “AVCtechnologies makes comprehensive and innovative cloud-based UCaaS (United Communications as a Service), Cybersecurity, and IT solutions simple for over 900 enterprise customers, including 350+ managed service clients.” Their mission is to be the best single destination partner for the white-glove delivery of reliable and secure managed cloud services, hardware, and software.
What makes AVCT special?
• Their executive team includes former executives from AT&T, Panasonic, NSORO, Vonage, MasTech, Compass, and Motorola
• As of 2019, AVCT now owns Computex, the Houston metropolitan area's top cloud and managed services provider and the top cybersecurity player. They have been around for the past 30 years and have grown their reputation steadily while boasting a customer retention rate of over 90%.
• Computex has its own multimillion dollar (NOC) network operations centers in Houston and Minneapolis along with a security operations center (SOC) in Houston, a solutions lab for testing complex technology solutions, and three integration centers.
• They have focused their efforts on capturing the work from home movement. AVCT offers their clients a private cloud. This enables a company’s employees to access sensitive work-specific programs and data from home while offering easy interpersonal communication on a platform built with cybersecurity in mind.
• As of 8/5/2020 AVCT has acquired the Kandy platform as well as its accompanying team from Ribbon Communications. In their own words, “Kandy is a cloud-based, real-time communications platform offering proprietary UCaaS, CPaaS, and CCaaS capabilities. Kandy enables service providers, enterprises, software vendors, systems integrators, partners and developers to enrich their applications and services with real-time contextual communications, providing a more engaging user experience. With Kandy, companies of all sizes and types can quickly embed real-time communications capabilities into their existing applications and business processes.
Why is now a good entry point to invest in AVCT long term?
In early 2019, a blank check company named Pensare was on the hunt for established cloud companies with significant room to grow. In July 2019 the acquisition of a 30 year old cloud service company named Computex DID happen but it wasn’t finalized until April 2020. At the time Computex was bought for 65 million but in a recent job posting they described themselves as a “150 million+ cloud UCaaS and cybersecurity company.” So as of July 2019, Pensare became AVCT, the owner of Computex. On 8/5/2020, AVCT shared that they will be acquiring Kandy along with its team. This led to a temporary hype which drove the roughly 4 dollar stock price to over 11. However, the stock price plummeted on 8/14/2020 when many who had high hopes for AVCT’s first meaningful earnings date were disappointed when AVCT showed lackluster earnings. AVCT is now trading lower than it was before the Kandy news was released, which I have a hard time making sense of.
The Bull Case: This could be an opportunity to get in early on a company with a proven executive team that wants to capitalize on the work from home movement. The executive team has stated publicly that aggressive expansion and acquisition of cloud computing companies will be intrinsic to their vision of becoming the best partner for the white-glove delivery of reliable and secure managed cloud services, hardware, and software. The recent Kandy acquisition is a testament to that.
The Bear Case: The recent 10Q (Quarterly Report) on 8/14/2020 was disappointing to say the least. As of June 30, AVCT only boasted 101 million in total assets and total liabilities of 88 million with 46 million of that being current liabilities. This means AVCT will be fighting the headwinds of substantial debt and share dilution.
Conclusion: If you are interested, I encourage you to look at the following links to get a better idea of the current state of the company as well as the competency of the executive team. Please due your own due diligence. I have also included the link to the last earnings report. Personally, I see AVCT as a company with all the ingredients to explode upwards in the next few years. I don’t think it’d be a great candidate for day trading but since I am bullish on it long term, I have been accumulating shares twice a month since its share price was at 2.25 and warrants were .22. I have absolutely no plans to sell and I will be steadily accumulating even more warrants before the next earnings report in November.
How can I Invest? AVCT share price is currently trading at 3.96 and warrants are trading at .28 (can be exercised at 11.50 with expiration in 2025). I am investing aggressively in warrants but I advise caution to others who might be thinking of doing the same since AVCT has not officially submitted the document to the SEC needed to register the shares for the warrants.
TLDR: AVCT has the makings of a cloud computing/UCaaS company with a great future ahead of it. They want to be the at the helm of the work from home transition. It has a proven executive team and now might be a good time to accumulate for the long term since many investors (including myself) were hoping for more from it too quickly last quarter.
LINKS
Last 10-Q Form: https://dd7pmep5szm19.cloudfront.net/2444/0001213900-20-022051.htm
AVCT About Us Page: https://www.ir.avctechnologies.com/
Good Article with Executive’s Describing their Vision: : https://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/computex-looks-to-grow-acquire-during-covid-19-crisis?itc=refresh
Press Release for Kandy acquisition: https://www.ir.avctechnologies.com/news-releases/avctechnologies-announces-agreement-to-buy-ribbons-kandy-communications-business/
submitted by RobotRedfish to pennystocks [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 23:12 SabatonBabylon [OC] Chronicles of the Siren War [Chapter 63]

Previous First
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A/N: Please consider supporting my writing efforts on Patreon. You can follow this story and be alerted when new chapters release via fanfiction.net.
No, this story is not 'off hiatus' yet, but I pieced together some text I had written a while ago and the rest over the last few weeks and it would seem a crime to withhold it from you all. I do not know when Chapter 64 will be here. I'm sorry.
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“Hiryuu! HIRYUU!” Soryuu sobbed, gasping for air as her eyes burned with the warm salt of tears. From the very first moment of her existence, the instant her cubes had resonated with her hull, she had felt a presence at her side, striding alongside her through hell and high water. That presence was suddenly gone. For the first time in her life she was truly and utterly without her stupid, loveable, brawler of a sister. Surrounded by burning oil and sinking ships, cries for help from survivors, and the impending battleships of the Union, honor ceased to matter. Nobility in death was well and good when meditating on morality over a cup of tea with Lady Kaga. It meant nothing as she watched half of her sister’s ship sink beneath the waves, the second half soon to follow.
“On your knees and hands on your head, unless you want to end up like her,” a stern voice ordered from her back. Soryuu turned to find a raven-haired bombshell walking towards her, her stockings and deep blue uniform singed and torn. Her rigging even featured a disabled main battery, but every other gun was pointed straight at her.
“Y-you?!” she spoke as the Union battleship continued to advance across her flight deck.
“Do what I say, unless you wish to die in service to the generals who just abandoned you,” the battleship insisted. The carrier attempted to launch a couple of cards at her, but Pennsylvania already had her guns aimed and at the ready, firing the moment Soryuu moved her arms. She gasped in pain and fell to her deck as her ears rang and her head swam with stars.
“Why? How?” she wondered futilely as Pennsylvania loomed over her, rigging pointed at her head as she brushed the hair out of her eyes.
“The older sisters always seem to have some fight in them it seems. You have two options, rabbit. Surrender to Commander Andrew Thorson or suffer the death you so richly deserve,” the battleship laid out the terms clearly.
“Just do it then,” Soryuu whispered sadly, looking across the sea at the Tennessee. Only the tip of the Hiryuu’s bow could be seen anymore.
“I suppose some of you really do believe in that honor above all horse shit,” Pennsylvania scoffed. “You’d really leave your sister behind just for the sake of your own conscience?”
“Do not toy with me, Union warrior. You have won your victory, now end it so I may join my sister in the afterlife.”
“The hell are you talking about?” Pennsylvania demanded, surveying the ocean around them where triage and rescue operations were in full swing. Thorson’s injured were already aboard the Akashi, with those capable of continued sailing scouring the battlefield for usable cubes, surviving Sakura shipgirls, or the wisdom cubes that marked the graves of others fallen in combat. “Tennessee, status?”
“Toughest bitch I’ve ever fought. She should be dead but she isn’t. Get that other one in chains and let’s get back to Thorson.”
“Understood,” Pennsylvania acknowledged before turning to Soryuu. “Your sister is alive, but barely. Surrender your shard to us and I’ll take you to her immediately. Fight and you will die.”
“Hiryuu… you must be lying!” Soryuu snapped in desperation. “I can no longer sense her!”
“Because Tennessee slugged the ever-loving shit out of her you dumb fucking rabbit. I don’t have time for this!” Pennsylvania suddenly roared, green eyes alight with fury. “You murdered my sister and friends! You think I’d be trying to keep you alive? What I am trying is to keep myself from ripping your throat out and shoving a barrel down your neck! Now choose before I disobey my commanding officer and end your miserable life!”
Soryuu could only blink in shock as her analytical mind did its best to overcome the perceived death of her sister and analyze the situation. Though the Union woman was her enemy, her logic was sound. Even if the Union planned to interrogate her and the story about Hiryuu was a lie, she could simply end her own life upon verifying her sister’s demise. Accepting that surrender was the prudent course of action, Soryuu nodded and pushed herself into a kneeling position, hanging her head in shame. She grimaced as a sudden pain assaulted her, grasping at the back of her neck. Something burned there, something that should not have been. She tore at it before Pennsylvania could stop her, relief washing over her as power drained from her body along with something else. It was like a drunkenness had been magically dispelled from her mind, one she’d not even been aware of until that moment. She and Pennsylvania both watched as the pale red shard in her bloody hand cracked and fell to dust, blown away by the wind along with a good deal of her strength. “What in the name of the gods just happened?”
“You’ll have plenty of time to think about it in captivity. Now come, Sakura,” Pennsylvania ordered, hoisting her up onto her shaking feet and prodding her from behind. “Let it not be said the Union is full of liars. Commander Thorson will decide your fate.”
“And my comrades? Does his mercy extend to them?” Soryuu wondered, knowing that as pieces went she was far more valuable than a pawn.
Pennsylvania answered shortly. “Those who managed to survive.”
-----
“Hmm, Laffey may have gone a little overboard. Excuse me please,” the sleepy voice requested, blowing down the door to Hiei’s bridge with her twin rigging pistols. It was not hard to find the shipgirl within the blackened room, her pale skin, ivory horns, and white clothing the only things in the space that weren’t charred or burned. Laffey stood silently in the doorway, surveying her work with sleepy, sad eyes. “Laffey is sorry, but you hurt the Commander.”
An awful, wheezing sound came faintly from Hiei’s throat. Laffey’s ears twitched as she moved to the fallen battleship’s side. An expanse of raw, burned tissue covered the left side of her face and seemed to extend down her neck and along her body, marring her otherwise pristine beauty. Her port side had taken the full force of the attack. “Laffey is not a nurse, no no. Commander would be sad if she killed you now that you are no longer a threat. Miss Colorado?”
“I read you, Laffey. One of the prisoners is apparently her sister ship. What’s the status of that charred tub?” the battleship wondered, impressed that even after the attack it was still afloat at all.
“Laffey needs your strength please, big and strong battleship. Laffey did not kill her, but if nothing is done Laffey is pretty sure she will die.”
“By my main batteries, repeat that! You’re saying she survived?!” the perpetually calm Colorado gasped.
“Please, Miss Colorado. Laffey does not have enough alcohol to disinfect all of the burned skin,” the destroyer explained.
“Oh hell, I’m on my way,” Colorado affirmed, leaping from her ship onto the water’s surface. “Maryland, West Virginia, scout the area where the other battleship and that heavy cruiser went down. We have a survivor over here.”
“Understood, sister.”
-----
If Commander Thorson had thought the chaos would end with the retreat of Akagi and Kaga, he was wrong. Aboard the Akashi, the controlled mayhem of triage and post-battle first aid reigned. The repair ship featured a large medical bay designed for shipgirls, and the beds were filling by the minute. Many of them were occupied by his own ships, those who needed to be tended to before they could join in the search and rescue missions that were ongoing. He sat between Yamashiro and Fusou, each of whom had suffered serious fire damage to their superstructures on account of their size, their position as flagships, and the fact that Akagi and Kaga had singled them out as traitors.
“Easy now, it’s healing,” he offered, moving Yamashiro’s hand away from a jar of secret coolant. He replaced the washcloth he’d been using to soothe Fusou’s burns in a tub of cold water and offered her the drink himself. “Both of you did exceptionally well. I’m very proud of you.”
“Tono-sama,” Yamashiro murmured sweetly, leaning over to sip through the straw. She sighed contentedly when she was finished, and he wiped the sweat from her body. Both she and Fusou had been stripped naked on Akashi’s orders so that the full extent of the damage could be assessed, but no one seemed particularly off put or aroused by the circumstance. All that mattered was caring for his girls, and to his great relief the power of their cubes was restoring the angry, red patches of skin to their pristine, smooth, creamy state minute by minute. Another had not been so lucky.
“Commander Thorson!” Colorado shouted from the doorway as Laffey cleared a path for them. In the battleship’s arms was a tall, horned woman with long black hair and burns the likes of which he’d only seen once before, during Pearl Harbor. “The woman Laffey attacked is alive, but she’s in a bad, bad way.”
“Place her here, nyaa! The sheets are sterile. Akashi will go find another IV bag. Bulins, Akashi wants a full evaluation upon her return!” the minty kitty ordered before scampering off on all fours. The white-haired mechanics snapped to attention and surrounded Colorado, offering aid and guiding her to the open bed. From the back of the room, one of the prisoners stood suddenly.
“Hiei?! Oh gods, what happened to-”
“Sit down Sakura, now,” Tennessee growled, seated at the end of the room where Hiryuu lay unconscious and bandaged in bed, taking in coolant from an IV drip. “I don’t care if you look like a Royal, no sudden moves.”
Kongou, who had been disabled but not gravely wounded in the battle, could do nothing but watch as her sister was laid down nearby. Her clothes needed to be cut away, the burns were so bad. “Why… Why isn’t she healing?”
“Go, tono-sama,” Fusou urged. “We will recover.”
With a curt nod, Thorson stood and walked over to inspect Laffey’s grisly work. Both the destroyer and Colorado stood nearby, silent and looking almost guilty. He spoke with them first. “You’re both well?”
“Yes sir.”
“Laffey is just fine, yes yes.”
“Good,” he rubbed her between the ears and saluted Colorado. “If that burned out wreck is still seaworthy, move the human survivors to it and we’ll give it a tow to Midway. We don’t have the manpower to keep human prisoners on our ships.”
“Yes sir, it will be done,” Colorado saluted in return, straightening her high collar and leading Laffey from the medical bay. Thorson was left to review Hiei’s condition, her bed surrounded by frantically working bulins who were covering her burned skin with sterile gauze and hooking her up with fluids in her relatively unscathed right arm. Maimed men were bad enough, a sight and smell to turn the stomach. Seeing a once proud Sakura battleship in such a condition made his heart tighten with guilt.
“Why isn’t she…” Kongou gasped quietly. Thorson turned to face her. He’d never seen a Sakura with such a light complexion as her.
“How is your arm and neck?” he demanded, taking note of the sling and bandages. Kongou glared at him but replied courteously.
“Fine, enemy commander.”
“Not shikikan? What is your name.”
“Kongou, lead battleship of the Kongou class and proud warrior of the Sakura.”
“Spare me,” Tennessee demanded, her guns still trained on the other blonde battleship.
“Thank you Tennessee, but let’s not antagonize her further. I don’t think I need to tell you what you’d do if California looked like that,” Thorson guessed. Tennessee accepted the point and tipped her cap. Her sister had needed a couple bandages and a drink before heading back out to participate in the rescue mission. That alone was reason to celebrate. “Kongou, I cannot say for sure but I will give you my best guess. Your sister’s cubes have expired… or they have been damaged in some way I don’t understand. Frankly I’m amazed her body is still holding on. We will do everything we can to help her.”
“Why should I trust you?” Kongou asked helplessly, watching as her sister’s entire left side was slowly covered in gauze. All she could do was give thanks that Hiei’s eyes, hair, and the majority of her face and body appeared undamaged.
“Other than the fact that you have no other option?” Thorson pointed out. “Because I want as many of you Sakura in my fleet as I can get. Your Siren masters need to be put in their place. Many of your comrades seem to agree.”
“Kongou, you can believe him,” Fusou added quietly from her bed, coughing quietly.
“You will forgive me if I do not take the words of a traitor so easily, shrine-keeper,” Kongou bowed politely. Fusou seemed unworried.
“I believe we will have some time as we travel home. If you will listen, I will tell you why Yamashiro and I fled the Sanctuary,” she promised. Kongou had no reply.
“How bad is it?” Thorson asked the chief bulin as Akashi returned with morphine, disinfectant, and more coolant.
“Unlikely she will fight again, buli,” the mechanic replied as Akashi nodded her head sadly.
“Akashi has not seen this since Amagi-sama fell ill. With luck we will not lose another. Shikikan, you are in the way please. Nyaa nyaa, what a mess.”
“Right, sorry,” Thorson muttered, finally tearing his eyes away from Hiei. By his orders a being of incredible grace and beauty had been permanently scarred. He suddenly felt as though he could remain no longer. On the way out to deck he passed a sleeping Cassin as well as Minneapolis and South Dakota, both of whom were resting and recovering. The battleship’s revealing attire showed off ample bruising, scrapes and cuts, but she remained defiant. “The two of you doing alright?”
“We’re Indians, Commander,” Minneapolis provided simply. “Your kind could not exterminate us. It would take a hell of a lot more than that to finish the job. It was a fine hunt though. I eagerly await our next one.”
“Let’s get ourselves recovered first, and then we’ll see about chasing down those foxes,” Thorson agreed, bringing a smile to Minnie’s face as she laid back and rested her head in her lap, indulging in a well-earned snooze on a surface more comfortable than any pillow, her own thighs. “Dakota?”
“I am well, Commander. A shield does not complain about such paltry things.”
“You are a woman, South Dakota, and one of the reasons we survived today’s action. I’ll be recommending you for combat honors when we return to the base,” he stated simply, knowing she preferred blunt conversation.
“That is the best news Foo and I have heard today, at least since we learned that Miss Houston is only lightly injured,” Kasumi added, her presence almost nothing as she tended gently to her battleship partner. Thorson had barely noticed she was there. “Congratulations, Miss Dakota.”
“I see,” the dark-skinned battleship replied, looking down at her hands. “Thank you, Commander.”
“Oh and before you go, Commander, there’s something you should know,” Minnie jumped back in. “That horned girl, Portland’s sister? She’s a bit of a mystery but there was no mistaking it in the thick of things. Her ability to read the wind and waves, the flow of battle… she’s one of us.”
“If that part of her identity becomes important to her, I’m counting on the two of you,” Thorson replied after a moment of consideration, earning salutes from the both of them before he left the med bay and headed onto deck. There he came face to face with Pennsylvania, who was leading a proud-looking woman with deep blue hair and tall rabbit ears.
“This is the other, Commander,” Penny stated, a bite in her voice. “She removed her own shard.”
“She did what?” Thorson demanded, immediately turning a furrowed gaze to Soryuu and looking over every inch of her. “We will speak later. Your sister is alive and asleep inside. Penny, take her to Tennessee and then get yourself checked out. Damn fine work today, you and Arizona.”
“Thank you, Andrew. I’m glad you survived too,” Pennsylvania replied unabashedly. “Alright bunny girl, you heard him. Move it.”
Soryuu complied silently, her eyes not leaving Thorson’s until the rotation of her neck forced her to look forward again. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, the Commander began a trip around the Akashi’s deck, not wanting to occupy any of his girls with the pointless task of carrying him from ship to ship while so much was in flux. At the bow of the ship he saw her, the one woman who had destroyed his confidence and yet saved his fleet. She turned as his footfalls approached, brushing her jagged hairdo out of her eyes.
“Knight Commander? To what do I owe the honor?” Ark Royal asked.
“You mean other than tangling with four of the most powerful carriers in the Sakura navy and coming out on top?” he laid it out with a thin smile, one that she returned as he halted a few inches from her. The stiff breeze made the proximity necessary for calm conversation.
“I had help, Knight Commander,” Ark demurred humbly, leaning heavily on her rifle. Her shoulder armor was chipped and cracked in various places, and her long cloak and short skirt were in terrible condition. Were it not for her distress, it would have been sinfully alluring. “Those battleships and cruisers of yours really pack a punch.”
“Here,” Thorson insisted, throwing her arm over his shoulder and providing her with a fresh bottle of coolant he’d taken with him from the medical wing. “I’m sure you’re sick of it by now, but no one’s working the kitchens.”
“It’s more than enough. Thank you,” Ark accepted with grace, allowing her rigging to vanish as she drank deeply. Thorson spoke up again.
“I was wrong, you know.”
“About what, Knight Commander?”
“Without you, without airpower, my battleships would have fallen today. You worked for weeks to master a plane you were never meant to launch. You managed to equip them with anti-ship weaponry when it mattered most. And I’ll wager three month’s salary that you have a higher aircraft kill count than Enterprise and her sisters combined in this theater. That’s not a lot of money by the way,” he admitted openly. Ark laughed well before clutching at her side and looking him in the eye.
“I wasn’t expecting this when you said you were going to use me, Knight Commander.” Her voice was a bare whisper, but it might as well have been a bullhorn. Unsure what else to do he leaned in and brushed his nose against hers. Ark closed her eyes before stiffening as though she’d been shocked by a live wire. “Y-you certainly have more important things to do than sit here and prop me up, Knight Commander!”
“I should probably go oversee the prisoner transfer, yes. And you don’t need me interrupting your recovery and invading your privacy,” he rationalized awkwardly. She nodded with vigor.
“Yes, yes of course. I’ll recover and get back to it. The sooner we get back to work. Yes, that’s right.” Ark and Thorson swallowed heavily. It was much more uncomfortable than lust or even love as they waited and watched one another. Eventually she did speak again, earnestly. “We should get home as soon as we can. I worry about the little ones.”
“I know, and we will,” he affirmed with equal honesty, leaning in and kissing her for real. He did not know what it was like to kiss one’s wife. The way things were going he wasn’t sure he’d ever know. But something in the way Ark’s lips lingered tenderly and lovingly on his tricked his brain for that moment, tricked him into believing they were the lips of the mother of his children. “Thank you Ark, for everything.”
“G-Godspeed, Knight Commander,” she gasped quietly. “I’ll find you if I need anything.”
“Good… I’m sorry,” he apologized for not having anything else to say. Ark laughed. It was not triumphant or jovial, not ridiculing or humorous, just a simple and beautiful testament to the fact they were both alive and able to fulfill the promise they’d made to Mutsuki, Kisaragi, and Mikazuki.
“I’m not, Knight Commander. Now go, before we both abandon our duties.”
“As you say, Ark.”
-----
“Keep trying, Downes! Those planes are well ahead of us!” Javelin encouraged as the two of them along with Yuudachi and Yukikaze sprinted over the waves to the east, desperately searching for Enterprise’s task force. Downes was attempting to hail them on Union channels but up until then had met with no reply. Looming over the four of them was the unknown result of Hiryuu’s ‘suicide’ attack and the fate of the Union navy.
“I am trying!” the tomboyish destroyer insister, laying into her radio again and channeling as much power as she could into it without sacrificing speed. “This is the USS Downes for Enterprise, hell, for anyone who’s left! There is one final air strike coming from the west! The main Sakura battle group has been defeated and Commander Thorson requests a rendezvous at Midway. Please respond!” After another few minutes of silence she pounded the controls on her bridge. “For the love of my mismatched eyes, say something! The battle is over and we want to help!”
Yuudachi barked happily as the radio finally crackled to life in reply.
“I saw those eyes myself! It’s her! Downes, this is Enterprise! Yorktown is… please help!”
“Yeah, that’s the idea,” Downes assured her, feeling her engines thrum with anticipation. “Give us your coordinates! We’ll escort you all to Thorson. He’s rounding up the Sakura we took prisoner right now.”
Enterprise complied immediately, apparently over the wishes of her own commanding officer based on the disgruntled shouting. The four destroyers adjusted heading slightly south and put on a final burst of speed. Within minutes, a column of smoke could be seen on the distant horizon. Yukikaze sighed sadly. “I think we found those planes, nanoda.”
“Forget the planes!” Yuudachi shouted in between audible sniffs of the air around them. “Yuki, I smell slugs.”
“They wouldn’t, they couldn’t!”
“Just smell!” the snowy inu demanded. Yukikaze’s reaction was immediate.
“Oh crap crap crap! They’re here, nanoda!”
“Who’s here?” Javelin demanded.
“Union ships, this is Yuudachi! I don’t know what you’re doing but if you don’t have depth charges in the water you best start launching them before you all get blown to the gods, wan~!”
“Shit, submarines?” Downes deduced.
“But that’s- how did they get past my sonar?” Javelin demanded.
“Not they, she!” Yukikaze clarified as they hurried towards the Union formation where cruisers and destroyers were scrambling to respond to Yuudachi’s warning. “Hey, doesn’t that ship there belong to the sassy Union cat?”
“She? You mean one lone submarine? What could one ship hope to do?” Downes demanded. “And what’s that gotta do with Hammann?”
The answer to that question became clear as the Hammann and Yorktown, tethered together as the former tried desperately to save her friend who had endured more than should have been expected of any one carrier, were struck by torpedoes from an unknown source. “Why is it the one time I’m right it’s really bad, wan?” Yuudachi lamented in frustration.
“Forget that, doggy! We have to save the Union cat, nanoda!”
“What about Yorktown?!” Javelin demanded, watching as the ship finally succumbed to weeks’ worth of damage.
“She isn’t like us! The Union can save her! Us dogs and cats need to stick together!” Yuudachi insisted.
“Shigure is still a baka-inu!” Yukikaze insisted.
“Not the time, girls!” Downes shouted. “Now move!”
Contrary to Yuudachi’s optimistic claim, there was little the Union shipgirls could do to save Yorktown without rigging of their own. Only Hammann, who had directly boarded the ship, was at her side, crying and clinging to her as she felt her ship sinking. “Come on Yorktown! Please, we have to go!”
“Oh you sweet child,” Yorktown whispered heavily, feeling the weight of a lifetime at war slowly lowering her eyelids. She petted Hammann between the ears as Grim landed on her shoulder, a stern look in her eyes. “Go to her, my friend. I may be lost, but the battle is won. The day is ours and my sister must now bear the torch forward. I know how much I’m asking of you but with Hornet gone… you must be at her side.”
With a haunting cry, the bald eagle nipped affectionately at Yorktown’s finger once before taking flight, circling the sinking carrier as her calls served as something of a funeral dirge. With her constant companion taken care of, Yorktown embraced Hammann and kissed the top of her hair. “And now you must leave, my dear. There is still more for you to do in this war, I know it.”
“I can’t! I won’t!” Hammann insisted tearfully. “Sims… I can’t lose you and Sims!”
“We will never truly be lost, so long as you survive, little one. You and my sister and everyone else will keep us alive in your memory. Please, don’t let my fate be yours,” the elder carrier implored, feeling the steel beneath them shudder and snap. “Now go.”
“Noooo!” Hammann wailed, closing her eyes tightly as an explosion ripped through the Yorktown’s hull and her world went dark. By the time Yuudachi and Yukikaze fished her out of the water near the wreckage, only Grim’s constant circling was left to mark the location, her calls a testament to the Union carrier who had only been brought down by the combined efforts of no less than six Sakura ships. Yukikaze shook Hammann’s body vigorously, willing her to wake. The neko’s lips were blue and her clothing was soaked. Every worry she felt for her own sisters, lost somewhere on the other battlefield, bubbled to the surface as Javelin joined her and Downes met with Enterprise to give directions to the Union fleets.
Escorts on highest alert, the task forces finally turned for Midway Atoll at full steam. Downes allowed Enterprise to mourn her sisters privately, mumbling her own exhortations that Cassin would make it through another awful battle. Burdened by Enterprise’s top cruising speed, the only thing left for her to do was to set her ship to autopilot and board the Yukikaze, gathering around her three compatriots as they attempted to warm and revive Hammann. When the neko finally opened her pale blue eyes to find Yorktown gone, coughing and spluttering as brackish water left her lungs, she succumbed to tears that did not relent until they reached Midway.
-----
“Shikikan, Arizona needs your help, nyaa,” Akashi poked him awake and conveyed the news quietly, delivering several blankets and a pack of coolant to him. “She requested these, now go go.”
He nodded silently, standing from the Spartan chair that he’d nevertheless managed to fall asleep in within the medical wing. All around him ships were resting and sleeping as his fleet slowly made its way back to Midway under cover of night. There were plenty of prisoners to account for, but Arizona’s needs came first. Ships like Kongou weren’t going anywhere. Outside he found Arizona waiting for him, her rigging out. She gathered up the items and made to depart with barely a word, but Thorson’s hand on her shoulder stopped her.
“Angel,” he whispered. She seemed almost eager to get back to her ship, but spared a moment for him.
“I’m fine, Andrew,” she promised, her bright, teal eyes glinting in the sparse moonlight.
“Alright. Thank you for today. You saved us all, again,” he reminded her. She turned back his way and pressed up against his body, driving away any chill from the air and accepting a kiss tenderly.
“Yukikaze’s sisters are not doing well, Commander. I need to go now,” she insisted. He saw her to the edge of the deck before letting her depart.
“You’re sure you don’t need my help?” he asked.
“I have Laffey and Z23 with me, Andrew. Thank you for the supplies. I love you.” Thorson was not given a chance to return her words before she was gone, left instead to wonder at the fate of Urakaze and her sisters, not to mention what sort of tragedies awaited when the stack of wisdom cubes they’d collected was finally sorted into hulls and souls. He didn’t know how many of his own girls would have to live with the knowledge that they’d slain their own sisters or comrades. All he could do was wait for the dawn, when he hoped Yamashiro and Fusou would be willing to assist him in his awful task. He wasn’t sure if it was the stress of battle, the relief of survival, or both, but he actually managed a heartless chuckle into the night.
“I wonder what Vampire would have to say about all this?”
-----
Commander Thorson’s sleep was as restless at the battle itself. A charitable individual would attribute it to the carnage of Midway. One less inclined to the benefit of the doubt would have pointed out that it was the first night in many he’d not spent with a loving companion to warm his bed. In a stunning display of mercy that convinced him every damn ship in his fleet was worthy of combat honors, his girls had spent the night making longer and longer trips back to the scene of the battle from Thorson’s fleet to retrieve human survivors from the Sakura wreckage. Stashed aboard the charred but floating Hiei, they were the last thing on his mind when he re-entered the med bay. Many of the girls, though he knew ship-women would be a better name, were looking at him. Many others still rested. He walked quietly over to Fusou and Yamashiro’s bedside where a table sat between them, laden with wisdom cubes collected after Midway. “How are you two doing?”
“We are well, tono-sama,” Fusou assured him. “Akashi, the bulins, and even the manjuus have been good to us.”
As if on cue, a small flock of the birds arrived in the open doorway, chirping quietly as they carried more secret coolant to all the bedsides in need. Pennsylvania accepted one and sat up in bed, rolling her shoulder. The crack was audible but she smiled widely. “Really going to be happy to get back to Shiratsuyu’s cooking.”
“You’re not the only one,” Thorson assured her. Perhaps on account of fear or weakness he forestalled his grim task that morning as Midway and the Union task forces became visible on the southern horizon with the light of dawn. “Fusou, can I ask you a question?”
“You need not be so formal, tono-sama,” the elder sister replied as Yamashiro claimed her share of morning attention and snuggled up to his right side. She earned herself a petting between the ears for her troubles.
“Is there a term in your language for what you are, for a shipgirl? It’s such a… misnomer in English,” he explained. “Especially after what we all just went through.”
“Kansen,” Fusou replied simply. “We are the kansen.”
He smiled faintly. “I like that a lot more. Now, will you help me with this?”
“We both will, tono-sama. This is our duty,” Yamashiro offered bravely as he turned his chair around so his back faced the rest of his fleet. Union and Sakura alike looked on as the score was finally settled. Perhaps on account of their connection to the gods or their former comrades, it took but a moment for the two neko maidens to sort the pile into cubes that Thorson could use as raw material, ten in all, and cubes that had belonged to living kansen not days before. Yamashiro’s ears wilted as she picked up the first one. “This was Chikuma. She had blue eyes and was very kind.”
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, taking the cube from her and holding it in his hands. If any soul remained within, he could not reach or even sense it. “Does she have sisters among our fleet?”
“Here is her sister,” Fusou said calmly, though her eyes held great sorrow as another cube was offered to him. They seemed to glow just a bit brighter when held together in his hands. “Tone was the elder. She reminded me of Soryuu in many ways, serious and committed to her training.”
“God damnit,” Thorson muttered, setting the cubes aside so that they could be together while they carried on. The process didn’t get easier from there. “Who are those?”
“Yukikaze and Shiranui’s sisters,” Yamashiro replied. “Nowaki and the eldest, Kagerou.”
“Shit,” the commander lamented. “At least Arizona managed to salvage the other four. We’ll make sure they receive proper rights and that the living can participate.”
“Thank you, tono-sama,” Fusou said as more and more of the kansen stirred from various states of rest, listening with somber curiosity. The shrine maiden looked past him to another bed in the infirmary. It held the young woman he’d seen through his binoculars the day before. He’d given the order to fire at the whites of her eyes. “Mogami, the eldest of her sisters. I’m sorry, Suzuya.”
The young, horned woman said nothing, hanging her head and clutching the bedsheets with bandaged fingers. Her sword had been taken from her the moment she’d been rescued by the Union forces. There was naught she could do but mourn as her sister’s cube was placed gently at her side. She didn’t dare address the enemy commander, even as he offered his condolences. “Please tell me this is the last one,” he implored when he returned to Yamashiro. She nodded.
“It’s a battleship, Haruna,” the neko told him with drooping tail and ears. A choked sob came from down the row of beds near where Soryuu and Hiryuu were resting under guard. Thorson stood, and the kansen rose to meet him, the same one who had lamented Hiei’s marred body the night before. Kongou was breathing heavily, trying to control herself as far too many eyes watched her. After an eternity he stood before her and offered Haruna’s cubes. Blinking back tears she took them from him.
“When we return to my base you’ll be given an opportunity to lay her to rest in your own tradition, even if you choose to remain a prisoner,” he promised. Kongou could not bring herself to reply, and was spared an extended moment of tension, fear, and sorrow as a commotion made itself known at the doorway to the medbay.
“Knight Commander, we’re back! Come quickly, it’s… Kongou?!” Javelin gasped.
“J-Javelin?” the battleship whispered, something of a British accent slipping through in response to Javelin’s own. Thorson glanced between the two of them curiously.
“You know her, Javelin?”
“I was constructed in Royal Navy shipyards,” Kongou answered directly, though she averted her eyes when he tried to hold contact.
“Oh for the love of- The two of you can have tea later!” Downes yelped. “Now move! Cassin, please tell me you’ve still got all your limbs this time!”
Thorson cursed himself for having sent Downes away without thinking of her sister, but the moment the spunky, ashen-haired destroyer confirmed her sister was on the mend she turned his way. “Commander, the leaders of Task Forces 16 and 17 are waiting for you on shore.”
Every Kansen who could watched with bated breath as Thorson squared his shoulders. He hoped Colorado and her sisters were not already antagonizing anyone. “What’s the score, Downes?”
The destroyer licked her lips nervously and met Tennessee’s eyes. The frowning battleship didn’t move a muscle but she gave Downes the resolve she needed to be the reaper’s messenger. “We weren’t fast enough, Andrew.”
Thorson pulled his cap low over his brow as Downes walked forward and clasped his hand gently. He squeezed tight, felt how warm she still was. “How bad?”
“Hornet and Yorktown are gone.”
-----
Previous First
submitted by SabatonBabylon to AzureLane [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 19:40 whitedrizzles 2k MT review and suggested changes. I did post this in the feedback post but would also like to post in a post itself to get feedback on what y’all think.

MT FEEDBACK
Domination: adjust slider difficulty/change 3 star rating difficulty.
Explanation: So for HOF difficulty, successfully beating them consistently, requires a full ruby team that primarily scores in the paint. This removes all fun from the game mode, teaches bad player behavior, and is subject to 50/50 drives/rebound put backs at the rim. Shooting in this mode is disgustingly bad. Even shooting open, hot zone area, jumpers with the top 3pointer shooters released right now (Allen,houston, klay+steph bonus) results in maybe 25% makes; this even with great shot stick etiquette, great button release. There’s no reason gold Markelle Fultz should be able to squirm around my picks set by Gold brick wall shaq and Ben Wallace so easily, lock up my diamond Gary Peyton/ Michael Jordan, while also being able to shoot contested 3’s and make them (this is just artificial difficulty that tosses out all gameplay logic for the reason of “this makes it harder”). These reasons packed on with the added frustration of the evo players not being worth the challenge. As you already have to have a pretty stacked team to beat any of the teams, evo players require you to waste playing other modes on pro difficulty to even gather stats for them to reach their potential; this in turn adds to the lack of motivation/desire/want to even put in the time to receive these players. Couple that with the outlandish difficulty settings, these evo players are useless in all other modes (most of them even still useless after evolving). My personal opinion? This incentives people to use, purchase, VC in order to gain better players from packs. If that’s the case truly, it’s a horrendously dirty tactic by the 2k company.
Auction house: Needs a total makeover as a whole but at the very least needs to fix these:
Explanation: The badge search glitching, update player bids more effectively to see actual current price point, and update player cards (in general, but specifically in the auction house) to show dynamic duo partners on card art; currently the only way to view players dynamic duo partner name is to view without comparing another card to it or look online, this is more-so a quality of life improvement.
Disconnections: kinda self explanatory, there should be no reason why two people with great connections disconnect from the game constantly. Half the challenge of completing galaxy opal pack challenge in Unlimited is finding 12 games in a row that won’t end abruptly or start up and DC before the game even starts giving one of the players a loss or win.
Online play: if the opposing player quits, a W should be rewarded and contracts returned.
Explanation: you actively lose MT playing online because of this.... look IMO we should have quit the contract system years ago but whatever. Someone who quits in the first quarter shouldn’t take away from my contracts and cause me to lose 1-3k MT every 3 or so games. Adds a sense of frustration even though you get one W closer to that pack.
Season battle pass/rewards thing: we need to add general xp for wins.
Explanation: I’m not speaking about tons of Xp or anything, but a flat 50-100 xp reward for every online win needs to be a thing. And I mean wins in unlimited, not triple threat(that would be abused wayyyyy to easily). Auction house is being flooded by insane prices for silvers and gold cards only because of daily/weekly challenges that get released. As a whole, I don’t mind bad cards getting some usage but because there is not other way to gain xp and the rate is so slow. Consider this; 150k for pink diamond steph curry. Even halfway through the pass (I’m lvl 26 atm) I still need 120k+ to finish the season. The added Of say, 100xp per win, would still require me to win 1200 online unlimited games before I finished off the season.
Save favorite plays and offense/defense setting: add the ability to customize hot key plays/offensive adjustments and defense plays/adjustments to “Coaching” section in lineups.
Explanation: there’s no reason why every game, literally every single offline and online, I should have to spend 1 minute of my pause clock on re-applying my plays. This should be a customizable option/setting in the lineups menu to conserve and enhance;play time, game plans, coaching menu(which only lets you alter minutes????), and quality of life experience for players.
Evo players: the above mentioned reasons. Also, and this may be to early of a complaint/request since it’s still so early in the game, give us more evo evolution options.
Explanation: After seeing my shaq choices and hearing about the other starter evos having different “paths” to evolve and really give customization I was hyped! Imagine my disappointment when even after finishing off domination I find out there aren’t other cards with selected evolutions? I’m sure we’ll get more cards like the starters eventually, but it’s a great concept and I truly hope it doesn’t get wasted by a lack of care/interest by the 2k team.
Final thoughts: There are other issues plaguing MT this year but these concerns are what I feel like need to be addressed immediately! I’m trying to be understanding with the 2k team as they are working on next gen still, covid is hurting all development teams everywhere, and their main focus isn’t MT..... that said, we’ve had the same auction house format(plagues by the same issues every year) and has constantly been requested to fix/change, the badge glitching for players and the auction house is unacceptable, and the artificial difficulty setting of HOF really has discouraged soooo many players to even have fun with this mode this year. Not everyone is a MT sweat like me and others, some just wanna play the offline mode casually and enjoy it but when I speak with friends they constantly bring up these issues and have given up or almost completely done with MT this year.
submitted by whitedrizzles to MyTeam [link] [comments]


2020.09.11 13:48 jensyao over-analyzing Nas lines outside the scope of rapgenius: Jay ft Nas - Success

When Nas overthinks his lyrics, we overanalyze...that's just part of the game we play as listeners when deciphering Nas' lyrics: https://www.reddit.com/nas/comments/iio9um/nas_overthinking_the_songs_hes_writing_what_do/
I'll paint a brief picture with this one...again, when the verses were recorded for 2007, none of this had happened, so this is why this is outside the scope and a preview of things to come
https://genius.com/5202
On Jay's American Gangster album, Nas said:
  • But I don't give a fuck, walk inside the lion's den...Up your catalog, dog, mine's worth too much/Like Mike Jacks ATV pub, Mottola can't touch
The original annotation says:
Nas is bragging about how much his catalog of songs is worth, comparing it to Michael Jackson’s ATV Music Publishing (owner of The Beatles‘ songs and others). The 'Mottola can’t touch’ refers to an incident in 2001 when Sony Music Entertainment, headed by Tommy Mottola, unsuccessfully tried to take all of Jackson’s music rights
Sony is also the parent company of Columbia Records, Nas' old label. He could be saying that, like MJ, Tommy Mottola can’t touch his publishing either. Whether or not this boast is true remains to be seen…
Owning your publishing and owning your masters are two different things, with publishing being more lucrative. Master rights typically belong to either the artist(s), record label, recording studio, or any other party who financed the recording. Publishing rights belong to the owner of the actual music composition.
Michael Jackson had so much money that he bought many cataloges in his lifetime: the Beatles, Sly and the Family Stone, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin.
Eminem is known to get into his Slim Shady persona as a single to launch is upcoming album with "my name is" for "slim shady LP", "The Real Slim Shady" for "marshal mather's LP", "Without Me" for "The Eminem Show", "Just Lose It" for "Encore", onward etc, because causing controversy gets free publicity for the album. Eminem for "just lose it" made fun of Michael Jackson's alleged pedophilia but in the music video, Eminem was explicitly warned not to portray that but instead made fun of Michael Jackson's hair catching on fire for the pepsi commercial and his nose. Michael Jackson got pissed and bought the publishing to eminem's back catalog so whenever Eminem decides to make music, Micheal Jackson gets paid...this is how you settle beef on the business side, you don't make a diss record for them to respond back, you buy their publishing so they work for you...this demotivation and Proof dying just made Eminem take a leave of absence from rap in 2006. People from the black community still look up to Michael Jackson and when he made those moves, people paid attention.
When eminem was set to come back in 2009 with his lead singles 3AM/We Made You to start off his album, Michael Jackson mysteriously died later that same year....How is it that singers who own their master's like MJ, whitney houston, and Prince die so mysteriously? and then some record publishing company quietly takes a stake in their publishing years later? MJ was the first to die unexpectedly because MJ owned the masters to other people as well, and then came Whitney in 2012, and then Prince in 2016....
OK, let's take a tangent to talk about the record industry and record executives...they are egotistical, maniacal, and power hungry cut throat entities....when sound recording was invented in 1860 and slavery was abolished in 1865, blacks had to find work any way possible and some of them migrated up north to detroit to join the auto industry. Other stayed in their cities...Record labels saw black talent and paid them next to nothing where before there was color TV, you could only hear the voices, so black acts had to sound white for white bands to lipsync and cover their music for the music to have universal appeal because of their complexion. Because the record industry started and capitalized on literally ex-slave labor, the deals were horrendous from the beginning, because the labels and the record executives owns the lion share of the profits and the artist get paid enough to keep making music but remain relatively poor...they get paid in "fame points" like reddit/genius authors get paid in "internet points".
You don't hear about record executives unless they make significant news...you think suge knight was cut throat? At least suge knight was vocal about his actions. the record executives like Tommy Mottola was once married to Mariah Carey but when Mariah divorced him, Mottola did everything in his power to sabotage Mariah's career and if it wasn't for Mariah's talents and her appeal to the r&b community, her career might have folded with Mottola's influence driven by revenge and obsession. As the original annotation says, Mottola unsuccessfully tried to take Jackson's publishing rights back to Sony, which is also a parent to Columbia, Nas' label at the time. Mottola basically took a then industry plant Jennifer Lopez and pit her against Mariah Carey by trying to appeal to the r&b market to the point of using the same samples to sabotage Mariah Carey's singles. JLo has many times where she was caught lipsyncing to other singer's vocals, most notably Ashanti's, for I'm Real remix, and most of her collaborations with murder inc...on some songs, it obviously doesn't even sound like JLo was singing, such as Get Right...and this was all for Mottola to get back at Mariah for their divorce because every time Mariah is trying to release an album or staging her comeback, JLo somehow comes out lipsyncing to another ghost singer's hit record around the same time.
In addition, Jimmy Iovine, the head of interscope, was infamously associated for calling the Feds to raid Murder Inc's offices with their association with drug trafficker Supreme so that Ja Rule could not respond to 50 Cent's diss on "Back down" due to the Fed's monitoring their actions until a full year was passed with "Clap Back" because Ja Rule was a huge artist at the time and Jimmy Iovine needed extra insurance that the new artist 50 Cent was to win his beef with Ja Rule. Jimmy was quoted that he was a business man who will snitch if it is to his advantage in front of 50 Cent in 50 Cent's new book, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. What make Iovine relevant in this situation is that the Shady imprint was held under Interscope, and Iovine was probably pulling some puppet strings to get Eminem's catalog out the grasp and influence of MJ's possession and his top money maker Eminem who crosses over into mainstream audience into White America need to be incentivized to work for the record labels to earn more money.
Basically, record labels and record executives are the puppet master of things that move behind the scenes of why some artists get a lot of funding and others' career fold unexpectedly. Their seek for control for publishing rights and 360 deals is how also people who own their masters die unexpectedly and the label then quietly recoup the master's years later...like how Sony finally acquires MJ's publishing through his estate years later in 2018 with no fanfare or announcement because back when MJ was alive in 2001, Mottola tried but failed, which is what Nas was referring to.
OK, now back to Nas and Jay. In 1996, Jay sampled Nas on Dead Presidents and he wanted Nas to redo the vocals because the clean acapella removed the f-word for "I'm out for dead fucking presidents to represent me" for Jay to sample, but Nas was big at the time and didn't want to cosign a rapper without a record out. Only in the Q-tip remix and later in the 10th anniversary remixes does Nas drop the f-word on that dead presidents line. Nas does not use the f-word on the original Illmatic version of 'The World Is Yours'...this also is deep because Nas said that Dead Presidents' line in 1994 for "the world is yours q-tip remix", and in 1995 comes out a movie called Dead Presidents....and Jay was strategic with dropping Dead Presidents I and II as a single to match the movie's title but the single is not associated with the movie....hey where have we seen this move again? Jay did the same thing for American Gangster in 2008 as he did for Dead Presidents in 1996....He named his album/single after a movie for free promotion as an unofficial soundtrack/single where he was inspired by and piggy backed on that name for the album to carry more weight because the movie industry did more of the advertising for the same title and people would confuse Jay's CD for the official soundtrack. Back in 1996, Jay did this for his single instead of a whole album.
When Jay threw a jab at Nas at summer jam, Nas dropped H to the omo freestyle on rakim's paid in full beat and got Rakim's blessing, and nas said "I count off when you sampled my voice"...Jay responded to those lyrics and completed his Nas verse on Takeover by saying "You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song...I know who I paid, God–Serchlite Publishing". Jay owned his master's at Rocafella and Nas didn't but now Nas does with Mass Appeal records with his recent projects and somehow, Jay is in a 360 deal with Live nation but still owns his master's...when Takeover dropped, people were praising Jay for his bars where you had to think about what he was saying when he paid Serchlite Publishing to sample Nas because owning your master's and publishing was not big in Hip Hop at the time and Jay used his business savvy to claim superiority over Nas. And Nas came back on his verse for "Success" by saying that nobody can touch his publishing because he catalog is too expensive, almost as a jab back at Jay for sampling his voice that easily, and you had to think about that bar for the sake of who owns whose publishing, and mind you, Nas did his response jab when featured on a Jay-Z track, so whenever they perform it together, Jay gets to hear it live every time
With that stage set, let the publishing ownership games begin...2Pac infamously dissed Jay on "Fuck Friendz" released posthumously among other songs like the original version of 'Hit Em Up' and 'Watch Yo Mouth' and Jay had to pay 2Pac's estate when Kanye made the same beat for '03 Bonnie and Clyde' off 'Me and My Girlfriend'....when 2Pac's mother unexpectedly died in 2016, this was another mysterious death because she held the publishing rights to 2Pac with Amaru Records and she was primed to release another 2Pac album but it kept on delaying because of the poor reception to "Pac's Life's" singles/collaborations and some fans did not like Eminem's interpretation of 2Pac music either on "Loyal to the Game", where eminem wasn't an apt producer because he had to speed up 2Pac's vocals to fit the tempo of the instrumental and butchered 2Pac's voice to shout out G-unit and Jadakiss, when they weren't even on 2Pac's radar when he was alive. With 8 years of not releasing another 2Pac album or a documentary/soundtrack to commemorate 2Pac to generate money, there was also money mismanagement, where they were going to build a 2Pac Amaru institute in Georgia but the funding to that construction collapsed. Afeni Shakur had a suspicious death as well, where finally 2Pac's estate was up for auction without anybody blocking it to the point that 2Pac's car that he got shot in in Las Vegas was also put up for auction.
So Roc Nation and Jay Z ended up buying 2Pac's publishing for $385 million, realize that 2Pac's catalog is huge with his work ethic and he has a ton of unreleased songs, where they had the intention to drop another 2Pac album yet still to release. “We’ve purchased one of Hip-Hops greatest icons music which would make us one of the largest record labels in the world. We have a plan set in motion to release a new Tupac album in 2016 titled, ‘And Now I Rise’ which will feature Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion), Drake, Nas, The Dream, DMX, Beyonce and of course Jay-Z. The album will be produced by Dr. Dre and Timbaland.” Again, people pay attention, it's no coincidence that this all happened. Jay brought MJ to summer jam and dissed Nas in 2001. Mottola unsuccessfully tried to buy MJ's catalog in 2001 for Sony but Sony eventually did in 2018...If you go by the way MJ handled Eminem, he didn't make songs to diss Eminem for making fun of him, MJ bought his catalog and that is how you really win beefs. So Jay bought 2Pac's catalog as a business move but also as a score to settle for being dissed by 2Pac. And what did Jay do with 2Pac's catalog? Nothing but sit on it and sometimes clear samples for other artists but that's it...no new 2Pac verses or songs/albums any time soon, and it's been 4 years since the announcement? It's not like a Jay Electronica situation where we had to motivate the artist to create the songs...2Pac's vocals have already been laid and it's up to the producer to recreate the instrumentals and match them with the correct collaborations. It was more of a business move and an ego trip for Jay to win that silent war he's been having with 2Pac's estate and to finally get rid of that chip off his shoulders more than anything.
I hope you understand how big of a chip Jay-Z still thinks he got on his shoulders...he has an unreleased diss record for 2Pac that he performed once live at the Apollo where the track never resurfaced out of respect of 2Pac's death. He bought 2Pac's catalog so whatever Jay sampled from 2Pac goes back into Jay's pockets because Death Row was still not cool with Jay-Z at the time when Jay did 03 Bonnie and Clyde and Jay had to give away a lot of royalties to Death row for that song for him to remake it, and then Death row released Fuck Friendz, which dissed Jay-Z on track number 2 posthumously in 2001.
and Nas literally went into "the Lion's Den" when he signed to Def Jam when Jay was the label's president in 2006 and also he when he went on Jay's home turf when being featured on Jay's album for the first time in 2007 and dropped knowledge and bars out-rapping Jay on his own song. Why do you think Jay and Nas only perform Dead Presidents and The world is yous together? They barely perform Black Republicans and they almost never perform Success, where Jay also bit off Eminem on that same song...."I used to give a fuck, now I give a fuck less/What do I think of success? It sucks, too much stress/I guess I blew up quick/'Cause friends I grew up with"...that is an eminem line from "I'm Back"....."I used to give a – fuck, now I could give a fuck less/What do I think of suc-cess/It sucks, too much press I’m stressed/Too much cess, depressed, too upset/It’s just too much mess, I guess I must just blew up quick"....And Nas dissed Jay-Z on Ether for saying that "Eminem murdered you on your own shit" and now when you're finally collaborating with Nas, you start off your first verse biting Eminem to keep up with Nas? "my own flows are foolish" as Jay said on "what more can i say" when he was originally accused of biting Big as a response to mostly Nas' diss on Ether "how much of biggie's rhymes are gonna come out your fat lips?" and now Eminem?...yeah, about that, right?
So, present year. Nas drops King's Disease, where the symptoms most describes Jay, where Jay is in the position of a king but still have insecurities, like you can take jay out the hood but can't take the hood out of jay. If you read beyond the lyrics, the message was not for most listeners because most listeners have yet to rise to that position of King, which is why some critics aren't vibing with it..you're missing the point. The album's message is mostly directed at Jay, where if you go to my reddit timeline link of Jay's and Nas' beef, the timeline still have remnants of subtle jabs til this day, from insecurities and jealousies, to sabotaging release days, to limiting the time Nas has to write his verse before Jay had to turn it in so that Jay doesn't get murdered on his own track by Nas if Nas was given enough time to craft a better verse, to jabs in the title, etc.
Look, Nas had to write his verse for Success at 4AM in the morning in Canada after a show because Jay had to turn it in. Nas was clearly at a disadvantage to complete his verse and yet he still murdered his verse. That was a subtle limited time sabotage Jay did to Nas and Jay did it again for Nas' feature on BBC.
The point is, Nas on King's disease was asking why does do people want to kill Nas when he said "Can I floss without you wanting me outlined in chalk?" on the title track. As mentioned with the recent music related mysterious deaths, they all point to people owning the rights to their master's...MJ, Whitney, Prince, 2Pac's mother...and who else owns their master's? Most prominently Jay and Nas, among others. These artists alive are all at risk for mysterious deaths when they stop or slow down their music production because the music industry is always looking for martyrs to capitalize on their deaths once music production slows down or ceases for one last money grab. Nas never drops every year...he's used to dropping every other year. Nas knows what's up with the shady music industry with shadow puppet masters, record labels, and executives. Nas just can't outright say the dangers of what he is facing so he is forced to put it coded in music as a dog whistle for specific people to receive the message...he's upping his music production after he was freed of having the court system misinterpret his rap lyrics when he was fighting for child custody against Kelis. There are specific dangers of owning your own publishing because the industry will make moves behind the scenes to recoup your catalog. Jay is friendly competition and Nas sees a bigger threat in the industry with labels and record executives so he is addressing it to all 1-percent or 0.1-percent fortune owners who all have the king's disease, which basically flies over the heads of most audiences, as most Nas records do when they are initially released and they grow on you years later after you have matured to his stage to think about life's consequences at that level.
So yeah, given that Jay saw MJ's strategy of buying up people's catalog to win beefs outright, Jay is eyeing on Nas' catalog to purchase if he were to have an untimely death and then it would be declared that Jay won the ultimate war against Nas as he did against 2Pac. So this story revolves around Nas, 2Pac, Jay, MJ, and Eminem because they are the biggest money makers for the record industry and record labels and executives are always coming up with new strategies to do heinous things for the sake of more profit.
Nas basically made a prophetic statement in 2007 because he wants to have his music catalog so large with great money management and people so that nobody ends up buying the rights to Nas' catalog...so when Nas said that verse in 2007, he didn't own his own record label until 2012 and he took strides in investments and upping his catalog, which is why it is worth repeating again, because it was foreshadowing for things to come and some of Nas' goals have been realized since then:
  • But I don't give a fuck, walk inside the lion's den...Up your catalog, dog, mine's worth too much/Like Mike Jacks ATV pub, Mottola can't touch
When they performed 'success' at the Apollo, you can tell which lines Jay were feeling based on what Nas bars Jay rapped along to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp_K7Kg4AUM and as you clearly see, Jay did not recite the last bar at all, which is the one we just overanalyzed
submitted by jensyao to nas [link] [comments]


2020.09.05 12:40 nstav13 [Spoilers] The United States and Westward Expansion - Common Setting Discussions

A common trait Assassin’s Creed groups have is the constant theorizing about future settings, because historical tourism is one of the best parts of the series. This series of posts will act as a counter to my Mildly Obscure setting discussions, but rather than looking at a single point, I will be taking a broad setting that is popular and looking at several potential settings to explore within it. Today’s setting is the United States. I want to say that I personally am not a huge fan of the setting, and like WW2, worry about whether or not Ubisoft could actually tactfully do these settings, but due to the lore potential, I’m willing to discuss them. Most of these settings would suffer from issues that plagued Syndicate such as proximity to the modern-day causing fake events and characters to be made to avoid lawsuits, parkour issues from wide streets and small buildings, or painfully tall buildings, and poor weapon variety due to legal carrying restrictions.

Shays’ Rebellion
The American Revolution had a heavy toll on thousands of soldiers. Besides the loss of life and injuries, many men never received their full pay. In the early 1780s, this started to become a major issue, as men returning home from warlike Daniel Shay were being asked to pay large debts and taxes that they couldn’t afford because of the lack of pay. Many protests were held in Massachusetts from 1782 to 1785 against these taxes and to get the pay the veterans had earned. In August 1786, protestors organized to begin forcefully shutting down the courts. Government officials denounced the mob mentality but did nothing to stop it. Daniel Shays would start to organize more of these shutdowns and lead about 300 men to the Springfield Courts, which were then protected by William Shepard who held about 800 men at his command. After a day of demonstrations with no violence, Shepard led his men to the Springfield Armory due to rumors of the mob planning to attack it. By October of 1786 more protests had successfully shut down courts in Taunton, Great Barrington, and Concord. State officials now feared the violence and the potential for civil war and Samuel Adams worked with the state officials to draft a riot act to suspend habeas corpus and imprison the rioters without a trial while advocating for the execution of anyone who tried to rebel against the republic. With the new legislation in place, several of the movement’s leaders were arrested in eastern Massachusetts, causing 4,000 men to form an open rebellion against the “tyrannical state”.
The open rebellion caused Benjamin Lincoln to be granted money to form a militia and march west on January 19th. By that point, Shepard had amassed a local militia of 1200 men at the Springfield Federal Armory (a place he was not technically legally allowed to defend as a local militia)and Daniel Shays had coordinated with Luke Day to advance on the federal armory. Due to correspondence being stopped by Shepard’s men, Shays didn’t know Day was running late by a day and arrived at the armory on January 25th with no support from the west. Shepard had 2 cannons fired as a warning shot which scattered Shays forces. General Lincoln managed to track the army down to Pelham on the 4th of February during a snowstorm and capture about 150 men. Shay went into hiding as Lincoln’s army melted away from lack of funding. By the end of February, the 3000 man army dwindled to less than 200, and during that time a force of 200 men regrouped to attack Stockbridge on early February 27th. The remaining army eventually caught up with them in the night at Sheffield leading to the bloodiest battle of the rebellion with over 30 men killed, and 150 captured. Shays’ Rebellion was ultimately a failure, but it had a large impact on the creation of the modern US constitution and the creation of a standing army. I also think it may be interesting if Shay Cormac had taken the name Daniel Shays during the Revolutionary War to act as a Templar mole searching for the Piece of Eden George Washington would find and that the “little revolution” he referenced at the end of Rogue was not the French Revolution, but him orchestrating Shays’ Rebellion against the new republic that the Templars largely fought against. Daniel Shays would eventually die in 1825, and while Shay would be very old by that point, it would make sense to be that late due to Shay’s relationship with his grandson Cudgel.

War of 1812
America’s relationship with Britain continued to strain during the years following the Revolutionary War. Britain used its colonies in Canada to give supplies and aid to Native American tribes with the intent of those tribes attacking American settlers. By 1805 a confederation of Native Americans formed in the great lakes and would actively kill any European-American settlers. Leading this was Tecumseh who was the brother of the original mastermind of the confederation. This conflict would lead the American government to lead the Battle of Tippecanoe against Tecumseh in 1811, and hostilities only increased from there. During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain set up large blockades of ports to stop Americans from trading with the French. While enforcing this, British ships had killed dozens of Americans and impressed even more into service. On June 1st, 1812, President James Madison sent Congress a list of grievances the United States had with Britain, and 4 days later, Congress voted to declare war for the first time.
The first stage of the war primarily took place in the North East US and Canada. I’d personally say that this should be the bulk of the main map with cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec. And then we could see the other primary theatres as smaller self-contained maps. William Hull initially led the charge into Canada in early July of 1812, only to be chased back out by Shawnee natives combined with forces of the British Major General Isaac Brock who then laid siege to Detroit in August. Following Hull’s defeat, General William Henry Harrison took control of the American Armies and led them to victory in several battles around the Great Lakes, primarily against the Tecumseh Confederacy. On October 5th, 1813, Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames. The next year was a constant back and forth between Americans and British fighting over forts along the Canada-US border with several notable sieges at York (Toronto), Niagra, Fort Erie, and Plattsburgh. To the west, a series of battles were fought from 1812 to 1814 along the Mississippi River reaching down to St Louis.
The east coast of the US saw a lot of action during the war. Starting in 1812, the British set up a series of blockades around the US. The blockade ended up serving as a large way for Black Refugees to escape slavery and get to Canada where they’d be freed. It also gave partial control of the Chesapeake Bay, and despite attempts to fortify the Potomac River in 1813, by 1814 the British freed of the Napoleonic Wars sent more ships to the war in America, breaking through the fortifications. Their first major attack was the Burning of Washington DC in response to the Battle of York (Toronto) a year prior. The British then went north and led a land and naval battle at Baltimore (the naval bombardment of Baltimore was partially what inspired the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner). During the battle, the British General Ross was killed, leaving command to Colonel Arthur Brooke who after finishing the battle, commanded his troops and ships to New Orleans.
The Creek War was the southernmost war partially influenced by Tecumseh’s Confederacy. The Lower Creeks in Alabama had been trading partners for the US and Settlers, adopting many of their cultural practices, while the Upper Creeks controlled the rivers and were concerned about the loss of the culture and lifestyle to encroaching US settlers. Over the course of 2 years, General Andrew Jackson would lead US and Lower Creek troops against the Upper Creeks and ultimately gained 21 million acres for the US in what is now Alabama and Georgia. During this American General James Wilkinson took the city of Mobile and part of western Spanish Florida. At the end of 1814 and January of 1815, the British would lead multiple offenses against New Orleans and Mobile, losing each time. By that point, both the Americans and the British had sent delegates to Ghent to negotiate a stalemate. On December 24th the Treaty of Ghent was signed, but it wouldn’t be until February that the news reached America and the fighting ceased. The most lore we have is that every presidency was contested between Assassins and Templars and the first Templar President was Franklin D. Roosevelt. I do really like this period for opening up the capability of expanding Connor’s Story, tying up Shay, maybe meet Shay’s son. There’s a ton of lore possibilities here. We also know that the apple Connor dropped in the ocean was retrieved by the 20th century, so it’s possible that part of the heavy naval portion of this war and blockade was a British effort to search for the apple.

Mexican-American War
In 1836 the Texas Revolution saw Texas freed from Mexico to the chagrin of Santa Anna, the sitting Mexican President. 9 years later, the Texas Republic continued to face threats from Mexico which did not view them as sovereign; the United States, as a result, annexed Texas. Texas, however, still claimed more land than it owned, and Mexico refused to recognize this, leading to American President James K. Polk to send an emissary to Mexico City to negotiate to buy land on good faith while also sending American troops over the border with the intention of provoking an armed military response. It did, and after American troops were fired upon at Palo Alto, America declared the Mexican-American War on May 13th, 1846. The war itself was largely controversial, including Abraham Lincoln; and many northern abolitionists saw it as a way to strengthen slavery in the south.
The first campaign of the war was to capture what became New Mexico. Santa Fe was captured by August of 1846 but rebels in the area led small assaults and raids for another year until the Battle of Cienega Creek. Following this, General Kearny marched his troops across the Sonoran Desert to California. It took 3 months for news of the war to originally reach California, and when it did, American troops planted flags in San Francisco. American armies would lead several battles just outside San Diego and Los Angeles, with small rebels popping up near San Francisco, but California was largely conquered by January of 1847.
Throughout 1846 troops marched from San Antonio and Corpus Christi to be met with battles in Monterrey and Buena Vista. By March 9th, 1847 General Scott was ordered to bring the war to a close by President Polk by capturing Mexico City. Commodore Matthew C Perry arrived at Veracruz on March 24th and opened it up with a naval bombardment. Despite several soldiers coming down with Yellow Fever during the 12-day siege, General Scott pushed on to Puebla and then Mexico City with Santa Anna expecting the diseases to wipe out the army. After a stop at Puebla due to the sick, Scott marched on to the Battle for Mexico City, a week-long series of battles that left Scott the military governor of the city on September 15th, 1847. Santa Anna then attempted to besiege Puebla but failed due to the Battle of Huamantla lifting the siege in early October. Following the defeat, a new Mexican Government led by Manuel de la Pena y Pena ceded over military control from Santa Anna to General Jose Joaquin de Herrera. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2nd, 1848, with nearly 339 million acres of land given to the United States while the US paid $15 million dollars (approximately 5 cents per acre). Once again there’s next to no lore in this area, and we could see Shay’s son or Grandson be active during the war. That said, the United States was extremely aggressive during the war, and making assassins allied with either the US or Mexico could feel somewhat forced, as this was ultimately two countries fighting over land.

The Civil War
I personally don’t wish to discuss this setting too much, as I don’t believe Ubisoft could actually do this setting well, especially with the current lore. First of all, is the reasoning for the war. States' rights were ultimately the reason for southern secession; and slavery was the biggest of those concerns, and many smaller concerns revolved around slavery. Northern abolitionists had been sending over voters to commit voting fraud and try to force states below the Mason-Dixon line to not allow slavery. The Northern states refused to follow the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, multiple states were displeased with high federal spending, they had issues with the regulation of the banks which hurt southern states more than northern, Northern States ruled congress due to population density, and there were many questions about how the south would survive economically if slavery was abolished. While we all agree in the modern-day that slavery is wrong (and our assassin character should agree), people did not historically hold that view. And to be fair to their fears, following the civil war the southern economy did crash, affecting more than the 1% of land-owning slave owners. Even the now freed blacks had nowhere to go or anything to do because they spent their entire lives on plantations. This resulted in many blacks essentially becoming serfs for their former masters. Segregation and Jim Crow laws only increased after the civil war due to racism, and despite freed black men legally being able to vote, they rarely could because of new racist restrictions. The south wasn’t alone in enacting racist legislation though, as New York has been called the capital of Jim Crow. Northerners may have been against slavery, but that doesn’t mean they cared what came next. Templars were primarily behind the south and secession, while assassins backed the north and abolitionists. Abraham Lincoln’s election is what ultimately set off the secession despite not even being an abolitionist. He, despite being against slavery, agreed that it was sanctioned by the US constitution under the 10th amendment. He cared more about keeping the union together, and still, the south seceded. Lincoln couldn’t let that stand and put northern troops in Fort Sumter, squarely in southern territory. He loaded the fort with arms and rations enough to last a long siege. The newly forming Confederacy of the United States saw this as a threat and fired upon the fort. Just like with the Mexican American War, Lincoln could now claim that not only did he want to keep the Union whole, but the south fired first. Lincoln then (illegally) declared Martial Law in Maryland in order to make sure the capital (Washington DC) wasn’t surrounded by enemies.
Despite the Assassins backing the north, we know from the movie that Assassins also supported the south. Perhaps this was similar to how General Lee was a general for the confederacy because of his family ties despite being against slavery? Perhaps Assassins and templars in the South agreed about very real potential issues with civil rights in the wake of slavery’s abolition and felt the solution could be worked out more diplomatically. We also know Templars controlled major parts of the North. William “Boss” Tweed was the boss of Tammany Hall and played a major part in the Democratic Party’s organization and the corruption in New York City. He was also a Templar master who worked with Cudgel Cormac (the grandson of Shay), to orchestrate the New York City Draft Riots in 1863. An assassin, Varius, worked for the Union and delivered a PoE to General Ulysses S Grant. John Wilkes Booth, a templar affiliate, assassinated Abraham Lincoln and then was killed by assassins 12 days later. Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, would go on to ratify the 13th through 15th amendments. His presidency was also about when the gilded age began, a period of 30 years marred by mass corruption and monopoly overreach during intense industrialization. Personally, I don’t think Ubisoft should attempt this setting. The rampant racism, the debate over what was a state right, the rise of organizations like the KKK, the bloody battles, and intense politics all still heavily impact the united states. Some men and women today can still say that their grandparents were freed from slavery between 1863-1865. The racism and corruption that poured forth in the aftermath can still be felt by many within the United States, even if such institutions have been since criminalized. The Civil War can be a very sensitive topic to people all across the United States, and it should be handled sensitively. I think there can be some very nuanced lore about the assassins and templars' roles during the war and why they chose certain sides. But ultimately I do not trust Ubisoft to handle this setting well. Unity nor Syndicate maturely handled themes of extremism or marxism well, and Origins and Odyssey have just blatantly ignored a lot of historical sexism and slavery. Freedom Cry was about freeing slaves and yet the slave ship you board shows a handful of men all chained separately and sitting up rather than the barbaric and cruel reality of the transatlantic slave trade that intended to spread disease and filth to break the body and mind of the slaves. Ignoring Injustices does not respect them or what millions of people went through.

Cowboys, Outlaws, and Indians in the West
The United States is incredibly beautiful, and the current games in this series have barely scratched the surface. Luckily, the westward expansion and wars America waged against the Native Americans are not only full of potential for fantastic (and tragic) stories but also can showcase a lot of America’s landscapes.
Founded in 1850 by Allan Pinkerton in 1850 the Pinkerton Detective Agency was a private security force that rose to prominence during and after the civil war. They’re well known for investigating and causing the collapse of several unions, investigating murders, serving as bodyguards for Abraham Lincoln, and infiltrating the Molly Maguires (a secret Irish organization in Pennsylvania). They famously were hired to hunt down Jesse James, the Reno Gang, and Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. Outlaws were common in the south around Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Some like Jesse James and Black Bart were from farther North. Outlaws would generally prey on stagecoaches, trains, and banks, easy targets for quick money. Local sheriffs would then form posses to track down and bring the outlaws to justice. In cases of more notorious outlaws, detective agencies like the Pinkertons may be involved. Recently, however, the Pinkerton Agency has sued Rockstar for their portrayal in Red Dead Redemption 2; so it may not be possible to use them and we may see another Syndicate situation with Ubisoft making up fake gangs and agencies. Some towns and settlements began to pop up that supported outlaws. And these old west towns weren’t just down south in Texas and Arizona but stretched all the way north to the Dakotas, most famously including Deadwood where Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane died. Some other famous towns include Tombstone Arizona and Cody Wyoming. Arizona was home to a number of towns like Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff which was close to the Grand Canyon. Las Vegas existed as a small settlement in what is now Nevada, only a little to the west of the Grand Canyon, but wasn’t founded officially until 1905. California is home to Death Valley and part of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts while also holding massive mountains and rolling hills covered in redwoods. To the east were cities like Albuquerque and John Cross ranch (now Truth or Consequences) in New Mexico, Amarillo, El Paso, Austin, Houston, and Dallas in Texas. North of Arizona is Utah, home of the Mormons and Salt Lake City, containing Arches National Park. Right next door is the rocky mountains and Denver that was founded during the gold rush. Wyoming contains Grand Teton, Devil’s Tower, and Yellowstone. Montana and the Dakotas are filled with forests and stunning hills and landmarks like the Badlands. Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa are largely flat open plains, home of large cattle ranches and cowboys, and easy targets for the outlaws while Louisiana is just a flat swamp. East of the Mississippi are still some plains until you reach the Appalachians which border the east Coast. The only place I’d say we should go that’s east of the Mississippi is Detroit, which was called the Paris of the West and home to the Pinkertons.
Despite the fun lawlessness found commonly throughout the frontier as explored by Red Dead Redemption, America also had a much darker side. The westward expansion that exploded into the west following the Mexican-American War and the Gold Rush meant violently pushing Native Americans out of their land into reservations. This led to dozens of wars and battles in a series called the Indian Wars. I don’t have enough space to go into details about the wars, but between 1850 and 1900 there were well over 50 wars just west of the Mississippi between Native American tribes and the United States military. This is even ignoring the trail of tears in the southeast. Some of the more famous wars are the Sioux Wars and the bulk of these lasted from 1854-1890. They included some of the most famous American Generals and Native American leaders including George Cook, George Custer, Little Crow, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull. During the Great Sioux War Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and over 300 of his men were killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Years later in 1890, one of the most famous incidents occurred where Kicking Bull and Sitting Bull led to their deaths. The natives entered into Ghost Dance War, and during it, the US Army entered the native camp at Wounded Knee and after hearing a gunshot, massacred 350 native men, women, and children. Those are just 2 famous events, the map linked above under Indian Wars shows the locations of dozens more battles and forts. Once again, this setting would need a lot of care and respect to do it right and is something I’d be very concerned about Ubisoft doing well.
submitted by nstav13 to assassinscreed [link] [comments]


2020.08.28 00:17 LindMcmore Semen – the next Super Food!

From a basic nutrients perspective, semen has a remarkably healthy dietary profile that combines essential nutrients and a low fat high protein energy content. On an average, a man’s ejaculate contains approximately 5 to 25 calories, so it’s definitely not fattening at all. Yet the average protein content of a single ejaculate is roughly equal to the protein content of one egg white.
A good source of protein - As mentioned above, it definitely does contain protein. The average protein content of a single ejaculate is roughly equal to the protein content of one egg white.
Importantly, semen contains a lot more than simple nutrients. Semen also contains more than 50 different compounds including hormones, endorphins, neurotransmitters and immuno-suppressants. Importantly, semen contains testosterone, estrogen, prolactin, and other hormones, opioid peptides, oxytocin, serotonin, melatonin, and norepinephrine. While these biologically active and important components of semen are found in small amounts, their beneficial activity only requires vanishingly small amounts for dramatic effect.
There is strong evidence that semen consumption has wide ranging benefits such as; reduction of risk of cancer (by up to 50% for breast cancer), reduction of cases of miscarriage and even death of the mother due to pre-eclampsia, anti-aging properties, acne control, easing of depression, mood enhancement, reducing effects of PMS, mitigating morning sickness, suppressing appetite and increasing bonding in relationships and increased longevity.
Semen is a highly complex and vital biological substance that plays an essential in our biology. It is not surprising that semen consumption could have remarkable health effects giving its biologically active and potent components. As expected with a highly complex and potent biological substance, semen seems to have multiple and often synergistic women’s health effects. Let’s go through some of the research and reasons swallowing semen is good for you:
  1. Semen is a natural anti-depressant. Semen is great for depression – with a clinically stronger reduction of depression than most pharmaceutical antidepressants. According to one study conducted on 293 female college students at the State University of New York in Albany, exposure to semen can lower symptoms of depression. The study compared female students who were having sex with condoms versus those who were having sex without, and found that the latter group overall showed fewer signs of depression. Females who regularly have oral sex and swallow notice fewer signs of depression than women do not have oral sex at all or have oral sex but don’t swallow. Semen contains mood-enhancing compounds such as cortisol, estrone, oxytocin, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, prolactin, melatonin and serotonin. Studies have shown that semen elevates your mood and even reduces suicidal thoughts. The anti-depression effects of semen were strong enough to significantly reduce suicide attempts. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-about-sex/201101/attention-ladies-semen-is-antidepressant)
  2. Semen reduces anxiety. Semen has anti-anxiety hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, progesterone, and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Among the best demonstrated benefits of ejaculate consumption is the significant improvement of a range of mental health qualities including reducing anxiety.
Stress and anxiety decrease NGF. Low NGF levels are found in atherosclerosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. NGF is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may be helpful for a variety of conditions including depression, MS, and schizophrenia, among others.
NGF is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of neurons, including the axons (the part where the electrical signal passes). It also promotes myelin repair, which is the coating around the axons. Rita Levi-Montalcini won a Nobel Prize for discovering nerve growth factor and has been so impressed by the positive effects of NGF that she uses NGF eye drops in the hope of increasing her lifespan and health.
  1. Semen may help you get pregnant (surprised?) Recent studies have found that NGF induces ovulation (the release of the egg from ovaries) in mammals, which can help with fertility. NGF is abundant in semen and it is likely that the seminal NGF acts synergistically to help bring sperm and egg together. So if you are trying to get pregnant, it might make a lot of sense to mix episodes of oral and vaginal semen intake.
  2. Semen improves the quality of your sleep. Semen contains melatonin, which is a hormone that induces sleep and relaxation. Whether you ingest it, or receive it through intercourse, it will enter your bloodstream and help you doze off better than most over-the-counter sleep aids. Healthy and restorative sleep is critical to many aspects good health. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2817450)
  3. Semen increases energy. While semen has been proven to improve sleep quality, oddly it also seems to increase “energy” levels as reported in health surveys. This could be a direct effect of semen’s low fat/high protein and anti-oxidant, but may also be related to its improvement of mental and cardiac health.
  4. Semen can improve memory and mental alertness. Beyond anti-depression effects, the benefits of semen included better performance on cognition tests (IQ tests). Low fat / high protein diets provide a well proven cognitive benefits. However, the hormonal and micronutrient content of semen may have an even larger benefit on cognitive performance. While continued studies are required to define the relative importance of seminal micronutrient and seminal hormones such as NGF, serotonin, and progesterone –the New York and additional studies "suggest that semen-exposed women perform better on concentration and cognitive tasks." Is it time to bone up?
  5. Semen prevents preeclampsia and reduces miscarrage. This is a condition which causes dangerously high blood pressure during pregnancy. In a Dutch study of women who engaged in oral sex and swallowed the semen, the researchers found that swallowing semen was associated with a lower risk of preeclampsia.
Research by Professor Gus Dekker, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the University of Adelaide, compared 41 pregnant women with pre-eclampsia - a condition where the mother's blood pressure soars during pregnancy - to 44 pregnant women without pre-eclampsia. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10706945)He found 82 percent of those without the condition practiced fellatio compared with 44 per cent of those with it. In other words, fellatio during pregnancy decreased your chances of dangerous pre-eclampsia by nearly half! Another study has reported that pre-eclampsia, a life threatening complication that sometimes arises in pregnancy, is much less frequent in couples who practice oral sex, and even more rare in couples where fellatio regularly ended with a woman's swallowing of her partner's semen. Many studies have now confirmed the remarkably beneficial affect of semen consumption for women (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12748491).
The explanation? One hypothesis for this is that substances in the semen adapt the mother’s immune system so that it accepts foreign proteins present in sperm, as well as in the placenta and fetus. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1803978.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1803978.stm)
Semen contains a growth factor which helps a mother's immune system to accept sperm. Regular exposure before pregnancy helps her immune system get used to her partner's sperm. This maintains the blood pressure at a low level and thereby reduces the preeclampsia risk.
Research has also shown that some women are infertile or miscarry due to the presence of antibodies that destroy the proteins or antigens present in their partner’s semen. Having oral sex and swallowing the semen of the partner may help make the pregnancy safer and more successful as the woman is swallowing her partner's antigens.
  1. Semen prevents morning sickness. Because half of the DNA the fetus is carrying comes from the father, the mother’s body may initially treat the pregnancy as foreign tissue or an infection. The more exposure a woman has to her partner’s semen the more tolerance her body develops to his genetic material. This tolerance generalizes to a tolerance for the fetus and leads to successful maternal immunosuppressiosn. But the reduction of morning sickness by consuming semen only works if it is the same semen that caused your pregnancy. Similar work carried out by reproductive expert and psychologist Gordon Gallup from SUNY-Albany confirmed that swallowing semen could provide a cure for morning sickness.
  2. Semen slows down the aging process Spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine that was originally discovered in sperm, has recently emerged as exhibiting the strongest anti-aging properties yet found. Its supplementation increases lifespan and resistance to stress, and decreases the occurrence of age-related pathology and loss of locomotor ability in mice. Its mechanisms of action are just beginning to be understood – but its origin is known, sperm!
Cum also contains a healthy portion of zinc, which is an antioxidant. Semen contains anti-inflammatories/immunosuppressants so that it’s not attacked when it enters the woman.
  1. A multivitamin in each ejaculation One teaspoon of semen contains well over 200 proteins and several helpful vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, calcium, citric acid, fructose, lactic acid, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, chlorine, potassium, sodium, vitamin B12 and zinc. While amounts of each vitamin vary with age and relative health of the obliging male.
  2. Oral sex can lower your blood pressure According to a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, swallowing semen on a regular basis can lower your blood pressure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12748491). This affect seems to be a combination of both the direct biological effect seen in the reduction of blood pressure preventing pre-eclampsia, and a reduction of mental stress possibly via cortisol, oxytocin, melatonin and serotonin – which in turn reduces blood pressure.
  3. Semen lowers the risk of breast and other cancers A case-control study was conducted in order to test the hypothesis that a reduced exposure to human seminal factors in the early reproductive life of women is a risk factor in breast cancer. The relative risk of exposure to the hypothetical semen-factor deficiency is 4.7 times greater for breast-cancer patients than for the controls. The risk of developing breast cancer within the same population in the U.S.A. is estimated as 5 times greater for women who use barrier methods (condom and other) than for women who use non-barrier contraceptive methods (diaphragm and other). The reduction of the incidence of breast cancer by consuming semen would be not less than 50% in married women in the population. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/566883)
Semen contains Selenium and Glycoproteins, powerful cancer fighters Selenium is effective in inducing lymphocyte progression through cell cycle in cancer patients: potential mechanisms for its activity. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15255293)
TGFbeta cells in semen help by preventing the formation of tumors. "As for the link to cancer, it's just possible that semen could have some effect on cancer of the cervix or ovaries. There's research showing oral delivery of TGFbeta (transforming growth factor beta), one of the key molecules in semen, can increase the number and activity of "natural killer" cells which are important in recognizing and killing aberrant cells that give rise to tumors. An Adelaide University researcher, Dr. Sarah Robertson, a leading Australian scientist working in the fertility area, is involved in animal research showing TGFbeta activates an inflammatory response in the cervix and ovaries after intercourse, which may lead to increased activity in these killer cells, guarding against cancer.
  1. Semen naturally fights infection: Semen also consists of a variety of proteins that have antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Some of the most potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds are found in mucus and scientist are excited about their potential to fight drug resistant pathogens. These antimicrobial mucosal compounds are found in everything from saliva to frog skin, but are particularly abundant in semen. So forget about kissing the ne-prince frog. In addition to the mucosal antimicrobial compounds found in semen, there is usually a significant amount of zinc (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2164/jandrol.04104 ) present in each ejaculate, which is an antioxidant that helps slow the many damaging processes of living, and recently has been found to block the invasion process for many viruses.
  2. Semen may promote breast growth: The claim that swallowing cum could improve breasts sound’s like the hopes of horny high school boys. However, semen consumption may indeed promote breast growth through its protein and hormone content. A number of studies have shown that breast growth is correlated to high protein diets, but it seems unlikely that the modest amount of protein in a single ejaculate (similar to a single egg) would significantly increase breast growth. Breast growth would more likely be a result of one or a few of the sex hormones in semen, in synergistic combination with dietary protein.
While primary sex characteristics are those that are present at birth (what genitals you are born with), secondary sex characteristics are those that appear during puberty. These secondary sex characteristics are caused by hormones released at the time of puberty. Many studies have shown that protein consumption and environmental exposure to sex hormones is having a dramatic affect on young women by both reducing the age of first menstruation, and increasing beast size. Since 1840, menstruation has been beginning a few months earlier every decade. Semen contains both the hormone signal to grow, and the protein nutrients required for breast growth. The concentrated consumption of sex hormones in cum may well prove to be a significant driver of female breast development and the reason modern women are both subjectively “prettier” and have measurably larger breasts.
Unfortunately, there have been no clinical trials looking at the effect of semen consumption on breast size – so we have no scientific proof. Without proof, claims of breast growth affects are anecdotal and open to criticism of being sexually motivated. However, I will relate my experience as a middle aged woman. I had always been very small breasted until approximately one year after daily ejaculate consumption. I have both lost weight, and significantly increased breast size. There is every reason to suspect semen consumption could significantly improve many of the female secondary sexual characteristics including figure, breast development, skin texture and suppleness, and hair growth and health.
  1. Improves skin and muscles and may clear up acne Beyond a general improvement in female secondary sexual characteristics driven by oral semen consumption, sperm is also anecdotally suspected of directly improving skin health. There is scientific support for this suspicion, and some evidence. Sperm contains an enzyme called Zinc-alpha2-glycoprotein, which is also the enzyme in the skin responsible for allowing skin cells to shed properly. It is already known that acne sufferers are deficient in this enzyme, which is the cause of there being an excess of dead skin cells for those with acne. The dead skin cells then build up, get all glued together with oil, and block your pores. Growth, repair and health of skin and muscle tissues are dependent on compounds that are found in semen including various proteins, selenium (https://selfhacked.com/blog/health-benefits-selenium/), and the growth factor TGF-beta (https://selfhacked.com/blog/tgf/), as well as the previously mentioned zinc-alpha2-glycoprotein.
  2. It lowers the risk of prostate cancer (when expelled) So this last one's not so much a health benefit of semen, but rather the act of semen is released. According to a 2004 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, "high ejaculation frequency was related to decreased risk of total prostate cancer." This means that whether you do it alone or with a friend, if you're ejaculating regularly, you're lowering your chances of getting prostate cancer later in life. Suddenly the term "release your demons" takes on new meaning. Donating Semen Therapy keeps men from getting prostate cancer A Melbourne research team led by Graham Giles, from the Cancer Council Victoria. Giles's team has found men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer through regular ejaculation. Comparing the sexual habits of a group of 1000 men who had developed prostate cancer with 1250 who had not, they found men who ejaculated more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life. Regular ejaculation may prevent carcinogens accumulating in the prostate gland, suggest the researchers. (https://www.europeanurology.com/article/S0302-2838%2816%2900377-8/)
Homosexual consumption of semen - Does semen consumption have the same benefits for homosexual men? While studies with women have be relatively few and recent, we have almost no studies with which to draw health conclusions from for homosexual men – so we have no science to draw on yet. While some of the synergistic evolutionary partnership relationships may be harder to draw on for homosexual men, the fact that semen does contain healthy nutritional components as well as critically import biologically active compounds may suggest men can get many of the same benefits women get from semen.
Optimal frequency of semen consumption – The little data we have so far (derived from the Dutch, Houston, and Australian studies) points to an optimal frequency of semen consumption close to once a day. While critics suggest that far more semen would have to be consumed to realize the benefits, it is likely that the major health benefits come from trace components such as hormones that are active in very small levels. Optimal activity for these kind of compounds is usually seen with regular and frequent exposure in very small doses. Ejaculate consumption more than once a day hasn’t been seen to be harmful, but at some point the pursuit would interfere with other activities for only diminishing returns.
Summary – While much of the research on dietary semen is preliminary, I’ve tried to gather here some of the considerable evidence that semen consumption is very very good for you. Cynics have suggested that promoting semen consumption is only sexually motivated, but a growing body of academic and peer reviewed research is adding true weight to our understanding of how important oral semen consumption is https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/an-ode-to-the-many-evolved-virtues-of-human-semen/.
While there are risks of STD transmission if you are obtaining you dietary semen from many partners, the risk is nearly zero in long term relationships. Importantly, any increased STD risk is relative only to abstention. STD infection rates are much lower for oral sexual contact relative to vaginal – possibly due to the high levels of antimicrobial components in saliva. Additionally, increasing your oral semen consumption is likely to increase your physical, mental, and relationship health – all shown to result in lower stress and improved immune function.
Why would semen consumption be so good for women? Science does not have a definitive answer yet, but like the important health benefits breast feeding has for mothers and newborns, it seems that semen consumption for women completes a synergistic evolutionarily partnership. It provides both critical nutrition and biologically active compounds important for optimal health and happiness. Similar synergistic partnerships are becoming a recognized theme in evolutionary biology.
Not all women love the taste of semen - which can present a barrier to increasing semen consumption. Three factors may help. 1) Many women (myself included) say semen is an acquired taste not unlike coffee, wine and strong cheeses. Frequent and mindful tasting leads to an appreciation of taste differences, complexity, and the effects of diet and experiences on taste. What a delight your growing semen connoisseurship can be for both you and your partner! 2) Another way to minimize the taste barrier to semen consumption is to improve its taste! Dietary and lifestyle choices affect semen taste. If the man is smoking and eating bitter things, his semen is probably going to taste that way too. If he is eating fruits and is on a healthy diet, his semen is going to taste sweeter. Additionally, good hydration (drinking lots of water), can improve the volume and texture of semen. 3) Finally, if you do not find yourself coming to love the taste, you can avoid much of the taste by taking the ejaculate deep enough to completely bypass the tongue.
Ejaculate consumption is a great opportunity for both you and your partner to appreciate and improve healthy habits and life style choices. It can not be overstated how motivating improving your health and happiness through consumption of his semen can be on your partner! Use frequent and regular semen consumption to drive the changes you both need and ultimately benefit you both!
submitted by LindMcmore to sexualhealth [link] [comments]


2020.08.27 18:18 SaintRidley Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Mar. 21, 1988

March 21, 1988
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
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1987
FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE:
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988 2-8-1988 2-15-1988 2-22-1988
2-29-1988 3-7-1988 3-14-1988 *
  • It’s a really slow week for news, so Dave spends a lot of real estate giving his predictions for Wrestlemania and Clash of the Champions. Wrestlemania is first, and he starts with the tournament. There are only three real contenders there: Hogan, DiBiase, and Savage. Everyone else isn’t good enough to carry the company or has loads of baggage the company doesn’t want coming back up. The recent tv taping’s third hour was meant for post-Wrestlemania, so guaranteed non-winners are Andre, Duggan, Reed, Muraco, and Bigelow. Steamboat and Rude probably make it through a round, but not to the final. WWF has foreshadowed things a bit, though. Changing the brackets seems designed to get Savage to the finals, which really necessitates a heel opposite him, which rules out Hogan. Since DiBiase could have won the title in the old bracket without facing Savage in the final (they would have met in the semifinals), changing the bracket to put Savage in the final seems suspect from a DiBiase-must-win scenario. Secondly, the latest issue of WWF magazine has a photo of Elizabeth shopping, captioned “Elizabeth, manager of the World Wrestling Federation Champion Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage”). Red herring? Misprint? Clue? It’s hard to say. The magazine has been out for two weeks. Lastly, a reader swears they were at the taping and peeked behind the curtain and saw Savage carrying the title while doing a promo. Savage has Dave’s vote, as everything just adds up to it and has been since they changed the bracket. For the IC title match, Dave predicts the match will not only be terrible, but that Honkeytonk Man will no longer be the worst Intercontinental Champion ever. Beefer to win it, because somehow he’s managed to get more over than he has any right to be with this barber thing. The Islanders and Heenan vs. Koko B. Ware and the Bulldogs seems destined to go to the Bulldogs, in part because after Dynamite’s injury last year, somehow the company decided to use their time to get Matilda over and this is Matilda’s return. They’ve only got Heenan in so Matilda can chase him around the ring. For the tag titles, Dave predicts Demolition to win. WWF has booked a title change for the tag titles every Wrestlemania to include a tag title match so far, and curiously, Demolition seem to be getting over real well - the last show at the Cow Palace saw all the fans dutifully cheer every face and boo every heel during the announcement of the card with one exception: Demolition got cheered and Strike Force got booed. Dave really hopes Warrior vs. Hercules won’t be the template for pro wrestling in the 90s, as Dave’s only predictions are that this will be a worst match of the year candidate and that neither man will live to see the age of 50. He’s half right: Herc died at 47, but Warrior managed to make it all the way to 54. Lastly, Dave considers the battle royal, a bad concept that Bret Hart managed to single-handedly save and make work previously. There’s no stakes and no heat, it’s just a way to get everyone a payday. Dave’s predictions: babyface will probably win, George Steele won’t get in the ring, Roma and Powers will smile, JYD won’t do anything, Sam Houston takes the best bump going out if he doesn’t win, Harley Race takes the next best bump.
  • Over in Greensboro Coliseum, Crockett’s Clash of the Champions offers its own speculative fun. Flair vs. Sting will certainly go over 20 minutes with loads of near falls and all the usual stuff (Sting not selling the suplex, Flair getting plucked off the top rope). It’s a Ric Flair match, so it’s going to be exactly what you expect, which isn’t a bad thing really. But it does kind of take the excitement out of things. Flair’s gonna get destroyed, but he won’t lose the title and the finish will be one we’ve all seen before. Woo. Dusty and the Road Warriors vs. Ivan Koloff and the Powers of Pain in a barbed wire match seems to exist just for the sake of lots of blood, and barbed wire matches aren’t conducive to good wrestling. Dave figures Dusty wins to the disappointment of many while satiating fans’ blood thirst. For the NWA tag titles, Dave thinks Luger has improved enough to hold up his end of things and the other three are some of the best workers in the territory. Probably a DQ win for the Horsemen, but Luger and Windham winning the titles isn’t a negligible possibility either. On paper, it’s an easy 3.5 star+ match. For the U.S. Tag Titles, Midnight Express vs. the Fantastics looks like a title change. Cornette’s spent too long hyping the length of the Midnights’ title reign for it not to be, and you gotta put over the Fantastics now before fans have a chance to turn on them for being small and too much like the Rock & Roll Express. Rotundo vs. Garvin in an amateur rules match, Dave doesn’t have a prediction for the winner, but figures Rotundo will cheat somehow and Sullivan will do something dastardly, and a hot angle should spin out of it. Finally, Zbyszko vs. Shane Douglas will end, Dave guesses, in a time limit draw or some other kind of unclear finish. Shane’s gotten good, but with Magnum managing others for the Crockett Cup and the Dusty/Zbyszko feud going nowhere, it seems his push is being tweaked.
  • Wrestlemania 4 did finally sell out this past week for the live crowd. You can point out how last year’s show sold over 90,000 tickets to sell out and this show has only 13,500 sold tickets, but there are more things to consider. Last year, all of Michigan was blacked out for closed-circuit and PPV, meaning to see Wrestlemania you either had to leave the state or be in attendance. On the flip side, WWF has eight closed-circuit sites in New York City, eight more in New Jersey, one in Philadelphia, and PPV everywhere. So that’s a huge difference in accessibility, plus tickets this year were way more expensive. Last year’s average ticket price was $16.50, with a lot of $9 tickets for the cheap seats and $100 for the top price. The lowest price this year is $25, and the top price is $150. Overall, this year’s live gate will still be around $1 million, even with the smaller audience.
  • The Crockett Cup’s top ten seeds will be announced at Clash of the Champions. Dave has word about the top 10, and those are Arn & Tully, Dusty & Nikita, Road Warriors, Midnight Express, Powers of Pain, Luger and Windham, Fanatics, Mike otundo & Rick Steiner, Sting & Ron Garvin, and Ivan Koloff & Dick Murdoch. No big name outside teams look to be involved, since even if the Von Erichs and Inoki were to send teams over, they’d insist on them being seeded, if not outright making it to the finals. Crockett’s dropping hints about Puerto Rico and Japan, but there’s no indication other than that of any deals in the works. Steve Williams is returning, but don’t expect him to have a unification match with Ric Flair on night two - the scuttlebutt is that a face from one of the seeded teams will pull out of the tournament to challenge him.
  • WWF looks to be going with Andre vs. Duggan as their big angle following Wrestlemania. They shot the first thing for it on March 9 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where Jim Duggan interrupted an Andre and DiBiase interview, only to get beat up and headbutted off stage before he tries to charge and is held back. This is set to air the day before Wrestlemania. The second part of the angle, set to air after Wrestlemania, has Duggan interfere in an Andre match until Andre chokes him and Duggan bleeds from the mouth until he can somehow get his 2x4 and knock Andre out. They bring out a stretcher for Andre but he wakes up and goes berserk, chasing Pat Patterson to backstage.
  • A bigger surprise from that taping, though, is Owen Hart. Apparently he worked the previous night in Bristol, Tennessee as well, but the big deal is he appeared using his real name. He jobbed in a squash in his first match of the show, then had a match in the third hour against Hercules where he got to do a lot of his really cool offense and the crowd was into it, and definitely seems like this match was taped for April 2. No idea if Hart is in for a try-out or what, though it makes little sense to Dave that they’d debut him as a jobber if this was a debut.
  • Outlet Communications, which owns both WATL in Atlanta and Pro Wrestling This Week, is for sale. They’re using it to fuel an angle on the show, announcing on this week’s episode that someone is attempting a hostile takeover.
  • AGB, the other national ratings source besides Neilsen, came out with their ratings for The Main Event. They listed it 35th for the week out of 72 shows, with a 15.1 rating and 23 share (Neilsen had them at 31st place). WWF winning the time slot for the night, which looked really clear going by Neilsen, is now disputed, as AGB had the CBS Beauty and the Beast that aired at the same time ahead of it at 32nd place for the week. This is a huge blow to WWF. Vince had been claiming that Andre vs. Hogan would put them right at the top for the week and be the highest rated show in prime time all season. And now he can’t even definitively claim top of the time slot, nevermind beating Dallas (which both groups had ranking in the top 20).
  • In syndicated ratings, the week ending February 14 saw the WWF network rank 4th place with an 11.1 combined rating. Crockett had a 7.9, falling to 7th place.
  • The Sammartino family is in the news this week. Last week, Bruno quit WWF to promote a 900 hotline amid many complaints about the state of wrestling and WWF specifically. Bruno’s contentions have to do with insulting the intelligence of the fansand not trying to maintain credibility, but obviously Vince thinks differently about how to promote. He was also upset David never got a push, and when he gave his notice two weeks back, Linda McMahon called the next day to tell him they had the name Bruno Sammartino trademarked so he couldn’t use it in any outside business ventures. Considering Bruno’s drawing power in the 60s is the reason many believe Vince Sr. survived as a promoter and WWF even exists today, obviously that should be upsetting. It may be debatable whether or not he’s the sole reason WWF even exists today, but it isn’t debatable that his popularity is the foundation WWF built off. And to make matters worse, David Sammartino was wrestling in New York on March 9 and apparently assaulted a fan who was heckling him. David reportedly went after the fan and threw him out of his chair. He was arrested and given a court date of April 4, and he lost all of his bookings as a result.
  • Saturday Night’s Main Event, filmed March 7, aired March 12. The five matches that aired were part of a massive 14 match card that drew a 10,000 fan sellout, though the crowd was heavily papered as only 2,000 tickets had sold by March 4. Local radio did a deal where anyone who could name two WWF wrestlers got two free tickets. The televised matches saw 1. Beefer pin Valentine by kicking out during a double pin situation while Honketonk taunted him from ringside. 2. Hogan pinning Harley Race. 3. DiBiase beat Savage by countout, with Virgil ejected quickly and Andre interfering after a ref bump to cause the countout, then Elizabeth ran back and got Hogan to save him. 4. Islanders beat Killer Bees with Haku pinning Blair, and what aired was just the first fall - the live crowd got a two of three falls match that the Islanders won 2-1. 5. One Man Gang squashed Ken Patera. The unaired main event saw Andre squash Bam Bam Bigelow in 3 minutes, which shows where Bam Bam’s future is. Duggan’s been getting more and more over again and is primed to take the spot Bam Bam was set up for as #3 babyface after Hogan and Savage.
Watch: Savage vs. DiBiase from Saturday Night's Main Event
  • The annual Cauliflower Alley Club banquet took place this past Saturday. The Cauliflower Alley Club is a group of “wrestlers, boxers, and Hollywood types” mainly from the early tv era, and their banquet is something of a class reunion type deal every year. Lots of names Dave’s read about but never seen, and special honors were given to Fred Blassie, Roddy Piper, Buddy Rogers, Moolah, and Clara Mortensen (who was a pioneer in women’s wrestling alongside Mildred Burke). Loads and loads of old names there: John Tolos, Doc & Mike Gallagher, Ox Anderson, Count Billy Varga, Billy Darnell, Paul Boesch, Kit Fox, Donna Christanello, Toru Tanaka, Red Bastien, Ray “Thunder” Sterne, Reggie Parks, Bob Orton Sr., George “Crybaby” Cannon, Vic Christy, Mike Mazurki, and more. Fred Blassie hammed it up the entire night, but Piper was subdued and seemed happy to be out of wrestling, and Dave believes that Piper believes he’s got no intention of wrestling again (though never say never, if his film career doesn’t pan out). Buddy Rogers still has his trademark strut and look of arrogance, and his old manager Bobby Davis was with him. Davis apparently wants to work as a manager in WWF.
  • [Memphis] Lawler and Eddie Gilbert collide in their first match of their feud on March 14. It all started when Jerry Jarrett made an appearance presenting Lance Russel with a plaque for winning best wrestling announcer for his fourth consecutive year as voted by the fans (fun fact - 1987 was Lance Russel’s fourth consecutive year winning the Observer award for best wrestling announcer) and Russel noted that the tv show also won the fan vote for best tv show. Anyway, Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt came out and started arguing and Lawler did a phone interview at the same time where he said he was waiting for a doctor’s clearance to wrestle. The main event of the show this week saw Gilbert vs. Steve Keirn, and Gilbert kept arguing with Jarrett and then Tommy Gilbert got hold of Jarrett and Eddie threw a fireball at him, and Lawler said doctor’s orders or not he was going to get his hands on Eddie Gilbert.
  • The Samoans were supposed to win the tag titles in Memphis on March 7. But they quit the week before the match.
  • March 14 for Memphis will also feature a cage battle royal with a key on a pole. The only way to win is to get the key from the pole and use it to unlock the door and escape. Vinny Russo, is this your idea?
  • Not a lot new in World Class, except for the fact that Al Perez is set to go to the NWA. He was supposedly meant to regain the title from Kerry on March 25 in Dallas.
  • The Fabulous Lance, formerly Lance Von Erich, is rumored to be returning to World Class next month. Last Dave had heard of him, he was wrestling in South Africa. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, given Fritz tried to bury him and outright stated he wasn’t a real Von Erich after he left.
  • [Stampede] Scott McGhee has returned to Florida to recuperate from his stroke. He’s made good progress, reportedly, but still no indication he’ll ever be able to return to the ring. Indeed, McGhee’s career is over. He’ll do two more one-off matches in 1989 and 2010, but otherwise, he’s past his wrestling days here.
  • The 8-man match on February 27 was, according to Ross Hart, one of the best matches in the history of Stampede. Wayne and Owen Hart teamed with Brian Pillman and Jason the Terrible against Akam Singh, Steve DiSalvo, Gerry Morrow, and Makhan Singh in a match that went 47 minutes and came down to Owen getting pinned by Morrow in the end. Wayne was the first eliminated, and Dave doesn’t know it but this was the last match of Wayne Hart’s in-ring career. I tried to find a video, but I couldn’t find one.
  • Not much news on the AWA front, but they are bringing in a new manager and giving him a big push at their Vegas tapings on March 19. On the one hand, they could have chosen Paul E. Dangerously who is dynamic and great at getting heat with his mic work. But this is the AWA, so they’ll choose someone who has been out of the game for 15 years over a young, hot act. So welcome to the AWA Stan “Big K” Kowalski, whose last relevant work was managing Ivan Koloff and Shozo Kobayashi int the early 1970s.
  • Global hasn’t folded yet, and they recorded six weeks of tv on March 5. The interesting angle saw the evolution of the feud between Col. Kirchner & G.I. Joe Palardy vs. Dr. Red Roberts and V.C. Minh. Last taping, Minh came out with a photo of American soldiers in bodybags being carried home from Vietnam, which caused Kirchner and Palardy to freak out. Roberts, whose gimmick is based on his real life day job as a psychologist, diagnosed Kirchner as having “Patriophobia” and invoked the Baker Act to get Kirchner involuntarily committed to an institution for evaluation. Given Kirchner’s promos, Dave notes that this is entirely consistent with his character, at least. Anyway, shenanigans and such, and the heels win a squash so bad they send out medics, and the medics turn out to be Kirchner and Palardy, who attack and beat up Roberts so badly he declares he’s retiring from wrestling to use his skills in his field to help young men work through drug abuse. Dr. Roberts’ real name is Dr. Michael Brannon, and he’d find himself embroiled in the world of wrestling again in 2001 when the Lionel Tate case happened, providing testimony as an expert against Tate, arguing Tate knew wrestling was fake all along. Who knew that this would tie in so neatly with one of the stories from a recent 2002 rewind?
  • About the only news out of Japan is that All Japan’s March 9 card drew a near sellout for Tenryu vs. Stan Hansen. Tenryu pinned Hansen, Hansen’s third pinfall loss in Japan in seven years, to win the PWF Title, making him a triple champion alongside his United National and PWF Tag Titles.
  • The New York State Athletic Commission showed their double standard against independent groups earlier this month. They wrote a memo to Northeast Championship Wrestling citing Misty Blue’s attire as “too short.” Meanwhile, Vince gets to fly in the face of any and all Athletic Commission rules in the state. Granted, some of the rules are beyond asinine (it’s still illegal for a wrestling promoter to have a financial interest in a wrestler), but come on. It’s ring attire.
  • The Von Erich story in Penthouse looks pretty set for the July issue now. Nope.
  • Queen Kong/Mount Fiji from GLOW and POWW is setting up her own tv show called Rasslin Revival. You didn’t hear it from Dave, because he didn’t write it in the issue, but Queen Kong apparently also invented the phone sex line.
Read: The Woman Who Invented Phone Sex and Wrestled Bears
  • Barry Orton was convicted in his vehicular manslaughter trial. His sentence is six years, but he could be out in under two with good behavior. The conviction comes right as he was starting to do some of the best work of his career, but you know, someone’s dead so that should probably be the key takeaway.
  • A sportscaster who has worked with both Kirk Gibson of the L.A. Dodgers and Hulk Hogan called in to give his opinion on the comparison that was made forever ago and which still comes up in some of the letters. Anyway, the guy says Gibson is an asshole 99% of the time and Hogan is often quite nice and is easily 10 times more popular than Gibson on top of being friendlier in public. Good thing those numbers look reasonable, or I’d suspect the sportscaster’s name was Bulk Bogan.
  • A lot of Crockett contracts are set to expire in May, so expect WWF to make a play for several of them to retaliate for Clash of the Champions.
  • Almost everyone who called Dave this week had something to say about Jim Cornette’s comments on TBS this past Saturday. How the hell did he slip “beating meat” past Standards and Practices?
  • Ted Turner is starting a new tv network in October with a focus on sports and MGM movies, and Crockett may wind up switched to that new network. It’s going to be called TNT. Oh yeah, that network will definitely have wrestling on it in the future.
  • Something Dave does now and again that I usually skip over here is give rankings for who he feels are the top wrestlers. This week he ranks his top 25 men’s tag teams and top 40 men’s singles guys. Owen Hart is #1 for singles guys. Ric Flair has fallen all the way down to #3.
  • Fabulous Lance may not be coming into World Class afterall. Apparently his booker didn’t want him as anything but a babyface, while Fritz wanted him to partner with the Freebirds.
  • The Owen vs. Hercules match was apparently not supposed to be taped, so who knows if it’ll air. It definitely did wind up taped, so that’s all up in the air. It in fact did not air.
  • All charges against David Sammartino have been dropped in the case of the incident with the fan. It made a lot of press nationally for such a small thing, and it did result in David getting fired while other WWF guys have skated by with worse incidents. Apparently the fan was heckling David by using insider terms, which I guess absolves David from any responsibility for putting hands on the guy?
  • A reader writes in that as much as Dave complains about bad taste, he’s put out some really tasteless stuff himself. Namely, putting the info to help Al Blake (Vladmir Petrov) pay his legal expenses given his conviction for drug smuggling, and the writer would probably have let it slide if not for it being the Observer and how many readers “seem to live and die by the gospel according to Dave Meltzer.” The other instance he cites is admittedly less severe, but using one of his trademark denigrating nicknames (“Doggie” in this case) to refer to Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon regarding the hit and run that cost him his leg strikes the writer as blatant and callous disregard for Vachon’s dignity after what he went through. He also throws a plea to Dave to cover GLOW and POWW, “keeping in mind I’m wasting my time.” Or at least, let the readers vote on it. It’d be a better use of space than covering Central States (and if you’re wondering why you rarely see anything about Central States in the rewinds, it’s because nothing and no one of consequence is there).
NEXT WEEK: Interest in Wrestlemania down, Billy Jack Haynes vs. Don Owen promotional war, Dump retirement ratings hit, syndicated ratings rankings, and more
submitted by SaintRidley to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2020.08.21 19:19 A_D_Tennally "Love in the West is consumerist – we choose a partner to give us what we think we need. But Russians do things differently."

Article 'Romantic regimes' by Polina Aronson, a sociologist who was born in St Petersburg and lives in Berlin. Published here: https://aeon.co/essays/russia-against-the-western-way-of-love

In 1996 I left Russia for the first time to spend a school year in the United States. It was a prestigious scholarship; I was 16 and my parents were very excited about the possibility of my somehow slipping into Yale or Harvard afterwards. I, however, could think of only one thing: getting an American boyfriend.
In my desk, I kept a precious document of American life, sent to me by a friend who had moved to New York a year earlier: an article about the Pill, ripped from the US girls’ magazine Seventeen. I read it lying in bed, feeling my throat getting dry. Staring into its glossy pages, I dreamed that there, in a different country, I would turn into someone beautiful, someone boys turned their heads for. I dreamed that I would need this kind of pill, too.
Two months later, on my first day at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, I went to the library and borrowed a stack of Seventeens that stood taller than me. I was determined to find out precisely what happened between American boys and girls when they started liking each other, and what I was supposed to say and do in order to reach the stage when ‘the Pill’ would prove necessary. Armed with a highlighter and a pen, I looked for words and expressions that had to do with American conduct in courtship and wrote them out on separate cards, just like my English teacher in St Petersburg had taught me.
I soon gathered that the lifecycle of a Seventeen-approved relationship went through several clear stages. First, you developed a ‘crush’, normally on a boy a year or two older than yourself. Then, you asked around a bit to establish whether he was a ‘cutie’ or a ‘moron’. If he was the former, Seventeen gave you thumbs up to ‘hook up’ with him once or twice after ‘asking him out’. Throughout the process, several boxes needed to be ticked: did you feel like the young man ‘respected your needs’? Were you comfortable ‘asserting your rights’ – in particular, refusing or initiating ‘body contact’? How was the ‘communication’? If any of the boxes remained unticked, you would ‘dump’ him and start looking for a replacement, until someone who was ‘good boyfriend material’ came along. Then you would start ‘making out on the couch’ and graduate into a Pill‑user.
Sitting in the American school library, I stared at my dozens of handwritten notes and saw an abyss opening up: a gulf between the ideals of love that I had grown up with and the exotic stuff I was now encountering. Where I came from, boys and girls were ‘falling in love’ and ‘seeing each other’; the rest was a mystery. The teen film drama that my generation of Russians grew up with – a socialist replica of Romeo and Juliet set in a Moscow commuter neighbourhood – was deliciously unspecific when it came to declarations of love. To express his feelings for the heroine, the protagonist recited the multiplication tables: "Two times two is four. It is as certain as my love. Three times three is nine. That means you are mine. And two times nine is 18, and that’s my favourite number because at 18 we will get married."
What else was there to say? Not even our 1,000-page Russian novels could match the complexity of Seventeen’s romantic system. When engaging in love affairs, the countesses and officers were not exactly eloquent; they acted before they spoke, and afterwards, if they weren’t dead as a result of their hasty undertakings, they gazed around speechless and scratched their heads in search of explanations.
Although I did not yet have a PhD in sociology, it turned out that what I had been doing with the copies of Seventeen was exactly the kind of work that sociologists of emotion perform in order to understand how we conceptualise love. By analysing the language of popular magazines, TV shows and self-help books and by conducting interviews with men and women in different countries, scholars including Eva Illouz, Laura Kipnis and Frank Furedi have demonstrated clearly that our ideas about love are dominated by powerful political, economic and social forces. Together, these forces lead to the establishment of what we can call romantic regimes: systems of emotional conduct that affect how we speak about how we feel, determine ‘normal’ behaviours, and establish who is eligible for love – and who is not.
The clash of romantic regimes was precisely what I was experiencing on that day in the school library. The Seventeen girl was trained for making decisions about whom to get intimate with. She rationalised her emotions in terms of ‘needs’ and ‘rights’, and rejected commitments that did not seem compatible with them. She was raised in the Regime of Choice. By contrast, classic Russian literature (which, when I was coming of age, remained the main source of romantic norms in my country), described succumbing to love as if it were a supernatural power, even when it was detrimental to comfort, sanity or life itself. In other words, I grew up in the Regime of Fate.
These two regimes are based on opposing principles. Both of them turn love into an ordeal in their own ways. Nevertheless, in most middle-class, Westernised cultures (including contemporary Russia), the Regime of Choice is asserting itself over all other forms of romance. The reasons for this appear to lie in the ethical principles of neo-liberal, democratic societies, which regard freedom as the ultimate good. However, there is strong evidence that we need to re-consider our convictions, in order to see how they might, in fact, be hurting us in invisible ways.
To understand the triumph of choice in the romantic realm, we need to see it in the context of the Enlightenment’s broader appeal to the individual. In economics, the consumer has taken charge of the manufacturer. In faith, the believer has taken charge of the Church. And in romance, the object of love has gradually become less important than its subject. In the 14th century, gazing at Laura’s golden tresses, Petrarch had called the recipient of his affections ‘divine’ and believed her to be the most sublime proof of God‘s existence. Some 600 years later, another man bedazzled by a different heap of golden tresses – Thomas Mann’s Gustav von Aschenbach – concluded that it was he, not the handsome Tadzio, who was the touchstone of love:
"[T]he lover was nearer the divine than the beloved; for the god was in the one but not in the other – perhaps the tenderest, most mocking thought that ever was thought, and source of all the guile and secret bliss the lover knows."
This observation from Mann’s novella Death in Venice (1912) encapsulates a great cultural leap that occurred somewhere close to the beginning of the 20th century. Somehow, the Lover pushed the Beloved from the centre of attention. The divine, unknowable and unreachable Other is no longer the subject of our love stories. Instead, we are interested in the Self, with all its childhood traumas, erotic dreams and idiosyncrasies. Examining and protecting this fragile Self by teaching it to pick its affections properly is the main project of the Regime of Choice – a project brought to fruition using a popularised version of psychotherapeutic knowledge.
The most important requirement for choice is not the availability of multiple options. It is the existence of a savvy, sovereign chooser who is well aware of his needs and who acts on the basis of self-interest. Unlike all previous lovers who ran amok and acted like lost children, the new romantic hero approaches his emotions in a methodical, rational way. He sees an analyst, reads self-help literature and participates in couples counselling. Moreover, he might learn ‘love languages’, read into neuro-linguistic programming, or quantify his feelings by marking them on a scale from 1 to 10. The American philosopher Philip Rieff called this type ‘the psychological man’. In Freud: The Mind of a Moralist (1959), Rieff describes him as "anti-heroic, shrewd, carefully counting his satisfactions and dissatisfactions, studying unprofitable commitments as the sins most to be avoided". The psychological man is a romantic technocrat who believes that the application of the right tools at the right time can straighten out the tangled nature of our emotions.
This, of course, applies to both genders: the psychological woman also follows the rules, or, rather The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr Right (1995). Here are just some of the time-tested secrets assembled by its authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider:
Rule 2. Don’t Talk to a Man First (and Don’t Ask Him to Dance) Rule 3. Don’t Stare at Men or Talk Too Much Rule 4. Don’t Meet Him Halfway or Go Dutch on a Date Rule 5. Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls Rule 6. Always End Phone Calls First
The premise of The Rules is simple: because men are genetically wired to chase women, if women show them even the tiniest degree of empathy or interest, this has the effect of upsetting the biological equilibrium, ‘emasculating’ the man and reducing the woman to the status of a miserable abandoned she-animal.
The Rules has been criticised for an almost idiotic degree of biological determinism. Nevertheless, new editions continue to appear, and the ‘hard-to-get’ femininity that it advocates has become a commonplace of modern dating advice. Why does it remain so popular? The reason surely lies in its underlying message:
"One of the greatest payoffs of doing The Rules is that you grow to love only those who love you. If you have been following the suggestions in this book, you have learned to take care of yourself. […] You are busy with interests and hobbies and dating, and you are not calling or chasing men. […] You love with your head, not just your heart."
In the Regime of Choice, the no-man’s land of love – that minefield of unreturned calls, ambiguous emails, erased dating profiles and awkward silences – must be minimised. No more pondering ‘what if’ and ‘why’. No more tears. No more sweaty palms. No more suicides. No more poetry, novels, sonatas, symphonies, paintings, letters, myths, sculptures. The psychological man or woman needs only one thing: steady progress towards a healthy relationship between two autonomous individuals who satisfy each other’s emotional needs – until a new choice sets them apart.
This triumph of choice is also bolstered by socio-biological arguments. Lifelong captivity in a bad relationship, we are told, is for Neanderthals. Helen Fisher, a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University and the world’s most famous love researcher, suggests that we have outgrown our millennia-long agricultural heritage, and no longer need monogamous relationships. We are now evolutionarily impelled to seek different partners for different needs – if not simultaneously, then at different stages of our lives. Fisher celebrates the modern lack of pressure to commit: we should all, ideally, spend at least 18 months with someone to decide whether they are good for us and whether we make a good match. With the absolute availability of contraceptives, unwanted pregnancies and disease can be fully eradicated; childbearing is fully disengaged from courtship, and so we can take the time to give our potential partner a test-drive without fear of the consequences.
Compared with other historical conventions about romance, the Regime of Choice might seem like a Gore-Tex jacket next to a hair shirt. Its greatest promise is that love needn’t cause pain. According to the polemics that Kipnis develops in Against Love (2003), the only suffering the Regime of Choice recognises is the supposedly productive strain of ‘working on a relationship’: tears shed in the couples therapist‘s room, wretched attempts at conjugal sex, daily inspection of mutual needs, the disappointment of a break-up with someone who is ‘not good for you’. You are allowed to have sore muscles but you cannot have accidents. By making heartbroken lovers into the authors of their own trouble, popular advice produces a new form of social hierarchy: an emotional stratification based on the misidentification of maturity with self-sufficiency.
And this, argues Illouz, is precisely why 21st-century love still hurts. First, we lack the legitimacy of those love-torn duelists and suicides of the previous centuries. They at least enjoyed social recognition based on the general understanding of love as a mad, inexplicable force that not even the strongest minds can resist. Nowadays, yearning for a specific pair of eyes (or legs, for that matter) is no longer a valid occupation, and so one’s love pangs are exacerbated by the consciousness of one’s social and psychological inadequacy. From the perspective of the Regime of Choice, the heart-broken Emmas, Werthers and Annas of the 19th century are not simply inept lovers – they are psychologically illiterate, if not evolutionarily passé. Mark Manson, a relationship coach with more than 2 million readers online, writes:
"Romantic sacrifice is idealised in our culture. Show me almost any romantic movie and I’ll show you a desperate and needy character who treats themselves like dog shit for the sake of being in love with someone."
In the Regime of Choice, committing oneself too strongly, too early, too eagerly is a sign of an infantile psyche. It shows a worrying readiness to abandon the self-interest so central to our culture.
Second, and even more importantly, the Regime of Choice is blind to structural limitations that make some people less willing – or less able – to choose than others. This occurs not only because we have unequal endowments of what the British sociologist Catherine Hakim calls ‘erotic capital’ (that is, some of us are prettier than others). In fact, the biggest problem about choice is that whole groups of individuals might, actually, be disadvantaged by it.
Illouz, a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has argued persuasively that the individualistic appeal of the Regime of Choice tends to cast the desire for commitment as ‘loving too much’ – that is, loving against one’s own self-interest. Although enough broken-hearted men are pathologised for their ‘neediness’ and ‘inability to let go’, it is mostly women who fall into categories of ‘co-dependent’ and ‘immature’. Across class and race, they are trained to make themselves self-sufficient – to ‘not love too much’, to just ‘celebrate themselves’ (per the The Rules, above).
The trouble is, a bubble bath cannot substitute for a loving gaze or a long-awaited phone call, let alone make you pregnant – whatever Cosmo might suggest. Sure enough, you can have IVF and grow into an inspiringly mature, wonderfully independent single mother of thriving triplets. But the greatest gift of love – the recognition of one’s worth as an individual – is an essentially social matter. For that, you need a significant Other. You’ve got to drink a lot of Chardonnay to circumvent this plain fact.
But perhaps the greatest problem with the Regime of Choice stems from its misconception of maturity as absolute self-sufficiency. Attachment is infantilised. The desire for recognition is rendered as ‘neediness’. Intimacy must never challenge ‘personal boundaries’. While incessantly scolded to take responsibility for our own selves, we are strongly discouraged from taking any for our loved ones: after all, our interference in their lives, in the form of unsolicited advice or suggestions for change, might prevent their growth and self-discovery. Caught between too many optimisation scenarios and failure options, we are faced with the worst affliction of the Regime of Choice: self-absorption without self-sacrifice.
Where I come from, however, we have the opposite problem: self-sacrifice often comes without much self-examination at all. Julia Lerner, an Israeli sociologist of emotions at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, recently conducted a study into the ways that Russians talk about love. The purpose of her research was to find out whether, as a result of the post-communist, neo-liberal turn, the gap between Seventeen magazine and the Tolstoy novel had finally started to close. The answer is: not really.
Having analysed discussions in various TV talk shows, conducted interviews and done content analysis of the Russian press, she established that, to Russians, love remains "a destiny, a moral act and a value; it is irresistible, it requires sacrifice and implies suffering and pain". Indeed, whereas the concept of maturity that lies at the heart of the Regime of Choice regards romantic pain as an aberration and a sign of poor decision-making, the Russians consider maturity to be the capacity to bear that very pain, sometimes to an absurd degree.
A middle-class American who falls in love with a married woman is advised to break up with the lady and to schedule 50 hours of therapy. A Russian in a similar situation, however, storms the woman’s house and pulls her out by the hand, straight from the hob with stewing borsch, past crying children and a husband frozen with game controller in hand. Sometimes, it goes well: I know a couple who have been together happily for 15 years since the day he kidnapped her from a conjugal New Year’s feast. But in most cases, the Regime of Fate produces mess.
In terms of bulk numbers, Russians have a greater number of marriages, divorces and abortions per capita than any other developed country. These statistics document an impetus to do whatever it takes to act upon emotions, and often at the cost of one’s own comfort. Russian romance is closely accompanied by substance abuse, domestic violence and abandoned children: the by-products of lives that were never really thought through very clearly. Apparently, believing in fate each time you fall in love is not such a great alternative to excessive choice.
But to solve the afflictions of our culture, we do not need to give up on the principle of choice altogether. Instead, we must dare to choose the unknown, to take uncalculated risks and be vulnerable. By ‘vulnerability’ I do not mean the coquettish exposure of weaknesses meant to test the compatibility between you and your date. My plea is for existential vulnerability, for the re-mystification of love into what it essentially is: an unpredictable force that usually catches you unawares.
If the understanding of maturity as self-sufficiency is so detrimental to the way we love under the Regime of Choice, then it is precisely this understanding that needs to be reconsidered. To become truly adult, we need to embrace the unpredictability that loving someone other than ourselves entails. We should dare to cross those personal boundaries and run one step ahead of ourselves; not at a Russian pace, maybe, but just slightly quicker than we are used to.
So. Make loud love proposals. Move in with someone before feeling completely ready for it. Grumble at a partner for no reason and have that person grumble back, just like that, because we are human. Have a child when the timing seems bad. And finally, we need to re-claim our right to pain. Let us dare to agonise about love. As Brené Brown, a sociologist studying vulnerability and shame at the University of Houston, suggests, perhaps "our capacity for whole-heartedness can never be greater than our willingness to be broken-hearted". Rather than obsessing over the integrity of our selves, we need to learn to give parts of those selves to others – and acknowledge, finally, that we are dependent on each other, even if a Seventeen columnist might call it co-dependent.
submitted by A_D_Tennally to limerence [link] [comments]


2020.08.18 13:29 lisanik YSK: If you feel you need therapy but can’t afford it, many places offer sliding-scale payment.

EDIT: I am continuing to add to the master list of links in the main post as I do more research.
This is a comment I make frequently (US specific), so I thought I’d add it here. I’ve helped a number of strangers find sliding-scale places in their areas. My partner once went for free for two years because of his financial situation. I recently helped someone else find a good therapist in their area for $30 a session.
So if you feel like you need help—depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, etc—but don’t think you can afford it, make sure that’s not the case. I’m happy to help anyone look into their options.
Another great resource if you’re in the States is NAMI. You can literally text them for resources in your area.
Finally, we tend to treat the brain differently than other parts of the body. As I often say to my students who are struggling, if you had low blood sugar, would you yell at it to raise itself? A broken foot? Of course not. You’d go to the doctor. The same should apply to the brain. There is no shame in seeking help. I’m fact, I’d argue it’s courageous.
Hugs to everyone who’s struggling.
Edit: many people are reaching out to me via message. I will do my best to help each and every one of you, but please be a little patient; the floodgates have opened.
Also, I’m proud of every single person who has had the courage to reach out, is now seeking therapy, or is even thinking about therapy. Make yourself a priority. You’re worth it.
Edit #2: Y’all are amazing. Thank you to everyone for the awards.
Edit #3: my phone is about to die, and I need to rest for a while (I’m quite ill). But I will be back later on, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
Edit #4: I’m going to go cuddle my dog and shit my brain down for the night, but I’ll be back tomorrow to keep responding to DMs and comments. Rest well, y’all.
Edit #5: Lists I’ve put together for folks. Thought I’d add this in case anyone was afraid to reach out but lives in one of these areas. :
General resource:
Text NAMI, as they may be aware of resources I’m not. Still, this is a starting place.
https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/September-2016/How-Texting-Can-Help-Save-a-Life
Virtual:
https://www.betterhelp.com
https://openpathcollective.org (I’m told this is the more affordable of the virtual options)
It’s worth noting that many places are doing virtual therapy because of covid.
San Antonio:
https://www.freeclinics.com/cit/tx-san_antonio
Houston:
https://fullerlifefamilytherapy.org/houston-sliding-scale-therapy-agencies/
Corpus Christi:
https://www.opencounseling.com/texas/corpus-christi
Palm Desert/Palm Springs/ La Quinta CA
https://www.opencounseling.com/california/palm-desert
Vancouver:
https://www.advancedwellnesscounseling.com
Los Angeles
https://mylatherapy.com/about-my-la-therapy/sliding-scale-therapy/
https://wila.org
http://www.creativetherapyla.com/ss.html
Puerto Rico
https://www.needymeds.org/mental_clinics.taf?_function=state&state=PR
Brooklyn
Kings County Hospital Center’s Behavioral Health Center offers therapy on a sliding scale from $15-20 a session. Keep in mind this is all subject to your financial situation, so call 718-245-2727 for more information on required paperwork.
https://www.newpathwaysny.org
https://williamsburgtherapygroup.com
https://newdirectionsbrooklyn.com
https://jewishboard.org
Nashville
http://www.mindfultherapynashville.com
https://www.agapenashville.org/counseling
Finally, a list of resources: https://www.opencounseling.com/tennessee/nashville
Denver
https://www.mariadroste.org
https://denverfamilyinstitute.org
And a link to a list of other possibilities:
http://www.jcmh.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Mental-Health-Tx-Low-Cost-and-Sliding-Scale.pdf
Staten Island
https://www.islandofhopecounseling.com
http://www.counselingstatenisland.com
http://www.listeningcarefullycounseling.com
Brentwood, NY
http://mhaw.org/programs/community-resource-directory/
http://www.hrhcare.org/healthcenters/brentwood/
And nearby Levittown:
https://yesccc.org/what-we-do
And if none of those work, give this database a try: https://openpathcollective.org/city/new-york/
Knoxville
https://www.knoxvillecounselingservices.com
https://www.cherokeehealth.com/about-us/who-we-serve
An awesome list: https://www.opencounseling.com/tennessee/knoxville
Baltimore
https://probonocounseling.org
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/socialwork/medsurg/community/partb.html
A nice list: https://www.opencounseling.com/maryland/baltimore
Another helpful resource: https://211md.org/counseling
Brookline and Boston, MA
https://www.brooklinecenter.org
https://www.denovo.org/counseling/services
https://mariadrostecounseling.com
And a list of folks in Boston:
https://www.opencounseling.com/massachusetts/boston
Indianapolis
https://www.familiesfirstindiana.org/mental-health-counseling
http://www.legacy-house.org
A useful list: https://www.opencounseling.com/indiana/indianapolis
Fort Wayne, IN
https://www.headwaterscounseling.org
https://www.bowencenter.org
https://www.treatment-centers.net/directory/indiana/fort-wayne/counseling-services-and-consulting-llc.html (if substance abuse is part of the issue)
https://www.fwfmc.com
https://www.parkcenter.org
And a pdf list: https://acjc.us/wp-content/uploads/2017-Updated-Counseling-Agencies.pdf
Florida Panhandle/Fort Walton area
https://www.ppccfl.com
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/carol-r-murphy-fort-walton-beach-fl/203267
A list of folks who provide sliding scale: https://www.opencounseling.com/florida/fort-walton-beach
Schenectady, NY
https://www.opencounseling.com/new-york/schenectady
Baton Rouge, LA
https://www.opencounseling.com/louisiana/baton-rouge
https://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/directory/detail/8546/catid/179
https://www.shchc.org/locations
https://fsgbr.org
https://www.grcbr.org
http://cosbr.net/contact/
https://daronda-parker-lathan.vsee.meclinic
Grand Rapids, Michigan
http://grcounseling.com
https://www.mindfulcounselinggr.com
https://www.opencounseling.com/michigan/grand-rapids
http://www.eastowncounseling.com
https://www.michigan.gov/documents/cmh_8_1_02_37492_7.PDF
Asheville, NC
https://www.fullcirclewnc.org
http://allsoulscounseling.org
https://www.opencounseling.com/north-carolina/asheville
https://trueselfhealinggroup.com/lowfee-clinic
Madison, WI
https://samaritancounselingcenterwi.org/about/
https://www.opencounseling.com/wisconsin/madison
http://m.lakecitycounseling.com/?url=http://www%2Elakecitycounseling%2Ecom%2F#2811
Ontario, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton
https://www.affordabletherapytoronto.com
West Palm Beach, FL
https://namipbc.org/resource-links/ (Scroll down time counseling services, but this page has so many good links)
https://www.opencounseling.com/florida/west-palm-beach
https://www.ctrfam.org/individual-family-counseling/
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
https://burroughscounseling.com
https://sfpsychological.org/what-we-do/marriage-and-family-clinic/
https://www.helplinecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/HLCRD-Sioux-Falls-Mental-Health-Guide.pdf
San Francisco, CA
Golden Gate Integral Counseling Center Phone: (415) 561-0230
https://www.marinacounseling.com
https://www.ciis.edu/counseling-and-acupuncture-clinics/integral-counseling-center-at-pierce-street
http://sfnewperspectives.org
https://www.accessinst.org
https://www.liberationinstitute.org
https://mindfulcenter.org
https://www.wellsanfrancisco.com/about/sliding-scale-therapy/
Pueblo, CO
https://www.health.solutions
Philly!
http://www.counselingphiladelphia.com
https://councilforrelationships.or
https://www.mazzonicenter.org
https://www.circlecounseling.com
https://abetterlifetherapy.com
https://www.turningleaftherapyservices.com
A nice list: https://generocity.org/philly/2018/06/27/mental-health-guide-where-to-get-therapy-on-a-sliding-scale-in-philadelphia/
And another: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2020/04/30/virtual-therapy/%3famp=1
Lancaster, PA
https://cobys.org/counseling/
https://www.lauramorse.org
https://thewellcounselingandconsulting.com
https://lancasterpsychology.com
https://healingspacesbh.com
Seattle
https://www.antioch.edu/seattle/resources/
https://seattleanxiety.com
http://northwestfamilylife.org
https://www.sagetherapyseattle.com
https://aubree-irving-therapy.com
https://www.southseattlecounseling.com
https://mendseattle.com
https://bastyrcenter.org/services/counseling
And a list of resources: http://www.seattlecrisis.org/counseling.html
Atlanta, GA
https://mcsatlanta.org
http://samaritanatlanta.org
http://www.intownfamilytherapy.com
https://www.thelink.org
http://www.htwcc.org
http://www.atlanta-counseling.com/rates-and-fees
https://gahope.org
http://www.skylinecounselingatl.com/low-cost-services
Fairbanks, Alaska
https://www.opencounseling.com/alaska/fairbanks
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/lotus-family-counseling-llc-fairbanks-ak/294939
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/jennifer-hood-lpc-llc-fairbanks-ak/362052 (trauma specialist)
https://www.utherapy.net/contact/
http://www.graceinmotioncounseling.com
Lehi, Utah
https://whs.alpineschools.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2016/11/Low-Cost-Mental-Health-Services-in-Utah-County.pdf
https://www.stevenjchen.com
Salt Lake City, UT
https://www.ucebt.com
https://www.opencounseling.com/utah/salt-lake-city
https://www.familycounselingcenterutah.com
http://www.whitneybarrellcounseling.com
https://www.amethystcenterforhealing.com
https://redwillowcounseling.com
Tacoma, WA
https://www.seamar.org/pierce-medical-tacoma.html
Oakland, CA
https://www.seeds-of-awareness.org
http://womenstherapy.org
http://blueoaktherapycenter.org
Nice long list of resources: https://sa.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/Sliding%20Scale%20Psychotherapy%20Agencies2.pdf
Another list of resources: http://acphd.org/media/129900/mental_health_matrix.pdf
https://gratefulhearttherapy.org
https://lauranorthruppsychotherapy.com/sliding-scale-therapy-resources
submitted by lisanik to YouShouldKnow [link] [comments]


2020.08.18 00:53 Jonnyawesome89 Offseason Review Series: Baltimore Ravens

Coming off an incredible 14-2 regular season in which the Ravens, led by MVP Lamar Jackson, shocked the league with an innovative offense that ran all over opponents, the team looks toward a 2020 campaign in which they will attempt to shake the sting to an extremely disappointing first round playoff exit.
[Baltimore Ravens]
Division: AFC North
Coaching Changes
In a season rocked by uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ravens have a significant advantage in the fact that they retain both coordinators and head coach after a successful season. In February, head coach John Harbaugh announced title changes for 6 members of the staff (per baltimoreravens.com):
· Chris Horton – special teams coordinator (formerly special teams coach)
· Randy Brown – special teams coach (formerly assistant special teams coach)
· Chris Hewitt – pass defense coordinator (formerly defensive backs coach)
· Sterling Lucas – defensive assistant/defensive line (formerly defensive assistant/linebackers)
· Jesse Minter – defensive backs coach (formerly assistant defensive backs coach)
· Drew Wilkins – outside linebackers coach (formerly assistant defensive line and outside linebackers coach)
Chris Horton
Horton enters his second year guiding the Ravens' special teams unit after taking over for longtime coordinator Jerry Rosburg following his retirement in 2019. Last season, Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro K Justin Tucker finished second in the NFL with a 96.6 percent field goal success rate (28 of 29), which was also the second-best mark in franchise single-season history. Baltimore also finished eighth in punt return average (8.2) in 2019. A seventh-year coach with the Ravens, Horton has been working with the special teams group since 2015.
Randy Brown
Brown is in his 13th year working with the Ravens' specialists. He has had an instrumental role in the development of the team's kicking game by helping Tucker become the most accurate kicker of all time (90.8 percent). Tucker has scored 141 points in each of his past four seasons, which tie for the Ravens single-season scoring record and make him the NFL's only kicker to surpass the 140 mark in each of the last four years (2016-19).
Chris Hewitt
Hewitt enters his ninth-year coaching with the Ravens after serving as the team's defensive backs coach for the past five seasons (2015-19). Last season, Baltimore's pass defense finished sixth in the NFL (207.2 ypg) with three players from the secondary earning Pro Bowl honors (CB Marlon Humphrey, CB Marcus Peters and S Earl Thomas III). Humphrey and Peters also earned first-team All-Pro accolades. Baltimore tallied a 77.5 defensive passer rating in 2019, which stood as the NFL's second-best mark.
Sterling Lucas
Lucas is in his fifth season with the Ravens after joining the team in 2016 as a strength and conditioning assistant in 2016. He has also served as an administrative assistant – defense (2017), quality control – defense (2018) and most recently as defensive assistant/linebackers (2019). Prior to joining Baltimore, Lucas spent two years as a defensive graduate assistant at North Carolina State.
Jesse Minter
Minter has been with the Ravens since 2017, when he started as a defensive assistant. He was promoted to assistant defensive backs coach in 2019, when he worked under Hewitt. This past season, Baltimore tied (Tampa Bay) for the NFL lead with six defensive touchdowns (including three interceptions returned for touchdowns).
Drew Wilkins
Wilkins enters his 11th year with the Ravens after initially joining the team as a football video operations intern in 2010. He served as the team's assistant defensive line & outside linebackers coach the past two seasons (2018-19). Wilkins originally moved to the coaching side in 2013, when he became a coaching staff assistant. He was promoted to defensive assistant in 2014 before becoming the assistant defensive line coach in 2017. In 2019, OLB Matthew Judon led the Ravens with a career-high 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. The Ravens also finished with 111 quarterback hits, the NFL's third-most.
Free Agency:
Players Lost/Cut
Player Position New Team
Tony Jefferson SS Released
James Hurst OT Released
Michael Pierce DT FA, Minnesota
Josh Bynes ILB FA, Cincinatti
Patrick Onwuasor ILB FA, NY Jets
Seth Roberts WR FA, Carolina
Hayden Hurst TE Traded, Atlanta
Chris Wormley DE Traded, Pittsburgh
De’Anthony Thomas WKR Opt-Out
Andre Smith OT Opt-Out
In an offseason with a few notable departures for the Ravens, none is more impactful than the retirement of OG Marshal Yanda. A 13-year veteran, Yanda anchored the Ravens offensive line, and was consistently amongst the best guards in football. Not just a dominant force on the field, Yanda brought veteran leadership to a young Ravens squad that found a lot of success in the regular season. Now retired, he becomes a prospect for the NFL Hall of Fame. Marshal Yanda is a caliber of player that is not easily replaced, and the loss of his ability and leadership is one of the biggest question marks for the Ravens offense going into 2020.
Michael Pierce came into the league as an UDFA who was able to become an immediate contributor for the Ravens front 7. An imposing figure at over 330 lbs., Pierce, along with Ravens stalwart Brandon Williams created a stout, if not agile, front for the Ravens defense. Following a 2019 in which Pierce came into camp overweight and out of shape, his long-term future with the team was immediately brought into question, culminating with him signing with the Minnesota Vikings this offseason. The additions by the Ravens of Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe this offseason softens the blow considerably, and the unit may even look to be improved headed into this year.
When it comes to Baltimore Ravens and Greg Roman offenses, extensive use of Tight Ends immediately comes to mind. It was therefore surprising to some when the Ravens decided to trade former first round pick Hayden Hurst to the Falcons this offseason. Hurst played significant snaps for the Ravens in a system that heavily utilizes tight ends. Unfortunately for Hurst, he was injured his rookie season and struggled for targets behind Mark Andrews, who has made a case to be considered a top TE in the league. Ultimately, this may be a rare win-win trade, as Hurst will have an opportunity to flourish with Matt Ryan on a Falcons team who recently lost Austin Hooper, while the Ravens were thrilled to use the resulting pick on standout RB JK Dobbins, who fits their system perfectly.
While neither player was a force in the back field last season, the simultaneous losses of Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor presents an interesting challenge for the Ravens, who are now likely to feature two rookies (Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison) heavily in their rotation this year.
The inclusion of opt-outs due to Covid-19 made this offseason tricky for some teams, but the Ravens were relatively unscathed. While the loss of De’Anthony Thomas and Andre Smith does impact depth, ultimately both players were replacement level, and their loss does not represent a significant challenge for 2020.
Players Acquired

Player Position Old Team Length Salary
Matthew Judon DE Ravens Franchise Tag $16.3MM
Derek Wolfe DE Broncos 1 Year $3MM
Jihad Ward DE Ravens 1 Year $1.1MM
Jimmy Smith CB Ravens 1 Year $3.5MM
Anthony Levine Sr S Ravens 1 Year $1.81MM
Chris Moore WR Ravens 1 Year $1.7MM
Sam Koch P Ravens 2 Years $4.95MM
Matt Skura C Ravens 1 Year RFA Tender
Chuck Clark SS Ravens 3 Years $15.3MM
Jordan Richards S Ravens 1 Year $845k
Gus Edwards RB Ravens 1 Year $750K
Nick Moore LS Ravens 1 Year $610K
Calais Campbell DE Jaguars 2 Years $25MM
DJ Fluker OG Seahawks 1 Year $1.07MM
Pernell McPhee DE Ravens 1 Year $1.1MM
While the Ravens did not make a ton of moves on outside players, they did make a big splash early in the offseason with the acquisition of Calais Campbell. At the low cost of just a 5th round pick, the Ravens were able to acquire a perennial pro bowler and veteran leader. A no brainer for the cost, by making this move, along with the signing of Derek Wolfe, the Ravens were able to address their D Line, a unit that was exposed last year by both Nick Chubb and Derek Henry. On the offensive line, the Ravens were able to add DJ Fluker, who can immediately slot into the void left by Marshal Yanda. While Fluker will certainly be a drop off from the Hall of Fame prospect Yanda, his veteran presence should help minimize the impact of losing such an important player.
On the re-signing front, the name of the game was continuity. The Ravens were able to accomplish this goal, returning key pieces of the 2019 squad. Most notably, the Ravens were able to keep intact what was one of the best secondaries in the NFL last year down the stretch. By re-signing Chuck Clark, Anthony Levine, Jimmy Smith and extending Marcus Peters (with already signed players Marlon Humphrey and Earl Thomas) the Ravens are once again slated to have one of the best secondaries in the NFL. This is key, as the Ravens clock chewing, points scoring offense often forces enemy teams to play from behind, and the Ravens defense is once again set up to make passing the ball extremely difficult. At the DE position the Ravens tagged Matthew Judon. A productive player with a high amount of pressures in 2019, Judon was important to retain on an extremely thin DE unit. On offense, they returned RB Gus Edwards and starting C Matt Skura. Skura is an important piece, as his loss was keenly felt against the Titans following his season ending injury in the Rams game.
Draft
The Ravens are known across the NFL for accumulating picks through trades and compensatory selections. This year was no exception, as the Ravens had 10 total selections, including a whopping 6 picks in the first three rounds.

Round Pick (OVR) Player Position School
1 28 (28) Patrick Queen LB LSU
2 23 (55) JK Dobbins RB Ohio State
3 7 (71) Justin Madubuike DT Texas A&M
3 28 (92) Devin Duvernay WR Texas
3 34 (98) Malik Harrison LB Ohio State
3 42 (106) Tyre Phillips OT Miss State
4 37 (143) Ben Bredeson G Michigan
5 25 (170) Broderick Washington DT Texas Tech
6 22 (201) James Proche WR SMU
7 5 (219) Geno Stone S Iowa

Draft Grades:
Round 1:
Patrick Queen: A+
One of the most notable weaknesses of the Ravens Defense in 2019 was the linebacking corps. After losing CJ Mosley the previous offseason, the remaining LBs proved unequal to the task, culminating in a complete reshuffling of the position with off the street free agents a few weeks into the season. While the new group was serviceable, the Ravens had a noticeably porous run defense when playing from behind, which was not an issue for much of the year but got completely exposed in an embarrassing round 1 playoff exit. This made LB a huge position of need. The Ravens, true to their reputation, remained patient in the first round while other teams linked to first round LB talent, (teams like Green Bay and New Orleans) went elsewhere, and other teams made reaches, (notably the Seahawks one pick earlier) and still got their guy, much later than originally projected. Queen is an exciting addition to the Ravens Defense. Fast and with great instincts, Queen has a knack for always being around the play. He shows up in the biggest moments, snagging a key interception from Tua Tagovailoa against Alabama and earning Defensive MVP honors in the national championship game. Queen does have some weaknesses, with weak tackling at times and only one year of proven production. However, given the Ravens’ ability to develop linebackers, they must have been ecstatic to snag a player who many analysists believed would be long gone by pick 28.
Round 2:
JK Dobbins: A-
The Ravens had perhaps the most dominant rushing attack of the modern era in 2019, which caused many to be shocked when they selected a running back with their second pick of the NFL Draft. However, anyone who is a close observer of the Ravens understood the selection. The Ravens live by the mantra of “Best Player Available” and as an organization refuse to reach for positions of need. This has made them one of the more successful organizations in the draft, as they consistently find value with their picks. Dobbins is a perfect fit for the Ravens system. He is a shifty back with great vision who demonstrated great understanding of how to take what the defense gives him. This projects very well into an offense that opens so many holes with a dominant line and constant running threat of MVP Lamar Jackson. Dobbins should be an immediate contributor and projects as the long-term starter, particularly if the Ravens part ways with Mark Ingram after this year. He is the second All-Time rusher at Ohio State, ahead of players like Ezekiel Elliott and Eddie George. His ability to run out of the pistol makes him a great complement to Lamar Jackson in RPO situations.
Rounds 3:
Justin Madubuke: A
Every year the Ravens seem to have a pick in the mid rounds that dumbfounds analysts. This is because they have a knack for scooping up players that should not still be on the board without giving up capital to do so. In this example, the Ravens traded back from pick 60, and likely still got the player they were targeting. Madubuike is a mountain at 6’3, 293 pounds, and has shown success at not only containing the run but pressuring the QB. Madubuike provides an infusion of youth to a defensive line that is one of the older units on the team. This pick is also indicative of the Ravens commitment to returning to their run stuffing roots, the front office was clearly unhappy with the pain inflicted by Derek Henry in the divisional round.
Devin Duvernay: B+
Coming into 2020, the Ravens WRS are the biggest question mark on the roster. An extremely inexperienced unit, many thought that it was a position that would be addressed much earlier in the draft. However, the Ravens were patient, and snagged the guy they wanted in Devin Duvernay. Duvernay had extremely successful 2019, racking up 1,386 yards and showcasing very reliable hands. The speedy, sure-handed nature of Duvernay’s game is a definite complement to Lamar Jacksons playstyle, as the Ravens rely on efficiency over volume in the passing game. One consideration with Duvernay moving forward is that he is most effective from the slot, which is rather crowded with the Ravens current lineup of pass catchers.
Malik Harrison: A-
As with Patrick Queen, the Ravens were clearly motivated to overhaul a weak line backing unit that was picked on at times in 2019. Harrison, a large, run thumping LB, projects as a great complement to the speedy, instinctual Queen. The Ravens were clearly motivated to fix their run stopping issues. Harrison is a large presence who is extremely reliable in maintaining his gap assignments, which should go a long way in shoring up the Ravens run D.
Tyre Phillips: B-
With the last pick of the third round, an exhausted Roger Goodell announced the pick of Tyre Phillips. Phillips, a 6 ft 5, 345 pound OT, is likely to be involved in the Ravens competition at guard to replace Marshal Yanda. Phillips shows great size and natural athleticism, with some roughness to his technique. While he was drafted earlier than predicted, Phillips will have the chance to grow in the Ravens’ system and compete for a starting role.
Round 4:
Ben Bredeson: A-
An All Big Ten player under head coach John Harbaugh’s brother Jim at Michigan, Ben Bredeson seemed destined to stay in the Harbaugh family. A great complement to the previous pick of Phillips, Bredeson projects as more pro ready on day one. There are concerns about his natural length at the pro level, however, with his technique, Bredeson should be in the mix early on. Adding a second offensive line here was a great move by the Ravens to help shore up their interior O line.
Round 5:
Broderick Washington: C
The Ravens addressed defensive line again in round 5, in a move that was a head scratcher to some. The Ravens like Washington as a player and as a leader, and so did not hesitate to grab him. While this does seem like somewhat of a luxury pick, Washington will get the chance to learn from great players like Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe. Washington doesn’t need to feel pressured to contribute year one. This pick once again demonstrates the Ravens commitment to “Best player Available”.
Round 6:
James Proche: B+
In a surprise move, the Ravens traded back in to acquire James Proche. A player who analysts like Mel Kiper thought would go much higher, the Ravens get to add another prospect to their stable of young WRs. Proche is a speedy, productive, sure-handed WR that seems to be the favorite of QB Lamar Jackson. With the opting out of De’Anthony Thomas, Proche’s most likely route to the field in year one will be as a kick returner.
Round 7:
Geno Stone: B
With their 10th and final selection of the draft, the Ravens snagged S Geno Stone. An intelligent, cagey safety at Iowa, Stone fell to the seventh round due to concerns around his athleticism. He will have to prove himself to make a stacked roster. However, he does project as a special teams contributor with some long term potential upside in a safety group that lacks depth.
Overall A: In a draft with many picks, the Ravens acquired a lot of good players with immediate contribution potential. They were able to make a good team better without making drastic moves or giving up significant capital. The Ravens FO are masters at letting the draft come to them, and once again they had a consensus great draft that was lauded by analysts.
Other Offseason News that Affected the Team
The Ravens avoided major drama in the offseason. There were, however, a few stories of note in the media.
Earl Thomas Incident: Earl Thomas was in the news following an altercation with his wife in which she allegedly pointed a gun at his head. Thomas’ wife Nina reportedly tracked Earl and his brother to a rental house, were they were shacked up with women. The Ravens were reported to be very displeased with Thomas, who did not alert the team to the story ahead of time. One point that is important to note, that while the entire incident was very strange, Earl was not in the same room as his brother as was being speculated on the internet. Both brothers were in different rooms with their respective partners.
Lamar Jackson: After a breakout MVP season, Lamar has become a veritable superstar, notably gracing the cover of Madden.
Antonio Brown: After being filmed working out with quarterback Lamar Jackson and his cousin, WR Hollywood Brown, Antonio Brown has been repeatedly linked with the Ravens. Jackson has gone as far as to publicly advocate for signing the wayward receiver. However, given that Brown will be suspended for half of the season, and Owner Steve Bischotti has publicly eschewed the idea of signing players with domestic violence issues following the Ray Rice incident, a pairing of Antonio Brown and Jackson seems unlikely.
Hollywood Brown: While not a national story, one thing that Ravens fans are excited about is the offseason progress of Hollywood Brown. After having a screw surgically removed from his foot, Brown has been posting his workouts and has reportedly gained 23 pounds from last year.
Mo Gaba: A heart breaking story this offseason, the passing of Ravens superfan Mo Gaba was announced on July 28th. A dedicated fan of Baltimore sports, Mo passed at age 14 after multiple battles with cancer. He was heavily involved with the Ravens organization, notably announcing the Ravens selection of Ben Powers as the first ever draft pick announced via braille in 2019. He was known as a ray of light by many Ravens players, and always had a sunny and cheery disposition despite the struggles he faced. This post is dedicated to his life, and Mo is beloved across Ravens nation.
Latest Injury and FA News:
Iman Marshal: Torn ACL, out for the year.
Chris Moore: Broken finger, out for a few weeks.
Dez Bryant: The FA WR, has reportedly garnered interest from the Ravens front office and is traveling to Baltimore for a workout.
Projected Starting Lineup:
· QB: Lamar Jackson:
Following an incredible MVP season, expectations are heaped high on QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson amazed with his running ability, making elite athletes routinely look foolish with his juking ability and speed. He was also incredibly efficient in the passing game, leveraging his running threat to keep defenses spread thin. Lamar is expected to continue his dominance this year, as his unique skillset is incredibly difficult to plan for. Jackson has his sights set on the post season, as his 0-2 playoff record is one black mark on an otherwise incredible start to his career.
· RB: Mark Ingram:
Ingram proved to be a force in 2019 as a complement to Lamar, as he chewed up defenses frozen by Jacksons rushing ability for YAC and first downs on a routine basis. As with last year the Ravens will address running back with a committee, expect to see Gus Edwards and new addition JK Dobbins feature heavily in the offense.
· FB: Patrick Ricard:
One of the NFLS few remaining two-way players, Ricard is an 800-pound gorilla whose lead blocking ability sets the tone of the Ravens hardnosed rushing offense.
· TE: Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle:
A dynamic duo, Andrews and Boyle will have more responsibility following the offseason departure of Hayden Hurst. Boyle has proven himself as one of the most effective blockers at the tight end position in the NFL, and he acts almost like another linemen, mauling defense fronts and empowering the run game. Andrews has emerged as one of the premier TE receiving threats in the NFL, and will have the opportunity this year to take the leap needed to reach the tier of players like George Kittle, Travis Kelsey, and Zach Ertz.
· WR: Hollywood Brown, Willie Snead, Miles Boykin:
In an offense that does not heavily feature WR play, the Ravens young corps will need to step up to get the Ravens over the hump in the playoffs. Brown and Boykin will need to take a leap in their second years to solidify the group. Brown faces the weight of expectation as many believe he has the potential to become the 1,000-yard WR threat the Ravens have lacked for most of their franchises’ history.
· LT: Ronnie Stanley:
The best LT in the NFL, Stanley imposes his will on defenders and anchors an offensive line that was dominant in 2019. Stanley’s play last year earned him all pro honors and the biggest question around him is how expensive he will become following the block buster extension signed by Laremy Tunsil this offseason,
· LG: Bradley Boseman:
An average to above average starter at left guard, Bozeman did a good job in 2019. While he will face competition for his spot from players like Ben Powers and Ben Bredeson, he projects to start again in 2020.
· C: Matt Skura: The starting center who was lost mid-season due to injury, Skura’s return is of keen importance to the Ravens. Skura’s back up, Patrick Mekari, did a great job filling in, but was ultimately exposed in the Titan’s game, contributing to the Ravens offensive woes in that matchup.
· RG: DJ Fluker: A road grader in the run game who is average to below average in the passing game, Fluker’s skillset fits what the Ravens are trying to accomplish. While there will be a competition for this spot, the ability to plug in a veteran like Fluker over a first- or second-year player makes him the likely candidate to replace Ravens great Marshal Yanda.
· RT: Orlando Brown Jr.:
A gigantic human being who followed in his father’s footsteps, Brown along with Stanley formed one of the best young tackle duos in the NFL. Brown Jr. was extremely solid in 2019 and should only get better going into this year.
· DL: Derek Wolfe, Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Jaylon Ferguson:
A group ultimately marked by its failure to stop the run in 2019, the Ravens completely overhauled their starting lineup. The addition of Campbell and Wolfe to a unit that returns Brandon Williams to his natural position of NT should see significant improvement heading into this year.
· LB: Matthew Judon, Patrick Queen, LJ Fort:
A unit that was so weak last year that the Ravens were signing players off the street to start, the LB corps has a lot to live up to in 2020. One of the team’s larger question marks, the LB corps’ effectiveness will ultimately hinge on what level of contribution it can get from rookies Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison.
· CB: Marlon Humphrey, Tavon Young, Marcus Peters:
Featuring one of the best CB duos in the league in Peters and Humphrey, the Ravens CBs will somehow be even better with the return of slot corner Tavon Young from injury. This CB group will be focused on being the best unit in the league, and there is no reason why they should not accomplish that goal.
· S: Chuck Clark, Earl Thomas:
The Ravens Safety group struggled last year until the injury of Tony Jefferson, and over the season anchored a very effective secondary. There were questions at times about Thomas’ hustle, but he will undoubtedly contribute heavily. Clark played well enough to earn a large extension, and his intelligence will feature heavily in the complicated Martindale system.
· K: Justin Tucker:
Not much to say about this one, Justin Tucker is just better than every other kicker in the league. He is extremely clutch and an absolute weapon on game winning drives, oh and he sings opera too.
· P: Sam Koch:
A player who reinvented the way his position is played, Sam Koch rejoins the wolf pack for another season with a fresh leg, after barely having to punt last year. Not a bad gig.
· KR: Justice Hill:
In a crowded RB room, KR may be the best way for the speedy Hill to see the field consistently next year.
· PR: James Proche:
A shifty and speedy talent with extremely sure hands, Proche will compete immediately for the PR spot, and should see time there in 2020.
Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses
Position groups:
· QB: The Ravens are very strong at the QB position. With the League MVP in Lamar Jackson, and an above average back up in RGIII, the team should feel extremely confident about its QB room.
· Backfield: The Ravens have one of the strongest RB Corps in the league, and all 4 RBS should contribute in many ways in the Ravens unique offense.
· OL: One of the strongest units in 2019, the OL should take a step back with the loss of Marshal Yanda. How the unit adjusts to this change will be one of the most important questions for the team to answer this year,
· Pass Catchers: Efficiency is the name of the game for the Ravens passing game and that will be the story in 2020. While there are many teams in the league with more productive TE and WR rooms, the Ravens offensive scheme should allow players like Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews to be big contributors.
· DL: The DL must do its part in washing the stain of Derek Henry’s play off performance from the Raven’s memory. This unit appears to be much improved and should be poised to do so under the leadership of Calais Campbell.
· LB: This unit is a huge question mark and we will not know how good they are until we can see the impact of the rookies firsthand. If Patrick Queen and Harrison are ready to contribute right away, it should be a solid group.
· Secondary: The Ravens have across the board the most complete secondary in the league, bar none. This unit was extremely strong last year and should remain so in 2020.
· Special Teams: Special Teams has traditionally been a strength for the Ravens. The kicking and punting units should continue to be top of the league, while there are some questions on how the KR and PR teams will perform this year.
Schedule Prediction
Week 1: Browns
Prediction: Win
The Browns have a talented roster and could be a huge threat if they can pull things together in 2020. However, installing a new HC with the limitations of covid places the Ravens as the week one favorites.
Week 2: @ Texans
Prediction: Win
Houston is hard to predict given the instability of the O’Brien regime. However, a Texans team that got trounced by the Ravens last year and lost their star WR will have a hard time overcoming an improved Ravens. The score will likely be closer, but the Ravens should pull it out.
Week 3: Chiefs
Prediction: Loss
The Ravens will have every opportunity to finally snag a win from Patrick Mahomes. However, it will be difficult to overcome a Super Bowl winning team that returns a ridiculous number of starters, especially when Covid steals homefield advantage from you.
Week 4: @ Washington Football Team
Prediction: Win
The WFT comes into the season with a new brand and a fearsome looking defensive line. However, there are too many questions on offense to think the Redskins are likely to beat a stacked Ravens roster.
Week 5: Bengals
Prediction: Win
Joe Burrow has all the tools needed to be an excellent NFL starter. The AFC North is a cold and hostile place however, and it will be difficult to exhibit those talents in year one.
Week 6: @ Eagles
Prediction: Win
The Eagles WR group will have a tough time getting anything going against the Ravens secondary, especially if they have to play from behind. Look for the offense to chew clock and force the Eagles to throw early and often.
Week 7: Steelers
Prediction: Win
Its hard to know how good Pittsburgh will be without seeing the state of Big Ben, but Mike Tomlin is a great head coach and always puts a good team on the field. Since the Ravens and Steelers almost always seems to split, the Ravens are likely to take the contest at home.
Week 8: Bye
The players get much needed rest while I sit in my house cheering for AFC rivals to lose.
Week 9: @ Colts
Prediction: Loss
This Ravens team is stacked, but they are likely to lose a game they should have won, and Indy seems a likely culprit. A talented roster that gets even a decent level of play from Rivers could cause the Ravens to slip up.
Week 10: @ Patriots
Prediction: Win
Belichek always puts a decent product on the field, but a Patriots team that lost the goat QB and was ravaged by opt outs may struggle this season, especially against a team like the Ravens.
Week 11: Titans
Prediction: Win
Revenge game time. A revamped front 7 and a vengeful Lamar Jackson show the Titans how the first game should have gone.
Week 12: @ Steelers
Prediction: Loss
The Ravens-Steelers rivalry is as evenly matched as it is brutal, and its likely the Steelers will be able to split the series with a win at home.
Week 13: Cowboys
Prediction: Win
Dallas has a scary WR corps with the addition of Ceedee Lamb, but after losing Travis Frederick, they might struggle against the Ravens strong secondary and blitz happy front. Ravens win by one score.
Week 14: @ Browns
Prediction: Loss
As stated previously, the Browns have a great roster on paper, and should be a threat. A run first offense with Chubb that utilizes the strong pass catching unit they have could well hand the Ravens a loss later in the season. Or they might continue to be the Browns and not do that at all, but I remain cautious that they can figure it out this year.
Week 15: Jaguars
Prediction: Win
Calais gets to catch up with some old friends while sitting on the bench watching the Ravens offense pound the rock. Ravens cruise to victory.
Week 16: Giants
Prediction: Win
The Giants add an important piece by acquiring a strong Left Tackle but they need to fill a few more holes to compete.
Week 17: u/Bengals
Prediction: Win
Bengals get an advantage as they are comfortable playing at home in an empty stadium, but it is the Lamar Jackson show once again.
Final Record: 12-4
History states that regression is likely after a 14-2 season, and this prediction reflects that. However, the Ravens should still be very strong and Lamar will get his chance once again to prove himself in the post season.
Offensive and Defensive Schemes
Offense: The Ravens debuted a unique offense last year that focused on rushing the ball and using heavy sets with tight ends. The entire offense hinges on the threat of Lamar Jackson running the football. Teams are forced to stay honest up front, or they risk getting gouged by a QB scramble. This allows the Ravens offense to utilize a lot of reads in which Lamar can hand the ball off or keep it himself based on how certain players react. This dynamic run scheme thus allows the passing game by opening holes in the secondary. Look for the Ravens to add more wrinkles in 2020 and utilizes more passing attempts to help the offense remain ahead of the curve.
Defense: The Ravens defense is all about pressure. The Ravens blitz at the highest rate in the NFL. DC Wink Martindale uses multiple looks to confuse quarterbacks by disguising blitzes and coverage. The lynch pin of the scheme is the secondary, which can be left on an island while the front brings pressure. Look for the Ravens to continue this trend in 2020, going after QBs to force mistakes.
Conclusion: The Ravens project as one of the best teams in the NFL, and they need to prove themselves in the post season to take the next step.
Link to hub: https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/hju9t3/offseason_review_series_call_for_writers/
submitted by Jonnyawesome89 to nfl [link] [comments]


2020.08.18 00:51 Jonnyawesome89 Offseason Review Series: Baltimore Ravens

Coming off an incredible 14-2 regular season in which the Ravens, led by MVP Lamar Jackson, shocked the league with an innovative offense that ran all over opponents. The team looks toward a 2020 campaign in which they will attempt to shake the sting to an extremely disappointing first round playoff exit.
[Ravens]
Division: AFC North
Coaching Changes
In a season rocked by uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ravens have a significant advantage in the fact that they retain both coordinators and head coach after a successful season. In February, head coach John Harbaugh announced title changes for 6 members of the staff (per baltimoreravens.com):
· Chris Horton – special teams coordinator (formerly special teams coach)
· Randy Brown – special teams coach (formerly assistant special teams coach)
· Chris Hewitt – pass defense coordinator (formerly defensive backs coach)
· Sterling Lucas – defensive assistant/defensive line (formerly defensive assistant/linebackers)
· Jesse Minter – defensive backs coach (formerly assistant defensive backs coach)
· Drew Wilkins – outside linebackers coach (formerly assistant defensive line and outside linebackers coach)
Chris Horton
Horton enters his second year guiding the Ravens' special teams unit after taking over for longtime coordinator Jerry Rosburg following his retirement in 2019. Last season, Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro K Justin Tucker finished second in the NFL with a 96.6 percent field goal success rate (28 of 29), which was also the second-best mark in franchise single-season history. Baltimore also finished eighth in punt return average (8.2) in 2019. A seventh-year coach with the Ravens, Horton has been working with the special teams group since 2015.
Randy Brown
Brown is in his 13th year working with the Ravens' specialists. He has had an instrumental role in the development of the team's kicking game by helping Tucker become the most accurate kicker of all time (90.8 percent). Tucker has scored 141 points in each of his past four seasons, which tie for the Ravens single-season scoring record and make him the NFL's only kicker to surpass the 140 mark in each of the last four years (2016-19).
Chris Hewitt
Hewitt enters his ninth-year coaching with the Ravens after serving as the team's defensive backs coach for the past five seasons (2015-19). Last season, Baltimore's pass defense finished sixth in the NFL (207.2 ypg) with three players from the secondary earning Pro Bowl honors (CB Marlon Humphrey, CB Marcus Peters and S Earl Thomas III). Humphrey and Peters also earned first-team All-Pro accolades. Baltimore tallied a 77.5 defensive passer rating in 2019, which stood as the NFL's second-best mark.
Sterling Lucas
Lucas is in his fifth season with the Ravens after joining the team in 2016 as a strength and conditioning assistant in 2016. He has also served as an administrative assistant – defense (2017), quality control – defense (2018) and most recently as defensive assistant/linebackers (2019). Prior to joining Baltimore, Lucas spent two years as a defensive graduate assistant at North Carolina State.
Jesse Minter
Minter has been with the Ravens since 2017, when he started as a defensive assistant. He was promoted to assistant defensive backs coach in 2019, when he worked under Hewitt. This past season, Baltimore tied (Tampa Bay) for the NFL lead with six defensive touchdowns (including three interceptions returned for touchdowns).
Drew Wilkins
Wilkins enters his 11th year with the Ravens after initially joining the team as a football video operations intern in 2010. He served as the team's assistant defensive line & outside linebackers coach the past two seasons (2018-19). Wilkins originally moved to the coaching side in 2013, when he became a coaching staff assistant. He was promoted to defensive assistant in 2014 before becoming the assistant defensive line coach in 2017. In 2019, OLB Matthew Judon led the Ravens with a career-high 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. The Ravens also finished with 111 quarterback hits, the NFL's third-most.
Free Agency:
Players Lost/Cut
Player Position New Team
Tony Jefferson SS Released
James Hurst OT Released
Michael Pierce DT FA, Minnesota
Josh Bynes ILB FA, Cincinatti
Patrick Onwuasor ILB FA, NY Jets
Seth Roberts WR FA, Carolina
Hayden Hurst TE Traded, Atlanta
Chris Wormley DE Traded, Pittsburgh
De’Anthony Thomas WKR Opt-Out
Andre Smith OT Opt-Out
In an offseason with a few notable departures for the Ravens, none is more impactful than the retirement of OG Marshal Yanda. A 13-year veteran, Yanda anchored the Ravens offensive line, and was consistently amongst the best guards in football. Not just a dominant force on the field, Yanda brought veteran leadership to a young Ravens squad that found a lot of success in the regular season. Now retired, he become a prospect for the NFL Hall of Fame. Marshal Yanda is a caliber of player that is not easily replaced, and the loss of his ability and leadership is one of the biggest question marks for the Ravens offense going into 2020.
Michael Pierce came into the league as an UDFA who was able to become an immediate contributor for the Ravens front 7. An imposing figure at over 330 lbs., Pierce, along with Ravens stalwart Brandon Williams created a stout, if not agile, front for the Ravens defense. Following a 2019 in which Pierce came into camp overweight and out of shape, his long-term future with the team was immediately brought into question, culminating with him signing with the Minnesota Vikings this offseason. The additions by the Ravens of Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe this offseason softens the blow considerably, and the unit may even look to be improved headed into this year.
When it comes to Baltimore Ravens and Greg Roman offenses, extensive use of Tight Ends immediately comes to mind. It was therefore surprising to some when the Ravens decided to trade former first round pick Hayden Hurst to the Falcons this offseason. Hurst played significant snaps for the Ravens in a system that heavily utilizes tight ends. Unfortunately for Hurst, he was injured his rookie season and struggled for targets behind Mark Andrews, who has made a case to be considered a top TE in the league. Ultimately, this may be a rare win-win trade, as Hurst will have an opportunity to flourish with Matt Ryan on a Falcons team who recently lost Austin Hooper, while the Ravens were thrilled to use the resulting pick on standout RB JK Dobbins, who fits their system perfectly.
While neither player was a force in the back field last season, the simultaneous losses of Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor presents an interesting challenge for the Ravens, who are now likely to feature two rookies (Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison) heavily in their rotation this year.
The inclusion of opt-outs due to Covid-19 made this offseason tricky for some teams, but the Ravens were relatively unscathed. While the loss of De’Anthony Thomas and Andre Smith does impact depth, ultimately both players were replacement level, and their loss does not represent a significant challenge for 2020.
Players Acquired

Player Position Old Team Length Salary
Matthew Judon DE Ravens Franchise Tag $16.3MM
Derek Wolfe DE Broncos 1 Year $3MM
Jihad Ward DE Ravens 1 Year $1.1MM
Jimmy Smith CB Ravens 1 Year $3.5MM
Anthony Levine Sr S Ravens 1 Year $1.81MM
Chris Moore WR Ravens 1 Year $1.7MM
Sam Koch P Ravens 2 Years $4.95MM
Matt Skura C Ravens 1 Year RFA Tender
Chuck Clark SS Ravens 3 Years $15.3MM
Jordan Richards S Ravens 1 Year $845k
Gus Edwards RB Ravens 1 Year $750K
Nick Moore LS Ravens 1 Year $610K
Calais Campbell DE Jaguars 2 Years $25MM
DJ Fluker OG Seahawks 1 Year $1.07MM
Pernell McPhee DE Ravens 1 Year $1.1MM
While the Ravens did not make a ton of moves on outside players, they did make a big splash early in the offseason with the acquisition of Calais Campbell. At the low cost of just a 5th round pick, the Ravens were able to acquire a perennial pro bowler and veteran leader. A no brainer for the cost, by making this move, along with the signing of Derek Wolfe, the Ravens were able to address their D Line, a unit that was exposed last year by both Nick Chubb and Derek Henry. On the offensive line, the Ravens were able to add DJ Fluker, who can immediately slot into the void left by Marshal Yanda. While Fluker will certainly be a drop off from the Hall of Fame prospect Yanda, his veteran presence should help minimize the impact of losing such an important player.
On the re-signing front, the name of the game was continuity. The Ravens were able to accomplish this goal, returning key pieces of the 2019 squad. Most notably, the Ravens were able to keep intact what was one of the best secondaries in the NFL last year down the stretch. By re-signing Chuck Clark, Anthony Levine, Jimmy Smith and extending Marcus Peters (with already signed players Marlon Humphrey and Earl Thomas) the Ravens are once again slated to have one of the best secondaries in the NFL. This is key, as the Ravens clock chewing, points scoring offense often forces enemy teams to play from behind, and the Ravens defense is once again set up to make passing the ball extremely difficult. At the DE position the Ravens tagged Matthew Judon. A productive player with a high amount of pressures in 2019, Judon was important to retain on an extremely thin DE unit. On offense, they returned RB Gus Edwards and starting C Matt Skura. Skura is an important piece, as his loss was keenly felt against the Titans following his season ending injury in the Rams game.
Draft
The Ravens are known across the NFL for accumulating picks through trades and compensatory selections. This year was no exception, as the Ravens had 10 total selections, including a whopping 6 picks in the first three rounds.

Round Pick (OVR) Player Position School
1 28 (28) Patrick Queen LB LSU
2 23 (55) JK Dobbins RB Ohio State
3 7 (71) Justin Madubuike DT Texas A&M
3 28 (92) Devin Duvernay WR Texas
3 34 (98) Malik Harrison LB Ohio State
3 42 (106) Tyre Phillips OT Miss State
4 37 (143) Ben Bredeson G Michigan
5 25 (170) Broderick Washington DT Texas Tech
6 22 (201) James Proche WR SMU
7 5 (219) Geno Stone S Iowa

Draft Grades:
Round 1:
Patrick Queen: A+
One of the most notable weaknesses of the Ravens Defense in 2019 was the linebacking corps. After losing CJ Mosley the previous offseason, the remaining LBs proved unequal to the task, culminating in a complete reshuffling of the position with off the street free agents a few weeks into the season. While the new group was serviceable, the Ravens had a noticeably porous run defense when playing from behind, which was not an issue for much of the year but got completely exposed in an embarrassing round 1 playoff exit. This made LB a huge position of need. The Ravens, true to their reputation, remained patient in the first round while other teams linked to first round LB talent, (teams like Green Bay and New Orleans) went elsewhere, and other teams made reaches, (notably the Seahawks one pick earlier) and still got their guy, much later than originally projected. Queen is an exciting addition to the Ravens Defense. Fast and with great instincts, Queen has a knack for always being around the play. He shows up in the biggest moments, snagging a key interception from Tua Tagovailoa against Alabama and earning Defensive MVP honors in the national championship game. Queen does have some weaknesses, with weak tackling at times and only one year of proven production. However, given the Ravens’ ability to develop linebackers, they must have been ecstatic to snag a player who many analysists believed would be long gone by pick 28.
Round 2:
JK Dobbins: A-
The Ravens had perhaps the most dominant rushing attack of the modern era in 2019, which caused many to be shocked when they selected a running back with their second pick of the NFL Draft. However, anyone who is a close observer of the Ravens understood the selection. The Ravens live by the mantra of “Best Player Available” and as an organization refuse to reach for positions of need. This has made them one of the more successful organizations in the draft, as they consistently find value with their picks. Dobbins is a perfect fit for the Ravens system. He is a shifty back with great vision who demonstrated great understanding of how to take what the defense gives him. This projects very well into an offense that opens so many holes with a dominant line and constant running threat of MVP Lamar Jackson. Dobbins should be an immediate contributor and projects as the long-term starter, particularly if the Ravens part ways with Mark Ingram after this year. He is the second All-Time rusher at Ohio State, ahead of players like Ezekiel Elliott and Eddie George. His ability to run out of the pistol makes him a great complement to Lamar Jackson in RPO situations.
Rounds 3:
Justin Madubuke: A
Every year the Ravens seem to have a pick in the mid rounds that dumbfounds analysts. This is because they have a knack for scooping up players that should not still be on the board without giving up capital to do so. In this example, the Ravens traded back from pick 60, and likely still got the player they were targeting. Madubuike is a mountain at 6’3, 293 pounds, and has shown success at not only containing the run but pressuring the QB. Madubuike provides an infusion of youth to a defensive line that is one of the older units on the team. This pick is also indicative of the Ravens commitment to returning to their run stuffing roots, the front office was clearly unhappy with the pain inflicted by Derek Henry in the divisional round.
Devin Duvernay: B+
Coming into 2020, the Ravens WRS are the biggest question mark on the roster. An extremely inexperienced unit, many thought that it was a position that would be addressed much earlier in the draft. However, the Ravens were patient, and snagged the guy they wanted in Devin Duvernay. Duvernay had extremely successful 2019, racking up 1,386 yards and showcasing very reliable hands. The speedy, sure-handed nature of Duvernay’s game is a definite complement to Lamar Jacksons playstyle, as the Ravens rely on efficiency over volume in the passing game. One consideration with Duvernay moving forward is that he is most effective from the slot, which is rather crowded with the Ravens current lineup of pass catchers.
Malik Harrison: A-
As with Patrick Queen, the Ravens were clearly motivated to overhaul a weak line backing unit that was picked on at times in 2019. Harrison, a large, run thumping LB, projects as a great complement to the speedy, instinctual Queen. The Ravens were clearly motivated to fix their run stopping issues. Harrison is a large presence who is extremely reliable in maintaining his gap assignments, which should go a long way in shoring up the Ravens run D.
Tyre Phillips: B-
With the last pick of the third round, an exhausted Roger Goodell announced the pick of Tyre Phillips. Phillips, a 6 ft 5, 345 pound OT, is likely to be involved in the Ravens competition at guard to replace Marshal Yanda. Phillips shows great size and natural athleticism, with some roughness to his technique. While he was drafted earlier than predicted, Phillips will have the chance to grow in the Ravens’ system and compete for a starting role.
Round 4:
Ben Bredeson: A-
An All Big Ten player under head coach John Harbaugh’s brother Jim at Michigan, Ben Bredeson seemed destined to stay in the Harbaugh family. A great complement to the previous pick of Phillips, Bredeson projects as more pro ready on day one. There are concerns about his natural length at the pro level, however, with his technique, Bredeson should be in the mix early on. Adding a second offensive line here was a great move by the Ravens to help shore up their interior O line.
Round 5:
Broderick Washington: C
The Ravens addressed defensive line again in round 5, in a move that was a head scratcher to some. The Ravens like Washington as a player and as a leader, and so did not hesitate to grab him. While this does seem like somewhat of a luxury pick, Washington will get the chance to learn from great players like Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe. Washington doesn’t need to feel pressured to contribute year one. This pick once again demonstrates the Ravens commitment to “Best player Available”.
Round 6:
James Proche: B+
In a surprise move, the Ravens traded back in to acquire James Proche. A player who analysts like Mel Kiper thought would go much higher, the Ravens get to add another prospect to their stable of young WRs. Proche is a speedy, productive, sure-handed WR that seems to be the favorite of QB Lamar Jackson. With the opting out of De’Anthony Thomas, Proche’s most likely route to the field in year one will be as a kick returner.
Round 7:
Geno Stone: B
With their 10th and final selection of the draft, the Ravens snagged S Geno Stone. An intelligent, cagey safety at Iowa, Stone fell to the seventh round due to concerns around his athleticism. He will have to prove himself to make a stacked roster. However, he does project as a special teams contributor with some long term potential upside in a safety group that lacks depth.
Overall A: In a draft with many picks, the Ravens acquired a lot of good players with immediate contribution potential. They were able to make a good team better without making drastic moves or giving up significant capital. The Ravens FO are masters at letting the draft come to them, and once again they had a consensus great draft that was lauded by analysts.
Other Offseason News that Affected the Team
The Ravens avoided major drama in the offseason. There were, however, a few stories of note in the media.
Earl Thomas Incident: Earl Thomas was in the news following an altercation with his wife in which she allegedly pointed a gun at his head. Thomas’ wife Nina reportedly tracked Earl and his brother to a rental house, were they were shacked up with women. The Ravens were reported to be very displeased with Thomas, who did not alert the team to the story ahead of time. One point that is important to note, that while the entire incident was very strange, Earl was not in the same room as his brother as was being speculated on the internet. Both brothers were in different rooms with their respective partners.
Lamar Jackson: After a breakout MVP season, Lamar has become a veritable superstar, notably gracing the cover of Madden.
Antonio Brown: After being filmed working out with quarterback Lamar Jackson and his cousin, WR Hollywood Brown, Antonio Brown has been repeatedly linked with the Ravens. Jackson has gone as far as to publicly advocate for signing the wayward receiver. However, given that Brown will be suspended for half of the season, and Owner Steve Bischotti has publicly eschewed the idea of signing players with domestic violence issues following the Ray Rice incident, a pairing of Antonio Brown and Jackson seems unlikely.
Hollywood Brown: While not a national story, one thing that Ravens fans are excited about is the offseason progress of Hollywood Brown. After having a screw surgically removed from his foot, Brown has been posting his workouts and has reportedly gained 23 pounds from last year.
Mo Gaba: A heart breaking story this offseason, the passing of Ravens superfan Mo Gaba was announced on July 28th. A dedicated fan of Baltimore sports, Mo passed at age 14 after multiple battles with cancer. He was heavily involved with the Ravens organization, notably announcing the Ravens selection of Ben Powers as the first every draft pick announced via braille in 2019. He was known as a ray of light by many Ravens players, and always had a sunny and cheery disposition despite the struggles he faced. This post is dedicated to his life, and Mo is beloved across Ravens nation.
Latest Injury and FA News:
Iman Marshal: Torn ACL, out for the year.
Chris Moore: Broken finger, out for a few weeks.
Dez Bryant: The FA WR, has reportedly garnered interest from the Ravens front office and is traveling to Baltimore for a workout.
Projected Starting Lineup:
· QB: Lamar Jackson:
Following an incredible MVP season, expectations are heaped high on QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson amazed with his running ability, making elite athletes routinely look foolish with his juking ability and speed. He was also incredibly efficient in the passing game, leveraging his running threat to keep defenses spread thin. Lamar is expected to continue his dominance this year, as his unique skillset is incredibly difficult to plan for. Jackson has his sights set on the post season, as his 0-2 playoff record is one black mark on an otherwise incredible start to his career.
· RB: Mark Ingram:
Ingram proved to be a force in 2019 as a complement to Lamar, as he chewed up defenses frozen by Jacksons rushing ability for YAC and first downs on a routine basis. As with last year the Ravens will address running back with a committee, expect to see Gus Edwards and new addition JK Dobbins feature heavily in the offense.
· FB: Patrick Ricard:
One of the NFLS few remaining two-way players, Ricard is an 800-pound gorilla whose lead blocking ability sets the tone of the Ravens hardnosed rushing offense.
· TE: Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle:
A dynamic duo, Andrews and Boyle will have more responsibility following the offseason departure of Hayden Hurst. Boyle has proven himself as one of the most effective blockers at the tight end position in the NFL, and he acts almost like another linemen, mauling defense fronts and empowering the run game. Andrews has emerged as one of the premier TE receiving threats in the NFL, and will have the opportunity this year to take the leap needed to reach the tier of players like George Kittle, Travis Kelsey, and Zach Ertz.
· WR: Hollywood Brown, Willie Snead, Miles Boykin:
In an offense that does not heavily feature WR play, the Ravens young corps will need to step up to get the Ravens over the hump in the playoffs. Brown and Boykin will need to take a leap in their second years to solidify the group. Brown faces the weight of expectation as many believe he has the potential to become the 1,000-yard WR threat the Ravens have lacked for most of their franchises’ history.
· LT: Ronnie Stanley:
The best LT in the NFL, Stanley imposes his will on defenders and anchors an offensive line that was dominant in 2019. Stanley’s play last year earned him all pro honors and the biggest question around him is how expensive he will become following the block buster extension signed by Laremy Tunsil this offseason,
· LG: Bradley Boseman:
An average to above average starter at left guard, Bozeman did a good job in 2019. While he will face competition for his spot from players like Ben Powers and Ben Bredeson, he projects to start again in 2020.
· C: Matt Skura: The starting center who was lost mid-season due to injury, Skura’s return is of keen importance to the Ravens. Skura’s back up, Patrick Mekari, did a great job filling in, but was ultimately exposed in the Titan’s game, contributing to the Ravens offensive woes in that matchup.
· RG: DJ Fluker: A road grader in the run game who is average to below average in the passing game, Fluker’s skillset fits what the Ravens are trying to accomplish. While there will be a competition for this spot, the ability to plug in a veteran like Fluker over a first- or second-year player makes him the likely candidate to replace Ravens great Marshal Yanda.
· RT: Orlando Brown Jr.:
A gigantic human being who followed in his father’s footsteps, Brown along with Stanley formed one of the best young tackle duos in the NFL. Brown Jr. was extremely solid in 2019 and should only get better going into this year.
· DL: Derek Wolfe, Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Jaylon Ferguson:
A group ultimately marked by its failure to stop the run in 2019, the Ravens completely overhauled their starting lineup. The addition of Campbell and Wolfe to a unit that returns Brandon Williams to his natural position of NT should see significant improvement heading into this year.
· LB: Matthew Judon, Patrick Queen, LJ Fort:
A unit that was so weak last year that the Ravens were signing players off the street to start, the LB corps has a lot to live up to in 2020. One of the team’s larger question marks, the LB corps’ effectiveness will ultimately hinge on what level of contribution it can get from rookies Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison.
· CB: Marlon Humphrey, Tavon Young, Marcus Peters:
Featuring one of the best CB duos in the league in Peters and Humphrey, the Ravens CBs will somehow be even better with the return of slot corner Tavon Young from injury. This CB group will be focused on being the best unit in the league, and there is no reason why they should not accomplish that goal.
· S: Chuck Clark, Earl Thomas:
The Ravens Safety group struggled last year until the injury of Tony Jefferson, and over the season anchored a very effective secondary. There were questions at times about Thomas’ hustle, but he will undoubtedly contribute heavily. Clark played well enough to earn a large extension, and his intelligence will feature heavily in the complicated Martindale system.
· K: Justin Tucker:
Not much to say about this one, Justin Tucker is just better than every other kicker in the league. He is extremely clutch and an absolute weapon on game winning drives, oh and he sings opera too.
· P: Sam Koch:
A player who reinvented the way his position is played, Sam Koch rejoins the wolf pack for another season with a fresh leg, after barely having to punt last year. Not a bad gig.
· KR: Justice Hill:
In a crowded RB room, KR may be the best way for the speedy Hill to see the field consistently next year.
· PR: James Proche:
A shifty and speedy talent with extremely sure hands, Proche will compete immediately for the PR spot, and should see time there in 2020.
Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses
Position groups:
· QB: The Ravens are very strong at the QB position. With the League MVP in Lamar Jackson, and an above average back up in RGIII, the team should feel extremely confident about its QB room.
· Backfield: The Ravens have one of the strongest RB Corps in the league, and all 4 RBS should contribute in many ways in the Ravens unique offense.
· OL: One of the strongest units in 2019, the OL should take a step back with the loss of Marshal Yanda. How the unit adjusts to this change will be one of the most important questions for the team to answer this year,
· Pass Catchers: Efficiency is the name of the game for the Ravens passing game and that will be the story in 2020. While there are many teams in the league with more productive TE and WR rooms, the Ravens offensive scheme should allow players like Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews to be big contributors.
· DL: The DL must do its part in washing the stain of Derek Henry’s play off performance from the Raven’s memory. This unit appears to be much improved and should be poised to do so under the leadership of Calais Campbell.
· LB: This unit is a huge question mark and we will not know how good they are until we can see the impact of the rookies firsthand. If Patrick Queen and Harrison are ready to contribute right away, it should be a solid group.
· Secondary: The Ravens have across the board the most complete secondary in the league, bar none. This unit was extremely strong last year and should remain so in 2020.
· Special Teams: Special Teams has traditionally been a strength for the Ravens. The kicking and punting units should continue to be top of the league, while there are some questions on how the KR and PR teams will perform this year.
Schedule Prediction
Week 1: Browns
Prediction: Win
The Browns have a talented roster and could be a huge threat if they can pull things together in 2020. However, installing a new HC with the limitations of covid places the Ravens as the week one favorites.
Week 2: @ Texans
Prediction: Win
Houston is hard to predict given the instability of the O’Brien regime. However, a Texans team that got trounced by the Ravens last year and lost their star WR will have a hard time overcoming an improved Ravens. The score will likely be closer, but the Ravens should pull it out.
Week 3: Chiefs
Prediction: Loss
The Ravens will have every opportunity to finally snag a win from Patrick Mahomes. However, it will be difficult to overcome a Super Bowl winning team that returns a ridiculous number of starters, especially when Covid steals homefield advantage from you.
Week 4: @ Washington Football Team
Prediction: Win
The WFT comes into the season with a new brand and a fearsome looking defensive line. However, there are too many questions on offense to think the Redskins are likely to beat a stacked Ravens roster.
Week 5: Bengals
Prediction: Win
Joe Burrow has all the tools needed to be an excellent NFL starter. The AFC North is a cold and hostile place however, and it will be difficult to exhibit those talents in year one.
Week 6: @ Eagles
Prediction: Win
The Eagles WR group will have a tough time getting anything going against the Ravens secondary, especially if they have to play from behind. Look for the offense to chew clock and force the Eagles to throw early and often.
Week 7: Steelers
Prediction: Win
Its hard to know how good Pittsburgh will be without seeing the state of Big Ben, but Mike Tomlin is a great head coach and always puts a good team on the field. Since the Ravens and Steelers almost always seems to split, the Ravens are likely to take the contest at home.
Week 8: Bye
The players get much needed rest while I sit in my house cheering for AFC rivals to lose.
Week 9: @ Colts
Prediction: Loss
This Ravens team is stacked, but they are likely to lose a game they should have won, and Indy seems a likely culprit. A talented roster that gets even a decent level of play from Rivers could cause the Ravens to slip up.
Week 10: @ Patriots
Prediction: Win
Belichek always puts a decent product on the field, but a Patriots team that lost the goat QB and was ravaged by opt outs may struggle this season, especially against a team like the Ravens.
Week 11: Titans
Prediction: Win
Revenge game time. A revamped front 7 and a vengeful Lamar Jackson show the Titans how the first game should have gone.
Week 12: @ Steelers
Prediction: Loss
The Ravens-Steelers rivalry is as evenly matched as it is brutal, and its likely the Steelers will be able to split the series with a win at home.
Week 13: Cowboys
Prediction: Win
Dallas has a scary WR corps with the addition of Ceedee Lamb, but after losing Travis Frederick, they might struggle against the Ravens strong secondary and blitz happy front. Ravens win by one score.
Week 14: @ Browns
Prediction: Loss
As stated previously, the Browns have a great roster on paper, and should be a threat. A run first offense with Chubb that utilizes the strong pass catching unit they have could well hand the Ravens a loss later in the season. Or they might continue to be the Browns and not do that at all, but I remain cautious that they can figure it out this year.
Week 15: Jaguars
Prediction: Win
Calais gets to catch up with some old friends while sitting on the bench watching the Ravens offense pound the rock. Ravens cruise to victory.
Week 16: Giants
Prediction: Win
The Giants add an important piece by acquiring a strong Left Tackle but they need to fill a few more holes to compete.
Week 17: u/Bengals
Prediction: Win
Bengals get an advantage as they are comfortable playing at home in an empty stadium, but it is the Lamar Jackson show once again.
Final Record: 12-4
History states that regression is likely after a 14-2 season, and this prediction reflects that. However, the Ravens should still be very strong and Lamar will get his chance once again to prove himself in the post season.
Offensive and Defensive Schemes
Offense: The Ravens debuted a unique offense last year that focused on rushing the ball and using heavy sets with tight ends. The entire offense hinges on the threat of Lamar Jackson running the football. Teams are forced to stay honest up front, or they risk getting gouged by a QB scramble. This allows the Ravens offense to utilize a lot of reads in which Lamar can hand the ball off or keep it himself based on how certain players react. This dynamic run scheme thus allows the passing game by opening holes in the secondary. Look for the Ravens to add more wrinkles in 2020 and utilizes more passing attempts to help the offense remain ahead of the curve.
Defense: The Ravens defense is all about pressure. The Ravens blitz at the highest rate in the NFL. DC Wink Martindale uses multiple looks to confuse quarterbacks by disguising blitzes and coverage. The lynch pin of the scheme is the secondary, which can be left on an island while the front brings pressure. Look for the Ravens to continue this trend in 2020, going after QBs to force mistakes.
Conclusion: The Ravens project as one of the best teams in the NFL, and they need to prove themselves in the post season to take the next step.
submitted by Jonnyawesome89 to ravens [link] [comments]


2020.08.17 17:06 Buck_Joffrey Wealth Formula Episode 225: Ask Buck

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/225-ask-buck/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone and welcome to another episode of Ask Buck. You know I will say that one of the things that people ask me all the time is where do I start with this stuff? I had a friend of mine visiting from San Francisco and he's a very very smart guy, one very very smart guy works for Apple et cetera. But this is not his space and we were talking a lot about some of the concepts we deal with on a regular basis here and he said well what do I read and I said to him you know you know I might start with like the Cashflow Quadrant or something like that right because that really sort of gives you some of the basic fundamentals but I can't think of any book right now off the top of my head that really goes into the types of granular detail on okay once you get the big picture yeah you read Kiyosaki etc. Now how can I put some of these things into action? I do believe quite honestly that we have the best show when it comes to alternative investing strategies and that kind of thing anyway with that being said let's start we're going to do all voice questions this week and I'm doing it a little bit different usually I spend a little you know a bunch of time listening and prepared answers but I'm going to make this more conversational this time. So first question here, I'm gonna roll.
Adam: Hey Buck how's it going? I'm a big fan of your work and the content you put out. I had a question about a comment you made on your podcast with Dante Andrade. You made a comment that you and your investment partners maybe not including Dante as it seems he might have some investments in Oklahoma had made a conscious decision not to invest in the state of Oklahoma. I'm an ER doctor living and working in California but I am from Oklahoma originally. My spouse and I have been looking into investing in single-family homes in Oklahoma given my connections to the state and the low cost of the homes located there. I know you're very busy and understand if you have time to answer this question, but could you possibly elaborate on why you decided not to invest in Oklahoma? I'm curious because it is a red state with similar politics to the other states you mentioned you invest in including Arizona, Texas and Florida. Any response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all you do. Adam.
Buck: That is actually a great question and there's a few different reasons that I'm not a big fan of Oklahoma as an investment market and part of it is just you know the fact that I have a certain kind of buy box and I have a certain kind of desire for you know certain kinds of performance. So the issue with Oklahoma in my view is that there really is no true significant demographic growth. There's not a huge amount of growth in terms of you know different industries, there is a lot of there's a fair amount of oil dependence but it's not like a Dallas Fort Worth or you know Phoenix Scottsdale where you know the u-haul numbers of people moving in are like off the charts and when you have like huge population growth that is usually because of jobs and when those people need to move in that's usually when there's a need for housing and then ultimately that pushes up prices on rents and when rents go up that increases the prices of our assets right because we're driving up an NOI cap rates become more compressed in those areas et cetera. Now what happened over the last couple of years was that these markets that I think that I'm describing that are very in my opinion very desirable like the Dallas Fort Worth the the Houston or you know it was Phoenix Scottsdale or even you know Atlanta some of the Florida markets the the thing is that everybody was you know everybody's buying stuff there so the cap rates were compressing more and more and more and that forced a lot of people to go into what we would call tertiary, what I would call tertiary markets. Oklahoma city being one of them and even in Oklahoma city you're seeing some level of cap rate compression but the difference in that market is that there really is no fundamentals to back up that compression okay so that's why I did not want to go anywhere near oklahoma city at least from the multi-family standpoint. Now understand too that again my buy box is really something where I can add value and where we think that we can continue to increase rents and then ultimately divest because of you know we've driven up NOI tertiary markets are not all bad right the thing is that I would say that if you're looking you know the area this is your space except you know and you know it's your backyard you know it understand that oklahoma city and other tertiary markets I think you can sometimes look at them more as coupon cutters right so say for example your you know you buy a property for seventy five hundred thousand dollars which is you know and I know you can do that in some of these markets just don't expect that property to appreciate very much right I mean it may not appreciate much at all in the next 10-15 years if you're looking at it purely as a yield play that you're just gonna hold on to and you know collect coupons and say you know seven eight percent per year or whatever and you're okay with that then by all means it's just not part of what we do and I think from the standpoint of multi-family in commercial real estate it's in my opinion is not a very good business but you know coupon clippers in your own backyard hey there's nothing wrong with that but I certainly wouldn't I certainly wouldn't go in there and create a big business plan around Oklahoma city. Hopefully that answers your question. All right let's see next question.
Eric: Hi Buck this is Eric from San Diego long time listener and part of the Investor Club. Just want to thank you for all you do with the podcast and Investor Club bringing all the great investment opportunities to the community. So my question is with 5g still in the early development stages here in the united states have you looked into any related investment opportunities such as data centers or cell towers and if so are you aware of any syndication opportunities out there? Thanks Buck.
Buck: Thank you Eric. Here let me answer it this way. I think that you know the Investor Club with me sort of leading that Investor Club thesis and investing we start with what we know and what I know is you know this space and apartment buildings really well we're doing really really really well in that as as you know and you know we're doing some self storage as well, however I think that over the course of the next decade we are going to start looking at some things that are more opportunistic. I think for the last few years you know our group has, I have specifically been concerned about the fact that we are in the longest expansion of GDP in US history that some sort of you know recession was imminent and therefore decided not to do anything that I considered sort of a little bit more of a shiny object or something like that. However the data center issue that you bring up is something that smart money is looking at. I had lunch with a guy who represents a big chinese investor group and they're buying up data centers across the country right now. So do I know of any syndications or groups and stuff like that doing that at our retail level? I do not. However that doesn't mean that we may not get involved in this kind of thing ourselves in the next you know couple of years. One thing that I'll say is that what you know what our group is going to start focusing on is going to be based on a Covid economy and I think a post Covid economy means some coming off of a very steep recession and knowing that we have some runway knowing that there's going to be things that are discounted we're not seeing any discounts in multi-family in fact we're seeing cap rate compression right now but we we may see some discounts and things that we know are going to come back we may see technologies like towers and stuff that we know hey we can buy this now and we think that the economy is going to boom in the next 10 years. So yeah I think it's all on the table data centers are definitely on my big list of possibilities that including I'm also potentially looking at the the you know the hotel market and I'm not talking about offshore stuff I'm just talking about basic stuff you know like local small hotels you know that you would stay in you know like the Hiltons and and things like that that are just getting crushed right now and we'll have a show on that pretty soon but that could be another space as well. But yeah to answer your question right now I don't know enough about it but it is something that we will look into, but thanks for your question. All right next question.
Eric: Hi Buck this is Eric from San Diego. I have an interesting question for you, a little off topic but I know you're a sports fan so do you think the NFL could pull off a reasonably successful 2020 season if they adopt some of the NBA strategies? For example all the NBA players coaches refs and support staff are located in a basically a bubble environment down in florida right now for the season and maybe the NFL could adopt this strategy by NFL division or even conference in combination with a shortened schedule maybe that could lead to a successful season it does seem like major league baseball is struggling in comparison to the NBA so just as a fellow sports fan and retired medical professional who's just curious of your thoughts. Thanks.
Buck: Yeah it's funny Eric I think he these are the kinds of questions I think about a lot too as you know I'm a big sports fan. Yeah I think the challenge in my opinion that's gonna happen with the NFL is that a lot of these guys you know unlike professional basketball and unlike professional baseball a lot of these guys have really you know they're these guys are overweight. A lot of them have got these massive you know body mass indexes and so that's what creates I think additional risk for them and you're seeing that I think you know some of these guys opting out and they know they're kind of overweight and they're you know overweight and african-american those are you know a couple of what seems to be right now fairly significant risk factors once you get covid having some bad outcomes. I am hopeful that given their you know what they're doing right now and you know they're being careful that we can have a season but honestly I just I don't know I mean the reality is if if they you know I think the problem is I think once you get one guy on a team who's got covid and they've been practicing with them I don't know what they're gonna do with I mean they're gonna have to like quarantine for a couple weeks. It's going to be a big mess let's just hope for the best and yeah I'm with you the the sports is kind of freaking me out a little bit and although I will say that I am kind of enjoying baseball again I haven't watched baseball since the old strike back in the 90s I used to be a Minnesota Twins fan when I was in high school and in middle school. They won a couple world series. I used to love watching baseball. Stopped watching it all together but now it's like the only thing that I'm really you know that I mean there's hockey now I don't really have a hockey team but the dodgers are kind of fun to watch anyway yeah thanks for the question let's move on here.
Jyoti: So my question is you know definitely a first world problem type of question and then you know we're really grateful for everything that we have as a dual physician household I have been is graduating radiation oncology residency next year and I've been in practice sub-specialized for six or seven years trying to improve on the financial side of things since we have a two-year-old now and trying to balance work and some of these investments trying to think about you know what is best is it best for us to get REP status, one of us to get REP status which would mean cutting back on work and you know I guess owning real estate forcing that appreciation increasing our net worth that way or you know doing that to some extent just enough to get REP status and then kind of putting the rest of our efforts into syndications because at that point once I have rough status or one of us has REP status we could shelter active the syndication losses would be active losses as far as I'm thinking and therefore we could shelter active income I guess that's my biggest thing trying to figure out at what income number where does that you know like is it and I guess that also depends on the type of properties I'm able to find but I haven't really sat down to do the math yet just because I don't know what opportunities I'll have available to me whenever we pick our next place to move once my husband graduates next year. Kind of a lot of moving parts also I'm thinking oh you know w2 employees don't have any deductions maybe I should look at a 1099 position work part-time and then be able to do some of the you know purchasing of property get REP status and then also do a combination of that and syndications both as limited and general partner that was kind of my main question and then as a secondary question, any thoughts on conservation easement has anybody done it tried it does it work? I know there are some pitfalls that I've read about but you know all of this is in theory and just trying to look for somebody who's done it in real life. Appreciate your time and energy into this question. Thank you so much for answering this question.
Buck: Thanks for the question. There's a few different ones there and let me just clarify when she's talking about REP status REP she's talking about the real estate professional status so this is an IRS designation that basically if you have material activity in real estate of 750 hours or more per year and that you don't do anything else more than that, that you you're considered what's called a real estate professional. Now the value of that is say you're married to you say you're a real estate professional and you have a spouse who is a high paid W-2 professional because you're filing jointly all of these passive losses that you would get as a real estate professional that ordinarily would have to stay in the passive basket and could not be applied against W-2 income could then actually be applied. So it's actually a huge opportunity for people who fit this category. I mean for example if you have you know if you had a hundred thousand dollars of bonus depreciation one spouse did and the other spouse was making you know 300 or 400,000 a year that K1 showing the hundred thousand dollars loss could be applied against the w-2 and decrease AGI. Without that real estate professional designation that passive loss could not be applied against the w-2 so that's the whole concept that Jyoti is trying to get at. You will have to do the math on this because I think it depends on a lot of things but I will tell you that a number of people in our group have made a conscious decision where one spouse you know because they were involved in real estate already and they realized that maybe they were making you know one spouse was making a lot more than the other and you know the one who was making less was like well you know we actually would come out making more money on the ba at least if you think about it how much you take home at least if we could just have those deductions from the real estate activity rather than taking the you know 50 75 grand whatever the spouse is making you might end up with you know two hundred thousand dollar deduction against four hundred thousand dollar income. So those kinds of things I mean honestly it's just about sitting down and doing the math. I don't know that there's a magic number or magic way to do that other than to you know figure out but generally speaking this will be advantageous if one if one spouse is making significantly more and again we're talking about you know a few hundred thousand dollars on one side and maybe 50 000 or 75 on the other well you're probably better off you know just really focusing on real estate and trying to get the real estate professional designation, building your net worth with real estate and ultimately taking those deductions along the way. To your question about you know you know potentially just decreasing hours, you know and being a 1099 I think being a 1099 in general over being a w-2 is going to be advantageous no matter what. I mean you you really if you have an entity that is receiving the 1099 you got to make sure you do that so you don't end up with a bunch of self-employment taxes do an s selection you're going to be in much better shape you're going to be able to do a lot more stuff than you are as a w-2. Let me just back up here and let you know that I am not a CPA, I'm not a tax professional so don't take anything I am saying as to you know tax advice I don't want to you know have you guys come and try to sue me or anything like that but this is my understanding and I think part of what you may need to do is you may need a very good CPA because a lot of these a lot of these things ultimately coming you know your decisions on you know becoming a real estate professional whether or not you'll use a you know a 1099 versus you know being a w-2 versus you know the conservation easement option that you brought up. All of these are highly reliant on a CPA who's confident and feels comfortable with you doing these types of things there's nothing illegal about what we're talking about but not all CPAs are created equally. As to your question about conservation easements conservation easements are a hot topic. The IRS sees them as sort of you know blatant tax mitigation or tax of avoidance and we've talked about them before but in effect what happens is you give up you know you you buy into property, that property that instead of going into development is given gives up its rights for building on and because of that you can take the deduction typically that's on the valuation of the property that would be there, that's a mouthful go listen to it again. But bottom line is what it has allowed people to do in the past is you know if you had an investment of or you know say a hundred thousand dollars or something potentially take a deduction you know up to four or five times that because the valuation came out that way. I'm not going to talk about it too much right now. It's a hot button issue. We will have more clarity on it later. I will say yes you know many people in our group have done this the the devil is in the details it really you have to use a reputable group you have to use a reputable operator there's a this is the wild wild west and if you're not careful you'll do something wrong and you know it'll end up costing you a lot of money that's the bottom line. Conservation easements are real they're used left and right by the affluent and if you are part of Investor Club if you're an accredited investor you know we talk about this stuff and we'll continue to talk about this in the next year. If you're not accredited you're not going to be able to participate in anything like this anyway so hopefully that's helpful. I know I was just being a little bit circuitous about answering that but you know that's it's a little tricky on that one so. Okay here's another question from Eric
Eric: Hi Buck. This is Eric in San Diego. Long time listener and part of the Investor Club. First off just like to thank you for all the great content incredible guests you have on your show as well as all the investment opportunities you bring to the Investor Club community. So my question is, it is often described that there are really only four asset classes: paper, business, real estate and commodities. So which of those would you say is the best for cash flow investing? What might be the best for growth or appreciation investing? And what might be the best for just simply wealth preservation? Thanks Buck.
Buck: Okay yeah it's not an easy question Eric and you know a lot of it's just because I'm biased right? I mean let's just try to do this methodically. But if you look at what you're talking about okay well let's start with cash flow okay and go down the list that you talked about businesses commodities paper real estate I think that if you own a business it's probably gonna it's gonna probably be the highest if you have a successful business and from my personal experience that is your opportunity for the highest level of cash flow but it is highly often highly volatile and and risky other than that of course you know commodities you're really not going to get any cash flow there. Paper is going to be dividend stocks or something like that that's about it. So bing bing bing bing it looks like I think real estate probably is in my opinion your best opportunity for cash flow that is you know reasonably a reasonable yield but yet still pretty safe. That's not to under undervalue businesses because I will tell you if you can be an entrepreneur and you can do some high you know cash flowing businesses, definitely a great way to go but I don't really consider businesses as, the way I do them, I don't really consider them investments as much as vehicles where I'm generating income to then use for investments. In other words my businesses actually fund my investments so that's the way I look at it. As far as you know growth and appreciation again if you are somebody who can take a business from scratch and you know turn it into something of value I mean you know that you can get huge valuations but again it is one of those things where you know it's not easy to do, it's not really in my opinion necessarily an investment. I mean obviously for a limited partner and you can get in early on something then great but again high risk potentially high reward because again you're dealing with valuations and business you may get lucky and invest in the next facebook the next unicorn etc but more often than not you're going to invest in things that fail and you lose all your money. But so business for growth and appreciation I would say that commodities well gold I don't know that I would call it a growth in appreciation if you look over the last 20 years or 30 years I mean from an inflation standpoint I don't know that it's really moved at all you know paper growth and appreciation again stocks and stuff like that. Sure I mean I think that you know growth and appreciation at least from a statistical standpoint you know having a portfolio of stocks has been worthwhile for that but again for me the growth and appreciation I mean if you look at where what we're doing and you know in Investor Club we're getting growth we're getting appreciation it's you know enormous amounts of of growth and appreciation we're getting with without you know frankly as much volatility and again just having you know real assets so again real estate wins for me there again. Finally for wealth preservation I think you know I don't think businesses necessarily in my view are wealth preservation tools. Okay gold commodities you talk about gold sure I mean I think statistically or historically we should say if you look at gold it's probably the the greatest wealth preservation tool in the history of the world right because in the times of Christ an ounce of gold would you would buy you a nice toga you know in a pair of sandals and now an ounce of gold will buy you a pretty nice suit and a pair of shoes. So there is a there is that wealth preservation aspect for gold in particular you know I don't know, paper I think it's you know depends I mean yeah I think if you look historically again in the stock market over time it is going to it has grown right so but I would say if you're talking about you know if you invested in in something now and didn't plan on divesting for 100 years from now it might be better to be in gold if your purpose was to preserve wealth the last part of that though again for wealth preservation and I've made this point several times on this show before and I'll still stand by it is that the value of gold is a real asset and ultimately hedge against inflation and you know it's sort of the anti-dollar that's my view and I think that's a view of a lot of people and to me I don't see a significant difference if you're talking about you know holding real estate versus holding gold. I don't see a big difference I don't see why I would hold gold instead of real estate and in fact I don't hold gold because real estate again is a massive hedge against inflation. If you look at what a lot of foreign groups are doing you know they just go in in Dallas and they plop down 25 30 million dollars and buy an apartment building and it's barely cash flowing but they don't care because they're just looking at it as a big piece of gold that's what they're looking at it is so again for wealth preservation I would say real estate and for me personally real estate but but also gold but yeah I mean it's a tough question. I think different people will give you different takes on that. All right let's see next question.
Kevin: Hi Buck. This is Kevin calling from San Jose California. Just so near you thank you so much for your podcast I've only recently found it and been listening every day on my commute to work and it's been a real like an earthquake for me a little bit about myself, I'm in my early 30s I'm a physical therapist so a more modest income than maybe most of your listeners but still love to learn from high net worth individuals like yourself and how to think about building wealth. So out of school I was given the script of try to max out my 401k contribute to a roth IRA, don't get life insurance, six months emergency fund and savings account invest in low-cost index fund and buy a house as soon as I can which where I live is just... Anyway, I was wondering what you would suggest I do to transition into a more Wealth Formula mindset should I stop contributing to my 401k and Roth IRA and put money into whole life insurance and things like real estate crowdfunding. Do you have a six-month emergency fund or do you use your life insurance cash balance for emergencies? Any insight on these mainstream personal finance scripts would be greatly appreciated. You are really an inspiration and I don't wish for much, just that maybe one day I can live a more financially free life. Thanks.
Buck: Well hey thanks for the question again I want to just start out by saying I don't want to I you know won't give you financial advice per se I can just give you some thoughts but don't think of it as advice because again I am not a certified financial planner and apparently that if you do that you know three months or so you can give advice but I'm not going to give advice. So listen here's here's what I'll tell you I think that it's a change in mindset right. You live in you know you live in San Jose houses are very expensive et cetera et cetera et cetera. There are ways to invest outside of the traditional paradigm you know in ways that you don't even have to be accredited, I mean let's just take our sponsor AHP Servicing for example I mean these guys are pushing out you know 10 annualized 10 per year and did you get a monthly check and you know it's something that you can participate in right that is an income yielding product. I do think that going back to you know my own roots as being a resident, my own thinking was very much of okay how do I start building assets? How do I create assets? I think in your situation it's a little bit hard because you know buying real estate you know cash flowing real estate in Silicon Valley is no joke but the thing is that there's the saying that you know live where you want to live invest where it makes sense and so you need to start looking at that there are various ways to you know begin that process even if it means you know investing in turnkey type properties etc. So I think there's lots of opportunities for somebody who's not you know high net worth to change their paradigm a little bit so I don't think you're stuck there. As far as the 401ks and all that and the iras and stuff here's my take and again this is my opinion right. So let's talk about you know the idea of using a 401k or an IRS. The concept is that you're going to defer you know today's taxes and pay them later in life right. So there's a couple of assumptions there that I don't like one is that when people give you these kinds of great numbers and projections of financial advisors they presume that the tax rates are not going to be higher when you retire and you assuming you're in your you know 30s or 40s or whatever I would ask you to look at the condition that our country's in right now I think what 23 trillion dollars now in debt you know it's it it is a you know huge budget deficits et cetera and we're really at a point in history in the US where we're probably the lowest tax rate we've ever been at. So the question is do you think paying tax now while taxes are relatively low makes sense or do you want to wait until they're much higher I i would personally think that if you've got to pay them, I would pay them now and and not think of this as a tax deferment for the future when you know when taxes are going to be a lot a lot higher in my opinion. So in that regard if you're choosing between an IRA and a Roth IRA, I would take the Roth. Okay now that being said a roth IRS doesn't do you any more good than a permanent life insurance policy does, you know specifically speaking about Wealth Formula Banking or you know leveraged like velocity plus you can check both of those webinars out at wealthformulabanking.com. In my opinion, again this is me and my I don't have an IRA, I do not have a 401k, but I do have a lot of permanent life insurance products and it's not just for my kids, it's for me and growth and retirement but if you look at what you know Wealth Formula Banking does for you or what Velocity Plus can do for you it's like having a roth on steroids without restrictions. So again emphasizing that I'm not giving you financial advice personally rather than contributing to these things I would be doing I would be looking at the Wealth Formula banking products. Now the exception to that is in some situations if you have an actual match from your employer well then you really have to do the math there because then it gets a little bit trickier because I think if somebody's going to give you more money and they match you dollar per dollar which you know I've seen these kinds of things then I think the the idea of doing the traditional root of you know qualifying funds might make more sense the math might make more sense than that. Anyway hopefully that answers your question but good luck to you I think you know one thing that Tom Wheelwright says to me and says to people in general tom said this to me many years ago and and he says he said it to many people who have changed their situation is if you want to change your tax you got to change your facts so you know learn what the tax law is learn about the cCashflow Quadrant read you know kiyosaki's book and if you know if you're compelled to do so start making some changes in your life that will help you with your financial goals because you know it doesn't not everybody needs to quit their day job. Most people shouldn't quit their day job, but a lot of people can significantly improve you know their quality of life their financial situation just by understanding what you know the quadrant is and what the tax laws are and how you can keep more of your money or make more money. Okay let's see.
Terry: Hi Buck. I see that the 2020 charitable contribution limit was increased to 100 percent of AGI. I'm wondering if the non-cash for example conservation easement limit has gone up with that also. Thanks.
Buck: Terry, good question. In fact I think we just talked about this in Wealth Formula network the yesterday and by the way if you're interested Wealth Formula Network is our private group our you know it starts out with a course and then we have this bi-weekly zoom video calls and we also have a facebook group et cetera, it's a tight group if you like this kind of stuff you'll definitely love that group if you want to check it out go to wealthformularoadmap.com we'd love to have you there. Terry as far as your question goes again I'm not a tax professional I am not a cpa and therefore not qualified to give you an answer, however I will tell you that I asked the question of my cpa myself and unfortunately that increase in limitation for charitable giving does not apply to conservation easement. So again conservation easements are this magical tool that have been used by the wealthy. Basically the idea is you are donating the rights of building on land you know you're giving those up in exchange for a deduction of the valuation for the potential of that land. So for example you may have have a property that you acquired for a million dollars and there's a bunch of mining capability there's a bunch of ore or you know precious stuff underneath the ground and you say I'm not going to drill for that stuff and I'll never drill that and there's a value to that and all of a sudden the value might be that land and everything included in it might actually be 5 million instead of the 1 million that you paid for it so by giving up those rights you could potentially take a deduction of you know five million dollars instead of the one million, anyway that's the concept with conservation easement once again. It is something that the IRS hates there's a lot of you know controversy around it we'll be talking about it more in Investor Club there are some other things that might be you know potentially a little bit less controversial. Anyway that's it I think for this week of questions because we're you know we've got a bunch more but I think we'll start over next week and so with that we'll be right back
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2020.08.14 04:31 DabsByMike [TECH] F-35 Mk6 / Mk7

Fairchild / Embraer Joint Project

F-35 Mk6 / Mk7 upgrade

[May/June 2036]
The SWFR has had a separate F-35 model from the other successor states from some time, left out of the UK-MAU-Sierra upgrade package. Its largest existing customer and critical ally being Brazil, the two will work on a series of upgrades to their F-35 fleets.
The F-35 Mk6 will seek to quickly incorporate off-the-shelf technologies which can be inserted into the aircraft while a longer term Mk 7 model will serve to keep the F-35s modern and competitive for the future. It will be paired with the Embraer MQ-350 Spark, a relatively-expendable autonomous UCAV to fly alongside the F-35 on combat missions.
Improvement of the Fairchild F-35 Block V

F-35 Mk6 (A and C variants)

Integration of laser defense systems
While the SWFR has been working on airborne laser projects, truth is, these lasers are outdated and under powered. Their experience in compact laser systems will be combined with Brazilian expertise from the SIATT Escudo project to create a 250 kW solid state laser called the SIATT Escudinho. This will be a stopgap until a free-electron laser is ready for the F-35 Mk7.
New Munitions
New Brazilian missiles will be integrated into the F-35 Mk6 to avoid foreign dependence. They will be manufactured in SWFR's factories on license as needed.
BAPG-2510 Photonic Radar
The next iteration in the 2500 series based on the F-30X Shadow Condor's BAPY-2500 radar, the BAPG-2510 Photonic Radar will be a collaboration between Houston Dynamics and SIATT, with the former examining the technologies accumulates by SIATT and providing criticisms and advice to better it. After the initial review of the BAPY-2500 radar design, the two firms will work together to build the BAPG-2510.
Improving on the performance of its parent system, it will seek to detect objects of 1 m2 RCS at up to 400 km.
Software Improvements and Brazilian Computers
Software updates will be provided for onboard systems, AI in particular. The Amicus Computer System and AI will also be added, improving on close air support missions and adding much needed computing power to an aging onboard system.
AN/ASQ-42v2 Gatekeeper
The onboard central power bus will be made more efficient and be equipped with a small Li-Air battery buffer to draw on extra electricity if needed in emergencies where electricity consumption exceed available power.
AN/AAQ-42v2 Swordfish
The Swordfish will be recorded to take advantage of the 2,048 TeraBlock processing cores added to the fighter's computer systems. The additional dedicated processing power will help resolve sensor data at higher resolutions and allow for better tracking and detection.

F-35 Mk7 (A and C Variants)

SIATT Casca Self-Defense Laser
The Casca will make use of Free-Electron Laser technology being developed for the Escudo II CIWS system. A single 675 kW laser will equip the F-35 Mk7 and provide for its self-defense, utilizing radar and IRST sensors to target incoming munitions.
Laser Communications Module and BR3 Datalink
Given the large increase in bandwidth requirements for high resolution sensors being fused at the tactical level and the need for low latency, jamming-resistant line of sight communications to UCAVs in the air, laser communication modules will be installed on the F-35 Mk7. They will be capable of communicating with a future generation of laser communication satellites but also the backbone of a new datalink.
The BR3 datalink will be a triple redundant connection between all types of Brazilian military assets, utilizing radio, radar, and laser communications as necessary and dynamically switchable. The aim will be be to create a reliable connection between assets, particularly on the frontline, which will allow the utilization of unmanned systems which will be unjammable. The BR3 datalink will be backwards compatible with the BR2.1 datalink currently in use, though compatible systems will be upgraded. It will also be future proofed for the introduction of quantum encryption systems yet to be developed.
The jets will also be compatible with Link 32 datalinks for the SWFR's purposes.
SIATT-Texas Instruments BAPG-40 Quantum Radar
Brazilian radar efforts in the last five years have focused on improving upon existing RF radar systems, particularly with the introduction of a series of photonic radars using lasers to emit and receive the signals. This has continued while major powers have moved to deploy Quantum Radars, as Brazilian R&D funding and technical experience indicate it is not ready to undertake this on its own.
Partnering with the SWFR's Texas Instruments, however, the Mk7 model will be equipped with a new quantum radar -- the BAPG-40. The system will be integrated in order to improve performance in air-to-air engagements, helping the F-35 Mk7 detect opposing stealth aircraft at ranges exceeding what was possible with previous radar methods. However, the BAPG-40 will come with range limitations when compared to conventional radar detecting larger RCS aircraft at longer distances.
To counter this, the BAPG-40 will have a high-resolution modular passive radar unit mounted into the wings of the F-35 Mk7. Making use of existing RF noise to detect disturbances in their transmission, detection is only made possible by the immense processing power embedded into the F-35 Mk7 which is able to resolve the sensor data. This also enables to jet to fly without RF emissions, a dead give away with conventional radars even with stealth.
Second Generation Stealth Coating
Replacing the original radar absorbing paint on the F-35, the F-35 Mk7 will feature a coating of carbon nanotubes optimized for radar stealth. Brazilian firms will take charge on this, given experience with graphene following cooperation with the MAU and previous use on land vehicles. The coating is expected to be far more durable and reduce maintenance costs associated with constant repair of the F-35's stealthy skin.
CEITEC QuadValence Graphene Processor
Brazil has used a mix of imported and domestic processing units in recent defense projects. While CEITEC's TeraBlock 1 core was selected to equip the F-30X and will feature as a stopgap in the F-35 Mk6, Brazilian arms manufacturers have also imported processors such as AMD's latest graphene processor.
Attempting to match this engineering feat, CEITEC will pair with Texas Instruments to develop a Graphene processor core dubbed the QuadValence (m: chemistry nerds will pickup the reference hopefully). While the QuadValence core will eventually move to consumer product lines, it will be developed for the Brazilian military industry initially. CEITEC will move away from previous concepts, such as with the TeraBlock 1, of using massively parallel processing arrays. Due to the expense in manufacturing graphene CPUs and also the much improved per-core performance of each unit, the system used in the F-35 Mk7 will be a hybrid processor.
The F-35 Mk7 will do away with the two computer systems used in the Mk6. Instead, it will have graphene-based central processing units with cheaper, more numerous peripheral processing units assigned for offloading "Sensor Sector Tasks". 32 QuadValence cores will form the main central processor while improve TeraBlock 2 units, a stacked 1.5 nm node improvement over the TeraBlock 1, will add 512 processors.
Multimodal Sensor Fusion
Introducing the CEITEC QuadValence based system is intended to allow the F-35 Mk7 to move onto new concepts in sensor fusion. Brazil plans to expand its satellite network greatly. While current generation sensor fusion combines like data, next generation doctrine calls for "Multimodal Sensor Fusion". Still capable of transferring the laser targeting from an infantry spotter or radar lock from a nearby AEW&C, the F-35 Mk7 will move beyond this and transform satellite data and data from new infantry systems into its realtime tactical battlefield awareness.
What this means, in effect, is that realtime feeds from satellites can provide an imprecise substitute for its own radar's detection. While this may not translate into a weapons-grade radar lock, for example, it will be possible in the future to see this on the F-35 Mk7's systems and fire a weapon with terminal radar seeking capabilities which will simply need rough guidance. In addition, a new generation of Brazilian infantry equipment will even track where soldiers are firing, integrate data from the unit on the ground to create a model of the frontline and location of enemy units. This will be processed by the fighter jet's computer systems and combined with IRST and radar data to create target sets for close air support.
Fantoches AI System
Combining the functions of the Dell-Houston Dynamics Artificial Intelligence (DHD-AI) and Amicus and improving on them, the Itautec coded Fantoches AI system will add capabilities to direct UAV/UCAVs autonomously in accordance with mission objective and the combat situation the F-35 Mk7 system and pilot find themselves in. While coded for modularity, the system is designed to be used with the MQ-350 to go ahead and engage air, sea and ground targets ahead of the F-35 in order to avoid damage to the fighter jet itself.
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 15.7 m
  • Width: 11 m
  • Height: 4.4 m
  • Propulsion: 1x ALF-137-AEU-100 ADVENT Engine
  • Max Speed: Mach 1.8
    • Super Cruise Capable
  • Combat Radius: 1,700 km
  • Self-Defense Weapon: SIATT Casca FEL (replaces internal gun as well)
  • 4 × internal stations, 6 × external stations on wings
  • Unit Cost: $115 million

Embraer MQ-350 Spark

Similar in concept to XQ-58 Valkyrie, the Embraer MQ-350 Spark will be an expendable UCAV used to execute missions which may put the F-35 at risk of shoot-down, expand capabilities by allowing the fighter jet to essentially be in multiple places at once, and increase the jets lethal payload indirectly.
The tailless stealth UCAV will feature relatively basic systems on board, relying on the F-35 Mk7 controller to execute air-to-air, air-to-ground, and air-to-surface missions. The MQ-350 will have a basic computer onboard allowing for simple autonomous functions if the datalink is cut, such as carrying out airstrikes, reconnaissance, and take-off/landing. However, for most advanced functions and taking optimal flight paths, direction will be needed via datalink.
Embraer will produce the drone on its own, as Houston Dynamics simply cannot compete in making such a cheap drone given the economies of scale and cost of development/manufacturing in Brazil. It will take advantage of a cheaper variant of the Polaris VCFE engine equipping the F-30X Shadow Condor, used mainly to extend its range while its a subsonic jet.
  • Crew: 0
  • Length: 9 m
  • Wingspan: 7 m
  • Propulsion: Polaris VCFE-S (17,000 lbf w/ no afterburner)
  • Sensors
    • Basic navigational radar in case of being out of range of other systems or loss of connection
    • Two-Node IRST system for targeting, reconaissance and missile warning
  • Basic Anti-EW System and Countermeasures (Flares/Chaff)
  • Combat Radius: 2,000 km
  • Hardpoints: 8 in two internal bays
    • Same as F-35 Mk7
  • Max Speed: Mach 0.9
  • Cost: $7 million
Development Cost: $15 billion ($10 billion SWFR, $5 billion Brazil)
  • Introduction F-35 Mk6 -- Q1 2038
  • Introduction F-35 Mk7 -- Q3 2042
  • Introduction MQ-350 -- Q3 2040
submitted by DabsByMike to worldpowers [link] [comments]


2020.08.09 08:39 Grampong Honeybee

Honeybee
Honeybee
Could you imagine where our lives would lead?
While I KNEW I would write this Snippet one day, I NEVER thought my Narrative would unfold like THIS, especially with a truly Soul-ripping twist I NEVER noticed until only minutes before the End over a decade later.
I try to avoid too much of my Life bleeding into my Snippets (some is unavoidable, since I write from my Experience). Not this Time, this Snippet shines the spotlight directly on the single biggest part of my Life (other than myself, of course), my Lifelong Love Honeybee.
A Lifelong Love is a very special type of Love, and each Life has room for only ONE Lifelong Love (but that one is FAR from guaranteed). There can only be ONE Love who meets you as a young adult, and continues with you on your Path for decades as together the two of you learn about each other and Reality, and then blaze a Path together into the Future hand-in-hand through births, deaths, jobs, burnt dinners, drunk relatives, and all the other Joys and Pains that Life brings.
For me, that Lifelong Love is Honeybee, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our Lifelong Love has been sans pareille. She’s the Bestest Lifelong Love in History.
She was my Honeybee, and I was her Honeybee. What we are now to each other in this Impossible Year, and what we will be going forward, remains to be determined.
One Hundred Magickal Hours
On October 15th, 1987, I was home on leave, playing bridge at the local college when two of my buddies had to go to class, and Honeybee decided to Sit Down Beside Me, began talking, and started a Discussion with me. This was our first Moment together. She was a young beautiful brilliant cultured refined six foot blonde dressed in a true vision of late Reagan America with hairspray, Bass Weejuns, natural fibers, glasses with HUGE frames, shoulder pads, and more hairspray. Her Consciousness was blazing, and our Discussion added subject after subject such as why Bork had to be borked, to the impact of fire on the beginnings of civilization, welfare reform, etc. We were jumping from topic to topic, never losing the other, and both of us were having a great time.
An hour later, she had to go to class, but said she would return afterwards and we could continue our Discussion then if I was still here. My other buddy decided to take off and asked I wanted to come along. I said “Nah, she’s really smart and really cute. It’s worth an hour to see if she comes back.”
It’s obvious what happened an hour later.
Honeybee and I just kept our Discussion going hour after hour, topic after topic getting added, over dinner, driving around, back to her place and we talked until we fell asleep. OK, we did a few things OTHER than talking, but that was really just as offshoot of the talking (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, ask Honeybee for her side if you want).
DC, the OG Road Trip
Friday evening, Honeybee had a road trip planned with a girlfriend of hers to Washington, DC, so I figured that this was going to be the last day I would spend with Honeybee before I had to return to base Monday. Coincidentally (synchronistically?), the driver had to bail so she drafted me into driving (IMO, more than a fair trade for few extra days with Honeybee).
This Road Trip set the standard for the many hundreds to follow.
Honeybee had her Violent Femmes tape, so we sang Blister in the Sun, Kiss Off, Gone Daddy Gone. The radio added I Got My Mind Set on You – George Harrison, Didn’t We Almost Have It All – Whitney Houston, I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany.
Everyone had a great time popping around DC for a couple days, Honeybee and I keeping that Discussion rolling. I found a treasure, a Magentalane album by Klaatu at a record store which would add many songs to our NEXT Road Trip like Mrs. Toad’s Cookies – Klaatu and our favorite to hear when we are almost Home, Magentalane – Klaatu
Black Monday
Honeybee was back in class Monday, and I needed to leave Monday evening. Honeybee and I realized that we had something Real and something VERY SPECIAL, but we lived 800 miles apart at the time. We agreed that we would try to see each other as much as possible, and when in the same city we were each other’s priorities, but otherwise we would live separate Lives and inform the other if there was “Something they needed to know,” which meant another Relationship which was rising in seriousness and a potential threat.
During our discussion, we noted that the stock market was crashing and had been the end of last week and this day would be called Black Monday. We laughed when we noticed that it started tanking roughly the same time Honeybee sat down to start our Discussion. We joked that us getting together had crashed the stock market.
The Honeybee Team Supreme
Together, Honeybee and I formed a Partnership capable of absolutely ANYTHING. Where I was weak, she was strong, and vice versa (and our strengths overlapped FAR more than they gapped).
My mental condition which Honeybee and I deduced as around the Asperger’s/Dyssemia area of the autism spectrum (we always refer to it as simply “Dyssemia”). My Dyssemia is inextricably linked to so many of my greatest strengths and weaknesses. While I have phenomenal intellectual capabilities, an Exceptional Memory which functions much like “Flashbacks” where I remember by reliving my Experiences with that information (both Good and Bad), and Math as my primary language, these abilities are achieved through a trade-off leaving me always an Individual, unable to join a Group or Consensus, and totally lacking in ANY “common sense”, lol.
Honeybee, OTOH, has her own set of phenomenal intellectual capabilities, her own Exceptional Memory which functions differently than mine (she considers mine “better”), fantastic language skillz, with a strong connection to and understand of the Consensus.
Honeybee can process data and multitask better than anyone, period. Watching her at full speed is an amazing sight. My specialties are pattern recognition, Gnosis, and penetrating focus. As individuals, we were Phenomenal. As the Honeybee Team Supreme, we were Transcendent.
Honeybee was the Yin to my Yang. We made an unbeatable Partnership, and proceeded to start taking Reality by storm.
Honeybee
I can't imagine how my life would be
If all your gravity did not hit me
Oh, don't you see?
Darling, my honeybee
Transplants
After spending a few years finishing college and taking the first few steps into the outside World, Honeybee and I recognized that we were “deadended” in our current location and decided to relocate. I wisely agreed with her when she suggested Central Florida because “If people save for a year or two to spend a week there, it’s GOT to be a good place to live.” And it hasn’t just been been a good place to live, it’s been SPECTACULAR!!! Honeybee made another of her great calls which possibly saved our Lives.
Honeybee and I packed every item we owned (and her cat who had adopted me as his hero) from The Old Apartment into a U-Haul and drove to the horizon to start our new Life without ANY idea where we were going to Live other than “Central Florida”. We were poster candidates for “Fools Rush In”, but Honeybee and I pulled it off yet again. We were truly The Honeybee Team Supreme, and nothing was impossible for us.
It was Just Like Heaven
But here we are
After all the messes and confessions
To the stars
That we never really owned as ours
The Honeybee Team Supreme’s Greatest Hits
Honeybee and I have shared so many truly spectacular Moments over our decades together. Here’s a sample of the highlights.
Travel
Honeybee and I took our first Road Trip the day after we met, and we never stopped until we recently parted.
The Honeybee Team Supreme does Road Trips RIGHT. The vehicle barely stops, bathroom breaks try to fit in gas stops, prepack food, we have it down after MANY hundreds.
Songs are chosen for singalongs, especially to stay awake driving. We started with our playlist from that OG DC trip and have added so many more like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John, Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf, One Headlight – Wallflowers, etc.
The Honeybee Team Supreme has been knocking out “Must Sees” for our Babybees as we enjoy them ourselves. A partial list:
Grand Canyon St Louis Arch NYC Washington DC Monument Valley Pike’s Peak Garden of the Gods Graceland Petroglyph National Monument Monticello Salt Lake City Yellowstone
We watched one of the very final Dreams Come True Fireworks performances from the top of the Contemporary Resort while eating unlimited sushi with an open bar as part of our hundreds of trips to Disneyworld.
Movies
Honeybee and I shared our Love of movies from the very beginning of our Conversation. We were both surprised we shared the same 40 year old black and white movie as our favorite: Holiday Inn. I had discovered it wrapping Christmas presents with my mother, as did Honeybee, so we naturally made this a Honeybee Team Supreme tradition.
We debated the “proper” ending for movies like Pretty in Pink, tossed themes back and forth, and were our own Honeybee Team Supreme version of Siskel and Ebert.
Honeybee and I Loved going to the movies, and 1999 the peak for us. Virtually every time we saw a movie, it was either phenomenal or fun. That was a GREAT year with Honeybee. Look at the movies we saw:
10 Things I Hate About You 13th Warrior American Beauty American Pie Any Given Sunday Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Blair Witch Project Being John Malkovich Boys Don't Cry Cider House Rules Dick Dogma Election Eyes Wide Shut Existenz Fight Club For the Love of the Game Go Green Mile Iron Giant House on Haunted Hill Last Night Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Matrix The Mummy Never Been Kissed Notting Hill Office Space Payback Magnolia Man on the Moon Mystery Men She's All That Sixth Sense Sleepy Hollow South Park Star Wars Episode I Stigmata Summer of Sam Talented Mr. Ripley Tarzan Thomas Crown Affair Topsy-Turvy Toy Story 2 Wild Wild West The World Is Not Enough
And just seeing the movies doesn’t cover the whole “movie experience”, because so many times our friends would add some of the best parts (like “Heavily Implied” taking on new meaning after American Beauty)
We Love Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and similar movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Wish You Were Here, Adaptation, etc. We Love classic movies, art movies, animation, etc.
Let’s just say Honeybee and I Love movies a LOT (and have a thousand discs still to watch).
Television
Honeybee and I were First Fandom for Reality TV, watching the OG Real World. While MOST Reality TV is beyond the Pale for us, we have passed this on to our Babybees. As a Hive, we watch Big Brother, Amazing Race, Project Runway, Top Chef, and similar shows and analyze the competitors and the competition (our Babybees are VERY astute).
Theatre
Live theatre has always been a special treat for Honeybee and me, and something we truly savor. Some of our favorites:
A spectacular performance of Fuenteovejuna at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC in one of their rare non-Shakespeare plays.
An incredible college performance of The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Rupert Holmes of Escape (The Pina Colada Song) in the Annie Russell Theatre where the audience selection of the ending gave a lesser player a chance to shine, and boy did he.
So many local and community theatres like Manhattan South Studio Theatre, with productions like The Brady Bunch (The Second Coming of Jan), the Glass Jar, and countless others. Those shows took on additional special meaning when we knew the actors or writers.
The UNFORGETTABLE (unless you were my friend who slept through the whole thing) most self-indulgent FIVE hour Sherlock Holmes play EVER (with two intermissions). The second intermission included a police scene with a dead body in the middle of the road (we concluded the body was someone trying to RUN as fast as possible away from the Play, and that he was in better shape since he wasn’t going back inside for the rest), and ended with the announcement “IF anyone wants to go back in and watch, we will be starting soon.” We ALL rolled at the “IF”.
And, of course, Bandstand on Broadway.
Sports
My family’s relationship with Sports runs very deep and very wide. Honeybee jumped right in and she did a great job.
While I’m not sure she’s EVER understood the point of showing up to a spring training game over an hour early (“Why watch them bat when it doesn’t count?”), Honeybee REALLY enjoyed the one spring training game we NEVER saw. We met a few of my cousins before the game at the team’s hotel bar for a drink. Much like that Lays Potato chip, ONE drink is NOT possible when 1980 American League Rookie of the Year Super Joe Charboneau is buying using the Indian’s team expense account (Go Joe Charboneau for SURE). And when Super Joe is buying the drinks, getting you drunk, and telling story after story of his exploits, you never make it to the game. Those stories start with the famous ones that surfaced his rookie year, like drinking beer through a straw through his NOSE, him fixing that nose when it was broken using pliers and a few shots of Jack Daniel’s, and doing his own dental work, but they don’t end there. Honeybee and I both agree, once in their Life, everyone should have Super Joe get them drunk (it’s not to be missed).
Honeybee and I went to a LOT of sporting events, but my favorite Moment with her concerning sports was a Moment she took the initiative and Planned herself for me.
For Christmas in 2002, Honeybee gave me two tickets for us to see the North Carolina Scholastic Classic on January 20, 2003. That meant I was FINALLY going to get to see Lebron James play in my alma mater’s Green and Gold Irish jersey (Honeybee gave me one of those the next year). So Honeybee and I made another of our patented Road Trips, and I was not disappointed to see in person the phenomenon my brother told me could have jumped to the NBA after his freshman year of high school. LeBron did the IMPOSSIBLE, he successfully DEFENDED a 3 on 1 fast break (no human being should be able to do that). After I saw that, I turned to Honeybee and said “If he doesn’t get hurt and doesn’t lose his head, he can make a run at surpassing Jordan, because LeBron is drawing from the largest skill set I’ve ever seen with a perfect body.” Honeybee agreed and still does.
Concerts
Honeybee and I saw so very many great concerts together, there’s no way to do them justice. The best part for me was ALWAYS that I was sharing the experience with Honeybee (she ALWAYS makes even the most bland Experience wonderful for me).
We watched Crosby, Stills, and Nash open for the Grateful Dead at Three Rivers Stadium after wandering around for hours with the Deadheads (and we still have out tie-dye t-shirts).
Lifehouse, Everclear, and Matchbox Twenty performed a triple bill where a Joyous Art Alexakis who stole the entire show from Rob Thomas’ homecoming by having security chase him and his wireless guitar up and down the stairs of the Orena.
Wang Chung, Flock of Seagulls, Missing Persons, Gene Loves Jezebel rocked the House of Blues
We jammed to Experimental Jazz at the Disney Institute, countless concerts at Disneyworld (we skipped most because they didn’t fit our schedule well), etc.
Ushered in 2000 with Blue Meridian at the Have A Nice Day Cafe.
We stood right in front of the stage on Pleasure Island while Modern English sang Melt With You for food, followed by World Party in the rain.
Honeybee had to drag me away from Steve Kilbey of The Church when he was was too busy talking to me about my business and playing the “Proud Poppa” showing off his daughter’s artwork from college to remember to get ready for the concert in a tiny club.
Roger Daltrey delivered Tommy backed by the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom in a performance Roger KNEW he had in him and had always wanted to give, and he gave that performance of his Life (we were so glad he didn’t “Die Before He Get Old” for Honeybee and I to have yet another of our Moments).
Our LAST concert was March 7, right before concerts went away, when we watched Michael Stanley Strike Up the Band One FINAL Time from the first row of the orchestra pit (if Honeybee and I never see another concert together, that was a Moment I’ll be happy to go out on).
People
The people who have crossed Honeybee’s and my Path, and walked with us for a while, demonstrate some SERIOUS “strength through diversity”.
Honeybee and I have yet to find people we don’t like (other than rude hurtful people, of course), and we have socialized across the entire social spectrum. We’ve gone out to dinner with couples who were having their version of our “smothered chicken”, we’ve joked with billionaires over which loge they watched the baseball team they own, we’ve watched Super Bowls and NBA Finals with hoop friends from pick-up games on the playground, we’ve plot doctored books and had the authors dedicate the book to us in thanks, etc.
Many interrelated circles of friends grew around the Honeybee Team Supreme, we had friends of all sorts. Honeybee and I struggled to figure out if we could fit TWO days at home a week into our social callendar.
Look around
We made a garden of the love we found
So many reasons I would fight to stay
You're the courage when I fade
Take a look at what we've made
Marriage
In 1996, I was working on our finances, and I shared with Honeybee that we would save about $3,000 if we were married, she got one of those looks of hers on her face, and I asked “Do you want to?” Not the most romantic or greatest of proposals, but she accepted anyway.
That great group of friends we assembled came together and threw us a FABULOUS Wedding, a bit Fandango style. We did everything backwards, a formal brunch followed by the ceremony in a beautiful rose garden. The reception was at a friends’ house, and then the after-reception of pizza and beer at yet another friends’ house around the block. Special people who shared a special day with us.
Missing were any rings. Honeybee is VERY particular about jewelry. She doesn’t like men wearing jewelry, so I have NEVER worn a wedding ring, at her request. As for her rings, at the time we could not justify the Engagement Ring she wanted, a 1 ½ carat emerald cut ring. I promised that ring to Honeybee, and she will have it, even if I have to give it to her at the finalization of the divorce as a “Thank you for having BEEN my wife” Ring rather than an Engagement Ring.
That silly ring, it wasn't meant to be
Luckily you saw in me
Something I couldn't see
”My Mind Is Gone, Is It EVER Coming Back!?!”
In late 2003, we succeeded in becoming pregnant with our first Babybee. The Collaboration we had been Planning and Loving toward had reached a new stage. still remember making special note of one of those Moments with Honeybee in early 2004 when we were Pregnant with our son. I brought her breakfast in bed (coffee for decades was standard, with extras like breakfast often added), and found her crying. I asked in a panic what was wrong, and Honeybee sobbed out, “My Mind is gone, is it EVER coming back!?!” All these strange Feelings and Emotions were taking over her Mind and Body, and she could tell that she was changing and becoming different than she had been before we got Pregnant.
I laughed and explained to her that those changes were her Body and Mind changing to give Birth to Babybee and become a Mommybee. I said that those changes were going to be in place until we decided to stop having children and breastfeeding, which was planned after our second child in about 5 years. That brought more tears from Honeybee and more laughter from me.
I NEVER should have been laughing, because I was horribly wrong about her Mind returning in 5 years. That wonderful incredible beautiful Mind she had shared with me for almost 20 years NEVER returned to what she shared with me before getting pregnant.
I NOW see the Moment of which I made that special note was NOT simply one of those tender Husband/Wife Moments that they look back on fondly (as Honeybee and I did so many times with this Moment, each of which now carries a touch of ash to me). No, this was the Honeybee I met in 1987, that incredible brilliant beautiful young woman to whom I instantly Bonded and Loved, with whom I started “officially” cohabiting in 1990, sweated out Midwest winters with windows open on a third floor of a Victorian house turned into a VERY cheap apartment (we did go out to dinner once a week for smothered chicken for under $20 total, tip included), packed every single one of our belongings into the back of a U-Haul to drive a thousand miles without a CLUE of where we were going to Live in 1993 (at once the Greatest and most Foolish thing we EVER did), started a business based on sharing my Love with others, launched her career and proudly watched her climb the corporate ladder saying “Farewell” to me, HER Honeybee
The Honeybee I Knew and Loved was actually saying “Goodbye” to me, and I didn’t Know it. I didn’t realize that my Honeybee I had Known and Loved for 16 years was leaving me, and from then on gradually my Loving Partner Honeybee would being replaced one tiny piece at a time by Mommybee, who does NOT Love me (or even understand I’m human) and sees me only as a resource for our Babybees.
I NEVER should have laughed, I should have been crying right alongside her. Now, I’ll be doing a LOT of crying not by her side waving Goodbye to my wonderful Honeybee in the Past who left me all those many years ago, but I never Knew she had gone. I’ve got a LOT of mourning to catch up on.
I’m giving you a horribly belated Goodbye now, Honeybee.
I’ve missed you so very much, especially these last few years. I’ve been so terribly Lost and Lonely without you (Mommybee abandoned our Discussion years ago, and you’ve only chipped in every so often since). I’m sorry I didn’t give you a proper Goodbye at the Time, but I didn’t Know you were going away Forever. We BOTH thought you were coming back. I didn’t even Know you were still Gone until last month. I really didn’t, Honeybee. Honest.
Such a fool
I took your love and I bent all the rules
You took the blow and didn't let it show
Stuck around to let me know
Built a family of our own
Male Light and Female Void
How could the Honeybee Team Supreme have missed such a crucial element, which eventually derailed their entire Plan? The answer is found in a VERY strange place.
Honeybee and I enjoyed exploring some of the most obscure areas of Reality in hope of finding Art and Artists. One of the most UNIQUE and GREATEST examples of Art we EVER found was the comic series Cerebus done by Dave Sim. IMO, Cerebus is the Finnegan’s Wake of comics and Sim is hands down the greatest living comic Artist. Sim’s 26 years of constant work on Cerebus produced that Artistic Alchemy where the Art and the Artist merge (which Sim later takes religious and visionary, producing an even MORE idiosyncratic work).
For all their magnificence, Sim and Cerebus are marred by what is a fatal flaw in most people’s eyes: Sim does not think or believe the genders are equal, and expresses his views in a strangely ham-fisted way which regularly melts down.
Honeybee and I LOVED extracting those parts which were Outrageous, and those parts which Sim had hit Truth (he has HUGE amounts of BOTH). Sometimes Outrageous and Truth were the same, as often happens in Art.
Here’s a summary of Sim’s system:
The Thinking Reasoning Male Light is Seminal Energy, while the Feeling Emotional Female Void is an Omnivorous Parasite.
The Male Light and Female Void can be combined by marriage into a Merged Permanence, with the components now called Merged Light and Merged Void. When Kids come Merged Light becomes Family Man.
All these Voids can be combined into a “Greater Void Wife and Kids” Omnivorous Engine, which serves the Vaginal Bottom Line. The Omnivorous Engine drives society through Lesser Void of White Collar Make-Work Programs.
The Female Void is essentially a black hole of resource need “For the Kids”, based on an Emotional and Feeling level. The Male Light cannot win on the Thinking and Reason level, as those are higher.
Many people see Sim’s Female Void as an Evil Woman, and dismiss him as a misogynist.
I’ve stripped as much of Sim’s “Simness” out of his system as I can. Here are some original sources for those who wish to read for themselves (insert all trigger warnings here): Male Light and Female Void, Reads, Tangents.
Mommybee
The Honeybee Team Supreme’s mistake is to think we were already a Merged Permanence which had avoided the Female Void issue. Honeybee is a Brilliant and Conscious woman, NOT a Female Void. We had been the Honeybee Team Supreme for almost 20 years, and no Female Void issues. We Knew the Female Void existed, but we thought we had the Female Void beat.
We were wrong. We were messing with Mother Nature, and it’s NOT nice to mess with Mother Nature.
We had not anticipated Mommybee being a Female Void and slowly robbing Honeybee of her Consciousness, leaving only Mommybee the Feeling Female Void.
When I joked with Honeybee when we were pregnant with our first Babybee, I had a general idea of the process, but the parts I missed were crucial. Emotion, Feeling, and Thought are progressive levels of abstraction, and the higher rests on the lower, with Thought supported by Feeling supported by Emotion.
My wonderful Conscious Honeybee had those three perfectly balanced, but when we got pregnant, Mommybee the Female Void which needs to provide for her Babybees ABOVE ALL ELSE disrupted her balance and Mommybee started to take over for Honeybee. As long as Honeybee and Mommybee agreed, all was well, but if they disagreed, Mommybee would win with Feeling and degrade Honeybee’s Consciousness a piece more.
I had NO idea that Mommybee was doing this until last month, so I kept executing the Plan which Honeybee and I had developed over 20 years. When Mommybee would criticize me and overrule me, I thought that was Honeybee, so I would try to Reason with her, explain that I was doing as we had Planned. Mommybee, the Female Void, saw Reason as a THREAT to her Babybees, and fought Honeybee’s Reason, and Honeybee played the rope in a Tug of War between me and Mommybee over her Babybees (a war I had NO CLUE was happening).
I am horrified that I was DESTROYING Honeybee when I was trying to follow the Plan the Honeybee Team Supreme had decided years earlier. But this Tug of War has been going on for 16 years, and Mommybee is clearly in control, with only little glimpses of Honeybee surfacing every so often.
Honeybee has lost her Consciousness, leaving Mommybee in charge until Mommybee can stop worrying so much because the Babybees are fully raised. That’s another five to ten years of Mommybee before there is much chance of Honeybee returning on a regular basis.
MAYBE.
What If?
Neither Honeybee nor I knew that us finally having the children to whom we so looked forward and had planned and worked for 15 years would unleash Mommybee and set in motion a process that eventually stole my Honeybee from me just like Alzheimer’s had taken my mother, one piece of her fabulous Mind disappearing at a Time until that incredible woman I Love so greatly was unrecognizable and GONE.
But if we HAD Known, would we have changed things (I would have changed how much I appreciated those days with just me and Honeybee, and then been prepared to adjust to Mommybee rather than blindsided)?
Other than being forewarned that Honeybee was going to transform into Mommybee, and preparing for that change, I don’t think there’s ANYTHING we would have done differently. Honeybee wanted me for her Love, her Partner, and the Father of her Babybees. She would have been incomplete without her Babybees, and I would NEVER want her incomplete for me to selfishly spend more Time with Honeybee, regardless of the Pain fulfilling our Dream of Babybees has caused me. Neither of us would have wanted anyone else to be the Father of her Babybees.
And I would never trade a Moment I got to spend with Honeybee for all the Pain and Suffering which Mommybee later inflicted upon me.
Soulmates
While Honeybee and I are Lifelong Loves, I thought for certain that we were also Soulmates, Ride together until one Dies, just like my parents with my father adding months to my mother’s Life through sheer force of Will and an eyedropper to feed her (and expert medical and legal skillz). In retrospect, I really should have paid MUCH more attention to how much Honeybee enjoyed For No One by the Beatles (she’s NEVER “needed” me, our Team Supreme was based on “Love” and “want”, NOT “need”) and the precedent of HER parent’s marriage, who separated and divorced when Honeybee and her brother were the same ages as our Babybees.
While Honeybee intended to be my Soulmate, Mommybee is NOT my Soulmate, she is a Female Void who has slowly taken over my Honeybee, one piece at a time.
Mommybee wants all my Resources and me to be happy just handing them over. I disagree, and that provokes Mommybee to attack me as if her Babybees’ Lives depend on it. Our differing POVs on this point DESPERATELY needs to be solved, but no solution is “pretty”.
Babybees
When I look at the Babybees which Honeybee and I Planned, Worked, and Loved so very hard to bring into Reality, I see that our efforts exceeded even our wildest Dreams. Our Babybees are absolutely spectacular, even more beautiful and brilliant than Honeybee and I could have ever Hoped. They are each special in their own ways, taking after Honeybee and I, yet adding their own unique spin. I could not be more proud of myself, Honeybee, Mommybee, and the Babybees in making this Collaboration a such a roaring success.
There will be NO Cat’s in the Cradle for me. I was with my Babybees CONSTANTLY with only a few hours off at a time until Mommybee decided to leave with our Babybees last month. I will always know that I was there during ALL their important formative years, because I’ve changed more diapers, driven to more sporting events, spent fewer days away from the Babybees, etc.
I even added my own new special touch to their education, riffing off Socrates, and taking his method to the next level. Instead of me focusing on pouring information and knowledge into our Babybees Minds by using questions to teach THEM, I let them teach ME their next lesson while I “played dumb”. This allowed me to focus their teaching attention at the exact point they needed to Know next, while giving them great confidence in their abilities to observe Reality and draw proper conclusions. I have helped them assemble models of Reality unlike ANY before them, totally unique and custom fit to THEM in new ways they found for themselves.
I look forward to the great Paths that will unfold before them. Those Paths will be Magickal and Marvelous. These Babybees of Honeybee and mine are truly special.
I just REALLY wish Honeybee and I could celebrate them. Or that I could celebrate them with Mommybee and our Babybees, rather than just watch their magnificent glory from a distance, which is what I anticipate happening.
But here we are
After all the messes and confessions
To the scars
That we never really owned as ours
One First Date
So, what’s next for me?
I’m going to Disneyworld, of course. What else would make any sense?
My Plan is to try and see what, if ANY, health dynamic might begin to be established between Mommybee and myself, now that I realize I am no longer married to Honeybee. Some sort of effective dynamic needs to be established because I’m going to be co-parenting with Mommybee for years, regardless of anything else.
Mommybee has agreed to take a day off her very important job (it really is, I’m very proud of how fantastically Honeybee/Mommybee’s career has progressed and I’m proud of the bits of help I’ve given her here and there, she’s a truly incredible woman) and leave the Babybees at her home so the the two of us can have a CHANCE to spend a day at Disneyworld as a couple like we we used to decades ago (the entire family tried a few weeks ago and didn’t make it long).
But I also have a Hope.
I’ve asked Mommybee to stay at her home with the Babybees this time and let me have the day with Honeybee.
I’m counting this as that “First Date” Honeybee and I always joked about NEVER having. At this point, I just want one day and one date with Honeybee, and this might be the LAST and ONLY chance I ever have.
I’m going to try and have a Moment with Honeybee and tell her how much I Miss her and I Love her. I Know now not to use those Facts and Logic which Honeybee Loves so much, but Mommybee despises when they conflict with her and her Babybees’ desires. I’ll focus on all those great Feeling and Emotions Honeybee and I had in the Past (and there were SO very many, and they were SO very great).
I’ll NEVER be able to fit all I want to say to Honeybee into a single Moment, even if we manage to stretch that Moment the entire day. But there is one thing I ABSOLUTELY WILL tell Honeybee.
“You’re the one. You’re the ONLY one.”
She’s my Honeybee, and I am her Honeybee.
She’s the Bestest Lifelong Love EVER.
For Crying Out Loud, I Love you, Honeybee.
And if our world comes tumbling down
I never could forgive myself for leaving out
You're the one
You are the only one
Won't you decide?
Won't you decide?
I want you to soar
Don't doubt anymore
(Little by little, we meet in the middle)
Won't you decide?
(What's your name?)
Won't you decide?
Snippet Playlist Alone Again, Naturally – Gilbert O’Sullivan Always on Your Side – Sheryl Crow, Sting Breakeven – The Script Circles – Post Malone Don’t Speak – No Doubt Far Away – Nickelback Happier – Marshmallo Here Come Those Tears Again – Jackson Browne Here’s Where the Story Ends – Sundays How’s It Gonna Be – Third Eye Blind In My Life – Beatles It’s All Coming Back to Me – Meatloaf My Immortal – Evanescence Rainy Days and Mondays – Carpenters The Reason – Hoobastank Reelin’ in the Years – Steely Dan She’s Gone – Hall and Oates Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word – Elton John Traces – Classics IV True – Spandau Ballet When We Were Young – Adele Winner Takes It All – ABBA Wonderwall – Oasis
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2020.08.09 02:08 CapybaraWookiee [S] Capy's Survivor: Pearl Island (S7)

Hello, and welcome or welcome back to Capy's Survivor! This season we are going to the magnificent Pearl Islands! We are once again playing the game of outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting your fellow castaways, whether that be by flirtatious behavior, backstabbing your opponents, or making plenty of allies. This is Capy's Survivor: Pearl Islands!
MEET THE CASTAWAYS:
Drake Tribe:
Morgan Tribe:
The Season: Capy's Survivor: Pearl Islands
Episode 1: The host welcomes the tribes to the camp, after getting off the boat. He announces that for the first time since Marquesas, there will be no twist deciding the tribes. After this announcement, he announces the tribes. On the Drake Tribe is Amos, Carter, Dex, Fadia, June, Neleh, Nick, and Sanna. On the Morgan Tribe is Allie, Ben, Brad, Emerson, Georgia, River, Romeo, and Tara. After announcing the tribes, he tells them that they can head back to their respective camps to settle in before their first immunity challenge tomorrow.
At the Drake camp, Dexter, Neleh, and Sanna connect immediately, and they form a very early final three pact. Amos, Carter, Fadia, and June form another alliance to combat that one. Due to Dex knowing about the alliance, he hopes to get Nick as a swing vote. At the Morgan camp, River isn’t hesitating to form an alliance, she chooses Allie because she seems nice and she could be helpful when it comes to mental challenges. She also chooses Romeo because he can be used as a meatshield. She approaches Ben for the same very reason. Brad knows about this alliance, and knowing his brother is in the alliance (Romeo), he wants to form a separate alliance, so he approaches Tara, Emerson, and Georgia with a deal for alliances. Georgia declines because she wants to hang low and play more under-the-radar, at least for the early game. But Emerson and Tara accept, and Brad hopes he earned Georgia’s trust and vote by approaching her, as River did not.
The Morgan tribe wins the immunity challenge, also winning water-proof matches. This means that the Drake tribe will be going to tribal. At the Drake camp, Fadia isolates herself, feeling as though she caused her tribe to not win, quitting her alliance in the process, but saying she will still vote with them. They say that they are voting for Neleh, which is a lie, as they are planning on voting their old ally out. They convince Nick to vote with them, as she is untrustworthy for joining the alliance, just to leave it a couple of days into the game. Nick tells the alliance of Sanna, Neleh, and Dex about this, and he claims it was Amos’ scheme. They approach Fadia with the plan, and she agrees to vote with them for Amos. River, even though she is the creator of the alliance, quits the alliance and isolates herself, because even though her tribe won, it was just barely, and she thinks she is the main cause of that. At tribal council, by a vote 5-3, Amos, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 2: The Drake tribe wins the reward challenge, winning themselves the first of three pieces of a treasure map to hidden treasure. They also send Carter to loot one item from the opposing tribes camp, he takes their matches. The Morgan tribe, even though they are now match-less, they still win the immunity challenge, meaning that the Drake tribe will be going to their second tribal in a row. At the Morgan camp, the alliance of Allie, Ben, and Romeo dissolves since their leader, River, left the alliance. Sanna, Dex, and Neleh approach Nick saying that they are voting off Carter, as he is a psychical threat. But Carter and June approach Fadia and Nick, claiming that Dex should be the one going home, as he is untrustworthy, and he holds the tribe back in challenges. At tribal council, by a vote of 4-3, Dex, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 3: The Drake tribe wins both reward and their first immunity challenge. Drake also wins their second piece of the treasure map, only one remaining now. They steal a couple of pieces of firewood from the opposing tribes’ camp. At the Morgan tribe, River approaches her old alliance, stating that she knows she betrayed them, but she wants Brad gone, as he is a psychical threat to their game at the moment. While Allison is hesitant at first, as she believes you should wait until near-merge to vote out people who can help in challenges. But Romeo rallying for getting his brother out sparks her interest more. While the other alliance is planning on voting out River, as she has proven to be untrustworthy. At tribal council, there is a tie, and only then does River realize her mistake in not approaching someone else, but shockingly it’s not Allie who wants to change her vote, it’s Ben, as he thinks that River can’t be trusted. At tribal council, by a vote of 4-4, and a revote of 4-2, River, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 4: Drake wins their third reward challenge, also winning the final piece of the map. That finally leads them to the buried treasure, which contains luxury items to make camp life easier. They also steal more firewood from the Morgan camp. The Drake tribe also wins immunity, and, because of the pirate theme this season, they get to kidnap a player off the other tribe to bring onto their tribe. They choose Brad, as they know he is good in psychical challenges. By kidnapping him, they also give him immunity because he can skip tribal council. Fadia and Sanna have a fight about not Sanna not doing her part in helping around camp. Tara, Emerson, and Brad become a very strong alliance, even though Brad is skipping tribal council that night. Allie and Ben want to vote for Georgia because she is a social threat. But Romeo isn’t for it, and he approaches the other alliance without his alliance knowing, and tells them what they are doing and that he will vote with them in exchange for safety. They agree to these terms and say they are voting for Allison, one, because if they don’t get her out now, she might float her way to the end, and two, with this new information, that puts a bigger target on her back. Allie and Ben approach Emerson, asking him to vote with them, because Georgia will socialize her way out of being the target. He acts convinced. At tribal council, by a vote of 4-2, Allie, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 5: Brad will be competing with the Drake tribe for only this reward challenge, as he was kidnapped by them, but will head back to camp with the Morgan tribe afterward. Despite this, the Morgan tribe wins their first reward challenge, winning a bunch of luxury items and their first piece of the treasure map. The Drake tribe secures its third immunity. At the Drake tribe, Fadia and Neleh have a major fight over Fadia arguing with Sanna about not doing anything, but she is truly the one not pitching in. At the Morgan camp, tensions are rising due to them having to vote out another person. Emerson, Brad, and Tara tell Ben and Romeo that they will be voting for Georgia. Romeo doesn’t agree, so he makes plans with Georgia and Ben to try to rock out someone. But Ben doesn’t want to take the risk of getting rocked out. At tribal council, by a vote 4-2, Georgia, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 6: The Morgan tribe wins the reward challenge, winning their second piece of the treasure map and stealing a blanket from the Drake tribe. They also win the immunity, sending Drake to tribal council for the first time since episode 2. June and Carter hatch a deal with Neleh and Sanna, in exchange for voting together, they eliminate Fadia, who has been a target since day one for her prowess in challenges and socially, and because she causes constant drama at camp. They agree, But then Nick and Fadia approach Carter and June with a plan to vote out Neleh, as she is an under-the-radar player, who might float her way to the end. But since they just sold their souls (votes) to Neleh and Sanna, they don’t think its a good idea to get on their bad side right now. At tribal council, by a vote of 4-2, Fadia, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 7: When the tribes head over to the immunity challenges, they see a strange sight, standing by the host is 6 other people, as they get closer, they realize those six people are the six eliminated castaways. The host announces that this is the Outcast twist. There will be 3 teams competing in the immunity challenge, and the Outcast twist works like this. If The Outcasts beat one tribe, that tribe will have to go to Tribal Council and vote a player off. The Outcasts will then vote one player back into the game. If the Outcasts beat both tribes, Morgan and Drake will both go to Tribal Council, and both vote a player off. The Outcasts would then vote two players back into the game in that scenario. If both Drake and Morgan win, The Outcasts' chance to get back in the game will be forfeited. The Outcasts win the immunity and they will be voting two people back into the game. The alliance of Emerson, Tara, and Brad dissolve, so they don’t have a target on their back heading into the double-elimination, and the merge.
At the Drake camp, Carter and June are targeting Sanna, while Sanna and Neleh are targeting Carter. Both of the duos approach Nick, and he decides on the person he most deems a threat comes to the merge, as he knows it is happening soon. At the Morgan camp, Brad and Romeo decide to team up against Brad’s former allies Tara and Emerson, as they are threats strategically and psychically, they also convince Ben to vote with them in exchange for safety. Emerson and Tara also offer the same thing, saying they are voting Romeo out, and Ben thinks, about who he should align with, and who he should vote out the psychical threat, or strategic threat.
Everyone arrives at the tribal council area, and sit down on the jury benches. The host announces that the Drake tribe is going first. At tribal council (A), by a vote of 3-2, Carter, the tribe has spoken. The host then announces that the Morgan tribe is up next. At tribal council (B), by a vote of 3-2, Tara, the tribe has spoken. Ben decided strategic is better to vote out, as it is better to align yourself with challenge beasts come to the merge. The host finally calls up the Outcasts, and they said, even though it was a hard decision, as everyone wanted to come back into the game, they decided that the first and last person eliminated should return. Therefore, Amos and Fadia are headed back into the game.
Episode 8: The host calls the contestants to the challenge area, and announces the merge. He also congratulates Amos, Ben, Brad, Emerson, Fadia, June, Neleh, Nick, Romeo, and Sanna on making it to the merge. Neleh and Sanna keep their final two pact, as they always intended. They also ally with Amos, Fadia, June, and Nick as the original Drake tribe, for votes. Ben, Brad, Emerson, and Romeo align as the original Morgan tribe, and hope to find a weak spot in the other alliance, and hope to poke it enough so that they either dissolve or vote one of their own members out. Neleh wins the immunity challenge. The Morgan tribe attempts to convince June that Nick is more of a threat than any of them and that they will just boot her when they need to. She disagrees, saying that they will boot the outcasts. The Drake alliance decides on voting out Romeo, as he is untrustworthy, a psychical threat, and a strategic threat. At tribal council, by a vote of 6-4, Romeo, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 9: Neleh wins the reward challenge, and already being in the majority alliance, decides to bring her final two partners, Sanna, for the reward instead of trying to gain someone’s trust. Neleh wins her second immunity in a row, painting a big target on her and Sanna’s back, making Neleh feel like she just made a big mistake. The Drake alliance decide that Fadia is the best target, even though she is in their alliance, they can spare the vote. But Amos tells Fadia about this, who goes to Emerson, Brad, and Ben with this info, and they tell them that they will vote with them for safety. They agree, and with this Emerson also tells them that June told the alliance that the Drake alliance would vote out the outcast if worst comes to worst, with this information, Fadia goes and blackmails Julie with it, saying that if she doesn’t give them their vote, she will get her eliminated. Julie agrees, and together they decide that Nick is their biggest threat, pulling a Borneo and completely forgetting in the heat of the moment that Neleh has won all three individual challenges. At tribal council, by a vote of 6-3, Nick, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 10: June wins reward and takes Fadia with her. Ben wins the immunity challenge. Sanna and Neleh tell Fadia, Amos, and June that they will be voting for Brad. But they keep June and Amos afterward to tell them that they are really voting for Fadia. Amos obviously, and obliviously tells Fadia about this, who takes June (unwillingly) to the Morgan tribe, and tells them the situation. They agree, but under one condition, they have to vote Amos out. Fadia doesn’t want to, but if it means saving herself, then she will. Once again she “convinces” June to vote with them in exchange for not revealing the secret and painting a target on June’s back. At tribal council, by a vote of 5-3, Amos, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 11: June wins her second reward challenge in a row, whilst Ben wins his second immunity in a row. June is approached by the Morgan tribe, and they tell her that they are planning on voting out Fadia in the next tribal. June happily agrees, but after thinking, if Fadia finds out, she will tell everyone about revealing her alliances’ information to the rival alliance, and she will be eliminated. Also, eliminating Fadia would mean that their alliance would be neck-and-neck in votes with the other alliance. Due to not sitting well with the rest of the castaways recently, the Drake alliance decides to vote for Emerson. At tribal council, by a vote of 4-3, Emerson, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 12: Sanna, June, and Ben beat Brad, Fadia, and Neleh in the reward challenge. Ben wins immunity for the third time in a row. Brad and Ben plan on voting for June, and Fadia, whilst hesitant, decides to vote with them, as she is certain that her alliance is voting for her. Her suspicions are correct, June, Sanna, and Neleh are targeting Fadia, but they tell her they are voting for Brad, trying to cause a 3-2-1 vote. At tribal council, there is a tie between June and Fadia, and there must be a revote. The revote is two votes June and two votes Fadia. Meaning that for the first time ever in the history of Capy’s Survivor, there will be a rock draw. The host calls Neleh, Sanna, and Brad up to draw rocks, as Ben has immunity. He instructs them to flip over their rocks. Brad, the tribe has spoken.
Episode 13: June shares her reward with Ben, hoping to gain his vote. Neleh just barely wins immunity over Ben, ending his streak. Despite her efforts, Ben and Fadia agree that they are voting June, and try to convince Sanna and Neleh. Afterward, they decide that they deny the offer, that Fadia is a much bigger threat than June in all aspects. At tribal council, by a vote of 3-2, Fadia, the tribe has spoken.
Finale, Part 1: Ben wins his fourth immunity. Sanna and Neleh are planning on voting for June. But June and Ben are planning on voting for Neleh and hoping to cause a fire-making challenge, as they think June would beat Neleh. But June doesn’t think so and thinks it should be Sanna, and Jake doesn’t argue back, making June think that he agrees, when he is really just getting her eliminated. At tribal council, by a vote of 2-1-1, June, the tribe has spoken.
Finale, Part 2: Neleh wins the final immunity. Knowing that she will win against Sanna, but not Ben, and she also has had a final two pact and a close friendship with Sanna all season, Neleh chooses Sanna to bring to the reunion with her. At tribal council, by a vote of 1-0, Ben, the tribe has spoken.
The Reunion: At the Reunion, after Sanna and Neleh both state their cases. Neleh states that she won 5 challenges in all, whilst Sanna only won 2, and one of those was a group challenge. Also, stating that she also got a lot less blood on her hands than Sanna. Sanna retaliates with she could have won more challenges if she had not allied with Neleh, a challenge beast. She also said that the only reason she had blood on her hands was that Neleh relied on her to do all the dirty work. Congratulation, Neleh Brown, you are the winner of Capy’s Survivor: Pearl Islands!
My Opinions: This was a similar situation to Marquesas, except with less flashy moves. Was an amazing cast, and a good season, but everyone relied on their alliances too much. Neleh and Sanna were a power duo and deserved to make it to the end. Neleh was definitely a deserving winner. Fadia was the evilest person on the planet. June and Fadia both made it surprisingly far, despite seeming to have their name on the block week in and week out. Ben was a challenge beast. River went too early, I think she could’ve been a real competitor. Despite starting out in a minority alliance, and then being just the two of them with a season full of giant alliances, I don’t even know how Neleh and Sanna survived. Ben’s move at the final four was genius. That’s all I have to say. Romeo would probably be the best pre-jury pick of this season (what I mean by that is the person on the pre-jury who I think would have done well if they went farther. Examples are Lexie in season 4, Nina in Season 5, and Mariangel in Season 6). I'm also happy about the first-ever rock draw!
Possible All-Stars: Neleh, Sanna, Ben, June, Fadia, Brad, Romeo
Leave your opinions about future all-stars, your favorites, and the season itself down below.
All-Star polls will be out shortly
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2020.08.06 14:42 Grampong Honeybee

Honeybee
Honeybee
Could you imagine where our lives would lead?
While I KNEW I would write this Snippet one day, I NEVER thought my Narrative would unfold like THIS, especially with a truly Soul-ripping twist I NEVER noticed until only minutes before the End over a decade later.
I try to avoid too much of my Life bleeding into my Snippets (some is unavoidable, since I write from my Experience). Not this Time, this Snippet shines the spotlight directly on the single biggest part of my Life (other than myself, of course), my Lifelong Love Honeybee.
A Lifelong Love is a very special type of Love, and each Life has room for only ONE Lifelong Love (but that one is FAR from guaranteed). There can only be ONE Love who meets you as a young adult, and continues with you on your Path for decades as together the two of you learn about each other and Reality, and then blaze a Path together into the Future hand-in-hand through births, deaths, jobs, burnt dinners, drunk relatives, and all the other Joys and Pains that Life brings.
For me, that Lifelong Love is Honeybee, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our Lifelong Love has been sans pareille. She’s the Bestest Lifelong Love in History.
She was my Honeybee, and I was her Honeybee. What we are now to each other in this Impossible Year, and what we will be going forward, remains to be determined.
One Hundred Magickal Hours
On October 15th, 1987, I was home on leave, playing bridge at the local college when two of my buddies had to go to class, and Honeybee decided to Sit Down Beside Me, began talking, and started a Discussion with me. This was our first Moment together. She was a young beautiful brilliant cultured refined six foot blonde dressed in a true vision of late Reagan America with hairspray, Bass Weejuns, natural fibers, glasses with HUGE frames, shoulder pads, and more hairspray. Her Consciousness was blazing, and our Discussion added subject after subject such as why Bork had to be borked, to the impact of fire on the beginnings of civilization, welfare reform, etc. We were jumping from topic to topic, never losing the other, and both of us were having a great time.
An hour later, she had to go to class, but said she would return afterwards and we could continue our Discussion then if I was still here. My other buddy decided to take off and asked I wanted to come along. I said “Nah, she’s really smart and really cute. It’s worth an hour to see if she comes back.”
It’s obvious what happened an hour later.
Honeybee and I just kept our Discussion going hour after hour, topic after topic getting added, over dinner, driving around, back to her place and we talked until we fell asleep. OK, we did a few things OTHER than talking, but that was really just as offshoot of the talking (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, ask Honeybee for her side if you want).
DC, the OG Road Trip
Friday evening, Honeybee had a road trip planned with a girlfriend of hers to Washington, DC, so I figured that this was going to be the last day I would spend with Honeybee before I had to return to base Monday. Coincidentally (synchronistically?), the driver had to bail so she drafted me into driving (IMO, more than a fair trade for few extra days with Honeybee).
This Road Trip set the standard for the many hundreds to follow.
Honeybee had her Violent Femmes tape, so we sang Blister in the Sun, Kiss Off, Gone Daddy Gone. The radio added I Got My Mind Set on You – George Harrison, Didn’t We Almost Have It All – Whitney Houston, I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany.
Everyone had a great time popping around DC for a couple days, Honeybee and I keeping that Discussion rolling. I found a treasure, a Magentalane album by Klaatu at a record store which would add many songs to our NEXT Road Trip like Mrs. Toad’s Cookies – Klaatu and our favorite to hear when we are almost Home, Magentalane – Klaatu
Black Monday
Honeybee was back in class Monday, and I needed to leave Monday evening. Honeybee and I realized that we had something Real and something VERY SPECIAL, but we lived 800 miles apart at the time. We agreed that we would try to see each other as much as possible, and when in the same city we were each other’s priorities, but otherwise we would live separate Lives and inform the other if there was “Something they needed to know,” which meant another Relationship which was rising in seriousness and a potential threat.
During our discussion, we noted that the stock market was crashing and had been the end of last week and this day would be called Black Monday. We laughed when we noticed that it started tanking roughly the same time Honeybee sat down to start our Discussion. We joked that us getting together had crashed the stock market.
The Honeybee Team Supreme
Together, Honeybee and I formed a Partnership capable of absolutely ANYTHING. Where I was weak, she was strong, and vice versa (and our strengths overlapped FAR more than they gapped).
My mental condition which Honeybee and I deduced as around the Asperger’s/Dyssemia area of the autism spectrum (we always refer to it as simply “Dyssemia”). My Dyssemia is inextricably linked to so many of my greatest strengths and weaknesses. While I have phenomenal intellectual capabilities, an Exceptional Memory which functions much like “Flashbacks” where I remember by reliving my Experiences with that information (both Good and Bad), and Math as my primary language, these abilities are achieved through a trade-off leaving me always an Individual, unable to join a Group or Consensus, and totally lacking in ANY “common sense”, lol.
Honeybee, OTOH, has her own set of phenomenal intellectual capabilities, her own Exceptional Memory which functions differently than mine (she considers mine “better”), fantastic language skillz, with a strong connection to and understand of the Consensus.
Honeybee can process data and multitask better than anyone, period. Watching her at full speed is an amazing sight. My specialties are pattern recognition, Gnosis, and penetrating focus. As individuals, we were Phenomenal. As the Honeybee Team Supreme, we were Transcendent.
Honeybee was the Yin to my Yang. We made an unbeatable Partnership, and proceeded to start taking Reality by storm.
Honeybee
I can't imagine how my life would be
If all your gravity did not hit me
Oh, don't you see?
Darling, my honeybee
Transplants
After spending a few years finishing college and taking the first few steps into the outside World, Honeybee and I recognized that we were “deadended” in our current location and decided to relocate. I wisely agreed with her when she suggested Central Florida because “If people save for a year or two to spend a week there, it’s GOT to be a good place to live.” And it hasn’t just been been a good place to live, it’s been SPECTACULAR!!! Honeybee made another of her great calls which possibly saved our Lives.
Honeybee and I packed every item we owned (and her cat who had adopted me as his hero) from The Old Apartment into a U-Haul and drove to the horizon to start our new Life without ANY idea where we were going to Live other than “Central Florida”. We were poster candidates for “Fools Rush In”, but Honeybee and I pulled it off yet again. We were truly The Honeybee Team Supreme, and nothing was impossible for us.
It was Just Like Heaven
But here we are
After all the messes and confessions
To the stars
That we never really owned as ours
The Honeybee Team Supreme’s Greatest Hits
Honeybee and I have shared so many truly spectacular Moments over our decades together. Here’s a sample of the highlights.
Travel
Honeybee and I took our first Road Trip the day after we met, and we never stopped until we recently parted.
The Honeybee Team Supreme does Road Trips RIGHT. The vehicle barely stops, bathroom breaks try to fit in gas stops, prepack food, we have it down after MANY hundreds.
Songs are chosen for singalongs, especially to stay awake driving. We started with our playlist from that OG DC trip and have added so many more like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John, Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf, One Headlight – Wallflowers, etc.
The Honeybee Team Supreme has been knocking out “Must Sees” for our Babybees as we enjoy them ourselves. A partial list:
Grand Canyon St Louis Arch NYC Washington DC Monument Valley Pike’s Peak Garden of the Gods Graceland Petroglyph National Monument Monticello Salt Lake City Yellowstone
We watched one of the very final Dreams Come True Fireworks performances from the top of the Contemporary Resort while eating unlimited sushi with an open bar as part of our hundreds of trips to Disneyworld.
Movies
Honeybee and I shared our Love of movies from the very beginning of our Conversation. We were both surprised we shared the same 40 year old black and white movie as our favorite: Holiday Inn. I had discovered it wrapping Christmas presents with my mother, as did Honeybee, so we naturally made this a Honeybee Team Supreme tradition.
We debated the “proper” ending for movies like Pretty in Pink, tossed themes back and forth, and were our own Honeybee Team Supreme version of Siskel and Ebert.
Honeybee and I Loved going to the movies, and 1999 the peak for us. Virtually every time we saw a movie, it was either phenomenal or fun. That was a GREAT year with Honeybee. Look at the movies we saw:
10 Things I Hate About You 13th Warrior American Beauty American Pie Any Given Sunday Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Blair Witch Project Being John Malkovich Boys Don't Cry Cider House Rules Dick Dogma Election Eyes Wide Shut Existenz Fight Club For the Love of the Game Go Green Mile Iron Giant House on Haunted Hill Last Night Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Matrix The Mummy Never Been Kissed Notting Hill Office Space Payback Magnolia Man on the Moon Mystery Men She's All That Sixth Sense Sleepy Hollow South Park Star Wars Episode I Stigmata Summer of Sam Talented Mr. Ripley Tarzan Thomas Crown Affair Topsy-Turvy Toy Story 2 Wild Wild West The World Is Not Enough
And just seeing the movies doesn’t cover the whole “movie experience”, because so many times our friends would add some of the best parts (like “Heavily Implied” taking on new meaning after American Beauty)
We Love Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and similar movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Wish You Were Here, Adaptation, etc. We Love classic movies, art movies, animation, etc.
Let’s just say Honeybee and I Love movies a LOT (and have a thousand discs still to watch).
Television
Honeybee and I were First Fandom for Reality TV, watching the OG Real World. While MOST Reality TV is beyond the Pale for us, we have passed this on to our Babybees. As a Hive, we watch Big Brother, Amazing Race, Project Runway, Top Chef, and similar shows and analyze the competitors and the competition (our Babybees are VERY astute).
Theatre
Live theatre has always been a special treat for Honeybee and me, and something we truly savor. Some of our favorites:
A spectacular performance of Fuenteovejuna at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC in one of their rare non-Shakespeare plays.
An incredible college performance of The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Rupert Holmes of Escape (The Pina Colada Song) in the Annie Russell Theatre where the audience selection of the ending gave a lesser player a chance to shine, and boy did he.
So many local and community theatres like Manhattan South Studio Theatre, with productions like The Brady Bunch (The Second Coming of Jan), the Glass Jar, and countless others. Those shows took on additional special meaning when we knew the actors or writers.
The UNFORGETTABLE (unless you were my friend who slept through the whole thing) most self-indulgent FIVE hour Sherlock Holmes play EVER (with two intermissions). The second intermission included a police scene with a dead body in the middle of the road (we concluded the body was someone trying to RUN as fast as possible away from the Play, and that he was in better shape since he wasn’t going back inside for the rest), and ended with the announcement “IF anyone wants to go back in and watch, we will be starting soon.” We ALL rolled at the “IF”.
And, of course, Bandstand on Broadway.
Sports
My family’s relationship with Sports runs very deep and very wide. Honeybee jumped right in and she did a great job.
While I’m not sure she’s EVER understood the point of showing up to a spring training game over an hour early (“Why watch them bat when it doesn’t count?”), Honeybee REALLY enjoyed the one spring training game we NEVER saw. We met a few of my cousins before the game at the team’s hotel bar for a drink. Much like that Lays Potato chip, ONE drink is NOT possible when 1980 American League Rookie of the Year Super Joe Charboneau is buying using the Indian’s team expense account (Go Joe Charboneau for SURE). And when Super Joe is buying the drinks, getting you drunk, and telling story after story of his exploits, you never make it to the game. Those stories start with the famous ones that surfaced his rookie year, like drinking beer through a straw through his NOSE, him fixing that nose when it was broken using pliers and a few shots of Jack Daniel’s, and doing his own dental work, but they don’t end there. Honeybee and I both agree, once in their Life, everyone should have Super Joe get them drunk (it’s not to be missed).
Honeybee and I went to a LOT of sporting events, but my favorite Moment with her concerning sports was a Moment she took the initiative and Planned herself for me.
For Christmas in 2002, Honeybee gave me two tickets for us to see the North Carolina Scholastic Classic on January 20, 2003. That meant I was FINALLY going to get to see Lebron James play in my alma mater’s Green and Gold Irish jersey (Honeybee gave me one of those the next year). So Honeybee and I made another of our patented Road Trips, and I was not disappointed to see in person the phenomenon my brother told me could have jumped to the NBA after his freshman year of high school. LeBron did the IMPOSSIBLE, he successfully DEFENDED a 3 on 1 fast break (no human being should be able to do that). After I saw that, I turned to Honeybee and said “If he doesn’t get hurt and doesn’t lose his head, he can make a run at surpassing Jordan, because LeBron is drawing from the largest skill set I’ve ever seen with a perfect body.” Honeybee agreed and still does.
Concerts
Honeybee and I saw so very many great concerts together, there’s no way to do them justice. The best part for me was ALWAYS that I was sharing the experience with Honeybee (she ALWAYS makes even the most bland Experience wonderful for me).
We watched Crosby, Stills, and Nash open for the Grateful Dead at Three Rivers Stadium after wandering around for hours with the Deadheads (and we still have out tie-dye t-shirts).
Lifehouse, Everclear, and Matchbox Twenty performed a triple bill where a Joyous Art Alexakis who stole the entire show from Rob Thomas’ homecoming by having security chase him and his wireless guitar up and down the stairs of the Orena.
Wang Chung, Flock of Seagulls, Missing Persons, Gene Loves Jezebel rocked the House of Blues
We jammed to Experimental Jazz at the Disney Institute, countless concerts at Disneyworld (we skipped most because they didn’t fit our schedule well), etc.
Ushered in 2000 with Blue Meridian at the Have A Nice Day Cafe.
We stood right in front of the stage on Pleasure Island while Modern English sang Melt With You for food, followed by World Party in the rain.
Honeybee had to drag me away from Steve Kilbey of The Church when he was was too busy talking to me about my business and playing the “Proud Poppa” showing off his daughter’s artwork from college to remember to get ready for the concert in a tiny club.
Roger Daltrey delivered Tommy backed by the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom in a performance Roger KNEW he had in him and had always wanted to give, and he gave that performance of his Life (we were so glad he didn’t “Die Before He Get Old” for Honeybee and I to have yet another of our Moments).
Our LAST concert was March 7, right before concerts went away, when we watched Michael Stanley Strike Up the Band One FINAL Time from the first row of the orchestra pit (if Honeybee and I never see another concert together, that was a Moment I’ll be happy to go out on).
People
The people who have crossed Honeybee’s and my Path, and walked with us for a while, demonstrate some SERIOUS “strength through diversity”.
Honeybee and I have yet to find people we don’t like (other than rude hurtful people, of course), and we have socialized across the entire social spectrum. We’ve gone out to dinner with couples who were having their version of our “smothered chicken”, we’ve joked with billionaires over which loge they watched the baseball team they own, we’ve watched Super Bowls and NBA Finals with hoop friends from pick-up games on the playground, we’ve plot doctored books and had the authors dedicate the book to us in thanks, etc.
Many interrelated circles of friends grew around the Honeybee Team Supreme, we had friends of all sorts. Honeybee and I struggled to figure out if we could fit TWO days at home a week into our social callendar.
Look around
We made a garden of the love we found
So many reasons I would fight to stay
You're the courage when I fade
Take a look at what we've made
Marriage
In 1996, I was working on our finances, and I shared with Honeybee that we would save about $3,000 if we were married, she got one of those looks of hers on her face, and I asked “Do you want to?” Not the most romantic or greatest of proposals, but she accepted anyway.
That great group of friends we assembled came together and threw us a FABULOUS Wedding, a bit Fandango style. We did everything backwards, a formal brunch followed by the ceremony in a beautiful rose garden. The reception was at a friends’ house, and then the after-reception of pizza and beer at yet another friends’ house around the block. Special people who shared a special day with us.
Missing were any rings. Honeybee is VERY particular about jewelry. She doesn’t like men wearing jewelry, so I have NEVER worn a wedding ring, at her request. As for her rings, at the time we could not justify the Engagement Ring she wanted, a 1 ½ carat emerald cut ring. I promised that ring to Honeybee, and she will have it, even if I have to give it to her at the finalization of the divorce as a “Thank you for having BEEN my wife” Ring rather than an Engagement Ring.
That silly ring, it wasn't meant to be
Luckily you saw in me
Something I couldn't see
”My Mind Is Gone, Is It EVER Coming Back!?!”
In late 2003, we succeeded in becoming pregnant with our first Babybee. The Collaboration we had been Planning and Loving toward had reached a new stage. still remember making special note of one of those Moments with Honeybee in early 2004 when we were Pregnant with our son. I brought her breakfast in bed (coffee for decades was standard, with extras like breakfast often added), and found her crying. I asked in a panic what was wrong, and Honeybee sobbed out, “My Mind is gone, is it EVER coming back!?!” All these strange Feelings and Emotions were taking over her Mind and Body, and she could tell that she was changing and becoming different than she had been before we got Pregnant.
I laughed and explained to her that those changes were her Body and Mind changing to give Birth to Babybee and become a Mommybee. I said that those changes were going to be in place until we decided to stop having children and breastfeeding, which was planned after our second child in about 5 years. That brought more tears from Honeybee and more laughter from me.
I NEVER should have been laughing, because I was horribly wrong about her Mind returning in 5 years. That wonderful incredible beautiful Mind she had shared with me for almost 20 years NEVER returned to what she shared with me before getting pregnant.
I NOW see the Moment of which I made that special note was NOT simply one of those tender Husband/Wife Moments that they look back on fondly (as Honeybee and I did so many times with this Moment, each of which now carries a touch of ash to me). No, this was the Honeybee I met in 1987, that incredible brilliant beautiful young woman to whom I instantly Bonded and Loved, with whom I started “officially” cohabiting in 1990, sweated out Midwest winters with windows open on a third floor of a Victorian house turned into a VERY cheap apartment (we did go out to dinner once a week for smothered chicken for under $20 total, tip included), packed every single one of our belongings into the back of a U-Haul to drive a thousand miles without a CLUE of where we were going to Live in 1993 (at once the Greatest and most Foolish thing we EVER did), started a business based on sharing my Love with others, launched her career and proudly watched her climb the corporate ladder saying “Farewell” to me, HER Honeybee
The Honeybee I Knew and Loved was actually saying “Goodbye” to me, and I didn’t Know it. I didn’t realize that my Honeybee I had Known and Loved for 16 years was leaving me, and from then on gradually my Loving Partner Honeybee would being replaced one tiny piece at a time by Mommybee, who does NOT Love me (or even understand I’m human) and sees me only as a resource for our Babybees.
I NEVER should have laughed, I should have been crying right alongside her. Now, I’ll be doing a LOT of crying not by her side waving Goodbye to my wonderful Honeybee in the Past who left me all those many years ago, but I never Knew she had gone. I’ve got a LOT of mourning to catch up on.
I’m giving you a horribly belated Goodbye now, Honeybee.
I’ve missed you so very much, especially these last few years. I’ve been so terribly Lost and Lonely without you (Mommybee abandoned our Discussion years ago, and you’ve only chipped in every so often since). I’m sorry I didn’t give you a proper Goodbye at the Time, but I didn’t Know you were going away Forever. We BOTH thought you were coming back. I didn’t even Know you were still Gone until last month. I really didn’t, Honeybee. Honest.
Such a fool
I took your love and I bent all the rules
You took the blow and didn't let it show
Stuck around to let me know
Built a family of our own
Male Light and Female Void
How could the Honeybee Team Supreme have missed such a crucial element, which eventually derailed their entire Plan? The answer is found in a VERY strange place.
Honeybee and I enjoyed exploring some of the most obscure areas of Reality in hope of finding Art and Artists. One of the most UNIQUE and GREATEST examples of Art we EVER found was the comic series Cerebus done by Dave Sim. IMO, Cerebus is the Finnegan’s Wake of comics and Sim is hands down the greatest living comic Artist. Sim’s 26 years of constant work on Cerebus produced that Artistic Alchemy where the Art and the Artist merge (which Sim later takes religious and visionary, producing an even MORE idiosyncratic work).
For all their magnificence, Sim and Cerebus are marred by what is a fatal flaw in most people’s eyes: Sim does not think or believe the genders are equal, and expresses his views in a strangely ham-fisted way which regularly melts down.
Honeybee and I LOVED extracting those parts which were Outrageous, and those parts which Sim had hit Truth (he has HUGE amounts of BOTH). Sometimes Outrageous and Truth were the same, as often happens in Art.
Here’s a summary of Sim’s system:
The Thinking Reasoning Male Light is Seminal Energy, while the Feeling Emotional Female Void is an Omnivorous Parasite.
The Male Light and Female Void can be combined by marriage into a Merged Permanence, with the components now called Merged Light and Merged Void. When Kids come Merged Light becomes Family Man.
All these Voids can be combined into a “Greater Void Wife and Kids” Omnivorous Engine, which serves the Vaginal Bottom Line. The Omnivorous Engine drives society through Lesser Void of White Collar Make-Work Programs.
The Female Void is essentially a black hole of resource need “For the Kids”, based on an Emotional and Feeling level. The Male Light cannot win on the Thinking and Reason level, as those are higher.
Many people see Sim’s Female Void as an Evil Woman, and dismiss him as a misogynist.
I’ve stripped as much of Sim’s “Simness” out of his system as I can. Here are some original sources for those who wish to read for themselves (insert all trigger warnings here): Male Light and Female Void, Reads, Tangents.
Mommybee
The Honeybee Team Supreme’s mistake is to think we were already a Merged Permanence which had avoided the Female Void issue. Honeybee is a Brilliant and Conscious woman, NOT a Female Void. We had been the Honeybee Team Supreme for almost 20 years, and no Female Void issues. We Knew the Female Void existed, but we thought we had the Female Void beat.
We were wrong. We were messing with Mother Nature, and it’s NOT nice to mess with Mother Nature.
We had not anticipated Mommybee being a Female Void and slowly robbing Honeybee of her Consciousness, leaving only Mommybee the Feeling Female Void.
When I joked with Honeybee when we were pregnant with our first Babybee, I had a general idea of the process, but the parts I missed were crucial. Emotion, Feeling, and Thought are progressive levels of abstraction, and the higher rests on the lower, with Thought supported by Feeling supported by Emotion.
My wonderful Conscious Honeybee had those three perfectly balanced, but when we got pregnant, Mommybee the Female Void which needs to provide for her Babybees ABOVE ALL ELSE disrupted her balance and Mommybee started to take over for Honeybee. As long as Honeybee and Mommybee agreed, all was well, but if they disagreed, Mommybee would win with Feeling and degrade Honeybee’s Consciousness a piece more.
I had NO idea that Mommybee was doing this until last month, so I kept executing the Plan which Honeybee and I had developed over 20 years. When Mommybee would criticize me and overrule me, I thought that was Honeybee, so I would try to Reason with her, explain that I was doing as we had Planned. Mommybee, the Female Void, saw Reason as a THREAT to her Babybees, and fought Honeybee’s Reason, and Honeybee played the rope in a Tug of War between me and Mommybee over her Babybees (a war I had NO CLUE was happening).
I am horrified that I was DESTROYING Honeybee when I was trying to follow the Plan the Honeybee Team Supreme had decided years earlier. But this Tug of War has been going on for 16 years, and Mommybee is clearly in control, with only little glimpses of Honeybee surfacing every so often.
Honeybee has lost her Consciousness, leaving Mommybee in charge until Mommybee can stop worrying so much because the Babybees are fully raised. That’s another five to ten years of Mommybee before there is much chance of Honeybee returning on a regular basis.
MAYBE.
What If?
Neither Honeybee nor I knew that us finally having the children to whom we so looked forward and had planned and worked for 15 years would unleash Mommybee and set in motion a process that eventually stole my Honeybee from me just like Alzheimer’s had taken my mother, one piece of her fabulous Mind disappearing at a Time until that incredible woman I Love so greatly was unrecognizable and GONE.
But if we HAD Known, would we have changed things (I would have changed how much I appreciated those days with just me and Honeybee, and then been prepared to adjust to Mommybee rather than blindsided)?
Other than being forewarned that Honeybee was going to transform into Mommybee, and preparing for that change, I don’t think there’s ANYTHING we would have done differently. Honeybee wanted me for her Love, her Partner, and the Father of her Babybees. She would have been incomplete without her Babybees, and I would NEVER want her incomplete for me to selfishly spend more Time with Honeybee, regardless of the Pain fulfilling our Dream of Babybees has caused me. Neither of us would have wanted anyone else to be the Father of her Babybees.
And I would never trade a Moment I got to spend with Honeybee for all the Pain and Suffering which Mommybee later inflicted upon me.
Soulmates
While Honeybee and I are Lifelong Loves, I thought for certain that we were also Soulmates, Ride together until one Dies, just like my parents with my father adding months to my mother’s Life through sheer force of Will and an eyedropper to feed her (and expert medical and legal skillz). In retrospect, I really should have paid MUCH more attention to how much Honeybee enjoyed For No One by the Beatles (she’s NEVER “needed” me, our Team Supreme was based on “Love” and “want”, NOT “need”) and the precedent of HER parent’s marriage, who separated and divorced when Honeybee and her brother were the same ages as our Babybees.
While Honeybee intended to be my Soulmate, Mommybee is NOT my Soulmate, she is a Female Void who has slowly taken over my Honeybee, one piece at a time.
Mommybee wants all my Resources and me to be happy just handing them over. I disagree, and that provokes Mommybee to attack me as if her Babybees’ Lives depend on it. Our differing POVs on this point DESPERATELY needs to be solved, but no solution is “pretty”.
Babybees
When I look at the Babybees which Honeybee and I Planned, Worked, and Loved so very hard to bring into Reality, I see that our efforts exceeded even our wildest Dreams. Our Babybees are absolutely spectacular, even more beautiful and brilliant than Honeybee and I could have ever Hoped. They are each special in their own ways, taking after Honeybee and I, yet adding their own unique spin. I could not be more proud of myself, Honeybee, Mommybee, and the Babybees in making this Collaboration a such a roaring success.
There will be NO Cat’s in the Cradle for me. I was with my Babybees CONSTANTLY with only a few hours off at a time until Mommybee decided to leave with our Babybees last month. I will always know that I was there during ALL their important formative years, because I’ve changed more diapers, driven to more sporting events, spent fewer days away from the Babybees, etc.
I even added my own new special touch to their education, riffing off Socrates, and taking his method to the next level. Instead of me focusing on pouring information and knowledge into our Babybees Minds by using questions to teach THEM, I let them teach ME their next lesson while I “played dumb”. This allowed me to focus their teaching attention at the exact point they needed to Know next, while giving them great confidence in their abilities to observe Reality and draw proper conclusions. I have helped them assemble models of Reality unlike ANY before them, totally unique and custom fit to THEM in new ways they found for themselves.
I look forward to the great Paths that will unfold before them. Those Paths will be Magickal and Marvelous. These Babybees of Honeybee and mine are truly special.
I just REALLY wish Honeybee and I could celebrate them. Or that I could celebrate them with Mommybee and our Babybees, rather than just watch their magnificent glory from a distance, which is what I anticipate happening.
But here we are
After all the messes and confessions
To the scars
That we never really owned as ours
One First Date
So, what’s next for me?
I’m going to Disneyworld, of course. What else would make any sense?
My Plan is to try and see what, if ANY, health dynamic might begin to be established between Mommybee and myself, now that I realize I am no longer married to Honeybee. Some sort of effective dynamic needs to be established because I’m going to be co-parenting with Mommybee for years, regardless of anything else.
Mommybee has agreed to take a day off her very important job (it really is, I’m very proud of how fantastically Honeybee/Mommybee’s career has progressed and I’m proud of the bits of help I’ve given her here and there, she’s a truly incredible woman) and leave the Babybees at her home so the the two of us can have a CHANCE to spend a day at Disneyworld as a couple like we we used to decades ago (the entire family tried a few weeks ago and didn’t make it long).
But I also have a Hope.
I’ve asked Mommybee to stay at her home with the Babybees this time and let me have the day with Honeybee.
I’m counting this as that “First Date” Honeybee and I always joked about NEVER having. At this point, I just want one day and one date with Honeybee, and this might be the LAST and ONLY chance I ever have.
I’m going to try and have a Moment with Honeybee and tell her how much I Miss her and I Love her. I Know now not to use those Facts and Logic which Honeybee Loves so much, but Mommybee despises when they conflict with her and her Babybees’ desires. I’ll focus on all those great Feeling and Emotions Honeybee and I had in the Past (and there were SO very many, and they were SO very great).
I’ll NEVER be able to fit all I want to say to Honeybee into a single Moment, even if we manage to stretch that Moment the entire day. But there is one thing I ABSOLUTELY WILL tell Honeybee.
“You’re the one. You’re the ONLY one.”
She’s my Honeybee, and I am her Honeybee.
She’s the Bestest Lifelong Love EVER.
For Crying Out Loud, I Love you, Honeybee.
And if our world comes tumbling down
I never could forgive myself for leaving out
You're the one
You are the only one
Won't you decide?
Won't you decide?
I want you to soar
Don't doubt anymore
(Little by little, we meet in the middle)
Won't you decide?
(What's your name?)
Won't you decide?
Snippet Playlist Alone Again, Naturally – Gilbert O’Sullivan Always on Your Side – Sheryl Crow, Sting Breakeven – The Script Circles – Post Malone Don’t Speak – No Doubt Far Away – Nickelback Happier – Marshmallo Here Come Those Tears Again – Jackson Browne Here’s Where the Story Ends – Sundays How’s It Gonna Be – Third Eye Blind In My Life – Beatles It’s All Coming Back to Me – Meatloaf My Immortal – Evanescence Rainy Days and Mondays – Carpenters The Reason – Hoobastank Reelin’ in the Years – Steely Dan She’s Gone – Hall and Oates Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word – Elton John Traces – Classics IV True – Spandau Ballet When We Were Young – Adele Winner Takes It All – ABBA Wonderwall – Oasis
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Whitney Houston - How Will I Know (Single Version) Wife Swap With My Wife's SISTER For 24 Hours... - YouTube Jordan Peterson: Men who marry witchy women - YouTube Why Houston - YouTube Mobile homes for sale in Houston Tx Whitney Houston Wins Favorite Pop/Rock Single - AMA 1988 5 Things to Know before visiting Houston - YouTube “Dating In Houston”: Where Singles Go To Meet Is It Better to Be Single? - YouTube HOW TO APPROACH WOMEN!! (Midtown, Houston)

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  1. Whitney Houston - How Will I Know (Single Version)
  2. Wife Swap With My Wife's SISTER For 24 Hours... - YouTube
  3. Jordan Peterson: Men who marry witchy women - YouTube
  4. Why Houston - YouTube
  5. Mobile homes for sale in Houston Tx
  6. Whitney Houston Wins Favorite Pop/Rock Single - AMA 1988
  7. 5 Things to Know before visiting Houston - YouTube
  8. “Dating In Houston”: Where Singles Go To Meet
  9. Is It Better to Be Single? - YouTube
  10. HOW TO APPROACH WOMEN!! (Midtown, Houston)

Whitney Houston - So Emotional [Single Version] (1987) - Duration: 4:08. DJ Mike Brady 813 views. 4:08. Whitney Houston - How will I know 1985 - Duration: 4:06. fritz51315 76,424 views. Jordan Peterson talks in this video about men who marry witchy women and other interesting ideas. Whitney Houston wins the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single for her song, 'I Want to Dance With Somebody', at the 1988 American Music Awards. She thanks her manager and everyone else. This is a video that I did when we took a trip to Houston this past weekend. I was just in Midtown turnin up wit the people talkin to chicks doin my thang & whatnot . Enjoy !! It's easy to feel, when we are in a couple, that it might be a lot more fun to be single: and - of course - vice versa. Which of these stories is true though... Single wide and double wide 16706 FM2920 Tomball Tx 77377-rbi36913 Tel 281 255 0028. March 2010 Nicole Brende of RSVP Social talks “Single In The City”. How do singles meet in Houston, TX? This was weird haha Get our book here: https://thomasnelson.com/p/coleandsav/ SUBSCRIBE to The LaBrant Fam!: http://bit.ly/SubToLaBrantFam SUBSCRIBE to Everl... Comedian Josh Pray visited H town and learned a thing or two about that southern culture Houston is an opportunity city. Regardless of where you came from, if you’re willing to work hard and pursue a dream, there truly are no limits to what can b...